From the font of wisdom that is NewsMax, comes this report: Secret Tapes Reveal JFK’s Duplicity on Cuba, Civil Rights. President Kennedy’s offense in the judgment of today’s right-wing is that he resolved the Cuban missile crisis in secret collaboration with communists.
In his new book The Politics of Deception, historian Patrick Sloyan accuses JFK of making a “secret deal” in October 1962 in which he agreed to remove U.S nuclear missiles from Turkey if Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev removed Soviet missiles from Cuba. He portrays Kennedy as a liar and a dishonest man rather too close to alien powers, in other words, a political forefather of Barak Obama
Sloyan’s interpretation of JFK’s presidency may seem slanted or overheated to some but his underlying facts on this point are correct. During the missile crisis, JFK did indeed make an informal pledge, through Russian diplomats in Washington to that he would see to the removal of the missiles in Turkey. And JFK did not want to talk about that arrangement
Here’s Sloyan’s argument in a nutshell.
“Instead of the much-publicized showdown that Americans heard about, Kennedy accepted a swap [of nuclear missiles] almost immediately.” This “required silence from Khrushchev as being part of the deal, and then covered it up. Advisers feared if the truth came out, it would look like Kennedy sacrificed a NATO ally and that fellow NATO nations would “forever doubt America’s solidarity.”
He also calls the missile crisis “jFK’s finest moment.” The “deception” was an artful compromise that bridged a key gap in a delicate and dangerous negotiation and preserved the peace among three nations, two of them armed with nuclear weapons. What was the alternative? The Pentagon estimated an invasion of Cuba would cause 18,500 casualties before the American occupation would end. Marine Corps commandant David Shoup thought that estimate was much too low. He thought Cuba would have to be occupied by U.S. soldiers for years. Better JFK’s “politics of deception” than the ruinous alternative unanimously favored by his generals.
via Book: Secret Tapes Reveal JFK’s Duplicity on Cuba, Civil Rights.
77 thoughts on “What JFK’s ‘politics of deception’ gave us”
“it was his own assassination, that created the impetus for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Have you considered the following scenario?
Emboldened cohorts to LBJ:
“Okay Lyndon, you can have your damn Great Society, Civil Rights and all that commie crap, but we are getting our Vietnam!”
Some people claim that Johnson had absolutely no scruples (and therefore principles, or feelings for social justice). Thus the only reason he pushed Civil Rights was to out-Kennedy the Kennedys and -like the magicians- keep people looking the other way.
That line of reasoning also explains the Cabinet being left intact.
It was JFK’s core belief as a pragmatic, that led to a peaceful result in the Cuban Missile Crisis, while his delay in dealing swiftly with the growing civil rights issue is an example of that same pragmatic view. If we are being honest about history, it was his own assassination, that created the impetus for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Does anyone care to guess how long that could have taken otherwise? For the most part, it is not a pleasant thought to ponder.
Civil rights were moving forward at a rapid pace in the sixties, even before JFK was shot. The Birmingham bombing and the police dogs on t.v. had a lot to do with changing moderate American minds, and the folk movement was building during JFK’s presidency as well. I don’t discount the assassination as helping to spur passage of the Civil Rights Act, but I think it was coming anyway, and JFK was moving toward greater awareness by 1963 too, whether or not he and his wife liked Martin Luther King, Jr. personally.
Of far more tragic effect was a general loss of faith in American civic and public society, especially as Vietnam ramped up by 1965. Had Kennedy lived, he most likely would have won reelection, and would have drawn down the US military/advisor presence in Southeast Asia. He almost certainly would not have let a Gulf of Tonkin incident (Bay of Pigs similarity?) spur his administration to put ground troops into Vietnam the way LBJ did.
So: Civil Rights a bit later perhaps? Vietnam War not happening? Distrust in government and the rise in libertarian/right wing reactionary politics by boomers in large part due to collapse of faith brought on by assassinations and Vietnam? To be honest, I’d prefer that we had a second JFK term myself.
The way in which The New York Post frames these “revelations” about President Kennedy is extremely troubling. Saying that Kennedy “folded” to Khrushchev’s demands is an extraordinary way to characterize the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The truth is, as others have noted, that Kennedy knew that the Turkey missiles were obsolete, and that keeping them in place was not vital to American interests. Would it have been better if Kennedy had refused to negotiate, even if it had led to a nuclear exchange? Was American “credibility” worth risking the possible end of civilization?
In an era of ever-increasing political stability around the world, President Kennedy’s leadership during the missile crisis and its aftermath looks more admirable than ever.
What the Missile Crisis recordings of the various meetings JFK made show is the truly remarkable thing about what Kennedy was able to do. Right from the beginning, the tapes show he saw the way out of the crisis: trading those obsolete Jupiter missiles in Turkey and also (as I recall) Italy for the Soviet missiles in Cuba. That he was able to stick to this course in spite of more warlike advice from just about everybody (even Bill Fulbright was telling him an attack on Cuba was necessary) is truly remarkable.
February 24, 2015 at 8:03 am
I believe it was his finest hour. The thing I admire most about JFK is that he was very cool under pressure. This is a required element for a good leader and I think JFK had it in spades. He also was a man with courage. Another required element for a good leader.
Seriously, are they just now hearing about this? I wonder how they will feel when they find out there were no WMD in Iraq.
I’m glad that JFK did not seek the approval of the National Security State Unelected government. I’m glad that he maintained the pretense — for another year at least– that our elected government controlled the CIA. The kind of checks and balances this right winger wants is the kind we have right now: Corporations “checking” corporations morphing into different institutions as the situation demands.
Look for Guru Noam Chomsky to take half of this long Newsmax treatise and run with it. It seems there is only one place where our Official Dissidents, the New York Times, and the far rightists converge: JFK’s head. ,
“The President is in a grave situation, and he does not know how to get out of it. We are under very severe stress… the President is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power.” ~Robert Kennedy to Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, asking him to relay these concerns to Khrushchev — 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Source; Dobrynin’s diary as per, ‘JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters’ By James W. Douglass
Other than the Kennedy tapes, and what we assume about the assassination, is there any concrete evidence that would lend credence to Kennedy’s fear of a coup? As cynical as I am, it is still hard for me to accept that one of the fundamentals of our democracy was ever in any danger from the military, institutionally speaking. Perhaps I am just naive, but I believe that the instant that fear exists, is the instant we’ve lost our democracy.
You speak to “democracy” the US Constitution established a Republic.
Lincoln may have saved “the Union” but he lost the Republic during the Civil War.
But the concept that the US is a “democracy” didn’t really take hold until the propaganda for WWI, which centers around Bernays & Lippmann.
Getting back to the Constitution. What does it say about who declares war? What does it say about the president as “Commander in Chief”?
What does it say about the concept of “Executive Privilege”?
EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE: A CONSTITUTIONAL MYTH by Raoul Berger
PRESIDENTIAL WAR POWER by Louis Fisher
These issues once understood show plainly that the syndicate of criminals in DC are constitutionally ultra vires.
I think the 180,000 African-American soldiers who fought bravely in the Civil War, not to mention the 4 million slaves who were freed and ultimately received their citizenship as a result of it, would be extremely surprised to learn that that was the moment when we “lost the Republic.”
Yes J.D. and I am sure many besides those African Americans, in fact most Americans would be surprised to learn the real facts of history that are obscured by the US Public Relations Regime.
Let me add to my comment; I am not saying that Lincoln lost the Republic by his intent, I am saying that the aftermath being at the height of the Industrial Revolution brought with it changes in the relationship between government and corporations, when in the Santa Clara v Northern Pacific RR brought about the popular myth that the ruling gave Fictitious Entities personhood via the 14th Amendment.
By loosing the Republic then, I mean that the ramifications of the 13th & 14th Amendments were used by legalistic manipulations to totally remake the fabric of American politics, creating the budding Fascist State, still in power.
February 24, 2015 at 11:30 am
I can see this “JFK feared a coup” being used to play politics with Khrushchev and it makes for a good movie theme. But that is about as far as it goes I think.
In our long history I know of no instance in which our military attempted to overthrow the president. MacArthur attempted his own foreign policy and promptly got his butt fired by the president. That is the way it is supposed to work. And I think it always will.
“In our long history I know of no instance in which our military attempted to overthrow the president.”~Bill Clarke
Really Bill? I know of an instance when the military not only attempted but in fact succeeded in overthrowing the president; November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas.
February 24, 2015 at 7:22 pm
Now if you could simply prove that you might have something.
But you can’t.
That’s quite funny, Bill Clarke.
Can you prove that they have not?
“If this we re just a “crazy conspiracy theory,” I don’t think people in our government would have worked so hard to destroy, hide, and lie about the evidence. The White House tried to derail every investigation into the matter.
If we had an honest government, we wouldn’t have conspiracy theories. We would have honest investigations, and fair trials, but these things are disappearing from America.”
David Hazan February 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm
No David, I can’t prove it. It is rather difficult to prove a negative, you know.
But if I could prove it would you accept it?
February 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm
Well said, Willy. Bang on.
You wrote “I think” twice. Aren’t we supposed to know for sure? Given our propensity for overthrowing democratically elected governments in other countries, I think the fear has merit. I was born in ’69, so I truly do not know, but did a current of thought, even a debate, exist as to whether or not our democracy was up to the task of defeating the Soviet Union? In particular, amongst the educated Eastern elite? Did anyone ever write anything suggesting the need for the military to take over?
For what it’s worth, I doubt Kennedy would have lied to Kruschev at that time.
February 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm
I went on active duty with the Army in 1969. I guess that was a great year for America with you and I arriving.~~
We had the phony “missile gap” that JFK ran on and the Soviets beat us into Space so there might have been a period in which we believed the Soviets were out pacing us.
But I don’t think we ever believed that we couldn’t kick their butts. It is the American way, you know. I certainly don’t remember any time that it was suggested that our military take over. That would be un-American and I don’t think that it would have passed muster. In fact, all hell would have hit the fan.
Lie is an ugly word so let us say JFK and Khrushchev played politics together. They both ran double agents that processed disinformation for them.
“I certainly don’t remember any time that it was suggested that our military take over.” ~Bill Clarke
I think Bobby’s message to the Soviet Ambassador shows that both he and his brother feared that the military were going to take over.
All of this coming to a head as it did, I don’t see how anyone can doubt that November 22, 1963 was a coup d’etat. I can understand however, that there are those who find the thought too frightening to accept.
February 25, 2015 at 7:58 pm
It has nothing to do with fear, Willy. It has to do with BS. Some can detect it, some can’t.
“It has to do with BS. Some can detect it, some can’t.”~Bill Clarke
Yes indeed Bill … grin.
“I think Bobby’s message to the Soviet Ambassador shows that both he and his brother feared that the military were going to take over.”
Willy Whitten, Wasn’t that precisely what Eisenhower was warning in his farewell speech? And what about the attempt to overthrow FDR? Would that we had our own Smedley Butler of 1962/63.
Yes Leslie Eisenhower certainly saw something brewing with the “military industrial complex”, he suspected that the military itself sabotaged the Gary Powers U2, which sabotaged the summit with Khrushchev.
“But my firm belief that Dwight Eisenhower is a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy is based on an accumulation of detailed evidence so extensive and so palpable that it seems to me to put this conviction beyond any reasonable doubt.”
–Robert W. Welch, Jr., co-founder of the right-wing John Birch Society, in a book titled, The Politician
I had thought of the coup plans that Smedley Butler had uncovered as well. Those military industrialists have certainly been at it for some time. Haven’t they?
WAR IS A RACKET is a profound read, one that all should keep in mind when assessing the “System” which is in its core essence, The War Machine.
Oh… You pull the “proving a negative” card, eh?
Well, for one, the official LHO story is full of negatives and you don’t semm to have a problem proving, or believing it.
But, in any case, if you were indeed able to prove “it”, I would not only believe it, but I’d also be forever grateful for your contribution to my peace of mind, and my renewed faith in the institutions that govern us. )
So, since nobody can prove anything, I suppose we’ll stay exactly where we are… A stalemate.
One thing is certainly proven in the positive, and that is that the “government” holds secret cards. The claim of “National Security” is BS, and has always been.
In an open society,”The Right to Know” trumps the “Need to Know”.
The “Need t Know” is based on military compartmentalization, and regimentation.
There is no clearer proof that the US is become a regimented militarist society.
Gung-ho, jingoistic hysteria has overwhelmed and shattered the senses of all societies based on war, conquest, and pillage. That this is hardly anything new in Amerikan History, does not make this “Might Right”. The persistence merely makes it more vile as the race plunges into a hellish future.
February 26, 2015 at 9:39 am
And that is where it will always be; a stalemate.
February 26, 2015 at 10:20 am
Gee Willy, I don’t think it is all that bad. Obama and Kerry couldn’t even bomb Syria when they wanted to.
Not that I wanted them to but found it funny that such wimps sniffed the smell of burnt cordite and wanted in on the action.
But they couldn’t even pull that off.
“Gee Willy, I don’t think it is all that bad. Obama and Kerry couldn’t even bomb Syria when they wanted to.”~Bill Clarke
Remake remodel Bill, they are bombing Syria now, under the cover of bombing ISIS, another “terrorist organization” financed and armed by the West, just like al Qaeda (the Western Toilet).
Don’t you see the game plan as acted out over and again? If it cannot be achieved above board, there are always covert means.
The world seemed to scrape through a very tight spot at this juncture, and the fact that Kennedy and Khrushchev happened to be reasonable men in their heart of hearts, likely saved the planet from nuclear annihilation.
We shall see if the rabid US military industrial complex can be contained some half century later, as they are again setting up the danger of a nuclear war with these provocations against Russia and China.
This is story Patrick Sloyan wrote about Smiths coverage of Nov 22
Merriman Smith was given the news first by the White House that FDR had died on April 12, 1945.
I bring up Smith name because he knew too much and was introuble financially with new baby and wife, he also was man that coined the phrase grassy knoll. Maybe his death was murder not suicide.
That is absurd. While perhaps the greatest White House reporter of his generation, Smith was a notorious alcoholic with all of the emotional baggage that comes with that disease. He never recovered from the death of his son 3 years prior to his suicide.
You may be right Proton but with his sons death in Viet Nam there is one more reason to seek the truth.
February 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm
I didn’t know the requirements either so I goggled it. My god they do around 25 burials a day. Smith and RFK belong in the “others” category. Other than that they wouldn’t be eligible. I too am glad they allowed these men to rest there.
Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces
Members of Reserve Components and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
Commissioned Officers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Public Health Service
World War II Merchant Mariners
The Philippine Armed Forces
Spouses and Dependents
Others:; Such other persons or classes of persons as designated by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (38 U.S.C. A§ 2402(6)) or the Secretary of Defense (Public Law 95-202, A§ 401, and 38 CFR A§ 3.7(x)).
As I recall reading many years ago in a book called “The Boys On The Bus” by Timothy Crouse, Smith killed himself primarily because he’d just received a diagnosis of terminal cancer (what type I don’t know and Wikipedia goes with grief over his son’s death). There is no reason to believe his death was a homicide.
February 23, 2015 at 1:48 pm
As a side note I see that he received special permission to be buried nest to his son at Arlington.
They don’t do that for just anyone.
Yes, he was a highly respected individual. I’m glad they bent the rules for him. I don’t know exactly what the criteria is for being interred there, but I’ve heard that RFK actually didn’t meet them. Glad they allowed that to happen also.
It may have given some of us life. The thunder on the Right, most especially the Military Industrial Complex comprising his military advisers, including Curtis Lemay thought we could annihilate the USSR with a first strike. If they were wrong a retaliation could have potentially eliminated you or me, or both.
This brings to mind Gen. Curtis Lemay’s recorded remark to JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis that ‘this is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich’. Umbrella Man standing in Dealey Plaza at the point the shooting began was said to have been protesting Ambassador Joseph Kennedy’s support of the Munich agreement.
That is very old news. It was a no-brainer for JFK since the order had already been given to remove the obsolete missiles in Turkey although no action had been taken yet. Khrushchev turned his ships around at the “quarantine” in Cuba so JFK needed to give Khrushchev something and this was a great deal for us.
I’m surprised the writer didn’t also mention the agreement JFK made with Khrushchev to not invade Cuba. This agreement was also supposed to be secret.
I believe there is some basis for the writer claiming that the Kennedy brothers were slow on civil rights, especially in protecting the Freedom Riders. It wasn’t until John Seigenthaler, Bobby’s right hand man on the ground, was hit over the head with a lead pipe in Alabama with the Freedom Riders that Bobby took notice. Bobby took this, as he did most everything else, personally. He was then a changed man. An excellent account of the Freedom Riders and the role Kennedy played is a book by David Halberstam,The Children, page 317.
As for our Embassy in Saigon not offering to help Diem the writer is flat wrong. Diem called Lodge to find out what Lodge knew. Lodge give him the run around but offered to help Diem. Diem refused, saying he was trying to restore order.
This phone call is on tape and I think I have it stuck somewhere. There is some controversy but basically I think Lodge offered Diem free passage out of Vietnam. I believe this is more evidence that JFK didn’t desire or order the assassination of Diem.
No doubt JFK was slow to move on Civil Rights – why? He
had won a very close election, had no mandate on foreign or domestic policy, & leading members of his own party from the South were hesitant to support civil rights legislation. As Robert Kennedy stated – “Lyndon Johnson was opposed to the Civil Right’s Bill(1963) – LBJ was opposed to the sending up of any legislation.”
JFK’s years in office were marked by the Freedom Riders attacked by the KKK in 1961, JFK sending federalized troops into the Universities of Georgia & Alabama to allow African-American students to attend college in 1962-63, dogs & fire-hoses unleashed on black protesters in May 1963 by Bull Connor in Birmingham. The bombing of a church in Birmingham in which four African-American girls were killed in September 1963.
JFK’s speech to the nation on national tv in June 1963 reflected his commitment to civil rights. Dr. Martin Luther King called the speech “One of the most eloquent, profound, and unequivocal pleas for justice and the freedom of all men ever made by any president.”
JFK was initially against the March on Washington in August of 1963 (MLK I Have A Dream) because of the possibility of violence which had been rearing its head the previous three years. But after the March – John L. Lewis recalled that Kennedy called all the March leaders to the White House and “He was like a proud beaming father – he was so pleased.”
Robert and John Kennedy were responsible for fifty-seven suits against local officials in the South for obstructing the right of African-Americans to vote. These action were a forerunner of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. JFK’s Civil Rights bill had passed the Rules Committee as a result of his work with Chairman William McCulloch. Jackie Kennedy acknowledged this in a letter to him in 1972 – “I know that you more than anyone was responsible for the civil rights legislation of the 1960’s and particularly the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
In September 1963 Walter Cronkite in a tv interview asked President Kennedy “Do you think you’ll lose some Southern states in 1964? The president responded by saying “I’m not sure I’m the most popular figure in the South right today. But that’s all right. We’ll have to see a year and a half from now.”
The day JFK was killed in Dallas “Wanted For Treason” handbills were passed out on the street – one of the charges against the president “He (JFK) has given support and encouragement to the Communist inspired racial riots.” RFK’s tribute to JFK at the 1964 Democratic Convention was interrupted for twenty minutes by a standing ovation and LBJ went on to a smashing victory in the 1964. President Kennedy deserves more credit for progress on Civil Rights – progress was slow and painful – but JFK certainly helped to enable LBJ to have a mandate on Civil Rights.
February 22, 2015 at 1:20 am
Juneau; “As Robert Kennedy stated – “Lyndon Johnson was opposed to the Civil Right’s Bill(1963) – LBJ was opposed to the sending up of any legislation.”
This isn’t exactly true. Johnson, who knew much more about the senate than Kennedy, advised JFK to get his most important bills passed before he sent up the Civil Rights Bill. If not, his other bills would be held hostage to his civil rights bill. JFK ignored Johnson’s advice and this is exactly what happened. Or what didn’t happen because Kennedy had a very difficult time getting any bill pass the senate. There was a tax bill JFK wanted and it would have been good for the country. It didn’t go anywhere since the civil rights bill was pending. The civil rights bill of JFK didn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of getting through the Senate.
It is a bit ridiculous for Bobby to claim LBJ was opposed to the civil rights bill. Johnson got the first civil rights bill passed since 1875 in 1957 and again in 1960. FDR, Truman, even Ike had a civil rights bill that went no where and the same was happening to Kennedy’s bill. Johnson is the man that passed these bills. I realize this fact is venom to the Camelot crowd but it is a fact.
Juneau; “but JFK certainly helped to enable LBJ to have a mandate on Civil Rights.”
Yes, the assassination did in fact make it possible for LBJ to pass the bills. Johnson told his staff that they didn’t have much time to use the coming together after the assassination.
LBJ did not agree with JFK on the sale of wheat to the Russians, the refusal of a US invasion during the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Kennedy sending up a Civil Rights bill in 1963.
It is a fact LBJ did not support his President on the 1963 Civil Rights bill. The bill had passed the House Judiciary Committee by the Fall of 1963 and would have become law if JFK had won re-election in 1964. LBJ was a dismal failure in supporting any legislation JFK proposed and that was supposed to be his major asset – being the “fixer” and all.
Yes – LBJ was the Master of the Senate – but Kennedy had already established relations with Republicans and the Civil Rights bill would have been passed with JFK’s re-election. Yes – LBJ & Truman had both offered up watered-down Civil Rights bills that had zero chance of passage because of the time period – anti-lynching laws were still being rebuffed by both parties.
What about the 50 plus Voting Rights lawsuits against Southern government officials mentioned in the previous posts? What about the Cronkite Q.’s which documented that JFK’s position on Civil Rights might hurt him in 1964?
LBJ picked up the pieces of the blood and guts spewed by JFK and had a mandate. He blew it on Vietnam and a false belief that he was a new FDR (his idol)and would prevent poverty and stop Communist expansion.
February 22, 2015 at 11:22 pm
Juneau; LBJ did not agree with JFK on the sale of wheat to the Russians, the refusal of a US invasion during the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Kennedy sending up a Civil Rights bill in 1963.
Clarke; I explained to you the situation with JFK’s Civil Rights Bill and LBJ. I’ll furnish references when you do the same. Almost everyone disagreed with JFK on the Missile Crisis. I don’t remember LBJ playing any role in the BOP. A reference for that would be nice also.
Juneau; It is a fact LBJ did not support his President on the 1963 Civil Rights bill. The bill had passed the House Judiciary Committee by the Fall of 1963 and would have become law if JFK had won re-election in 1964. LBJ was a dismal failure in supporting any legislation JFK proposed and that was supposed to be his major asset – being the “fixer” and all.
Clarke; It is not a fact at all. The fact is the bill had not passed the House and was doomed in the Senate. You speculate much in telling me the bill would have passed in 1964. I showed you one instance of LBJ trying to help JFK but his advice was ignored. On top of that LBJ was cut out of the loop from the Kennedy crowd. You can blame Bobby for most of this and it was a large lost to the administration.
Juneau; Yes – LBJ was the Master of the Senate – but Kennedy had already established relations with Republicans and the Civil Rights bill would have been passed with JFK’s re-election. Yes – LBJ & Truman had both offered up watered-down Civil Rights bills that had zero chance of passage because of the time period – anti-lynching laws were still being rebuffed by both parties.
Clarke; Wrong. And you speculate again. Kennedy had not established relations with the southern Senators and that is where his bill was dead in the water. Truman integrated our military by executive order. LBJ did in fact PASS the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights bills.
Juneau; What about the 50 plus Voting Rights lawsuits against Southern government officials mentioned in the previous posts? What about the Cronkite Q.’s which documented that JFK’s position on Civil Rights might hurt him in 1964?
Clarke; What about them? Did they get any convictions? I doubt it.
Juneau; LBJ picked up the pieces of the blood and guts spewed by JFK and had a mandate. He blew it on Vietnam and a false belief that he was a new FDR (his idol)and would prevent poverty and stop Communist expansion.
Clarke; Be advised, JFK did not suffer a gut wound that day. Rather bitter aren’t you? LBJ used this mandate you speak of to pass the Civil Rights Bill of 1964. Try as you might you can’t take that away from him.
Bill, another indication that Kennedy did not have the full support of Southern Democrats was the failure of the Medicare bill in July, 1962.
“Weeks earlier The Dallas Morning news fueled the opposition by pointing out that Kennedy’s support of Medicare sounded suspiciously similar to a pro Medicare editorial that appeared in the US Communist Party publication, the Worker.” (Minutaglio & Davis “Dallas 1963”) The authors continue “…on the radio, [John Birch Society member and financial support] H.L. Hunt’s Life Line fills the airwaves with dozens of assaults on Medicare claiming it would create government death panels. . . . . This plan provides a neat little package of sweeping dictatorial power over medicine and the healing arts . . . a medical czar with potential life-or-death power over every man . . . ” (sound familiar?)
the authors continue: “The final vote is exceedingly close. And yet, in a stinging rebuke to the president, several Southern Democrats join Republicans to oppose Kennedy, and Medicare fails by two votes. Kennedy is devastated by the loss. . . . as angry as the public has ever seen him.”
The Southern Democratic Party was deeply divided on social issues regardless of the moral high ground the greater party wished to project, and it was in that division that Republicans including John Connally were able to eventually swing the State red. Even Lyndon Johnson – with all his support from the Texas Democratic business machine – couldn’t, in the role of Vice President, assuage the Southerners who feared and dare I say loathed Kennedy.
Johnson might have been a frog, but he was our frog, right?
February 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm
Leslie, I had forgotten about the Medicare Bill, thanks for reminding me.
When I came home from Vietnam in 1971 I despised Lyndon Johnson because I blamed the war on him. Plus I am from Texas and I knew about Box 13, Brown & Root and other things about LBJ. About 15 years later I worked up the nerve to begin reading about the war and about the men that ran it. I will never forgive Johnson for the mess he and Westmoreland made in Vietnam. However, after reading I begin to believe he tried and would have done more for the disenfranchised people in America than anyone since FDR. Or anyone after him for that matter.
I was born in 1945 so I was old enough to remember the “Whites Only” and “Colored Served in the Rear” signs. I went to segregated schools,even almost through a State Supported College that was segregated.
I love the south but I didn’t like the way it was back then. Now it is certainly far from perfect but god it is so much better than it was even up until the 70s.
I have to give Johnson credit for that so in that sense he is my frog.~~
February 23, 2015 at 2:56 pm
Robert, It isn’t a good web link. Your first clue was when it said Lyndon Johnson killed JFK. Sorry you missed it.
Bill, I experienced similar dynamics growing up in a small Texas town, and live with the shame of not speaking out sooner and louder. Johnson was considered a beacon in our region more so than Kennedy who was feared by Protestant Democrats for his Catholicism.
I think I told you I watched the Vietnam War from Hensel Apts. and watched Johnson’s “I shall not seek . . .” speech. Admittedly I wept for the man.
If Johnson had been proud of his role in the war why did it take such a toll on him and would he not have run in 1968 (aside from the Robert F. Kennedy aspect of the race)? He was a broken man. Evil men are not broken by the wars they manage; many in fact thrive as we have witnessed in the last 15 years.
February 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm
Leslie, sounds like we lived in the same small town. I share your guilt and looks like I’ll go to my grave not understanding why I didn’t speak up more. JFK carried Texas (thanks to LBJ) but he certainly didn’t carry my small town in Texas.
I don’t know why LBJ stood down. My friend the late great Ted Gittinger (also a Viet combat vet) from the LBJ Library thought that Johnson feared another term would kill him. His heart attack had been a severe one and his health wasn’t the best. The stress of the job is evident by the new gray hair on Obama.
I think, and this is just my opinion that the war broke him. He had over a half million troops in Vietnam and had spent billions on billions trying to win the war. And I think he knew he hadn’t come close to ending the war.
Then there is the school of thought, and I think there is some truth here, that Johnson hoped and thought he would be drafted at the convention and he would find some excuse to void his “I will not accept”. If you understand Johnson you understand why he would need such affirmation.
And then of course is the theory that LBJ was afraid Bobby would run and beat him.
The truth of the matter I just don’t know.
” He was a broken man. Evil men are not broken by the wars they manage; many in fact thrive as we have witnessed in the last 15 years.”
Very wise words. If you noticed our wars of late are started by draft dodgers and men and women that have no understanding of what war is. So they have no ideal of what they have done and wouldn’t care if they did. Dick Cheney never meet a war he didn’t like except the one he dodged 5 times.
You have an interesting argument as to the Kennedy’s being slow on civil rights. Does it compare to this “slowness” by Johnson?
This is from his driver:
Yet for years, he called me “boy,” “nigger,” or “chief,” never by my name. I remembered the morning I drove him from his home in northwest Washington to his office in the Senate. He was in the back seat, reading the Washington Post, as usual. Suddenely, he lowered the newspaper and learned forward. “Chief,” he said, “does it bother you when people don’t call you by name?”
I answered cautiously but honestly. “Well, sir, I do wonder. My name is Robert Parker.”
Johnson slammed the paper onto the seat as if he were slapping my face. He leaned close to my ear. “Let me tell you one thing, nigger,” he shouted. “As long as you are black, and you’re gonna be black till the day you die, no one’s gonna call you by your goddamn name. So no matter what you are called, nigger, you just let it roll off your back like water, and you’ll make it. Just pretend you’re a goddamn piece of furniture.
[Robert Parker – Capitol Hill in Black and White: Revelations of the Inside – and Underside – of power politics by the black former maître d’ of the Senate Dining Room, p. v]
February 22, 2015 at 7:06 pm
I wonder if that account is true, Willy. Now no doubt LBJ used the word nigger and nigra. The man grew up in a place and time where the words were in very common use.
You ever hear what Vernon Jordan said; “I’ve learned that I’m much better off with a reformed southern than I am with a pale northern liberal”. That might not be an exact quote but close enough for government work I think.
Johnson a “reformed southern man”? surely you jest! The man was a criminal psychopath, full of hate. He was a warmonger and megalomaniac. His psychological profile is clear by both his speech and his actions.
Look up the term “Political Ponerism”.
If we are to be honest here it must be acknowledged that Oswald frequently used the word “nigger.” [see his interview with Alene Mosby.] And some claim he was a civil rights advocate.
February 23, 2015 at 1:08 pm
I looked it up Willy, just like you told me to. Why so hard on the evils of Johnson but not so hard at all on JFK? You don’t think trying to kill Castro or trying to overthrow his government was evil? Overthrowing a government in Vietnam was not evil?
Johnson wasn’t a war monger. He knew it would bleed funding and time for his great society.
I think much of this hatred of Johnson by the Camelot crowd has to do with a frog replacing their prince.
Here is a good web link on the “real” Lyndon Johnson, with his hatred of MLK, civil rights demonstrators and general hard core racism towards black people.
LBJ killed civil rights for his whole congressional career, which including the gutting of the 1957 Civil Rights bill by adding an amendment to let Southern white juries (non)enforce the legislation.
LBJ killed JFK and then he had no choice but to support civil rights. After LBJ came out for civil rights his Gallop approval rating was 78% approval vs 2% disapproval in December, 1963.
LBJ was not for the Selma campaign, he hated street demonstrations. After Bloody Sunday in March 1965, after MLK and the marchers had done all the PR work, only *then* does LBJ put political capital into voting rights.
LBJ was trying to destroy MLK in fall, 1964. His #1 aide Walter Jenkins told LBJ insider and family friend Deke DeLoach at the FBI to please spread MLK’s sex dirt to the media.
Web Link: http://lyndonjohnsonmurderedjfk.blogspot.com/2015/02/lbj-man-robert-parker-capitol-hill-was.html
If we are to be honest here it must be acknowledged that Oswald frequently used the word “nigger.”~H.P. Albarelli Jr.
Oswald isn’t being credited with advancing the civil rights movement the way Johnson is Albarelli, that is the context we are speaking to here.
“Why so hard on the evils of Johnson but not so hard at all on JFK?”~Bill Clark
Because Kennedy could learn and grow with his mistakes, and had avoided a nuclear war by virtue of such growing awareness and consciousness.
Because in the end he became a peacemaker, and was murdered by the real psychopaths like Johnson, the Northwoods Generals, Hoover and Dulles.
February 23, 2015 at 4:01 pm
Willy, it doesn’t make you look good when you use this shotgun approach to naming all this bus load of people that supposedly killed JFK.
You seem to be much too intelligent for that.
H.P Albarelli- “Oswald frequently used the word n—-r.” [See his interview with Alene Mosby.] I did. It’s CE 2716. I don’t see the word. So, did you provide the wrong reference, or were you lying?
As for calling Oswald a “moronic racist,” only cowards slander the dead.
“If we are to be honest here it must be acknowledged that Oswald frequently used the word “nigger.”
Mr. Albarelli, somebody like you -a seasoned book author- should be aware that contemporaneously, the world “nigger” did not carry the emotional load and connotation that it carries today. As an excellent example see Forrest Gump. He really loved his friend Bubba and got along quite nicely with black folks.
Interestingly, the word “negro” has moved in the opposite direction. I can never write “United Negro College” in Internet forums.
It is remarkable how I -a newcomer to this this great nation- have to remind Conservative natives of the following fact (when they criticize rappers for calling each other “nigga”, or “well, Ramon: you wetbacks call us ‘gringos’!):
The problem is NOT so much a word per se but the hatred it conveys.
The system of the national security state and its labyrinth of compartmentalized interlocking directorates, is certainly more that a busload of individuals. It is the bloated ship of the military industrial complex; a massive behemoth of villainous treachery and warmongering.
Mr. Clarke – you make some valid points in a number of areas – I respect most of your arguments. However one major question in regards to LBJ & the assassination of JFK is his relationship with SS Agent Emory Roberts.
Roberts was the SS Agent in charge of the SS agents in the car directly behind JFK’s limo. He was responsible for calling SS Agent Don Lawton off of JFK’s protection at Love Field. Lawton would have been opposite Clint Hill & the agent who should have responded first during the shooting.
In fact – Roberts ordered SS Agent Jack Ready (who replaced Lawton) back into the car during the assassination as Ready jumped out of the car when he heard gunshots.
Roberts also vouched for the agents who had been out drinking the night before the assassination (some until 3AM) as fit to do their jobs. Agents Clint Hill, Jack Ready, Paul Landis,& Tim McCintire were four of the agents drinking & each of them rode on the outside of the SS car – the agents most able to protect the president during the shooting.
Emory Roberts switched to the protection of LBJ when he realized JFK was dead – without authority to do so. He then pro- ceeded to become LBJ’s appointment secretary while continuing to be a SS agent. As LBJ stated – Roberts replaced Bobby Baker as the “last person I see each night & the first one in the morning”.
Some further research into the relation- ship between LBJ & Roberts before & after the assassination is needed before we let LBJ off the hook.
February 24, 2015 at 10:28 am
Thanks for pointing out to me that one busload is insufficient to transport all the people involved in the murder of JFK.
I’ll call up the 7th Fleet!
February 24, 2015 at 9:30 pm
Thank you for the kind words.
We all have opinions and I expressed mine while always realizing I might be wrong.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion and I respect that.
“I’ll call up the 7th Fleet!”~Bill Clarke
You don’t need to Bill, they already have:
Context or not, Willy, your innocent hero was a moronic racist.
“Willy, your innocent hero was a moronic racist.”
Are you the same Albarelli who wrote the following?
“She is also always professional, polite, and thoughtful about things.It makes little difference to me that some folks disagree with her; what I find wrong is the manner with which some people do it.”
My “hero” Albarelli?
What a preposterous allegation. My opinion that Oswald was framed in no way means I consider him a hero.
But I will say that your characterizing Oswald as a “moron” is belied by the facts.
I see such hyperbole as you now stoop to as a grasping at straws as your argument sinks like a lead weight.
I can assure you that there was not an order given to remove the missiles in Turkey prior to the October 1962. I happened to be a member of a launch crew for these missiles and we didn’t get orders to take the missiles off alert until October 62 during the crisis. We took them off alert and started the process of deactivation, I returned to the USA in Mar 63.
I believe what Sloyan misses is that JFK knew those missiles in Turkey would no longer be needed with ICBMs in submarines and the increasing range from silos on our own soil.