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Cockburn writes: "Fifty years ago, exactly one month after John Kennedy was killed, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled 'Limit CIA Role to Intelligence.' The first sentence of that op-ed on Dec. 22, 1963, read, 'I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency.'"

President Harry S. Truman. (photo: White House.gov)
President Harry S. Truman. (photo: White House.gov)


The Only Thing We Have to Fear...Is the CIA

By Ray McGovern, Consortium News

25 December 13

 

ifty years ago, exactly one month after John Kennedy was killed, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled "Limit CIA Role to Intelligence." The first sentence of that op-ed on Dec. 22, 1963, read, "I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency."

It sounded like the intro to a bleat from some liberal professor or journalist. Not so. The writer was former President Harry S. Truman, who spearheaded the establishment of the CIA 66 years ago, right after World War II, to better coordinate U.S. intelligence gathering. But the spy agency had lurched off in what Truman thought were troubling directions.

Sadly, those concerns that Truman expressed in that op-ed - that he had inadvertently helped create a Frankenstein monster - are as valid today as they were 50 years ago, if not more so.

Truman began his article by underscoring "the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency ... and what I expected it to do." It would be "charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without Department 'treatment' or interpretations."

Truman then moved quickly to one of the main things bothering him. He wrote "the most important thing was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions."

It was not difficult to see this as a reference to how one of the agency's early directors, Allen Dulles, tried to trick President Kennedy into sending U.S. forces to rescue the group of invaders who had landed on the beach at the Bay of Pigs, Cuba, in April 1961 with no chance of success, absent the speedy commitment of U.S. air and ground support.

Wallowing in the Bay of Pigs

Arch-Establishment figure Allen Dulles had been offended when young President Kennedy had the temerity to ask questions about CIA plans before the Bay of Pigs debacle, which had been set in motion under President Dwight Eisenhower. When Kennedy made it clear he would NOT approve the use of U.S. combat forces, Dulles set out, with supreme confidence, to mousetrap the President.

Coffee-stained notes handwritten by Allen Dulles were discovered after his death and reported by historian Lucien S. Vandenbroucke. They show how Dulles drew Kennedy into a plan that was virtually certain to require the use of U.S. combat forces. In his notes, Dulles explained that, "when the chips were down," Kennedy would be forced by "the realities of the situation" to give whatever military support was necessary "rather than permit the enterprise to fail."

The "enterprise" which Dulles said could not fail was, of course, the overthrow of Fidel Castro. After mounting several failed operations to assassinate him, this time Dulles meant to get his man, with little or no attention to how the Russians might react. The reckless Joint Chiefs of Staff, whom then-Deputy Secretary of State George Ball later described as a "sewer of deceit," relished any chance to confront the Soviet Union and give it, at least, a black eye.

But Kennedy stuck to his guns, so to speak. He fired Dulles and his co-conspirators a few months after the abortive invasion, and told a friend that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." The outrage was very obviously mutual.

When Kennedy himself was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, it must have occurred to Truman - as it did to many others - that the disgraced Dulles and his unrepentant associates might not be above conspiring to get rid of a president they felt was soft on Communism and get even for their Bay of Pigs fiasco.

'Cloak and Dagger'

While Truman saw CIA's attempted mousetrapping of President Kennedy as a particular outrage, his more general complaint is seen in his broader lament that the CIA had become "so removed from its intended role ... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. ... It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government." Not only shaping policy through its control of intelligence, but also "cloak and dagger" operations, presumably including assassinations.

Truman concluded the op-ed with an admonition that was as clear as the syntax was clumsy: "I would like to see the CIA restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field - and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere." The importance and prescient nature of that admonition are even clearer today, a half-century later.

But Truman's warning fell mostly on deaf ears, at least within Establishment circles. The Washington Post published the op-ed in its early edition on Dec. 22, 1963, but immediately excised it from later editions. Other media ignored it. The long hand of the CIA?

In Truman's view, misuse of the CIA began in February 1953, when his successor, Dwight Eisenhower, named Allen Dulles as CIA director. Dulles's forte was overthrowing governments (in current parlance, "regime change"), and he was quite good at it. With coups in Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954) under his belt, Dulles was riding high by the late Fifties and moved Cuba to the top of his to-do list.

The Truman Papers

Documents in the Truman Library show that nine days after Kennedy was assassinated, Truman sketched out in handwritten notes what he wanted to say in the op-ed. He noted, among other things, that the CIA had worked as he intended only "when I had control."

Five days after the op-ed appeared, retired Admiral Sidney Souers, whom Truman had appointed to lead his first central intelligence group, sent a "Dear Boss" letter applauding Truman's outspokenness and blaming Dulles for making the CIA "a different animal than the one I tried to set up for you."

Souers specifically lambasted the attempt "to conduct a 'war' invading Cuba with a handful of men and without air cover." He also lamented the fact that the agency's "principal effort" had evolved into causing "revolutions in smaller countries around the globe," and added: "With so much emphasis on operations, it would not surprise me to find that the matter of collecting and processing intelligence has suffered some." (Again, as true today as it was 50 years ago.)

Clearly, the operational tail of the CIA was wagging its substantive dog - a serious problem that persists to this day.

Fox Guarding Hen House

After Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, the patrician, well-connected Dulles got himself appointed to the Warren Commission and took the lead in shaping the investigation of JFK's assassination. Documents in the Truman Library show that Dulles also mounted a small domestic covert action of his own to neutralize any future airing of Truman's and Souers's warnings about covert action.

So important was this to Dulles that he invented a pretext to get himself invited to visit Truman in Independence, Missouri. On the afternoon of April 17, 1964, Dulles spent a half-hour one-on-one with the former president, trying to get him to retract what he had written in his op-ed. Hell No, said Harry.

Not a problem, Dulles decided. Four days later, in a formal memorandum of conversation for his old buddy Lawrence Houston, CIA general counsel from 1947 to 1973, Dulles fabricated a private retraction for Truman, claiming that Truman told him the Washington Post article was "all wrong," and that Truman "seemed quite astounded at it."

A fabricated retraction? It certainly seems so, because Truman did not change his tune. Far from it. In a June 10, 1964, letter to the managing editor of Look magazine, for example, Truman restated his critique of covert action, emphasizing that he never intended the CIA to get involved in "strange activities."

Dulles and Dallas

Dulles could hardly have expected to get Truman to recant publicly. So why was it so important for Dulles to place in CIA files a fabricated retraction? I believe the answer lies in the fact that in early 1964 Dulles was feeling a lot of heat from many who were suggesting the CIA might have been involved somehow in the Kennedy assassination. Columnists were asking how the truth could ever be reached, with Allen Dulles as de facto head of the Warren Commission.

Dulles had good reason to fear that Truman's limited-edition Washington Post op-ed of Dec. 22, 1963, might garner unwanted attention and raise troublesome questions about covert action, including assassination. He would have wanted to be in position to dig out of Larry Houston's files the Truman "retraction," in the hope that this would nip any serious questioning in the bud.

As the de facto head of the Warren Commission, Dulles was perfectly positioned to protect himself and his associates, were any commissioners or investigators - or journalists - tempted to question whether Dulles and the CIA played a role in killing Kennedy.

And so, the question: Did Allen Dulles and other "cloak-and-dagger" CIA operatives have a hand in John Kennedy's assassination and in then covering it up? In my view, the best dissection of the evidence pertaining to the murder appeared in James Douglass's 2008 book, JFK and the Unspeakable. After updating and arraying the abundant evidence, and conducting still more interviews, Douglass concludes that the answer is Yes.

Obama Intimidated?

The mainstream media had an allergic reaction to Douglass's book and gave it almost no reviews. It is, nevertheless, still selling well. And, more important, it seems a safe bet that President Barack Obama knows what it says and maybe has even read it. This may go some way toward explaining why Obama has been so deferential to the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Pentagon.

Could this be at least part of the reason he felt he had to leave the Cheney/Bush-anointed torturers, kidnappers and black-prison wardens in place, instructing his first CIA chief Leon Panetta to become, in effect, the agency's lawyer rather than leader.

Is this why the President feels he cannot fire his clumsily devious Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who had to apologize to Congress for giving "clearly erroneous" testimony in March? Is this why he allows National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander and counterparts in the FBI to continue to mislead the American people, even though the intermittent snow showers from Snowden show our senior national security officials to have lied - and to have been out of control?

This may be small solace to President Obama, but there is no sign that the NSA documents that Snowden's has released include the Senate Intelligence Committee's 6,300-page report on CIA torture. Rather, that report, at least, seems sure to be under Obama's and Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein's tight control.

But the timorous President has a big problem. He is acutely aware that, if released, the Senate committee report would create a firestorm - almost certainly implicating Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and many other heavy-hitters of whom he appears to be afraid. And so Obama has allowed Brennan to play bureaucratic games, delaying release of the report for more than a year, even though its conclusions are said to closely resemble earlier findings of the CIA's own Inspector General and the Constitution Project (see below).

Testimony of Ex-CIA General Counsel

Hat tip to the New Yorker's Jane Mayer, who took the trouble to read the play-by-play of testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee by former CIA General Counsel (2009-2013) Stephen W. Preston, nominated (and now confirmed) to be general counsel at the Department of Defense.

Under questioning by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado, Preston admitted outright that, contrary to the CIA's insistence that it did not actively impede congressional oversight of its detention and interrogation program, "briefings to the committee included inaccurate information related to aspects of the program of express interest to Members."

That "inaccurate information" apparently is thoroughly documented in the Senate Intelligence Committee report which, largely because of the CIA's imaginative foot-dragging, cost taxpayers $40 million. Udall has revealed that the report (which includes 35,000 footnotes) contains a very long section titled "C.I.A. Representations on the C.I.A. Interrogation Program and the Effectiveness of the C.I.A.'s Enhanced Interrogation Techniques to Congress."

Preston also acknowledged that the CIA inadequately informed the Justice Department on interrogation and detention. He said, "CIA's efforts fell well short of our current practices when it comes to providing information relevant to [the Office of Legal Counsel]'s legal analysis."

As Katherine Hawkins, the senior investigator for last April's bipartisan, independent report by the Constitution Project's Task Force on Detainee Treatment, noted in an Oct. 18, 2013 posting, the memos from acting OLC chief, Steven Bradbury, relied very heavily on now-discredited CIA claims that "enhanced interrogation" saved lives, and that the sessions were carefully monitored by medical and psychological personnel to ensure that detainees' suffering would not rise to the level of torture.

According to Hawkins, Udall complained - and Preston admitted - that, in providing the materials requested by the committee, "the CIA removed several thousand CIA documents that the agency thought could be subjected to executive privilege claims by the President, without any decision by Obama to invoke the privilege."

Worse still for the CIA, the Senate Intelligence Committee report apparently destroys the agency's argument justifying torture on the grounds that there was no other way to acquire the needed information save through brutalization. In his answers to Udall, Preston concedes that, contrary to what the agency has argued, it can and has been established that legal methods of interrogation would have yielded the same intelligence.

Is anyone still wondering why our timid President is likely to sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee report for as long as he can? Or why he will let John Brennan redact it to a fare-thee-well, if he is eventually forced to release some of it by pressure from folks who care about things like torture?

It does appear that the newly taciturn CIA Director Brennan has inordinate influence over the President in such matters - not unlike the influence that both DNI Clapper and NSA Director Alexander seem able to exert. In this respect, Brennan joins the dubious company of the majority of his predecessor CIA directors, as they made abundantly clear when they went to inordinate lengths to prevent their torturer colleagues from being held accountable.



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+77 # soularddave 2013-12-25 15:04
I'm sure happy that RSN continues to publish this, and many more important articles on this holiday, typically a "day off".

As a contributor, I certainly feel like RSN supplies much more than simply my "money's worth".

Thanks to everyone!
 
 
+15 # dickbd 2013-12-26 15:52
I agree, and I feel the CIA should be disbanded. A tall order, but it may happen some day. It is worth remembering that the man who started it under his presidency had regrets. Kennedy may be overly exulted; however, his inclination to disband the CIA and his sacking of the despicable Dulles certainly add to my admiration of him.

Some try to say that we don't hear about the CIA's successes, but I'm with the guy who said, "If this vile organization ever did anything right, it is the only thing they ever managed to keep secret!"

Not much hope of disbanding the dug-in CIA that provides such a fantasy background for TV series and movies, but the more it is kept under a magnifying glass, the more likely it is to happen.
 
 
+67 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-12-25 15:10
How many times in the last 50 years have we caught our government spying on unauthorized targets? They keep getting caught and keep expanding their spying as technology allows. Just who are the NSA and CIA, etc. answering too. It is whatever that force is that we need to address.
 
 
+44 # dyannne 2013-12-25 15:46
Ray, I hope you have very loyal bodyguards!
 
 
-64 # LewisRegenstein 2013-12-25 15:53
This article is full of false statements.

For example, the original CIA plan for the Bay of Pigs DID include air cover for the invasion, but President Kennedy cancelled it at the last minute, which is the main reason the landings failed.

The rest of the piece is about on this par for accuracy.

Lewis Regenstein
 
 
+45 # anarchteacher 2013-12-25 16:22
http://www.youtube.com/embed/Qz56WytRlqo

JFK did not cancel air cover for the Bay of Pigs invasion. That is an often repeated myth according to the late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, interviewed in the above YouTube clip (especially from 22:14 onward).

Prouty served as chief of special operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he was in charge of the global system designed to provide military support for covert activities of the Central Intelligence Agency.

He was the acclaimed author of The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, and JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy.

In Oliver Stone's highly lauded film, JFK, the mysterious character 'X' portrayed by Donald Sutherland was in fact Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, who assisted director Stone in the production and scripting of this historical epic.
 
 
+37 # tonenotvolume 2013-12-25 16:30
You should forearm your opinions with "In my opinion..." You also neglected to name the other "false statements". From my readings and in my opinion the article reminds us again of the need to keep the CIA on a very tight leash. The invasion was ill-advised, Dulles was dirty, Kennedy distanced himself from responsibility, the CIA lied to our state department, and we ended up soiled.
 
 
+49 # polfrosch 2013-12-25 16:57
On the contrary.

This article is full of rarely heard important information- especially in the parts about anything "Dulles".

Ray McGovern hit´s the nail on the head in the essential points, his narrative is what needs to be told to understand what was going on.

He is obviously someone who knows what he is talking about inside out - which is much more than the ability to add up some facts to form an article - the type of "quality articles" I read far too often in wellknown publications. (Mostly worth forgetting immediately after reading.)
 
 
0 # Merschrod 2013-12-31 06:13
Lew, I think that you need to reread the Bay of Pigs history. It was a "hope" that there would be air coverage; the CIA did include air coverage in the plan but way before they went ahead JFK made it clear that there would not be US military support (Navy or USAF)for the effort to bail out the mercenaries. Sory that I can;t cite the references but there are books on this
 
 
+67 # Shorey13 2013-12-25 15:56
The real question is: What are we going to do about this ongoing treason? After 60 years (beginning with the Eisenhower Administration) , it is clear that no amount of evidence, no matter how indisputable, will ever cause an appropriate response.

The tenor of this article reminds this old-timer (74) of the way J. Edgar Hoover blackmailed every President (except Truman!) for more than half a century. "Timorous" does not begin to describe Obama, who is actively complicit.

As always, I have to ask: How bad does it have to get?

As the world's oldest putative democracy, there is no possible excuse for our failure to rein in these insane cowboys. We do, as they say, get the government we deserve. Sad.
 
 
+43 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-12-25 17:48
We do not get the government we deserve. The traitorous renegades who have been in charge since they murdered John F. Kennegy have denied the people the ability to hear the truth in our schools, in the 'news' or in popular films and TV documentories. A democracy REQUIRES that the people be well informed to vote intelligently. These evil people have destroyed our democracy by purchasing so many of our corrupt elected officials.

The line in this article that caught my eye is the comparison of saying 'over throw a government' or 'regime change'. Call it what you wish---but that is EXACTLY what we need to do---and pretty damn quick. Our nation is about to crash and with no force against these evil people the rest of us will suffer. Obama is not 'timid', he is bought the paid for just like those so called 'Honored Members of Congress'.
 
 
+37 # jstick 2013-12-25 16:11
Yes. Read JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass and be afraid, very afraid.
 
 
+33 # ganymede 2013-12-25 16:13
Merry Christmas RSN, and thanks for your great service in keeping us well-informed and motivated, and, hopefully, your readers will be more motivated to more generously support RSN in 2014, myself included.
With the abuses of the CIA coming to the fore in 2014, I feel that the real story of JFK's assassination may pop up soon. From what I'm reading it does seem that renegade US intelligence people played a major role, and, certainly Lee Harvey O. was not and could not have been solely responsible. What's made Obama even more conservative than he is, is the obvious fact that he knows they will kill him if he strays too far off the 'plantation'. But this isn't the 1960's, even though the media is even worse than it was then, but we do have the Internet and a growing 'Occupy' mentality, and there are a few capable politicians, all Democrats, in the background. Anyway, have a great holiday season and we all look forward to year of positive change in 2014.
 
 
+12 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-12-25 17:51
Those Democrats are not capable politicians. Dems talk nicer but these nicities are lies. The Reps just tell us their version of truth which is, of course, the same lies. There is no lesser evil.
 
 
+38 # Jingze 2013-12-25 16:14
The USA needs a government of public servants. Without this, it is obviously not a democracy. Change is needed, serious change.
 
 
+24 # peterjnickitas 2013-12-25 17:59
The fundamental theorem of American politics is "CIA = Wall Street"

The first corollary is "change the way money works, or nothing changes".

Take money from concentrated wealth and power. Use credit unions. Stop using credit and debit cards. Cut out cable TV. Keep Hollywood out of your wallet and home. Reduce cellphone addiction. Adopt local currencies and use more cash. Grow your own garden.

These actions will reduce the intelligence organs' and their mass communications' minions holds over us, and increase our own self-determination.

The ABA role in support of the Establishment at the expense of Nature and people, and its efforts to present a face of reason, goes with this story, and is best saved for another day.
 
 
+13 # economagic 2013-12-25 22:25
I was beginning to wonder whether anyone was going to ask who the CIA actually serves. As a heterodox economist I am wary of "theorems" outside the realm of mathematics, and I for one cannot offer "proof" of this one. But it is consistent with what we know of how the ruling class works, including who gets admitted and how.

As for the rest, easier said than done at the societal level, but with a huge, loose, global coalition of movements advancing all of that agenda at local scales.

"We" probably can't change the way "their" money works, but we can and (IMNSHO) should carefully consider how and how much we use it, while constructing ways to meet our needs without it to as great an extent as possible and as quickly as possible--trick y business.
 
 
+3 # Doubter 2013-12-26 14:34
You forgot or left out:
Abolish the Fed!
 
 
+12 # peterjnickitas 2013-12-25 18:11
Let us put the HST story into perspective. First, he ordered the use of the Bomb in spite of other less devastating, war-winning options. He threatened to drop it on USSR over Iran in 1946. The Cold War began on his watch. Second, he did not work to repeal Taft-Hartley, after Congress overrode his veto. Third, the McCarthy Era started on his watch. Fourth, he did not stop Hoover who was eager to hunt Reds with McCarthy, and loath to admit the Mob existed.

To HST's credit, his wartime oversight committee in the Senate saved more money than the Marshall Plan cost. The Plan would have cost less if HST committed the nation to support self- determination in Europe, rather than reconstruction for the benefit of Big business.
 
 
+20 # Anonymot 2013-12-25 18:28
The reality is that pretty, smiling, all-promising Obama was put in place because he was completely inexperienced and saw his importance to be as the first black President. The reality turned out to be that either because, as someone mentioned, the CIA in the best J Edger Hoover style, had skeletons from his closet that whipped him right in line.

It is beyond belief that he is more than a mouthpiece for some kind of right wing organization. I don't believe all of the nutty "conspiracy" theories, but the Bush people he has put in control of everything that is Orwellesque, his promotion of what's good for the MIC, and his pushing all of the demofascist agencies under the Homeland Security label could not be a simple swerving from what his lips say. He is a marionette.

But who is the pupeteer?? The CIA?
 
 
-15 # John S. Browne 2013-12-26 06:54
The puppeteer(s) is and/or are the globalists, the international, corporate-fasci st, "Fourth Reich", "al CIAduh(!), shadow government cabal.

Obama is "al CIAduh(!)" through and through, so he's part of the cabal. He was raised in an "al CIAduh(!)" family. His mother (Stanley Ann Dunham), his mother's father (his white grandfather, Stanley Armour Dunham), his purported "father" (Barach Obama, Sr.), and his real father (Frank Marshall Davis) were all "al CIAduh(!)". Heck, his adopted father, Lolo Soetoro, was probably "al CIAduh(!)", too; otherwise, he probably would not have been married to Obama's mother for her "al CIAduh(!)" role in spying on the Indonesian government, etc.

The socialist as well as Muslim training in Obama's younger years, at the hands of, among others undoubtedly, his real father, who was an American communist, brought about by his mother's father, and the Muslim training by his adopted father, was all part of grooming him for "al CIAduh(!)"; and, eventually, the presidency. I don't know that they planned on making him president from the get-go; but, if not, somewhere along the line they determined that he'd be a great puppet president to fool the masses into falsely believing that the U.S. government was becoming "progressive", and that Obama would "save the day"; probably, next to getting away with perpetrating 9-11, the biggest scam ever successfully perpetrated on the American people.

(Continued)
 
 
-17 # John S. Browne 2013-12-26 06:56
Obama's real name is Barry Soetoro, and he's using an "al CIAduh(!)"-secu red Connecticut Social Security number belonging to someone else, Harrison "Harry" Bounel (when Obama and his family never lived in the State of Connecticut).

Therefore, in essence, "Barry Barach 'Insane' Hussein 'al CIAduh(!)' Soetoro Obama" is an "al CIAduh(!)" agent president. So, he's doing exactly what he was groomed and trained to do: Sellout the U.S., destroy its sovereignty, bring it under "The Project for a New American Century", "New World Order (NWO)" one-world government, help finalize and cement global government into place, pave the way for the anti-christ, and enslave the entire world under Satanism, Catholicism, apostate "Protestantism" and one-world religion, combining all belief systems under one all-encompassin g system [like the TV show, "Lost", depicted in its end-of-series finale---watch it again; all of the major cast members of the show, who are all supposedly dead and in "purgatory" and/or "limbo", and supposedly being given another chance to get their lives "right", gather in a "New Age", all-faith church (aka, one-world religion); just as I was afraid that the show was going to end].

Everything that's occurring is being orchestrated, and none of it is any coincidence; or very little of it anyway. It's all part of a massive global corporate-fasci st conspiracy of all-out monstrously and horrifically evil proportions.
 
 
0 # Doubter 2013-12-26 14:27
I won't rate this rant, as there are probably a few grains amongst the chaff.
 
 
+10 # John S. Browne 2013-12-25 22:00
This article is very interesting, accurate and quite telling. I just wish Ray McGovern had given his belief as to whether or not Allen Dulles and "al CIAduh(!)" were involved in John Kennedy's assassination (as they obviously were). I realize that Ray McGovern probably believes that such is not part of the scope of the article; but he did, after all, go so far as to state that author, James Douglas, who researched the assassination exhaustively, believes that they were involved; so why not go all the way and state whether or not he agrees? He may not want to believe it or agree with it, but I think that he knows better; and it would go a long way to giving more credibility to that real truth about JFK 's murder.

There's absolutely no excuse(s) and/or justification(s ) for cowardice.
 
 
+12 # geraldom 2013-12-25 22:16
Harry Truman was a fool when he set up the CIA thinking that it would not go beyond its initial function of intelligence gathering. For someone that was president of the United States, he should have known better. He should have been aware of human nature. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I'm assuming that after Harry Truman set up the CIA, there was no real oversight or accountability to keep the CIA in line. This was a recipe for disaster. No one has any hard evidence as to who was behind JFK's assassination, but as a detective might say, the CIA had motive and access,
 
 
+5 # John S. Browne 2013-12-25 22:25
What else can one expect of a president who ordered B-29s to drop two atomic bombs on civilian cities in Japan that mass-murdered hundreds of thousands of non-combatants, and that was a major war crime; especially when the Japanese were already ready to surrender, and the U.S. government knew it?
 
 
+6 # AndreM5 2013-12-25 23:14
B-52s, huh? They are old planes for sure but not THAT old!
I have always thought that Hiroshima and Nagasaki had little to do with ending WWII. The we aimed directly at the aftermath of the war.
 
 
+11 # peterjnickitas 2013-12-25 23:16
Two B-29's, JSB: Enola Gay and Bock's Car.
 
 
+4 # John S. Browne 2013-12-26 06:13
I stand corrected.
 
 
+16 # geraldom 2013-12-26 00:17
Quoting John S. Browne:
What else can one expect of a president who ordered B-52s to drop two atomic bombs on civilian cities in Japan that mass-murdered hundreds of thousands of non-combatants, and that was a major war crime; especially when the Japanese were already ready to surrender, and the U.S. government knew it?


If there really is a heaven and a hell, I truly wonder with Harry Truman is? If a heaven and a hell does exists, I don't think that very many of our presidents ever made it to heaven. I know where Bush and Cheney will end up when it's their time.

I wonder how many lives of innocent people, men, women and children, have been lost as a result of U.S. empire building throughout the world over the history of this country?

Even Bill Clinton has a lot to answer to when it's time for him to meet his maker. Well over a half-million innocent Iraqi children below the age of 5 died directly as a result of the heinous and illegal sanctions that were held against Saddam Hussein during the 1990s. The sanctions were started by George Bush Senior but were continued by the Clinton administration. These sanctions did nothing to hurt Saddam Hussein or his government, but the most vulnerable of the Iraqi population.

SOS Madeleine Albright was asked in an interview if she thought the lives of a half-million Iraqi children under the age of 5 was worth it in punishing Saddam Hussein. She hesitated for a moment and then said "Yes!"
 
 
+4 # Anonymot 2013-12-26 02:07
I hate to say this, but you push me to it. We have had 3 women Sec of State and each has been more fasco than her Presidential handler. Each has been diplomatically inefficient, in fact the greatest failure of each has been a lack of Diplomacy.
 
 
+6 # John S. Browne 2013-12-26 06:31
Excellent, from "Douglas Jack", to answer your question about wondering how many innocent lives have been lost as a result of U.S. empire building, just in Afghanistan alone (until I read this, I had no idea that the numbers were so high in Afghanistan; thus, with the heavy bombings in Iraq just from 2003 to the present, the numbers in Iraq must be at least double of what they are for Afghanistan) [thank you to "Douglas Jack" for this right-on information]:

http://www.countercurrents.org/polya101011.htm

So, if we take the above-reference d numbers and multiply them times the number of various major long-term wars that weren't official wars that the U.S. empire has been involved in, added together with the millions of innocent civilians mass-murdered by the carpet and fire bombing during W.W.2 and the Korean War, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the U.S. government and military, along with their allies, have mass-murdered over ten million innocent civilians; more, not counting American, Russian, French, British and other troops, resistance fighters and civilians, than Hitler was responsible for just from the extermination camps alone. And, if fact, with the numbers of the foregoing article, and those that have to exist for Iraq as well, it has to be a couple, if not several, million OVER ten million. (I had a former U.S. military guy tell me in a thread like this one, that it is much more than ten million.)
 
 
+2 # geraldom 2013-12-26 09:29
You forgot to mention the firebombing of Tokyo, Japan, during WWII. Reference the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Tokyo

Close to 100,000 people were killed in the resulting firestorm and about 125,000 wounded.
 
 
+2 # John S. Browne 2013-12-26 11:09
On the contrary, I did reference it; I just didn't more specifically describe it; and by referencing it as I did, I was addressing both the fire bombing, and carpet bombing, of Japan and Germany; which probably mass-murdered a couple of million all-tolled, or at least one million, but definitely hundreds of thousands at minimum to say the least.
 
 
+5 # John Escher 2013-12-26 10:36
To answer John S. Browne's question, "so why not go all the way and state whether or not he agrees." Because he is a better communicator than John S. Browne, does not rant, does not use such coy expressions as "alCIAduh!" and has the wisdom not to alienate his reader, even to include his reader in a collaborative process known as writing/reading .
 
 
+3 # AndreM5 2013-12-26 11:34
I don't care for the characterizatio n of JSB (we all rant now and then) but I agree that a NEWS reporter is responsible for conveying facts and context, not for expressing opinion. Opinion is not NEWS, just talk. There is far too little of the former, far too much of the latter.
 
 
+1 # John S. Browne 2013-12-26 12:22
"(W)e all rant now and then". Except for people who say little or nothing but to ad hominem attack and/or unjustly criticize people. You can always tell who these people are. They say (almost?) nothing, or very little, that is substantive, and they only state negative personal opinions about their targets, which are usually completely false, knowing that some people will like their criticisms because most people don't like and don't want to hear a lot, if any, truth; believe that some people "shouldn't have" freedom of speech; that they "should be" limited in what they get to say; and/or that they should be censored. Why? Because they have little or no true understanding of and/or respect for free speech; and/or believe that they and certain others should have it, but that those who they don't want to hear from, "shouldn't have it". And THEIR "free speech" should include the "right" to libel and slander people, and/or assassinate and defame their character. In the process, they really have little or nothing substantive to say within the context of the subject matter where they're attacking and/or unjustly criticizing others.
 
 
0 # John Escher 2013-12-26 10:36
To answer John S. Browne's question, "so why not go all the way and state whether or not he agrees." Because he is a better communicator than John S. Browne, does not rant, does not use such coy expressions as "alCIAduh!" and has the wisdom not to alienate his reader, even to include his reader in a collaborative process known as writing/reading .
 
 
0 # John Escher 2013-12-26 10:36
Sorry if there is a repetition.
 
 
+5 # Nick Reynolds 2013-12-26 11:45
If you have a secret police, you will not have freedom and democracy very long.
 
 
+7 # peakchoicedotorg 2013-12-26 14:03
Very good article.

A quibble about Obama.

Obama's first job after Columbia college was for "Business International" corporation, which the New York Times outed in 1977 as a CIA front. The crazy rants about the Muslim socialist alleged background of Obama are diversions from looking at his early training to be part of the Empire. Obama also had Cold Warrior Zbigniew Brzezinski as a mentor at Columbia - Brzezinski was Carter's National Security Advisor and architect of the "long nuclear war" plan ("Presidential Directive 59," signed in 1979).

from another review of "JFK and the Unspeakable"

It is my belief that since the JFK assassination the secret government, the CIA and the [Military Industrial Complex], have been running the show. They have not allowed anyone to become president, from either party, that was not under their control.
-- Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2008/07/jfks-conversion-from-war.html
 
 
+1 # John S. Browne 2013-12-27 00:00
Except for the part about "...crazy rants about the Muslim socialist alleged background of Obama...", I agree with your comment, and I "thumbed-it-up" . It was all part of "...his training to be part of the Empire...", as I made clear in my previous comments. Obama went to Muslim schools in Indonesia, and was raised in a Muslim family during the years of growing up there, before moving to Hawaii, and then on to the U.S. mainland. My bringing out his "al CIAduh(!)" connections make clear, rather than diverting from, the preparation of Obama to be a marionette of and for empire.

Brzezinski was also Obama's national security adviser during his candidacy for the presidency, and is now one of his primary, if not his primary, national security adviser(s) while in office; so Brzezinski was probably in considerable contact with Obama, continuing to mentor and groom him, throughout the years between Columbia and his candidacy for the presidency.

(Continued)
 
 
+4 # John S. Browne 2013-12-27 00:01
Lastly, Bruce Gagnon is right on the money in that statement of his. "Al CIAduh(!)" and the military industrial complex DO run the show now, and don't allow anyone to become a U.S. president, from either side of the aisle, that is not under their absolute control, and/or who is not an entirely willing participant in the global(ist) control grid. Of course, though, there are those ultimately in control above them in the "New World Order (NWO)" pyramid seeking to completely control, subjugate, crush and exterminate most of humanity under it, that I specifically, and nothing but accurately, delineate(d) in my so-called "crazy rants" above.
 
 
+3 # Doubter 2013-12-26 14:17
Shut 'em down!
If you can.
Bet you can't!
 
 
-1 # Avalona22 2013-12-28 10:20
Humanity needs real spiritual leaders who have the interest of the people at heart, we are very far away from this on a national and global scale. This post reminds me of some of the topics covered in "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf-A Handbook On How To Defeat The 1%" by Gabriel of Urantia (http://gabrielofurantia.org/). Very good read and his insights are right on, highly recommend you check it out.
 
 
0 # mjc 2013-12-28 14:03
Just a point of view about Obama, looking at his actions and reactions over the past 5 years or so, he is a VERY cautious man, usually takes the position in the center or to the right of any issue...like health care and is probably fairly easy to win over to whatever issue someone wants to press. Don't believe that he is a focal point leader for empire and grand schemes, schemes for Muslim domination or corporate control.
 
 
0 # wcandler1 2013-12-30 02:58
Yes, Read "JFK and the Unspeakable", "Mary's Mosaic" and contribute to RSN .... it cannot run on goodwill.
 

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