Skip to main content

I just finished reading JFK and the Unspeakable (JFK&U). It left me with a nagging sense of déjà vu. While JFK&U does go over a lot of assassination minutiae, its major contribution (IMHO) is to lay out all the actions that JFK took (and was about to take) to get out of Viet Nam before it became a quagmire, to break the suicidal momentum of the Cold War, and to generally wind down the influence of the military-industrial complex (MIC) (including support industries, like Big Steel), and especially the CIA.

In 2008, the American people voted for Obama because they wanted to get out of a similar open-ended, escalating, ideological "war on terror", and they wanted to reduce the influence of the F.I.R.E. (Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate) corporations (as well as the MIC) that have been sucking the life out of the middle class.

Below the fold, we’ll see how that’s been working out.


This diary, like many things I write, uses an historical ANALOGY. This diary is NOT about the Kennedy assassination; I'm not here to discuss the minutiae of Dallas. But, the diary does build upon Oswald’s widely-reported self-characterization:

"I'm just a patsy." - Lee Harvery Oswald

Almost 50 years on, we are finally getting access to the records about the JFK assassination. New material from American, post-Soviet Russian, and Cuban sources has blown away what little credibility the Warren Commission report had left.

The latest Gallup poll in 2003 showed that an incredible 75 percent of the American people reject the findings of the Warren Commission and believe there was a conspiracy in the assassination. Only 19 percent believe that Oswald acted alone.

- Vincent Bugliosi, The Assassination of JFK

So, if you want to read this essay and you are part of the NINETEEN PERCENT who still think Oswald was a brilliant planner, a fabulous marksman, and a lone nut, just pretend that "Oswald the Patsy" is some character in a novel or a movie, like "The Manchurian Candidate".


JFK&U does everyone a service by looking at the entire political context of the assassination - something that the 20 year olds today have never heard before, because the discussion has been smashed down to partisan fanatics brawling over minutiae about bullets and autopsy results.

Mr. Douglass, OTOH, paints a convincing picture of the 180-degree turn away from peace after the assassination. JFK was moving America away from the permanent war state; LBJ gave the MIC everything it asked for. He greenlighted the massacre in Indonesia, escalated in Viet Nam, and backed off working with Kruschev and Castro to reduce tensions. These actions guaranteed another 25 years of the Cold War.

1. What were JFK's politics?

JFK was president at the height of the Cold War, when generals were pushing for nuclear first strikes and invasions of Cuba, when the CIA was overthrowing governments with proxy armies, agents provocateur, and false-flag operations. But JFK tried to take things in a different direction:

...every move Kennedy made was anti-war.  This, Douglass argues, was because JFK, a war hero, had been deeply affected by the horror of war and was severely shaken by how close the world had come to destruction during the Cuban missile crisis. Throughout his life he had been touched by death and had come to appreciate the fragility of life.  Once in the Presidency, Kennedy underwent a deep metanoia, a spiritual transformation, from Cold Warrior to peace maker.  He came to see the generals who advised him as devoid of the tragic sense of life and as hell-bent on war.  And he was well aware that his growing resistance to war had put him on a dangerous collision course with those generals and the CIA.  On numerous occasions he spoke of the possibility of a military coup d’etat against him.

- Edward Curtin, a review of JFK and the Unspeakable

JFK also went to the mat with the steel industry over price hikes, earning the undying emnity of the business class with his widely reported quote:

"My father always told me that all businessmen were sons-of-bitches, but I never believed it until now."

- JFK during the steel crsis, quoted in NYT, April 23, 1962.

The bottom line, according to James Douglass, was that JFK was anti-war and pro-labor - and it cost him his life. The assassination did not come out of nowhere; it was the effect and Kennedy's political actions were the cause.

2. How did the public receive JFK's politics?

Short answer: like rain in the desert.

Long answer: individual citizens on all sides wanted peaceful coexistence. They wanted to live and let live, rather than be incinerated en masse for the sake of an ideology. But military men, and the industries that served them - on both sides of the Cold War - pushed for nuclear confrontation. In the U.S., the Constitution was an inconvenience to the MIC. Plans like the infamous and un-Constitutional Operation Northwoods were seriously proposed by the rabid rightwing leadership of the military.

3. Where is this analogy going? What does it have to do with today?

Just as in the Cold War, the people of the U.S. want peace. They want an end to the fruitless and contrived "War on Terror"; and, like JFK, they believe there are less war-like policy alternatives to ever-increasing military budgets and ever-decreasing civil liberties. Americans also want an end to the ruinous class war from above that has all but bankrupted the middle class. (More personally, the want the same healthcare that the rest of the first world enjoys.)

Obama received a large majority of votes, vs the GOP ticket, because he was perceived to be the "peace" candidate, the middle-class candidate, the "sensible" candidate, the candidate who would deliver what the public wanted. And, even though his proponents will deny it, he was PERCEIVED to be the "progressive" candidate, the "Camelot"-redux candidate.

I started out hoping for Obama to succeed. Now, I can only hope that he will not fail disastrously. This essay is a call to him to wake up.

In my analogy, the American people play the role of JFK. In the face of demands for "permanent war" by the Military-Media-Industrial-Insurance Corporate Complex (MIC-squared), the people want to put an end to these wars that are draining the blood out of our middle class nation.

So here is the analogy. After the last month of war escalation, DOJ cave-ins, HCR stabs-in-the-back, (fill in your worst outrages here), the kindest take I can muster for Obama is that he MUST be a patsy. No one could be this obtuse about who elected him, the context of his election, and what is expected of him if he were not being coached to play a role. Of course, surrounded by "the bubble" of the WH and the Goldman Sachs bubble inside that, Obama is oblivious to the fact that he is being coached at all. He THINKS he's doing the right thing.

Think about it. The corporations show NO loyalty to this country. They have all but privatized the military and made it into a bunch of corporate mercenaries. They have already moved their profits offshore and their factories to China. They are preparing to dump us. Given that, would you really want to be a pro-corporate President when the corporations can decide, at the drop of a hat, that it just isn't worth any more of their profits to keep the charade of America going anymore? Not unless you THINK you are doing something good and patriotic, just like Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) did – in the well-understood scenario on which I’m hanging this ANALOGY.

I'm not the first person to come to the conclusion that Obama is being set up:

Obama and Democrats seem to think they're securing the long-term support of the corporate establishment, they think they're consolidating their power, but they're walking right into a trap.  They're being set up to fail, they're being set up to take the blame when everything implodes.  

Darkness at Noon

4. So, who are Obama’s "handlers"?

One doesn't have to look very far to find quite a lot of handlers. As doesn't need repeating, the Obama Administration is crawling with Goldman Sachs alumni. And, there is the on-going GOP control of the Defense Department via Defense Secretary Gates, and the appointment of Cheney's assassin master McCrystal. The most blatant handler is Rahm Emmanuel, who has recently declared his total contempt for the left wing of the party and his willingness to negotiate with the GOP, but not his own progressive wing.

It seems that no matter whom the American public elects, it finds the same bunch of warmongers and Wall St. pirates still in charge. But, this should be no surprise, because all this was already in place 50 years ago:

While the president struggled to push his newly found politics of peace past the anti-communist priorities of the CIA, that creature from the depths of the Cold War kept sprouting new arms to stop him. As in Vietnam, the CIA agents operating in other branches of the government...How had the CIA's covert arms been grafted onto these other parts of the government...

Air Force headquarters...set up a Pentagon office to proovide military support for the clandestine operations of the CIA...CIA Director Allen Dulles was its actual creator...Dulles got (Colonel Fletcher Prouty) to create a network of subordinate... offices in the armed services, then throughout the entire US government. Each office that Prouty set up was put under a "cleared" CIA employee. That person took orders directly from the CIAZ but functioned under the cover of his particular office and branch of government...

The consequence...was that the CIA had placed a secret team of its own employees throgh the entire US government. It was accountable to no one except the CIA, headed by Allen Dulles...

- JFK and the Unspeakable,  pp 196-7

What are Max Baucus, Joe Lieberman, and the rest of the Blue Dogs but a team that is accountable only to its corporate masters? Even as they block the American public's expressed wishes (70%+ poll numbers for the public option; majorities for not escalating in Afghanistan), MICsquared and Wall St. (i.e., corporatists) are busy setting up the financial assassination of that pesky, meddlesome public – that  middle class which wants neither permanent war, nor war on their civil liberties, their neglected infrastructure, their livelihoods, and their savings.

In the best traditions of plausible deniability, the PTB have been planning to blame the whole mess on the Democratic Party.

Just as JFK knew the MIC was plotting against him, the American public today knows that corporations are plotting against them. Just like JFK, they don’t know exactly where the hit is coming, but they know its out there.

5. Moving the Patsy into Position

In attempts to excuse Obama's actions, many have talked about "the situation he has inherited". But, I am more interested in the economic bureaucracy he has inherited. The hermetic seal of the Goldman Sachs bubble reminds me of the handlers that surrounded and facilitated the manufacturing of the "legend" of LHO.

There are cases where a person may attempt to infiltrate a target organization, with a well-prepared synthetic identity for them, called a "legend" in tradecraft.)

- legend

...the CIA took its own secret steps...toward setting up Lee Harvey Oswald as an identifiable Soviet-and-Cuban-directed assassin of the president. "Sheepdipping", the process whereby sheep are plunged into a liquid to destroy parasites, had been applied in its intelligence sense to Oswald in New Orleans. There Oswald's potentially incriminating associations in Fort Worth and Dallas...with the White Russian community were expunged in the pool of Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba dramatics.

- JFK and the Unspeakable, p74

We were distracted from Obama's corporate handlers by the convenient controversy with Jeremiah Wright and the endless horserace with HRC. We heard a lot of progressive-sounding campaign speeches that, a year later, have turned out to be worthless. Once again, progressives have been right all along, but no one has listened. Its Iraq and WMDs all over again.

Before his 2004 Senate campaign (interesting in itself - see Appendix 2), Obama was a complete nobody on the national stage. His political biography during the Presidential race was the equivalent of a Potemkin village or a stage set. The question is not whether he has a "legend". The question is: who paid for it and why?

6. Paymasters and 11-dimensional chess

Given the total lack of mainstream investigative journalism and the high death rate among whistelblowers these days, questions of motivation (the "why") can be little more than a matter of speculation. Until there is hard, first-person evidence about the "why", it is only fit for conspiracy theorists to discuss. But the fact remains that Wall St. and the MIC-squared have paid, and continue to pay for BHO to play out this patsy scenario. The media gives him just enough traction to establish that he is responsible; but it never gives him enough traction to expose the GOP for the bunch of obstructionists, racists, and seccessionists that they are.

Once one thinks about "handlers" and "controlled media", all the talk about multi-dimensional chess takes on a new meaning. IMHO, the 11-D chess isn't being played by Obama; its being played by the people who are maneuvering Obama into his role as patsy. The author of "Darkness at Noon" puts it similarly:

Obama isn't playing 12 dimensional chess, he's playing Russian Roulette with a bullet in every chamber.  

One would have to be either delusional or a clueless and loyal patsy to think that this disaster of Health Care "Reform" would not be extremely harmful to the Democratic Party across the board. With the awareness rising on the ACTUAL tax on the middle class that will be imposed to pay for this, the Dems are being made to look exactly like the GOP caricature of them. As the author of that piece asks:

How can a tax ("mandate") on the middle class BY & FOR CORPORATIONS be called "reform" by Democrats?

7. Collateral Damage - the Democratic Party

The answer is that it can't. The "mandate" is setting up the Democratic Party and progressives as co-conspirators in the murder of the middle class, just as Russia and Cuba were set up by Oswald's coat-trailing at the Russian and Cuban embassies. (More detail on that can be found in Appendix 1.)

In the case of JFK, the framed "co-conspirators" were nuclear armed and willing to fight back; and the replacement president, LBJ, had some measure of humanity.

One must give the CIA (and the assassination sponsors that were even further in the shadows) their due for having devised and executed a brilliant setup. They had played out a scenario to Kennedy's death in Dallas that pressured other government authorities to choose among three major options: a war of vengeance against Cuba and the Soviet Union based on the CIA's false Mexico City documentation of a Communist assassination plot; a domestic political war based on the documents truly seen, but a war the CIA would fight with every covert weapon at its command; or a complete cover-up of any conspiracy evidence and a sitent coup d'etat that would reverse Kennedy's efforts to end the Cold War. Lyndon Johnson, for his part, took little time to choose the only option he felt would leave him with a country to govern.

- JFK and the Unspeakable, p 81.

The whole concept of a menu of bad choices might explain how BHO, a  "Constitutional scholar" has decided not to prosecute John Yoo, has decided to continue the Orwellian "Patriot Act", has decided to bring the status of "enemy combatant" into the U.S. prison system. Perhaps, as many on this board have suggested, its because the PTB have shown him "the Bill Hicks movie". Fine, I’m willing to listen to such a suggestion. But don’t tell me these actions are 11-D chess.

The evisceration of the Constitution will come into its own after the economic shit really hits the fan, sometime in the next year or so (can you say "Shock Doctrine"?), the PTB will be free of that pesky middle class and any semblance of civil rights. (Take your pick on the cause of demise: dollar collapse, oil price spike, another stock market bubble popping, commercial real estate bubble popping, alternative currency pushes the dollar aside, massive inflation from all the debt...) If you want a worst-case scenario, read the uber-cassandra, James Kunstler:

My guess is that (Christmas) sales were dismal. Reports of such will start a train of events that sends many retail companies careening into bankruptcy, including some national chains, leading to lost leases in malls and strip malls, leading to a final push off the cliff for commercial real estate, leading to the failure of many local and regional banks, leading to the bankrupt FDIC having to go to congress directly to get more money to bail out the depositors, leading again to rising interest rates for US treasuries, leading to higher mortgage interest rates for whoever out there is crazy enough to venture to buy a house with borrowed money, leading to the probability that there are few of the foregoing, leading to another hard leg down in house values because so few are now crazy enough to buy a house in the face of falling prices - all of this leading to the recognition that we have entered a serious depression...      

This depression will be a classic deleveraging, or resolution of debt. Debt will either be paid back or defaulted on.  Since a lot can't be paid back, a lot of it will have to be defaulted on, which will make a lot of money disappear, which will make many people a lot poorer.

- Forecast 2010

In spite of the opportunity presented, the PTB will continue the charade of two party politics in 2012. But, unlike with LBJ, there will be absolutely no reason for the PTB not to "go nuclear" on the Democratic Party for the second and FINAL economic meltdown that occurred on "their watch". Come 2012, the MIC-squared could run a Palin-Bachman ticket and win. Of course, no one will be left standing to fight a "domestic poltical war" with the MICsquared/Wall St. alliance. And, just like the last time, the coverup (that those dirty, hippy, liberals did it) will stick.

That's my analogy, and I'm sticking to it.

Barack Hussein Obama, meet Lee Harvey Oswald. You are about to become infamous. Please, wake up and smell the coffee.


Appendix 1: Using LHO to implicate Russia and Cuba

As LHO was being set up as an individual scapegoat, so too was the Soviet Union, together with its less powerful ally, Cuba, being portrayed as the evil empire behind the president's murder...On November 18, the Soviet Embassy in Washington rec eived a crudely typed, badly spelled letter dated nine days earlier and signed by "Lee H. Oswald:" of Dallas. The timing of the letter's arrival was no accident. Its contents made it a Cold War propaganda bomb whose trigger would be President Kennedy's assassination. Read in the context of Dallas four days later, the text of the letter seemed to implicate the Soviet Union in conspiring with Oswald to murder the U.S president.

- JFK and the Unspeakable,   p 227

...Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin sent Moscow. Ira subject was the suspicious Oswald letter received by the Soviet Embassy four days before the assasination. Dobrynin cabled:

"This letter was clearly a provocation: it gives the impression we had close ties with Oswald  and were using him for some purpose of our own...The suspicion that the letter is a forgery is heighted by the fact that it was typed...One gets the definite impression that the letter was concocted by those who, judging from everything, are involved in the President's assassination.

- JFK and the Unspeakable, p 230


Appendix 2: Obama's route to national prominence

Continuing with the analogy, about putting patsies in place, its time to compare BHO's route to the WH with LHO's route to Dallas. Its easiest to begin when BHO first stuck out from the ordinary.

In 2006 - two years before the Presidential election, when everyone thought the nomination was Hillary's (HRC) to lose - a whole lot of big money backed this long-shot candidate BHO, and kept backing him for a whole year before the grassroots money came in big. People like Zbigniew Brezizinski (can you say uber-Cold Warrior) signed on to advise him.

Now think back to 2004, when Howard Dean generated $50 M on his own hook: the Powers That Be (PTB) ordered up a media assassination. Is it unreasonable, with hindsight of his actions in 2009, that the PTB gave BHO the money because they KNEW he was little more than a soft-spoken Blue Dog Democrat? Because they knew he would be completely in their pocket? (Remember how we were told that Joe Lieberman being his "mentor" really meant nothing? Gee, then why did Rahm Emmanuel tell Harry Reid to roll over for Traitor Joe, time after time?) The whole "cutout" routine that Rahm is running has tradecraft stamped all over it.

Looking backwards in time from 2006, BHO's major "accomplishment" was giving a good speech at the 2004 convention - a convention that was supposedly about giving publicity to John Kerry. Wasn't it just amazing how the in-the-bag-for-Bush corporate media gave him all that airplay for that speech, even as they mercilessly trashed Kerry?

BHO's other major accomplishment was "winning" his Senate seat in 2004, after the convention. Wasn't it amazing how his opponent, Jack Ryan (is Tom Clancy writing BHO's legend?) was sunk by a seamy revelation from his hot, TV star wife in a juicy divorce proceeding?

when Ryan's Senate campaign began, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and WLS-TV, the local ABC affiliate, sought to have the records released... Jack Ryan has characterized what happened to him as a "new low for politics in America". According to Ryan, it was unprecedented in American politics for a newspaper to sue for access to sealed custody documents. Ryan opposed unsealing the divorce records of Senator John Kerry during Kerry's race against George W. Bush in 2004, and Kerry's divorce records remained sealed.

- Wikipedia

Interestingly, Ryan was sunk so far into the campaign (late June) that BHO wound up running against that hopeless fruitcake, Alan Keyes. A ham sandwich with a "D" behind its name could have won that race.

Just two facts for your consideration: 1) the Chicago Tribune has been a relentless GOP paper for longer than I’ve been alive – and they investigated the REPUBLICAN in the race?; 2)  Jack Ryan became a centi-millionaire by "working" for Goldman Sachs. They really do have both sides bought and paid for.

Originally posted to arendt on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 05:23 PM PST.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site