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Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war ... not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women—not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.


A man who cares too much for the human race may find himself living in a hostile environment. His humanity may not be regarded as dangerous so long as his voice cannot be heard by too many people, but if he is eloquent, or if he is in a position to affect the affairs of the nation, then his humanity will be regarded by some men as a great threat.

After the United States ascended to the position of the most powerful military nation in history, in the midst of its accumulation of the most effective death machinery of all time, there occurred the accident of the election of a President who regarded the entire human race with compassion. By the time this happened, the cold war had become our major industry, and the Central Intelligence Agency had become the clandestine arm of our military-industrial complex and, in the process, the most effective assassination machine in the world.

John Kennedy’s efforts to obtain a lasting peace represented the threat of civilian control reasserting itself over the military and industrial power structure which had developed during the years of the cold war. Shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, Kennedy’s hopes died by assassination.

The United States government found nothing sinister about the President’s murder. A youth had been overly exposed to Communist doctrines, and the alien thoughts had goaded him into murdering the President of the United States all by himself. Otherwise, all was well. In fact, things were better than ever, and, in time, the people would be reminded that they had never had it so good.

The counterthrust had taken less than six seconds. There was no risk that the federal government would expose the truth about the President’s murder, because agents of the federal government had participated in it. There was no risk of exposure from the national press, because, having been tossed a lone assassin and presented with an acceptable fable, the press would not go farther and try to digest the indigestible, to think the unthinkable and to question Brutus about the removal of Caesar.

The use of the coup d’état—the murder of a leader by forces within his own government—is as old as government, as old as the struggle of men for power. From modern intelligence agency techniques, however, there has come a new refinement. Through the employment of cover devices and the controlled dissemination of information, the role of the government in assassinations can be effectively concealed.

No longer need Macbeth leave his castle to kill Duncan. He can remain at Inverness until the news arrives about Duncan’s sudden death and about the subsequent killing of the lone assassin. No longer need Brutus go with his associates to the Senate to murder Caesar. He can remain at his home until the couriers arrive with the news of Caesar’s death and of the hot pursuit by Roman soldiers of a lone assassin.

Coups d’état generally have been accomplished by men powerful enough to be free from any fear of retribution. If they did not possess, at the outset, some manner of achieving control over the machinery of government, they would not have initiated the murder of a national leader. The people afterward may be free to make Caesar a god, as they did in Rome, but they must not be free to disturb the men who killed him. In the meantime, the men who sponsored his removal can change the government’s policies to suit their desires, leaving the citizens free to mourn and worship their dead leader.

When the assassination of a national leader is not supported by elements of the government, it is predictable that the government investigation will be effective and relentless. In such a case, if the assassins are not shot at the scene, they will be hunted down and cornered whether in the Amazon jungles or at the North Pole and swiftly brought to justice. All information contributing to the discovery of the whole truth will be welcome. The press and other government agencies will be encouraged to contribute all possible facts to the inquiry. When the criminals are caught, the federal machinery of justice will be firm and uncompromising. Assassinations which do not meet with government approval are subjected to painstaking scrutiny.

However, it is another matter when an assassination is supported by powerful forces within the government. The vaunted protective guard of the President suddenly will have become curiously impotent, for its operation will be known intimately by the assassins. The assassination apparatus will be extraordinarily effective. Federal investigative agents, who within hours can hunt down a man crossing a state line with a stolen loaf of bread, will move like sleepwalkers. High officials reviewing the affair will diligently examine many irrelevant items, such as Lee Harvey Oswald’s “shot” record showing that he had received his smallpox vaccination in 1951,[2] but will casually overlook the most pertinent evidence relating to the assassination. Perhaps from the news media there will be an occasional editorial on violence in the streets.

When an assassination is not authorized by the government but has been committed extragovernmentally, an investigative agency which is independent of the government will be regarded as the most natural of allies, very possibly a source of more information to help bring the criminals to justice.

However, when an assassination has been supported by elements of the government, an independent investigation is as welcome as a snake dropped inside one’s shirt. The independent investigators, rather than the assassins, are the criminals. Every possible government agency will be used in the counterattack against the menace presented by an outside inquiry. Major news agencies will be persuaded to join the assault against the outrageous new development. An investigation which seeks the truth presents a survival problem to the government. Whatever tasks are required to destroy the public’s confidence in the investigation and, ultimately, to destroy the investigation itself will be undertaken.

In a country with advanced technology for news distribution, the removal of a nation’s leader by a coup d’état will never be attempted unless those sponsoring the murder feel assured that they will have an effective degree of control over the dissemination of the news. Government control must be at a high enough level to guarantee the subsequent distribution of official news releases encouraging the belief that, however tragic the incident, it was essentially meaningless and all is well.

The high speed of news dissemination is used to great advantage in contemporary intelligence assassinations. The official fiction can be spread to every corner of the world and obtain acceptance as reality long before any separate inquiry, if one ever occurs, is begun. The sheerest illusion is spun into the only reality the public will ever know.

Creation of a believable cover for an assassination is routine for an intelligence agency of a major government. The cover story which is initially distributed by the press release creates a degree of acceptance virtually impossible to dislodge. This is the case especially when the official fiction is supported by the prearranged activities of a decoy pointing in the direction of a false sponsor of the assassination.

The actual events of the assassination become irrelevant. All that remains relevant is the cover story issued to the press and the power to control the investigation and conceal the evidence.

A new political instrument has been created. It provides for the permanent removal of men whose philosophies do not coincide with that of the dominant power structure of the United States. The danger that the press will recognize what is happening and will make relevant criticism has been demonstrated to be zero. The thinnest of covers will set the press off in the direction opposite to the truth, like greyhounds pursuing the artificial rabbit. The victim can be dispatched with a shotgun and an official announcement that it was done with a bow and arrow will produce editorials condemning the careless use of bows and arrows.

No one wants to recognize that somewhere along the line America has ceased to be the home of the brave and the land of the free, and that only in after-dinner speeches is it still the sweet land of liberty. No one wants to recognize that there are assassins at work in the land, systematically eliminating men who speak out for the human race and for the future. No one wants to admit that in America peace is dangerous business. Better to have the assassinations accompanied by wafer-thin deceptions, eagerly accepted one after the other, than to have to face the truth.

Justice is not so blind that it pursues the most powerful forces in the country. Nor is the press so committed to truth that it wants the burden of knowledge of what is happening.

America has become a nation controlled by men who seek ever-increasing power. Justice is whatever they want to happen. Truth is whatever they announce has occurred.

In Munich, while the government wrenched out the gold teeth of the freshly murdered masses at nearby Dachau, judges excoriated pickpockets and sent them to prison. In Washington, as the assassinations occurred, the men in government engaged in poised debates over daylight saving time and discussed with aplomb new laws to end the violence in the streets.

Even before the sun set in Dallas on the day of the assassination, the leaders of our government knew that President Kennedy was not killed by Lee Oswald. The overwhelming majority of witnesses at the scene,[3] the doctors at Parkland Hospital[4] and the Zapruder film, hidden for years from the eyes of the American people,[5] made it perfectly clear that the fatal shot came from the front.

Federal officials were silent about witness reports which contradicted the official fiction, just as they were later silent when Oswald, in turn, was murdered so that he could never talk. What motivated these cardboard men who had nothing to say when the President was torn apart and justice once more was hanged from the scaffold—and then hanged again?

As the President’s limousine turned right from Main Street onto Houston, gunmen waited at Dealey Plaza. In other towns and cities men glanced at their watches and waited for the news bulletin. At the corner of Elm the car made a sharp left turn past the Texas School Book Depository. President Kennedy had about ten seconds left....

Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war ... not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women—not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.

Suddenly these were only words.

  1. [] Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy (New York, Harper & Row, 1965), p. 731.
  2. [] John E. Pic Exhibit 59, H, XXI, 123.
  3. [] Of the 90 persons who were asked the question of where the shots came from, 58 said the shots came from the grassy knoll, while the remaining 32 said they came from other places. See Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment (New York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1966), p. 37.
  4. [] Vincent J. Salandria, “The Head Wounds of President Kennedy,” Liberation (March, 1965), pp. 26-32.
  5. [] Although a poor copy of the Zapruder film is now available for examination at the National Archives in Washington, D.C, in 8mm., 16 mm. and slide form, only duly authorized scholars and researchers can obtain permission to view the films. Life has yet to release the film for motion picture viewing by the general public.
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