President John F. Kennedy

President John F. Kennedy

Note: What I present here is really the third in a series of articles delving into the history of how our nation as arrived at its current crisis state of decline. The other two were published earlier in this blog (“From a Native Son”) and are entitled “Some Comments on War” and “How Tax Exempt Foundations Have Destroyed the   United States”. While this article can be read on its own I do recommend reading the other two first as some terms and concepts are discussed in those that would be helpful in understanding what I cover here. I have put quite a bit of effort into ferreting out the information I cover here. You won’t find it in regular history books of the period. If you are truly interested in how we have nearly lost our country; if you really want to help turn it to a better course and bring about a better tomorrow, then this is information you need to know. MA   

On the morning of Friday, November 22nd1963, a New York City attorney named Mark Lane was busy defending a client being tried at the Criminal Court Building in lower Manhattan. At 1pm the judge declared a lunch recess and Lane left the Court building and headed toward a favorite Chinese restaurant a few blocks away. After lunch as he walked back to the courthouse he observed people on the street gathered by radios listening intently. He asked one of the people what was going on and was told that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. Lane ran back to the courthouse and headed straight to the press room where he found a number of reporters, bailiffs and attorneys all listening to the radio. After a few minutes the announcement was made to the stunned crowd…the President was dead. Like everyone else, Mark Lane stood there in shock, only then realizing that for the first time in his life he was late for a court appearance; the trial of his client was to have resumed 5 minutes earlier. Lane dashed to the courtroom; half thinking the judge would cancel the afternoon session due to the tragedy that had unfolded in Dallas. The judge, however, had other ideas and ordered that the trial continue.
Mark Lane today

Mark Lane today

Later that afternoon, with his client acquitted, Lane rushed from the courtroom to find a TV so he could get updated on the momentous occurrences that had transpired while he was in court. As he ran down the steps of the Criminal Court Building he encountered a judge he knew who was also walking down the steps. The judge turned toward him and said, “Well, Lane, do you think he did it alone?”

 Being out of the loop on the afternoon’s happenings Lane responded, “Who, sir? Did what?”

 “Do you think this Oswald killed the President?” the judge asked.

Lane explained that he had been trying a case all afternoon and had heard nothing of the details of the assassination. The judge, ignoring Lane’s explanation of his ignorance, just looked at him and said: “He couldn’t very well shoot him from the back and cause an entrance wound in his throat, could he?”

Not waiting for a response from Lane, the judge continued: “The doctors said the throat wound was an entrance wound. It’ll be an interesting trial. I want to see how they answer that question.”

In November of this year 50 years will have passed since John F. Kennedy’s assassination and the question that Mark Lane’s judge friend asked him on the Court Building’s steps in 1963 has still not been adequately answered. Indeed, it remains the central illogic at the heart of the JFK murder case. How could Oswald have shot Kennedy from the front causing a throat entry wound if he was behind the President shooting from the Texas School Book Depository? In the hectic first few minutes after the assassination, before the full cover story of Oswald as a lone nut killer had taken hold in the media, some truth had leaked out. One of the emergency room doctors trying to save Kennedy’s life told a reporter that the small, round bullet hole they observed at the front of JFK’s throat before they cut across it in performing a tracheotomy, was an entry wound. All of these doctors were seasoned trauma room professionals who knew gunshot wounds. They had also observed a large, gaping wound at the rear of Kennedy’s skull, which they identified as an exit wound. In addition grassy knoll witnesses interviewed referred to shots coming from up the knoll behind the fence and a number of them went running up the hill right after the shots had been fired to find who had pulled the trigger. Lane’s judge friend had caught some of these initial reports on the radio or TV and had, like a good jurist would, immediately spotted the contrary facts of the case. Oswald was in the Book Depository behind the President. He couldn’t have caused a throat entry wound and rear skull, exit wound from that location.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald

Seeing the illogic his friend had pointed out, Mark Lane immediately took on the JFK assassination case as his personal mission and like a pit bull has never let go. Being a defense attorney, he had a unique perspective. He knew that no jury of his peers would have convicted Oswald of Kennedy’s killing based on the evidence presented in the Warren Report. A competent defense would have picked that case apart easily. He was also personally impacted by Kennedy’s death, having met JFK and his brother Robert on several occasions. Lane had been elected to the New York state legislature in 1960 with Kennedy’s endorsement and also had helped to organize JFK’s campaign for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination in 1959. For these reasons as well as a commitment to justice, Lane took on the task of getting at the truth of JFK’s assassination. His most recent book on the subject was written 2 years ago and is entitled “Last Word”. His first was 1965’s bestselling “Rush to Judgment”. In between are nearly 50 years of Lane and others striving to get at the facts and we owe him and these other researchers a debt of gratitude.

This is, however, not an article about Mark Lane. In an earlier blog I made mention of the radical decline we are now witnessing in the United States as a nation. I also stated that decline has a number of elements to it; it didn’t just spring into being full bloom during the Obama Administration. What is happening today is the sum of what has happened before, and a huge part of THAT was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is very important, therefore, that we understand what happened on November 22nd, 1963, not just to Kennedy but to our nation.

Mark Lane and JFK ca. 1960

Mark Lane and JFK ca. 1960

The illogical presentation of data pointed out by Mark Lane’s judge friend above, is but a small fraction of the array of contrary and conflicting facts to be found when one starts digging in to the mass of evidence on the Kennedy assassination. Besides the doctors’ statement of the throat wound being an entry wound, consider the home movie of the assassination taken by a guy named Abraham Zapruder. He was standing just to the left of the grassy knoll shooting his film as Kennedy’s motorcade passed in front of him. Zapruder’s film clearly shows Kennedy being shot and slumping forward and then being hit by a fatal head shot and being thrown backward and to the left by the force of impact of the bullet. The only way he could be thrown backward is by a bullet striking him in the head coming from the front. Yet Oswald was supposedly in the Book Depository to the rear. Watch the film yourself. It really is all you need to know to understand there was a conspiracy involved in JFK’s death. While there were shots fired from behind, as all the wounds received by Texas Governor John Connally seem to indicate, the fatal head shot and throat shot were from the front, and as the judge pointed out, Oswald could not shoot the President from the front and behind at the same time.

This leaves two possibilities. The first is that two assassins, each unaware of the other, chose to kill the President in Dallas at the same time and in the same place completely and entirely accidentally. And of course the obvious other option is that at least two, and probably more, people conspired to kill the President. We do not even need to look at the fact that Oswald was known to be an average marksman at best; that the shoddy, WW II vintage, Italian rifle he supposedly used had a defective scope and was also known as the “humanitarian” rifle for its poor performance in battle; that FBI sharpshooters could not duplicate Oswald’s supposed accuracy in their own re-enactments of the assassination or that the official autopsy photos do not show the large, exit wound observed by the doctors on the rear of Kennedy’s head, indicating the photos had been tampered with so as to create the illusion of only shots from the rear. (This last fact points to Government involvement in the cover-up, if not the assassination itself.) We do not need to know that a piece of Kennedy’s skull from the occipital (rear) region of his head was retrieved the next day from the grass next to the road in Dealey Plaza or that a man was seen by an eyewitness behind the picket fence at the top of the knoll breaking down a rifle and handing it to another man in the first seconds after the shooting…or that a number of witnesses reported hearing from 4 to 6 shots that day, while the Warren Commission says there were only 3. (In the duration of the shooting, as documented by the Zapruder film, Oswald would have been hard pressed to get off the 3 shots; 4 to 6 was out of the question, indicating there must have been a second shooter.) I could go on and on with this sort of thing but there is no real reason to. In light of all the above we should just be done with any debate about if there was a conspiracy and instead just concentrate on the question “Why?”. Why was Kennedy killed?

 To understand this one must have some understanding of the context of the times. Remember the principle from “Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace”; that war and preparation for war provide the means by which a government can maintain control over its population. World War II ended in August 1945 with the explosion of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With those explosions, not only was the war ended but a new age ushered in; the atomic age. The face of war was changed forever. All out war, as had been waged in WWI and WW II, was no longer a viable option. It would destroy the planet and everyone on it. What were the “puppet masters” to do? No problem; war and threat of war could still be used; it would just be a Cold War. Our former WWII ally, Soviet Russia, was turned in to the antagonist and off we went. The USSR shortly developed nuclear weapons and imposed its political system on the countries it wound up in control of after WWII, which was most of Eastern Europe. The term “Iron Curtain”, first coined by Winston Churchill in a famous speech he gave in the late ‘40s, was used to describe the border between the Soviet controlled eastern European countries and the “free” western European countries.

 In 1947 Congress, largely in response to the perceived Soviet threat, passed the National Security Act. This law created our current Department of Defense with a single secretary as its head, three independent branches of armed force (Army, Navy, and Air Force), the National Security Council and lastly the Central Intelligence Agency. It was signed into law by then President Harry Truman. The original mandate of the CIA per the law was to operate as an information coordination apparatus, its chief role being to take the information coming in from the various intelligence arms of the military and government and coordinate it into a useful, coherent package. In the beginning that is largely what it did. But by the early ‘50s the CIA was increasingly involved as a policy making and covert operations activity and performing actions that went far beyond its original intended purpose.

Allen Dulles

Allen Dulles

Under director Allen Dulles, through the 1950’s, and using the justification of countering the Soviet threat, the CIA bit by bit garnered more and more power. Since its activities were secret, as well as its budget, it became harder and harder to control. The National Security Council, originally intended as the controlling entity of the CIA and the group the CIA reported to, in a role reversal ended up being itself manipulated through the effective controlling of information by the CIA and director Dulles. By the early 50’s the CIA was involved in covert operations in the Philippines supposedly in response to the communist HUK guerilla movement there. The acronym “H.U.K”. stands for “Hukbo ng Bayan Leban sa Hapon”. In native Filipino tongue this means “Peoples anti-Japanese Army”. The Philippines had been occupied by the Japanese in World War II and the HUKs resisted them. In 1946, when the Philippines were granted independence by the U.S., elections were held. Some HUKs won seats in the Filipino Congress but were then unseated by the ruling party after the elections. The HUKs retreated to the jungle and started their rebellion. As they had Communist leadership and the Cold War was in full bloom they became logical targets of the CIA. In reality the HUKs were not the threat they appeared to be as will be seen.

Ed Lansdale

Ed Lansdale

Now enters legendary CIA operative Ed Lansdale. During WW II Lansdale was with the wartime Office of Strategic Services. He had been stationed in the western Pacific and the Philippines at the end of the war and so was familiar with the area and people. Now working for the CIA, Lansdale was able to create the illusion of a much larger communist insurgency in the Philippines than the HUKs actually were by getting a military group he controlled to stage mock attacks on villages and take them over only to be driven off by another military group he controlled, which were the Government backed forces under a handpicked military officer named Ramon Magsaysay. They would stage a battle, complete with fake dead, as a result of which Magsaysay would emerge the hero for driving out the HUKs. In such a way Magsaysay developed a national reputation and soon became the President of the country, the real HUK leadership was arrested and jailed and the CIA announced another Cold War victory over the communists. In the Philippines the CIA and Lansdale learned valuable lessons and strategies to be applied later in another South East Asian country called Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh

At the end of World War II a Vietnamese leader named Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese people looked forward to their country of Vietnam being at long last run by Vietnamese. The French had dominated Vietnam for generations prior to the war and it was, in effect, a French colony during that time. With World War II the Japanese invaded and subjugated Vietnam until they were defeated in 1945. During the war Ho had established a Vietnamese army called the Viet Minh (from a Vietnamese term meaning “League for the independence of Vietnam”.) which teamed with the Allies and the U.S. Office of Strategic Services in fighting the Japanese. With the end of the war the French attempted to re-assert their control of the country and by 1946 they were at war with Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh in what became known as the First Indochina War. In 1954, the Viet Minh defeated the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, and it looked as though the country of Vietnam was about to throw off its European colonial shackles at last and for the first time in generations Vietnam would be run by Vietnamese. But as Ho Chi Minh, had pro communist ties and possibly was communist, Vietnam was chosen as the CIA’s next theatre of operations for the energetic Ed Lansdale. A theory was concocted known as the “Domino Theory” to justify these actions. The Domino Theory held that communism was an international and monolithic movement systematically trying to take over the world and that if one country in Southeast Asia fell to communism then they all would, like dominoes falling.

 After the French had lost at Dien Bien Phu, a peace treaty was signed that temporarily divided the country into north and south zones. An election was to be held in two years which would determine the future of the country and reunite it. Meantime Ho Chi Minh and his victorious Viet Minh consolidated power in the north and a U.S. and CIA backed regime under a man named Ngo Dinh Diem was installed in the south. Enter once again, Ed Lansdale. He and a team of CIA operatives entered the northern zone and through rumors and covert actions of one kind or another raised havoc there. This ranged from putting sugar into the gas tanks of Viet Minh vehicles to dropping millions of propaganda leaflets opposing the Viet Minh to spreading rumors that Ho and his group intended to massacre Catholics living in the north. This was the famous Saigon Military Mission brought to light in the Pentagon Papers scandal in the early ‘70s.

As a result of all this Catholics began fleeing the north by the thousands and in the end over a million relocated and settled in the south, dislocating in the process people who had lived had lived in the southern area for generations. Long story short, the intended elections to reunite the country never occurred, the CIA installed and backed Diem consolidated power in the south using the blank checkbook of the CIA and the southern indigenous people displaced by the northern refugees formed the foundation of what would become the Viet Cong. The seeds of the Vietnam War had been sown, a war from which the U.S. would not extricate itself for twenty years. That war was entirely a creation of the CIA. The Saigon Military Mission was six years in the rear view mirror when JFK was elected in 1960 and he inherited all of its ramifications.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro

Another major event occurred in the late 50’s and that was the overthrow of the corrupt Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista by Fidel Castro and his band of guerillas in 1959. Shortly after this Castro announced his alignment with communism and proceeded to set up a communist style dictatorship on Cuba. In the Cold War climate of the 50s this was considered a huge threat to the U.S. and of course justified CIA sponsored covert operations to undo Castro’s revolution. The plot the CIA hatched to do this was to create a brigade of disaffected Cubans, train them, equip them and then send them storming back into Cuba to retake it from Castro. By 1960 this operation was well under way in its formation and training stages. Kennedy also inherited this operation when he was elected in 1960.

So you can see that by 1960, the foreign policy situation that Kennedy inherited was soon to be dominated by these two CIA created scenarios in Vietnam and Cuba. The CIA itself was now far removed from its original mission of intelligence coordination and was full blown into covert military operations. Over the prior ten years under Allen Dulles it had consolidated its power and more and more operated in a fashion that did not really answer to the President but went according to the dictates of Dulles himself and whoever was influencing him. Therefore it is important to know a little about this guy Allen Dulles. Who was he?


To be continued…
Copyright © 2013
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved

 

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2 Responses to Back Story to a Tragedy: JFK Revisited—by Mark Arnold

  1. Very, very intriguing… the parts of the puzzle are coming together.. the puzzle called The Big Picture

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