Annotated Text and Audio link to March 1st 1945 Yalta Speech

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

FDR and Poker

While fishing was FDR’s favorite outdoor social activity, poker was a favorite source of indoor relaxation with friends and staff. Behavior at the poker table is often an unguarded and telling reflection of the player’s personality. Regulars in the presidential poker game included the closest members of his inner circle, Harry Hopkins, “Pa” Watson and Dr. Ross McIntire, as well as other members of the cabinet, staff and White House press corps. The following anecdotes speak for themselves:

(Walter Trohan, Political Animals, p. 68)
Roosevelt was a great bluffer and a driver in command of the game, calling on this person to ante up, bet or fold up. Nothing delighted him more than a successful bluff, although he never seemed to suspect there was some hesitancy to win on the part of most of his opponents, including his staffers. He was most unhappy when one of his bluffs failed, almost childishly so. My delight was getting a pair, back to back at stud poker, a great favorite for him, and calling his bluff. One of the first signs of his declining health came when he became vacant and forgetful at the poker table and often had to be invited to make his play.

(Robert Jackson, That Man, p. 143)
Hopkins was uniquely lucky and played his cards for everything there was in them. Secretary Ickes, like myself, was not a particularly colorful player. Watson was a rather careless player, bent on thorough enjoyment of the game rather than results. Dr McIntire was a keen player and thoroughly intelligent.

The President studied the players as much as he did the cards. We often caught him bluffing but throughout the trip there was a marked peculiarity in his playing. Invariably he lost the early part of the game and we would have him down several dollars. Invariably he made it up in the last three or four hands of the evening. We finally told him that the only way we could beat him was to break up the game and we were going to arrange to have a fire call about four hands before the finish.

(Samuel Rosenman, Working With Roosevelt, p. 148.)
The President thought he was a good poker player. That opinion, however, was not shared by all those who played with him- and some of them should know. He lost more often than he won. All of us took particular pride and joy in winning from him, and nothing pleased him more than to win from us. As the president grew older, Doc McIntire insisted that the number of hours of card playing on his birthday be cut. From the all-night sessions which used to take place in Albany, they gradually shrunk to 4 A.M. then to 2 A.M., and finally, much to the President’s disgust, to midnight. He would complain about quitting early, but on a glance from Doc we would all insist, and if necessary just get up and quit.

(Navy Nurse Barbara Lint, oral history describing a visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Potomac Currents, V. 2 no. 3.)
She remembers a time when he wheeled himself...unannounced … into the solarium where a taboo poker game was going on. Instead of a dressing down, the men were surprised by FDR’s request to be dealt in.

The following comes from wordsmith and father of two world-class poker players, Richard Lederer.
Because of paraplegia brought on by his polio, Franklin D. Roosevelt was unable to relax by taking long walks or playing golf or tennis. But he often had dinner with his poker-playing pals and then adjourned to a marathon session of cards. His favorite game was seven-card stud. Among the regulars were the Vice President, Speaker of the House, Attorney General, Secretary of Commerce, and at least one Supreme Court Justice. The President's secretary, “Missy” LeHand, served cocktails and often played in the game. One of the rules was that nobody could discuss anything serious at the evening poker sessions. The only thought was how to outfox the other players.

From Doris Kearns Goodwin: During the war, he'd relax with marathon poker games with his cabinet. The only thing he thought about was how to beat these guys in poker. There's a story about an annual poker game he held on the night that Congress was supposed to adjourn. There was a rule that whoever was ahead at the moment that the speaker called to say Congress was adjourned would win the poker game.

Well, he's playing one year, and it turns out that when the speaker called at 9:30, Roosevelt was doing terribly and his secretary of the treasury, Morgenthau, was way ahead.
So Roosevelt took the phone and pretended it was someone else on the line. "Well I'm so glad you're calling, but we're in the middle of a big poker game." Then they kept playing and playing until finally around midnight Roosevelt pulled ahead. He whispered to an aide, "Bring me the phone." So he says into the phone, "Oh, Mr. Speaker, you're adjourning. How fine!" Then to his friends, "Well, boys, I guess I win!"

Everything was great until Morgenthau read in the newspaper the next day that Congress had adjourned at 9:30. He said he was so angry he actually resigned for a few moments until the charm of Roosevelt persuaded him it was all in fun.

The 1941 Transfusions and 1944-45 Weight Chart

In preparation for the many lectures I have presented to physicans, I prepared two slides based on available laboratory evidence at the FDRL and from information from Howard Bruenn's 1970 paper.

The first slide documents the abrupt rises in hemoglobin level that are absolute confirmation of at least nine transfusions FDR received in 1941. The is no other physiologic explanation. Bruenn's notion that the anemia responded to Iron therapy, like many other of his assertions, is not viable.

The second slide is a chart of FDR's weight in 1944-1945. The solid line is documented in Bruenn's paper. The dotted line is a reasonable estimate based on the countless reports of ongoing weight loss seen during three years of research.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some Additional Reading

An informative and well-written paper 1955 paper reflecting the understanding of FDR's health pre-Bruenn

Harry Hopkins' medical biography, written by Dr. James Halsted
An absolutely definitive account.

The earliest known description of the embalming of FDR in the hand of the embalmer, F. Haden Snoderly

Walter Trohan's article in the Chicago Tribune, April 13, 1945

Monday, September 28, 2009

Doctor Roosevelt and his Magnificent Obsessions

As all human beings who are driven and successful, Franklin Roosevelt had a constructively obsessive side to his personality. He was well as known collector. His world class collection if naval models and prints is presently on display in New York City. Obviously, he is also remembered for his stamp collecting, which afforded him the ability to escape from the pressures of his hectic daily life.

After 1921, his obsession turned to rehabilitating himself from polio. Seeking every possible way of returning function to his polio-stricken muscles, he educated himself to the level of the finest physicians of the time. His passion for gaining and spreading knowledge in this area is well documented in his correspondence about polio with others, most notably a remarkable 1924 letter to a South Carolina physician, William Egleston, whose daughter had contracted the disease, and had sent FDR a letter about another of his afflicted patients. (pardon the poor reproduction).

In his compassionate and intimate reply, Doctor Roosevelt offers his advice for treatment and lays out his philosophy about the disease. It is notable for a number of reasons.

At the outset, FDR lays out an extremely (and uncharacteristically) candid account of his own case, recounting the onset of his symptoms and the early erroneous and harmful attempts at massage, followed by a detailed description of his present state of rehabilitation, at a level, not as a patient, but as one physician to another, essentially a consultation in contemporary Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (a specialty which was yet to be founded), based on the "hundreds of cases" he had studied.

His findings are, for the most part, as valid today as they were then, including a remarkably innovative way of documenting objective improvement, using the level of water he could stand in as measure of the ability of his thigh muscles (quadriceps) to support him. His views on bracing are revolutionary for the time and remain valid today. His feelings about the positive attitude needed to overcome disease is as sound a piece of psychiatric advice that can be offerred then- and now!
In short, this letter demonstrates that, by 1924, Franklin Roosevelt had educated himself to the very highest level, that of the most learned physicians in the field, in the rehabilitation of polio. His passion and obsession extended so far as to risk the bulk of his personal fortune, against the advice of his family and friends, in an effort to turn Warm Springs into a word-class rehabilitation center.

Interestingly, his fourth recommendation "sunlight- all the patient could get" may have had a bearing upon his development of melanoma (a concept, even today debated at the highest level by dematologists).

His discovery of and effusive praise of Dr. William McDonald (see page 30 of the book) is even further testimony to his remarkable knowledge of and intense passion about his disease* Geoffrey Ward's wonderful biography of FDR's early life, "A First Class Temperament" is, by far, the most comprehensive treatment of his physical and mental battle with polio (see for, instance, p. 731).

One important point needs to be made about the above. This type of behavior with respect to his polio flies in the face of Howard Bruenn's later assertion that FDR showed no concern for his physical problems. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

This 1929 letter is an excellent exposition on FDR's attitude about the medical profession.

FDR with Dr. McDonald.
In the end, Roosevelt's last great obsession, to succeed where Woodrow Wilson had failed, in cementing his legacy for the future of the world by creating a lasting world peace organization (he would clearly have reveled in what President Obama did last week in chairing a meeting of the security council) is a key to understanding his behavior in 1944- running for a fourth term knowing he would soon die, as well as not putting much consideration at all into his choice for vice-president nor including him in the inner circle of his advisors.

*the callous way he eventually disposed of McDonald when he longer needed him (a la Earl Looker, see page 48 of the book) speaks to another, less meritorius aspect of the FDR personality.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Early Show, Featuring Ross McIntire

The scenario of the deceit surrounding FDR's profound anemia is discussed in detail in our book (see page 60). Here is the official account of the news conference on May 5, 1941, the day we came perilously close to President Henry Wallace.

Honorary Consultants and Frank Lahey

Here is the back of the photo that appears on page 122 of our book, listing the names and titles of the men in the photo.

Ross McIntire utilized the "creme de la creme" of the medical and scientific community on his many panels. Walter Dandy, for instance, was one of the world's leading neurosurgeons (though Winchell McKendree Craig, then at Bethesda and longtime chairman of Neurosurgery at the Mayo Clinic, was FDR's neurosurgeon). One of the members of another of these special commissions was William Calhoun "Pete" Stirling.
You can see that this photo is dated from 1942, long before Lahey allegedly first examined FDR. The real date of his first exam is unknown. Harry Goldsmith mentions a possible exam in November 1943 in his recent self-published book "Conspiracy of Silence", though there is no reason to believe that even this was the earliest time FDR saw Lahey.

The myth that McIntire was incompetent and did not use adequate expertise in treating FDR has not been adequately refuted. Ross McIntire did what he did at the behest of his commander in chief, knowingly and unselfishly sacrificing his future reputation for the sake of the duty and honor of his position.

Here's the article I (SL) wrote for Navy Medicine in his defense.
Speaking of Frank Lahey, here's the letter he sent to Ross McIntire after he was hounded for information by St. Louis Post Dispatch. After FDR's death, reporter Raymond "Pete" Brandt continued to pursue information and was summarily stonewalled (see the book for more)


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Right Answer for the Wrong Reason

You will read in our book about how the train of events to suspect melanoma occured, beginning with the 1961 paper of Dr. F. Massie (other than as one of the many rambling and often incredible assertions of Emanuel Josephson in 1948), based on a slide in a paper presented at a 1949 conference, that turned out not to be FDR's brain at all.

Here is the slide that started it. Even more coincidentally, the fatal tumor is in the right parietal lobe of the brain, just like the one that was the source of the hemorrhage that killed the President.

The Gospel According to Bruenn

Until recently, Howard Bruenn's 1970 paper has been considered the unimpeachable last word about FDR's health. Our analysis in the book documents example after example of inconsistencies, purposeful exclusions and outright falsehoods. Here's the documentation to support one of them.

As you can see in the paper above, the second paragraph of the begins by unequivocally stating "I (Bruenn) first saw President Roosevelt professionally in March 1944".

Here are two letters from 1946 that explode this myth. A correspondence between Ross Mcintire and Howard Bruenn. Bruenn's letter is in response to Mcintire's request for his thoughts to include in his 1946 book "White House Physician" (In fact, the two year period of treatment appears in the book as well). You can also see how well Bruenn understood FDR's driving desire to establish the United Nations.

So you can now easily see that the myth of Howard Bruenn's first exam of FDR occurring on March 28th, 1944 only came to after he became the keeper of FDR's deadly secret.
Here is Howard Bruenn's original evaluation of Eleanor Roosevelt in May 11,1943. Shortly after he was stationed at Bethesda and probably about the time he actually first saw FDR.

March 28th 1944 was not the first time that Howard Bruenn saw FDR though it was probably about the time that he realized that FDR had deteriorated to the point that if he didn't attend to him on a daily basis and more aggressive treatment undertaken, he would not survive even to live out his third term. Therefore, it necessitated that he come out of the shadows and reveal his presence to others outside the most inner circle of FDR's confidantes who saw FDR on a daily basis.

As to March 28th being the date FDR's "wholly unsuspected" cardiac problems were diagnosed and shortly afterwards necessitating a period of "rest and relaxation", here is the itinerary for the planned trip to Guantanamo dated March 23rd.

Much more about this particular deception, among many deceptions, is in our book.

Later in the paper , Bruenn describes the regimen outlined for FDR shortly after he allegedly first examined him. Here is a contemprary document pertaining to this regimen:
The bulk of the document is quoted verbatim in the paper, with notable exceptions:
The references to the prostate and the left maxillary antrum have been eliminated. It is not difficult to surmise why.

Now you see it.... Now you don't!

Probably the best way of all to appreciate the disappearance of the pigmented lesion above the left eye of FDR is watching it in videos. Especially between 1936 and 1940, newsreels reveal the starkly obvious lesion, accentuated even more by FDR's habit of raising his eyebrows while speaking. Only because FDR was the most photographed person on earth and the lesion was in an area that could not be hidden can this remarkable video record be created.

Take a look for yourself:

November 7, 1938

September 4, 1939

September 30, 1940

It is just not possible to determine when, and how many times, the lesion was operated upon by Ross McIntire. A few days were needed away from the glare of the public and press for the area to calm down after being surgically manipulated in some fashion. There were many opportunities for this to have happened. Many of the daily visits to the White House doctor's office were likely devoted to treating and soothing the area, which surely must have been chronically inflammed. Much of the "sinus" treatment was probably just another smokescreen necessitated by the deadly secret.

What can easily be seen, though, is by the time of the "Arsenal of Democracy" speech on December 27, 1940, even accounting for the use of make-up (pancake makeup was invented by Max Factor in 1935), the lesion is noticibly lighter. Also, note again, that FDR's hands do not leave his side.

After this, the difference is unmistakable. In all videos from 1941 and forward, the lesion is, at most, a faint shadow of scar tissue.

Amazingly, what had been a prominent facial feature had disappeared without any public notice. Only one record exists that the pathologic potential of the lesion was noticed at all- the January 1940 letter of Reuben Peterson (see the book for details).

March 18, 1941

November 3, 1941

December 1941

As stated by the eminent dermatologist, the late A. Bernard Ackerman, in our paper in the Archives of Dermatology, there are only too possibilities, based on physical characteristics, that this lesion could be: Solar Lentigo (aka sunspot or senile keratosis) or Melanoma. Even more relevant, while rarely these lesions may spontaneous regress, the natural history of either of them is incompatible with its disappearance over so short a time.

To read the entire paper:

Therefore, within any degree of medical probability, the lesion was intentionally removed. What you have just seen is the unequivocal objective evidence of that removal!

Friday, September 25, 2009

January 6, 1945. The Smoking Gun Video

Franklin Roosevelt did not personally deliver his 1945 State of the Union address to congress as had been his custom until 1943 (In 1944, he begged off because of "the flu", perhaps partially true) Instead, on January 6, he transmitted it to congress and spoke to the nation over the radio.

The reason is quite clear. By this time he was incapable of standing anywhere near long enough to give the 15 page, 8,253 word speech standing on the podium of the House of Representatives. He had to marshal his strength for the upcoming inaugural for which he absolutely had to stand to deliver an abbreviated address (the shortest in presidential history).

January 1945 was not the time for FDR to reveal to the world, for the first time, his increasingly debilitated condition. He needed to continue his image of strength for the inauguration, and, even more importantly, for his upcoming trip to Yalta.

Instead, it was decided that a short newreel video would be done, under the most optimal of conditions, to speak to America. Make up artists and lighting specialists were brought in from Hollywood to optimize the appearance of president's wan complexion and cachectic body and the production was made.

The video is divided into three carefully edited excerpts, but there is still much to be seen knowing that from this time FDR was struggling with his vision, most probably from a metastatic brain tumor in the right posterior portion of his brain.

Even before he begins speaking, watch carefully and you will see that he uses his left hand to mark the place on the page from which he is about to speak. Soon afterwards, be begins to use his left hand as a stylus to keep his place. He stumbles over the word "numbers" than accentuates the words "places" and "times" to try to cover his initial hesitation.

In the second excerpt, he again uses his left hand to mark his place and after the phrase "war torn world" then uses his right hand as a marker, crossing it over his left.

In the third excerpt, he abandons all pretense and is essentially reading the text following his left hand along the page.

Here is a color still photo of the speech.

In contrast, here is a video of FDR speaking in October 1944, less than three months prior to the State of the Union video. There are a few minor stumbles, but his hands remain at his side. The contrast is remarkable.

On March 1, 1945 FDR give the worst performance of his life during his speech to congress, deviating from the prepared text, (according to the New York Times, 49 times, we never counted) due to a primarily left sided visual deficit. On April 12, he died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage emanating from the right posterior portion of his brain- the area that controls the left side of vision.

Do FDR's Medical Records Exist? The Case For.

In our book, we do not go against the conventional wisdom that FDR's medical records were destroyed by Ross Mcintire. If this was the case, though, we firmly believe it was done to honor the expressed wishes of the most powerful and charismatic man of the twentieth century rather than to cover any alleged incompetence of his physicians.

In fact, the bulk of the medical records that do exist document the only incident, in our mind, that Ross McIntire was indeed asleep at the wheel, permitting FDR's hemoglobin to fall to the nearly fatal level of 4.5 grams in May 1941 (America was perilously close to President Henry Wallace at that time). So I ask, if Ross Mcintire didn't destroy those records to cover his real mistake, why would he later destroy records to cover himself?

One possible reason they weren't destroyed is that Eleanor already knew about it, as witnessed by her strikingly specific letter to Anna at the time the problem occurred (so much for the myth that she didn't care about "physiology"). She would never have even found out that much if FDR didn't tell her himself, most likely because neither he nor his doctors actually knew the reason why it occurred and didn't feel it was related to the deadly secret (though it most likely was- to our thinking, induced as consequence of the radiation he received).

The story of the famous safe at the hospital, and who had access to it, is well known, as per Howard Bruenn's version (the only one anybody ever quotes, as per the 1970 "gospel"). The story is in the book, but we are still unclear as to why the records that McIntire supplied to Eleanor were only the selected ones we have examined.

As an opposing view, there is a strong case to be made that the records were not destoyed. The prime evidence here is FOIA file DFI-1259, obtained by Ken Crispell and Carlos Gomez for their 1985 book "Hidden Illness in the White House" (see p. 254).

Ken Crispell has died and Carlos Gomez (currently a hospice physicisn in the Washington, D.C. area) has no idea where the original document is. The document, dated November 17, 1981, from the chief legal officer of the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda states unquivocally that FDR was a patient there 29 times and lists all the known aliases FDR was treated under!

Considerable efforts to locate the legal officer have not met with success. Many of the aliases on the document correspond to those on existing records, but others do not, and some documents have names that are not on the list, most notably F. David Rolph, that appears on nearly all the documents from the time of the anemia in 1941 (though close names, like Rolph Frank, for which we have no records, are on the list).

The obvious question: Where did the chief legal officer get the information from? There is only one answer- the allegedly "lost" medical file.

More corroboration for the exisistence comes from numerous conversations with a physician who was at Walter Reed in the late 1970's. The physician wishes to remain anonymous, but, trust me, he/she, who we shall call Dr. X, exists and appears credible.

As the story goes, Dr. X was nosing around the hospital at the time working on another project (prune bellies, to be exact) and came across a VIP file that intrigued them. It had various reports and x-rays, some of which were photocopies, with different names though all with the same accession number! This immediately aroused Dr. X's suspicion that they were those of FDR. Upon further inspection, they appeared to be of someone who was being treated for, among other things, a urological malignancy.

Included in these records was a retograde pyelogram (see "John Cash" in the previous post) showing an abnormality of the left kidney (ibid). Also noted incidentally was a severe metastatic lesion eroding the L3 vertebral body and that the level was somewhat difficult to surmise due to the presence of a "transitional vertebra".

Aside from the fact a the metastatic lesion of the spine would be quite consistent with either melanoma or prostate cancer, it provides an alternative explanation for the severe pain FDR was experiencing at Bremerton, Washington in August 1944 and even moreso for the incident described by son James at his fourth inauguration in January 1945.

If one looks at the John Cash letter, Dr Reuter also describes an anomaly of the left kidney and "six lumbar vertebrae" another term for a transitional vertebra, a fairly rare developmental anomaly of the spine. Therefore, either this is one of the greatest coincidences in medical history, or Dr. X was looking at FDR's x-rays!

The alternative take to Howard Bruenn's story is that the records do indeed exist and are not destroyed, but presently lost under one of FDR's many assumed names or no name at all. If they are anywhere, they are in St. Louis at the national records center (That's where all documents older than 10 years wind up these days).

When thinking about the whereabouts of FDR's medical records, I envision the last scene from George Lucas' great film "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

The records are right next to the holy grail!!!!

What was the Cause of FDR's Malignant Hypertension?

This one may be two technical for non-physicians and was clearly too controversial for the book, but its a line of thinking that has come from many years of research.

I give all the credit here to Dr. Barry Wiener, a brilliant educator and nephrologist at Jersey City Medical Center, whom I had the privilege of working beside for three years. Over the years, we had many conversati0ns around the etiology of a low grade proteinuria (seen repeatedly and consistently from 1939) FDR had, as documented by many surviving reports of urinalyses.

The eureka moment came when I first mentioned to Barry, after countless conversations, that FDR may have undergone radiation therapy for prostate cancer. A light came on and he immediately referrred me to a chapter in a textbook "Acute Renal Failure" edited by Barry M. Brenner and J. Michael Lazarus (W.B. Saunders, 1983) about an entity known as radiation nephritis. see:

First described by Luxton in 1952, it documents a clinical course entirely consistent with that of FDR.

So, it is entirely possible (I won't say probable here) that malignant hypertension well documented that FDR had at least from March 1944 on, may have been, in large part, a consequence of the radiation therapy he received for his prostate cancer in 1940 or even before. This, of course, was superimposed upon his relatively mild and intermittent hypertension seen as early as 1933, his 2 pack a day use of tobacco use and a history of childhood nephritis from rheumatic fever.

The whole thing fits like the proverbial glove and raises the question of when the diagnosis of prostate cancer was made and when it began to be treated. Obviously, FDR's physicians could not have known about a condition that was described seven years after his death! While kidney pathology from radiation is decribed in Behrens' 1949 textbook, there is no mention of the clinical course as described in 1952.

We do not believe that it is at all a coincidence that Roosevelt's radiologist, one of the inner circle of his physicians, Charles F. Behrens, was the editor of the first textbook on the effects of radiation on the body, "Atomic Medicine", in 1949.

There is more smoke here. A letter appears at the FDRL (Box 6, McIntire Files) from internist Paul Dickens, another of the inner circle doctors, forwarding a letter from Doctor F.A. Reuter to Ross Mcintire about "John Cash", allegedly the son of a White House policeman, concerning a remarkably extensive and invasive workup for low grade proteinuria (protein in the urine that is normally not seen).

The question arises that, on the face of it, a young man underwent a "million dollar" workup for a benign condition that affected many thousands of children from exposure to rheumatic fever (as had been FDR). It seems like "much ado about nothing" for a child, but it wouldn't have been for the president of the United States.

In fact, our research indicates that there was a White House policeman at the time named John Cash. On the other hand, John Cash is one of the thirty plus known aliases to have been used by FDR and a 1944 laboratory report found in the FDR papers at the FDRL carries this name, as well as documenting a profound (4+) proteinuria (incidentally, never reported by Howard Bruenn despite the fact that he undoubtedly saw it).

The March 10th date is also interesting. This result, over two weeks prior to Bruenn's alleged first exam and just about the time that Ross McIntire decided that FDR needed a vacation in Cuba rather than meeting with Winston Churchill to plan the invasion of Europe, surely would have raised some concern but not a whiff of it appears anywhere.

This is just one of the fascinating and frustrating aspects of the layers of smokescreen laid down to cover FDR's Deadly Secret. More to come!

Did FDR Have Two Cancers?

As I have just written a prominent FDR historian, our book presents a scenario that FDR may have had two cancers. This is a understandably tenuous assertion, considering that as yet, it is not accepted that he even had one! While most of the contemporary rumors centered around prostate cancer, obviously we are making a case for the melanoma as well.

The basis for this idea is anchored the evidence-based scientific literature.

One reason is medical statistics. If indeed the fatal hemorrahge emanating from the right side of FDR's brain was from a metastatic tumor as we believe, then it could not have come from a prostatic primary, since prostate cancer virtually never metastasizes to the brain (less than a handful of reported cases in the entire medical literature). On the other hand, melanoma is the tumor with the greatest propensity of all to metastasize to the brain. Over 90% of patients have brain metastases at autopsy and, in 25-50% of melanoma patients, the terminal event is brain hemorrhage!

As far as the abdominal tumor is concerned, this is a little less clear. We are convinced that the highest probablity for FDR's weight loss was a partial bowel obstruction. All of the Frank Lahey/George Pack references in the book are testimony to it. It makes no sense whatsoever for America's greatest abdominal surgeon at the time (Lahey) to be offering a prognosis on a cardiac standpoint. In addition, Howard Bruenn clearly states in his 1970 paper that when Lahey examined FDR in April, the condition was serious enough that it warranted informing the President (quite concordant to what later appeared in the Lahey memorandum!).

Both prostate cancer and melanoma frequently metastasize to the bowel, though melanoma is notorious for intussusception (intermittent telescoping of the bowel into itself) that produces the intense abdominal pain consistent with symptoms exhibited by FDR at Teheran (November 1943), Hobcaw (April 1944) and Camp Pendleton, near San Diego (August 1944).

Short of an open biopsy, for which there is no evidence FDR ever underwent, it is not possible to say with certainty which one it was. Even today, a pre-operative diagnosis of malignant bowel obstruction from melanoma is often missed.

It is our belief that it was indeed melanoma though with less assurance than for the brain metastasis, but the very real possibility is raised that FDR's doctors did not know, and may never have known, exactly which malignancy was the source of the abdominal pain (the "growth" even FDR himself suspected, albeit temporarily, when he told Harold Ickes about it in May 1944).

Our discussions with melanoma specialists about the time frame for the maligant bowel obstruction reveals that it is entirely consistent with contemporary thinking. This is not the case for the brain metatastasis, hence we could not postulate that metastatic disease was the cause of the seizures, which appear to have been on the basis of an otherwise clinically silent stroke (Dr. Wold may have been partially right, but for the wrong reason).

All of this thinking has evolved over three years of intensive research and discussions with countless expert physicians. We sincerely hope and believe that it will eventually come to be accepted by historians as the reality of FDR's medical history, though, as all things new and radically different, it will be subject to a vigorous debate.

The Bannister Letter

This letter was given to us by Margeritta "Mickey" Allardice, the daughter of William Calhoun Stirling, I've never seen it referred to previously.

Obviously, this is a censored FBI document, written almost two months after FDR's death. The author is special agent W.G. Bannister, a regional FBI director and was sent to Director J. Edgar Hoover. It was probably obtained through a FOIA request but the source is unknown (I will be asking Mickey how she acquired it).

This letter was written about the same time a three part article "The Strange Death of President Roosevelt" appeared in an obscure but credible magazine, News Story. For a pdf of the complete article see: (195 downloads so far!)

The rumors addressed in the third and fourth paragraphs of the letter center around FDR's mental status at Yalta and his prostate cancer and probably arise from the Walter Trohan/William Calhoun Stirling connection that is the source of virtually all of our present understanding of FDR's prostate problems.

The identity of the informant is unknown, though further research into any Montana connection with a New York reporter might provide further insight.

All in all, this is a new, important and interesting document concerning FDR's health. We are happy to bring it to public attention.

Here is a 1939 photo of FBI special agents. Bannister is second from the left in the first row. Hoover is the man on the left in the first row in the white suit. to Hoover's left is Edward Tamm, his right hand man.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Tamm Memorandum

This document, an FBI report signed by J. Edgar Hoover to Steven Early, was facilitated by Hoover's right hand man, Edward Tamm and has been referred to as the Tamm Memorandum in a number of books. It probably came to light through a FOIA request by Ken Crispell and Carlos Gomez for their 1985 book. This copy came to us from Margherita Allardice, William Calhoun "Pete" Stirling's daughter. The source of much the information was probably Chicago Tribune reporter Walter Trohan, who most likey got it directly from Stirling.

Interestingly, Stirling probably became FDR's doctor thorough White House press secretary Steve Early, his bridge and golf buddy. Stirling was a racist and anti-semite. We can date his medical care of FDR to prior to September 1943 because he did not talk to his younger daughter, Mickey, for a long time afterwards because she married a Jew and her recollections of his mentioning his treatment of FDR was from before their estrangement. Early had southern roots and was a descendant of Confederate General Jubal Early.

Through this memorandum, Early learned that it was his close friend who had been the source of the rumors that triggered the "avalanche of rumors". There is no record of Stirling ever speaking about FDR again.

The Fala Speech. September 23, 1944. FDR at his best.

On September 23, 1944 FDR gave his famous "Fala speech", one that did much to reassure the American voting public that their President was up to the task of running the country for the next four years. The 39 minute, 30 second speech (only partially seen here) was delivered in a friendly environment at a campaign dinner in Washington, D.C., before the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffers. Warehousemen and Helpers of America. It shows FDR at his very best, despite the fears of his staff and family that, in his weakened physical state, he would be unable to carry the day. His incredible showmanship and guile are demonstrated to the fullest. The clip of the speech begins 20 seconds into this biopic and lasts about two minutes. It's worth the wait! There's also a relatively long clip of the March 1, 1945 speech to congress shortly afterwards.

Text of the entire speech:

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Yalta Speech

If you have any doubts as to what were getting at with respect to the errors FDR made while giving this speech, this should help.

Here's the 31 page speech, annotated by us to show the errors:

Once you've downloaded it, then also download the original audio at:

Now listen to the audio while simultaneously viewing the annotated text. What you experience is very convincing- the objective evidence that is one of the major keys to unlocking "FDR's Deadly Secret".

Here's a few of the existing videos that include portions of the speech:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

On the Tuscaloosa February 1940

These color frames are part of a film made by the US Navy for the President to commemorate his second cruise on the USS Tuscaloosa in February 1940. FDR felt at home on naval vessels and , being away from the press and public, felt it was less necessary to pay undue attention to the appearance of the pigmented lesion above his left eye. The purpose of this "mystery cruise" was ostensably to inspect the defenses ofthe Panama Canal. It is quite possible that this, and other voyages, were venues where he cauld have some"work done" to his lesion. The only staff members on this trip were his constant companion, VADM Ross McIntire, his chief of staff General Edmund "Pa" Watson (seen standing directly behind him), and his naval aide ADM (then Captain) Daniel J. Callahan, who died on the bridge of the USS San Franciso on November 13, 1942 at the battle of Savo Island (near Guadalcanal) and was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He is seen here boarding the cruiser. The lesion is starkly obvious, in contrast to the shadow (perhaps further attenuated by make-up) seen only ten months later while giving his "Arsenal of Democracy" speech on December 27th.

During a performance of the crew Admiral McIntire (second from right) casts a watchful eye on his star patient. Watson is to his left. Callahan is at extreme left.

Article reporting the "Mystery Cruise"

With the chief petty officers.

During the cruise:

On the left- a carefully staged photo taken from the right (Captain Callahan saluting at left). FDR could not take a single step unassisted.

On the right- photo taken the same day (same suit, same car) from the left showing the lesion

Two photos taken during the cruise showing FDR somewhat atypically using sunglasses (to cover recent surgery?)

A postal cover commemorating the first cruise (to northern waters including Campobello Island)

A webpage summarizing the three cruises

A book excerpt describing the third cruise:

At the close of the second cruise, FDR gave a brief speech, preceeded by these comments by Captain Badt:

Introduction by Captain Harry A. Badt, U. S. Navy Commanding Officer, U. S. S. TUSCALOOSA:
"Mr. President, it is always a pleasure to have you on the TUSCALOOSA. We are all sorry to see you leave tomorrow, but we are hoping that you will make another cruise with us soon and the officers and men of the TUSCALOOSA all want to wish you continued good health."