Tags: kennedy | duplicity | sloyan | book | tapes | cuba

Book: Secret Tapes Reveal JFK's Duplicity on Cuba, Civil Rights

Sunday, 15 Feb 2015 09:46 AM

Recently uncovered secret tapes from the White House show President John F. Kennedy may have used duplicity when it came to some of his most important accomplishments, including the struggle for civil rights and Cuba, in hopes of winning re-election in 1964, according to The New York Post.

One of his most questionable actions, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Patrick Sloyan writes in his new book, "The Politics of Deception," was telling his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, that he had rejected Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's demands that American missiles be removed from Turkey in exchange for Soviet weapons being pulled from Cuba.

In reality, Kennedy folded against Khrushchev, pulling 15 nuclear warheads from Turkey almost immediately. The warheads had been installed there in the wake of the 1961 failed Bay of Pigs invasion, leading Khrushchev to install nuclear weapons in Cuba.

But instead of the much-publicized showdown that Americans heard about, Kennedy accepted a swap almost immediately, required silence from Khrushchev as being part of the deal, and then covered it up. Advisers feared if the truth came out, it would look like Kennedy sacrificed a NATO ally and that fellow NATO nations would "forever doubt America's solidarity."

The tapes also cast doubt on the sincerity of both Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, when it came to civil rights. Both brothers were concerned about losing the support from white southern Democrats in the 1964 race.

When the racial protests in Birmingham, Alabama, became violent in 1963 in the months before Kennedy's assassination, he said there was nothing he could do to help. But the deans of both Harvard and Yale law schools said the president had many powers he could use.

Only after Vice President Lyndon Johnson took the lead on civil rights, Sloyan writes, did Kennedy make the decision to support Martin Luther King.

The tapes also reveal that in the early 1960s, when Southeast Asia was in danger of falling to the communists, Kennedy rejected sending ground troops to assist South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem. Still, he made a secret agreement to send 16,000 military "advisers."

By 1963, though, Kennedy advisers were losing faith in Diem, and eventually, Kennedy approved plans for a coup against the leader, even though there was no clear replacement, the tapes showed.

Eventually, after months of discussions, it was determined that the administration would not support a coup nor would they thwart one, said Sloyan. He noted that if the United States had gone in to save Diem, it would have revealed U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

When the coup was launched on Nov. 1, 1963, Diem asked for help but the embassy refused. As a result, Diem was assassinated and the war gained momentum.

"Kennedy’s order to get rid of Diem," writes Sloyan, "was the real beginning of the American war in Vietnam."

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Recently uncovered secret tapes from the White House show President John F. Kennedy may have used duplicity when it came to some of his most important accomplishments, including the struggle for civil rights and Cuba, in hopes of winning re-election in 1964, according to...
kennedy, duplicity, sloyan, book, tapes, cuba
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2015-46-15
Sunday, 15 Feb 2015 09:46 AM
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