And so it was. And here we are today, armed to the teeth, as dangerous as any rogue state, gazillions in debt and mired in despair, decay and dysfunction.
So who or what is this Unspeakable?
When he first used the term, Thomas Merton was referring to the secret and silent power that gave itself dominion some 15 years before Kennedy was killed. The National Security Act of 1947 established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency, and officially renamed the Department of War the Department of Defense. Not content to leave Orwell-enough alone, in 1948 President Harry Truman's National Security Council approved the top secret direction NSC 10/2 that would empower the CIA to carry out covert acts under the veil of secrecy. Truman's original understanding of the CIA was as an intelligence-gathering (i.e., spying) organization, but under this new mandate, the CIA became another arm of warfare-waging propaganda campaigns, sabotage, and "executive action" (their own benign term for assassination).
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It was another seemingly innocent phrase, "plausible deniability," that gave this secret government carte blanche. Because NSC 10/2 blatantly violated international law, it required some form of "lie-ability" insurance. The directive stated that all such activities were to be "so planned and executed that any U.S. government responsibility is not evident to unauthorized persons, and if uncovered the U.S. government can plausibly deny any responsibility for them."
So did elements from our secret government have anything to do with a plot to kill John F. Kennedy? Douglass presents no definitive proof of any particular higher-up calling the shots, although the circumstantial evidence—if one is willing to see the patterns—is overwhelming. Again, you will have to read the book and make your own conclusions.
And this is where the third character in the story enters: the American people.
Several years ago, I read an article by journalist Doug Thompson published by OpEdNews.com. In it, Thompson recalls a 1981 encounter with the late John Connally, the former governor of Texas who was wounded in the Kennedy assassination. In an unguarded moment, Thompson asked Connally, "Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald fired the gun that killed Kennedy?" "Absolutely not," Connally said. "I do not, for one second, believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission." "So why not speak out?" Thompson asked. "I will never speak out publicly about what I believe," Connally replied, "because I love this country and we needed closure at the time." Now, half a century after that devastating perpetration, a dozen years since 9-11 and months after revelations that, via the NSA, the government is indeed "listening to the people," we might want to ask, how well did "closure" serve us?
As I read the story of how Kennedy and Khrushchev and Pope John XXIII were secretly plotting for peace during that year following the Cuban Missile Crisis ("Nothing is impossible," wrote the pope shortly before he died), I see a dream interrupted. And only by immersing ourselves in this dark history and shining the light of awareness, love and understanding can we pick up the pieces and renew this journey, with greater unity, wisdom and resolve. Read this book. Speak about the unspeakable. It may well be America's pathway to redemption.
Steve Bhaerman, aka Swami Beyondananda, is a humorist, political 'uncommontator' and author. He can be found at www.wakeuplaughing.com.