COME TO CHARLESTON! The Ron Paul Institute and The Future of Freedom Foundation are co-hosting a conference on U.S. foreign policy in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, April 29, from 1-5 pm. Speakers: Ron Paul, Dan McAdams, Richard Ebeling, and Jacob Hornberger, with special guest Congressman Mark Sanford. Details here.
When some advocates of the lone-nut theory of the Kennedy assassination wish to poo-poo the notion that the U.S. national-security establishment would implement a regime-change operation against Kennedy, they bring up Vietnam. They either deny that Kennedy intended to pull U.S. troops out of Vietnam or, alternatively, they scoff at the notion that the Pentagon and the CIA would have replaced Kennedy with Lyndon Johnson for that reason alone.
These proponents of the lone-nut theory, however, miss the point. First of all, it is now indisputable that Kennedy was, in fact, pulling out of Vietnam. Just before he was assassinated, he issued a written order to the Pentagon to withdraw 1,000 troops and bring them home. He also told close aides that once he had won the 1964 election, he would complete the pull-out.
More important, it wasn’t just Kennedy’s plan to pull the United States out of Vietnam that made him a threat to “national security.” The reason he had to be ousted from office and replaced with Johnson was that he had reached a point in his life where he was challenging the entire anti-Russia racket that the Pentagon and the CIA had inculcated in the American people since the end of World War II.
What bigger threat to “national security” than that? By challenging the national-security state’s anti-Russia racket, Kennedy was threatening the existence of the national-security establishment itself, along with future decades of ever-increasing money, power, and influence.
Of course, the national-security establishment didn’t see it that way. The way they saw it was that Kennedy was subjecting the United States to a Soviet (i.e., Russian) victory in the Cold War and, ultimately, a communist takeover of the United States.
What most Americans today do not realize is the monumental transformation of the U.S. government after World War II, when it was changed from a constitutional republic to what is called a “national security state.”
What is a “national security state”?
Well, to give you an idea of what it is, consider that North Korea is a national security state. So is China. So is Vietnam. So is Egypt.
A national-security state is one where the government has a massive, permanent military establishment, one that plays a predominant role in society. Consider all of the thousands of military bases and other military installations all across the nation. Think of all the cities and towns that are dependent on military largess and who live in constant fear of losing their military dole.
A national-security state is also one that has a secretive agency with omnipotent powers to protect “national security.” That’s where the CIA and the NSA come into play. Kidnapping. Torture. Indefinite detention. Surveillance. Spying. Coups. Invasions. Assassinations. All under the notion that someone (e.g., Russia, the Reds, the terrorists, the Muslims, ISIS, Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Vietnam, etc.) is coming to get us.
In the United States, the national-security establishment is composed of three agencies, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. In countries like Egypt and North Korea, they are all combined together. But the principle is the same: a massive, permanent standing army and secretive agencies with omnipotent powers to protect “national security.”
That’s not the type of government on which America was founded. The Constitution called into existence a limited-government republic, one that had a relatively small military force and no secretive agencies like the CIA and the NSA. No powers of assassination, kidnapping, torture, indefinite detention, coups, and the like.
To get a sense of how our American ancestors viewed standing armies and the threat that standing armies pose to a nation’s own citizenry, see my article “The Dangers of a Standing Army.”
At the end of World War II, there were those within the military establishment that wanted to convert the federal government into a national-security state, notwithstanding the fact that that type of government is inherent to totalitarian regimes.
But in order to accomplish that, they needed a big, official enemy that they could use to scare the American people into acceding to the change.
Enter the Soviet Union. Now, we say “the Soviet Union” but in reality we mean Russia because Russia was the leading and driving force within the Soviet Union.
Keep in mind something important: U.S. officials had made Russia their partner and ally in World War II. The two nations had worked together to defeat Nazi Germany.
But since the proponents of a national-security state needed a new, big official enemy at the end of WWII to justify the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state, they figured that Russia (i.e., the Soviet Union) would fit the bill.
So, they immediately began taking steps to assure that Russia would be converted from partner and ally to a new, official, big enemy of the United States.
President Truman, for example, was advised that if he was to succeed in converting America to a national security state, he would have to scare the American people to death. To begin the split with America’s partner and ally, he summoned the Russian ambassador to the White House and issued an angry tirade of orders and insults. U.S. officials also exclaimed against Russia’s plan to keep East Germany and Eastern Europe under its control, notwithstanding the discomforting fact that President Roosevelt had agreed to give those countries to Russia during the war. And after giving all of East Germany (and Eastern Europe) to their wartime partner and ally, U.S. officials retained control over West Berlin knowing full-well that would serve as a perpetual crisis flashpoint against their new official enemy.
And so the Cold War began. During the next 45 years, Americans were besieged with indoctrination and propaganda about how the Reds were coming to get us. That’s how U.S. forces ended up fighting and dying in North Korea, which was nothing more than a civil war but which was billed as part of the worldwide communist conspiracy to take over America and the rest of the world. Same with Vietnam. Same with Cuba. And Iran. And Guatemala. And Chile. And other countries were made the targets of U.S. regime-change operations, none of which had ever attacked the United States.
In his Farewell Address. President Eisenhower alluded to this monumental transformation of the federal government. He said that Americans should beware that the national-security state posed a grave threat to the liberties and democratic processes of the American people. But here was the kicker: He said that that transformation had been necessary because of the Cold War.
Along came John F. Kennedy, who slowly came to the realization that Eisenhower was wrong. The Cold War wasn’t necessary. It was nothing more than a racket, one designed to keep Americans scared so that they would support the conversion to a national-security state and its perpetual, ever-increasing river of tax-funded military largess.
The fact is that by the time he was assassinated, Kennedy was in an all-out war against the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. The war wasn’t just about Vietnam, another civil war that the Pentagon and the CIA were convinced was part of the worldwide communist conspiracy to take over America. The war between Kennedy and the national-security establishment was much bigger than that. It was a war over the entire future direction of the United States and, implicitly, the continued existence of the national-security establishment.
Would the U.S. continue to be guided by a fierce anti-Soviet, anti-Russia, anti-communist mindset, which would ensure decades of expansion and largess for the U.S. military-intelligence establishment?
By the time the Cuban Missile Crisis was over, Kennedy had decided that the answer to that question was “No.” Knowing full well the dangers he faced, he decided that it was time to bring an end to the Pentagon-CIA-NSA anti-Russia racket.
Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in his famous Peace Speech at American University, where he declared an end to the Cold War and the anti-Russia mindset that the Pentagon and the CIA had inculcated in the American people since the end of World War II. The fact that he didn’t even consult with or advise the Pentagon and the CIA of what he intended to say and instead just sprung it on them speaks volumes about the disdain that he had come to have for the national-security state and its constant, never-ending anti-Russia brouhaha.
Kennedy proposed that America and Russia coexist in peace and friendship despite their ideological differences. He even suggested that the two countries could work together on a joint project to the moon, which meant sharing U.S. missile technology with the Reds. He proposed a nuclear test ban treaty, over the fierce opposition of the Pentagon and the CIA. Worst of all (or best of all, depending on one’s perspective), he entered into negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban President Fidel Castro, who had come to the same conclusions, to get all this done — without advising the Pentagon and the CIA, but who undoubtedly had learned about it through secret surveillance.
From the perspective of the national-security establishment, what Kennedy was doing posed a far greater threat to “national security” than anything that Mossadegh in Iran, Castro in Cuba, and Arbenz in Guatemala had done (and that Allende in Chile would do) to justify their being targeted for a U.S. national-security regime-change operation. Kennedy was threatening the entire justification for the continued existence of a national-security state in the United States. In the eyes of the national-security establishment, he was subjecting America to a Russian takeover of the United States.
How easy was it to inculcate the American people with an anti-Russian, anti-Red mindset, both before and after Kennedy was assassinated? Unfortunately, not difficult at all, given the mindset of conformity, deference to authority, passivity, and obedience that is inculcated in the American people in their state educational systems. The ease by which Americans embraced the anti-Russia mindset can best be explained in a famous quote by Nazi official Herman Goering regarding war (think Iraq):
Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
For more information, see:
The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger
Regime Change: The JFK Assassination by Jacob Hornberger
The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger
CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley
“The National Security State and JFK,” a FFF conference featuring Oliver Stone and ten other speakers
“Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence,” a five-part video by Douglas P. Horne