FLETCHER PROUTY COMMENTARY
WHO KILLED FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT?
The World War II Cairo conference between Pres. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek ended on Oct. 26, 1943. That evening I was given orders to fly a group of participants from Cairo to Tehran. Up to that time, I had not been aware that there was going to be a Big Four meeting of the Super-Powers in Tehran.
As I went out to the plane that morning to get it ready to go, two limousines came from the city. They were T. V. Soong's Chinese delegates. I flew them to Tehran that day.
En route, I stopped at Habbaniyah in Iraq for refueling, and while on the ground an Air Force B-25 arrived with an old friend of mine flying it, and with L. Col. Elliott Roosevelt, the President's son. I introduced him and Roosevelt to the Chinese, and vice versa.
I don't know whether any of you ever realized this, but years later the fact that Elliott Roosevelt had gone to the Tehran conference brought up one of the most amazing untold facts in our history. I can only imagine why more had not been written about it.
Because Elliott had met Stalin in Tehran with his father in 1943, in late 1946, Gardner Cowless, publisher of LOOK magazine asked him to go to Moscow to interview Stalin.
Roosevelt accepted this offer and did interview Stalin there. At the end of a long interview, he turned to the Generalissimo and asked one more question, "Why is it that my mother has never been permitted to visit Moscow even though she has made three very formal applications for the trip?"
Stalin glared at Elliott and said, "You don't know why?"
Elliott replied, "No!"
Quickly, Stalin responded, "Don't you know who killed your father?"
Stalin rising from his chair, continued, "Well, I'll tell you why I have not invited her here. As soon as your father died, I asked my ambassador in Washington to go immediately to Georgia with a request to view the body." Stalin believed that if Gromyko could see the body he would confirm that the cerebral hemorrhage that had caused his death had caused extensive discoloration and distortion.
Elliot responded that he knew nothing about that and then Stalin said, "Your mother refused to permit the lid of the coffin to be opened so that my ambassador could see the body." Adding "I sent him there three times trying to impress upon your mother that it was very important for him to view the President's body. She never accepted that. I have never forgiven her."
This forced Elliott to ask this last question, "…but why?"
Stalin took a few steps around the office, and almost in a rage roared, "They poisoned your father, of course, just as they have tried repeatedly to poison me."
"They, who are they," Elliot asked
"The Churchill gang!" Stalin roared, "They poisoned your father, and they continue to try to poison me…the Churchill gang!"
I had heard, while in Tehran, that Roosevelt and Churchill had had a strenuous argument in front of Stalin and Chiang during the conference on the subject of decolonialization of South East Asia. I have read it in a government publication of the time. Then, this account of Elliott's visit to Moscow in 1946 was written and signed by him and appeared in the February 9, 1986 issue of the nationwide Sunday Supplement magazine "PARADE."
We all know that there are amazing stories that can not be found in the history books. That is what I am saying here. Most students have not been able to learn that Chiang Kai-shek was a member of this Four Power Conference in Tehran. But, I was there. I had flown the Chinese delegates there from Cairo, and I have read it in a Congressional Committee Report, "The U. S. Government and the Vietnam" Part 1-1945-1951" by the U. S. Government Printing Office, 1984.
Both sources have been in the public domain for more than 10 years. Why haven't we seen them, on campus, in the History books and in classes?
In 1953, in a toast before the New York Press Club, John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times and the "Dean of his Profession" stated: (part extracted)
"If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of journalists is to destroy the truth; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell this country and this race for their daily bread. We are the tools and vessels for rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."
From my own experience, I know that there are countless journalists who could say that. Just consider what they said about Oliver Stone's Film "JFK" and about my own book "JFK, the CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy."```
L. Fletcher Prouty
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