In the past several weeks we've examined material that most people will never see, because it is not available on amazon.com and it isn't available in public libraries, nor is it for sale by the John Birch Society anymore -- namely, the six copyrighted speeches of the resigned US General Edwin A. Walker. We have seen that the charge of treason against recent US Presidents was frequent in his six speeches. This matches the theme of the WANTED FOR TREASON poster of JFK Assassination infamy.
Let's proceed from this point in a summary fashion to have some background for Walker's Open Letter to JFK of September 25, 1962. First, a very brief review.
Walker was the only US General to resign in the 20th century. He submitted his resignation during the Eisenhower Administration (in 1959) after he read Robert Welch's first John Birch Society book, the famous "Black Book," which had labored to prove that President Eisenhower was guilty of treason
as a secret member of the Communist Party.
Walker believed that nonsense, and so he quickly submitted his resignation to the President.
President Eisenhower, however, denied the resignation, and as a reward for his two years of loyal service in Little Rock High School (1957-1959), promoted General Walker to a command over the 10,000 troops of the 24th Infantry in Germany, defending the Berlin Wall. Walker accepted the job, on condition that he could train his troops any way that he wanted. That was granted. As 1960 began Walker began to roll out his Pro-Blue anticommunist training program.
Walker's Pro-Blue program trained his troops by using John Birch Society (JBS) literature and public speakers. The US Army didn't care, so long as the main job of defending the Berlin Wall was done smoothly and with dignity in the eyes of Europe.
Yet Walker hit a snag in Germany. He was about 50 years old now, unmarried, and never had any known girlfriend in his entire life. He didn't get along with the married US Commissioned Officers in Germany, either. They gathered regularly for social events, bringing their wives, and Walker regularly left the military base during those gatherings.
The US Army newspaper, Overseas Weekly, became suspicious, and began to spy on Walker, following him around Germany for about a year. Walker then surprised them by suing them in Civil court, and he won the case. This only enraged the Overseas Weekly staff, however, so that on April 17, 1961, they devoted the entire front page, and both center pages, to damning General Walker with whatever dirt they could prove.
The Overseas Weekly started a scandal, exposing General Walker as a fanatic member of the JBS, and citing the standard JBS claims imitating Senator Joseph McCarthy, namely, that Communists had infiltrated every level of US Government. In this context, the JBS had claimed since 1959 that President FDR had been a traitor, that President Truman had been a traitor, that President Eisenhower had been a traitor, and that JFK was a traitor.
This scandal hit Washington DC like a ton of bricks. This was the peak of the Cold War. We didn't want an international scandal. It wasn't dignified. In response, the Pentagon immediately dismissed General Walker from his command over the 24th Infantry the very next day. They did not fire him or court-martial him, they merely removed him from his direct command over the 24th Infantry to avoid a scandal in Germany. JFK offered General Walker another command in Hawaii -- but General Walker refused it, and decided to resign in November, 1961.
Now, General Walker had completed 30 years of duty (1931-1961) and was eligible for a substantial US Army Retirement. He could have easily retired. Easily. But he refused to retire. He chose instead to make a political statement by resigning -- even though when an Army officer resigns, he forfeits his Pension -- and Walker knew this very well.
Further, Walker was a Texan, but he wasn't from Dallas. Yet when he left the US Army, he immediately moved to Dallas. Even without a Pension, Walker moved into a two story house in the nice part of Dallas -- where oil billionaire H.L. Hunt's relatives lived (Oak Lawn, Dallas). Obtaining a free office in an oil company in which to write his first political speeches, Walker embarked upon a career in public speaking, starting in December, 1961, with his first copyrighted speech.
Walker was received with great enthusiasm by the Conservative Right. A rumor had spread that JFK had fired General Walker, just as Truman had fired General MacArthur during the Korean War. As Senator Joe McCarthy put it -- this was because Truman was a traitor. For those on the radical right, JFK must therefore also be a traitor. Otherwise, why would he fire a good man like Walker?
WALKER RUNS FOR TEXAS GOVERNOR
Walker was received so enthusiastically that by February 1962 he decided to run for Texas Governor. He needed a wad of cash for his campaign, and it was supplied by H.L. Hunt (who, by the way, had also supported General Douglas MacArthur in his 1948 Presidential campaign).
Yet at the same time, as we saw from his six copyrighted speeches, Walker had a great faith that the 1962 Republican organized Senate Subcommittee on Military Preparedness would hear all the facts of his 1961 "dismissal" from his Command in Germany. For this reason, Walker spent almost no time campaigning for Texas Governor. When asked what his platform was, Walker replied, "Read the Texas Constitution!"
Moving forward to April 1962, and the Senate Subcommittee hearings, we find instead that General Walker performed very poorly. While he spoke well to those who would not question him (since he had been a US General) he did not stand up well during cross-examination. He stumbled, he stuttered, he continually conferred with his Counsel for the easiest questions. Finally -- his long prepared remarks were entirely unsatisfactory.
Walker spent too much time accusing the US Army newspaper Overseas Weekly as "subversive" and working for the Communist team. Walker sadly accused some in the US Military high-command of Communist ties. Walker had hoped that some famous US Generals would join him at the Hearings to offer moral support. Not one did. Instead, George Lincoln Rockwell, the leader of the American Nazi Party, appeared dressed in full Nazi regalia to show his support. This caused a minor disturbance until Rockwell was escorted out.
As one Washington Post writer put it, "By the grace of God, he is the worst speaker in the world!" With all these compound losses, we cannot be surprised that Walker would come in last in the race for Texas Governor.
It seemed that Walker's political career was down and out. Yet perhaps only for a few months. Walker would make a fresh play for political power in September, 1962, during the period of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which coincided with the crisis at Mississippi (Ole Miss) University, where a Black US Veteran, James Meredith, was suing to be admitted to that local college, which was traditionally for whites only. Walker would reenter politics at this point. But that's another story.