JFK’s War

People sometimes ask me whether there is any relevance of the Kennedy assassination to where we are today as a country. My answer is direct and unequivocal: Understanding the Kennedy assassination is essential to understanding many of the crises into which our nation has been plunged, especially in foreign affairs but also with respect to out-of-control federal spending and debt. It also provides us with what we need to do to get our nation back on the right track.

Ever since the assassination, the official lie has been that Lyndon Johnson simply continued Kennedy’s policies. That may have been true with respect to welfare-state programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and civil rights, but it has always been a lie with respect to foreign policy. In fact, it was Kennedy’s foreign policy that ended up getting him killed.

In my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, I spend two chapters on “JFK’s War,” a vicious war that was waged between Kennedy and the Pentagon and the CIA. Naturally, it is not a war that is taught in American public schools, for obvious reasons. If people were to discover this war, they would be begin to see that the Pentagon and the CIA had much more reason to kill Kennedy than Lee Harvey Oswald, who had no motive whatsoever to kill him.

It was after the Cuban Missile Crisis that the military-intelligence establishment made the decision that Kennedy had to be replaced with Johnson, on grounds of protecting “national security.” The Pentagon and the CIA were livid over how Kennedy had handled the crisis and, more important, how he had resolved it. One member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Curtis LeMay, compared Kennedy’s handling of the crisis to Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler at Munich. He called Kennedy’s resolution of the crisis “the biggest defeat in U.S. history.”

Why were the generals so filled with rage against Kennedy? Because they had wanted him to use the crisis as an excuse to bomb and invade Cuba and replace the Castro regime with a pro-U.S. regime. Kennedy refused to do that.

Now, let that sink in for a moment. Do you see any relevance to what is happening in the world today? 

Yes, the Pentagon and the CIA wanted Kennedy to do precisely what Russia is doing to Ukraine today. They wanted him to invade a sovereign and independent country and to wreak death and destruction among the Cuban people, just like Russia is doing to Ukraine today and, well, just like the Pentagon and the CIA did to the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Not only did Kennedy refuse to do that, he struck a deal with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in which he promised that the U.S. would not invade Cuba. In return, Khrushchev agreed to remove his nuclear missiles from Cuba and take them home. 

Kennedy’s vow to Khrushchev was anathema to the Pentagon and the CIA and was, in their eyes, a grave threat to “national security.” For them, leaving Cuba permanently in communist hands left America vulnerable to defeat in the Cold War against the Soviet Union and “godless communism.”

Even before Kennedy took office, the military-intelligence establishment was absolutely hell-bent on invading Cuba and wreaking death and destruction with the intent to install another pro-U.S. dictator into power, similar to Fulgencio Batista, the corrupt and brutal dictator who had been ousted from power in the Cuban revolution.

That was what the CIA’s invasion at the Bay of Pigs was all about. In fact, it was after that invasion that the vicious war between Kennedy and the CIA got started. The CIA had told Kennedy that the invasion could succeed without U.S. air support. It was a flat-out lie. They were playing and maneuvering what they considered was a neophyte, naive president. When the invasion began faltering, they figured that Kennedy would have to provide the needed air support to avoid having the CIA’s proxy army of Cuban exiles defeated by the communists. Kennedy refused to provide the air support and the invasion went down to defeat.

Kennedy was livid. He knew he had been lied to and played and manipulated. He fired the CIA director, Allen Dulles, and his two top officials. He began downgrading the power of the CIA. He vowed to destroy the CIA. 

For its part, the CIA was equally livid. In their eyes, the new neophyte president had showed weakness and cowardice in the face of the supposed international communist conspiracy to take over the world that, they were convinced, was based in Moscow, Russia — yes, the same Russia with which they are still so obsessed today.

As an aside, it should be noted that Lyndon Johnson appointed Dulles to serve on the Warren Commission, the entity ostensibly charged with investigating the Kennedy assassination, where, conveniently, he was able to control the investigation so that it never headed in the direction of the CIA and the Pentagon.

After the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Pentagon pressured Kennedy into initiating a full-scale invasion of Cuba. That was when the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously proposed Operation Northwoods, a plan based on falsehood and fraud designed to give Kennedy a pretext to invade Cuba and do what the Russians are currently doing in Ukraine. Kennedy said no.

Insofar as the Pentagon and the CIA were concerned, Kennedy’s agreement with the communists to leave Cuba permanently in communist hands to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis was bad enough. But it was Kennedy’s Peace Speech at American University in early June 1963 that sealed his fate. 

In that speech, Kennedy announced that the United States would no longer have a hostile relationship with the Soviet Union. It would henceforth be a peaceful and friendly relationship. Remarkably, Khrushchev was on the same page as Kennedy. He began persuading Castro to begin thinking the same way. In fact, I’ll bet most Americans don’t know that at the moment he was assassinated in Dallas, Kennedy had a private emissary secretly having lunch with Castro in an attempt to restore normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba. But the Pentagon and the CIA most certainly knew about it. 

In other words, Kennedy was taking America in a totally different direction from the one desired by the military-intelligence establishment. If he won the 1964 presidential election, which was likely, he would have had five more years to implement his new vision for America. 

And don’t forget: All this was taking place while the Soviets were still brutally occupying Eastern European countries!

During those five years, the Pentagon and the CIA would have had nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs, and they knew it. No more Cold War. No Vietnam War. No invasion of Cuba. No more hostility against the communist world. JFK even proposed a joint U.S.-Soviet trip to the moon.

Moreover, Kennedy would never have permitted the Pentagon and the CIA to go into the Middle East and begin killing people. Thus, under Kennedy, there would never have been terrorist retaliation, including the 9/11 attacks, and, thus, no war on terrorism. No invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. 

And no more NATO! After all, why would NATO be necessary in a world of peaceful coexistence between the U.S. and Russia? Don’t forget that its purpose was to protect Western Europe from the Soviet Union. If Kennedy had prevailed in his war with the national-security establishment, NATO would have gone the way of the dodo bird. 

Which means: No NATO absorption of Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. No threat to put U.S nuclear missies on Russia’s border and, therefore, no Russia invasion of Ukraine.

In fact, it is a virtual certainty that there would have been no more U.S. national-security state. Don’t forget that the the Cold War was the reason the federal government was converted to a national-security state in the first place. Given that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA would have been spending their time twiddling their thumbs under Kennedy, it is highly likely that the American people would have demanded the restoration of the limited-government system on which our nation had been founded.

Is understanding the Kennedy assassination essential to getting our nation back on the right track? You bet it is. Understanding his assassination provides us with the direction in which we need to head at this point in our nation’s existence–toward liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world. His assassination need not have been in vain.

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