The conference webpage for our upcoming online conference “The National Security State and the JFK Assassination” is now open. You can now register for the conference.
The conference will consist of weekly presentations beginning Wednesday, March 3, at 7pm Eastern Time and continue every Wednesday after that through April 21. The speakers, speaker bios, schedule, and synopsis of each talk are posted on the conference webpage. The conference will be presented through Zoom. Admission will be free.
Imagine that the national-security establishment of a country determines that the country’s president is a grave threat to national security. Imagine also that there are only two legal ways to remove the president from office — through impeachment and through the next election. Imagine that impeachment has been tried and that it has failed. The next election is in three years.
What does the national-security establishment do? If it waits until the next election, the country will supposedly be destroyed owing to the president’s policies and actions. Does it act illegally and save the country or does it act legally and let the country be destroyed?
I would be willing to bet that many people wouldn’t hesitate to support the national-security establishment’s ouster of the president, knowing full well that the action was illegal. For them, the end — saving the nation — would justify the means — the illegal removal of the president from office.
That’s in fact what happened in Chile in 1973, ten years after the Kennedy assassination. The Chilean national-security establishment, with the encouragement and support of the U.S. national-security establishment, determined that the nation’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, posed a grave threat to national security within Chile, owing both to his socialist economic policies and his foreign policy of friendship toward the communist world. The national-security branch of the national government went on the attack against the executive branch of the government, and prevailed in the ensuing war. In the process, Allende was left dead and the national-security establishment ruled the country for the next 17 years.
The U.S national-security establishment incited, encouraged, and supported the Chilean coup. The reason? Allende was deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security because he was as socialist who was befriending the Soviet Union and the communist world. He wanted Chile to live in friendly and peaceful coexistence with them.
With respect to Chile itself, the U.S. national-security establishment’s position was that since Allende was deemed to be a grave threat to Chile’s national security by engaging in actions or policies that threatened the destruction of the country, it was incumbent on the Chilean national-security establishment to save the country, even if it’s actions were not authorized under the nation’s constitution.
In fact, to facilitate the Chilean coup, CIA officials orchestrated the violent kidnapping of the overall head of Chile’s armed forces, Gen. Rene Schneider, who was shot dead during the kidnapping attempt. What did the CIA have against Schneider? He opposed a coup because Chile’s constitution did not authorize coups as a way to remove a president from office. (Note: Neither the CIA nor any CIA official nor any other U.S. official was ever indicted for conspiracy, kidnapping, and assassination in the Schneider case. When his family sued in U.S. District Court for damages arising from Schneider’s murder, the court summarily dismissed their case, without permitting them to take even one deposition of the CIA. This dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.)
Is it possible for a U.S. president to be deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security? Of course. In fact, newly elected President Joe Biden has determined that former President Donald Trump poses such a grave threat to national-security that Trump is being denied access to national-security secret intelligence. Biden is not the only one. An article at lawfareblog.com is entitled “Donald Trump Is Still a Danger to Our National Security.” Another article in time.com is entitled “Donald Trump Is Endangering America’s National Security for His Ego.” There are still others.
As you will see at our upcoming JFK conference, that is precisely what happened in 1963. As you will see in the very first presentation, when he entered the presidency Kennedy was already at war with the Pentagon and the CIA over his foreign policy toward Third World countries. The matter went from bad to worse with the CIA’s invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, after which Kennedy reputedly said that he wanted to tear the CIA into a thousands pieces and scatter them to the winds. He also fired CIA Director Allen Dulles, who later joined the commission charged with investigating the assassination. There was Kennedy’s refusal to grant the Pentagon’s request to invade Cuba. There was his resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which the Joint Chiefs of Staff considered the greatest defeat in American history.
When Kennedy suddenly and unexpectedly declared an end to the Cold War and decided to reach out to the Soviet Union and the communist world in a spirit of peaceful coexistence and friendship, he was throwing the gauntlet down to the national-security establishment. He made it worse when he announced his intention to pull out all U.S. troops from Vietnam.
In one fell swoop, Kennedy was removing the entire justification for the U.S. government’s conversion to a national-security state. He was threatening what would continue to be an endless and ever-growing stream of tax-funded largess for an ever-growing military-intelligence establishment.
But the way that the U.S. national-security establishment saw it, Kennedy was a naive, neophyte, philandering playboy whose actions and policies were leading America to a Cold War defeat at the hands of the communists. It concluded that as president, he posed a much graver threat to national security than even Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossedegh and Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz, both of whom had been violently removed from power by the CIA in 1953 and 1954 for supposedly being soft on communism.
The national-security establishment knew that an impeachment of Kennedy would likely end in failure. They also knew that it was a virtual certainty that Kennedy would defeat Barry Goldwater in the 1964 election. The die was cast, just as it would be in Chile ten years later. To save the nation from a president who now posed a grave threat to national security, the national-security establishment would have to act, even if its actions were unconstitutional.