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John K. Singlaub, 100 years old, General who clashed with Jimmy Carter, died

Major General John K. Singlaub, who had waged secret wars for the US Army and CIA since World War II to Vietnam, then retired under military pressure after much criticism. President Jimmy Carter’s national security policies, died Saturday. He’s 100 years old.

The Tampa, Fla., Special Forces Association, an organization of veterans who waged secret wars, said that Joan, the wife of General Singlaub, informed a member of the group, Billy Waugh, about his death. It does not say where he died. This general lived in Franklin, Tenn., just south of Nashville.

General Singlaub trained resistance fighters in German-occupied France and rescued Allied prisoners held by the Japanese during World War II. He conducted intelligence operations during the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War while assigned to the CIA, and commanded covert troops to infiltrate North Vietnam and neutral Laos and Cambodia during the 1960s to ambush Communist troops.

General Singlaub is a sturdy 5-foot-7 man with his unruly military-style combed hair, General Singlaub seemed fit to go to war long after his last. He was “the kind of guy you want to have with you in a barroom brawl,” Pat Murphy, an acquaintance and publisher of The Arizona Republic at the time, told The New York Times in 1986.

The general’s many decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguished Service Medal, Military Merit Medal, and Purple Heart.

But for all his military feats, General Singlaub’s career came to an end because of major strategic problems.

Mr. Carter dismissed him from his position as chief of staff of the army in Korea in May 1977 after he told a reporter for The Washington Post that the president’s plan to withdraw American troops there could lead to another invasion of Korea.

General Singlaub later asserted that his remarks were not archived, an assertion disputed by The Post. But Mr. Carter has expressed outrage at what he sees as a challenge to civilian government.

His order to recall General Singlaub from South Korea was the first of its kind since President Harry S. Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur as Pacific Commander when MacArthur advocated prolonging the Korean War into China. Country.

After being reassigned to Fort McPherson in Georgia, General Singlaub again criticized the Carter administration’s military policies in April 1978, during a talk before ROTC cadets at Georgia Tech. He called Carter’s decision not to produce neutron bombs “unreasonable” and “militarily unreliable,” and criticized the administration’s attempt to relinquish control of the Panama Canal.

The military ordered him to report to the Pentagon immediately, announcing a day later that it had accepted. his request to retire.

During the 1980s, General Singlaub play an important role in raising funds and arranging arms purchases for Nicaraguan rebels known as contras, who were fighting the leftist Sandinista government. He solicited donations from private sources for food, clothing and medicine, and traveled to South Korea and Taiwan to seek military aid for opposition from those countries.

General Singlaub testified before Congress in May 1987 in the investigation of Iran-contra – the Reagan administration’s secret arms sales to Iran with the transfer of part of the proceeds to Nicaraguan insurgents, despite a congressional ban on that aid.

General Singlaub to Parliament that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North, while an aide to the National Security Council staff, approved of his apparent support for the opposition. General Singlaub testified that the goal was to draw public attention away from the secret government program. Colonel North was eventually found guilty of obstructing Congress, destroying official documents and receiving an illegal gift, but the charges were later overturned and dismissed as part of the immunity agreement. .

General Singlaub, who acted as a private citizen in helping the dissidents, was never charged with misconduct during the investigation. But in his 1991 memoir, “Dangerous Mission,” written with Malcolm McConnell, he opposed what he considered defamation of his character.

“For a decade, I have been smeared by some members of the media as a right-wing fanatic, even a crypto fascist,” he wrote. “I have always found this ironic, considering the fact that I am one of the few American soldiers who recklessly tortured and executed both Nazi Germany and Japan while serving behind the front lines. of enemies in Europe and the Far East.”

John Kirk Singlaub was born on July 10, 1921, in Independence, California, and became interested in becoming a military officer while attending Van Nuys High School in the Los Angeles area.

He joined the Army during his senior year at the University of California, Los Angeles, and was promoted to lieutenant in January 1943. He volunteered to be transferred to a parachute regiment, where he trained – and learned French at the University of California. UCLA – makes him attractive. recruited into the Army’s Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. He parachuted into Central France in August 1944 as the leader of a three-man Jedburgh team, codenamed for OSS units associated with the French Resistance.

William J. Casey, his case officer and later director of central intelligence for the Reagan administration, recommended cyanide pills to his Jedburgh team, so that members could quickly commit suicide if they were arrested. “No sir, I have no intention of being arrested,” General Singlaub told him, as he recalls in his memoirs.

Team Jedburgh taught the resistance fighters how to ambush German troops and sabotage their equipment, part of an effort to delay the German response to the Allied invasion of southern France in August. 1944, two months after the D-Day campaign in Normandy.

Shortly after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, General Singlaub led a parachute team to rescue emaciated and brutalized Australian and Dutch prisoners of war on the Chinese island of Hainan before they were captured. execute.

He was assigned to the CIA during the Chinese Civil War, serving in the late 1940s in Manchuria, where he supported the Kuomintang army in the face of Communist forces.

He served as deputy station chief of the CIA in Korea during the Korean War, then became a battalion commander of the Regular Army. He was injured in competition and received a Silver Star for bravery.

During the Vietnam War, General Singlaub commanded the army’s Research and Observation Group, an ambiguous name for an extraordinary combat unit that carried out ambushes and sabotage, and used tactical tactics. dirty passage to try to stem the flow of Communist troops and supplies into South Vietnam along the Ho Road. The Chi Minh Trail.

In retirement, he headed two anti-Communist organizations, the World Anti-Communist League and its American affiliate, the American Council for Freedom.

General Singlaub had three children, Elisabeth D’Antoni, John O. Singlaub and Mary Ann Singlaub from his first marriage, to Mary (Osborne) Singlaub, which ended in divorce. Aside from his wife, Joan, the list of survivors was not immediately released.

General Singlaub often walks through Arlington National Cemetery “to reflect on the battles of my life,” as he puts it.

He looks a lot like an old soldier. “Sitting on the hillside in the morning sun, I felt the familiar coolness,” he wrote in his memoirs. “I reached down and removed my Army dog ​​tag.”

Decades after he joined the Army during World War II, the tags still hang around his neck, “symbolizing my commitment.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/us/john-k-singlaub-dead.html John K. Singlaub, 100 years old, General who clashed with Jimmy Carter, died

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