Above the President

The relevance of much of what happens in the world today escapes public scrutiny, compliments of the corrupt corporate media. This site aims to help change that. Topics include the UN, oil pipelines, monetary policy and the fate of empires.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Debunking Some JFK Myths

One theme that keeps recurring over and over amongst conspiracy theories, especially those researching the Federal Reserve and/or the JFK assassination, is the idea that Kennedy was killed (at least in part) because of EO 11110, which supposedly ordered the U.S. Treasury to issue "hard" silver currency, as opposed to the borrowing Fed notes from the Federal Reserve and paying interest on them.


Was JFK killed because he dared cross the Federal
Reserve and ordered the issue of Silver Certificates?

The Silver Certificate Controversy

Variations of this myth abound ... some say that Kennedy simply ordered the issue of Silver Certificates; others place a dollar number on the figure, such as $4.2 billion in silver-backed currency. As we will see, this latter figure (the $4.2 billion) probably arises from confusion concerning an issue of U.S. Notes (paper currency issued directly by the U.S. Treasury, not backed by gold or silver, but not accruing interest either) that was made in 1963 but that was unconnected in any way with Silver Certificates or with EO 11110. In fact, the President could not have authorized so large an issue ($4.2 billion) since it would have exceeded his statutory limit.

The full text of EO 11110 (signed June 4, 1963) is available here: EO11110

EO11110 modifies an earlier Executive Order made by Harry Truman in 1951, EO10289. The purpose of the Truman EO is to delegate to the Secretary of the Treasury certain tasks and functions that would normally be the responsibility of the President. The order begins "The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby designated and empowered to perform the following-described functions of the President without the approval, or other action of the President..." The order then lists various tasks, (a) through (h), which can be performed by the Secretary without bothering the President. Most of these tasks involve U.S. Customs or the IRS.



It looks like a "normal" dollar bill, but read the bottom
closely, and you'll see that it guarantees to pay the bearer
in one dollar of silver

The Kennedy EO amends the one issued by Truman as follows:
SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 10289 of September 9, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended (a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j):

'(j) The authority vested in the President by paragraph (b) of section 43 of the Act of May 12, 1933, as amended (31 U.S.C. 821(b)), to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury not then held for redemption of an outstanding silver certificates, to prescribe the denominations of such silver certificates, and to coin standard silver dollars and subsidiary silver currency for their redemption,' and (b) By revoking subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph 2 thereof.

SECTION 2. The amendments made by this Order shall not affect any act done, or any right accruing or accrued or any suit or proceeding had or commenced in any civil or criminal cause prior to the date of this Order but all such liabilities shall continue anymay be enforced as if said amendments had not been made.
John F. Kennedy, THE WHITE HOUSE, June 4, 1963.
The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 (to which Kennedy refers in his EO) permits the President to issue Silver Certificates in various denominations (mostly $1, $2, $5 and $10) and in any total volume so long as the Treasury has enough silver on hand to redeem the certificates for a specific quantity and fineness of silver and so that the total volume of such currency does not exceed $3 billion. The Silver Purchase Act of 1934 also grants this power to the Treasury Secretary subject to similar limitations.

A couple things to note right here:
  • EO11110 did not order the issue of any new Silver Certificates; it merely amended an earlier EO giving the Treasury the authority to issue Silver Certificates -- without the permission of the President -- should the need for it arise.
  • In other words, EO11110 did not create any new authority for the Treasury to issue notes or currency of any kind; it merely affected who could give the order (whether it be the Secretary or the President).
  • The need never arose; the last issuance of Silver Certificates was in 1957, about five years prior to Kennedy's EO.
In the early 1960s, economic activity began to grow and demand for low denomination currency grew, increasing the Treasury's need for silver to back additional certificate issues and to mint new coins (dimes, quarters, half-dollars). However, during the late 1950s, the price of silver began to rise and reached the point that the market value of silver contained in the coins and backing the certificates was greater than the face value of the money itself.


The price of silver began to rise dramatically in the late 1950s

So with more and more economic activity, there was more and more demand for small-denomination bills. Yet, those bills were backed by silver and with the price of silver rising, the Treasury faced the problem that the value of those coins (and backed-paper currency) was worth more than the face-value of the coins (and currency).

To conserve the Treasury's silver needs, the Silver Purchase Act and related measures were repealed by Congress in 1963 with Public Law 88-36. Following the repeal, only the President could authorize new Silver Certificates; the power was removed from the Treasury Secretary. However, removing this power from the Treasury Secretary was not the true or ultimate purpose of this bill. Much more importantly, this law, signed by President Kennedy himself, also permitted the Federal Reserve to issue small denomination bills to replace the outgoing Silver Certificates (prior to this act, the Federal Reserve could only issue Federal Reserve Notes in large denominations). The idea was to use the Treasury's shrinking silver stock to only mint coins, and not to back paper currency.

In other words, the purpose of this legislation (legislation which Kennedy signed and supported) was to facilitate a reduction in the overall amount of Silver Certificates in circulation; not increase it. And in fact, this is precisely what happened. In October 1964 the Treasury ceased issued Silver Certificates altogether. The Coinage Act of 1965 (PL 89-81) ended the practice of using silver in most U.S. coins, and in 1968 Congress ended the redeemability of Silver Certificates (PL 90-29) altogether. EO11110 was never reversed by President Johnson (laying aside that conspiracy theory; for .. if the banksters had killed Kennedy to stop EO11110 from going into effect, surely the first thing they would have done was had Johnson repeal the order), and the EO remained on the books until its parent (EO 10289) was repealed (along with dozens of others) in a general house-keeping clean-up EO issued by President Reagan on September 9, 1987 (EO 12608).


Again, it "looks" like a "normal" five dollar bill, but look
more closely: it does not say "Federal Reserve Note";
instead
it says "United States Notes"

The Issue of U.S. Notes

Now, what about all this business about the $4.2 billion in silver-backed currency that Kennedy alleged issued with EO11110? There is a difference between Silver Certificates and U.S. Notes. Silver Certificates are U.S. currency that is payable to the bearer, on demand, in face value of silver coin. A U.S. Note is paper currency, not backed by anything, but printed directly by the U.S. Treasury and, since it is not borrowed from the Federal Reserve, nobody is paying any interest on it. A U.S. Fed Note (<- essentially the only kind of currency in circulation today) is paper currency, not backed by anything except the taxes and labor of the people, which is produced by the Federal Reserve Bank and loaned to the U.S. government at an interest rate. In fact, the Treasury did print up some interest-free U.S. Notes in 1963, but as we have seen, this was not in response to EO11110 (which makes no mention of U.S. Notes at all). Instead, it was in response to a 1868 law which directs the U.S. Treasury to maintain a fixed supply of U.S. Notes. As old Notes become worn or damanged, they must be replaced by new ones, and this was the purpose of printing up the new U.S. Notes in 1963. Kennedy did not order this printing, and in fact there was no reason to assume that he was even aware that it was occurring. Those U.S. Notes (from the 1963 printing) that did hit open circulation were quickly snatched up by collectors, and ultimately these Notes had very little impact on the overall money supply of the nation.

One final point concerning notes (or "promissory notes", which is their more technical definition). In order for a (promissory) note to be legally valid and binding, it must contain four elements:
  1. Who is going to pay
  2. Who is going to be paid
  3. What is going to be paid
  4. When the payment is going to be made
Without all four elements, the promissory note is invalid.

The old Silver Certificates included language on their face which guaranteed that (1) the bearer could redeem them; (2) at the Treasury; (3) on demand; (4) for a specified weight of silver. Looks good; looks like they meet the technical definition of a promissory note. Silver Certificates were a promise to delivery silver.

Not so with today's Federal Reserve Notes. Yes, there is nice fancy language about the United States of America, about $20, about legal tender for all debts public and private; but nowhere on the note is a promise to pay the bearer, on demand, in gold or silver. Whereas the old Silver Certificates were a promise to deliver silver, the new Fed Notes are little more than a promise to deliver income taxes and inflation.

Kennedy the International Socialist

Another persistent JFK assassination rumor, often cited in parallel with EO11110/silver certificate rumor, is that ten days prior to his death, Kennedy gave a speech at Columbia University where he said: "The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom, and before I leave office I must inform the citizen of his plight."


President Kennedy never spoke at Columbia University;
not 10 days prior to his death, and not ever.

Here again, truth is not quite so romantic.

When G. Edward Griffin contacted Columbia University to obtain a transcript of this speech, he was politely informed that President Kennedy never spoke at Columbia University; not 10 days prior to his death, and not ever. Moreover, Ronald Whealan, head librarian at the Kennedy Library in Boston, says that 10 days prior to his death, President Kennedy was at a White House meeting with, amongst others, the ambassador to the United States from Portugal.

And so dies another bankster-JFK conspiracy myth.

Kennedy was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Over 70 of Kennedy's appointments came from the CFR. Kennedy himself was a lifelong socialist and internationalist. He was educated at the London School of Economics, run by the Fabians. He participated in the destruction of the American money supply and he engineered the transfer of large amounts of American wealth to foreign nations overseas.

Give ear, fellow Americans, to Kennedy's words in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961:

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support—to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective—to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak—and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Kennedy Inaugural Address

How different, how opposite are these words, from those of Abraham Lincoln when he spoke "America is the last, best hope for the world"(!) Kennedy, it would seem, sees the United Nations in a role that more properly belongs to America.

In September 1963 (just two months before his death), Kennedy addressed the finance ministers of 102 nations at the annual meeting of the IMF/World Bank. He lauded the concept of world socialism in glowing terms:

Twenty years ago, when the architects of these institutions met to design an international banking structure, the economic life of the world was polarized in overwhelming, and even alarming, measure in the United States ... Sixty per cent of the gold reserves of the world were here in the United States ... There was a need for redistribution of the financial resources of the world ... And there was an equal need to organize a flow of capital to the impoverished countries of the world. All this has come about. It did not come about by chance but by conscious and deliberate and responsible planning.

Do these sound like the words of someone who's about to overthrow the Federal Reserve and the global bankers? They sound more like the words of the Golden Boy of the Banking Establishment.

There is even reason to believe that Kennedy may have originated the orders -- on behalf of Big Oil -- to take out the Shah of Iran and replace him with the Ayatollah Khomeini (something which actually did come to fruition in 1979).

There may be many reasons that Kennedy was killed in Dallas on November 22, 1963, but to my mind, the Federal Reserve is probably the least likely of all explanations. My money would be more on something having to do with the CIA and the Bay of Pigs (back in 1961).

Sources:

G. Edward Griffin
Edward Flaherty

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