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Friday, January 23, 2009

Historic Views - Quotes Number Two

Annotation by Walter Millis, Editor of, "The Forrestal Diaries", publishing date,1951:

“…There is no doubt that Forrestal was tired. Early in January[1949], while he and others were working at the White House, on the President’s state of the Union message, one of the President’s closest advisors noticed how weary and nervous Forrestal appeared; this man and a colleague remarked to each other that Forrestal’s long-standing unconscious habit of scratching the crown of his head had become so continuous that a raw spot was beginning to appear…”

(this quote from page 447 of the book: "Driven Patriot"
c.r. 1992, by Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley)

“…Apparently buoyed by a wave of warm feeling, he (Forrestal) left the Old House Office Building and prepared to drive back to the Pentagon with Leva, to an office that had been set aside for him to respond to the many letters of praise and tribute that were pouring in from all over the country. Symington expressed a desire to accompany Forrestal on the ride back, saying ‘there is something I want to talk to you about,” so leva got into another car and Symington drove off with Forrestal. What Symington said to Forrestal on this short trip remains a mystery. Symington later denied the trip had occurred or that he was alone with Forrestal, but Leva and Ohly are insistent on that point. They imply Symington said something that shattered Forrestal’s last remaining defenses, for when Leva entered Forrestal’s office a short time later he was sitting in an extremely rigid position, still wearing his hat and staring blankly at a bare wall…”

A fair question to ask is: what did Symington say to Forrestal? Whatever it was, it seemed to be Forrestal's undoing!

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