(King Henry VI.part 2, act 3, sc. 1)
The assassination of President Kennedy in November 22, 1963 and the catastrophe of Sep 11, 2001 are events biblical, or even apocalyptic, in scope and in history – but they have some common characteristics.
The dynamics of the cases are inexplicable, the official explanations are implausible and what happened after the event is absurd.
Beforehand, the coincidences are mysterious. Afterwards, the actions are incomprehensible and the omissions unthinkable.
All seems to conspire to create a myriad of theories and explanations for answerless questions.
The official versions do not stand up, but, among many speculations, it becomes impossible to declare which one is the most acceptable or least out of range. And when notions and news are confused it is possible to hold up all and the contrary of all.
In the end, the majority is left with the perception that what happened will ever remain unknown. The official version is hard to believe, but it is impossible to find an alternative on which all (or at least a majority) may agree.
For the government, the matter is closed. Who insists on re-opening it is branded as a “conspiracy theorist”, a disparaging label. On the other hand, it is too easy to equate the skeptics with those who swear to have witnessed space ships and space aliens land in the New Mexico desert.
Let’s briefly review the chronicles of an event distant in time, but still alive in the media and in the collective conscience of America.
Kennedy was not the first American president assassinated while in office, he was the fourth. The first and famous assassination was Abraham Lincoln’s in 1865. James Garfield was next in 1891 and in 1905 it was the turn of William McKinley. However, before Kennedy it was easy to identify the authors of the crimes, their motives and co-conspirators.
With Lincoln, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was a hard-core Southern nationalist, fanatically attached to the Confederation recently defeated by the Unionists in the Civil War.
James Garfield’s killer was clearly mad, as shown in the trial that ended up with a death sentence.
William McKinley’s assassin was an anarchist, of the type current in Europe at the beginning of the XXth century. He shot the president during a public meeting as McKinley extended his arm for a handshake.
But with Kennedy, the circumstances – to use a reductive adjective given the dimension of the tragedy – are bizarre.
At midday on Nov 22, 1963 a bullet or bullets hit Kennedy’s head and his skull is shattered. Today we can watch on line the amateur movie taken by a spectator with his camera – the famous ‘Zapruder’ movie. In it Kennedy first collapses in the arms of his wife Jacqueline, apparently hit by the first bullet. Another immediately follows – it opens Kennedy’s skull and pushes him backward.
The official government version is that the bullet was shot from behind the vehicle, from the sixth floor of the book depository for Texas schools.
A few hours later, the media announces that the assassin was captured in a cinema where he was watching a movie. He is Lee Harvey Oswald and is immediately named as the only author of the crime – even though the Dallas daily quotes Texas’ Attorney General saying, “Preliminary reports indicate that more than one person was involved in the shooting.”
And here the oddities begin, not in order of importance.
The “Zapruder Movie” is not immediately made public; it is retained by the government while a copy is released to the “Life” magazine. One year later, the magazine publishes a frame from the movie with an explanation. In a later issue another frame is published with a different and significantly contradictory explanation. Furthermore, a static frame of a wounded person cannot reveal the direction from where the bullet (or bullets) came. The government (the notorious Warren report) claims that the bullet(s) came from behind, the skeptics claim that the devastating second bullet came from the front.
The next oddity. There is a medical document signed by the doctor who conducted the autopsy, “I James Humes, declare of having destroyed the preliminary notes relative to autopsy A63-272…” Given the enormity of the case, the destruction of the notes reporting immediate observations made on the spot, seems, as mentioned, bizarre
But now absurdity is unstoppable. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested in a cinema, not for the assassination of Kennedy but of a policeman, J.D. Tibbit who, allegedly, attempted to arrest him one hour earlier.
Oswald is then led to the central police station and interrogated for two days. He absolutely denies being Kennedy’s assassin. He admits to have been and worked in the Soviet Union where he got married. Yes, he owned a gun, bought through the mail and he also had a pistol. Curiosity inside the curiosity. The gun was an Italian carbine built in 1940, and discontinued by Mussolini’s government for some technical reasons.
During the interrogation, Oswald insist on communicating with a New York attorney. He remembered that the attorney had assisted an indicted man accused through questionable evidence.
Next oddity – there is no recording of Oswald’s interrogation and a mystery surrounds the presence or absence of notes taken during the interrogatory, that lasted more than twelve hours. Part of the notes were discovered, 44 years later, in 1997. It is however firm that Oswald strongly denied to be Kennedy’s or the policeman’s assassin.
And then the impossible. While Oswald is transferred from a police office to a prison, Jacob Rubinstein (alias Jack Rubi) kills him with a pistol, in front of a bunch of policemen, journalists and cameras.
Jack Rubi owns a red-light strip-club and is linked, through friendship and business with some characters of the Chicago’s mafia, where he originally came from.
During the trial, Rubi maintains that he killed Oswald to revenge Kennedy’s death and out of pity for his widow Jacqueline. Given the character and the penal precedents, Rubi’s explanation is dense with improbability, but it remains the official version delivered to history. Ruby dies two years later in prison, of cancer, waiting for a re-trial.
And now to the circumstances surrounding the main event.
It should be remembered that during the cold war years, the American government had launched a non-stop campaign to convince the populace that a nuclear attack from Russia was not only possible, but likely. In schools all over the country, atomic attacks were rehearsed and children had to duck under their desks upon hearing the siren. Hollywood produced apocalyptic movies showing America during and after an attack from the Russians.
A few years earlier the famous (or infamous) senator McCarthy had launched a witch-hunt against anyone suspected of harboring socialist (and therefore communist) leanings. All accused were interrogated for hours in front a legislative panel. He who was investigated automatically lost his job or teaching position if he taught in a school or college.
In 1959 there had been the Cuban revolution with the onset of the Castro regime. The US reacted in 1961 with the Bay of Pigs invasion, launched from Guatemala. The CIA told Kennedy that the invaders would be welcomed as “liberators” but it was not so.
The invasion failed, but, given the anti-communist fever of the times, in the Congress and the Senate, the media accused Kennedy of having betrayed democracy. Why did he not involve the army and the air-force to invade Cuba and eliminate Castro?
To the industrial-military arm of the establishment the Bay of Pigs affair was hard to swallow. If Kennedy did not want to implicate directly the Americans, the Pentagon then made an extraordinary proposal.
Here we are not talking about inferences or hearsay. The document is even available online, having been released from the government archives in 2001, thanks to the “Freedom of Information” Act. An act that, given the extreme secrecy of everything in the country today, has a peculiar Orwellian ring.
Pentagon’s idea is to launch a series of terrorist attacks in America, conducted by fake Cuban agents, plus an attack on an American ship with a plane painted with Cuban colors insignia. The plan had a name, “Operation Northwood.”
Here are the excerpted most important sections,
- Since it would seem desirable to use legitimate provocation as the basis for U.S. military intervention in Cuba a cover and deception plan, to include requisite preliminary actions such as has been developed in response to Task 33 c, could be executed as an initial effort to provoke Cuban reactions. Harassment plus deceptive actions to convince the Cubans of imminent invasion would be emphasized. Our military posture throughout execution of the plan will allow a rapid change from exercise to intervention if Cuban response justifies.
- A series of well coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces.
- Incidents to establish a credible attack (not in chronological order):
- Start rumors (many). Use clandestine radio.
- Land friendly Cubans in uniform “over-the-fence” to stage attack on base.
- Capture Cuban (friendly) saboteurs inside the base.
- Start riots near the base main gate (friendly Cubans).
- Blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires.
- Burn aircraft on air base (sabotage).
- Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base. Some damage to installations.
- Capture assault teams approaching from the sea or vicinity of Guantanamo City.
- Capture militia group which storms the base.
- Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires – naphthalene —
- Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims (may be in lieu of (10)).
- United States would respond by executing offensive operations to secure water and power supplies, destroying artillery and mortar emplacements which threaten the base.
- Commence large scale United States military operations.
- Incidents to establish a credible attack (not in chronological order):
- A “Remember the Maine” incident could be arranged in several forms:
- We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.
- We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result of Cuban attack from the air or sea, or both. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack. The nearness to Havana or Santiago would add credibility especially to those people that might have heard the blast or have seen the fire. The United States could follow up with an air/sea rescue operation covered by U.S. fighters to “evacuate” remaining members of the non-existent crew. Casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.
- We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington.
The terror campaign could be pointed at refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement, also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.
- A “Cuban-based, Castro-supported” filibuster could be simulated against a neighboring Caribbean nation (in the vein of the 14 June invasion of the Dominican Republic). We know that Castro is backing subversive efforts clandestinely against Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Nicaragua at present and possible others. These efforts can be magnified and additional ones contrived for exposure. For example, advantage can be taken of the sensitivity of the Dominican Air Force to intrusions within their national air space. “Cuban” B-26 or C-46 type aircraft could make cane-burning raids at night. Soviet Bloc incendiaries could be found. This could be coupled with “Cuban” messages to the Communist underground in the Dominican Republic and “Cuban” shipments of arm which would be found, or intercepted, on the beach.
- Use of MIG type aircraft by U.S. pilots could provide additional provocation. Harassment of civil air, attacks on surface shipping and destruction of U.S. military drone aircraft by MIG type planes would be useful as complementary actions. An F-86 properly painted would convince air passengers that they saw a Cuban MIG, especially if the pilot of the transport were to announce such fact. The primary drawback to this suggestion appears to be the security risk inherent in obtaining or modifying an aircraft. However, reasonable copies of the MIG could be produced from U.S. resources in about three months.
- Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft should appear to continue as harassing measures condoned by the government of Cuba. Concurrently, genuine defections of Cuban civil and military air and surface craft should be encouraged.
- It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight.
- An aircraft at Eglin Airforce Base would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.
- Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Eglin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will begin transmitting on the international distress frequency a “MAY DAY” message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by destruction of the aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal. This will allow ICAO radiostations in the Western Hemisphere to tell the United States what has happened to the aircraft instead of the United States trying to “sell” the incident.
- It is possible to create an incident which will make it appear that Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack.
- Approximately 4 or 5 F-101aircraft will be dispatched in trail from Homestead Air Force Base Florida, to the vicinity of Cuba. Their mission will be to reverse course and simulate aircraft maneuvers for an air defense exercise in southern Florida. These aircraft would conduct variations of these flights at frequent Intervals. Crews would be briefed to remain at least 12 miles off the Cuban coast; however, they would be required to carry live ammunition in the event that hostile actions were taken by the Cuban MIGs.
- On one such flight, a pre-briefed pilot would fly tail-end Charley at considerable interval between aircraft. While near the Cuban Island this pilot would broadcast that he had been jumped by MIGs and was going down. No other calls would be made. The pilot would then fly directly west at extremely low altitude and land at a secure base, an Eglin auxiliary. The aircraft would be met by the proper people, quickly stored and given a new tail number. The pilot who had performed the mission under an alias, would resume his proper identity and return to his normal place of business. The pilot and aircraft would then have disappeared.
- At precisely the same time that the aircraft was presumably shot down, a submarine or small surface craft would disburse F-101 parts, parachute, etc., at approximately 15 to 20 miles off the Cuban coast and depart. The pilots returning to Homestead would have a true story as far as they knew. Search ships and aircraft could be dispatched and parts of aircraft found.
Here are the comments of James Bamford (ex-Intelligence Analyst and Journalist) on Northwoods:
“Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer (chief of staff) and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.”
Kennedy refused to approve the plan and now the industrial-military establishment was on a war footing. The US Army Chief called Kennedy “worse than Chamberlain” referring to the Munich agreement with Hitler.
Readers will know or remember the missile crisis of 1961, resolved with the removal of the Russian missiles from Cuba in exchange for the removal of American missiles from Turkey. It is meaningful that the Soviet premier Khrushchev agreed to keep secret the removal of the American missiles from Turkey to prevent additional problems for Kennedy. And it is ironic that one of the strongest propaganda suits against the Soviet Union was the secrecy with which the Soviet government shrouded the Russian citizens – a charge diffused by all arts and methods of propagation. Bob Kennedy had told Khrushchev that there was real possibility of a coup d’etat in the US by the military.
In summary, it is possible that Kennedy’s assassination may have been the action of one person only, as documented in the 26 volume report of the Warren Commissions. But given the above, it is understandable why so many Americans do not believe the report.
The staging of a fake enemy attack to justify a war has a long history in American annals – to the point of having entered the vocabulary with a descriptive name – false-flag operation.
For example, in 1964, president Lyndon Johnson, addressing the nation on television, announced that three North-Vietnamese corvettes had attacked the US destroyer Maddox. This was the justification (or excuse) to send troops to Vietnam on la large scale. A war that, as readers know, caused 58000 deaths among the American troops and between 2 to 3 million among the North-Vietnamese.
This too was a “false-flag” operation, as later revealed. It does not end here. Robert McNamara, the architect of the Vietnam war enriched himself even further by publishing in the 1990s a book titled “Reflection – the Tragedy and the Lessons of Vietnam.” The book exposes the theory that, according to him, the Vietnam war was “wrong”.
If the dead millions could speak, they would probably say, “…you have a cheek”. But in the Calvinistic view of the world MacNamara had been “anointed by God”. He was blessed when he was a criminal and blessed when he repented. After all, “You do not quarrel with success.”
Shakespeare at Work (from the book “Your Daily Shakespeare”). Use sarcastically when you feel that some colleagues at work conspire against you (more or less) secretly.
In the Play. Gloucester is aware that his enemies have conspired to see him dead. Gloucester is Lord Protector to King Henry VI.