Right vs. Left Politics in the Cold War
by Bob Rowen
Right vs. Left Politics in the Cold War: perhaps every single person in this room had direct experience of this War – the Cold War that we all know.
Most NYMAS talks deal with events, strategies, weapons. Let me try tonight to do a character study: what the character himself says and does, what others thought of him and what documents and records say about him -.and tonight to try a few theories: was he a good guy, a bad guy, a tragic hero, a pathetic washed-up figure? All these things? Maybe you’ll decide.
So who was this guy?
Consider that Edwin Anderson Walker had a significant role in each of these events of the 20th century:
People and events of the 20th century:
• The invasion of Italy and France
• The Korean War
• The Integration of Little Rock High School
• The Cold War in Europe
• Civilian Control of the Military
• Concern about the Politicalization of the Military
• Riots and Insurrection in Mississippi
• Holding dissenters for psychiatric reasons
• Key Supreme Court Decision about the Press and Public Figures
• Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy Assassination
• National and Regional Politics of the 1960s and 70s
• Right Wing vs Left Wing America
These are serious events in recent American history but as we tell Walker’s story, there’ll also be room for the ridiculous and the absurd.
Somebody said Edwin Anderson Walker was “The Forrest Gump of General Officers”, that Walker managed, intentionally or not, to be there at many of the major events in his lifetime.
I spent an hour on the phone with Mark Radcliff who commanded a unit alongside Walker’s who thought Walker was great and Mark regretted almost having shot Walker when they jumped into the same foxhole during a shelling.
On the other hand, in the book, The Devil’s Brigade, Bill Story remembered a Walker “who spoke in a high-pitched and garbled manner” and also said Walker was “a dirty unshaven man in a G.I. raincoat and a pulled down knit cap who looked like a tramp and was an altogether miserable character.”
In the book The Devil’s Brigade another officer says Walker stopped a high-ranking African-American Red Cross officer from entering the Officers’ Mess.
Walker returned to the United States in January, 1946. He served as assistant director of the combined arms department, Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Okla and then headed the Greek desk at the Pentagon during the Greek civil war and made an official visit to Greece and Turkey.
In 1955, Walker was selected by Maxwell Taylor as the lead US military advisor to Taiwan where Walker was senior adviser to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. His last assignment before coming to Little Rock was as commanding general of the Twenty-fifth Division Artillery in Hawaii. Taylor would also hand pick Walker for his next assignment
And in 1957, Major General Edwin A. Walker would get his second star.
Later on, JFK will have a comment on this moment.
Walker’s 1957 assignment as commander of the Arkansas Military District placed Walker in history.
Now in charge of the state's reserve component, the posting seemed routine, but within months international attention was focused on his command. Arkansas governor Orval Faubus defied a federal court order to integrate Little Rock's Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized the state national guard and placed it and troops from the 101st Airborne Division under Walker's command. The general, it was said very privately, had reservations about forced integration and believed federalization of the Arkansas National Guard was unnecessary. Unable to persuade his superiors to modify their action, Walker carried out their directives, integrating Central High and maintaining order.
The New York Times portrayed Walker as something of a hero, a guy who said “Check” and who was “a bachelor considered a prize for hostesses”…. A perception we’ll come back to.
The general also tried to reassure the children, saying, "I believe that you are well-intentioned, law-abiding citizens, who understand the necessity of obeying the law, and are determined to do so." (Christian Science Monitor)
The Washington Post, in a 1957 editorial, hailed him for handling "the Arkansas situation with extraordinary tact and firmness."
And one small footnote:
While Walker was in command in Little Rock, Walker phoned a complaint to the FBI, the FBI summary of which has now been declassified from the FBI files:
At this point, before I pick up on General Walker and his fateful two years with the 24th Infantry Division, I’d like to take the liberty of inserting an explanation for my own interest and involvement with this topic and, further, try to give you a feeling for this Era – mostly pre-Vietnam and pre-60s.
How did I become interested in Edwin Walker? …about whom no book has been written.
About the author As a 25 year old draftee, I found myself in the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division in Augsburg, West Germany in early 1963. It was almost two years after Walker had been relieved – so, clearly, I never served under him.
To briefly jump way ahead, about ten years ago, 1999, about the time I started the nymas.org website, I dug out some photos and memories from the early 60s and also started the “24th Infantry Division in Europe” website. Before long I got hundreds of emails from vets – and a significant number of vets who served just before I did who vividly remembered General Walker.
I had gone to Europe, like millions of other US soldiers during the Cold War, not exactly because I chose to.
Because the Army had decided, after my 8 years of radio and television experience, that I should be an aircraft mechanic, I spent much after-hours time trying to get transferred from my 7th Army air transport unit to the offices of the American Forces Network in Munich. My crusty old 1 st Cav major would have none of it.
Until suddenly, me, the major, and the whole company were– over a weekend – structurally absorbed into the surrounding 24th Infantry Division. And I was immediately ordered to pack my bags and report to the 24th Infantry Division Headquarters in Augsburg. The PIO, Troop Information and Civil Affairs unit were just one staircase over the office of the Division Commanding General.
I reported to the Lieutenant, who had gotten my transfer: 2nd Lieutenant Donald T. Laird. He, one other PFC, and I were going to produce all the broadcast radio for the 24th Division.
Lt. Laird,” I asked, “are you related to the congressman, what’s his name, Melvin Laird?”
“That’s right,” said Lt. Laird, “He’s my uncle. Chair of the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations. Melvin T. Laird”. It took me until recently to fully realize the significance of the Chairman’s nephew being placed in the information section of the 24th Infantry Division’s headquarters .
For all the "Troop Information" and promotion of "Unit Tradition", my thinking was more than a little modified in the move-around Army of the time. The weekly AFN - Munich radio program we produced - began with thunderous drums and a grim-voiced announcer:
Click to hear: http://www.bobrowen.com/nymas/walkermedia/showcase.mp3
To the rocky hills of Korea
To the mountains of Bavaria
Proudly waves the banner of the 24th Infantry Division"
Actually we had a somewhat more jaundiced view ourselves:
It wasn't lost on us that we were peacetime soldiers in Europe and only in for 2 or 3 years. But...., let's see, if the Warsaw Pact comes pouring through the Fulda Gap...
Most will remember this era, but the Walker story may bring it more vividly to life: it was just 10 years after Korea, and after the Army McCarthy hearings, it was the era of nuclear tests in the atmosphere and tens of thousands of atomic weapons on either side of the Iron Curtain and no disarmament agreement had yet been signed. It was the 100th anniversary of the Civil War, with very different meanings to, especially, Southern blacks and whites.
Always a hint of Doomsday in the air.
JFK, Catholic and liberal, was in office. And April 1961 was the month of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and much recrimination.
Except for Walker and a few other, the ideas of “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!”, “better dead than red” “blowing in the Wind” were just developing – student action, marches on the Pentagon, the whole anti-Vietnam War movement, all were to come later.
In the 24th Division, we weren’t in Vietnam, thank God, but guys we regularly met served in advisory missions there and KIA announcements at morning formations were regular too. It was a peacetime army, but with unannounced alerts and long term field exercises, there was always an air of tension and there was that very military feeling of living in the middle of events beyond your own control.
It also had that quality of peacetime armies you saw in The Bofors Gun, Tunes of Glory or especially From Here to Eternity – actually about the 24th. The USA was negotiating its first nuclear test ban treaties with the Soviet Union and the Federal government was beginning to enforce integration at schools in the South.
In Germany, the Berlin Wall had just gone up. In 1963, units of the 24th got to exercise "rights of access under the Potsdam Agreement." by reinforcing the Berlin Brigade. "If the balloon goes up...." I believe was the phrase used when describing how all units in Berlin would be sacrificed in order to hold up the Reds for a day or two. And it was important to be STRAC: that is, Skilled Tough Ready Around the Clock or Standing Tall Right Around the Clock
JFK had made his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech; one of our German-American GIs in Civil Affairs insisted that because JFK used the article "ein", he had really said "I am a jelly doughnut." Another in the Berlin Brigade quietly but persistently said that the Wall was the product of currency manipulation - by the West. Well, he wasn't sent to Siberia and that was good to know since he might have if he were on the other side. Hey, it was the beginning of the Sixties!
Tactical Nuclear Weapons/
This is a snapshot of the armored door of a 24th Division NBC room: NBC = Nuclear, Biological and Chemical. See the caption at the bottom for the nihilistic spirit of the day.
In early 1960, when President Eisenhower's budget director Maurice Stans was told that the U.S. Navy's Polaris missile-launching submarines could "destroy 232 targets, which was sufficient to destroy all of Russia," he asked defense officials, "If POLARIS could do this job, why did we need other... ICBMs, SAC aircraft, and overseas bases?"
Well, one reason given was that in this era, tactical nuclear weapons were seen as the stopping force against Warsaw Pact armies flooding into Germany thru the Fulda Gap, the battlefield for Armor on the north German plains. By the 1950s, artillery units of the 24th Infantry Division were beginning to be equipped with Honest John rockets and, later, M-28 or M-29 Davy Crockett Weapon Systems in 24th arsenals in both Augsburg and Munich – all potentially nuclear-tipped.
At the height of the Cold War, the majority of the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons were the smaller, tactical nuclear weapons.
This is a moment from a radio documentary I wrote and narrated in 1963: Grafenwoehr, you may know, is the army training and maneuver area in central Germany:
Click to hear: http://www.bobrowen.com/nymas/Walkermedia/rocket.mp3
Walker and the 24th Infantry Division in Europe
Back to Walker and the period 1959 to 1961.
In the summer of 1959, Walker was appointed commander of the 24th, considered the best of six US divisions on the Iron Curtain.
Just one more side note : Noted military historian and NYMAS Boardmember Al Nofi did me the tremendous favor of going thru Walker’s personal papers at the University of Texas at Austin.
Al Nofi wrote” There was, however, one very curious letter (Image 15), which was certainly the most interesting thing I found. In 1959, when he received orders to take command of the 24th ID he [drew up] his resignation from the army, citing the “5th Column” threat to America. Obviously he didn’t resign. There’s nothing to indicate he actually sent it, or, if he did, nothing to explain why it was withdrawn. Very curious.”
Carl Foreman sent me this snapshot and remembered: “when Walker took over, it was like a tornado hit, it was PT every morning, field problems, etc. I could mark a mine field in my sleep; any PFC was able to fill out a morning report."
Well, just as Walker had predicted in his unsent letter of resignation before he took charge, what he described as the Fifth Column” was active:
Wisconsin's Democratic Senator William Proxmire said the incident was proof positive that the fight against Communism should be taken over by "intelligent" people and not left to "morons."
What set off this storm about General Walker?
To explain: There are three newspapers involved. The famous Stars and Stripes, published wherever there were US soldiers, the Taro Leaf in the 24 th Division, that General Walker had used for his Pro-Blue Programs, and the independent, published for US troops and their families, Overseas Weekly. Often found in PX and snack shop newsstands…but not always.
In West Germany, The Overseas Weekly, an independent newspaper run by Americans, declared that major General Edwin A. Walker, tough commander of the tough 24th Infantry Division, was Birching his troops with lecture and pamphlet. The paper charged that Walker claimed that President Truman, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt were "definitely pink." and that TV's Edward R. Murrow, now director of the U.S. Information Agency, was a "confirmed Communist." What was more, 60% of the U.S. press and broadcasting industry was Communist-controlled. Although Walker issued a denial….(Time, April 21, 1961)
From the Overseas Weekly website: “Frankly sensational and muckraking, the paper is loaded with sex, crime and corruption. OW calls itself "the enlisted man's court of last resort." Its targets are autocratic generals, sadistic junior officers, court-martial boards too quick with dishonorable discharges, war profiteers in uniform, civilian crooks operating post exchanges, brutal MP's, unfit combat commanders, and any others who need the clear light of publicity.”
Of course, Walker himself called the Overseas Weekly “immoral, unscrupulous, corrupt and destructive.” Even though Maj. Gen. Walter Kerwin, Commander of the U.S. 3rd Armored Division later said, "Greatest little paper you ever saw. Any time I wanted to spread the word in the Division, I told the Overseas Weekly." -
Even after Walker left and I was in the Division, my pal across the squad room, Lester Rowntree, PFC and editor of the Division newspaper, The Taro Leaf, ran into trouble because of The Overseas Weekly. Lester wrote me:
So because of the Overseas Weekly articles about Walker, an investigation was begun by the higher USAREUR command in Heidelberg.
Two small side notes –
On April 17th, 1961 , thru Sect of Defense McNamara, JFK ordered that Major General Edwin A. Walker be relieved of command of the 24th Infantry Division, pending an investigation. General Walker sat in a Colonel’s quarters at USAREUR Headquarters in Heidelberg.
Lt. General Frederic J. Brown, as 7th Army Inspector General headed an investigation of Walker. Brown was not sympathetic to Walker and repeatedly asked him if he was a member of the John Birch Society – sounds like a real litmus test except this, you remember, is the group who had called Dwight D. Eisenhower a "conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist Conspiracy.” and said that “John Foster Dulles and Allan W. Dulles were "communist tools".
The Overseas Weekly had reported that as a member of the John Birch Society, Walker applauded the organization's leader, former Boston candy maker Robert Welch, and that Walker had found nothing offensive in Welch's attacks on Dwight Eisenhower as a "conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.”
June 12, 1961: The investigation concluded that Walker was – should be – dismissed from command – NOT because he was a zealous anti-Communist, but because he engaged in political activity: he was admonished ''for taking injudicious actions and for making derogatory public statements about prominent Americans'' Specifically, that Walker was in violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits government personnel from participating in politics other than voting. This was based on his promoting the "A.C.A. Index" a list of ultra-conservative candidates.
In June of 1961, Wm F. Buckley, as an editor of the National Review, began a correspondence with Walker, hoping to gather enough facts to run articles supporting Walker and possibly making him a leader of the Right.
At this point, Walker received a new assignment: assistant chief of staff for training and operations in the Pacific—it meant maybe he still had a chance at a third star.
November 4, 1961 , Walker resigned from the Army. Said Walker: "It will be my purpose now, as a civilian, to attempt to do what I have found it no longer possible to do in uniform." (Walker papers, other sources say Nov. 2)
For most of the rest of his life, Walker took pains to remind people he was NOT retired – but rather resigned – and therefore he had renounced his general’s pension and had complete freedom of speech.
Had Walker thought about Douglas Macarthur’s “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”? And decided there’d be no fading away for Edwin Walker? His first speaking engagement was for early December in his home state of Texas.
For Edwin Walker, the period from April, 1961 until his resignation and return to Texas at the end of 1961, is meaningful in this study because at the end of his life, Walker recounted to one of his loyal followers details of this period and his involvement with the JFK administration very different from anything I was able to verify or that is shown in the records.
Click to see and hear: http://www.bobrowen.com/nymas/Walkermedia/Hat.wmv
In February 1962, Walker entered the race for Governor of Texas, but finished last among six candidates in a Democratic primary election in May that was won by John Connally
In September 1962 Walker was back in the newspapers, traveling to Oxford, Mississippi, to protest the enrollment of James Meredith, an Air Force veteran and an African American, at the University of Mississippi.
One leaflet at Ole Miss read “Do not be tricked into fighting your fellow Americans. KENNEDY is out to destroy AMERICA because he is a sick, sick COMMUNIST” (from Brothers By David Talbot)
On September 30, a violent, 15-hour riot broke out on the campus, in which two people were killed and six federal marshals were shot.
President Kennedy was quoted in a recorded phone call, now at the JFK Library, saying about General Walker. “Imagine that son of a bitch having been commander of a division up till last year. And the Army promoting him.” (JFK Library)
Attorney General Robert Kennedy issued a warrant for Walker's arrest on the charges of seditious conspiracy, insurrection, and rebellion. He was jailed and held for psychiatric evaluation for five days at the US Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri and claimed that he was a "political prisoner" of the Kennedy Administration. (NYT) This became a case in psychiatry as it was debated if Walker being held was like the incarceration of dissidents in the Soviet Union.
(In 1961 Soviet General Petro Gri-gor-enko criticized Nikita Khruschev's policies and became a member of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group. The authorities sent him to psychiatric imprisonment from 1964-1965, and Grigorenko was stripped of his military rank, medals, and retirement benefits. The differences and similarities between the cases of these two generals are a whole other topic.)
Meanwhile, the American Medical Association was receiving "a volume of letters from individual physicians" charging Dr. Charles E. Smith, the Army psychiatrist -- who commented on Walker's mental state at the time of the Oxford violence -- with unethical conduct: that he made an improper diagnosis without a personal examination. Dr. Smith was cleared by the AMA on July 4, 1963. He said that news stories of Walker's "reported behavior reflects sensitivity and essentially unpredictable and seemingly bizarre outbursts of the type often observed in individuals suffering with paranoid mental disorder." The society had received 2,500 letters from physicians alleging unethical conduct by Dr. Smith. Nevertheless, the board unanimously ruled in Smith's favor.
On October 7, 19 62 , Walker posted $50,000 bond and returned home to Dallas amid 200 cheering supporters carrying signs like "Welcome Home, General Walker," "Win With General Walker," and "President '64."
After the deep-South federal grand jury adjourned in January 1963 without indicting him, the charges were dropped.
An Associated Press dispatch saying that he had "assumed command" of groups of anti-integration rioters at the University of Mississippi and that he "led a charge of students against federal marshals" drew his wrath. He sued the AP and about a dozen other publications for similar accounts. Walker was initially awarded court judgments of millions.
However, the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1964 that public officials cannot recover damages for reports about official duties unless they can prove actual malice, extended the ruling to public figures in general in 1967. The court reversed lower-court findings against the Associated Press, saying malice had not been proved.
For the first time in many years, the issue of “civilian control of the military” or, perhaps better, “the politicalization of the military” became an issue on the American scene.
Edwin Walker seemed to promise to become a hero in the Senate for Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Senators Eastland of Mississippi and Russell of Georgia. Meanwhile, on the other side, Senators Udall and esp. William Fulbright of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a report on the problem of right-wing extremism in the military, warned that there was "considerable danger" in the "education and propaganda activities of military personnel" that had been uncovered. "Running through all of them is a central theme that the primary, if not exclusive, danger to this country is internal Communist infiltration," said the report. Among the key targets of the extremists, the committee said, was the Kennedy administration's domestic social program, which many ultraconservatives accused of being communistic.
|He may have been flawed but great men and tragic heroes often are.|
When the Army finally granted Walker a pension in 1982, it called Walker "a truly dedicated American soldier who firmly believed that insufficient action was being taken within the military establishment to combat the threat of communism."
General Bonesteel, who took over the 24th Division from Walker, remembered, “His pro-Blue program…on paper, and without an overenthusiastic implementation, was a sound troop education program, but I…made it low-key…Ted [Walker] was a grand guy, but I think he got overly excited about this thing and got out of hand a little bit.” (deRosa – USAMHI – Bonesteel papers)
Larry G. Farquer sent me a a great deal about General Walker:
Wasn’t Walker a great example of American free speech? Shortly after Walker’s resignation and Thurmond’s promoting Walker as a hero, California congressman Edgar Hiestand asked,
John Nuzzo sent me an email from Lawrence County Pennsylvania: John had been a co-ordinator for the John Birch Society north of Pittsburgh and got this signed photo from him. John wrote:
Not that Walker ever cracked up. He stood by his beliefs – to the very end. And only amplified them as he went on.
If the Communists demanded ideological purity, then we should demand ideological purity.
And this was War – or at least potential War at any moment.
George Orwell said, “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
|PSTD, maybe from WWII or Korea? Or maybe a brain tumor? Either one, why was he a general in the US Army? – and with nuclear missiles? |
The emphasis was on the topics he chose, the attitude was indignant, the tone was certitude; not far from the Fox News, Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levine of today. For Walker, it became, Democrat = liberal = progressive = socialist = communist Then Walker said, “When you think of the definition of Kennedy liberalism, [it] is Communism…he doesn’t need you anymore…He’s out to get the Negro vote. And you’ll be voting with the Negroes from now on.”
You can debate whether it applies to Walker himself to the followers he’s entangling but Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983), longshoreman and philosopher of this Era, wrote, “Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new context not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.”
Even Fred Schwartz of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade would complain about “Attracting people too superheated to teach to – or learn – anything.” (Schoenwald )
This was the Cold War. For simple minds, if we had had any guts, we would have a nuclear war.
Imagine being JFK, trying to juggle incredibly sensitive and powerful forces and having a vengeful, righteous man, wrapped in certitude and the American flag. Walker wasn’t just dumb or crazy, he was dangerous.
Were there precedents for Walker? Truman and Douglas MacArthur, of course. Early, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr with General James Wilkinson. NYMAS members will know about Smedley Darlington Butler who turned the tables on a plot of uncertain size against FDR.
Like McCarthy, Strom Thurmond, or Robert Welch, Walker contributed to the coarsening and deadening of political dialog in the country.
Al Nofi said about Walker’s private papers: “The vast bulk of the material relates to events beginning with his sacking. Already a serious right winger…., he plunged deeper and deeper into anti-liberalism, anti-communism, super-patriotism, anti-tax, pro-gun, pro-secession, etc., eventually picking up on pretty much every ultra-right cause one can imagine; anti-Catholicism, anti-Semitism, anti-immigration, and more, with lots of literature related to these…..It suggests an increasingly paranoid personality.”
Tho a lot of those who served under him in the 24th Infantry Division thought he was least OK, other saw the danger. Jim Dunnigan of NYMAS and the Strategypage.com wrote, “NCOs and officers who knew him, told me that most troops considered Walker a fanatic and a flake. In retrospect, Walker was adopted by the media…”
Brigadier General and military writer SLA Marshall blasted Walker as “scatterbrained, unofficer-like and contemptuous of the best traditions of the Army” (deRosa, Washington Post)
Walker’s definition of extremists embraced those who would "go back to eliminating the income tax from our laws and the rights of people to unionize... [and those] advocating some form of dictatorship." It also included those who "make radical statements [and] attack people of good repute who are proved patriots."
Eisenhower was blunt in discussing the recent "rise of extremists" in the country.
"I don't think the United States needs super-patriots," he declared. "We need patriotism, honestly practiced by all of us, and we don't need these people that are more patriotic than you or anybody else."
|Before, I quoted one email from a 24th veteran – an email that always bothered me: |
He asked me if I would have the Officer of the Day send someone to pick him [Walker] up, his driver had parked in the garage and committed suicide. I will never forget the nonchalance in his voice. Larry Mooneyham
And then, the – not one but two arrests. My correspondent, Larry F., who had told me with complete sincerity about Walker telling him that JFK demanded Walker take over command of Vietnam and the Pacific, thought that the suggestion that Walker was gay was “the very same allegation [that] was levied against German Army General-Oberst Werner Freiherr von Fritsch, in 1938” and that the truth would only be known to Walker, himself and to God.
Well, to Walker himself, to God….and to the Dallas Police Department:
Edwin Walker, the attractive eligible bachelor in Little Rock, never married and never had children. He died leaving one unreachable nephew.
In Walker’s era in the 24th Infantry Division, homosexuality was not tolerated and even the suggestion made a candidate for an Army security clearance a blackmail risk.
So this theory suggests Walker may have, however consciously or unconsciously, created an “Unassailable Shield” by being the most patriotic and staunchest fighter against America’s enemies. To assault this shield was to assault true Americanism.
As for those who might attack him, well, he’d already started naming names.
Former NYMAS president Brian R. Sullivan responded to my H-War query about General Walker:
It was. Attempts to get records from the Army Criminal Investigation Division under the Freedom of Information Act came up with nothing found. Also, even if there was something, it is perhaps likely that a Division Commanding General would have had more influence over the record than a Private First Class.
I’d like to call this “The Unassailable Shield” Theory. It is not meant to be homophobic – in fact, quite the opposite. Couldn’t help but think, if gays serving openly had been the policy since the beginning of Walker’s career, would Walker have turned out all together differently? Would the unassailable shield not been needed?
Again, Brian Sullivan:
So what’s the moral of Edwin Walker’s life?
Martin Luther had said, “I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."
Good guy and patriot? Bad guy and a threat to American security? Was he a closet gay wrestling with his demons? Would you have trusted him with tactical nuclear weapons? Or was Edwin A. Walker just crazy?
Maybe all those things?
Decide yourself if General Walker was a good guy, a bad guy, or maybe something else, or maybe all three.
My own feeling, sometimes, is like Eisenhower’s
"People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. ………. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters."
Mary Ferrell Foundation http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
contains over 1.2 million pages of documents, government reports, books, essays, and hours of multimedia
Edwin A. Walker Papers, Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.
Cartwright, Gary. “The Old Soldier” Texas Monthly, February, 1991
Political indoctrination in the U.S. Army from World War II to the Vietnam War
by Christopher S. DeRosa, Published by U of Nebraska Press, 2006, ISBN 080321734X,
The Pentagon's Battle for the American Mind: the Early Cold War - Page 156
by Lori Lyn Bogle
A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism - Especially Chapter 4, “The Case of General Edwin A. Walker" by Jonathan M. Schoenwald - 2001 –
Encyclopedia of white power: a sourcebook on the radical racist right - Page 375by Jeffrey Kaplan - Political Science - 2000 - 585 pages includes The Deguello Report. The source and motives of both works are unclear and might be viewed with suspicion. The full text online of The Deguello Report is at http://iamthewitness.com/Deguello-Report.html
Brothers, by David Talbot
Robert Kennedy and his times - Page 450 - by Arthur Meier Schlesinger - 2002 - 1088 pages
About Face, By David H. Hackworth, Julie Sherman
The Man Oswald Missed - In his last interview, Gen. Edwin Walker defended his place in history by Robert Wilonsky at http://roswell.fortunecity.com/angelic/96/pcissu8.htm
Let Us Talk of Many Things, by William F. Buckley
Knebel, Fletcher and Charles W. Bailey II, Seven Days in May, 1962
Devils Brigade by Robert H. Adleman and George H. Walton
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum: http://www.jfklibrary.org/ Esp. Oral Histories and Diary
Truce Tent and Fighting Front, Walter G. Hermes, Center Of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D. C., 1992
Pamphlets from the American Eagle Printing Company, Dallas, TX
Censorship and survival by Edwin A. Walker
Walker speaks - unmuzzled!: Complete text of three speeches
Bob Rowen has been a board member of the New York Military Affairs Symposium for over 10 years and has been Director of Operations and Programming. |
He helped launch this organization's website nymas.org which is rated one of the top 10 resources on Wars and Conflicts on the Web by both Google and the Open Directory Project. He’s produced the talks of more that 20 NYMAS speakers as audio podcasts on the NYMAS site and has another 20 waiting in the wings.
He has given NYMAS papers on "Researching Military History on the Web", "American Privateers in the War of 1812" and “ Gray and Black Radio Propaganda against Nazi Germany”
Did you know
If you knew Walker during, or even before or after, his time as Commanding General of the 24th Infantry Division (1959-1961),
Just email firstname.lastname@example.org