A new book
by James W. Douglass [JFK
and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters] addresses
an "an evil whose depth and deceit seemed to go beyond the
capacity of words to describe." A few events, many of them
very recent, qualify to be so described. The unspeakable "evil"
in this case is the assassination of JFK, in fact, a cold-blooded
murder in the streets.
That it was
a "President" so ignominiously gunned-down is in itself appalling,
unspeakable but that it was a President who held out our best hopes
to survive as a Democratic, free nation makes it all the more tragic
succeeded, claims Douglass, because Americans can’t handle the truth.
Americans have not faced up to what has happened to our nation or
what has become of our dreams of freedom, democracy, equal rights
is not another conspiracy book. Many books, articles, writers, and
talk show hosts have proven to my satisfaction and that of millions
of Americans that the cold-blooded murder of JFK could not have
been anything other than a conspiracy. The "lone nut"
theory is subscribed to only by lone nuts and legions of liars.
Douglass not only affirms a "conspiracy" but speaks directly
to jaded Americans, addressing in the subtitle: "Why He Died
and Why It Matters."
No murder but
especially that of JFK can be understood in a vacuum. There is a
fateful history leading up to that dreadful day in Dallas, when
the United States lost a President, America lost a future, and every
American lost the "Yankee" optimism that had made our nation great.
John F. Kennedy
began as a "Cold Warrior" and ended as and perhaps because he transcended
that role, that label. He had become the embodiment of all our hopes
for peace as well as prosperity, more mature relations with both
allies and adversaries as well as more humane domestic peace with
those citizens who had been denied a fair share of that dream.
aspiring to any political office so lofty as that of President risks
his/her life. This outcome may not, must not be tolerated if we
are ever again to enjoy the blessings of competent government.
Since the murder
of John F. Kennedy, it has become clear to every thinking American
that the path toward peace is opposed by those who make war for
profit. In the U.S., the group is called the Military-Industrial
Complex, in short, the M.I.C., whose "living" is nothing
else but industrialized murder. It is also clear to every thinking
American that as long as there is a profit motive, as long as there
are big bucks to be made manufacturing and selling arms, peace is
but an elusive dream. As long as just one percent of the nation’s
population owns more than the rest of us combined, peace is but
a hopeless dream. As long as there is oil in the Middle East, you
will find either the American military and/or the CIA.
identifies a "designated patsy," the term used by Lee
Harvey Oswald himself upon his arrest. Earlier, according to Douglass,
there was a "second Oswald" who was moved about the country
"like a pawn." This doppelganger was, in fact, setting
Oswald up to "take the fall." It was, at the time, a mere
sub-plot. The Soviet Union was "set up" as well. The Soviet
Union and its satellite China had a role thrust upon them: "Evil
Empire." As an ironic result, we are now owned by China. Again
– ironically – it is the CIA’s own World Fact Book
which confirms and documents that fact.
It was during
the administration of President Harry Truman that the CIA was given
near "unlimited powers." This event is referred to by
Gore Vidal in his Decline
and Fall of the American Empire. Sen. Arthur Vandenburg
is quoted as having told Truman that if he expected to raise taxes
in order to pay for "covert activities" then he must "…scare
the hell out of the American people." Thus was born a "cold
war," an incipient empire, and the Orwellian, non-ending war
which has, at last, bankrupted America, enslaved its people, enriched
but one percent of the population, and incurred the enmity of many
throughout the world who see themselves as victim slaves because
of it. They are correct.
The goal was
nothing less than the destruction of the Russian Communist State.
In a shallow sense and in the shorter term, they succeeded. In the
longer term, they failed. The costs of waging Orwellian war had
not been assayed. In the end, the victory was merely pyrrhic, short-lived
and did not justify the lives lost in Viet Nam and every other surrogate
secrecy and lack of congressional oversight, CIA operations became
corrupt almost immediately. Using propaganda stations like Voice
of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA felt justified in manipulating
the public for its own good. The broadcasts were so patently false
that for a time it was illegal to publish transcripts of them
in the U.S. This was a classic case of a powerful organization
deciding what was best for the people, and then abusing the powers
it had helped itself to.
40s and 50s, most of the public was unaware of what the CIA was
doing. Those who knew thought they were fighting the good fight
against communism, like James Bond. However, they could not keep
their actions secret forever, and by the 60s and 70s, Americans
began learning about the agency’s crimes and atrocities.
(3) It turns out the CIA has:
democratic elections in Greece, Italy and dozens of other nations;
- Been involved
to varying degrees in at least 35 assassination plots against
foreign heads of state or prominent political leaders. Successful
assassinations include democratically elected leaders like Salvador
Allende (Chile) and Patrice Lumumba (Belgian Congo); also CIA-created
dictators like Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Ngo Dinh
Diem (South Vietnam); and popular political leaders like Che Guevara.
Unsuccessful attempts range from Fidel Castro to Charles De Gaulle.
- Helped launch
military coups that toppled democratic governments, replacing
them with brutal dictatorships or juntas. The list of overthrown
democratic leaders includes Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), Arbenz (Guatemala,
1954), Velasco and Arosemena (Ecuador, 1961, 1963), Bosch (Dominican
Republic, 1963), Goulart (Brazil, 1964), Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965),
Papandreou (Greece, 1965–67), Allende (Chile, 1973), and
dozens of others.
the governments of Australia, Guyana, Cambodia, Jamaica and more;
murderous dictators like General Pinochet (Chile), the Shah of
Iran, Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), "Papa Doc" and
"Baby Doc" Duvalier (Haiti), General Noriega (Panama),
Mobutu Sese Seko (Ziare), the "reign of the colonels"
(Greece), and more;
trained and supported death squads and secret police forces that
tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians, leftists
and political opponents, in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador,
Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Angola and others;
- Helped run
the "School of the Americas" at Fort Benning, Georgia,
which trains Latin American military officers how to overthrow
democratic governments. Subjects include the use of torture, interrogation
- Used Michigan
State "professors" to train Diem’s secret police
economic sabotage, including ruining crops, disrupting industry,
sinking ships and creating food shortages;
- Paved the
way for the massacre of 200,000 in East Timor, 500,000 in Indonesia
and one to two million in Cambodia;
secret or illegal military actions or wars in Nicaragua, Angola,
Cuba, Laos and Indochina;
false stories in the local media;
- Framed political
opponents for crimes, atrocities, political statements and embarrassments
that they did not commit;
- Spied on
thousands of American citizens, in defiance of Congressional law;
Nazi war criminals and weapon scientists into the U.S., unpunished,
for their use in the Cold War;
organizations like the World Anti-Communist League, which became
filled with ex-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, Italian terrorists, Japanese
fascists, racist Afrikaaners, Latin American death squad leaders,
CIA agents and other extreme right-wing militants;
Operation MK-ULTRA, a mind-control experiment that gave LSD and
other drugs to Americans against their will or without their knowledge,
causing some to commit suicide;
and disrupted student antiwar organizations;
- Kept friendly
and extensive working relations with the Mafia;
traded in drugs around the world since the 1950s to fund its operations.
The Contra/crack scandal is only the tip of the iceberg –
other notorious examples include Southeast Asia’s Golden
Triangle and Noreiga’s Panama;
- Had their
fingerprints all over the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert
F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. Even if the
CIA is not responsible for these killings, the sheer amount of
CIA involvement in these cases demands answers;
- And then
routinely lied to Congress about all of the above.
for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people
had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (4) Former State
Department official William Blum correctly calls this an "American
note that the CIA gets away with this because it is not accountable
to democratic government. Former CIA officer Philip Agee put
it best: "The CIA is the President’s secret army."
Prior to 1975, the agency answered only to the President (creating
all the usual problems of authoritarianism). And because the
CIA’s activities were secret, the President rarely had
to worry about public criticism and pressure. After the 1975
Church hearings, Congress tried to create congressional oversight
of the CIA, but this has failed miserably. One reason is that
the congressional oversight committee is a sham, filled with
Cold Warriors, conservatives, businessmen, and even ex-CIA personnel.
Origins of the Overclass
A summit meeting
of U.S. President Eisenhower with Soviet Premier Khrushchev was
canceled after a U.S U2 spy plane crashed in Russia. Eisenhower
had ordered such flights canceled. So – who disobeyed or countermanded
orders from the President? It was after this incident that Eisenhower
issued his famous warning about the "Military-Industrial Complex"
in his farewell address. It was, thus, left to John F. Kennedy to
defy the "conjunction of an immense military establishment
and a large arms industry."
What is so
clear today, in retrospect, may not have been so obvious at the
time. Else, we might have avoided the tragic history that has resulted.
Clearly, JFK’s fate was sealed when he refused to support the CIA
invasion of Cuba to regain control of Cuba for organized crime.
Think of it this way: the CIA had hoped to hijack the apparatus
of the U.S. government and its military in order to make Cuba safe
for the Mafia.
not buying it. He knew that he had been lied to by the Joint Chiefs
of Staff and the CIA. He refused to provide air support for the
Cuban brigade. It was not the only time that JFK had run afoul of
the military. During the Cuban-Missile Crisis, he resisted "tremendous
pressure" on him to take military action, which in retrospect,
it is clear would have plunged the nation into a nuclear Armageddon.
to end the cold war, establish peaceful relations with the Soviet
Union. At this time in our history, the bumper sticker: "better
dead than red" was seen on millions of vehicles. This is the
political atmosphere that prevailed in the short years and months
preceding his cold-blooded murder.
stickers, however, were just the political atmosphere that was promoted
and exploited. The real power opposing JFK was the arms industry
which still controls the United States. At the time, the war machine
generated billions of dollars. It was then as now, the producer
of America’s chief exports: death and destruction.
to trust Khrushchev more than the "people" within his own government.
Traitors to the Constitution and the President, they had embarked
upon a strategy in which they would oppose him, isolate him and
subvert his policies. The gang of traitors included Richard Bissell,
Charles Cabell, Henry Cabot Lodge, Lyman Lemnitzer, Curtis LeMay
and perhaps the most contemptible of all, Allen Dulles.
On June 10,
1963, JFK spoke about his desire for world peace, a new relationship
with the Soviet Union and Nikita Khrushchev with whom he had hope
to form a new relationship with the Soviet Union. To these ends,
he said that nuclear disarmament was a necessity and to that end
proposed a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And, as "we are all mortal,"
he most certainly infuriated the American right wing by declaring
that the Russian people wanted peace as much as did the American
Just as Dwight
David Eisenhower was, as I have called him, the last honest Republican,
JFK died a martyr for the cause of peace. The speech also certified
JFK’s death warrant. With so many powerful enemies opposing his
policies and hating him, JFK didn’t have a chance as he was being
maneuvered into the crossfire in Dallas.
The CIA was
infuriated when it learned that JFK had exchanged private letters
with Khrushchev and had, in secret, planned to seek "rapprochement"
with Cuba. Castro was interested and was, in fact, meeting with
American representatives when JFK was murdered. Douglas rightly
claims that "JFK died a martyr" to the causes of freedom
right to claim that if JFK had not been murdered, the Cold War would
have ended amid "peace talks" with Khrushchev. The tragedy
of Viet Nam might have been avoided or cut short. They’re might
never have been a "War on Terrorism." Within a month of
JFK’s assassination, Harry Truman wrote an article for the Washington
Post warning of a CIA take-over of the United States. Harry
with permission from The
Hart blogs at The