[This is a chapter from Cynthia Chung’s newly released book ‘The Empire on Which the Black Sun Never Set: the Birth of International Fascism and Anglo-American Foreign Policy.’ For further details on different formats and how to purchase click here.]
By Cynthia Chung
Eisenhower’s “A Legacy of Ashes”
The militarization of the United States under a military industrial complex in the early 1950s, as outlined in Chapter 3, began to return power to the corporate elite, as captains of industry and finance moved into key government posts. The Eisenhower presidency would see Washington taken over by business executives, Wall Street lawyers, and investment bankers. To these were aligned a new warrior caste that had emerged into public prominence during the Second World War.
Eisenhower wished to establish U.S. supremacy while avoiding another large-scale shooting war as well as the imperial burdens that had bankrupted Great Britain (to which the U.S. now did its bidding under NSC-75). By leveraging the U.S. military’s near monopoly on nuclear firepower, the president hoped to make war an unthinkable proposition for all American adversaries. The problem with Eisenhower’s strategy was that by keeping Washington in a constant state of high alert, he empowered the most militant voices in his administration. Eisenhower had made the grave error of choosing John Foster Dulles as one of his closest advisers, and by default, Allen Dulles. It was doubtful whether Eisenhower ever had a free moment from the poisoned honey that was constantly being dripped into his ear.
The line between CIA and military became increasingly blurred, as military officers were assigned to intelligence agency missions, and then sent back to their military posts as “ardent disciples of Allen Dulles,” in the words of Col. J. Fletcher Prouty, who served as a liaison officer between the Pentagon and the CIA between 1955 and 1963.
Approaching the end of his presidency, in May 1960, President Eisenhower had planned to culminate, the poorly named, ‘Crusade for Peace’ with the ultimate summit conference with USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Paris. It was Eisenhower’s clear attempt to finally push forward an initiative that was his own and which did not receive its ‘blessing’ by John Foster. If Eisenhower were to succeed in this, it would move to dissolve the Cold War Grand Strategy and remove the justification for a military industrial complex.
In preparation for the summit, the White House had directed all overflight activity over communist territory to cease until further notice. Yet on May 1st, 1960, a high-flying U-2 spy plane flown by Francis Gary Powers left Pakistan on a straight-line overflight of the Soviet Union en route to Bodo, Norway, contrary to the Eisenhower orders. The U-2 crash landed in Sverdlovsk, Russia. Amongst the possessions found in the plane, were of all things, identification of Powers being a CIA agent, something highly suspect for an intelligence officer to be carrying during a supposed covert mission. The incident was enough to cancel the peace summit, and the ‘Crusade for Peace’ was bludgeoned in its cradle.
Rumours abounded quickly thereafter that it was the Soviets who shot down the plane, however, it was Allen Dulles himself, who gave testimony before a closed-door session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the U-2 spy plane had not been shot down but had descended because of “engine trouble.” This important statement by Dulles was largely ignored by the press. Later, Eisenhower confirmed in his memoirs that the spy plane had not been shot down by the Soviets and had indeed lost engine power and crash-landed in Russia. Prouty suspected that the “engine failure” may have been induced by a pre-planned shortage of auxiliary hydrogen fuel and that Powers’ identification items were likely planted in his parachute pack. With only a certain amount of fuel and a straight-line trajectory, it would have been easy to calculate exactly where Powers would be forced to make a landing. Prouty suspected that the CIA had intentionally provoked the incident in order to ruin the peace conference and ensure the continued reign of the Dulles brothers’ Cold War fanaticism.
Interestingly, the man who was in charge of the Cuban exile program & met with Maurice Challe in support of the French Algiers putsch against President de Gaulle, Richard Bissell (Deputy Director of Plans for the CIA), was the same man who ran the U-2 program and who, according to Prouty ostensibly sent the Powers flight over the Soviet Union on May 1st, 1960.
On January 5th, 1961, during a meeting of the National Security Council, a frustrated and worn-down President Eisenhower, put on public record just weeks before Kennedy was to assume office, that the CIA under Dulles, had robbed him of his place in history as a peacemaker and left nothing but “a legacy of ashes for his successor.” All Eisenhower had left of his own was his farewell address, which he made on January 17th, 1961, where he famously warned the American people of what had been festering during his eight-year presidential term: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex… The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
A Phoenix Rising
Eisenhower may have left a legacy of ashes for his predecessor, but out of those ashes would emerge a force that would come to directly challenge the rule of the ‘power elite.’
In April 1954, Kennedy stood up on the Senate floor to challenge the Eisenhower administration’s support for the doomed French imperial war in Vietnam, foreseeing that this would not be a short-lived war. In July 1957, Kennedy once more took a strong stance against French colonialism, this time France’s bloody war against Algeria’s independence movement, which again found the Eisenhower administration on the wrong side of history. Rising on the Senate floor, two days before America’s own Independence Day, Kennedy declared:
“The most powerful single force in the world today is neither communism nor capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile – it is man’s eternal desire to be free and independent. The great enemy of that tremendous force of freedom is called, for want of a more precise term, imperialism – and today that means Soviet imperialism and, whether we like it or not, and though they are not to be equated, Western imperialism. Thus, the single most important test of American foreign policy today is how we meet the challenge of imperialism, what we do to further man’s desire to be free. On this test more than any other, this nation shall be critically judged by the uncommitted millions in Asia and Africa, and anxiously watched by the still hopeful lovers of freedom behind the Iron Curtain. If we fail to meet the challenge of either Soviet or Western imperialism, then no amount of foreign aid, no aggrandizement of armaments, no new pacts or doctrines or high-level conferences can prevent further setbacks to our course and to our security.”
In September 1960, the annual United Nations General Assembly was being held in New York. Castro and a fifty-member delegation were among the attendees and had made a splash in the headlines when he decided to stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem after the midtown Shelburne Hotel demanded a $20,000 security deposit. He made an even bigger splash in the headlines when he made a speech at this hotel, discussing the issue of equality in the United States while in Harlem, one of the poorest boroughs in the country.
Kennedy would visit this very same hotel a short while after and also made a speech:
“Behind the fact of Castro coming to this hotel, [and] Khrushchev…there is another great traveler in the world, and that is the travel of a world revolution, a world in turmoil…We should be glad [that Castro and Khrushchev] came to the United States. We should not fear the twentieth century, for the worldwide revolution which we see all around us is part of the original American Revolution.”
What did Kennedy mean by this? The American Revolution was fought for freedom, freedom from the rule of monarchy and imperialism in favour of national sovereignty. What Kennedy was stating, was that this was the very oppression that the rest of the world wished to shake off, and that the United States had an opportunity to be a leader in the cause for the independence of all nations.
On June 30th, 1960, marking the independence of the Republic of Congo from the colonial rule of Belgium, Patrice Lumumba, the first Congolese Prime Minister gave a speech that has become famous for its passionate criticism of colonialism.  Lumumba spoke of his people’s struggle against “the humiliating bondage that was forced upon us… [years that were] filled with tears, fire and blood,” and concluded vowing “We shall show the world what the black man can do when working in liberty, and we shall make the Congo the pride of Africa.” Shortly after, Lumumba also made clear, “We want no part of the Cold War… We want Africa to remain African with a policy of neutralism.”
As a result, Lumumba was labeled a communist for his refusal to be a Cold War satellite for the Western sphere. Rather, Lumumba was part of the Pan-African movement that was led by Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, who later Kennedy would also work with, which sought national sovereignty and an end to colonialism in Africa.
Lumumba “would remain a grave danger,” Dulles said at an NSC meeting on September 21st, 1960, “as long as he was not yet disposed of.” Three days later, Dulles made it clear that he wanted Lumumba permanently removed, cabling the CIA’s Leopoldville station, “We wish give [sic] every possible support in eliminating Lumumba from any possibility resuming governmental position.” Lumumba was assassinated on January 17th, 1961, just three days before Kennedy’s inauguration during the fog of the transition period between presidents, when the CIA is most free to tie its loose ends, confident that they will not be reprimanded by a new administration that wants to avoid scandal during its first days in office.
Kennedy, who clearly meant to put a stop to the Murder Inc. that Dulles had created and was running, would declare to the world in his inaugural address on January 20th, 1961, “The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.”
And so, Kennedy’s battle with the Leviathan had begun.
Dulles’ Bay of Pigs Act of Treason
On the very same day of the formation of the CIA, President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council (NSC). The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President’s principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.
Col. Fletcher Prouty writes in his JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy:
“In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions, provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to ‘provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA’ as an official function.”
What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC’s policies.
Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, Kennedy had also inherited a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA. JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon as they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict with what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years.
The secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration’s March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program, which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations, to a 3,000-man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office.
This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election by the American people. This showcases the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President’s power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters.
Within three months into JFK’s term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17-20, 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade resulting in a calamitous failure for the land invasion and a decisive victory for Castro’s Cuba. It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed; that the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them. If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country, as well as internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War.
What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro’s last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself. Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro’s last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro’s threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA’s plan for Cuba.
Kennedy’s order for the airstrike on Castro’s jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade’s B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua. Kennedy was not brought into this decision. In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was incredibly out of the country on the scheduled day of the landings.
Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborated on this situation:
“Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an ‘air cover’ position written into the official invasion plan…The ‘air cover’ story that has been created is incorrect.”
As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy’s telephone call to General Cabell, who was CIA Deputy Director, that cancelled the President’s air strike order.
Kennedy had them.
Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion for the Cuban Study Group, that the Bay of Pigs operation was a failure because of the CIA’s intervention into the President’s orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
As Prouty states in his book JFK, “When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his re-election in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy’s coffin.” If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell.
Prouty compares the Bay of Pigs incident to the sabotage of the ‘Crusade for Peace’. Both events were orchestrated by the CIA to ruin the U.S. president’s ability to form a peaceful dialogue with Khrushchev and decrease Cold War tensions. Both presidents took onus for the events respectively, despite the responsibility resting with the CIA. However, Eisenhower and Kennedy understood, if they did not take onus, it would be a public declaration that they did not have any control over their government agencies. Further, the Bay of Pigs operation was in fact meant to fail. It was meant to stir up a public outcry for a subsequent direct military invasion of Cuba.
On public record is a meeting (or more aptly described as an intervention) with CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell, Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, and Navy Chief Admiral Burke basically trying to strong arm President Kennedy into approving a direct military attack on Cuba. Admiral Burke had already taken the liberty of positioning two battalions of Marines on Navy destroyers off the coast of Cuba “anticipating that U.S. forces might be ordered into Cuba to salvage a botched invasion.” [This incident is what inspired the Frankenheimer movie “Seven Days in May.”]
Kennedy stood his ground. “They were sure I’d give in to them,” Kennedy later told Special Assistant to the President Dave Powers. “They couldn’t believe that a new president like me wouldn’t panic and try to save his own face. Well they had me figured all wrong.” Unfortunately, it would not be that easy to dethrone Dulles, who continued to act as head of the CIA, and key members of the intelligence community such as Helms and Angleton regularly bypassed McCone (the subsequent CIA Director) and briefed Dulles directly.
But Kennedy was also serious about seeing it all the way through and vowed to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”
There is another rather significant incident that had occurred just days after the Bay of Pigs, and which has largely been overshadowed by the Cuban fiasco. From April 21-26, 1961, the Algiers putsch or Generals’ putsch, was a failed coup d’état intended to overthrow President de Gaulle (1959-1969). The organisers of the putsch were opposed to the secret negotiations that French Prime Minister Michel Debré had started with the anti-colonial National Liberation Front (FLN), the nationalist political party in Algeria.
On January 26th, 1961, just three months before the attempted coup d’état, Dulles sent a report to Kennedy on the French situation that seemed to be hinting that de Gaulle would no longer be around, “A pre-revolutionary atmosphere reigns in France… The Army and the Air Force are staunchly opposed to de Gaulle…At least 80 percent of the officers are violently against him. They haven’t forgotten that in 1958, he had given his word of honor that he would never abandon Algeria. He is now reneging on his promise, and they hate him for that. De Gaulle surely won’t last if he tries to let go of Algeria. Everything will probably be over for him by the end of the year—he will be either deposed or assassinated.”
As already mentioned in the previous chapter, the attempted coup was led by Maurice Challe (coordinated with the OAS Gladio network), whom de Gaulle had reason to conclude was working with the support of U.S. intelligence and NATO. Élysée officials began spreading this word to the press, which reported the CIA as a “reactionary state-within-a-state” that operated outside of Kennedy’s control. Challe’s had recently served as NATO commander in chief and had developed close relations with a number of high-ranking U.S. officers stationed in the military alliance’s Fontainebleau headquarters.
In August 1962 the OAS made an assassination attempt against de Gaulle, believing he had betrayed France by giving up Algeria to Algerian nationalists. This would be the most notorious assassination attempt on de Gaulle when a dozen OAS snipers opened fire on the president’s car, which managed to escape the ambush despite all four tires being shot out. After the failed coup d’état, de Gaulle launched a purge of his security forces and ousted General Paul Grossin, the chief of SDECE (the French secret service). Grossin was closely aligned with the CIA and had told Frank Wisner over lunch that the return of de Gaulle to power was equivalent to the communists taking over in Paris.
As already discussed in the previous chapter, de Gaulle subsequently withdrew France from the NATO military command in 1966. France would not return to NATO until April 2009 at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit. In addition to all of this, on January 14th, 1963, de Gaulle declared at a press conference that he had vetoed British entry into the Common Market. This would be the first move towards France and West Germany’s formation of the European Monetary System, which excluded Great Britain. Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson telegrammed West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer directly, appealing to him to try to persuade de Gaulle to back track on the veto, stating “if anyone can affect Gen. de Gaulle’s decision, you are surely that person.”
Little did Acheson know that Adenauer was just days away from signing the Franco-German Treaty of January 22nd, 1963 (also known as the Élysée Treaty), which had enormous implications. Franco-German relations, which had long been dominated by centuries of rivalry, had now agreed that their fates were aligned. The Élysée Treaty was a clear denunciation of the Anglo-American forceful overseeing that had overtaken Western Europe since the end of the Second World War. This close relationship was continued to a climactic point with the formation of the European Monetary System (EMS). This also coincided with France and West Germany’s willingness to work with OPEC countries trading oil for nuclear technology, which was soon after sabotaged by the U.S.-Britain alliance.
On June 28th, 1961, Kennedy wrote NSAM #55. This document changed the responsibility of defense during the Cold War from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and would have (if seen through) drastically changed the course of the war in Vietnam. It would also have effectively removed the CIA from Cold War operations and limited the CIA to its sole lawful responsibility, the coordination of intelligence. By October 11th, 1963, NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released and outlined a policy decision “to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963” and further stated that “It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965.” The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline “U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY ’65.”
With the assassination of Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem, likely ordained by the CIA, on November 2nd, 1963, followed by Kennedy’s murder just a few weeks later on November 22nd, 1963, de facto President Lyndon Johnson signed NSAM #273 on November 26th, 1963 to begin the reversal of Kennedy’s policy under #263. And on March 17th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.
The Vietnam War would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy’s death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans, and 30 years if you count American covert action in Vietnam.
The Law of Silence
By Germany supporting de Gaulle’s counter moves against the Anglo-American economic stranglehold on Europe, his adamant opposition to Western imperialism and the role of NATO, and with a young Kennedy building his own resistance against the imperialist war of Vietnam and imperialism in general, it was clear that the power elite were in big trouble.
There is a lot of spurious effort to try to ridicule anyone who challenges the Warren Commission’s official report as nothing but fringe conspiracy theory. And that we should not find it highly suspect that Allen Dulles, of all people, was essentially the head of this commission. The reader should keep in mind that much of this frothing opposition stems from the very agency that perpetrated crime after crime on the American people, as well as individuals and governments abroad. When has the CIA ever admitted guilt, unless caught red-handed? Even after the Frank Church Committee Hearings, when the CIA was found guilty of planning out foreign assassinations, the CIA‘s agency representatives claimed that they had failed in every single plot or that someone had beaten them to the punch.
The American people need to realise that the CIA is not a respectable agency; we are not dealing with honorable men. It is a rogue force that believes that the ends justify the means, that they are the hands of the king so to speak, above government and above law. Those at the top such as Allen Dulles were just as adamant as Churchill about protecting the interests of the power elite, or as Churchill termed it, the “High Cabal.”
Interestingly, on December 22nd, 1963, just one month after Kennedy’s assassination, Harry Truman published a scathing critique of the CIA in The Washington Post:
“I have never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations…[but] for some time, I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of Government… [the CIA has grown] so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue…There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position [as a] free and open society, and I feel that we need to correct it.”
Truman’s comments, made just one month after the Kennedy assassination, sent shockwaves amongst Americans. Was Truman referring to a “sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue” in reference to Kennedy’s murder? It was none other than Allen Dulles who would begin a campaign to get the retired president to disavow his opinion piece, and enlisted Washington power attorney Clark Clifford, the former Truman counselor who chaired President Johnson’s intelligence advisory board.
Dulles also wrote Truman a letter writing that he was “deeply disturbed” by Truman’s Washington Post article. Truman, who was responsible for the formation of the CIA, nonetheless most definitely had a case to his charge that under the Eisenhower Administration, under the directorship of Allen Dulles, the CIA had been led into much deeper skullduggery than Truman could have ever envisioned. Truman stood by his charge of the CIA to the utter panic of Allen Dulles.
David Talbot writes in The Devil’s Chessboard:
“Still, Dulles would not accept defeat. Unable to alter reality, he simply altered the record, like any good spy. On April 21, 1964, upon returning to Washington, Dulles wrote a letter about his half hour meeting with Truman to CIA general counsel Lawrence Houston. During their conversation at the Truman Library, Dulles claimed in his letter, the elderly ex-president seemed ‘quite astounded’ by his own attack on the CIA when the spymaster showed him a copy of the Post article. As he looked it over, Truman reacted as if he were reading it for the first time, according to Dulles. ‘He said that [the article] was all wrong. He then said that he felt it had made a very unfortunate impression.’
The Truman portrayed in Dulles’s letter seemed to be suffering from senility and either could not remember what he had written or had been taken advantage of by an aide, who perhaps wrote the piece under the former president’s name. In fact, CIA officials later did try to blame a Truman assistant for writing the provocative opinion piece. Truman ‘obviously was highly disturbed at the Washington Post article,’ concluded Dulles in his letter, ‘…and several times said he would see what he could do about it.’
The Dulles letter to Houston—which was clearly intended for the CIA files, to be retrieved whenever expedient—was an outrageous piece of disinformation. Truman, who would live for eight more years, was still of sound mind in April 1964. And he could not have been shocked by the contents of his own article, since he had been expressing the same views about the CIA—even more strongly—to friends and journalists for some time.
After the Bay of Pigs, Truman had confided in writer Merle Miller that he regretted ever establishing the CIA. ‘I think it was a mistake,’ he said. ‘And if I’d known what was going to happen, I never would have done it… [Eisenhower] never paid any attention to it, and it got out of hand…It’s become a government all of its own and all secret…That’s a very dangerous thing in a democratic society.’ Likewise, after the Washington Post essay ran, Truman’s original CIA director, Admiral Sidney Souers—who shared his former boss’s limited concept of the agency—congratulated him for writing the piece. ‘I am happy as I can be that my article on the Central Intelligence Agency rang a bell with you because you know why the organization was set up,’ Truman wrote back to Souers.”
As Prouty has stated, anyone with a little bit of free time during an afternoon could discover for themselves that the Warren Commission was an embarrassingly incompetent hodgepodge, that conducted itself as if it were a done deal that Oswald killed Kennedy and was disinterested in hearing anything contrary to that narrative.
Jim Garrison was the District Attorney of New Orleans from 1962 to 1973 and was the only one to bring forth a trial concerning the assassination of President Kennedy. In Jim Garrison’s book On the Trail of the Assassins, J. Edgar Hoover comes up several times impeding or shutting down investigations into JFK’s murder, in particular concerning the evidence collected by the Dallas Police Department, such as the nitrate test Oswald was given and which exonerated him, proving that he never shot a rifle the day of November 22nd, 1963. However, for reasons only known to the government and its investigators this fact was kept secret for 10 months. It was finally revealed in the Warren Commission report, which inexplicably didn’t change their opinion that Oswald had shot Kennedy. [Oswald’s interrogation file also went missing from the Dallas Police Department.]
Another particularly damning incident was concerning the Zapruder film that was in the possession of the FBI and which they had sent a ‘copy’ to the Warren Commission for their investigation. This film was one of the leading pieces of evidence used to support the ‘magic bullet theory’ and showcase the direction of the headshot coming from behind, thus verifying that Oswald’s location was adequate for such a shot.
During Garrison’s trial on the Kennedy assassination (1967-1969) he subpoenaed the Zapruder film that for some peculiar reason had been locked up in a vault owned by CIA-affiliated Henry Luce’s Life magazine. This was the first time in more than five years that the Zapruder film was made public. It turned out the FBI’s copy that was sent to the Warren Commission had two critical frames reversed to create a false impression that the rifle shot was from behind.
When Garrison got a hold of the original film it was discovered that the head shot had actually come from the front. In fact, what the whole film showed was that the President had been shot from multiple angles meaning there was more than one gunman. When the FBI was questioned about how these two critical frames could have been reversed, they answered self-satisfactorily that it must have been a technical glitch…
Besides Oswald’s nitrate test and the Zapruder film, another key piece of evidence that had been clearly tampered with were Kennedy’s autopsy reports. Kennedy’s original autopsy papers were destroyed by the chief autopsy physician, James Humes, to which he even testified to during the Warren Commission, apparently nobody bothered to ask why…
The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in 1994 by the Congress enacted President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection within the National Archives and Records Administration. In July 1998, a staff report released by the ARRB emphasized shortcomings in the original autopsy.
The ARRB report wrote, “One of the many tragedies of the assassination of President Kennedy has been the incompleteness of the autopsy record and the suspicion caused by the shroud of secrecy that has surrounded the records that do exist.”
The ARRB report for the Assassinations Records Review Board contended that brain photographs in the Kennedy records are not of Kennedy’s brain and show much less damage than Kennedy sustained.
The Washington Post reported:
“Asked about the lunchroom episode [where he was overheard stating his notes of the autopsy went missing] in a May 1996 deposition, Finck said he did not remember it. He was also vague about how many notes he took during the autopsy but confirmed that ‘after the autopsy I also wrote notes’ and that he turned over whatever notes he had to the chief autopsy physician, James J. Humes.
It has long been known that Humes destroyed some original autopsy papers in a fireplace at his home on Nov. 24, 1963. He told the Warren Commission that what he burned was an original draft of his autopsy report. Under persistent questioning at a February 1996 deposition by the Review Board, Humes said he destroyed the draft and his ‘original notes.’
…Shown official autopsy photographs of Kennedy from the National Archives, [Saundra K.] Spencer [who worked in ‘the White House lab’] said they were not the ones she helped process and were printed on different paper. She said ‘there was no blood or opening cavities’ and the wounds were much smaller in the pictures…[than what she had] worked on…
John T. Stringer, who said he was the only one to take photos during the autopsy itself, said some of those were missing as well. He said that pictures he took of Kennedy’s brain at a ‘supplementary autopsy’ were different from the official set that was shown to him.”
This not only shows that evidence tampering did indeed occur, as even the Warren Commission had to acknowledge, but this puts into question the reliability of the entire assassination record of John F. Kennedy and to what degree evidence tampering and forgery have occurred in these very records.
In addition, among the strange and murderous characters who converged in Dallas in November 1963 was a notorious French OAS commando named Jean Souetre, who was connected to the plots against President de Gaulle. Souetre was arrested in Dallas after the Kennedy assassination and immediately expelled to Mexico without any questioning.
After returning from Kennedy’s funeral on November 24th, 1963, in Washington, de Gaulle and his information minister Alain Peyrefitte had a candid discussion that was recorded in Peyrefitte’s memoire C’était de Gaulle, the great General was quoted saying:
“What happened to Kennedy is what nearly happened to me…His story is the same as mine…It looks like a cowboy story, but it’s only an OAS [Secret Army Organization] story. The security forces were in cahoots with the extremists.
…Security forces are all the same when they do this kind of dirty work. As soon as they succeed in wiping out the false assassin, they declare the justice system no longer need be concerned, that no further public action was needed now that the guilty perpetrator was dead. Better to assassinate an innocent man than to let a civil war break out. Better an injustice than disorder.
America is in danger of upheavals. But you’ll see. All of them together will observe the law of silence. They will close ranks. They’ll do everything to stifle any scandal. They will throw Noah’s cloak over these shameful deeds. In order to not lose face in front of the whole world. In order to not risk unleashing riots in the United States. In order to preserve the union and to avoid a new civil war. In order to not ask themselves questions. They don’t want to know. They don’t want to find out. They won’t allow themselves to find out.”
Below is John F. Kennedy’s Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961:
“The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence – on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.”
[This is a chapter from Cynthia Chung’s newly released book ‘The Empire on Which the Black Sun Never Set: the Birth of International Fascism and Anglo-American Foreign Policy.’ For further details on different formats and how to purchase click here.]
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