Why the JFK Assassination Still Matters

by | Apr 11, 2024

Someone might reasonably ask, “What difference does the JFK assassination make to those of us living today? The assassination took place more than 60 years ago. Everyone involved in it is now dead. Why not just forget it and move on?’

Those are reasonable questions, especially when they come from young people. Why should they care about who killed Kennedy?

The reason lies in the governmental structure under which all of us have been born and raised — a national-security state form of governmental structure. As I have long maintained, the worst mistake the American people have ever made was to permit the federal government to be converted to a national-security state.

Our founding governmental system was a limited-government republic. Its powers were strictly limited by the Constitution and even more expressly restricted by the Bill of Rights. That governing structure worked very well for more than 150 years.

After World War II, the U.S. government was converted into a national-security state, which is a totally different type of governmental structure. The national-security branch of the government  — i.e., the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, the army of “defense” contractors, the CIA, and the NSA — wield omnipotent, totalitarian-like powers, including the power of assassination. There is no such thing as “limited government” under a national-security state.

Owing to the massive power of this branch of the government, the other branches inevitably deferred to the national-security branch. Thus, while the federal courts would declare an assassination program of the DEA unconstitutional, they would’t dare to declare an assassination program of the CIA unconstitutional.

Over time, the national-security branch of the government became so powerful that it is now, for all practical purposes, in total charge of the federal government, with the other three branches operating in deferential support. As Michael J. Glennon points out in his excellent book National Security and Double Government, the national-security branch permits the other three branches to have the veneer of being in control, but everyone within the federal government knows which branch is actually in control — the national-security branch.

President Kennedy decided to take on the national-security branch. The three years of the Kennedy administration were essentially a war between the executive branch and the national-security branch over the future direction of the United States. See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne.

Kennedy ended up losing that war. The national-security branch fortified its omnipotence within the federal government by assassinating him. And they got away with it. It was a powerful message sent out to every public official and every future presidential candidate: Defer to us … or else.

Thus, the reason the Kennedy assassination still matters is not so that the people who orchestrated the assassination can be brought to justice. That was never going to happen anyway because the federal courts would never have permitted anyone to interfere with an assassination that was ostensibly based on protecting “national security.” The reason the Kennedy assassination still matters is that the all-powerful entity that orchestrated the assassination is still in existence … still covering it up … and still sending out that same message: Defer to us … or else.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.


  • Jacob G. Hornberger

    Jacob George Hornberger is an American attorney, author, and politician who was a Libertarian candidate for president in 2000 and 2020. He is the founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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