Kennedy, John F. (JFK)


"President John Kennedy -- who already had a veritable revolving harem -- was such a greedy sex maniac that he stole the girlfriend of one of this publication's most famous editors, Bill Brammer... "In Kennedy's 14 years in the House and Senate, he had shown no leadership or imagination. He won election to the presidency in 1960 by the smallest margin in 100 years, and he surely would have lost the election if voters had known of his serious physical defects -- some of which caused such pain they must have clouded his reasoning. Kennedy successfully covered up the faact that since 1947 he had had Addison's disease, which can be fatal. By the time he was 40, he had been given the Catholic last rites four times...

"One out of every four presidents has died in office...

"Top journalists helped Kennedy cover up his physical defects, his womanizing, and his bungling of foreign policies...

"The most pressing domestic problem facing the Kennedy administration was the civil rights war in the South... his indifference to it... "BLack voters had contributed significantly to Kennedy's victory, but he had no appetite for taking a stand in Congress for desegregation against the dominant southerners of his party"... his hands-off approach to civil rights.

"The dirtiest trade-off in the book went like this: FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wanted to bug and wire-tap Martin Luther King, Jr.'s hotel rooms to catch the conversation and sound of bedsprings when King entertained his women. But Attorney General Robert Kennedy refused to authorize electronic snooping. Then the Senate geared up to investigate a whorehouse operating on Capital Hill. An East German woman suspected of being a spy worked there. She was also one of the President's girlfriends and had visited the White House several times. Brother Bobby knew J. Edgar Hoover knew this and would be subpoenated to testify at the Senate investigation. For Hoover's silence, Bobby gave him permission to eavesdrop on King.

In foreing affairs, Kennedy was a cocky nincompoop. Shortly after taking office, he did away with regular sessions of the National Security Council and disbanded the NSC's staff support group -- "a move that eliminated a rich source of analysis from agencies and departments...

"He was so smart, he didn't need their advice... But Kennedy wanted a quieter scheme, so the planners shifted to the more remote Bay of Pigs, which as it turned out, was totally hemmed in by impassable swamps.

"Throughout the planning... Kennedy "was indecisive and vacillating"... Dean Rusk urged Kennedy to cancel it. Instead, we learn, our great president paid no attention and "tried to distract himself by whacking golf balls" with buddies at two country clubs...

"...boring displays of wealth, betrayals of friends (such as Adlai Stevenson), incompetent executive planning, and toadying by staff.. (such as Arthur Schlesinger, who considered Kennedy "nearly infallible")..." (Robert Sherrill. "More Power, Less Grace." Texas Observer, 8/13/04: 18-19).


Colby Glass, MLIS