lewrockwell | No president since John F. Kennedy has dared to take on the CIA or the rest of the national security establishment or to operate outside the bounds of permissible parameters within the paradigm of the national-security state.
That might have been because post-JFK presidents just happened to find themselves on the same page as the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.
But another possibility is that the one mentioned by Schumer: They knew that if they opposed the national-security establishment at a fundamental level, they would be subjected to retaliatory measures.
Kennedy had come into office as a standard Cold Warrior and as a supporter of the national-security state system, the totalitarian-like apparatus that was grafted onto America’s federal governmental system after World War II. But after he was set up and betrayed by the CIA with respect to the Bay of Pigs invasion, he was at loggerheads with that agency for the rest of his presidency. After the Bay of Pigs, he vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds. He also fired CIA Director Allen Dulles, who, in a rather unusual twist of fate, would later be appointed to the Warren Commission to investigate Kennedy’s murder.
Kennedy’s antipathy toward the CIA gradually extended to what President Eisenhower had termed the military-industrial complex, especially when it proposed Operation Northwoods, which called for fraudulent terrorist attacks to serve as a pretext for invading Cuba, and when it suggested that Kennedy initiate a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. (The latter suggestion caused Kennedy to indignantly leave the meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the suggestion was made and remark to an aide, “And we call ourselves the human race.”