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Confronting The Madness of Our Military
June 9, 1968
Speech by Vincent J. Salandria in Central Park, New York City
Original Copy of typewritten speech draft.

People, how can it be that diverse madmen, such as the candidates we are asked to accept as the murderers of the four martyrs whom we honor today, are so focused in their madness that they shoot only those great men who are joined with one common thread—dedication to sparing mankind from the oppression and violence visited upon it by our warlords? One would expect madmen—if they are the random products of a generally sick society—to be more diversified in their choice of targets. Friends, human affairs are not guided by ravaging streams of diverse and melancholy madness such as serve the unvarying purpose of killing the most important enemies of our military. If the motivation be madness, then it is the madness of our military.

A Reuters Dispatch from Moscow on June 8 states:

“The Soviet press is building a picture of the killing of Senator Robert F, Kennedy as part of a plot to eliminate all serious opposition to present Washington policies. A flood of articles and reports in newspapers on the assassination have linked it openly with the murder of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tennessee in April.”

Now, long before the Russians saw fit to voice this view, almost all the people who have investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy recognized that the killing was motivated by the desire to perpetuate the Cold war which President Kennedy sought to end. We feel that the shooting of President Kennedy was a foreign policy killing done at the behest of military circles in the United States and executed by operatives under the control and in the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency.

What changed following the assassination of President Kennedy was our foreign policy and our form of government. Three weeks after the assassination the junta leaders in Saigon were told that the United States was prepared to help as long as aid was needed. We had made the critical decision to reverse the policy announced at the end of the Kennedy administration to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam. In Latin America, the Johnson government immediately signaled the end of Kennedyism by supporting the military regimes in the Dominican Republic and Brazil. The Gulf of Tonkin incident was generated by the military as a monumental fraud—perpetrated on an all-too-unskeptical Congress—to provide excuse for further escalation in Vietnam. So President Kennedy’s courageous efforts to end the Cold War were shot down with him, and the Cold War then grew in intensity and the democratic processes in the United States eroded in favor of more power to the military.

Thanks to a bill which became law over the objections of McNamara, as of January 1, 1969, our Joint Chiefs will enjoy a four-year term, and the President will no longer be able to fire them, as in the past, at his discretion. Such a law reverses the traditional constitutional pattern in the United States of civilian control over the military.

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. has stated the sharp difference in military position following the assassination of President Kennedy.

“There is nothing infallible about the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I know what they recommended during great crises of the Kennedy Administration... and in each case their recommendations were plainly wrong. President Kennedy took their advice on his great decisions once—before the Bay of Pigs. He did not make that mistake again... This sudden worship of the military is not in the American tradition. When General MacArthur carried his campaign for the escalation of the Korean War to Congress and the public, President Truman fired him.”

I submit that the military fired John F. Kennedy. Is such an idea crazy? President Kennedy did not consider a military take-over an absurd idea. In Paul B. Fay, Jr.’s book. The Pleasure of His Company, President Kennedy was quoted as saying on this subject,

“It’s possible. It could happen in this country, but the conditions would have to be just right. If, for example, the country had a young President, and he had a Bay of Pigs... Then if there were another Bay of Pigs, the reaction of the country would be, ‘Is he too young and inexperienced?’ The military would almost feel that it was their patriotic obligation to stand ready to preserve the integrity of the nation... Then, if there were a third Bay of Pigs, it could happen. But it won’t happen on my watch.”

There was a Bay of Pigs in which the CIA betrayed President Kennedy. There was a detente with Russia, followed by a test ban treaty which encountered heavy military resistance. And when Kennedy sought to change the Vietnam policy, he was himself fired by the military—killed on his watch. Upon his death, the military became the dominant force in our government. Clayton Fritchey said this on December 10, 1967: “There’s also much talk about McNamara’s resignation being an ominous omen of what’s ahead. Actually it is more of a confirmation of what already happened. His departure does not mean that the military are going to gain the ascendancy. It means they already have.” It is my contention that the guns of Dallas were designed to accomplish this military consolidation of power in the United States.

In the afternoon of November 22, 1963 the first announcement that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of president Kennedy came from the Pentagon’s Situation Room of the White House. The communication was sent by military radio to the Presidential Party which was flying back from Dallas to Washington. Now, before there was any evidence against Oswald, and before the military could possibly know (unless he was their agent) that Oswald had no accomplices, the Pentagon was prepared to assert finally that Oswald was the man who had fired all those guns from all those different cross-fire directions in Dallas. So then, is it not reasonable to infer that the American military invented the Oswald hoax?

The killing of Senator Kennedy, when the White House became his realistic aim, was no surprise to the Kennedy Assassination investigators. John Kennedy’s enemies had to be Robert Kennedy’s enemies, and they had to act at this critical juncture to assassinate him before he became President, at which point he would have been able to do battle with those forces in our government which killed his brother and are militarizing and brutalizing our society.

Fascist-military assassination is not a new phenomenon in history. Benito Mussolini’s Fascists, in fighting their way to dictatorial power over all of Italy, in 1924 assassinated Giacomo Matteotti, the distinguished socialist deputy. Matteotti, like the Kennedys, was a millionaire, and like the Kennedys his great wealth did not spare him from the bullets of the brutes. Matteotti, like the Kennedys, hated war, and this made him the enemy of the military. Matteotti, like the Kennedys, was assassinated by Fascist-militarists in his government.

This military type assassination had its parallel in the government of Japan in 1935, when 1400 officers and men of the Japanese military committed bloodthirsty deeds of assassination against their civilian political opponents. These assassinations helped pave the way for Japanese military ascendency to power.

Why the killing of JFK, Malcom X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Kennedy? These good men were serious about leading their people and preventing their oppression. In order to make the military apparatus of the United States relevant to our population, disorder and chaos among the blacks are desired by the CIA and the military. If the military can fight racial guerrilla wars in our cities, as they are planning to do, then they can parade under the guise of white civilization protecting the society from black uncivilized hoards. To deprive the black population of its finest leaders, leaves the black community confused and prey to agent provocateurs. The CIA and FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies would cause the black people to enter violent adventuristic enterprises designed to end in the destruction of our black population.

Let us join together, blacks and whites, to think on the work of our four martyrs. Let us build on that work. Let us rebuild this society sparked by inspiration provided by these courageous men. Let us not delay in this coming together. Time is short. The guns are quick. Those assassins’ guns smashed through black skulls and white skulls and spewed out a single red color which shows the kinship of all mankind. If we do not quickly join together, brothers the guns will pick us off one by one, and join us together in death. This is the lesson to be learned from the killing of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, Dr. King and Senator Kennedy.

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