THE KENNEDY YEARS: 1960 – 1963
BY JEFFREY C. CARTER
©JEFFREY C. CARTER 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
There are those moments that one presumes will never come to pass. For many of us it is impossible to believe that a half-century has passed since the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
The event itself remains unthinkable and still seems impossible.
When one has watched the President and First Lady stepping down the stairs from Air Force One, the motorcade as it makes its slow wide turn and moves even slower along Dallas’s Elm Street, one always hopes that, somehow – some way – the outcome will be different. That the crossfire directed at the President will not occur – or the five or six shots will miss their target.
Those irreversible acts that changed history do not change.
We start this review and study by overcoming that sense of impossibility that surrounds the end of President Kennedy’s Administration.
There was no re-election bid lost. No second term finished. There was no “transition” from the Kennedy White House to the winner in 1964 if Kennedy had lost or to the winner in 1968 if Kennedy had served two full terms.
There was no time for well-reasoned analysis of the Kennedy years – one or two terms.
Instead, after only 1,036 days, there was the abrupt, unspeakable, blood-soaked, public murder – or to put it more bluntly, hit - that fractured the Nation’s tradition of democratic republicanism and Constitutional government and broke the Nation’s people’s hearts.
Fifty years have passed.
In this series, I shall set forth the facts that, to me, seem most important as we try to learn from the years from 1960 through the November of 1963. I shall also put forth my own analysis and commentary, always clearly identified, throughout.
Three principles guide me in this endeavor.
First: As one who has studied, and continues to study, our Nation’s history, including the methods and goals of historical inquiry, I should state that my “method” is historical objectivity
I do not start from a conclusion – such as Charles Beard or Howard Zinn – that our Nation’s history is inherently flawed and unfair and that economic interest is the sole or dominant determinative factor in human behavior and historical analysis. I thus do not subscribe to the Marxist view of human, including American, history.
I do subscribe to the goal, as a historian, of getting the facts right first.
I do believe that a human being can, and does, act vis a vis various interests and groups: personal status, one’s family, one’s economic situation, a neighborhood, his or her nation, a belief system and more.
Conversely, the human can, and does, act to aid, assist and help others.
An objective view of human history proves that we are not nearly as consistently bad, selfish and inhuman as the Marxist, left, so-called “progressive” historians essentially always conclude before they look at facts. We are also, unfortunately, not as constantly good and pure as some of our late 19th century and 20th century historians have wished to portray us.
The sheer volume of events, issues and facts that make up what I am calling the “Kennedy years” makes it difficult to cover everything that could or should be discussed. I shall try to consider the most important and significant matters during the period of 1960 through 1963. Documents and sources of a reliable nature will be referred to.
In undertaking this review, the clear statement of facts, as best they can be determined, given the time and resources available to me, is the first guiding principle.
Second: As we review these years I will attempt to place the facts – and events – in context.
The decision by Jack Kennedy to run for President, as announced on January 2, 1960 in the Caucus Room of The United States Senate, and the pivotal election campaign of that year, where we start chronologically, did not simply arise out of the mist.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion did not merely pop up on the White House calendar’s “to do” list in mid-April of 1961.
The Cuban Missile Crisis, as it is called, did not start on the morning of October 16, 1962 when Kennedy was first told of photographic evidence of apparent missile placement on Cuba.
The events of November 22, 1963 most certainly did not occur as a result of an ex-Marine waking up one day and deciding to kill Jack Kennedy.
I will provide context and background to events and for the facts that we consider in this review.
Third: There are a number of key conclusions, arrived at after study and examination, which I believe may be drawn from a careful and objective review of the post-World War II period and specifically from the four years under consideration here.
It is my view that those conclusions should be stated at the outset – not only for clarity and disclosure – but also to aid readers as they proceed through this writing.
I would submit that these conclusions are not evidence of bias or nostalgia or a pre-judgment of the facts – but, rather, they are the result of decades of study of the available and relevant historical facts and evidence.
That said, the conclusions are:
As To Character
John Kennedy, though often reckless in one particular aspect of his private life, was an honest, courageous, imperfect individual of strong character who did, as he said, see the ability of men and women to achieve by striving for excellence.
A Foreign Policy Driven Administration
The Kennedy Administration was, in large part, driven by foreign policy problems.
The nuclear realities of the time made that unavoidable.
The two early 1961 foreign policy failures – (i) the Vienna Summit between Kennedy and the Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev and (ii) The Bay of Pigs Invasion – are more than outweighed by The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty signed by the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain on August 51963, having been ratified by The United States Senate earlier in September by an 80-19 vote. The Treaty stopped nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water.
The result achieved during the thirteen days of tension concerning the Soviet missiles in Cuba, while not the pristine victory once thought, stands as the most significant foreign policy accomplishment in United States history.
Those who would differ with that conclusion are invited to consider the results had the option favored by General Curtis LeMay, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and others been adopted by the President.
An Evolution On Civil Rights
Quite significantly, Kennedy evolved during his short time in the Presidency in many areas and no less so than in his view of the struggle for equal rights for Black Americans.
The showdown in with the segregationist Democrat Governor George Wallace in Alabama over the integration of The University of Alabama requires much analysis – which it will receive in this review. Kennedy acted decisively to see that a Federal Court Order was enforced – and it was.
But the event of greatest significance in civil rights history vis a vis John Kennedy was when President Kennedy called the issue of equal rights for millions of Americans - who were the descendants of many of the very first Americans - a “moral crisis” in a nationally televised speech on the night of June 11, 1963.
In that speech, Kennedy said, in part:
“We face, therefore, a moral crisis as a country and a people. It cannot be met by repressive police action. It cannot be left to increased demonstrations in the streets. It cannot be quieted by token moves or talk. It is a time to act in the Congress, in your State and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face. A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right, as well as reality.” (Emphasis added.)
Kennedy was thus, for the first time for him, framing the long-standing issues of race and equality in our history in stark moral terms and as they had not been framed by a President since the time of Abraham Lincoln.
Vision and Goals Coupled With Natural Law Bases
The short Kennedy years were long on vision and optimism, new ideas and creative tough goals – and those ideas were constantly stressed from the top.
Kennedy did believe in The United States Constitution, our singular history and, most importantly, the natural law holdings that rights are not granted by government and that government only exists with the consent of the governed.
Couple The Alliance for Progress, The Peace Corps, the man-to-the-Moon challenge and the radical goal of peace he envisioned in 1963 in the American University speech with the opening words of his Inaugural Address in 1961:
“Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens,
“We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.
“The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.
“We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.” [Emphasis added.]
Kennedy Used and Embraced A Day-To-Day Style Which Emphasized Governing With Strength, Restraint and Responsibility
John F. Kennedy said, and understood, that there is a vast difference between “campaigning” and “governing”. The Kennedy style focused on true governing and not a constant, continual campaign mode.
The President was restrained, spoke publicly when necessary, but not daily, and evidenced strength and emotion proportional to the situation.
It is my view that the very essence of the style adopted by Kennedy and his White House colleagues was both a policy and an enhancement to the likelihood of success of his policies.
By 1963 President Kennedy Had Started A Clear Policy of Negotiation With The Russians and the Cubans With a Policy Geared Toward Achieving Some Peaceful Equipoise Between The East and he West
The endeavors of Kennedy toward some negotiated equipoise between the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc became a major goal for the remainder of the “first term” – and was to have played a larger role in the “second term” once he was re-elected.
It does appear that during his entire Presidency he was continually pushed by strong military officers and pushed and sometimes undercut by highly intelligent and politically savvy strong civilian advisors.
The mid-April 1961 Bay of Pig Invasion, which was hatched during the Eisenhower Administration, and operated byofficers and “experts” from the United States’ premier intelligence organization – The Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) – was a disaster. Indeed, there is evidence that the President’s own National Security Advisor, McGeorge Bundy, unilaterally cancelled the military air support that may have given the invasion any chance of success. Kennedy publicly took the blame for the failure. He also fired CIA Director Allen Dulles, as we shall see.
In mid-May of 1961, Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sent by Kennedy to Vietnam as a “good will” gesture and, as documents state, to “show the flag”. Once there, stepping beyond his authority and without clearance from The White House, Johnson made flamboyant comments in Saigon and on his return setting forth a very strong engaged military view of the American role and future in the Vietnam struggle. One of Johnson’s most unsettling comments was calling South Vietnam’s President Ngo Dinh Diem the “Churchill of Asia”. I conclude that Johnson’s performances were non-accidental insubordination – and the events simply made Kennedy’s stance on Vietnam more difficult. The Vice President had struck out on his own in a most sensitive and difficult policy area and in a manner inconsistent and unauthorized with the view and policy of The President of The United States.
The early June 1961 Vienna Summit with the Russian leader Khrushchev went badly and raised problems in the minds of many as to the new President’s competence.
We now know that very early in July of 1961 a Memorandum prepared by Vice President Lyndon Johnson’s military aide – Col. Howard Burris – was, in a National Security Council meeting, discussed and presented to Kennedy with an outline of a possible first nuclear strike plan by the United States upon the Soviet Union. That meeting and the Burris Memorandum will be discussed at length in this review.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating accounts of that National Security Council meeting on July 20, 1961 is that the military experts told Kennedy that our surviving citizens could expect to be in “fallout shelters” for about two weeks after the nuclear exchange before emerging – and, I should add, presumably emerging victorious.
According to those present, Kennedy said – “And they call us the human race” – and walked out of the meeting.
By 1962 pressures upon Kennedy were strong, as we shall examine, during the October Cuban Missile Crisis, to invade and use military force as the first resort.
There is evidence that former Secreatry of State Dean Acheson, who had served as such under President Harry S. Truman, explicitly in meetings called into question the President’s leadership abilities.
There is evidence that W. Averell Harriman, a former Governor of New York, and leader of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., failed to follow the President’s orders a number of times.
There is evidence that Henry Cabot Lodge, whom Kennedy had knocked out of the Senate in 1952 and who ran with Richard Nixon against Kennedy and Johnson in 1960, intentionally “fouled up” cable communications regarding a possible military coup in November of 1963 against South Vietnam’s President Diem.
We will examine all of these incidents and more.
Parenthetically, it should be noted that the pressures upon, and undermining of, Kennedy raise the question as to whether those involved may have presumed that Jack Kennedy would not be around long enough to vigorously complain or chastise.
However, the conclusion that I have drawn, based on all of this, is that:
>having fired Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell and others from the CIA after the Bay of Pigs events;
>and having been pushed close to nuclear war by the generals, Bundy, Atchison and CIA Director John McCone during October of 1962;
>and his realizing the possibility of, and the sheer necessity for, achieving some balance between the US and USSR.
>President Kennedy, as 1963 arrived and moved along, was working toward a policy of proportional peace.
This effort is evidenced by back-channel communications by Kennedy and his various emissaries with Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro.
All of which ended on November 22, 1963.
The key concept here is that the new international situation that might have been achieved, over time and with hard work, was one that clearly would have required much less weaponry, hardware, federal expenditures and resources – the items that fueled and enhanced the profits and careers of industrialists and military leaders.
In short, the clearly developing Kennedy policy and view was not good for business.
At least not the kind of business that companies such as Brown Brothers Harriman had profited on during the 20th century.
We will endeavor to look closely at this issue – well known companies started by sons educated at Yale, Brown, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard and elsewhere – that worked with the Germans before and during World War II, and, in some cases, had some of their assets seized by the US government based upon violations of The Trading With The Enemy Act of 1917, and which violations occurred before and during the War.
Perhaps the comments viewed as most threatening to various interests were stated by Kennedy in the watershed speech at American University on June 10 1963. Kennedy called for an effort toward peace. The President said: “… confident and unafraid, we labor on – not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace.”
The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Russians went into effect on October 10, 1963.
Thus, the intent of John Kennedy, in 1963, seemed clearly to be to learn from the recent past, to build on the American University speech and the historic Treaty – to rely less on the military except for true military advice – and to push for peace, mindful of the distinct warning of the clear and present danger of the military-industrial corporate complex which President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former General, had publicly made shortly before Kennedy’s Inauguration in January of 1961.
Of Monumental Import Kennedy Had Decided ByThe Fall Of 1963 To Withdraw Militarily From Vietnam
As regards the issue of Vietnam – I can summarize my conclusion here very succinctly.
In 1963 there were about 16,000 United States military personnel in Vietnam, none of which were supposed to be engaging in combat.
According to The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System Extract Files, contained in The National Archives, there were 53 fatal United States casualties attributable to the “Vietnam conflict” in 1962.
After Kennedy had been removed from office and Lyndon Johnson had been in charge as Commander in Chief, there were – in the year 1968 – 16,899 fatal United States casualties.
As Kennedy entered The White House, Vietnam was a growing problem.
In early September 1963 in televised interviews on CBS and NBC, respectively, Kennedy discussed Vietnam.
On September 2, 1963, sitting under the bright blue sky in Hynannisport, Kennedy spoke with CBS’s Walter Cronkite, who would announce the President’s death just weeks later, and enunciated the following policy view regarding Vietnam:
“I don't think that unless a greater effort is made by the [South Vietnamese] Government to win popular support that the war can be won out there. In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it 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 Viet-Nam, against the Communists. We are prepared to continue to assist them, but I don't think that the war can be won unless the people support the effort and, in my opinion, in the last 2 months, the [South Vietnamese] government has gotten out of touch with the people.” (Matter in brackets supplied; emphasis added.)
On the other hand, in an Oval Office interview with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley of NBC just a week later on September 7 1963, President Kennedy said, in part:
“We should use our influence n as effective way as we can, but we should not withdraw.”
President Kennedy continued to work on Vietnam.
Just two weeks after the CBS and NBC interviews, in a September 21, 1963 Memorandum, Kennedy directed Secreatry of Defense Robert McNamara and Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff General Maxwell Taylor, both of whom he trusted and who had been among the few who seemed to Kennedy to act objectively and helpfully during the Cuban Missile Crisis, to immediately travel to South Vietnam to see what the real situation was – and, most importantly, to prepare and compile a definitive report with definitive recommendations to President Kennedy as to future United States policy vis a vis Vietnam.
McNamara and Taylor went to South Vietnam, traveled extensively, and met directly with South Vietnam President Diem and others. Ironically, Henry Cabot Lodge was on the scene as the US ambassador to South Vietnam and was seemingly troubled by the idea of the President sending the high level duo to examine matters closely in Vietnam.
McNamara and Taylor wrote a report for President Kennedy, – known now as the McNamara-Taylor Report.
Upon their return, McNamara and Taylor met with Kennedy in The Oval Office on October 2, 1963 and presented the McNamara-Taylor Report.
On that same day, a document entitled “U.S. POLICY ON VIET-NAM: WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT, OCTOBER 2, 1963” was released by The White House.
That October 2, 1963 White House Statement said, in pertinent part, the following:
“Secretary McNamara and General Taylor reported their judgment that the major part of the U.S. military task can be completed by the end of 1965, although there may be a continuing requirement for a limited number of U.S. training personnel. They reported that by the end of this year, the U.S. program for training Vietnamese should have progressed to the point where 1,000 U.S. military personnel assigned to South Viet-Nam can be withdrawn.” [Emphasis added.]
Further, a document known as a National Security Action Memorandum dated October 11, 1963, restated and reconfirmed and specified the Vietnam withdrawal policy referred to in the October 2 White House Statement.
In what may be the most important publicly available document of the Kennedy years, National Security Action Memorandum 263 (“NSAM 263”), we have the precise statement of United States Government policy just weeks before the end of the Kennedy Presidency.
We are fortunate to have the actual document available for examination. Moreover, given its import, it is set forth at this point in the text of this Introduction. No guesswork or speculation is necessary to clearly understand the plain meaning of NSAM 263.
In NSAM 263 it is explicitly stated as follows:
“The President approved the military recommendations contained in Section I B (1-3) of the report, but directed that no formal announcement be made of the implementation of plans to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963.” [Emphasis added.]
But, the reader, whether unaccustomed to piecing together sophisticated documents written by government advisors or unable to do the necessary further review, may wonder, even after reading NSAM 263: what “military recommendations”? – or – what “report”?
Those are fair questions.
And NSAM 263 finally becomes fully relevant and overwhelmingly significant when one goes farther to examine the actual “military recommendations” that are actually contained in “Section 1 – Subpart B (parts 1, 2 and 3) of the “report” – which is, of course, the McNamara–Taylor Report.
The specific military recommendations which were approved by President Kennedy in NSAM 263 – and the only military recommendations he approved, as set forth verbatim from The McNamara-Taylor Report, are the following:
“(1) B. RECOMMENDATIONS: We recommend that:
1. General Harkins review with Diem the military changes necessary to complete the military campaign in the Northern and Central areas (I, II, and III Corps) by the end of 1964, and in the Delta (IV Corps) by the end of 1965. This review would consider the need for such changes as: a. A further shift of military emphasis and strength to the Delta (IV Corps). b. An increase in the military tempo in all corps areas, so that all combat troops are in the Field an average of 20 days out of 30 and static missions are ended. c. Emphasis on "clear and hold operations" instead of terrain sweeps which have little permanent value. d. The expansion of personnel in combat units to full authorized strength. e. The training and arming of hamlet militia at an accelerated rate, especially in the Delta. f. A consolidation of the strategic hamlet program, especially in the Delta, and action to insure that future strategic hamlets are not built until they can be protected, and until civic action programs can be introduced.
2. A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time.
3. In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This action should be explained in low key as an initial step in a long-term program to replace U.S. personnel with trained Vietnamese without impairment of the war effort." [Emphasis added.]
On November 21, 1963, before leaving for Dallas, President Kennedy requested Michael Forrestal to work on a further overall review of Vietnam policy.
Based upon the foregoing statements, documents and other events that we will review in greater detail, and applying an objective view toward the facts and the evidence as a historian, and utilizing some of the analytical skills I hope I have developed as a lawyer, I believe that the conclusions can be drawn that as of November 21, 1963:
(i) John F. Kennedy was moving toward military disengagement in Vietnam;
(ii) such disengagement was his policy;
(iii) the policy was consistent with his overall foreign policy as it had developed by late 1963;
(iv) the policy was actually, explicitly and expressly commenced in October of 1963 via NSAM 263;
(v) the policy was clearly intended to include to the immediate and initial withdrawal of 1,000 American personnel by the end of 1963; and
(vi) the policy was to be completed – after what the President considered would be his re-election in the autumn of 1964 – by the end of 1965.
There Is Voluminous Credible Evidence To Conclude That The Murder of President Kennedy Was Planned, Carried Out and Covered Up By A Group of Individuals From The Highest Levels of The Executive Branch, The Intelligence Establishment, Organized Crime and Other Areas
As we know, John Kennedy was murdered in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
At that moment Lyndon Johnson, by operation of law, became the 36th President.
Based upon all of the evidence that I have reviewed, it is clear that a constellation of traitors acted to remove Kennedy from office.
First, we need to dispose of Lee Harvey Oswald.
As we shall see, the issue of Oswald and his involvement in the murder plot is a “fool’s errand” of historical inquiry. He was clearly involved – but he is largely irrelevant to the realities of the merger of forces that combined to get the nettlesome Kennedy out of the Oval Office. Our review will briefly discuss the man whom the President’s widow called "silly”.
Second, there is the issue of why the forces finally moved to end the Kennedy Presidency. There are many answers to that but here are just six matters that were highly bothersome to many powerful factions:
1. Kennedy’s threat to break the CIA into 1,000 pieces
2. Kennedy’s moves toward détente or some level of accommodation with the Russians and the Cubans
3. Kennedy’s historic embrace of civil rights and equality as to voting and public accommodations for “Negroes”, as Black Americans were referred to in 1963
4. Kennedy’s legal moves against The Mafia
5. Kennedy’s questioning of the role of the central banking system
6. Kennedy’s stated policy to disengage militarily from South Vietnam
All of these issues, and much more, will be reviewed in detail.
But, as one looks at the 1960 Presidential election campaign outcome, where Nixon was clearly expected to win, and adds to it the foreign and domestic polices that were developing under Kennedy, and finally adds to all of that the actions, statements and events of certain individuals, it becomes clear that Kennedy was walking on a political and governing tightrope – with many strong people hoping he would fall – and many ready to push him off.
Third, there are substantial facts surrounding the murder, the aftermath, the murder "investigation" and the continuing cloaking of the realities that buttress my conclusion. There are similar facts regarding matters before November 22, 1963 that evidence a group’s decision to kill Kennedy in Dallas. In this regard, we will include a review of the breaches of security in Dallas, the unprecedented placement of Secret Service agents in the motorcade, the failure to secure the route at street level and in buildings and much, much more.
Fourth, we will consider who may have been involved in, and benefited politically and financially from, the murder.
That is, after all, the question that has intrigued so many for so long.
In that regard, two recent references are of key import.
One – the statement last week by Secretary of State John Kerry doubting the “Oswald-only” theory. That theory should properly be called “The Magic Gunman Theory”.
Two – the comment by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on CBS on November 17, 2013 – in which she explicitly referred to the “forces” involved in her Uncle’s murder.
We shall review much factual material.
For the purposes of this Introduction I can state that it appears that the groups that warrant the most review vis a vis this portion of this study of the Kennedy years are:
>Officials in The Executive Branch and in particular:
>Then-current or former officials of The CIA and others in the “intelligence community” and in particular:
Allen Dulles, whom Kennedy fired as CIA Director after the Bay of Pigs Invasion;
Richard Helms, a CIA pioneer who eventually became CIA Director;
Richard Bissell, the Deputy Director of The CIA at the time of The Bay of Pigs Invasion and also fired by Kennedy at that time;
E. Howard Hunt, a CIA Officer and later colleague of Allen Dulles after Dulles’ firing;
William Colby, the CIA man in Saigon whose job it was to befriend the family of South Vietnam’s President Diem and who eventually became CIA Director;
>Organized Crime Leaders and members and in particular:
Carlos (“The Little Man”) Marcello, the head of the New Orleans La Cosa Nostra (“Mafia”) Crime Family, who had been deported in 1961 by United States Attorney General Robert Kennedy but returned just weeks thereafter;
Salvatore (“Sam”; “Momo”) Giancana, the head of the Chicago La Cosa Nostra (“Mafia”) Crime Family, also known as The Chicago Outfit;
Jack Rubenstein (also known as “Jack Ruby”), who murdered Oswald on November 24, 1963;
We will review all of the evidence – as unpleasant as it is.
But it is necessary.
It is hoped that this study will be read and commented upon.
The most important part of this endeavor is to look at the Kennedy Presidency – the policy – and, as with all history, to help us live better lives today and in the future.
Perhaps the the most important lesson to be drawn from John Kennedy is to live one’s life, as he said on October 31, 1963, by “the full use of your powers along lines of excellence”.
That is the true legacy of John Kennedy – a look toward the future while striving for excellence.
Mr. Carter is Publisher Emeritus of The Aquidneck Inquirer. He is an alumnus of Brown (A.B.) and Columbia (J.D.)