The National Security State and the Assassination of JFK The CIA, the Pentagon, and the "Peace President"

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Just 47 years
ago, on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
in Dallas, Texas. This marked the turning of the American National
Security State apparatus against its own leadership. After having
overthrown, assassinated leaders, and orchestrated coups around
the world, the moment its growing power was threatened by the civilian
leadership in America, the apparatus of empire came home to roost.

The National
Security State

The apparatus
of the National Security State, largely established in the National
Security Act of 1947, laid the foundations for the extension of
American hegemony around the globe. In short, the Act laid the foundations
for the apparatus of the American Empire. The National Security
Act created the National Security Council (NSC) and position of
National Security Adviser, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(JSC) as the Pentagon high command of military leaders, and of course,
the CIA.

The first major
foreign operation carried out by the National Security State, or
rather, the “secret government,” was the overthrowing
of a democratically elected government in Iran. In 1952, the British
were concerned at the efforts of Iran’s new Prime Minister
Mohommad Mossadeq, in nationalizing Iran’s oil industry, taking
the monopoly away from British Petroleum. So the British intelligence,
the SIS, proposed to the Americans a joint operation, and the CIA
obliged.

In early 1953,
with the ascendancy of the Eisenhower administration, two brothers,
the Dulles brothers, came to dominate foreign policy decisions.
John Foster Dulles became Secretary of State while his brother,
Allen Dulles, became director of the CIA. Allen Dulles was a founding
member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a director of
the CFR from 1927 to 1969,[1] while John Foster Dulles had joined
the Council in the 1930s, and was a career diplomat and Wall Street
lawyer.[2] In 1953, the Dulles brothers both worked and lobbied
Eisenhower for the removal of Mossadeq from Iran,[3] and subsequently,
the CIA and SIS worked together to enact the plan and overthrew
the Iranian government.[4]

On January
17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address
to the nation in which he warned America and indeed the world about
the growing influence of the National Security State in what he
referred to as the “military-industrial complex”:

"Until
the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments
industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as
required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency
improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create
a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this,
three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in
the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security
more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction
of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry
is new in the American experience. The total influence –
economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city,
every State house, every office of the Federal government. We
recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must
not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources
and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our
society.

In the councils
of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted
influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial
complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power
exists and will persist.

We must never
let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic
processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and
knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge
industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful
methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."[5]

Eisenhower
was speaking from the point of view of having first-hand knowledge
of this “influence” in the corridors of power, himself
as President being unable to challenge it, and unable to do so simply
in the first decade of the American Empire. He was warning against
the influence of the interconnected relationship and organized power
of the military, government, and industry, in that the growing influence
of this “complex” was so vast that it threatened to take
over the government and subvert democracy itself. It was the functions
of this complex that saw profit created through war and empire,
and thus, there was a constant drive and impetus towards pursuing
empire and resorting to war. If you build a massive military structure,
you are going to use it; if it is profitable to go to war, you will
go to war.

The “Secret
Government” and the Bay of Pigs

In January
of 1959, the Cuban Revolution ousted the military strong man and
American-ally Batista, and installed the Communist government of
Fidel Castro. Beginning in October of 1959, the United States began
a covert bombing and strafing campaign against Cuba, and in the
early months of 1960, the US even firebombed Cuban cane fields and
sugar mills. The CIA had organized the Cuban exile community, largely
under the leadership of former supporters of Batista, in Florida
to mount an operation aimed at overthrowing the revolutionary government.[6]

The CIA and
the American military, headed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (itself
a creation of the National Security Act of 1947), were dead-set
against Cuba. The idea of a Communist government so close to the
United States was seen as completely unacceptable to the National
Security State. Thus, in less than three months of JFK becoming
president, in April of 1961, the CIA launched the Bay of Pigs invasion
of Cuba, in which nearly 2,000 Cuban exiles trained and supported
by the CIA were to invade from the sea. However, Kennedy refused
to go along with the operation and cancelled the air support for
the invasion, leading to the failure of the invasion and capture
of the exiles, and “the CIA, military, and Cuban exiles bitterly
blamed Kennedy.” Kennedy, in turn, blamed the CIA and the Pentagon,
and fired CIA Director Allen Dulles and Deputy Director of the CIA,
Charles Cabell in January of 1962.[7]

The Bay of
Pigs reveals some startling information about the “Deep Politics”
surrounding the Kennedy administration. “Deep politics”
is a term popularized by former Canadian diplomat, author and academic
Peter Dale Scott, who – in my opinion – is one of the
pre-eminent researchers of the “secret government.” Scott
defines “deep politics” as “looking beneath public
formulations of policy issues to the bureaucratic, economic, and
ultimately covert and criminal activities which underlie them.”[8]
In short, “deep politics” is the functions and actions
of the “secret government”.

David Talbott,
former Editor-in-Chief of Salon, wrote a book about the assassinations
of JFK and Robert Kennedy, in which he undertook in depth research
into what can only be described as the “deep politics”
of their deaths. In it, he explained that upon JFK becoming President,
Allen Dulles had felt that as he and his late brother John Foster
Dulles (who died in 1959) “had largely run America’s foreign
policy between the two of them during the 1950s,” that “he
expected to continue the family’s policies undisturbed under
the new, inexperienced president.” Dulles, in the presence
of a close Kennedy confidante, even “started boasting that
he was still carrying out his brother Foster’s foreign policy,”
saying, “that’s a much better policy. I’ve chosen
to follow that one.” The Kennedy confidante who was present
informed JFK who was furious, “God damn it! … Did he really
say that?”[9]

Richard Bissell,
a man who formerly worked with the OSS (the precursor to the CIA),
as well as the Ford Foundation, was brought into the CIA by Allen
Dulles in 1958 as the Deputy Director for Plans, overseeing and
personally running the covert plots to overthrow Arbenz in Guatemala,
Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in
the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam and primarily
Fidel Castro. He was in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation. In
short, Bissell was a devout acolyte of the “secret government.”
Bissell reassembled the key CIA officers involved in the Guatemala
coup for the Bay of Pigs operations, including Tracy Barnes, David
Atlee Phillips, Howard Hunt (who would later become famous as one
of the Watergate burglars) and David Sanchez Morales.[10]

The Bay of
Pigs operations, which was organized in the Eisenhower administration,
under the guidance of his Vice President, Richard Nixon, was briefed
to Kennedy upon becoming president. JFK “made it clear to Dulles
and Bissell that he would not commit the full military might of
the United States to the Bay of Pigs operation.”[11] During
the Bay of Pigs operation, when it was clear that the operation
would fail without military support, a major meeting took place
with Kennedy, his Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Vice President
Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff General Lyman Lemnitzer, as well as Admiral Burke,
the Navy Chief and Richard Bissell of the CIA. Bissell urged the
president to take military action, with the support of Navy Chief
Burke. Kennedy had refused, and he “was beginning to realize
that his top military and intelligence chiefs did not take his instructions
that seriously.”[12]

Kennedy had
repeatedly told Bissell in the lead up to the Bay of Pigs that as
president, he reserved the right to abort the operation at any time.
Yet Bissell had informed the military leaders of the Bay of Pigs
operation that there were forces in the White House trying to stop
it from going forward, and if they succeeded, he advised them to
“mutiny against their U.S. advisors and proceed with the invasion.”
Further, on the first day of the invasion, Admiral Burke, the Navy
Chief, had sent “the U.S. aircraft carrier Essex and helicopter
landing ship Boxer close to Cuban shore, in violation of Kennedy’s
order to keep U.S. ships fifty miles away.”[13] This was the
true first test of the young president:

"The
country’s military and intelligence chiefs had clearly believed
they could sandbag the young, untested commander-in-chief into
joining the battle. But he had stunned them by refusing to escalate
the fighting."[14]

As declassified
CIA documents later revealed, the CIA itself knew that the operation
was doomed to fail, and had hid these bleak reports from Kennedy
and went ahead with the operation anyhow. Startlingly, “the
CIA knew that it couldn’t accomplish this type of overt paramilitary
mission without direct Pentagon participation,” and further,
the CIA had “discovered in advance that the plan had been leaked
to Soviet intelligence” and Castro, who even knew the date
of the attack. Dulles, therefore, “regarded the band of Cuban
exiles who were about to hit the beaches as mere cannon fodder,
a device to trigger the real invasion by the U.S. military.”[15]

On the evening
that the mission had finally come to an abrupt failure, Allen Dulles
sat down to dinner with Richard Nixon, “the man who had spearheaded
the plan as vice president,” and Dulles proclaimed, “This
is the worst day of my life!” Thus, the Bay of Pigs failure
“sent shockwaves through the [central intelligence] agency,
particularly among the agents who had worked closely with the Cuban
émigrés on the operation.”[16]

Following the
Bay of Pigs, “the heavens ripped open for the Kennedy administration”
and “never came back together,” as JFK became “estranged
from his national security team.” CIA agents like Howard Hunt,
who were involved in the operation, would proclaim that the United
States “owed the Cuban people a blood debt,” and Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs, General Lyman Lemnitzer proclaimed that Kennedy’s
actions were “unbelievable… absolutely reprehensible, almost
criminal.” With Kennedy’s first test as president, the
nations’ top military and intelligence officials saw him “to
be a dangerously weak link at the top of the chain of command.”[17]

Kennedy, for
his part, said, “I’ve got to do something about those
CIA bastards,” and also “lashed out at the Joint Chiefs.”
JFK publicly took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs failure, but
“CIA and Pentagon officials knew that he privately spread the
word that they were to blame.” Subsequently, Kennedy threatened
to “shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces, and scatter it
to the winds.”[18]

Kennedy
Versus the “Kings” of the National Security State

Shortly after
the Bay of Pigs, the Joint Chiefs approached Kennedy urging him
to invade the Southeast Asian country of Laos, “to respond
to the advances of Communist insurgents,” yet Kennedy quickly
dismissed their advice, and Kennedy had personally thought of Chairman
Lemnitzer as “a dope.” However, “Kennedy was acutely
aware of how formidable the institutional powers were that he confronted.”
As Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, an old family friend
of the Kennedy’s explained, regarding JFK confiding in him,
that Kennedy was “seared” by the Bay of Pigs experience,
and “he had experienced the extreme power that these groups
had, these various insidious influences of the CIA and Pentagon,
on civilian policy.” JFK even questioned if he, as president,
could “ever be strong enough to really rule these two powerful
agencies.”[19]

Following the
Bay of Pigs, JFK pulled away from any advice of these National Security
kingpins and began to rely upon his most trusted personal advisers,
and particularly his brother Robert Kennedy, who was the Attorney
General, who would “move into the center of national security
decision making for the rest of his brother’s presidency,”
and took on the responsibility of supervising the CIA.[20]

Kennedy, for
his part, “was more viscerally antiwar than has been recognized
in some quarters,” as he once stated, “I am almost a “peace-at-any-price”
president.” As Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense, once
explained, JFK “brought into the presidency the knowledge of
history that many presidents didn’t have when they became president,”
and that JFK had thought that, “the primary responsibility
of the president is to keep the nation out of war if at all possible.”[21]

Arthur Schlesinger,
Special Assistant to President Kennedy, later recalled that, “Certainly
we did not control the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” reflecting on
the deep divisions within the Kennedy administration. The National
Security State’s “secret government,” which had controlled
foreign policy in the previous two administrations of Truman and
Eisenhower, “was not prepared to cede power to the new Kennedy
government. This was soon made clear to the president’s team
by the top military commanders.” In particular, Schlesinger
explained regarding Kennedy’s fears of the military, “Kennedy’s
concern was not that Khrushchev [the Soviet leader] would initiate
something, but that something would go wrong in a Dr. Strangelove
kind of way,” referring to Stanley Kubrick’s film in which
a rogue U.S. general starts World War III. Even Defense Secretary
Robert McNamara was struggling to control the generals under his
command.[22]

General Curtis
LeMay, the Air Force Chief, was a particularly staunch opponent
of the Kennedy administration. He had once mused aloud to a Washington
Post columnist in July of 1961 that he felt “nuclear war would
break out in the final weeks of the year,” and that nuclear
war was “inevitable.” LeMay, as McNamara acknowledged,
was a staunch advocate of “preemptive nuclear war to rid the
world of the Soviet threat,” casually acknowledging that “it
would likely incinerate such major U.S. cities as Washington, New
York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit.” LeMay,
during World War II, made his name by “laying waste to much
of Japan with his infamous firebombing campaign.”[23]

In the summer
of 1961, JFK came under intense pressure from both the military
and intelligence officials in his government “to consider launching
a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union.” On July
20, “at a National Security Council meeting, Kennedy was presented
an official plan for a surprise nuclear attack by the Joint Chiefs
chairman, General Lemnitzer, and Allen Dulles,” and Kennedy,
disgusted, got up and left in the middle of the meeting, then remarked
to his Secretary of State Dean Rusk, “and we call ourselves
the human race.”[24] Kennedy had, in the fall of 1961, fired
Allen Dulles, Charles Cabell, the Deputy Director of the CIA, and
Richard Bissell, the Deputy Director of Plans for the CIA. Kennedy
had made himself “Enemy #1” of the National Security State
apparatus. A retired Marine general at the time once “suggested
a coup was in order if the “traitors” could not be voted
out.”[25]

As Robert Kennedy,
the Attorney General, began to increasingly exert supervision over
the CIA, he discovered that the CIA was working with the Mafia in
plots to assassinate Castro. JFK had appointed John McCone as CIA
director to replace Dulles, however, Richard Helms “emerged
as the real power in the agency soon after the downfall of Dulles
and Bissell,” leading one top official to even state that,
“Helms was running the agency,” and that, “anything
McCone found out was by accident.”[26] Richard Helms worked
in the OSS, the precursor to the CIA during World War II, and became
CIA Director of Plans in 1962, running the covert operations of
the CIA.

The Joint
Chiefs Propose a Plan for State-Sponsored Terrorism

In 1962, the
Pentagon was still pushing for a war with Cuba, and was even drawing
up contingency plans for an invasion of Cuba. One such plan, named
Operation Northwoods, was recently declassified. On March 13, 1962,
Chairman of the Joint Chief General Lemnitzer delivered this plan
to McNamara, marked “top secret” and signed by the nation’s
highest military commanders.[27]

Operation Northwoods,
also named “Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba,”
was endorsed by the entire Joint Chiefs, which recommended the operation
go into planning stages, and recommended that the Joint Chiefs assume
responsibility “for both overt and covert military operations”
of the plan.[28] The purpose of the plan was to orchestrate pretexts
for a US military intervention in Cuba, and the Joint Chiefs recommended
that throughout the operations, the US military will be in an “exercise”
mode in order to allow for a “rapid change from exercise to
intervention if Cuban response justifies.”[29]

Among the recommended
provocations and pretexts to justify a war, the Joint Chiefs suggested
that, “a series of well coordinated incidents will be planned
to take place in and around [the US military base at] Guantanamo
to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces,”
including starting rumours, landing “friendly Cubans in uniform”
outside of the base to “stage attack on base” in Cuban
uniform, capturing friendly “saboteurs inside the base,”
and have friendly Cubans “start riots near the base main gate.”[30]
Further recommendations were to “blow up ammunition inside
the base; start fires,” as well as burning aircraft on the
base, or sabotage a ship in the harbor, or to even, “sink [a]
ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims.”[31]

One startling
recommendation was that, “We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo
Bay and blame Cuba,” or that, “we could blow up a drone
(unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters,” and blame
Cuba, and that, “casualty lists in US newspapers would cause
a helpful wave of national indignation.”[32] However, the most
disturbing aspect of Operation Northwoods was the recommendation
that:

"We
could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area,
in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign
could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United
States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida
(real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban
refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in
instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs
in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the
release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement
also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible
government."[33]

The general
even suggested bombing other Latin American countries such as Haiti,
the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Nicaragua and blaming it on
Cuba. They even suggested that a “US military drone aircraft”
could be destroyed by a US military plane that, “properly painted
would convince air passengers that they saw a Cuban” aircraft.[34]
The Joint Chiefs further suggested, “hijacking attempts against
civil air and surface craft should appear to continue as harassing
measures condoned by the government of Cuba.” Startlingly,
the plan also recommended concocting a scenario in which an American
plane, possibly consisting of “a group of college students,”
would be flown over Cuba and blown up, to be blamed on Cuba.[35]

So there you
have it, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff put out recommendations for
hijacking US aircraft, staging “false flag” attacks, which
are covert military operations in which they attack selected targets
under the “flag” of another nation/entity in order to
blame that particular entity for the attack, such as the recommendations
for attacking Guantamo Bay by “friendly Cubans” and conducting
a “terror campaign” within the United States, itself.

Three days
after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Lemnitzer presented this plan
to McNamara, he was summoned by President Kennedy to the Oval Office
for a discussion of Cuba strategy alongside other National Security
figures. Many of the figures suggested a military invasion of Cuba,
and Lemnitzer jumped at the opportunity to recommend Operation Northwoods,
yet spared the specific operational plans of “blowing up people
on the streets of Miami and the nation’s capital and blaming
it on Castro.” However, “Kennedy was not amused”
and he told the general that, “we were not discussing the use
of U.S. military force.”[36]

Yet, over the
next month, the Joint Chiefs and in particular, Lemnitzer, continued
to press both McNamara and Kennedy for a military invasion of Cuba,
and “after a National Security Council meeting in June, the
president took the general aside and told him he wanted to send
him to Europe to become NATO’s new supreme allied commander.”
Kennedy thus replaced Lemnitzer with Max Taylor.[37]

The Cuban
Missile Crisis: America on the Verge of a Military Coup

Another event
of monumental importance to the conduct of JFK challenging the “secret
government” apparatus of the National Security State was with
the Cuban Missile Crisis, a thirteen-day nuclear standoff between
the United States and the Soviet Union, which was described by one
top official involved as, “the most dangerous moment in human
history.” The crisis was started when US reconnaissance observed
missile bases being built in Cuba by the Soviet Union. It brought
the world closer to nuclear war than ever before or since. During
the crisis, JFK, his brother Bobby, and Robert McNamara:

"were
trying to steer the decision-making process toward the idea of
a naval blockade of Cuba, to stop the flow of nuclear shipments
to the island and to pressure the Soviets into a peaceful resolution
of the crisis. But virtually his entire national security apparatus
was pushing the president to take military action against Cuba.
Leading the charge for an aggressive response were the members
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were urging the president to
launch surprise air strikes on the island and then invade."[38]

Air Force Chief
Curtis LeMay, who had been advocating nuclear war with the Soviet
Union since the early 1950s, thought Cuba was a “sideshow”
and told the President that the United States should “fry it.”
LeMay, himself a member of the Joint Chiefs, “was in the habit
of taking bullying command of Joint Chiefs meetings,” and with
LeMay leading the charge for war, “the other chiefs jumped
into the fray, repeating the Air Force general’s call for immediate
military action.” LeMay even did something remarkable for a
military official:

"He
decided to violate traditional military-civilian boundaries and
issue a barely veiled political threat. If the president responded
weakly to the Soviet challenge in Cuba, he warned him, there would
be political repercussions overseas, where Kennedy’s government
would be perceived as spineless. “And I’m sure a lot
of our own citizens would feel that way too,” LeMay added.
With his close ties to militaristic congressional leaders and
the far right, LeMay left no doubt about the political damage
he could cause the administration. “In other words, you’re
in a pretty bad fix at the present time,” LeMay told Kennedy.[39]

Kennedy asked
him to repeat what he said, LeMay obliged, and Kennedy retorted,
“You’re in there with me.” Kennedy soon left the
meeting with McNamara, “the confrontation with his top military
men had clearly disturbed the commander-in-chief. Later he told
an aide that the administration needed to make sure that the Joint
Chiefs did not start a war without his approval, a chronic fear
of JFK’s.” After Kennedy and McNamara left the meeting,
a secret taping system in the office recorded the conversation between
the generals, who “began profanely condemning Kennedy’s
cautious, incremental approach to the crisis.”[40]

LeMay’s
right-hand man, General Tommy Power, who even LeMay regarded as
“not stable,” had taken “it upon himself to raise
the Strategic Air Command’s alert status to DEFCON-2, one step
from nuclear war,” and ensured that the Soviets knew it. The
White House was completely unaware of Power’s actions at the
time.[41]

As the crisis
continued, Kennedy ordered McNamara “to keep close watch over
the Navy to make sure U.S. vessels didn’t do anything that
would trigger World War III.” Admiral Anderson, Chief of Naval
Operations, who was running the Naval blockade of Cuba, was increasingly
frustrated at McNamara’s “hands-on control” of the
blockade and clashed with the Defense Secretary in the Navy’s
Flag Plot room, suggesting that he didn’t need McNamara’s
advice on managing the blockade, prompting McNamara to respond explaining
that he doesn’t “give a damn” about past procedures
for running blockades, to which Anderson replied, “Mr. Secretary,
you go back to your office and I’ll go to mine and we’ll
take care of things.” As Anderson later recalled, “Apparently
it was the wrong thing to say to somebody of McNamara’s personality,”
as when McNamara left the office, he told his aide, “That’s
the end of Anderson.” Anderson, months after the Cuban Missile
Crisis, was sent to Portugal as ambassador, “where he would
be chummy with dictator Antonio Salazar.”[42]

During the
Cuban Missile Crisis, it wasn’t the Joint Chiefs alone who
were trying to push for war, as the “CIA also played a dangerous
game during the crisis,” as Kennedy had ordered the CIA to
halt all raids against Cuba during the crisis, “to make sure
that no flying sparks from the agency’s secret operations set
off a nuclear conflagration.” However, Bill Harvey, the CIA
agent in charge of “Operation Mongoose,” the CIA plan
which employed the Mafia to attempt to kill Castro, in brazen defiance
of Kennedy’s orders, mobilized “every single team and
asset that we could scrape together” and then dropped them
into Cuba, “in anticipation of the U.S. invasion that the CIA
hoped was soon to follow.”[43]

Robert Kennedy
became the conduit through which the back-channel negotiations took
place with the Soviets that ultimately ended the crisis without
catastrophe. Nikita Khrushchev recounted the situation in his memoirs,
in which he explained that Robert Kennedy “stressed how fragile
his brother’s rule was becoming as the crisis dragged on,”
which struck Khrushchev as “especially urgent.” Robert
Kennedy warned the Soviets that, “If the situation continues
much longer, the president is not sure that the military will not
overthrow him and seize power. The American army could get out of
control.” Khrushchev even later wrote that, “for some
time we had felt there was a danger that the president would lose
control of his military,” and that, “now he was admitting
this to us himself.” Thus:

“Moscow’s
fear that Kennedy might be toppled in a coup, Khrushchev suggested
in his memoirs, led the Soviets to reach a settlement of the missile
crisis with the president. “We could sense from the tone
of the message that tension in the United States was indeed reaching
a critical point.”"[44]

Thirteen days
after the crisis began, the Soviets announced that they would remove
the missiles from Cuba, with the US agreeing to remove missiles
from US bases in Turkey and “pledging not to invade Cuba,”
which Kennedy and future presidents would honour. At the announcement
of the end to the crisis, General LeMay roared at Kennedy, “It’s
the greatest defeat in our history,” and that, “We should
invade today!” A defense analyst at the Pentagon, Daniel Ellsberg,
who was consulting with Air Force generals and colonels on nuclear
strategy at the end of the crisis, remarked that after the settlement
was reached, “there was virtually a coup atmosphere in Pentagon
circles,” explaining, “not that I had the fear there was
about to be a coup – I just thought it was a mood of hatred
and rage. The atmosphere was poisonous, poisonous.”[45]

What’s
more, the CIA was further enraged at Kennedy, as “for those
militants who were part of the massive juggernaut organized to destroy
the Castro regime, the peaceful resolution of the missile crisis
was a betrayal worse than the Bay of Pigs.”[46]

Going into
1963, however, the anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami continued to
undertake covert actions against Castro. The CIA claimed the groups
got out of its control, “but the rebels were heavily dependent
on agency funding and it was never certain whether the groups’
frequent defiance of Kennedy policy was in fact instigated by their
spymasters in Langley and Miami.”[47]

One of these
groups was the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE), “a particular
favourite of the CIA,” which was founded in 1954 “as a
Catholic student group militantly opposed to the dictator Batista,”
but in 1960 moved to Miami and shifted its operations against Castro,
where its operations were planned by the CIA. A man named Lee Harvey
Oswald became affiliated with the group in August of 1963. Oswald
made contacts with other Cuban exile groups that summer, some of
whom found the “Ex-Marine” to be “suspicious”
and even reported on him to Bobby Kennedy.[48]

Kennedy
Makes Moves for Peace

In June of
1963, Kennedy delivered his famous “Peace Speech” in which
he discussed “the most important topic on earth: world peace.”
Kennedy continued:

"What
kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a
Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.
Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am
talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life
on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to
grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children
– not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and
women – not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

I speak of
peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense
in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively
invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort
to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear
weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered
by all the allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes
no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear
exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed
to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

… First:
Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us
think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is
a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that
war is inevitable – that mankind is doomed – that we
are gripped by forces we cannot control.

We need not
accept that view. Our problems are manmade – therefore, they
can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem
of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit
have often solved the seemingly unsolvable – and we believe
they can do it again."[49]

Kennedy further
stated, “Let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union,”
suggesting an end to the Cold War, and then remarked: “We do
not want a war. We do not now expect a war. This generation of Americans
has already had enough – more than enough – of war and
hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others wish it. We
shall be alert to try to stop it.” Kennedy famously proclaimed,
“We all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same
air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”[50]

This was not
particularly to the liking of the National Security State, a proclamation
for America to follow “not a strategy of annihilation, but
a strategy of peace.” Kennedy even stated that America would
“never start a war.” As Robert McNamara later recalled,
“the American University speech laid out exactly what Kennedy’s
intentions were,” and that, “If he had lived, the world
would have been different, I feel quite confident of that.”[51]

Kennedy
and Vietnam

While the National
Security State began maneuvering for an escalation of violence in
Vietnam, Kennedy began formulating a plan of his own. He was intent
upon the United States withdrawing from the conflict. However, knowing
that it would prompt a great outcry, he would wait until after the
1964 election. As Kennedy told one of his top aides, Kenny O’Donnell,
“In 1965, I’ll become one of the most unpopular presidents
in history. I’ll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser.
But I don’t care. If I tried to pull out completely now from
Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands,
but I can do it after I am reelected. So we had better make damned
sure that I am reelected.”[52]

As Vietnam
came to crisis late in his term, Kennedy was the lone voice against
escalation of military conflict. On October 11, 1963, Kennedy issued
National Security Action Memoranda NSAM 263, authorizing his plans
“to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel [from Vietnam] by
the end of 1963,” with the longer goal of withdrawing “the
bulk of U.S. personnel” by the end of 1965. However, Kennedy
ordered that, “no formal announcement be made of the implementation,”
yet on November 20, at a top-level conference, “the secrecy
was lifted,” and it was reported in the New York Times the
following day, which was the day before Kennedy was assassinated.[53]

Following Kennedy’s
continuing stealth moves to avoid an escalation of the conflict
in Vietnam, the majority of his national security bureaucracy “was
in flagrant revolt against him. The Pentagon and CIA were taking
steps to sabotage his troop withdrawal plan.” Further:

"Frustrated
by the growing instability of South Vietnam’s Diem regime,
U.S. officials split over whether to back a military coup to replace
it, with Kennedy himself vacillating back and forth on the question."[54]

An open revolt
took place between the two camps with Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge,
“who supported a coup, and Saigon CIA station chief John Richardson,
who backed the increasingly autocratic President Ngo Dinh Diem.”
Richard Starnes, a newspaper correspondent in Saigon, wrote on this
feud, and explained that “a high U.S. official” in Saigon
views the CIA as a “malignancy,” guilty of “insubordination,”
and that he “was not sure even the White House could control
[it] any longer.” The U.S. official added:

"If
the United States ever experiences a [coup attempt] it will come
from the CIA and not the Pentagon… [The CIA] represents a tremendous
power and total unaccountability to anyone."[55]

On November
1, South Vietnamese military plotters killed Diem and his brother
in a coup which “was facilitated when the CIA withdrew Richardson
from Saigon, allowing the agency to cooperate with the South Vietnamese
generals behind the plot.”[56]

Kennedy
is Killed

Throughout
the fall of 1963, “the CIA pursued its own agenda” with
mobsters and militant Cuban exiles, while “the Kennedy’s
struggled to control the sprawling operations related to Cuba.”[57]

While in Dallas,
Texas, on November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was killed while
driving in his motorcade along Dealey Plaza. E. Howard Hunt, the
infamous CIA agent who overthrew the government of Guatemala and
worked in the CIA’s anti-Castro Cuban operations, and who later
achieved infamy as one of the Watergate burglars, had his deathbed
confession revealed by his son in 2007. In his confession, E. Howard
Hunt revealed that it was the CIA and Lyndon Banes Johnson who were
behind the assassination, and that he, himself, was involved.[58]

Hunt recalled
that in 1963, he was invited to a secret meeting in a CIA safe house
in Miami by Frank Sturgis, another infamous Watergate burglar, and
a “mob-friendly anti-Castro operative.” At the meeting
was also CIA agent David Morales, someone Hunt referred to as a
“cold-blooded killer,” and William Harvey, another CIA
man. The discussion of the meeting was the Kennedy assassination,
or what they referred to as “the big event.”[59] Bill
Harvey was the man that Richard Helms, CIA Deputy Director for Plans,
had put in charge of the CIA’s anti-Castro Cuban operations,
and who had a particularly antagonizing relationship with Robert
Kennedy, who was trying to supervise Harvey’s operations.[60]

As author Peter
Dale Scott revealed, Vice President Lyndon Johnson “had been,
since 1961, the ally of the Joint Chiefs (and in particular Air
Force General Curtis LeMay) in their unrelenting efforts, against
Kennedy’s repeated refusals, to introduce U.S. combat troops
into Asia.” The Joint Chiefs had thus taken it upon themselves
to keep Johnson more informed than Kennedy on the situation in Southeast
Asia, with Chairman Lemnitzer himself going around Kennedy to Johnson.
The Joint Chiefs created a back channel where they were delivering
“accurate Vietnam reports” to Johnson, “which were
denied to the President.” US Army Intelligence reports produced
in Saigon were delivered to McNamara and Kennedy, which were “false
and optimistic” in order to help “ensure their ongoing
support for the war,” while US Army Intelligence in Honolulu
produced a second set of reports, described as “accurate and
gloomy,” which were supplied to Johnson. When Lemnitzer was
replaced as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the man Kennedy chose
to replace him, General Max Taylor, continued in taking part in
this deception. As Peter Dale Scott explained:

"These
divisive intrigues came to a head at the Honolulu conference of
November 20, 1963, two days before the assassination. At this
meeting the truth about the deterioration of the ineffective war
effort “was presented in detail to those assembled, along
with a plan to widen the war, while the 1,000-man withdrawal [first
publicly acknowledged at the same meeting] was turned into a meaningless
paper drill.”

The tone
of the meeting, in other words, was in keeping with the policies
of the man who would not become President until the shootings
in Dallas two days later."[61]

Thus, “a
group within the military command, dissatisfied with Kennedy’s
limited support, had already begun secretly to plan for the option
preferred by the Vice-President.”[62] Two days after the assassination,
Johnson and his top advisers issued a new policy statement in contrast
to Kennedy’s NSAM 263 issued on October 11, 1963, which called
for a withdrawal of forces from Vietnam. Johnson’s NSAM 273
was finalized on November 26, 1963, four days after the assassination,
of which the key policy innovation was “for the United States
to begin carrying the war north” in Vietnam. On the very same
day Johnson’s NSAM 273 was issued, the Joint Chiefs launched
“accelerated planning for escalation against North Vietnam.”[63]
Roughly one month later, on December 24, 1963, Lyndon Johnson told
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Just get me elected, and then you
can have your war.”[64]

The Warren
Commission: The American Establishment Cover-Up Committee

The Warren
Commission was established by Lyndon Johnson on November 29, 1963,
to investigate the assassination of JFK. Among the members were
Gerald Ford, a Congressman who would later become President of the
United States, and John J. McCloy, a lawyer, banker, former Assistant
Secretary of War in World War II, and former President of the World
Bank. McCloy was chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank from 1953 to 1960,
was chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958 to 1965, and was a
trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1946 to 1949, and again
between 1953 and 1958. From 1954 until 1970, McCloy was Chairman
of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he was succeeded by David
Rockefeller, a close associate from Chase Manhattan.

Another notable
member of the Warren Commission was none other than Allen Dulles,
the former CIA Director whom Kennedy had fired. An interesting fact
to note is regarding Dulles’ Deputy Director of the CIA whom
Kennedy also fired, Charles Cabell, who was also an Air Force General.
Cabell’s brother, Earle Cabell, happened to be mayor of Dallas
at the time of Kennedy’s assassination. Allen Dulles was the
“Warren Commission’s most active member,” and was
adamant in his “unwillingness to let the Commission’s
investigation get into a most pertinent project, the CIA-Mafia plots
against Castro.”[65]

The Warren
Commission was responsible for producing the idea of the “magic
bullet theory,” which postulated that three bullets fired from
Lee Harvey Oswald at the Texas School Book Depository resulted in
the murder of Kennedy. The “lone gunman” and “single
bullet theory” were sold to the American people and not subjected
to criticism by the mainstream media.

Peter Dale
Scott differentiated between the notion of a “secret government”
– with the institutional structure of something like a government
– and “deep politics” – being, rather, the methods
of deception, itself. Thus, it is not within a state structure that
the assassination was conducted, but rather it was in the functions
of an intricate network that transcends government and industry.
Scott explained that, “the President was murdered by a coalition
of forces inside and outside government,” and that, “In
short, Kennedy was killed by the deep political system.”[66]

As a result
of the death of JFK, the National Security State “secret government”
– or the “deep political” system, as it is more accurately
described, got exactly what it wanted with the escalation of the
Vietnam War. The military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower
warned the American people about two years prior, had turned the
apparatus of the “secret government” in on the president,
himself. It was a political lynching on a grand scale. And it was
not to be the last.

Notes

[1] CFR, Historical
Roster of Directors and Officers
. Council on Foreign Relations

[2] CFR, Continuing
the Inquiry, War and Peace
. History of the CFR

[3] Ebrahim
Norouzi, The
Dulles Brothers
. The Mossadeq Project: April 7, 2010

[4] James Risen,
Secret
History of the CIA in Iran
. The New York Times: 2000

[5] Dwight
D. Eisenhower, Military-Industrial
Complex Speech
. Farewell Adddress: January 17, 1961

[6] William
Blum, Killing
Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II
.
(Common Courage Press: Monroe, Main, 2004), page 186

[7] Prof. Edward
Curtin, JFK
and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
. Global
Research: November 25, 2009

[8] Peter Dale
Scott, Deep
Politics and the Death of JFK
. (University of California
Press, Berkeley, 1993), page 10

[9] David Talbott,
Brothers:
The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
. (Free Press, New
York, 2007), page 43

[10] Ibid,
page 44.

[11] Ibid,
page 45.

[12] Ibid,
pages 45-46.

[13] Ibid,
page 46.

[14] Ibid,
page 47.

[15] Ibid,
pages 47-48.

[16] Ibid,
page 49.

[17] Ibid,
page 50.

[18] Ibid,
pages 50-51.

[19] Ibid,
pages 51-52.

[20] Ibid,
pages 52-53.

[21] Ibid,
pages 53-54.

[22] Ibid,
pages 64-65.

[23] Ibid,
pages 66-67.

[24] Ibid,
pages 68-69.

[25] Ibid,
page 75.

[26] Ibid,
pages 86-87.

[27] Ibid,
page 106.

[28] Joint
Chiefs of Staff, Operation
Northwoods: Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba
.
March 13, 1962, Washington, D.C.

[29] Ibid,
page 7.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid,
page 8.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid,
pages 8-9.

[34] Ibid,
page 9.

[35] Ibid,
pages 10-11.

[36] David
Talbott, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.
(Free Press, New York, 2007), pages 107-108

[37] Ibid,
page 108.

[38] Ibid,
page 163.

[39] Ibid,
pages 163-165.

[40] Ibid,
pages 165-166.

[41] Ibid,
pages 166-167.

[42] Ibid,
pages 167-168.

[43] Ibid,
page 169.

[44] Ibid,
pages 171-172.

[45] Ibid,
pages 172-173.

[46] Ibid,
page 173.

[47] Ibid,
pages 176-177.

[48] Ibid.

[49] President
John F. Kennedy, Commencement
Address at American University
. Washington D.C., June 10, 1963

[50] Ibid.

[51] David
Talbott, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.
(Free Press, New York, 2007), page 206

[52] Ibid,
pages 215-216.

[53] Peter
Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (University
of California Press, Berkeley, 1993), page 26

[54] David
Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.
(Free Press, New York, 2007), page 217

[55] Ibid,
pages 217-218.

[56] Ibid,
page 218.

[57] Ibid,
page 181.

[58] Ryan Singel,
Who
Killed JFK? Famous Spook Outs the Conspiracy
. Wired: April 3,
2007

[59] David
Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.
(Free Press, New York, 2007), pages 402-406

[60] Ibid,
pages 103-105.

[61] Peter
Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (University
of California Press, Berkeley, 1993), pages 30-32

[62] Ibid,
page 33.

[63] Ibid,
pages 26-28.

[64] Ibid,
page 32.

[65] Ibid,
page 19.

[66] Ibid,
page 299.

Reprinted
from Global Research.

November
25, 2010

Andrew Gavin
Marshall is a Research Associate with the Centre for Research on
Globalization (CRG). e is co-editor, with Michel Chossudovsky, of
the recent book, The
Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century
.
He is currently writing a book on "Global Government"
due to be released in 2011 by Global Research Publishers.

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