The first of the “Guns” programs sets forth the political and historical background of the focal point of the series, President Kennedy’s assassination. As Kennedy was preparing to take office, elements of the national security establishment were circumventing presidential and constitutional authority. Beginning with discussion of the U-2 incident, this program presents abuses committed by elements of the intelligence community. Allegedly shot down by a Soviet missile, the CIA’s U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers appears to have been deliberately sabotaged, in order to force the cancellation of a summit conference between Soviet Premier Khruschev and President Eisenhower. (The plane’s downing accomplished just that.) Powers attributed the plane’s downing to information allegedly supplied to the Soviets by Lee Harvey Oswald. Another Cold War incident of the early 1960’s was the CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion. Right-wing elements have faulted President Kennedy for failing to provide the invasion force with air cover. In this program, we find indications that the invasion’s air support was deliberately sabotaged by elements within the Agency command structure for the invasion! One of the people involved with that sabotage was apparently General Charles P. Cabell, Deputy Director of CIA. Cabell also helped arrange the Mob assassination attempts on Castro, believed by many to be connected to the Kennedy assassination. The official version of Kennedy’s murder contends that Jack Ruby was a “lone nut” murderer, moved to eliminate Oswald by grief over Kennedy’s killing and sympathy for Jackie. In fact, Ruby was a major Dallas-area organized crime operative. In the days leading up to the assassination, Ruby was in close touch with organized crime elements bitterly opposed to Kennedy. Prior to Kennedy’s killing, Mafia dons Santos Trafficante and Carlos Marcello foreshadowed the killing. Presented as a “lone nut” leftist motivated by his sympathy for Fidel Castro, Oswald was shepherded around the New Orleans area by fascist elements and figures directly connected to the CIA’s anti-Castro forces. The broadcast analyzes the intelligence community elements around Oswald and presents evidence that he was being set up as a patsy. Particular emphasis is placed on the information developed by the unfairly-maligned Jim Garrison, the heroic D.A. of New Orleans, who investigated the assassination and correctly identified many of the participants. Among the highlights of the program is an actual broadcast interview with Oswald in which he states that, while in the Soviet Union, he was “. . . at all times under the protection . . .” of the U.S. government.
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