Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Coverup Continues: 'JFK Was A Hawk' And Other Stories

My recent post about the JFK assassination, "Two Conspiracies, No Theories", made distinctions between the plot to kill the President and the plot to hide the crime, and it drew a further distinction between the plot to hide the crime and the coverup itself.

The coverup, I argued, was (is!) much bigger than the plot to hide the crime. I used Walter Cronkite as an example; as I understand it, he wasn't "in on" the plot to hide the crime; he was simply part of the coverup: getting bad information and passing it on.

Many others assisted the coverup without being part of any conspiracy. Lies were fed into the echo chamber, so to speak, and when they came out the other end they were absorbed by millions, who passed them on, and continue to do so.

As if to prove my point, a seemingly well-meaning commenter on that thread provided the official cover story, or one version of it anyway -- as if it were fact.

I think most here recognize that the POTUS is a stick figure manipulated upon the stage. That the "government" is nothing more than a siphon for tax money to be transferred to the real corporate masters of events.

The motive for JFK being killed has always eluded me, he was a member of the elite, he was a hawk, he contemplated invading Cuba, the fairy tale of his wanting to pull out of Viet Nam has little substance.

All I can come up with are these- the mob was pissed because he betrayed them after his election, when they were instrumental in his election, and, his threat to bring the CIA under control.

Perhaps LBJ made a better deal with the corporations about the war in Asia.

Most of the people that might answer these questions are dead now, so we will have to put it together as best we can.
Please note that I take issue with the comment rather than the reader who posted it. He came here via Chris Floyd's excellent site and shows no sign of being a troll. That an intelligent and well-meaning reader should post such a comment is a testament to the power of propaganda.

Let's take a look at it, one phrase at a time...
The motive for JFK being killed has always eluded me
That's no surprise, nor is it any cause for shame. It's a very complicated question.
The mob was pissed because he betrayed them after his election, when they were instrumental in his election
With his brother as Attorney General, JFK shifted (or tried to shift) the focus of American law-enforcement away from the communist threat (which was highly exaggerated) toward mafia-style organized crime (which the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover had been inclined to ignore).

The mob was further ticked because JFK wouldn't support a war to "retake" Cuba, where they once ran resorts and casinos under Fulgencio Batista, one of the most corrupt dictators ever. Fidel Castro's revolution took their island playground away, and they wanted it back.

The gamblers eventually relocated to Las Vegas, but it's quite true that some mobsters had seen enough of the brothers Kennedy. On the other hand, there were aspects of the assassination that the mob couldn't have controlled.
his threat to bring the CIA under control
This threat sprang directly from the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, an assault-by-proxy to try to "retake" Cuba, staged by the CIA without the assistance of the American military. And I use the word "staged" advisedly.

The "Cuban exiles" who were used (as mercenaries) in the invasion were meant to be pinned down at the very least, most likely captured. There's no other excuse for having them storm the beaches from ships in which their ammunition was packed at the bottom.

The CIA had sent not a fighting force but a sacrificial gambit, assuming that the President would chip in with some air support at the last moment and get the country involved in a full-scale war ... or maybe not "assuming" as much as trying to force him to do so against his will.

Perhaps the CIA planners had a point: they were assigned the task of "retaking" Cuba during the Eisenhower / Nixon administration and might not have been expecting the next President to have a will of his own. Certainly they would have had no such trouble had Nixon won the 1960 election.

JFK took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco, but he also fired the CIA officers most responsible for it, including Allen Dulles, who was later appointed to the Warren Commission, which allegedly investigated JFK's death.
he was a member of the elite,
This gets tricky. Kennedy was of the elite but he was not for the elite.

He worked against poverty and for civil rights. He took on the big steel companies over their collusion in price-fixing. It was obvious; it was illegal; and he made no bones about it. They didn't expect that. And they didn't like it, either.

He took on the big oil companies over the oil depletion allowance. This was a tax credit that compensated oilfield owners for the reduction in value of their real estate due to the removal of the oil. The fact that they had sold the oil -- often at a huge profit -- wasn't supposed to matter; their remaining assets were worth less and "therefore" the owners were being "compensated" for this "loss" by the taxpayer.

Kennedy wanted to get rid of the oil depletion allowance. Oilmen hated him, and they were especially thick, and rich, and powerful, in Texas.
he was a hawk,
No he wasn't. He was a reality-based policy-maker, the last of his kind in the White House. Firm in defense, (in Berlin, for example) he drew the line against unprovoked attack.
he contemplated invading Cuba,
But he never invaded Cuba. In fact he stood against the CIA invasion at the Bay of Pigs, and he refused to become entangled there militarily then or later.

Not much later, he managed to avoid a global nuclear catastrophe (which seemed quite likely) during the Cuban missile crisis.
the fairy tale of his wanting to pull out of Viet Nam has little substance.
Au contraire! This is the most completely wrong charge of all, and one of the most often-repeated. I used to wonder about it myself, since I heard it so often, until I read John M. Newman's "JFK and Vietnam".

This is not a book for novices; it's very dry reading indeed. Newman documents his tale with extensive quotes from National Security Action Memoranda (NASMs) and Special National Intelligence Estimates (SNIEs).

Newman presents the SNIEs and NASMs pertaining to Kennedy's approach to Vietnam, and writes about the context in which these documents were written. The results are compelling to say the least.

Newman's book shows not only that JFK wanted to get out of Vietnam, but also that he was the only one who did. All his advisers wanted wider war. Kennedy resisted them, ignored them, moved them around to prevent anyone gaining too much influence, shifted those whose views became too hawkish.

But he never really had any allies in this endeavor, except for his pesky little brother the Attorney General, who cut a great deal of ice in domestic circles but none among the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In October of 1963, JFK signed National Security Action Memorandum #63, which called for the withdrawal of a thousand Americans from Vietnam by Christmas, and withdrawal of all Americans by the end of 1965. The following month he was dead.

Four days after the assassination, the day after Kennedy's funeral, president Lyndon Baines Johnson signed National Security Action Memorandum #73, which reversed the "findings" of NASM #63 and led directly to more than a decade of much wider war.

We were told at the time that no national policies would change as a result of the assassination. Over the years, gatekeepers such as Noam Chomsky have argued that no significant foreign policy changed with the death of the 35th President.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Kennedy had "crossed swords" with the Military Industrial Complex several times before October of 1963, all the way back to the beginning of his administration, in fact. He had campaigned as a hawk against Richard Nixon, urging a rapid buildup of American nuclear missiles to close the so-called "Missile Gap" -- the Russian advantage over the US in long-range nuclear missiles.

The "Missile Gap" was Pentagon propaganda, designed to keep the money flowing and the fear palpable. The USA had hundreds of missiles. The Soviets were portrayed as having many more than we did. Kennedy used that "fact" to batter Nixon during the campaign. But after he was sworn in, he learned the truth: the Soviets only had four nuclear missiles. The entire "Missile Gap" was fiction; and Nixon couldn't say so on the stump because it was classified.

When Kennedy found out the real story behind the "Missile Gap", he was stunned, and ticked. Then he felt that he personally, and the entire country, had been betrayed. It was this, more than any ideological predisposition, which seemed to turn him in favor of "peaceful coexistence" with the Soviet Union, rather than the isolation, containment, or mutual assured destruction favored by his opponents -- and even his advisers.

The world could have -- would have -- been much different if the remarkable young President had been allowed to live.

But then no such President could have been allowed to live for very long. So maybe there was no hope ever of escaping the clutches of the Military Industrial Complex.

This was the very monster Eisenhower warned us about -- but by that point he had spent twenty years feeding it, and being fed by it.

Funny how that works, is it not?

No. It's not.

We haven't even mentioned the Secret Service. All the fabricated evidence in this case came via the President's supposed protectors.

Funny how that works, too, isn't it?

No. But that's a story for another day.