Vince Salandria's False Mystery - COPA 1998 Keynote Address
Photo: John Kelin
THE JFK ASSASSINATION: A FALSE MYSTERY CONCEALING STATE CRIMES
Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA) Conference
Dallas, Texas, 20 November 1998
[Originally published in Fair Play magazine, #27 March-April 1999
Thank you, Dr. Gary Aguilar, and the other members of the Coalition on Political Assassinations for affording me this privilege. I accepted your invitation because I feel that the point of view for which I and thousands of unsung others have stood for thirty-five years is important. I believe that for us to be free to work for a more decent society we must come to accept the point of view which I will now explain.
For one half of my seventy years, from almost the very date of the assassination, I have been convinced that the killing of President Kennedy was a patent Cold War killing—the bloody work of the U.S. military-intelligence system and its supporting civilian power elite.
For us to allow thirty-five years to pass, while debate rages on the subject, is not only an abdication of the required work of a democratic citizenry, but the debate itself actively serves the interests of the assassins. Such debate masks the damage done to the constitutional structure by the extra-constitutional firing of the President.
To understand fully the nature of the assassination and its coverup one has to view it from an historical perspective. We must look back at least to the year 1898 to examine the militarizing of this country—a process which eventually led to President Kennedy’s assassination.
In 1898 President William McKinley, pursuant to a congressional resolution, authorized the use of United States armed forces to engage the Spanish forces in Cuba. This congressional resolution was followed by a declaration of war against Spain. This splendid little war led the way to an American Empire built upon the strength of the U.S. military. We acquired through this imperialistic effort Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands, and we subjected Cuba to a semi-colonial status.
Those conquests failed to satiate our hunger for empire. In the continuing quest to expand our imperialist power we truncated democracy in our nation. Political reform efforts of the progressive period were abandoned. Our oligarchs saw the acquisition of an empire as a means of diverting the American people from the struggle for political reform.
This process of militarism continued to evolve and grow in the period preceding our entry into World War I. The American people desperately wanted to avoid intervention into the bloody horrors of the war. But President Woodrow Wilson, while promising to keep us out of war, deceitfully led us into that terrible slaughter and supported the development of a large military establishment.
Our college history texts do record that Wilson’s deceit included the propagandizing of our people through the first media-supported mobilization of U.S. and world public opinion. Congress by act of April 14, 1917 established the Committee on Public Information. Wilson’s appointed chairman, George Creel, and his committee sought to mind-manipulate our people and the people of the world. Creel employed one hundred million pieces of written propaganda, jingoistic speeches by seventy-five thousand persons called four-minute men, professorial writings defining the true nature of the “Hun,” thousands of pre-written editorials, faked atrocity stories and other devices to bring about a consensus about World War I. His propaganda produced a tight conformity in public opinion about the Germans which foreshadowed our Cold War thinking about the Soviets.
From our participation in World War I our nation suffered a tragic loss of democratic freedom. The Espionage Act of 1917 effectively snuffed out free speech by making felons of persons who exercised their First Amendment rights. The Socialist Party’s presidential candidate, Eugene V. Debs, was given a ten year prison sentence. His crime? He had simply spoken the truth. He had stated that the war had an economic basis. The war started the FBI on its path of gathering millions of files on people and organizations. Following World War I we saw political reaction sweep over our country in the course of which Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were judicially murdered by the American establishment.
Only by the war production of World War II were we brought out of the great depression. It was not difficult to discern that we were artfully thrust into the war. I can recall that at the time of Pearl Harbor I was in the 8th grade of Vare Junior High School in Philadelphia. On December 8, 1941, in my math class, our teacher, Miss Wogan, suggested that rather than do our math we should discuss current events.
I went to the front of the classroom and informed my classmates that I could not accept as plausible President Roosevelt’s assertion that the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise, sneak attack. I pointed out that all of us had known for months about the tension between the U.S. and Japan. I asked how, in light of those months of crisis and tautly strained relations between the two countries, could the battleships at Pearl Harbor have been lined up so closely together, presenting perfect targets for the Japanese? How could the planes I saw in the newspapers burning on our airfields have been positioned wing-tip to wing-tip?
I reminded the class that President Roosevelt had promised that he would not send our troops into a foreign war. I then offered my conclusion that inviting the Pearl Harbor attack was President Roosevelt’s duplicitous device to eliminate the powerful neutralist sentiment in our country while thrusting us into the war.
Later, some of our country’s most distinguished historians, Charles Beard, William Henry Chamberlin, George Edward Morgenstern, Robert A. Theobald, John Toland and others came to this same conclusion. We know now that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had told his War Cabinet many days before December 7, 1941 that he was convinced that war with Japan was immediately imminent. Therefore, it is unimaginable that we could have been surprised by Pearl Harbor.
But the truth about Pearl Harbor did not and does not get addressed in our high school and college text books. Following the Cold War our historians have not seen fit to review and to learn from the true history of Pearl Harbor. Our historians show no interest in revealing how Pearl Harbor served to militarize further our nation. They show no interest in revealing how through Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt secretly manipulated and controlled our foreign policy. Instead we learn that the Central Intelligence Agency’s creation was a necessity in order that we should not be again surprised as we were at Pearl Harbor. In failing to confront the truth we got the CIA. By our unwillingness to embrace hard truth about how power works in our nation, we pay a horrible price in the loss of democracy.
Pearl Harbor led to the establishment of a Presidential Commission to examine into the events of that attack. This Commission was the precedent for the establishment of the Warren Commission. It was headed by a distinguished Associate Supreme Court Justice, Owen J. Roberts, and the Commission’s work product was named the Roberts Report. The Roberts Commission concluded that the responsibility for the debacle at Pearl Harbor did not lie with President Roosevelt but with Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and General Walter C. Short. They were solely responsible. Their “derelictions of duty and errors of judgment” were “the effective cause for the success of the attack.”
When Owen J. Roberts retired from the Supreme Court, he assumed the job of Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School while I was a student there. He impressed me as a kindly man of considerable integrity. I did not confront him for the errors of the Roberts Commission. Why not? To answer that question is to explain why persons who have a say or who would hope to have a say in the United States political system will not openly espouse the point of view which I now present.
Armed with this historical perspective, on November 22, 1963, I began to examine the post-assassination events as they unfolded. I took note of the reports coming in about the alleged assassin. I wondered whether his alleged left-wing credentials were bona fide. Very early in my work in the peace movement, I learned that some ostensible peace activists were infiltrating government agente provocateurs who were not what they at first blush appeared to be. May I suggest that some of our critics of the Warren Report are government agents. Can we honestly expect that the powerful elements in our society who dispatched our President with that deadly Dealey Plaza fusillade and then sought to cover up the reasons why he was killed would leave it to ordinary citizens to inform the public about the real meaning of the assassination of President Kennedy?
On November 23, 1963 I discussed the assassination with my then brother-in-law, Harold Feldman. I told him that we should keep our eyes focused on what if anything would happen to the suspected assassin that weekend. I said that if the suspect was killed during the weekend, then we would have to consider Oswald’s role to be that of a possible intelligence agent and patsy. I told him if such happened, the assassination would have to be considered as the work of the very center of U.S. power.
I sensed that there was a need to be quick in formulating conclusions from the killing of Oswald. A successful political assassination is carried out to produce policy changes. Those policy changes generally take effect quickly. Consequently, it behooves a democratic citizenry to come promptly to their own reasoned conclusions about the killing of their head of state. Citizens cannot leave to their government, which under republican principals is their mere servant, to shape their thinking on such a vital subject. Nor can the citizenry await the work of the academic establishment before formulating its conclusions.
When Oswald was served up on camera as disposable Dealey Plaza flotsam and jetsam and was killed by Jack Ruby I saw a subtle signal of a high level conspiracy. There is every reason to think that intelligence agencies, when they choose a killer to dispose of a patsy, make that choice by exercising the same degree of care that they employ in selecting the patsy. Their choice of Jack Ruby much later would – by providing a fall-back position for the government – serve the interests of the assassins. As the Warren Report would unravel, a deceased Ruby’s past connections to the Mafia produced a false candidate for governmental apologists to designate as the power behind the killing.
Immediately following the assassination I began to collect news items about Lee Harvey Oswald. A pattern began to emerge. Oswald’s alleged defection to the Soviets, his alleged Castro leanings as the sole member of a Fair Play for Cuba chapter in New Orleans, his posing with a rifle and a Trotskyist newspaper, his writings to the Communist Party USA, his study of the Russian language while in the Marine Corps, told me that he was not a genuine leftist, but rather was a U.S. intelligence agent.
It was apparent to me that no legitimate leftist straddles so many diverse political fences in a fractionalized American left. I saw Oswald’s alleged leftist baggage as an effort on the part of the killers to send an intimidating message to the American left. The left was being signaled by the killers to be silent or to suffer a possible pogrom against it. The Cubanization of Oswald was a further signal to the left that the American military if provoked by criticism might seek to employ the Oswaldian Cuban tableau as an excuse to invade Cuba. For a summary of Oswald and his obvious connections to our intelligence community, see Professor Christopher Sharrett’s “Oswald and U.S. Intelligence” in the appendix to Dr. E. Martin Schotz’s book, History Will Not Absolve Us.
Similarly, I saw Oswald’s membership in the ACLU as a device to send a message to frighten liberals into silence. As it turned out, the ACLU did not see any civil liberties issues in substituting for a legal inquest on the killing of President Kennedy a series of non-public and secret sessions by the Warren Commission. The ACLU had taken the bait.
After I began to write on the assassination, the ACLU privately assumed a position against my work. The national office expressed displeasure with me for writing on the subject and in so doing identifying myself as what I was, a long-time volunteer lawyer for the ACLU. The executive director of the Philadelphia ACLU branch, with whom I had over many years a fine working relationship and friendship, conveyed to me the National Office’s displeasure with my writings on the assassination. My offer to resign was accepted with alacrity.
The use of a Mafia-related killer to dispatch the patsy while in custody, and that patsy’s patently false left-wing and liberal guises, convinced me that the assassination was the work of U.S. intelligence. Keenly aware of the dangers which our Cold War national security state posed to the planet, I determined to continue the quixotic work of investigating the assassination. I sought to learn from and to help those who were willing to investigate and write on the criminality of their government in the assassination and its cover up.
In this effort I was supported and guided by my friends, Menachem Arnoni, Fred J. Cook, Robert Dean, Dave Dellinger, Jim DiEugenio, Harold Feldman, Maggie Field, Gaeton Fonzi, Jim Garrison, Reverend Steve Jones, Professor Thomas Katen,Christopher Kefalos, Barbara LaMonica, David S. Lifton, Mark Lane, Staughton Lynd, Ray Marcus, Shirley Martin, Sylvia Meagher, Professor Joan Mellen, Dr. Michael Morrissey, Marguerite Oswald, Fletcher Prouty, Mort Sahl, Professor Chris Sharrett, Dr. Anita Schmuckler, Gary Schoener, Dr. E. Martin Schotz, John Schuchardt, Tink Thompson, Harold Weisberg. Their dedication to democracy and truth served to sustain me.
Armed with an exploratory model of explanation that the Kennedy assassination was a Cold War killing, I began to sift through the myriad facts regarding the assassination which our government and the U.S. media offered us. What I did was to examine the data in a different fashion from the approach adopted by our news media. I chose to assess how an innocent civilian-controlled U.S. government would have reacted to those data. I also envisioned how a guilty U.S. national security state which may have gained control of and may have become semi-autonomous to the civilian U.S. governmental structure would have reacted to the data of the assassination. The use of this simple method of analysis applied to the assassination data and the reactions to those data by our national security state and its civilian allies thoroughly convinced me that my model of explanation was correct. No other interpretation adequately explained how our government, our media and our establishment reacted to the facts relevant to President Kennedy’s killing.
I submit that the manner in which the data were handled by our government demonstrate that:
the national security state at the very highest level of its power killed President John F. Kennedy for his efforts at seeking to develop a modus vivendi with the Soviets and with socialist Cuba,
subservient U.S. government, civilian establishment and mainstream media persons criminally and systematically aided the warfare state in covering up the assassination, and
in light of this criminal cover-up by the American power elite that there is no logical way we can conclude that the assassination was not the product of our warfare system.
There was also no way rationally to conclude that the assassination was a result of the labor of the Soviets, Castro, the Mafia, J. Edgar Hoover, President Johnson, or that any lower level U.S. governmental operatives had been solely responsible for the execution of President Kennedy.
As I examined the evidence I was confronted with an unvarying pattern. Whenever evidence of a conspiracy emerged – and mountains of facts were supplied by the government for us to scrutinize – the government refused to act on that evidence. On the other hand, whenever any data emerged, no matter how thoroughly incredible, which could possibly be interpreted as supporting a lone assassin theory – the government invariably and with the greatest solemnity declared that such data proved the correctness of the lone assassin myth. That is not the earmark of an innocent, blundering government.
I posited that an innocent civilian government would have in an unbiased fashion accepted, made public, and protected all of the assassination data. An innocent government would have fairly evaluated the data irrespective of whether or not they supported a particular conclusion. An innocent civilian government would never have accepted an improbable explanation of data while other probable explanations were extant.
I concluded that only a criminally guilty government which was beholden to the killers would reject a probable explanation of the evidence coming into its possession and instead would seize upon an improbable explanation for the evidence. Most importantly, I concluded that only a guilty government seeking to serve the interests of the assassins would consistently resort to accepting one improbable conclusion after another while rejecting a long series of probable conclusions. In short, while purporting to tell the truth, our government turned probability theory on its head. In an unvarying pattern it consistently accepted any data that even remotely supported a single-assassin concept and rejected data which incontrovertibly supported a conspiracy.
Now let us briefly review some of the evidence. The Secret Service stated that at the time of the assassination there were no Secret Service assigned to or in Dealey Plaza other than those attached to and who remained in the motorcade. There are no existing records which support any other federal agents having been present in Dealey Plaza. Yet, we know from the evidence that at the time of and immediately after the assassination, there were persons in Dealey Plaza who were impersonating Secret Service agents. This was clear evidence of both the existence of a conspiracy and the commission of the crime of impersonating federal officers. But our government showed no interest in pursuing this compelling evidence of the existence of a conspiracy nor in prosecuting the criminals who were impersonating federal officers. In refusing to pursue the evidence of conspiracy and in failing to pursue the criminals who were impersonating federal officers, the Warren Commissioners, their staff, the Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI became accessories after the fact and abetted the killers.
The U.S. government was immediately confronted with the observations of many eyewitnesses, including skilled observers such as police officers and the Secret Service Agents in the motorcade. They had heard shots coming from – saw smoke emanating from – saw a man fleeing from – and smelled gunpowder in the grassy knoll area of Dealey Plaza. Let us assume arguendo that all of the eyewitnesses who had concluded that shots were fired from the grassy knoll were dead wrong. But an innocent government could not and would not at that time have concluded that these good citizens were wrong and would not have immediately rushed to declare a far-fetched single assassin theory as fact.
The Parkland Hospital doctors, after having inspected the body of our murdered President, promptly offered their professional opinions that the President had been hit in the throat by a penetrating bullet. They concluded that this neck hit was a wound of entry and therefore necessarily resulted from a shot delivered from the front of the President. Let us posit that all of those doctors may have been mistaken in their conclusion. But given their professional medical opinions, no guiltless government would have chosen so quickly to close its options and to have declared at that point that the assassination was the work of a single person. For if any one of those doctors was correct, then a conspiracy to kill the President was proven. The government officials who immediately chose to designate each Parkland Hospital doctor as wrong were criminal accessories after the fact.
No staff member at Parkland Hospital reported seeing a small bullet entry wound in the back of the President’s head. Instead they saw and reported a large avulsive wound in the occipital area of the President’s head. Again, let us presume for the purpose of argument that they were all wrong in their observations. Nevertheless an innocent government would have been obligated to hold its options open on the issue of whether one or more hits had been delivered to the President’s head from the front and not from the rear. This was so since an avulsive wound in the occipital region indicated a wound of exit and not of entry. For governmental officials to have ignored the Parkland Hospital doctors findings made those officials accessories after the fact.
No viable democratic government that was free of guilt and that was in the control of civilian authorities would have permitted a sham autopsy of the President’s body. In accepting the orders of the generals and admirals not to probe the neck wound of the President the military doctors who were performing the autopsy effectively aborted it. Those doctors were guilty of malfeasance. The admirals and generals present in the autopsy room who were responsible for those orders were simply criminals, guilty of the crimes of conspiracy to obstruct and obstruction of justice. They were also criminal accessories after the fact to the murder of the President.
Our U.S. government had in its possession, on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, the Zapruder eight millimeter filmwhich demonstrated that the President, after having been struck by a shot or shots to his head, had been thrown leftward and backward and bounced off the back seat of the Presidential limousine. Now there might have been an explanation for that phenomenon which was other than that this was an impact response from a hit delivered by a gunman positioned to his right front. But that dramatic movement of the Presidents body appeared to contravene conclusively any theory that all the shots had been delivered from a single vantage point to the rear of the President.
An innocent government, having come into possession of the Zapruder film on the afternoon of November 22nd, 1963, once its operatives had examined that film, would necessarily have come to the conclusion that the assassination was most probably the result of a conspiracy. Those governmental operatives who examined the Zapruder film at that time and who did not cry out an alarm of probable conspiracy were guilty of obstruction of justice and were criminal accessories after the fact.
But that Zapruder film, instead of being shown immediately to the whole world, was kept by the government and Life and not shown to the public at large. We will now relate how Life magazine served our military-intelligence community. Time Inc., the owners of Life, bought the rights to the Zapruder film in 1963 and withheld it from public viewing. Please pardon me for not believing that this censorship was designed to enlighten our people. We shall see that Life both censored the Zapruder film and lied about its contents. In its September 6, 1964 issue Life sought to explain away the wound in President Kennedy’s neck as follows:
... it has been hard to understand how the bullet could enter the front of his throat. Hence the recurring guess that there was a second sniper somewhere else. But the 8mm. film shows the President turning his body far around to the right as he waves to someone in the crowd. His throat is exposed – toward the sniper’s nest—just before he clutches it.
But we now know that the Zapruder film tells us that the President did not turn his body far around to the right, and that his throat was not exposed toward the alleged sniper’s nest. So Life was not only censoring the Zapruder film, but while having it in its sole possession, was lying about its content and therefore obstructing justice through censorship and falsification of the Zapruder film’s content.
My October 2nd, 1964 issue of Life magazine contained a color reproduction of frame 313 of the 8 millimeter Zapruder motion picture showing the moment of bullet impact on President Kennedy’s skull. The caption for that Zapruder frame read: “The assassin’s shot struck the right rear portion of the President’s skull, causing a massive wound and snapping of his head to one side.” To me it appeared that striking a head from the rear and causing it to snap to one side ran counter to a Newton law of motion. So, I decided to collect other copies of the same issue of Life.
In the next copy I acquired I found that Life had changed the caption to read: “The direction from which shots came was established by this picture taken at the instant a bullet struck the rear of the President’s head, and passing through, caused the front part of his skull to explode forward.” But in this copy of the magazine Life had changed the Zapruder frame to a later one which showed that the President’s whole body had been driven not only leftward but also backwards against the back seat of the limousine by a shot supposedly fired from the rear. That frame with that caption impressed me as causing even more difficulty for the Warren Report.
The next copy of Life that I found put together the exploding-forward caption with Zapruder frame 313. Life finally got the deception right. I reported these findings in my January, 1965 article in Liberation magazine.
Later, in 1966, I inquired of Life about the three versions of the same issue. Edward Kern, a Life editor, replied in a letter to me dated November 28, 1966. In his reply he said: “I am at a loss to explain the discrepancies between the three versions of LIFE which you cite. I’ve heard of breaking a plate to correct an error. I’ve never heard of doing it twice for a single issue, much less a single story.”
Well, unlike Edward Kern, I was not at a loss to explain the three versions. To me the three versions of Life and Life’s lies about what the Zapruder film revealed show in microcosm an elegant example of how the U.S. media criminally joined with U.S. governmental civilian personages, and with the national security state apparatus to employ deceit in seeking to prop up the Warren Report.
Henry R. Luce created Life magazine. He was an ardent Cold Warrior having championed the American Century and having lobbied for the National Security Act of 1947. His widow, Claire Booth Luce, was a former member of the House of Representatives and a former ambassador to Italy. She was one of Allen Dulles’ lovers. In his book, The Last Investigation, my dear friend, Gaeton Fonzi, who worked for U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker while the Senator was investigating the Kennedy assassination, told how Claire Booth Luce lead them on a wild goose chase. She effectively used up their governmentally-paid-for time by sending them on a fruitless search for fanciful persons.
Congressman Gerald R. Ford, who had been a Warren Commissioner, and who was later to become President, signed that October 2, 1964 Life article. He concluded this article with the following statement: “This report is the truth as we see it, as best we know it, and on this, we rest.”
The three versions of Life demonstrate clearly the criminal conspiratorial joining together of the U.S. intelligence community, the civilian aspects of our government, and our media to support the Warren Report. They were and still are all in bed together.
Let us now return to the events which occurred at Parkland Hospital on the afternoon of November 22, 1963 where a hospital orderly had discovered the bullet which was designated as CE 399. CE 399 was an intact bullet, undeformed except for a slight extrusion in the back. It weighed essentially what a pristine bullet would have weighed. It had no blood nor tissue on it. Would not that to any open mind have appeared to be a bullet planted to implicate someone?
But the FBI concluded that CE 399 was not a planted bullet. Rather, the FBI found that the bullet that had entered President Kennedy’s back, had not passed through his torso but rather had fallen out and had been recovered at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. The FBI Sibert-O’Neill Report of November 27, 1963, confirmed that the autopsy doctors at Bethesda on November 22, 1963 found that the shot which entered President Kennedy’s back had not exited from the front of his body. The FBI Report to the Warren Commission dated December 9, 1963 and the FBI Supplemental Report of January 13, 1964 had concluded likewise.
Astoundingly, the Warren Report does not mention and the Commission’s exhibits make no reference to these critical documents. Their omission from the Warren Report and the Commissions documents constitutes obstruction of justice since the double hit on the President and the Governor with the same bullet, CE 399, was the sine qua non of the Warren Report.
Consider this. For weeks the FBI finding upon which the Warren Commission was expected to base its report was that CE 399 had not pierced President Kennedy and Governor Connally. Rather, the FBI had concluded and had so advised the Commission that separate shots had hit the two men. Therefore, the FBI for weeks had rested on a finding that compelled a conclusion that only three shots and no more could not have explained all the bullet damage at Dealey Plaza. Of course, this fact required the further conclusion that there had been more than one gunman firing on the President. Yet, we will see that during these weeks immediately following the assassination, while the FBI findings were informing our government that the magic bullet theory at that juncture had been rejected, the government remained steadfastly committed to a single assassin fantasy and criminally persisted in characterizing Oswald as the sole assassin.
Later, the U.S. government secretly and sharply shifted gears and married the single-hit theory. It therefore concluded that the FBI findings had been all wrong. Instead in its Warren Report our government insisted that CE 399 had wounded JFK by entering in a downward trajectory of 17 degrees, coursing through his custom-fitted jacket from the rear at 5 and 3/8 inches down from its collar and 5 and 3/4 inches down from the collar of his custom-made shirt.
The government concluded that somehow or other the custom-made jacket and custom-made shirt of President Kennedy had at the moment of bullet impact become mysteriously bunched together high up on his neck area. The government theory was that CE 399, the magic bullet, had passed through President Kennedy without having struck bone. This bullet in exiting had then pierced his necktie knot. Although it would have appeared to be exiting in an upward trajectory, the government had deduced that CE 399 had turned in mid air as it had emerged from the necktie knot of President Kennedy and had struck Governor John B. Connally in the right side of his back.
According to the government, CE 399 had then traveled downward through the right side of Connally’s chest and had smashed his fifth rib. The government concluded that CE 399 exited below his right nipple, and passing through his shattered right wrist, spewing metal as it went, had entered his left femur depositing therein a fragment.
In so concluding, our Cold War government in the context of the assassination had declared a moratorium on the science of physics and had declared the occupations of custom-shirt making and custom tailoring to be guilty of horrendous incompetence. I take particular umbrage about the government’s shameless attack on the custom-tailoring trade. My deceased great grandfather had been a proud practitioner of that honorable trade. He would have been horrified by the suggestion that one of his fellow coat makers had fitted President Kennedy’s suit jacket in such a way that it had bunched up about four and one-half inches as the President raised his right hand no higher than his shoulder to greet the Dealey Plaza crowd.
Arlen Specter and others who had promulgated this theory and who had failed to produce as witnesses the custom suit and shirt makers who had been in the service of President Kennedy were guilty of more than maligning their occupational skills. They were also guilty of malfeasance and misfeasance in office, and obstruction of justice. They were accessories after the fact and were criminal conspirators historically forever joined with the murderers of President Kennedy.
On October 23, 1964, Arlen Specter was quoted in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin regarding what he had told a Bar Association meeting at which I had questioned him. He was quoted as stating: “The people are going to have to rely on the conclusions and the stature of the men of the Commission.”
I replied to him in my November 2, 1964 article in The Legal Intelligencer:
We know that Mr. Specter did not mean by the above statement that the Warren Commission was ever meant to be construed as a “ministry of truth.” Nor would the members of the Commission, as public servants in a democracy, ever consider that their “stature” insulated their interpretations and findings from public criticism.
In fact Specter was telling us that evidence had to give way to stature. He was instructing us that he and the Commission were in reality a ministry of truth and could and would criminally conceal the truth with impunity.
But let us posit arguendo that the Warren Commission and its staff had considered themselves a benevolent ministry of truth. Let us assume that they had conceived of themselves as having spared us from a thermonuclear war although there was no evidence when the Warren Report was issued, that such a war was imminent. But with the demise of the Soviet Union, that is no longer a legitimate concern. Can we not now ask why Senator Specter should not come clean and finally tell us why the Warren Commission had concealed the truth? But to ask the question is to answer it. Senator Specter must in a criminal fashion continue to serve the national interest as he sees it by obstructing justice in order to conceal that we are in the same banana-republic status that we were as of November 22, 1963.
In my January, 1965 article in Liberation I reported that when Jacqueline Kennedy testified before the Commission she had spoken of the wounds inflicted on her husband. She above all was qualified to speak of these wounds, since she had been the first to see up close the terrible work of the butchers who had cut down her husband. But in the transcript of her testimony presented to the Commission, we were provided only with the comment: “Reference to the wounds deleted.”
J. Lee Rankin, the Commissions General Counsel, was reported in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin of November 23rd, 1964, to have declared that “Classified material involving national security was withheld from the volumes of transcript.” Does that not tell us in plain language that we were denied the testimony of the deposed first lady in order to protect the killers of her husband, our national security state? Had not J. Lee Rankin in assenting to such a crucial deletion committed the crime of obstruction of justice?
This same J. Lee Rankin, in answer to my article in the January, 1965 issue of Liberation magazine on January 3, 1965, reported in the New York Times that “there was no credible evidence to support a theory that more than three shots had been fired.” Is it not clear that in so stating, Mr. Rankin had criminally obstructed justice? Do not the mounds of incontrovertible evidence of a multiple assassin killing which we are now reviewing and to which he had been privy not put the lie to Mr. Rankin and render his statement criminal?
Theodore H. White, in his book The Making of the President, 1964, told us that on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, the Presidential party on Air Force One “... learned that there was no conspiracy, learned of the identity of Oswald and his arrest ...” Air Force One had landed at Andrews Air Force Base, at 5:59 P.M. on November 22, 1963. In correspondence with me, Mr. White stated that this message was sent to the Presidential party from the Situation Room of the White House.
This same message was confirmed by Pierre Salinger in his book With Kennedy. Mr. Salinger received that same message while on the Cabinet Plane which was flying over the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Salinger tried to get those data to me and had instructed the National Archives to provide them for me, but they disappeared from the National Archives. My inquiries to the White House Communications Agency requesting a copy of the Air Force One Tapes were dismissed in a letter sent to me by James U. Cross, Armed Forces Aide to the President. He wrote on January 2, 1968, that the logs and tapes of the radio transmissions “... are kept for official use only. These tapes are not releasable, nor are they obtainable from commercial sources.”
But the contents of this message to Air Force One was confirmed in 1993 by Robert Manning, Kennedy’s Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs who was aboard the cabinet plane with Pierre Salinger. He reported having heard the same account of Oswald being designated as the presumed assassin.
That, my good people, is conclusive evidence of high-level U.S. governmental guilt. The first announcement of Oswald as the lone assassin, before there was any evidence against him, and while there was overwhelmingly convincing evidence of conspiracy, had come from the White House Situation Room. Only the assassins could have made that premature declaration that Oswald was the assassin. This announcement had been made while back in Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade was stating that “preliminary reports indicated more than one person was involved in the shooting ...”
I have asked and ask again, can there be any doubt that for any innocent government, taken by surprise by the assassination – and legitimately seeking the truth concerning it – the White House Situation Room message was sent too soon? The government could not have known at that time that Oswald was the killer and that there was no conspiracy. The persons on Air Force One and the plane carrying the cabinet members over the Pacific who heard that message and who do not come forward at this time to fill in the now deleted portion of the tape from the Situation Room of the White House, are they not accessories after the fact?
The person who on November 22, 1963 had been in direct control of the White House Situation Room, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, was McGeorge Bundy. Bundy was a hard-liner on foreign policy. He had been a student of CIA’s covert operations chief, Richard Bissell, who had been fired by President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. Bundy in 1948 had worked for Bissell on the Marshall Plan. Bundy was a man of considerable intelligence. He did not out of stupidity inform the Presidential party that Oswald was the lone assassin before there was any evidence against him and while there was compelling evidence of conspiracy. Did he not do this to inform the Presidential Party who had been in the motorcade that this was a matter of state, the importance of which rose higher than Anglo-Saxon principles of justice?
Therefore, at Bundy’s direction instructions were given to the party on the Presidential plane and on the Cabinet plane. What they had heard, smelled and seen in Dealey Plaza was of no consequence. The patsy had been selected, and the conclusion of conspiracy had been ruled out. Bundy was indirectly instructing the Presidential party and the cabinet members that he was speaking for the killers. He was directing the Presidential party and the cabinet that what they had observed in Dealey Plaza was merely evidence, and that the needs of state rose above evidence. He was informing the Presidential Party that those among them who had witnessed the triangulation of fire which had brought down the President should not imagine that a few nuts in Dealey Plaza had gotten lucky. They were being circuitously informed that the assassination had been committed by a level of U.S. power that was above and beyond punishment.
Bundy, in the service of our warfare state and the U.S. establishment of which he was an honored member, committed the crime of being an obstructor of justice and was a critical accessory after the fact to the murder of our President. Bundy was rewarded for his brazen cover-up work by remaining with President Johnson as one of his leading hawkish advisers on Vietnam. Bundy is now deceased. But I provided this information about him in a speech I made in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 23, 1971 before the New England Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. My unrealized purpose was to cause him to institute a libel action against me. He apparently did not see fit to file one. This preeminent establishment man was in my judgment unquestionably criminally involved at least in the cover up of the assassination of President Kennedy. He owed his allegiance to the U.S. establishment – the murderers of the President.
Governor Connally, although purporting to support the Warren Commission, testified before the Warren Commission that it was not conceivable that he had been hit by the same bullet which had struck President Kennedy. His wife testified similarly. They never retracted their testimony. The Zapruder film supports their conclusion. My dear friend, Raymond Marcus, has demonstrated in his works The Bastard Bullet and Addendum B incontrovertible proof that President Kennedy and Governor Connally were hit by separate bullets. The government had immediately espoused the single-bullet theory against the compelling testimony of Governor and Mrs. Connally who had testified that separate bullets had hit President Kennedy and Governor Connally. This governmental dismissal of the Connally evidence which compelled the finding of conspiracy, constituted obstruction of justice.
Our government had allowed the clothing of Governor Connally to be dry cleaned and pressed. This action made it impossible to determine from the examination of his clothing whether he had been hit by a pristine bullet or one that had passed through President Kennedy. Those officials who permitted that dry cleaning and pressing and consequent destruction of vital evidence were clearly guilty of obstruction of justice. The Warren Commission did not suggest that there was anything culpable about this obvious criminal act. Therefore, the Warren Commission in failing to condemn this wanton and criminal destruction of evidence was guilty of malfeasance and misfeasance in office, and the Commission and its staff members became accessories after the fact.
Since the government had promulgated a single assassin theory in which the assassin had fired a bolt action rifle no more than three times, the total ammunition supply of the government was three bullets. The government, undeterred by the implausibility of its conclusion of a single assassin theory, and undisturbed by the torrent of evidence against it, immediately accepted as fact the myth that three bullets fired within 5.6 seconds had inflicted all the carnage in Dealey Plaza. We will demonstrate that this premature embracing by the government of the single assassin theory proved that the highest level of our military intelligence was the criminal force which killed our President.
James T. Tague, a bystander, in Dealey Plaza, had also been struck by fragments of a missile in that fusillade. So three bullets and only three bullets had to account for the:
wounding of the President in the back, neck and head
wounding Governor Connally in the back, fracturing a rib, fracturing his right wrist and depositing a fragment in his left femur
wounding James T. Tague
causing impact damage on the front windshield and front metal of the Presidential limousine and
on the street curbing.
The government, as we have already noted, had operating against and belying its single assassin three-bullet theory, a drastic shortage of ammunition.
This was especially true since the FBI Report, upon which the Warren Commission was to rely, set forth, and I quote verbatim from Volume 1, page 18 of the FBI report:
Immediately after President Kennedy and Governor Connally were admitted to Parkland Memorial Hospital, a bullet was found on one of the stretchers. Medical examination of the President’s body revealed that one of the bullets had entered just below his shoulder to the right of the spinal column at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees downward, that there was no point of exit, and that the bullet was not in the body ...
So the FBI had concluded that the bullet that had struck President Kennedy in the back had not exited. Therefore, the U.S. government, immediately following the assassination, had according to its own findings, an impossible ammunition shortage. That shortage should have convinced an innocent government that more than one junk rifle had been responsible for all of the bullet impact damage inflicted in Dealey Plaza. Yet, the impossible single assassin theory was the concept to which the U.S. Government remained criminally and irrevocably joined. The government’s hasty and unshakable embrace of the lone assassin theory was pregnant with guilt. It served as a scanty fig leaf the purpose of which was to legitimatize our national security state which had shot its way into absolute power.
The Presidential limousine, with bullet-impact damage to its chrome and windshield and splattered with brain tissue, was criminally removed from the crime scene and shipped out of Dallas. Then our government refitted the vehicle and in the process destroyed the enormous and vital forensic evidence contained therein. The removal from Dallas of the vehicle and the evidentiary eradication by means of refitting of the vehicle clearly constituted criminal obstruction of justice.
Unlike the excuses that were made for the criminal removal of President Kennedy’s body from Dallas, there can be no innocent explanation for what happened to the Presidential limousine, loaded as it had been with vital forensic evidence. The only plausible explanation was the need for the government to conceal its guilt. An innocent government would have insisted that the Texas authorities place the limousine under tight guard while it remained where it, in accordance with the law, belonged in Dallas, the jurisdiction of the crime. Instead, our Cold War government arrogantly shipped the presidential limousine out of Dallas for purposes of relieving it of the rich evidentiary load it had carried.
At the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Commander James J. Humes prepared autopsy notes, unquestionably the most important autopsy notes ever. On November 24, 1963 he signed a certificate: “I, James J. Humes, certify that I have destroyed by burning certain preliminary draft notes relating to Naval Medical School Autopsy Report A63-272 ...” In destroying the autopsy notes he committed the crime of obstruction of justice. I readily concede that the greater criminal or criminals was the superior officer or officers who ordered him to obstruct justice by destroying the precious original autopsy notes. Is it not a certainty that Dr. Humes would not have committed such a criminal act without having been directed by none other than his military superior or superiors to do so? Would any innocent government not have made short work of the military officials who ordered and carried out the destruction of those notes? Our guilty government did nothing to address this criminal behavior of its admirals and generals.
All of you know about the November 25, 1963 memorandum from Nicholas Katzenbach instructing Bill Moyers:
The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial ... 
In light of the evidence we have just reviewed, how could Mr. Katzenbach have known that Oswald was guilty of committing the crime alone? How could he at that time as a rational man and given the state of the evidence have considered Oswald’s guilt to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt? Mr. Katzenbach’s criminally premature conclusion leaves us no alternative but to see him as having had full knowledge that he was seeking to prevent the revelation of the guilt of the mightiest power ever created, our warfare state. He was acting in the place of the Attorney General. Instead of serving justice in accordance with his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States, he was criminally obstructing justice.
And in that same memorandum he said “We should have some basis for rebutting the thought that this was a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy ...” In Cold War United States, such solicitude for the Communist world was not common in our governmental circles. Apparently the Communist world did not view itself suspect. Rather it was accusing us of a right-wing conspiracy. Even Mr. Katzenbach dismissed as incredible Oswald’s left-wing baggage when he stated that “... the facts on Oswald seem almost too pat – too obvious (Marxist, Cuba, Russian wife, etc.).” In having been so quick to dismiss Oswald’s false Marxist, Russian and Cuban connections, what did Mr. Katzenbach know about Oswald’s U.S. intelligence connections that wasn’t being revealed by our government?
On December 9, 1963, Mr. Katzenbach sent a similar memorandum to Chief Justice Earl Warren who had been appointed to head the Commission which had as its ostensible function to ascertain the truth in the assassination. Let us see how Chief Justice Earl Warren was treated by Mr. Katzenbach.
First, Mr. Katzenbach told Chief Justice Warren that “At the direction of President Johnson, I am transmitting herewith to you and to the other members of the Commission copies of the report of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the assassination of President Kennedy ...” But the FBI report had stated “... that one of the bullets had entered just below his shoulder to the right of the spinal column at an angle of 45 to 60 degrees downward, that there was no point of exit ...” Therefore, as of December 9, 1963, an innocent government could not have accepted as truthful a three-bullet, sole-assassin theory. Then why, given the ammunition shortage of the government’s scenario, if the government were innocent, did Mr. Katzenbach not concede to Chief Justice Warren that there was compelling evidence of a conspiracy?
Mr. Katzenbach further instructed Chief Justice Warren: “... the latest Gallup poll shows that over half the American people believe that Oswald acted on (sic) part of a conspiracy in shooting President Kennedy ... I think, therefore, the Commission should consider releasing – or allowing the Department of Justice to release – a short press statement which would briefly make the following points:
(1) The FBI report through scientific examination of evidence, testimony and intensive investigation, established beyond a reasonable doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 ... The FBI had made an exhaustive investigation into whether Oswald may have conspired with or been assisted by any organization, group or person, foreign or domestic, in carrying out this dastardly act ... To date this aspect of the investigation has been negative ...
Would Chief Justice Warren have been the recipient of these orders which Mr. Katzenbach should have hesitated to give to a callow law clerk for any purpose other than to be of service to our national security state? Again, historical perspective aids us in coming to a sensible conclusion. Chief Justice Warren had in the past proven himself to be loyal to the perceived needs of our warfare state. He had been a prime mover in establishing the first racial concentration camps in America when the U.S. entered World War II. He had interpreted our constitution as permitting the incarceration of innocent U.S. citizens of Japanese descent.
By accepting these orders from Mr. Katzenbach, Chief Justice Warren was doing a service to the state and a disservice to the constitutional concept of separation of powers. By not making public disclosure of these orders which ran counter to his appointed duty as a fact finder, he was showing his contempt for the majority of the American people who in every public opinion poll had shown that they had understood the assassination to have been the work of a conspiracy. Now they were to be mislead and confused by the commission which bore Warren’s name. Chief Justice Warren was compelled by his dedication to our state to conduct a charade of pretending to look for the truth in the slaying of President Kennedy, when he had already been force-fed and had accepted as manna the U.S. government’s historical fantasy that Oswald had been solely responsible for the assassination. Were not Messrs. Katzenbach and Warren in sending and receiving this memorandum without informing the public of the lies contained therein, guilty of the crimes of obstruction of justice and being accessories after the fact?
On January 21, 1964, there was a secret executive session of the Warren Commission. The Commission was dealing with a serious problem. Marina Oswald was going to give evidence that Oswald was a Soviet agent. Commissioner Richard Russell commented, “That will blow the lid if she testifies to that.” Then Commission member Allen Dulles interceded, stating he knew Isaac Don Levine, an old Cold Warrior, who was assigned by Life Magazine to write an article with Marina Oswald. Of course the article was never published. Mr. Dulles stated “I can get him in and have a friendly talk.” Does that not sound like Allen Dulles was planning to suborn to perjury and to obstruct justice?
Why was this consummate Cold Warrior, Allen Dulles, so eager to exonerate the Soviets? History records that Allen Dulles and his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, had been quite willing to carry us to the brink of thermonuclear war many times in post World War II years. Then why the reluctance on the part of this Cold Warrior in a secret session of the Warren Commission, to entertain the possibility of Soviet involvement?
If you read Mr. Gaeton Fonzi’s fine book, The Last Investigation, you will learn that he traced the assassination to the CIA from which Mr. Dulles had been fired by President Kennedy. Must we not conclude therefore that Mr. Dulles, in seeking to cover up the possibility of Soviet involvement, had certain knowledge that Oswald was a patsy, and that the CIA had carried out the assassination? The CIA was the agency over which he had presided and from which he had been fired by President Kennedy for his betrayal of the President in the Bay of Pigs venture. Did not Allen Dulles have an interest in protecting the agency which had been so dear to him? Did he not have cause to hate the President for having fired him from the CIA and for the President’s courageous opposition to the military and intelligence services on Cold War policy? In appointing Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission, did not President Johnson demonstrate judgment that was so bad as to amount to misfeasance in office and to obstruction of justice?
For any disinterested observer, the information that came to light on Oswald clearly established him as having all of the earmarks of a U.S. intelligence agent. To have described Oswald as a Marxist and not as the U.S. intelligence agent that he was, was to join with the murderers as accessories after the fact and to obstruct justice. That false Marxist garb of Oswald was utilized to exacerbate Cold War tensions. Oswald’s phony Marxist trappings were a lever that could be, and I believe was used to press down the lid on possible Soviet reaction to the obvious banana-republic status of the U.S. government. The government operatives who had invented the phony Marxist cover of Oswald were the likely assassins. In publicizing without criticism this false Marxist cloak of Oswald the American press joined the criminality of our U.S. intelligence assassins as accessories after the fact.
Oswald’s family was brought to the Dallas area by Ruth Paine. Ruth Paine had been instrumental in getting Oswald a job at the Texas Book Depository. The Mannlicher-Carcano, the alleged murder rifle, had supposedly been stored in a garage of the Paines. Following the assassination, Ruth Paine was called by Oswald during his detention to have her obtain a lawyer for him, a task which she failed to complete much to the benefit of the assassins.
Once a conspiracy was deemed to exist, and even our government in the House Select Committee concluded that there was a probable conspiracy, the Paines had to be viewed as having been involved in it. An assassination Gestalt with the patsy serving as a lightning rod, cannot be successfully completed unless the patsy is delivered to the scene of the killing. Ruth Paine accomplished the crucial twin assassination tasks of getting Oswald into the Dallas area and arranging to get him a job in the Texas Book Depository Building. Therefore, the Paines, albeit on a need-to-know basis, were involved in the plot.
In whose service were the Paines? Michael Paine came from families which were in the Boston Brahmin society – the Cabot and Forbes families. He was an heir of his maternal grandmother, Elise Cabot Forbes. He was not likely to be controlled by the Soviets, Castro or the Mafia. He had top secret clearance in his job at Bell Helicopter despite the fact that his father,George Lyman Paine, had been a Trotskyist. In Cold War United States to get such clearance when your father had been a Trotskyist, a quid pro quo had to be provided. Ruth Paine’s father was William Avery Hyde, an official in the Agency for International Development, which frequently provided cover for overseas intelligence operations. According to the excellent work of Steve Jones, Barbara LaMonica and Carol Hewett, Ruth Paine’s sister, Sylvia Hoke, had CIA affiliations. Ruth Paine was friendly with George DeMohrenshildt, a sophisticated White Russian exile and CIA operative who, although thirty-five years Oswald’s senior, became Oswald’s closest friend in Dallas. According to recent research in the 1980s Ruth Paine assisted illegal anti-socialist activity in Nicaragua.
Ruth and Michael Paine could not have been Soviet, Castro or Mafia agents. They had to be agents of the killing force, our U.S. intelligence. If they had been Soviet or Castro agents, an innocent government would have swooped down on them and seen them as clear beacons leading to the killers. Our government did not cause them any trouble. The Paines are criminal co-conspirators in the killing of President Kennedy and would and should now be prosecuted by a guiltless government.
There is no rational manner in which we can strip away the guilt of the highest levels of our national security state. The government’s consistent criminal pattern of ignoring a whole series of data indicating conspiracy and consistently twisting the meaning of evidence to support a single assassin killing compels the conclusion that the U.S. national security state killed President Kennedy. President Kennedy himself had posited that he might be killed by the national security state, as reported in Paul B. Fay, Jr.’s book, The Pleasure of his Company. Given the simplicity of the above analysis, the conclusion is inescapable that the American civilian media failed in its First Amendment task of seriously examining the killing of President Kennedy by the military-intelligence community. The U.S. media chose instead to serve the interests of state. That rightfully earns them the title of accessories after the fact.
Please do not seek comfort in the probability that the killing of President Kennedy was the work of a low-level conspiracy. Chief Justice Warren, Allen Dulles, McGeorge Bundy, all of the other government operatives, the U.S. media, the U.S. historians, would not have failed to perform the work which we have just performed in order to protect the Mafia or some small group not associated with the center of U.S. power. If the killers had not been in the very center of the National Security State and therefore beyond reach of punishment, the President’s family, having considerable wealth and power, would have insisted upon a fair investigation and punishment of the conspirators. Our government at this time would not have its very legitimacy at issue throughout the world in order to protect rogue elements who had committed this crime thirty-five years ago.
What has been the effect on the people of this country from having been bombarded by our government with evidence which speaks to a high level conspiracy, while this same government issued a Warren Report that concluded a single assassin was responsible for the killing? What is the effect on our people when this same government through the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that President Kennedy was probably assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in a conspiracy with other unknown individuals? What is the effect on our people when that House Committee’s Chief Counsel, Robert Blakey, announced that the Mafia did it? What is the effect on our nation when the power structure of this country and its employees have demonstrated a pattern of willingness to commit crimes in order to cover for and to defend the assassins?
The effect of the government’s deceit has been to create a confused and extremely protracted debate designed to hide the simple truth of a high level warfare-state conspiracy. The government has served on us, the people, who have always by a large majority disbelieved the Warren Report, a notice that we are powerless. President Kennedy, a popular, beloved world leader of independent wealth, was dispatched without a common-law inquest. Enormous evidence was released that he was killed by a conspiracy. Yet the government persisted in contending that the killing was accomplished either by a lone nut or by some Italian gangsters.
In providing us with a commitment to a sole assassin killing or an assassination by the Mafia, Castro, Soviet or low-level rogue U.S. group, while providing us with extensive evidence of a high-level conspiracy, the national security state seeks to paralyze our thinking processes. Through Orwellian doublethink the government successfully involved us in years of fruitless debate as to the microanalytic details of how the assassination was executed and what obscure meaning the assassination had on our lives. Through this Orwellian doublethink the government sends us clear signals. It instructs us that if bullets could remove a constitutionally-elected president, and the murderers go unpunished, then we should not take seriously U.S. politics. It instructs us that we should not entertain hopes of accomplishing a truthful explanation of the meaning of the killing.
Our government by issuing as truth the obvious lies of the Warren Report named after and attributed to a liberal Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, impressed upon us that we could not rely on our court system to accomplish justice.
Notwithstanding that all public opinion polls demonstrated that the U.S. public believed that a conspiracy had brought down the President, Congress remained silent for 13 years on the assassination. When finally in 1979 Congress spoke in the voice of the House Select Committee, that voice was a muffled whisper informing us that probably the mob did it. Through this hushed and cowardly utterance the people were told that they could not rely on the Congress to represent their interests.
For years, not satisfied with having merely killed President Kennedy, the U.S. media have been busy endeavoring to assassinate his character by publishing a series of books designed to demonstrate that he was a flawed and perverse person so that we might conclude that he deserved his fate. A man who had sacrificed his life for world peace was shot down and then pilloried with defamation for years by a contemptuous and arrogant U.S. establishment.
The assassination of President Kennedy and its handling by the government and its compliant media were designed to accomplish not only the firing by gunshots of a President, but also were aimed at mind-manipulation and paralysis of our people. The fact that we have been debating this assassination for thirty-five years demonstrates that the national security state has enjoyed considerable success in accomplishing its goal. By debating the meaning of the assassination of President Kennedy we have served the purpose of our military-intelligence complex to mystify the obvious.
What are we to do? We must accept as no mystery the question of why the assassination occurred. President Kennedy was killed for seeking to reduce the planet-threatening tensions of the Cold War. He was killed for accomplishing the test-ban treaty. He was killed for his eloquence in espousing peace. In his 1963 American University speech he urged:
... my fellow Americans, let us examine our attitude toward peace ... And is not peace, in the last analysis, basically a matter of human rights – the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation – the right to breathe air as nature provided it – the right of future generations to a healthy existence? While we proceed to safeguard our national interests, let us also safeguard human interests. And the elimination of war and arms is clearly in the interest of both.
President Kennedy was killed because he had refused to bomb and to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, although the Joint Chiefs and the CIA were much for this course of action. Later he had refused, when opposed by the Joint Chiefs and the CIA, to consent to invading Cuba during the missile crisis. Instead of invading Cuba, against the expressed wishes of the Joint Chiefs and the CIA, he had chosen to negotiate with the Soviets over a commitment not to invade Cuba. He had then moved for the normalization of relations with Cuba. Those relations have still to be normalized. He had established a back-channel communication system with the Soviets. Because of his quest for world peace and his struggle to preserve the human race from a devastating thermonuclear war, President John F. Kennedy was killed by the highest levels of our national security state.
Was President Kennedy’s Vietnam policy one of the reasons why he was killed? There has been much speculation and debate on what President Kennedy would or would not have done in Vietnam had he not been killed. If I were to engage in speculation, I would tend to believe that the man who twice refused to submit to the Joint Chiefs and the CIA on bombing and invading Cuba a mere ninety miles from our shore would not have consented to sending hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops half way around the world to slaughter Vietnamese peasants.
But there is no need to speculate on the issue of whether President Kennedy’s policy towards Vietnam was changed immediately following his death. It was. The historical record is clear. President Kennedy did order the beginning of a withdrawal of all U.S. personnel which withdrawal would be completed in two years. To undermine that policy, just two days after his assassination the CIA produced, as per assassination agnostic Professor Noam Chomsky in his book,Rethinking Camelot, “radically revised assumptions on which the withdrawal plans has been conditioned.”
Yes, Dealey Plaza’s crackling rifle fire was directly connected to the scorching of Vietnam flesh by napalm and the millions of deaths our invasion caused. For more on Vietnam and President Kennedy, my friend, Dr. Michael Morrissey, will have more to say in his future writings.
We now understand the deep significance of President Kennedy’s killing. Our cities blight while we build B-2 bombers and an unattainable but military-industrial-profit-generating anti-ballistic missile system. Our poor suffer miserable existences as we continue to fatten the military-industrial complex for protection against imagined or impotent enemies. Our public schools in the urban areas decay while we maintain military bases throughout the globe. We desperately search for terrorists and weak nation states which we can designate as “rogue states” and therefore make them necessary targets for our Pentagon to show off its newest weapons systems.
By coming to understand the true answer to the historical question of who killed President Kennedy and why, we will have developed a delicate and precisely accurate prism through which we can examine how power works in this militarized country. By understanding the nature of this monumental crime, we will become equipped to organize the struggle through which we can make this country a civilian republic in more than name only. Until we understand the nature of the Kennedy assassination, and until we express the truth openly on this vital aspect of our history, we will continue to be guilty participants in the vast amount of state criminality involved in the killing of President Kennedy and its cover up.
We cannot consider ourselves a free and democratic people until we understand and address the evil nature of the warfare-state power which murdered President John F. Kennedy. Until then we cannot begin the vital work of ridding the world of the terror produced by our mighty war machine that crushes hopes for true substantive democracy here and elsewhere.
We can no longer afford to shield ourselves by asserting that the murder of President Kennedy is a mystery. There is no mystery regarding how, by whom, and why President Kennedy was killed. Only when we strip away our privileged cloak of denial about the truth of the killing will we be able to free ourselves for the hard global work of changing our unfair and brutal society to one that is more equitable and less violent.