UnspeakableTowards the end of his excellent book “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters” author James Douglass makes the following statement:

 “The extent to which our national security state was systematically marshaled for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy remains incomprehensible to us. When we live in a system, we absorb a system and think in a system. We lack the independence needed to judge the system around us. Yet the evidence we have seen points toward our national security state, the systemic bubble in which we all live, as the source of Kennedy’s murder and immediate cover-up.”

James Douglass

James Douglass

It’s quite a point that Douglass makes. Living, as we do, dominated by the system of national security, we have subtly agreed to so many aspects of it that we can no longer objectively view it. As a result we are unaware of many of the things that have been done and are being done in the world and in our own nation in the name of “national security”. Many of these things, if we knew them, we would find morally reprehensible and not representative of the principles embodied in the moral codes we were raised with or in the founding documents of our nation.

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

The current flap over the revelations by former CIA and National Security Agency employee Edward Snowden regarding the extent of the National Security Agency’s monitoring of the private e-mail and social media communications of private U.S. citizens illustrates this. We are justifiably shocked over this unwarranted invasion of privacy. But the truth is we should have been shocked decades ago. Had we been perhaps we would not now be in the situation we find ourselves in; on the verge of losing our Republic.

What we all must realize is that the national security state did not spring full bloom into existence in the last couple of years or with the Bush Presidencies. The national security apparatus as it currently exists has been under development since and even before World War II. Its years of most intense development, however, coincided with the advent of the Cold War immediately following World War II. Both the CIA (1947) and the NSA (1952) came on the scene during that time. Through the 1950s they consolidated their power under the Truman and Eisenhower administrations using the threat of international Communism to justify their activities. These activities included extensive interference in the internal affairs of other nations, including para-military activities, the de-stabilization of leaders, coup d’états and even assassinations. Most of these activities not only violated the national sovereignty of the targeted nations, they also violated international law. Many of them were approved by Presidents Harry Truman (1945-53) and Dwight Eisenhower (1953-61), who frankly should have known better. In many instances, however, even the Presidents were not informed.

Harry Truman

Harry Truman

Both Truman and Eisenhower would later express misgivings about their roles in the creation of what we now call the “national security state”. Both were born and raised in a nation that did not have a permanent arms industry, a CIA, NSA or Homeland Security. As a result both retained some level of objectivism and therefore awareness about what they saw happening during their administrations. They did not have the excuse that James Douglass makes note of and which is referenced at the top of this article, “When we live in a system, we absorb a system and think in a system. We lack the independence needed to judge the system around us.”

In a little known article Truman wrote for the Washington Post on December 22nd, 1963, just 1 month after Kennedy was killed, he stated the following with regard to the CIA:

“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 the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas…I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been 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.”

As for Eisenhower, by the time he was completing his eight years in office in January of 1961, he was so concerned about the rise of the “national security state” (Eisenhower’s term for it was “military industrial complex” ), that he gave the following warning in his “Farewell” speech to the nation:

Eisenhower making Farewell address to nation

Eisenhower making Farewell address to nation

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society…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…We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Both of these Presidents saw what was happening to their nation and both were concerned about it. So was John Kennedy. But all three had fallen into the trap that the Cold War and Communist threat justified the rise of this national security apparatus. In Kennedy’s case, however, a short way into his administration he sensed the trap this justification was creating for himself as President and for the nation. He began to sense that the justification was premised on a lie. The actions he took in handling the crises  he faced in office more and more reflected his awareness of this; and that is what got him killed.

That is why we as a nation should be so concerned about what really happened when JFK was assassinated 50 years ago. He was the last President to really stand up to the national security state as it then existed. What happened on November 22nd , 1963 was in reality a coup d’état, much like those the CIA has perpetrated across the last 60 years in third world nations around our planet. Had Kennedy lived the United States of America would have pursued a different course than the one it did pursue. There would have been no Vietnam War. The Cold War, in all likelihood, would have ended decades sooner than it did. Looked at this way, his murder is a watershed moment for our nation. It marks the point at which the national security state took full control of our government. It has, more or less, charted our government’s course ever since.

Had JFK lived the Vietnam War would never have happened

Had JFK lived the Vietnam War would never have happened

The truth of what happened to JFK is today, and has been for 50 years, obscured by the lies of this national security apparatus, part of which was involved in his murder and part of which has been involved in the deception of its cover up. These lies, and others, are rotting away at the core of our national psyche and until the truth sees the light of day we citizens will continue to fail to grasp the trap we find ourselves in. If we are ever to free ourselves from the tentacles of this national security nightmare currently engulfing us, our nation and our rights; if we are ever to take back our Republic; then this must be so.

Hence, I write.

 

Copyright © 2013

By Mark Arnold

All Rights Reserved

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