Comment: This is the penultimate article in a series of 12 articles written in 2006 commemorating (at the time) the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of JFK. This year, 2013, is the 50th anniversary of what can, in hindsight and in Truth, be called the Day America Died.
Anyone who has taken the time to study the facts about that fateful day in Dallas, TX, will already know that JFK was deliberately murdered by a cabal of psychopathic warmongers who were opposed to his plans for a more peaceful world. That same cabal is still in power today, and it has extended its reach across the globe.
We will be featuring one article per day between now and the anniversary.
You can find the rest of the JFK series on the right hand bar of Sott.net. You can also purchase a Kindle of the whole series on Amazon.
If you do nothing else, just take the time to watch the Sott.net/QFG produced version of 'Evidence of Revision', a three disc set that presents archive footage that will leave you in no doubt who killed JFK and why.
John F. Kennedy, The Secret Service and Rich, Fascist Texans
|A handbill circulated on November 21, 1963 In Dallas, Texas, one day before the assassination of John F. Kennedy.|
On November 21st, 1963, 44 years ago today, the 1,035th day of John F. Kennedy's tenure as President, he asked the Congress for $95.7 million in supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 1964. He also asked his economic advisers to prepare a "War on Poverty" program for 1964. Then, President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy departed for a two-day trip to Texas. It was to be his last full day on Earth.
At the dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center, Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas he gave a talk in which he reminisced: "
Frank O'Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall -- and then they had no choice but to follow them... This Nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space, and we have no choice but to follow it."And he predicted,
"When some meet here in 1990 they will look back on what we did and say that we made the right and wise decisions. 'Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions,' the Bible tells us, and 'where there is no vision, the people perish.'" (Remarks at Dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center, San Antonio, Texas , November 21, 1963)Later, President Kennedy made brief remarks to the League of United Latin American Citizens at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas following which he attended a dinner honoring Representative Albert Thomas, Houston, Texas.
Yesterday, we talked about Oil and Oilmen; today, we want to look at Texans, keeping always in mind that George W. Bush is a transplanted Texan, and he and his father have both been "Oilmen." After that, we'll look at the Secret Service, the men who were supposed to protect the President.
From Farewell America:
The myth of the indispensable man must be broken if our country is to survive. - Haroldson Lafayette HuntThe Panhandle State owes more to oil than it does to the Alamo. Texas didn't really come into its own until oil gushed forth from the swamps of Beaumont on January 10, 1901. Fed by more than 100,000 barrels a day from the Spindletop well, (1) a lake of oil formed which was soon consumed by fire. Spindletop set off a second Gold Rush. The area was overrun by prospectors, the oil field was plundered, and the price of oil fluctuated wildly. At first, Rockefeller ignored the Texas strike.
But after Standard Oil of New Jersey was broken up in 1911, Standard Oil of Indiana bought up Humble, thereby becoming the largest producer in Texas, while Socony took over Magnolia. By 1930, the American oil empire was controlled by 20 big companies which seemed destined for eternal prosperity. But on October 9, 1930, a stubborn prospector named "Dad" Joiner struck oil at 3,000 feet in East Texas. He had discovered the richest oil field in the United States. Forty miles long and 2 to 5 miles wide, its reserves have been estimated at one and a half billion tons. By the time Standard and the other big companies arrived on the scene, thousands of prospectors were drilling away on tens of thousands of rural and urban plots. It was the most ruinous waste in the history of oil, and just at the start of the Depression the bottom dropped out of the market.
Standard, Gulf, Texaco and Shell managed to regain control with the help of the federal government. Laws were voted by the states, concessions were closed down by force, and the Connally law on "black oil" put a stop to illegal production in East Texas. When the basin had been pumped dry, production quotas were established and order prevailed. Some independent producers managed to survive, but they were obliged to comply with the rules set by the Big Four, who tolerated them because their greater production costs enabled the larger companies to keep prices high and increase profits.
Thirty years later, in 1963, Texas accounted for half the proven oil reserves on American soil. With 95,000 active oil wells owned by 6,500 oil companies (of the 12,325 in the United States), it constituted a key position for the big corporations, for it controlled production in the neighboring states of Louisiana and Oklahoma (65% of the American total), and therefore prices.
Six companies control 80% of Texas oil production. Humble produces 15% and refines 30% of this total. These giants command not only the oil, but also the sulfur and natural gas markets, and consequently real estate, transportation facilities, power, water, and banks throughout the state.
The Second World War turned Texas into an industrial state. Thanks to the Cold War, its industries expanded five times faster than those of the rest of the nation. This industrial expansion reached a climax in 1963, when General Dynamics of Fort Worth was awarded the TFX fighter plane contract. The fantastic development of smaller firms such as Texas Instruments is directly linked to the war in Vietnam.(2)
Texas offers these industries lower taxes, cheap labor (poor whites, Negroes and Wetbacks), restrictive labor legislation (the union shop is prohibited by state law), and its outstanding natural resources in oil, natural gas, and sulfur.(3) The federal government is one of the state's principal benefactors. Texas ranks second in the nation in terms of federal aid, with $3.9 billion in 1960-61, or 20.1% of the total state revenue.(4) The wealthiest of the wealthy states, Texas in 1960 had 53% more federal employees and received 65% more federal aid than the average American state.(5) Washington's favors touched every sector of the economy. Texas, with the most extensive highway system (constructed with federal funds) in the country,(6) received the largest amount of federal aid for paralyzed children, and the highest subsidies for flood prevention.
But not all the inhabitants of Texas share in this munificence. In 1963, the state of Texas spent only $282.46 per person on social welfare (education, health, hospitals, public welfare), as compared to the national average of $343.64 per inhabitant (a difference of 18%). In the field of education, Texas ranked third in the nation in terms of federal aid per inhabitant, and 31st in terms of expenditures. It ranked first in terms of federal aid for child welfare, and 44th in terms of expenditures. It was second in the nation in terms of federal aid for the aged, and 40th in terms of expenditures. Nor does Texas neglect only its people. In 1963 it received more federal aid for experimental agricultural stations than any other state in the union, but ranked 47th in terms of the amount spent on improvements in cattle breeding.
There is little indication that the people of Texas merit such favoritism. Their state is first in the nation in terms of murder and armed robbery, and second for rape. Texas is the realm of intolerance. It calls itself Democratic, but for the past 25 years it has elected Republicans or would-be Democrats. It claims to be progressive, but only 15% of its 2.5 million non-agricultural workers are unionized, and since 1954 a fine of $20,000 and 20 years in prison punishes membership in the Communist Party. In 1952, Governor Allan Shrivers even tried to obtain the death penalty for this "crime."
Texas sees nothing wrong with prescribing the death penalty for a political opinion, but it protects the right to commit homicide. It is the paradise of murder, and even of murder for thrills.
The name "Texas" comes from the Indian "Tejas," meaning "Friendship," which is also the state motto. In 1879 Harper's Bazaar wrote, "In the past 12 years there have been 300 murders in Texas, and only 11 death sentences." Since then, Texans have done even better. In 1960 there were 1,080 murders in Texas, and 5 death sentences.
Moreover, Texas has its own definition of murder. Only 3 of the 254 counties in Texas require a coroner's examination in the case of sudden or suspicious death. The 251 others leave it to the Justice of the Peace (7) to determine the cause of death. A verdict of death due to natural causes has been known to coincide with the discovery of a bullet in the body of the deceased. The FBI estimates that the number of murders actually committed in Texas is several times the official figure. Between 5,000 and 10,000 deaths occur every year in Texas because of brutality, greed, or just because.(8)
One hundred and thirty-two counties in Texas are prohibitonist, another form of intolerance that satisfies the puritanism of its inhabitants and the interests of the business community. One out of every 12 Texans -- 800,000 in all -- is illiterate, the highest percentage in the nation. Texas delivers fewer high school diplomas than the poorest state in the union, Mississippi.(9) It ranks third in the nation in terms of the number of registered automobiles, but only 36th in terms of insurance coverage.
Backwards, intolerant, and irresponsible, Texas lifts its soul only towards God, if one is to judge from the number of its churches. There are more than 1,000 churches in Dallas alone. Waco (100,000 inhabitants} has 122, Midland (68,000 inhabitants} 82, and Tyler (50,000 inhabitants) 94.(10) Evangelist Billy Graham is popular in Texas, and playboys are frowned upon.
Texans never tire of looking at money. The center of attraction at the Dallas Petroleum Club is a long ebony table inlaid with coins from all over the world. The homes of Highland Park, University Park, and River Oak are decorated with Cezannes and Renoirs (many of them fakes), but they rarely contain books. Texans don't read, with the possible exception of the Sunday papers. Unlike other American cities, Texas cities don't have bookstores. There is a second-hand bookstore in Dallas, but it is in the suburbs. The other bookstores are run by the churches. On the other hand, Dallas has an opera, a Museum of Contemporary Art, and 700 garden clubs. Texans like flowers.
Texas has 1,128 banks, more than any other state in the Union,(11) but despite its wealth, the total income of the inhabitants of Texas falls well below that of many other states.(12) An oligarchic state if there ever was one, Texas is nevertheless first in the nation in terms of the number of personal incomes exceeding $1 million a year. Four-fifths of these millionaires are oilmen.
In this state of nabobs and beggars, where whole regions are still without electricity and where hundreds of thousands of people sleep out of doors, corruption is an institution, professional witnesses are a dime a dozen, and if you dial a certain number you can hear a recorded anti-Semitic diatribe.
Such a privileged state has to have influence in Washington. It has had, since before Roosevelt. In 1947, Harry Truman modified the law providing for the succession to the Presidency in favor of Texan Sam Rayburn, making the House Majority Leader the third most important person in the country. Eisenhower, born in Tyler, Texas, faced a Congress led by House Majority Leader Rayburn, a Texan, and Senate majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, another Texan. But despite the special favors, all the federal aid, and the federal employees paid by Washington, the state treasury has often verged on bankruptcy. In 1959, Texas even paid its employees with rubber checks. Once again, the federal government was obliged to bailout the richest state in the union. In 1961, while it was still young and naive, the Kennedy Administration tried to enforce the payment of the federal tax on business transactions in Texas. No Texan could remember this law ever having been enforced. Texas, the state that fortune smiled upon, lay outside the frontiers of America. What did it want with the New Frontier?
Texas is a separate way of life. The oil industry controls the government, the politics, and the social life of the state.(13) Its contribution to the economy is so important, and its influence so widespread, that it can make or break a project. The independent producers wield as much, if not more, power than the Presidents of the major oil companies, and because their fortunes are generally the result of personal success and their base of operations less far-flung, they are also more aggressive. They are thus far more vulnerable to any attack on the privileges of the oil industry, and in particular to any change in the laws that govern it.
It has been estimated that there are more than 500 millionaires living in Houston, and probably as many in Dallas. The income of the twenty richest independent oil producers put together would be enough to cover the state budget.
Texas, which doesn't know the meaning of income tax, has no more idea of what a constitution should be. The Texas Constitution dates back to 1876. Consequently, the state government has no power to deal with the abuses of its inhabitants. The state legislature meets only once every two years. Its members are paid $10 a day for a period of 120 days. If the session is prolonged beyond that limit, their pay is halved. As a result, most state congressmen are either lawyers representing their clients at Austin or students glad for a chance to make a little extra money. For that matter, poor students and teachers interested in politics are especially well regarded by the real proprietors of the state. The oilmen finance the studies of a certain number of gifted and deserving students, and if they are elected to the state legislature they are rewarded with land leases, stocks, and allowances enabling them to devote themselves to the service of their country. The oilmen have little difficulty in getting their candidates elected to office -- they control the press, radio and television. Their influence over the police and judicial authorities is such that only the most insignificant criminal and civil cases, and those in which they have no interests at stake, are ever bought to court.
One of the most eminent figures in Texas and the oil industry appeared one day in the Cokesbury Bookstore, a Methodist bookshop in Dallas, to autograph a book that he had published himself. This man rates only seven lines in Who's Who: "Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, oil producer; Vandalia, Ill.; ed. pub. Schs; m. Lynda Bunker (died May 7, 1955); married 2nd Ruth Ray Weight, December 1957. Oil producer, Hunt Oil Co. Established Facts Forum, a foundation producing radio and TV programs relating to nat. issues. Democrat. Address: 4009 W. Lawther Dr., Dallas."
Seven lines isn't much for a man who was, in 1963, and probably will be until he dies, the richest man in the world, (14) with a fortune conservatively estimated at $4 billion. When you get into those kind of figures, you are no longer talking about wealth, but about power.
The book that the richest man in the world had come to autograph was called Alpaca, undoubtedly after the llama-like South American ruminant of the same name so noted for its resistance. Alpaca is Hunt's Bible. It describes a mythical new nation where income taxes are limited to 25%, and where every citizen is accorded a number of votes in direct proportion to his income-tax bracket.(15)
Hunt was accompanied by his second wife and his two stepdaughters, and the little girls -- Helen, 11, and Sewannee, 10 -- sang a little song:
How much is that book in the window?Hunt is a hard man to figure out. Few journalists have even tried. The real personality of this Puritan who was 74 in 1963 lies hidden behind a few cautious descriptions:
The one that says all the smart things.
How much is that book in the window?
I do hope to learn all it brings.
How much is that book in the window?
The one which my Popsy wrote.
How much is that book in the window?
You can buy it without signing a note.
Alpaca! Fifty cents!(16)
"As rich as Croesus, as shrewd as a riverboat gambler, as tight as a new pair of shoes . . ."For gifted psychologist Hugh Hefner, Hunt is "an irritating enigma."
"He thinks communism started in this country when the government took over distribution of the mail . . ."
"If he had more flair and imagination, if he were not basically such a damned hick, he could be one of the most dangerous men in America."
"No one, not even his own family, professes to understand him; no one, not even the partners he's made rich, seems to have any idea what drove him to amass his vast fortune; and no one, not even Hunt himself, seems able to explain just what he is trying to accomplish in the political arena."(17)Hunt is the incarnation of Texas, but he was born into a prosperous family in Illinois. He left home at 15 with a pack on his back and worked for a time as a lumberjack. At 22, he took his inheritance of a few thousand dollars and set out for Arkansas, where in 1912 he bought plantation land that hadn't overflowed for 35 years. That year and the next, it overflowed. The following year World War I broke out and the price of cotton dropped to 5 cents a pound. Hunt was ruined.
1918 brought a big land boom, and Hunt sold his plantation and bought more land. Three years later, he headed for an oil strike in El Dorado, Arkansas and began trading in leases. He drilled a few wells in the West Smackover fields and soon owned a hundred wells in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. In 1930 he went to East Texas and bought the famous Dad Joiner well, the Number One Daisy Bradford, which the big oil companies had disregarded. Before the Second World War, Hunt had made his first billion, mostly in oil, and re-invested it not only in oil and natural gas, but also in a multitude of other undertakings integrated vertically or horizontally, or completely diversified.
Hunt is the nation's biggest farmer. His business interests cover five continents and run from drugs to real estate, cotton, cattle, and timber. It has been estimated that "the Hunt assets are equal to those of such corporate complexes as General Electric."(18) Hunt owns and controls companies the names of which have never been associated with his.(19) His name does not appear on the list of the 500 largest international corporations, although he is probably among the top five. The Hunt Oil Company (incorporated in Delaware in 1934) owns producing properties in Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota, and 9 more states, as well as undeveloped acreage in 18 other states, including Alaska. Hunt is behind a multitude of independent oil companies such as Placid Oil, the Hunt Petroleum Corp., and Placid International Oil, Ltd. (incorporated in 1958 in Delaware), with offices and activities in Australia, the Netherlands, Lebanon, England, and 17 other countries.
Haroldson Lafayette Hunt has neither stockholders nor board of directors. He owns 85 to 90% of the shares in all of his companies.(20) (His family owns the rest.) This 200 lb. six-footer is a latecomer to politics. Until he was 60, he occupied himself with drilling his wells and building his empire. He likes to describe himself as "a registered Democrat who often votes Republican." The last President of whom he approved was Calvin Coolidge. He calls Franklin D. Roosevelt "the first President to institute the struggle of class against class." Roosevelt also recognized the Soviet Union, thus bearing, in his view, the responsibility for "the surrender of hundreds of millions of people into Communist domination." He violently attacks the "myth of the indispensable man" created by Franklin D. Roosevelt and reclaimed by Kennedy. "This myth must be broken if our country is to survive," he has been quoted as saying. For him, the principal arms of the "Indispensable Man" of the Sixties were "Communism" and "taxes." Communism and taxes, it must be said, are the keys to the mind and activities of Haroldson Lafayette Hunt.
"The United States have been in charge of the world since World War Two, during which time the Communists have taken into domination one third of the world's population.Hunt condemns the "strange persons with a twisted education who would prefer to be defeated." He also attacks federal welfare programs for "harming the general public and giving some persons and groups an advantage over others." He dismisses Social Security as "thousands of frivolous projects." He declares, "People who have wealth should use it wisely, in a way that will do society the most good. They should be careful that in making supposedly charitable gifts, their money will not be used to destroy or impair the American system and promote atheism."
"Communist activities in the United States are criminal and can be spoken of along with other criminal offenses."
"All services to the public should be abolished in favor of personal enterprise where they can be more efficiently and economically performed."
For Hunt, Kennedy's assault on the tax privileges enjoyed by the oil industry were "criminal offenses" against "the American system. Depletion allowances are necessary for irreplaceable resources. The increased net income for the Government from their elimination would finance the Government 3 or 4 days per year . . ." he declares, adding, "We are losing the right to keep a fair share of the money we earn and a fair share of the profits we make."
Hunt's letterhead describes him as an "operator."(21) He considers himself one of the best poker players in the country, and he probably is. He has always placed his reliance on competent technicians. His personal bodyguard is made up of former FBI agents. Years ago he acquired the habit of acting through intermediaries. He has his own intelligence network, and his decisions are carried out by a powerful general staff. His business interests are so extensive that he subsidizes (along with other important oilmen) most of the influential men in Congress, men like Lyndon Johnson. Hunt was one of the financial backers of Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose deputy Roy Cohn attracted his attention and has since worked for him on several occasions.
Hunt is the most powerful American propagandist of the Far Right. In 1951 he financed "Facts Forum," a series of radio and television programs which was later replaced by "Life Line," a one-sided series of 15-minute radio broadcasts carried daily on 409 stations throughout the country. His propaganda campaign costs him $2 million a year and is financed by companies that he owns, or on which he is in a position to exert pressure. (22)
Hunt's brand of anti-Communism has found support in the military camp. In 1952, Hunt supported the "MacArthur for President" campaign, and he has called MacArthur "truly the man of this century." He was also impressed by the MacArthur-trained group of strategists. (23) He once declared, "We should do whatever our generals advise us to do."
Beginning in 1952, several influential military men, flattered by Hunt's attention and conscious of his power, acquired the habit of consulting and confiding in him. Thus General George C. Kenney (born in 1889), former Commanding General of the Strategic Air Command, who retired from the Air Force in 1951, told him of his personal plan for knocking out Russia's nuclear capacity, based on the strategy of a preventive strike. General Albert C. Wedemeyer (born in 1897), author of the "Wedemeyer Reports" and an active member of the John Birch Society, (24) retired from the Army in 1951, (25) and Admiral James Van Fleet (born in 1892 and retired from the Navy in 1953) (26) were among the specialists consulted by Hunt, who shared their passion for strategy and extermination. The advent of Kennedy and McNamara created a stir among the military, and there were many retirements and dismissals.
The leader of this warrior clan was General Edwin A. Walker (born in 1909), a Texan who returned to Dallas after leaving the Army and contacted H. L. Hunt. Then, with the support of the John Birchers, (27) the Minutemen, and several of his former subordinates in the US forces in Germany, he launched an extremist and militarist campaign. Robert A. Surrey, Walker's "associate," had the financial backing of Hunt's companies. In 1962 ex-General Walker ran for Governor of Texas but was defeated by John Connally, whereupon he plunged headlong into a campaign of politico-economic action. By the winter of 1962-63, plans were being made for a preventive strike.
Hunt is the Big Man in Texas, the Giant, the richest and the stingiest, (28) the most powerful and the most solitary of the oilmen. He has always shied away from the other Texas and Louisiana oil producers, men like Michel Halbouty, Ray Hubbard, R. E. Smith, Algur H. Meadows, J ake Hamon, Kay Kimbell, O. C. Harper, C. V. Lyman, J. P. Gibbins, Ted Wiener, Thomas W. Blake, John W. Mecom, Billy Byars and Morgan Davis, but they have interests in common. Only the solidarity of the oil industry and, in some cases, fear kept certain habitues of the Fort Worth Petroleum Club, the Bayou and International Clubs in Houston, the Club Imperial, the Cipango Club and the Public Affairs Luncheon Club of Dallas from talking in the months and weeks preceding November 22. Instead, they let matters take their course.
The opinions and the aversions of obstinate old men often lead to excesses. Embittered puritan potentates frightened to see their lives drawing to an end are an even greater danger. Representatives Bruce Alger and Joe Pool stopped up their ears. In the streets of Texas, "Knock Out the Kennedys" stickers were already appearing on bumpers and windshields. Hunt liked to say, "It is through weakness -- not strength -- that we lose esteem in the world."
FAST FORWARD: At 12:23 on November 22, from his office on the 7th floor of the Mercantile Building, Haroldson Lafayette Hunt watched John Kennedy ride towards Dealey Plaza, where fate awaited him at 12:30. A few minutes later, escorted by six men in two cars, Hunt left the center of Dallas without even stopping by his house.
At that very moment; General Walker was in a plane between New Orleans and Shreveport. He joined Mr. Hunt in one of his secret hideaways across the Mexican border. There they remained for a month, protected by personal guards, under the impassive eyes of the FBI. It was not until Christmas that Hunt, Walker and their party returned to Dallas.
In February, 1964, Elgin E. Crull, Dallas City Manager, declared, "The vast majority of people in Dallas were affected by the murder of the President as they would have been by a sudden, violent death in their own family." But he added, "When life resumed its regular rhythm, there was general agreement that the actions of two maverick gunmen -- the alleged assassin and his slayer -- would not impede the dynamic growth of Big D."
See also: Halliburton Is Houston's' Greater Hermann Goering Werke' for details on the relationship between H. L. Hunt, Halliburton, Brown & Root and Permindex, the company with which Guy Bannister - accused by Jim Garrison of being involved in the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy - was associated.
According to the Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal manuscript written under the nom de plume "William Torbitt," both Halliburton and George and Herman Brown were among the principal financiers of Permindex, along with Jean de Menil, mob lawyer Roy Cohn, Dallas oilman H.L. Hunt, and others.See: Top-secret cronies Bush has stacked his foreign advisory board with his Texas business pals, who stand to profit from access to CIA and military intelligence.
The Vice President and his neo-con allies such as Defense Secretary Donald Rumseld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, et al., are agents of a power which is committed to eliminating the principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, in favor of a global bankers' dictatorship. This same oligarchic power, acting through merchant banks like Lazard Freres and Rothschild and other financial institutions, controls a large swath of Wall Street and corporate America, including Halliburton. Halliburton's power does not flow from Cheney, but from Cheney's backers, the Synarchist bankers. Cheney's policy toward the people of Iraq is the same as Halliburton's policy toward its asbestos claimants, and the same as Goering's policy toward the people in the Nazi work camps.
Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Makes You Free) read the sign over the entrance to Auschwitz. It was an example of Goering's "big lie" tactic in action. The Cheney cabal's pronouncements that we must accept police-state tactics in our own nation and pre-emptive strikes against other nations in the name of freedom, rings just as false. Hermann Goering would be proud. ...
Halliburton also has strong intelligence ties, notably through the presence on its board from 1977 through 2000 of the King Ranch's Anne Armstrong, who chaired the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) from 1981 until 1990, in addition to a stint as U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, and her long-standing role as chairman of the executive committee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a powerful Washington think-tank.
Armstrong's successor as Halliburton's top spook is Ray Hunt, one of five Dresser directors to join the Halliburton board. Hunt, the son of reputed Permindex funder H.L. Hunt, was appointed to the PFIAB by President George W. Bush in October 2001. Oilman Hunt is also a trustee of the CSIS and a director of the King Ranch, suggesting that Hunt is taking the retiring Armstrong's spot in a long-standing Texas intelligence network. Hunt is also a trustee of the George Bush Presidential Library and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
November 17, 2005 | No discussion of cronyism in the Bush administration would be complete without talking about PFIAB, short for the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. George W. Bush's latest appointments to the PFIAB, which advises the president on how various intelligence agencies are performing, represent a who's who of the Halliburton-Texas Rangers-oil business crony club that made Bush into a millionaire and helped propel him into the White House. ...Secret Service
Created in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower, the PFIAB is designed -- according to the White House press release -- to give the president "objective, expert advice." In an ideal world, the PFIAB members would analyze the intelligence they get and give the president their unvarnished opinions about the relative merits of the different agencies and the work they are doing. PFIAB members are granted access to America's most secret secrets, known as SCI, for Sensitive Compartmented Information. Members of PFIAB have security clearances that are among the highest in the U.S. government. They have access to intelligence that is unavailable to most members of Congress. They are privy to intelligence from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the military intelligence agencies and others.
Everything that members do as part of PFIAB is done in secrecy. None of the information that they discuss or view is available to the public. They are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. And unlike other public servants who work for the president, there is no public disclosure of the PFIAB members' financial interests. ...
For Bush, it appears that campaign cash counts far more than expertise. And few backers have given Bush's campaigns more cash than Ray Hunt, son of the legendary Dallas billionaire bigamist oilman H.L. Hunt. PFIAB membership is a plum position for Hunt, who raised about $100,000 for Bush during the 2000 campaign and also served as the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Hunt's position at PFIAB may benefit a familiar entity in the Bush crony network: Halliburton, which is doing billions of dollars' worth of reconstruction and logistics work for the U.S. government in Iraq and on the Gulf Coast. Hunt sits on Halliburton's board of directors. He got his spot on the Halliburton board in 1998 while Dick Cheney was running the company. As soon as Hunt got on the Halliburton board, he was put on its compensation committee, where he helped determine Cheney's pay. Indeed, in 1998, Hunt's committee decided that Cheney deserved a bonus of $1.1 million and restricted stock awards of $1.5 million on top of his regular salary of $1.18 million.
Hunt has been on the PFIAB since 2001. Presumably, months ahead of everyone else, he had access to intelligence indicating that the Bush administration was going to invade Iraq -- information that could have been of value to certain oil service companies with operations in the Middle East.... the decision to appoint Hunt [and other cronies] is part of the "familiar pattern that we've seen so often with this administration: The president's pals and supporters are esteemed more highly than those who have genuine competence." He continues: "These people aren't the best and the brightest. They are the best connected. And the quality of our government suffers as a result."
If they are to conquer, prophets must have attentive partisans to protect them from the tumult. (Mohammed)
Kennedy himself did little to discourage them. He was tolerant, he liked people, and he had a firm belief in his destiny. His boisterous sophisticated cronies were barely conscious of the feelings aroused by the President's revolutionary action, and they paid little heed to his protection. Ken O'Donnell, who was in charge of the White House staff, had authority not only over the personnel, but also over the Secret Service. He could transfer or fire anyone he wanted, and he had the power to introduce reforms. He was also in charge of the President's trips.
O'Donnell is the soul of integrity, and, as he liked to say, he would have given his life for the President. He would have done better to protect him. It is surprising to realize that this man, chosen by Kennedy for his intellectual ability, acted without thinking. As he said one day to Jerry Behn, in his mind, "politics and protection don't mix." He was mistaken. It is a difficult and dangerous combination, but it is possible.
O'Donnell, though an excellent administrator, was a weak man, and he was unsure of himself. This became evident after the President's death at Parkland Hospital when, as the highest-ranking White House official present with the exception of President Johnson, he proved himself incapable of doing anything more than "standing off to one side and eyeing the medical examiner icily" when the latter opposed the removal of President Kennedy's body. It became all the more evident when, after behaving rudely towards the new President during the plane trip back to Washington (which was perhaps his right), he agreed to serve on his staff. It was he who kicked up such a fuss, only the day after the assassination, about a Boston funeral, proving once and for all that John Kennedy was for him more a friend than a President. He was so happy to have such a man as a friend that he gave too little thought to his enemies. We know how much these words may hurt Ken O'Donnell, and how unjust they may appear, but we imagine that O'Donnell must be blaming himself.
The 56 Secret Service agents assigned to the White House detail were under the authority of the Treasury Department, but the responsible official, Assistant Treasury Secretary Robert Wallace, left the everyday direction of the Service to James Rowley, a mediocre civil servant. Gerald Behn, head of the White House Secret Service detail, lacked the necessary intelligence and qualifications for the job.
Three Presidents before Kennedy had been assassinated (Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley), and four others (Jackson, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and Truman) had escaped assassination. This record, unequaled in any other stable republic, should have inspired the Secret Service to extra vigilance. Margaret Truman's overzealous bodyguards caused trouble in Sweden, which has some of the toughest policemen in the world. Eisenhower's trips abroad were meticulously organized. But since the advent of television, the protection of the President on American soil had become a difficult job. So that the public could see the President, his bodyguards were banished from the running-boards of the Presidential car. At first they ran alongside it; later they rode on the back bumper. But nobody tried to kill Eisenhower during his two terms in office, and the Secret Service relaxed. Its relaxation was doubly dangerous, for the illusion remained that the President was well-protected.
It is difficult, of course, to protect an active President, and it is impossible to protect him completely during his public appearances. But there are ways to reduce the risk, and there are certain rules which are applied by Presidential security forces throughout the world, be it in France, the USSR, or Bolivia. The protection of the President witnin the United States(3) presents a special problem. The Secret Service is obliged to cooperate with the local police, which are sometimes incompetent or unreliable, and can even, as in Dallas, be dangerous.(4) But a Presidential security force should be able to rise to the challenge. The guerrilla warfare specialists who organized the Dallas ambush were amazed to discover that Kennedy's Secret Service worked like a troop of boy scouts.
Since its creation following the assassination of McKinley in 1901, the Secret Service had degenerated into a myth and a sinecure. In the first place, it wasn't secret. O'Donnell used Secret Service agents as errand boys, and at airport stops they handed out souvenirs to the crowds.(5) They all dressed alike in blue suits with white shirts and striped ties, and during Presidential trips they each wore an identical badge. The insignia for the Texas trip was known three weeks in advance: double white bars on a red background.
Several members of the White House detail were not qualified for their jobs. Their average age was 40, and as in the Senate the highest positions were awarded on the basis of seniority. Bill Greer, the driver of the Presidential Lincoln, was 54 and had 35 years' experience, enough to lull anybody's reflexes. After O'Donnell and perhaps Kellerman (the agent who rode in the front of the President's car in Dallas), Greer bears a heavy responsibility for the success of the assassination. We shall explain why a little later.
Finally, the Secret Service lacked direction. A security force must follow certain procedures and apply certain regulations without exception. The White House agents had no real leader. During Roosevelt's term in office, Frank J. Wilson ruled with authority, but the Secret Service chiefs who succeeded him were nothing but mediocre bureaucrats.
The White House agents had two sessions a year on a Washington firing range, but they practiced only target shooting like any amateur. Their reflexes were never tested. At any rate, a security agent's gun is of secondary importance. Generally, he has no time to shoot. His job is to anticipate an attempt on the President's life. Soviet security agents, for instance, have narrowly defined responsibilities. In official motorcades, one agent watches the windows on the first floor, another those on the second, another the spectators in the front row, still another the people standing alone, another the local policemen and a sixth the soldiers lining the road. Every time a Soviet official travels, his security agents run down a checklist of security precautions. No detail is omitted, and there are no exceptions. The same is true in France for the protection of President De Gaulle.(6)
Lawson, the Secret Service advance man in Dallas, let the local authorities show him around the city, and his report reached the White House only the day before the President's departure. A secretary whose married boss is planning an amorous weekend in Miami takes more precautions than Ken O'Donnell did for John Kennedy in Texas. Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963 was about as heavily guarded as the Grand Canyon on a winter day, and Robert Kennedy's bodyguards showed little more vigilance on June 5, 1968. Of course, as the Warren Commission Report points out, "the limited effectiveness of the Secret Service make it impossible to watch hundreds of buildings and thousands of windows." That, however, is not the problem.
There is a standard procedure for assuring the security of a motorcade traversing a city. As Superintendent Ducret, the man responsible for President De Gaulle's security, describes it: "Of course, it is impossible to watch everything and occupy everything along the President's route. But it can be assumed that occupied office or apartment buildings are relatively safe. A potential assassin might, of course, try to enter one of these buildings, but he would be at the mercy of a witness. Serious conspirators will rarely take such a risk.
"On the other hand, all unoccupied buildings, administrative buildings outside of working hours, warehouses, building sites, and naturally all bridges, walls, and vacant lots that would be ideal for an ambush must not only be watched, but actually occupied by forces placed directly under the supervision of the Presidential security division."Surrounded by five buildings(7) and a great deal of open ground, Dealey Plaza was the most dangerous spot on President Kennedy's route, but a few men would have sufficed to guard it effectively.
A representative of the Committee followed the President's trips at the end of September through Wisconsin, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Utah, Oregon, Nevada and California. Apparently the Committee planned to assassinate Kennedy, first in Chicago and then in Florida the week before his trip to Texas, but both times the Secret Service was alerted. The Chicago trip was canceled, and special precautions were taken in Miami (the President used a helicopter). The Committee would have preferred to act in Florida, but it had its doubts about the reliability of the Florida state police and the Tampa and Miami police departments, and the operation was postponed until Dallas on November 22.(8)
On November 21, the two men in charge of the ambush observed the Kennedy motorcade in Houston. In Texas, as in Utah, the Secret Service was entirely dependent upon the local police. Not only did the agents behave on these trips as if they were members of the party; they were always one step ahead. At 12:30 pm, seconds before the assassination, agent Emory Roberts jotted in his shift report, "12:35 pm, the President arrived at the Trade Mart." The Secret Service was already thinking ahead to tomorrow, when Kennedy was to visit Lyndon Johnson on his ranch.
Every time the President travels, the Protective Research Section (9) makes a security check of the area. The PRS had reservations about the Florida trip because of the large number of Cuban refugees and the rumors of an assassination attempt, but it issued no warning about Texas. The Secret Service, therefore, took no special precautions. The security measures taken in Dallas were the same as those in effect in New York, Palm Beach, Tampa, Miami, Houston and Fort Worth. The Secret Service could count on the reinforcement of its 28 agents in Texas, including 5 based in Dallas. Eight agents were assigned to guard the Trade Mart, but there were none at all at Dealey Plaza. The Secret Service was so unconcerned about the Texas trip that it even left its chief behind. At the time of the assassination, Jerry Behn was dining in a Washington restaurant. Roy Kellerman, who took his place at Dallas, proved so incompetent that at Parkland Hospital his men started taking orders from agent Emory Roberts. Later, during the flight back to Washington, Rufus Youngblood took over. These men had traveled 200,000 miles with the President. Somewhere along the line, they had neglected the first rule of security: they had lost their reflexes.
When the first shot rang out at Dealey Plaza, agent Clint Hill, who was later decorated, was the first to move, and it took him 7 or 8 seconds to react. In eight seconds, the average sprinter can cover 80 yards. Yet "Halfback," the back-up car in which Hill was riding, was almost touching the Presidential limousine, and neither vehicle was traveling more than 12 miles an hour.(10)
Kennedy's Secret Service agents apparently had no idea of the importance of a second in an assassination attempt. Agent Hickey, riding in Halfback, had an AR-15 automatic rifle on his lap, but it took him two seconds to load it and get ready to fire. In two seconds a modern bullet travels more than a mile.
The organizers of the ambush knew, of course, that the Secret Service was inefficient, but they had never imagined that their reflexes were that slow, and they had laid their plans in the assumption that Kennedy's agents would react immediately. The tactical and ballistic aspects of the operation, which we shall examine later, were based on a hypothetical operating time of three seconds. This was the estimated reaction time of Kennedy's bodyguards. But the President's driver could have reduced it even more. The President's car was a Lincoln with a souped-up engine specially designed for rapid accelerations, and we shall see later how speed affects the accuracy of a gunman.
On November 18 in Tampa, the President ordered the two Secret Service agents off the back bumper of his car. The men from the Committee noted this change, which persisted at Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston, but they maintained their original plan, which took into account the possibility of instantaneous intervention by the bodyguards.
The blame must be laid not so much on the Secret Service agents as on their chiefs, and on the White House assistant responsible for the President's security. We have cited only their most glaring errors, but there were others -- less important perhaps, but characteristic of their lack of discipline, such as their drinking on duty. (11) Abraham Bolden, the only Negro in the Presidential bodyguard, asked to testify before the Warren Commission on the subject of some of these accusations, but the Committee refused to hear him. Later, he was fired from the Secret Service on grounds of professional incompetence.(12)
The Secret Service was guilty of negligence, as the highly respected Wall Street Journal commented. But its agents were professionals, and they recognized the work of other professionals. They were the first in the President's entourage to realize that the assassination was a well organized plot. They discussed it among themselves at Parkland Hospital and later during the plane ride back to Washington. They mentioned it in their personal reports to Secret Service Chief James Rowley that night. Ten hours after the assassination, Rowley knew that there had been three gunmen, and perhaps four, at Dallas that day, and later on the telephone Jerry Behn remarked to Forrest Sorrels (head of the Dallas Secret Service), "It's a plot." "Of course," was Sorrel's reply. Robert Kennedy, who had already interrogated Kellerman, learned that evening from Rowley that the Secret Service believed the President had been the victim of a powerful organization.
President Kennedy was dead, but the Secret Service was never officially inculpated. There were several staff changes in the White House detail, but two agents, Youngblood and Hill, were decorated. Because it reinforced its thesis, the Warren Commission blamed the Presidential guards, but a soldier is worth no more than his commanding officer, and the heads of the Secret Service were not worth much.
As for Ken O'Donnell, ex-captain of the Harvard rugby team, at Dallas he was up against a team that played rough.
1. Discovered by the Dalmatian engineer Luchich. His associates Galey and Guffey eased him out and formed a partnership with the richest man in Western Pennsylvania, Andrew W. Mellon. Other petroleum properties near Spindletop were ceded to certain Texas politicians in exchange for their support, in particular to former Governor Jim Hogg. This concession gave birth to the Texas Company. Spindletop was also the birthplace of American Shell. After a time, Andrew Mellon eased out Guffey and reorganized his company under the name of Gulf Oil.
2. WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 1968 (UPI) -- President Johnson's home state of Texas, which only a few years ago ranked seventh among states getting prime defense contracts, now has nosed out New York for no. 2 spot, Pentagon showed today.
California still holds along lead in first place, but its percentage of total contract awards during the fiscal year that ended last June 30 has now slipped to 17.9. Texas got 9.5 percent of the contracts and New York 8.7 percent.
During fiscal 1966, the percentages were: California 18.3, New York 8.9, and Texas 7.2. And as recently as 1962, the percentages for the three were: California 23.9, New York 10.7, and Texas 4.0, with Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and Ohio ahead of Texas that year.
But Texas has moved up steadily since Mr. Johnson moved into the White House, thanks in large part to the controversial F-111 fighter-bomber (formerly the TFX).
Nearly a third of the contracts Texas received during fiscal 1967 -- just under $1.2 billion worth -- were for the F-111, which is being produced by General Dynamics Corp. at Fort Worth.
3. Texas is the fifth state in the nation in terms of population (after New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois), but it is by far the richest in terms of natural resources. In 1963, the mineral production of Texas totaled $4,413,084,000.
Texas accounts for 35% of the crude oil and 42% of the natural gas produced in the United States. Louisiana, whose petroleum resources are exploited in large part by companies based in Texas, produced $2,662,061,000 worth of mineral products. The combined oil production of Texas and Louisiana equals 35% of the national total.
4. This percentage was only 12.7% for the state of New York, and 10. I% for the state of Illinois, despite their poorer natural resources.
5. Texas (10,228,000 inhabitants and a revenue of $21,451 billion in 1963) had in 1964 121,376 federal employees, 24 times more than the state of Wyoming (339,000 inhabitants and a revenue of $834 million, and 5,175 federal employees), and 17 times more than the state of Nevada (389,000 inhabitants, $1,246 million in revenue, and 7,039 federal employees). Ohio, with a population and revenue comparable to Texas (10,000,000 inhabitants and $25,164 billion) had only 88,785 federal employees. As for Delaware (480,000 inhabitants), it had only 3,624 federal employees, more than 40 times fewer than Texas, for there is a certain minimum of personnel required by any administrative infrastructure.
Statistics concerning the increase in federal employees per state since 1939 provide a further illustration of the favoritism shown the state of Texas:
Total federal employees6. 17,744 miles. California has 9,653 miles of highways, New York 10,700. Illinois 10,995.
1960: 112,647 (increase of 380%)
1960: 4,695 (increase of 140%)
1960: 5,842 (increase of 190%)
1960: 179,784 (increase of 190%)
7. In Texas, the Justice of the Peace is an elected magistrate, and not, as in the East, a minor functionary.
8. In the city of Dallas alone, there were 120 "official" murders in 1960, and 810 "accidents."
9. Texas ranks 39th in the nation in terms of the amount spent on education.
High school graduates in 1963: Texas -- 0.8% ; Mississippi -- 1%10. The population of Texas is 80% Protestant, 19% Catholic, and 1% Jewish.
High school students in 1964: Texas -- 6% ; Mississippi -- 10%
11. The state of Illinois has 1,030 banks, New York 479, and California 200.
Texas ranks in the nation:13. Nevertheless, there is a strong opposition to the oil interests in Texas. It is made up of people who are more interested in the good of their country than the state of their pocketbooks, and who are more American than Texan, together with a certain number of progressive labor leaders. But this opposition comprises only one-third of the voters.
less than $2,000 - 13th
$2,000 to $3,000 - 17th
$3,000 to $4,000 - 17th
$4,000 to $5,000 - 30th
$5,000 to $6,000 - 38th
$6,000 to $7,000 - 34th
$7,000 to $9,000 - 33rd
$10,000 and over - 30th
14. Contrary to the statistics published by Fortune in March 1968, which place John Paul Getty and Howard Hughes at the top of the list.
15. Hunt has written three other books of the same type: Fabians Fight Freedom, Why Not Speak? and Hunt for Truth. He also writes a daily and weekly newspaper column.
16. Bainbridge, The Super-Americans.
17. Playboy, 1966.
18. The assets of General Electric, the fourth largest American corporation, equaled $4,851, 718,000 in 1966, or one-third of the assets of Standard Oil of New Jersey, the largest corporation in the world, more than Standard Oil of California, and half again as much as American Shell or Standard of Indiana.
19. The man who is probably the richest oil producer after Hunt, Roy Cullen of Quintana Petroleum, has only about a million dollars.
20. The Dallas headquarters of Placid Oil are located at 2500 First National Bank Building. H. L. H. Products are located at 700 Mercantile Bank Building, but most of Hunt's businesses are grouped at 1401 Elm Street: Hunt Oil Co., Hunt Petroleum Corp., Hunt Caroline Trust Estate, Hunt H. L., Hunt H. L. Jr., Hunt Hassie Trust, Hunt International Petroleum Company, Hunt Lamar, Hunt Lamar Trust Estate, Hunt Margaret Trust Estate, Hunt N. B., Hunt Nelson Bunker, Hunt W. H., Hunt William Herbert Trust Estate, etc.
21. Described by the Internal Revenue Service as a person "who holds the management and exploitation rights and is responsible for production costs."
22. Not only the Placid Oil Corp. of Shreveport, but Baker Oil Tools (Dallas and California), the Harry W. Bass Drilling Co. (Dallas), the Empire Drilling Co. (Dallas), the Mid-Continent Supply Co., United Tools, the Hudson Engineering- Corp., the Nation and Geophysical Co., the New Seven Falls Co., and the First City National Bank of Dallas.
23. Which included former Generals like Courtney Whitney and Bonner Fellows, and also certain of their disciples, such as the brilliant Lawrence Bunker.
24. Texas had as many as ten John Birch Society chapters, mainly in Dallas and Houston.
25. Commander of the China Theater (1944-46), Chief of Staff of Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, then Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Combat Operations (1947-48).
26. Commander of the US Naval Forces in Korea (1948-50).
27. Of which he, like General Wedemeyer, was a member.
28. Hunt lives modestly, buys ready-made suits, drives his own standard-make cars, dislikes private planes, cuts his own hair, and carries his lunch to work in a brown paper bag.
NOTES: Secret Service
1. We estimate the cost of the preparation, the assassination itself and the post-assassination clean-up at between $5 and $10 million. Contributions varied between $10,000 and $500,000, and there were about 100 beneficiaries.
2. Manchester, Death of a President.
3. When the President travels abroad, the police of the host country are responsible for his security. In general, they take greater precautions than those taken in the United States.
4. The California and New York police are considered relatively reliable.
5. Secret Service agents are less qualified on the average than FBI agents. They earn between $600 and $1,000 a month, considerably less (even with overtime pay) than J. Edgar Hoover's men.
6. The security officers charged with the protection of President De Gaulle even take the precaution of photographing the VIPs received by him or who are in contact with him, for example at the VIP Waiting Room at Orly Airport. The crowds lining the streets during a parade are also photographed at vital spots before he passes, and if De Gaulle stops and approaches the crowd, a camera follows his every move. Later, these photographs are carefully studied.
Whenever De Gaulle travels by car, he is protected by 47 motorcycle policemen spread out in rows. Several police cars precede and follow the Presidential vehicle, and the car immediately following the President contains a sharpshooter and a photographer equipped with an automatic Japanese camera similar to a Robot. When de Gaulle makes shorter, routine trips, he is protected by a smaller force of 8 motorcycle policemen who surround the car.
There were only 4 motorcycle policemen at Dallas and all were following President Kennedy's car, making them totally ineffective. The role of a motorcycle policeman in this case is (1) to make it difficult to fire at the President from a crowd, and (2) to stop anyone who tries from approaching the car . During a parade along the Champs Elysees in Paris, a woman somehow managed to climb over the barriers and started towards De Gaulle's car. She was carrying a bouquet of flowers and was completely harmless, but the policeman who was supposed to be watching the barriers at that point lost his job.
7. The Texas School Book Depository, the Dal-Tex Building, the Dallas County Records Building, the Criminal Courts, and the Old Court House.
8. The Committee was also probably trying to throw the Secret Service off the scent.
9. The Protective Research Section, headed by Robert I. Bouck, had 65 offices across the country and 50,000 files on people who had threatened the President. Between November 1961 and November 1963, it investigated 34 Texas residents and opened 115 other files on Texans. On November 8, 1963, the PRS spent ten minutes inspecting Dallas.
10. Clint Hill reached the back of the President's car 2.6 seconds after the final shot. The shooting lasted about 7 seconds. At least twelve seconds elapsed between the first shot and the instant when Hill was in a position to cover the President's body. Vice-President Johnson was covered by agent Youngblood in less than three seconds.
11. Several Secret Service agents were notorious alcoholics. The regulations stipulate that any Secret Service agent found drinking on duty will be fired forthwith, and when the President is traveling, his agents are on duty 24 hours a day. But they were so little concerned about Texas that four of them In the President's party sat and drank in a Fort Worth bar until the wee hours of the morning on the day of the assassination. A century earlier, President Lincoln's bodyguard had sneaked off for a drink when Booth entered the Presidential box at Ford's Theatre.
12. In 1967, Mr. Bolden was being held at the federal medical center in Springfield, Mo.