The Dark Diplomacy of Ambassador William Douglas Pawley
December 12, 2009
Chapter 9: Truman vs. Dewey
Former Ambassador William D. Pawley returns to the United States to work with Averill Harriman and others on the re-election of President Truman. Pawley negotiates the creation of U.S. air bases in Spain with General Francisco Franco.
MORE RUTHLESS THAN THE ENEMY: The Dark Diplomacy of Ambassador William Douglas Pawley
David Price Cannon began researching the life of Ambassador William Douglas Pawley in 1974. An aviation pioneer in Cuba and China. Founder of the Flying Tigers. Global entrepreneur. Diplomat in Peru and Brazil. Advisor to President's Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. An architect of U.S. covert policy. Coup plotter against governments in Guatemala and Cuba. A CIA covert agent. An organizer of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. A critic of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A friend of Clare Boothe Luce, CIA Director Allen Dulles, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Senator James Eastland and foreign dictators. A name high on the witness list for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassination's hearings at the time Pawley committed suicide.
Although an Ambassador and a friend of Secretary of State George C. Marshall, William D. Pawley despised those in the State Department who believed diplomacy was superior to sabotage and subversion in Russia, Guatemala, Cuba and China. He fed his own paranoia and became its most vocal advocate.
When President Kennedy failed to provide air cover during the Bay of Pigs invasion and hinted at detente instead of bombing Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, William Pawley not only criticized him but then partook in a project to discredit JFK. When Lee Harvey Oswald was barely known, Pawley, Clare Boothe Luce and their associates claimed Oswald was working for Castro.
Counting Richard Nixon as an ally against communism, Pawley contributed heavily to his campaign and was stunned when President Nixon opened diplomatic talks with communist China, Pawley's enemy of 40 years. He soon titled his own biography Russia Is Winning and not long after its completion committed suicide. In the end, William Pawley who built planes in India to fight an airwar over China was unable to fathom that diplomacy could transform Mao's China from communism into one of the most powerful capitalistic societies in the world.
This site outlines the content of the in-depth research David Price Cannon has accumulated about William Pawley. Queries should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
Researching Pawley's life took decades because hundreds of documents relating to his covert activities during the 1950s and 60s were classified for three decades. They were finally made available through the combined efforts of the Mary Ferrell Foundation --http://www.maryferrell.org/ -- which provides online access to more than one million pages of declassified documents. The majority of them come from the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Washington DC, run by James Lesar: http://www.aarclibrary.org
Many additional details about William Douglas Pawley were found in the Pawley Collection at George C. Marshall Library in Lexington, Virginia: http://www.marshallfoundation.org
GREAT NEW BOOK:William D. Pawley: The Extraordinary Life of the Adventurer, Entrepreneur, and Diplomat Who Cofounded The Flying Tigers by Anthony Carrozza. Now available at www.amazon.com -- Carrozza's March 31, 2012 release includes insights and photos from the Pawley family. Among the highlights is a photo of the Pawley brothers with Richard Nixon and Bebe Rebozo taken during a visit to the Talisman sugar cane operation. I highly recommend Carrozza's book for those who want to know more about the 20th century's most interesting man in the world.