After the USS Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans on January 23, 1968, propaganda photos began appearing. They showed the captive U.S. sailors bowing and scraping before the mighty Norks. But then someone noticed what seemed to be puzzling hand signals. One photo showed four sailors who might be transmitting sign language for H-E-L-P. The first two sailors seemed to be spelling out “H… E…” But in U.S. news reports at the time, the reporters claimed they could not decipher the hand signs of the last two sailors. 
It turns out that the last two sailors were “flipping the bird” at the North Korean photographer! This was obvious to ordinary Americans who saw the photo, but for some reason the reporters seemed not to understand. 
In the video hopefully viewable at the top of today’s blog entry, Alvin Plucker, quartermaster on the USS Pueblo when it was captured by the Norks in international waters, reveals that quite a lot of the propaganda photos included subtle “flipping the bird” hand signs. When the commies eventually got wise to something fishy going on, the captain, Lloyd M. Bucher, tried to pass it off as Hawaiian “good luck” signs. “Hmmm,” said the Norks, who relayed the explanation to their bureaucracy. But eventually the commies figured it out and the Pueblo crew got hell for disrespecting North Korea. 
The USS Pueblo is still held by North Korea today. On December 23, 1968, following negotiations, the crew was released. 
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was U.S. president at the time of the Pueblo incident. Walt Whitman Rostow was LBJ’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs. Rostow was in the White House basement when the alert came through that the Pueblo had been captured. He was in the position of “first responder” when immediate action might have saved the Pueblo and her crew. What did Rostow do? Did he immediately notify President Johnson? No, he did not. Rostow waited crucial hours until the ship had reached the Communist port of Wonsan before he told LBJ about it. 
Who was this Rostow? Walt Whitman Rostow was a Rhodes Scholar, and that is always a warning signal when it comes to national security. (Other of these Rhodes Scholars have been Dean Rusk and Bill Clinton. In 1964, speaking as Secretary of State in Brussels, Dean Rusk declared national sovereignty “outmoded.”) In Rostow’s book, The United States in The World Arena, he wrote that it is in the American interest “to see an end of nationhood as it has been historically defined.” In the 1950s, Rostow labored at the MIT Center for International Studies, a well-known CIA front. Rostow, a disciple of “anti-nationhood”, was appointed in 1961 as John F. Kennedy’s special assistant on national security. U.S. foreign policy in the 1960s was based on Rostow’s theories of a “nationless” world. 
——- Sources ——-
 I am relying on memory for American newspapers claiming not to understand the hand signals of the last two sailors.
 “Alvin Plucker on the ‘Hawaiian good luck sign'”, by HumorCode. YouTube, May 4, 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxdLDRjVYXc
 “USS Pueblo (AGER-2)”, Wikipedia, March 17, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Pueblo_(AGER-2)
 The Ordeal Of Otto Otepka, by William J. Gill. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1969.