Was the John Kennedy killing a Coup d’ E’tat? Article 1
The traditional definition of a Coup d’ E’tat is as follows:
A coup d’ e’tat is a seizure of the state apparatus, meant to displace control of the government from its current leadership and the current agenda and replaced with new leadership espousing a different agenda.
The elements of a successful coup are:
- Method: Replacement of a President of the United States must be done in such a way as to appear legitimate: Note: There are four ways by which a sitting president can be legitimately replaced: 1) through election being the customary method, 2) impeachment is another, 3) death while in office, or 4) retirement at the conclusion of a four year term. In 1963, it was widely assumed that John Kennedy would win re-election in 1964. Thus, he would proceed to implement his agenda of detente with the Soviet Union, his liberal domestic agenda, his promise to dismantle the CIA, destroy the MAFIA and to reduce the power of the financial/industrial elites. Government and private sector elites decided they could not defeat him at the polls in 1964 and thus they would have to endure another four years of his agenda. They also realized that there was a sitting Vice-President who supported their agenda. This man, Lyndon Johnson, was under Congressional investigation and was reportedly going to be replaced by JFK on the Democratic ticket in 1964. So, it was imperative to act asap.
- Replaced Quickly: The deposed leader must be replaced quickly. Thus, John Kennedy was declared dead at one o’clock on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. Note: Vice-President Johnson, Kennedy’s legitimate successor, was at the scene of the assassination and was sworn in as president at two o’clock the same afternoon. The late president’s wife was at LBJs side during the swearing in on Air Force One, the president’s official plane.
- The Assassin: . The assassin must be identified quickly, arrested and silenced. He must also not be seen as associated with the government and his story must be seen as legitimate. Note: Lee Oswald was identified and arrested within 90 minutes of the assassination on Friday and himself killed on Sunday while in police custody by someone not connected with the government. The assassin must not be seen as connected to the government either. His story must appear to be legitimate and believable, too. Oswald was not associated with the government. His complete life story was available and made public world-wide the afternoon of the assassination.
- Control All the Evidence: All evidence must be gathered and controlled by the leaders of the coup. Note: All the evidence dealing with the assassination: the body and official autopsy of the dead president, the vehicle in which he rode at the time of the killing, his clothing, films of the killing, testimony/press releases of the attending physicians and witness testimony was all immediately collected by government employees, removed from Texas and hidden from public review.
- Symbols of Power: The symbols of power must be transferred quickly in an acceptable manner. Note: The vice president was seen being sworn in within two hours of the killing on Air Force One. Beside him was the dead president’s wife. He was filmed taking possession of the Oval Office in Washington D.C. the following morning.
- Acceptance by Government Elites: The new president must be accepted by the key government elites. Note: The majority of the late president’s cabinet was out of Washington at the time of the killing and thus unable to question the transfer of power. Claiming a national emergency, the new president was therefore able the evening of the assassination to acquire their pledge of support to carry on the government.
- Legitimacy: The new leader must be seen as the legitimate successor to the assassinated leader. Note: The evening of the assassination, the new president spoke to a nationwide television audience from Andrews Air Force Base. At his side with Air Force One in the background, was the wife of the assassinated president and the Attorney General brother of the late president, Robert Kennedy.
- Control of the Investigation: The leaders of the coup must maintain control of any investigation. Note: Within ten days, the FBI issued an official report claiming that a lone gunman,(Lee Harvey Oswald) fired from behind, killed President John Kennedy and wounded Governor Connely. And when members of Congress suggested investigating the assassination, President Johnson announced the formation of the bi-partisan Warrren Commission headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to conduct a complete investigation of the assassination. This shut the door on all other investigations which would probably have been outside of President Johnson’s control.