Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Harry Truman' is associated with 11 posts.

FTR #1054, FTR #1055 and FTR #1056 Interviews #23, #24 and #25 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

These are the twen­ty-third, twen­ty-fourth and twen­ty-fifth (and con­clud­ing pro­gram) in a long series of inter­views with Jim DiEu­ge­nio about his tri­umphal analy­sis of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion and New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Gar­rison’s hero­ic inves­ti­ga­tion of the killing.

The first inter­view begins with a telling edi­to­r­i­al writ­ten for “The Wash­ing­ton Post” by for­mer Pres­i­dent Har­ry Tru­man.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 378–379.

. . . . On Decem­ber 22, 1963, Har­ry Tru­man wrote an edi­to­r­i­al that was pub­lished in the Wash­ing­ton Post. The for­mer Pres­i­dent wrote that he had become “dis­turbed by the way the CIA had become divert­ed from its orig­i­nal assign­ment. It has become an oper­a­tional and at times a pol­i­cy-mak­ing arm of gov­ern­ment.” He wrote that he nev­er dreamed that this would hap­pen when he signed the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Act. he thought it would be used for intel­li­gence analy­sis, not “peace­time cloak and dag­ger oper­a­tions.” He com­plained that the CIA had now become “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.” Tru­man went as far as sug­gest­ing its oper­a­tional arm be elim­i­nat­ed. He con­clud­ed with the warn­ing that Amer­i­cans have grown up learn­ing respect for “our free insti­tu­tions and for our abil­i­ty to main­tain a free and open soci­ety. There is some­thing about the way the CIA has been func­tion­ing that is cast­ing a shad­ow over out his­toric posi­tion and I feel hat we need to cor­rect it.” . . . .

For­mer CIA Direc­tor (and then War­ren Com­mis­sion mem­ber) Allen Dulles vis­it­ed Tru­man and attempt­ed to get him to retract the state­ment. He dis­sem­bled about then CIA chief John McCone’s view of the edi­to­r­i­al.

The focal point of the first two pro­grams is the dra­mat­ic changes in U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy that occurred because of JFK’s assas­si­na­tion. Analy­sis in FTR #1056 con­tin­ues the analy­sis of Kennedy’s for­eign pol­i­cy and con­cludes with riv­et­ing dis­cus­sion of the strik­ing pol­i­cy under­tak­ings of the Kennedy admin­is­tra­tion in the area of civ­il rights. Jim has writ­ten a mar­velous, 4‑part analy­sis of JFK’s civ­il rights pol­i­cy.

Dis­cus­sion of JFK’s for­eign pol­i­cy and how his mur­der changed that builds on, and sup­ple­ments analy­sis of this in FTR #1031, FTR #1032 and FTR #1033.

Lyn­don Baines John­son reversed JFK’s for­eign pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives in a num­ber of impor­tant ways.

When the Unit­ed States reneged on its com­mit­ment to pur­sue inde­pen­dence for the colo­nial ter­ri­to­ries of its Euro­pean allies at the end of the Sec­ond World War, the stage was set for those nations’ desire for free­dom to be cast as incip­i­ent Marxists/Communists. This devel­op­ment was the foun­da­tion for epic blood­shed and calami­ty.

Jim details then Con­gress­man John F. Kennedy’s 1951 fact-find­ing trip to Saigon to gain an under­stand­ing of the French war to retain their colony of Indochi­na. (Viet­nam was part of that colony.)

In speak­ing with career diplo­mat Edmund Gul­lion, Kennedy came to the real­iza­tion that not only would the French lose the war, but that Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh guer­ril­las enjoyed great pop­u­lar sup­port among the Viet­namese peo­ple.

This aware­ness guid­ed JFK’s Viet­nam pol­i­cy, in which he not only resist­ed tremen­dous pres­sure to com­mit U.S. com­bat troops to Viet­nam, but planned a with­draw­al of U.S. forces from Viet­nam.

Per­haps the most impor­tant change made after JFK’s assas­si­na­tion was John­son’s nega­tion of Kennedy’s plans to with­draw from Viet­nam.

LBJ can­celled Kennedy’s sched­uled troop with­draw­al, sched­uled per­son­nel increas­es and imple­ment­ed the 34A pro­gram of covert oper­a­tions against North Viet­nam. Exe­cut­ed by South Viet­namese naval com­man­dos using small, Amer­i­can-made patrol boats, these raids were sup­port­ed by U.S. destroy­ers in the Gulf of Tonkin, which were elec­tron­i­cal­ly “fin­ger­print­ing” North Viet­namese radar instal­la­tions.

The elec­tron­ic fin­ger­print­ing of North Viet­namese radar was in antic­i­pa­tion of a pre-planned air war, a fun­da­men­tal part of a plan by LBJ to involve the Unit­ed States in a full-scale war in South­east Asia.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 368–371.

. . . . Clear­ly now that the with­draw­al was immi­nent, Kennedy was going to try and get the rest of his admin­is­tra­tion on board to his way of think­ing. Not only did this not hap­pen once Kennedy was dead, but the first meet­ing on Viet­nam after­wards was a strong indi­ca­tion that things were now going to be cast in a sharply dif­fer­ent tone. This meet­ing took place at 3:00 p.m. on Novem­ber 24. . . . John­son’s intent was clear to McNa­ma­ra. He was break­ing with the pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy. The goal now was to win the war. LBJ then issued a strong warn­ing: He want­ed no more dis­sen­sion or divi­sion over pol­i­cy. Any per­son who did not con­form would be removed. (This would lat­er be demon­strat­ed by his ban­ning of Hubert Humphrey from Viet­nam meet­ings when Humphrey advised John­son to rethink his pol­i­cy of mil­i­tary com­mit­ment to Viet­nam.) . . . . The read­er should recall, this meet­ing took place just forty-eight hours after Kennedy was killed. . . .

. . . . There­fore, on March 2, 1964, the Joint Chiefs passed a new war pro­pos­al to the White House. This was even more ambi­tious than the Jan­u­ary ver­sion. It includ­ed bomb­ing, the min­ing of North Viet­namese har­bors, a naval block­ade, and pos­si­ble use of tac­ti­cal atom­ic weapons in case Chi­na inter­vened. John­son was now draw­ing up a full scale bat­tle plan for Viet­nam. In oth­er words, what Kennedy did not do in three years, LBJ had done in three months.

John­son said he was not ready for this pro­pos­al since he did not have con­gress yet as a part­ner and trustee. But he did order the prepa­ra­tion of NSAM 288, which was based on this pro­pos­al. It was essen­tial­ly a tar­get list of bomb­ing sites that even­tu­al­ly reached 94 pos­si­bil­i­ties. By May 25, with Richard Nixon and Bar­ry Gold­wa­ter clam­or­ing for bomb­ing of the north, LBJ had made the deci­sion that the U.S. would direct­ly attack North Viet­nam at an unspec­i­fied point in the future. But it is impor­tant to note that even before the Tonkin Gulf inci­dent, John­son had ordered the draw­ing up of a con­gres­sion­al res­o­lu­tion. This had been final­ized by William Bundy, McGe­orge Bundy’s broth­er. There­fore in June of 1964, John­son began lob­by­ing cer­tain peo­ple for its pas­sage in con­gress. . . .

Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Mem­o­ran­dum 263

. . . . John­son seized upon the hazy and con­tro­ver­sial events in the Gulf of Tonkin dur­ing the first week of August to begin he air war planned in NSAM 288. Yet the Tonkin Gulf inci­dent had been pre­pared by John­son him­self. After Kennedy’s death, Pres­i­dent John­son made a few alter­ations in the draft of NSAM 273. An order which Kennedy had nev­er seen but was draft­ed by McGe­orge Bundy after a meet­ing in Hon­olu­lu, a meet­ing which took place while Kennedy was vis­it­ing Texas. . . .

. . . . On August 2, the destroy­er Mad­dox was attacked by three North Viet­namese tor­pe­do boats. Although tor­pe­does were launched, none hit. The total dam­age to the Mad­dox
was one bul­let through the hull. Both John­son and the Defense Depart­ment mis­rep­re­sent­ed this inci­dent to con­gress and the press. They said the North Viet­namese fired first, that the USA had no role in the patrol boat raids, that the ships were in inter­na­tion­al waters, and there was no hot pur­suit by the Mad­dox. These were all wrong. Yet John­son used this overblown report­ing, plus a non-exis­tent attack two nights lat­er on the destroy­er Turn­er Joy to begin to push his war res­o­lu­tion through Con­gress. He then took out the tar­get list assem­bled for NSAM 288 [from March of 1964–D.E] and ordered air strikes that very day. . . .

. . . . For on August 7, John­son sent a mes­sage to Gen­er­al Maxwell Tay­lor. He want­ed a whole gamut of pos­si­ble oper­a­tions pre­sent­ed to him for direct Amer­i­can attacks against the North. The tar­get date for the sys­tem­at­ic air war was set for Jan­u­ary 1965. This was called oper­a­tion Rolling Thun­der and it end­ed up being the largest bomb­ing cam­paign in mil­i­tary his­to­ry. The read­er should note: the Jan­u­ary tar­get date was the month John­son would be inau­gu­rat­ed after his re-elec­tion. As John New­man not­ed in his mas­ter­ful book JFK and Viet­nam, Kennedy was dis­guis­ing his with­draw­al plan around his re-elec­tion; John­son was dis­guis­ing his esca­la­tion plan around his re-elec­tion. . . .

In addi­tion to not­ing that Hubert Humphrey, con­trary to pop­u­lar mis­con­cep­tion, was an oppo­nent of John­son’s war strat­e­gy, we note that Robert McNa­ma­ra was also opposed to it, although he went along with the Com­man­der in Chief’s poli­cies.

After detailed dis­cus­sion of the human and envi­ron­men­tal dam­age inflict­ed on Viet­nam and the strat­e­gy imple­ment­ed by LBJ after Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion, the dis­cus­sion turns to John­son’s rever­sal of Kennedy’s pol­i­cy with regard to Laos.

The fledg­ling nation of Laos was also part of French Indochi­na, and Jim notes how out­go­ing Pres­i­dent Eisen­how­er coached Pres­i­dent-Elect Kennedy on the neces­si­ty of com­mit­ting U.S. com­bat forces to Laos.

Again, Kennedy refused to com­mit U.S. ground forces and engi­neered a pol­i­cy of neu­tral­i­ty for Laos.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 54.

. . . . At his first press con­fer­ence, Kennedy said that he hoped to estab­lish Laos as a “peace­ful country–an inde­pen­dent coun­try not dom­i­nat­ed by either side.” He appoint­ed a task force to study the prob­lem, was in reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion with it and the Laot­ian ambas­sador, and decid­ed by Feb­ru­ary that Laos must have a coali­tion gov­ern­ment, the likes of which Eisen­how­er had reject­ed out of hand. Kennedy also had lit­tle inter­est in a mil­i­tary solu­tion. He could not under­stand send­ing Amer­i­can troops to fight for a coun­try whose peo­ple did not care to fight for them­selves. . . . He there­fore worked to get the Rus­sians to push the Pathet Lao into a cease-fire agree­ment. This includ­ed a maneu­ver on Kennedy’s part to indi­cate mil­i­tary pres­sure if the Rus­sians did not inter­vene strong­ly enough with the Pathet Lao. The maneu­ver worked, and in May of 1961, a truce was called. A few days lat­er, a con­fer­ence con­vened in Gene­va to ham­mer out con­di­tions for a neu­tral Laos. By July of 1962, a new gov­ern­ment, which includ­ed the Pathet Lao, had been ham­mered out. . . .

Where­as JFK had imple­ment­ed a pol­i­cy afford­ing neu­tral­i­ty to Laos–against the wish­es of the Joint Chiefs, CIA and many of his own cab­i­net, LBJ scrapped the neu­tral­ist pol­i­cy in favor of a CIA-imple­ment­ed strat­e­gy of employ­ing “nar­co-mili­tias” such as the Hmong tribes­men as com­bat­ants against the Pathet Lao. This counter-insur­gency war­fare was com­ple­ment­ed by a mas­sive aer­i­al bomb­ing cam­paign.

One of the many out­growths of LBJ’s rever­sal of JFK’s South­east pol­i­cy was a wave of CIA-assist­ed hero­in addict­ing both GI’s in Viet­nam and Amer­i­can civil­ians at home.

LBJ also reversed JFK’s pol­i­cy toward Indone­sia.

In 1955, Sukarno host­ed a con­fer­ence of non-aligned nations that for­mal­ized and con­cretized a “Third Way” between East and West. This, along with Sukarno’s nation­al­ism of some Dutch indus­tri­al prop­er­ties, led the U.S. to try and over­throw Sukharno, which was attempt­ed in 1958.

Kennedy under­stood Sukarno’s point of view, and had planned a trip to Indone­sia in 1964 to forge a more con­struc­tive rela­tion­ship with Sukharno. Obvi­ous­ly, his mur­der in 1963 pre­clud­ed the trip.

In 1965, Sukarno was deposed in a bloody, CIA-aid­ed coup in which as many as a mil­lion peo­ple were killed.

Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est in con­nec­tion with Indone­sia, is the dis­po­si­tion of Freeport Sul­phur, a com­pa­ny that had enlist­ed the ser­vices of both Clay Shaw and David Fer­rie in an effort to cir­cum­vent lim­i­ta­tions on its oper­a­tions imposed by Cas­tro’s Cuba:

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 208–209.

. . . . In Chap­ter 1, the author intro­duced Freeport Sul­phur and its sub­sidiaries Moa Bay Min­ing and Nicaro Nick­el. These com­pa­nies all had large invest­ments in Cuba pri­or to Castro’s rev­o­lu­tion. And this end­ed up being one of the ways that Gar­ri­son con­nect­ed Clay Shaw and David Fer­rie. This came about for two rea­sons. First, with Cas­tro tak­ing over their oper­a­tions in Cuba, Freeport was attempt­ing to inves­ti­gate bring­ing in nick­el ore from Cuba, through Cana­da, which still had trade rela­tions with Cuba. The ore would then be refined in Louisiana, either at a plant already in New Orleans or at anoth­er plant in Braith­waite. Shaw, an impres­sario of inter­na­tion­al trade, was on this explorato­ry team for Freeport. And he and two oth­er men had been flown to Cana­da by Fer­rie as part of this effort. More evi­dence of this con­nec­tion through Freeport was found dur­ing their inves­ti­ga­tion of Guy Ban­is­ter. Ban­is­ter appar­ent­ly knew about anoth­er flight tak­en by Shaw with an offi­cial of Freeport, like­ly Charles Wight, to Cuba. Again the pilot was David Fer­rie. Anoth­er rea­son this Freeport con­nec­tion was impor­tant to Gar­ri­son is that he found a wit­ness named James Plaine in Hous­ton who said that Mr. Wight of Freeport Sul­phur had con­tact­ed him in regards to an assas­si­na­tion plot against Cas­tro. Con­sid­er­ing the amount of mon­ey Freeport was about to lose in Cuba, plus the num­ber of East­ern Estab­lish­ment lumi­nar­ies asso­ci­at­ed with the company–such as Jock Whit­ney, Jean Mauze and God­frey Rockefeller–it is not sur­pris­ing that such a thing was con­tem­plat­ed with­in their ranks. . . .

LBJ reversed Kennedy’s pol­i­cy vis a vis Sukarno. It should be not­ed that Freeport had set its cor­po­rate sights on a very lucra­tive pair of moun­tains in Indone­sia, both of which had enor­mous deposits of min­er­als, iron, cop­per, sil­ver and gold in par­tic­u­lar.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 374–375.

. . . . Short­ly after, his aid bill land­ed on John­son’s desk. The new pres­i­dent refused to sign it. . . .

. . . . In return for not sign­ing the aid bill, in 1964, LBJ received sup­port from Both Augus­tus Long and Jock Whit­ney of Freeport Sul­phur in his race against Bar­ry Gold­wa­ter. In fact, Long estab­lished a group called the Nation­al Inde­pen­dent Com­mit­tee for John­son. This group of wealthy busi­ness­men includ­ed Robert Lehman of Lehman Broth­ers and Thomas Cabot, Michael Paine’s cousin. . . . Then, in ear­ly 1965, Augus­tus Long was reward­ed for help­ing John­son get elect­ed. LBJ app[ointed him to the For­eign Intel­li­gence Advi­so­ry Board. This is a small group of wealthy pri­vate cit­i­zens who advis­es the pres­i­dent on intel­li­gence mat­ters. The mem­bers of this group can approve and sug­gest covert activ­i­ties abroad. This appoint­ment is notable for what was about to occur. For with Sukarno now unpro­tect­ed by Pres­i­dent Kennedy, the writ­ing was on the wall. The Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency now bean to send into Indone­sia its so called “first team.” . . . .

. . . . Suhar­to now began to sell off Indone­si­a’s rich­es to the high­est bid­der. Includ­ing Freeport Sul­phur, which opened what were per­haps the largest cop­per and gold mines in the world there. . . . Freeport, along with sev­er­al oth­er com­pa­nies, now har­vest­ed bil­lions from the Suhar­to regime. . . .

Yet anoth­er area in which JFK’s pol­i­cy out­look ran afoul of the pre­vail­ing wis­dom of the Cold War was with regard to the Con­go. A Bel­gian colony which was the vic­tim of geno­ci­dal poli­cies of King Leopold (esti­mates of the dead run as high as 8 mil­lion), the dia­mond and min­er­al-rich Con­go gained a frag­ile inde­pen­dence.

In Africa, as well, Kennedy under­stood the strug­gle of emerg­ing nations seek­ing free­dom from colo­nial dom­i­na­tion as falling out­side of and tran­scend­ing stereo­typed Cold War dynam­ics.

In the Con­go, the bru­tal­ly admin­is­tered Bel­gian rule had spawned a vig­or­ous inde­pen­dence move­ment crys­tal­lized around the charis­mat­ic Patrice Lumum­ba. Under­stand­ing of, and sym­pa­thet­ic to Lumum­ba and the ide­ol­o­gy and polit­i­cal forces embod­ied in him, Kennedy opposed the reac­tionary sta­tus quo favored by both Euro­pean allies like the Unit­ed King­dom and Bel­gium, as well as the Eisenhower/Dulles axis in the Unit­ed States.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 28–29.

. . . . By 1960, a native rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader named Patrice Lumum­ba had gal­va­nized the nation­al­ist feel­ing of the coun­try. Bel­gium decid­ed to pull out. But they did so rapid­ly, know­ing that tumult would ensue and they could return to col­o­nize the coun­try again. After Lumum­ba was appoint­ed prime min­is­ter, tumult did ensue. The Bel­gians and the British backed a rival who had Lumum­ba dis­missed. They then urged the break­ing away of the Katan­ga province because of its enor­mous min­er­al wealth. Lumum­ba looked to the Unit­ed Nations for help, and also the USA. The for­mer decid­ed to help, . The Unit­ed States did not. In fact, when Lumum­ba vis­it­ed Wash­ing­ton July of 1960, Eisen­how­er delib­er­ate­ly fled to Rhode Island. Rebuffed by Eisen­how­er, Lumum­ba now turned to the Rus­sians for help in expelling the Bel­gians from Katan­ga. This sealed his fate in the eyes of Eisen­how­er and Allen Dulles. The pres­i­dent now autho­rized a series of assas­si­na­tion plots by the CIA to kill Lumum­ba. These plots final­ly suc­ceed­ed on Jan­u­ary 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy was inau­gu­rat­ed.

His first week in office, Kennedy request­ed a full review of the Eisenhower/Dulles pol­i­cy in Con­go. The Amer­i­can ambas­sador to that impor­tant African nation heard of this review and phoned Allen Dulles to alert him that Pres­i­dent Kennedy was about to over­turn pre­vi­ous pol­i­cy there. Kennedy did over­turn this pol­i­cy on Feb­ru­ary 2, 1961. Unlike Eisen­how­er and Allen Dulles, Kennedy announced he would begin full coop­er­a­tion with Sec­re­tary Dag Ham­marskjold at the Unit­ed Nations on this thorny issue in order to bring all the armies in that war-torn nation under con­trol. He would also attempt top neu­tral­ize the coun­try so there would be no East/West Cold War com­pe­ti­tion. Third, all polit­i­cal pris­on­ers being held should be freed. Not know­ing he was dead, this part was aimed at for­mer prime min­is­ter Lumum­ba, who had been cap­tured by his ene­mies. (There is evi­dence that, know­ing Kennedy would favor Lumum­ba, Dulles had him killed before JFK was inau­gu­rat­ed.) Final­ly, Kennedy opposed the seces­sion of min­er­al-rich Katan­ga province. . . . Thus began Kennedy’s near­ly three year long strug­gle to see Con­go not fall back under the claw of Euro­pean impe­ri­al­ism. . . . ”

In the Con­go, as in Indone­sia, LBJ reversed JFK’s pol­i­cy stance, and the cor­po­rate loot­ing of the Con­go result­ed under Gen­er­al Joseph Mobu­tu, him­self a ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the pira­cy.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 372–373.

. . . . But in Octo­ber and Novem­ber [of 1963], things began to fall apart. Kennedy want­ed Colonel Michael Greene, an African expert, to train the Con­golese army in order

to sub­due a left­ist rebel­lion. But Gen­er­al Joseph Mobu­tu, with the back­ing of the Pen­ta­gon, man­aged to resist this train­ing, which the Unit­ed Nations backed. In 1964, the com­mu­nist rebel­lion picked up steam and began tak­ing whole provinces. The White House did some­thing Kennedy nev­er seri­ous­ly con­tem­plat­ed: uni­lat­er­al action by the USA. John­son and McGe­orge Bundy had the CIA fly sor­ties with Cuban pilots to halt the com­mu­nist advance. With­out Kennedy, the UN now with­drew. Amer­i­ca now became an ally of Bel­gium and inter­vened with arms, air­planes and advis­ers. Mobu­tu now invit­ed Tshombe back into the gov­ern­ment. Tshombe, per­haps at the request of the CIA, now said that the rebel­lion was part of a Chi­nese plot to take over Con­go. Kennedy had called in Edmund Gul­lion to super­vise the attempt to make the Con­go gov­ern­ment into a mod­er­ate coali­tion, avoid­ing the extremes of left and right. But with the Tshombe/Mobutu alliance, that was now dashed. Rightwing South Africans and Rhode­sians were now allowed to join the Con­golese army in a war on the “Chi­nese-inspired left.” And with the Unit­ed Nations gone, this was all done under the aus­pices of the Unit­ed States. The right­ward tilt now con­tin­ued unabat­ed. By 1965, Mobu­tu had gained com­plete pow­er. And in 1966, he installed him­self as mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor. . . . Mobu­tu now allowed his coun­try to be opened up to loads of out­side invest­ment. The rich­es of the Con­go were mined by huge West­ern cor­po­ra­tions. Their own­ers and offi­cers grew wealthy while Mobu­tu’s sub­jects were mired in pover­ty. Mobu­tu also sti­fled polit­i­cal dis­sent. And he now became one of the rich­est men in Africa, per­haps the world. . . .

In FTR #1033, we exam­ined JFK’s attempts at nor­mal­iz­ing rela­tions with Cuba. That, of course, van­ished with his assas­si­na­tion and the deep­en­ing of Cold War hos­til­i­ty between the U.S. and the Island nation, with a thaw of sorts com­ing under Barack Oba­ma a few years ago.

There is no more strik­ing area in which JFK’s mur­der reversed what would have been his­toric changes in Amer­i­ca’s for­eign pol­i­cy than U.S.-Soviet rela­tions.

JFK had imple­ment­ed a ban on atmos­pher­ic test­ing of nuclear weapons, bit­ter­ly opposed by the Pen­ta­gon, In a June, 1963 speech at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty, JFK called for re-eval­u­at­ing Amer­i­ca’s rela­tion­ship to the Sovi­et Union, and cit­ed the U.S.S.R’s deci­sive role in defeat­ing Nazi Ger­many dur­ing World War II.

JFK was also propos­ing joint space explo­ration with the Sovi­et Union, which would have appeared to be noth­ing less than trea­so­nous to the Pen­ta­gon and NASA at the time. After JFK’s assas­si­na­tion, the Kennedy fam­i­ly used a backchan­nel diplo­mat­ic con­duit to the Sovi­et lead­er­ship to com­mu­ni­cate their view that the Sovi­et Union, and its Cuban ally, had been blame­less in the assas­si­na­tion and that pow­er­ful right-wing forces in the Unit­ed States had been behind the assas­si­na­tion.

Per­haps JFK’s great­est con­tri­bu­tion was one that has received scant notice. In 1961, the Joint Chiefs were push­ing for a first strike on the Sovi­et Union–a deci­sion to ini­ti­ate nuclear war. JFK refused, walk­ing out of the dis­cus­sion with the dis­gust­ed obser­va­tion that “We call our­selves the human race.”

In FTR #‘s 876, 926 and 1051, we exam­ined the cre­ation of the meme that Oswald had been net­work­ing with the Cubans and Sovi­ets in the run-up to the assas­si­na­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, Oswald was sup­pos­ed­ly meet­ing with Valery Kostikov, a KGB offi­cial in charge of assas­si­na­tions in the West­ern Hemi­sphere.

This cre­at­ed the pre­text for blam­ing JFK’s assas­si­na­tion on the Sovi­et Union and/or Cuba. There are indi­ca­tions that JFK’s assas­si­na­tion may well have been intend­ed as a pre­text for a nuclear first strike on the Sovi­et Union.

JFK and the Unspeak­able: Why He Died and Why It Mat­ters by James W. Dou­glass; Touch­stone Books [SC]; Copy­right 2008 by James W. Dou­glas; ISBN 978–1‑4391–9388‑4; pp. 242–243.

. . . . As JFK may have recalled from the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil meet­ing he walked out of in July 1961, the first Net Eval­u­a­tion Sub­com­mit­tee report had focused pre­cise­ly on “a sur­prise attack in late 1963, pre­ced­ed by a peri­od of height­ened ten­sions.” Kennedy was a keen read­er and lis­ten­er. In the sec­ond pre­emp­tive-war report, he may also have noticed the slight but sig­nif­i­cant dis­crep­an­cy between its over­all time frame, 1963–1968, and the extent of its rel­a­tive­ly reas­sur­ing con­clu­sion, which cov­ered only 1964 through 1968. . . .

. . . . In his cat-and-mouse ques­tion­ing of his mil­i­tary chiefs, Pres­i­dent Kennedy had built upon the report’s appar­ent­ly reas­sur­ing con­clu­sion in such a way as to dis­cour­age pre­emp­tive-war ambi­tions. How­ev­er, giv­en the “late 1963” focus in the first Net Report that that was the most threat­en­ing time for a pre­emp­tive strike, Kennedy had lit­tle rea­son to be reas­sured by a sec­ond report that implic­it­ly con­firmed that time as the one of max­i­mum dan­ger. The per­son­al­ly fatal fall JFK was about to enter, in late 1963, was the same time his mil­i­tary com­man­ders may have con­sid­ered their last chance to “win” (in their terms) a pre­emp­tive war against the Sovi­et Union. In terms of their sec­ond Net Report to the Pres­i­dent, which passed over the per­ilous mean­ing of late 1963, the cat-and-mouse game had been reversed. It was the gen­er­als who were the cats, and JFK the mouse in their midst.

The explic­it assump­tion of the first Net Report was “a sur­prise attack in late 1963, pre­ced­ed by a peri­od of height­ened ten­sions.” The focus of that first-strike sce­nario cor­re­spond­ed to the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion sce­nario. When Pres­i­dent Kennedy was mur­dered in late 1963, the Sovi­et Union had been set up as the major scape­goat in the plot. If the tac­tic had been suc­cess­ful in scape­goat­ing the Rus­sians for the crime of the cen­tu­ry, there is lit­tle doubt that it would have result­ed in “a peri­od of height­ened ten­sions” between the Unit­ed States and the Sovi­et Union.

Those who designed the plot to kill Kennedy were famil­iar with the inner sanc­tum of our nation­al secu­ri­ty state. Their attempt to scape­goat the Sovi­ets for the Pres­i­den­t’s mur­der reflect­ed one side of the secret strug­gle between JFK and his mil­i­tary lead­ers over a pre­emp­tive strike against the Sovi­et Union. The assas­sins’ pur­pose seems to have encom­passed not only killing a Pres­i­dent deter­mined to make peace with the ene­my, but also using his mur­der as the impe­tus for a pos­si­ble nuclear first strike against that same ene­my. . . .

With the GOP and Trump admin­is­tra­tion open­ly sup­press­ing vot­ing rights of minori­ties, African-Amer­i­cans in par­tic­u­lar, the stel­lar efforts of JFK and the Jus­tice Depart­ment in the area of civ­il rights is strik­ing. JFK’s civ­il rights pol­i­cy was expo­nen­tial­ly greater than what had pre­ced­ed him, and much of what fol­lowed.

The con­clu­sion of the dis­cus­sion in FTR #1056 con­sists of Jim’s dis­cus­sion of his mar­velous, 4‑part analy­sis of JFK’s civ­il rights pol­i­cy.


FTR #689 Interview with Sterling and Peggy Seagrave

William Faulkn­er not­ed that “the past is nev­er dead and buried. It isn’t even past.” War Gold stolen by the Japan­ese dom­i­nates the con­tem­po­rary eco­nom­ic land­scape; the engines of world polit­i­cal pow­er turn in pre­ci­sion with these hid­den engines of wealth.


FTR #578 Darkness at Sunrise: The Interdiction and Cover-Up of Operation Savehaven

Pow­er­ful Wall Street lawyers like Allen Dulles began pur­su­ing the U.S. elite’s cor­po­rate agen­da even before the end of World War II, con­spir­ing with this coun­try’s ene­mies to estab­lish the foun­da­tion of the Under­ground Reich and the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work. In the process, they set the table for the Cold War, the McCarthy purges and the sub­ver­sion of Oper­a­tion Safe­haven.


FTR #562 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

Think that “it can’t hap­pen here?” It HAS hap­pened here.


American Gunfight

The Plot to Kill Har­ry Truman—and the Shoot-out that Stopped It; by Stephen Hunter and J. S. Bain­bridge


FTR #522 The Safari Club

Record­ed August 14, 2005REALAUDIOCon­tin­u­ing with analy­sis of the Fifth Col­umn that assist­ed the Islamo-fas­­cists who per­pe­trat­ed the 9/11 attacks, the pro­gram access­es infor­ma­tion from a VERY impor­tant new book Pre­lude to Ter­ror by Joseph J. Tren­to. In this book, the author sets forth infor­ma­tion about the Safari Club, an “out­sourced” intel­li­gence net­work in which the […]


FTR #508 The Vatican Rag, Part II: Der Panzerkardinal

Ger­man Car­di­nal Joseph Ratzinger—dubbed “Panz­erkar­di­nal” by wags because of his reac­tionary views.


FTR #504 The Vatican Rag, Part I: Reflections on the Death of the Pope

Deep pol­i­tics sur­round­ing the Vat­i­can’s rela­tion­ship to fas­cism, and how that deter­mined the char­ac­ter of John Paul II’s reign.


FTR #465 The Gipper and the Underground Reich

Role of Nazi ele­ments in Rea­gan pres­i­den­cy; the col­lapse of the Sovi­et Union.


FTR #451 Petals from the Golden Lily

Record­ed March 21, 2004 Lis­ten: MP3 Side 1 | Side 2 RealAu­dio Pur­su­ing the sub­ject of the fab­u­lous amount of wealth stolen by the Japan­ese dur­ing World War II under Gold­en Lily (the for­mal name of the Japan­ese loot­ing pro­gram), this broad­cast sup­ple­ments dis­cus­sion pre­sent­ed in oth­er ‘For The Record’ pro­grams. Hav­ing secret­ed over $100-bil­lion […]