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Old November 18th, 2013 #21
Norman Bean
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VERY well said! Cant add nothing to it.
 
Old November 23rd, 2013 #22
littlefieldjohn
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Default Israel behind Kennedy's assassination: Mark Glenn

Quote:
American political commentator Mark Glenn says Israel was behind the assassination of then US President John F. Kennedy fifty years ago.


“The strong circumstantial evidence points to Israel being the culprit in there of course even the fact that the Israeli lobby has such luck not only on Congress and on the executive branch of the US government but as well within the intelligence services,” Glenn told Press TV on Friday.

“It’s easy to see then why there would be very powerful, very interested parties here who want to make sure that the American people never find out about this particular aspect of President Kennedy’s foreign policy objectives,” he explained.

On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was killed by sniper Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. He was shot as he rode in an open car through the city.

Although official inquiries have determined former Marine Corps veteran Oswald was responsible for the assassination, Kennedy's murder is still shrouded in mystery.

“Undoubtedly, there are elements within the United States government who assisted in this terrible act that took place,” Glenn said.

“They robbed the American people of probably the last real president that we’ve had at least in this century, who was willing to look out for American interests,” he added.

“The amount of evidence suggesting that Israel was behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy points as well to the assassination of his brother Robert Kennedy,” according to Glenn.

Kennedy was the fourth US president to be killed in office. Many refuse to believe the assassination could be the act of a single man.
http://presstv.com/detail/2013/11/23...assassination/
 
Old November 24th, 2013 #23
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Default Will 'long-hidden footage of second shooter' to be aired this week prove Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT act alone?

A Texas real-estate developer is in possession of footage of John F. Kennedy's motorcade from that fateful day in Dallas that he believes supports the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone.

Whether or not the footage is genuine isn't yet known, but if it is, it would represent a dramatic development in a story 50 years in the making.

Following the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK, Stephen Bowen, who is also a principal in small film production company, decided the time was right to sell the footage, which reportedly depicts a second shooter, to the highest bidder.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2lZU1Rfw3
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Old December 4th, 2013 #24
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801. Assassination of J.F.K. (11/25/2013)

Yesterday I posted a comment about JFK’s death in Yahoo news. Several minutes later, my comment disappeared from the news comment. I put it here.

You all fall into the trap the mastermind set up for you. Oswald, Johnson, Mafia, Castro….. Did they have ability to organize such a big plot? Think bigger. It is an organization that controls Secret Service, media, lawmakers, police force. That’s why after 50 years, people are still lose in dense fog.

1. Warren Commission was used to cover up the plot. Just like 911 commission used to cover up the truth of 911 attack.


2. Kill Kennedy family members to prevent them to re-gain political power to start a real investigation of J.F.K.’s death.

Robert Kennedy was assassinated when he joined the president campaign. Edward Kennedy suffered a scandal attack and had to drop the president campaign.

I also allege Kennedy’s wife Jacqueline Kennedy and his son John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. were murdered because they had great political influence. I believe their death had connection to my story.

In early 1990s when I was still very innocent about US political system and believed it was a democratic society, I complained to a lot of people that I had become a murder target of the Feds. Then the Feds had a message to me: “So what, they (the Feds) even killed President Kennedy.” (see “17. They killed President Kennedy”) The intimidation hadn’t stopped my complaint but added “they killed President Kennedy” to the story.

As the Feds intensified the persecution, I left US twice. Each time Kennedy family lost an important member.

1. I left for China in 1994. Jacqueline died after I planned the China trip. I started to suspect it might relate to the intimidation from the Feds. It was too coincident.

2. Next time it was 1999 when I went to Hong Kong and planned to drift into South East Asia. I learned the death of Jr. Kennedy. It convinced my allegation – the Feds worry that I would reveal their crime of murdering President Kennedy, in abroad they were not able to control the media as they did in domestic US. To prevent a possible reaction from Kennedy family, they kill the main figures of the family in advance.


Edward Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy died of cancer. In my description, there were many murdering method through slow poison. The victim targeted were fed to sick gradually, when the time coming they only need to increase the dose to make the death like a natural one.

Jr. Kennedy was too young to die in this way. So he died in an accident. Long time ago when I started to learn something about the E.M. sleep wave, I had read such a news. Air Force lost a plane in a train. The commander center lost its trace. Sometime later, they found the wreckage in a far, far away mountain area. Apparently, the plane exhausted all its fuel and crashed there. Since the pilot was a black man. I thought it was a test to use sleep wave instrument as a weapon. When the pilot felt sleepy, he opened auto pilot instrument. He took a nod, hoping it could help him to overcome the sleepy but could never wake up. The sleeping wave was irresistible – to my experience. If you are driving a car, you may park your car at roadside before you go to sleep, but you can’t park a plane in the air.

I think Jr. Kennedy died in a similar murder plot.
 
Old December 15th, 2013 #25
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Quote:
Where New JFK Evidence Points

By Jim DiEugenio

Global Research, November 20, 2013

After Oswald returned from Russia – receiving surprisingly little trouble despite his defection – he became friendly with the White Russian community in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He then went to New Orleans in the summer of 1963. Numerous witnesses had testified to seeing him with former FBI agent Guy Banister or at Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/where-n...points/5358810

It reminds me of Tarmalan Tsarnayev. Both were used to infiltrate the Russian society (or Chechenya rebels.) When they were exposed (both rejected by Russian intelligence) they became scapegoats to take responsibility of the plot. Both have to die to keep the secret of their relationship to the US intelligence.
 
Old December 26th, 2013 #26
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Quote:
26 November 2013, 13:45

'Kennedy made a lot of internal enemies when he was in office' - Jessie Ventura

And then let's look at how the murder of the president was handled - look at his car, his car was a crime scene, he was murdered in it. After they drove to Parkland Hospital to try and safe his life, yellow tape should have been put around that car, that car should have never been touched until forensic could go through with it. Monday morning at orders of new president Lyndon Johnson that car was already up in Michigan being totally refurbished. Nobody got to look at it.

http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_26/...-Ventura-8788/
This reminds me of the demolishing of Sand Hook Elementary School. To eliminate the evidence, that’s what the criminals behavior.

Quote:
Sandy Hook Massacre: School Demolition Crew Sworn to Silence
By James F. Tracy
Global Research, October 20, 2013


Exhaustive in scope, the agreement requires workers to refrain from leaking information on virtually anything encountered on Sandy Hook grounds during or after their time of employment with Consigli Construction, the company subcontracted to carry out the demolition.

No unauthorized disclosure or removal of confidential information from the school, including any oral, written, graphic, software, technology, or virtually any items that belong to the school.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-san...ilence/5354593
 
Old June 18th, 2014 #27
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Lots of people wanted JFK dead, still ONE shooter. If you are downrange at the gun range, every shot sounds like two, with echoes in Dallas people would hear shooting from all over and many more than what were actually fired. One shooter.
 
Old June 18th, 2014 #28
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Originally Posted by sparky View Post
Lots of people wanted JFK dead, still ONE shooter. If you are downrange at the gun range, every shot sounds like two, with echoes in Dallas people would hear shooting from all over and many more than what were actually fired. One shooter.
A noble effort, but you're wasting your time.
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Old June 18th, 2014 #29
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Originally Posted by Donnie in Ohio View Post
A noble effort, but you're wasting your time.
It's a lot quieter with most of the conspiracy nuts gone, because you know the shitstorms that usually accompanied threads like this before.
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Old March 3rd, 2017 #30
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Originally Posted by katsung47 View Post
"..I also allege Kennedy’s wife Jacqueline Kennedy and his son John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. were murdered because they had great political influence."
Re John, Jr.: He was planning a Senate run.

Then Hillary got it.

And the people in the area where the plane went down first reported hearing several explosions. They were not recovered from the water, as they were pretty much scattered all over the place. Horrible.

So, look at the Clintons for that one, frankly.

And he was naming one of his dad's murderer conspirators with the name of his magazine, "George."

George H.W. Bush had a major memory prob as to where he was when JFK was murdered-well, he happened to be in Dallas. I think you'd remember that, but OK.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote a memo 5 days after the assassination, naming George Bush as a CIA officer. Researchers found it in 1978.
Nobody paid much attention to it until Bush ran for Pres in 1988, and then Joseph McBride saw it and said, "Hey, this memo is about Bush! It says he was in the CIA, way back in 1963!”

The memo:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...ver_memo_2.jpg

Bush said the memo must be referring to another “George Bush,” because he wasn’t in the CIA at that time.

But it's come out that he had involvement with the CIA at that time, esp the Cubans who were anti Castro, and the memo is likely about him.

The title of this Hoover memo is, “Assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy”.
Bush identifies himself to the FBI as an independent oil man from Houston, TX, and he had a connection to Hunt (who made death bed 'confessions' re the assassination). So there you have a connection between Bush and Hunt, in Dallas, on the day of the assassination.

This memo also has info on Bush’s phone call to the FBI, ABOUT ONE HOUR AFTER the assassination.

(?)

Basically, now we know that means GHWB was on duty that day in Dallas, staying at the Sheraton.

I always thought this had something to do with it, and that would be your Jewish connection, because of the Fed Reserve:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_11110

Jim Mars wrote 'Crossfire', as mentioned on Wiki in the link above. He thinks the Fed Reserve in collusion with the CIA did this because Kennedy was trying, "..to transfer power from the Federal Reserve to the United States Department of the Treasury by replacing Federal Reserve Notes with silver certificates.."


And Kennedy gave a Speech re 'shadow Govt.' He said he was going to smash the CIA into a million pieces, or something to that effect.

Joseph P Kennedy was wise to the Jews also. For all the time they've spent painting JFK as a negro rights activist, he really was pretty traditional in his thinking. Read 'Profiles in Courage' and you'll see this. He calls "Indians" "Savages", which I remember surprising me, because he is supposed to be MLKs best pal according to the school teachers.

Busing, and Welfare, and all of that badly done crap, was done post his death, beginning with dirtbag LBJ.

But the JKF, Jr. comment caught my eye, because I think (((the media))) glossed over that very quickly, his death, which should bother people. The Clintons and Bushes need to get lost.
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Old March 9th, 2017 #31
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Don't Forget JFK's Fight With The CIA

3/9/2017 0 Comments



By Jacob G. Hornberger

​Weighing in against President-Elect Donald Trump in his disagreement with the CIA over alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, the Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris writes, “Donald Trump has picked a fight with the Central Intelligence Agency over Russian hacking of American elections, an unprecedented move for an incoming president.” (Emphasis added.)

The likely reason that Harris employed the term “incoming” is that it enables him to avoid addressing the big elephant in the room — President Kennedy and his fight — actually his war — against not only the CIA but also another major component of the national-security state — the military establishment.

Kennedy came into office as a standard cold warrior. That is, like most Americans in the 1950s and 1960s, he had bought into the notion that had been inculcated into the American people since the end of World War II — that America’s wartime partner and ally, the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), was coming to get us and subject the American people to communism.

To combat what was billed as an international communist conspiracy based in Moscow, Americans were told, it would be necessary to adopt the same type of governmental structure that existed in Russia — a national-security apparatus grafted onto America’s original limited-government structure that had been established by the Constitution.

That apparatus included a giant, permanent, and ever-growing military establishment, or what President Eisenhower would later call “the military-industrial complex.”

It also consisted of a secretive agency called the CIA, which would come to wield omnipotent powers within what continued to be billed as a “limited government.” Such powers would include assassination, regime-change operations, foreign coups, kidnapping, torture, rendition, involuntary medical experimentation (e.g., MKULTRA), spying and surveillance of Americans — the types of things that characterized the KGB and even the Hitler’s Gestapo.

Kennedy believed in this apparatus. Even though it had been adopted without a constitutional amendment, he believed it was necessary to keep America free and safe from the Reds, who, it was said, were coming to get us.

He experienced his first dose of reality a few months after being sworn into office, when the CIA presented its secret plan to invade Cuba and effect regime change there. The plan called for using CIA-trained Cuban exiles to do the invading, with the U.S. government denying any role in the operation. Kennedy’s job, under the CIA plan, would be to lie about U.S. involvement in the invasion, thereby making him America’s liar-in-chief (and indirectly subjecting him to blackmail by the CIA).

The CIA assured Kennedy that the invasion could succeed without U.S. air support, and JFK made it clear that no air support would be furnished. The CIA lied. In fact, they knew that there was no way that the operation could succeed without air support. But they figured that once the invasion got underway, Kennedy would have no effective choice but to change his mind and provide the needed air support. It was a classic CIA set up of a newly elected president.

When the invasion started to fail, the CIA urged the president to change his mind. He refused to do so, and the invasion force was easily defeated. The CIA considered Kennedy’s action to be a grave betrayal of America and the CIA’s Cuban “freedom fighters.”

Kennedy publicly took responsibility for the debacle but privately he was outraged. He knew that the CIA had set him up, with the aim of maneuvering him into intervening with air support. He fired the much-revered and much-respected CIA Director Allen Dulles (who, in a classic conflict of interest, would later be appointed to the Warren Commission). Reflecting his disdain for the CIA, Kennedy promised to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

Over time, Kennedy’s animus extended to the military-industrial complex, the Cold War apparatus that Eisenhower had said posed a grave threat to the freedom and democratic processes of the American people. When the Joint Chiefs of Staff suggested that the United States should initiate a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), Kennedy left the meeting and indignantly remarked to an aide, “And we call ourselves the human race.”

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the military establishment exhorted Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, which, it would be later discovered, would have almost certainly resulted in all-out nuclear war, given that Soviet military commanders on the ground had been given battlefield authority to use nuclear weapons to defend themselves.

To resolve the crisis, Kennedy promised the Soviets (i.e., Russians) that the United States would not invade Cuba again. He also secretly vowed to remove U.S. nuclear missiles, which were pointed at the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) in Turkey.

Not surprisingly, the military establishment was livid. One of the generals called the settlement the worst defeat in America’s history. The man they viewed as a neophyte, incompetent president had agreed to leave the communist regime in Cuba intact, which, to the national-security establishment, meant that America was in grave danger of falling to the communists.

That wasn’t the worst of it. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy changed directions completely. Recognizing the Cold War for the nonsense it was, Kennedy decided to end it and to have the United States and the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) live in peaceful coexistence. He announced the change at his now-famous Peace Speech at American University, which he prepared without consulting with or advising the national-security establishment.

He also entered into a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviets (i.e., Russians) over the vehement objections of the military.

He also began ordered a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.

Worst of all, from the standpoint of the Pentagon and the CIA, Kennedy entered into secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro to end the Cold War.

In other words, by the time he was assassinated, Kennedy was at full war against the U.S. national-security establishment. He was challenging all of their Cold War assumptions. He was proposing peaceful coexistence with what the CIA and the military had said was an implacable foe that was determined to take over America. And he was doing the unthinkable — making friends with the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), Cuba, and the communist world.

In the process, he was threatening the existence of the entire national-security establishment. The contractors. The subcontractors. The generals and other officers. The weapons producers. All the people who were on the warfare-state largess. Without the Cold War against the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), Americans would have undoubtedly asked in the 1960s, “What do we need a Cold War apparatus for if there is no Cold War?”

With his assassination, Kennedy lost the war and the national-security establishment prevailed. They got the continuation of their Cold War. They got their Vietnam War. They got continued regime-change operations against Cuba. They got an ever-burgeoning warfare state, which continues to this day, notwithstanding the fact that the Cold War ended decades ago. And, of course, they got their continued Cold War animus against Russia.

Ironically, we now have a president-elect who seems to have much the same critical mindset toward the CIA as Kennedy did when he was president.

http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/...t-with-the-cia
 
Old September 15th, 2017 #32
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The Clintons and Bushes need to get lost.
No need to worry. I just saw a recent public service video of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. They both look like they could croak tomorrow. Bill looks like he has AIDS and GHWB looks like a dried up prune.
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Old September 15th, 2017 #33
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Originally Posted by Kevlar Vest View Post
No need to worry. I just saw a recent public service video of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. They both look like they could croak tomorrow. Bill looks like he has AIDS and GHWB looks like a dried up prune.
Haha. True.

However, they have demon spawn that can come forth to continue the 'Bush-Clinton stackable sandwich', like horse-face Chelsea. Shudder.

Just something to think about: Google is promoting 'Hispanic History Month' on its main page...yet no National Holiday for this slain President. Barely a word in November, unless it is a lousy bs miniseries full of gossip and garbage.

Full parade and day off for MLK in Jan. tho.
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Old September 15th, 2017 #34
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Originally Posted by Emily Henderson View Post
Just something to think about: Google is promoting 'Hispanic History Month' on its main page...yet no National Holiday for this slain President. Barely a word in November, unless it is a lousy bs miniseries full of gossip and garbage.
The funniest Hollywierd depiction of JFK was actor Rob Lowe. Just hillarious.
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Old April 11th, 2018 #35
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John F. Kennedy's Vision of Peace

On the 50th anniversary of JFK's death, his nephew recalls the fallen president's attempts to halt the war machine


On November 22nd, 1963, my uncle, president John F. Kennedy, went to Dallas intending to condemn as "nonsense" the right-wing notion that "peace is a sign of weakness." He meant to argue that the best way to demonstrate American strength was not by using destructive weapons and threats but by being a nation that "practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice," striving toward peace instead of "aggressive ambitions." Despite the Cold War rhetoric of his campaign, JFK's greatest ambition as president was to break the militaristic ideology that has dominated our country since World War II. He told his close friend Ben Bradlee that he wanted the epitaph "He kept the peace," and said to another friend, William Walton, "I am almost a 'peace at any price' president." Hugh Sidey, a journalist and friend, wrote that the governing aspect of JFK's leadership was "a total revulsion" of war. Nevertheless, as James W. Douglass argues in his book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, JFK's presidency would be a continuous struggle with his own military and intelligence agencies, which engaged in incessant schemes to trap him into escalating the Cold War into a hot one. His first major confrontation with the Pentagon, the Bay of Pigs catastrophe, came only three months into his presidency and would set the course for the next 1,000 days.

JFK's predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had finalized support on March 17th, 1960, for a Cuban invasion by anti-Castro insurgents, but the wily general left its execution to the incoming Kennedy team. From the start, JFK recoiled at the caper's stench, as CIA Director Allen Dulles has acknowledged, demanding assurances from CIA and Pentagon brass that there was no chance of failure and that there would be no need for U.S. military involvement. Dulles and the generals knowingly lied and gave him those guarantees.

When the invasion failed, JFK refused to order airstrikes against Castro. Realizing he had been drawn into a trap, he told his top aides, David Powers and Kenneth O'Donnell, "They were sure I'd give in to them and send the go-ahead order to the [U.S. Navy aircraft carrier] Essex. They couldn't believe that a new president like me wouldn't panic and try to save his own face. Well, they had me figured all wrong." JFK was realizing that the CIA posed a monumental threat to American democracy. As the brigade faltered, he told Arthur Schlesinger that he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."

The next confrontation with the defense and intelligence establishments had already begun as JFK resisted pressure from Eisenhower, the Joint Chiefs and the CIA to prop up the CIA's puppet government in Laos against the communist Pathet Lao guerrillas. The military wanted 140,000 ground troops, with some officials advocating for nuclear weapons. "If it hadn't been for Cuba," JFK told Schlesinger, "we might be about to intervene in Laos. I might have taken this advice seriously." JFK instead signed a neutrality agreement the following year and was joined by 13 nations, including the Soviet Union.

His own instincts against intervening with American combat forces in Laos were fortified that April by the judgment of retired Gen. Douglas MacArthur, America's undisputed authority on fighting wars in Asia. Referring to Dulles' mischief in Southeast Asia during the Eisenhower years, MacArthur told JFK, "The chickens are coming home to roost, and [you] live in the chicken coop." MacArthur added a warning that ought to still resonate today: "Anyone wanting to commit American ground forces to the mainland of Asia should have his head examined."

About six months into his administration, JFK went to Vienna to meet Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev with high hopes of beginning a process of détente and mutual nuclear disarmament. Khrushchev met his proposals with bombast and truculent indifference. The Joint Chiefs and the CIA, which had fulminated about JFK's notion of negotiating with the Soviets, were relieved by the summit's failure. Six weeks later, military and intelligence leaders responded by unveiling their proposal for a pre-emptive thermonuclear attack on the Soviet Union, to be launched sometime in late 1963. JFK stormed away from the meeting in disgust, remarking scathingly to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, "And we call ourselves the human race."

As JFK's relationship with his military-intelligence apparatus deteriorated, a remarkable relationship with Khrushchev began. Both were battle-hardened war veterans seeking a path to rapprochement and disarmament, encircled by militarists clamoring for war. In Kennedy's case, both the Pentagon and the CIA believed war with the Soviets was inevitable and therefore desirable in the short term while we still had the nuclear advantage. In the autumn of 1961, as retired Gen. Lucius Clay, who had taken a civilian post in Berlin, launched a series of unauthorized provocations against the Soviets, Khrushchev began an extraordinary secret correspondence with JFK. With the Berlin crisis moving toward nuclear Armageddon, Khrushchev turned to KGB agent Georgi Bolshakov, a top Soviet spy in Washington, to communicate directly with JFK. Bolshakov, to the horror of the U.S. State Department, was a friend of my parents and a frequent guest at our home. Bolshakov smuggled a letter, the first of 21 declassified in 1993, to JFK's press secretary, Pierre Salinger, in a folded newspaper. In it, Khrushchev expressed regret about Vienna and embraced JFK's proposal for a path to peace and disarmament.

On October 27th, Gen. Clay made an unauthorized armed threat to knock down the Berlin Wall using tanks equipped with dozer plows, seeking to provoke the Soviets into some action that would justify a nuclear first strike. The Kremlin responded with its own tanks, which met Clay's forces at the border crossing known as Checkpoint Charlie. A 16-hour face-off ensued. Through my father, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and Bolshakov, JFK promised that if Khrushchev withdrew his tanks within 24 hours, the U.S. would pull back 20 minutes later. Khrushchev took the risk, and JFK kept his word. Two weeks later, with tensions still running, Khrushchev sent a second letter to JFK: "I have no ground to retreat further, there is a precipice behind [me]." Kennedy realized that Khrushchev, too, was surrounded by a powerful military and intelligence complex intent on going to war. After the confrontation, Gen. Clay railed against JFK's unwillingness to "face the risk of nuclear war" against the Soviets.

One year later, on October 16th, 1962, Kennedy saw aerial photographs proving that the Soviets had installed nuclear missiles in Cuba capable of reaching much of the eastern U.S. seaboard. The next 13 days were the most perilous in mankind's history. From the outset, the Pentagon, the CIA and many of JFK's advisers urged airstrikes and a U.S. invasion of the island that, as a Soviet military commander later revealed, would have triggered a nuclear war with the Soviets. JFK opted for a blockade, which Soviet ships respected. By October 26th, the standoff was de-escalating. Then, on October 27th, the crisis reignited when Soviet forces shot down a U.S. reconnaissance plane, killing its pilot, Maj. Rudolf Anderson. Almost immediately, the brass demanded overwhelming retaliation to destroy the Soviet missile sites. Meanwhile, Castro pushed the Kremlin military machine toward a devastating first strike. In a secret meeting with Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, my father told him, "If the situation continues much longer, the president is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power." U.S. marshals appeared at our house to take us to government bunkers in western Virginia. My brother Joe and I were anxious to go, if only to see the setup. But my father, who'd spent the previous six nights at the White House, called to say that we needed to be "good soldiers" and show up for school in Washington. To disappear, he told us, would cause public panic. That night, many people in our government went to sleep wondering if they would wake up dead.

On Monday, October 29th, the world moved back from the brink. An artfully drafted letter my father wrote with Ted Sorensen pledging that the U.S. would not invade Cuba – plus JFK's secret agreement with Khrushchev to withdraw obsolete Jupiter missiles from Turkey – persuaded the Kremlin to back down.

My father was not exaggerating to Dobrynin the fragility of White House control over the military. During the 13 days, the president's hold on power became increasingly tenuous as spooks and generals, apoplectic at JFK's reluctance to attack Cuba, engaged in dozens of acts of insubordination designed to trigger a nuclear exchange. CIA spymaster William Harvey screamed at the president and my father during a White House meeting: "We wouldn't be in such trouble now if you guys had some balls in the Bay of Pigs." Defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who years later leaked the Pentagon Papers, reported, "There was virtually a coup atmosphere in Pentagon circles." Incensed brass were in a state of disbelief at what they considered bald treason by the president. Spoiling for a war to end all wars, Gen. Curtis LeMay, the man who pioneered the use of napalm against civilians in Tokyo during World War II, found consolation by allowing himself to believe all was not lost. "Why don't we go in there and make a strike on Monday anyway?" LeMay said, as he watched the crisis subside.

Khrushchev said afterward that Kennedy had won his "deep respect" during the crisis: "He didn't let himself become frightened, nor did he become reckless. . . . He showed real wisdom and statesmanship when he turned his back on the right-wing forces in the United States who were trying to goad him into taking military action against Cuba."

Today it's fashionable to view the quagmire of Vietnam as a continuum beginning under Eisenhower and steadily escalating through the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations. But JFK was wary of the conflict from the outset and determined to end U.S. involvement at the time of his death.

JFK inherited a deteriorative dilemma. When Eisenhower left office, there were by official count 685 military advisers in Vietnam, sent there to help the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem in its battle against the South Vietnamese guerrillas known as the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese soldiers deployed by Communist ruler Ho Chi Minh, who was intent on reunifying his country. Eisenhower explained that "the loss of South Vietnam would set in motion a crumbling process that could, as it progressed, have grave consequences for us." Ho Chi Minh's popularity in the south had already led Dulles' CIA to sabotage national elections required by the Geneva Accords, which had ended France's colonial rule, and to prop up Diem's crooked puppet government, which was tenuously hanging on to power against the Communists. Back at home, Republican militarists were charging JFK with "losing Laos" and badgering him to ramp up our military commitment.

In JFK's first months in office, the Pentagon asked him to deploy ground troops into Vietnam. JFK agreed to send another 500 advisers, under the assumption that South Vietnam had a large army and would be able to defend itself against communist aggression. He refused to send ground troops but would eventually commit 16,500 advisers – fewer troops than he sent to Mississippi to integrate Ole Miss – who were technically forbidden from engaging in combat missions. He told New York Times columnist Arthur Krock in 1961 that the United States should not involve itself "in civil disturbances created by guerrillas."

For three years, that refusal to send combat troops earned him the antipathy of both liberals and conservatives who rebuked him for "throwing in the towel" in the Cold War. His critics included not just the traditionally bellicose Joint Chiefs and the CIA, but also trusted advisers and friends, including Gen. Maxwell Taylor; Defense Secretary Robert McNamara; McNamara's deputy, Roswell Gilpatric; and Secretary of State Rusk. JFK's ambassador to South Vietnam, Frederick Nolting Jr., reported a "virtually unanimous desire for the introduction of the U.S. forces into Vietnam" by the Vietnamese "in various walks of life." When Vice President Lyndon Johnson visited Vietnam in May 1961, he returned adamant that victory required U.S. combat troops. Virtually every one of JFK's senior staff concurred. Yet JFK resisted. Saigon, he said, would have to fight its own war.

As a stalling tactic, he sent Gen. Taylor to Vietnam on a fact-finding mission in September 1961. Taylor was among my father's best friends. JFK was frank with Taylor – he needed a military man to advise him to get out of Vietnam. According to Taylor, "The last thing he wanted was to put in ground forces. And I knew that." Nevertheless, Taylor was persuaded by hysterical military and intelligence experts across the Pacific, and had angered JFK when he came back recommending U.S. intervention. To prevent the fall of South Vietnam, Taylor suggested sending 8,000 U.S. troops under the guise of "flood relief" – a number that McNamara said was a reasonable start but should be escalated to as many as "six divisions, or about 205,000 men." Later, Taylor would say, "I don't recall anyone who was strongly against [sending troops to Vietnam] except one man, and that was the president."

Frustrated by Taylor's report, JFK then sent a confirmed pacifist, John Kenneth Galbraith, to Vietnam to make the case for nonintervention. But JFK confided his political weakness to Galbraith. "You have to realize," JFK said, "that I can only afford so many defeats in one year." He had the Bay of Pigs and the pulling out of Laos. He couldn't accept a third. Former Vice President Richard Nixon and the CIA's Dulles, whom JFK had fired, were loudly advocating U.S. military intervention in Vietnam, while Asian dominoes tumbled. Even The New York Times agreed. "The present situation," the paper had warned, "is one that brooks no further stalling." This was accepted wisdom among America's leading foreign-policy gurus. Public sympathies in the summer of 1963 were 2-to-1 for intervention.

Despite the drumbeat from the left and right, JFK refused to send in combat troops. "They want a force of American troops," JFK told Schlesinger. "They say it's necessary in order to restore confidence and maintain morale. But it will be just like Berlin. The troops will march in, the bands will play, the crowds will cheer, and in four days everyone will have forgotten. Then we will be told we have to send in more troops. It's like taking a drink. The effect wears off and you have to have another."

In 1967, Daniel Ellsberg interviewed my father. Ellsberg, a wavering war hawk and Marine veteran, was researching the history of the Vietnam War. He had seen the mountains of warmongering memos, advice and pressure. Ellsberg asked my father how JFK had managed to stand against the virtually unanimous tide of pro-war sentiment. My father explained that his brother did not want to follow France into a war of rich against poor, white versus Asian, on the side of imperialism and colonialism against nationalism and self-determination. Pressing my father, Ellsberg asked whether the president would have accepted a South Vietnamese defeat. "We would have handled it like Laos," my father told him. Intrigued, Ellsberg pressed further. "What made him so smart?" Three decades afterward, Ellsberg would vividly recall my father's reaction: "Whap! His hand slapped down on the desk. I jumped in my chair. 'Because we were there!' He slapped the desk again. 'We saw what was happening to the French. We saw it. We were determined never to let that happen to us.'"

In 1951, JFK, then a young congressman, and my father visited Vietnam, where they marveled at the fearlessness of the French Legionnaires and the hopelessness of their cause. On that trip, American diplomat Edmund Gullion warned JFK to avoid the trap. Upon returning, JFK isolated himself with his outspoken opposition to American involvement in this "hopeless internecine struggle."

Three years later, in April 1954, he made himself a pariah within his own party by condemning the Eisenhower administration for entertaining French requests for assistance in Indochina, predicting that fighting Ho Chi Minh would mire the U.S. in France's doomed colonial legacy. "No amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy that is everywhere and at the same time nowhere . . . [or an enemy] which has the sympathy and covert support of the people."

By the summer of 1963, JFK was quietly telling trusted friends and advisers he intended to get out following the 1964 election. These included Rep. Tip O'Neill, McNamara, National Security adviser McGeorge Bundy, Sen. Wayne Morse, Washington columnist Charles Bartlett, Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson, confidant Larry Newman, Gen. Taylor and Marine Commandant Gen. David M. Shoup, who, besides Taylor, was the only other member of the Joint Chiefs that JFK trusted. Both McNamara and Bundy acknowledged in their respective memoirs that JFK meant to get out – which were jarring admissions against self-interest, since these two would remain in the Johnson administration and orchestrate the war's escalation.

That spring, JFK had told Montana Sen. Mike Mansfield, who would become the Vietnam War's most outspoken Senate critic, "I can't do it until 1965, after I'm re-elected." Later that day, he explained to Kenneth O'Donnell, "If I tried to pull out completely from Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy Red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm re-elected." Both Nelson Rockefeller and Sen. Barry Goldwater, who were vying to run against him in 1964, were uncompromising Cold Warriors who would have loved to tar JFK with the brush that he had lost not just Laos, but now Vietnam. Goldwater was campaigning on the platform of "bombing Vietnam back into the Stone Age," a lyrical and satisfying construct to the Joint Chiefs and the CIA. "So we had better make damned sure I am re-elected," JFK said.

The Joint Chiefs, already in open revolt against JFK for failing to unleash the dogs of war in Cuba and Laos, were unanimous in urging a massive influx of ground troops and were incensed with talk of withdrawal. The mood in Langley was even uglier. Journalist Richard Starnes, filing from Vietnam, gave a stark assessment in The Washington Daily News of the CIA's unrestrained thirst for power in Vietnam. Starnes quoted high-level U.S. officials horrified by the CIA's role in escalating the conflict. They described an insubordinate, out-of-control agency, which one top official called a "malignancy." He doubted that "even the White House could control it any longer." Another warned, "If the United States ever experiences a [coup], it will come from the CIA and not from the Pentagon." Added another, "[Members of the CIA] represent tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone."

Defying such pressures, JFK, in the spring of 1962, told McNamara to order the Joint Chiefs to begin planning for a phased withdrawal that would disengage the U.S. altogether. McNamara later told an assistant secretary of defense that the president intended to "close out Vietnam by '65 whether it was in good shape or bad."

On May 8th, 1962, following JFK's orders, McNamara instructed a stunned Gen. Paul Harkins "to devise a plan for bringing full responsibility [for the Vietnam War] over to South Vietnam." Mutinous, the general ignored the order until July 23rd, 1962, when McNamara again commanded him to produce a plan for withdrawal. The brass returned May 6th, 1963, with a half-baked proposal that didn't complete withdrawal as quickly as JFK had wanted. McNamara ordered them back yet again.

On September 2nd, 1963, in a televised interview, JFK told the American people he didn't want to get drawn into Vietnam. "In the final analysis, it is their war," he said. "They are the ones who have to win or lose it. We can help them, we can give them equipment. We can send our men out there as advisers, but they have to win it, the people of Vietnam."

Six weeks before his death, on October 11th, 1963, JFK bypassed his own National Security Council and had Bundy issue National Security Action Memorandum 263, making official policy the withdrawal from Vietnam of the bulk of U.S. military personnel by the end of 1965, beginning with "1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963." On November 14th, 1963, a week before Dallas, he announced at a press conference that he was ordering up a plan for "how we can bring Americans out of there." The morning of November 21st, as he prepared to leave for Texas, he reviewed a casualty list for Vietnam indicating that more than 100 Americans to date had died there. Shaken and angry, JFK told his assistant press secretary Malcolm Kilduff, "It's time for us to get out. The Vietnamese aren't fighting for themselves. We're the ones doing the fighting. After I come back from Texas, that's going to change. There's no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life."

On November 24th, 1963, two days after JFK died, Lyndon Johnson met with South Vietnam Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, whom JFK had been on the verge of firing. LBJ told Lodge, "I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went." Over the next decade, nearly 3 million Americans, including many of my friends, would enter the paddies of Vietnam, and 58,000, including my cousin George Skakel, would never return.

Dulles, fired by JFK after the Bay of Pigs, returned to public service when LBJ appointed him to the Warren Commission, where he systematically concealed the agency's involvement in various assassination schemes and its ties to organized crime. To a young writer, he revealed his continued resentment against JFK: "That little Kennedy . . . he thought he was a god."

On June 10th, 1963, at American University, Kennedy gave his greatest speech ever, calling for an end to the Cold War, painting the heretical vision of America living and competing peacefully with Soviet Communists. World peace, he proposed, would not be "a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war." He challenged Cold War fundamentalists who cast the world as a clash of civilizations in which one side must win and the other annihilated. He suggested instead that peaceful coexistence with the Soviets might be the most expedient path to ending totalitarianism.

And he acknowledged that now, "above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either humiliating retreat or nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy – or a collective death wish for the world." In the nightmare reality of nuclear war, he said, "All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours."

JFK went on to paint the picture of a world where different ideologies were allowed to flourish, supplanting the immoral and destructive Cold War with productive competition that, instead of "devoting massive sums to weapons," would divert them "to combat ignorance, poverty and disease." And, he added, "if we cannot now end our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity."

He concluded by proposing a blueprint for bringing the Cold War to an end. "Our primary long-range interest," he said, was "general and complete disarmament, designed to take place by stages permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms." He announced unilateral suspension of atmospheric nuclear weapons and proposed immediate disarmament talks with Moscow.

It's hard to understand today how heretical JFK's proposal for coexistence with the Soviets sounded to America's right wing. It was Cold War boilerplate that any objective short of complete destruction was cowardice or treachery. In his bestselling 1962 diatribe Why Not Victory? Barry Goldwater proclaimed, "Our objective must be the destruction of the enemy as an ideological force. . . . Our effort calls for a basic commitment in the name of victory, which says we will never reconcile ourselves to the communist possession of power of any kind in any part of the world."

Despite opposition to the treaty from the generals and Republican leaders, including liberals like Nelson Rockefeller, Kennedy's words electrified a world terrified by the prospect of nuclear exchange. JFK's recognition of the Soviet point of view had an immediate salving impact on U.S.-Soviet relations. Khrushchev, deeply moved, later told treaty negotiator Averell Harriman that the American University address was "the greatest speech by an American president since Roosevelt."

Knowing that America's military-industrial complex would oppose him, JFK had kept the text of his speech secret from the Pentagon, the CIA and the State Department. His call for a unilateral test-ban treaty shocked his own National Security and his military and diplomatic advisers.

Worse, in the month leading up to the speech, he had secretly worked with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to arrange test-ban negotiations in Moscow. Khrushchev embraced JFK's proposal, agreeing in principle to end nuclear testing in the atmosphere and water, and on land and in outer space, and proposed a non*aggression pact between NATO and the Soviet satellite countries of the Warsaw Pact. Kennedy supervised every detail of the negotiation, working at astounding speed to end-run his adversaries in the Pentagon. On July 25th, 1963, JFK approved the treaty. The next day, he went on TV, telling America, "This treaty can symbolize the end of one era and the beginning of another – if both sides can, by this treaty, gain confidence and experience in peaceful collaboration." Less than a month later, they both signed the treaty. It was the first arms-control agreement of the nuclear age. Historian Richard Reeves wrote, "By moving so swiftly on the Moscow negotiations, Kennedy politically outflanked his own military on the most important military question of the time."

Caught off guard, the military-intelligence apparatus quickly mobilized to derail the treaty, which still needed to be ratified by the Senate. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had announced months earlier that they were "opposed to a comprehensive ban under almost any terms," joined CIA director John McCone in lobbying against the agreement in the Senate. The Pentagon tried to sabotage its passage by hiding information about the ease of detecting underground tests.

The right-wing propaganda machine found plenty of arable ground in the American national consciousness to fertilize with fear. Initially, congressional mail ran 15-1 against the treaty. JFK believed the chances for passage in the Senate was "about in the nature of a miracle." He ordered his staff to pull out every stop to mobilize the population, saying that he was determined to get the treaty passed, even if it cost him the 1964 election.

By September, a monumental grassroots White House campaign had flipped public opinion to support the treaty by 80 percent. On September 24th, 1963, the Senate ratified the treaty 80-19. As Ted Sorensen noted, no other single accomplishment in the White House "gave the president greater satisfaction."

On October 10th, after signing the atmospheric-test-ban treaty, Khrushchev sent JFK the last of his personal letters. In that missive, Khrushchev proposed the next steps for ending the Cold War. He recommended the conclusion of a nonaggression pact between the NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations, and a number of steps to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and prevent their use in surprise attacks. JFK would never see the letter. State Department officials hostile toward Khrushchev intercepted it.

Khrushchev had already secretly proposed to his own government radical reductions in the Soviet military, including the conversion of missile plants to peaceful purposes. After JFK's death, Kremlin war hawks viewed Khrushchev's plan as a treasonous proposal for unilateral disarmament. Less than a year after Dallas, Khrushchev was removed from power.

JFK, at the time of his death, was planning his own trip to the Soviet Union, knowing nothing would do more to end the Cold War. Forty years later, Khrushchev's son Sergei wrote that he was "convinced that if history had allowed them another six years, they would have brought the Cold War to a close before the end of the 1960s. . . . But fate decreed otherwise, and the window of opportunity, barely cracked open, closed at once. In 1963, President Kennedy was killed, and a year later, in October 1964, my father was removed from power. The Cold War continued for another quarter of a century."

JFK's capacity to stand up against the national-security apparatus and imagine a different future for America has made him, despite his short presidency, one of the most popular presidents in history. Despite his abbreviated tenure, John F. Kennedy is the only one-term president consistently included in the list of top 10 presidents made by American historians. A 2009 poll of 65 historians ranked him sixth in overall presidential performance, just ahead of Jefferson. And today, JFK's great concerns seem more relevant than ever: the dangers of nuclear proliferation, the notion that empire is inconsistent with a republic and that corporate domination of our democracy at home is the partner of imperial policies abroad. He understood the perils to our Constitution from a national-security state and mistrusted zealots and ideologues. He thought other nations ought to fight their own civil wars and choose their own governments and not ask the U.S. to do it for them. Yet the world he imagined and fought for has receded so far below the horizon that it's no longer even part of the permissible narrative inside the Beltway or in the mainstream press. Critics who endeavor to debate the survival of American democracy within the national-security state risk marginalization as crackpots and kooks. His greatest, most heroic aspirations for a peaceful, demilitarized foreign policy are the forbidden* debates of the modern political era.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politic...peace-20131120
 
Old June 4th, 2018 #36
Robbie Key
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Did Israel Kill the Kennedys?

by LAURENT GUYÉNOT • JUNE 3, 2018 • 9,900 WORDS • 217 COMMENTS •

http://www.unz.com/article/did-israe...the-kennedies/
 
Old July 8th, 2018 #37
Jeffrey Smither
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Originally Posted by Robbie Key View Post
Did Israel Kill the Kennedys?

by LAURENT GUYÉNOT • JUNE 3, 2018 • 9,900 WORDS • 217 COMMENTS •

http://www.unz.com/article/did-israe...the-kennedies/
Wouldn't surprise me at all. I still think the commies or possibly the Zionist and Jews had him killed.
 
Old May 4th, 2019 #38
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How a standoff with the U.S. almost blew up Israel's nuclear program

Kennedy's ultimatum, Ben-Gurion's 'sick' reply and a 'fiasco' nuclear inspection: Newly declassified documents shed light on the diplomatic crisis that some feared may lead to a U.S. raid on Israel's Dimona plant

Avner Cohen, William Burr | May 3, 2019 | 8:06 AM | 6

Throughout the spring and summer of 1963, the leaders of the United States and Israel – President John F. Kennedy and Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol – were engaged in a high-stakes battle of wills over Israel’s nuclear program. The tensions were invisible to the publics of both countries, and only a few senior officials, on both sides of the ocean, were aware of the severity of the situation

In Israel, those in the know saw the situation as a real crisis, as a former high-level science adviser, Prof. Yuval Ne’eman, told one of us (Avner Cohen) 25 years ago. Ne’eman recalled that Eshkol, Ben-Gurion’s successor, and his associates saw Kennedy as presenting Israel with a real ultimatum. There was even one senior Israeli official, Ne’eman told me, the former Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. (res.) Dan Tolkowsky, who seriously entertained the fear that Kennedy might send U.S. airborne troops to Dimona, the home of Israel’s nuclear complex.

What was at stake was the future of Israel’s nuclear program. Kennedy, with an exceptionally strong commitment to nuclear nonproliferation, was determined to do all he could to prevent Israel from producing nuclear weapons. Ben-Gurion (and later Eshkol) were equally determined to complete the Dimona project. For them, nuclear capability was an indispensable insurance policy against existential threats to Israel. The exchange between the American president and the two prime ministers illustrates both Kennedy’s tenacity and the Israeli leaders’ recalcitrance.

Earlier this week, we published – on the website of the National Security Archive – a collection of nearly 50 American documents from U.S. archives that illuminate for the first time the full scope of this secret American-Israeli confrontation. The collection includes not only the entire exchange of messages between the leaders – Kennedy, Ben-Gurion and Eshkol – but also many related American documents, some of which were declassified and became available only in recent months.

These include a full report of the U.S. inspectors who visited Dimona in 1964; memos in which senior White House officials deliberated how to deal with the prime minister; and intelligence assessments that had analyzed whether Israel’s nuclear reactor was, as the Israelis insisted, really meant for peaceful use.

Kennedy, Nonproliferation and Israel

More than any other country, it was his dealings with Israel that impressed upon President Kennedy both the complexity and the difficulty of halting nuclear proliferation.

In the fall of 1960, not long after Kennedy’s election, the outgoing Eisenhower administration first became aware of the Dimona reactor that Israel and France had begun building in secret during 1958. The CIA issued a Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) that determined that “plutonium production for weapons is at least one major purpose of this effort.” Furthermore, the estimate predicted that if the Arab world believed that Israel was acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability, it would cause “consternation,” and blame would be directed toward the U.S. and France for their presumed support of the project.

At a White House briefing on January 19, 1961, the eve of his inauguration, Kennedy inquired which countries were seeking the bomb. “Israel and India,” outgoing Secretary of State Christian Herter told him, adding that the then-newly discovered Dimona reactor would be able to produce 90 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium by 1963, enough for 10 to 15 nuclear weapons. Herter urged Kennedy to press hard for inspections of Dimona before Israel introduced such weapons into the Middle East.

Although Kennedy had a variety of tough issues to address from the outset – ranging from the CIA’s plans for an invasion of Cuba to a crisis over Laos – within days of taking office he began urging Ben-Gurion to accept a U.S. visit to Dimona, insisting that a visit was a condition for good diplomatic relations. In responding, Ben-Gurion dragged his feet, citing a cabinet crisis that had to be resolved.

By April 1961 – by which time Ben-Gurion, who had resigned as prime minister on January 31, in protest of his colleagues’ conduct regarding the Lavon affair, was heading a caretaker government – Israeli Ambassador to Washington Avraham Harman told the administration that Israel had agreed to a tour of Dimona by U.S. officials. On May 20, two Atomic Energy Commission scientists, U. M. Staebler and J. W. Croach, Jr., visited the site. Its management team explained that the technological rationale for the project was to gain experience in building and operating nuclear reactors that could be used in the future for peaceful power generation.

From U.S. documents, we know that the AEC team was “satisfied that nothing was concealed from them and that the reactor is of the scope and peaceful character previously described.” This visit laid the foundations for a meeting between Ben-Gurion and Kennedy in New York, on May 31, 1961.

The rationale Ben-Gurion presented to Kennedy during that meeting, held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, was consistent with what the Dimona management team had told the American scientists: The nuclear project was peaceful in nature; it was about energy and development. However, the Israeli leader's narrative also left a little wiggle room for a future reversal. His caveat amounted to a few words: “for the time being, the only purposes are for peace. … But we will see what will happen in the Middle East. It does not depend on us” (italics added).

The ‘spontaneous’ second visit

The meeting with Ben-Gurion helped to clear the air for some time, but it did not remove lingering American doubts and suspicions about Israel’s nuclear intentions. Starting in June 1962, the Americans began trying to arrange a second visit to Dimona, but failed to make headway. It wasn’t until September 26, 1962, after frequent requests over several months, that such a visit finally took place.

Until recently, little was known from American documents about that second Dimona visit except that U.S. Ambassador to Israel Walworth Barbour referred to it as “unduly restricted to no more than 45 minutes.” Recently declassified documents shed new light on the visit. The key document is a memo, written on December 27, 1962, by the deputy director of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Rodger Davies, to Assistant Secretary Philip Talbot, detailing the story of the second visit.

After the two AEC visiting scientists – Thomas Haycock and Ulysses Staebler – had inspected the small, U.S.-supplied reactor at Nahal Sorek, they were unexpectedly offered a sightseeing tour at the Dead Sea. Later, as they were being driven back to their hotel, their host told them that they were near the Dimona reactor and that a meeting with the director could be arranged. The director was not there, but they met and were briefed by the principal engineer, who gave them a 40-minute tour of the facility. The report’s final sentence states that “the inspectors were not certain whether they were guests of their scientist-hosts or on an inspection. Although they have not had time to see the entire installation, and although there were some buildings they did not enter, they were able to confirm the research nature of the installation.”

The highly unconventional nature of the visit stirred suspicion in Washington, especially in the intelligence community. During one interagency meeting, a senior intelligence expert, probably Deputy Director of Intelligence Ray Cline, was quoted as saying that “the immediate objectives of the visit may have been satisfied, [but] certain basic intelligence requirements were not.” It was also observed that “there were certain inconsistencies between the first and second inspection reports.”

Whatever the doubts about the ultimate intelligence value gleaned from the second visit, the State Department passed on its conclusions to other countries. A few weeks after the second visit, just as the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was unfolding, the State Department began to quietly inform selected governments that Dimona was a peaceful nuclear project.

Early 1963: Renewed U.S. interest

In early 1963, however, concerns over Dimona resurfaced. By late January, Kennedy had received a new National Intelligence Estimate, entitled “The Arab-Israeli Problem,” that highlighted the weapons potential of the Dimona reactor. On Israel’s nuclear potential, the NIE concluded that the facility would become operational later that year and that by the following year, 1964, “if operated at its maximum capacity for the production of weapon-grade plutonium, the reactor could produce sufficient plutonium for one or two weapons a year.”

To produce plutonium, Israel would need a facility to separate it from spent reactor fuel, and the NIE acknowledged that at the time U.S. intelligence had “no evidence to confirm or deny the existence of a separation facility.” The NIE noted that the Israelis had made contradictory statements about a reprocessing plant, including statements in 1961 (during the Ben-Gurion-Kennedy meeting) that they planned to build a pilot one, and in 1962 (apparently during the second Dimona visit) that they had no such plans. As our collection indicates, the Israelis told the U.S. inspectors in January 1964 that they had delayed constructing a pilot plant for reprocessing.

Reacting to the intelligence estimate, NSC official Robert Komer suggested that Israel “will attempt to produce a weapon sometime in the next several years and could have a very limited capability by 67-68.” In retrospect, and based on earlier publications on this subject, we can say that that assessment turned out to be on target. Komer informed the president that “we are planning a better look [at Dimona] in the next month or so.”

By early February, American officials were characterizing the second visit to Dimona as a “fiasco” and urged fresh thinking within the AEC, State Department, and probably the White House about how the United States could effectively and systematically monitor the reactor. One conclusion was that an effective inspection regime would demand biannual visits. The reason for the proposed frequency was purely technical: To trace extraction of weapons-grade plutonium, there must be two visits annually, because production reactors operate on a much shorter schedule than research reactors.

Weeks later, in early March, Kent Sherman, director of the Office of National Estimates, which prepared the NIEs, signed an intelligence estimate detailing the grave consequences of Israeli nuclearization. “Israel’s policy toward its neighbors would become more rather than less tough… it would … seek to exploit the psychological advantages of its nuclear capability to intimidate the Arabs and to prevent them from making trouble on the frontiers.” Furthermore, in dealing with the United States, Israel “would use all means in its command to persuade [it] to acquiesce in and even to support, its possession of nuclear capability.”

On March 25, 1963, President Kennedy and CIA Director John A. McCone discussed the Israeli nuclear program. According to McCone, Kennedy raised the “question of Israel acquiring nuclear capability,” and McCone provided Kennedy with Kent’s estimate of the anticipated negative consequences of Israeli nuclearization. According to McCone, Kennedy then instructed National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy to guide Secretary of State Dean Rusk, in collaboration with the CIA director and the AEC chairman, to submit a proposal “as to how some form of international or bilateral U.S. safeguards could be instituted to protect against the contingency mentioned.” That also meant that the “next informal inspection of the Israeli reactor complex [must] …be undertaken promptly and... be as thorough as possible.”

Within days, this presidential request was translated into diplomatic action. On April 2, Ambassador Barbour met Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and presented the American request for his “assent to semi-annual visits to Dimona [among themselves American referred to them as ‘inspection visits’] perhaps in May and November, with full access to all parts and instruments in the facility, by qualified U.S. scientists.” Ben-Gurion, apparently taken by surprise, responded by saying the issue would have to be postponed until after Passover, which that year ended on April 15. To highlight the point further, two days later, Assistant Secretary Talbot summoned Israeli Ambassador Harman to the State Department and presented him with a diplomatic démarche on the inspections. This message to Ben-Gurion was the first salvo in what would become the toughest American-Israeli confrontation over the Israeli nuclear program.

The Kennedy-Ben-Gurion exchange

Ben-Gurion was expected to respond to the U.S. request on Dimona at his next meeting with Ambassador Barbour, following Passover. The Israeli premier was not ready – politically or psychologically – to confront a determined U.S. president. Nor, however, could he accept semi-annual visits, which would have been a death blow to Dimona. In a sense, Ben-Gurion found himself trapped by his original “peaceful purpose” pledge that aimed at preventing a confrontation with the United States.

Ben-Gurion decided to try to avoid confrontation and evade the nuclear issue by attempting to persuade Kennedy to think about Israel’s overall security predicament. The prime minister needed to change the subject of the conversation from Kennedy’s specific demand for American twice-a-year visits to Dimona into a broader and urgent discussion about Israel’s overall strategic situation. But how could he do that? How could he evade Kennedy’s demand?

Ben-Gurion soon had an opportunity to change the subject. On April 17, 1963, Egypt, Syria and Iraq signed the Arab Federation Proclamation, calling for a military union to bring about “the liberation of Palestine.” Such rhetoric was not new at the time and it is not clear whether Ben-Gurion genuinely saw the proclamation as an existential threat to Israel. Nevertheless, it gave him a golden opportunity to argue that Israel was facing just that, and hence – by tacit implication – that Israel was justified in its efforts to generate an “insurance policy.”

On April 26, more than three weeks after the original U.S. demand concerning Dimona, Ben-Gurion responded to Kennedy with a seven-page letter that focused on broad issues of Israeli security and regional stability. Claiming that Israel faced an unprecedented threat, Ben-Gurion invoked the specter of “another Holocaust,” and insisted that Israel’s security should be protected by joint external security guarantees, to be extended by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Why did Ben-Gurion make this fantastic and unrealistic proposal at this time? He was probably trying to provide the U.S. with a tacit rationale for the real purpose of Dimona, without explicitly stating it and without directly countering or rejecting Kennedy’s demands.

Kennedy, however, was determined not to let Ben-Gurion change the subject. On May 4, he replied to the prime minister, assuring him that while “we are watching closely current developments in the Arab world,” the Israeli leader’s alarm over the Arab Federation Proclamation was overstated. As to Ben-Gurion’s proposal for a joint superpower declaration, Kennedy dismissed both its practicality and its political wisdom. Kennedy was much less worried about an “early Arab attack” than he was by “a successful development of advanced offensive systems which, as you say, could not be dealt with by presently available means.”

In tandem with the letter, Ambassador Barbour met with Ben-Gurion to further clarify the American request for semi-annual visits to Dimona. Although records of this meeting remain classified, Kennedy and his advisers suspected that Ben-Gurion was initiating a process of bargaining over the Dimona visits – that is, by linking the visits to other possible Israeli goals, such as obtaining a security guarantee. Barbour was instructed to remind the Israeli leader that he and other senior officials had already approved inspections unconditionally.

Kennedy’s dismissive reply did not deter Ben-Gurion. In another lengthy and highly emotional reply to Kennedy’s May 4 letter, Ben-Gurion continued his earlier effort to change the conversation while also indirectly explaining the true purpose of Dimona. When senior Foreign Ministry official Gideon Rafael saw the draft, he advised against sending it, arguing that the letter “looks sick” (holani, in the original Hebrew), and that “the prime minister must not speak about something that seems sick.” Ben-Gurion usually rejected editorial advice and, true to form, he insisted on maintaining both its tone and length.

On the surface, the letter seems to ignore Dimona entirely, as if the prime minister had either overlooked or entirely dismissed Kennedy’s letter and the recent U.S. requests for visits. Instead, in a tone of an old statesman who had seen it all, Ben-Gurion wrote of his impressions of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and his pan-Arabism, drawing an analogy between the Egyptian, together with other contemporary Arab leaders, and Hitler: “Knowing them I am convinced that they are capable of following the Nazi example. Nasser is in fact adopting the National-Socialist ideology of the Nazis. For many years the civilized world did not take seriously Hitler’s statement that one of his aims was the worldwide extermination of the Jewish people. I have no doubt that a similar thing might happen to Jews in Israel if Nasser succeeded in defeating our army.”

Acknowledging Kennedy’s view that a joint U.S.-Soviet security guarantee was politically impossible, Ben-Gurion now suggested a sweeping, bilateral U.S-Israel security agreement that would include the following: a supply of U.S. arms equivalent to what the Arabs were receiving from the Soviet Union, the transformation of Jordan’s West Bank into a demilitarized zone, and “a plan of general disarmament between Israel and the Arab states under a system of mutual and international inspection and control.”

This was a laundry list of unrealistic ideas and proposals. Again, Ben-Gurion may have meant to convey to Kennedy his rationale for the Dimona project, while avoiding expressing it explicitly. By reminding Kennedy that another Holocaust was possible and suggesting (indirectly) that Israel could not feasibly obtain a credible external security guarantee, he was effectively signaling to the president why Israel wanted a nuclear deterrent in the first place.

In his monumental new biography of Israel’s first prime minister, “Ben-Gurion: A State at Any Cost,” due out in English this summer, Israeli historian Tom Segev reads this letter as if Ben-Gurion was actually considering giving up Dimona in return for some sort of security guarantee. We do not believe that Ben-Gurion ever seriously entertained giving up the nuclear project. Yes, Ben-Gurion was pushing for security guarantees, but realistically he must have known that goal was not in the cards, so long as Israel neighbors did not recognize her. From Kennedy’s perspective, providing Israel with security guarantees would have been a clear sign of favoritism toward, and would have undermined U.S. relations with the Arab states.

Kennedy, however, would not budge on Dimona, and the disagreements became a “pain in the neck” for him, as Robert Komer later wrote. The confrontation with Israel escalated when the State Department transmitted Kennedy’s latest letter to the Tel Aviv embassy on June 15 for immediate delivery to Ben-Gurion by Ambassador Barbour. In the letter Kennedy fleshed out his insistence on biannual visits with a set of detailed technical conditions. The letter was akin to an ultimatum: If the U.S. government could not obtain “reliable information” on the state of the Dimona project, Washington’s “commitment to and support of Israel” could be “seriously jeopardized.”

But the letter was never presented to Ben-Gurion. The telegram with Kennedy’s letter arrived in Tel Aviv on Saturday, June 15, the day before Ben-Gurion’s announcement of his resignation, a decision that stunned his country and the world. Ben-Gurion never explained, in writing or orally, what led him to resign, beyond citing “personal reasons.” He denied that his move was related to any specific policy issues, but the question of the extent to which Kennedy’s Dimona pressure played a role remains open to speculation to the present day.

Eshkol’s first crisis

On July 5, less than 10 days after Levi Eshkol succeeded Ben-Gurion as prime minister, Ambassador Barbour delivered to him a first letter from President Kennedy addressing him as Israel’s new leader. The letter was virtually a copy of the undelivered letter of June 15 to Ben-Gurion, with just a few congratulatory lines added at the top. Not since President Dwight Eisenhower’s message to Ben-Gurion, during the Suez crisis in November 1956, demanding an immediate Israeli withdrawal from the peninsula, had an American president been so direct in his demand with an Israeli prime minister. As Yuval Ne’eman witnessed it, it was immediately apparent to Eshkol and his advisers that Kennedy’s demands were akin to an ultimatum, and thus constituted a crisis in the making.

A stunned Eshkol, in his first and interim response, on July 17, requested more time to study the subject and for consultations. Eshkol confided to Ambassador Barbour his “surprise” over Kennedy’s statement that the U.S. commitment to and support of Israel could be “seriously jeopardized.” The premier noted that while he hoped that U.S-Israeli friendship would grow under his watch, “Israel would do what it had to do for its national security and to safeguard its sovereign rights.” Barbour, apparently wanting to mitigate the bluntness of the letter, assured Eshkol that Kennedy’s statement was “factual”: Critics of strong U.S.-Israel relations might complicate the diplomatic relationship if Dimona was left uninspected.

Later in the discussion, we learn from the newly declassified documents, Eshkol asked a blunt question that Ben-Gurion had never dared to ask: How would Washington react to an Israeli proposal to “consult in advance” with the United States, “in the event that, sometime in the distant future,” Middle Eastern developments made it necessary to “embark on a nuclear weapons program?” Barbour, of course, was not authorized to answer such a hypothetical question, so he restated the U.S. view that the “introduction” of nuclear weapons into the Middle East would be “especially grave.” No doubt, Barbour understood the significance of Eshkol’s question: He was hinting, openly but tentatively, that there were conceivable circumstances under which Israel might “embark on a nuclear weapons program.”

On August 19, after six weeks of consultations that generated at least eight different drafts, Eshkol handed Barbour his written reply to Kennedy’s demands. It began by reiterating Ben-Gurion’s past assurances that Dimona’s purpose was peaceful. As to Kennedy’s request, Eshkol wrote that given the special relationship between the two countries, he had decided to allow regular visits of U.S. representatives to the Dimona site. On the specific issue of the schedule, Eshkol suggested – as Ben-Gurion had in his last letter to Kennedy – that late 1963 would be the time for the first visit: By then, he wrote, “the French group will have handed the reactor over to us and it will be undertaking general tests and measurements of its physical parameters at zero power.”

Eshkol was explicit that the first American visit should be held before the start-up stage, but was vague on the proposed frequency of visits. Eshkol disregarded Kennedy’s demand for biannual tours, while avoiding a frontal challenge to Kennedy’s request. “Having considered this request, I believe we shall be able to reach agreement on the future schedule of visits,” Eshkol wrote. In sum, the prime minister split the difference: To end the confrontation, he assented to “regular visits” by U.S. scientists, but he did not accept the idea of the prompt visit that Kennedy wanted and avoided making an explicit commitment to biannual inspections. Kennedy’s appreciative reply did not mention these divergences, but assumed a basic agreement on “regular visits.”

The ambiguities of Eshkol’s reply were understood in Washington, but played down. In a detailed memo that the acting secretary of state, George Ball, wrote to Kennedy, the overall assessment was positive: Eshkol’s reply, “although not entirely what we wanted, probably represents the most we can hope.” Eshkol’s vagueness about Kennedy’s most important demand, twice-yearly visits to Dimona, was well recognized, but “we prefer to give him [Eshkol] the benefit of the doubt, relying on our interpretation, the prime minister’s oral statement that future agreement ‘will give no trouble.’” It turned out that Kennedy’s insistence of biannual visits was never accepted, although it remained on the U.S. agenda.

In the wake of Eshkol’s letter, the first of the long-sought regular inspection visits to Dimona took place in mid-January 1964, two months after Kennedy’s assassination. The Israelis told the American visitors that the reactor had gone critical only a few weeks earlier, but that claim was not accurate. Israel acknowledged years later that the Dimona reactor became operational in mid-1963, as the Kennedy administration had originally assumed.

Both the U.S. and the Israelis kept the visit secret, with leaks to the press effectively contained for over a year. The inspection took place over the course of a single day instead of the two days sought by the inspectors. The shorter time line meant that some buildings and parts of buildings were not seen, although the inspectors reported that the visit was “as comprehensive and thorough as the time permitted.” Their findings raised no suspicions of weapons-related activities, but it was “the impression of the team that the Dimona site and the equipment located there represented an ambitious project for a country of Israel’s capabilities.”

The issue of Israel’s possible reprocessing of spent fuel for plutonium continued to bedevil U.S. intelligence throughout the 1960s. No one was sure whether Israel already had a secret reprocessing site or had yet to build one.

Looking back

In retrospect, however, the 1963 exchange of letters between Kennedy and Ben-Gurion and Eshkol was the climax of the battle the U.S. leader waged against the Israeli nuclear project throughout his presidency. For Kennedy, the stakes were higher than the status of Israel’s nuclear program. At issue was the fate of his effort to halt global nuclear proliferation. Israel was the first such case the Kennedy administration had to face in which it had some political leverage. If Kennedy failed to halt Israel’s nuclear aspirations, how could he stop others, such as India?

For Ben-Gurion, Dimona was the most precious project he was involved in during his last decade in office. The establishment of the Negev Nuclear Research Center was the result of the prime minister’s deepest anxieties about Israel’s future, the fears of an old man that he attempted to share with Kennedy in his letter of late April 1963. The Dimona project was probably also the most divisive, challenging and ambitious endeavor that he had dared to tackle as Israel’s leader. Rightly or wrongly, Dimona, in Ben-Gurion’s eyes, was necessary to ensure that another Holocaust could never happen to Israel. If Kennedy had prevailed in his demand for biannual inspections, that goal might never have been obtained. For Ben-Gurion, abandoning Dimona would have cast a huge shadow on his legacy.

From a contemporary perspective, it is difficult, maybe impossible, to understand just how vulnerable and uncertain the future of the Dimona project was during the spring and summer of 1963. Had the United States been truly determined to suspend its “commitment to and support of Israel’s well-being” if Ben-Gurion did not comply with Kennedy’s demands – Israel probably would not have been able to complete the Dimona project as planned. The crisis was also a crisis of mutual confidence: Both sides were highly committed to their goals, but neither wanted to rupture the bilateral relationship. We will never know how unwavering President Kennedy would have been on the issue of Dimona, had he lived to serve his full term (or even two terms) as president. His resolve was never fully tested, although we can see that he was quite determined.

It turned out that Kennedy’s insistence on biannual visits to Dimona was not implemented. U.S. government officials remained interested in such a schedule, and President Lyndon B. Johnson did raise the issue with Eshkol, but he never pressed hard on the subject the way that Kennedy had.

In the end, the confrontation between President Kennedy and two Israeli prime ministers resulted in a series of six American inspections of the Dimona nuclear complex, once a year between 1964 and 1969. They were never conducted under the strict conditions Kennedy laid out in his letters. While Kennedy’s successor remained committed to the cause of nuclear nonproliferation and supported American inspection visits at Dimona, he was much less concerned about holding the Israelis to Kennedy’s terms. In retrospect, this change of attitude may have saved the Israeli nuclear program.

Avner Cohen is a professor of nonproliferation studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (California), and the author of “Israel and the Bomb.”

William Burr is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive, George Washington University, where he directs the Archive’s Nuclear Documentation Project and edits its web page The Nuclear Vault.

http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-...gram-1.7193419
 
Old May 4th, 2019 #39
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I wasn't even born at the time, but I do remember when over the intercom Reagan was shot in my freshman year of prep school. Those were the days.

I do enjoy hashing over the conspiracy takes with an Egyptian I know. He says EVERYTHING is the Rapechilds.

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