Michael Parenti: The JFK Assassination (TWO of TWO)

and the Gangster Nature of the State (TUC Archive)
This talk caused a controversy in the media when it was first aired on the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination. Parenti sees not just the violent death of an individual but says: “If the truth were known it would call into question the entire state system and the social order it represents”. And that troubling implication is probably the reason why the mainstream press has suppressed the research of those who researched the circumstances of Kennedy’s death. In his investigation Parenti had focussed on the troubling contradictions In Lee Harvey Oswald’s life to add to the proof that Oswald was at best a “patsy”.

Parenti then re-draws the lines of his controversy with Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn around the Oliver Stone film. Both are accepting the Lone Assassin theory, describe JFK as a cold warrior, and deny that the State or the CIA had any reason to kill him. In contrast Parenti says that JFK’s enemies fixed on Kennedy’s refusal to provide air coverage for the Bay of Pigs, his unwillingness to launch an invasion of Cuba, his no-invasion guarantee to Krushchev on Cuba, his atmospheric test ban treaty with Moscow, his American University speech calling for reexamination of cold war attitudes to the Soviet Union, his refusal to send massive ground forces into Vietnam, his anti trust suit against General Electric, his fight with US Steel over price increases, his challenge to the Federal Reserve Board – among other examples.

Parenti concludes that the Investigation of the JFK assassination is hitting upon the nature of state power in what is supposedly a democracy. Government and the National Security State will use conspiracy, will finance elections, use publicity campaigns, set up organizations, alternative trade union movements, use assassins and death squads – not just abroad. When they had an agenda to save South East Asia from communism they would kill one of their own, JFK, who opposed them.

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