From The Last Investigation
by Gaeton Fonzi
By late 1975, when I was beginning work as a Government investigator on the Kennedy assassination, I had not seen or spoken with Vince Salandria for a number of years... I moved to Florida and, because of other demands, found little time to devote to the assassination. But Vince Salandria had become something of a legend among the growing circle of Warren Commission critics. Almost everyone who planned to write a book about the Kennedy assassination first journeyed to Philadelphia to probe Salandria for insights and perspective...
But before starting my new job, I returned to Philadelphia to draw upon Salandria's vast knowledge of the evidence and get his opinion about the most fruitful areas of investigation. Salandria was most cordial, and we spent a long winter Sunday talking. Yet I sensed a certain balking in his attitude, a feeling of disappointment in what I was about to begin. Eventually, he explained why he was no longer actively involved in pursuing an investigation of the assassination. It gave me a surprising insight into how far Salandria's thinking had evolved.
"I'm afraid we were misled," Salandria said sadly. "All the critics, myself included, were misled very early. I see that now. We spent too much time and effort microanalyzing the details of the assassination when all the time it was obvious, it was blatantly obvious that it was a conspiracy. Don't you think the men who killed Kennedy had the means to do it in the most sophisticated and subtle way? They chose not to. Instead, they picked the shooting gallery that was Dealey Plaza and did it in the most barbarous and openly arrogant manner. The cover story was transparent and designed not to hold, to fall apart at the slightest scrutiny. The forces that killed Kennedy wanted the message clear: 'We are in control and no one -- not the President, not Congress, nor any elected official -- no one can do anything about it.' It was a message to the people that their Government was powerless. And the people eventually got the message. Consider what happened since the Kennedy assassination. People see government today as unresponsive to their needs, yet the budget and power of the military and intelligence establishment have increased tremendously.
"The tyranny of power is here. Current events tell us that those
who killed Kennedy can only perpetuate their power by promoting social
upheaval both at home and abroad. And that will lead not to revolution
but repression. I suggest to you, my friend, that the interests of those
who killed Kennedy now transcend national boundaries and national priorities.
No doubt we are dealing now with an international conspiracy. We must face
the fact -- not waste any more time microanalyzing the evidence. That's
exactly what they want us to do. They have kept us busy for so long. And
I will bet, buddy, that is what will happen to you. They'll keep you very,
very busy and eventually, they'll wear you down."
Correspondence with Vincent Salandria (Sept. 1999-April 2000)
This was the email phase of our correspondence. My notes are in italics. The correspondents are the same as in the paper phase, with the addition of Len Osanic, a Canadian who lives in Vancouver and runs a website devoted to L. Fletcher Prouty.
Bob, you now have me right. I mean and have always meant literally that the national security state killed Kennedy just as it killed other popular leaders here and in other countries. Yes, I mean that your position is not discernibly different from the position which will now be put in the forefront by witting and unwitting agents of the state. They will get the attention of the U.S. media.
Please, Bob, reread my speech delivered in Dallas. I left no doubt there as to whom I though ordered the killing of Kennedy, arranged for the cover-up and continues to operate as our rulers. Please tell me how each of the following matters could have transpired without the defense establishment from its very top giving directions?
*Using a CIA agent as a patsy (Oswald) with full knowledge that the CIA would not take umbrage.
*Silencing of the left, the ACLU, all of the liberals.
*Spreading of false clues pointing to the Soviets and Cuba as the killers while exculpating them from blame by offering them a single-assassin, no policy significance alternative to the truth.
*Ignoring overwhelming evidence of more than one gunman and getting the press to play along with a single-assassin fantasy.
*Relying on a single-assassin concept which defied physical laws.
*Framing the Mafia.
*Impersonating Secret Service Agents at the scene of the killing.
*Contradicting all of the Parkland Hospital doctors' findings of an evulsive back of the head wound and wound of entry in the neck.
*Ignoring the clear and conclusive evidence of the hole in Kennedy's shirt and coat which put the lie to the single bullet story.
*Autopsy doctors accepting the orders of the generals and admirals not to resect the neck and back wounds thereby aborting the autopsy.
*Commander Humes burning the autopsy notes in his home most certainly under orders from above.
*The censorship of the Zapruder film for so many years.
*Foreclosing the Commission examining the x-rays and photographs of the Kennedy body.
*The refusal from the beginning and continuing today to acknowledge what the Zapruder film plainly shows in terms of a multiple assassin killing.
*Getting "Life Magazine" to lie about Kennedy turning around when he had not.
*Getting "Life Magazine" to change a single issue twice in order to conceal a hit on JFK from the right front.
*Massive criminality having been committed in obstructing justice by Bundy, Rankin, Specter, Warren, Katzenbach, Dulles, Henry and Claire Booth Luce and so many more.
*Accepting CE 399 as anything other than a plant.
*Specter, instructing the public that we must rely on the "conclusions and the stature of the men of he Commission."
*Instructing the Presidential plan and Cabinet plane that there was no conspiracy and that Oswald acted alone when there was no evidence that Oswald was involved and enormous evidence of conspiracy.
*Removing the Presidential limousine from the scene of the crime and refitting it with the consequent destruction of vital evidence.
*Deleting the wound testimony of Jackie Kennedy.
*Drying cleaning and pressing the Connally clothing.
*Congress taking no action for years although every public opinion poll showed our public believed there was a conspiracy.
*Katzenbach instructing the Chief Justice to disclose that Oswald did it alone before he undertook his assigned job of determining what really happened.
*Dulles suborning Marina to perjury.
*Claire Booth Luce misleading Gaeton Fonzi who was an agent of Congress.
*Appointing Dulles to the Commission.
*Not prosecuting the Paines.
*Continuation today of the media acting like obedient lap dogs to the military establishment by turning a blind eye to the navy's shooting down of TWA Flight 800.
Bob, in answer to your questions:
1. Yes, I know that there is a U.S. national security state. I know that orthodox U.S. scholars have documented its existence and its purposes. I have proven through legal evidence offered by the U.S. government and our media that the killing of President Kennedy employed on a wide scale our taxpayer monies to send a substantial crew of killers to Dallas. That kind of allocation of resources does not occur in any bureaucratic structure without tremendous institutional support throughout. Yes, the readings of have done on the recently released governmental documents demonstrate to me that JFK had been marginalized in our national security state. To employ the words of the generals and admirals, they felt that he had "screwed" them in the Bay of Pigs, Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Test Ban Treaty, and in his efforts to accommodate to the Soviets and Cuba. The CIA, the Joint Chiefs, the State Department, and the Congress, including Fullbright, were fighting his efforts at mollifying the Cold War. So, yes, the evidence tells me that the National Security Institutions were and are wholly corrupted by a dedication not to national defense but instead to world domination. "Are" because in absence of any credible enemies, these warfare state hogs devour more and more discretionary budget monies while our poor have the welfare system stripped from under them.
2. Yes, certainly, meetings were held. Don't, please don't ask me to tell you who attended the meetings and ask me to produce a paper trail of those meetings. But do you think that the killing of Kennedy with the organization it required of resources was done without meetings? Which governmental agency resources were used? They were national security state resources paid for by you in part. Resources are not marshaled in a bureaucracy without meetings being held.
3. Do I agree that the national security state is still actively involved in the cover-up. Absolutely! Are they "fascist, like-minded individuals?" They are people who cooperated in the killing of a president and covering up the motive for the killing. They believe in a democracy which will accept a killing of the head of state and leaving unquestioned immediate policy changes which follow immediately upon that killing that lead to millions of deaths? Are they therefore fascists? Call them what you want. Am I angry with them? To this I plead most guilty.
4. Am I willing to go beyond the "defense establishment" in attaching blame for the assassination? I am willing to examine the war establishment and their civilian media and industrial allies. Up to now, I think that I can make out a good legal case for the guilt of the war establishment. Please don't ask me for paper trails to the industrial allies. I have already demonstrated paper trails to the media. All of us have seen these obvious proofs of media complicity in the cover up. Later, we should find that civilian corporate structures were involved in the planning, I am most willing and eager to examine such evidence. But I do not feel that it is forthcoming, since such signals of approval or directions would be issued most subtly and would be next to impossible to prove as we have proven a case against the war establishment.
5. Was institutional support of the war establishment provided for the killing of Kennedy? How else would you explain McGeorge Bundy instructing the Presidential party and the Cabinet immediately-- before there was any evidence against Oswald-- that there was no conspiracy and Oswald was solely guilty? If there had not been an immediate circling of the wagons behind an institutional killing how would you get immediate cooperation from the Situation Room of the White House, U.S. Intelligence, the generals and admirals in the autopsy room, Earl Warren taking orders from Katzenbach, CE 399 not being declared a plant, the Zapruder film not being shown to the public, Life Magazine lying to the public and changing its issues to conceal a head hit, etc. etc.? Innocent institutions would have protected their asses and kept their options open.
Bob, you see Marty, Chris, Mike and me as having no regard for American democracy. We all love democracy. We all passionately hate the undermining of U.S. democracy. I think I speak for the four of us when I state that we do not feel that the killing of President Kennedy by the National Security State was in the interests of American democracy. On the contrary, we feel that this assassination shredded the constitution and U.S. democracy. The assassination was a declaration to those who understood that civilian authority had given way to military-intelligence control of foreign policy, the federal budget, the media, and academia.
Oh, the constitution was still unchanged in terms of its wording. But in fact as a governing document it had been shredded. The Soviet constitution under Stalin declared Soviet Russia to be a workers' state in control of the soviet workers. In fact, I saw Soviet Russia as Stalin's tyranny in which the workers were rendered subservient to his wishes. Trotskyists saw Russia under Stalin as a corrupt workers' state which deserved support, but attacked Stalin as a usurper of the workers' revolution and of its institutions. They did not pretend that the constitution under Stalin had any real significance in providing guarantees of the rights of the Soviet workers. You, Bob, don't see the killing of Kennedy as a corruption of the constitution and of the vital U.S. institutions. You see the killing as not having seriously affected U.S. democracy negatively, and as not having demonstrated its corruption and the corruption of its institutions. I see butchering of President Kennedy as having had a devastating effect on U.S. democracy. The assassination revealed as a giant sun would shining into the depths of the U.S. power structure, the deep and dark corruption of our entire society.
I saw, as you must have seen, civilian aspects of the U.S. government, the military-intelligence services, the military-industrial complex, academia (Chris Sharrett and a few others excepted), the media, and the Kennedy family as all combining to conceal the truth of the assassination. How can you not see...
I am interested to hear that it was Chomsky who started you on the correspondence, Vince. I guess I didn't get that because I wasn't involved from the beginning. I don't think I ever asked. If it is indeed Chomsky who not only brought you and me together, but all of us in the correspondence, it makes again the point I tried--unsuccessfully--to make with Marty: Chomsky is important. He is not just another academic.
I once wrote to Chomsky that the issue is whether the government is so corrupt that it can murder even the president and then keep it secret. He replied (7/1/92) that this "would be an interesting question if there were any reason to believe that it happened." However, he sees "no credible evidence for that belief."
I think an equally important question is whether Chomsky is part of the conspiracy. Is there any credible evidence for that suspicion?" I'm afraid there is: his letters to me. What do you think, at this point?
The alternative is that he is just another mind-blind intellectual, but that contradicts so much of the rest of my impression of the man that I cannot accept it. Furthermore, that hypothesis assumes that it is pure coincidence that he looms so large in both your and my (and probably in a lot of people's) experience in pursuing the JFK question, and of course also pure coincidence that except for this one issue, you and I agree with virtually everything he says.
I realize I'll never know for sure, but the preponderance of evidence seems to point to the first conclusion--that he is part of the conspiracy (that is, the secret government's secret plan to keep us in line). That makes it an interesting question, and leads to the further interesting question of his motivation. Among the possibilities there is that it is his own well-intentioned decision. That would mean there is a huge gap between the way he and I perceive the world, which would have to be accounted for somehow. What does he know (and won't tell us) that we don't, etc...
However, we end up in the same place, after all. You believe Chomsky now believes our conclusions are rational. Haven't you always believed that? If he is an agent, as you obviously suspected when you wrote that reaction to my correspondence with him, then of course he believes, and knows, that our conclusions are perfectly rational. He knows that they are correct. He has known all along. It is as rational as concluding on the basis of the evidence that one's nose is in the middle of one's face. It is the truth, and he knows it. But if he is an agent, it is his job to obscure or disguise that truth.
So, if you want to say that Chomsky secretly knows that we are right, though I would not conclude that from his letter to you, I will not disagree. It is what I suspect too.
I could never understand how a smart guy like McGeorge Bundy could conclude on the basis of the evidence available that Ho Chi Minh was going to rape our grandmothers if we didn't protect South Vietnam, even at the cost of thousands of American lives.
I cannot understand how a smart guy like Noam Chomsky can conclude on the basis of the evidence available that there was no high-level conspiracy to kill JFK, or that LBJ did not reverse JFK's withdrawal plan after the assassination.
Do you see the analogy? What is the answer to my problem with Bundy? I think we agree on that. He was on the other side. He was part of the conspiracy. He had a different agenda, dictated by Big Brother. All of a sudden, the mystery disappears. Bundy is no longer a problem. He is the enemy.
Likewise, Chomsky is only a problem as long as we are not sure whether he is a friend or an enemy. For me, that problem remains. I am not sure. I can only say that as a result of my correspondence with him, on the basis of that evidence, and Rethinking Camelot (where he admits what I tried in vain to get him to admit--that at the very least, there was a reversal of the evaluation of the military situation after the assassination)--on the basis of that documentary evidence, my conclusion, like yours, was that he is an agent.
We know, since at least Carroll Quigley--whose admirer Bill Clinton made it to the White House--that Big Brother infiltrates the left assiduously, including the radical left (even communists, as Quigley's supporter/detractor Cleon Skousen argues in The Naked Capitalist), so why not the linguistics department at MIT?
He has been successful. No one (on the left) dares question his logic, or his motives. I have heard that myself often enough. Philip Agee told me in Hamburg: "Chomsky? Whatever he writes, you can rely on it. He's the best."
Let's put it this way, Vince, I don't think you've discovered a change in his (public) position, but you may have detected a chink in his lie.
What to do. We might consider a full-court press. He has (rather, his people have) this website at www.zmag.org (ZNet), where he even has a chatbox (forum) where you can supposedly reach him. If they started receiving letters from a bunch of us, he might be drawn into a discussion. That's what we want, isn't it? I don't think it's what he wants, but in a public forum, we might have a chance. Take a look at the website, and see what you think of this as a strategy.
Vince, Chris is right, Newman is part of the smokescreen. What is there to be disturbed about? You knew this, I thought, at the latest when I told you, right after the first COPA conference, that he had practically announced his true identity during the discussion session, when he said he was quite sure his research on Oswald would show that he was part of a renegade faction of the CIA, but that the CIA as an institution was not behind the assassination. There is no way that he could know this without having been told by someone he trusts absolutely, and we know that probably was, don't we? The man came directly from NSA, for crissake.
This, by the way, is exactly the position of the staff of CovertAction Quarterly, or at least was a few years ago when I got a letter saying that from Bill Vornberger (no longer with them). This is Phase 3: Renegade agents did it. Phase 2 was the Mafia (not quite gone). Phase 1 was Oswald. Phase 4 is the truth. That will come when nobody cares anymore--perhaps sooner than we think.
I hate to bring it up again, but have you forgotten what I was trying to describe as the False Debate? I used the term quite differently than Marty did. The false debate is (was) not "Vietnam." The false debate was Chomsky vs. Newman: Did JFK "really" want to withdraw or not, and would he have? That question was, and is, false. It is false because 1) it is unanswerable, and 2) because the relevant question is not what he really wanted to do or would have done, but what he DID. He did issue NSAM 263, it was a specific withdrawal policy, and it was reversed by Johnson, if not with NSAM 273, as some argue, by March 1964 at the latest. That is, I say he did. Chomsky says he didn't: there was no withdrawal policy, and no reversal of it.
I would like to call your attention to my contention, in Looking for the Enemy, that AIDS was devastating the Asian-African (non-white) populations of the world, and rather precisely in those areas (developing countries) where Kissinger, McNamara et al. saw the population explosion as a national security threat to the US (Kissinger, 1974) and the most serious threat to mankind after thermonuclear war (McNamara, 1979).
The following is from Reuters and AFP, reprinted in the International Herald Tribune (9/13/99:4)
Half of all newborn babies in Africa carry the HIV virus, the top United Nations campaigner against AIDS said Sunday..." It has "cut life expectancy by as much as 25 years in some African communities...More than 80 percent of the total AIDS deaths in the world have occurred in Africa. The 21 countries with the highest HIV prevalence in the world are all on the African continent, and in at least 10 of them, the rate exceeds 10 percent of the population. Meanwhile, life expectancy in most affected countries in Africa is declining, a reversal of the rapid progress made in the years that followed independence in the majority of the countries.
These statements were made in Zambia at the 11th International Conference on the Prevention of AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
There is a loose association of people around Dr. Alan Cantwell who share the strong suspicion that the US created AIDS, perhaps on purpose, as Jakob Segal and Robert Strecker, most prominently, have maintained. A man named Boyd Graves (a lawyer, Annapolis graduate, black, gay, HIV positive) has sued the US government on those grounds--and has lost, of course. Dr. Len Horowitz is also among this group (Emerging Viruses), but I haven't had any direct contact with him. Here are the addresses, in case anybody is interested: AlanRCan@aol.com, email@example.com (Graves), firstname.lastname@example.org (Horowitz).
Vince, thanks for hunting out those Newman quotes. That is exactly what he said at the first COPA meeting, as I said: No evidence of an institutional conspiracy. His argument seems to be--if you can call it one--that because there WERE a couple of suspect documents, that is evidence of no high-level conspiracy, since a high-level conspiracy would presumably have left no paper trail at all. This is nonsense, any way you look at it. As we know and I think could easily prove, the "paper trail" is long, meandering, and designed to lead everywhere and nowhere. Chomsky's "argument" is the opposite: No conspiracy because no paper trail. Both are nonsense.
Look at the picture: An Army major walks directly out of NSA and pretends to join the "radicals" who are fighting the cover-up. He becomes an instant expert on JFK and Vietnam. (Prouty told us that when Newman interviewed him he hadn't even heard of NSAM 263.) This guy's book then supposedly becomes the scholarly basis for the Stone film (actually, I don't think anything significant from the book is in the film). We note in passing--and as I told him in my public letter to him and COPA--that even in this first book, the CIA is exonerated from responsibility for pursuing the war; the scapegoats are Gen. Harkins and lower-level military functionaries. The problem was "renegade military."
In his next book, this time much more explicitly, as your quotes show, he exonerates the CIA from any blame in the assassination, blaming it on suspected "rogue" agents.
Can there be any doubt where this guy is coming from, and where he is going?
You remember my letter to him. Why didn't he answer? That is suspicious enough. If he was honest, he had an obligation to answer. All the questions that I asked were courteous, and not at all inappropriate and should not have been unexpected, given his background.
Not only that. Why was he able to impress everyone at COPA so much, including Michael Parenti? I don't like to let such suspicions get out of control, but it was strange. Parenti defends him without so much as having read his book, and says I have no right to ask such questions. I should not ask if an Army major from NSA has taken any National Security oaths, and if that would prevent him from telling the truth if he knew it? This came from Michael Parenti, mind you, a supposed leftist radical. I am supposed to trust Parenti after that? He never answered my reply to him, nor did anyone else.
I do understand how rightfully angry some of you are with Chomsky. His position on the JFK assassination is patently wrong. His refusal to examine the evidence is infuriating. His treatment of us as imbeciles is unkind. But, nonetheless, I cannot join with you in your "full-court press" on Chomsky.
It appears that you are eager to involve yourselves in a debate on the assassination. I have never debated publicly the issue of whether the assassination of JFK was a high-level conspiracy having policy implications. No one has ever been willing to debate me on the subject. That is not because I am a brilliant debater, which I am not, but it is because the matter simply is not debatable by Chomsky or by anyone else, if the terms of the debate are fair.
I am convinced that Chomsky knows at some level of consciousness, as does almost everyone, that the assassination of JFK was a crime carried out by the highest levels of our national security state. I am convinced of it, because in our correspondence Chomsky absolutely refused to come to grips with the evidence. He took flight when confronted with incontrovertible evidence of a high-level conspiracy with policy implications. I am certain that he will never agree, as Jeff proposes, "to be challenged in a public forum by intelligent, thoughtful people" on the assassination. He has confessed to his ignorance on the subject. He has stated that he has no interest in the matter. But neither ignorance nor lack of interest has stopped him from pontificating on the assassination with self-appointed authority.
But, dear friends, the truth about the Kennedy assassination cannot be employed as some of you apparently hope--as a mechanism for jump starting a progressive political movement which is willing to confront the true demises and utter corruption of our "democracy." Such a movement must see our "democracy" as a structure which finds the killing of a head of state for foreign policy reasons by the military-intelligence forces albeit regrettable but perfectly acceptable. Did I get that right, Marty?
Our "democracy" is eager to entertain debate about the mystery of he killing, when there is no mystery. Our society encourages this debate because the debate disguises the complete corruption of our politics, our media, our military, our politicians and our left. I choose not to join this debate, because to join it is to contribute to providing a fig leaf for evil.
Good people, right now Chomsky, the left, the center, and the right are all basically satisfied with the killing of Kennedy and its consequences. The empire is intact. The privileges continue to flow to all of us. We are free to criticize fecklessly while the national security state hunts around for another Kosovo to show off our bombing capacity, while we build our non-workable anti-missile defense system, while we continue educating the death squads through the School of the Americas, while we increase the arms budget, while we strip away social welfare, while we continue to describe the thrust of our foreign policy as humanitarian in nature though it never was, and while we continue to debate with Chomsky and the uninterested public.
I am sorry to opine that our cause will not transform this society. When serious politics in the world defeats our empire, and it will, then and only then will the truth of the killing of Kennedy be embraced. The truth of our causes cannot be a path to power in a nation where our satisfied people accept a "democracy" which accepts a military-intelligence cutting down of its elected president.
So, I cannot join in seeking to do what I feel would be a social wrong, i.e. to engage Chomsky in a debate which legitimizes the concept that the Kennedy assassination is shrouded in mystery. This debate, I believe, in turn serves to legitimize the state which killed Kennedy.
Bob, do you realize you are demonstrating the truth about America being a religion when you say: "Not that America is a bad place. It is arguably the best place on earth"? How can it be, with all the grievous faults you mentioned? There's a book called We're Number One by Andrew L. Shapiro that shows exactly what number America is in relation to other countries in various fields: medical care, education, employment conditions, wealth distribution, etc. The fact is we're No. 1 in most of the bad stuff and well down the list in the good stuff. The only way you can still believe that America is the greatest country in the world is by a leap of faith. The comparison with religion is very apt.
...The "war on drugs" is a war for drugs. BB (Big Brother) loves drugs. Illegal drugs. It gives the gibbering masses something to live for, something to kill each other for, and provides a good excuse for a police state. Legalizing soft drugs would weaken this strategy, and legalizing hard drugs would destroy it. How can you fight a "war" when have no idea, or pretend to have no idea, who the enemy is? Go to Amsterdam and you will find, perhaps to your surprise, that Mary Jane is just the girl next door, rather, in the coffee shop, and a far cry from the diseased slut that BB has always told us she is.
...For those who may be wondering, let me explain why it is impossible for me to ignore Chomsky. Chomsky is not only the leader of the left. I don't know what your feeling is about the true cause or causes of the assassination, but I believe the main reason was Vietnam. We have argued about this at length in the group, but I haven't changed my mind. It seems obvious to me. I do not concede that it was only one of many reasons. I believe that without Vietnam, JFK would not have been killed, and with Vietnam, any or all of the other presumed reasons (e.g., rapprochement with Castro, thawing of the Cold War) could be omitted and it would still have happened. That's what I mean by "main."
The answer to the question is: Chomsky. The thesis that JFK was killed because of the withdrawal policy depends on the assumption that there was a withdrawal policy before the assassination, and that it was reversed almost immediately after the assassination. Remove that assumption, and you have no more thesis. JFK could not have been killed because of his Vietnam withdrawal policy, because there was no Vietnam withdrawal policy, or if there was one it did not change after the assassination.
Now, who is the man who managed to tell us this, despite Oliver Stone, the documentary record, and common sense? Who has destroyed, single-handedly, the assumption, which destroys the thesis, which destroys the message, which destroys any possible political reaction to the message?
You got it. Who else but the talented Mr. Chomsky could effectively achieve this feat? His only interest in the assassination is the one he debated with me at length and wrote a book about--the withdrawal policy. It did not exist. There was no change of policy.
The gnome is a giant in disguise. BB is not stupid. The transparency theory presumes intelligence. I suspect that the real nodes of power are not at all where we might suspect them to be.
I can only ignore Chomsky, then, if I ignore the assassination, the war, and perhaps even more importantly, the implications that his suspected complicity has for the sheer magnitude of the conspiracy we are up against. It's either that or the magnitude of my own paranoia.
As I said before, we are walking a thin line between paranoia and denial.
Back to the task of trying to come to the truth on the assassination of JFK, the motivation for the killing, the nature of the forces behind it, the consequences of the killing and society's failure to come to grips with the truth regarding it.
I believe that I personally have arrived at the truth. Here is how I have seen it and have tried to convey it to you and to others.
The national security state at its highest levels killed Kennedy. Kennedy was killed because he was viewed by it as seeking to thwart the national security state from exercising its enormous power to consolidate U.S. hegemony over the globe through military means. Kennedy thought that the national security state in its efforts to consolidate its power over the world through military means was risking the destruction of the planet. The leaders of the national security state knowingly combined in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy and following the killing through its control of the U.S. media sought to control the minds of the U.S. citizenry by manipulating the debate on the assassination. This debate was intended to, and did accomplish, through Orwellian mind-control methods, the paralysis of the U.S. citizenry's thinking.
To participate in this debate, and not to cut to the simple and irrefutable evidence which points directly to a high level national security state killing is to enlist in the service of the killers.
The successful assassination permitted the national security state to slaughter millions in Vietnam, and tens of thousands in South and Central America through training the military forces there. The killing of Kennedy and the manipulation of the post-assassination debate facilitated the assassination by the intelligence forces of the national security state of decent, freedom-loving popular leaders here and elsewhere. As a consequence of the assassination the military-intelligence budget has been maintained in the absence of credible enemies at a rate so high that the society has seen fit in order to sustain these military budgetary outlays to cut away many of the welfare benefits.
Anyone who seeks to pervert the meaning of the assassination by urging that the evidence points to a low-level renegade conspiracy has contempt for the obvious truth, and by endeavoring to strip away the significance of the assassination is committing great injustice to the millions whose deaths have been made easy by that killing.
My dictionary defines evil as morally wrong or bad, harmful, injurious. Therefore, the national security state is by definition evil.
Every national security state operative, like every Nazi concentration camp operative, is not completely evil. But every national security state operative, like every Nazi concentration camp operative, while in the work of assisting the national security state and concentration camps is unquestionably involved in evil.
Bob, you look at Newman's military intelligence and NSA background and say, "There is a very, very slight chance that he is still working with/for them." I look at it and say, "There is a good probability that this is so." Which speculation is more reasonable? Would it be more reasonable to be neutral? To say that there is no more likelihood of this man being an agent than anyone else?
You say your "sense" of him is that he is "legitimate." What is this "sense" based on? Do you trust every man who has ever worn a US military uniform? Do you trust him more or less, knowing that he was in intelligence? What is the most salient characteristic of intelligence agents and officers? That they keep secrets. What would make you trust such a person more, rather than less? And what do you mean by "legitimate"? That he is an honest man trying to find the truth? Why, then, did he not answer my letter, even after you went to bat for me (which should hardly have been necessary)?
But let's suppose he is honest. Suppose he really believes, deep in his heart, that the CIA as an institution is innocent. Then we get into the questions of good and evil, but did I say that he was evil? On the contrary, I posed the question, not only about him but about a number of people and things. I agreed with Chris that he is part of the smokescreen. You don't have to be dishonest to be part of the smokescreen.
...You are missing something very important. Who is managing the cover-up now? Those same "rogue agents" who got together in 1963? Do they control the entire government, and the media? How do they prevent an "innocent" CIA, FBI, Congress, etc. from doing their jobs, which should be to reveal the truth about the killing? These are Vince's questions, and they are logical.
If the government was/is innocent, if the CIA was/is innocent, why have they done everything in their power to prevent the truth from coming out?
Blaming the assassination on "rogue agents" is like saying the problem with the Gestapo was that not all the thugs were under control. If the institution cannot control its agents, it is out of control. Why defend them?
Newman exonerates the CIA without any justification whatever, except the ridiculous argument that this super-secret institution would have to have left a paper trail leading to their own conviction for their crimes.
Chris, the stark reality is that the United States government, the land of the free and the home of the brave, was taken over in a military/intelligence coup that had nothing to do with JFK's economic policies.
Unless you consider his decisions not to invade Cuba or Vietnam economic policies. They were, of course, in effect, but I don't think JFK intended them as such. I do give the man credit for a certain amount of intelligence and humanity. I don't think he wanted to waste American lives, and risk a world war, over Cuba or Vietnam. Of course he might have thought either would be a waste of money, too, but on the other hand, he was intelligent enough to know (and if not there were plenty of people who would have told him) that war is always not a waste of money but a very good investment, a stimulus to the economy, a windfall for Pentagon contractors, etc.
I do not have the same (minimal) respect for the intelligence or humanity of his killers. They were not politicians, and did not have to face the wrath of the public when the war started chewing them up. The military/intelligence "community" thrives on warfare, just as a large sector of the economy does. Hence they work together--big money and our military/intelligence rulers.
I'm sure JFK's belief in warmongering as sound and necessary economic policy was as firm as any other member of his class, but the difference was that he had to face the mothers. (He wasn't St. Matthew, as you say, but he was Irish.) You will have noticed that no president since him, however, has let such sentiments interfere with doing exactly what the military-industrial-intelligence complex, i.e. Big Brother, wants.
You know that I consider the Vietnam war to be the primary cause of the assassination. I consider that as obvious as the nose on my face. But it wasn't the only one. It was the sine qua non, but not everything.
What are the other reasons? Not his economic policies. Not his tiny steps towards rapprochement with Cuba and the Soviet Union. Do you really think they (BB) would pull a coup because of that? JFK could have been handled on those issues.
The second reason, and the only other significant reason, I think, for the coup, is TRANSPARENT. This is something we haven't talked about much, if at all, though to me it is the most significant and interesting aspect of Vince's work. It was a message--a message that BB had decided it was time to make.
Let me put it in his (BB's) words, to make it simple. I think it is simple.
"Look, the guy irritated me. He made a fool of me in Cuba, twice, and was about to do so again in Vietnam. I didn't like his wimpish gestures towards Communism, either, or his phony liberalism about race. I think it's time to put a stop to it. The future of the species is at stake, and I am the species. I think it's time to show them who's boss, in no uncertain way. That is, the ones unfortunate enough to figure it out. The others are working for me, one way or the other, just by not knowing. I'll make it plain enough. I'll even allow people like Salandria and Morrissey (and others) to go around yapping about it. I won't take them out. I don't need to. They will have no effect whatsoever. I am totally in control. I am not stupid. I have learned from history. I know how to control people.
"Of this group--the ones who figure out what I after all have made as plain as the nose on their stupid faces, if they can bring themselves to look--there will two subgroups: those who accept it and those who don't. Those who don't will be totally marginalized and silenced, if necessary by force. Those who do will be given a lot of leeway in everything they do, with two limitations:
"1. The act of revelation itself is sacred. Only I, BB, can speak His name--as I did in Dallas. Leave it alone. When it is time for me to give the world another message, I will do so. If you read the papers and watch TV with any care, you will see that my message is being broadcast all over the world, all day long. But anyway, Noam, Izzy, and the rest of you smart cookies (compared to what, though?), lay off the assassination. That is off limits.
"2. The streets are also off limits. If anybody starts stirring up the crowds, you better make sure whatever movement you're starting goes in a direction I approve of, or you're dead--one way or another.
"This last goes for the Salandrias and Morrisseys, too, but they might not know it. If they don't, too bad for them. They'll find out the hard way. Like Ventura. How long do you think I'm going to put up with him? But let's see what I can do with him first. I hardly think he will be a problem.
"Are the relatives of the TWA 800 victims a problem? The victims and relatives of Vietnam veterans? I can handle it, man. I can handle all of them, all of you. That's what I've been telling you, ever since Dallas.
"So now that you see it, you might as well join me. Obey rules 1 and 2, above, and the world's your oyster. Don't, and well, we'll see."
I want to understand the motivations of a Newman, a Parenti, and (especially) a Chomsky. Not necessarily because they are important as far as influencing other people is concerned (which they are), but simply because the closer I come to understanding them, the more I understand reality. It is simple curiosity.
..I can't say the assassination itself is of much interest to me anymore, either. I don't follow the microdebate anymore. I, like Vince, feel I know who did it and why. I also think, as he does, that there's not a damn thing we can do to change things, except trust to the next government that it will be somewhat more just and humane than this one.
I know how that sounds, but after all, it is not very different from the plight of every other oppressed people that has populated the planet, except that (I hope) we are all considerably more comfortable in our oppression.
As for RFK's behavior after JFK's murder, I have no insight in this whole question of the family reactions. Ted Kennedy said after Congress voted to re-open the files, "I think you'll find that the Warren Commission was the most responsible party." A very enigmatic statement, when you think about it. We had our fun with "lucid"; think what we could do with "responsible"! But it does seem to indicate that he thinks he knows something we don't. I would be very surprised if he didn't. He too has been cooperating, all these years, after the factS. He had two lessons, after all.
But what I don't get is why anybody in the family stays in politics. Is it because in their hearts they believe the system is salvageable? That would mean that they really don't know more than we do, but less! Or maybe they are just as cynical as we are and just stay in the game for what it's worth...