Jump to content
The Education Forum

How Kennedy was set up

Recommended Posts


In 1984, Senator Barry Goldwater testified that he was expecting President Johnson to be assassinated on October 31, 1964, as part of the plan to get him elected to the Presidency on November 3, 1964. He also testified that he was in the CIA and that he was well acquainted with CIA officers that had been exposed as KGB officers. Three specific KGB officers that he knew were: John McCone, Director of the CIA from 1961 to 1965, Vincent Puritano, who was in charge of the CIA’s domestic operations in 1963 and 1964, and Tony Chavez, who had been the head of domestic operations from the late 1960s until 1984.

Goldwater testified that after President Kennedy was assassinated, his CIA colleagues, the KGB officers who had been exposed, made him aware of the fact that they had arranged it, and he testified that they had hinted earlier in 1963 that President Kennedy might be assassinated.

A well-orchestrated production of escalating rhetorical conflict between Kennedy and Goldwater was engineered to end in the crescendo of gunfire that killed President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, which was the first step in the two-pronged assassination plan. When the attempt to assassinate President Johnson on October 31, 1964, was foiled, the KGB’s plans to put Goldwater into the Oval Office came to a screeching halt.

Essential elements of the rhetorical conflict between Kennedy and Goldwater sprouted on the morning of July 12, 1963, when Senator Barry Goldwater, “the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964 arrived at the Statler-Hilton Hotel, just three blocks from the White House, to have breakfast with 500 of his admirers.”

The occasion was the Human Events Political Action Conference. Human Events is “a conservative political weekly published in Washington.”

Goldwater, in his early morning political speech, “charged that President Kennedy was trying to ‘coexist with international communism wherever it thrives, even in the Western Hemisphere.’”

He made several statements attacking the way Kennedy dealt with communist expansionism and added, “I believe today’s liberal is so frightened of the future that he is incapable of acting in the present.”

“Goldwater’s attacks on the President were greeted with applause, shouts, cheers, whistles and the stomping of feet and the Senator’s harsh words set the tone for a long day of speeches by other Members of Congress . . . Administration proposals ranging from the wilderness bill to disarmament were denounced.” (R.P. 52)

Republican Congressman Bruce Alger of Texas “declared that ‘Bobby is behind every bush,’ and the audience howled at this thrust at Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.”

The only Democrat who addressed the conference was from the segregationist South, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, “one of the principal opponents of Mr. Kennedy’s civil rights program.”

On July 31, 1963, “Senator Barry Goldwater accused Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy of using ‘police state’ powers in an effort to desegregate communities around military bases.” (R.P. 53)

“He and several Southern Democrats denounced a Pentagon directive authorizing military commanders to designate as off limits for servicemen communities which practice ‘relentless discrimination’ against Negroes.”

“Goldwater told the Senate this action carries the seeds of a possible military takeover.”

“What he fears, Goldwater said, is ‘the threat of a military takeover should things change in this country and we find that the military commanders have become used to running politics and the social life of the community.’”

On August 13, 1963, during Senate hearings on a partial nuclear test ban treaty, “Senator Barry Goldwater, front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, said in a Senate speech that the treaty might open ‘a possibly fatal gap’ in this Nation’s defenses against enemy missile attack.” (R.P. 54)

On September 20, 1963, Goldwater made it appear as though he was warming up to the idea that he would be President Kennedy’s opponent in 1964, and he used the electoral prize of what was then conservative California to do so, the state that was conservative enough to elect Ronald Reagan as its Governor in 1966.

Goldwater announced the formation of a California advisory committee “‘for consultation’ about the California primary,” but he stated that it was “not an announcement that I intend to seek the Presidential nomination.” (R.P. 55)

“Why the Arizona Republican hit upon the idea of an advisory committee is something he didn’t explain, beyond saying it was suggested by his California friends and supporters.”

On September 26, 1963, less than two months before his assassination in Dallas, Texas, “President Kennedy spoke in the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah . . . Utah, like the other mountain states the President is visiting on his five day, ten state Western tour, is a center of Goldwater strength and radical right-wing activities.”

“President Kennedy sharply attacked the foreign policies advocated by Senator Barry Goldwater” and “took issue point by point with proposals put forth by the Senator. The speech marked the first time that the President has tried to refute in a detailed way the foreign policies that Goldwater has stressed.” (R.P. 56)

Kennedy deleted a reference to the fact that Barry Goldwater often spoke about “total victory,” but in what seems to be a naively ironic parody of the fate that awaited him, Kennedy did say, “We have history going for us today.”

On October 3, 1963, less than two weeks after his California advisory committee was formed and exactly one week after Kennedy went to conservative Utah to attack his foreign policies, Barry Goldwater spoke “deep in the heartland of Western conservatism” to the California Federation of Republican Women, and he “charged the Kennedy Administration with establishing ‘a Soviet-American mutual aid society.’”

Goldwater attacked President Kennedy’s New Frontier policies and said: “In less than a month the New Frontier has offered to pick up the check for half the cost of a joint shot to the moon, stop testing nuclear weapons in the air and, finally, bail out the highly vaunted Soviet farm collective with what I’m willing to bet will be tons of free American wheat.” (R.P. 57)

“There is an old line somewhere that goes: If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. But I for one am not quite ready to lie down and play Rover to Kremlin tunes.”

“Along the New Frontier the idea is to conform or keep quiet. Nothing must be done to ruffle Mr. Khrushchev’s feelings or lead him to think that we are superior to the Soviets in any category. We don’t hear a tough note out of this Administration unless it is directed at one of our tried and proven allies.”

(The “tried and proven allies” were the repressive dictatorships that Goldwater and the CIA supported. Another section of this text addresses the repressive regimes and their correlation to Kennedy’s death.)

Six days later, on October 9, 1963, “President Kennedy said that the United States is wholly opposed to military coups in Latin America, no matter what justification is made for them . . . In addition to their threat to the whole process of democratic government and progress, he said, military ‘dictatorships are the seed-beds from which communism ultimately springs up’ . . . His statement served to clarify the United States position in the controversy that has arisen about this nation’s policy since the recent military coups in the Dominican Republic and Honduras.” (R.P. 58)

President Kennedy made his remarks at a news conference that also consisted of the following:

Q: Mr. President, there is a widespread impression that you expect Senator Barry Goldwater to be the Republican nominee for President next year. I think your speech in Salt Lake City had something to do with that. Is that your expectation?

A: I think he can do it. I think it is possible for him to do it. But he has a long road to go, recalling the situation in September 1959, October 1959. I think Senator Goldwater has a trying seven or eight months which will test his endurance and his perseverance and his agility.

Q: Are you basing that on your own experience in 1960?

A: Yes. (R.P. 59)

On the following day, October 10, 1963, Barry Goldwater spoke in Pennsylvania and “lashed out at the ‘corruption-ridden machines’ which he said are the key to national Democratic victories . . . Goldwater delivered a slashing attack on the New Frontier’s connections with the big city machines in the North and East . . . ‘The liberal Democratic alliance for power today means that no Democratic candidate for office at the national level can be nominated or elected without the support of big city political bosses and their corruption-ridden machines.’” (R.P. 60)

Goldwater also said, “The vitality of American leadership in the cold war has waned to the vanishing point.” (R.P. 61)

“Mr. Goldwater, rated a leading prospect for next year’s Republican Presidential nomination, said the Kennedy Administration’s choice was clear: ‘Government of the Kennedys, by the Kennedys and for the Kennedys.’”

“He said the kind of progress the Democrats offered ‘stumbles backward toward depression-born make-work programs . . . What counts are New Frontiersmen and their cronies.’”

“His appearance in this key state was widely viewed as another sign that he is seriously considering becoming a candidate for the GOP nomination next year.” (R.P. 60)

It was also on October 10, 1963, that “Senator Barry Goldwater told reporters he would be willing to debate President Kennedy on television if he is the Republican Presidential nominee in 1964, but he stressed that he hadn’t made up his mind about seeking the nomination. When asked when he would make a decision he said, ‘I don’t know when it will be.’” (R.P. 62)

Besides having the electoral prize of California as a point of interest in his possible Presidential bid, Goldwater now had the electoral prize of Pennsylvania, and the day after his visit to that particular electoral prize, he made the most noteworthy of appearances.

On Friday, October 11, 1963, exactly six weeks before President Kennedy was assassinated while riding from Dallas Love Field, Goldwater visited Texas. The Washington Post reported:

“Goldwater flew to San Antonio and got a red carpet welcome midway through a three-night speaking schedule that will take him across the nation.” (R.P. 63)

“The Senator rode from the airport in an open convertible” while “a crowd of fans chanted ‘We want Barry’ and waved ‘Goldwater for President’ signs.”

“Goldwater, rated by pollsters as a leader among potential candidates for the 1964 Republican presidential nomination, waved and leaned over to shake hands.” (This reception in Texas did not go unnoticed by President Kennedy.)

Goldwater “touched down in San Antonio for less than a day” to address the Military Order of World Wars.

A Dallas Morning News reporter reporting from San Antonio wrote: “Senator Barry Goldwater charged here Friday night that the Kennedy Administration is following the most disastrous foreign policy in the nation’s history . . . ‘The policy stands wall-eyed in Berlin and cross-eyed in Paris and blind in Cuba.’” (R.P. 64)

“Senator Goldwater waded into the Administration after receiving an award for his contribution to national defense from the Military Order of World Wars, made up of active and retired commissioned officers.”

“The front-runner for the Republican Presidential nomination told the officer veterans that he was going to give them some plain, hard talk about the world situation.”

“His speech was interrupted eighteen times by applause from an obviously conservative and anti-Kennedy military audience.”

“He rounded the world in his indictment and was particularly critical about the handling of Latin-American affairs.”

The Washington Post story describing Goldwater’s reception in Texas was on page 2 on October 12 and headlined, “Goldwater Labels JFK Policy a Disaster,” but there was another, lengthier article in the Washington Post on October 13, 1963, describing Goldwater’s speech:

“In his speech he ad libbed ‘The Administration curses the juntas that curse the Communist curse.’ He stated that the government in the Dominican Republic had been ‘smashed altogether by military leaders who saw communism, not true progress, building behind the facade.’” (The armed forces in the Dominican Republic had ousted the first President to be legally elected in several decades, and they installed a repressive right-wing government a few weeks before Goldwater made his statement.) [R.P. 65]

“Goldwater deeply stirred the convention with a pep talk for patriotism at the end of his formal speech.”

The October 13th article also detailed a news conference in San Antonio on October 11, 1963, during which Goldwater, who supported segregation, addressed civil rights, stating, “‘I’d like to see us calm down in the whole field’ . . . with the recognition ‘that not only the Negro, but the whites in many instances have beefs.’”

“During his news conference he repeated a quip about the government being ‘of the Kennedys, by the Kennedys and for the Kennedys.’” (R.P. 66)

Goldwater had also made his statement about a government “of the Kennedys, by the Kennedys and for the Kennedys” on the day before coming to Texas, and he also held a news conference before coming to Texas.

At that news conference, Goldwater answered a number of questions “with the preface, ‘I am not a candidate.’ However, from time to time he did say, ‘If I were a candidate’ before responding to a question.” (R.P. 60)

This apparently was the first time that Barry Goldwater had uttered any words that weren’t a straightforward denial that he had made any decision about becoming a candidate, just as the reception in Texas was also unprecedented. (In the “Goldwater’s Prospects” section, there are several times that Goldwater refuses to speculate about being a candidate and denies having made a decision that he would become a candidate, which is why it was so newsworthy when he said, “If I were a candidate” on the day before his grand reception in Texas.)

Besides his news conference before coming to Texas and the one in San Antonio on October 11th, “The conservative Senator stopped over at Dallas Love Field briefly on his way to San Antonio for a Friday night speech” and held a “brief five-minute press conference before boarding a Braniff jet.” (R.P. 67)

It was also on October 11, 1963, that a copyrighted story appeared on page one of the Dallas Morning News stating that Barry Goldwater would announce his candidacy in early January. (R.P. 60)

On October 12, 1963, the Dallas Morning News reported that Goldwater denied he would announce his candidacy and when asked about the copyrighted story, he stated, “There is no truth in it. It is absolutely not true.” Goldwater issued the denial when he stopped at Dallas Love Field while on his way to his grand reception San Antonio. (R.P. 67)

Goldwater returned to the electoral prize of California on October 19th and fired off another volley, accusing the Kennedy Administration of “endangering the nation through ‘flagrant news management’ . . . Goldwater attacked the Administration’s handling of the announcements of four recent international developments” in a speech sponsored by the San Bernardino Sun-Telegram. (R.P. 68)

On November 10, 1963, Goldwater stated in an interview that, “Any interference in this Administration’s bungling of foreign policy would work for the better.”

In this interview, with twelve days remaining before President Kennedy visited Dallas, Goldwater was more speculative about the prospect of being President Kennedy’s opponent in 1964, using the phrases “not yet decided . . . until I am convinced . . . If and when . . . unless I decide . . . whether or not I decide.” (R.P. 69)

On November 22, 1963, “Mr. Kennedy was on his way to the Trade Mart to make a speech. It was to be a bold speech. Here in the stronghold of political conservatism, and before an audience made up largely of critics of New Frontier policies at home and abroad, he was going to accuse right-wing extremists of talking ‘just plain nonsense.’”

“Mr. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy were riding in the rear seat of a top-down Lincoln Continental . . . Thousands had cheered the First Family as the motorcade drove in from Love Field.” (R.P. 70)

“The assassination occurred just as the President’s motorcade was leaving downtown Dallas at the end of a triumphal tour through the city’s streets . . . The original plans called only for a fast ride from the airport to a lunch at the Trade Mart . . . Mr. Kennedy himself had made the decision to ride in the slow-moving motorcade.” (R.P. 71 & 72)

Back on January 8, 1963, the Washington Post stated: “President Kennedy himself, it can be said with knowledge, does not think his re-election will be easy or can be taken for granted.” (R.P. 73)

On October 5, 1963, the Washington Post reported: “President Kennedy is now much preoccupied with his chances of winning a second term . . . Governor Connally, on his way out of the White House, had this to say to reporters: ‘I told the President that he would have a hard race in Texas . . . It would be unrealistic to think we are not going to have a tough fight there next year’ . . . Connally acknowledged that Goldwater had ‘considerable strength’ in Texas, but suggested that after the Democrats do a job on the Senator some of his strength might vanish . . . Goldwater will certainly be on Mr. Kennedy’s mind when he visits Texas on November 21-22.” (R.P. 74)

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...