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Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey has written a newly published book entitled Operation Dragon, which poses one of the silliest conspiracy theories ever in the Kennedy assassination. Woolsey says that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Lee Harvey Oswald conspired to assassinate John Kennedy. He says that Khrushchev later changed his mind and withdrew from the conspiracy and instructed Oswald to cease and desist. According to Woolsey, Oswald was so determined to become a hero in Khrushchev’s eyes that he decided to go through with the assassination anyway.
How do we know that Woolsey’s theory is silly? One reason: the fraudulent autopsy that was performed on Kennedy’s body.
There is one irrefutable fact in the Kennedy assassination, one with which everyone agrees. That fact is that the U.S. national-security establishment performed the autopsy on the president’s body. Not the Mafia. Not the communists. Not the Soviet Union. Not Nikita Khrushchev. Not Fidel Castro. It was the American Deep State that performed the autopsy.
Why would the U.S. national-security establishment perform a fraudulent autopsy on the body of the deceased president? There is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy, and certainly no one has ever tried to posit one. The only possible reason would be to serve as a cover-up of the crime itself.
Would the military-intelligence establishment go to all the trouble of a fraudulent autopsy to cover up an assassination by the Soviets, the communists, Nikita Khrushchev, or Fidel Castro?
Not a chance! The Pentagon and the CIA loathed communists. That’s what the Cold War was all about. In fact, in his new book Woolsey captures perfectly the mindset of hatred and antipathy of the national-security establishment toward communism and the communist world. There is no possibility whatsoever that the American Deep State decided, on the spur of the moment, to carry out a fraudulent autopsy on Kennedy’s body in order to protect communists.
What does Woolsey say about the autopsy? Nothing! He doesn’t mention it. It’s as though it just didn’t happen. He is clearly stuck in a 1964 time suspension in which he remains convinced that there was an international communist conspiracy based in Moscow, one in which the Reds were coming to get us. He evidently also believes that the American people are as deferential to the Pentagon and the CIA as they were back in 1964 and that they will automatically believe anything and everything that representatives or former representatives of the Deep State say.
What Woolsey wants to ignore — and what he wants the American people to ignore — is the mountain of circumstantial evidence that has been uncovered since 1963, especially as a result of the efforts of the Assassination Record Review Board in the 1990s, establishing that there was a fraudulent autopsy. The idea is that if U.S. Deep State officials, along with their assets in the mainstream press, will just ignore the autopsy, the evidence establishing the fraud will just go away.
But it’s not going away. On the contrary, it is being highlighted, examined, and publicized, not in the mainstream press but all over the Internet. Woolsey just doesn’t want to deal with it.
A fascinating aspect of Woolsey’s book is that he is attacking the Warren Report. In positing his conspiracy theory, he is saying that Oswald was not a lone-nut assassin, as the Warren Commission concluded. Instead, according to Woolsey, Oswald conspired with the communists to kill the president.
As we will see later in this article, the irony is that Woolsey, whether he realizes it or not, is positing a conspiracy theory that actually played a critically important role in successfully covering up the Deep State’s assassination of President Kennedy.
When the CIA was called into existence in 1947 as part of the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, it almost immediately began specializing in the art of assassination and cover-up. That was one of the distinguishing characteristics of the federal government’s new structure as a national-security state — the power of federal officials to assassinate people without fear of ever being prosecuted for murder.
Yet the power to assassinate people was never authorized in the Constitution itself. Moreover, the Fifth Amendment expressly prohibited federal officials from assassinating people. Nonetheless, when the federal government was converted to a national-security state after World War II to fight the Cold War against the communists, the federal government, operating through the CIA, was deemed to have acquired the power to assassinate people without having to go through the process of amending the Constitution to authorize such a power.
As early as 1952, the CIA published a top-secret manual on assassination for its operatives. It can be found on the Internet today. It not only spells out various methods of assassination, it also details ways to cover up the Deep State’s role in assassinations that it orchestrated or carried out.
Another power that came with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state was the power to institute regime-change operations. These operations revolved around protecting the United States from foreign leaders who posed a threat to national security by befriending communist regimes or even just by staying neutral during the Cold War.
The Cold War regime-change operations that were orchestrated and carried out by the Deep State, both before and after the Kennedy assassination, were brilliantly cunning in their conception and in the way they were carried out. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The people who were working for the CIA were extremely smart people who were devoting their lives to the art of assassination and cover-up.
The main reason for the Cold War regime-change operations was the deep concern over foreign leaders who wished to establish peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world. Those leaders were deemed to be grave threats to national security because, it was believed, they were helping the international communist conspiracy to get closer and closer to enveloping the United States.
It is impossible to overstate the hatred and fear that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — the principal components of the U.S. national-security state — had toward communism in general and Russia (or the Soviet Union) in particular. That was why the United States got embroiled in the Korean War and the Vietnam War — to prevent the communists from getting closer to world conquest. That’s also why the CIA targeted the presidents or prime ministers in Iran, Guatemala, Congo, and Chile, among others, for regime-change operations.
Reflecting the fierce Cold War anti-communist mindset of the U.S. Deep State prior to and after the Kennedy assassination was its attitude toward Cuba, a Third World island nation situated only 90 miles away from American shores that had gone communist in 1959. The Deep State triumvirate of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA were convinced that Cuba posed a grave threat to U.S. national security and that, in fact, the United States could not remain free with a communist regime so close to American shores. That concern over Cuba would be a major factor in the Deep State’s decision to violently remove Kennedy from office.
Most people in the early 1960s had no idea that there was a fierce conflict between Kennedy and the national-security establishment over the future direction of the United States. I’d venture to say that many Americans today are still unaware of the depth and ferocity of that conflict. It was a conflict that began before Kennedy even took office but gradually grew in intensity to such an extent that it cost Kennedy his life on November 22, 1963.
John Kennedy came into office as pretty much a standard Cold Warrior. Like nearly everyone else, he subscribed to the Deep State’s line that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the world, one that was based in Moscow and that had extended its tentacles to North Korea, China, Vietnam, Laos, Eastern Europe, and Cuba.
But there were two major differences with how Kennedy and the Deep State viewed the world, both of which made Kennedy suspect within the national-security establishment even before he became president.
One difference involved Third World nations that were fighting for independence from colonial powers, such as Britain, Belgium, and France. The Pentagon and the CIA were convinced that those independence movements were communist-inspired and constituted a grave threat to U.S. national security. Kennedy, on the other hand, viewed them as simply efforts to establish independence from oftentimes brutal colonial rule.
Before Kennedy took office, the CIA had concluded that Congo leader Patrice Lumumba was leaning toward communism and, therefore, posed a grave threat to U.S. national security. Knowing that Kennedy viewed the matter differently and fearing that he might interfere with its operations, the CIA hurried to complete its assassination of Lumumba before Kennedy took office. The assassination effort succeeded, causing Kennedy, who deeply admired Lumumba, tremendous anguish when he took office and later found out that Lumumba had been murdered.
Another difference involved the U.S. civil rights movement. Operating under J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI, which had become a de facto part of the national-security establishment, was convinced that King and the civil rights movement were communist fronts whose mission was to foment division and strife within America in order to pave the way for a communist takeover of the United States. Kennedy, on the other hand, believed that King and other blacks were simply fighting for equal rights and equal treatment under law.
Soon after Kennedy took office, the CIA presented him with a plan to use Cuban exiles to invade Cuba, oust Fidel Castro from power, and install another pro-U.S. dictator into power, similar to Fulgencio Batista, the brutal and corrupt pro-U.S. dictator whom Castro had ousted from power in the Cuban revolution in 1959.
The CIA was certain that its invasion plan could not succeed without U.S. air support. But that’s not what it told Kennedy. Lying to the newly elected president, it assured him that the operation would succeed without U.S. air support. The CIA figured that once the invasion was in danger of failing, the president would have no effective choice but to provide the air support after all, to avoid having the communists kill or capture the CIA’s invaders.
The deception surrounding the invasion at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs constitutes a fascinating and revealing insight into how the CIA viewed its position vis-à-vis the newly elected Kennedy. By this time, the CIA had been in existence 14 years and had solidified its position within the national-security establishment, including its powers of instigating coups and carrying out assassinations. The fact that the CIA felt comfortable manipulating and maneuvering the newly elected president speaks volumes about who the CIA felt was ultimately in charge of running the federal government.
There is something else to note about the Cuban invasion. The CIA’s plan was to keep the U.S. role in the operation secret. Under the plan, the president’s job would be to lie and cover up the CIA’s role in the invasion. Thus, from the very start of his administration, the CIA was maneuvering the president to become the nation’s “liar in chief,” and to keep a secret that the CIA would be able to hold over his head during the rest of his administration.
When the invasion began to falter, the CIA requested Kennedy to provide the air support. To the CIA’s surprise, Kennedy said no and permitted the invaders to be killed or captured at the hands of Castro’s communist forces. In the eyes of the Deep State, Kennedy’s failure to act was an act of cowardice in the face of the communist enemy, with some within the Deep State believing that his actions bordered on treason.
For his part, Kennedy was livid. He is reputed to have vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds. He fired the much-revered CIA director, Allen Dulles, and his chief deputy. From that point on, Kennedy’s relationship with the Deep State only went from bad to worse and ultimately turned into a major schism between the executive branch and the national-security branch of the federal government.
This article was originally published in the May 2021 edition of Future of Freedom.