JFK Assassination Forum

JFK Assassination Discussion & Debate => JFK Assassination Discussion & Debate => Topic started by: Jon Banks on January 19, 2022, 02:48:00 AM

Title: What Ike’s military industrial complex speech didn’t say
Post by: Jon Banks on January 19, 2022, 02:48:00 AM
What Ike’s military industrial complex speech didn’t say

Today is the 61st anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s coining of the Military Industrial Complex in his farewell address, Jan. 17, 1961. His departure and the incoming Kennedy administration would herald, at least in popular lore, the New Frontier. Three years later, the young Kennedy would be dead, an assassination forever at the center of unresolved collective disbelief and mystery. Conspiracy theories have abounded, most all of them involving some level of government cover-up in the aftermath of the assassination.

The latest tranche of declassified JFK documents in December hasn’t helped, for sure. They reaffirm a level of CIA knowledge of suspected lone gunman Harvey Lee Oswald years and weeks before the assassination heretofore unknown. The CIA had long constructed a narrative, beginning during the 1964 Warren Commission investigation of Kennedy’s killing, that the agency’s awareness of Oswald before November 22, 1963 was minimal. We know now, due to all of the documents declassified up through the last year, that the CIA was actively lying.

According to longtime CIA and Kennedy assassination biographer Jefferson Morely, the amount of info the agency had stored up on this so-called lonesome loser before that day in Dallas was “more like maximal...”
None of this of course is a smoking gun that the CIA killed the president, or that the agency knew of perpetrators other than Oswald, and covered it up. But it leaves the biggest question unanswered, “why did the CIA lie?”

What any of this has to do with Eisenhower is clear. We know that the CIA under Eisenhower had flourished in its secret Cold War operations throughout the 1950’s, particularly under the aegis of Allen Dulles (Deputy CIA Director 1951-1953; Director 1953-1961). While the president had shown a reticence for major military conflict (as a former commanding general he had seen his share in World War II), he had allowed the CIA a long tether in terms of covert action, which we now know included a sordid number of activities, including the assassination of political leaders (and/or attempts), regime change (including the overthrow Iran’s democratic elected leader Mossadegh in 1953), and notorious mind control/LSD experiments. Ted Snider has a good round-up of some of the most notorious CIA-backed foreign coups here. The bottom line is by November 22, 1963, they became essentially, unaccountable.
What he did not realize is that the covert alternative that he had allowed Dulles to expand had become its own gigantic complex of spies, paired with scientists and researchers, a labyrinth of civilian institutional collaborators, and an explosion of unrestrained taxpayer funding, corrupted by power and driven by ideology, secrecy, and fear. By its very nature it would thwart any possibility for an “alert and knowledgeable citizenry,” and not until the 1974 Church Committee hearings did the American people know the things that had been done in their names, before and after the Kennedy assassination. Thanks to the destruction and/or classification of files we may never know the full extent.



Great piece. While Eisenhower was right about the MIC, he seems to have had a huge blindspot when it came to the dangers of Covert Operations.

In contrast, President Harry Truman instinctively saw a connection between Kennedy's assassination and the CIA's activities and called for the CIA to be weakened one month after 11/22/63.

There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.” President Harry S. Truman wrote those words in an op-ed for the Washington Post on Dec.22, 1963, entitled “Limit CIA Role to Intelligence.”

This was exactly one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and a bit more than 10 years before the formation of the Church Committee, chaired by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, to study abuses in the intelligence committee (which was a precursor to today's permanent Senate Select Committee on Intelligence).