Jump to content
The Education Forum

President John F. Kennedy

John Simkin

Recommended Posts

To Robert:

My whole point is simple. We, and Janney, would have been better served if Mary's Mosaic had not been written. And I began my review with saying, its hard to understand why he wrote this book....

These are the first two paragraphs from Jim's article:

Mary’s Mosaic, Part 2: Entering Peter Janney’s World of Fantasy

Part Two by James DiEugenio

The first two people to inform me of Peter Janney’s upcoming book on Mary Meyer were Lisa Pease and John Simkin. Many years ago I wrote a two-part essay for Probe called “The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy” (This was later excerpted in The Assassinations.) The first part of that essay focused on the cases of Judith Exner and Mary Meyer giving me a background and mild interest in the subject. Consequently, when Lisa Pease told me about Peter Janney I wondered what kind of book he was going to write. After Lisa exchanged e-mails with him she told me not to expect much, since Janney had bought into Timothy Leary hook, line and sinker.

JFK forum owner John Simkin’s backing was a real warning bell. For two reasons: first, Simkin is an inveterate Kennedy basher. He once wrote that Senator Kennedy was the choice of the so-called “Georgetown crowd” for the 1960 presidential election. Most accurately described as Georgetown, which seemed to house half the hierarchy of the State Department and the CIA and the journalistic establishment, many of whom gathered for argumentative high-policy dinner parties on Sunday nights (‘The Sunday Night Drunk,’ as one regular called it.” Smithsonian magazine, December 2008) This shows that Simkin is the worst kind of Kennedy basher: the kind that knows next to nothing about Kennedy.

I happen to think that John F. Kennedy was the second best president of the 20th century (In my opinion Franklin D. Roosevelt was the best). Like FDR he challenged the power elite. That is why he was assassinated. That is why I am interested in the assassination. This is no big secret. I have written about this on numerous occasions. It is on the public record. To say that I am an “inveterate Kennedy basher” only damages your own credibility.

That is not to say I have not been critical of JFK on this forum. I do think he tried too hard to show he was a real “Cold War Warrior” in the first two years of his presidency as shown by the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. However, I agree with David Kaiser (American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War, 2000) that in the second-half of his presidency he did try to adopt a foreign policy that was different from every other post-war president and showed signs that he wanted a negotiated end to the Cold War. I also believe that this could have well been a factor in his assassination (for example, this new policy was kept from the CIA but they knew about it because of the bugging of the United Nations). For example, see the thread I started on Lisa Howard (12th May, 2004).


I have also criticized JFK for not trying to do more on civil rights but I accept that he would have found it virtually impossible to get any legislation past Congress. However, as I posted yesterday on the Carl Rowan case, he did make personal gestures that showed he was in favour of bringing racial discrimination to an end.


The same is true of the ending of the Hollywood blacklist. According to some sources he did put pressure on Frank Sinatra to sack Albert Maltz from the proposed film, The Execution of Private Slovak, in 1959. However, Kirk Douglas decided a few weeks later to employ another of the Hollywood Ten, Dalton Trumbo, to write the screenplay for his proposed film, Spartacus. Based on the novel by another left-wing blacklisted writer, Howard Fast, it is a film that examines the spirit of revolt. Trumbo refers back to his experiences of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. At the end, when the Romans finally defeat the rebellion, the captured slaves refuse to identify Spartacus. As a result, all are crucified. This was a reference to those Hollywood figures who named other members of left-wing organizations in the 1930s in order to continue their own careers.

As Ring Landner Jr., another member of the Hollywood Ten, pointed out in his autobiography, I’d Hate Myself in the Morning (2000): “Sinatra caved in, paying off Maltz in cash and eventually scrubbing the project, perhaps partly out of fear of harming his friend John F. Kennedy, a candidate for President at the time. (Following the election that fall, however, the President-elect and his brother, Attorney-General-to-be Robert Kennedy, crossed a picket line to see Spartacus at a theater in Washington D.C., and pronounced it good.)”


As a libertarian socialist I am highly critical of all politicians from all countries. However, some are better than most, and Kennedy is definitely one I admire a great deal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

All the surveys of historians show that the three top rated presidents of all time are Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Franklin Roosevelt. These surveys include the 2009 C-SPAN survey of American presidential historians, USPC survey of 47 UK scholars of American history and politics, 2005 Wall Street Journal poll of scholars, and 2008 New York Times poll of analysts.

You can read about the British survey of academic experts here:


I am aware that the American public do not share this point of view. A Gallup poll carried out in 2011 showed the following: Ronald Reagan (1), Abraham Lincoln (2), Bill Clinton (3), John Kennedy (4), George Washington (5), Franklin Roosevelt (6) and Barack Obama (7).

This list only shows the lack of historical knowledge of the American public, the success of the propaganda machine of the two main parties and the power of the mass media. How else can you explain the rankings of Reagan (1) and Clinton (3)?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

''This list only shows the lack of historical knowledge of the American public, the success of the propaganda machine of the two main parties and the power of the mass media. How else can you explain the rankings of Reagan (1) and Clinton (3)?''

- They discrimantly weigh their data *in favor of non whites, and : those who have landlines or cell phones are surveyed and those among those who are willing to answer polls in the first place form the basis for extrapolating this data set to mean the whole population?

edit add *against

Edited by John Dolva
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
  • Create New...