How the CIA and Corporate Media Covered Up the JFK Assassination

Piecing together the dark shadow over the nation

In Part 1 of this series, I explored how, during World War II, Wall Street oligarchs decided that the US should become a global empire. These men were connected to the pinnacles of power in  media, big business, and politics. Their tremendous wealth and power allowed the US power elite to sell their plans to the US public. In Part 2, I looked at how key institutions were forged in the aftermath of World War II—institutions that would allow the US to manage the imperial project domestically and internationally. These included media assets—not just friendly media tycoons, but also a new intelligence service, the CIA. The Agency would serve to manipulate and manage politics and the media to advance the “national interest”—read: the imperial interests of the Wall Street overworld. US elites also relied on the CIA to manage vast networks of repurposed “ex”-fascists and other paramilitary actors. Media tycoon and imperial publicist Henry Luce may have said it best. Summing up the twilight struggle of the US oligarchs, Luce surmised, “Freedom requires and will require far greater living space than tyranny.” This was reference to the Nazi concept of lebensraum (“living space”). I ended Part 2 in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, and that is where I begin Part 3, the last part in this series.

Unlike almost all the other members of his famous family, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. does not mince words about the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy. He recently stated his perspective succinctly on New York City radio: “There is overwhelming evidence that the CIA was involved in his murder. […] I think it’s beyond a reasonable doubt at this point.” Kennedy is also a signatory to the Truth & Reconciliation Committee’s “Joint Statement on the Kennedy, King, and Malcolm X Assassinations and Ongoing Cover-Ups.” The statement closes with this powerful summation:

The JFK assassination was just one of four major political murders that traumatized American life in the 1960s and have cast a shadow over the country for decades thereafter. John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were each in his own unique way attempting to turn the United States away from war toward disarmament and peace, away from domestic violence and division toward civil amity and justice. Their killings were together a savage, concerted assault on American democracy and the tragic consequences of these assassinations still haunt our nation.

These assassinations were a key element in the story of how the US was beset by what RFK Jr. has called “the corrupt merger of state and corporate power.” The relationship between the corporate oligarchy, corporate media, and the CIA has been a crucial feature of these dynamics. Decisively, this nexus serves to obscure the deadly veto power which the clandestine state exercises over democracy. The “free press” in America has been captured, and one of its main functions is to obscure this antidemocratic and covertly fascistic element of our system.

An examination of the JFK assassination and its aftermath in light of these facts will tell us much about the structure and life cycle of the US empire, the reasons for our deep distrust of politicians and the corporate media, and the urgency of voting Kennedy into the White House in 2024.

Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was himself assassinated on Sunday, November 24, 1963. He was shot by Dallas underworld figure Jack Ruby in a room full of journalists and police officers. Less than three hours after Oswald was pronounced dead, an establishment lobbying campaign commenced. Its target was the new president, Lyndon Johnson. It appears that the campaign began with a call to White House aide Bill Moyers from the Dean of the Yale Law School, Eugene Rostow—a man who also happened to be the brother of Walt Rostow, deputy to JFK’s national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy. During that call on November 24, Rostow suggested to Moyers that a “Presidential commission be appointed of very distinguished citizens in the very near future.”

Rostow would be joined in this campaign by Joseph Alsop, another blue blood establishment figure. Alsop, as discussed in Part 2, was later revealed to be one of the CIA’s most notable assets in the US media. When more documentation from the aftermath of the assassination was eventually declassified, it became clear that these men were likely acting on behalf of establishment luminary Dean Acheson—Harry Truman’s Secretary of State. Acheson was the man whose subordinates penned the “Long Telegram” and NSC-68, laying the strategic bases for the Cold War and the military industrial complex, respectively. In short, Acheson represented the apex of observable US establishment power.

One day after Rostow’s call, Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s acting deputy in the Justice Department, Nicholas Katzenbach, sent a memo to LBJ’s aide, Moyers. The November 25, 1963 memo stated:

The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial. Speculation about Oswald’s motivation ought to be cut off, and we should have some basis for rebutting thought that this was a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy to blame it on the Communists. Unfortunately the facts on Oswald seem about too pat—too obvious (Marxist, Cuba, Russian wife, etc.). The Dallas police have put out statements on the Communist conspiracy theory, and it was they who were in charge when he was shot and thus silenced.

As the JFK assassination archivists at the Mary Ferrell Foundation point out, “Given that the authorities could not possibly by November 25 know these things to be true, and Katzenbach later admitted he knew very little at this stage, the memo is clearly advocating a political course irrespective of the truth of the assassination.” In other words, there is no way that President Johnson, or the FBI, or establishment figures—Rostow, Alsop, and Acheson—could have possibly known that there was not a conspiracy behind the bullets in Dealey Plaza.

When the president finally agreed to create an ad hoc, blue-ribbon panel to handle the official investigation, he used the threat of nuclear war to convince reluctant candidates to join the commission. Most notably, Johnson used this angle to browbeat Chief Justice Earl Warren and Senator Richard Russell into serving on the president’s panel, later to be known as the Warren Commission.

Nominally, Earl Warren was in charge. In practice, however, the most active commissioner was Allen Dulles—a Wall Street lawyer, former president of Wall Street’s Council on Foreign Relations, and retired director of the CIA. Dulles was also a bitter enemy of JFK after the president fired him for his role in the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

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