JFK and the Federal Reserve
Was he assassinated because he opposed the Fed?
© 2000 by G. Edward Griffin - Updated 2017 May 16
This is in reply to an e-mail I received pointing out the views of the Christian Common-Law Institute regarding an alleged conflict between JFK and the Federal Reserve. It also suggested that this could have been the reason he was assassinated. On their website, the CCLI stated:
On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. President Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the treasury."... Perhaps the assassination of JFK was a warning to all future presidents not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money.
This is what I refer to on page 569 of my book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, as "The JFK Rumor." I cannot accept this interpretation of history because of the following facts:
THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
If you look at a copy of EO 11110 you will find that it does not order the issuance of Silver Certificates. It orders an amendment to EO 10289. If you then look up EO 10289, you will find that it says:
The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby designated and empowered to perform the following-described functions of the President without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President.
Those functions did not include the power to issue Silver Certificates. The purpose of EO 11110 was to add that power to the list. The exact wording of the Order was:
Executive Order No. 10289 of September 19, 1951, as amended, is hereby further amended (a) By adding at the end of paragraph 1 thereof the following subparagraph (j): (1) "The authority to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury
Therefore, my statement in The Creature from Jekyll Island is correct. EO 11110 did not order the printing of Silver Certificates. It ordered the amendment of a previous executive order so that the United States Code would authorize or "empower" the Secretary of the Treasury to issue Silver Certificates if the occasion should arise.
The occasion did arise between January 1963 and October 1964 with the issuance of 768 million of the 1957B Series, which carried the signatures of Kathryn O'Hay Granahan and C. Douglas Dillon. This was the smallest issuance since 1935, and it was the last. (See "Silver Certificate" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Certificate.)
Please remember that EO11110 did not order the issuance of these certificates. It merely authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to do so, which is what happened. They were ordered into existence, not by the President, but by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The following additional explanation was contained in a 1996 report from the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress:
What E.O. 11110 did was to modify previous Executive Order 10289, delegating to the Secretary of the Treasury various powers of the President. To these delegated powers, E.O. 11110 added the power to alter the supply of Silver Certificates in circulation. Executive Order 11110, therefore, did not create any new authority for the Treasury to issue notes; it only affected who could give the order, the Secretary or the President.
The reason for the move was that the President had just signed legislation repealing the Silver Purchase Act. With this repeal, the Treasury Secretary could no longer control the issue of Silver Certificates on his own authority. However, the issuance of certificates could be controlled under the President's authority. Hence, for administrative convenience, President Kennedy issued Executive Order 11110.
Ironically, the purpose of the order and the legislation was to decrease the circulation of Silver Certificates, with Federal Reserve Notes taking their place. As economic activity grew and prices rose in the 1950s and early 1960s, the need for small-denomination currency grew at the same time that the price of silver increased. The Treasury required silver for the increasing number of Silver Certificates and coins needed for transactions. But the price of silver was rapidly approaching the point that the silver in the coins and in reserve for the certificates was worth more than the face value of the money.
To conserve on the silver needs of the Treasury, President Kennedy requested legislation to bring the issuance of Silver Certificates to an end and to authorize the Fed to issue small denomination notes (which it could not do at that time). The Fed began issuing small denomination notes almost immediately after the legislation was passed. And in October 1964, the Treasury ceased issuing Silver Certificates altogether. If anything, E.O. 11110 enhanced Federal Reserve power and did not in any way reduce it. [See "Money and the Federal Reserve System: Myth and Reality," by G. Thomas Woodward, Specialist in Macroeconomics, Economics Division, Congressional Research Services, Library of Congress, CRS Report for Congress, No. 96-672 E, July 31, 1996.]
Let's put this issue into perspective. The proponents of the JFK Myth assert that Kennedy was assassinated because he was about to issue Silver Certificates, thereby denying the bankers their customary interest payments on the nation's currency. However, the reality was just the opposite. Previously, the President could issue Silver Certificates on his own authority; but, with the signing of EO 11110, he delegated that authority to the Secretary of the Treasury. At that time, the Secretary of the Treasury was Douglas Dillon from a well-known and powerful banking family. That means Kennedy surrendered the power to issue Silver Certificates and gave it to a member of the banking fraternity who could do with it as he pleased "without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President." Dillon, of course, would have strong motive to preserve the dominance of Federal Reserve Notes. The theory that Kennedy was getting ready to issue Silver Certificates is without evidence or logic.
The CCLI makes this additional claim in its report:
The Christian Common Law Institute has exhaustively researched this matter through the Federal Register and Library of Congress. We can now safely conclude that this Executive Order has never been repealed, amended, or superseded by any subsequent Executive Order. In simple terms, it is still valid.
This is not supported by the facts. The power granted to the Secretary of Treasury to issue Silver Certificates was rescinded on September 9, 1987, by Executive Order 12608, signed by President Reagan. The official purpose of the Order was stated as "Elimination of unnecessary Executive orders and technical amendments to others." It did not affect EO 11110 directly but did affect the parent EO 10289 – along with 62 other executive orders. That is how paragraph (j) was amended to remove the power in question. This Order can be found in its entirety in the Federal Register 52 FR 34617.
The picture is blurred by the fact that the Treasury did issue United States Notes in the same year as EO 11110 (1963) but, as discussed further along, U.S. Notes are not the same as Silver Certificates. Furthermore, their issuance had nothing to do with EO 11110. It was mandated by an 1868 act of Congress, which required the Secretary of the Treasury to maintain the amount of U.S. Notes outstanding at a fixed level. This did not originate with JFK and, in fact, he probably had no deep understanding of it. It was a routine matter initiated by the Treasury merely to replace worn and damaged specimens of older Notes in order to comply with the 1868 law. Apparently some of these new Notes did get into circulation but were quickly snapped up by private collectors. They never became a significant part of the money supply and, in fact, were not intended to.
THE SPEECH THAT NEVER WAS
The persistent rumor regarding the bankers' role in JFK's death was reinforced by several books circulated in conservative circles. They contained an ominous passage from Kennedy's speech at Columbia University just ten days before his assassination. He is quoted as saying: "The high office of President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the Americans' freedom and, before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of his plight." [Quoted by M.L. Beckman, Born Again Republic, Billings, Montana, Freedom Church, 1981, p. 23; also by Lindsay Williams, To Seduce A Nation, Kasilof, Arkansas: Worth Publications, 1984, p. 26.] However, when Columbia University was contacted to provide a transcript of the speech, it was learned that Kennedy never spoke there – neither ten days before his assassination nor at any other time!
Ronald Whealan, head librarian at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library in Boston, provides this additional information: "Ten days prior to the assassination he was at the White House meeting with, among others, the ambassador to the United States from Portugal." [Source: Hollee Haswell, Curator at the Low Memorial Library, Columbia University.]
It is possible that the President did make the remarks attributed to him on a different date before a different audience. Even so, it is a cryptic message that could have several meanings. That he intended to expose the Fed is the least likely of them all. Kennedy had been a life-long collectivist and internationalist. He had attended the Fabian London School of Economics, participated in the destruction of the American money supply; and engineered the transfer of American wealth to foreign nations. [See page 109 of The Creature from Jekyll Island for details.] There is little reason to believe that he had suddenly "seen the light" and was reversing his life-long beliefs and commitments.
SILVER CERTIFICATES VS. U.S. NOTES
These facts alone should be enough to settle the matter, but there is yet one more point of confusion to be cleared up, and that involves the difference between Silver Certificates and United States Notes. In monetary terms, a Note means a promissory note. A Note is any financial instrument that states in clear and unambiguous terms who is to pay what to whom on what date. All four elements must be included. [See Ewart, James E., Money (Seattle, Principia Publishing, 1998), pp. 27-29.] Therefore, any paper currency that displays a statement such as "The United States Treasury will pay to the bearer on demand twenty dollars in silver coin" is a Note. A Silver Certificate is just one form of a Note. Other forms existed in the past and included Bank Notes, United States Notes, Gold Certificates, and even Federal-Reserve Notes in those by-gone days when they were backed by gold.
Earlier issues of U.S. Notes displayed printed statements to the effect that (1) the bearer could redeem them (2) at the Treasury (3) on demand (4) either for dollars or a specified weight of gold or silver. During those years, a dollar was defined by law as 371.25 grains of pure silver, which was the amount contained in a one-dollar silver coin. The law also provided that the metal could be in the form of coins, dust, nuggets, plate, or bullion. Therefore, whether the phrase printed on the currency promised dollars, silver, or gold, it ultimately meant precious metal in one form or another - usually coin. Since there was nothing ambiguous about that, those U.S. Notes were true Notes in the legal sense because they contained all four elements of a promissory note.
This tradition began to change in the late 1960s and, since about 1971, U.S. Notes have become very ambiguous, indeed, about what can be redeemed for them. The former clearly written contracts have been replaced by random, unconnected phrases such as The United States of America; Twenty Dollars: This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private. These words look official and impressive but, in terms of a contract to redeem the currency for something of intrinsic value, they have no meaning at all. Silver Certificates once were promises to deliver silver. U.S. Notes in later years became promises to deliver taxes and inflation.
Even in 1963 when EO 11110 was issued, there were legal and technical differences in the regulations that governed the issuance of Silver Certificates and U.S. Notes. Technically, they both were Notes, but the words Silver Certificate and U.S. Note were not used interchangeably. Regulations pertaining to the issuance of Silver Certificates could not be applied to the issuance of U.S. Notes, and vice versa. When EO 11110 authorized the issuance of Silver Certificates, it said nothing about U.S. Notes. The subsequent issuance of U.S. Notes, therefore, had nothing to do with EO 11110. And that is the point of this analysis.
I do not claim to have the final answers on these issues, but this is where our research has led so far. I am open to additional information or interpretation. I would especially welcome a response from the Christian Common Law Institute.
G. Edward Griffin
October 15, 2000
IS GRIFFIN WORKING FOR THE OTHER SIDE?
When the previous material was posted to the Internet, I assumed that would put the matter to rest – or at least would relieve me of having to repeatedly explain my position. How wrong I was. Those who had accepted the JFK myth as fact were not pleased, and I began to receive angry letters suggesting that I was either an idiot or working for the bankers to cover their crimes.
My analysis and the fact that key elements of the alleged evidence were non-existent made no difference. To them, a belief in the virtue of JFK and the evil of the banking fraternity were all that was necessary for proof. The myth had become an item of faith, not to be challenged by mere facts.
I received an exceptionally antagonistic email that made all the others seem like certificates of merit. It didn't introduce anything new to the debate but it was so heated and – shall we say colorful – that I thought it might be of general interest. The following excerpts are from an exchange of emails with Rich Loomis. I would not normally mention the name of someone who corresponds with me, but this is an exception because of the abusive nature of his remarks. It's not that I am overly sensitive to such things but, in his first emails, he accused me of hiding my true intentions and dared me to meet him in open debate where he could expose my duplicity and lack of scholarship – so I think it is only fair to accept his challenge and reply to him publicly by name.
I must warn you that what follows, even though edited to omit repetition, is still quite lengthy; so, unless you have an interest in this topic, you may want to find something else to do. However, for JFK aficionados, it will be worth it. For others, there may be entertainment value in the colorful barbs that Loomis throws at me.
There were several letters from Loomis. Both of them were primarily a recitation of the JFK myth interspersed with barbs about how only an idiot could doubt that it was true. The best way to present this exchange is to reprint pertinent passages from his letters followed by my replies.
Hello Rich Loomis. I have delayed responding for several reasons. First, things have been hectic here and my time is severely limited for polemics. Second, I wanted to cool down a bit to make sure I did not respond in anger. As you know, your communiqué was loaded with insulting statements and personal barbs. Nevertheless, I will now attempt to answer your points in the spirit of replying to someone who is honestly seeking information rather than an argument.
RL: Mr. Griffin – it especially irks me when someone of your mental stature and insight and public standing goes around doing “damage” in areas where you normally are so effective on the right side. And, in the particular instance regarding the Fed, I find it suggestive (call me paranoid, but I’ve seen a lot of this) that a “public” figure adopts the mantle of incisive critic EXCEPT in an area that still has potential for harm to the “powers that be.” … Have they gotten to you, Ed, or did you just take a few stupid pills when you wrote this piece? … You, sir, are little more than an apologist for murder and looting on a scale never before seen in history and which is now poised to bring the most horrid suffering on the planet that could be imagined…. And regarding Kennedy’s EO 11110 – I am almost flabbergasted to see you almost PURPOSELY miss the whole point, and virtually parrot word for word the Fed/Treasury Dep’t public stance on the issuance of Kennedy’s “U.S. Notes" – that this was merely another example of periodic “adjustment” and ho hum, nothing of consequence. This time, either you took the entire bottle of stupid pills, or, you are indeed just another puppet talking head sell out of the first order.
EG: Rich, instead of calling names and insulting those with whom you disagree, how about trying a factual rebuttal? I would be more inclined to correspond with you if you did, but comments like this are merely rants without substance.
RL: How about answering me just one simple question: To whom are we indebted for the “national debt”? (Which at one time was virtually non-existent.)
EG: You will find the answer to that question on page 511 of my book.
[The following comment is from a later reply, which confirms that Loomis never read The Creature from Jekyll Island. In fact, he feels that my giving him a page reference was a ploy to trick him into buying the book.]
RL: I doubt that you answer it AT ALL . . and of course you could have simply SAID what’s on page 511, but I guess that would reveal the sham at once, instead of making me spend money on you first.
RL: Are Federal Reserve Notes any different AT ALL in a legal/debt sense from U.S. Notes? And oh please, don’t bring out the smoke and mirrors again about silver/gold redemption issues, just address the matter of whether or not a legal difference exists, and the nature thereof. (I can answer this but would like to see you in print on the matter, specifically and at proper length.)
EG: I don’t know how you think the answer to this question bears on the JFK assassination; but for the sake of discussion I will venture to say there is little difference between Federal Reserve Notes and recent U.S. Notes other than who issues them. However, the question is curious, because the Kennedy Executive Order EO11110 did not call for the issuance of U.S. Notes. It authorized the issuance of Silver Certificates. So what is your point?
RL: Do you recall what happened to Lincoln when he tried to cut out the world bankers in London – who were happily financing both sides of the Civil War – by issuing greenbacks and other securities “in house” with no interest accrued to London? And, I suppose you cannot fathom the connection of Kennedy doing the same thing – trying to cut the balls off the Fed and the London controllers – and being killed for it?
EG: There is a big difference between believing that these people would not hesitate to do such things and believing that they actually did in the case of Kennedy. Because a man is capable of committing a crime is not sufficient reason to conclude that he did commit a crime. Until there is evidence, I will continue to say there is no evidence, and what happened to Lincoln is not evidence.
RL: It of course was not JFK behind the matter, but his father Joseph, who as Ambassador to England saw firsthand the power and control (and perhaps was privy to their long-term plans) of the “Blue Bloods” and evidently became determined to thwart their goals. Michael Piper mentions in his book a quote attributed to Joe Sr. wherein he specifically affirmed that he intended to someday scuttle the Fed and that whole power structure.
EG: A quote in someone’s book “attributed to” Joseph Kennedy about a “someday” intention is a far cry from evidence. You’ve got to do better than that.
RL: And what was blocking his son from carrying out his father’s wishes once he assumed the presidency?
EG: What was blocking JFK was the fact that he was a Fabian socialist who was in full accord with internationalist plans to collectivize America and merge her into world government. The Fed is a major force in the implementation of that plan. I am not aware of anything in JFK’s political career that supports the theory that he was opposed to fiat money. He was at odds with powerful competing groups within the collectivist movement, but he was never on the outside.
RL: [Regarding JFK’s assassination] All the bullshit about Vietnam, the Bay of Pigs, and so on are mere side issues and window dressing that people like you parrot endlessly and mislead the people.
EG: Please, Rich. Don’t do that. Can you point to anything I ever wrote about Vietnam or the Bay of Pigs? If you cannot, a retraction would be appreciated. If you want to criticize something I have written, then I am open to knowing what it is that you don’t like, but lumping me together with others with the phrase “people like you” severely weakens your case.
RL: Regardless, in spite of Fed lies, the Treasury Dep’t has NOT regularly (or ever!) issued US Notes as typified in the 1963 series. Try a simple check: go to any numismatic dealer, ask to see for yourself any such beast – it aint’s there! And if ANY group of tens of thousands of “detectives” are any better at ferreting out unusual items, rare items, slightly flawed items, missing items, or what have you, there wouldn’t be a more diligent search than what has already gone on for decades (or centuries) by such people, and by stamp collectors, etc. Literally nothing gets by them.
EG: In my original analysis, I made the following statement: “Apparently some of these new Notes did get into circulation but were quickly snapped up by private collectors. They never became a significant part of the money supply and, in fact, were not intended to.”
It took me less than two minutes on the Internet to find an excellent specimen of a 1963 $5 U.S. Note. You can view it at http://usrarecurrency.com/1963$5UnitedStatesLegalTenderNoteSnA51298086A.htm. You are right. Nothing gets by them, but apparently it got by you.
RL: After doing that, try as I did at one point – call all over various departments of the Treasury itself. Ask where one might locate and read the enabling document [from WHOMEVER] that resulted in the actual printing of those US Notes ... and see where it gets you! Then try the Fed, as I did, and see what happens THERE ... if you dare. If the issuance of those notes was so “routine” and innocuous, then why are relevant documents as impossible to retrieve from federal vaults as the surveillance tapes from buildings near the Murrah building and from the 9/11 demolition?
EG: I don’t know why you have so much difficulty locating the pertinent documents. Perhaps it is your belligerent attitude, which may offend people and motivate them not to cooperate. In any event, I had no difficulty obtaining a copy of “United States Notes,” an internal publication of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing provided by Cecilia Wertheimer, Curator. This is an excellent reference showing the substance of actions taken with regard to U.S. Notes and the authorizing sources, which in every case is a federal statute. The information you seek can be found on pages 34 through 39. I don’t know if Wertheimer is still the Curator, but I urge you to call the Bureau, ask for the Curator’s office, and request your own copy of this document.
RL: Ok, it’s getting late, this is just for starters ... you wanted it, you got it. Now, it’s ME that can’t wait to hear your spin on all this.
EG: This may be just starters for you, but not for me. I have more important things to do with my time. If you have factual data that contradicts what I have said, then I will welcome receiving it and will thank you for sending it. However, if you just want to insult me and offer opinions based on conjectures and plausibility’s, I will not have time to continue the correspondence.
On October 24, 2006, Rich Loomis finally responded to my last message, and he did so claiming he was not aware that I had posted the previous exchange on our web site. He hadn't mellowed a bit, and came charging at me like an enraged bull. The subject line of his email was: "Griffin the coward", and this is what he wrote:
Please inform Griffin that I just now (a year or more after the fact?) encountered his posting of "selected" parts of my emails to him, on his web site, Freedom Force International. What little remaining respect I had for this bloated pretender is now totally blown away by discovering for myself, accidently, that he had used my correspondence in this manner (a Google search of related subjects brought me to portions of my emails presented therein – rather than being informed up front and directly by Mr. Griffin that he was so doing.)
What is especially galling – and quite revealing of Griffin's true character – is found in my possession of the originals of this correspondence, wherein it is readily apparent BY WHAT HE LEAVES OUT, that he sadly lacks even the basic rudiments of true honesty and integrity. And no wonder he failed to properly notify me of his intention to post and EDIT this correspondence ... a discrepancy which in itself speaks far louder, and infinitely more clearly, than his self-serving rhetoric. Moreover, rather than ACTUALLY accepting my previous challenge to open debate, he PRETENDS to "accept" by the tactic of judiciously editing and then posting the correspondence in his "favor" – as if genuine public accountability and openness were somehow beneath him.
Simple logic would dictate that, if my comments truly had been of no consequence, he would merely have deleted them from his email folder ... instead of secretly posting on his website only the parts he wanted his readers to see!! Without telling me!! Perhaps I should be grateful that Griffin inadvertently provided this scurrilous evidence and insight into his underlying character, else I might have been tempted to accept at least some portions of his other "research" and "scholarly integrity" at face value. If I didn't know better before, I do now: a fatal lack and lapse in this vital instance, is enough proof for me that Griffin's ego, demonstrated bias, and essential dishonesty must surely color and detract from the trustworthiness of ANYTHING he has written, ipso facto. (Most of it second-rate compared to the originating authors he has stolen from, such as Eustace Mullins.)
Please see to it that Griffin receives this email,-- and let's ALL see if he has the integrity to post it at the very end of his supposed "answer" to me on the web page.
THIS WAS MY REPLY:
Hello Rich Loomis.
I have posted your email in its entirety to our web site.
You say that I omitted important parts of your original correspondence to favor my reply. The fact is that I was careful NOT to do that. The only things I edited out were repetitions, references to issues not related to the JFK Myth, and some of the inflammatory remarks with no substance. Furthermore, to claim that you didn't know I was posting our exchange to the web site is bizarre. I told you up front that the primary reason I spent so much time with your critique is that I wanted to reach others out there who have been misled, as you have been, and it was my hope that my analysis would be helpful to them. Did you really think I would not post your diatribe to our web site?
Rich, why don't you just drop the name calling and stick with facts? If you would like to back up your rant with some examples of what I left out that you think are important to your original point, I will post them to our site. I also will post your insults, so you may want to cut back on those. They do not place you in a favorable light.
G. Edward Griffin