James W. Douglass


This interview is conducted by Antiwar Radio’s producer Angela Keaton.

James W. Douglass, author of the book JFK and the Unspeakable, discusses the feud between JFK and the CIA brought on by the Cuban Missile Crisis, conciliatory overtures to Khrushchev that angered both U.S. and Soviet cold warriors, JFK’s pivotal 1963 American University Commencement Address that may have led to his assassination, the rise of CIA “plausible deniability” covert actions and the mortal risk U.S. presidents take by defying the national security state.

MP3 here. (21:51)

James W. Douglass is a longtime peace activist and writer. He and his wife Shelley are co-founders of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, Washington, and Mary’s House, a Catholic Worker house of hospitality in Birmingham, Alabama. His books include The Nonviolent Cross, The Nonviolent Coming of God, and Resistance and Contemplation.

58 thoughts on “James W. Douglass”

  1. According to former Trident missile engineer Bob Aldridge-http://www.plrc.org-the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability. Minuteman-3 and Trident-2 D5 linked to GPS obtain a CEP (Circular Error Probability – – the radius centered on the target in which half the warheads are expected to hit) of 30 meters or less, enough to destroy any hard target. And according to Bob Aldridge the US Navy can track and destroy all enemy submarines simultaneously. Please see Robert C. Aldridge: Nuclear Empire, ch. 9. Even if the Pentagon´s First-Strike Capability is only for blackmail, the Russians may have no choice but implementing Launch On Warning. Bob Aldridge resigned because a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability is suicidal.
    I hope you agree that the Pentagon´s First-Strike Capability is the most urgent problem because it inevitably leads to Launch On Warning.

    1. This is nonsense, because sheer geography means that by the time the first missile hit Russia, it would still be many minutes until missles penetrated deep into Russian territory, leaving enough time for Russia to launch very many missles. The anti-missle missles don't work, and can't, because countermeasures can be developed for any measure. Please go back to 1960, we have current problems to deal with here.

    2. I doubt that a first-strike would prevent a counter-strike, although I also think that the counter-strike would be small due to considerable success in the first-strike. The russians have, you know, a doomsday machine, for real. However the material truth of the matter is that the belief in a first-strike – the belief in the capability – is a great danger to all mankind. I'd point out that the idea that these machines are weapons is nonsense – they are infernal machines, not weapons. And thinking of them as weapons is also a very dangerous idea. It's important too that people realize that these machines are essentially trivial to build, though the infrastructure is expensive – and that these machines are impossible to locate, small, and when properly designed can weigh as little as 50 or 60 pounds. Thus no first-strike can stop a "human torpedo". One does not need submarines or rockets – a donkey will do just fine.

  2. ok; smack me upside the head confession time: I know nothing about Mr. Douglass and haven't read his book yet I find JFK apologists nauseating

    his ass should be dug up and reburied in front of "The Wall".

    I find it amazing to excuse JFK – President of the U.S., widely acknowledged as the most powerful political position in the world – can't stop the evil bad peoples from forcing them to murder foreigners. puh-leeeeze.

    The "Peace-minded" JFK who ran on a phony Missile-Gap and scaring the panties off housewives across the fruited plain? Surrounded by gov't agents he is shot by a Communist. The accused assassin, surrounded by police officers, is also shot.

    The "Cover-Up"? We mustn't let the American People discover how inept Uncle Sam is at doing anything.

    1. The Government is a monolith with a cabal of secret boogie man Jew bankers and 5 star generals. They wanted to put pipelines in Cuba and nuke Vietnam but St. JFK tried to get in their way. He never wanted to ramp up covert and overt military action in Vietnam the way they did in his first couple years. He was told he was agreeing to air dropping bibles and pajamas for the gooks who didn't have any. And once he found out he was tricked, he set out to put things right. You know how I know? Because he gave a SPEECH, you know, a non-binding verbal presentation, to a bunch of university kids. And because of this speech to people as far from the levers of power as possible, the secret cabal knew they were in trouble and dispatched their minions in the CIA who blew him away and ended any possibility for peace on earth.

    2. "can't stop the evil bad peoples from forcing him to murder foreigners." – maybe he tried.

      "We mustn't let the American People discover how inept Uncle Sam is at doing anything. " –

      Except the above, of course. You imply that Uncle Sam is inept, yet that he kills lots of foreigners. This could only be so if you regard foreigners as sub-human mud races that even an inept buffoon could murder. Please take your racism elsewhere.

  3. Benjamin and Lisa. You are so right, it doesn´t make any sense. Also because the explosion of one hundred nuclear warheads would produce Nuclear Winter. Nevertheless, as Weinberger stated, "The US aims to achieve a first-strike capability". And it´s the same today, the Pentagon aims to achieve a disarming and unanswerable first-strike capability. Brigadier Harbottle told me that they are bloody fools in the Pentagon because they don´t believe in the Nuclear Winter Report. What is the point of some 15,000 nuclear warheads and a First Strike plan if 100 warheads are enough for Mutual Suicide/Nuclear Winter. The only sane person is Bob Aldridge who resigned protesting that the Pentagon wasn´t satisfied being MAD, they insist on being NUTS. We (or they) only need one hundred warheads to make Nuclear Winter and mutual suicide. It seems like we´re going to commit suicide because of insanity as described above.

  4. The CIA and the Mafia worked together in Cuba.

    Lee Oswald worked in intelligence while in the USMC where he was trained in Russian. He was a CIA operative in Russia, and had no problems in returning home to the US. Oswald was indeed "a patsy" betrayed by a government he thought he was serving. Watch the tapes of him in the Dallas police precinct where he expressed a sickening realization that the role he had ultimately been assigned. "I'm just a patsy."

    "It was the greatest hoax that had ever been perpetuated" Richard Nixon from the White House tapes about the commission that was headed by Allen Dulles former head of the CIA who had been fired by Kennedy.

    Watch Democracy being subverted by people in high places, and listen and believe the lies they tell you to maintain their power and control.

    1. I in no way cast doubt on the idea that the CIA may have worked with the Mafia in killing JFK. If I were they, I certainly would not want to use one of my own gunmen; I'd try to hire someone on the "free market." It works much for 'plausible deniability.' That's also why you should be very suspicious of insinuations that 'the mob did it.'

      The reason any of this matters is because until we face the fact that democracy was hijacked when JFK died, and that elections are MEANINGLESS, we have exactly zero hope of doing anything that matters politically. Anti-war crowd, do you want to know why you are neutered and pathetic? It's because you can't face up to your own history or your own oppression.

  5. Many experts on the assassination believe that JFK wasn't for any mideast country acquiring Nuclear Arms including the Jewish state and Israel was aggressively spying and stealing Nuke secrets from the US(John Pollard). Jack Ruby was an Israeli agent. The Mossad was clearly involved in RFK's assassination which leads me to believe that they were involved in JFK's murder also. JFK wasn't made out of the same mold as the leader we see today who blindly support Israel.

  6. Ok, so JFK gave a speech about peace. Big deal. Every U.S. President does the same kind of lip service. How could anyone predict what the result would be? They couldn't.

    Second, assassinating a President is a very risky business, no? What if something goes wrong? What if someone gets cold feet or decides to "talk"? I can't imagine someone taking that kind of risk because of mere speculation about JFK being sincere about "peace", etc.

    The "National Security State" whatever it actually is, is an abstraction; a real group of "people", with a real serious personal issue, had to sit down and conclude: "we've got to kill JFK".

  7. Put yourself in the Masterminds' shoes: We're not going to try to oppose him politically, we're not going to try to compromise with him, marginalize him, etc., we've got to kill him, and we've got to kill him ASAP. We realize the risks, but we stand to lose everything…

    That would have to be the kind of situation, no?

    There's only one group of "people" I know of that would have that kind of motivation – and the means to carry it out: Israel.

    JFK wouldn't sell out to organized Zionist Jewry, and he thereby became a mortal threat to Israel. JFK was determined to prevent Israel from getting nukes, and he was determined to force the Israel lobby to register as an agent of a foreign government. Ben Gurion et al. saw each of these positions as a mortal threat.

    They obviously saw it as: either JFK dies or Israel dies.

  8. Put yourself in the Masterminds' shoes: We're not going to try to oppose him politically, we're not going to try to compromise with him, marginalize him, etc., we've got to kill him, and we've got to kill him ASAP. We realize the risks, but we stand to lose everything…

    That would have to be the kind of situation, no?

    There's only one group of "people" I know of that would have that kind of motivation – and the means to carry it out: Israel.

    JFK wouldn't sell out to organized Zioni$t J*wry, and he thereby became a mortal threat to Israel. JFK was determined to prevent Israel from getting nukes, and he was determined to force the Israel lobby to register as an agent of a foreign government. Ben Gurion et al. saw each of these positions as a mortal threat.

    They obviously saw it as: either JFK dies or Israel dies.

  9. I don't think Israel would've attacked the USS Liberty unless they COMPLETELY OWNED the U.S. President. They took a big risk. They gambled. And they FAILED. Yet nothing really happened to them. They KNEW their agent in the White House would cover it up. They KNEW it; otherwise, they wouldn't have done it.

    Let's see, the procurement of nuclear weapons, a lobby that doesn't have to register as an agent of a foreign government, the 1967 war of aggression, the attack on the USS Liberty…all these things would have been impossible without Johnson in the White House.

    Why would anyone kill JFK? There's only one reason to kill JFK, and that's to get Johnson.

  10. Very good interview with the author of an excellent book. I was very surprised at the voluminous evidence James Douglas provides for Kennedy's conversion and the resistance of his cabinet and the military. At the time Oliver Stone's movie came out in 1991 had thoughtlessly dismissed this motive for the assassination although the "single bullet theory" is patently absurd.
    In any event I finally saw the film for the first time after reading JFK and the Unspeakable with an opened mind and it's a really first rate film.

  11. Why kill Kenedy? Why blow up the WTC? Same motive… shell shock the American people and lead them off course while making them more compliant to government authority.

  12. Johnn Kennedy was demanding that israel submit their dimona nuclear plant ot inspection. To this day that plant has never been inspected because jfk was assasinated. Lynden Bains Johnson removed the requirement for israel to inspect dimona. The isrealis have had a policy of assasination ever since. It is called "decapitation". Add to this the fact that the only person we know for a fact was a murder, Jack Ruby , was jewish.

  13. Part 1………..Warrior to Peace-Loving Realist. As Dan notes, the book contains voluminous evidence to that process. While I have not read the book, I can identify a similar transformation of a President during the course of his presidency. Ronald Reagan entered office as the penultimate Anti-Communist. Just recall a popular phrase at the time "Bed Time for Brezhnev" or the president's casual radio announcement "We start bombing in twenty minutes." Yet, something happened to Ronnie while at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue; he noticeably morphed from Cold Warrior to Cool Grandfather. At Reykjavik Summit, Regan and Gorbachev flirted with elimination of all nuclear weapons, much to the alarm of Richard Perle (yes that sob) and other hawks on his staff. Eventually Ronnie got his missile reduction (trust but verify); unfortunately he lost the last slight string of connection between himself and the hard core nuts of the national security staff and the power mad maniacs of the MIC. In the last years of his presidency, those forces often acted as if he was not present.

  14. Part 2………The point being JFK and RR faced the same inertia that is too hard headed to think about alternatives and options. Washington probably represents the worst case of group think, where you can become an outcast and pariah if you disagree with all the little egos that only want to be close to power. It would take a real leader to break this cycle; unfortunately today's America just does not allow that kind of person to reach higher office. Instead we have men and women who resemble the security state: i.e. conniving, manipulative, inept, arrogant, purchased, compromised. Step forward Bill, Hillary, George HW, George W, Donald, Dick, Joe, Barak………on and on and on. Speaking of assassinations, how much would it take for the kind of persons (sub-humans) just listed to put together a plot to eliminate Regan? Well….. (as Ronnie liked to say), just take the “wayback” machine to March 30, 1981, 69 days into the Regan presidency, and ask how would the world have been different and who would have benefitted if Ronnie had not survived.

    1. Perhaps Reagan chose to survive by allowing Bush to rule? He would still have influence…and the next time he would not be so lucky. Just a thought about our esteemed former head of the CIA.

  15. hooch21 you be a voice in the wilderness.
    All possible suspects have been considered including Elvis,but not the folks that excel at assasinations as part and parcel of statecraft.Israel.Not only did JFK want inspections of Dimona nuclear WMD plant,but was threatning serious sanctions against Israel.His assasination ended that threat.JFK was deemed an enemy of the Jewish people,and his pappy old Joe Kennedy was despised by the Ben Gurion crowd for his isolationist WWII stance and preceived anti semitism.LBJ did a 180 degree turn in mideast,faciltated Israel's Pearl harbor 1967 attack on it's neighbors,aquiring land and water resources and expelling more inhabitants from the newly conquered areas.Greater Israel was on the march right into 1973 war were Israel would deploy WMD after her forces were staggered in first few days of onslaught so as US satellites could easily observe.Nuclear blackmail:US would airlift $1.1 Billion in replacement war material and provide satellite info. to help Israeli forces gain back momentum.

  16. Hooch21,

    It wasn't only the issue of Israel's nuclear weapons program, but also JFK's position that the American Zionist Council must register as an agent of a foreign country. From the Zionist point of view, JFK posed two distinct "mortal" "threats" to Israel…and of course Johnson reversed both.

    I suspect that Johnson was approached by some Zionist agent before the murder, was given some kind of story (e.g., "our intelligence agency has become aware of a possible plot against JFK blah-blah-blah), gave it his tacit approval, became an accessory (and blackmail target), and the rest is the history of Zionist subversion of the U.S. government.

  17. Why on earth would this site feel compelled to errode its own credibility by buying into conspiracy hogwash? In 46 years of poring over every molecule orbiting the assassination, not one shred of evidence has surfaced to indicate more than one gunman in Dealy Plaza, or the existence of anyone else connected to any JFK murder plot. There is nothing, other than conincidence, speculation, fabrication and logical fallacy – all of which would be laughed out of any courtroom or lab. For such a conspiracy to occur, it would have to be obscured by a supernaturally efficient cover-up, extending from the first Dallas police officers at the scene to the U.S. Supreme Court; and the operation would continue today. It would have to: e was the President of the United States; you don’t shovel some dirt in a hole and walk away. In all that time no one has talked, no one has sold out. In a massive plot involving hundreds if not thousands of people – most of them intelligence agents and specialists – there’s nothing.

    Nothing there… Yet we keep gurgling and buying the fairy tales.

  18. If was a perfect set up for de-capitation, as they call it. Kennedy was a Roman Catholic and Johnson was a christain zionist from texas. Israel benefed greately from christain zionist presidents from texas. (george bush)

  19. Every time I try to post with the word j e w i s h (without the spaces) i get a message that says my message has to be approved. Anyway what I am trying to convey is that Jack Ruby was a j e w i s h zionist from texas.

  20. One of the only things that we know for sure is that Jack Ruby is a murderer. WE dont know if oswald is a murderer but we do know that Jack Ruby is.

  21. The reason we never had a trial is because Jack Ruby murdered Oswald. And it is because we never had a trial that we have all these conspiracy theories.

  22. In fact, oswald said he was a "patsy". Two days later Jack Ruby killed him. Johnson demanded someone be at oswalds death bed to make sure they knew what oswald said. I suspect johnson was deathly afraid of what oswald might say before he died. That is why johnson demanded someone be present when oswald was dying at the hospital.

  23. If these people who write conspiracy theories would focus on jack ruby they will uncover the truth , in my opinion, but none of them ever do.

  24. Ray McGovern , i think worked at the cia when jfk was assasinated. I would love to hear an interview with him and have him address these questions.

  25. Anyone who writes any kind of book about the JFK assassination and attempts to minimize or doesn't even address the Zionist angle, is nothing but a transparent propagandist, IMO.

  26. John Kennedy demanded that israel submit their dimona nuclear plant to inspection. To this day that plant has never been inspected. John Kennedy was assasinated and Lynden Bains Johnson removed this requirement of inspection of dimona plant.

  27. If you ask the question "When did israel get nuclear weapons" it will lead you directly to the john f. kennedy assasination.

  28. JFK was a cold warrior, but he later saw the light at the end of the tunnel at it meant nuclear annihilation. He understood death more than most presidents, because he had many near death experiences in his lifetime. I often remember his quote, "And we call ourselves the human race" while talking to the joint chiefs of staff during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The joint chiefs of staff had discussed using nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union at the time.
    Kennedy had many enemies because he could not be bought because of his own wealth, his father's support of Hitler, his young independence, and because he was Catholic. No president is without his faults, but you have to look at the bigger picture: he realized that the pursuit of peace was more important than warring with the Soviets and Cubans. He knew the Soviets were as afraid of nuclear holocaust as well as the Americans. Just imagine if the Cold War had ended in 1963. Of course it didn't and look what we have endured and continuing to endure. Douglas's book is well researched and written, and adds much to the debate of the assassination.

  29. Dennis, I don't dispute that JFK may have been sincerely seeking "peace", nor the idea that this might not have sit well with some, but there's not the slightest chance, IMO, that JFK's "peaceful intentions", per se, were the motivation for the murder.

    The assassination was obviously a desperate move by desperate "people", and there's only one group that would've had that kind of motivation: the fanatical partisans of Israel.

  30. Silly. As much as I enjoy the material on this broadcast I really feel ill when lefties go down fantasy lane. I put up with the Oliver Stone nonsense only because I knew his theories were based on a pamphlet from the Baton Rouge KKK blaming gays for his killing.
    I have no idea why the love for a President who executed the President of Vietnam because the President suggested we leave his country and just arm them to fight http://thepond.blogdrive.com/archive/48.html

    There was no Cuban missile crisis the way we've been taught. The Russians never even put their military on alert. When JFK agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey it was over. Americans never knew. When Bobby handed Nikita a signed confession on what really happened, he actually put this nation in jeopardy for years to come. . The GOP was contacted by the British police over Soviet hookers that had slept with JFK, that would have ended his career. CIA knew. FBI knew. The GOP decided to call hearings at the start of 1964. Grow up. If the CIA tried to kill him, he'd still be alive. , to get rid of JFK the CIA and FBI all knew he had a bazi spy as a lover in WW 2! they didn't even have to bring up the Porfumo girls.

  31. PART 2: In the SWORD AND THE SHIELD the KGB office that gave Mark Lane money and provided him with research in return for the Order Of lenin for the first conspiracy book is described- in fact- the names of the people who came up with over 200 theories is given as is the address of the office! Just the fact that KGB files reveal they were spreading these theories to undermine the country to me means, the case is closed. Why continue to spread KGB propaganda? What's next? AIDS came from the military? Oh please…. do some damn research with declassified files, not KGB rubbish!

  32. Douglas's book is the best summary of the complexities of the JFK assassination. The real motive was Kennedy had changed his mind on endless war, which is why the military industrial complex removed him from power.

    Israel didn't control the US Secret Service "protection" of the President. The main place the "Israel did it" claim comes from is a book written by a Holocaust Denier whose magazine claims that Hitler deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize. You can't make this stuff up. The mafia was more involved than the Israelis, but the mafia played a supporting role, at most.

  33. Unquestionably believe that that you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest factor to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as other folks think about issues that they just don’t understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as neatly as defined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  34. Awesome interview. Intelligent skeptical questions and honest well-researched answers. In my opnion this represents the best of the antiwar right and left!

    To the other posters – sure the Mafia/Cuba/Soviets/Israelis could've killed JFK – but only American military-national security insiders could do the cover-up. Endless debate of that sort serves as pro-assassin disinformation.

    Don't let the post-Vietnam 'culture wars', libertarian 'state hate' or leftist 'JFK was just another imperialist running dog' blind you to what Jim Douglass is saying: politicians (of any non-fascist stripe) CAN resist war – and we should demand that they do so.

    This website has the best collection of Jim Douglass' work with links to many primary source documents: http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/Unspeakable/

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