Saturday, March 30, 2013
“…know the truth and the truth will set you free.” -John 8:32
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It is time that we honored his sacrifice by demanding that the truth be told about the circumstances of his death. There are important questions that have not been answered by the Warren Commission or the government. Knowing who killed Kennedy and why he was killed are two of the two most important questions to answer if Americans are ever going to trust their government again. The others are regard the extent of foreknowledge of 9/11 by US government and exactly how it used this inside information to launch its war of terror. This has served to hide from average Americans the fact that it is nothing but a war for corporate Empire. Knowing the answers to questions about Kennedy’s murder will go a long way toward answering questions about how and why 9/11 was used by the corporatocracy to advance the aims of Project for a New American Century’s plan for world domination. Until Americans understand this, they will continue to be ignorant of why it is critical to unite to take back their government.
It is disgraceful that 50 years after the fact, the Obama administration refused to release an estimated 50,000 pages of remaining documents regarding its investigation into what could rightly be called the crime of the century. Unanswered questions about the murder of an American president are still sneeringly dismissed by the corporate media and politicians despite the fact that the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in 1978 that JFK was likely killed as the result of a conspiracy, one that neither the FBI nor the Warren Commission ever seriously considered. Fortunately, enough documents have been released and witnesses identified that the basic outlines of the conspiracy are clear, including the central role of the CIA.
For those who want to understand how Kennedy was killed, there are any number of books that present the evidence for various theories to explain the many aspects of the murder that were ignored or inadequately addressed by both the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. For those who want to know why he was killed, they cannot do better than to read the meticulously documented JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass. He does a good job of highlighting some of the most important evidence. However, it is in his examination of the reasons that Kennedy was killed that he excels. His may prove to be one of the most important books in history, if its lessons are widely noted and heeded.
Thomas Merton defined “the unspeakable” is as “…an evil whose depth and deceit (seem) to go beyond the capacity of words to describe.” In particular, the unspeakable is truth that “too few are willing to see” because most of us are “eager to be reconciled with the world at any price” He argues that the price of turning from the truth of what Kennedy’s assassination means is a loss of the national soul and with it, any prospect for world peace. As persuasively argued in JFK and the Unspeakable and in a speech by Douglass outlining the argument, it was this quest for peace that led to JFK’s murder by those who profited most from a growing military-industrial complex that was already out of control by 1963.
Douglass traces the origins of the unspeakable to a 1948 National Security Council Directive authorizing the CIA to commit illegal actions under the doctrine of “denial plausibility,” or without leaving evidence of American involvement. This is what gives the CIA the ability to operate with little congressional scrutiny and to conceal information from or lie to the President, the press and the American people. He argues that by 1963, the CIA had assets in every branch of government, the military and corporations that formed the industrial part of the military-industrial-government complex. The CIA role in the Kennedy assassination is suggested by Truman’s remarks shortly after: “For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government . . . There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.”
The guiding principle of CIA operation is that what is good for the transnational corporations that profit from military and economic conquests of resource-rich nations is in “American” interests. This has always been the case in American foreign policy, but never before had an agency of government been given so much power with so much autonomy. It was bound to lead to conflicts with any President who dared challenge the conventional wisdom of the Cold war or those who profited from it. After the CIA lied to him in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy spoke of wanting to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the wind.” This was the opening salvo in what became a covert war between Kennedy and every element of the military industrial complex from the CIA and military to the industrialists, bankers and politicians whose interests they served.
JFK and the Unspeakable counters the myth that as an unrepentant Cold Warrior, Kennedy could not have been the passionate idealist for peace that some have described him. This has been a useful lie, serving to divert attention from the real motivation for JFK’s murder and who carried it out and covered it up. The evidence now available clearly documents Kennedy’s change after the Cuban missile crisis. After facing the prospect of being responsible for a nuclear war that could have ended human civilization as we know it, he was transformed from Cold Warrior to Soldier For Peace, posing a direct threat to an established order that was based on endless expansion of corporate Empire. Douglass documents the profound transformation he underwent
After staring down generals who had called for a preemptive nuclear strike during the missile crisis, JFK established continuing back door communication with Kruschev, negotiating the first ABM missile treaty and even proposing a joint US-Soviet space project that would have ended the space race that was a cover for the dangerous escalation of nuclear weapons. With Kruschev’s help began setting up a line of communication with Castro seeking normalization of relations that continued until the day of his assassination. He ordered plans for the evacuation of American troops from Vietnam, but military leadership stalled him until his death, after which LBJ cancelled these plans and escalated the war. In addition to these moves toward peace he challenged price fixing in the steel industry, converted the US to a silver standard to reduce the power of the Fed and seriously challenged Mafia power. Since the Mafia was an important source of CIA assets and the international banks controlled the corporations that profit from war, these too can be seen as part of his concerted effort to work for world peace.
Finally, less than six months before his murder, Kennedy gave a little-remembered speech at American University in which he called for an end to the Cold War. Speaking about the common humanity of Americans, Russians, Cubans, Vietnamese and all people of the Earth, his speech was widely hailed in Russia, where it was front page news and a cause for rejoicing while being virtually ignored in the US media.
JFK risked all in the pursuit of peace and was silenced as a result. He will not have died in vain if we keep his dream alive. It starts with believing peace is possible, even while acknowledging the tremendous forces that make it seem otherwise. Understanding the real story of his murder is an essential first step in creating a truly transparent government answerable to the People. The next step is to make other Americans understand it as well. We owe as much to Kennedy and the millions who have died in senseless wars in the belief that they were defending liberty. Most of all, we owe it to our children and generations to come to assure that the dream of liberty and justice for all does not perish from the Earth.