A few weeks ago I finished reading Jim Douglass's "JFK and the Unspeakable". It is one of those books that should be required reading for all Americans. Its documentation - even more than its narrative which concurred with a lot of my memories of the evidence that disappeared under the "scrutiny" of the Warren Commission, led me to believe that Douglass's conclusions were probably right. He concluded that JFK was taken out by the CIA because he was bent on negotiating a peace with the Soviet Union and Castro that recognized their right to exist.
Implicit in their right to exist is their right to protest and downscale our "free market" dominance of the world's markets through corporate power - the very heartbeat of the shift of wealth to the few at the cost of the poverty to the many.
Being unsettled by the strong feelings aroused by the fact that my long-held vague feelings that some unknown group had taken JFK out for reasons I didn't understand had gelled into the strong possibility that our own government as embodied in the CIA did the deed, I turned to the only source I knew personally and trusted enough to ask. I emailed a man I met while hosting a Peace Network of the Ozarks sponsored panel discussion about the motivations behind the Iraq war ex-CIA agent Ray McGovern and asked him if Douglass had it right.
Had I known, I could have waited and just read Ray's last two articles which appeared in both www.consortiumnews.com and our own OpEdNews pointing out the correctness and implications of Douglass's conclusions, but instead I got it straight from the horse's mouth that Ray believed Douglass had nailed it.
Concurrently, I was working on a piece that was finally published in our local paper, the Springfield News-Leader, just yesterday listing several of the meaningful failures of the Obama Administration and its Democratic Congress including the failure to force a public option in its healthcare legislation, continuing to espouse the doctrine of pre-emptive war, failing to prosecute the Bush Administration for its criminal acts, continuation of the Clinton created "renditions" program, and failure to stand tall at the Copenhagen talks on global warming.
The point of my article was to raise this question: "Did we really get anywhere with our last election, or is American governance so controlled behind the scenes that we have no hope of meaningful change via existing political means?"
Just last night a horrendous thought occurred to me related to Copenhagen, to wit: If we have a government so bent on economic dominance that it would kill the finest of its presidents to protect that dominance, could its unwritten environmental policy be to oppose global warming initiatives for the same reason? If so, it would not hesitate to kill another president if he went too far toward saving populations other than the American wealthy through sane ecological policies.
In other words, could our true foreign policy be to ignore the plight of the many who will suffer and die from the effects of global warming in order to continue our oil based dominance? Is that why we refrain from developing protective policies? Is that why the far right so steadfastly denies the existence of human effect on global warming? Is that why, in their push to keep the status quo, they are willing to ignore the advice of the world's scientists in exactly the same way they were willing to ignore the advice of their best intelligence agents in order to go to war in Iraq?
These suspicions led me into more conspiracy theories - a grey area that won't provide any proof of their veracity until enough time has passed that, like the evidence in the JFK assassination, the facts of our government's manipulations come to light through the release of "information withheld for reasons of national security". (Read reasons of security for the makers of insane national policy.)
The upshot for us, dear reader, is only that it behooves us to listen carefully to the few Ray McGoverns of the world and then to do our best to spread their gospel. So, listen to Ray, my friends. Listen to Greg Palast and Amy Goodman. Listen to Rob Kall and Bob Parry, and then speak up.
We can't expect heroes like Barak Obama or Dennis Kucinich to be able to take the presidency and then make the necessary changes. They are too vulnerable. They are too easily taken the way of JFK, and once in office, they must realize it immediately. At that point they have to choose, as Obama may already have done, between pushing against the system until they are taken out or moving incrementally enough to accomplish small changes but not seriously affect the status quo.
The change must come from the people and it must come through the Congress. What a disturbing thought that is! But Ray McGovern has the right of it. The Congress must pull the teeth of the CIA because nothing else short of revolution can do it. Only Congress has the legal authority to pull the rug out from under our rogue intelligence community.
If, as Ray advocates, Congress were to remove from the CIA all power to conduct and support guerilla warfare, to assassinate "enemies" and to topple "opposition" governments around the world ala Iran, Guatemala, etc., they would only be taking back the powers granted them by the founding fathers. The same applies to the presidential ability to take us to war.
This is where the efforts of the American peace movement should be focused. We can stand on corners and shake signs against war all we want. At that level we are no threat to anyone. Our only hope is to elect to Congress men and women of progressive stripe who understand that the real risk to national and international security lies behind the scenes within our own government's intelligence community and who are committed to excising that malignancy.
Listen to Ray McGovern and people like him who speak the truth to power, but don't expect those voices to cause the necessary change.
The only saving grace America - or any other government (think Tiananmen Square) - still possesses is that if enough citizens are committed enough to sacrifice themselves, they can still have an effect on national policies.