Kennedy, the non-proliferation president

From the National Security Archive, Kennedy and Dimonaa trove of declassified new documents about how JFK sought to prevent Israel from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“More than any other American president, John F. Kennedy was personally engaged with the problem of Israel’s nuclear program; he may also have been more concerned about it than any of his successors. Of all U.S. leaders in the nuclear age, Kennedy was the nonproliferation president.

Kennedy and Dimona: the First Two Years (1961-62)

28 thoughts on “Kennedy, the non-proliferation president”

  1. Now we Know LHO was placed in Soviet electronics Lab in Jan 1960 because 1953 Sergei Korolyov was directed to start development of a true ICBM able to deliver newly developed hydrogen bombs. Given steady funding throughout, the R-7 developed with some speed. The first launch took place on 15 May 1957 and led to an unintended crash 400 km (250 mi) from the site. The first successful test followed on 21 August 1957; the R-7 flew over 6,000 km (3,700 mi) and became the world’s first ICBM.[4] The first strategic-missile unit became operational on 9 February 1959 at Plesetsk in north-west Russia.[5]

    It was the same R-7 launch vehicle that placed the first artificial satellite in space, Sputnik, on 4 October 1957. The first human spaceflight in history was accomplished on a derivative of R-7, Vostok, on 12 April 1961, by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.

      1. Ronnie in 1957 British scientist came up with perfect microwave using alloy of mercury, cadmium and Tellurium, The soviets used this in there guidance systems and new generations of Radar. Oswald would not got close to Minsk unless a deal was made on U2 information.

  2. Lyndon Johnson, IN SHARP CONTRAST TO JOHN KENNEDY, was quite the facilitator for allowing Israel to get nuclear weapons. LBJ was quite okay with this.

    And, finally, read the book Operation Cyanide (2003) by Peter Hounam. You will probably conclude that Lyndon Johnson also orchestrated the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with a plan to blame the USS Liberty murders on Egypt and give the USA a pretext to attack Nasser of Egypt who had over the previous decade drifted into the Soviet camp.

    That is how in the hock Lyndon Johnson was to the Zionists and the AIPAC lobby of its era.

    1. “You will probably conclude that Lyndon Johnson also orchestrated the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty with a plan to blame the USS Liberty murders on Egypt”~Robert Morrow

      Yes, I am very familiar with the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, and the apparent coordination with Johnson’s administration. Another pathetic Zionist false flag event.

    2. What does it matter what LBJ’s opinion of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East was when Isreal and her French partners had detonated a fission device with a yield ideal for Israeli purposes ( and pointedly NOT for French) 3 years previously? The French aim was obviously to develop a fission device to allow development of a thermonuclear weapon.To do that they would have most likely gone the route of every other previous nuclear power, ie. a 20-25 kiloton device HAD NOT Israeli military necessity warrented the development of a more powerful weapon. Israeli targets did not need thermonuclear weapons-fission devices were more than adequate for any potential Arab targets in the 1950s-1960s.Why buy a Mercedes when a VW can do the job? From the beginning the French nuclear program was driven by Israeli strategic needs-it was a price to pay for the cooperation that France was unwilling to pay the US for similar help.

    3. LBJ’s handlers wanted WORLD war, not just to pivot against Egypt.

      The real story is that President Johnson, who was being battered in the polls over the Vietnam War and facing a general election loss and even losing the DNC primary, ordered the Israelis to bomb the USS Liberty to create a casus belli to secure a Gulf of Tonkin style resolution to explode the world into war because in America everybody loves an outraged and indignant president who will use the full force of the military at the slightest provocation, even a government planned false flag attack.

      The USS Liberty, however, encompasses far more than a murderous psychopathic American president resorting to hideously evil deeds to get re-elected. In addition to ordering the total destruction of the USS Liberty and sending 294 Americans to a watery grave in the Mediterranean Sea, LBJ also ordered the nuclear bombing of Cairo, an event specifically designed to create a nuclear war by blaming the entire USS Liberty affair on Russia or Egypt. More horrifying, it’s documented that US planes were on emergency standby orders as pilots waited on the runways in their planes armed with nuclear weapons. The nuclear bombing of Cairo was called off only 3 minutes before the nuclear bomb drops.

  3. Truly a pointless article, unless it was to demonstrate the naïveté of JFK , or the incompetence of a CIA that supposedly was so effective that they could assassinate a President and cover it up for years.
    The first Israeli nuclear test took place over a year prior to President Kennedy’s meeting with David Gruen in 1961. In the days before satellite photography was routinely available the only way to confirm the ultimate purpose of the “textile plant” in the Negev was inspection-it was not politically possible to pursue conventional overflight of Israel at the time. Obviously any direct inspection by a couple of American visitors would only confirm in general purposes what the plant was capable of, not whether it was actually producing weapons-grade plutonium. Apparently the authors of this article were not aware of ( or did not wish to discuss) the fact that the French nuclear program was a Franco-Israeli program since its onset in the 1950s. Jerboa jumped from the desks of the Weizmann Institute as much as from French research; ironically tested in an Arab country. That first test was unlike any other previous first test, with a yield of over sixty kilotons-an appropriate size not for Moscow or Kiev or Warsaw, but perfect for Cairo or Damascus or even Bagdad-which should have been picked up by US or UK intelligence and would have presented a terrible can of worms in dealing with a NATO member.
    The horse was not only out of the barn door, it had won the Kentucky Derby before JFK had even been nominated.
    After 1961, what specific evidence is there that the Israeli nuclear program in any way altered the close relationship between Israel and the US? Where are the examples of specific actions taken by JFK in response to the Israeli nuclear program? Tom S., my references are for the most part in the public domain.
    What is going to be the next claim-that JFK reversed the missile gap?

      1. No it wasn’t. There was a tremendous missile gap-in favor of the United States. The claim pushed by the Kennedy campaign that their was a gap in favor of the Soviet Union was pure fiction, however.

        1. I think it was the Gaither Committee that asserted there was a gap in 1957. Did you “like Ike” more than you liked JFK…?

          1. JFK ran in 1960, not 1957. JFK was briefed by the horrible Allen Dulles in July of 1960 about the true state of affairs-JFK continued to claim the gap existed knowing that the truth was otherwise.
            Neither Eisenhower, Nixon or any other official could reveal the secret information that proved no Soviet advantage existed. But JFK was made aware of the facts.
            Funny how Dulles never let on that JFK knew the truth in 1960. Could have been a devastating political weapon.

          2. The Yuri Gagarin orbital mission was certainly a challenge to the US in the “space race”, but it also showed the Soviets had sufficient technological ability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles. The US already knew they had nuclear weapons.

            Put the two together and you have a faster delivery system than SAC bombers; First strike capability.

        2. photon . . . I guess things were cleared up after this coverage in 1958?


          PARIS, Jan 8, 1958 . . . “Top American diplomats and military men, charged with shaping US defence policy in western Europe say they have not seen the controversial Gaither report on U.S. defence capabilities . . .
          Leaks about the report, still under secrecy wraps in Washington, say it warns that the United States in is danger of falling behind the Soviet Union in military strength by 1963. Decisions must be taken this year if the country is to have supremacy in the arms race, the report is said to warn.”

          1. Willy, the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 proved that the USSR had an ICBM ; Gagarin’s mission was launched by essentially the same R-7 that launched Sputnik. At the time of the 1960 election the Soviets had between four and twenty-five operational R-7 ICBMs-hardly a first strike capability.
            Leslie, by 1960 it was known by US intelligence that the Soviet Union did not have significant numbers of ICBMs-based primarily on U-2 overflights, so whatever was published I Jan. 1958 was irrelevant .

          2. Photons, why did Eisenhower, or his VP Nixon who would not have done so without Dwight’s approval, not reveal this information to Congress and the People? Much less Top American diplomats and military men?
            I guess your reference to the horrible Allen Dulles was sarcastic as you frequently defend him?

          3. Because Ronnie, the source of the information was confidential-U-2 overflights that were supposedly meteorological missions( of course the Soviets knew otherwise).The art of spycraft is not just getting information, but not letting your opponent know what information you have.Telling the world what U-2 overflights produced would have given the Soviets a better understanding of its capabilities-and methods to defeat its photographic data retrieval. Of course, keeping the American public in the dark about US strategic superiority didn’t hurt the Defense budget, a budget JFK wanted to expand.

          4. ‘ . . . by 1960 it was known by US intelligence that the Soviet Union did not have significant numbers of ICBMs-based primarily on U-2 overflights, so whatever was published I Jan. 1958 was irrelevant.

            Let’s get some links to sources here photon. I’m not doubting your claim, although those missiles in Cuba are somewhat perplexing — perhaps it wasn’t as much about quantity or up to date technology in 1960 as it was but about strategy and perhaps that’s where the US ‘strategists’ bungled the whole thing thinking that “Might” would trumped everything — I’m urging you to provide source material for the benefit of new students who might be following this site. Anyone can google ICBM and U2 and 1960 and come up with a superficial understanding but you on the other hand apparently have deeper resources. Share them? Otherwise you seem satisfied engaging on a forum on which you can simply ‘retort’ with no responsibility to educate in good faith. An opportunity missed.

          5. I am sorry Leslie, but my sources ( some deceased, including one mentioned often on this site) must remain confidential.However, let me leave you with an anecdote: Charles deGaulle was touring the principal French research facility and encountered the greatest security procedures in France. As he was touring the facility he noted that several technicians were not speaking French and asked his tour guide what they were speaking.The guide, who had not been briefed that deGaulle was unaware of the level of cooperation with Israel that was present stated something to the effect of ” why Hebrew , of course.” At which point the sugar hit the fan, as deGaulle blew up, as angry about being kept in the dark as he was incensed that a foreign presence was intercalated into France’s most secure facility. After deGaulle was calmed down by his nuclear experts, it was explained to him that without Israeli help the timeline to achieve nuclear weapons would have been years beyond what Frace was currently doing. deGaulle realized that he needed Israel as much as they needed him-but he resolved to end the cooperation with the initiation of the French thermonuclear program. Israel, at the time not needing an H-bomb had no objection to leaving the marriage after the fission device was perfected.
            How do I know that this incident occurred? My source stated that deGaulle wanted to make a good-faith effort to end the cooperation with Israel with something perhaps even more valuable than a nuclear device. As such, he authorized the sale to Israel of France’s most advanced fighter aircraft-the Mirage III. The same aircraft won the Six Day War for Israel.

          6. “I am sorry Leslie, but my sources ( some deceased, including one mentioned often on this site) must remain confidential.”~Photon

            I think we are ALL getting a bit tired of this kind of crap Photon.

          7. “I am sorry Leslie, but my sources ( some deceased, including one mentioned often on this site) must remain confidential[.]”

            So I guess this means you talk to dead people? 😉

            On a more serious note, you make a lot of rather extraordinary claims in this comment thread, and don’t offer a single source to back you up. Par for the course.

          8. photon, the deGaulle scenario is indeed fascinating, but if your purpose is to educate, are there some gaps between the French and Israeli mutual requirements and the argument you made that John Kennedy knew that the Russians were not ‘ahead’ in the race? I’m sure there’s a link, otherwise you wouldn’t have introduced it. Regarding your obligation to maintain confidences, what precisely then is your reason for disseminating the material on this site? Are your sources using this opportunity to share important information never before revealed and you are the conduit? or are you talking out of school?

          9. A close friend of mine, who worked for the Dallas PD, and later at the White House, who is also a brain surgeon, a chiropractor, an orthopedist and a splendid ballistics expert, told me that photon is full of it, and a mole. Sadly, I am not able to reveal his identity. I would have liked to, but, I just can’t.

            You see, Leslie? It works just fine. I don’t know why you are giving Photon such a hard time. We should feel nothing but lucky that we have such an insider who chooses this site to divulge never-before-seen-or-heard evidence and inside stories. Like the fact that JFK was a borderline cripple… And all this time, we all thought that the corset he was seen wearing was for the standard issue stress-induced-middle-age-lowerback-pain that more than half of modern men experience.

          10. John McCone, Director, Central Intelligence Agency — March 3, 1964 — to Mr. James J. Rowley, Chief, U.S. Secret Service
            “Oswald subject was trained by this agency, under cover of the Office of Naval Intelligence, for Soviet assignments.
            During preliminary training in 1957, subject was active in aerial reconnaissance of mainland China and maintained a security clearance up to the “confidential” level. His military records during this time period are open to your agency and I have directed that they be forwarded to the Commission.
            Subject received additional instruction at our Camp Peary site from September 8 to October 17. 1959, and participated in a few relatively minor assignments until arrangements were made for his entry into the Soviet Union in September of 1959. While in the Soviet Union, he was on special assignment in the area of Minsk. It would not be advantageous at this time to divulge the specifics of that assignment: however if you wish this information….”~McCone



    1. Photons, your instant knowledge of any given subject continues to amaze me. It seems greater than say Tom, Jim DiEugenio, Bill Simpich or Dr. Scott combined, for starters.

    2. Yes, I have heard of French assistance on nuclear matters, but an actual bomb “tested in an Arab country” is certainly news to me. As Dimona was not in production, would the device have been a joint production _built in France_?!? Would you like to put a date and location on the test shot–not to mention how a blast triple the size of the bombs used against Japan went unnoticed? (Triple, of course, to the individual strikes and not their total yield.)
      And a citation would also be of great interest…

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