American Coup d'État
To mark the events of four dozen years ago today, a reposting of last year's thoughts, fresh after reading one of the greatest books I had ever read — Supplying the Motive Behind the Murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy:
- Until reading James W. Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, I had never given the assassination of the thirty-fifth president much thought. He was, I thought, just as much of an empty suit as our current president and just as much a philanderer as the last member of his party to occupy the Oval Office. Why would anyone besides a lone nut have wanted him dead?
Mr. Douglass, a theologian, proves beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Kennedy had a conversion experience after the Cuban Missile Crisis and became a heretic to what the author calls "Cold War theology." John F. Kennedy's co-conspirator was none other than Nikita Khrushchev, with whom he maintained a secret correspondance. Both leaders faced fierce opposition within their own governments; one was assassinated and the other ousted the following year.
Mr. Douglass, whose last chapter has 937 footnotes, delves into the conspiracy behind the presidential murder in great detail. It becomes clear that it was an inside job. (Either that, or Lee Harvey Oswald was at the head of a vast conspiracy involving hundreds of people, many of whom would sacrifice their own lives, organized to makes us believe he was the "pasty" he claimed to be.)
One of the most interesting features of the book is its structure: rather than a straight chronological narrative, the main events are revisited again and again, each time offering deeper insights. For example, while we learn early in the book about the above-mentioned secret correspondance, we do not learn of the bold proposal that would have effectively ended the Cold War (and put a lot of powerful people out of work) until the very last pages.
"A remarkable story that changed the way I view the world," said Flags of Our Fathers author James Bradley of the book. For me, this remarkable story confirmed the way I view the world, but changed the way I view President Kennedy, and I am thankful for that.
- "Can anyone who has said that he will disclose military secrets [as Oswald said to the Soviet Union] return to the United States without being sent to jail?" asked el Máximo Líder, quoted by James W. Douglass in Orbis Books' JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. More:
- How strange that this former marine should go to the Soviet Union and try to become a Soviet citizen, and that the Soviets should not accept him, that he should say at the American Embassy that he intended to disclose to the Soviet Union the secrets of everything he learned while he was in the U.S. service and that in spite of this statement, his passage is paid by the U.S. Government... He goes back to Texas and finds a job. This is all so strange!
- James W. Douglass casts an entirely new light on the pivotal events of that year in Orbis Books' JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.
The Buddhist Crisis began with with a bombing of a Buddhist protest against Diệm's régime in Huế, which the Buddhists blamed on the Catholic president, who in turn blamed it on the Viet Cong. The crisis spread and the country was quickly destabilized. Autopsies of victims show the wounds were consistent with plastic explosives, which were possessed only by the C.I.A., à la Graham Greene's prophetic novel, The Quiet American.
These events occurred at a time when both Catholic presidents were making clear signals that it was time for the American presence to end. By the end of the year, both Catholic presidents had been assassinated within a few weeks of each other.
- Lew Rockwell talks to James W. Douglass, author of Orbis Books' JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, which "demonstrates that John F. Kennedy was assassinated not by the usual 'lone nut,' himself killed by another lone nut, but because he turned towards peace" — Why Was JFK Murdered?
Let us remember that a young John F. Kennedy had been a member of the America First Committee, "the largest popular antiwar organization in U.S. history," as Bill Kauffman tells us in Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism.