Thursday, October 8, 2015

The CIA Keeps (Accidentally) Legitimizing JFK Conspiracy Theories

It is somewhat lost to history what a writhing ball of snakes the national security establishment was during the three years of John F. Kennedy's presidency, especially after the collapse of the Bay of Pigs invasion and, subsequently, Kennedy's rejection of that establishment's more bellicose proposals during the Cuban Missile Crisis. These were the days of Operation Northwoods, a proposal from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to manufacture a casus belli that would have so inflamed American public opinion as to make an invasion of Cuba inevitable. One of the possibilities suggested in the memo was blowing up John Glenn on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral. The memo is stored in the archives of the Kennedy Library in Boston. I've held it in my hand. It is an altogether remarkable government document, and it made it all the way up the policy chain to the Secretary of Defense before Robert McNamara turned it off. That's what it was like back in those days.

(Which is not to say the Kennedy brothers didn't contribute to the atmosphere in their own way, with their off-the-books attempts to rid the world of Fidel Castro.)

So it should be no surprise that, after the president was murdered in Dallas, the national security establishment's first objective was not to tell the truth to the American people about how their president was snuffed in broad daylight. It was to concoct fictions and diversions, most devoted to bureaucratic ass-covering. This brings us to Philip Shenon's report today in the magazine version of Tiger Beat On The Potomac, in which Shenon tells us of how John McCone, who was put in charge of the CIA after Kennedy fired Allen Dulles, did all he could to bury "incendiary" information where the bumbling Warren Commission couldn't find it.​

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