Gus W. Weiss, 72, adviser to four presidents on top secret policy matters, died violently in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2003, but his death was not reported by The Washington Post until December 7, 2003, in the obitiuary section at the bottom of page C12. His home town newspaper, The Nashville Tennessean, was only a week late in reporting his death, but at that late date all they could say was, “The circumstances surrounding his death could not be confirmed last night.”
Readers of The Tennessean http://www.tennessean.com/obits/archives/03/11/43368774.shtml?Element_ID=43368774 might have had their suspicions aroused not only by the delay in the reporting of this important man’s death, but also by the very next sentence in the article: “Friends of Mr. Weiss expressed shock at his death.”
But the article is not at all clear as to why that might have been the case. The man was already two years past our allotted three score years and ten, after all. Subsequent passages in the article only heighten the mystery:
“Driven by an insatiable intellectual curiosity and a desire to solve foreign policy problems, Mr. Weiss devoted his life to his career, friends recalled. He served as assistant to the secretary of defense for space policy and on the Pentagon Defense Science Board and the U.S. Intelligence Board under President Carter. Mr. Weiss was a foreign affairs officer and member of the National Security Council under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan.”
“Mr. Weiss…was involved in numerous intelligence projects, and friends said there were many aspects of his career he could never discuss with them.”
”’He was wired into the intelligence community, and there were a lot of mystical secrets we weren’t privy to,’ said Harris Gilbert, a Nashville attorney who had been friends with Mr. Weiss since childhood. ‘He was very interested in diplomatic strategy and was VERY, VERY OPPOSED TO THE IRAQ WAR. It was the first military action he ever opposed, but he believed we shouldn’t go to war in the Middle East without knowing what we were getting into.”’ (emphasis added)
Might it not appear that if one is sufficiently connected to power, strong opposition to our ongoing naked aggression in the Fertile Crescent could well be fatal?
Let’s see if The Post’s belated obituary http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42132-2003Dec6.html clears matters up, or muddies the waters further:
Gus W. Weiss, 72, a former White House policy adviser on technology, intelligence, and economic affairs, died Nov. 25 of a fall from the Watergate East residential building in the District. The D.C. medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
A spokesman for the D.C. police said that officers found his body at a service entrance to the apartment cooperative. Dr. Weiss lived in the building.
Dr. Weiss was a graduate of Vanderbilt University in his native Nashville. He received a master’s degree in business from Harvard University and a doctorate in economics from New York University, where he also taught.
He served on the staff of the National Security Council under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. In the Ford administration, he was also executive director of the White House Council on International Economic Policy.
Much of his government work centered on national security, intelligence organizations and concerns over technology transfers to communist countries. As an adviser to the Central Intelligence Agency, he served on the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board and the Signals Intelligence Committee of the U.S. Intelligence Board.
During the Carter administration, Dr. Weiss was assistant for space policy to the secretary of defense.
His honors included the CIA’s Medal for Merit and the National Security Agency’s Cipher Medal. He was awarded the French Legion of Honor in 1975 for helping resolve national security concerns over a joint venture between General Electric’s aircraft engine division and a French jet engine company.
Since 1992, Dr. Weiss had been a guest lecturer at George Washington University, where he spoke about his experiences in the government. He was also adviser to the dean of arts and sciences and established a cash prize awarded to a top physics student.
His interests included piano and history.
There are no immediate survivors. (end obituary)
In other words, if we may paraphrase The Post: “Would you believe it was a suicide?”
On what basis did the medical examiner rule that it was a suicide? On what basis could any mere medical examiner so rule, particularly when someone has died from a fall, presumably from a high altitude? All a medical doctor is qualified to do is to determine the cause of death. That, we are told, was “a fall from the Watergate East residential building.” How does the medical examiner know what caused the fall?
Even in the case of the May 1949 death of former Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, the official investigation of his death concluded only that Forrestal died from wounds inflicted by a fall from the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital, but it remained agnostic on the cause of the fall. In this instance we are not told even approximately how far the victim fell or precisely where he fell from, but the medical examiner, for some unstated reason, is certain it was a suicide.
Interestingly, The Post doesn’t even name the medical examiner, nor does it name the police spokesman who did no more than tell us approximately where the body was found.
I’m sorry, but all this sounds more than a bit suspicious to me.
Finally there is perhaps the most suspicious thing of all in the official report. That is the assertion that the police discovered Weiss’s body. The odds against that are very long, even in a city with as many police as Washington, DC. It’s especially unlikely in the environs of the Watergate. It is in a very low-crime area, and it is quite well-protected by private security guards, a fact to which the famous Watergate burglars could well attest. There is absolutely no need for police to patrol the Watergate complex.