‘A President Betrayed’ explores JFK’s peace policies


Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this new documentary by Cory Taylor goes where the recent mainstream news organization coverage did not dare: to the political context of JFK’s violent removal from power.

The New York Times called it “well-researched” and a “worthy entry” in the JFK documentary film catalog.

11 comments

  1. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Seeking more information on this I found:

    http://apresidentbetrayed.stta.us/screenings

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-11-20/film/jfk-a-president-betrayed/full/

    I still wonder if it is to be shown in U.S. theaters, on TV or will be available for purchase.

  2. Chris Roberts says:

    Of course MSM will ignore all of this as they have roget stone’s book.

    There Is no question anymore Kennedy would not have done what Johnson did In Vietnam but My suspecions on who killed him are more
    Anti-Castro people who were Involved In Castro assassination plots.
    That would implicate element of CIA and elements of the mob
    Right wing power brokers In Oil and Military Industral complex
    Their top politican Lyndon Johnson-I used to dismiss the idea of him being involved but I am rethinking that
    Curtis Lemay-The inspiration for right wing general In 7 days In May

    Those are who I would look at for being Involved.Oswald could have been the shooter on 6th floor and betreyed.He may have simply been the fallguy but even if he was a shooter he wasn’t only one.

    • John Kirsch says:

      Re: your saying that you don’t believe JFK would have done what LBJ did in Vietnam. I assume you’re saying that you don’t believe Kennedy would have gone “all in” on Vietnam as Johnson did.
      I think that question is actually quite murky.
      I recommend you read this on Salon: Friday, Nov 22, 2013 09:03 AM -0700
      The truth about JFK and Vietnam: Why the speculation is wrong-headed
      Unlike his skilled behavior during the Cuban missile crisis, Kennedy was indecisive at best about Vietnam in 1963
      David Barrett

      • TLR says:

        Exit Strategy – In 1963, JFK ordered a complete withdrawal from Vietnam – James K. Galbraith
        http://www.bostonreview.net/us/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam

        JFK told Sen. Mansfield in Kenny O’Donnell’s presence that he wanted to completely withdraw from Vietnam but “I can’t do it until 1965–after I’m reelected.” When Mansfield left the office, Kennedy said to O’Donnell: “In 1965, I’ll become one of the most unpopular presidents in history. I’ll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser. But now I don’t care. If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I’m reelected. So we had better make damn sure that I am reelected.” When O’Donnell asked JFK how he planned to withdraw from Vietnam, he answered, “Easy. Put a government in there that will ask us to leave.”

        • Mball says:

          Interesting. I wonder how JFK thought he’d accomplish that. I’d think that he would have appreciated the fact that nothing about Vietnam was going to be easy, especially disengagement. I also think that he would have understood that there could be no such thing as complete withdrawal.

      • Photon says:

        It is good to see some critical thinking from the Cherry family. There seems to be general misunderstanding about what JFK’s plans and perceptions were in regards to South Vietnam. Virtually everything quoted to support the view that he would get out of Vietnam was stated PRIOR to the Diem coup. By agreeing to that coup JFK ensured that the U.S. would increase its involvement by increasing political, economic and military support. Actions speak louder than words.
        Johnson was dealt a bad hand. The coup left South Vietnam leaderless with virtually no government for months. The country was beginning to collapse; the generals that JFK and his advisors thought could run the country and not negotiate with the Communists were incompetent and corrupt. Would JFK have stood by and watched the country go down the drain in a very public and ugly manner? Who knows? The support of the coup suggests that his response to events would not have been as cut-and-dried as the revisionists would have us believe.

  3. Alan Dale says:

    Worth seeking out. Plenty of interesting and insightful recollections and analysis by about a dozen historians. There may be some revelations for those who are not deeply immersed. Superb documentary film making. Undoubtedly a labor of love for director Cory Taylor whose previous works include 2009′s The Power of The Powerless and 1998′s Avalanche: The White Death for which he won a Prime Time Emmy for Sound Editing.

    This film focuses on the familiar Cold War crises of a young president increasingly at odds with his military/intelligence professionals. Some of the most compelling parts of the film are contemporary interviews with the men who served as translators for Nikita Khrushchev and President Kennedy during the Vienna summit of June 4, 1961, Viktor Sukhodrev (Khrushchev) and Alexander Akalovsky (JFK). Candid recollections from the daughters of Norman Cousins who accompanied their father to meet Khrushchev, and commentary from Khrushchev’s son are also new.

    The filmmakers have chosen to make no stated inference about the circumstances of President Kennedy’s assassination. I believe JFK: A President Betrayed will be a valuable resource to anyone, especially those whose lives began after his death, for assessing the context and meaning of his presidency and his life.

    I’m hopeful it will soon be available on DVD.

    • Thomas says:

      I happened upon this on TV about a week ago and it was very good. Didn’t see it from the start. I’d been avoiding other JFK specials because they are so aggravating.

      This one laid the groundwork for a conspiracy without stating it, perhaps making it all the more effective.

      • Alan Dale says:

        ^ Agreed, Thomas. Truly an exception to the great deluge of God awfulness to which we’ve been subjected by the governing media.

        I admire these young men who got it right and executed it well.

    • John Kirsch says:

      Re: Khrushchev. He was deposed less than a year after Dallas and had apparently worked out a sort of decent working relationship with JFK after the Cuban missile crisis.
      He first came to world attention with his speech denouncing Stalin and initiated a process of partial de-Stalinization and some relatively liberal reforms in domestic policy, according to Wikipedia. In other words, he was something of a reformer, not unlike JFK.

    • Richard McColman says:

      I just happened upon this film on TV (DirecTV) last night. Luckily I caught it from the beginning and saw it all the way through. I was actually amazed to see it playing in a mass-media venue.

      I agree with the other posters who expressed positive reactions to the film. Quite well done. Great background on the JFK presidency with respect to the cold war interactions with the communist block as well as the internal struggle between JFK and some of his advisors, including the military and the CIA. We know about this ourselves, of course, but it’s good to see this outlook being presented to the wider public. Though the film doesn’t specifically address Kennedy’s assassination, it does pose the question indirectly by talking about how JFK was treading on dangerous ground with the military, etcetera, by taking the approach that he did and bucking the war hawks.

      As to those who doubt what Kennedy would have done in Vietnam (and in other foreign policy arenas RE: the struggle with the communist block) had he not been killed, I think it’s far too speculative to suggest that he would have taken a similar route as LBJ. It’s more important to go by the clues that we do have — things such as National Security Action Memorandum 263 and the McNamara-Taylor Report that preceded it, and the American University Address — the latter being quite remarkable in a lot of respects. (In the context of anti-communist perspectives that were running as rampant as they were during that time, the American University address was a real breakthrough moment, even stepping beyond the independent thinking he displayed during the missile crisis. I think this is really telling as to JFK’s willingness to buck the prevailing political winds. It’s too bad we don’t have such independent thinkers now.)

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