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Page 31
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<< 30. Letter to the Editor32. Charlie 1/5 Cav >>

JFK's War With the National Security Establishment

By John Ketwig (reviewer)

[Printer-Friendly Version]

JFK's War With the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy was Assassinated
by Douglas P. Horne
(Future of Freedom Foundation, 2014)

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass
by James Dieugenio
(Skyhorse Publishing, 2022)

Sometimes, when you order something from Amazon.com, a message suggests products "you might also like." That is when I became aware of the Horne book and bought it. I'm happy I did. I try to stay current on what is known about the assassination of JFK and also the murders of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lennon. Those assassinations reveal the extent of corruption throughout our government around the time of the war in Vietnam. The JFK assassination was a coup d'etat, and the other killings were enabled by the success of the coverup that ensued. The results were more than 50,000 Americans dead, along with approximately 3.5 to 5 million Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians. The assassination of President Kennedy focused our nation on a foreign policy of world domination or empire-building at the point of a gun. The destruction of bombing, and militarism has been the basis of America's interaction with the world ever since.

The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22nd, 1963, was literally "the crime of the 20th century." I was in a high school chemistry lab when the loudspeaker informed us that the president had been shot, and school was immediately dismissed. By the time we arrived home, the president was dead. Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) was sworn in as president, and Lee Harvey Oswald was in police custody an hour after the assassination and "suspected" of shooting both JFK and a Dallas policeman, J.D. Tibbit. That evening, FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover instructed his people that the assassin had been arrested and no further investigation was needed.

LBJ set up a Commission headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the assassination and report their findings to the American people. One member of the commission was Allen Dulles, former head of the CIA, whom Kennedy had fired after the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. LBJ probably shared Dulles's extreme dislike for John Kennedy and his younger brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The commission was instructed to reassure the American people that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone. They carefully avoided interviewing a surprising number of critical witnesses, assembled an unbelievable story that ignored a broad spectrum of facts, and finally released an 888-page report that was immediately questioned. The questions bubbled beneath the surface for years, but in 1991, Hollywood film director Oliver Stone, a Vietnam veteran, released the movie JFK, and a storm of factual controversies erupted. Stone's sources were all insiders, and the film strongly suggested that factions within the government, the military, the FBI, and the CIA had plotted the elimination of the president and then methodically covered up the facts. Why? These two books explain that in great detail, and both are fully documented.

They are disturbing. Lee Harvey Oswald appears to have been entirely innocent of the crime, but he was shot to death in the Dallas Police building by Jack Ruby, a lower-level mafia gangster with secret ties to the FBI. Oswald, by the way, was a CIA operative, carefully groomed for the part he would play and viewed as expendable.

The movie JFK created an uproar among the American public, our members of Congress and senators, and the media. All of the inaccuracies and questionable omissions from the Warren Commission began to be examined in detail by the public, and the public didn't hesitate to say they (we!) could plainly see that the truth about the assassination had been covered up. So strong was the public's response that in 1992, President Clinton set up an Assassination Records Review Board to investigate the history and the facts of the case. This was, of course, almost thirty years after the event. One of the first responsibilities of the new Board was to review the millions of documents stored in the National Archives and make as many available to the public as possible. Douglas Horne was a Chief Analyst for Military Records for the ARRB. He has authored a five-volume set of "The US Government's final attempt to reconcile the conflicting medical evidence," focused upon the autopsy of JFK's body In Bethesda, Maryland, and the obvious divergences from the observations of the medical staff at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Oliver Stone has produced two movies after JFK, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass and JFK: Destiny Betrayed. The Dieugenio book offers screenplays of those two movies paragraph by paragraph, with documentation, transcripts, and interviews inserted between every one of the paragraphs. Both of these works make one fact unmistakably clear: President Kennedy was in the process of pulling us out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. He was fully aware that forces within the military-industrial complex (that President Eisenhower had warned us about just before JFK's inauguration) might overthrow him. Kennedy died due to his efforts to create peace, and today's military, with their nearly trillion-dollar annual budget and lack of any real success since World War II, are clear indications of how correct the two presidents were.

Sixty years after JFK was silenced, the truth is slowly being exposed. Millions of pages have been released from the National Archives, and knowledgeable investigators like Douglas Horne, James DiEugenio, and Oliver Stone have examined them earnestly. These two books make their findings available to us all. As Vietnam veterans, the events in Dallas that November day in 1963 and the subsequent coverup played a very major role in our lives. I highly recommend that you read one or both of these books.

John Ketwig is a lifetime member of VVAW and the author of the best-selling memoir …and a hard rain fell: A G.I.'s True Story of the War in Vietnam, and Vietnam Reconsidered: The War, the Times, and Why They Matter.

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