Wednesday, September 11, 2013

JFK and the National Security State (2)

Part of document approved by Gen. Edward Lansdale to identify "pretexts for military intervention in Cuba". This led directly to the 'Operation Northwoods' plot.

Michael Parenti’s Dirty Truths hits closer than many authors as to the actual motivation to eliminate JFK.  To paraphrase in not too many words, JFK had transgressed mightily against an entrenched “Gangster state” comprised of a mix of government (national security, defense) and corporate interests. The assassination was the Gangster state’s way to remedy the situation since one man couldn’t be allowed to stand in the way of their hegemonic aspirations. Parenti, in a powerful blow for truth-telling[1]:

“To know the truth about the assassination of John Kennedy is to call into question the state security system and the entire politico-economic order it protects. This is why for over thirty years the corporate-owned press and numerous political leaders have suppressed or attacked the many revelations about the murder unearthed by independent investigators like Mark Lane, Peter Dale Scott, Carl Oglesby, Harold Weisberg, Anthony Summers”

 At the time (1963-early 1964) one might have felt this to be poppycock, but seen in hindsight (with the current corporate stranglehold on the nation and as evinced in the NSA surveillance state )  it’s much less so. Parenti adds[2]:

The media have been tireless in their efforts to suppress the truth about the Gangster state”.

In fact, Kennedy was going up against not only U.S. Steel but powerful banking interests. As James Douglass has pointed out, in connection with an unsigned editorial appearing in Fortune (a Luce Press magazine), betraying the extent of corporate hostility[3]:

“The editors of Fortune knew that the decision to raise steel prices had been made by the executive committee of U.S. Steel’s Board of Directors. It included top level officers from other huge financial institutions, such as Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, The First National City Bank of New York, the Prudential Insurance Company, the Ford Foundation, AT&T.”

Douglass goes on to note that the Fortune editors themselves answered the key question of why financial interests baited Kennedy into “a vitriolic and demagogic assault”[4]. It had to do with their perception of his prior appeal not to raise prices as “a threat of jawbone control” of prices.  In Douglass’ own words – which I can’t match:

“In plainer language, the president was acting too much like a president, rather than just another office holder beholden to the powers that be.”

Of course, since then, all presidents have acted exactly like pawns of higher powers, whether banks, oil companies, or Wall Street’s traders- especially bond traders. Three months after the Steel crisis, David Rockefeller (then associated with the CFR or Council on Foreign Relations) wrote to Kennedy and informed him how a president is expected to conduct himself in a free enterprise economy – which also mandates controlling spending, balancing the budget[5]. Kennedy ignored the advice, going his own way in the pursuit of growth and development for all.

Kennedy's Wake Up Call:

Kennedy got his wake up call on who was controlling his government when, in an early September, 1963 meeting he was informed by a David Bell of AID (a CIA cover organization) that the funds from the Commodity Import Aid program had “already been cut off”,  essentially assuring a coup would ensue with the Diem government in South Vietnam[6].

Kennedy was evidently livid and directly asked Bell who had told him to do that, to which Bell replied, “No one(ibid.). The will to power disclosed here indicates the CIA felt it more powerful than Kennedy’s government or his decision-making. If they felt that way, there is nothing that they wouldn’t do to prevent the President from getting in their way.

Only months earlier, as author James Bamford has noted, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued a report on the problem of “right wing extremism in the military and warned of considerable danger in the education and propaganda activities of military personnel[7] Bamford  pointed out that the Senate study went so far as to warn of a military takeover of the country not dissimilar to that portrayed in ‘Seven Days in May’ (one of JFK’s favorite films, by the way).

The document is a report from an Army intelligence officer, Col. Jeff W. Boucher, to Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, assistant to secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara and a controversial figure in the Vietnam war."

On reading the story, many things simultaneously clicked, including that “Maurice Bishop” was indeed a pseudonym, for David Atlee Phillips, who also figured majorly in confecting the “Oswald in Mexico City” fabrication.   Lansdale’s name also clicked. Some four years after this story came out in the mainstream press James Bamford, in his book Body of Secrets’, had already exposed Lansdale[8] as one of the right wing extremist generals jettisoned by Kennedy in the wake of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Report warning about a military coup attempt.

Lansdale at the time was deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Special Operations which was the unit responsible for the relevant reporting to the NSA or National Security Agency.[9] Kennedy, in fact, shifted Operation Mongoose from the CIA to the Pentagon and into Lansdale’s OSO office (Room 3E114 at the Pentagon). The transfer was a blow to the CIA, one of many they felt at JFK’s hands since the Bay of Pigs debacle and the firing of CIA Director Allen Dulles (who later became a Warren Commissioner, thanks to LBJ) and his deputy, Charles Cabell, whose brother Earl was the Mayor of Dallas in November, of 1963.

Lansdale, who viewed Mongoose as a plum for the Pentagon to do what the CIA couldn’t, did stay to see it fulfilled. As Mongoose’s extremist actions became more and more a bane to the Kennedy Administration, things culminated at a White House meeting on February 26, 1962 when Lansdale was ordered to drop all anti-Castro activities.[10] His role was reduced to merely gathering intelligence, and it was a “humiliating defeat” for him. (ibid.)

Even before this, Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer. another rabid anti-communist, had(with other Joint Chiefs)  hatched the plan for ‘Operation Northwoods’. This fell machination, documented by Bamford, was intended to sow terror across major American cities, blow ships in Cuban and American harbors, and even attempt to blow up John Glenn’s Gemini craft then blame it all on Castro, to try to incite a war of aggression against Cuba[11].  Lemnitzer and the other Joint Chiefs had actually drafted a memo to Robert McNamara advocating “military intervention in Cuba” . Nor was this merely to “free” the Cuban people. According to the memo, they’d be imprisoned in a military-controlled police state.[12]

As the memo made its way to McNamara, the Defense Secretary lost confidence in Lemnitzer.  Subsequently, “Lem” was “denied a second term as chief of the JCS and dispatched to Europe as head of NATO”[13]    One can intelligently conjecture that with Lemnitzer’s departure,  in an event as humiliating as Lansdale’s earlier Mongoose demotion,  the Right wing of the military-intelligence axis that despised Kennedy (now even more) began to draw a bead on him. It would only take one more incident, interpreted as “treason” by the generals, to commit to something every bit as extreme as terrorizing American cities: the planned execution of Kennedy. The subsequent incident transpired in October of 1962 with Kennedy’s refusal to bomb and invade Cuba at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Released tapes and documents show just how heated things became.  According to a key article published just after the tape transcriptions were released[14]:

"Tapes of secretly recorded White House conversations released this week show that President John F. Kennedy's military advisers strongly pressured him to bomb and invade Cuba during the missile crisis 34 years ago this month. Indeed, they forecast that war would occur whether he invaded Cuba or not."

"Blasting Kennedy's cautious approach, the Air Force Chief, Gen. Curtis LeMay, told the President at a White House meeting on Oct. 19, 1962, "This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich."


Through those days Kennedy was fending off strong pressure for an attack on Cuba from congressional and military leaders such as LeMay, who told him, 'We don't have any choice but direct military action...I see no other solution...'"

Of course, not only did JFK reject the Chiefs’ radical and aggressive solution (opting for a passive naval blockade of Soviet ships instead), but he agreed to disassemble all the Jupiter missile bases in Turkey six months later, in order to get the Soviets to remove theirs from Cuba.

Deep politics researchers are  convinced it was this agreement (unknown to LeMay or the other members of the JCS at the time) that brought the cross hairs of executive action to bear on John F. Kennedy.  Digging through Freedom of Information Act-released files to do with Operation Mongoose, it becomes evident that a Northwoods -like template already existed for disruption and fomenting of terror to blame on Cuba and justify an aggressive U.S. intervention. (See attached image)  The files describe the plans as “preliminary courses of action suitable only for planning purposes”. In other words, to be used only in the most general form to stimulate ideas.

Sadly, JFK never lived to see the neutralization of the national security state that would have been essential for realizing his ideal of global  disarmament.  Instead that state and its military appendage seized control of the country by eliminating the one primary threat to its global consolidation. In the wake, finding ever more reasons to meddle and attack other nations, the national security state has only deepened our descent into fascism - which we need to remember that when the same state glorifies the 9/11 meme to preserve its own hegemony.

[1] Michael Parenti: 1996, Dirty Truths, City light Books, p. 156.
[2] Michael, Parenti, op. cit., p. 159.
[3] James Douglass: 2007, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters,  Maryknoll, p. 140.
[4] Douglas, ibid.
[5] Donald Gibson: 1994, Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency, Sheridan Square Press, p. 141.
[6] See: James Douglass, 2008,, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, Orbis Books, p. 192.
[7] Bamford, op. cit., p. 80.
[8] James Bamford: 2001, Body of Secrets, Doubleday Books, p. 80.
[9] Bamford, op. cit., pp. 78-79.
[10] Bamford, op. cit, p. 83.
[11] Bamford, op. cit. pp. 83-87.
[12] Bamford, op. cit. p. 87.
[13] Bamford, op. cit., p. 88.
[14] The Baltimore Sun, Oct. 26, 1996, 'Bomb Cuba! Le May Urged JFK', p. 2A

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