2009 Five Presidents George W. Bush, President Elect Barack Obama, Former Presidents George H W Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter Portrait
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"There were incidents and accidents/there were hints and allegations." Paul Simon
Children love to trace, to connect the dots, to make connections, but often the connections they make frighten adults who try to ignore their points or offer some ridiculous circumlocutions. Maybe we adults are much like children in our desires to make connections, but the thought of it frightens us. Suppose we could for a while calm those fears and concentrate long enough to trace through the dim glimmerings of a faded pattern, a clarifying story, that would jolt us into an awareness that could change our lives and society. I offer here an arc of history that you may consider tedious. Try patience. I could yell, I could scream, I could try all the classical argumentation and logic that comes "naturally" to me. I could be a wise guy, amuse you, try to provoke you, curse, sing a song, stomp my feet -- even write post-modern gibberish. As Andre Vltchek says, it's hard -- I'm putting it nicely -- to get through, to have an impact that counts. We desperately want to believe in a world where we really are children and BIG Daddy (apologies to Burl Ives) has told the truth. Obviously I have reached some stern conclusions, but I think the conclusions follow from the facts. See what you think.
1957 Massachusetts Senator John Kennedy delivers a Senate speech in support of the Algerian liberation movement, in support of African liberation generally, and against colonial imperialism. The speech causes an international uproar, and Kennedy is harshly attacked by Eisenhower, Nixon, John Foster Dulles, and even liberals such as Adlai Stevenson. He is praised in the third world.
1959 George H.W. Bush moves his oil company -- Zapata Offshore -- to Houston, Texas. One of Zapata's drilling rigs, Scorpion, having been moved from the Gulf of Mexico the previous year, is now operating 54 miles north of Cuba.
1960 On March 17 President Eisenhower approves the Bay of Pigs project.
1961 On January 17, in anticipation of Kennedy's inauguration in three days, the Belgian government in complicity with the CIA assassinates Congolese nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba. On February 13th a devastated Kennedy receives a belated phone call informing him of Lumumba's murder.
1961 April. More than a week before the CIA-led Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba -- code-named the Zapata Operation -- the CIA discovers that the Soviets have learned the date of the invasion and informed Castro. Knowing the invasion is doomed in advance, the CIA Director Allen Dulles doesn't tell Kennedy. When the invasion fails, the CIA blames JFK who angrily says he wants "to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds." Kennedy fires Dulles.
1962 On June 13 Lee Harvey Oswald, ex-Marine and alleged traitor, returns from the Soviet Union with a loan from the State Department that also arranges for him, together with his Russian wife, to be met at the dock in Hoboken, New Jersey, by Spas T. Raikin, an official of an anti-communist organization with extensive intelligence connections. Oswald soon moves to Dallas, Texas, where, at the behest of the CIA, he is chaperoned around by CIA asset and George H.W. Bush's old friend, George de Mohrenschildt.
1963 June 10. JFK delivers his famous American University address calling for an end to "a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war."
1963 On October 11 Kennedy issues National Security Action Memorandum 263 calling for the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from Vietnam by the end of 1963 and all of them by the end of 1965.
1963 November 2. At the last minute JFK cancels his trip to Chicago to attend the Army-Air Force football game when it is learned that a four-man rifle team has plotted to assassinate him. The four are never charged or named, but an alienated ex-Marine scapegoat with CIA connections, Thomas Arthur Vallee, is arrested on a pretext. Vallee works in a building overlooking a dog-leg turn where JFK's car was to pass.
1963 November 22. JFK is shot in Dallas on a dog-leg turn at 12:30 P.M. and dies at 1 P.M. At 1:38 P.M. Walter Cronkite makes the first public announcement of the president's death. At 1:45 P.M. George H.W. Bush, who is in Tyler, Texas, an hour and a half southeast of Dallas, telephones Houston FBI agent Graham W. Kitchel to inform him that he's heard gossip that a Houston man, James Parrot, has been talking about killing Kennedy when he comes to Houston (JFK had been in Houston the day before). Parrot is questioned and deemed harmless. Bush tells the FBI agent that he'll be going to Dallas in the evening, though he fails to mention that he was there the night before. At 1:50 PM the Dallas police arrest Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas theatre and charge him with the murder of Dallas police Officer J.D. Tippett. A few minutes after Oswald's arrest and his exit out the front door to waiting police cars, a second Oswald is arrested in the theatre and surreptitiously taken out the back door. Later in the day Oswald is charged with also killing President Kennedy from behind from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. But the fatal shot to Kennedy's head comes from the left front.
1963 Two days later Ruby kills Oswald, who claimed he was a patsy, in the Dallas police building. That same afternoon LBJ tells Henry Cabot Lodge that "I am not going to lose Vietnam."
1963 November 29. LBJ announces the formation of the Warren Commission whose key member is Allen Dulles, the former CIA Director fired by Kennedy.
1963 On December 24th Johnson tells the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Just get me elected, and then you can have your war."