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Published on Aug 28, 2013
The text contains some fascinating details such as "The untimely death of Secretary Forrestal was deemed necessary and regrettable." From a historical view the document says that because of Twining's report (White Hot) President Truman was compelled to sign the National Security Act of 1947. On September 17, 1947, en route from a state visit to Brazil, President Truman sent a message instructing that Forrestal be sworn in immediately. Why? General Twining's "Air Material Command Opinion Concerning Flying Discs," is dated only six days later and stated "the phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious." That same day, September 23, Forrestal arrived at his new offices in the Pentagon. Forrestal tendered his resignation on March 3 and met with Truman on the 10th. At that time the Secretary requested that White House personnel take possession of his multi-thousand page diary, given the amount of classified material it contained. On March 28, the day of his retirement, Forrestal joined Defense Department employees assembled to see his replacement sworn in. President Truman presented the retiring Secretary with the Distinguished Service Metal, the highest civilian decoration authorized by Congress. Unable to respond to the President's words of praise, he was led speechless from the room. At around 2 a.m. on the morning of May 22, 1949, America's first Secretary of Defense, James Vincent Forrestal, fell to his death from a small window of the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital. On September 23, the New York Times first reported the existence of Forrestal's diary, and that it was being held at the White House. It was described as filling an entire filing cabinet. On October 11, 1949, the Navy finally released the investigating board's report. The report said that Forrestal died of injuries sustained in the fall, that his behavior prior to death "was indicative of a mental depression," and "that the treatment and precautions in the conduct of the case were in agreement with accepted psychiatric practice and commensurate with the evident status of the patient at all times." The report also absolved "all" of any blame in Forrestal's death: "the death was not caused in any manner by the intent, fault, negligence or inefficiency of any person or persons in the naval service or connected therewith." Such language suggests the Navy was more concerned with protecting itself than pursuing the matter actually under investigation.