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David Talbot : JFK's Character


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David Talbot (p.406) :

"In recent years, the Kennedy legacy has been clouded by a spate of books, documentaries, and articles that have attempted to demythologize Camelot by presenting JFK as a drug-addled, sex-deranged, mobbed-up risk taker. While Kennedy's private life would certainly not pass today's public scrutiny, this pathological interpretation missess the essential story of his presidency. There was a heroic grandeur to John F. Kennedy's administration that had nothing to do with the mists of Camelot. It was a presidency that clased with its own times, and in the end found some measure of greatness. Coming to office at the height of the Cold War and held hostage by their party's powerful Southern racist wing, the Kennedy brothers steadily grew in vision and courage - prodded by the social movements of the sixties - until they were in such sharp conflict with the national security bureaucracy and Southern Democrats that they risked splitting their own administration and party. This is the fundamental historical truth about the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy."

"And yet, caught up in the fashionable anti-Kennedy backlash of the times, prominent journalsits like Christopher Hitchens dismiss JFK as "a vulgar hoodlum." One result of this relentless Kennedy bashing has been to diminish the public outrage over JFK's unsolved murder. After all, if President Kennedy really was such a sleazy character, where is the tragedy in his violent demise?"

"It has also become fashionable in all the media babble about Dallas that fills the air each year around November 22 for commentators to opine that 'we will probably never know the truth about John F. Kennedy's assassination" - a self-fulfilling prophecy that relieves them of any responsiblity to search for the truth. Ironically, some of the more politically backward countries were Bobby Kennedy took hi srapturous mission in the 1960s - including South Africa, Argentina, and Chile- have made strenuous, if painful, efforts to confront the deepest traumas of their past, including assassinations, kidnappings and torture. In South Africa, the post-apartheid process of political and moral self-examination became known as 'truth and reconciliation.'"

"But in the United States, the darkest political mysteries of recent decades - including the assassination of President Kennedy - have yet to be fully explored. From Dallas to Vietnam to Iraq, the truth has consistently been avoided, the perpetrators have never fully answered for their actions. When the nation has mustered the courage to impanel commissions, these investigations soon come up against locked doors that remain firmly shut to this day. The stage for this reign of secrecy was set on November 22, 1963. The lesson of Dallas was clear. If a president can be shot down with impunity at high noon in the sunny streets of an American city, then any kind of deceit is possible."

"Assassination researchers insist that it is not too late, even at this remote date, to revive the JFK investigation. Most people who could have shed light on the crime are now dead, reserachers acknowledge, but the trail has not receded entirely into history's far horizons."

"Researchers list a variety of actions that can still be taken. The government should be compelled to release the JFK files it is still withholding - including the 1,100 documents related to George Joannides that the CIA has admitted it still has locked away. The CIA should also be required to disclose the phone and travel records of other agents suspected of involvement in the JFK - and RFK - assassinations, such as David Morales. Washington should follow this by making a formal request to the Cuban and Mexican governments to release all their secret files on the case. The Justice Department should offer amnesty and waive government secrecy pledges for all those who step forward with relevant testimony. Lingering technical disputes about the events in Dealey Plaza - such as the hotly debated 'acoustic fingerprints' on the Dallas police motorcycle Dictabelt that apparently indicated that as many as five shots were fired that day - should be resolved by utilizing the most sophisticated forensic resources, including those of the federal Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, which oddly refused to take on the case. Finally, the Kennedy family should be persuaded to completely open the papers under their control - including those of John and Robert Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - which are still subject to frustrating restrictions."

"The assassination researchers are, of course, indefatigable by nature. That's what has allowed them to carry on, through years of government obstruction, media ridicule, and the bewilderment of family and friends. But outside this shrinking community of hardy souls, a malaise hangs over the JFK crusade."

"...Do Americans still want the truth - starting with Dallas and going all the way to Guantanamo? Do they want to take back their country? I don't know for certain. But I have to be optimistic. Just because there really is no other way, is there?"

David Talbott, from Brothers - The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.

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David Talbot (p.406) :

"In recent years, the Kennedy legacy has been clouded by a spate of books, documentaries, and articles that have attempted to demythologize Camelot by presenting JFK as a drug-addled, sex-deranged, mobbed-up risk taker. While Kennedy's private life would certainly not pass today's public scrutiny, this pathological interpretation missess the essential story of his presidency. There was a heroic grandeur to John F. Kennedy's administration that had nothing to do with the mists of Camelot. It was a presidency that clased with its own times, and in the end found some measure of greatness. Coming to office at the height of the Cold War and held hostage by their party's powerful Southern racist wing, the Kennedy brothers steadily grew in vision and courage - prodded by the social movements of the sixties - until they were in such sharp conflict with the national security bureaucracy and Southern Democrats that they risked splitting their own administration and party. This is the fundamental historical truth about the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy."

"And yet, caught up in the fashionable anti-Kennedy backlash of the times, prominent journalsits like Christopher Hitchens dismiss JFK as "a vulgar hoodlum." One result of this relentless Kennedy bashing has been to diminish the public outrage over JFK's unsolved murder. After all, if President Kennedy really was such a sleazy character, where is the tragedy in his violent demise?"

"It has also become fashionable in all the media babble about Dallas that fills the air each year around November 22 for commentators to opine that 'we will probably never know the truth about John F. Kennedy's assassination" - a self-fulfilling prophecy that relieves them of any responsiblity to search for the truth. Ironically, some of the more politically backward countries were Bobby Kennedy took hi srapturous mission in the 1960s - including South Africa, Argentina, and Chile- have made strenuous, if painful, efforts to confront the deepest traumas of their past, including assassinations, kidnappings and torture. In South Africa, the post-apartheid process of political and moral self-examination became known as 'truth and reconciliation.'"

"But in the United States, the darkest political mysteries of recent decades - including the assassination of President Kennedy - have yet to be fully explored. From Dallas to Vietnam to Iraq, the truth has consistently been avoided, the perpetrators have never fully answered for their actions. When the nation has mustered the courage to impanel commissions, these investigations soon come up against locked doors that remain firmly shut to this day. The stage for this reign of secrecy was set on November 22, 1963. The lesson of Dallas was clear. If a president can be shot down with impunity at high noon in the sunny streets of an American city, then any kind of deceit is possible."

"Assassination researchers insist that it is not too late, even at this remote date, to revive the JFK investigation. Most people who could have shed light on the crime are now dead, reserachers acknowledge, but the trail has not receded entirely into history's far horizons."

"Researchers list a variety of actions that can still be taken. The government should be compelled to release the JFK files it is still withholding - including the 1,100 documents related to George Joannides that the CIA has admitted it still has locked away. The CIA should also be required to disclose the phone and travel records of other agents suspected of involvement in the JFK - and RFK - assassinations, such as David Morales. Washington should follow this by making a formal request to the Cuban and Mexican governments to release all their secret files on the case. The Justice Department should offer amnesty and waive government secrecy pledges for all those who step forward with relevant testimony. Lingering technical disputes about the events in Dealey Plaza - such as the hotly debated 'acoustic fingerprints' on the Dallas police motorcycle Dictabelt that apparently indicated that as many as five shots were fired that day - should be resolved by utilizing the most sophisticated forensic resources, including those of the federal Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, which oddly refused to take on the case. Finally, the Kennedy family should be persuaded to completely open the papers under their control - including those of John and Robert Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis - which are still subject to frustrating restrictions."

"The assassination researchers are, of course, indefatigable by nature. That's what has allowed them to carry on, through years of government obstruction, media ridicule, and the bewilderment of family and friends. But outside this shrinking community of hardy souls, a malaise hangs over the JFK crusade."

"...Do Americans still want the truth - starting with Dallas and going all the way to Guantanamo? Do they want to take back their country? I don't know for certain. But I have to be optimistic. Just because there really is no other way, is there?"

David Talbott, from Brothers - The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.

As some one who has always been faithful to his wife of almost 40yrs I have no respect for JFK as a father or hasband. However, that does not diminish the enormity of the crime or who did it. Who knows how much was lost that might have shed light on the Why because of over protection of his image.

Edited by Evan Marshall
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Evan Marshall' wrote

As some one who has always been faithful to his wife of almost 40yrs I have no respect for JFK as a father or hasband. However, that does not diminish the enormity of the crime or who did it. Who knows how much was lost that might have shed light on the Why because of over protection of his image.

you jest..... covering up his infidelity (which wasn't covered up for long) obstructed in the investigation of conspiracy, LHO as a Lone Nut? Nonsense!

Who you respect regarding fatherhood and husband rating is your business, when it comes to JFK conspiracy possibility, immaterial...

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Evan Marshall' wrote
As some one who has always been faithful to his wife of almost 40yrs I have no respect for JFK as a father or hasband. However, that does not diminish the enormity of the crime or who did it. Who knows how much was lost that might have shed light on the Why because of over protection of his image.

you jest..... covering up his infidelity (which wasn't covered up for long) obstructed in the investigation of conspiracy, LHO as a Lone Nut? Nonsense!

Who you respect regarding fatherhood and husband rating is your business, when it comes to JFK conspiracy possibility, immaterial...

I solved more than one homicide when I followed what appeared at first irrelevant or useless information-I would suggest that all sorts of things may have been ignored or buried because of concerns about what they might have also uncovered.

Edited by Evan Marshall
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As we examine John Kennedy, we can not see the man he was without understanding that he was multi-faceted. And in the authors who now says that he was a wart hog in his personal behavior - they have never slept in a bed that Jack Kennedy slept in which sounds like this [Kerry twice raps the wooden podium soundly]. He slept on a piece of wood. To have him be the worlds greatest Lothario would have been a miracle - ladies and gentlemen. This is a man who not only never slept a whole night's sleep, if any of you in the out their in the room thinks that sound is particularly good to love making you are mistaken. He would be delighted to be thought of as the Errol Flynn of his era. And then he would have been angry, because it takes away from what he truly accomplished. Did he like the ladies? Yes. Did he find bright, fascinating people a challenge and a delight? Yes. Would many of you in this room, possibility, have been a friend? I think so. He would have, liked that many of you are published. All of you are considerate. And most of you are egotistical enough to match my cousin. As am I.

- JFK cousin Kerry McCarthy, from a 1997 speech in Dallas ( http://www.jfk-info.com/km-sp1.htm )

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It's difficult to tell whether Talbot is trying to defend JFK or add onto the heap of right-wing propaganda . . .

"And yet, caught up in the fashionable anti-Kennedy backlash of the times, prominent journalsits like Christopher Hitchens dismiss JFK as "a vulgar hoodlum." One result of this relentless Kennedy bashing has been to diminish the public outrage over JFK's unsolved murder. After all, if President Kennedy really was such a sleazy character, where is the tragedy in his violent demise?"

Meanwhile, Christopher Hitchens, is mostly noted now for his drunken stupors and loss of any talent he may have once had.

The right-wing propaganda re JFK's affairs -- which no doubt happened -- were as exaggerated as the right-wing propaganda re JFK's health. And, regarding that question of health, let's remind ourselves that:

JFK was healthy as compared with IKE who had a heart attack while in office, resulting in Nixon being given powers which led to his heading up Operation 40/Bay of Pigs planning.

JFK was healthy enough to do the job physically -- and he was far and away more psychologically fit that the paranoid and criminally-minded Nixon.

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As we examine John Kennedy, we can not see the man he was without understanding that he was multi-faceted. And in the authors who now says that he was a wart hog in his personal behavior - they have never slept in a bed that Jack Kennedy slept in which sounds like this [Kerry twice raps the wooden podium soundly]. He slept on a piece of wood. To have him be the worlds greatest Lothario would have been a miracle - ladies and gentlemen. This is a man who not only never slept a whole night's sleep, if any of you in the out their in the room thinks that sound is particularly good to love making you are mistaken. He would be delighted to be thought of as the Errol Flynn of his era. And then he would have been angry, because it takes away from what he truly accomplished. Did he like the ladies? Yes. Did he find bright, fascinating people a challenge and a delight? Yes. Would many of you in this room, possibility, have been a friend? I think so. He would have, liked that many of you are published. All of you are considerate. And most of you are egotistical enough to match my cousin. As am I.

- JFK cousin Kerry McCarthy, from a 1997 speech in Dallas ( http://www.jfk-info.com/km-sp1.htm )

Clint -

Thanks for finding and posting that quote from Kerry. I was in Dallas in '97 when she said it and remember how we all chuckled and nodded. This kind of personal observation from a family member is worth remembering when the JFK-bashing revisionists like Hersh and Bugliosi try to bring their cr@p to the table.

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