By Jim Garrison

In a concerted effort to bring John F. Kennedy’s murderers to justice New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison made some of the most astute observations on the interworkings of the Central Intelligence Agency and its various alliances. In the process Garrison withstood a vicious defamatory crusade by major commercial–and often CIA-linked–media in an effort to silence him.

Given today’s multitude of questionable events presented by mainstream news media wherein the public possesses little-if-any firsthand knowledge, and where truth cannot easily be discerned from falsehood, Garrison’s research and words are more important than ever, standing as a harbinger of what was to come–the Watergate scandal and congressional investigations of US intelligence agencies’ tactics and broad influence. Still, the national nightmare that began with the death of JFK has continued through 9/11 and thereafter to the present despite the public’s occasional protestations.

One is thus left to ponder not only the question, “Would certain interests with unlimited political power mislead the American people to take away remaining liberties?” but more importantly, “What safeguards exist to keep those with such tremendous means from doing so?” As was the case almost fifty years ago, modern corporate news media offer few if any such protections. Instead, they are typically complicit if not actively engaged in such designs.-JFT

I only wish the press would allow our case to stand or fall on its merits in court. It appears that certain elements of the mass media have an active interest in preventing this case from ever coming to trial at all and find it necessary to employ against me every smear device in the book. To read the press accounts of my investigation — my “circus,” I should say — I’m a cross between Al Capone and Attila the Hun, ruthlessly hounding innocent men, trampling their legal rights, bribing and threatening witnesses and in general violating every canon of legal ethics. My God, anybody who employs the kind of methods that elements of the news media attribute to me should not only not be a district attorney, he should be disbarred. This case has taught me the difference between image and reality, and the power of the mythmaker …

If you were in charge of the CIA and willing to spend scores of millions of dollars on such relatively penny-ante projects as infiltrating the National Students Association, wouldn’t you make an effort to infiltrate an investigation that could seriously damage the prestige of your agency?

… a number of the men who killed the President were former employees of the CIA involved in its anti-Castro underground activities in and around New Orleans. The CIA knows their identity. So do I — and our investigation has established this without the shadow of a doubt. Let me stress one thing, however: We have no evidence that any official of the CIA was involved with the conspiracy that led to the President’s death.

The CIA lied to the [Warren] Commission right down the line; and since the Warren Commission had no investigative staff of its own but had to rely on the FBI, the Secret Service and the CIA for its evidence, it’s understandable why the Commission concluded that Oswald had no ties with American intelligence agencies …

For public consumption, the CIA claims not to have been concerned with Oswald prior to the assassination. But one thing is certain: Despite these pious protestations, the CIA was very much aware of Oswald’s activities well before the President’s murder. In a notarized affidavit, State Department officer James D. Crowley states, “The first time I remember learning of Oswald’s existence was when I received copies of a telegraphic message from the Central Intelligence Agency dated October 10, 1963, which contained information pertaining to his current activities.” It would certainly be interesting to know what the CIA knew about Oswald six weeks before the assassination, but the contents of this particular message never reached the Warren Commission and remain a complete mystery.

There are also 51 CIA documents classified top secret in the National Archives pertaining to Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. Technically, the members of the Commission had access to them; but in practice, any document the CIA wanted classified was shunted into the Archives without examination by the sleeping beauties on the Commission. Twenty-nine of these files are of particular interest, because their titles alone indicate that the CIA had extensive information on Oswald and Ruby before the assassination. A few of these documents are: CD 347, “Activity of Oswald in Mexico City”; CD 1054, “Information on Jack Ruby and Associates”; CD 692, “Reproduction of Official CIA Dossier on Oswald”; CD 1551, “Conversations Between Cuban President and Ambassador”; CD 698, “Reports of Travel and Activities of Oswald”; CD 943, “Allegations of Pfc. Eugene Dinkin re Assassination Plot”; and CD 971, “Telephone Calls to U.S. Embassy, Canberra, Australia, re Planned Assassination.”

The titles of these documents are all we have to go on, but they’re certainly intriguing. For example, the public has heard nothing about phone calls to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, warning in advance of the assassination, nor have we been told anything about a Pfc. Dinkin who claims to have knowledge of an assassination plot. One of the top-secret files that most intrigues me is CD 931, which is entitled “Oswald’s Access to Information About the U-2.” I have 24 years of military experience behind me, on active duty and in the reserves, and I’ve never had any access to the U-2; in fact, I’ve never seen one. But apparently this “self-proclaimed Marxist,” Lee Harvey Oswald, who we’re assured had no ties to any Government agency, had access to information about the nation’s most secret high-altitude reconnaissance plane.

Of course, it may be that none of these CIA files reveals anything sinister about Lee Harvey Oswald or hints in any way that he was employed by our Government. But then, why are the 51 CIA documents classified top secret in the Archives and inaccessible to the public for 75 years? I’m 45, so there’s no hope for me, but I’m already training my eight-year-old son to keep himself physically fit so that on one glorious September morn in 2038 he can walk into the National Archives in Washington and find out what the CIA knew about Lee Harvey Oswald.

If there’s a further extension of the top-secret classification, this may become a generational affair, with questions passed down from father to son in the manner of the ancient runic bards. But someday, perhaps, we’ll find out what Oswald was doing messing around with the U-2.

Of course, there are some CIA documents we’ll never see. When the Warren Commission asked to see a secret CIA memo on Oswald’s activities in Russia that had been attached to a State Department letter on Oswald’s Russian stay, word came back that the Agency was terribly sorry, but the secret memo had been destroyed while being photocopied. This unfortunate accident took place on November 23, 1963, a day on which there must have occurred a great deal of spontaneous combustion around Washington …

Over the years, I guess I’ve developed a somewhat conservative attitude — in the traditional libertarian sense of conservatism, as opposed to the thumbscrew-and-rack conservatism of the paramilitary right — particularly in regard to the importance of the individual as opposed to the state and the individual’s own responsibilities to humanity. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to formulate this into a coherent political philosophy, but at the root of my concern is the conviction that a human being is not a digit; he’s not a digit in regard to the state and he’s not a digit in the sense that he can ignore his fellow men and his obligations to society.

I was with the artillery supporting the division that took Dachau; I arrived there the day after it was taken, when bulldozers were making pyramids of human bodies outside the camp. What I saw there has haunted me ever since. Because the law is my profession, I’ve always wondered about the judges throughout Germany who sentenced men to jail for picking pockets at a time when their own government was jerking gold from the teeth of men murdered in gas chambers. I’m concerned about all of this because it isn’t a German phenomenon; it’s a human phenomenon. It can happen here, because there has been no change and there has been no progress and there has been no increase of understanding on the part of men for their fellow man.

What worries me deeply, and I have seen it exemplified in this case, is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans evolved; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours, curiously enough, seems to be emerging from prosperity. But in the final analysis, it’s based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. Its origins can be traced in the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the “military-industrial complex” that Eisenhower vainly warned us about, which now dominates every aspect of our life. The power of the states and Congress has gradually been abandoned to the Executive Department, because of war conditions; and we’ve seen the creation of an arrogant, swollen bureaucratic complex totally unfettered by the checks and balances of the Constitution.

In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We’re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn’t the test. The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same.

I’ve learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. I’ve always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government’s basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I’ve come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, “Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.” I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.

Excerpt from the Playboy Interview, “Jim Garrison, A Candid Conversation with the Embattled District Attorney of New Orleans,” October 1967.
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24 thought on “Our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon”
  1. Thanks for putting up this amazingly perceptive opinion piece, James. The last few paragraphs tell it all. Germany had lawyers prosecuting petty criminals but not the Nazis, and our government is no different. What we forget is that this country has a great intellectual beginning with a brilliant set of founding legal documents. It relies on that history to hoodwink the public into believing that we are still guided by those documents. In reality we are guided by a bunch of thuggish dull bureaucrats and military officers who are always “going a Viking.”

    1. I suspect the closest we have to Garrison today will be a guy we have never heard of currently having his “personality disorder`’medicated in some government hospital.

  2. Jim Garrison is a national hero. But as is often the case, he remains outside the closed confines of status quo conformity. He certainly articulates with unabashed authority the sordid machinations leading to JFK’s untimely death.

    Time marches on; the pieces of events reassemble like glass chards in a kaleidoscope as the viewpoint changes, the narrative spins Seventy-five years is a long time to wait for the truth. The perpetrators wanted to make sure it would not affect their succession to the power seat.

    Done….They will be long gone before the public catches up.

  3. Jim Garrison represents a period that I lived in. There were high ideals, almost universally embraced, and issues seemed to be a matter of whether we were meeting those standards or not. I remember analyzing the current state of affairs back then from mush the same perspective.

    In hindsight, I realize how naive I was. I have the same standards and believe in the same ideals, but I now know that things were not as advertised. We are all guilty of looking back and imagining a time when life was more idyllic.

    Make no mistake, for individuals and families it was a better time. It was far from perfect but people were more accepting and knew that they had an obligation to allow others their opinions and their liberties.

    Just as he warns, we have become a fascist state. I don’t, as some others do, blame ourselves for this condition. There is little that we could have actually done about it. There have been, as there continues to be, those who speak prophetically about our future. Conversely, I believe that those who are so actively bringing about our demise were at work then as they are now.

    Their control grid has now been consolidated. It isn’t only here, in the United States. Like players on a chess board, they have advanced their agenda, one move at a time, to a point where they command the board. That’s not so surprising, really. If you are maniacal in a pursuit, over time you’ll succeed.

    In many ways the JFK murder was a ritual. The “killing of the king”. It was the day the forces of darkness emerged, fully visible, into the sunlight and proclaimed their supremacy. All that followed from that day has served to reinforce that notion.

    1. I’ve studied a little about Eisenhower. I was young when he was pres.. Of course he had the “war hero” thing going for him. I don’t think the mechanism was so very different then than now. They appoint their front men as always.

      Of course this was the period when the old OSS was becoming the CIA. Same players, different name. They drew largely from the blue blood Ivy League stock who liked to fancy themselves colonial relatives of the British aristocracy. They “played” at foreign affairs in much the same way that the British elites did.

      Eisenhower was very much a politician. He stage-managed his image both in the war and out of it. Like all “successful” figures he shamelessly courted those in real power. None of these public images matches their real selves.

      He was responsible for some serious war crimes that don’t get much “air time”. He had a rather easy run as president. The country was optimistic and unemployment was low. The future looked bright. People trusted him.

      I’m afraid I have no heroes. In looking at these guys objectively, there are always better choices. You won’t find those among the appointed. I think its important to realize that the outcome of the war was already decided. They were working on “their man” during WWII. Patton, who was a much better general, was made the ogre to “Ike’s” Mr. Nice Guy.

      Don’t mistake that as an endorsement for Patton, it’s just an observation. Patton was very genuinely concerned with the USSR gaining control of Europe. He was in a position to prevent a vast swath of what become “Eastern Europe” from falling into communist hands. He was prevented by Eisenhower, and others, from doing that.

      Then, of course, Patton had his “accident”, and the road to the White House was wide open. Most of the skullduggery that ensued during his regime was mostly hidden from view. The mind control experiments, development of deep covert activities, etc.., were happening, but not many were aware of it.

      I suppose you might consider this the start of what we call the “Shadow Government” in the making. They were not fully developed and they were somewhat cautious. After all, they had legions of citizens that had been trained and tested in the cauldron of war. They believed that what they had just finished fighting for was just. There were limits beyond which a government would be imperiled to go.

      This relentless drive of the aristocracy continued until their inherent sense of entitlement resulted in JFK’s assassination. He was “Ivy League” too, but Irish. They considered him an interloper. He was also brash enough to challenge their control.

      So Ike continued to provide a paternal face for the presidency and underneath, the dark forces consolidated their power.

      1. Have you read Target Patton: The Plot to Assassinate General George S. Patton? (

        Excellent. Not only does it solve the mystery, but it shows hoe Ike did everything in his power to hinder Patton. Patton could have won the war very quickly. All the other generals look incompetent next to him. So they sent him to Africa, of all places, and denied him fuel as he made his way up Italy. He overcame all the roadblocks Ike set in front of him, and made it to Germany, but later than he should have.

        He was murdered because he was independently wealthy, and was about to walk away from his military pension and run for U.S. Senate (from California). His platform: telling the truth about the corruption and incompetence that saturated the war.

        Can’t have that.

        1. Patrick, yes, and some others. Both Patton and McArthur are hard to “like” as people, but they were genuine “larger than life” characters. Both believed they had a destiny to fulfill.

          It’s really a little ironic that we mark JFK as the seminal event. It was, but it certainly didn’t start there. Nobody lives up to their hagiography. We have always lived in a myth. In our myth these awful, treasonous things don’t happen here.

          Sometimes the only way to live up to your myth is to come out of your dream.

      2. Thanks Lophatt for your insights. The shadow puppeteers must be high fiving at the gullibility of the public and the ease which they can recruit participants and coops. Their toolbox is only limited by their imagination. Having an intelligent conversation about these matters with local peers is painfully slow to get traction. Thanks to this forum!
        Let’s also remember that the US Gov’t propaganda machine was in full gear for WWI and probably earlier.

  4. Lophatt: I was forced to entirely reconsider my personal views of both “Ike” and of Patton upon reading the tradgedy known as the “Bonus Army” and those two’s traitorius actions in carryiny out the will of”the dark agents” known as the Federal Government. Thank you for your insights,Sir.

  5. In his well written and well referenced book, Michael Collins Piper asserts the Mossad conspired to assassinate JFK. Jim Garrison’s ill fated prosecution of Clay Shaw is also addressed in the book. Presumptuously, Garrison also believed in the Israeli connection which presumption is justified by the plot of an unpublished novel Garrison wrote at the end of his life. Here is a link to Piper’s e-book “Final Judgement: the Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy.” Available here for free:

    1. Yes, in the case of JFK there is no shortage of adversaries. He managed to enrage just about all factions of the cabal. The connections are virtually endless. That’s what’s so hard about trying to “finger” any one group or faction, they ALL wanted a piece of him.

      What does that say about the legitimacy of government as it exists. Basically, if by some miracle or some subterfuge a person manages to acquire powerful office and decides to carry out his or her obligations, terrible things result. I suppose it is a severe example to all those who followed. Just like Woodrow Wilson had his “Col. House”, all successors have “Odd Job” lurking in the shadows.

      1. Kennedy refused to allow Israel to enrich uranium to weapons grade. He asked (insisted) Israel submit to bi-annual inspections of their nuclear facilities at Dimona. — to this day, Israel does not submit to inspections or admit to it’s nuclear capability. I’ve read estimates Israel has an arsenal of between 200 and 400 nuclear war heads. Yet, Israel is not a signer to any nuclear non-proliferation treaty that I’m aware of.

        Final Judgment explores in detail the little-known behind-the-scenes
        war between John F. Kennedy and Israel and documents how U.S.
        policy toward Israel and the Arab world underwent a drastic reversal upon JFK’s assassination.

        1. All true, Peter. Let’s not forget the push to have AIPAC register as an agent of a foreign nation either. Just think, every “outrageous action” by him is perfectly reasonable and proper.

          Merry Christmas to you as well.

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