A Word From JFK on Independence Day

LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It was the price yesterday. It is the price today, and it will ever be the price.”

— John F. Kennedy

This Independence Day, we’d like to take you back in time to an America that some of you might be old enough to remember. Even if you’re not yet a senior citizen, upon reading this you’ll surely wish we had this kind of country – and these kinds of leaders – again today.

The time: July 4, 1946. The place: Boston’s Faneuil Hall. The man: young John Fitzgerald Kennedy, barely 29 years old and already the frontrunner in a pitched battle for his first Congressional seat in the 11th District. The occasion: the annual Boston Independence Day oration on the one hundred and seventieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of these United States.

Young JFK campaigns for Congress, 1946

A youthful but visibly ill John Kennedy campaigns for Congress, 1946

In 1946, Americans were observing the first peacetime Fourth of July in five years. Kennedy, himself a battered veteran of the war, seemed a perfect emerging leader of this young generation of fighting Americans. He understood what they faced; what our society and indeed our world would have to face as we moved from world war to cold war.

Of course, Kennedy’s time was yet to come. At this point, no one (most likely including the candidate himself) could have envisioned him as president. In the summer of 1946, John Kennedy was just a sickly, skinny rich kid, whip-smart and world-wise, but hardly a seasoned leader in Boston political circles. Had it not been for the power and position of his father Joseph P. Kennedy and the influence of his grandfather “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald (Boston’s beloved former mayor), young Jack Kennedy might have been laughed right out of the race – or run out of town as a carpetbagger. (JFK hadn’t actually lived in Boston since he was nine; having moved with his family to New York in 1927. He listed a Boston hotel as his address.)

Of course, many of the oldtime Boston Irish politicos predicted he would be trounced in the election. But “that Kennedy kid” surprised `em all in November, winning a seat in the House of Representatives he would keep for six more years. Then he decided to run for U.S. Senate, and of course all the wise old men said he’d never unseat Henry Cabot Lodge, who’d been in that seat since 1932. Although the margin of victory was narrow (3%), Kennedy did win that Senate seat, leaving a befuddled Lodge to mutter, “I felt rather like a man who has just been hit by a truck” on election day.

After eight years in the Senate, JFK set his sights on the White House in 1960. And of course, everybody said he could never beat Richard Nixon, the sitting Vice President. And once again, through the narrowest margin of victory the country had ever seen, Kennedy did just that, becoming the youngest president ever elected to the presidency.

Now that’s what I call the old American “can do” spirit.  Here in this land of opportunity, we can make anything of ourselves. An Irish Catholic kid from Boston can grow up not only to be a Congressman or a Senator, but even President of the United States. And not just the president, but a great president.

To think that the journey only took 14 short years is a marvel, and a testament to Kennedy’s drive and vision. A journey which started in Brookline, Massachusetts, went to Washington, all around the world, and which would eventually take us to the moon. And that amazing journey shifted into high gear on this day exactly 62 years ago.

On that sweltering 4th of July, Kennedy gave the finest speech of his young life, an oration which can still stir the heart of any American – or anybody who just loves the American Republic and all it stands for, wherever they may live.

And so we now bring you JFK’s 1946 Independence Day address in hopes that it will remind all of us of our heritage and our responsibilities; our hopes and our ambitions; our collective American spirit which, once resolved to a cause, can take us anywhere we want to go – beyond old ways of thinking – out of our own backyards and into a New Frontier…even beyond the stars and planets into the deepest reaches of space. That spirit, my friends, is the essence of our American character.

Young JFK with Doberman

If someone had told you in 1946 that this fresh-faced kid would one day be President of the United States, would you have believed it?

SOME ELEMENTS OF THE AMERICAN CHARACTER

By John F. Kennedy, as delivered in Boston on July 4, 1946.

Mr. Mayor; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

     We stand today in the shadow of history.

     We gather here in the very Cradle of Liberty.

     It is an honor and a pleasure to be the speaker of the day–an honor because of the long and distinguished list of noted orators who have preceded me on this platform, a pleasure because one of that honored list who stood here fifty years ago, and who is with us here today, is my grandfather.

     It has been the custom for the speaker of the day to link his thoughts across the years to certain classic ideals of the early American tradition. I shall do the same. I propose today to discuss certain elements of the American character which have made this nation great. It is well for us to recall them today, for this is a day of recollection and a day of hope.

     A nation’s character, like that of an individual, is elusive. It is produced partly by things we have done and partly by what has been done to us. It is the result of physical factors, intellectual factors, spiritual factors.

     It is well for us to consider our American character, for in peace, as in war, we will survive or fail according to its measure.

     RELIGIOUS ELEMENT

     Our deep religious sense is the first element of the American character which I would discuss this morning.

     The informing spirit of the American character has always been a deep religious sense.

     Throughout the years, down to the present, a devotion to fundamental religious principles has characterized American thought and action.

     Our government was founded on the essential religious idea of integrity of the individual. It was this religious sense which inspired the authors of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.”    

Our earliest legislation was inspired by this deep religious sense:         

“Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”    

Our first leader, Washington, was inspired by this deep religious sense:        

“Of all of the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”    

Lincoln was inspired by this deep religious sense:         

“That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”    

Our late, lamented President (FDR) was inspired by this deep religious sense:         

“We shall win this war, and in victory we shall seek not vengeance, but the establishment of an international order in which the spirit of Christ shall rule the hearts of men and nations.”    

Thus we see that this nation has ever been inspired by essential religious ideas. The doctrine of slavery which challenged these ideas within our own country was destroyed.

     Recently, the philosophy of racism, which threatened to overwhelm them by attacks from abroad, was also met and destroyed.

     Today these basic religious ideas are challenged by atheism and materialism: at home in the cynical philosophy of many of our intellectuals, abroad in the doctrine of collectivism, which sets up the twin pillars of atheism and materialism as the official philosophical establishment of the State.

     Inspired by a deeply religious sense, this country, which has ever been devoted to the dignity of man, which has ever fostered the growth of the human spirit, has always met and hurled back the challenge of those deathly philosophies of hate and despair. We have defeated them in the past; we will always defeat them.

     How well, then, has DeTocqueville said: “You may talk of the people and their majesty, but where there is no respect for God can there be much for man? You may talk of the supremacy of the ballot, respect for order, denounce riot, secession–unless religion is the first link, all is vain.”

     IDEALISTIC ELEMENT

     Another element in the American character that I would bring to your attention this morning is the idealism of our native people–stemming from the strong religious beliefs of the first colonists, developed as they worked the land.

     This idealism, this fixed regard for principle, has been an element of the American character from the birth of this nation to the present day.

     In recent years, the existence of this element in the American character has been challenged by those who seek to give an economic interpretation to American history. They seek to destroy our faith in our past so that they may guide our future. These cynics are wrong, for, while there may be some truth in their interpretation, it does remain a fact, and a most important one, that the motivating force of the American people has been their belief that they have always stood at the barricades by the side of God.

     In Revolutionary times, the cry “No taxation without representation” was not an economic complaint. Rather, it was directly traceable to the eminently fair and just principle that no sovereign power has the right to govern without the consent of the governed. Anything short of that was tyranny. It was against this tyranny that the colonists “fired the shot heard ’round the world.”

     This belief in principle was expressed most impressively by George Washington at the Constitutional Convention in 1783. “It is probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained.  If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair, the event is in the hands of God.”

     This idealism, this conviction that our eyes had seen the glory of the Lord -that right was right and wrong was wrong-finally led to the ultimate clash at Bull Run and the long red years of the war between the States.

     Again, the cynics may apply the economic interpretation to this conflict: the industrial North against the agricultural South; the struggle of the two economies. Say what they will, it is an undeniable fact that the Northern Army of Virginia and the Army of the Potomac were inspired by devotion to principle: on the one hand, the right of secession; on the other, the belief that the “Union must be preserved.”

     In 1917, this element of the American character was stimulated by the slogans “War to End War” and “A War to Save Democracy,” and again the American people had as their leader a man, Woodrow Wilson, whose idealism was the traditional idealism of America. To such a degree was this true that he was able to say, “Some people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world.”

     It is perhaps true that the American intervention in 1917 might have been more effective if the case for American intervention had been represented on less moralistic terms. As it was, the American people eventually came to look upon themselves as giving food and guns to a general cause in which all other people had material ends and in which they alone had moral ends.

     The idealism with which we had entered the battle made the subsequent disillusionment all the more bitter and revealed a dangerous facet to this element of the American character, for this bitterness, a direct result of our inflated hopes, brought a radical change in our foreign policy and a resulting withdrawal from Europe. We failed to make the adjustment between what we had hoped to win and what we actually could win. Our idealism was too strong. We would not compromise.

     And thus we brought to our shoulders much of the burden of the responsibility for World War II–a burden which we would not then acknowledge but for which we have paid full price in recent years on distant shores, on faraway fields and valleys and hills, on pieces of foreign soil which will be forever ours.

     It was perhaps because of this failure that the second world war never did become a crusade as did the first.

     Our idealism had become tarnished, but extraordinary efforts were made to evoke it, and it is indubitably true that the great majority of Americans had strong convictions as to which side spoke for the right before our entry into the war.

     It is now in the postwar world that this idealism–this devotion to principle–this belief in the natural law–this deep religious conviction that this is truly God’s country and we are truly God’s people–will meet its greatest trial.

     Our American idealism finds itself faced by the old-world doctrine of power politics. It is meeting with successive rebuffs, and all this may result in a new and even more bitter disillusionment, in another ignominious retreat from our world destiny.

     But, if we remain faithful to the American tradition, our idealism will be a steadfast thing, a constant flame, a torch held aloft for the guidance of other nations.

     It will take great faith.

     Our idealism, the second element of the American character, is being severely tested. Now, only time will tell whether this element of the American character will be true to its historic tradition.

     PATRIOTIC ELEMENT

     The third element of the American character that I would bring to your attention this morning is the great patriotic instinct of our people.

     From our pioneer days, perhaps because we were a people who developed from a beachhead on a tremendous continent, this American patriotism has always had as its core a strange and almost mystical love of the land.

     Early in our history we acquired, as James Truslow Adams has pointed out, “a sense of unlimited energy face to face with unlimited resources.”

     Land, land, land, stretching with incredible richness across half a world. Its sheer vastness has made it a challenge to the American spirit. The endless land stretching to, the western sun caught the imagination of men who founded this nation and awakened the patriotic spirit that has become a characteristic of the American people.

     In the words of America’s poet, Walt Whitman, we note this deep sense of the land:          

“Land of the pastoral plains, the grass-field of the world, land of those sweet-air’d interminable plateaus!
Land of the herd, the garden, the healthy house of adobe!
Land where the northwest Columbia winds, and where the southwest Colorado winds!
Land of the eastern Chesapeake! Land of the Delaware!
Land of Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan! Land of the Old Thirteen! Massachusetts land! Land of Vermont and Connecticut!
Land of the ocean shores! Land of sierras and peaks!
Land of boatmen and sailors! Fishermen’s land!”    

This preoccupation with the land records itself in the catalogue of the colonists’ grievances against George III. It has always been reflected in the highest moments of our patriotism, for, throughout the years, in the early days here at home and in recent years abroad, Americans have been ever ready to defend this native land.

     From the birth of the nation to the present day, from the Heights of Dorchester to the broad meadows of Virginia, from Bunker Hill to the batteries of Saratoga, from Bergen’s Neck, where Wayne and Maylan’s troops achieved such martial wonders, to Yorktown, where Britain’s troops surrendered, Americans have heroically embraced the soldier’s alternative of victory or the grave. American patriotism was shown at the Halls of Montezuma. It was shown with Meade at Gettysburg, with Sheridan at Winchester, with Phil Carney at Fair Oaks, with Longstreet in the Wilderness, and it was shown by the flower of the Virginia Army when Pickett charged at Gettysburg. It was shown by Captain Rowan, who plunged into the jungles of Cuba and delivered the famous message to Garcia, symbol now of tenacity and determination. It was shown by the Fifth and Sixth Marines at Belleau Wood, by the Yankee Division at Verdun, by Captain Leahy, whose last order as he lay dying was “The command is forward.”  And in recent years it was shown by those who stood at Bataan with Wainwright, by those who fought at Wake Island with Devereaux, who flew in the air with Don Gentile. It was shown by those who jumped with Gavin, by those who stormed the bloody beaches at Salerno with Commando Kelly; it was shown by the First Division at Omaha Beach, by the Second Ranger Battalion as it crossed the Purple Heart Valley, by the 101st as it stood at Bastogne; it was shown at the Bulge, at the Rhine, and at victory.

     Wherever freedom has been in danger, Americans with a deep sense of patriotism have ever been willing to stand at Armageddon and strike a blow for liberty and the Lord.

     INDIVIDUALISTIC ELEMENT

     The American character has been not only religious, idealistic, and patriotic, but because of these it has been essentially individual.

     The right of the individual against the State has ever been one of our most cherished political principles.

     The American Constitution has set down for all men to see the essentially Christian and American principle that there are certain rights held by every man which no government and no majority, however powerful, can deny.

     Conceived in Grecian thought, strengthened by Christian morality, and stamped indelibly into American political philosophy, the right of the individual against the State is the keystone of our Constitution. Each man is free.

     He is free in thought.

     He is free in expression.

     He is free in worship.

     To us, who have been reared in the American tradition, these rights have become part of our very being. They have become so much a part of our being that most of us are prone to feel that they are rights universally recognized and universally exercised. But the sad fact is that this is not true. They were dearly won for us only a few short centuries ago and they were dearly preserved for us in the days just past. And there are large sections of the world today where these rights are denied as a matter of philosophy and as a matter of government.

     We cannot assume that the struggle is ended. It is never-ending.

     Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It was the price yesterday. It is the price today, and it will ever be the price.

     The characteristics of the American people have ever been a deep sense of religion, a deep sense of idealism, a deep sense of patriotism, and a deep sense of individualism.

     Let us not blink the fact that the days which lie ahead of us are bitter ones.

     May God grant that, at some distant date, on this day, and on this platform, the orator may be able to say that these are still the great qualities of the American character and that they have prevailed.

JFK’s closing words should strike a deep chord in all of us now. 62 years to the day since he delivered this address, his dream has still not yet been fully realized. But we too still hold on to the hope that God may grant on some distant day, on that same platform in Boston, the orator may be able to stand up and say that Americans have not fogotten how to turn our brightest dreams into beautiful realities. And it won’t be just pretty campaign rhetoric; it will be the truth.

We also hope that future orator’s name will be Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to be more precise. Sure, we dream big, but why dream small? America didn’t get where we are today by taking baby steps.

Remember always to dream, America. And dream BIG. If we ever cease to chase big dreams and pursue higher ideals, we won’t stay a great nation for long.

And if some evil usurper should come along and try to turn our collective dream into a nightmare, then we should remember well our ancestors who fought a bloody revolution to free us from the reign of tyrants once before — and that we can do it again.

The answer to 1984 is 1776.

Viva Liberty!

Long Live The Republic!

Copyright RFKin2008. Kennedy speech text courtesy of the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “A Word From JFK on Independence Day

  1. Is this the same Kennedy who dismantled Constitutionally guaranteed States Rights in 1961?

  2. Jack Mosel

    The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Karl Rove … Rove announced he would defy the subpoena. He bolsters this fascist facade on Fox “News” as some expert who flings his crap on us repeatedly and often… With Credibility? Since when does a fugitive in contempt of court become an authority on anything?!

    Oh yeah, I forgot…. This ain’t the real U.S.A any more… Thanks Nancy! Thanx NWO NEO CONS… Thanx OREILLY, Limburger Cheese and Anne Culture (Like from being spawned from a petri dish)… Thanx Dick! (for nothing)

    Could you or I get away with defying a Congressional subpoena? Of course not. So why can Karl Rove? Like George Bush and Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, believes he is simply above the law.

    It’s time for Congress to prove them wrong by using its power of “inherent contempt” to send the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest Karl Rove and bring him before the full House to answer to the charge of Contempt of Congress, and to punish him to the maximum extent allowed by law, including prison.

    Before Democrats won Congress in 2006, Nancy Pelosi said the most important reason to put Democrats in control of Congress was “subpoena power.” But now Pelosi is quietly blocking the use of inherent contempt.

    Inherrantly contemptuous NANCY!!! Unacceptable as well… You MUST GO (FREAK)

  3. Jack Mosel

    Did I mention Hidalgo Rivera and John Stashel??? (Freaks-Sellouts, Cheap hair, mustache mustafa wanna be somethings)… Intergrity is dead…

    report propaganda….
    (sell out chumps)

  4. Jack Mosel

    BTW Mike… Back up that “drive by” and put some facts on it… Don’t sound like Kennedy to me brohan… Sounds more like a cheap shot.

    Got facts? or… just thought you’d share the wealth? I got no tolerance for B.S. “sniping” on this site. We talk about good bad and ugly… But they are facts…

    Got Facts there Brohan? Or just more cute Neo-Con constitution sellout anti-smear double reverse / double speak BULLSHIT!

  5. Thanks for sayin’ it, Jack. You beat me to the punch!

    Initially, I hesitated to approve Michael’s comment because it was such an obvious drive-by. Normally, our editorial policy forbids the posting of personal attacks, but since he did bring up a specific event, I thought it might be interesting to see if he would return to back up his case with a few facts. (Or at least, the facts as he sees them.)

    Not surprisingly, Michael seems to be in hiding now.

    We always enjoy a good debate here – and while the issue of Kennedy calling out the National Guard to break up violence in our streets during the Civil Rights crisis (presumably the event Michael is referring to) is always a thorny one, we welcome Michael’s point of view if he should choose to share it.

    Just to get the debate going, I’ll throw out a question to Michael and all of the unflappable States Rights advocates who feel that Kennedy overstepped by sending in federal troops/marshals during the crisis:

    If YOU had been president at the time, and American cities were erupting in extreme racial violence, what would YOU have done under the circumstances?

    As the nation’s chief executive, it is ultimately YOUR responsibility to preserve order and to ensure the laws of the land are respected. In the case of civil rights, the law at the time was quite clear. If a few rogue cities/states chose to disobey the law, they should naturally expect federal intervention. So if you’re the president and the buck stops at your desk, again, I ask – what would you do?

    Would you entrust enforcement of the law to local authorities in these states, when they themselves have said they will refuse to enforce any law guaranteeing the rights of black persons? When you can see on your TV screen that some of the most violent agitators in the Alabama riots were the Birmingham cops themselves?

    So if respecting states rights means allowing the rampant killing to continue in our nation’s streets with no end in sight, that’s simply not an option for the president. What president could allow such out of control violence to continue on his watch?

    Would you, as president, then decide to federalize the national guard? Send in U.S. marshals to put down the riots and restore law and order?
    What other choice would you have?

    There was certainly precedent: Kennedy was by no means the first U.S. president to quell a riot with federal troops (and as angry as the citizenry is in America today, I somehow doubt he’ll be the last).

    One fact the states rights crowd often forgets about this crisis is that it was Alabama Governor Patterson who imposed martial law, not President Kennedy. It was the Governor’s legal right to do so – and he did – simply because it was HIS responsibility to maintain law and order in his state.

    If you’ve ever read much into the Kennedy presidency, you already know that JFK agonized over these decisions. He was a strong believer in states rights, and he himself did not like the idea of an overreaching federal government sticking it’s big fat nose in local business. He especially deplored the notion of federal troops patrolling Southern streets; he knew it reeked of Reconstruction. And being a smart politician, he also did not wish to further alienate Southern Democrats, whose support he would surely need to get any meaningful Civil Rights legislation passed in the future.

    But the fact is, Kennedy’s hand was forced by the civil rights crisis. Putting federal troops on the streets of any American city was the last thing he ever wanted to do. But under such dire circumstances, most historians now agree that JFK took the swift, strong action that was necessary to bring the crisis to a peaceful end.

    What more can you ask a president to do?

    Of course, there will always be those Monday morning quarterbacks who continue to bitch and squawk and say Kennedy did the wrong thing.

    Easy to say in retrospect. Easy to say when you’re not the president and it’s not your cross to bear. Easy to say when it isn’t YOUR neighborhood that is erupting in flames. But just ask the *good, decent law-abiding citizens* of these Southern cities if JFK did the right thing back in `61. They will tell you how relieved they were when the federal marshals finally restored the peace because their local police would not! The people were afraid of their own police force ; no doubt seeing Bull Connor’s police dogs in action only justified that fear.

    Of course, the one thing JFK’s states rights critics can never produce is a workable alternative. Nearly 50 years hence, they still cannot offer any other viable options the president could have employed to resolve the crisis peacefully, in a manner that was fair to all parties concerned.

    So there’s my challenge – pick up that ball and run with it if you will – come up with a better idea of how to stop a riot and maybe I’ll listen to you. Anything less, and you’re just flappin’ your lips in the wind, friend.

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  7. craig

    The Mossad Role in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy

    1. By Michael Collins Piper
    2. Source: http://www.afrocubaweb.com

    “A nation that is afraid to debate it’s issues in a public forum, is a nation that is afraid of it’s people.” – JFK
    Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

    French intelligence officer Herve Lemarr once wrote that:

    1. “President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of magicians. It was a stage trick, complete with accessories and false mirrors, and when the curtain fell the actors, and even the scenery, disappeared. But the magicians were not illusionists but professionals, artists in their way.”

    Since November 22, 1963 many have spent vast amounts of time researching the assassination, putting forth a wide variety of theories.

    Most of the research has been devoted to what one more perceptive critic described as “a consuming preoccupation [with] the microanalytic searching for facts of how the assassination was accomplished,” while at the same time, he points out “there has been almost no systematic thinking on why President Kennedy was killed.”

    So while people have focused on how many assassins were involved, and how many shots they fired at JFK and where the shots came from and where the bullets hit, the real question of who was ultimately responsible for the assassination—not who fired the bullets, but who sponsored the assassins who fired those bullets—has been ignored.

    Thus, to find out who is responsible for JFK’s murder, we have to find out WHY he was murdered—what motivated those who orchestrated his assassination.

    Consider the wide-ranging array of suspects that have been put forth:

    1. Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone;
    2. The Soviet KGB;
    3. Fidel Castro;
    4. Anti-Castro Cubans;
    5. The “Mafia”;
    6. Rogue CIA operatives and anti-Castro Cubans in collaboration with elements of “the Mafia”;
    7. J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI;
    8. Lyndon Baines Johnson;
    9. Former Nazi intelligence officers;
    10. †The Texas Oil Barons; and
    11. The Military-Industrial Complex.

    Ten years ago, in 1992, a new suspect was added to the list. Former Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.) made the little-noticed but intriguing comment in the March 1992 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs that “it is interesting but not surprising to note that in all the words written about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned, despite the obvious fact Mossad complicity is as plausible as any of the other theories.”

    What Findley did not know was at that very time I was in the process of preparing a volume contending that the Mossad role alongside the CIA in the JFK assassination, was, in fact, the big secret—the “missing link”—that explained the entirety of the JFK conspiracy.

    The Mossad role is what I have also called “the secret picture on the other side of the jigsaw puzzle” of the JFK assassination conspiracy. My book summarizing this theory is entitled Final Judgment.

    What I find quite remarkable is that while many Israelis today believe that Israeli intelligence played a part in the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, many of Israel’s friends in America have reacted quite hysterically to my contention that the Mossad played a role in the assassination of America’s president.

    In addition, although there are many who believe that the CIA had a hand in the JFK assassination, quite a few of those same people are fearful of mentioning the likelihood of a Mossad role. Yet, as journalist Andrew Cockburn has pointed out:

    1. “There has been since almost the earliest days of the Israeli state and the earliest days of the CIA a secret bond, basically by which Israeli intelligence did jobs for the CIA and for the rest of American intelligence. You can’t understand what’s been going on with American covert operations and the Israeli covert operations until you understand this secret arrangement.”

    Cockburn’s words are a rough overview of the thesis that I have presented in Final Judgment.

    Although Final Judgment has never been in any major bookstore since it was first published nearly a decade ago, some 30,000 copies are in circulation—more copies than more widely-publicized books on the topic. It is truly an “underground best-seller.” It is now in its 760-page fifth edition, documented with 1,114 footnotes. And on November 9, Dar El Ilm Lilmalayin, the oldest and largest privately-owned publishing house in the Middle East released the first-ever Arabic-language edition.

    In many respects, Final Judgment is more than a book about the JFK assassination. It also reveals the hidden global power politics of the last half of the 20th century.

    Final Judgment documents that in 1963 JFK was embroiled in a bitter secret conflict with Israeli leader David Ben-Gurion over Israel’s drive to build the atomic bomb; that Ben-Gurion resigned in disgust, saying that because of JFK’s policies, Israel’s “existence [was] in danger.” Then upon JFK’s assassination, U.S. policy toward Israel began an immediate 180-degree turnaround.

    Israeli historian Avner Cohen’s new book, Israel and the Bomb, confirms the conflict between JFK and Israel so powerfully that, Israel’s Ha’aretz, declared Cohen’s revelations would “necessitate the rewriting of Israel’s entire history.”

    In any case, Cohen pointed out, “the transition from Kennedy to [Lyndon] Johnson . . . benefited the Israeli nuclear program.”

    Ethan Bronner, in the New York Times, called Israel’s drive to build a nuclear bomb “a fiercely hidden subject.”

    This explains why JFK researchers never considered an Israeli connection until Final Judgment supplied the missing pieces, assembling “the secret picture on the other side of the jigsaw puzzle.”

    While all of this presents a strong motive for Israel to strike against JFK, Final Judgment also documents what Israeli journalist Barry Chamish says is “a pretty cogent case” for Mossad collaboration with the CIA in the assassination conspiracy.

    The fact is that when New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison prosecuted trade executive Clay Shaw with conspiracy in the assassination, Garrison had stumbled upon the Mossad link.

    Although (after his acquittal) Shaw was revealed to have been a CIA asset, in 1963 Shaw served on the board of a Rome-based company, Permindex, which was actually a front for a Mossad-sponsored arms procurement operation.

    A primary shareholder in Permindex, the Banque De Credit Internationale of Geneva, was not only the fiefdom of Tibor Rosenbaum, a high-level Mossad official, but also the chief money laundry for Meyer Lansky, “chairman” of the crime syndicate and long-time Israeli loyalist.

    Chief executive of Permindex was Louis Bloomfield of Montreal, a top figure in the Israeli lobby and an operative of the Bronfman family, intimate Lansky associates and leading patrons of Israel.

    Permindex was clearly the Israeli link to the JFK assassination, so much so that Jim Garrison himself later circulated the manuscript for a never-published novel in which he fingered the Mossad as prime mover behind the conspiracy although Garrison never otherwise mentioned a Mossad connection publicly.

    You may ask why Hollywood’s so-called “radical film-maker” Oliver Stone, whose film JFK was a virtual tribute to Garrison never mentioned any of this.

    I would contend that Stone failed to mention these details in JFK because the film was financed by Arnon Milchan, an Israeli arms dealer linked to smuggling of materiel to Israel’s nuclear program—the very point of contention between JFK and Israel.

    Milchan’s role in the production of JFK is no secret, by the way. He is listed in the credits as “executive producer,” which, in Hollywood parlance, means that he was the “money man,” so to speak, behind the film.

    The Permindex link investigated by Mr. Garrison in New Orleans also explains the “French connection” to the assassination featured in the widely-seen documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy, but which failed to tell the entire story told in Final Judgment. For example:

    That the aforementioned Permindex operation (involving Clay Shaw and other CIA assets often publicly connected to the JFK assassination) was also involved in assassination attempts against French President Charles DeGaulle by the French “Secret Army Organization” (the OAS) which itself had close ties to the Mossad.

    Like the OAS, the Israelis hated DeGaulle not only because he gave independence to Algeria, a major new Arab state, but also because DeGaulle, who had assisted Israel’s nuclear development program, had withdrawn support, objecting (as did JFK) to Israel’s drive for an atomic arsenal.

    In the course of my writing of the book, a former French intelligence officer—Pierre Neuville, the son of the former French consul general in Jerusalem—revealed to me that he had learned that the Mossad contracted out one of JFK’s assassins—probably a Corsican hitman—through a French intelligence official disloyal to DeGaulle and who hated JFK for supporting Algerian independence.

    JFK was also planning a strike against Red China’s nuclear bomb program—a plan scuttled by Lyndon Johnson within a month of JFK’s assassination.

    During this same period, in fact, Israel and Red China were involved in joint secret nuclear bomb research with a key player in the Permindex web, Shaul Eisenberg, serving as the Mossad’s liaison with China.

    Final Judgment was first to point out that James Angleton, the CIA liaison to the Mossad, was a devoted partisan of Israel who not only orchestrated the scenario linking accused assassin Lee Oswald to the Soviet KGB but who later circulated disinformation to confuse investigations into the assassination.

    This is a brief overview of some of the more salient points made in Final Judgment—points that have otherwise been largely ignored in the massive amount of material that has been published on the topic of the assassination.

    The response to my thesis has been predictable. Israeli diplomat Uri Palti, based at the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles, has described my thesis as “nonsense.”

    Pro-Zionist columnist George F. Will, in a column in Newsweek on Sept. 1, 1997, has referred to the thesis as being “vicious intellectual licentiousness.”

    The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (the ADL) one of the foremost elements of the Israeli lobby, has repeatedly attacked me in a most malicious fashion. Most notably, the ADL called me a “Holocaust denier”—although my book mentions nothing about the Holocaust—this so as to distract attention from the very powerful thesis that my book does present.

    However, one article about the controversy surrounding my thesis and one educator who has endorsed it, appearing in the Los Angeles Times on November 25, 1996 made the assertion that the thesis was “novel indeed” and that it managed “to weave together some of the key threads in a tapestry that many say is unique.”

    However, as we all know too well, the reason why the theory presented in Final Judgment is “controversial” is simply because it dares to say something less than flattering about a foreign nation—Israel.

    The truth is that the single tie that binds all of the most commonly-believed theories about the JFK assassination is the little-known Mossad connection.

    Israel, however, is the central player whose role has been consistently ignored.

    The first big question is whether Israel’s Mossad would actually consider assassinating an American president perceived hostile to Israel?

    According to ex-Mossad man Victor Ostrovsky, the Israeli spy agency hatched a plan to kill President George Bush in 1991.

    There is also evidence that the Jewish underground in Palestine in 1947 sent poisoned letters to President Harry Truman because he was dragging his feet as far as supporting the drive for a Jewish state was concerned. This information comes from Truman’s daughter, Margaret Truman, writing in a biography of her father.

    The point is this: if Israel did indeed consider assassinating Bush in 1991 and Truman in 1947, why should we not also consider the possibility that the Mossad was indeed involved in a plot against John F. Kennedy in 1963?

    And in this context it should now be noted that researchers in the JFK controversy have repeatedly pointed out the false leads that continue to appear.

    Most believe that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, was indeed what he claimed to be—the patsy—and that false clues had been laid by the real conspirators to make it appear as though Oswald was an agent of Fidel Castro or the Soviets or both.

    A key chapter in Final Judgment points out that Israel has what I call “a bad habit”—that is, the use of what are known as “false flags” in pointing the finger of guilt elsewhere in the course of committing assassinations and acts of terrorism.

    That chapter is a virtual catalogue of this little-known phenomenon, which is perhaps best exemplifed by Israel’s notorious Lavon Affair of the 1950s in which Israel staged bombings on American and British installations in Egypt for the purpose of blaming them on Islamic fundamentalist groups and destabilizing the regime of President Nasser.

    Although the American media today promotes the idea that somehow John F. Kennedy was a dedicated friend of Israel, nothing could be further from the truth.

    There was a long history of bitter enmity between John F. Kennedy and his powerful father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and organized crime boss Meyer Lansky, stemming in part from the senior Kennedy’s deals with the underworld. This, however, did not stop the Kennedy family from cutting deals with the crime syndicate when it came to winning elections.

    The Kennedy family’s own suspected anti-Semitism didn’t do anything to improve JFK’s relations with Israel and its American lobby either. As a U.S. Senator, Kennedy’s intervention in the issue of Algerian independence from France also drew sharp criticism from the Israeli lobby as well.

    Yet, when John F. Kennedy sought the presidency, he was willing to cut deals with the Israeli lobby—for a price.

    By the end of his presidency, however, Kennedy had reneged on his deals, not only with Israel’s Godfather, Meyer Lansky, and his henchmen in organized crime, but also with the Israeli lobby.

    What about the so-called “Mafia” or organized crime connections to the assassination? In fact, those connections also point toward the Mossad.

    If it had not been for international crime boss Meyer Lansky there might not be a state of Israel today. This is something that Israel would rather be forgotten.

    The evidence firmly indicates that Israel was established as a state, in major part, through the political, financial and moral support of Meyer Lansky and his associates and henchmen in Organized Crime. Lansky’s interests and Israel’s interests were almost incestuous.

    As I’ve already noted, Lansky’s chief European money laundering bank was an operation directed by one of Israel’s founding fathers, Tibor Rosenbaum, a high-ranking, longtime Mossad officer.

    Lansky’s intimate (and quite secret) ties with American intelligence (including both the CIA and the FBI) made the Russian-born Jewish mobster the “untouchable” leader of the global organized crime syndicate.

    Meyer Lansky’s Louisiana front man, Carlos Marcello, has become a favorite target for JFK assassination researchers who like to claim that “The Mafia–that is, Italian-American crime figures–Killed JFK.”

    Marcello was only one cog in the Lansky Syndicate. Marcello also had ties to Israel’s allies in the CIA.

    Two other top Italian-AMerican crime figures—Johnny Rosselli and Santo Trafficante, Jr. have often linked to the JFK assassination.

    Although both Rosselli and Trafficante were major players in the criminal underworld, both were, in fact—like Carlos Marcello—subordinates of Meyer Lansky.

    Rosselli and Trafficante were Lansky’s point men in Lansky’s dealings with Israel’s allies in the CIA in assassination plots against Fidel Castro.

    In truth, the Jewish presence in organized crime in America is a little-known phenomenon that the “Mafia”-obsessed media has kept under wraps.

    What about Jack Ruby, the Jewish nightclub operator, who killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the president’s accused assassin?

    Ruby’s connections to the criminal underworld are well-documented. However, what is ignored is Ruby’s integral link to the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate—not “the Mafia”— and to Israel’s allies in the CIA.

    In Final Judgment I have documented additional connections between Jack Ruby and the state of Israel and its arms-smuggling and financial conduits in the United States.

    FBI documents, long suppressed, reveal that Ruby himself traveled to Israel in 1955 and that while in San Francisco that year, Ruby told a friend, “After I leave here I’m going to Florida to buy a load of contraband to send to Israel.”

    In addition, note that Lawrence Meyers, Ruby’s long-time friend with whom he met the night before the JFK assassination, was a salesman for Ero Manufacturing, a firm linked to a corporation investigated for illegal arms shipments to Israel.

    In addition, we also now know that Jack Ruby was on the payroll of the Lansky Crime Syndicate-connected Bronfman family (now headed by Edgar Bronfman, leader of the World Jewish Congress).

    Considering the Bronfman family’s intimate ties to the Mossad-sponsored Permindex entity that played a central role in the JFK assassination conspiracy, the Ruby connection to the Bronfman family does point toward yet another Israeli connection to the JFK conspiracy.

    The genesis of Israeli involvement in the JFK assassination was JFK’s growing conflict with Israel over Israel’s drive to build the nuclear bomb.

    While the history books have told us of John F. Kennedy’s epic struggles with Fidel Castro and with the Soviets in the Bay of Pigs debacle and the Cuban Missile Crisis only in recent years have we begun to learn of Kennedy’s secret war with Israel.

    By mid-1963 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion hated Kennedy with a passion. In fact, he considered JFK a threat to the very survival of the Jewish State.

    As far as writing specifically about what I have called “JFK’s secret war with Israel,” I primarily relied on three sources:

    1. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy by Pulitizer Prize-winning veteran New York Times journalist Seymour Hersh.

    2. Dangerous Liasion: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship by husband-and-wife team, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, both respected liberal journalists; and

    3. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel by Stephen Green, who has been associated with the very “mainstream” Council on Foreign Relations and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    Continued on Page 2 Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3

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