Jump to content
The Education Forum

Kennedy's speechwriter campaigns for Obama


Michael Hogan
 Share

Recommended Posts

From the Concord Monitor

by Shira Schoenberg

September 23, 2007

When Meredith Senter first heard Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama speak, he reminded her of John F. Kennedy.

"I think it was his charisma," said Senter, who is executive director of Pleasant View Retirement Community in Concord. "His tone, his presence, the things he wants to do with the country, it mimics what Kennedy was saying."

It is a comparison Obama's campaign has been promoting, with a tour by onetime Kennedy adviser and speechwriter Ted Sorensen. On Thursday, Sorensen campaigned for Obama in Concord, Contoocook, Manchester and Exeter. He also spoke to editors and a reporter in an interview at the Monitor.

Sorensen drew parallels between the politicians in their style, their rhetoric and the obstacles they face.

"Obama has the ability, more than anyone since Kennedy, to speak from the heart, inspire and give hope to those who don't have it," Sorensen told an audience of about 20 at Pleasant View Retirement Community. "Obama is the candidate of hope and change, the same way Kennedy was the candidate of hope and change."

Sorensen started working for Kennedy when Kennedy was a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. He helped write Kennedy's 1960 inaugural address and worked on Kennedy's book, Profiles in Courage.

Sorensen said he supports Obama because he believes Obama has the best chance of winning the general election by appealing to new voters, thereby boosting Democrats in other races.

"I'm tired of losing to people who are dangerous to our country," Sorensen said in the Monitor interview. "The current administration is the most reckless, dangerous administration in my lifetime. This country is more in danger than on 9/11, our standing in the world is at the lowest level of my lifetime, our influence on international organizations is less than it's ever been, and fiscally there's never been a more reckless administration."

Sorensen praised Obama for consistently opposing the war in Iraq and for representing change. Throughout, he drew parallels between Obama and Kennedy.

"Looking back at Kennedy, his success, his most important quality was judgment. Obama has judgment," Sorensen said. "More than any other president since Kennedy, Obama's lived abroad and knows how other countries see the United States."

Sorensen compared the two men's charisma, youth and good looks. "Like Kennedy, he's a natural on a public platform, on TV," he said.

There are indisputable similarities between the two politicians. Both are young and charismatic - Kennedy was 43 when elected; Obama would take office at 47. Both are Harvard-educated. Both ran grassroots campaigns. Kennedy was considered unelectable by some because of his Catholicism. Pundits today question whether the country would elect an African-American president.

Both politicians ran as U.S. senators and were criticized for their lack of experience, although Kennedy was in his second term and had served three terms in the House.

And both had visions of change. "Both were appealing to American idealism, to hope," said Stephen Wayne, a Georgetown University professor of government. "Both said it doesn't have to be like this. If we change our ways, our policies, bring new people in, we can change American for the better."

Full article: http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dl...EWS01/709230365

Edited by Michael Hogan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, I'm stunned. I continue to be perplexed about Obama's wide support when he hasn't accomplished much and has taken no courageous stands on issues or bills. Just voted with the herd.

He made one great speech at the Dem convention in 2004 and that's it.

I wonder what Sorensen thought of that speech.

And I wonder who wrote it...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Myra.

Perception is not reality.

We need to know who Obama is fronting for. What? You think he is

running on his own? How unperceptive! EVERY candidate is fronting for

some special interest group.

Do you think a black "muslim" name BARRACK HUSSEIN has a chance in hell

of being elected? He is being USED by someone for some ulterior motive...

maybe like assassination. Talk I hear thinks a "redneck" would nail him

before he made it into office. And we know rednecks make good patsies.

Jack

Edited by Jack White
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Myra.

Perception is not reality.

We need to know who Obama is fronting for. What? You think he is

running on his own? How unperceptive! EVERY candidate is fronting for

some special interest group.

Do you think a black "muslim" name BARRACK HUSSEIN has a chance in hell

of being elected? He is being USED by someone for some ulterior motive...

maybe like assassination. Talk I hear thinks a "redneck" would nail him

before he made it into office. And we know rednecks make good patsies.

Jack

Jack:

Great minds think alike. This was exactly Carl (Oglesby's) view when we recently spoke. (I don't think he has done anything that would warrant this result. But he's always been against the Iraq war so who knows).

Dawn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having read Soerensens "Kennedy", written shortly after the assassination I must say I have immense respect for the man. I know people change et.c. but if Ted is endorsing Obama, I'd take that seriously (unless evidence arise to the contrary).

Obama as an african american President would show signs of the USofA beginning to come of age, and though the deadbeats like supremacists (ie Kennedy's assassins) and other psychpathic elements would have to be dealt with, at least a real opportunity to do so would arise.

All the misegininsts and assorted deadwoood "good ole' boy" leftovers from then would reveal themselves to be dealt with.

A true opportunity for reparations, healing. redemption and moving on into a civilised 21'st century. An opportunity for the true Americans to show their mettle and confront many issues that disgust and has disgusted much of the world for decades.

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having read Soerensens "Kennedy", written shortly after the assassination I must say I have immense respect for the man. I know people change et.c. but if Ted is endorsing Obama, I'd take that seriously (unless evidence arise to the contrary).

Obama as an african american President would show signs of the USofA beginning to come of age, and though the deadbeats like supremacists (ie Kennedy's assassins) and other psychpathic elements would have to be dealt with, at least a real opportunity to do so would arise.

All the misegininsts and assorted deadwoood "good ole' boy" leftovers from then would reveal themselves to be dealt with.

A true opportunity for reparations, healing. redemption and moving on into a civilised 21'st century. An opportunity for the true Americans to show their mettle and confront many issues that disgust and has disgusted much of the world for decades.

I have nothing but respect for Sorensen as well.

But the USA comes of age, IMO, when it elects a true progressive as president and then refrains from killing him.

Electing an African-American as president doesn't feel like real progress if they're just a standard issue establishment cheerleader, just as naming an African-American as Secretary of State doesn't indicate real progress when their names are Powell and Rice.

I'm tired of having Obama rammed down my throat by the media while they ignore a demonstrably great candidate like Dennis Kucinich. And I have to wonder why the media is so eager to prop up Obama.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't be surprised if the Clintons (or whoever are behind the Clintons or America's two ruling crime families) are behind Obama. Between the two of them, Obama and Hillary can wipe out the other contenders for the Democratic nomination. Then they join each other on an unbeatable ticket, with Hillary becoming president either in January 2009 or as soon as possible thereafter. The vp route might even be preferable to Hillary, as she could then serve more than two terms, were anything to happen to Obama.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blade Trinity (extended version) : Blade (Wesley Snipes): Shackled in chair in high security establishment. Interviewed bya pop-psychologist who happens to be a 'familiar'.(vampire wannabe)

After transparent attempts at ingratiating himself (Blade is silent with a look of disdain): Psych analysist: "What day is it? Who's the president? Can you tell me who's in the White House at the moment?"

Blade breaks silence and growls "An a..hole".

So, kids, next time someone asks you , nine times out of ten that's the correct answer.

Unfortunately you'll get a D- or F as the teacher is likely programmed. However you'll know, and that's good enough.

__________

The headline in todays local rag was "Bush calls for the UN to take a leading role in the fight for freedom".

What hypocritical opportunism.

The UN IS the leader in the fight for freedom. The USofA repeatedly vetoes near majority UN deciscions, withold its UN dues, overrides or bullies Un attempts to reach peacreful resolutions, ignores calls for help and offers of help by member nations. (to wit: Cuba as a prime example)

Bush harbors terrorists (ie. in his own analysis IS a terrorist).

He con's people into being cannon fodder in foreign wars.

Condones genocide in the form of depleted uranium tank busters that in a dusty middle east sets in place (kids play in tank wrecks) generations of DNA disruption.

Lives on a wealth generated from dynastic selling of Industrial Resources to NAZI Germany that were then used to kill US soldiers.

Comes from a line of Republican Goebble speak whackjob "Presidents" that call death squads in the Latin/South America (where people truly are seeking freedom, freedom from the Monroe Doctrine and the Imperialistic Dreams of the Great Southern Empire and US installed and supported genocidal sociopathic, psychopathic Tyrants) "freedom fighters".

____________

This man is packing his snout with powder or is just plain insane, surrounded and influenced (willingly) by right wing lobby groups dating back (and before) to the assassinations of Civil Rights Activists in the Sixties (like JFK for example) that talk about freedom in the world while their own backyards are full of rubbish.

- All good gardeners to Washington. Sharpen your secateurs and do some serious pruning come election time and get set to take your country back (and rally together to defend that gain) and leave the rest of us to sort out our own business.

Thank you. (xXx - the next level)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blade Trinity (extended version) : Blade (Wesley Snipes): Shackled in chair in high security establishment. Interviewed bya pop-psychologist who happens to be a 'familiar'.(vampire wannabe)

After transparent attempts at ingratiating himself (Blade is silent with a look of disdain): Psych analysist: "What day is it? Who's the president? Can you tell me who's in the White House at the moment?"

Blade breaks silence and growls "An a..hole".

So, kids, next time someone asks you , nine times out of ten that's the correct answer.

Unfortunately you'll get a D- or F as the teacher is likely programmed. However you'll know, and that's good enough.

__________

The headline in todays local rag was "Bush calls for the UN to take a leading role in the fight for freedom".

What hypocritical opportunism.

The UN IS the leader in the fight for freedom. The USofA repeatedly vetoes near majority UN deciscions, withold its UN dues, overrides or bullies Un attempts to reach peacreful resolutions, ignores calls for help and offers of help by member nations. (to wit: Cuba as a prime example)

Bush harbors terrorists (ie. in his own analysis IS a terrorist).

He con's people into being cannon fodder in foreign wars.

Condones genocide in the form of depleted uranium tank busters that in a dusty middle east sets in place (kids play in tank wrecks) generations of DNA disruption.

Lives on a wealth generated from dynastic selling of Industrial Resources to NAZI Germany that were then used to kill US soldiers.

Comes from a line of Republican Goebble speak whackjob "Presidents" that call death squads in the Latin/South America (where people truly are seeking freedom, freedom from the Monroe Doctrine and the Imperialistic Dreams of the Great Southern Empire and US installed and supported genocidal sociopathic, psychopathic Tyrants) "freedom fighters".

____________

This man is packing his snout with powder or is just plain insane, surrounded and influenced (willingly) by right wing lobby groups dating back (and before) to the assassinations of Civil Rights Activists in the Sixties (like JFK for example) that talk about freedom in the world while their own backyards are full of rubbish.

- All good gardeners to Washington. Sharpen your secateurs and do some serious pruning come election time and get set to take your country back (and rally together to defend that gain) and leave the rest of us to sort out our own business.

Thank you. (xXx - the next level)

Having given this some further thought and considering the import or meaning rather than the immmediate message from Ted.:

The end of Soerensens "Kennedy" leaves three impressions.

He leaves some open ended questions.

He describes Dallas and the environment Kennedy was about to enter.

He rather dispiritedly declares a support for the WC conclusions.

___________________

Remember a coup had just taken place. Kenneth O'Donnell fell apart. RFK was shortly to resign. Warren oversaw the production of a blatantly faulty Report against his own wishes to partake in the first place.

Kennedy's men went underground, but left tantalising clues to thir real thoughts.

_____________

Ted now comes 'out of the closet' and declares a somewhat strange suppoort and solidly marries that support with references to JFK.

IOW. After all this time Ted is in fact telling us who killed Kennedy: the antithesis of Obama, an African-American. (or as polite Southern Society called them: "Niggers")

And who were the antithesis of an African American President in 1963?

- The 'Good ole Boys' in the South and their supporters in the North. The Segregationists, the Racist Bigots, the White Citizens Councils and their foot soldiers, White Supremacists, IOW the KKK. In this instance Louisiana based White Chamelias, likely in cohorts with Alabaman, Mississippian and Texan allies (including the heavily infested DPD).

Oswald was their carefully maneuvered Patsy and the Castro-Anti-Castro Communist kerfuffle was/is the perfect cover.

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The chickens are coming home to roost...(Malcolm X)

Dealey Plaza is the location where the first settler of that area built his home, established a General Store and the first Post Office.

Dealey Plaza, the old downtown is the heart of Dallas. Dallas is the heart of Texas. Texas is the location of the last battle of the Civil War (one hundred years before the Coup of the 60's) after the Official Surrender of the Secessionist Confederacy, and at which the Confederate Soldiers defeated the Northern Unionist forces. IOW in the minds of generations of Southerners, the Union has never been legitimised and the war has never ended.

The leaders of the Southern Forces formed the Ku Klux Klan and with the willing, witting compliance of officialdom (on paper part of the USofA, but at heart the inheritors of the Plan, Dream of a Great Southern Empire, independent of the North) merely became the Night Riders, the Hidden Empire, biding their time.

In mid 1963, a new (Genius) President, with a new Cabinet, largely formed by a New Guard, no longer accepting the control and continuance of the Old Guard, declared that the 'Time of Waiting' is over (for generations, President after President had placated the Negroes with "Wait..."), and JFK declared that it was the responsibility of the People of the USofA, and their elected governments and officals to resond correctly to the legitimate 'taking it to the streets' grievances and to abide with Supreme court rulings. This in effect was the trigger for the brewing realisation that the next overt strike in the Civil War was about to be enacted, Kennedy was murdered and a southern dynastic rule epoch ensued. Two hours after this speech the leading Southern Black desegregaationist lay bleeding to death, shot in what became known as the first modern politiical assassination of that age: Medgar Evers.

As all things follow the dialectic process of cause and effect, the Bush Dynasty has by now legitimised the Union and can no longer declare for secession. IOW, they have been too clever or smart for their own good and now the next wave is coming, but this time the Confederacy have worked themselves into a corner from which there is no escape. They will enter the dustbins of history, where they rightly belong.

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius".

EDIT: * the "Water Bearer".

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 11 months later...
The chickens are coming home to roost...(Malcolm X)

Dealey Plaza is the location where the first settler of that area built his home, established a General Store and the first Post Office.

Dealey Plaza, the old downtown is the heart of Dallas. Dallas is the heart of Texas. Texas is the location of the last battle of the Civil War (one hundred years before the Coup of the 60's) after the Official Surrender of the Secessionist Confederacy, and at which the Confederate Soldiers defeated the Northern Unionist forces. IOW in the minds of generations of Southerners, the Union has never been legitimised and the war has never ended.

The leaders of the Southern Forces formed the Ku Klux Klan and with the willing, witting compliance of officialdom (on paper part of the USofA, but at heart the inheritors of the Plan, Dream of a Great Southern Empire, independent of the North) merely became the Night Riders, the Hidden Empire, biding their time.

In mid 1963, a new (Genius) President, with a new Cabinet, largely formed by a New Guard, no longer accepting the control and continuance of the Old Guard, declared that the 'Time of Waiting' is over (for generations, President after President had placated the Negroes with "Wait..."), and JFK declared that it was the responsibility of the People of the USofA, and their elected governments and officals to resond correctly to the legitimate 'taking it to the streets' grievances and to abide with Supreme court rulings. This in effect was the trigger for the brewing realisation that the next overt strike in the Civil War was about to be enacted, Kennedy was murdered and a southern dynastic rule epoch ensued. Two hours after this speech the leading Southern Black desegregaationist lay bleeding to death, shot in what became known as the first modern politiical assassination of that age: Medgar Evers.

As all things follow the dialectic process of cause and effect, the Bush Dynasty has by now legitimised the Union and can no longer declare for secession. IOW, they have been too clever or smart for their own good and now the next wave is coming, but this time the Confederacy have worked themselves into a corner from which there is no escape. They will enter the dustbins of history, where they rightly belong.

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius".

EDIT: * the "Water Bearer".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The chickens are coming home to roost...(Malcolm X)

Dealey Plaza is the location where the first settler of that area built his home, established a General Store and the first Post Office.

Dealey Plaza, the old downtown is the heart of Dallas. Dallas is the heart of Texas. Texas is the location of the last battle of the Civil War (one hundred years before the Coup of the 60's) after the Official Surrender of the Secessionist Confederacy, and at which the Confederate Soldiers defeated the Northern Unionist forces. IOW in the minds of generations of Southerners, the Union has never been legitimised and the war has never ended.

The leaders of the Southern Forces formed the Ku Klux Klan and with the willing, witting compliance of officialdom (on paper part of the USofA, but at heart the inheritors of the Plan, Dream of a Great Southern Empire, independent of the North)

merely became the Night Riders, the Hidden Empire, biding their time.

In mid 1963, a new (Genius) President, with a new Cabinet, largely formed by a New Guard, no longer accepting the control and continuance of the Old Guard, declared that the 'Time of Waiting' is over (for generations, President after President had placated the Negroes with "Wait..."), and JFK declared that it was the responsibility of the People of the USofA, and their elected governments and officals to resond correctly to the legitimate 'taking it to the streets' grievances and to abide with Supreme court rulings. This in effect was the trigger for the brewing realisation that the next overt strike in the Civil War was about to be enacted, Kennedy was murdered and a southern dynastic rule epoch ensued. Two hours after this speech the leading Southern Black desegregaationist lay bleeding to death, shot in what became known as the first modern politiical assassination of that age: Medgar Evers.

As all things follow the dialectic process of cause and effect, the Bush Dynasty has by now legitimised the Union and can no longer declare for secession. IOW, they have been too clever or smart for their own good and now the next wave is coming, but this time the Confederacy have worked themselves into a corner from which there is no escape. They will enter the dustbins of history, where they rightly belong.

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius".

EDIT: * the "Water Bearer".

If I am not mistaken, there is not a thread specifically for Theodore "Ted" Sorensen. There has been so much going on in this election year, that Sorensen's, biopic Counselor - A Life At The Edge Of History seems to have been lost in the shuffle. And that is sad, for Ted Sorensen to some degree, during the administration of JFK, was more than JFK's speechwriter, he was also the person JFK bounced ideas across, almost a shadow of JFK.

Counselor: A Life At The Edge Of History is a very significant work, on several levels.

First, it is the collected remembrances and biography of someone, who, next to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Robert F Kennedy, arguably knew John Kennedy on a similar level, at least intellectually. There are those who cite JFK as being an intellectual President, which might lead some to ponder his brother Bobby; had he lived, would Robert F Kennedy have become the first existentialist Chief Executive?

that observation would have much credence in this writers view as someone, who, with his death, saw another light of the sixties extinguished, all too soon.

I have included a review of the book, by Tim Rutten of the Los Angeles Times,

'Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History' by Ted Sorensen

A look at the Kennedy White House and the author's lifelong romance with politics.

By Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

May 6, 2008

A great speechwriter is a master of timing, as well as a maker of phrases.

Now in his 80th year, Ted Sorensen -- whom John F. Kennedy once referred to as his "intellectual blood bank" -- has as firm a grip on those qualities as ever, which is one of the reasons "Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History" is not only a fascinating memoir but also this election year's most important political book.

Despite the subtitle's characteristic modesty, part of what makes "Counselor" so important is that its author was at the very center of so much that was important in American history and politics during the second half of the 20th century. Thus, this book contains significant new information and insights into Kennedy's ambiguous relationship with Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the civil rights and Cuban missile crises, and the origins of the space program. What truly elevates Sorensen's account above other political memoirs, however, is not so much its candor but its spirit: "Counselor" is at bottom a love story -- the author's expression of his deep and abiding love for American ideals, for their expression in American politics, for his remarkable mother and father (and his anything-but-prosaic Nebraskan roots) and, perhaps most of all, for Jack Kennedy.

There's also a great deal about speeches and speech writing, as one would expect from an acknowledged master of that esoteric craft.

"During my 11 years with JFK, my most important national contributions -- advising him on civil rights, on the decision to go to the moon and especially on the Cuban missile crisis -- did not center on the speechwriting," Sorensen writes. "In the more than four decades that have passed since his death, neither my activities as a lawyer nor those in international affairs have made much use of my speechwriting experience. Yet I have little doubt that, when my time comes, my obituary in the New York Times (misspelling my last name once again) will be captioned: 'Theodore Sorenson, Kennedy Speechwriter.' "

Sorensen was a lawyer in his 20s when he passed up a job to go to work for Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-Wash.) to work for Kennedy. He chose the Massachusetts senator because he offered the young Nebraskan a chance to develop legislative programs to revive the Northeast's failing industries. Sorensen's father was the Unitarian son of Danish immigrants and a onetime progressive state attorney general. His mother was the brilliant daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, whose later life was tragically ravaged by manic depression. It was pedigree that made him a bit of an outsider and, perhaps, prepared him to join a Kennedy circle where nearly everyone else was either Irish, Catholic, a New Englander, an Ivy Leaguer, rich, fashionable -- or some combination of those things.

Sorensen was none of those things, but he soon became Kennedy's intellectual and political soul mate. Sorensen recalls him in this book "not as a professional historian or as a detached observer, but as a friend who misses him still." The author does not claim to know everything about Kennedy, because "no one did. Different parts of his life, work and thoughts were seen by many -- but no one saw it all. He sometimes obscured his motives and almost always shielded his emotions. . . . John F. Kennedy was a natural leader. It was no act -- the secret of his magic appeal was that he had no magic at all. . . . Although he could be steely and stern when frustrated, he never lost his temper. When times were bad, he knew they would get better -- when they were good, he knew they could get worse."

When it comes to Kennedy's extramarital relationships, Sorensen is direct and discreet. Because he was not part of the president's social set, he has little firsthand information beyond the well-known fact that Kennedy enjoyed the company of charming, intelligent women: "It has never been a secret that John F. Kennedy was attracted to beautiful women and they to him." Sorensen also quotes some remarks he made at the unveiling of JFK's portrait at the National Gallery in 1980: "Not all his hours were spent at work. He liked parties . . . and lively companions. He sought fun and laughter. He made no pretense of being free from sin or imperfection. But he never permitted the pursuit of private pleasure to interfere with public duty."

From the historian's standpoint, much of what makes "Counselor" a notable contribution comes from Sorensen's liberal reference to heretofore unpublished drafts of Kennedy's important speeches and public statements, as well as the strategy memos that the special assistant wrote to the president. There's also important insight into one of the shortcomings in Kennedy's record, his failure to vote for McCarthy's censure. The Massachusetts senator's familial connections to the Wisconsin demagogue are well known. McCarthy also was wildly popular among the Boston Irish who comprised the Kennedy base. Still, Sorensen had drafted a statement endorsing censure when Kennedy was hospitalized for what turned out to be a long and serious illness. As the vote loomed, no instruction came from the sickroom and Sorensen sought no confirmation of Kennedy's wishes, and the censure went forward without his vote. The author records that moment as one of the senator's failures, as well as one of his own.

There are similar insights to be gleaned from the utterly engrossing chapters on the civil rights movement -- Kennedy shrewdly let George Wallace have his moment in the schoolhouse door because the Alabama governor secretly had promised that once he'd been photographed there, he'd get out of the way and not resist federal authority, as Mississippi officials had done. Those who think they know the history of the Cuban missile crisis will read Sorensen's true insider account -- he wrote the decisive letter to Nikita Khrushchev -- and shudder at just how close the world came to nuclear war.

Sorensen's willingness to draw lessons concerning the current political situation from his experience is one of the several things that make "Counselor" such remarkably pleasurable and instructive reading. He currently supports Sen. Barack Obama's pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination and recently was asked by an interviewer about what some deem the Illinois senator's excessive reliance on rhetoric. Sorensen replied:

"Kennedy's rhetoric when he was president turned out to be a key to his success. His mere words about Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba helped resolve the worst crisis the world has ever known without the U.S. having to fire a shot."

Here is a Question and Answer Segment with Ted Sorensen, which appears on

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6552473.html

There is an entire chapter in which Sorensen reflects on the Kennedy Assassination, [Chapter 27] entitled The Death of President Kennedy.

It begins on page 360 and ends on page 377.

a interesting passage, is in reference to page 294 regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis.......”There is still a minor mystery as to who, if anyone, was asked to draft an alternative speech announcing and justifying an air strike on the missiles.There was, I discovered only recently, such a draft with a chilling start: “I have ordered — and the United States Air Force has now carried out -— military operations with conventional weapons to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba.”

A copy of this second “speech” was among the documents circulated at the November 2002 reunion in Havana of Cuban missile participants. I asked the conference organizers where it came from and was told: “We thought you wrote it.” But I am certain I did not. I could not have articulated a policy I so strongly opposed, nor forgotten such a wrenching experience if I had been required to do so, The draft did not appear to have been typed on my White House secretary’s typewriter; it bore classification stamps, which I never put on my speech drafts. It also included a statement of America’s intentions to use nuclear weapons if necessary — a statement I would have never have written, knowing JFK never would approve it. I do not believe that second speech draft was ever presented to JFK.

The confusion may have stemmed from that earlier effort to write the high-level emissary warning note that never went forward. It is that draft note, I believe, that formed the basis for the speculation that I had been asked to write a second speech as an alternative to the quarantine speech. But it is also possible that someone in the air strike group, probably Mac Bundy, knowing their group would need a draft to present to JFK as an alternative to mine, prepared that second speech version, taking some language from both my earlier draft warning note and from my draft blockade speech

some passages in the attack speech are identical to passages in my blockade speech). Bundy would say later that the air strike camp was at a disadvantage because, unlike the blockade camp, it had no one who could put its case in words they knew the President would speak.

another excerpt........

”President Kennedy was not universally beloved. His death was mourned by governments of every ideological stripe and economic stage with two notable exceptions. In the paranoid pariah state of Communist Albania, the unyielding dictator Enver Hoxha was reported to have expressed satisfaction with Kennedy’s removal from the world stage. In the kleptocracy of Haiti, the repressive Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier declared a national carnival to celebrate.

I have neither the wish nor the power to reopen the painful debate about who killed John F. Kennedy or why, nor do I have any new knowledge on the subject. I have not paid much attention to the conspiracy theories about the assassination, in part because the subject is too painful for me to study, and in part because none of the conspiracy theorists has produced any credible evidence to prove a plot by higher-ups to hire Oswald to kill Kennedy. Nor is there any convincing evidence to confirm Oliver Stone’s imaginative but grim movie JFK, which I finally bought myself to watch as preparation for this book, and for which an amazing number of young people represents the truth about the Kennedy assassination.

RFK was unable to quash his own suspicions that his brother’s enemies were behind his death. Yet Bobby told his deputy Nick Katzenbach, who told me, that he was not interested in receiving or reading conspiracy theories.

I have personally reached the point where, incredible as all the conflicting conspiracy theories are, it is equally hard to believe that none of JFK’s enemies was behind his death and his brother’s less than five years later. I have no new facts to reveal and no new conclusions to add. Yet I remain torn on the question. On the one hand, what good would it do to find out now who killed John Kennedy? It would not bring him back or resurrect his policies and standards. On the other hand, many people all over the world, including me, would feel somewhat better knowing with a certainty, even now, that John F. Kennedy was killed by ideological adversaries, and thus died a martyr for a cause, and not simply in a senseless killing at the hands of a crazed lucky sharpshooter....”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...