JFK Plotters Could Never Have Been Convicted

To this day — almost 60 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — it would be impossible to convict any particular official of the U.S. national-security state of having participated in the plot to assassinate Kennedy. That’s because there simply is insufficient evidence to convict any one of them beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Oh, sure, there is more than sufficient circumstantial evidence to convict some national-security officials of having had a motive to kill Kennedy, the motive being that they concluded that his policies posed a grave threat to “national security.” But motive would be insufficient to garner a criminal conviction in a court of law. The prosecutor would also have to show that the defendants actually participated in a plot to assassinate Kennedy.

However, if it were possible to indict the U.S. national-security establishment for the assassination, a prosecutor could establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s because of the two central points that I set forth in my books The Kennedy Autopsy and An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story. 

First, the evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the military establishment conducted a fraudulent autopsy on Kennedy’s body on the very evening of the assassination. 

Second, the evidence also establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the CIA produced a fraudulent copy of the Zapruder film of the assassination on the Sunday following the Friday assassination. 

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy or a fraudulent film. They necessarily convict the national-security establishment of the assassination itself. There is no way around that. 

However, that leaves some people frustrated because they feel that the individual plotters within the national-security establishment went to their death beds having gotten away without being convicted and punished for their crime of having orchestrated the assassination of a U.S. president.

What they fail to realize, however, is that under U.S. national-security law, there is no reasonable possibility that those officials would have been convicted, even if the evidence conclusively established their guilt. 

Here is why this is true. 

The criminal prosecution of those military and CIA officials would have taken place in Dallas County. That’s because the JFK assassination was a murder case under Texas state law. The federal government had no jurisdiction over the crime, given that it was not a federal offense to assassinate a president at that time. 

Let’s assume that the Dallas County prosecutor had more than sufficient evidence to convict those officials. Let’s assume hypothetically, for example, that he had a tape recording of the defendant’s planning the assassination. Let’s go even further and assume that the plotters, faced with that tape recording, openly, proudly, and patriotically confessed to having orchestrated and planned the assassination in order to protect “national security” from a president whose policies, they said, constituted a grave threat to “national security.” 

Despite their confession, those officials would still not have been convicted under U.S. national-security law.

The defendants would have petitioned to remove the case to a federal district court, arguing that they were operating within the course and scope of their authority as officials of the national-security establishment when they orchestrated and planned the assassination. 

The officials would have argued that the Kennedy assassination was nothing more than another regime-change operation, one based on the same grounds as other regime-change operations — that is, the protection of “national security” from a political leader whose policies posed a grave threat to “national security.”

They would have shown Kennedy’s betrayal of the CIA-trained Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs, his rejection of Operation Northwoods, his resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis that left Cuba permanently in communist hands, his befriending the Soviet Union in his Peace Speech at American University, his defense of the civil-rights movement that was considered to be a communist front, his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviets, his order to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam, his outreach to the Cuban communist regime, and, most important, his determination to move America in a direction that was totally different from that desired by the U.S. national-security establishment. (See FFF’s book JKF’s War with the National-Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne.)

Undoubtedly, the federal judge would have granted the removal petition. 

At that point, the officials would have sought immunity for what they had done. They would have shown that the removal of Kennedy from office was a national-security regime-change operation, no different from the U.S. regime-change operations conducted in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and the Congo in 1961. 

There is no question but that the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court, would have upheld their claim of immunity and dismissed the prosecution.

How do we know that this would have happened? Because the federal courts have made it clear that they lack the jurisdiction, much less the competence, to second-guess any regime-change operation carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment. Thus, if a citizen of Iran, Guatemala, or Congo filed suit for wrongful deaths arising from those regime-change operations, the federal courts would have summarily dismissed the suits, holding that when it comes to regime-change operations, the national-security establishment is sovereign and supreme and that officials operating within the course and scope of their authority are immune from liability. 

Even if the federal courts disagreed with the reasons for removing Kennedy from office, it would be irrelevant. That’s because under U.S. national-security law, it is the national-security establishment, not the federal courts, that has the final say on what constitutes a threat to “national security” and what needs to be done to resolve it. If the national-security establishment decides that the leaders of Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Chile, Iraq, the United States, or any other country pose a threat to U.S. “national security,” it wields the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to remove that threat. Moreover, its officials are immune from civil and criminal liability for orchestrating or engaging in such regime-change operations.

Where does the Kennedy assassination leave us then? It provides further confirmation of a central point that I have long made regarding the achievement of a genuinely free society: that an essential prerequisite to restoring our rights and liberties and our democratic processes is the dismantling of the national-security state form of governmental structure and the restoration of our nation’s founding governmental system of a limited-government republic. 

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.