Wednesday, June 27, 2007

JFK: Warrior for Peace

"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.
Kennedy often said he wanted his epitaph to be "He kept the peace."


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