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Assassination Season Is Open


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The first half of this New York Times op-ed article discusses political assassinations

in general. The second half discusses the Kennedy assassination in particular.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/...EARY&st=cse

Best Assassination movies

By: Joe Holleman: Life Sherpa

St. Louis Today

April 16, 2010

http://interact.stltoday.com/blogzone/yakk...hit-man-movies/

Sometimes, a lot of times, the best ideas come from readers. About a week ago, a reader wrote to the Life Sherpa: “While watching a movie this weekend with my husband, I began to wonder why so many movies have been made about assassins. What is the appeal of assassin movies? Maybe you can make a Top Ten list …”

Well, sure, why not?

To make it a bit more challenging, I made a few rules. First, the movie could not simply be a hit-man movie, there had to be a specific assassination plot. Second, the word “assassination” is defined the killing of a public figure, so we’re not talking about whacking a mobster or private citizen. Finally, the assassination had to be the central plot device, so excellent biopics that culminate in assassinations, like “Malcolm X” and “All the King’s Men” (1949 version), were not considered. With all that behind us, the list lies ahead of us:

When Chevy was funny

10. Foul Play (1978): Why not start out this serious subject with a comedy. Chevy Chase is a San Francisco detective and Goldie Hawn is a librarian who gets caught up in a plot to kill the Pope. Dudley Moore is hilarious as a symphony conductor with some unusual sexual inclinations.

9. The Parallax View (1974): Warren Beatty plays a newspaper reporter who becomes suspicious after a woman who says she has information about a senator’s assassination ends up committing suicide (maybe). His probing leads to his discovery of a shadowy company. Good performances from Beatty and Hume Cronyn.

Chairman of the Hit

8. Blow Out (1981): OK, the assassination of the governor/presidential candidate happens right away, but the follow-up investigation by sound engineer John Travolta, who was collecting stock sounds and inadvertently captures the killing on tape, is a top-notch thriller from Brian DePalma.

7. Suddenly (1954): This little-seen film stars Frank Sinatra as psychotic hit man John Baron, who takes a family hostage in a small California town, as he waits for the president to arrive for a nearby fishing trip. One of Sinatra’s better performances. (His best is coming up.)

6. JFK (1991): There are holes in this movie that are big enough to drive a truck through, with room to spare on the sides. But Oliver Stone’s over-the-top celluloid rant about the Kennedy assassination is filled with strong performances, especially from Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Kevin Costner as D.A. Jim Garrison.

5. The Bourne Identity (2002): Let’s not forget that this excellent film begins with the botched attempt by programmed killer Jason Bourne to kill former African dictator Wombosi. After being shot several times during the attempt, Bourne returns to Europe to find out his true identity.

Good book, good movie

4. Day of the Jackal (1973): Based on a popular book by Frederick Forsyth, Edward Fox stars as “The Jackal,” a professional killer who attempts to kill French president Charles de Gaulle. An excellent film with a relatively unknown cast, it was directed by Fred Zinnemann, who also helmed “High Noon” and “Man For All Seasons.”

3. In the Line of Fire (1993): Clint Eastwood stars in this gripping tale of an aging Secret Service agent who has to thwart a plot to kill the president, even though his colleagues think he’s too old. John Malkovich shines as the brilliant and disturbed killer who baits Eastwood along the way.

2. Taxi Driver (1976): Robert De Niro’s frightening performance as disillusioned cabbie Travis Bickle carries Martin Scorsese’s unflinching look at the growing violence in American society. After being turned down by the U.S. senator’s comely aide (Cybil Shepherd) and a child prostitute (Jodie Foster), Bickle decides to assassinate the senator.

1. The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Some brilliant direction from John Frankenheimer and excellent performances from Sinatra as a tortured Army officer, Angela Lansbury as an evil mother and Laurence Harvey as a damaged pawn in an assassination plot. the Denzel Washington remake was good, but not in the same league as this original.

Here is the solitaire scene from “The Manchurian Candidate”:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K_xrgeQfOI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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The first half of this New York Times op-ed article discusses political assassinations

in general. The second half discusses the Kennedy assassination in particular.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/...EARY&st=cse

The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration. So flagrant were the tactics that J.F.K.’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, privately charged that the Kennedy brothers were running a “damned Murder Incorporated.”

J.F.K.’s “executive action” policy was an open season of plots against troublesome foreign leaders such as Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem in Viet Nam, René Schneider in Chile, Patrice Lumumba in Congo and Fidel Castro in Cuba. Committees in both the U.S. Senate and House investigated this policy in 1975-1976 in an attempt to exercise oversight of C.I.A. covert operations.

I would like to see the reference material supporting these allegations. Looks like ignorance or 'an historical correction.'

In early June 1971, a few days after the Pentagon Papers appeared in The New York Times, Leo Janos, formerly of the Johnson white House staff, attended a luncheon in the private dining room of the Johnson Library with the ailing ex-President and other friends. As Janos reported later, in the ATLANTIC Monthly Magazine of July 1973: "During coffee, the talk turned to President Kennedy, and Johnson expressed his belief that the assassination in Dallas had been part of a conspiracy. Be never believed that Oswald acted alone, although he could accept that he pulled a trigger." Johnson followed that with a statement that had the megaton force of a full size hydrogen bomb. He said, and Janos wrote: "We had been operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean."
"In July of 1973, six months after the death of Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Atlantic published an article by a journalist and former Johnson speechwriter named Leo Janos. "The Last Days of the President," about LBJ in retirement, was elegiac in tone and fact, save for one dissonant paragraph—in which Johnson volunteered his opinion that President John F. Kennedy's assassination had been the result of a conspiracy organized from Cuba. "I never believed that [Lee Harvey] Oswald acted alone, although I can accept that he pulled the trigger," he explained to Janos. Johnson thought such a conspiracy had formed in retaliation for U.S. plots to assassinate Fidel Castro; he had found after taking office that the government "had been operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean."

- It began well before Kennedy.

- It was operating in full swing without the Kennedy's knowledge or consent - and led to quite a s-storm when this was discovered

- It was CIA controlled

Unless he is ignorant of the facts and the history involved - what is his motive for this slander?

- lee

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He left out EXECUTIVE ACTION.

Jack

The first half of this New York Times op-ed article discusses political assassinations

in general. The second half discusses the Kennedy assassination in particular.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/...EARY&st=cse

Best Assassination movies

By: Joe Holleman: Life Sherpa

St. Louis Today

April 16, 2010

http://interact.stltoday.com/blogzone/yakk...hit-man-movies/

Sometimes, a lot of times, the best ideas come from readers. About a week ago, a reader wrote to the Life Sherpa: “While watching a movie this weekend with my husband, I began to wonder why so many movies have been made about assassins. What is the appeal of assassin movies? Maybe you can make a Top Ten list …”

Well, sure, why not?

To make it a bit more challenging, I made a few rules. First, the movie could not simply be a hit-man movie, there had to be a specific assassination plot. Second, the word “assassination” is defined the killing of a public figure, so we’re not talking about whacking a mobster or private citizen. Finally, the assassination had to be the central plot device, so excellent biopics that culminate in assassinations, like “Malcolm X” and “All the King’s Men” (1949 version), were not considered. With all that behind us, the list lies ahead of us:

When Chevy was funny

10. Foul Play (1978): Why not start out this serious subject with a comedy. Chevy Chase is a San Francisco detective and Goldie Hawn is a librarian who gets caught up in a plot to kill the Pope. Dudley Moore is hilarious as a symphony conductor with some unusual sexual inclinations.

9. The Parallax View (1974): Warren Beatty plays a newspaper reporter who becomes suspicious after a woman who says she has information about a senator’s assassination ends up committing suicide (maybe). His probing leads to his discovery of a shadowy company. Good performances from Beatty and Hume Cronyn.

Chairman of the Hit

8. Blow Out (1981): OK, the assassination of the governor/presidential candidate happens right away, but the follow-up investigation by sound engineer John Travolta, who was collecting stock sounds and inadvertently captures the killing on tape, is a top-notch thriller from Brian DePalma.

7. Suddenly (1954): This little-seen film stars Frank Sinatra as psychotic hit man John Baron, who takes a family hostage in a small California town, as he waits for the president to arrive for a nearby fishing trip. One of Sinatra’s better performances. (His best is coming up.)

6. JFK (1991): There are holes in this movie that are big enough to drive a truck through, with room to spare on the sides. But Oliver Stone’s over-the-top celluloid rant about the Kennedy assassination is filled with strong performances, especially from Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Kevin Costner as D.A. Jim Garrison.

5. The Bourne Identity (2002): Let’s not forget that this excellent film begins with the botched attempt by programmed killer Jason Bourne to kill former African dictator Wombosi. After being shot several times during the attempt, Bourne returns to Europe to find out his true identity.

Good book, good movie

4. Day of the Jackal (1973): Based on a popular book by Frederick Forsyth, Edward Fox stars as “The Jackal,” a professional killer who attempts to kill French president Charles de Gaulle. An excellent film with a relatively unknown cast, it was directed by Fred Zinnemann, who also helmed “High Noon” and “Man For All Seasons.”

3. In the Line of Fire (1993): Clint Eastwood stars in this gripping tale of an aging Secret Service agent who has to thwart a plot to kill the president, even though his colleagues think he’s too old. John Malkovich shines as the brilliant and disturbed killer who baits Eastwood along the way.

2. Taxi Driver (1976): Robert De Niro’s frightening performance as disillusioned cabbie Travis Bickle carries Martin Scorsese’s unflinching look at the growing violence in American society. After being turned down by the U.S. senator’s comely aide (Cybil Shepherd) and a child prostitute (Jodie Foster), Bickle decides to assassinate the senator.

1. The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Some brilliant direction from John Frankenheimer and excellent performances from Sinatra as a tortured Army officer, Angela Lansbury as an evil mother and Laurence Harvey as a damaged pawn in an assassination plot. the Denzel Washington remake was good, but not in the same league as this original.

Here is the solitaire scene from “The Manchurian Candidate”:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K_xrgeQfOI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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The first half of this New York Times op-ed article discusses political assassinations

in general. The second half discusses the Kennedy assassination in particular.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/...EARY&st=cse

The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration. So flagrant were the tactics that J.F.K.’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, privately charged that the Kennedy brothers were running a “damned Murder Incorporated.”

J.F.K.’s “executive action” policy was an open season of plots against troublesome foreign leaders such as Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem in Viet Nam, René Schneider in Chile, Patrice Lumumba in Congo and Fidel Castro in Cuba. Committees in both the U.S. Senate and House investigated this policy in 1975-1976 in an attempt to exercise oversight of C.I.A. covert operations.

I would like to see the reference material supporting these allegations. Looks like ignorance or 'an historical correction.'

In early June 1971, a few days after the Pentagon Papers appeared in The New York Times, Leo Janos, formerly of the Johnson white House staff, attended a luncheon in the private dining room of the Johnson Library with the ailing ex-President and other friends. As Janos reported later, in the ATLANTIC Monthly Magazine of July 1973: "During coffee, the talk turned to President Kennedy, and Johnson expressed his belief that the assassination in Dallas had been part of a conspiracy. Be never believed that Oswald acted alone, although he could accept that he pulled a trigger." Johnson followed that with a statement that had the megaton force of a full size hydrogen bomb. He said, and Janos wrote: "We had been operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean."
"In July of 1973, six months after the death of Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Atlantic published an article by a journalist and former Johnson speechwriter named Leo Janos. "The Last Days of the President," about LBJ in retirement, was elegiac in tone and fact, save for one dissonant paragraph—in which Johnson volunteered his opinion that President John F. Kennedy's assassination had been the result of a conspiracy organized from Cuba. "I never believed that [Lee Harvey] Oswald acted alone, although I can accept that he pulled the trigger," he explained to Janos. Johnson thought such a conspiracy had formed in retaliation for U.S. plots to assassinate Fidel Castro; he had found after taking office that the government "had been operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean."

- It began well before Kennedy.

- It was operating in full swing without the Kennedy's knowledge or consent - and led to quite a s-storm when this was discovered

- It was CIA controlled

Unless he is ignorant of the facts and the history involved - what is his motive for this slander?

- lee

How can you respond to this article? I found no easy way of doing so - this is an inaccurate portrayal of the historical facts.

Here's a quote that should have been used: The hydra reared it's ugly head, and both the Kennedy's fell down dead.

And for the authors of the article to assume that assassination has not been an ongoing vehicle for political change since the beginning of time up until the present time, defies imagination. Operations have been in full swing for the last 50+ years.

Too bad ignorance isn't painful.

As to the gist of their article - Let's look at Heydrich. The result of killing this one man brought about the immediate liquidation of some 4,000 Jewish residents of Czech. The families and of the agents and direct underground connections were somewhere around 500. The deaths of all but a handful of children [Aryanised] from the village of Lidice, and the destruction of Lezaky. All in all - thousands of deaths in reprisal for eliminating one man. Who was this man? The up-and-coming new Fuhrer. A man highly responsible assisting in the creation of, and enforcing the policy of the final solution and arguably, a potential candidate for a successor to Hitler.

Since the basic position regarding the practical execution of the final solution of the Jewish question has fortunately been established by now, and since there is a full agreement on the part of all agencies involved. I would like to ask you at the request of the Reich Marshal to make one of your specialist officials available for the necessary discussion of details in connection with the completion of the draft that shows the organizational, technical and material prerequisites bearing on the actual starting point of the projected solutions.

While the pain of considering the retaliation and these consequences makes it a difficult situation in retrospect - one life in exchange for ~10,000 - consider the 'what if' scenario, as Heydrich was scheduled to leave Prague for Paris the following morning. One can only theorize what 'might' have happened. given what we know of 'the butcher' and his methods. How many victims can we ascribe to Heydrich?

Should the UK and the exiled Government of Czechoslovakia acted differently - mark me as having fully supported the action. The authors of that article shouldn't confuse the fact that the power of the CIA was out-of-bounds and control, and somehow rationalize that with present policy. And as for including Johnson in the mix - yes - it's a shame that this man was in some way engaged in the mix of using a tool like this - designed with a specific purpose and positive goals in mind for the world at large - and to use it here at home for primarily selfish aims. A deep wound. A truly spectacularly shameful event. And Johnson's ego was such that he had an enormous concern - not for the truth - but over what people were going to think of him after-the-fact in history, given the obvious and his petty sham whitewash of the events.

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H.T. Op-Ed Contributor

Assassination Season Is Open

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/15iht-edmedish.html?scp=3&sq=MARK%20MEDISH%20AND%20JOEL%20MCCLEARY&st=cse

MARK MEDISH and JOEL McCLEARY

Published: April 14, 2010

State-sponsored assassinations are back in season. Targeted snuff jobs of state enemies are on the rise from Dubai to Dagestan, from Yemen to Waziristan. Even the United States has returned to the practice: American military drones and special operations have been pushing the limits of President Ford’s 1976 executive ban against assassinations.

When one factors in the vast human cost of cruder alternatives, assassination seems like a logical option for dealing with foreign foes. Instead of invading Iraq at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, for example, would not a deft poisoning of Saddam Hussein — a “liquid murder” — have been morally justified? Who has ever called the would-be assassins of Hitler and Himmler anything but heroes?

Advances in lethal technology are making assassinations exponentially easier against even the most hardened security systems. Drones, aerolosization devices, synthetic opiates, new biological agents and radiological weapons can be developed without fear of attribution.

But here’s the rub: While it may be morally justified and legal under the laws of war, political assassination carries with it practical policy issues, not least the law of unintended consequences.

Elimination of an enemy’s leadership may seem like a simple solution, but one must ask what will come in its place. And one must bear in mind that what is sauce for the dictatorial goose can equally be sauce for the democratically elected gander. Further, the old notion, paraphrasing Thucydides, that the strong can get away with murder while the weak must bear it, is increasingly unsupportable in today’s high-tech world of lethal agents.

The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration. So flagrant were the tactics that J.F.K.’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, privately

charged that the Kennedy brothers were running a “damned Murder Incorporated.”

BK: This of course, is coming from the man who assumed the power of the presidency with the assassination of JFK, and I don't believe he said the Kennedy bros were running it, but rather the CIA.

J.F.K.’s “executive action” policy was an open season of plots against troublesome foreign leaders

JFK was the victim of an "executive action" and did not have a policy of assassination, as everyone he spoke with on the subject said that he was against political assassination and didn't condone it.

such as Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic,

Some of the same agents involved in the assassination of Trujillo were involved in the murder of JFK and it was LBJ who sent the marines into the Dominican Republic, where David Atlee Phillips was the chief of CIA station, his first assignment after the murder of JFK.

Ngo Dinh Diem in Viet Nam,

JFK did not want the Diems assassinated, and the coup that took them out was supported by Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican whe betrayed JFK's policies.

René Schneider in Chile,

Schneider wasn't assassinated during the Kennedy administration, but years later, preceeding the coup that brought Chile under dictatorship for years, and also led to the political execution of Americans (See: Missing)

Patrice Lumumba in Congo

JFK supported democracy in Africa and sent William Attwood, his schoold chum to make sure his policies were adopted.

and Fidel Castro in Cuba.

I didn't know Castro was assassinated.

Committees in both the U.S. Senate and House investigated this policy in 1975-1976 in an attempt to exercise oversight of C.I.A. covert operations.

Indeed, they found the CIA was operating without Kennedy's approval.

The inquires of the Church Committee in the Senate led President Ford to issue the 1976 executive order banning “political assassination by U.S.G. employees.” Presidents Carter and Reagan issued similar orders, removing the “political” limitation and extending the prohibition to anybody acting on Washington’s behalf. These orders did nothing to change the traditional laws of war and self-defense, but they sent clear signals about a change of U.S. policy.

They didn't change Kennedy's policies because his policy was not to engage in political assassinations.

It is important to recall the wider context of the Church Committee probes. Then as now, the world’s greatest conspiracy theories swirled around the Kennedy assassination. President Johnson, for one, was convinced that Castro’s hand was behind Lee Harvey Oswald’s trigger finger.

Oswald's finger didn't pull any trigger, as he was set up as the Castro Baiting Commie Patsy by those who did kill the President.

In 1968, Johnson told ABC reporter Howard K. Smith that “Kennedy was trying to get to Castro, but Castro got him first.”

LBJ knew that the assassination of JFK was a domestic covert action by those within the government, and he did everything in his power to protect those who killed Kenendy, and knew full well that not only wasn't Kennedy trying to get Castro, but that he was working with William Attwood in backchannel discussions with Castro to normalize relations. While publicly accepting the Warren Commission's Lone Patsy conclusion, LBJ used the Castro cover story in order to convince the Warren Commissioners that if Castro was behind the assassination it could lead to WWIII.

At one Church Committee hearing, Senator Chris Dodd remarked on the eerie coincidence that at the very hour of J.F.K.’s assassination, C.I.A. agents were providing a Cuban agent (or double agent) code-named AMLASH with insecticide to poison Castro.

The CIA Agent, an assistant to Desmond FitzGerald, gave Cubella a pen with a needle that was to injected into Castro using Black Leaf 40 ink poison, not insecticide, and FitzGerld, who directed the CIA covert operations against Castro, including the Valkyrie Plot that is directly connected to what happened at Dealey Plaza, said JFK did not know of this operation.

Castro was all too aware of the many U.S.-sponsored attempts on his life (the Church Committee identified eight.) Two weeks before J.F.K. died in Dallas, the Cuban leader warned those he knew were listening that if one more attempt were made on his life there would be dire consequences.

Yes, and every single one of those who use this quote also promote the black propagada operation, set in motion before the assassination of JFK, to blame the murder on Castro, and every one of those citations can be traced to CIA disinformation assets.

Does the United States want to return to this era of uncertainty?

We've never left it and won't leave it until the uncertainty is overcome with the release of all the records and the recognition that JFK was the vicim of a domestic coup d'etat. Citizen confidence in the government has been in decline since November 1963 and has never let up, and won't until this issue is confronted and cleared with the truth.

Do democratically elected leaders wish to open this bloody door again, when in fact their own protection is as porous and precarious as ever?

Until the issues presented by the assassinations of the Sixties are resolved American leaders will continue to be threatened and will be a target.

Technology has made assassination, as well as escalatory and asymmetrical reprisals, easier than ever for both the geese and the ganders.

There may be little choice in using this tactic against non-state actors such as Al Qaeda, as the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations have done.

Just goes to show that political assassination is a bi-partisan affair and both Democrats and Republicans engage in it.

However, one should not automatically assume that decapitation works well against all decentralized terrorist or mafia-like structures. To the contrary, the history of assassinating “high value targets” such as international drug lords suggests otherwise — the hydra heads easily regenerate, possibly in more radical form than the ones they replaced.

JFK certainly made a big mistake by putting LBJ, who had opponents murdered before, on the ticket as VP, as JFK was not going to be allowed to live out his term of office, and he was certainly worse than JFK on all counts.

Actions against national leaders are even more complicated. As security experts consider the option of a surgical decapitation strike against the Iranian leadership to preempt its assumed nuclear ambitions — to avoid a latter-day Cuban Missile Crisis — our leaders should think twice about the unintended consequences of such actions. Leaders in glass security houses should not throw stones.

The idea that Iran can build a bomb is not comparable to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it certainly would be wrong for anyone to consider assassinating Iranian leaders, especially when their own people are in open revolt.

One need not believe in conspiracy theories about J.F.K. to be seriously concerned about the wisdom of J.F.K.’s assassination policy.

JFK's assassination policy was not to engage in political assassination, and the one man he has wrongfully been accused of trying to assassinate is the one man he was communicating with via Attwood, which led directly to his assassination. He was killed not by Castro, but for talking to Castro in an attempt to obtain a peaceful detate and normalize relations.

The laws of war and self-defense may permit political assassination in certain cases, but prudence dictates thinking carefully before pulling that fateful trigger.

Those who killed JFK were not prudent about it, and were quite unafraid of any retribution for what they did. That fatefull trigger was pulled and they got away with murder, and most certainly, like serial killers, have done it again and again and will do it again until they are caught.

Joel McCleary and Mark Medish served as advisers respectively to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Well now we know who gave Carter and Clinton such bad advice.

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H.T. Op-Ed Contributor

Assassination Season Is Open

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinion/15iht-edmedish.html?scp=3&sq=MARK%20MEDISH%20AND%20JOEL%20MCCLEARY&st=cse

MARK MEDISH and JOEL McCLEARY

Published: April 14, 2010

State-sponsored assassinations are back in season. Targeted snuff jobs of state enemies are on the rise from Dubai to Dagestan, from Yemen to Waziristan. Even the United States has returned to the practice: American military drones and special operations have been pushing the limits of President Ford’s 1976 executive ban against assassinations.

When one factors in the vast human cost of cruder alternatives, assassination seems like a logical option for dealing with foreign foes. Instead of invading Iraq at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, for example, would not a deft poisoning of Saddam Hussein — a “liquid murder” — have been morally justified? Who has ever called the would-be assassins of Hitler and Himmler anything but heroes?

Advances in lethal technology are making assassinations exponentially easier against even the most hardened security systems. Drones, aerolosization devices, synthetic opiates, new biological agents and radiological weapons can be developed without fear of attribution.

But here’s the rub: While it may be morally justified and legal under the laws of war, political assassination carries with it practical policy issues, not least the law of unintended consequences.

Elimination of an enemy’s leadership may seem like a simple solution, but one must ask what will come in its place. And one must bear in mind that what is sauce for the dictatorial goose can equally be sauce for the democratically elected gander. Further, the old notion, paraphrasing Thucydides, that the strong can get away with murder while the weak must bear it, is increasingly unsupportable in today’s high-tech world of lethal agents.

The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration. So flagrant were the tactics that J.F.K.’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, privately

charged that the Kennedy brothers were running a “damned Murder Incorporated.”

BK: This of course, is coming from the man who assumed the power of the presidency with the assassination of JFK, and I don't believe he said the Kennedy bros were running it, but rather the CIA.

J.F.K.’s “executive action” policy was an open season of plots against troublesome foreign leaders

JFK was the victim of an "executive action" and did not have a policy of assassination, as everyone he spoke with on the subject said that he was against political assassination and didn't condone it.

such as Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic,

Some of the same agents involved in the assassination of Trujillo were involved in the murder of JFK and it was LBJ who sent the marines into the Dominican Republic, where David Atlee Phillips was the chief of CIA station, his first assignment after the murder of JFK.

Ngo Dinh Diem in Viet Nam,

JFK did not want the Diems assassinated, and the coup that took them out was supported by Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican whe betrayed JFK's policies.

René Schneider in Chile,

Schneider wasn't assassinated during the Kennedy administration, but years later, preceeding the coup that brought Chile under dictatorship for years, and also led to the political execution of Americans (See: Missing)

Patrice Lumumba in Congo

JFK supported democracy in Africa and sent William Attwood, his schoold chum to make sure his policies were adopted.

and Fidel Castro in Cuba.

I didn't know Castro was assassinated.

Committees in both the U.S. Senate and House investigated this policy in 1975-1976 in an attempt to exercise oversight of C.I.A. covert operations.

Indeed, they found the CIA was operating without Kennedy's approval.

The inquires of the Church Committee in the Senate led President Ford to issue the 1976 executive order banning “political assassination by U.S.G. employees.” Presidents Carter and Reagan issued similar orders, removing the “political” limitation and extending the prohibition to anybody acting on Washington’s behalf. These orders did nothing to change the traditional laws of war and self-defense, but they sent clear signals about a change of U.S. policy.

They didn't change Kennedy's policies because his policy was not to engage in political assassinations.

It is important to recall the wider context of the Church Committee probes. Then as now, the world’s greatest conspiracy theories swirled around the Kennedy assassination. President Johnson, for one, was convinced that Castro’s hand was behind Lee Harvey Oswald’s trigger finger.

Oswald's finger didn't pull any trigger, as he was set up as the Castro Baiting Commie Patsy by those who did kill the President.

In 1968, Johnson told ABC reporter Howard K. Smith that “Kennedy was trying to get to Castro, but Castro got him first.”

LBJ knew that the assassination of JFK was a domestic covert action by those within the government, and he did everything in his power to protect those who killed Kenendy, and knew full well that not only wasn't Kennedy trying to get Castro, but that he was working with William Attwood in backchannel discussions with Castro to normalize relations. While publicly accepting the Warren Commission's Lone Patsy conclusion, LBJ used the Castro cover story in order to convince the Warren Commissioners that if Castro was behind the assassination it could lead to WWIII.

At one Church Committee hearing, Senator Chris Dodd remarked on the eerie coincidence that at the very hour of J.F.K.’s assassination, C.I.A. agents were providing a Cuban agent (or double agent) code-named AMLASH with insecticide to poison Castro.

The CIA Agent, an assistant to Desmond FitzGerald, gave Cubella a pen with a needle that was to injected into Castro using Black Leaf 40 ink poison, not insecticide, and FitzGerld, who directed the CIA covert operations against Castro, including the Valkyrie Plot that is directly connected to what happened at Dealey Plaza, said JFK did not know of this operation.

Castro was all too aware of the many U.S.-sponsored attempts on his life (the Church Committee identified eight.) Two weeks before J.F.K. died in Dallas, the Cuban leader warned those he knew were listening that if one more attempt were made on his life there would be dire consequences.

Yes, and every single one of those who use this quote also promote the black propagada operation, set in motion before the assassination of JFK, to blame the murder on Castro, and every one of those citations can be traced to CIA disinformation assets.

Does the United States want to return to this era of uncertainty?

We've never left it and won't leave it until the uncertainty is overcome with the release of all the records and the recognition that JFK was the vicim of a domestic coup d'etat. Citizen confidence in the government has been in decline since November 1963 and has never let up, and won't until this issue is confronted and cleared with the truth.

Do democratically elected leaders wish to open this bloody door again, when in fact their own protection is as porous and precarious as ever?

Until the issues presented by the assassinations of the Sixties are resolved American leaders will continue to be threatened and will be a target.

Technology has made assassination, as well as escalatory and asymmetrical reprisals, easier than ever for both the geese and the ganders.

There may be little choice in using this tactic against non-state actors such as Al Qaeda, as the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations have done.

Just goes to show that political assassination is a bi-partisan affair and both Democrats and Republicans engage in it.

However, one should not automatically assume that decapitation works well against all decentralized terrorist or mafia-like structures. To the contrary, the history of assassinating “high value targets” such as international drug lords suggests otherwise — the hydra heads easily regenerate, possibly in more radical form than the ones they replaced.

JFK certainly made a big mistake by putting LBJ, who had opponents murdered before, on the ticket as VP, as JFK was not going to be allowed to live out his term of office, and he was certainly worse than JFK on all counts.

Actions against national leaders are even more complicated. As security experts consider the option of a surgical decapitation strike against the Iranian leadership to preempt its assumed nuclear ambitions — to avoid a latter-day Cuban Missile Crisis — our leaders should think twice about the unintended consequences of such actions. Leaders in glass security houses should not throw stones.

The idea that Iran can build a bomb is not comparable to the Cuban Missile Crisis, and it certainly would be wrong for anyone to consider assassinating Iranian leaders, especially when their own people are in open revolt.

One need not believe in conspiracy theories about J.F.K. to be seriously concerned about the wisdom of J.F.K.’s assassination policy.

JFK's assassination policy was not to engage in political assassination, and the one man he has wrongfully been accused of trying to assassinate is the one man he was communicating with via Attwood, which led directly to his assassination. He was killed not by Castro, but for talking to Castro in an attempt to obtain a peaceful detate and normalize relations.

The laws of war and self-defense may permit political assassination in certain cases, but prudence dictates thinking carefully before pulling that fateful trigger.

Those who killed JFK were not prudent about it, and were quite unafraid of any retribution for what they did. That fatefull trigger was pulled and they got away with murder, and most certainly, like serial killers, have done it again and again and will do it again until they are caught.

Joel McCleary and Mark Medish served as advisers respectively to Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

Well now we know who gave Carter and Clinton such bad advice.

EXCELLENT post Bill! Loved the ending - solid.

- lee

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I have a fondness for "Executive Action," having seen it in high school just before my Social Studies class took a field trip to hear Mark Lane speak and present the extant Zapruder film. The last time I saw it, earlier this decade on DVD, it still held up as inquiry, and as an alarm against the involvement of financial interests in Kennedy's death.

It's an imperfect film, but I think it's as important a bit of revisionist-history cinema on its topic as "A Man Called Horse" and "Little Big Man" are upon the portrayal of the Native American genocide. Plus which, the major actors involved - Burt Lancaster, Will Geer, Robert Ryan - agreed to star because of their own doubts about the Warren Commission.

Edited by David Andrews
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I love it when they write:

J.F.K.’s “executive action” policy was an open season of plots against

troublesome foreign leaders such as Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican

Republic, Ngo Dinh Diem in Viet Nam, René Schneider in Chile, Patrice

Lumumba in Congo and Fidel Castro in Cuba.

Trujillo was killed while JFK was out of the country visiting DeGaulle.

Diem was killed in spite of Kennedy's attempt to give him safe passage out of Vietnam.

Schneider was killed in 1970, seven years after Kennedy was dead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Schneider

Lumumba was killed two days before Kennedy was inaugurated

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrice_Lumumba

Castro was never killed and the plots against him were made without

the knowledge of the President.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Yvmqy5qEZQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuPEXyZDa0g

I wonder of these people ever do any research into the facts before ok'ing this BS for publication.

Shame on you, New York Times.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Jim,

http://www.ctka.net/2010/nyt.html

....The Times' latest outburst of arrogance forms the basis for this column. On April 14th, the New York Times published an essay, properly labeled an opinion piece, co-authored by Mark Medish and Joel McLeary. The title of the essay was Assassination Season is Open. The authors begin the piece by saying that "state-sponsored assassinations are back in season". They then marked this trend by referring to "targeted snuff jobs" from "Dubai to Dagestan, from Yemen to Wazirstan". As if somehow this had been dominating the news and American consciousness lately. Well no one has approached me lately and said, "Jim, what did you think about that political hit in Dagestan last month?" If they did, my reply would have been, "Where is Dagestan?"

The authors used this pretext to segue into the questions of whether or not the elimination of a foreign leader by assassination is morally justified, and whether it carries with it the law of unintended consequences: "Elimination of an enemy's leadership may seem like a simple solution, but one must ask what will come in its place."

Then comes the real reason for the essay. It's in the following sentence: "The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration." If one knows the history of the Times on the twin issues of the Kennedys and domestic assassinations, one could have predicted this was coming: character assassination was now in season. I thoroughly discussed the issue in my essay, "The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy". (The Assassinations, p. 324) In that long essay, I located where this whole debate about the uses of so-called executive action began, and the mad desire of the MSM to somehow place responsibility for it on the Kennedys. When, in fact, the historical record would simply not support that deduction.

As I wrote in Part 8 of my review of Reclaiming History, the concept of "regime change" and the consequent murders that accompany it originated with the changes brought to the CIA by Allen Dulles. Which was seven years before John Kennedy even ran for president. But since the MSM had always been close with the CIA, and since Allen Dulles had actually started Operation Mockingbird-the attempt by the CIA to control the media-they were not going to readily admit this. Even if it was true. So during the 1974-75 investigations by the Church and Pike committees – when the crimes of the CIA and FBI were first given heavy exposure – these CIA murder plots were heavily publicized. And the CIA took a public flogging over it. Especially since, in their own Inspector General report, they admitted that they had no presidential approval for the plots to kill Fidel Castro, and that they deliberately kept them from the Kennedys. (The Assassinations, pgs 327-28) So when the NY Times says that Kennedy's 'executive action" policy targeted Fidel Castro in Cuba, this is ass backwards. And the CIA admitted it in their own report. And it is a primary document in this discussion. A primary document, which somehow, these two reporters failed to consult.

In fact, the Church Committee clearly demarcated the beginnings of these assassination plots against foreign leaders as beginning with Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower. And they blamed the eventual plot that took the life of Patrice Lumumba as being OK'd for Dulles by Eisenhower. (ibid, p. 326) Which again shows how stupid the Times is. Because, incredibly, the Times article also blames the murder of Lumumba on the Kennedys! This is so wrong as to be Orwellian. (Or, even worse, Chomskyian, since Noam Chomsky blames this one on Kennedy also.) The truth is the opposite. As more than one author has insinuated, Allen Dulles speeded up the plot against Lumumba in the interim between Eisenhower's departure and Kennedy's inauguration because he knew that Kennedy would never approve it. (John M. Blum, Years of Discord, p. 23; Jonathan Kwitny, Endless Enemies, p. 69) Therefore, Lumumba died on January 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy took office. Dulles turned out to be right. Because right after entering office, but before learning of Lumumba's death, Kennedy formulated a new policy for Lumumba's Congo. One that pretty much was a reversal of Eisenhower's. A part of this new policy was to free all political prisoners-including Lumumba. Lumumba was being held by an enemy tribe at the behest of the former mother country Belgium, which was in league with the CIA. If he had been freed, he would not have been killed. Dulles obviously knew Kennedy better than the New York Times does. Which, by the way, was opposed to Kennedy's Congo policy at the time. For another part of his plan was to oppose the breaking away of the mineral rich Katanga province from Congo. The Times supported that breakaway. Which would have helped Belgium and American investors but hurt the Congo. (Kwitny, p. 55)

The truth of this situation is this: Kennedy supported Lumumba and his struggle to make the Congo free of European influence. Dulles understood this. Which is why he made sure that Lumumba was killed before Kennedy took office. But after Lumumba's death, Kennedy supported an independent, non-aligned Congo. He persisted in this even after UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, who was his ally in the cause, died in a mysterious plane crash. And he did so not just against European economic interests. But since Congo was such a rich country, his policy was also opposed by domestic ones. And he did so until his death. (See the fine chapter on this struggle in JFK: Ordeal in Africa by Richard Mahoney.)

But the Times is still not through in exhibiting its disregard of the historical record. They also have Kennedy being responsible for the death of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Again, even JFK's enemies knew this was false. That is why Howard Hunt tried to forge documents implicating Kennedy in Diem's assassination. He had to since he learned from the horse's mouth that President Kennedy was not so involved. Who is the horse's mouth in this situation: CIA officer Lucien Conein. The Times might ask itself an obvious question: Why would Hunt have risked the forgery if it was unnecessary?

The unfortunate death of Diem and his brother Nhu is a rather complex affair. And with the kind of scholarship exhibited by the Times here, they are simply not interested in consulting the record. The two best sources that I know of on the subject are John Newman's JFK and Vietnam, and Jim Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable. What appears to have happened was a two-stage process. First, Kennedy's anti-Diem advisers hatched a plot to send a cable to Saigon approving a coup attempt by dissident generals in the military. They deliberately did this while Kennedy and his Cabinet officers were away on the weekend. (See Newman pgs. 345-56) Then, Saigon CIA official Conein and the new ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge allied themselves with the generals to obstruct Kennedy's policy toward Diem. Since Diem was unaware of the obstruction, he trusted Lodge and kept on calling him, even after the coup. He was unawares that Lodge and Conein were cooperating with the military to insure that Diem and his brother could not get out of Saigon before they were killed. (See Douglass, pgs. 207-10)

When he learned of the brothers' deaths, Kennedy was shocked and agonized. Arthur Schlesinger said he had not seen him so depressed since the Bay of Pigs disaster. (ibid, p. 211) In fact, as a result of this outcome he planned on doing two things. First, he was going to review the process by which the cable had been sent. (Gordon Goldstein, Lessons in Disaster, p. 90) Second, he was going to recall Lodge to Washington for the purpose of firing him. (Douglass, p. 375) His death interceded with those plans. But obviously, if he had supported what Lodge had done, he would not be doing either one.

Three strikes isn't enough for the Times. They actually even try and blame the death of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic on Kennedy. This happened just four months after Kennedy was inaugurated. The truth is that Trujillo was probably the most unpopular man in South America at the time. Why? Because he tried to kill Venezuelan leader Romulo Betancourt with a car bomb in 1960. As a result the OAS severed relations with him. He then had the three Mirabel sisters-Patria, Maria, and Minerva-who protested his dictatorship, murdered. Because Trujillo was such a bloodthirsty dictator, the CIA had plotted with dissidents in country to kill him as far back as 1958. (William Blum The CIA: A Forgotten History, p. 196) But as Blum notes, although the CIA did supply arms for an assassination attempt, there is no proof these were used in the murder. Which appears to have been a spur of the moment affair carried out by the local dissidents. (ibid) Blum does note that American cooperation with them cooled after Kennedy took office. (ibid, p. 197)

In fact, in 1963, Kennedy told his friend George Smathers that he had to get control of the CIA. Precisely because he was appalled by the idea of political assassination. Smathers said: "I remember him saying that the CIA frequently did things he didn't know about, and he was unhappy about it. He complained that the CIA was almost autonomous. He told me he believed the CIA had arranged to have Diem and Trujillo bumped off. He was pretty shocked about that. He thought it was a stupid thing to do, and he wanted to get control of what the CIA was doing." (The Assassinations, p. 329) As many people who have studied the Kennedy assassination believe, the CIA understood this was Kennedy's intent in a second term. And they decided to get Kennedy before he got them. You will never ever hear this sentiment voiced in the Times, since they have almost always pimped for the CIA. Including covering up their drug running aspects when the late Gary Webb exposed some of them.

The article then gets even more ridiculous. Somehow the authors include the murder of General Rene Schneider as part of Kennedy's watch. The problem is Kennedy had been dead for seven years when Schneider was assassinated by allies of the CIA. His death was part of the CIA program ordered by President Nixon and Henry Kissinger to stop Salvador Allende from stepping up to the presidency. (William Blum, p. 237)

If you can believe it, the Times actually sources the Church Committee report in this article. Even though that report discovered no evidence that the Kennedys were involved in any of these deaths. In fact, in my essay I argued that it was this verdict that caused the CIA and its rightwing allies to begin to circulate disinformation to reverse what Sen. Frank Church had uncovered. That campaign has been unrelenting ever since. The Times, with former Nixon speechwriter William Safire in their employ, has been a prime part of it. (The Assassinations, p. 329)

Towards the end, the article cites the most ancient CIA disinformation tale of all: Oswald killed Kennedy for Castro because Castro found out about the plots against himself. Which, as Castro has noted, is utterly ridiculous on two grounds. First, as Jim Douglass has described in detail, Kennedy and Castro were hard at work on détente at the time. (pgs. 248-50) And secondly, as Jesse Ventura relates in his book American Conspiracies, Castro told him he would have never risked a full-scale invasion of Cuba over such a thing. The article also mentions the meeting in Paris in November of 1963 between a CIA representative and recruited Castro assassin Rolando Cubela. What they do not say is that CIA official Richard Helms had deliberately kept this from the Kennedys. Even though the CIA representative meeting with Cubela told him that RFK knew about it. (Douglass, p. 251)

The article concludes with "One need not believe in conspiracy theories about JFK to be seriously concerned about the wisdom of JFK's assassination policy. The laws of war and self defense may permit political assassination in certain cases, but prudence dictates thinking carefully before pulling that fateful trigger."

The only assassination theories discussed in this article are the half-baked ones about Kennedy's mythological executive action programs. Which, as shown above, he actually opposed. In opposition to the authors, the fact that Kennedy was actually killed by a political conspiracy is not a theory. The revelations of the ARRB have shown it to be a fact. But you will never learn that in the New York Times. Which in its nonsensical agenda on the issue, makes a strange alliance with the likes of John McAdams and Noam Chomsky.

This is one more farcical piece of gutter journalism by the Times on the subjects of President Kennedy's policies and his murder. It's a smelly trail that goes back to 1963. And it shows no sign of abating. So Alec, as much as I liked you in Glengarry Glen Ross and others, I think you are dead wrong on the hole the Times would leave behind. If it went under, I wouldn't miss it at all. One reason being that a pile of lies like this would not have its imprimatur assigned to it.

But its publication shows why that imprimatur isn't worth very much anymore.

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Thanks Jim,

http://www.ctka.net/2010/nyt.html

....The Times' latest outburst of arrogance forms the basis for this column. On April 14th, the New York Times published an essay, properly labeled an opinion piece, co-authored by Mark Medish and Joel McLeary. The title of the essay was Assassination Season is Open. The authors begin the piece by saying that "state-sponsored assassinations are back in season". They then marked this trend by referring to "targeted snuff jobs" from "Dubai to Dagestan, from Yemen to Wazirstan". As if somehow this had been dominating the news and American consciousness lately. Well no one has approached me lately and said, "Jim, what did you think about that political hit in Dagestan last month?" If they did, my reply would have been, "Where is Dagestan?"

The authors used this pretext to segue into the questions of whether or not the elimination of a foreign leader by assassination is morally justified, and whether it carries with it the law of unintended consequences: "Elimination of an enemy's leadership may seem like a simple solution, but one must ask what will come in its place."

Then comes the real reason for the essay. It's in the following sentence: "The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration." If one knows the history of the Times on the twin issues of the Kennedys and domestic assassinations, one could have predicted this was coming: character assassination was now in season. I thoroughly discussed the issue in my essay, "The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy". (The Assassinations, p. 324) In that long essay, I located where this whole debate about the uses of so-called executive action began, and the mad desire of the MSM to somehow place responsibility for it on the Kennedys. When, in fact, the historical record would simply not support that deduction.

As I wrote in Part 8 of my review of Reclaiming History, the concept of "regime change" and the consequent murders that accompany it originated with the changes brought to the CIA by Allen Dulles. Which was seven years before John Kennedy even ran for president. But since the MSM had always been close with the CIA, and since Allen Dulles had actually started Operation Mockingbird-the attempt by the CIA to control the media-they were not going to readily admit this. Even if it was true. So during the 1974-75 investigations by the Church and Pike committees – when the crimes of the CIA and FBI were first given heavy exposure – these CIA murder plots were heavily publicized. And the CIA took a public flogging over it. Especially since, in their own Inspector General report, they admitted that they had no presidential approval for the plots to kill Fidel Castro, and that they deliberately kept them from the Kennedys. (The Assassinations, pgs 327-28) So when the NY Times says that Kennedy's 'executive action" policy targeted Fidel Castro in Cuba, this is ass backwards. And the CIA admitted it in their own report. And it is a primary document in this discussion. A primary document, which somehow, these two reporters failed to consult.

In fact, the Church Committee clearly demarcated the beginnings of these assassination plots against foreign leaders as beginning with Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower. And they blamed the eventual plot that took the life of Patrice Lumumba as being OK'd for Dulles by Eisenhower. (ibid, p. 326) Which again shows how stupid the Times is. Because, incredibly, the Times article also blames the murder of Lumumba on the Kennedys! This is so wrong as to be Orwellian. (Or, even worse, Chomskyian, since Noam Chomsky blames this one on Kennedy also.) The truth is the opposite. As more than one author has insinuated, Allen Dulles speeded up the plot against Lumumba in the interim between Eisenhower's departure and Kennedy's inauguration because he knew that Kennedy would never approve it. (John M. Blum, Years of Discord, p. 23; Jonathan Kwitny, Endless Enemies, p. 69) Therefore, Lumumba died on January 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy took office. Dulles turned out to be right. Because right after entering office, but before learning of Lumumba's death, Kennedy formulated a new policy for Lumumba's Congo. One that pretty much was a reversal of Eisenhower's. A part of this new policy was to free all political prisoners-including Lumumba. Lumumba was being held by an enemy tribe at the behest of the former mother country Belgium, which was in league with the CIA. If he had been freed, he would not have been killed. Dulles obviously knew Kennedy better than the New York Times does. Which, by the way, was opposed to Kennedy's Congo policy at the time. For another part of his plan was to oppose the breaking away of the mineral rich Katanga province from Congo. The Times supported that breakaway. Which would have helped Belgium and American investors but hurt the Congo. (Kwitny, p. 55)

The truth of this situation is this: Kennedy supported Lumumba and his struggle to make the Congo free of European influence. Dulles understood this. Which is why he made sure that Lumumba was killed before Kennedy took office. But after Lumumba's death, Kennedy supported an independent, non-aligned Congo. He persisted in this even after UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, who was his ally in the cause, died in a mysterious plane crash. And he did so not just against European economic interests. But since Congo was such a rich country, his policy was also opposed by domestic ones. And he did so until his death. (See the fine chapter on this struggle in JFK: Ordeal in Africa by Richard Mahoney.)

But the Times is still not through in exhibiting its disregard of the historical record. They also have Kennedy being responsible for the death of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Again, even JFK's enemies knew this was false. That is why Howard Hunt tried to forge documents implicating Kennedy in Diem's assassination. He had to since he learned from the horse's mouth that President Kennedy was not so involved. Who is the horse's mouth in this situation: CIA officer Lucien Conein. The Times might ask itself an obvious question: Why would Hunt have risked the forgery if it was unnecessary?

The unfortunate death of Diem and his brother Nhu is a rather complex affair. And with the kind of scholarship exhibited by the Times here, they are simply not interested in consulting the record. The two best sources that I know of on the subject are John Newman's JFK and Vietnam, and Jim Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable. What appears to have happened was a two-stage process. First, Kennedy's anti-Diem advisers hatched a plot to send a cable to Saigon approving a coup attempt by dissident generals in the military. They deliberately did this while Kennedy and his Cabinet officers were away on the weekend. (See Newman pgs. 345-56) Then, Saigon CIA official Conein and the new ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge allied themselves with the generals to obstruct Kennedy's policy toward Diem. Since Diem was unaware of the obstruction, he trusted Lodge and kept on calling him, even after the coup. He was unawares that Lodge and Conein were cooperating with the military to insure that Diem and his brother could not get out of Saigon before they were killed. (See Douglass, pgs. 207-10)

When he learned of the brothers' deaths, Kennedy was shocked and agonized. Arthur Schlesinger said he had not seen him so depressed since the Bay of Pigs disaster. (ibid, p. 211) In fact, as a result of this outcome he planned on doing two things. First, he was going to review the process by which the cable had been sent. (Gordon Goldstein, Lessons in Disaster, p. 90) Second, he was going to recall Lodge to Washington for the purpose of firing him. (Douglass, p. 375) His death interceded with those plans. But obviously, if he had supported what Lodge had done, he would not be doing either one.

Three strikes isn't enough for the Times. They actually even try and blame the death of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic on Kennedy. This happened just four months after Kennedy was inaugurated. The truth is that Trujillo was probably the most unpopular man in South America at the time. Why? Because he tried to kill Venezuelan leader Romulo Betancourt with a car bomb in 1960. As a result the OAS severed relations with him. He then had the three Mirabel sisters-Patria, Maria, and Minerva-who protested his dictatorship, murdered. Because Trujillo was such a bloodthirsty dictator, the CIA had plotted with dissidents in country to kill him as far back as 1958. (William Blum The CIA: A Forgotten History, p. 196) But as Blum notes, although the CIA did supply arms for an assassination attempt, there is no proof these were used in the murder. Which appears to have been a spur of the moment affair carried out by the local dissidents. (ibid) Blum does note that American cooperation with them cooled after Kennedy took office. (ibid, p. 197)

In fact, in 1963, Kennedy told his friend George Smathers that he had to get control of the CIA. Precisely because he was appalled by the idea of political assassination. Smathers said: "I remember him saying that the CIA frequently did things he didn't know about, and he was unhappy about it. He complained that the CIA was almost autonomous. He told me he believed the CIA had arranged to have Diem and Trujillo bumped off. He was pretty shocked about that. He thought it was a stupid thing to do, and he wanted to get control of what the CIA was doing." (The Assassinations, p. 329) As many people who have studied the Kennedy assassination believe, the CIA understood this was Kennedy's intent in a second term. And they decided to get Kennedy before he got them. You will never ever hear this sentiment voiced in the Times, since they have almost always pimped for the CIA. Including covering up their drug running aspects when the late Gary Webb exposed some of them.

The article then gets even more ridiculous. Somehow the authors include the murder of General Rene Schneider as part of Kennedy's watch. The problem is Kennedy had been dead for seven years when Schneider was assassinated by allies of the CIA. His death was part of the CIA program ordered by President Nixon and Henry Kissinger to stop Salvador Allende from stepping up to the presidency. (William Blum, p. 237)

If you can believe it, the Times actually sources the Church Committee report in this article. Even though that report discovered no evidence that the Kennedys were involved in any of these deaths. In fact, in my essay I argued that it was this verdict that caused the CIA and its rightwing allies to begin to circulate disinformation to reverse what Sen. Frank Church had uncovered. That campaign has been unrelenting ever since. The Times, with former Nixon speechwriter William Safire in their employ, has been a prime part of it. (The Assassinations, p. 329)

Towards the end, the article cites the most ancient CIA disinformation tale of all: Oswald killed Kennedy for Castro because Castro found out about the plots against himself. Which, as Castro has noted, is utterly ridiculous on two grounds. First, as Jim Douglass has described in detail, Kennedy and Castro were hard at work on détente at the time. (pgs. 248-50) And secondly, as Jesse Ventura relates in his book American Conspiracies, Castro told him he would have never risked a full-scale invasion of Cuba over such a thing. The article also mentions the meeting in Paris in November of 1963 between a CIA representative and recruited Castro assassin Rolando Cubela. What they do not say is that CIA official Richard Helms had deliberately kept this from the Kennedys. Even though the CIA representative meeting with Cubela told him that RFK knew about it. (Douglass, p. 251)

The article concludes with "One need not believe in conspiracy theories about JFK to be seriously concerned about the wisdom of JFK's assassination policy. The laws of war and self defense may permit political assassination in certain cases, but prudence dictates thinking carefully before pulling that fateful trigger."

The only assassination theories discussed in this article are the half-baked ones about Kennedy's mythological executive action programs. Which, as shown above, he actually opposed. In opposition to the authors, the fact that Kennedy was actually killed by a political conspiracy is not a theory. The revelations of the ARRB have shown it to be a fact. But you will never learn that in the New York Times. Which in its nonsensical agenda on the issue, makes a strange alliance with the likes of John McAdams and Noam Chomsky.

This is one more farcical piece of gutter journalism by the Times on the subjects of President Kennedy's policies and his murder. It's a smelly trail that goes back to 1963. And it shows no sign of abating. So Alec, as much as I liked you in Glengarry Glen Ross and others, I think you are dead wrong on the hole the Times would leave behind. If it went under, I wouldn't miss it at all. One reason being that a pile of lies like this would not have its imprimatur assigned to it.

But its publication shows why that imprimatur isn't worth very much anymore.

http://www.ctka.net/2010/nyt.html

Has anyone written the NY Times directly and demanded a correction.

- lee

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Thanks Jim,

http://www.ctka.net/2010/nyt.html

....The Times' latest outburst of arrogance forms the basis for this column. On April 14th, the New York Times published an essay, properly labeled an opinion piece, co-authored by Mark Medish and Joel McLeary. The title of the essay was Assassination Season is Open. The authors begin the piece by saying that "state-sponsored assassinations are back in season". They then marked this trend by referring to "targeted snuff jobs" from "Dubai to Dagestan, from Yemen to Wazirstan". As if somehow this had been dominating the news and American consciousness lately. Well no one has approached me lately and said, "Jim, what did you think about that political hit in Dagestan last month?" If they did, my reply would have been, "Where is Dagestan?"

The authors used this pretext to segue into the questions of whether or not the elimination of a foreign leader by assassination is morally justified, and whether it carries with it the law of unintended consequences: "Elimination of an enemy's leadership may seem like a simple solution, but one must ask what will come in its place."

Then comes the real reason for the essay. It's in the following sentence: "The last era of unrestrained use of assassination by the United States was during the Kennedy administration." If one knows the history of the Times on the twin issues of the Kennedys and domestic assassinations, one could have predicted this was coming: character assassination was now in season. I thoroughly discussed the issue in my essay, "The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy". (The Assassinations, p. 324) In that long essay, I located where this whole debate about the uses of so-called executive action began, and the mad desire of the MSM to somehow place responsibility for it on the Kennedys. When, in fact, the historical record would simply not support that deduction.

As I wrote in Part 8 of my review of Reclaiming History, the concept of "regime change" and the consequent murders that accompany it originated with the changes brought to the CIA by Allen Dulles. Which was seven years before John Kennedy even ran for president. But since the MSM had always been close with the CIA, and since Allen Dulles had actually started Operation Mockingbird-the attempt by the CIA to control the media-they were not going to readily admit this. Even if it was true. So during the 1974-75 investigations by the Church and Pike committees – when the crimes of the CIA and FBI were first given heavy exposure – these CIA murder plots were heavily publicized. And the CIA took a public flogging over it. Especially since, in their own Inspector General report, they admitted that they had no presidential approval for the plots to kill Fidel Castro, and that they deliberately kept them from the Kennedys. (The Assassinations, pgs 327-28) So when the NY Times says that Kennedy's 'executive action" policy targeted Fidel Castro in Cuba, this is ass backwards. And the CIA admitted it in their own report. And it is a primary document in this discussion. A primary document, which somehow, these two reporters failed to consult.

In fact, the Church Committee clearly demarcated the beginnings of these assassination plots against foreign leaders as beginning with Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower. And they blamed the eventual plot that took the life of Patrice Lumumba as being OK'd for Dulles by Eisenhower. (ibid, p. 326) Which again shows how stupid the Times is. Because, incredibly, the Times article also blames the murder of Lumumba on the Kennedys! This is so wrong as to be Orwellian. (Or, even worse, Chomskyian, since Noam Chomsky blames this one on Kennedy also.) The truth is the opposite. As more than one author has insinuated, Allen Dulles speeded up the plot against Lumumba in the interim between Eisenhower's departure and Kennedy's inauguration because he knew that Kennedy would never approve it. (John M. Blum, Years of Discord, p. 23; Jonathan Kwitny, Endless Enemies, p. 69) Therefore, Lumumba died on January 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy took office. Dulles turned out to be right. Because right after entering office, but before learning of Lumumba's death, Kennedy formulated a new policy for Lumumba's Congo. One that pretty much was a reversal of Eisenhower's. A part of this new policy was to free all political prisoners-including Lumumba. Lumumba was being held by an enemy tribe at the behest of the former mother country Belgium, which was in league with the CIA. If he had been freed, he would not have been killed. Dulles obviously knew Kennedy better than the New York Times does. Which, by the way, was opposed to Kennedy's Congo policy at the time. For another part of his plan was to oppose the breaking away of the mineral rich Katanga province from Congo. The Times supported that breakaway. Which would have helped Belgium and American investors but hurt the Congo. (Kwitny, p. 55)

The truth of this situation is this: Kennedy supported Lumumba and his struggle to make the Congo free of European influence. Dulles understood this. Which is why he made sure that Lumumba was killed before Kennedy took office. But after Lumumba's death, Kennedy supported an independent, non-aligned Congo. He persisted in this even after UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, who was his ally in the cause, died in a mysterious plane crash. And he did so not just against European economic interests. But since Congo was such a rich country, his policy was also opposed by domestic ones. And he did so until his death. (See the fine chapter on this struggle in JFK: Ordeal in Africa by Richard Mahoney.)

But the Times is still not through in exhibiting its disregard of the historical record. They also have Kennedy being responsible for the death of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Again, even JFK's enemies knew this was false. That is why Howard Hunt tried to forge documents implicating Kennedy in Diem's assassination. He had to since he learned from the horse's mouth that President Kennedy was not so involved. Who is the horse's mouth in this situation: CIA officer Lucien Conein. The Times might ask itself an obvious question: Why would Hunt have risked the forgery if it was unnecessary?

The unfortunate death of Diem and his brother Nhu is a rather complex affair. And with the kind of scholarship exhibited by the Times here, they are simply not interested in consulting the record. The two best sources that I know of on the subject are John Newman's JFK and Vietnam, and Jim Douglass' JFK and the Unspeakable. What appears to have happened was a two-stage process. First, Kennedy's anti-Diem advisers hatched a plot to send a cable to Saigon approving a coup attempt by dissident generals in the military. They deliberately did this while Kennedy and his Cabinet officers were away on the weekend. (See Newman pgs. 345-56) Then, Saigon CIA official Conein and the new ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge allied themselves with the generals to obstruct Kennedy's policy toward Diem. Since Diem was unaware of the obstruction, he trusted Lodge and kept on calling him, even after the coup. He was unawares that Lodge and Conein were cooperating with the military to insure that Diem and his brother could not get out of Saigon before they were killed. (See Douglass, pgs. 207-10)

When he learned of the brothers' deaths, Kennedy was shocked and agonized. Arthur Schlesinger said he had not seen him so depressed since the Bay of Pigs disaster. (ibid, p. 211) In fact, as a result of this outcome he planned on doing two things. First, he was going to review the process by which the cable had been sent. (Gordon Goldstein, Lessons in Disaster, p. 90) Second, he was going to recall Lodge to Washington for the purpose of firing him. (Douglass, p. 375) His death interceded with those plans. But obviously, if he had supported what Lodge had done, he would not be doing either one.

Three strikes isn't enough for the Times. They actually even try and blame the death of Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic on Kennedy. This happened just four months after Kennedy was inaugurated. The truth is that Trujillo was probably the most unpopular man in South America at the time. Why? Because he tried to kill Venezuelan leader Romulo Betancourt with a car bomb in 1960. As a result the OAS severed relations with him. He then had the three Mirabel sisters-Patria, Maria, and Minerva-who protested his dictatorship, murdered. Because Trujillo was such a bloodthirsty dictator, the CIA had plotted with dissidents in country to kill him as far back as 1958. (William Blum The CIA: A Forgotten History, p. 196) But as Blum notes, although the CIA did supply arms for an assassination attempt, there is no proof these were used in the murder. Which appears to have been a spur of the moment affair carried out by the local dissidents. (ibid) Blum does note that American cooperation with them cooled after Kennedy took office. (ibid, p. 197)

In fact, in 1963, Kennedy told his friend George Smathers that he had to get control of the CIA. Precisely because he was appalled by the idea of political assassination. Smathers said: "I remember him saying that the CIA frequently did things he didn't know about, and he was unhappy about it. He complained that the CIA was almost autonomous. He told me he believed the CIA had arranged to have Diem and Trujillo bumped off. He was pretty shocked about that. He thought it was a stupid thing to do, and he wanted to get control of what the CIA was doing." (The Assassinations, p. 329) As many people who have studied the Kennedy assassination believe, the CIA understood this was Kennedy's intent in a second term. And they decided to get Kennedy before he got them. You will never ever hear this sentiment voiced in the Times, since they have almost always pimped for the CIA. Including covering up their drug running aspects when the late Gary Webb exposed some of them.

The article then gets even more ridiculous. Somehow the authors include the murder of General Rene Schneider as part of Kennedy's watch. The problem is Kennedy had been dead for seven years when Schneider was assassinated by allies of the CIA. His death was part of the CIA program ordered by President Nixon and Henry Kissinger to stop Salvador Allende from stepping up to the presidency. (William Blum, p. 237)

If you can believe it, the Times actually sources the Church Committee report in this article. Even though that report discovered no evidence that the Kennedys were involved in any of these deaths. In fact, in my essay I argued that it was this verdict that caused the CIA and its rightwing allies to begin to circulate disinformation to reverse what Sen. Frank Church had uncovered. That campaign has been unrelenting ever since. The Times, with former Nixon speechwriter William Safire in their employ, has been a prime part of it. (The Assassinations, p. 329)

Towards the end, the article cites the most ancient CIA disinformation tale of all: Oswald killed Kennedy for Castro because Castro found out about the plots against himself. Which, as Castro has noted, is utterly ridiculous on two grounds. First, as Jim Douglass has described in detail, Kennedy and Castro were hard at work on détente at the time. (pgs. 248-50) And secondly, as Jesse Ventura relates in his book American Conspiracies, Castro told him he would have never risked a full-scale invasion of Cuba over such a thing. The article also mentions the meeting in Paris in November of 1963 between a CIA representative and recruited Castro assassin Rolando Cubela. What they do not say is that CIA official Richard Helms had deliberately kept this from the Kennedys. Even though the CIA representative meeting with Cubela told him that RFK knew about it. (Douglass, p. 251)

The article concludes with "One need not believe in conspiracy theories about JFK to be seriously concerned about the wisdom of JFK's assassination policy. The laws of war and self defense may permit political assassination in certain cases, but prudence dictates thinking carefully before pulling that fateful trigger."

The only assassination theories discussed in this article are the half-baked ones about Kennedy's mythological executive action programs. Which, as shown above, he actually opposed. In opposition to the authors, the fact that Kennedy was actually killed by a political conspiracy is not a theory. The revelations of the ARRB have shown it to be a fact. But you will never learn that in the New York Times. Which in its nonsensical agenda on the issue, makes a strange alliance with the likes of John McAdams and Noam Chomsky.

This is one more farcical piece of gutter journalism by the Times on the subjects of President Kennedy's policies and his murder. It's a smelly trail that goes back to 1963. And it shows no sign of abating. So Alec, as much as I liked you in Glengarry Glen Ross and others, I think you are dead wrong on the hole the Times would leave behind. If it went under, I wouldn't miss it at all. One reason being that a pile of lies like this would not have its imprimatur assigned to it.

But its publication shows why that imprimatur isn't worth very much anymore.

http://www.ctka.net/2010/nyt.html

Has anyone written the NY Times directly and demanded a correction.

- lee

Yea, lee I want to know too.

If anybody actually still reads the NYTs, please keep track of this and let us know if they run a retraction or allow someone else to write an OpEd piece that corrects their numerous mistakes and false perspective.

BK

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