President Obama speaks at American University, August 5, 2015
In a “blunt” speech at American University, President Obama “aggressively” defended the international agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program by invoking the daring diplomacy of President John F. Kennedy.
This was the moment President John F. Kennedy was angling for 52 years ago: reconciliation between the United States and Cuba.
President Obama met yesterday with Cuban president Raul Castro, the first face to face meeting of the country’s leaders since the mid-20th century. Obama said “Cuba is not a threat to the United States.” His appearance was condemned by Obama’s Republican critics just as JFK’s Cuba policy was condemned by his opponents.
“By 36, two of his brothers were stolen from him in the most tragic, public of ways. By 41, he nearly lost a beloved child to cancer. And that made suffering something he knew. And it made him more alive to the suffering of others. ” Read more
With those words, President Obama made an epic and overdue announcement today: the United States and Cuba will normalize relations that were broken off in January 1961 as President John F. Kennedy took office. “These 50 years have showed that isolation has not worked,” the president said.
Not only will the United States open an embassy in Havana, it will release three Cubans imprisoned for decades on trumped-up spying charges. The Cubans will release U.S. government contractor Alan Gross, held for five years on trumped-up charges, and a previously unknown U.S. intelligence agent imprisoned for many years in Cuba.
“When President Obama took office in 2009, he promised an ‘unprecedented level of openness in government.’ In a memo issued the day after his inauguration, he wrote, ‘The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.'”
When I first read those words in 2009, I took hope that the new president’s thinking would exercise a positive benefit on my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for the JFK assassination records of deceased CIA officer George Joannides.
The president is scheduled to land at Love Field at 5:10 pm ET. He will attend an Affordable Care Act event and a fund-raiser before departing later tonight. Rest assured, no motorcade is on the schedule.
In response to my post about Obama and JFK, blooger DojoRat sends note saying “the national security state is more powerful than any one President,” along with link to a piece likening Obama’s recent foreign policy moves to JFK’s in 1962-63.
In this extended interview with Russia Today, Russ Baker of WhoWhatWhy explains why so many JFK records remain secret (as much as 50,000 pages worth). He says President Obama may have “some “trepidation” about releasing long-secret CIA records related to the assassination of President Kennedy in 2013.
“We do this in a peaceful and orderly way,” said Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee at President Obama’s inauguration. “There is no mob, no coup, no insurrection. This is a moment when millions stop and watch.”