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Simit Patel

JFK's Speech to the American Publishers

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On April 27, 1961, Kennedy gave a speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

Here is a full transcript of that speech.

Here is an audio recording of the speech.

The entire speech is quite interesting, in my opinion, and I am interested to see if there are any opinions on what Kennedy really meant in this speech. The speech is largely about the responsibility of the press regarding information pertaining to the threat of foreign enemies; Kennedy notes that this threat requires both greater secrecy for national security, but that there is also a "very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."

There is one particular passage I would like to cite:

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

For those who believe Kennedy was killed because he was willing to stand up to the intelligence agencies/military industrial complex/bankers desire for war, it seems like this passage could be interpreted as a warning from Kennedy regarding that force. To me this seems even more likely in light of the timing of the speech -- shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Are there alternative interpretations of what Kennedy was talking about here? I've been studying the Kennedy assassination fairly intensively for the past few months, and I don't see this speech mentioned very often. It seems like a speech packed with meaning, but I don't see it discussed much.

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On April 27, 1961, Kennedy gave a speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

Here is a full transcript of that speech.

Here is an audio recording of the speech.

The entire speech is quite interesting, in my opinion, and I am interested to see if there are any opinions on what Kennedy really meant in this speech. The speech is largely about the responsibility of the press regarding information pertaining to the threat of foreign enemies; Kennedy notes that this threat requires both greater secrecy for national security, but that there is also a "very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."

There is one particular passage I would like to cite:

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

For those who believe Kennedy was killed because he was willing to stand up to the intelligence agencies/military industrial complex/bankers desire for war, it seems like this passage could be interpreted as a warning from Kennedy regarding that force. To me this seems even more likely in light of the timing of the speech -- shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Are there alternative interpretations of what Kennedy was talking about here? I've been studying the Kennedy assassination fairly intensively for the past few months, and I don't see this speech mentioned very often. It seems like a speech packed with meaning, but I don't see it discussed much.

Simit

I have read and re-read this speech, not for the first time.

IMO, it's hard to interpret it as a cryptic warning, as some suggest; it really does seem clear from the context that JFK is talking about the 'Communist threat' as he perceived it. Tp sustain any other theory of the 'real' import of the speech requires additional evidence (not simply the hindsight that JFK could not possibly have had at that time).

What is most beautiful about the speech - and helps bring home just how much we're missing and how decency in US politics has gone so far backwards over the last 45 years - is JFK's crystal clear and passionate commitment to free speech and open debate.

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On April 27, 1961, Kennedy gave a speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

Here is a full transcript of that speech.

Here is an audio recording of the speech.

The entire speech is quite interesting, in my opinion, and I am interested to see if there are any opinions on what Kennedy really meant in this speech. The speech is largely about the responsibility of the press regarding information pertaining to the threat of foreign enemies; Kennedy notes that this threat requires both greater secrecy for national security, but that there is also a "very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."

There is one particular passage I would like to cite:

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

For those who believe Kennedy was killed because he was willing to stand up to the intelligence agencies/military industrial complex/bankers desire for war, it seems like this passage could be interpreted as a warning from Kennedy regarding that force. To me this seems even more likely in light of the timing of the speech -- shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Are there alternative interpretations of what Kennedy was talking about here? I've been studying the Kennedy assassination fairly intensively for the past few months, and I don't see this speech mentioned very often. It seems like a speech packed with meaning, but I don't see it discussed much.

Simit

I have read and re-read this speech, not for the first time.

IMO, it's hard to interpret it as a cryptic warning, as some suggest; it really does seem clear from the context that JFK is talking about the 'Communist threat' as he perceived it. Tp sustain any other theory of the 'real' import of the speech requires additional evidence (not simply the hindsight that JFK could not possibly have had at that time).

What is most beautiful about the speech - and helps bring home just how much we're missing and how decency in US politics has gone so far backwards over the last 45 years - is JFK's crystal clear and passionate commitment to free speech and open debate.

Firstly, I will not claim to know the answer to the question, but as a student of history, I believe that I can offer some interesting points.

If I were to guess, the portion of the speech you cite, was a double-entendre, in that, to most people reading about the speech, later in the newspapers, etc., it would seem like he was referencing Communism; when in reality, he was making reference to the labyrinthe of secret socieites; groups of every type imaginable, which, in addressing the media that day, some of his audience were probably "out of the loop," as far as what he was saying; some, probably had a quasi-understanding of what he meant, while the remainder probably knew "exactly what he was saying."

To elaborate, Peter Dale Scott has provided some incredible information and knowledge of what is known as "deep-politics."

The assassination of Aldo Moro, and the subsequent revelations of the Vatican Bank Scandal; that revealed involvement, to some degree of everyone and everything from Lucian Gelli, Michele Sindona, The Red Brigades, the P-2 Masonic Lodge and so forth, in my opinion are an excellent example of what Scott is talking about, while he may not agree with me, as far as that particular reference goes.

Edited by Robert Howard

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On April 27, 1961, Kennedy gave a speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

Here is a full transcript of that speech.

Here is an audio recording of the speech.

The entire speech is quite interesting, in my opinion, and I am interested to see if there are any opinions on what Kennedy really meant in this speech. The speech is largely about the responsibility of the press regarding information pertaining to the threat of foreign enemies; Kennedy notes that this threat requires both greater secrecy for national security, but that there is also a "very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment."

There is one particular passage I would like to cite:

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

For those who believe Kennedy was killed because he was willing to stand up to the intelligence agencies/military industrial complex/bankers desire for war, it seems like this passage could be interpreted as a warning from Kennedy regarding that force. To me this seems even more likely in light of the timing of the speech -- shortly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Are there alternative interpretations of what Kennedy was talking about here? I've been studying the Kennedy assassination fairly intensively for the past few months, and I don't see this speech mentioned very often. It seems like a speech packed with meaning, but I don't see it discussed much.

Simit

I have read and re-read this speech, not for the first time.

IMO, it's hard to interpret it as a cryptic warning, as some suggest; it really does seem clear from the context that JFK is talking about the 'Communist threat' as he perceived it. Tp sustain any other theory of the 'real' import of the speech requires additional evidence (not simply the hindsight that JFK could not possibly have had at that time).

What is most beautiful about the speech - and helps bring home just how much we're missing and how decency in US politics has gone so far backwards over the last 45 years - is JFK's crystal clear and passionate commitment to free speech and open debate.

Firstly, I will not claim to know the answer to the question, but as a student of history, I believe that I can offer some interesting points.

If I were to guess, the portion of the speech you cite, was a double-entendre, in that, to most people reading about the speech, later in the newspapers, etc., it would seem like he was referencing Communism; when in reality, he was making reference to the labyrinthe of secret socieites; groups of every type imaginable, which, in addressing the media that day, some of his audience were probably "out of the loop," as far as what he was saying; some, probably had a quasi-understanding of what he meant, while the remainder probably knew "exactly what he was saying."

To elaborate, Peter Dale Scott has provided some incredible information and knowledge of what is known as "deep-politics."

The assassination of Aldo Moro, and the subsequent revelations of the Vatican Bank Scandal; that revealed involvement, to some degree of everyone and everything from Lucian Gelli, Michele Sindona, The Red Brigades, the P-2 Masonic Lodge and so forth, in my opinion are an excellent example of what Scott is talking about, while he may not agree with me, as far as that particular reference goes.

Robert, Sid and Simit, if your still with us, I think the main point of the whole thing is the fact that JFK had asked the NYT and others not to publish the fact that the Cuban Brigade was about to invade, a fact well known to practically everybody but the newspaper reading public.

John Martino, in a Cuban prison, knew the date of the Bay of Pigs, so in retrospect, JFK must have thought that if he hadn't had the NYT and others keep a wraps on the invasion, the publishing of the fact may have prevented the fiasco from happening.

BK

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