back to False Mystery | JFK | ratville times | rat haus | Index | Search | tree
Next | Contents | Prev
( PDF | text only formats )
The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy:
A Model of Explanation
Original Copy published in Computers and Automation, Volume 20, No. 12, December 1971, pp. 32-40.
“While the researchers have preoccupied themselves with
how the assassination was accomplished, there has been
almost no systematic thinking on why
President Kennedy was killed.”
(Based on an address at the conference of the New England Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 23, 1971.)

For almost eight years the American people have failed to address themselves to the crucial issue of why President John F. Kennedy was killed. Much valuable time has been lost; it is becoming increasingly clear that our delay has cost mankind dearly. I urge that no one drop this question, for to do so is to abandon the serious search for peace internationally and for domestic tranquility.

Not “How?” but “Why?”

Since November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, there has been a great deal of research into the micro-analytic aspects of the assassination. I have been among the earliest and guiltiest of the researchers in my protracted analyses of the shots, trajectories and wounds of the assassination. The ransacking of the facts of the assassination is not a source of pride for me but rather of guilt. While the researchers have involved themselves in consuming preoccupation with the micro-analytic searching for facts of how the assassination was accomplished, there has been almost no systematic thinking on why President Kennedy was killed. We have neglected this essential work of constructing a model of explanation which fits the data of the assassination and explains the why of it.

Government Evidence Cries Conspiracy

One who takes the trouble to study the microanalytic material provided by the federal government must immediately conclude that there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. How foolish it was of us to dwell so long on these governmentally supplied pacifiers, rather than to put them aside and undertake the serious work of constructing a model of explanation. In this connection it is important to take note that the very organization which made that mass of detailed microanalytic evidence available to us — the federal government — contended from the first that there was no conspiracy. But, the federal government’s intelligence agencies must have known that the material which the government issued would indicate a conspiracy existed. Then why did we get the evidence?

This question presents a serious theoretical problem. Why would the federal government on the one hand wish to provide us with data which prove a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy and simultaneously contend on the other hand that there was no conspiracy?

So overwhelming and voluminous is the evidence of conspiracy provided for us by the government that we are compelled to conclude that if not the, at least a number of possible plots, were meant by the conspirators to be quasi-visible. The federal government has deluged us with evidence that cries out conspiracy.

New Rulers Timed Diffusion of Evidence

Another theoretical problem confronts us. If the killers were positioned in the highest echelons of the federal governmental apparatus, and by the assassination they had finally usurped the pinnacle of governmental power, then why did they not conceal the conspiracy? For, if they had accomplished a coup, they could have exercised their control by concealing evidence of conspiracy. But this coup was covert. The people would not have tolerated an overt coup against such a beloved man as President John F. Kennedy. Because of the covertness of the coup, I propose the explanatory thesis that the new governmental rulers were eager to reveal their work at differing levels of certainty to diverse people and at different times. In this way, they could avert a concerted counter thrust to their illegitimate seizure of power. Democratic forces could not unite against the new illegitimate governmental apparatus because of timing. The insights of what had occurred dawned in the minds of the decent citizens at different times and with different degrees of clarity. The transparent aspects of the conspiracy were permitted to flash signals to various elements of our population, much in the fashion of spot ads slanted at different times for selected audiences. The new rulers carefully and selectively orchestrated revelations of their bloody work, so as to gain therefrom the deference to which they felt they were entitled by their ascendancy to absolute power. I have long believed that the killers actually preempted the assassination criticism by supplying the information they wanted revealed and also by supplying the critics whom they wanted to disclose the data. Does it not make sense that if they could perpetrate a coup and could control the press, they would have endeavored to dominate likewise the assassination criticism? But the full explanation of this thesis must await another occasion.

Lone Assassin Myth Suggests Governmental Guilt

Let us examine this thesis of a transparent conspiracy. (This thesis was in large part inspired by and formulated with the invaluable assistance of my friend, Professor Thomas Katen of Philadelphia.) Anyone who has seen the Zapruder film knows that it provides powerful evidence to support a hit on the President by an assassin positioned in front of Kennedy and not behind him, where Oswald was at the time of the shooting. Anyone who studies this film more carefully learns that the strike on Governor John B. Connally of Texas was accomplished by a separate bullet from any which impacted on the President. Even more careful analysis of the Zapruder film reveals four separate (and horrible) bullet strikes on Kennedy. Now, the federal government was in possession of that film on the day of the assassination. The federal government was in a better position than you or I to know what the film revealed. Yet, despite this evidence and other most impressive data indicating a conspiracy, the government seized upon Oswald and declared him to be the lone assassin. At the official public level the government, in its adherence to the lone-assassin cover story, strained logic. The federal government even refused to take seriously the Newtonian laws of motion and forces. But, at a more sophisticated level, the same government knew that anyone who accepted the Newtonian laws of motion would eventually have to conclude that President Kennedy was killed by a multi-assassin ambush.

Where evidence of a conspiracy with respect to the Kennedy assassination surfaced, — and much did — thanks in the main to the government’s disclosures, that same government from the very first and continuously to date has publicly refused to act on that evidence. Wherever any data appeared to be thoroughly ludicrous and incredible — and much of the lone-assassin evidence did violence to common sense — the federal government publicly and solemnly declared those data veracious. The unvarying governmental pattern of consistently and publicly supporting the lone-assassin myth, and equally uniformly rejecting the irrefutable conspiracy evidence, was too studied to be the function of mere bureaucratic stupidity or accident. I propose the thesis that this uniform governmental pattern did not speak to official innocence or ignorance but rather to the guilt of the government at the very highest echelons.

A Warning to Opponents

This systematic behavioral pattern persisted in by the government in a reckless and apparently unskeptical manner, I believe, was meant to communicate a message to the citizens: (1) about what really happened to their President; (2) about what was in store for any quixotic citizens who saw fit to oppose the new rulers of our land.

Those who saw the Zapruder film know that the government could not have been innocent of knowledge of a conspiracy. If you are tempted to want to believe that our leaders are just ignorant and capable of unremitting blundering, I urge that you abandon any such illusion.

The movement for peace in Vietnam has learned the hard way that it is naive to imagine that our government is capable of unrelieved error. Some of us in the peace movement thought that the U.S. course in Vietnam could be altered by pointing out to our rulers the mistake of becoming increasingly involved militarily in that unhappy land. But our rulers would not alter their course because their intentions were fixed — not responsive to the public will. To represent our government as always well-intentioned but consistently misinformed does not fit with reality.

Those of us who had taken care to study the assassination knew too well and immediately that the Tonkin Gulf Incident never happened except in the vivid imaginations of our governmental incident arrangers. So, too, it would be naive for the assassination researchers to think that we caught the government again and again with its guard down, and that we had outsmarted the Commission and all of the investigating agencies of the government which aided it. It should have occurred earlier to the assassination researchers that the government never wanted its guard up. It had a need to exercise a certain amount of exhibitionism in order for the coup to be recognized as a coup in the proper quarters. In my judgment, the assassination critics came up by and large with the evidence of assassination conspiracy which our new rulers wanted us to discover. We should have broken early and cleanly from the microanalytic — or nit-picking — approach in the assassination inquiry. We should have immediately undertaken the vital work of developing an adequate model of explanation, an adequate hypothesis, in order to pursue the reasons for the assassination. We here and now belatedly begin this vital work.

Silence of Kennedys Points to Top-Level Coup

I have heard it argued that the silence of the Kennedy family supports the lone-assassin myth. But the Kennedy family knows how overwhelming and transparently clear the conspiracy evidence is. Can there be any explanation for this silence other than that the assassination was the act of the very highest pinnacle of American governmental power? The taciturnity of the Kennedy family does not and cannot speak to the lack of conspiracy evidence. Rather that evidence stands on its own merits — massively and indestructibly. If we were to posit for purposes of argument a low-level conspiracy, then the Kennedy family silence would indeed be inexplicable. But, that silence of the Kennedys — when juxtaposed against the irrefutable conspiracy evidence — is plainly their mute acknowledgement that the assassination was perpetrated by our new rulers who possess awesome power which dwarfs the power of the Kennedy family. So the silence of the Kennedy family, rather than refuting a conspiracy, tends to reinforce the feeling that all Americans entertain at some level of consciousness — what we sense and what the rest of the world knows — that the killing of Kennedy represented a coup d’état.

A. Which Group Was Responsible?

Once we are compelled to the conclusion that the American government destroyed its own chief of state, we are led to the specific question, “Which segment of the federal government was involved?”

To answer this question we must raise still other questions. Which agency would have thought to touch every ideological base in order to intimidate all ideologists in America, thereby dissuading all of them from delving too deeply into the meaning of the assassination? Which agency would think of structuring into the assassination cover story ideological elements which would tend to have the society divide against itself? Which agency would derive benefit from making the Dallas police, and by extension all local police forces, look bad? Which agency would get pleasure out of having the Secret Service criticized? Which agency would benefit from having the FBI placed in the silly position of turning in reports to the Warren Commission which contradicted the findings of the Warren Report while at the same time illogically conceding that those same findings were correct? Which agency was itself non-ideological enough, and yet ideologically so sophisticated, as to interweave into the Oswald assassination fabric all possible features of the American political left and right? Which agency could have arranged for Oswald to establish membership or contact with the Communist Party and the FBI — the anti-Communist Socialist Labor Party and the Soviet Union — the ACLU and the ultra-right in Dallas — Fair Play for Cuba Committee and General Edwin Walker — the Socialist Workers Party and the American oil interests — the Cuban Government and United States Marines — and finally the American Friends and the Soviet secret police?

1. J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI?

Let us enumerate the agencies who are candidates for having accomplished this brilliant charade.

How about J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI? It is not plausible that the Federal Bureau of Investigation — if it had been involved in the assassination planning — would have chosen as a patsy a person who Attorney General Waggoner Carr of Texas would indicate immediately after the killing was a paid FBI informer. And if J. Edgar Hoover had effectuated the coup, then how could we explain that immediately after the assassination, and persisting through today, there has been a yelping in the land for Mr. Hoover’s scalp? If J. Edgar Hoover were the new ruling tyrant, there would be far more reluctance on the part of our cowardly government officials and the media to take him on. No, I think that we can say with surety that the FBI did not kill President Kennedy.

2. The Left?

Could the Left have killed our President? Is it possible to believe that our militarists, our anti-communist politicians, and our communications media, would have concealed the evidence of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy if such a conspiracy had been (or had the slightest chance of having been) inspired by Communists?

3. The Right?

Could the Right have killed John Kennedy? Would Earl Warren have covered for and surrendered his credentials for the political non-governmental Right and/or the oil interests? There were liberals on the Commission and its staff. Liberals have been known to play the game in covering for state crimes, but for them to cover for the extra-governmental Right in matters of assassination is for them to sign their own death warrants.

It would also make no sense for the Right to kill Kennedy in an ultra-right city such as Dallas. To do so would be to impute blame to the Right.

4. President Johnson and Friends?

Were President Johnson and his friends the killers? Again, it would be impossible to conceive of President Johnson and his Texas cronies arranging to have the President killed in their own bailiwick where the world’s suspicions would at once be directed against them. No, many careful studies show absolutely no evidence that President Johnson was involved in producing the assassination.

5. President Kennedy’s Own Estimate of a Possible Military Takeover

Was the American military on its own capable of this degree of sophistication? It does seem rather beyond the intelligence of the American military to have accomplished this crime alone. But it is not inconceivable to imagine the American military as having been involved in a plot to eliminate Kennedy, in order to ensure the continuation of the Cold War. Kennedy himself did not regard a military take-over as implausible. We have an excellent articulation of his feeling on this matter in a discussion with Paul B. Fay, Jr.[1] This colloquy occurred one summer weekend in 1962 on the Honey Fitz, the Kennedy yacht. The President was asked what he thought of the possibility of a military takeover in the United States. The discussion grew out of the book Seven Days in May by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey.

President Kennedy said: “It’s possible. It could happen in this country, but the conditions would have to be just right.”

The conditions outlined by the President were as follows:

  1. The country would have to be led by a young President.
  2. There would be a Bay of Pigs.
  3. Military criticism of the President would follow.
  4. Then, if there were another Bay of Pigs, the military would consider overthrowing the elected establishment, and finally,
  5. “... if there were a third Bay of Pigs, it could happen.”

Mr. Fay concluded this episode by describing how the President, “pausing long enough for all of us to assess the significance of his comment, ... concluded with an old Navy phrase, ‘But it won’t happen on my watch.’”

These conditions were approximated during the Kennedy administration. President Kennedy was in fact a young President. There was a Bay of Pigs. The missile crisis which followed resulted not in the bombing of Cuba — as the military advisors had urged upon the President — but rather in a detente with Russia. This has followed by a nuclear test ban treaty which “... the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared themselves opposed to ... under almost any terms ...”[2]

The American University speech by President Kennedy following his reexamination of the Vietnamese policy, completely fulfilled the conditions set forth by President Kennedy for a take-over to happen on his watch.

Evidence for Military Involvement in the Assassination

There is much evidence to indicate military involvement in the assassination. There was the startling and incriminating action of the then Commander James J. Humes, the head of the Navy Bethesda autopsy team, who took the original autopsy notes — and then burned them.[3] The autopsy was under the control of an army general who was not trained in medicine.[4] The autopsy was never completed.[5] The findings of the autopsy were contrary to the findings of the non-military physicians at Parkland Hospital. The pathologists were directed not to look at the Kennedy neck wound.[6] The x-rays were never turned over to the Commission by the military.[7] The burning of the notes by Commander Humes did not deter the military from promoting him to Captain.

Military-CIA Interests Coincided

Although at the time of the assassination the interests of the CIA and the military coincided, now evidence of a CIA-military rift abounds. The Boston Globe of July 20, 1971 stated that the Pentagon Papers revealed that “one agency ... comes out ... with a record for calling its shots correctly.” So Ellsberg did not do badly by his “ex” employer. The Boston Globe of July 3 offered an item which indicates the “ex”-Pentagon people are hitting back at the “ex”-CIA Ellsberg. “A former Pentagon liaison officer with the Central Intelligence Agency said in London that President Kennedy engendered the hate of the CIA by trying to curb the agency’s power. He also said he did not think Lee Harvey Oswald ‘by himself killed President Kennedy.’”

“L. Fletcher Prouty, a retired Air Force colonel and the director of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962 and 1963, said Kennedy issued two directives in 1961 to limit the CIA’s power but the documents never surfaced and were not implemented.”

Jack Anderson on April 21 1971 said:

International espionage is seldom as efficient as the inter-departmental spying that goes on in Washington.

... the Central Intelligence Agency never makes a move without the Defense Intelligence Agency keeping close surveillance.

... Government agencies, in the best cloak-and-dagger tradition, snoop upon one another.[8]

I view the American military’s motive for involving itself in the killing of Kennedy as pervertedly patriotic in nature. But at that period of time there was, as we will demonstrate, a congruence of interests between the American military and the CIA. Kennedy was the enemy of both power groups at the time he was killed.

The Pentagon Papers—a CIA Jab at Military?

Of late, with the issuance of the Pentagon Papers by a long-standing CIA agent, Dr Daniel Ellsberg, this alliance between the CIA and the military seems to have become strained. Dr. Ellsberg was one of the exclusive Society of Fellows at Harvard with McGeorge Bundy and his brother William.[9] When Ellsberg leaked the documents he was employed at MIT’s Center for International Studies and numbered among his colleagues Mr. William Bundy. In my assassination research I learned that ex-CIA people who undertook work to assist the research on the Kennedy assassination almost invariably turned out to be present CIA people. I would recommend that the public remain skeptical about Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, the ex-marine, ex-CIA, ex-hawk, ex-Kissinger aide and present fellow researcher of Mr. William Bundy at MIT.[10]

In fact, I would urge that the public hold open the hypothesis that the Pentagon Papers are designed as a thrust against the military by the CIA. I suggest that there has been a falling out between these two anti-democratic power blocs. The military is still determined to defeat Communism abroad while the CIA is now primarily concerned with maintaining its power domestically.

How can we accept the Pentagon Papers as an honest and complete peering into the inner workings of our government? These papers predate and postdate November 22, 1963. Yet these papers make no reference to the assassination and the enormous power and policy shift which occurred on that historical day when the republic expired.

Can the purpose of the disclosures of the Pentagon Papers really be to aid the CIA non-ideological elements in our government against the right wing military, virulently anti-communist elements? Does not the evidence offered to support the existence of a present rift between the CIA and the military also support the concept that the Pentagon Papers were the offerings of the CIA to enlist assistance in its intra-governmental struggle against the military? And should decent, freedom-loving constitutionalists join either power bloc? or should they rather use this fortuitous rift to benefit freedom in this society and in the rest of the world by denouncing both cliques as the enemies of humankind?

6. Did the CIA Kill President Kennedy?

Well, then, we are reduced by the process of elimination to the question, “Was the CIA the prime mover in the killing of Kennedy?” Was the CIA sophisticated enough to have run Oswald across the whole gamut of political ideology in America in order to place all ideologists on the defensive as possible suspects? and in order to insure that the nation would be so divided ideologically that there could be no coalescence of forces which would seek retribution for the killing?

We will now examine the question of whether the CIA was the specific federal agency which was the prime mover in the killing of President Kennedy.

After the assassination of President Kennedy, the government which had refused to act on conspiracy evidence resorted to amazingly fast action in an area where one might have anticipated a slow and tentative feeling of the way. The fact is that after the assassination key foreign policy changes were put into effect immediately.

CIA Opposed Kennedy Anti-Cold War Policy

Before the assassination, thanks to President Kennedy, we were on a course which could have ended the Cold War. That course was described by D.F. Fleming as follows:

Fortunately, we had in President Kennedy at a new turning point in history a leader with both vision and courage. He had made certain that there were no missile gaps against us. He had won the acclaim of the West by the way he successfully played showdown nuclear politics in the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis. He had faced the last of man’s ultimate decisions on earth.

Then, in the summer of 1963, Kennedy turned his face resolutely toward life and unmistakably signaled the end of the Cold War. Behind the patriotic facades of nuclear militarism, he saw the death of his own children and of all children. In a series of magnificent addresses, he urged us to reconsider our attitude toward peace, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. He won a treaty ending atomic testing above ground and then paused to wait a little for the more embattled of his cold-war compatriots to catch up with the times.

At that moment, he was struck down ...[11]

President Kennedy knew that his efforts to end the Cold War were dangerous to his life. In this regard I quote Arthur Schlesinger:

... when he saw Nixon after the Bay of Pigs he said, “If I do the right kind of a job I don’t know whether I am going to be here four years from now.... If someone is going to kill me,” he would say, “they are going to kill me.”[12]

President Kennedy saw the danger to his efforts to end the Cold War which lay in the power of the CIA. So the New York Times quoted him as saying that he wished “to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds ...”[13]

But that purpose was never accomplished by President Kennedy. The CIA is a policy-making body still. Eugene McCarthy is of this opinion. I quote him as follows:

The general evidence is that in addition to gathering and interpreting information, the CIA does play an important part in influencing foreign policy, and certainly has become an important operating arm of the executive branch in this area of government responsibility.[14]

Andrew Tully states the position of the Kennedy administration with respect to the CIA after the Bay of Pigs:

The official concern, then, was not so much that the CIA had bungled in the past, but that it either had been entrusted with or had seized the broad responsibility for making policy which belonged to the State Department.

... during most of Eisenhower’s tenure, his Secretary of State was John Foster Dulles, and John Foster relied much more heavily on brother Allen’s estimates than he did on the reports from his ambassadors. In effect, brother John Foster made of brother Allen’s CIA a kind of super Foreign Service and apparently found nothing incongruous in the fact that in some embassies CIA personnel outnumbered Foreign Service employees. It was small wonder that the average citizen was confused, after Cuba, as to who was making foreign policy for the United States. Some top drawer members of the Washington diplomatic community were just as confused ...[15]

Kennedy Fired Dulles as CIA Head

After the Bay of Pigs, President Kennedy accepted the resignation of the head of the CIA, Allen Dulles. He had called in Dulles, Cabell and Bissell and told them that the three would have to be replaced. “Under the British system,” he said, “I would have to go. But under our system I’m afraid it’s got to be you.”[16] But Allen Dulles was to return to government service immediately after the killing of President Kennedy. He appeared as one of the Warren Commissioners. Let us see whether the father of the CIA served the people and the search for truth concerning the death of the departed President, or whether he served the interests of the intelligence communities not only in the United States but in the Soviet Union as well.

Dulles Suppressed Evidence of Oswald’s Soviet Intelligence Connections

On January 21, 1964, in a secret executive session, the Warren Commission had to deal with the problem of Marina Oswald giving evidence that Oswald was a Soviet agent.[17] Senator Richard Russell said: “That will blow the lid if she testifies to that.”[18] And so it would have. How did the Commission deal with that problem? Well, we learn from the transcript of the secret executive session that Isaac Don Levine was helping Marina Oswald write a story for Life Magazine, which never got published. Allen Dulles, the original director of the Central Intelligence Agency who was fired from his position by President Kennedy, decided to see Levine. Dulles said simply: “I can get him in and have a friendly talk. I have known him.”[19] Does that not sound as if Allen Dulles was contemplating suppression of information?

Isaac Don Levine had a central role in the Hiss case. I quote Whitaker Chambers as he described in his book, Witness, how Levine nursed him through his uncertainty about launching into his allegations against Mr. Alger Hiss. I quote:

The meeting was arranged by Isaac Don Levine ... For years he has carried on against Communism a kind of private war which is also a public service. He is a skillful professional journalist and a notable “ghost.” It was Levine who led Jan Valtin out of the editorial night and he has working with General Krivitsky on I was in Stalin’s Secret Service when, sometime in 1938, I met both men.

From the first, Levine had urged me to take my story to the proper authorities. I had said no.... When he proposed that he arrange a meeting at which I might tell my story directly to President Roosevelt, I was reassured.[20]

And why was a Cold War warrior like Isaac Don Levine not interested in raising the specter of a political assassination by the left? Why was the idea of a leftist conspiracy unthinkable in the Cold War America where for twenty-five years a virtual paranoia concerning communist plotting had prevailed? Yet there was — as we have seen — some evidence of a leftist conspiracy, and it was not acted upon. Why not? What caused our government at the public level to be so immediately and permanently wedded to the lone-assassin myth?

We are introduced through the transcript of this secret executive session to a new ghostly role for the literary ghost, Isaac Don Levine. Levine, as a result of the intervention of his friend, Allen Dulles, apparently was successful in erasing from the prospective testimony of Marina Oswald any references to Soviet intelligence connections with Oswald. The intelligence communities across iron curtain lines apparently cooperated to keep the truth from their peoples.

Did Soviet and American Intelligence Agencies Cooperate?

Is it irrational to suggest that the Soviet and American intelligences cooperated in the American governmental game of killing the President? Could an intelligence assassination have been perpetrated against the head of the American state unless the Soviet intelligence services could have been counted on to remain silent?

How did the Soviet government respond to the assassination of President Kennedy? Khrushchev, with whom Kennedy was working to effectuate the end of the Cold War, was later deposed. I submit that, if the Cold War had been genuinely adversary in nature, there could not have been an intelligence assassination of Kennedy by either the American or the Soviet intelligence agencies. I don’t see the Cold War as authentic. Rather I view it as a cooperative effort to foist on both the American and Russian civilian populations an enormous military-intelligence budget.

Senator Richard Russell was correct in being disturbed by Marina Oswald’s prospective revelations about possible Soviet intelligence connections with Oswald. And therefore Allen Dulles quieted the matter with a discussion with Isaac Don Levine, a writer on intelligence and a Cold War warrior par excellence. Levine was the author of The Mind of An Assassin, a book that described the killing of Leon Trotsky by Stalin’s intelligence. It is interesting that Levine’s name, which has been so much associated with the study of political assassinations, was never mentioned by the American press as having been associated with Marina Oswald. It is also interesting that this expert on political assassinations never, to my knowledge, wrote for publication a single article on the Kennedy assassination. Was his function something other than that of a literary ghost? Was Levine assigned to Marina by the government to provide whatever testimony suited the political exigencies? Allen Dulles did not tell how he had come to know Levine. Was it through intelligence work?

Now, let us shift our attention from Allen Dulles, brother of John Foster, to McGeorge Bundy, and his brother, William Bundy. For McGeorge Bundy’s roles in the governmental apparatus before and after the assassination are worthy of study, and William Bundy’s services in and out of the CIA are also of interest to us.

Kennedy Adviser McGeorge Bundy’s Ties to the CIA

With the Kennedy Administration, McGeorge Bundy was in foreign policy a hard-liner who had little use for Adlai Stevenson’s idealistic approach to foreign relations.[21] McGeorge Bundy was one of the planners of the Bay of Pigs invasion.[22] Allen Dulles was in Puerto Rico, so Richard Mervin Bissell, Jr., was the CIA’s man in charge of the planning.[23] As happenstance would have it, McGeorge Bundy, the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs, had been a student of Bissell’s at Yale. He also had worked for Bissell on the Marshall Plan in 1948.[24] Also in on that planning, as coincidence would have it, was General Charles P. Cabell, the CIA’s deputy director, who is brother of Mayor Earle Cabell, the Mayor of Dallas at the time of the assassination. McGeorge Bundy was — in the Kennedy and early Johnson Administration — the presidential representative and key man on the Special Group which makes the key intelligence decisions for the country. It has operated as the hidden power center of the government.[25]

As one of the planners for the Bay of Pigs, McGeorge Bundy must take some blame for not serving President Kennedy well and participating in the betrayal of the President in the Bay of Pigs planning operation. Schlesinger discusses that betrayal as follows:

Moreover, if worst came to worst and the invaders were beaten on the beaches, then, Dulles and Bissell said, they could easily “melt away” into the mountains.... But the CIA exposition was less than candid both in implying that the Brigade had undergone guerrilla training ... and in suggesting the existence of an easy escape hatch.... [T]he Escambray Mountains lay eighty miles from the Bay of Pigs, across a hopeless tangle of swamps and jungles.... [T]he CIA agents in Guatemala were saying nothing to the Cubans about this last resort of flight to the hills ...[26]

Bundy Also a Vietnam Hawk

But, despite Bundy’s complicity with the CIA, which resulted in misleading the President in the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy turned over the direction of Vietnam policy largely to Bundy, along with Rusk, McNamara and Rostow. The best we can say for McGeorge Bundy’s handling of Vietnam for President Kennedy was that he botched. Here is what Schlesinger said about Kennedy’s feeling concerning the Vietnamese policy:

He was somber and shaken. I had not seen him so depressed since the Bay of Pigs. No doubt he realized Viet Nam was his great failure in foreign policy, and that he had never really given it his full attention.[27]

The announced intention of Kennedy as stated on October 2, 1963 by McNamara and Taylor was to withdraw most U.S. forces from South Vietnam by the end of 1965.[28] But that was not McGeorge Bundy’s policy — and President Kennedy was soon to die — and McGeorge Bundy would be carrying on his hawkish concepts in playing a key role in shaping the aggressive foreign policy of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Bundy Issued the First “No Conspiracy; Lone-Assassin” Statement

What was McGeorge Bundy doing on the day President Kennedy was dispatched? Theodore H. White, in his book, The Making of the President, 1964, tells us that the Presidential party on its flight back to Washington on the afternoon of that fateful day “learned that there was no conspiracy, learned of the identity of Oswald and his arrest ...”[29] This was the very first announcement of Oswald as the lone assassin. In Dallas, Oswald was not even charged with assassinating the President until 1:30 A.M. the next morning. The plane landed at 5:59 P.M. on the 22nd. At that time the District Attorney of Dallas, Henry Wade, was stating that “preliminary reports indicated more than one person was involved in the shooting ... the electric chair is too good for the killers.”[30] Can there be any doubt that for any government taken by surprise by the assassination — and legitimately seeking the truth concerning it — less than six hours after the time of the assassination was too soon to know there was no conspiracy? This announcement was the first which designated Oswald as the lone assassin. Who was responsible for that announcement?

That announcement came from the White House Situation Room. Under whose direct control was the White House Situation Room? The Situation Room was under the personal and direct control of McGeorge Bundy.

I do readily concede that Mr. McGeorge Bundy is a most intelligent man. Joseph Kraft, a well known American political writer, said of Mr. Bundy in 1965 in Harper’s:

His capacity to read the riddle of multiple confusions, to consider a wide variety of possibilities, to develop lines of action, to articulate and execute public purposes, to impart quickened energies to men of the highest ability seems almost alone among contemporaries ...[31]

John F. Kennedy shared this view of Bundy’s intelligence for in speaking of him he said, ”You just can’t beat brains.”[32] McGeorge Bundy himself is not known for his modesty on the question of his intelligence. He was reported to have been “mildly miffed” when a Kennedy aide quoted the President as remarking that Bundy was the smartest man he knew next to Ormsby Gore, a British diplomat.[33]

So, then, Mr. Bundy — this man of brains — this coordinator of intelligence for President Kennedy — had reason to know that his Situation Room’s announcement of Oswald as the lone assassin on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, before there was any evidence against Oswald, was premature. Make no mistake about it. Bundy, who had been in the Pentagon[34] when the announcement of the assassination was issued, spent that fateful afternoon in the Situation Room. Jim Bishop tells how President Johnson was — while on Air Force One flying back to Washington — “ ... phoning McGeorge Bundy in the White House Situation Room every few minutes.”[35]

Was Bundy’s Statement a Warning from the ‘New Rulers’?

I propose the thesis that McGeorge Bundy, when that announcement was issued from his Situation Room, had reason to know that the true meaning of such a message when conveyed to the Presidential party on Air Force One was not the ostensible message which was being communicated. Rather, I submit that Bundy, with “his capacity to read the riddle of multiple confusions, to consider a wide variety of possibilities” was really conveying to the Presidential party the thought that Oswald was being designated the lone assassin before any evidence against him was ascertainable. As a central coordinator of intelligence services, Bundy in transmitting such a message through the Situation Room was really telling the Presidential party that an unholy marriage had taken place between the U.S. Governmental intelligence services and the lone-assassin doctrine. Was he not telling the Presidential party peremptorily, “Now, hear this! Oswald is the assassin, the sole assassin. Evidence is not available yet. Evidence will be obtained, or in lieu thereof evidence will be created. This is a crucial matter of state that cannot await evidence. The new rulers have spoken. You, there, Mr. New President, and therefore dispatchable stuff, and you the underlings of a deposed President, heed the message well.” Was not Bundy’s Situation Room serving an Orwellian double-think function?

And, so, it came to pass that Bundy’s Situation Room knew well whereof it spoke. For the federal government remained wedded to the lone-assassin myth in spite of the absence of evidence to support the proposition, and in the face of irrefutable proof which would demolish it as a rational idea.

The Presidential Party Got the Message

The Presidential party, which also numbered among it men of brains, apparently got the message. None, to my knowledge, of that Party has undertaken to express a single public doubt as to the veracity of the lone-assassin theory. Yet seeds of doubt have grown to mountainous dimensions among the less intimidated elements of the population who did not seek to hold or retain trappings of power. The lack of expressed skepticism among the Presidential party is not to be interpreted as evidence of their stupidity. On the contrary, their silence speaks more of their strong instincts of self-preservation and their penchant for governmental careers, rather than lack of intelligence.

Some among that Presidential party had no need to see the Zapruder film. They had on that fateful day witnessed first hand the bloody horror of the multi-assassin ambush. Doubts as to the veracity of the single-assassin story were more likely to give way to certainty of conspiracy in their minds. The message from Bundy’s Situation Room was necessary to dispel other doubts. Perhaps some of the Presidential party leaned toward misreading the situation and were laboring under the belief that some sharp-shooting nuts had gotten lucky in Dealey Plaza and that punishment was in order. Bundy’s Situation Room was putting them straight. Through that announcement it became clear to all in that Presidential party who could think, that the assassins, if madmen they were, were highly placed in the pinnacle of power of the intelligence community of the United States government and that punishment of them was out of the question.

Important Foreign Policy Changes Immediately Followed the Assassination

McGeorge Bundy was quite busy on November 22, 1963. After having spent a good deal of time on the telephone with President Johnson as Johnson was flying to Washington, he managed to be at the new President’s side when Air Force One landed.[36] He was seen with Lyndon B. Johnson when the President emerged from the South Lawn of the White House.[37] History records that Bundy remained with President Johnson to be designated by him as one of the leading hawkish advisers of the Johnson Administration.[38]

What was the future to hold for the United States following the assassination of President Kennedy? What changed? The most important and immediate change following the assassination of President Kennedy occurred precisely in the area of foreign policy. The Cold War warriors of the Bundy brothers’ stripe gained a stranglehold on the foreign policy of the nation, much in the same fashion that Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles had in Eisenhower’s administration. Of course, to note such a change is not to prove it was a deliberate consequence of the assassination. Yet, a careful examination of foreign policy following the killing of Kennedy is required to see whether the change might have been related to the killing of the President.

U.S. Promised Help to New Saigon Government

The book The Politics of Escalation in Vietnam has the following to say about the change:

Three weeks after the assassination, on December 19 and 20, 1963, McNamara and CIA Chief John A. McCone visited Saigon to evaluate the war efforts of the new Saigon government. McNamara told the junta leaders that the United Sates was prepared to help ... as long as aid was needed.[39]

... the United States had made the crucial decision to reverse the policy, announced during the last day of President Kennedy’s administration, of gradually withdrawing U.S. troops from South Vietnam. Was it all a coincidence that a change in leadership in Washington was followed by a change in policy, and a change in policy by a corresponding change in Saigon’s government?[40]

That there should have been a change in Vietnamese policy so immediately after the murder of Kennedy when the external situation in Vietnam did not evoke it, raises serious questions about what caused it in our internal situation. What is at stake here is the issue not of how the assassination was accomplished, but the fundamental question concerning why it was done and which elements were and are behind it. At issue are questions of war and peace that involve the whole of humanity. For the movement for peace in Vietnam not to raise these questions is and has been irresponsible.

Militarization of the U.S.

It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the definite and deliberate policy of militarization of this country was quickly put into action immediately after the death of President Kennedy. There was no evidence of governmental traumatization, but rather a most efficient and abrupt movement to military policies.

Bundys Continued to Shape Hawkish Policies

McGeorge Bundy and his brother, William, continued to help shape the foreign policy of the Johnson Administration. McGeorge Bundy became part of Johnson’s Tuesday lunch arrangement which was in fact the National Security Council, Johnson style.[41] Bundy did most of the foreign policy coordinating for Johnson in the early part of his administration.[42] It was McGeorge Bundy who by happenstance was in South Vietnam when Pleiku was shelled. After an inspection of the Pleiku base, he recommended to President Johnson instant retaliation. He urged upon the President a steady program of bombing the North, which recommendation was followed with horrendous consequences to peace.[43]

In the Gulf of Tonkin farce, Bundy was full of admiration for Johnson’s decisiveness. Bundy said to friends that he had “ ... never seen a man who knew so clearly what he wanted to do or so exactly how to go about it.”[44]

Ultimately, the Bundy brothers gave up their titular positions in government. McGeorge Bundy became President of the Ford Foundation. William Bundy joined the Center for International Studies at MIT.

Interconnections of the CIA and Foundation-Dominated Scholarship

Let us not imagine that these two architects of the Vietnamese War by taking on these new positions abandoned their penchant for power. Nor were the Bundy brothers retreating far from government in assuming these positions. David Horowitz said the following about the interlocking aspects of the CIA and the private foundations:

It should be noted in passing that the congeniality of foundation-dominated scholarship to the CIA reflects the harmony of interest between the upper-class captains of the CIA and the upper-class trustees of the great foundations. The interconnections are too extensive to be recounted here, but the Bundy brothers (William, CIA; McGeorge, Ford) and Chadbourne Gilpatric, OSS and CIA from 1943 to 1949, Rockefeller Foundation from 1949 on, can be taken as illustrative. Richard Bissell, the genius of the Bay of Pigs (and brother-in-law of Philip Mosely of Columbia’s Russian Institute), reversed the usual sequence, going from Ford to the CIA.[45]

As for William Bundy’s respite from the CIA and his State Department career, David Horowitz feels that the MIT Center is not in the least removed from the grip of the CIA:

MIT’s Advisory Board on Soviet Bloc studies, for example, was composed of these four academic luminaries: Charles Bohlen of the State Department, Allen Dulles of the CIA, Philip E. Mosely of Columbia’s Russian Institute and Leslie G. Stevens, a retired vice admiral of the U.S. Navy.

If the MIT Center seemed to carry to their logical conclusion the on-campus extension programs of the State Department and the CIA, that was perhaps because it was set up directly with CIA funds under the guiding hand of Professor W. W. Rostow, former OSS officer and later director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff under Kennedy and Johnson. The Center’s first director, Max Millikan, was appointed in 1952 after a stint as assistant director of the CIA. Carnegie and Rockefeller joined in the funding, which by now, as in so many other cases, has passed on to Ford.[46]

How We’ve Paid For Our New Rulers’ Ineptness

So, we have examined how the CIA and the military had committed American power to ruinous military adventures through staged international incidents — reminiscent of the Oswald charade — but on an international level. These adventures, following close upon the assassination, have spilled the blood and sapped the moral fiber of our youth. Our cities have been turned into tense and neglected seas of metastasizing blight. Our economy, buffeted by push-and-pull war-induced inflation, has become unbalanced. Our international trade position has deteriorated, so that now we find ourselves with not only an unfavorable balance of payments, but also an unfavorable balance of trade. Our urban public schools are relegated to bare custodial functions. The standard of living of our workers and the middle class has dipped along with the quality of their lives. All of us have paid for the ineptness of our new rulers who, by the killing of John F. Kennedy, had effectively overthrown the Republic.

The ClA’s Follow-up Tactics

If our model of explanation, our hypothesis, of the assassination of John F. Kennedy accurately interprets the data of the assassination, then it should also be useful in ferreting out current operations in which the Central Intelligence Agency would have had to involve itself domestically as a natural and necessary followup to the Dallas assassination. For, as the CIA’s clumsy cousin, the American military, persisted in its Vietnamese adventure, the costs became prohibitive.

Of course, secret elitist police organizations such as the CIA do not thrive on peace, democracy, and a contented and informed people. The power of intelligence agencies increases in direct proportion to the degree of sickness of a nation. A healthy and united people can localize the cancer of a power-usurping intelligence agency and eventually extirpate its malignant cells from the nation’s political life. Therefore, the intelligence apparatus which killed Kennedy has a need to keep our society in turmoil. It has — in order to maintain its power — to generate a high degree of chaos. Chaos is required to make a people willing to accept such strong medicine as is administered by the secret police in order to restore order and to stabilize a disintegrating society. It takes an acutely sick society to be able to accept as palatable the terrible cure — totalitarianism.

The Assassination Model As a Key to Domestic Events

One must look to our model of the assassination for an explanation of what has happened to our domestic society since the killing of President Kennedy. Now that the Vietnamese War has been rejected by our people, we must keep our eyes and ears open for an inevitable split between the CIA and military. For, although the military still looks to winning on foreign fronts the war against Communism, the super-slick non-ideological CIA sees the need to bring the war home. We must be alert to CIA agents who would promote the polarization of our society. We must examine the evidence which indicates that fake revolutionaries, who are inciting insurrection in our cities, have had their pockets and minds stuffed by the CIA.

The movement for peace in Vietnam has been silent too long on the critical issue of the assassination of President Kennedy. We cannot rest with the official federal government version of his assassination.

  1. Fay, Paul B. Jr., The Pleasure of His Company (New York, Harper Row, 1966), p. 190. []
  2. Schlesinger, Arthur M., A Thousand Days (Boston, The Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965), p. 896. []
  3. Hearing Notes of the Warren Commission, Vol. XVlI, p. 48. []
  4. State of Louisiana v. Clay L. Shaw, Testimony of Pierre A. Finck, February 24, 1967, pp. 48-9. []
  5. Ibid. []
  6. Ibid. []
  7. Hearing Notes of the Warren Commission, Vol. II, p. 371. []
  8. The Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, April 21, 1971, p. 42. []
  9. The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 22, 1971, Section 7, p. 1. []
  10. The Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia, June 30, 1971, p. 19, col. 2. []
  11. Fleming, D.F., “The Costs and Consequences of the Cold War,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Philadelphia, 1966, p. 137. []
  12. Schlesinger, Arthur M., Op. Cit. p. 678. []
  13. Tom Wicker, John W. Finney, Max Frankel, E. W. Kenworthy, “C.I.A.: Maker of Policy, Or Tool? Survey Finds Widely Feared Agency is Tightly Controlled,” The New York Times (April 25, 1966), p. 10, col. 3. []
  14. McCarthy, Eugene J., The Limits of Power (New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967), p. 91. []
  15. Tully, Andrew, CIA - The Inside Story (Greenwich, Conn., A Fawcett Crest Book, 1962), pp. 208-9. []
  16. Alsop, Stewart, The Center (New York, Harper Row, 1968), p. 229. []
  17. Document Addendum to the Warren Report (El Segundo, Cal., Sightext Publications, 1968), p. 200. []
  18. Document Addendum to the Warren Report, Op. Cit., []
  19. Loc. Cit. []
  20. Chambers, Whitaker, Witness (New York, Random House, 1952), p. 457. []
  21. Walton, Richard J., The Remnants of Power (New York, Coward-McCann, Inc., 1968), p. 19. []
  22. Alsop, Stewart. Op. Cit.. pp. 222-3. []
  23. Wise, David and Ross, Thomas R., The Invisible Government (New York, Random House, 1964), p. 21. []
  24. Loc. Cit. []
  25. Wise, David and Ross, Thomas R.. Op. Cit.. []
  26. Schlesinger, Arthur, Op. Cit., pp. 249-50. []
  27. Ibid., p. 997. []
  28. Schlesinger, Arthur M., “A Middle Way Out of Vietnam,” New York Times Magazine, Sept. 18, 1966, p. 114. []
  29. White, Theodore, The Making of the President, 1964 (New York, Atheneum, 1965). p. 48. []
  30. Dallas Morning News, November 23, 1963. []
  31. Halberstam, David, “The Very Expensive Education of McGeorge Bundy,” Harper’s, July, 1969. p. 22. []
  32. Loc. Cit. []
  33. Tully, Andrew, White Tie and Dagger (New York. William Morrow Co.. 1967), p. 116. []
  34. Henderson, Bruce and Summerlin, Sam, 1:33 in Memoriam: John F. Kennedy (New York, Cowles Education Corp. 1968), p. 95. []
  35. Bishop, Jim, The Day Kennedy Was Shot (New York. Funk & Wagnalls, 1968), p. 354. []
  36. Bishop, Jim, Op. Cit., p. 413. []
  37. Ibid., p. 428. []
  38. Evans, Rowland and Novak, Robert, Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power (New York, A Signet Book, 1966), p. 574. []
  39. The New York Times, January 2, 1964, p. 7. []
  40. Schurmann, Franz; Scott, Peter Dale; and Zelnik, Reginald, The Politics Of Escalation in Vietnam (Greenwich, Conn., Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1966), pp. 32-3. []
  41. Alsop, Stewart, Op. Cit., p. 279. []
  42. Weintal, Edward, and Bartlett, Charles, Facing the Brink (New York, Scribner’s Sons, 1967), p. 155. []
  43. Kraslow, David and Loory, Stuart H., The Secret Search for Peace in Vietnam (New York, Random House, 1968), p. 114. []
  44. Bell, Jack, The Johnson Treatment (New York, Harper Row, 1965). p. 195 []
  45. Horowitz, David, “Sinews of Empire,” Ramparts, San Francisco, October, 1969, p. 39. []
  46. Ibid., p. 38. []
Next | Contents | Prev
back to False Mystery | JFK | ratville times | rat haus | Index | Search | tree