Jacob’s responds to Dan Ellsberg’s JFK challenge: what do you want to happen when people come to an understanding of the causes of Kennedy’s death?
Jacob: “A total dismantling of the national-security state apparatus, including the standing army, the empire of foreign and domestic military bases, the CIA, the NSA, and the entire military-industrial complex, along with the taxes that fund them, as well as a termination of a foreign policy based on foreign aid, foreign intervention, foreign wars, and foreign meddling.”
5 thoughts on “The Ellsberg challenge: ‘dismantling the national-security state’”
I’d go with abolishing the CIA and a review of Eisenhower’s farewell address. Ike knew what he was talking about, and failure to respect the message of the 34th POTUS played a big role in JFK’s death.
Paul Turner July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am
I don’t think so. What about JFK was there for the military/industrial complex not to like?
“In the past 3 years we have increased the defense budget of the United States by over 20 percent; increased the program of acquisition for Polaris submarines from 24 to 41; increased our Minuteman missile purchase program by more than 75 percent; doubled the number of strategic bombers and missiles on alert; doubled the number of nuclear weapons available in the strategic alert forces; increased the tactical nuclear forces deployed
in Western Europe by over 60 percent; added five combat ready divisions to the Army of the United States, and five tactical fighter wings to the Air Force of the United States; increased our strategic airlift capability by 75 percent; and increased our special counter-insurgency forces which are engaged now in South Viet-Nam by 600 percent. I hope those who want a
stronger America and place it on some signs will also place those figures next to it.” ——-John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963.
If Jack Kennedy (and presumably his brother, Bobby) were such good friends with the military-industrial complex as you say, what do you think happened to Bobby by 1967? He became friendly with the anti-Vietnam crowd of “doves”. He claimed that his older brother Jack would have not escalated the war in Vietnam, at least to some of his aides, and he spoke out for ending the war in Vietnam as a presidential candidate in the 1968 primaries.
I think if you go back and look again at what JFK was doing as opposed to what he was SAYING politically, you have my answer: John F. Kennedy was quietly steering a course away from military conflict and the growth of the military-intelligence state, along the lines of his June, 1963 American University speech. At the same time, he knew he had to get reelected in 1964, so he continued to talk of arms build ups and support for the military, even on the day he was killed (Fort Worth Chamber breakfast speech for ex. in support of military programs). I’ve seen many politicians do this in history. Woodrow Wilson PROMISED in the 1916 presidential campaign that he would keep American boys out of the European conflict (WW1). Of course, once he got his second term, he put American forces into Europe in 1917. Imagine that!
JSA August 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm
I didn’t say they were good friends. I merely pointed out what JFK had, in his own words, done to beef up our military. This was a massive increase sure to make the military/industrial complex happy. Don’t get me wrong, I salute JFK for doing this. At the time it needed to be done to correct the damage Ike had done to our security by his dependence on nuclear weapons; Ike’s “New Look”.
What happened to Bobby was what happened to many after the war became unpopular at home; all of a sudden they became anti-war. He certainly wasn’t anti-war when it was his brother’s war. I’m not familiar with what Bobby told his aides. Could you refresh my memory please? I am familiar with what Bobby said in his oral history at the JFK Library and he didn’t say Jack was abandoning South Vietnam.
I too am a big believer in what a politician does and not what he says. He did what he said he did in his Fort Worth speech. These were not just words, they were accomplished facts. I can tell you what he did in Vietnam, hoping by now you have had time to study NSAM 263.
After the Cuban Missile Crisis I have no doubt JFK wanted to cool off the Cold War. But he had many in his way of doing this, including a staunch enemy, the American Right Wing and so forth. It takes two to dance and I’m not sure JFK had enough partners here. Again I salute him for his desire here.
A little different situation there-as the Germans sunk the Lusitania, which had Americans on board. We’ll never know how JFK would have reacted to the Tonkin Gulf incident, nor would there have BEEN one were he still alive.