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Forrestal entered Dartmouth College in 1911, but transferred to Princeton University the following year. At the latter school, he served as an editor for The Daily Princetonian and was voted by the senior class as "Most Likely to Succeed", but left just prior to completing work on a degree.
After college, Forrestal went to work as a bond salesman for William A. Read and Company (also known as Dillon, Read & Co.). When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the Navy and ultimately became a Naval Aviator, training with the Royal Flying Corps in Canada. During the final year of the war, Forrestal spent much of his time in Washington, D.C., at the office of Naval Operations, while completing his flight training. He eventually reached the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.
Following the war, Forrestal served as a publicist for the Democratic Party committee in Dutchess County, New York helping politicians from the area win elections at both the state and national level. One of those individuals aided by his work was a neighbor, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Forrestal then returned to William A. Read and Company, earning a partnership, in 1923, before eventually becoming president of the company in 1937.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Forrestal as an administrative assistant on June 22, 1940, then nominated him as Under Secretary of the Navy six weeks later. As Under-Secretary, Forrestal proved highly effective at mobilizing domestic industrial production for the war effort. He became Secretary of the Navy on May 19, 1944, following the death of his immediate supervisor Frank Knox from a heart attack. Forrestal led the Navy through the closing year of the war and the painful early years of demobilization that followed. As Secretary, Forrestal introduced a policy of racial integration in the Navy.
He was named as the nation's first Secretary of Defense in 1947 by President Harry S. Truman. Forrestal continued to advocate for complete racial integration of the services as Secretary of Defense, a policy that was eventually implemented in 1949.
By 1948, President Harry Truman had approved military budgets billions of dollars below what the services were requesting, putting Forrestal in the middle of a fierce tug-of-war between the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
What followed after the ceremony remains mysterious. "There is something I would like to talk to you about," Symington told Forrestal, and accompanied him privately during the ride back to the Pentagon. What Symington said is not known, but Forrestal emerged from the ride deeply upset, even traumatized, upon arrival at his office.
Forrestal was taken home, but within a day the Air Force flew him to Hobe Sound, Florida, home of Robert Lovett (a future Secretary of Defense). Forrestal’s first words were "Bob, they’re after me." He met with Dr. William Menninger, of the Menninger Foundation, and a consultant to the Surgeon General of the Army. Captain George N. Raines, chief psychologist at the U.S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, soon arrived.
In 1984, Dr. Robert P. Nenno, a young assistant to Dr. Raines from 1952 to 1959, disclosed that Raines had been instructed by “the people downtown” to put Forrestal in the VIP suite on the sixteenth floor of the hospital. Dr. Nenno emphasized that Raines’s disclosure to him was entirely ethical, but that “he did speak to me because we were close friends.”
CONNELLY: He thought that the same things were happening, that people were annoying him, and he felt he was under surveillance down there, he felt that he was being watched, and in other words, he was being personally persecuted. So as a result of that, we had him very quietly removed to Bethesda hospital in Washington.
I called the hospital from Hobe Sound on the morning of the second and asked that they have two rooms available, one on the officers psychiatric section and one in the tower. I felt he could be handled in the tower satisfactorily, povided certain security measures were taken.
The physical examination was done by doctor Lang immediately prior admission which showed nothing remarkable except some elevation of blood pressure. The neurological examination was negative except for small, fixed pupils which, so far as I know, had no significance.
Meanwhile, Forrestal’s personal diaries, consisting of fifteen looseleaf binders totaling 3,000 pages, were removed from his former office and brought to the White House, where they remained for the next year. The White House later claimed that Forrestal had requested for Truman to take custody of the diaries. Such a claim, frankly, is preposterous. Throughout 1948, Forrestal had become increasingly alienated from Truman. Prior to the election, he had even met privately with leading Republicans to help insure his future with the Dewey administration. Truman then abruptly fired him in favor of Johnson, a man plainly not qualified for the job. Forrestal’s diaries contained sensitive information that Truman’s people needed to know about. Presumably they had ample time to review them during the seven weeks of Forrestal’s hospitalization.
Throughout Forrestal’s hospitalization, access to him was severely restricted. One-time visitors were his wife, his two sons, Sidney Souers (a former DCI, NSC executive secretary, and alleged MJ-12 member), Louis Johnson, Truman, and Congressman Lyndon Johnson. Menninger visited twice. Although Forrestal was presumably glad to see his sons, he was not close to any of these visitors, and had a political antipathy to his government colleagues who came by. However, Forrestal was not permitted to see the several people he continually asked to see: his brother, a friend, and two priests.
Henry Forrestal, for example, repeatedly tried to see his brother but was refused until he threatened to tell the newspapers and sue the hospital. Ultimately, he was able to visit his brother four times. Henry told Raines and the hospital’s commandant, Captain B. W. Hogan, that his brother wanted to talk with a close friend, Monsignor Maurice Sheehy. Hogan replied that he was aware of this, but still would not allow it.
Indeed, Sheehy had tried seven times to see Forrestal. Each time he was told his timing was "not opportune." (What kind of hospital policy denies a patient the right to see a priest, minister, or rabbi?) Sheehan, a former Navy chaplain, argued several times with Raines, and had the impression that Raines was acting under orders. Another priest, Father Paul McNally of Georgetown University, was also barred from seeing Forrestal, as was at least one other (unnamed) friend of the former Secretary.
We kept visitors out in part at his own request because he didn’t feel able to tolerate them.
"Mister Forrestal was obviously quite severely depressed"
"As late as the twenty-ninth of April the patient was still quite suicidal."
"I knew in the recovery period which seemed at hand the danger of suicide was rather great."
"The family was at all times kept fully advised as to the patient’s progress but I didn’t warn them continuously of the suicidal threat nor did I mention it to anyone except my direct colleague, Doctor Smith."
"The family should not be troubled with or worried by the continual suicidal threat."
"The patient was still quite suicidal."
"I had no actual factual evidence of any sort which would lead me to be able to say specifically that suicidal thoughts or ideas were present."
I believe, and the man was obviously depressed and any time a man is depressed there is always a consideration of suicide to be kept in mind.
"In as much as he was a man who suffered with a depression and an interpretation of his own predicament through depressive eyes the matter of his recovery or non-recovery was discussed, even including self-destruction. He, at all times, denied any preoccupation with such thoughts."
"At no time did I ever hear him express any uncertainty that he would not recover nor did I ever hear him express any threat to destroy himself.
Q: Did Mister Forrestal make any attempt at suicide while he was under your care?
A: None whatsoever.
Q: Did Mister Forrestal make any attempt at suicide while he was under your care?
A: No, sir, non that I was ever informed of, became aware of, or suspected.
He was a man who not only was mentally alert but continued to maintain an active interest in all current matters on a level compatible with his broad public service and wide experience. These conversations ran a gamut from a discussion of matters of purely local interest to various philosophies and ruminations that touched on the behaviour patterns of all people under various circumstances of stress and his astuteness and acumen were such that his comments and discourses were pregnant with comprehensive significance. I was more often the listener then the speaker.
When I came up to go to bed some time before eleven I asked him again if he was interested in going to the television and he said “no, not tonight”, but he made it sound like not tonight but a night in the near future.
At his home in Beacon, New York, Henry Forrestal stated to this author that James Forrestal positively did not kill himself. He said his brother was the last person in the world who would have committed suicide and that he had no reason for taking his life. When Forrestal talked to his brother at the hospital, James was having a good time planning the things he would do following his discharge. Henry Forrestal recalled that Truman and [new Defense Secretary Louis] Johnson agreed that his brother was in fine shape and that the hospital officials admitted that he would have been released soon. To Henry Forrestal, the whole affair smelled to high heaven. He remarked about his brother's treatment at the hospital, his virtual imprisonment and the censorship of his visitors. Henry Forrestal had never heard of such treatment and questioned why it should have been allowed. He further questioned why the hospital officials lied about his brother being permitted all the visitors he wanted.
He was bitter when recounting that from the first minute the officials had insisted the death was a result of suicide; that they did not even consider the possibility of murder even though there was no suicide note, though his brother acted perfectly normal when the corpsman saw him only a few minutes before his death, though the bathrobe cord was knotted tightly around his neck.
He considered it odd that his brother had died just a few hours before he, Henry, was to arrive and take James out of the hospital.
Then he repeated his belief that James Forrestal did not kill himself; that he was murdered; that someone strangled him and threw him out the window. Henry Forrestal went on to ask why the authorities did not have the decency to admit these things and then try to apprehend the murderer. He lamented the fact that the case was hurriedly hushed up in an apparent attempt to avoid a scandal.
He went on to say that he was a Democrat but nevertheless he blamed the Truman administration for covering up his brother's murder, for letting it happen, and for the way James Forrestal was treated in the hospital. He concluded that he was "damned bitter" about it all but did not know what he could do.
There is at least one other person who did not believe the suicide story. Monsignor [Maurice] Sheehy said that when he hurried to the hospital several hours after Forrestal hurtled to his death to try to learn what he could of the circumstances of the tragedy, a stranger approached him in the crowded hospital corridor. The man was a hospital corpsman, a warrant officer wearing stripes attesting to twenty years of service in the navy. He said to Monsignor Sheehy in a low, tense voice: "Father...you know Mr. Forrestal didn't kill himself, don't you."
But before Monsignor Sheehy could reply or ask the man's name, he said, others in the crowded corridor pressed about him closely, and the veteran warrant officer, as if fearful of being overheard, quickly disappeared.
In protecting the security operations of MAJESTIC, it has been necessary to [BLACKED OUT] individuals who would compromise the intelligence efforts. While distasteful [BLACKED OUT] times, the use of [BLACKED OUT] measures have been executed. The untimely death of Secretary Forrestal, was deemed necessary and regrettable.
Originally posted by jdub297
Hey! Wait a minute! S & F for excellent work, so far.
Have you read the (Richard?) Dolan book: "UFOs and the National Security State?"
One of the best investigative books generally, and especially important to understanding the UFO phenomenon.
He covers Forrestal's murder very well.
The Disinformation press has published a couple of things in one or another of their series exposing "common knowledge" and the MSM for the farces they are.
I'll get out so I can read the rest of your installments.
(Use cites and links)
Originally posted by Gazrok
Of course, the easy question is, if he was seen as suicidal, "Why would you put a potential suicide patient on the 14th floor?"