Michael Swanson, an investment adviser turned JFK researcher, called my attention to “Council of War,” a fascinating official history of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which documents the Pentagon’s resistance to, and resentment of, President Kennedy’s foreign policy, especially on Cuba and Vietnam.
Published by the JCS, the study presents an unvarnished view of an unprecedented mistrust between White House and Pentagon in the year before Kennedy was violently removed from power.
“Read this book and you are reading a real history of the American empire and defense establishment written for future leaders of the Pentagon and armed forces,” writes Swanson, who plans to publish his own study of the Cold War from 1945-1963 in the fall.
Some highlights from “Council of War:”
Gens. Maxwell Taylor and Curtis LeMay at the funeral of JFK, November 25, 1963 (Credit Abbie Rowe/JFK Library
In response to my query about Gen. Maxwell Taylor and the events of 1963, reader John writes:
Before I try to answer this most complex of questions, let me say a couple of things.
First, let us stipulate that 99.99 percent of JFK conspiracy theories are BS. Let me repeat that: 99.99 percent of JFK conspiracy theories are BS.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable:”
In this well-edited YouTube piece, Eytmon reminds us that President Kennedy was a “dove,” a leader more inclined to restrain U.S. military power than to unleash it. While JFK was often aggressive in rhetoric, he also emphasized peace was “necessary and rational.” It was his experience as a Navy lieutenant in World War II who repeatedly faced death in battle that made the cause of peace personally urgent to him. It also distinguished him from the hawks of his day