If you are not attending our online conference “The National Security State and the Kennedy Assassination,” you are missing out on one of the best conferences we have ever held at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Our conference is oriented toward people who have an interest in the assassination but who have never had the time or the inclination to study it carefully. Consider this conference a college-level introductory course to the assassination of an American president.
One of the questions I have received over the years is: Given that the assassination occurred over 50 years ago and given that all the participants are now dead, what difference does it make?
The answer is: It is a straight line from the Kennedy assassination to where we are today — living under a way of life in which the federal government exercises omnipotent, non-reviewable powers, including the power to engage in state-sponsored assassinations of both American citizens and foreign citizens.
Today, it’s all justified under the term “the war on terrorism.” Back in the 50s and 60s, these same types of powers were being justified under the rubric of the Cold War and the supposed threat of an international communist conspiracy to conquer the U.S. and the rest of the world that was supposedly based in Moscow, Russia.
To understand the Kennedy assassination, it is necessary to understand the Cold War context of the assassination as well as the other U.S. regime-change operations that took place both before and after the assassination. By understanding Cold War U.S. foreign policy, one can more easily understand the supposed necessity for the assassination of a U.S. president.
Keep in mind though, first of all, that these types of omnipotent, non-reviewable, totalitarian-like powers were alien to American life for the first 150-plus years of U.S. history. That was the last thing our American ancestors wanted. With the Constitution, they brought into existence what is called a limited-government republic, a type of governmental structure in which the federal government’s powers were extremely limited and few.
That all changed after World War II, when the federal government was converted to an entirely different type of governmental structure — a national-security state. This type of governmental structure was characterized by a massive, permanent military-intelligence establishment that wields omnipotent, non-reviewable, totalitarian-like powers, including the power of assassination.
The argument was that since the Soviet Union, which supposedly headed the international communist conspiracy, wielded these types of omnipotent powers, it was necessary for the United States to wield them too. Otherwise, the argument went, the United States would end up getting defeated and taken captive by the communists.
In 1953, the CIA, one of the three components of the national-security state, ousted the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, in a coup. The justification? That he was leaning communist, which, U.S. officials believed, posed a grave threat to U.S. national security.
In 1954, buoyed by its success in Iran, the CIA ousted the democratically elected president of Guatemala in a coup. The justification? That he was a socialist who bringing communists into his administration and who was reaching out to the Soviet Union and Cuba in a a spirit of peace and friendship. The CIA had an assassination target list for the coup but Arbenz was able to escape the country before the CIA could assassinate him.
In 1960, the CIA began planning a regime-change operation for Cuba, one that would ultimately involve an assassination partnership with the Mafia that targeted Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The justification? That Castro was a socialist/communist who was establishing peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world. The argument was that the United States would end up losing the Cold War and would ultimately be enveloped by communism if the communist regime in Cuba was permitted to stand.
As our first two conference speakers have pointed out, Kennedy came into power as pretty much a standard Cold Warrior. Like most everyone else, he had bought into the notion that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the world, which supposedly made the Cold War necessary.
What made Kennedy different, however, was two things: He sympathized with Third World independence movements and with the U.S. civil rights movement. That made him suspect in the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, which was convinced that both of these were communist fronts.
As we will see in this week’s presentation by John Newman, author of the book JFK and Vietnam and a consultant for Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, as Kennedy continued in office his relationship with the national-security establishment deteriorated, until it broke out into all-out war between the executive branch and the national-security branch in 1963.
After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy experienced a breakthrough, one that enabled him to see the Cold War as nothing but a senseless, dangerous, and deadly disaster. He threw the gauntlet down at his Peace Speech at American University in June 1963 by declaring an end to the Cold War and his intention to reach out to the Soviet Union and the communist world in a spirit of peace and friendship.
Just imagine what the reaction was in the Pentagon and the CIA to a president who was claiming that their anti-communist crusade was nothing more than bunk — nothing more than a deadly and destructive racket. And just think — this coming from a president who sided with supposed communists in Third World countries and a supposed communist front in the U.S. civil rights movement — a president who had supposedly displayed cowardice at the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba — a president who refused to invade Cuba and then cut a deal with the Soviet Union to leave the communists regime in Cuba permanently in power — and now a president who was reaching out to the Soviet Union and the communist world in a spirit of peace and friendship.
Remember: That’s why they ousted Mossadegh from power in Iran and Arbenz from power in Guatemala. That’s why they conspired with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro. That’s why they would oust the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, from power in Chile 10 years after the Kennedy assassination. If foreign presidents and prime ministers supposedly posed a grave threat to U.S. national security by befriending the communists, how could they possibly leave a U.S. president in power who was doing the same thing — a domestic president who obviously posed a much graver threat to national security than any of those foreign presidents and prime ministers.
Don’t forget also that Kennedy was determined to move America in a more socialist direction, just as Mossadegh, Arbenz, and Castro were doing and what Allende would do. After all, while LBJ gets the credit for enacting Medicare and Medicaid, the fact is that they were Kennedy’s ideas.
Given their conviction that Kennedy’s philosophy and policies were going to end up causing the United States to fall to the communists, what choice did the Pentagon and the CIA have? An impeachment effort would almost certainly fail. Moreover, Kennedy was almost certain to win the 1964 presidential election, which would give him four more years to supposedly lead America to defeat at the hands of the communists.
To save the country, they concluded that they had to do what they did to those leaders in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and other places. They had to effect a regime-change operation, one that would elevate Vice President Johnson into office, a man who was on the same anti-communist page as the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — a man who would lead the charge against the communists in Vietnam and sacrifice tens of thousands of American men in the process.
After Kennedy, no president dared to challenge the national-security establishment at a fundamental, existential level. Both the federal judiciary and the Congress, understanding the massive power that the national-national-security establishment wielded, acquiesced and deferred.
When the Cold War ended, the national-security establishment was not ready to disappear and go quietly into the night and let Americans have their limited-government republic back. That’s when they went into the Middle East and began killing people, until the inevitable terrorist “blowback” occurred, such as with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, the attack on the U.S. embassies in East Africa, the 9/11 attacks, and many more.
The “war on communism” simply morphed into the “war on terrorism” and the “war on Islam.” Nothing changed in a fundamental sense. Assassination became an openly displayed official power. Regime change became an openly acknowledged policy. Sanctions, invasions, coups, alliances with dictatorial regimes, and wars of aggression became established U.S. foreign policy. Torture, indefinite detention, and kangaroo tribunals became their official judicial system.
And of course, no president, no federal judge, and no member of Congress, has dared to challenge the power and supremacy of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. For a while it appeared that President Trump might do so, but for some unknown reason he quickly crumbled.
Today, we have now come full circle, with Russia and Communist China once again as official enemies of the United States, along with terrorism and Islam.
There are those who do not wish to acknowledge and confront these discomforting truths. That is why there is such a reluctance among some to confront the Kennedy assassination and its deeper meaning and long-term consequences. For those who have no such reluctance and who are interested in getting our nation back on the right track toward peace, prosperity, harmony, and morality, a good place to begin is by attending our conference.
The next presentation in our conference by John Newman is one you don’t want to miss. Tomorrow night, Wednesday, at 7 p.m. Eastern time. Make some coffee. It is a two-hour presentation, one that I am certain you will find fascinating and enlightening. It will be followed by a Q&A session.
We are adding new speakers to our conference schedule — Dr. Michael Chesser and Dr. David Mantik, which will extend the conference into May. Like I say, this is shaping up to be one of the best conferences ever held by The Future of Freedom Foundation. If you stay through the end, I am confident that you will see why some of us remain determined to keep this issue in the public eye.