Rogue U.S. officials conspired with their powerful patrons to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in 1963 primarily because of his opposition to a CIA-led U.S. military overthrow of Cuba’s Communist government.
That was a dominant — albeit not universal — theme by speakers at “The National Security State and JFK” conference on June 3 in a Northern Virginia community that is heavily populated by intelligence, military and other federal workers and retirees.
The forum remains timely for many reasons, including reported Trump plans to renew reprisals against Cuba this week on human rights grounds.
Also, several columns published in recent days by Trump supporters from across the political spectrum, as well as some from within the intelligence community, argue that a Deep State that had targeted both Kennedy and President Nixon over their foreign policies now seeks through its successors to end Trump’s presidency prematurely.
Regarding the forum:
“The legend constructed around the assassination was clearly a pretext for a Cuban invasion,” military historian Douglas Horne told the audience after he retraced many covert steps by intelligence and military leaders to plan invasions of Cuba that Kennedy repeatedly rebuffed. “Although Kennedy’s assassination did not trigger an invasion of Cuba it may have been intended to.”
Among others endorsing Horne’s view on the 11-speaker program was Jacob Hornberger, an attorney, Horne’s publisher (including of JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated), and also the organizer of the conference as president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, which advocates libertarian policies.
“Ever since researchers and commentators began questioning the conclusions of the Warren Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” Hornberger wrote in the foreword to JFK’s War, “the response has been: Why would the U.S. national-security establishment — that is, the military and the CIA — kill Kennedy?”
The answer, continued Hornberger (shown in a file photo), “is because Kennedy’s ideas about foreign-policy collided with those of the U.S. national-security establishment during the height of the Cold War.”
As an alternative to conventional wisdom in the mainstream media, some commentators argue that the Kennedy, Nixon and Trump efforts to achieve better relations with the Soviet Union/Russia prompted reprisals from a largely unaccountable U.S. Deep State. Historian and former diplomat Peter Dale Scott decades ago began popularizing the term as describing unaccountable government officials, some of whom are CIA loyalists operating under official cover, and their powerful private sector patrons from the fields of banking, munitions, and other global sectors.
Such warnings come in recent columns from Hornberger, (Will They Succeed in Removing Trump from Office?), conservatives Patrick Buchanan, Philip Giraldi and Paul Craig Roberts (JFK at 100), and career intelligence professionals Ray McGovern and William Binney (Trumped-up claims against Trump). The latter two have been involved during recent years in privacy protection and anti-militarism advocacy. Their columns, excerpted also in an appendix, underscore the intense current interest in these topics.
In other words, continued examination of the Kennedy death provides vital perspective about similar patterns affecting current events and commentary, including those regarding Trump foreign policy regarding Cuba and Russia and extending to investigations of the Trump administration by Congress and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Last weekend was the anniversary of Kennedy’s famed “peace speech” on June 10 in 1963 at American University. Film maker Oliver Stone, a speaker at the conference shown in our adjoining photo, emphasized the continuing importance of that Kennedy speech by describing it with a photo in The Concise Untold History of the United States, which sought to cover highlights in the nation’s entire history in a 306-page book that Stone co-authored with history professor Peter Kuznick.
Readers here know that our coverage has included a so-far 39-part “Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination,” excerpted below. It shows highlights from the more than 2,500 books addressing that topic in whole or part. The guide also documents a continuing pattern whereby major news media (aside from rare exceptions like C-SPAN), courts, academics and other “watchdog” institutions studiously avoid expert discussions on the Kennedy assassination while also occasionally hyping crackpot theories that confuse the public.
Such biased treatments support widespread and legitimate public suspicions that news coverage is skewed on other contemporary topics. This editor’s many memberships in legal, journalism and other civic organizations include mainstream groups as well as volunteer board service for The Indicter, a Europe-based human rights web magazine, and for Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA). Both The Indicter and CAPA examine allegations of high-profile assassinations and cover-ups by legal and media organizations.
The analysis below summarizes the speakers at the all-day national security conference, which included film maker Oliver Stone, shown in our photo above left. The all-day event was filmed and will be shown on the website of the sponsoring foundation. Thus, the public can assess the relevant evidence and apply its lessons to current issues.
Above: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, hands President Lyndon B. Johnson a copy of the Warren Commission’s 1964 report on the assassination. Convened also were commission members, including future president Gerald Ford at Warren’s left and former CIA Director Allen Dulles at Johnson’s right. Commission Chief Counsel Lee Rankin is second from left.
The Big Picture
The event included as faculty (aside from Horne and Hornberger) the academics / authors Jeffrey Sachs, Michael Glennon, Stephen Kinzer, Michael Swanson, Peter Janney, Jefferson Morley, speaking in that order. The afternoon program ended with lectures by former Texas Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, author James DiEugenio and the film maker Stone. The latter engaged in a dialog with DiEugenio, Hornberger and then audience members. The locale was the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, located in Dulles (named for the former Eisenhower Secretary of State John Foster Dulles) a few miles from CIA headquarters at Langley.
Several of the speakers refrained from speculating on why Kennedy was killed. Morley, for example, said his focus is on facts and discrepancies in official accounts, not theories of what happened. Sachs, a Columbia University professor and best-selling author, entitled his talk “JFK’s Quest for Peace.” He drew on his 2013 book To Move the World about Kennedy’s 1963 speech at American University.
Paul listened to most of the day’s presentations but he focused his lecture on libertarian themes of protecting American strength by free market economics and avoidance of military action overseas unless absolutely necessary.
Whether or not a speaker specifically addressed a causation motive for Kennedy’s killing, each segment contributed to the conference’s overall themes: that a covert, aggressive and unaccountable national security establishment was created during the Cold War and there must to be a better explanation for Kennedy’s death than the Warren Commission’s claim that Oswald was a lone nut who acted alone.
Speakers Share Their Findings
Several of the above-named speakers summarized their research along the following line:
That certain ultra-hawkish members of the CIA, uniformed military and their allies elsewhere in government and in the private sector developed covert plans that resulted in Kennedy’s assassination and long-running cover-up that extends for the most part to current times in order to maintain public confidence in government and conventional wisdom about its operations.
Those speakers drew on their own research and some cited also the works of the absent Dr. John M. Newman and the late Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, two authors with high levels of intelligence experience and bold conclusions typically omitted from standard histories.
Newman (shown in a photo by Noel St. John taken at a CAPA JFK research event at the National Press Club this spring) is a longtime professor whose 20 years of previous intelligence work included service as assistant to a Reagan-era National Security Agency director. He has authored breakthrough books challenging conventional wisdom on Kennedy’s presidency and death: JFK and Vietnam, Oswald and the CIA, and a two more recent ones, including Countdown to Darkness this year.
Among Newman’s findings is that the late David Atlee Phillips (shown at right), leader of the CIA’s work with Cuban exiles, had at least a dozen and arguably dozens more false identities in order to keep his work organizing assassinations, revolutions and propaganda hidden even from CIA colleagues except on a need-to-know basis.
Prouty, shown in a file photo below, died in 2001. He would have celebrated his own 100th birthday if he had lived past January. He had been a World War II pilot on many VIP and otherwise sensitive missions. He later held high-ranking liaison posts between the Department of Defense and CIA from 1955 and 1963, and coordinated black operations between the military and intelligence.
Prouty authored two iconic books worth describing in detail because they grew out of his rare experience that that brought him into personal contact with a number of the key officials on historic issues.
The Secret team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (Prentice-Hall, 1973, republished by Skyhorse in 2008). It described how the CIA achieved pervasive and covert control over U.S. policy via a “Secret Team” of CIA loyalists placed in government and the private sector, including by Prouty.
According to Prouty’s account, this Secret Team (some of whose members Prouty helped place as part of his duties) worked covertly via the CIA, FBI, military, and elsewhere in the three branches of government and private sector on behalf of the nation’s “High Cabal” in ways unaccountable even to presidents, much less the public.
Prouty described the CIA’s core function as pervasive global covert operations, including paramilitary actions, assassination, propaganda and regime change, and not the more benign-sounding “intelligence” function envisioned by Congress and President Truman as they initiated a plan co-authored by Allen Dulles, the brother of John Foster Dulles.
Prouty’s second book, JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, first published by Carol in 1996 and then by Skyhorse in 2011, documents his insider’s view as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Kennedy years that the president was killed by an internal coup d’etat arising from the president’s increasing resistance to war pressures, primarily regarding Cuba and later extending to Vietnam.
Trained To Kill
Former Cuban exile leader Antonio Veciana, author of a recent memoir Trained To Kill, is one other non-participant in the June 3 forum worth noting before we summarize a chronology provided by these Warren Commission critics.
Veciana, leader of the anti-Castro assassination group Alpha 66 active in the 1960s active in planning anti-Castro bombings and assassinations, wrote in his memoir published this spring that he and other exiles hated Kennedy for not opposing Castro more forcefully and wanted him dead, much like they wanted Castro murdered.
Veciana, a former high-ranking accountant in pre-Castro Cuba who knew the future leader beginning in their university days, also wrote that he tried to kill Castro more than once in close coordination with the CIA. Veciana wrote also that he once met his CIA handler and friend, David Phillips, along with Oswald in a Dallas office building six weeks before the Kennedy assassination and Oswald’s arrest. [Note: Phillips denied to congressional investigators that he had met Veciana. Also, some researchers have questioned Veciana’s account, partly because he has withheld or changed details over time. Veciana’s defenders note, however, that he was seriously wounded by head shot from an unknown assailant in Miami in 1979 during a period when congressional investigators sought evidence, thereby underscoring at a minimum the risks of public disclosure.)
Veciana says that he believes he owes it to his adopted country, the United States, to provide a record of the past before he dies.
Cuba’s Central Role In Kennedy’s Assassination
With that background, we synthesize below a chronology cited by a number of the forum speakers. They point to a plot against Kennedy by participants in America’s so-called Deep State who were in a position to recruit operatives for assassinations and cover-ups.
Readers hear can see specifics of June 3 speakers’ comments via video recordings of the conference planned by C-SPAN and the Future of Freedom Foundation on their websites. Dates are to be announced.
The background with Cuba appears to be particularly timely. News reports this week such as Trump Expected To Restrict Trade, Travel With Cuba on National Public Radio predict that President Trump will announce on Friday in Miami a reversal of President Obama’s 2014 restoration of relations. In 2014, the New York Times reported Obama’s initiative in U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility.
With that background, we proceed on the chronology distilled from the materials cited above:
Top military and intelligence officials devised a plan during the last months of Eisenhower administration to overthrow Castro (shown in a file photo at right) by secretly arming U.S.-assisted Cuban exiles for what became the Bay of Pigs invasion. (The name references a locale with that name.) The task force was led by Vice President Richard Nixon, who was regarded as a hawk on foreign affairs.
President Eisenhower, shown in the White House, had been commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II before his presidency. Eisenhower presided during the 1950s over a massive build-up of the CIA and its paramilitary covert operations under its Director Allen Dulles. But the Republican president had sought also to end his two terms with a summit meeting with the Soviet Union’s premier, another World War II general seeking to reduce Cold War tensions at the summit.
Shortly before it occurred, however, a secret high-altitude “U-2” spy plane flown by CIA pilot Gary Powers operating under military cover crashed in deep in the heart of the Soviet Union. That led to so many embarrassing deceitful comments by Eisenhower and his staff to cover up the spy flight that they effectively ruined the summit.
Prouty was among those suggesting that a Secret Team, aka Deep State militarists, may have intended that the Powers plane run short of its special hydrogen fuel component in mid-flight so that the overflight might be exposed and thereby disrupt the summit, thereby preserving America’s military superiority, which was useful for ongoing covert operations.
Eisenhower nonetheless left office with his now-famous Farewell Address in 1961 warning Americans against a U.S. “Military-Industrial Complex” that threatened the nation’s democracy. The photo at right shows him delivering that speech.
Prouty, the former pilot and top 1950s Pentagon liaison to the CIA, later suggested that the CIA’s Secret Team, aka Deep State militarists, may have intended that the Powers plane run short of a special hydrogen fuel component in mid-flight so that the intrusive overflight might be exposed, with the expected consequence that exposure would disrupt the summit and thwart mutual disarmament that would undercut the arms advantage that the United States enjoyed.
Whatever the case on that, Eisenhower left office with his now-famous Farewell Address in 1961 warning Americans against a U.S. “Military-Industrial Complex” that threatened the nation’s democracy.
Some in military and intelligence circles had supported Kennedy in the 1960 election over Nixon, despite the Republican’s hawkish credentials. Some hawks the young president, a war hero during World War II and regarded as a firm part of the bipartisan anti-Communist Congress, could be controlled even more than his canny opponent Nixon.
After Kennedy’s election he approved a number of hawkish policies. First, he grudgingly approved the Bay of Pigs invasion for March 1961, just two months after he took office, so long as U.S. involvement was hidden and otherwise limited. Kennedy firmly opposed direct, public involvement in such an invasion.
Yet some of Kennedy’s most important military and intelligence advisors falsely assumed the young president could be convinced during the crisis to change his mind and approve U.S. reinforcements that were needed to overthrow Castro.
Kennedy stood firm against deployment. As a result, Castro’s forces killed more than 100 of the invading force of some 1,600 exiles and captured the rest.
Kennedy publicly took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs disaster but became infuriated at some of his top military and intelligence advisors. He correctly suspected that some had intentionally mislead him about the likelihood of success of the invasion.
In late 1961, Kennedy forced the resignations of CIA Director Allen Dulles (shown in a file photo) and plus the latter’s top two deputies, Richard Bissell and Gen. Charles Cabell. Forcing them out was a momentous decision because they were intimately connected to the nation’s most powerful financial and government networks. To take two of many examples, Dulles had orchestrated the CIA’s clever rise to power after decades of global diplomacy, spycrafting and legal work, including a partnership at Sullivan & Cromwell, the favored law firm of the nation’s most powerful corporations. Ominously, Cabell’s brother Earle was mayor of Dallas.
The Bay of Pigs disaster enraged Cuban exiles and other Cold War hawks against Kennedy. Some, including Veciana, described Kennedy as a traitor and hoped for his death, just as they yearned for Castro’s.
During this period, Kennedy acted in many ways like a Cold Warrior, especially in public. He ramped up the 1950s U.S. role in Indochina to a level of 16,000 U.S. military “advisors” in Vietnam operating under CIA leadership disguised, according to Prouty, as regular military.
Separately, the president appointed his brother Robert Kennedy, the attorney general, to lead a covert U.S. plan using the CIA, Cuban exiles and others to assassinate Castro. Mafia leadership was intimately involved with plots to kill Castro, which fostered both covert relationships and deadly secrets.
Kennedy became furious with the hawks, particularly when he saw that advisors were refusing to take “no” for an answer on the question of a U.S. invasion of Cuba. By now, most of the story of the Cuban Missile Crisis is well-known whereby Kennedy negotiated removal of Soviet nuclear missiles. But some hawks at high levels resented what they regarded as a lost opportunity to invade Cuba.
That same year, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff under Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer (shown in a file photo) unanimously approved a mind-boggling plan called Operation Northwoods whereby U.S. forces would create murderous false flag attacks on U.S. private citizens and blame the carnage on Castro, thereby justifying an invasion. Details included an engineered ‘shootdown’ of a drone airliner, riots in Florida, and other murderous events.
Kennedy rejected the plan and forced Lemnitzer out of office. We now know about Operation Northwoods only because Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie JFK prompted congressional action to declassify vast numbers of Cold War documents via the Assassination Records Review Board.
We know also that Kennedy late in his presidency began issuing highly secret orders that curtailed CIA covert military, spy, assassination and regime change operations. The president also started a process to withdraw U.S forces from Vietnam after what he hoped would be his 1964 re-election. Some scholars report that he planned to drop Vice President Johnson from the 1964 re-election ticket.
Meanwhile, JFK was becoming increasingly hated by certain powerful forces, including Cuban exiles, segregationists, and organized crime leaders. Some such groups were violence prone and vocal.
But Kennedy also seemed to know that his most dangerous foes might be close to home. That’s why he loaned use of the White House for scenes in the 1964 movie Seven Days In May (based on a 1962 book) portraying a U.S. military coup against a U.S. president.
In 1963, hate mongers prepared for President Kennedy’s assassination by distributing the handbill at right in Dallas on the day he was killed. The Dallas Morning News ran a similar “welcome” that day.
Kennedy’s famous “peace speech” at American University in 1963 contained what has been widely interpreted as his recognition that his policies put his life in danger: “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet,” Kennedy told graduates in what scholars regard as a sharp break with his Cold War rhetoric and a possible premonition of a deadly rebellion brewing against his presidency. “We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
At the June 3 forum in Dulles, the inherent drama of the topics was underscored by Peter Janney, son of the late CIA executive Wistar Janney and the author of the investigative history Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy To Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer and Their Vision for World Peace, which was republished in a third edition last fall.
Janney, a practicing psychologist, alleges on the basis of his decades of research that CIA officials went beyond arranged the president’s assassination an also murdered Kennedy’s friend and lover Meyer, a brilliant, well-born socialite whose ex-husband Cord Meyer had been a war hero recruited to lead the CIA’s U.S. and global propaganda operation. The motive? To prevent her from continuing to criticize the Warren Report in 1964.
Meyer died in an execution-style shooting on a Georgetown canal towpath during her regular morning walk. Dovey Roundtree, a brilliant young defense lawyer, won an unexpected acquittal of Ray Crump Jr., a low-wage African American found drunk near the crime scene.
Janney has spent decades identifying CIA, Washington Post and others involved in a high-level cover-ups regarding Meyer, whom Janney knew and admired as a youngster growing up next door to her and her then husband Cord Meyer (shown with her in the 1940s) before the Meyers’ 1957 divorce.
In recent years, retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Roger Charles, a best-selling author in his own right who attended the June 3 gathering, has helped Janney investigate complex military and CIA records. The purpose was to identify and interview a now-retired university professor, identified by name in the book, whom they now accuse as being a covert CIA operative tasked in 1964 to help frame Crump at a patsy in the crime to allay suspicion from the real killers. They describe the future professor as having been rewarded with help to achieve an academic career even though the acquittal foiled the plan close the Meyer murder in the public mind.
Janney delivered an eloquent description of the Kennedy-Meyer murders and their relationship to peace. He described how his research led him to the conclusion that his father had been involved in a CIA plot to murder Mary Meyer, and that even ones so smart and well-connected as she and Kennedy could not protect themselves against self-righteous fellow Americans motivated by a narrow view of patriotism.
The momentous events and possibilities described at the forum do not easily lend themselves to a succinct conclusion aside from the reminder to each reader that the topics are worth further study by every concerned citizen, not just those interested in history.
An appendix of related columns is below. It includes, most immediately below, three factors supporting skepticism toward the Warren Report that are so widely accepted among expert critics as to be barely mentioned during the June program, although worth noting here for a general audience.
We noted above also that President Trump is expected to revert later this week to previous restrictions on Cuba in an effort to win support from hawkish members of the Cuban exile community, particularly in Florida. The public can safely predict also denunciations of Cuba’s human rights record but we should not expect any reference from the president or his supporters of the well-documented assassination plots and other carnage plotted by the United States that is described above.
Even more important, we noted also above a number of defenses for the Trump presidency that are being voiced by political and intelligence experts who assert Trump is being railroaded out of office by a Deep State for foreign policy reasons that seem similar to those that felled Kennedy and Nixon. Those assertions are too serious and complex to be treated here as an afterthought. Their claims (and their shortcomings) deserve thorough examination, building on the background provided above.
Three Major Criticisms of the Warren Report
Critics of the Warren Report area are heavily represented in the more than 2,500 books addressing the Kennedy assassination in whole or part. Such research has illuminated the following three criticisms of the report. These matters are so well-known to experts in the field that the June 3 conference speakers barely touched on them. But they should prove valuable to summarize here for general readers who rely on conventional news accounts, books and films that almost never examine these points in order to maintain public confidence in the Warren Report and otherwise to maintain public confidence in authorities:
First is that compelling witnesses and scientific evidence exists that Oswald could not have fired all shots by himself from behind the president. Many witnesses and forensic experts focus especially on a fatal shot, which they believe hit the president on his right temple from the direction of a picket fence on a grassy knoll and not from the building behind the president where Lee Harvey Oswald worked.
A second widely researched conclusion among many experts is that Oswald was most likely a low-level covert U.S. government asset when he undertook outwardly suspicious activities, probably on assignment or with other incentive to advance his undercover career. Oswald (shown in uniform) worked in Japan as a U.S. Marine technician with high-security clearance on the ultra-secret U-2 spy plane project. He traveled to the Soviet Union in 1959 as a supposed defector. But the U.S. government allowed his return in 1962 with his Russian-born wife. Oswald’s activities involved extensive, albeit scattered, contacts with U.S. military, State Department, CIA, and ex-FBI personnel. For example, Oswald worked for six months beginning in October 1962 at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, a graphic arts company that reputedly handled classified U-2 photographs, including from U-2 flights over Cuba. That was a remarkable job for a supposed Soviet defector and pro-Communist. Oswald began work at the company the same month as the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world closer to nuclear war than ever in history. In sum, Oswald could well have been the “patsy” that he claimed to be before mobster Jack Ruby murdered him in a Dallas police station, keeping him quiet. It is possible that Oswald never fired a shot at Kennedy. At most, Oswald complicity in any plot is far more complicated than portrayed in official accounts.
Finally, many experts believe the Warren Commission and its staff were deterred from a full investigation because of sophisticated disinformation plot whereby commissioners, staff and top media executives, among others, were convinced that a full investigation might lead to complicity by the Soviet Union and/or Cuba in Kennedy’s murder. Therefore, authorities and media owners (many of them heavily influenced by the CIA in Cord Meyer-led Operation Mockingbird propaganda program) believed they were helping avoid potential nuclear war with the Soviet Union by accepting assurances that the world could remain at peace by blaming JFK’s death entirely on Oswald instead of global Communists.
That theory helps makes understandable such otherwise puzzling developments as reliance by the Commission and FBI on flawed evidence and the media’s reluctance to explore leads that would disprove the official version. As time passes, institutions protect their brand names by hoping the mess disappears without embarrassing disclosures.
In the 1960s, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (shown in a file photo) tried to expose the facts by indicting New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw on murder conspiracy charges. But Shaw falsely denied his intelligence ties, and won a prompt jury acquittal by a prosecution hampered by the untimely death of many witnesses and a nationwide media smear campaign against Garrison. The prosecutor’s view of the case lives on via a 27-minute video he recorded in response to the NBC News attacks on him. It’s apparent also in Stone’s 1991 film JFK based on his story. Both the Garrison video and the JFK film have been amplified by then missing evidence, including some four million pages of declassified documents relevant to the assassination, with the final batch due for release by the National Archives on Oct. 26.
Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination
By Andrew Kreig, JIP Editor, CAPA Board member and Associate Editor and Board member of The Indicter
What follows are excerpt’s from our Project’s so-far 38-previous segments of a “Readers Guide” to the assassination begun in 2013 to underscore both the 50th anniversary of the death and its continuing relevance, particularly slanted media, government, and academic treatment of the death that serves as a Rosetta Stone to similar slanted coverage sensitive matters extending through the decades to today’s news.
The Justice Integrity Project is an active supporter of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) and The Indicter, each of which investigates suspected political assassinations around the world. The Project’s most recent previous column on these topics for the Readers Guide was JFK Birthday Prompts Inspiration, Art, Advocacy, Snark on June 2, 2017, with this beginning. “The 100th birthday anniversary of President John F. Kennedy on May 29 prompted many memorials about the late president’s enduring popularity, the continuing controversies over his murder, and at least one prominent display of mockery of the late president by a big newspaper.”
In the Readers Guide below, a red asterisk (*) denotes major articles in the series. Other articles may be regarded as more routine or duplicative treatments sometimes covering specific events.
At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of President Kennedy’s limo at the time of his fatal shooting. The “X” mark is repeatedly painted on the street by author and photographic expert Robert Grodin as reminder of the horrific crime that Dallas authorities seek to expunge by removing the X.
- Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers’ Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
- Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos, Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
- Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
- Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media’s Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
- ‘Puppetry’ Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,’ Nov. 19, 2013.
- Major Media Stick With Oswald ‘Lone Gunman’ JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013.
- JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
- Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. *
- JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. *
- JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column.
- Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
- Don’t Be Fooled By ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Smears, May 26, 2014. *
- Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014.
- Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
- JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
- Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
- JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
- Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
- The JFK Murder ‘Cover-up’ Still Matters — As Does C-SPAN’s Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
- JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
- JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
- CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
- Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
- Why Bill O’Reilly’s Lie About JFK’s Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
- Free Videos Show Shocking Claims About CIA, JFK Murder Probes, June 29, 2015.
- Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Abraham Bolden Warns Of Current Lessons, July 22, 2015.
- Understanding Hollywood-Style Presidential Propaganda From JFK To Trump, Aug. 18, 2015.
- Beware Of Wrong Conclusions From New CIA Disclosure On Oswald, Sept. 28, 2015.
- The JFK Murder Cover-Up: Your Rosetta Stone To Today’s News, Nov. 29, 2015.
- Austin Kiplinger, David Skorton: Two Civic Giants Going And Coming, Dec. 15, 2015.
- Trump Alleges Rafael Cruz Tie To JFK Murder Suspect Oswald, May 3, 2016.
- Revelations Confirm Proof Of JFK, RFK Murder Cover-ups, Nov. 25, 2016.
- Top Experts To Assess JFK Murder Records, Revelations March 16, March 8, 2017.
- Speaker Program For March 16 Forum On Secret JFK Records, March 8, 2017.
- JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Deadline, March 8, 2017.
- At CAPA Forum, JFK Experts See Need, Momentum For Assassination Records Release, March 23, 2017.
- Time Magazine, History Channel Ramp Up Oswald-JFK Fake News, April 26, 2017.
- JFK Birthday Prompts Inspiration, Art, Advocacy, Snark, June 2, 2017.
- Deep State Killed JFK For His Cuba Policy, Peace Advocacy, June 13, 2017.
Related News Coverage: JFK Commentary (Reverse Chronological Order)
Hidden History Museum, 54 years ago today, a President called for the end of the Cold War, Dave Ratcliff, June 10, 2017. On June 10, 1963, the 35th President of the United States addressed the graduating class at American University in Washington D.C. on the “the most important topic on earth: peace.” During his aborted term in office President Kennedy changed from the Cold Warrior of the 1960 election campaign to a man turning, to a peacemaker.
As Jim Douglass writes in The Assassinations of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy in the Light of the Fourth Gospel, John F. Kennedy was raised from the death of wealth, power, and privilege. The son of a millionaire ambassador, he was born, raised, and educated to rule the system. When he was elected President, Kennedy’s heritage of power corresponded to his position as head of the greatest national security state in history. But Kennedy, like Lazarus, was raised from the death of that system. In spite of all odds, he became a peacemaker and, thus, a traitor to the system.
It was especially in the confrontations with the military during the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis that Kennedy was raised from death to life. He resisted, at great risk to himself, the deadly pressures of the military to escalate those Cold War battles. He was then inspired to go on to further peacemaking initiatives: the American University address, the test-ban treaty, the back-door opening to Cuba, and his decision to withdraw from Vietnam.
Why? Why did John Kennedy choose life in the midst of death and by continuing to choose life thus condemn himself to death? I have puzzled over that question while studying the various biographies of Kennedy.
May I suggest one source of grace for his resurrection as a peacemaker? In reading his story, one is struck by his devotion to his children. There is no mistaking the depth of love he had for Caroline and John, and the overwhelming pain he and Jacqueline experienced at the death of their son Patrick. (At right, President John F. Kennedy looking at his children John John and Caroline dancing in the Oval Office. Washington, December 1962. Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images.)
Robert Kennedy in his book Thirteen Days has described how his brother saw the Cuban Missile Crisis in terms of the future of his children and all children. (“The thought that disturbed him the most, and that made the prospect of war much more fearful than it would otherwise have been, was the specter of the death of the children of this country and all the world — the young people who had no role, who had no say, who knew nothing even of the confrontation, but whose lives would be snuffed out like everyone else’s. They would never have a chance to make a decision, to vote in an election, to run for office, to lead a revolution, to determine their own destinies.” Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, p. 106).
I believe John Kennedy was at least partially raised from the dead of the national security state by the life of his children. The heroic peacemaking of his final months, with his acceptance of its likely cost in his own death, was, I suspect, partly a result of the universal life he saw in and through them.
Concerning Jim Douglass’ landmark book, JFK and the Unspeakable — Why He Died and Why It Matters, Marty Schotz has observed: “What Jim did was to resurrect the JFK in each of us, and thus to set before us the task of carrying on the work he was doing. Jim was able to do this because he saw and was able to render JFK’s story as a gospel tale.”
More than a half century later, President Kennedy’s American University address remains an essential signpost pointing the way to the future we must go if the human project is to continue supporting the exquisite eons of Life exploring itself on Earth for the seventh generation yet unborn and beyond.
JFK Facts, June 10, 1963: A profile in courage with lethal consequences, Jefferson Morley, June 10, 2017. President Kennedy’s speech to the graduating class of American University in Washington DC 54 years ago today represented the high point of his efforts to wind down the Cold War. His vigorous style and clear mind never had a more important goal — or more powerful enemies.
PaulCraigRoberts.org, The American Catastrophe, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in a file photo), June 8, 2017. The conservative scholar Paul Craig Roberts was assistant Treasury secretary during the Reagan administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. Americans prefer to dismiss scientists, experts, and
truth-tellers as “conspiracy theorists” than to accept that their government is guilty of false flag attacks. The gullible and naive population holds on to this absurd belief despite the complete documentation of Operation Gladio, Operation Northwoods, the Gulf of Tonkin fake incident, and so on. One of the most frustrating experiences is the American who says, “If there was a conspiracy, someone would have talked.” Yes, of course, they do talk, and it has no effect whatsoever.
For example, Israel’s attack 50 years ago today on the USS Liberty, which killed 35 American sailors and wounded 174, is still an official coverup despite the complete and total exposure of the attack by Admiral Tom Moorer, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rear Admiral Merlin Staring, judge advocate general of the US Navy, James Akins, Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, General Ray Davis, assistant commandant of the US Marines, Captain Ward Boston, one of the US naval officers ordered to produce the cover up, by every surviving member of the USS Liberty’s crew, and by testimony of Israeli pilots involved in the attack on the USS Liberty (shown in a government photo the day after the attack). All of this talk had no effect on the official coverup, which remains the official word.
The same is true for the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. The evidence is conclusive from eye witnesses, films, autopsies, and expert testimony that the assassinations of JFK and RFK were conspiracies.
Note: For details, see also: 1) the USS Liberty Memorial: “The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War”; and 2) Mondoweiss, Al Jazeera investigates the USS Liberty attack in ‘The Day Israel Attacked America,’ Colleen McGuire, Nov. 11, 2014: “The Day Israel Attacked America, a 50 minute video produced by Al Jezeera, offers proof that Israel deliberately intended to destroy the Liberty. The video broadcasts for the first time ever audio exchanges in Hebrew between the pilots and ground control. At least three times, starting at 5:15 a.m, ground control is told the ship is American. By 2:00 pm, ground control commands the pilot to attack the ship. An argument ensues when the pilot reminds his superiors the ship is American.”
C-SPAN, Steven Rothstein on JFK Centennial, May 29, 2017, C-Span host Steve Scully, May 29, 2017. John F. Kennedy Library Foundation Director Steven Rothstein talked about the centennial of former President John F. Kennedy’s birth and his impact on contemporary politics.
Washington Post, JFK, the forever-young president, 100 years on, E.J. Dionne Jr., May 29, 2017 (print edition). We cannot imagine John F. Kennedy on his 100th birthday. For all of us, he will always be a man in his 40s, exuding the vigor that became one of his trademark words, pronounced in his distinctively New England way.
He was a student of history whose rhetoric gloried in the future, challenge and change. He became an icon even though he was an iconoclast. He could be coldly realistic, but he preached idealism. He honored intellectuals but mistrusted abstract thinking and ideology. He promised greater affluence but preached against complacency.
He was a fervent Cold Warrior whose most important triumphs came in the name of peace. He avoided nuclear holocaust during the Cuban missile crisis and negotiated a partial nuclear test-ban treaty with the Soviet Union. He took office with a muscular promise that the United States would “pay any price, bear any burden” in the battle for freedom. But five months before his death, he became a prophet of what would be called detente, describing peace as “the necessary, rational end of rational men.”
C-SPAN, John F. Kennedy Centennial with historians Douglas Brinkley, Stephen Smith and David Ferriero, C-SPAN host Susan Swain, May 3, 2017. To mark the centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s birth, the National Archives hosted a conversation with his nephew, Stephen Kennedy Smith, and presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who are the co-editors of the book JFK: A Vision for America. Archivist of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration David Ferriero and C-SPAN host helped the guests reflect on the 35th president’s life and legacy, his administration’s “New Frontier” policies, and his conception of the American identity. President John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917.
Related News Coverage: Trump Probes, Deep State, CIA, Covert Wars
(Arranged in reverse chronological order. Citation to show a range of views does not necessarily imply agreement)
Trump Defenders Allege Deep State Plot By FBI, Democrats
Future of Freeedom Foundation, Will They Succeed in Removing Trump from Office? Jacob G. Hornberger, June 13, 2017. If the Pentagon and the CIA stepped in, removed Trump from office, took control, and promised a new election within a reasonable period of time, my hunch is that there would be a lot of established types, especially within the mainstream press, who would be ecstatic. They would lament that a coup had become necessary but they would justify it as necessary to save the country from Trump. And they would emphasize that the national-security establishment was paving the way toward a transition to democracy.
Of course, what they would be ignoring in the process is that the national-security establishment would have destroyed democracy in order to save it. The Constitution provides two means by which to involuntarily remove a president from office: by defeating him in the next election and through impeachment. In order to be removed from office through impeachment, the president must be convicted by the Senate of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.
There is no doubt that liberals, the mainstream press, and the Washington establishment want to see Trump removed from office long before 2020, perhaps even as early as this year. That’s what the special counsel is all about. His job isn’t to investigate whether a particular crime has been committed. His job is to go on a giant fishing expedition to see if Trump has committed any crimes.
The one that most of these people seem to be hoping for is “obstruction of justice.” They are hoping that when Trump purportedly asked former Attorney General James Comey to drop his investigation into the Russia brouhaha, that could be considered “obstruction of justice” which they could then call a “high crime or misdemeanor” on which they could base their impeachment proceeding.
LewRockwell.com, Are We Nearing Civil War? Patrick J. Buchanan (conservative commentator and former Nixon speechwriter, shown in a file photo), June 13, 2017. President Trump may be chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, but his administration is shot through with disloyalists plotting to bring him down. We are approaching something of a civil war where the capital city seeks the overthrow of the sovereign and its own restoration.
Last week, fired Director of the FBI James Comey, a successor to J. Edgar Hoover, admitted under oath that he used a cutout to leak to The New York Times an Oval Office conversation with the president. Goal: have the Times story trigger the appointment of a special prosecutor to bring down the president. Comey wanted a special prosecutor to target Trump, despite his knowledge, from his own FBI investigation, that Trump was innocent of the pervasive charge that he colluded with the Kremlin in the hacking of the DNC.
Comey’s deceit was designed to enlist the police powers of the state to bring down his president. And it worked. For the special counsel named, with broad powers to pursue Trump, is Comey’s friend and predecessor at the FBI, Robert Mueller. As Newt Gingrich said Sunday: “Look at who Mueller’s starting to hire. … (T)hese are people that … look to me like they’re … setting up to go after Trump … including people, by the way, who have been reprimanded for hiding from the defense information into major cases.…This is going to be a witch hunt.”
Operatives at State, disloyal to the president and hostile to the Russia policy on which he had been elected, collaborated with elements in Congress to sabotage any detente. They succeeded. The media, the beneficiaries of these leaks, are giving cover to those breaking the law. The real criminal “collusion” in Washington is between Big Media and the deep state, colluding to destroy a president they detest and to sink the policies they oppose.
Washington Post, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says only he has the power to fire special counsel on Russia, Sari Horwitz and Matt Zapotosky, June 13, 2017. Rosenstein testified that if the president ordered him to fire the special counsel handling the Russia investigation, he would only comply if the request was “lawful and appropriate.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify later today.
Reporter Describes FBI Probe As Focused On Global Trump Financial Corruption
Wayne Madsen Report (WMR), As Mueller focused on Trump’s RICO crimes, special prosecutor became Trump’s latest target, Wayne Madsen (author and former Navy intelligence officer, shown in a file photo), June 13, 2017 (subscription required).
Future of Freedom Foundation, Why Should CIA Murderers Be Protected by Secrecy? Jacob G. Hornberger, June 9, 2017. Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen is upset with the Post for disclosing the identity of a CIA agent, Michael D’Andrea, who is a “covert operative running the CIA’s Iran operations.” In an article in the Post, he says that the information put D’Andrea’s life at risk.
Of course, we’ve all grown up under the notion that it vital to America that CIA agents remain secret and that their identities and names never be disclosed to the public. That’s because all of us have been born and raised under a national-security state system and are taught from the first grade on up never to question it. And we’re taught that our “free” society depends on the CIA and its secret murders, kidnappings, and other felonies committed around the world, including here in the United States.
What nonsense. When a free society depends on the commission of murders, kidnappings, and other felonies, something is clearly amiss. Perhaps that is why our American ancestors not only failed to delegate the power to kidnap and murder to federal officials in the Constitution but also expressly forbade it in the Bill of Rights, which forbids any U.S. official from depriving any person of life or liberty without due process of law.
The Saker, The Coup, Then and Now – The Enemies of Humanity Try to Give Trump the JFK Treatment, Anton Chaitkin, June 5, 2017. The Anglo-American oligarchy began a coup against President Donald Trump after his surprise 2016 election. They were in a panic to block his announced aims of partnership with Russia, the end of permanent war, the overturn of predatory Free Trade, and the return of Glass Steagall to break Wall Street’s power. The panic turned into a frenzy on the Russian angle, as it emerged that Trump had been working with strategic advisors who were prepared to return the United States to its traditional support for national sovereignty, and drop the regime-change insanity pursued by Presidents Bush and Obama.
We have seen this kind of before, against the outstanding nationalist U.S. President of the second half of the 20th century, John F. Kennedy. We have lived in the shadow of that coup ever since. Perhaps throwing some new light on those events and, most importantly, what Kennedy himself understood about them, can help us see our way now to sanity and survival.
The Future of Freedom Foundation, Bring the Troops Home, Mr. President, Jacob G. Hornberger, June 5, 2017. Another terrorist attack in London, and more predictable responses from President Trump, British Prime Minister May, other public officials, and the mainstream press. We have to crack down on terrorism. The problem is with extremist Muslims. They hate us for our freedom and values. Don’t be afraid. Go about your daily lives as if nothing has happened.
And, of course, not one single word of the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan, which has entailed killing Muslims and other for at least 25 years and which continues unabated to this day, a policy with which the British government has partnered and supported since its inception.
Why not even a peep about more terrorist retaliation from U.S. foreign interventionism?
Isn’t the answer obvious? If they mentioned that, that would cause people to ask a very basic question: Is the interventionism worth the death and destruction that comes as “blowback,” the term that the noted scholar Chalmers Johnson used to title his excellent and profound book: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire?
That’s the last question that U.S. officials and British officials want Americans or British citizens to ask. They don’t want their citizens to be questioning or challenging the massive, ongoing death and destruction that the U.S. military and CIA have been wreaking and continue to wreak in that part of the world, with the full support of the British (and French and other) governments.
Dallas Morning News, Dallas’ darkest day: a Visual chronology of the JFK assassination, Michael Hogue, May 24, 2017. Eyewitness accounts.
PaulCraigRoberts.org, JFK at 100, Paul Craig Roberts (shown in a file photo), May 25, 2017. This Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, is the 100th birthday of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, as he approached the end of his third year in office. Researchers who spent years studying the evidence have concluded that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy between the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secret Service. (See, for example, JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass.)
Kennedy entered office as a cold warrior, but he learned from his interaction with the CIA and Joint Chiefs that the military/security complex had an agenda that was self-interested and a danger to humanity. He began working to defuse tensions with the Soviet Union. His rejections of plans to invade Cuba, of the Northwoods project, of a preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, and his intention to withdraw from Vietnam after his reelection, together with some of his speeches signaling a new approach to foreign policy in the nuclear age, convinced the military/security complex that he was a threat to their interests. Cold War conservatives regarded him as naive about the Soviet Threat and a liability to US national security. These were the reasons for his assassination. These views were set in stone when Kennedy announced on June 10, 1963, negotiations with the Soviets toward a nuclear test ban treaty and a halt to US atmospheric nuclear tests.
Lance deHaven-Smith in his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, shows that the CIA introduced “conspiracy theory” into the political lexicon as a technique to discredit skepticism of the Warren Commission’s coverup report. He provides the CIA document that describes how the agency used its media friends to control the explanation.
Baltimore Sun, Trumped-up claims against Trump, Ray McGovern and William Binney, May 17, 2017. The Washington establishment rejoiced last week over what seemed to be a windfall “gotcha” moment, as President Donald Trump said he had fired FBI Director James Comey over “this Russia thing, with Trump and Russia.” The president labeled it a “made-up story” and, by all appearances, he is mostly correct. A few days before his firing, Mr. Comey reportedly had asked for still more resources to hunt the Russian bear. Pundit piranhas swarmed to charge Mr. Trump with trying to thwart the investigation into how the Russians supposedly “interfered” to help him win the election.
On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents — ignored by mainstream media — showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, for example. The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the “Vault 7” trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for “proving” the Russians hacked.
President Trump has entered into a high-stakes gamble in confronting the Deep State and its media allies over the evidence-free accusations of his colluding with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly warned him of the risk earlier this year. “You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Mr. Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Jan. 3.
If Mr. Trump continues to “take on” the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill, whether he’s in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail.
Ray McGovern (firstname.lastname@example.org) was a CIA analyst for 27 years; he briefed the president’s daily brief one-on-one to President Reagan’s most senior national security officials from 1981-85. William Binney (email@example.com) worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.
Unz Review, Are They Really Out to Get Trump? Sometimes paranoia is justified, Philip Giraldi, May 16, 2017. Philip Giraldi (shown at left) is a former CIA analyst. What exactly drove the firing at this time remains somewhat of a mystery though the media has been quick to link it directly to Trump’s reported anger at the seemingly endless investigation into his Administration’s possible ties to Russia, an investigation that nominally Comey headed as FBI Director.
Two well-informed observers of the situation have recently joined in the discussion, Robert Parry of Consortiumnews and former CIA senior analyst Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
McGovern (shown at left) has noted, as have I, that there is one individual who has been curiously absent from the list of former officials who have been called in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is ex-CIA Director John Brennan, who many have long considered an extreme Obama/Hillary Clinton loyalist long rumored to be at the center of the information damaging to Team Trump sent to Washington by friendly intelligence services, including the British.
Ray suggests that Brennan and also Comey may been at the center of a “Deep State” combined CIA-NSA-FBI cabal working to discredit the Trump candidacy and delegitimize his presidency.
Robert Parry (shown at right) asked in an article on May 10th whether we are seeing is “Watergate redux or ‘Deep State’ coup?” and then followed up with a second Piece “The ‘Soft Coup’ of Russia-gate” on the 13th. In other words, is this all a cover-up of wrongdoing by the White House akin to President Richard Nixon’s firing of Watergate independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General or is it something quite different, an undermining of an elected president who has not actually committed any “high crimes and misdemeanors” to force his removal from office.
Cuba: Full Relations Restored In 2014, Trump Planning Change Friday
New York Times, Trump’s Imminent Cuba Problem, Christopher Sabatini, June 15, 2017. Soon — maybe as early as Friday — President Donald Trump, with Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, is expected to announce a presidential initiative that will roll back the Obama-era efforts that loosened the 56-year-old United States embargo on Cuba. How far will the president go?
More important than the actual content of the executive changes, though, will be how the United States Congress, businesses and other interested groups react to Mr. Trump’s reversal of policies that, according to Pew Research Center, 75 percent of Americans support.
Key, too, will be the reaction of the Cuban government. For the past half-century, the gerontocratic Cuban regime has survived because the embargo has not just isolated the Cuban people from their closest neighbor of more than 300 million — including close to two million fellow Cubans — but also provided a convenient excuse for the regime’s economic failure.
National Public Radio, Trump Expected To Restrict Trade, Travel With Cuba, Geoff Bennett and Scott Horsley, June 12, 2017.President Trump is preparing to announce changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, possibly tightening restrictions on travel and trade that were loosened under former President Barack Obama. Trump is expected to announce the changes in Miami on Friday.
The move was confirmed by a congressional source with direct knowledge of the situation. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been leading the push for a more restrictive policy, along with his fellow Cuban-American, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. The changes could make it more difficult for Americans to visit the island and for U.S. companies to do business there. The Obama administration ended decades of economic and diplomatic isolation of Cuba, in hopes that renewed engagement would lead to reforms in the communist country. The White House declined to discuss the pending changes.
The administration is considering stepped up policing to discourage pleasure travel and limiting visitors to one trip per year. Williams says that would be especially hard on Cuban-Americans with relatives on the island. “Imagine, your mother is sick in Cuba,” Williams said. “You might have to decide between going to see her in the hospital bed before she dies or going to the funeral. And that is just tragic.”
Polls suggest a majority of Americans support greater engagement with Cuba. Last month, 55 senators sponsored legislation that would further relax travel restrictions. The opening has also led to modest changes in Cuba, with increased revenue for small-business owners and Internet hot spots in Havana.
Carlos Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary under former President George W. Bush. “This decision will not play well anywhere, except for in those very cloistered spots in South Florida where Sen. Rubio and Mario Diaz-Balart have constituents.”
Shortly before Trump’s inauguration, Rubio said in a statement that he was heartened the new administration would reverse “the failed Cuba policy of the last two years.” When the Obama administration policy was first rolled out in late 2014, Rubio blasted the move. “Just as when President Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations with Cuba, the Castro family still controls the country, the economy and all levers of power. This administration’s attempts to loosen restrictions on travel in recent years have only served to benefit the regime,” he said in a statement. “But most importantly, the regime’s brutal treatment of the Cuban people has continued unabated. Dissidents are harassed, imprisoned and even killed.”
New York Times, U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility, Peter Baker, Dec. 17, 2014. President Obama on Wednesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to “cut loose the shackles of the past” and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War.
The surprise announcement came at the end of 18 months of secret talks that produced a prisoner swap negotiated with the help of Pope Francis and concluded by a telephone call between Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro. The historic deal broke an enduring stalemate between two countries divided by just 90 miles of water but oceans of mistrust and hostility dating from the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill and the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis.
“We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” Mr. Obama said in a nationally televised statement from the White House. The deal, he added, will “begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas” and move beyond a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.”
In doing so, Mr. Obama ventured into diplomatic territory where the last 10 presidents refused to go, and Republicans, along with a senior Democrat, quickly characterized the rapprochement with the Castro family as appeasement of the hemisphere’s leading dictatorship. Republican lawmakers who will take control of the Senate as well as the House next month made clear they would resist lifting the 54-year-old trade embargo. For good or ill, the move represented a dramatic turning point in relations with an island that for generations has captivated and vexed its giant northern neighbor. From the 18th century, when successive presidents coveted it, Cuba loomed large in the American imagination long before Fidel Castro stormed from the mountains and seized power in 1959.
Mr. Castro’s alliance with the Soviet Union made Cuba a geopolitical flash point in a global struggle of ideology and power. President Dwight D. Eisenhower imposed the first trade embargo in 1960 and broke off diplomatic relations in January 1961, just weeks before leaving office and seven months before Mr. Obama was born. Under President John F. Kennedy, the failed Bay of Pigs operation aimed at toppling Mr. Castro in April 1961 and the 13-day showdown over Soviet missiles installed in Cuba the following year cemented its status as a ground zero in the Cold War.
But the relationship remained frozen in time long after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, a thorn in the side of multiple presidents who waited for Mr. Castro’s demise and experienced false hope when he passed power to his brother, Raúl. Even as the United States built relations with Communist nations like China and Vietnam, Cuba remained one of just a few nations, along with Iran and North Korea, that had no formal ties with Washington.
Oliver Stone Wins Courage Award, Premieres Putin Interviews On ‘Showtime’
Consortium News, Oliver Stone Receives Gary Webb Award, Robert Parry, June 14, 2017. For his brave work in the field of documentaries, director Oliver Stone was the 2016 recipient of the Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award, which he received from Robert Parry of Consortiumnews.com on June 3.
Robert Parry: Everyone knows Oliver Stone [shown below in a photo from a separate event on June 3] is a great screenwriter, director and producer. He’s done famous movies. But I also thought people should recognize that he has done very significant support for documentary projects. He has been involved in them, he has helped fund them. What he’s done, which is almost unique at this moment in American history, is he tries to deal with people who are often leaders of other countries that are under attack by the United States, or being harshly criticized. Some of these leaders are being demonized and they’re being turned into cardboard characters that can be easily denounced and dismissed.
And what Oliver Stone has done, like in his documentary about some of the leaders of South America [South of the Border], is to show this from their side, what they’re thinking, what makes them tick. And that is so important at a time when the United States can engage in horrible wars. We’ve seen the effects of demonizing leaders. And it’s not to say these leaders are great guys, no one’s suggesting that, but that when we demonize and make them not into human beings anymore, then it becomes very easy to go to war with them and their countries. We saw this happen with Saddam Hussein for instance, in Iraq, and to the horrible cost to the people of that region and to the American soldiers who had to execute this war.
So we’ve seen the consequences of not dealing honestly and fairly with people and not trying to explain to the public that these are multi-dimensional leaders. They are people that you may end up not liking, that you may disagree with, but you should at least know what drives them. Oliver Stone is really one of the very few people with the courage to say, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to present these people as real people, and we can factor that in to how the American people want to feel about this issue.”
Democracy Now! Oliver Stone Interviews Putin on U.S.-Russia Relations, 2016 Election, Snowden, NATO & Nuclear Arms, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, June 14, 2017.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, at this pivotal moment in U.S.-Russia relations, we’re joined now by the Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, one of Hollywood’s best-known directors. His films have included Platoon, JFK, Wall Street, Born on the Fourth of July. Over the past two years, Stone conducted more than 20 hours of interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin, covering issues from NATO to the nuclear arms race, the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the 2016 U.S. election. Showtime is airing a four-part special this week called The Putin Interviews. This is an excerpt.
Atttorney Andrew Kreig, J.D., M.S.L., is a Washington, DC-based author, investigative reporter, attorney, and non-profit executive who founded the Justice Integrity Project (http://ift.tt/1rbBqZy) to expose threats to democracy and human rights. Active in researching political prosecutions, torture, illegal surveillance, and media bias, his most recent book is Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and their Masters (http://ift.tt/WzcNpc). Andrew Kreig began his career as a reporter with the Hartford Courant, America’s oldest (1764) newspaper still in publication, and obtained law degrees from Yale and the University of Chicago. He has since written and spoken widely for mainstream and alternative audiences. These include appearances on more than a hundred commercial broadcast stations, lectures on five continents, and human rights reports for the Huffington Post and The Professors’ Blog.
By Andrew Kreig, J.D., M.S.L., attorney and journalist.
Member of the Editorial Board, and Associate Editor of The Indicter Magazine.