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Post On "Secret" Treaties and the Near-Disbanding of the Marine Corps
Created by John Eipper on 06/09/18 4:03 AM

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On "Secret" Treaties and the Near-Disbanding of the Marine Corps (David Duggan, USA, 06/09/18 4:03 am)

Eugenio Battaglia (8 June), spoke of a "secret" 1951 treaty between the US and Italy.

Treaties are public documents, ratified by the Senate by two-thirds (US Const. Art. II, Sec. 2). There can be no such thing as a "secret treaty," although as we have seen lately with the Iran-non-treaty (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action--what a euphemism), there can be loads of side deals and deviations from that contained in the public record.

And as to John Eipper's question about my father's take on the "survivability" of the US Marine Corps, he never mentioned it. At the time of Gen. Vandegrift's testimony, my father had been "mustered out" of active duty and was in the reserves (still owing not quite two years on his commitment: perhaps a topic of another post), finishing college, and hoping to go to law school on the GI bill. If asked, and with the benefit of hindsight, I suspect he would have preferred that the Marines had been disbanded, if for no other reason than then he might have been relieved of his additional commitment, and would not have been asked back to participate in the Korean conflict by Pres. Harry Truman.

Given Gen. MacArthur's disdain of the Marines (as "Gy-rines"), I doubt that ol' corncob-smokin' Douglas would have lobbied strenuously for the Marines' reconstitution, notwithstanding MacArthur's exceeding Truman's orders as to how far to carry the battle up the Korean peninsula. But this is just speculation and my father was able to spend the remainder of his five-year commitment as an officer in the JAG corps, with a side-trip to witness the last above-ground atomic blast on this continent: in the Nevada desert, April 26, 1952, five months after I was born. I have previously supplied WAIS with his monograph recounting that experience.

JE comments:  Yes--this is a WAIS classic, from 2014.  Click below and then click through as instructed.  "Operation Greenhouse" is one of the more disturbing euphemisms of the 20th century, and the 20th century was full of disturbing euphemisms.  (The 21st is promising to be just as bad or worse.)


Returning to "secret" treaties, the most (in)famous of all has to be Molotov-Ribbentrop, 1939.  But as David Duggan points out, Americans aren't supposed to do dirty clandestine deals.  Can Eugenio Battaglia explain what he means by a "secret treaty"?

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  • US-Italy Treaties and Agreements (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 06/10/18 3:13 PM)
    With reference to David Duggan's post of 9 June, here below is a list of treaties between Italy and the US:

    Unconditional Surrender, 03 September 1943 (the Crooked Deal, according to Eisenhower)

    Peace Treaty (Diktat), 10 February 1947

    NATO Treaty, 04 April 1949

    NATO Troops Convention, 19 June 1951

    Bilateral Infrastructure, 20 October 1954

    Treaty Italy-NATO, 26 July 1961

    Bilateral Italy-USA, 16 September 1972

    Shell Agreement, 02 Febraury 1995

    Stone Ax started in the 1950s, 11 September 2001 (renewed).

    An interesting proviso in the Shell Agreement: If an American base is closed, Italy shall pay for subsequent "improvements" (sic).

    It is widely believed that each treaty has secret addenda, as David suggested with "there can be loads of side deals and deviations from that contained in the public record."

    For sure, the Treaty of 1949 is secret, because following the criminal acts of American pilots which caused the deaths of 20 people at the Cermis (Italy) on 3 February 1998, the Italian PM Massimo D'Alema stated in parliament on 10 March 1999: "The Italian Government will submit to the Judiciary System a test of the Accord of 20 October 1954, secret until now, regulating the US military bases."

    But this never happened due to the refusal of the US government.

    Of course Americans aren't supposed to make dirty clandestine deals, as the CIA is supposed to do nothing but offer delicious cookies to influence its adversaries.

    In response to Carmen Negrín (9 June) on Mussolini, Trump, Berlusconi, etc., my position is well known and I have nothing further to add.

    JE comments:  Treaties and wars have countless euphemisms:  Agreements, Joint Plans of Action, Police Actions, Peacekeeping Operations.  The list could go on.  Euphemisms make everything more palatable to the public, and also allow the sidestepping of the Constitution.

    Stone Ax?  It's the code name for the US-Italian nuclear agreement.  I found this in the Washington Post.  Toy chest?  Pine cone?  At least a Stone Ax is intimidating, if low-tech.

    Toolchest, the code name for the secret technical agreement between the United States and Germany regarding the deployment of nuclear weapons. Toy Chest is the name for the agreement with the Netherlands, Stone Ax for the one with Italy and Pine Cone for the one with Belgium.


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