Assorted pundits and others from the corpora-media have expressed incredulity and astonishment that Obama could not have known that Angela Merkel's cell phone was snooped on by the NSA. They proclaim either Obama is clueless and incompetent or not in control of the spooks. The latter is actually closer to the truth, and has been so for every President over the past 6 decades. How do we know this? From the raft of files released under the 'Freedom of Information Act' as well as the JFK Records Act - many of them released after a Clinton Executive Order issued in 1996.
Deep Politics specialist Peter Dale Scott, in his book, Oswald,
For example, in the Eisenhower Administration, the first wake up call arrived after the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. Released documents show that in the aftermath Ike recognized the Agency was "dangerously out of control". In response, Eisenhower established 'The President's Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activity'. The Board concluded that the CIA's clandestine services were "operating for the most part on an autonomous and free-wheeling basis in highly critical areas."
Its recommendation was that Ike fire CIA Chief (Allen) Dulles or that he at least accept an administrative deputy to keep tabs on him. Ike's "reward" was sabotage of a hugely important Big Four Summit (Russia, France, Britain, U.S.) set for May 16, 1960. Richard Bissell, chief of the clandestine services saw to it that the U-2 flown by Francis Gary Powers on May 1, 1960 tracked a route over the USSR that ensured it would be shot down. (The U-2 fleet at the time had been dubbed 'RBAF' for Richard Bissell's Air Force, see e.g. Record No. 157-10011-10020, 'Testimony of Richard Bissell', June 9, 1975, SSCIA, released under the National Archives and Records Administration)
The Agency also lied directly to Eisenhower, telling him that should the plane be shot down neither the pilot or the aircraft would survive. (In a similar fashion, barely over a year later, Bissell would lie to JFK and insist failure at the Bay of Pigs was "impossible"). Eisenhower had declared the cut off date for all U-2 flights as May 1, expecting the flights wouldn't go beyond the last 2 weeks of April. However, Bissell sent Powers up exactly on May 1st, knowing what would transpire by that additional overflight. In the process, Bissell effectively set policy himself (clearly at the behest of Dulles) and with the collapse of the Big 4 Summit, succeeded in destroying détente.
Khrushchev immediately demanded Eisenhower admit he had no knowledge of the flight - and to fire Dulles and Bissell. But the CIA had forced Ike's hand, knowing he couldn't possibly admit or say he didn't know what was going on.
Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy was put on notice from the moment he took office. Without Kennedy's knowledge or oversight, the clandestine services under Bissell had mounted an assassination program to target Fidel Castro. Specifically, the program operated under 'CIA Staff D', a SIGINT or signals intelligence operation run in concert with the National Security Agency or NSA. As pointed out by Peter Dale Scott (Deep Politics Quarterly, Jan. 1994): “In 1961, when William Harvey headed Staff D, he was assigned the task of developing the CIA Assassinations Project, ZR/Rifle”
Kennedy replaced Dulles with John McCone whom William Harvey chose not to debrief, as the covert assassinations program proceeded. Later, of course, CIA covert operators such as David Atlee Phillips and his deputy George Joannides, sought to invert the ZR/Rifle program to make it seem that the Cubans and Fidel had engineered a hit program against JFK using Oswald as the hit man.
With the Bay of Pigs invasion, JFK was further played, as Ike was with the U-2 fiasco. JFK, however, retaliated by firing Allen Dulles, and his deputy Gen. Charles Cabell. (Recall that Cabell's brother, Earl, was Mayor of Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963) JFK also vowed to "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds" so furious was he at the level of CIA treachery. JFK went further by emulating Ike in setting up a Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board - the express purpose of which was to bring the CIA under the control of the President. Kennedy addressed the group on May 15, 1961 and informed them he was "undertaking a total reassessment of U.S. covert action policies and programs".
Kennedy went further, creating a Defense Intelligence Agency, responsible to him, and soon mandating all overflights of Cuba be done by the Strategic Air Command, not the CIA. He also defined a list of directives on what the CIA could and could not, do. By the end of 1961, JFK's 'Special Group' had no less than 17 recommendations for the "reorganization and redirection of the CIA".
The CIA, however, retaliated by withholding intelligence from Kennedy. By June, 7, 1961, Kennedy was complaining that he was receiving "inadequate developments" concerning events in a number of countries. As his ally, Gen. James H. Doolittle had put it, it was a case of the "covert operations dog wagging the intelligence tail".
Kennedy got his final 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. (James Douglass, 2008,, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, Orbis Books, p. 192. )
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.
The above challenge was confirmed by Arthur Krock, in his piece ‘The Inter-Administration War in Vietnam’, The New York Times, Oct. 3, 1963). Most notable were Krock’s now prophetic words:
“If the United States ever experiences an attempt at a coup to overthrow the government, it will come from the CIA”
Barely a month later JFK was killed in Dallas, then at the intersection of reactionary Right politics, Big Oil, and the military-intelligence community.
Incredibly, nowhere in all his compendious material does Vince Bugliosi even once reference the conservative columnist Krock’s NY Times piece! This would have been useful and enlightening as it would have added more awareness of the motives for the CIA’s involvement in the assassination. But such awareness is exactly what Bugliosi - and by extension Tom Hanks (who seeks to do a 13-part series based on Bugliosi's 'Reclaiming History') seeks to conceal to the American people. In his piece, Krock wrote: “the CIA had flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge.”
This had to do with approval of a USAID package to S. Vietnam, but which the CIA obstructed - thereby setting the stage for the downfall of the Diem brothers, and their planned assassination on the same date (Nov. 2) originally earmarked for Kennedy's killing in Chicago- by Thomas Arthur Vallee. (Halted in time by a telephone call from someone named "Lee" to the Chicago FBI office).
These facts are crucial to know if people are to be aware of why it wasn't "one lone, deranged nut" that killed Kennedy - but rather one whole segment of his government which he was never able to bring to heel. Alas, as Kennedy Aide Richard Goodwin would later reflect, mouthing perhaps the unspoken words of Kennedy: "Over time, we become prisoners of our Agents".
It is also well to recall one CIA troglodyte's words after JFK's death: "He was the last President to believe he really governed the country".
Did a lone guy named Lee Harvey Oswald do it? If we believe that, the real killers and covert forces will be howling with laughter at us in perpetuity for our gullibility .....and laziness.