Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JFK and the National Security State

“I have always believed, and argued, that a true understanding of the Kennedy assassination will lead, not to ‘a few bad people,’ but to the institutional and parapolitical arrangements which constitute the way we are systematically governed.”
Peter Dale Scott
Deep Politics and the Death of JFK

I could probably write a whole article analyzing Peter Dale Scott’s quote. In this one simple paragraph he lays bare not only a central truth about our government but also about the death of John F. Kennedy. Our intellectual elite and media (with the exception of those in Europe) know something they won’t dare utter—that the State is capable of murdering the Chief of State. In this case, the National Security State, with its confluence of intelligence, military, and civilian corporations being the executioner. It’s been done time and time again down through history. Are we so much better than Greeks and Romans that we are exempt?

Truman’s Regret
If there is a conspiracy to kill Kennedy it is forever buried in the bowels of this beast, the beast the Harry Truman signed into law in 1947, an act that formed the CIA, NSC, and the JCS. It was a decision that he came to express regrets about. As Truman said in his December 2, 1963 article entitled, Limit CIA Role To

“I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.”

Just sixteen years after Truman signs the National Security Act into law, and just ten days after Kennedy’s death, he now sees the CIA as a independent entity with it’s own agenda, operating outside the constitutional framework of the Federal Government and no longer subservient to the President. This is quite evident in the Bay of Pigs fiasco where the CIA was running its own military operation. He is giving us the same warning as Eisenhower did with his vague “military industrial complex” parting statement to the nation. It was not till the Church Committee hearings in 1975 did the public began to find out what the CIA had been up to all of those years from 1947 on. The question that lingers is, if the CIA would kill the Diem brothers then what is to prevent them from killing the Kennedy brothers here?

The CIA-Pentagon nexus is one of the most complex labyrinths created by man. No better account of this can be found than in L. Fletcher Proudy’s, The Secret Team. Although not a Kennedy assassination book per say, it provides the basis of how such a large group of networked organizations could bury just about anything they wanted to do to just about anyone. And Proudy believed that Kennedy’s battles with the National Security State insured his demise. They are the only ones that could commit the act and get away with it. They will not be tamed.

As Proudy showed, when the boys get together at the cafeteria and talk shop there’s no way of telling what is the truth. If your department is running an operation and it’s running under a cover, then the cover is what you talk about—not the real operation. Dick Russell in his book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, stays on this theme. A source, known only as Captain Sam, describes it this way:

Half of what I’ll tell you might be the truth, and the other half bullshit. But all of it is what I was told. That’s part of the game in the intelligence business. You confuse your own operatives with false information; maybe nobody knows the full truth about a particular assignment.

With this scheme, only those at the very top know what is going on. It certainly bests the “need to know” method of compartmentalization. Maybe this seems like a crazy way to conduct covert operations, but just try prying into this maze to find out what happened to Kennedy and you’ll see what a frustrating task it is. No wonder men like Richard Helms seemed so smug all the time. He knew nothing was ever coming out and nobody had the power to make him talk.

The Military Connection
The National Security Act, which gave our nation a centralized intelligence bureau—which Hoover over at FBI hated as interlopers on his turf—which was also allowed to run operations. If the operations got too large the military would be called in. What constitutes small and large operations was never clearly defined. The CIA used this to full advantage when it went gallivanting around the world overthrowing democratically elected governments (Guatemala, Iran, Chile, and many more) and assassinating foreign leaders. Prouty lays the blame squarely on the CIA for the involvement and war in Vietnam, with good cause. He was there in the early days of the growing conflict as a liaison officer between the Pentagon and CIA. He was a witness to CIA meddling that started as cold ops that later turned hot. The CIA continued interfering after the military got there. You’ll see very few members of the mainstream media (which includes many historians) lay such accusations at the door of the CIA for the disaster in Vietnam.

John Kennedy’s problems with the NSS started with the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Like Eisenhower’s downed U2 embarrassment, Kennedy took the fall for it. It was an operation long in planning and was dumped in his lap as soon as he took office. But changes soon came and CIA director Allen Dulles was soon out of job. (But would oddly, later resurface on the Warren Commission to investigate Kennedy’s death.)

From the very beginning of his Presidency, Kennedy had to deal with Vietnam. Intelligence operations had been run in Indochina since 1945 and had only steadily built up over the intervening years. As usual the CIA is interfering once again the affairs of others and it steadily grows to they can’t contain it anymore. The military is called in. The army requested 16,000 troops for Vietnam in the spring of 1961. Kennedy, not wanting to get entangled, turned down the request. The army tried again for 8,000 in November of the same year and was turned down once again.

But things were apparently brewing outside of Kennedy’s control. For example, then Vice President Johnson was ingratiating himself with the Joint Chiefs. It is now known that he was receiving highly classified briefings from Army intelligence in regards to the situation in Vietnam—information that Kennedy and his Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, were not privy too. This is an amazing breach of protocol in the chain of command! Not to mention Johnston’s lack of security clearance to view such documents. But it illustrates how entrenched Johnson was with the military and he his fate would be tied to theirs.

Kennedy tried to stem the tied by his October National Security Action Memorandum, NSAM 263. This order called for the removal of 1,000 troops from Vietnam by December of 1963. Four days after his death, newly sworn in President Johnson signs NSAM 273, reversing Kennedy’s order. The foundations of war are under way. The multi billion-dollar contracts will soon be signed with Brown and Root. Years later sold to Halliburton, the remnants of this corporation still profiting off war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Much has been written and debated about this over the years. Was Kennedy getting out or not? Some critics charge this was the normal rotation of troops. If so, then Kennedy doesn’t have to sign an order getting troops out, nor does Johnson have to sign an order making them stay. Regardless, Kennedy did make a political decision to avoid an entanglement in Vietnam by signing into law NSAM 263, and his desire to pull all troops out by late 1965. The President’s death resulted in a major policy change, in this case, swiftly implemented by Johnston’s NSAM 273. One of many to come, such as the Executive Order halting of the $5 Treasure notes backed by silver, not by credit such as Federal Reserve notes are to this day.

Just coincidence? Did Kennedy run afoul of the National Security State’s agenda and die as result? We’ll never know for certain but the suspicion will always remain. Deep politics enshrouds the inner workings of the State. If there is a conspiracy in the death of John F. Kennedy, it lies here. Buried in the belly of the Beast.

Sources: Prouty, The Secret Team; Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK; Russell, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins; Newman, JFK and Vietnam.