BETHESDA, MD – In what could be yet another mystery of the Deep State, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was released on February 13, 2024, following treatment at the Walter Reed Medical Center, the former Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., making the sudden visit by ambulance, his third in a short period of time.


The Pentagon released the following statement:

Following consultation with medical staff, Secretary Austin was released from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center today (February 13, 2024) at approximately 3:30 pm.

He is recovering well and resumed his full functions and duties today at 5 pm. The Deputy Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the White House, and Congress have been notified.

On the advice of his doctors, Secretary Austin will recuperate and perform his duties remotely from home for a period before returning to work at the Pentagon later this week. He has full access to the unclassified and classified communications systems necessary to perform his duties.

Dr. John Maddox, Trauma Medical Director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, Director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research at the Murtha Cancer Center, of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, provided the following statement regarding Secretary Austin’s medical condition and treatment:

Secretary Austin was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on February 11 with discomfort and concern from a bladder issue related to his December 2023 prostate cancer surgery.  His condition indicated a need for close monitoring by the critical care team and supportive care.  His diagnostic evaluation identified the cause of his bladder issue and it was corrected with non-surgical procedures on February 12.

He remained in good condition throughout and no longer needed critical care monitoring on the morning of February 13.  He progressed well and was discharged to his home today.  He is anticipated to continue his full recovery.

The bladder issue was not related to his cancer diagnosis and will have no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis.


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The sudden re-hospitalization of Austin comes just a week after he appeared in public and apologized for a lack of candor with the public or his boss about his medical condition involving prostate surgery.

Austin’s sudden disappearance while the United States was involved in two wars, in Ukraine and United States forces being attacked in more than a hundred strikes in the Middle East in Syria, Jordan, and Iraq, along with missiles fired at U.S. naval forces in the Red Sea. Austin made no effort to transfer his duties to a subordinate in December but on February 11, 2024, did take such action. Austin made a statement at the Pentagon apologizing for his failure to provide a continued chain of command and failing to let the public know about his hospitalization, which involved being put under anesthesia for surgery.

Calls for Austin to resign over his AWOL condition while the response was pending for three American service members who were killed in terror strikes by Iran-backed proxies increased, with more such demands echoed on various news shows on February 12, 2024.

Austin being treated at Walter Reed / Bethesda Naval Medical Center is reminiscent of the first man to hold the post of Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal. 

Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal

Forrestal died when he fell from the sixteenth floor of the hospital on May 22, 1949, after being confined to the suite for seven weeks. A nurse heard a thud on the building ledge outside of room 384 of building one of the National Naval Medical Center, and Forrestal’s body was discovered at 1:50 am, with the time of death declared at 1:55 am.

030820-N-9593R-114 National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., (Aug. 20, 2003) — The entrance to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The building, which was the original Naval Hospital on the site, now contains offices and the Dental Center. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Seth Rossman. (RELEASED)

A Board of Investigation was appointed the morning of the death of Forrestal, and the first meeting of the Board took place at 11:45 am on May 23, 1949. The first act of the Board was to visit the Morgue to view the body of Forrestal. The members of the board examined the body and identified it as that of the late James V. Forrestal and recommended that an autopsy be carried out, according to the records of the Board.

 Ironically, the autopsy report was never included in the records of the Board of Investigation, and the final report of the investigation was kept secret until finally released under a Freedom of Information Act request by author David Martin in 2004. The crime scene photos were not taken until after most of the suite where Forrestal had been staying was cleaned up, linens removed from the bed, and clothing removed. The photos were taken about two hours after the fact, according to the testimony of the Navy photographer tasked with the duty.

The Board then proceeded to Room 1618, tower sixteen, building one of the facilities, and viewed the room occupied by Forrestal, then went to Room 1620, the kitchen, where Forrestal exited through the window for the “purpose of viewing that room.”  The Board then moved to the location where the body hit the landing on the roof of the second deck on a level with the third deck on the southeast corner of building one of the National Naval Medical Center.

On Tuesday, May 25, 1949, the Board met again with those present listed as Captain Adolfo A. Marsteller, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret. Active, senior member; Captain Vincent Hernandez, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, Captain Harold J Cokely, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy, Commander William W. Ayres, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy, and Lieutenant Commander James D. Wharton, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy members, and Lieutenant Robert F. Hooper, Medical Services Corps, U. S. Navy, recorder and Mrs. Margaret E. Garrett, Civilian, reporter.
The first witness examined by the Board that day was Aviation Photographer Mate First, U. S. Navy Harley F. Cope Jr.  Cope testified that he was called to the scene of where the body lay on the ledge to take photos between 3 and 3:15 am and identified ten photos as the ones which he photographed.  Hospital corpsman chief John Edward McClain testified that he was summoned to take photos of Forrestal’s room, the kitchen, and a series of photos up and down the outside of the building towards the ledge upon where the body landed.  McClain described the process of taking photos of the ledge, the kitchen, and the window screen.

“We were shooting for fingerprints, which we were requested to get, and that is what we have, sir. This third picture was taken standing on the deck with the screen, letting the screen of the window come back in place as near as it would of its own accord, which also gave us some fingerprints. The fourth picture is a picture that was shot of the ledge of the third deck. “

McClain went on to describe each of the photos of Room 1616, the kitchen, and the ledge. He also described a photo of a rug about two feet from the bed occupied by Forrestal that had some broken glass on it.  None of the members of the Board asked if any fingerprints had been revealed and if so, had they been given to the FBI.

The next witness to testify was Captain George H. Raines, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy, Chief of Neuropsychiatry, U. S. Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland. 

Captain Raines said that on Thursday, March 31, 1949, “…he was called by the Surgeon General at about noon and told to get packed immediately, dress in civilian clothes, and meet Admiral John Gingrich at the Naval Air Station, Anacostia for a flight south to see a patient. He was quite uncertain as to how long I would be gone or what the situation was, or even where I was going. He said that the patient was Mister Forrestal, but there were no details concerning the nature of his difficulty. Admiral Gingrich and I landed at Stuart, Florida, at about eight o’clock that evening and were met and taken to the home of Mister Robert Lovett. Mister Lovett and, subsequently, Mr. Artemius Gates, who was also at the resort town of Hobe Sound, gave us some information about what had been going on with Mister Forrestal, who had arrived there two days previously. In general, they described an individual who was quite depressed, sleepless, and restless. They also told us, which we had not known before, that Mister Ferdinand Eberstadt had been requested by Mister Forrestal to come to Hobe Sound with a physician, and Mister Eberstadt was arriving the following day with Doctor William C. Menninger.  Under the circumstances, I considered it unethical to take any part in the case despite our having been sent there because Mr. Forrestal had designated a physician of his own choice. As a result, I remained completely out of the picture, and Doctor Menninger arrived late the following afternoon, April 1. He examined Mister Forrestal and Doctor Menninger, Mister Eberstadt, Admiral Gingrich, and I then had dinner together to discuss the situation. Menninger was of the opinion that Mister Forrestal had severe depression, which was primarily on a reactive basis and had resulted from excessive work with a lot of very difficult responsibilities. Me and Mister Eberstadt discussed hospitalization for the patient at some length, paying particular attention to what type of hospital should be employed and where the hospital should be located. Admiral Gingrich and I didn’t participate in this discussion but were present. Doctor Menninger and Mister Eberstadt then arrived at the conclusion Mister Forrestal should be treated in a general hospital, that the Naval Hospital, Bethesda, provided the best possible facilities available. Among other things that entered into their consideration was that Mister Forrestal was suffering from a recoverable illness, that recovery could be expected in a reasonably short period of time, three to six months, that recovery probably be complete, and that attention should be paid to protecting him from unnecessary stigma or any intrusion on his illness that might subsequently interfere with his life. I had been instructed by the Surgeon General to bring Mister Forrestal back to the hospital if he wished to come, so I accepted him as a patient the following morning, April 2. I went back on the evening of April 1 and simply spoke to him along with Doctor Menninger but actually took responsibility for him the following morning. We were flown back, and he was admitted here that afternoon.


Was Forrestal’s death a suicide, or was he murdered? A Naval Inquiry into the death asserted that the Naval hospital staff were not at fault even though a doctor and a corpsman stationed in his suite to safeguard him failed to notice when he left his room and went to a nearby kitchen. A window in the kitchen wasn’t secured, and his body went through the window. No one saw him being propelled through the window, either by his own volition or at the hands of another.

Ironically, Forrestal, as Defense Secretary, was involved in the policy decisions surrounding the creation of Israel and the partition from Palestine. Forrestal refused to deviate from a policy of not responding to vicious attacks in the press, and he continued to contend he had never attempted to persuade Truman on the issue.  Forrestal had said he provided the military viewpoint that the creation of Israel might cause the Arabs to cut off pipelines serving Western Europe and oil to the United States in the event of war.

 Forrestal was opposed to the United Nations forces being injected on the ground to enforce the partition of Palestine to block Soviet forces into the region and endangering the Suez Canal. When the British pulled out of Palestine in May of 1948, Forrestal told Truman that combat forces were not available.  All hell broke loose in the press, which was strongly in support of the creation of Israel in the newly partitioned Palestine.

As the British had been in control of the protectorate as a result of the end of World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the Brits wanted to wash their hands of the turmoil and get out. That left the United States to fill the vacuum.

As the top official charged with the American military might, Forrestal’s views were aligned with his values, experience, training, and best interests of protecting America, and he made the mistake of expressing his views.  Chief among those assailing Forrestal for his position was syndicated columnist Drew Pearson and broadcaster Walter Winchell.  Between the morning and evening editions, newspapers were read each day in nearly every home, and the radio shows heard each evening the power of the Zionists as expressed in those two widely embraced mediums; public opinion was not only being swayed, but the full wrath of those being influenced began to descend upon James V. Forrestal.

A book published in 2019 by David Martin, THE ASSASSINATION OF JAMES FORRESTAL, claims that Forrestal did not commit suicide but was instead assassinated due to his views on the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of Israel by Zionists and the United Nations.

Martin began his coverage of the Forrestal death with the first edition of his book and updated it with a second edition in 2021.  Martin maintains a blog at and provides meticulous research to support his conclusions.

An article published in December of 1950 by William Bradford Huie in The New American Mercury stated: “Thoughtful Americans are, therefore, remembering that it was Forrestal who struggled to arm this nation for its commitments, and there is a growing inclination to look again at his crucifiers and their cloak-holders – at those whom Time magazine identified as “disgruntled politicians, Communists, Zionists, and gossip columnists” and whom The Saturday Evening Post labeled “an ill-assorted group of ideological libertarians.” Much of the truth has far been suppressed, but the ghost of Jim Forrestal is not going to be laid until there are reasonable answers to such questions as these:

  • Why was the attack on Forrestal so reckless and sadistically savage?
  • Why have his papers been held secret?
  • Where is the report of those who investigated his death?
  • Why was the deposed Defense Secretary held a virtual prisoner at the Bethesda Naval Hospital – a prisoner who could not be visited by his own priest?

Included in the article were accounts of how Forrestal was cognizant of how important it was to counter Communist strikes in France and Italy quickly and not wait for lagging efforts of official channels. Instead, Forrestal went to private parties and explained the need for fast action and raised $150,000 in cash to rush to Europe to bribe Communists and end the strikes.


Diaries kept by Forrestal were sent to the White House for inspection and perusal by the military following his death and later were given to his family. The diaries reflected the atmosphere of the days towards the end of World War II and, what would shape the post-war world, and how to counter Soviet policy.

Forrestal wrote in his diary on September 2, 1944, “I find that whenever any American suggests we act in our own security, he is apt to be called a god-damned fascist or imperialist, while if Uncle Joe (Stalin) suggests he needs the Baltic Provinces, half of Poland, all of Bessarabia and access to the Mediterranean, all hands agree that he is a fine, frank candid and generally delightful fellow who is very easy to deal with because he is so explicit in what he wants. Hoping you the same, I am…

In an entry in his diary on September 18, 1944, Forrestal wrote that he was told by the Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy that Secretary of Treasury Morgenthau was concocting a program to deal a death blow to Germany after its collapse at the hands of the Allies, a plan violently opposed by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson.  Forrestal wrote that FDR decided to go along with Morgenthau’s plan to completely destroy the economy of Germany and plunge it into a permanent state of impoverishment and disorder.  McCloy told Forrestal, as he penned his account in his diary, that the Army’s role would be difficult as by training “would naturally turn to the recreation of order as soon as possible”.

Defense Secretary Forrestall was Secretary of the Navy under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and continued in that post under President Truman when FDR died in April of 1945.

On February 26, 1945, Forrestall joined the flagship of Admiral Turner’s watched Marines land at Iwo Jima to observe the fierce battle. News reports from the battle reported that Forrestall was in a Higgins boat with Lt. Gen. Holland Smith, Pacific Commander of the Marines, and two admirals when Leathernecks planted the American flag Mt. Suribachi on the southern end of Iwo. Forrestall and the top commanders stayed on Iwo for more than an hour.  Forrestal told reporters that the battle, employing 800 ships, hundreds of planes, and three Marine divisions, showed the need for tremendous amounts of war materials.

The comments made that day by Forrestal echo the times of 2024 as Islamic Radicals from Iran are exporting weapons to their proxies to disrupt Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and the Gulf nations as well as Western allies.

“The people we’re fighting are not normal,” said Forrestal. “They are driven by terror and mythical fanaticism with the result that we have been taking islands in the Pacific only by wiping out all the Japanese defenders.”

James V. Forrestal, worn by his effort as Secretary of the mightiest Navy in the world as he guided the pursuit of victory over Japan, and then became the first Secretary of Defense, resigned on March 28, 1949, and spent a few days in Florida before entering the hospital in Bethesda for depression and suicidal tendencies.

Or, the alternative theory is that Forrestal was beaten down for his opposition to the decisions about Israel and paid for it with his life in a deep state assassination and coverup.

Controversy over the partitioning of Palestine, communist advances in China, Soviet control over Eastern Europe, and a failure to increase American military readiness to thwart communist moves swirled in the press as Forrestal became weary of his battles in each area.

Forrestal’s death shocked the nation’s capital, and President Truman stated: “This able and devoted public servant was as truly a casualty of war as if he had died on the firing line.” Truman ordered the flag of the United States to be flown at half-mast on all federal facilities, bases, and warships.

Forrestal was said to be recovering from exhaustion and depression and left no suicide note. Forrestall did have a book in his hospital room with a red ribbon marking a poem, “An Anthology of World Poetry.”  Forrestal had hand-copied the first 26 lines of the poem of Sophocles’ “Chorus From Ajax” on a piece of hospital stationery and folded it inside the back of the book.

Below is the poem. The reader should keep in mind that the Board of Investigation failed to provide any testimony of what Naval personnel found the paper folded in the book with the poem or if any attempt was made to match the handwriting on the stationary to that of Forrestal.  As this investigation took place before the television series Dragnet, Perry Mason, Murder She Wrote, or Columbo were ever created, or in fact, television even available to the mass market, perhaps those who contrived this setup of “suicide” should be forgiven for their amateur effort.  Over the years, the Deep State of America has honed its skills in lies and coverups.

Chorus From Ajax

When Reason’s day

Sets rayless-joyless-quenched in cold decay,

Better to die, and sleep

The never-waking sleep, than linger on,

And dare to live, when the soul’s life is gone:


At the time for bed on Saturday, May 22, Forrestal declined to take his nighttime sedation, and when attendants were elsewhere on the 16th floor, Forrestal left his room in his suite, avoided contact with Dr. Deen sleeping in an adjacent room, and entered the diet kitchen.

The kitchen did not have a secure screen on the window from which his body fell. While the screen on the window in his room had double locks on it, the kitchen screen had only screws at the bottom, which allowed it to be swung out.

A report on the suicide included that Navy Corpsman R. W. Harrison was on duty, and his only assignment was to keep track of Forrestal. According to the Baltimore Sun, Harrison made a notation that as of 1:45 am, Harrison found Forrestal awake and cheerful and refused a sleeping pill.

At that point, Harrison awakened Navy Commander R. R. Deen, a psychiatrist whose duty was to care for Forrestal, and permitted them to sleep in the next room to the recently resigned Secretary. Dr. Deen instructed the corpsman not to insist that the patient take the medication. After Harrison went down a hallway for a few minutes, he returned to Forrestal’s room to find him gone.

A nurse on the seventh floor of the building heard the thud of his body as it struck a ledge above the third floor. When hospital personnel rushed to his side, he was dead.  Forrestal was wearing a bath robe and wore the robe’s belt cord around his neck.  When discovered, the body was reported to be unrecognizable.

 The Sun report said his identity was accomplished by his watch, which was still running.  The Montgomery County coroner, Dr. Frank J. Broschart, issued a certificate of suicide without holding a formal hearing. Apparently, Dr. Broschart believed what the Navy told him and ignored his sworn duty to make an independent determination of the cause and manner of death.

President Harry S. Truman in the front yard of his home in Independence, Missouri, shortly after attending the 1952 Democratic National Convention. Date(s) July 26, 1952

President Truman ordered his presidential aircraft, Independence, in Paris, where it had taken Secretary of State Dean Acheson to a conference, to transport Mrs. Forrestal back home. She had traveled to locate a place for his recovery to continue. A son, Michael Forrestal, who worked in Paris, also was flown back to Washington. Another son, Peter, 19, worked as a copy boy at the Washington Post and was the only relative of Forrestal in the nation’s capital.

Stringent suicide watch precautions, which had been in place, were relaxed in the weeks prior to his death as Forrestal gained weight and responded to treatment.  He had been allowed to shave himself and allowed to have bathrobes with cords. President Truman visited Forrestal at the hospital on April 23, 1949, and said that the former defense chief was “coming along fine.”  On May 6, Truman visited again but did not comment on his visit.


To the People of the United States:

It has become my sad duty to announce officially the death of James Forrestal, formerly Secretary of Defense in the Government of the United States, who died at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, at 2 a.m. on May 22, 1949.

Mr. Forrestal served with devotion and great distinction as Administrative Assistant to the President of the United States, as Under Secretary and Secretary of the Navy, and finally as the nation’s first Secretary of Defense. He exhausted his strength by his unremitting labors in the burdensome duties of these offices during the war and the critical years which have followed the end of hostilities. His tragic death came as a shock to his friends, and a great loss to the people of the United States, whom he had served so well and faithfully.

As a mark of respect to Mr. Forrestal’s memory, it is hereby ordered that the national flag be displayed at half-mast upon all public buildings and at all forts and military posts and naval stations, and on all vessels of the United States, until after the funeral shall have taken place.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred forty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-third. [SEAL]


By the President:


Acting Secretary of State.

Forrestal was a naval aviator in World War I, worked his way through Princeton but lacked the finances for his final credits, didn’t graduate, and became a significant Wall Street banker before becoming an aide to FDR. Forrestal continued to fly up until just before leaving as defense secretary; he flew a jet two-seat trainer.  

The USS Forrestal (CVA-59) was named in his honor. The ship was involved in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. The USS Forrestal was the first supercarrier in the Navy’s fleet in 1955 and participated in actions worldwide until decommissioned in 1993.  A disastrous fire on the Forrestal took place after an accident caused a Zuni rocket to fire on an F-4B Phantom to fire and set off a chain reaction of explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161.

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