From David Talbot, author of the forthcoming non-fiction thriller “The Devil’s Chessboard.”
“In April 1961, as President Kennedy wrestled with the CIA disaster at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, another CIA-related crisis gripped JFK’s young presidency. President Charles de Gaulle of France was threatened with a military coup by rebellious French officers based in Algeria, who were enraged by de Gaulle’s decision to settle that bloody colonial war. As rebellious tank units and paratroopers prepared to descend on Paris to overthrow French democracy, de Gaulle took to the TV airwaves,
[The right-wing enmity toward De Gaulle was depicting fictionally in the best-selling novel and thriller movie “Day of the Jackal.”]
“De Gaulle was convinced that the coup was supported by the Allen Dulles-led CIA — and the French press was filled with leaks alleging this secret U.S. involvement,” Talbot goes on.
“But Kennedy took pains to assure de Gaulle that he did not back the coup, and in fact he offered to defend the embattled French government with U.S. military firepower.
“De Gaulle acknowledged that JFK himself was not behind the French officers’ rebellion, but the incident made it clear to both leaders something equally ominous: Kennedy was not in charge of his own government.