Monday, March 12, 2012

Coup d'etat - Basic Elements - Were they followed on 11/22/63?

The JFK Assassination - Crackpot or Coup?
By William Kelly

“By every readable signal the situation was red. Assassinations generally precede attempts to overthrow governments, and General Taylor issued a special warning to all troops stationed in the Washington area. At interior Bill Pozen had assumed that this was the first stage in a coup. Never within his memory had the capitol been so wide open. Six Cabinet members were over the Pacific, and both the President and Vice President were in Dallas...” – William Manchester, The Death of a President (Harper & Row 1967)

One of the hardest things to believe about the official version of what occurred at Dealey Plaza is the assassination of the President was the result of the actions of a despicable loser and loner who couldn’t hold a job or do anything right or meaningful in his life except kill the President of the United States.

Rather than the accidental act of a madman, if the assassination of the President was a very well planned and executed covert operation and coup d’eta, then there should be some record of it among the archives of government, and I think that record is the Air Force One radio communications on November 22, 1963, or what remains of those records. The audio tapes of the Air Force One radio transmissions give us a unique porthole window view into what was happening at critical locations at a crucial time, and provide a way into the heart and bowls of the coup.

As noted in the investigation of homicides, if the motive for the murder was elimination, then it is not the triggerman or killer who provides the clue and the links to those actually responsible, but the victim himself. As other researchers have assumed this approach (as Vincent Salandria, Jim Root and Larry Hancock have done), and investigated the assassination from the top down rather than the bottom up, there should be a point where the two approaches meet – and there is – in the El Chico Restaurant parking lot in Oak Cliff.

If the assassination was a well planned coup in which those who killed the President also took over the reigns of government, then it would have been conducted according to the well developed principles used to conduct coups, and as outlined in the operational manual, “Coup d’etat – A Practical Handbook” (Ed Lutwak, Knof, NY, 1968).

According to Lutwak, it is imperative that those engineering the coup have complete control over key communications links during the first crucial hours of the operation.

While Lutwak’s outline was designed for small Latin American countries, its basic principles remain the same for any coup, which is defined as a forceful change in power from within the government itself.

As President Kennedy himself noted on the morning of his death that it would be very easy to murder the President while he was away from the White House, if this analysis is correct, and complete control over communications was a necessary attribute of the coup, then the assassination had to take place while the President was out of Washington and Air Force One radio communications were used.

FROM: Coup D’Etat – A Practical Hanbook (By Edward Luttwak, Penguin, 1968)

Were the basic elements of a coup d'etat, as laid out by Luttwak, followed on 11/22/63?


The technique of the coup d’etat is the technique of judo: the planners of the coup must use the power of the state against its political masters. This is done by a process of infiltration and subversion in which a small but critical part of the security forces are totally subverted, while much of the rest is temporarily neutralized. This book deals with the military, political, and intelligence techniques which are required to carry out the coup, from the first stage of infiltration to the final phase in which targets are seized and post-coup stabilization begins. The techniques here discussed are politically neutral, and are concerned only with the objective of seizing control of the state, and not at all with subsequent policies. (p. viii)

Evolgato imperii arcano, wrote Tacitus: “The secret of empire was out – an Emperor could be made elsewhere than in Rome.” Nowadays the secret of empire is that a president can be made otherwise than by a general election, and the key to that secret is the subject of this book. It is the coup d’etat. (p. ix)

The...nature of the coup d’etat itself...stands in contrast to revolution...The coup is not an assault from the outside: it is “a seizure of power within the present system...The coup consists of the infiltration of a small but critical segment of the state apparatus which is then used to displace the government from control of the remainder.”

The power of the modern state largely depends on the permanent machinery which, with its archives, files, records, and officials, can follow intimately and, if it so desires, control the activities of lesser organizations and individuals...The growth of the modern bureaucracy has two implications which are crucial to the feasibility of the coup: the development of a clear distinction between the permanent machinery of state and the political leadership, and the fact that, like most large organizations, the bureaucracy has a structured hierarchy with definite chains of command...The importance of this development lies in the fact that if the bureaucrats are linked to the leadership, an illegal seizure of power must take the form of a ‘palace revolution’ and is essentially concerned with the manipulation of the body of the ruler. He can be forced to accept new policies or advisors, he can be killed or held captive, but whatever happens the palace revolution can only be conducted from the ‘inside,’ and by ‘insiders.’ (p. 4)

Within each department there must be an accepted chain of command, and standard procedures have to be followed. Thus a given piece of information, or a given order, is followup up in a stereotype manner, and if the order comes from the appropriate sources, at the appropriate level, it is carried out.

In the more critical parts of the state apparatus, the armed forces, the poice and the security services, all these characteristics are intensified, with an even greater degree of discipline and rigidity. The apparatus of the state is therefore to some extent a “machine” which will normally behave in a fairly predictable and automatic manner.

A coup operates by taking advantage of this machine-like behavior: during the coup because it uses parts of the state apparatus to seize the controlling levers; afterward because the value of the ‘levers’ depensds on the fact that that te stte is a machine.

Our strategy, therefore, must be guided by two principal considerations: the need for maximum speed in the transitional phase, and the need to neutralized fully the forces which could oppose us both before and immediately after the coup...(p. 49)

The fact that the personnel of the state security system is both numerous and diverse means that we, the planners of the coup, will be able to infiltrate the system. In doing so, we will have the dual task of turning a few of tit somponent units into active participants of the coup, while neutralizing the others. This does not mean that we have to fight them, but merely that we have to prevent their possible intervention against us for the limted time-span of the coup.

Information is the greatest asset we have, and much of our advantage in the planning stage will derive from the fact that, while we know a great deal about the defenses of the state, those who control them know very little about us. We must therefore make every effort to avoid giving any information beyond what is actually required.” (p. 82)

Though their structure is so diverse, police forces resemble each other in the purposes they serve: the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order...Police work also includes an intelligence element. Information is gathered informally by the entire police apparatus (and their informers), but there will usually be a special section of the police whose only function is this area. The intelligence aspect of police work will be effectively neutralized by our general defensive effort...(p. 86)

In order to run a secure operation we will follow rules which derive from the basic assumption that all information about our activities is a source of danger as soon as it exists outside the minds of our inner group. From this all the standard procedures emerge: (a) no information to be communicated except verbally; (b) no information to be communicated except on a “need-to-know” basis; (c) all communication links from inner to affiliated members is to be on a one-way basis; (d) no activity to be carried out by an inner member if an outer member can do the job. (p. 100)

It must not be thought that our entire operation will automatically collapse if it is penetrated by a security agency. If we have followed the security procedures the chances are that only a small part of our total effort will be identified, and therefore its ultimate purpose may not be discovered. Even if it is discovered that a coup is being planned, the security agency may wait before taking any action, in order to capture all the planners – and this could be too late. As soon as our teams are on the road, actually executing the coup, it will be too late for the security services to oppose us on the ‘information’ side…Finally, political security agencies are necessarily sensitive to political trends, and they may decide to join the group planning the coup, if they know that it is well organized and ready to seize power. (p. 101)

Control over the flow of information emanating from the political center will be our most important weapon in establishing our authority after the coup. (p. 117)

The one broadcasting facility which we do have to seize and hold will present a special problem: on the one hand, our need for the facility is absolute; on the other, because it is such an obvious target, the government forces will certainly try to recapture it. This means that the team assigned to this target will have to be adequately staffed and equipped and, in order to obviate the need for the cooperation of the facility’s personnel, should also include a skeleton technical staff. (p. 119)

The active phase of a coup is like a military operation – only more so. F the general principle of tactics is the application of force at the right place, the coup achieves this with surgical precision by striking at the organizational heart of the whole state; if speed is often important in military operations, in the coup it is an essential requirement. (p. 144)

The fact that the coup has practically no time dimension means that we will rarely be able to correct errors made during its execution; (p. 149)

As soon as the coup starts, the ruling group will know that something is happening,…but they will not know what that something is; ...We should avoid taking any action that will clarify the nature of the threat and thus reduce the confusion that is left in the defensive apparatus of the regime. Our teams will emerge from their bases and proceed to seize their designated targets while operating as independent units; their collective purpose and their coordination will thus remain unknown until it is too late for any effective opposition. (p. 150)

But one major task has not yet been covered in the planning stage: the forcible isolation of the “hard core” loyalist forces…The extreme instability of the balance of forces during the active phase of the coup means that what in other circumstances would only be a minor threat could then have disastrous consequences, and if the “hard core” loyalist forces are large in relation to our own, we will have to divert much of our forces to their isolation…Our purpose is not to destroy the loyalist forces militarily (since we will be able to deal with their cadres administratively after the coup) but merely to immobilize them for a few crucial hours. (p. 152)

Ideally, the timing of the coup will be completely flexible so that we can take advantage of any favorable circumstances which may arise, such as the temporary absence of the leadership from the capital city...The timing of the coup will therefore be dictated by the progress of our infiltration of the armed forces and police, and as soon as a satisfactory degree of penetration is achieved the coup must be executed. This implies that it will not be possible to designate a date well in advance of the coup which can be communicated to the various teams. This is just as well, since it means that the date cannot be leaked to security agencies. Actually, it is quite likely that some information about us will have reached the security agencies, but this should not affect the outcome. As the preparations for the coup proceed, more and more information about our actions will be in circulation but it will also be increasingly obscured by “noise.” (An expression used in the intelligence community to describe the false or irrelevant information which is reported alongside “hard” data.) Every move me make will generate more information which could eventually reach security agencies, but the consequences and misinterpretations of our actions will generate an equal or greater amount of “noise.” This will make it increasingly difficult for the analysts of the security agencies to identify the nature of the threat, since their capacity for processing information is not unlimited. (p. 157)

Even if the security agencies could isolate the real data from the “noise,” they will not usually take immediate action. Their professional instincts will be to try to explore all the ramifications of the plot so as to be able to arrest all its participants. And, hopefully, the coup will actually take place while the security agencies are still engaged on these explorations...Even without separating the hard data for “noise,” the mere increase in the total flow of information could be interpreted as a danger signal (as it certainly would by a competent analyst) and this might trigger off arrests.

In practice, it will rarely be possible to achieve total security within the forces of the coup and we should assume as a working hypothesis that they have in fact been infiltrated by the security forces.

“Apart from the dispersal countermeasures...our only effective defense will be to retain full control over all “horizontal” communications,...This can sometimes be done technically by keeping under our control the actual communications equipment...”

The masses have neither the weapons of he military nor the administrative facilities of the bureaucracy, but their attitude to the new government established after the coup will ultimately be decisive. Our immediate aim will be to enforce public order, but our ling-term objective is to gaint he acceptance of the masses so that physical coercion will no longer be needed in order to secure compliance with our orders.

“Our...far more flexible instrument will be our control over the means of mass communications; their importance will be particularly great because the flow of all other information will be affected by our physical controls. Moreover, the confused and dramatic events of the coup will mean that the radio and television services will have a particularly attentive and receptive audience. In broadcasting over the radio and television services our purpose is not to provide information about the situation but rather to affect its development by exploiting our monopoly of these media...(p174)

We will have two principal objectives in the information campaign that will start immediately after the coup...Our first objective will be achieved by conveying the reality and strength of the coup instead of trying to justify it;...The second objective of our information campaign will be to reassure the general public by dispelling fears that the coup is inspired by foreign and/or extremist elements, and to persuade particular interest groups that the coup is not a threat to them. (p. 176)

Clearly the coup is by definition illegal, but whether this illegality matters, and whether it is possible to counteract its effects, will depend on the total political environment of the country in question...(p. 179)

Once we have carried out our coup and established control over the bureaucracy and the armed forces, our long-term political survival will largely depend on our management of the problem of economic development. (p. 183)

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