Gerald Ford, flanked by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, April 28, 1975.
Yesterday, a strange thing popped up in my e-mail. Via the National Security Archive, a story that’s not exactly new, and yet is newsworthy all the same:
Washington, DC, February 29, 2016 – The Gerald Ford White House significantly altered the final report of the supposedly independent 1975 Rockefeller Commission investigating CIA domestic activities, over the objections of senior Commission staff, according to internal White House and Commission documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). The changes included removal of an entire 86-page section on CIA assassination plots and numerous edits to the report by then-deputy White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney.
Today’s posting includes the entire suppressed section on assassination attempts, Cheney’s handwritten marginal notes, staff memos warning of the fallout of deleting the controversial section, and White House strategies for presenting the edited report to the public. The documents show that the leadership of the presidentially-appointed commission deliberately curtailed the investigation and ceded its independence to White House political operatives.
Notice that familiar name in there? Yup, Dick Cheney — the Big Dick himself — had a key role in the cover-up of the truth around the JFK assassination. And he did it while working under Gerald Ford — who was first involved with the infamous Warren Commission, which covered up a lot more than it ultimately revealed.
This doesn’t come as much surprise to me. After all, George H.W. Bush — yes, that’s right, the first president Bush — was the CIA’s chief at the time. And Cheney would later rise through the ranks while he was president, rising even further as the running mate and vice president to George W. Bush, the senior Bush’s son. It’s a tidy little clique they’ve got going there, with more than a little nepotism going on.
Now, recall that the CIA contracted the real assassins through the Mafia (that’s right, assassins — none of which was Lee Harvey Oswald!). They were already in the dirty-tricks game in foreign countries: the putsches in Greece, Iran, the Congo, Latin America, you name it. Anywhere a right-wing dictator suddenly demolished local democracy and socialism for the benefit of US business interests, you can bet the CIA’s greasy pugmarks were all over it.
And when a progressive-minded Democratic president took the White House in 1960, and started making noises about ending the CIA’s war in Vietnam and “splinter[ing] the CIA into a thousand pieces”, it didn’t take much for the dirty-tricks machine to make itself useful to fascist interests right at home in the good ol’ US of A. Which is where the coverup part comes in.
You see, it’s highly illegal for US intelligence services to conspire, with or without business cartels to back them, against politicians at home, much less carry out an assassination plot. Their job is to protect the country and its government against all enemies, domestic and foreign. Their job is to protect the president, not murder him. And yet, that’s exactly what they did. I say “they”, because it is so clearly not the work of any lone gunman, much less an insane one — or, in the words of the murdered Oswald, a patsy. A crime so intricate and carefully plotted takes several individuals to co-ordinate and carry out, even if one innocent man is ultimately framed for it, and then conveniently disposed of before he can testify in court.
And such a plot must then be just as meticulously covered up if the blame is to stick to the patsy. And that’s where the Warren Commission — and later, Dick Cheney — comes in. After all, a single layer of whitewash won’t do it; there were all those inconvenient eyewitnesses in Dealey Plaza who all heard shots coming from more than one place, and told the Warren Commission as much, under oath. Numerous individuals mentioned the “grassy knoll”, where a picket fence and some trees and shrubs screened off a parking lot — and a likely gunman who later may have escaped in the direction of the railroad. A railway signalman, Lee Bowers, who probably saw the gunman from his post in the two-storey “tower” by the tracks, was later killed in a suspiciously well-timed car crash. In fact, Bowers saw two men in the spot that the shots were pointed out as having originated: the gunman, who wore a police uniform, and his spotter, dressed as a construction worker complete with hardhat. The mere presence of a shooter — or rather, an assassination team — anywhere but the Texas School Book Depository was evidence of a conspiracy, not a “lone nut” — and as such, had to be expunged from the record by any means possible. Hence the conveniently timed death not only of Lee Bowers, who received death threats after testifying to the Warren Commission, but of numerous other witnesses who refused to lie under oath or sign false statements, as well. Anyone who wanted to survive after telling the truth had to change their identity and go underground, pronto.
The NSArchive piece goes on to say that evidence pointing to a high-level cover-up “has been lying ignored in government vaults for decades”. Ignored? Perhaps. But this was no doubt for a purpose. And that purpose is covering the CIA’s ass: “Additional mandatory declassification review requests filed by Archive fellow John Prados returned identical versions of documents, indicating the CIA is not willing to permit the public to see any more of the assassinations story than we show here.”
After more than 50 years, one would think that enough time had passed in order for the whole story to be told. But let’s not forget that there are still at least another 20 years to go before the public finally gets to see the whole truth of the high-level crime their tax money paid for, and what it paid again for that crime to be covered up. By then, of course, all the perpetrators and those who covered for them will be conveniently in their graves, and there will never be accountability, or even a tiny bit of embarrassment, for those involved. Remember: Rummy and the Big Dick are still alive, as is Pappy Bush, who was head of the CIA under Gerald Ford. Barring the advent of another JFK, one who actually makes good on the late leader’s threat to break up the agency, we can count on the CIA’s cover-up to continue at least as long as they’re all still breathing.