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How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

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  • #16
    Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

    Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
    As for as I am concerned the day JFK was murdered, a conspiracy, was the day America died.

    When Pres. Bush Sr was asked once where he was when JFK was killed, he said he could not remember. I don't believe it. Who doesn't recall where they were when that happened?
    "War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today."
    President John F. Kennedy

    The first JFK conspiracy theorist was his brother Bobby who was Attorney General.

    The Kennedy Assassination: Was There a Conspiracy?
    By David Talbot & Vincent BugliosiThursday, June 21, 2007



    Bobby suspected his brother's assassination emerged from the plotting by Cuban exiles, the Mafia and the CIA to kill Castro. From left, CIA Director John McCone, Castro, FBI Director Hoover, who first informed Bobby of J.F.K.'s death, and New Orleans mobster Carlos Marcello. At right, Oswald.

    Yes.
    On Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, Robert F. KennedyJ.F.K.'s younger brother, Attorney General and devoted watchmanwas eating lunch at Hickory Hill, his Virginia home, when he got the news from Dallas. It was his archenemy, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, of all people, who phoned to tell him. "The President's been shot," Hoover curtly said. Bobby later recalled, "I think he told me with pleasure."

    For the rest of the day and night, Bobby Kennedy would wrestle with his howling grief while using whatever power was still left him to figure out what really happened in Dallasbefore the new Administration settled firmly into place under the command of another political enemy, Lyndon Johnson. While the Attorney General's aides summoned federal Marshals to surround R.F.K.'s estate (they no longer trusted the Secret Service or the FBI)uncertain of whether the President's brother would be the next targetBobby feverishly gathered information. He worked the phones at Hickory Hill, talking to people who had been in the presidential motorcade; he conferred with a succession of government officials and aides while waiting for Air Force One to return with the body of his brother; he accompanied his brother's remains to the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he took steps to take control of medical evidence, including the President's brain; and he stayed coiled and awake in the White House until early the next morning. Lit up with the clarity of shock, the electricity of adrenaline, he constructed the outlines of the crime. Bobby Kennedy would become America's first J.F.K. assassination-conspiracy theorist.

    The President's brother quickly concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, had not acted alone. And Bobby immediately suspected the CIA's secret war on Fidel Castro as the source of the plot. At his home that Friday afternoon, Bobby confronted CIA Director John McCone, asking him point-blank whether the agency had killed J.F.K. (McCone denied it.) Later, R.F.K. ordered aides to explore a possible Mafia connection to the crime. And in a revealing phone conversation with Harry Ruiz-Williams, a trusted friend in the anti-Castro movement, Kennedy said bluntly, "One of your guys did it." Though the CIA and the FBI were already working strenuously to portray Oswald as a communist agent, Bobby Kennedy rejected this view. Instead, he concluded Oswald was a member of the shadowy operation that was seeking to overthrow Castro.

    Bobby knew that a dark alliancethe CIA, the Mafia and militant Cuban exileshad formed to assassinate Castro and force a regime change in Havana. That's because President Kennedy had given his brother the Cuban portfolio after the CIA's Bay of Pigs fiasco. But Bobby, who would begin some days by dropping by the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Va., on his way to the Justice Department, never managed to get fully in control of the agency's sprawling, covert war on Castro. Now, he suspected, this underground worldwhere J.F.K. was despised for betraying the anti-Castro causehad spawned his brother's assassination.

    As Kennedy slowly emerged from his torment over Dallas and resumed an active role in public liferunning for U.S. Senator from New York in 1964 and then President in 1968he secretly investigated his brother's assassination. He traveled to Mexico City, where he gathered information about Oswald's mysterious trip there before Dallas. He met with conspiracy researcher Penn Jones Jr., a crusading Texas newspaperman, in his Senate office. He returned to the Justice Department with his ace investigator Walter Sheridan to paw through old files. He dispatched trusted associates to New Orleans to report to him on prosecutor Jim Garrison's controversial reopening of the case. Kennedy told confidants that he himself would reopen the investigation into the assassination if he won the presidency, believing it would take the full powers of the office to do so. As Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger Jr. once observed, no one of his era knew more than Bobby about "the underground streams through which so much of the actuality of American power darkly coursed: the FBI, CIA, the racketeering unions and the Mob." But when it came to his brother's murder, Bobby never got a chance to prove his case.

    Read more: The Kennedy Assassination: Was There a Conspiracy?

    ?


    • #17
      Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

      Originally posted by Blue Doggy View Post
      As for as I am concerned the day JFK was murdered, a conspiracy, was the day America died.

      When Pres. Bush Sr was asked once where he was when JFK was killed, he said he could not remember. I don't believe it. Who doesn't recall where they were when that happened?
      Name three things you DON'T think are a result of some conspiracy...

      ?


      • #18
        Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

        Originally posted by MattInFla View Post
        That must mean Bush Sr. was involved in the conspiracy! Well done!
        Or he is an idiot which goes long way to explaining Bush 43

        ?


        • #19
          Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

          To attempt to get this thread back on topic, I am not sure exactly what the JFK legacy really was.

          Because he was a personally popular president who was assassinated leaving behind two young children and an attractive widow his legacy will always be overshadowed by those dark days in Dallas.

          He allowed the Bay of Pigs fiasco to proceed. While the planning was well under way under Ike, JFK allowed his military advisors to sway him into launching the attack with disastrous and in hindsight predictable outcome. These outcomes should have been assessed prior to the start of the attack, the information was there.

          He also contributed to the failure of the attack by withdrawing support once the attack was under way.

          Then there was the Cuban Missile Crisis. He did resolve that one but was it allowed to escalate too much to the crisis point before being resolved? We will never know.

          Then there was the start of the Viet Nam war, was his policy of advisors correct in helping t prevent the spread of communism, again we will never know because after the assassination LBJ escalated the war.

          Domestically JFK was a mixed bag; he led the US into the space race, committing to a manned mission by the end of the decade but was stalled in getting a lot of his platform through a hostile congress.

          Personally he was a womanizer of the highest order. He was a hypocrite about it. I really do not care who or what a person screws as long as they are honest about it. He even made sure that he had a personal supply of Cuban cigars before he implemented the embargo, again a hypocritical act.

          And for what its worth, I believe that a lone gunman killed him. He was acting alone. We do not want to believe that a simple disgruntled person can kill one of the major leaders just by acting alone. A lot of the conspiracy theories can be easily explained by people covering their asses after the fact or that there was some profit in propagating these theories, like a book deal or a speaking tour.

          Trivia question. Who was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission? It is a name everyone will know and recognize, not some low level obscure congressman.

          ?


          • #20
            Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

            Originally posted by RDK View Post
            Trivia question. Who was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission? It is a name everyone will know and recognize, not some low level obscure congressman.
            Gerald Ford? Or are you asking about the ole Magic Bullet theory and Arlen Specter?

            ?


            • #21
              Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

              Originally posted by Bfgrn View Post
              Link, context, event, circumstance??? I have studied JFK for decades...this is new to me Matt.
              You've never heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis? Truly?

              ?


              • #22
                Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

                Originally posted by tsquare View Post
                W/O having been shot and killed, JFK would have been seen, at best, a middling president
                Say what you want about him, but he had some principles and courage.

                Two things today's society does not value.

                ?


                • #23
                  Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

                  Originally posted by RDK View Post
                  To attempt to get this thread back on topic, I am not sure exactly what the JFK legacy really was.

                  Because he was a personally popular president who was assassinated leaving behind two young children and an attractive widow his legacy will always be overshadowed by those dark days in Dallas.

                  He allowed the Bay of Pigs fiasco to proceed. While the planning was well under way under Ike, JFK allowed his military advisors to sway him into launching the attack with disastrous and in hindsight predictable outcome. These outcomes should have been assessed prior to the start of the attack, the information was there.

                  He also contributed to the failure of the attack by withdrawing support once the attack was under way.
                  "predictable outcomes" given that he subsequently drew his line in the sand at military support for the "disidents" and wouldn't cross it. Agreed! And bfgrn has given us some background on his sentiment towards Castro (and Cuba in general) as SOME evidence for why he drew that line in the sand. One could almost posit that he wanted that attack to fail to piss off the CIA (et al) and show them who's boss. The loss of those lives could have been an undesirable, but acceptable, loss.

                  Then there was the Cuban Missile Crisis. He did resolve that one but was it allowed to escalate too much to the crisis point before being resolved? We will never know.
                  I think we can reason that answer, though: The Missiles were data that was given to him. As they say, you eat the food on the plate that's given you. Seems to me he made some very wise (though risky) choices in standing up to Kruschev and in blockading Cuba. I'm not sure what else could have been done short of launching B-52's against those missile sites (which would, IMO, have drawn down much more grave circumstances). I agree that, AS he and Kruschev were in that stare down, hands moved closer and closer to the launch button ... but in terms of resolving the issue, I think he did a pretty good job (though I do recall all the fuss and furry by us normal citizens over building our bomb shelters being magnified during this time.

                  Then there was the start of the Viet Nam war, was his policy of advisors correct in helping t prevent the spread of communism, again we will never know because after the assassination LBJ escalated the war.
                  what we KNOW is JFK sent advisors ... LBJ sent troops and tanks. From JFK's predilection towards peace, I strongly suspect he would have limited the U.S. role in SE Asia to just that. IF the advisory role escalated into a police action under his administration, I expect it would have been the result of forces outside his control... like LBJ (as it turned out).

                  Trivia question. Who was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission? It is a name everyone will know and recognize, not some low level obscure congressman.
                  Gerald Ford? At least HE thought he was. So, speaking of conspiracy theories we'll never know until we get to heaven: I suspect GHW Bush, LBJ, Herbert Hoover, AND that LeMay guy of plotting to kill the president. LHO did not act alone: He wasn't smart enough and, coincidentally, before anyone could question him, he was off'd.

                  I don't believe in coincidences of that magnitude.

                  ?


                  • #24
                    Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

                    Originally posted by 9aces View Post
                    Say what you want about him, but he had some principles and courage.

                    Two things today's society does not value.
                    I at least am not really suggesting otherwise, but at the same time I do not agree JFK sets the standard. There is plenty in the negative column as well.

                    ?


                    • #25
                      Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

                      I'm afraid I can't say anything good about any of the Kennedys so I just won't say anything more.

                      ?


                      • #26
                        Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

                        Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                        I'm afraid I can't say anything good about any of the Kennedys so I just won't say anything more.
                        I'm very close to agreement with both you AND sluggo. In opening this thread, I was only looking at his leadership competency and not at his personal life or the validity of all of his decisions (particularly his choice of a VP).

                        I admire any person who can draw their line in the sand (regardless of whether or not I agree with where that line is) and, then, stand up to the bullying he or she takes to CROSS that line. That is a leadership competency is all I'm saying and I don't recall other presidents who showed that leadership (possibly Ronald Reagan, but then he DID cave on those Grace Commission challenges, for the most part).

                        ?


                        • #27
                          Re: How do Presidents compare to the JFK Standard?

                          Originally posted by RDK View Post
                          To attempt to get this thread back on topic, I am not sure exactly what the JFK legacy really was.

                          Because he was a personally popular president who was assassinated leaving behind two young children and an attractive widow his legacy will always be overshadowed by those dark days in Dallas.

                          He allowed the Bay of Pigs fiasco to proceed. While the planning was well under way under Ike, JFK allowed his military advisors to sway him into launching the attack with disastrous and in hindsight predictable outcome. These outcomes should have been assessed prior to the start of the attack, the information was there.

                          He also contributed to the failure of the attack by withdrawing support once the attack was under way.

                          Then there was the Cuban Missile Crisis. He did resolve that one but was it allowed to escalate too much to the crisis point before being resolved? We will never know.

                          Then there was the start of the Viet Nam war, was his policy of advisors correct in helping t prevent the spread of communism, again we will never know because after the assassination LBJ escalated the war.

                          Domestically JFK was a mixed bag; he led the US into the space race, committing to a manned mission by the end of the decade but was stalled in getting a lot of his platform through a hostile congress.

                          Personally he was a womanizer of the highest order. He was a hypocrite about it. I really do not care who or what a person screws as long as they are honest about it. He even made sure that he had a personal supply of Cuban cigars before he implemented the embargo, again a hypocritical act.

                          And for what its worth, I believe that a lone gunman killed him. He was acting alone. We do not want to believe that a simple disgruntled person can kill one of the major leaders just by acting alone. A lot of the conspiracy theories can be easily explained by people covering their asses after the fact or that there was some profit in propagating these theories, like a book deal or a speaking tour.

                          Trivia question. Who was the last surviving member of the Warren Commission? It is a name everyone will know and recognize, not some low level obscure congressman.
                          The Bay of Pigs was a mistake. And Kennedy took full blame publicly. But Kennedy told the CIA he would not commit American forces to the invasion before it was launched. He merely kept his word. We now know that the CIA knew the invasion had no chance, and it was a ploy to lure the President of the States into invading Cuba. So Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell, the top CIA officials were the ones who are responsible for the casualties.

                          What JFK learned about the CIA and the Joint Chiefs served him well during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Without the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy might have followed the advise of the brass who wanted to 'fry Cuba'. We now know that would have triggered the Soviets launching missiles armed with nuclear warheads on American cities that would have been reduced to radioactive rubble, killing millions of Americans and starting WWIII.

                          CIA and the Joint Chiefs

                          Kennedy never again trusted his generals and espionage chiefs after the 1961 fiasco in Cuba, and he became a master at artfully deflecting their militant counsel. "After the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy had contempt for the Joint Chiefs," historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. recalled over drinks in the hushed, stately rooms of New York City's Century Club not long before his death. "I remember going into his office in the spring of 1961, where he waved some cables at me from General Lemnitzer, who was then in Laos on an inspection tour. And Kennedy said, 'If it hadn't been for the Bay of Pigs, I might have been impressed by this.' I think J.F.K.'s war-hero status allowed him to defy the Joint Chiefs. He dismissed them as a bunch of old men. He thought Lemnitzer was a dope."

                          President Kennedy never thought much of the CIA either, in part because he and his indispensable brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, became convinced that the agency was not just incompetent but also a rogue operation. After the Bay of Pigsand particularly the Cuban missile crisisthe Kennedys seemed more concerned with defusing Cuba as a political issue at home, where it was a rallying cry on the right, than with actually enforcing a regime change. The darker efforts against Castrothe sinister CIA plots to assassinate him in partnership with the Mafiabegan before the Kennedy Administration and continued after it ended. Robert Kennedya legendary crusader against organized crimethought he had shut down the murder plots after two CIA officials sheepishly informed him of the agency's pact with the Mob in May 1962. But there was much that the Kennedys did not know about the agency's more shadowy operations.

                          "I thought and I still feel that the CIA did wet work on its own," says John Seigenthaler, Robert Kennedy's administrative aide at the Justice Department and later publisher of the Tennessean. "They were way too in thrall to 007... We were caught in the reality of the cold war, and the agency obviously had a role to play. But I don't think the Kennedys believed you could trust much of what they said. We were trying to find our way out of the cold war, but the CIA certainly didn't want to."

                          Nor did President Kennedy have a firm hand on the Pentagon. "Certainly we did not control the Joint Chiefs of Staff," said Schlesinger, looking back at the Kennedy White House. It was a chilling observation, considering the throbbing nuclear tensions of the period. The former White House aide revealed that J.F.K. was less afraid of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's ordering a surprise attack than he was "that something would go wrong in a Dr. Strangelove kind of way"with a politically unstable U.S. general snapping and launching World War III.

                          Vietnam

                          Vietnam was another growing source of tension within the Kennedy Administration. Once again, Washington hard-liners pushed for an escalation of the war, seeking the full-scale military confrontation with the communist enemy that J.F.K. had denied them in Cuba and other cold war battlegrounds. But Kennedy's troop commitment topped out at only 16,000 servicemen. And, as he confided to trusted advisers like McNamara and White House aide O'Donnell, he intended to withdraw completely from Vietnam after he was safely re-elected in 1964. "So we had better make damned sure that I am re-elected," he told O'Donnell.

                          Fearing a backlash from his generals and the rightunder the feisty leadership of Barry Goldwater, his likely opponent in the upcoming presidential raceKennedy never made his Vietnam plans public.

                          Kennedy never made it to the 1964 election, and since he left behind such a vaporous paper trail, the man who succeeded him, Lyndon Johnson, was able to portray his own deeper Vietnam intervention as a logical progression of J.F.K.'s policies. But McNamara knows the truth. The man who helped L.B.J. widen the war into a colossal tragedy knows Kennedy would have done no such thing. And McNamara acknowledges this, though it highlights his own blame. In the end, McNamara says today, Kennedy would have withdrawn, realizing "that it was South Vietnam's war and the people there had to win it... We couldn't win the war for them."

                          Read more: Warrior For Peace - The Lessons of J.F.K. - TIME

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