“Many people, particularly those whose productive careers have prospered under the status quo, are disposed on psychological grounds to reject conspiratorial explanations for events that affect the legitimacy of the society they live in.” So opens Peter Dale Scott’s treatise, Deep Politics and the Assassination of JFK. In his effort to excavate the intersection of overt and covert politics within the U.S. establishment, Scott chooses the Kennedy assassination as a primary example. His intent is not to find a “shadow” government or other conspiratorial network and blame it, but to lead the reader to understand that “beneath the open surface of our society lie connections and relationships of long standing, virtually immune to disclosure, and capable of great crimes, including serial murder.” As such he sees “the intelligence-sanctioned international narcotics network” as having a role in JFK’s killing that merits objective investigation. His goal is to expand our powers of observation, reflection and judgement.
An important piece of evidence presented early in the book is JFK’s signing of National Security Action Memoranda 263 on October 11 1963 that called for the withdrawal of 1000 troops from Vietnam by year’s end to be followed by withdrawal of the bulk of all personnel by the end of 1965. Four days after Kennedy’s assassination on November 26, 1963, LBJ signed National Security Action Memorandum 273 rescinding #263 and recommitting America to war in Vietnam. Could it be that JFK truly intended to end the war in Vietnam and perhaps even the Cold War itself? Scott’s book is the best source of information to suggest that the answer is yes.