The Russian Obsession Goes Back Decades

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president:

  1. He has betrayed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold.
  2. He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America.
  3. He has subjugated America’s interests to Moscow.
  4. He has been caught in fantastic lies to the American people, including personal ones, like his previous marriage and divorce.

President Donald Trump?

No, President John F. Kennedy.

What lots of Americans don’t realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or “collusion with,” Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous “crime” of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naïve. They said he was a traitor.

All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here.

Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That’s nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment.

In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the “Peace Speech.” It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done.

In the speech, Kennedy announced that he was bringing an end to the Cold War and the mindset of hostility toward Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the minds of the American people ever since the end of World War II.

It was a radical notion and, as Kennedy well understood, a very dangerous one insofar as he was concerned. The Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally had been used to convert the United States from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, one consisting of a vast, permanent military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their broad array of totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, regime change, coups, invasions, torture, surveillance, and the like. Everyone was convinced that the Cold War — and the so-called threat from the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia — would last forever, which would naturally mean permanent and ever-increasing largess for what Kennedy’s predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, had  called the “military-industrial complex.”

Suddenly, Kennedy was upending the Cold War apple cart by threatening to establish a relationship of friendship and peaceful coexistence with Russia, the rest of the Soviet Union, and Cuba.

Kennedy knew full well that his actions were considered by some to be a grave threat to “national security.” After all, don’t forget that it was Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him ousted from power by the CIA and presumably targeted for assassination as part of that regime-change operation. It was Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that made him the target of Pentagon and CIA regime-change operations, including through invasion, assassination, and sanctions. It was Congo leader’s Patrice Lamumba’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted for assassination by the CIA. It would be Chilean President Salvador Allende’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted in a CIA-instigated coup in Chile that resulted in Allende’s death.

Kennedy wasn’t dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May, which posited the danger of a military coup in America, he asked friends in Hollywood to make it into a movie to serve as a warning to the American people. In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Pentagon and the CIA were exerting extreme pressure on Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, his brother Bobby told a Soviet official with whom he was negotiating that the president was under a severe threat of being ousted in a coup. And, of course, Kennedy was fully mindful of what had happened to Arbenz, Lamumba, and Castro for doing what Kennedy was now doing — reaching out to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship.

In the eyes of the national-security establishment, one simply did not reach out to Russia, Cuba, or any other “enemy” of America. Doing so, in their eyes, made Kennedy an appeaser, betrayer, traitor, and a threat to “national security.”

Kennedy didn’t stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. Yes, that’s right — they said that “national security” depended on the U.S. government’s continuing to do what they object to North Korea doing today — conducting nuclear tests, both above ground and below ground.

Kennedy mobilized public opinion to overcome fierce opposition in the military, CIA, Congress, and the Washington establishment to secure passage of his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

He then ordered a partial withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and told close aides that he would order a complete pull-out after winning the 1964 election. In the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, leaving Vietnam subject to a communist takeover would pose a grave threat to national security here in the United States.

Worst of all, from the standpoint of the national-security establishment, Kennedy began secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro to bring an end to America’s Cold War against them. That was considered to be a grave threat to “national security” as well as a grave threat to all the military and intelligence largess that depended on the Cold War.

By this time, Kennedy’s war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again.

What Kennedy didn’t know was that his “secret” negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren’t so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs.

Kennedy’s feelings toward the people who were calling him a traitor for befriending Moscow and other “enemies” of America? In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: “We are heading into nut country today.” Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren’t located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment.

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  • LootersParadise

    The mere fact that there is a history of “the Russians are coming” fear mongering gives it value as a misdirection tactic. To be effective, it need not be proven or even plausible, just stated as “fact”.

    • LootersParadise

      I should add that anything of substance that is tangential to the accusation (e.g., Trump’s history of dealings with criminal elements in Russia) is sufficient evidence to convince indiscriminate observers. Thus serving the needs of partisans, political opponents seeking to deflect blame (Hillary), and delusional neocons seeking perpetual war under the banner of “regime change”.

    • When you think about it, which was the first nation to have coined the phrase, — The Russians are coming?

  • awb22

    A list of non-corrupt POTUS; Kennedy, Carter, Trump. Possibly because they were already wealthy. Reagan through Obama lied continually to the American people, saying one thing while doing the other. The US Congress is the same way, the title of a bill is usually the opposite of what it does. The Devil has it so wrapped up in DC that he doesn’t even bother hiding the fact. Trump signed up for the job, and it’s up the American people to see that he gets the support he needs.

    • dreamjoehill

      So you support Trump’s massive weapons sales to the Saudi theocrats?

      • awb22

        I support Trump, and trust that he will do the job he was elected to do. Do you have a better idea?

        • dreamjoehill

          So you are uncritical in your support Trump, and you support selling 100 billion in arms to the Saudis, a brutal, Islamic extremist regime that backs terrorists and is currently engaged in massive war crimes in Yemen.

          • awb22

            What difference does it make to you who they kill?

            I trust that he will do a better job on his worst day, than Hillary on her best, God forbid.

            You know, at least no one ever accused Trump of being a murderer.

            I get it that you hate Trump. You prolly hate God, too. No surprise there.

          • dreamjoehill

            “What difference does it make to you who they kill?” It’s called humanitarianism, something you obviously know nothing about. your question reveals you to be profoundly immoral.

            The “Hillary would’ve been worse” excuse is already stale and quite pathetic.

            “I get it that you hate Trump. You prolly hate God, too. No surprise there.”

            You are a truly moronic bigot. Hate Trump? I could care less about him as a person, but he is shaping up to be just another bullying imperialist and plutocrat. He claims to be for the forgotten people but his policies all benefit the uber-wealthy and will be hell on workers and the poor.

          • awb22

            So, you’re a humanitarian. How do you go about that, with your feelings? I’m not that stupid, but seriously, why do you care?

            You voted against Trump, so you’ll criticize him no matter what he does. That’s the stale part.

            You’re a do-gooder and want to tell everyone else how they ought to behave. He claims to be for ALL the people, not just the ones who want a hand out.

            That’s the difference that proves you’re the bigot.

          • dreamjoehill

            “You’re a do-gooder and want to tell everyone else how they ought to behave”
            And you’re an evil doer that shrugs off the deaths of tens of thousands, while accusing me of “hating God.” Hope you rot in hell.

          • awb22

            That’s where you God haters get it all wrong, accusing someone of wrong doing instead of the wrong doers themselves. What a hypocrite, pontificating about how much you care about a bunch of arabs who would sooner flay you alive as look at you, and then suggesting I rot in hell. The only thing I can suggest for you is that you take your own advice.

          • dreamjoehill

            I’m not a “God hater” you self righteous hypocritical POS.
            You rot in hell for being an apologist for murder.
            You’re also an anti-Arab bigot. What a POS.
            You must be one of those fake Christians that the US has far too many of. You and yours are hateful, evil monsters.

          • awb22

            Says the humanitarian.

          • dreamjoehill

            “How is it that you sympathize with a religion of intolerance”

            How is it you consistently make asinine assumptions, Mr Bigot?

            “It’s not God’s will that they die, but they’re outside of his protection.”

            More of your fake Christian hatefulness. You are an abomination as are all your fellow travelers. You hate God because you worship hate.

            “You sympathize with a religion of intolerance because you hate God, it’s as simple as that, which is the what I posted in the first place.”
            Clearly you are beyond reason, like most of your ilk. A completely irrational POS.

          • awb22

            I’m still waiting for your reason, apart from the ad hominem.

            hominy, hominy, hominy

            Doesn’t equate to reason. Sorry.

          • dreamjoehill

            BTW, the Saudis are Islamic extremists; far more so than the Yemeni sources they’re battling, but bigots like you are unconcerned with such facts. they might get in the way of your violent prejudices.

          • awb22

            I really don’t care if they kill everyone down to the last person. Why should I. Good riddance, and the world is over populated anyway, just ask Bill Gates or any one of your liberal do goodie buddies.

          • dreamjoehill

            Jimmy Carter recently noted that when he left office in 1980 there was one person in prison for every thousand. Now there are seven per thousand.
            Corporate Authoritrianism. A society falling apart.

          • awb22

            No argument, there.

  • cityspeak

    Try telling your well educated and not so educated friends how the coup in the Ukraine is a “Cuban Missile Crisis with the aggressive actions of the countries in reverse” and they look at you as you are speaking Klingon.
    Also bring up what happened in Dallas in 1963, who had the power to execute the plan and continue to obscure the facts to this day and they go into a “cognitive dissonance fugue state”.
    It isn’t hard to see what is happening to Donald Trump as he wasn’t part of the status quo and must still at some level be refusing to push forward and go along with Deep State agendas. Now he is being pressured by never ending investigations and the continual threat of impeachment.
    Funny as the two previous Presidents were guilty of even greater international war crimes and yet were given a free pass by the media and both Conservative and Liberal establishments to continue unscathed.
    Obama is treated as a rock star and Bush II as an artistic eccentric.
    Politically I identify as progressive and have disliked Trump for decades. I recall his screwing over the builders of his casino in Atlantic city and his multiple bankruptcies as he was touting himself as a great “Dealmaker”.
    That said I realize how the majority of the population has become mesmerized with the organized and sustained polarization of identity politics which obscures the truth of what is really happening on the national and international stage. As our collective decline is happening at such an accelerated rate you think people might want to start looking at the “reality of a given situation and make decisions based on factual information”. That and only that will make America better.

    • Far as the Neocons are concerned, pretty much everything shall be considered as a Cuban missile crisis, after all, they’re Straussians to the core.

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  • Tom Nash

    It’s probably worth mentioning that JFK campaigned on the basis of a non-existent missle gap with the USSR….he heavily criticized the Eisenhower administration for “falling behind” the Soviets.
    The Bay of Pigs invasion does not seemed to be mentioned in this “analysis” of the JFK administration.
    I think it’s worth mentioning, as well as the mentioning the resultant Cuban Missle crisis.
    The assassination plots against Castro continued throughout the Kennedy administration, but it is not mentioned in the article as part of JFK’s “outreach” to Castro.
    Kennedy was a fairly typical early 1960s “Cold Warrior”, which was basically a centrist position of the Democratic Party back then.
    The article really distorts the actual historical record.

    • slorter

      What you state is true! However the deep state did not like him and he had constant clashes with them as well as his brother!

      • Tom Nash

        It seems that there were so many competing factions within the JFK administration that it’d be difficult to identify a “deep state structure” that was dominant.
        The audio tapes and other declassified material from Kennedy’s time in office show the conflicting advice/ recommendations he was getting.
        One correction I need to make…..the author did mention the Bay of Pigs invasion, albeit as the “perfidious conduct” of the CIA.
        And Kennedy was ill-advised by the CIA. It ended up looking like a Keystone Cops operation.
        Allen Dulles was soon out as CIA Director, but despite JFK’s anger over the Bay of Pigs incident, I don’t think he ever wanted to dismantle or sideline that organization.
        I think he got some good advice from CIA Director John McCone about not supporting the coup against Diem, and it looks like Bobby Kennedy sided with McCone on this.
        But JFK ultimately gave the green light to that coup, despite his own reservations.
        I’m using this as an example of the difficulty in identifying a dominant deep state apparatus…..Henry Cabot Lodge and the State Department won out in their recommendation that Diem had to go, but these were people chosen by, and subordinant to, JFK.
        And the CIA plots to kill Castro, as well as the Bay of Pigs planning, were activities where JFK gave the final “go ahead” authorization.

        • slorter

          Again can’t disagree with that either Tom! I do feel however the deep state for want of a better word maybe, seem to be very comfortable with any administration and elements hang round no matter who takes office. Really what are the differences with Republications and Corporate Democrats, their foreign policies are virtually the same. Maybe the real agenda is to keep the general public distracted enough to not focus on our common interests as working people!
          Cheers and thanks for the feed back!

  • Carlos Xavier

    No, President John F. Kennedy :
    What lots of Americans don’t realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or “collusion with,” Russia pales in comparison to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous “crime” of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.
    And In my opinion its not wrong at all too. Assignment Square Writers also have same thoughts on it.

  • Excellent article !!!

  • Who cares.
    You scum Yankees are fading out people in a declining empire, who are waiting for a dooms day anyway.

  • you may want to consider giving your articles shorter and less repetitive titles.
    also, you are free to speak honestly about 9/11. the deep state has nowhere to hide.