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John Simkin

JFK: Was he a Security Risk?

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Some people have speculated that JFK might have told the women in his life state secrets. Considering some of the women, this could have been a problem. This fascinating extract from Katharine Graham’s autobiography, Personal History, suggests that it was not the case.

President Kennedy's charm was powerful. His intense concentration and gently teasing humor, and his habit of vacuum-cleaning your brain to see what you knew and thought, were irresistible. The Kennedy men were also unabashed chauvinists, as were the great majority of men at the time, including Phil. They liked other bright men, and they liked girls, but they didn't really know how to relate to middle-aged women, in whom they didn't have a whole lot of interest. This attitude made life difficult for middle-aged wives especially, and induced or fed feelings of uncertainty in many of us in those years. Though the men were polite, we somehow knew we had no place in their spectrum. My ever-present terror of being boring often overwhelmed me in social situations with the president and at the White House, particularly whenever I was face to face with the president himself or one of his main advisers, and my fear was a real guarantee of being boring, since it paralyzed and silenced me.

I only felt secure when Phil, whom the president liked, was with me and could do the talking. Douglas Dillon's wife, Phyllis, who I thought was the height of sophistication, confided to me that she felt the same way: she complained that she was always left on the sidelines with Rose Kennedy at parties in Palm Beach.

One notable exception to the chauvinist tradition was Adlai Stevenson. Women enjoyed Adlai. In the end, my mother, my daughter, and I all had close friendships with him. Clayton Fritchey once told me a story that helps explain Adlai's appeal - and that contrasts it with what many of us felt about other men in the Kennedy administration, including the president himself. About three weeks before Kennedy was assassinated, Clayton saw the president in New York, at a time when Adlai was the ambassador to the United Nations and Clayton was his deputy. The three men were together at a party, and Clayton was helping himself to a drink on the balcony overlooking Central Park when the president came up behind him and said, "We haven't had a chance to talk much tonight, but we've got a good subject in common," meaning Adlai. The president then told Clayton he didn't understand the hold Adlai had over women, commenting on how much Jackie liked and admired him and confessing that he himself didn't have the ease with women that Adlai had. "What do you suppose it is?" he asked, adding, "Look, I may not be the best-looking guy out there, but, for God's sake, Adlai's half bald, he's got a paunch, he wears his clothes in a dumpy kind of way. What's he got that I haven't got?"

Clayton's response hit on what I think women saw in Adlai and what they shied away from in other men of that era. "Mr. President, I'm happy to say that for once you have asked me a question I'm prepared to answer, one I can answer truthfully and accurately. While you both love women, Adlai also likes them, and women know the difference. They all respond to a kind of message that comes across from him when he talks to them. He conveys the idea that they are intelligent and worth listening to. He cares about what they're saying and what they've done, and that's really very fetching."

The president's response was: "Well, I don't say you're wrong, but I'm not sure I can go to those lengths."

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Interesting anecdote from Katie Graham: it is apropos that John Mitchell (husband of Martha Mitchell) warned that Katie Graham at the Washington Post would get her "TEAT IN A WRINGER" if she pursued the Watergate story.

However this thread can look into many other JFK Security Risks, some are aspersions the right wing has cast on him, most have some basis in fact: A very short rundown, based on memory, to start, and I will look into Dark Camelot by Seymour Hersh and other sources, (OVID DEMARIS)

Security Risks of John Kennedy (potentially)

1. Venereal Disease

2. LSD or Mescaline use with Mary Meyer

3. Addison's Disease (denied)

4. Inga Arvad (warime ONI/Navy and FBI files)

5. Ellen Romesch

6. Ambassador's Wife #1 Patricia ....

7. Judith Exner

8. Marilyn Monroe

9. Sam Giancana

10. Costello via Joseph P. Kennedy

11. Orgies

12. Backchannel Communications with leftists

13. Incriminating electronic intercepts (underage, married, leftist, substances)

of course I could go on, and I am not at all hostile to Kennedy or believe

that he violated his oath of office. But in the context of the Cold War

secret joint civilian agency ascendency, their was no room for this freedom

and human joie d'vivre...........

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Interesting anecdote from Katie Graham:

it is apropos that John Mitchell (husband of Martha Mitchell)

warned that Katie Graham at the Washington Post would get

her "TEAT IN A WRINGER" if she pursued the Watergate story.

However this thread can look into many other JFK Security Risks,

some are aspersions the right wing has cast on him, most have some

basis in fact:

A very short rundown, based on memory, to start, and I will look

into Dark Camelot by Seymour Hersh and other sources, (OVID DEMARIS)

Security Risks of John Kennedy (potentially)

1. Venereal Disease

2. LSD or Mescaline use with Mary Meyer

3. Addison's Disease (denied)

4. Inga Arvad (warime ONI/Navy and FBI files)

5. Ellen Romesch

6. Ambassador's Wife #1 Patricia ....

7. Judith Exner

8. Marilyn Monroe

9. Sam Giancana

10. Costello via Joseph P. Kennedy

11. Orgies

12. Backchannel Communications with leftists

13. Incriminating electronic intercepts (underage, married, leftist, substances)

of course I could go on, and I am not at all hostile to Kennedy or believe

that he violated his oath of office. But in the context of the Cold War

secret joint civilian agency ascendency, their was no room for this freedom

and human joie d'vivre...........

___________________

Shanet,

Why are you sure Sy is telling the truth? Remember, you can't libel the dead, so anyone can say ANYTHING about JFK , RFK and nothing can be done.

If JFK "got around" sexually as much as Hersh states he'd have to have had three male appendices, no bad back, an additional 10-20 hours a day, bylocation ability and a totally blind wife. I am not saying the guy was a saint, but the alleged sexcapeds grow with every passing year.

A good dose of character assassination sells books, and Sy had some bad press for the good dees he had done. Hell even Norman Mailer, who once hosted a huge party with every celeb, and JFK researcher imaginable and took out a full page ad in NY TIMEs to fight to keep HSCA ultimately sold his soul to pay off the IRS, with his trash LHO book. I had never liked him til that party, and the next day, lunch, but he owed the IRs, so what does he do: Sells his damn political soul. I think there's a bit of Mailier in Hersh's "Dark Side of Camelot", in fact I think there's a lot, and for a similar motive: MONEY. Just my opinion, of course.

Dawn

Great quote by Katie tho and probably very true. Men were pretty darn sexist back then. That's why smart women had gay male friends. (And most of us still do).

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I remember Richard Helms years ago, conversing with other guests on some afternoon TV talk show like Oprah's, refer to JFK as a "womanizer." It struck me as an unnecessary dig, because JFK was not the subject of the conversation. I don't remember the exact subject, I think it was something like the media's coverage of politics, and Helms injects this remark to the effect (as best I can recall) that JFK got a free pass from the media. The other guests let it pass, but I thought it was interesting that this known suspect in the assassination felt the need to bring up JFK's womanizing.

Ron

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Dawn

Don't get me wrong, I am just placing the various scandals that may have led to incapacity or instability or unfitness findings to have been laid on Kennedy by the joint agencies.

My list is an understatement (except for the VD) and I think Seymour Hersh is pretty accurate. More accurate than say Oliver Stone's "Nixon"...

My point is to expand on the potential leads a hostile clandestine agency might have had against JFK---and that list is not all of it by any means!

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___________________

Shanet,

Why are you sure Sy is telling the truth? Remember, you can't libel the dead, so anyone can say ANYTHING about JFK , RFK and nothing can be done.

If JFK "got around"  sexually as much as Hersh states he'd have to have had  three male appendices, no bad back,  an additional 10-20 hours a day, bylocation ability and a totally blind wife.  I am not saying the guy was a saint, but the alleged sexcapeds grow  with every passing year. 

A good dose of character assassination sells books, and Sy had some bad press for the good dees he had done. Hell even Norman Mailer, who once hosted a huge party with every celeb, and JFK researcher imaginable and took out a full page ad in NY TIMEs to fight to keep HSCA ultimately sold his soul to pay off the IRS, with his trash LHO book.  I had never liked him til that party, and the next day, lunch, but he owed the IRs, so what does he do: Sells his damn political soul.  I think there's a bit of Mailier in Hersh's "Dark Side of Camelot", in fact I think there's a lot, and for  a similar motive: MONEY. Just my opinion, of course.

Dawn

Great quote by Katie tho and probably very true. Men were pretty darn sexist back then. That's why smart women had gay male friends. (And most of us still do).

Shanet:

I tend to agree with Dawn on this one. I realise that JFK is/was only human and probably made his share mistakes as well as committing his share of escapades, but then don't we all! B)

According to the Giancana Family in Double Crossed, MM was murdered because her house was wired and her phone was tapped and she was heard sobbing to Jack Kennedy that she was going to blow the whistle on the whole affair.

Did such an event actually occure? I don't know. But it did sell a lot of books.

BTW Shanet, Thanks for the email ;) However, I tried to access your website with no success. Could you please remail your Web address?

And Dawn, thanks for your REs and comments ;) I really appreciate your feedback as well as those others that have done so.

Respectfully and with Best Regards to you Both:

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Ron wrote:

I remember Richard Helms years ago, conversing with other guests on some afternoon TV talk show like Oprah's, refer to JFK as a "womanizer." It struck me as an unnecessary dig, because JFK was not the subject of the conversation. I don't remember the exact subject, I think it was something like the media's coverage of politics, and Helms injects this remark to the effect (as best I can recall) that JFK got a free pass from the media. The other guests let it pass, but I thought it was interesting that this known suspect in the assassination felt the need to bring up JFK's womanizing.

Ron:

What makes Helms a suspect in the assassination? IMO, Helms showed incredibly poor judgment in allowing the Cubela caper to proceed and that may have cost JFK his life considering Castro's threat coupled with the probable presence in Dallas of two Cubans who immediately thereafter fled to Havana and one of whom was reportedly a member of DGI. But I have seen no evidence that Helms was involved in the assassination. Have you?

Regarding his comment, I think it is true. Look at how differently the media treated Gary Hart. It used to be that homosexuals were considered security risks due to the fear of blackmail. The same thing is true for adulterers. Look at the pressure Lewinsky could have applied to Clinton had she turned out to be a communist spy. JFK's "womanizing" (a polite way to put it) made him a security risk. Forget Rometsch. Look at Campbell. The minute JFK discovered she was involved with Giancana he should have dropped her. IMO, Rosselli may very well have planted Campbell on JFK.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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I have seen no evidence that Helms was involved in the assassination.  Have you?

Yes. Aside from the company Helms kept, read Bob Haldeman's account (The Ends of Power, pp. 37-39) of Helms's "violent reaction" to "the Bay of Pigs may be blown" message that Haldeman conveyed to Helms from President Nixon during Watergate, and what Haldeman thought that it meant.

Ron

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I have seen no evidence that Helms was involved in the assassination.  Have you?

Yes. Aside from the company Helms kept, read Bob Haldeman's account (The Ends of Power, pp. 37-39) of Helms's "violent reaction" to "the Bay of Pigs may be blown" message that Haldeman conveyed to Helms from President Nixon during Watergate, and what Haldeman thought that it meant.

Ron

I think Richard Helms, like his associate Marshall Carter,

were structurally indicted in the assassination, due to their positions.

They were responsible for the agencies various mafia

mercenary and domestic operations, and Hunt's boss,

Fitzgerald, Shackley, Harvey, Karamessines, etc.

Helms probably knew more about the Kennedy assassination than any man alive

when he ran the CIA in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Like other issues of the day, whether his culpability was limited to the cover up

or involved foreknowledge, is unclear, but he is STRUCTURALLY a suspect in

the events of 1963.

AGAIN, I am not Piling On, or participating in the right wing aspersions on JFK

I am only illustrating the various pretexts the AGENCIES may have used

to DECLARE JOHN KENNEDY UNFIT FOR HIS SECURITY CLEARANCES.

I believe the secret intercepts and files developed on JFK led to his

downfall, and that "Honest Men" could be pressured to participate in the

event because of the INCAPACITY pretext, which is set out in the 25th Amendment.

Edited by Shanet Clark

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