The Coup of ’63
The Essay by Mark Gorton-
50 Years of the Deep State
Among serious researchers of JFK’s assassination, a remarkable unanimity of opinion has been achieved. Thanks to the tens of thousands of man years of effort that have gone into studying the JFK assassination, the depth and breadth of the plot can be known. The plot was a giant domestic conspiracy that involved elements of the entire US power structure.
The assassination of JFK was part of a full scale Coup d’état, the violent take of over of our government by a group of criminals. I have not the slightest doubt in my mind that JFK’s assassination was the work of a network of criminals embedded within the political system and power structure of the United States. Key among the players in the Coup of ’63 were LBJ; Allen Dulles and the CIA; J Edgar Hoover and the FBI; right wing Texas oil executives including Clint Murchison Sr., H.L. Hunt and D.H. Byrd; the East Coast business establishment centered around Rockefeller interests and the Council on Foreign Relations; Curtis Le May (chairman of the joint chief of staff), other right wing leaders of the military and elements of military intelligence; and the Bush family (both Prescott and George H.W. Bush). In 1961, President Eisenhower in his farewell address warned against “the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought of unsought, by the military industrial complex”. Eisenhower continued, “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Perhaps, Eisenhower may have more accurately have described this threat as the military – intelligence complex as the CIA had been operating free from proper oversight since its founding in 1947. Acting under the cover of protecting the world from communism, powerful interests found American imperialism to be enormously profitable, and the secrecy within the CIA provided the perfect environment for criminal elements to prosper.
JFK was aware of these forces, and he chose to fight against them. JFK and his brother RFK took on a host of entrenched corrupt interests: the CIA, big business, the mafia, and the corrupt Texas interests surrounding LBJ. A huge swath of the American power structure was at risk of being displaced and even ending up in jail by the crusades of the Kennedy brothers. LBJ was incredibly corrupt. He even had his own personal hit man, Mac Wallace, who had been killing people for a decade to keep LBJ’s crimes from being exposed. With RFK as attorney general, J Edgar Hoover of the FBI could no longer protect the mob. Top mafia chieftains including Carlos Marcello and Salvatore Trafficante risked trading their sweet mafia kingpin lifestyle for a life behind bars due to RFK’s crusade against the mafia. The CIA was out of control, and JFK had vowed to smash the CIA to 1000 pieces. Right wing cold warrior generals in charge on the US military were just itching for a (possibly nuclear) war with the Soviet Union, and JFK’s calls for peace were viewed as being treason among the right wing set. Leaders of giant companies used to having a compliant government do their bidding found that JFK actually looked out for the interests of the little guy. Add on to this, the Kennedys’ support for the civil rights movement gaining strength in the South, and a huge array of powerful entrenched, entitled interests was in position to be mobilized to resist change.
But potential does not equal action, and it took the political genius of Lyndon Baines Johnson to activate these forces to bring about a coup d’état. The Kennedys and Johnson were involved in a sub-rosa war from the beginning on their administration. Bobby Kennedy was telling the Washington press corps that it was open season on LBJ, and Bobby was having the justice department feed information on LBJ’s corruption to a number of different Senate investigations any one of which could have ended LBJ’s career and started his slide toward prison.
But LBJ may not have needed the impetus of fear for his career and freedom to motivate him to kill JFK. As majority leader of the Senate, LBJ was arguably the second most powerful man in Washington. Many of his colleagues were surprised when LBJ accepted the nomination for vice president, an office which his fellow Texan and former vice president John Garner described as being “not worth a bucket of warm piss”. Clare Boothe Luce asked LBJ why he agreed to be VP, and LBJ told her that he had done research and 6 out of 33 of the presidents had managed to achieve office without being elected, and he told her “I’m a gambling man.” But a study of LBJ’s history shows that he was anything but a gambling man. In fact, LBJ was a man who left nothing to chance. Most likely, LBJ planned to kill JFK from the moment he considered becoming vice president.
Although John F. Kennedy was finally killed in Dallas on Nov 22, 1963, the plot to kill him was active for at least a couple of years. The first attempt to kill JFK, of which I am aware, was to take place in Mexico City at the end of June 1962 but was aborted due to last minute escape problems. From that time on, JFK was a hunted man. Other attempts were planned for Los Angeles, Grand Rapids, Chicago, Tampa, Miami, and Houston. The planned assassination attempt on JFK in Miami on June 18, 1963 was foiled when people loyal to JFK leaked word of the plot and the planned motorcade was canceled in favor of helicopter transport.
By the time Nov 22nd rolled around, LBJ was getting increasingly desperate. The Dec 6, 1963 issue of Life Magazine, due to be printed and mailed on Nov 29, 1963, was set to run an expose of Lyndon Johnson’s corruption that could have ended his career. The earlier plots to kill JFK that were designed with more distance between the coup plotters and the trigger men had failed, and now Johnson risked more active involvement by having his people directly orchestrate both the motorcade planning and the take apart of the president’s secret service protection.
By the time JFK’s motorcade rolled through Dallas, little had been left to chance. As Chauncy Holt said, “There were more mercenaries in Dealey Plaza that day than at a Soldier of Fortune convention”. The success of the Coup depended not upon the ability of the shooters to escape undetected, but upon the certitude that the cabal behind the assassination could control the investigation and the story reported in the media. JFK had no idea how little chance he had of making it through Dealey Plaza alive. The Dallas police protection of the motorcade route ended right at the start of Dealey Plaza. In fact, one of the shooters was probably a Dallas police officer. The secret service protection surrounding JFK was removed. In my estimate, 6 shooters awaited from a variety of vantage points. The secret service agent driving JFK’s car brought the car to a complete stop, and a barrage of shots from all directions converged on JFK. After confirming that JFK had been killed, JFK’s driver put the car in motion and continued driving.
The Coup of ’63 did not end with the killing of JFK. The shooting part of the assassination was relatively small compared to the cover up. The planning for the cover up was built into fabric of the plot. Lee Harvey Oswald was set up as the patsy. Oswald did not fire a shot in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA contract agent who had been sent into Russia as a fake defector. He then returned to the US and used his time in Russia as an entry into the left wing pro-Castro movement. Lee Harvey Oswald is a fairly minor character in the Coup of ’63, but through him, a multi-layered counter-intelligence plot can be seen.
The Coup of ’63 had within it many, many contingency strategies built. The Coup went almost according to plan. The only thing that went wrong on Nov 22, 1963 was that the Dallas police failed to kill Lee Harvey Oswald, so Jack Ruby was tasked with the ensuing killing of Oswald. However, the coup plotters had no way of knowing that things would go so smoothly, so they embedded within Oswald a variety of cover stories which could have been deployed under different scenarios. Oswald could have been made to look like a racist, a Cuban, a Russian, or even to have mob ties. However, since the Coup went so close to plan, he was declared to be a lone nut and dismissed as such.
The contingencies beyond how to blame Oswald were much more serious. If it were superficially obvious that JFK’s killing was the result of a conspiracy, Castro was to be blamed, and an invasion of Cuba was to quickly follow. Many anti-Castro Cubans who participated in the Coup were deeply disappointed that the invasion of Cuba never materialized.
My studies of the Coup of ’63 have led me to believe that even graver fall back strategies were embedded in the plot. If JFK’s killing was obviously perceived as being part of a large conspiracy, and the US public was not buying the Castro did it angle, the Coup plotters were in truly dire straits. These desperate men who ran the military, the FBI, some of largest companies in the world, and the US government faced the prospect of being hung for treason. I believe that the darkest scenarios envisioned by the Coup plotters involved declaring martial law and blaming the Russians and taking the country to (and possibly over) the brink of nuclear war with Russia.
Interestingly, the Russian intelligence was aware of the plans to kill Kennedy, and they were aware that through Lee Harvey Oswald they were to be set up to take the blame. So in September of 1963, the KGB attempted to kill Lee Harvey Oswald to prevent themselves from being sucked into a false war, but the assassination capabilities of the Russians within the United States were fairly limited, and the KGB was unable to kill Oswald.