Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Johnson - History

Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Johnson - History


Moscow, November 24, 1963.

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: I am writing this message to you at a moment that holds a special place in the history of your country. The villainous assassination of Head of the American State John F. Kennedy is a grievous, indeed a very grievous loss for your country. I want to say frankly that the gravity of this loss is felt by the whole world, including ourselves, the Soviet people.
There is no need for me to tell you that the late President John F. Kennedy and I, as the Head of the Government of the socialist Soviet Union, were people of different poles. But I believe that probably you yourself have formed a definite view that it was an awareness of the great responsibility for the destinies of the world that guided the actions of the two Governments--both of the Soviet Union and of the United States--in recent years. These actions were founded on a desire to prevent a disaster and to resolve disputed issues through agreement with due regard for the most important, the most fundamental interests of ensuring peace.
An awareness of this responsibility, which I found John F. Kennedy to possess during our very first conversations in Vienna in 1961, laid down the unseen bridge of mutual understanding which, I venture to say, was not broken to the very last day in the life of President John F. Kennedy. For my own part, I can say quite definitely that the feeling of respect for the late President never left me precisely because, like ourselves, he based his policy on a desire not to permit a military collision of the major powers which carry on their shoulders the burden of the responsibility for the maintenance of peace.
And now, taking the opportunity offered by the visit to the United States of my First Deputy A.I. Mikoyan to attend the funeral of John F. Kennedy, I address these lines to you, as the new President of the United States of America in whom is vested a high responsibility to your people. I do not know how you will react to these words of mine, but let me say outright that in you we saw a comrade-in-arms of the late President, a man who always stood at the President's side and supported his line in foreign policy. This, I believe, gives us grounds to express the hope that the basis, which dictated to the leaders of both countries the need not to permit the outbreak of a new war and to keep the peace, will continue to be the determining factor in the development of relations between our two States.
Needless to say, on our part, and on my own part, as Head of the Government of the Soviet Union, there has been and remains readiness to find, through an exchange of views, mutually acceptable solutions for those problems which still divide us. This applies both to the problems of European security, which have been handed down to the present generation chiefly as a legacy of World War II, and to other international problems.
Judging by experience, exchanges of views and our contacts can assume various forms, including such an avenue as the exchange of personal messages, if this does not run counter to your wishes.
Recently we marked the Thirtieth Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. This was a historic act in which an outstanding role was played by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. We have always believed that, being a representative of one and the same political party, the late President John F. Kennedy to a certain extent continued in foreign policy Roosevelt's traditions which were based on recognition of the fact that the coinciding interests of the U.S.S.R. prevail over all that divides them.
And it is to you Mr. President, as to a representative of the same trend of the United States policy which brought into the political forefront statesmen, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, that I want to say that if these great traditions could go on being maintained and strengthened, both Americans and Soviet people could, we are convinced, look optimistically into the future. We are convinced that this development of events would meet the sympathy of every state, and indeed of every individual who espouses and cherishes peace.
I would welcome any desire on your part to express your ideas in connection with the thoughts--though they may, perhaps, be of a somewhat general nature--which I deemed it possible to share with you in this message/

On November 24 President Johnson also wrote to Khrushchev. After thanking the Chairman for his letter of condolence, Johnson wrote:
"I should like you to know that I have kept in close touch with the development of relations between the United States and the Soviet Union and that I have been in full accord with the policies of President Kennedy. I shall do my best to continue these policies along the same lines and hope that we can make progress in improving our relations and in resolving the many serious problems that face us.
"May I say that I am fully aware of the heavy responsibility which our two countries bear for the maintenance and consolidation of peace. I hope that we can work together for the achievement of that great goal, despite the many and complex issues which divide us. I can assure you that I shall sincerely devote myself to this purpose." (Ibid.: Lot 77 D 163)
Respectfully,
N. Khrushchev/2/


We Respond to the Historians Who Critiqued The 1619 Project

Five historians wrote to us with their reservations. Our editor in chief replies.

The letter below was published in the Dec. 29 issue of The New York Times Magazine.

We write as historians to express our strong reservations about important aspects of The 1619 Project. The project is intended to offer a new version of American history in which slavery and white supremacy become the dominant organizing themes. The Times has announced ambitious plans to make the project available to schools in the form of curriculums and related instructional material.

We applaud all efforts to address the enduring centrality of slavery and racism to our history. Some of us have devoted our entire professional lives to those efforts, and all of us have worked hard to advance them. Raising profound, unsettling questions about slavery and the nation’s past and present, as The 1619 Project does, is a praiseworthy and urgent public service. Nevertheless, we are dismayed at some of the factual errors in the project and the closed process behind it.

These errors, which concern major events, cannot be described as interpretation or “framing.” They are matters of verifiable fact, which are the foundation of both honest scholarship and honest journalism. They suggest a displacement of historical understanding by ideology. Dismissal of objections on racial grounds — that they are the objections of only “white historians” — has affirmed that displacement.

On the American Revolution, pivotal to any account of our history, the project asserts that the founders declared the colonies’ independence of Britain “in order to ensure slavery would continue.” This is not true. If supportable, the allegation would be astounding — yet every statement offered by the project to validate it is false. Some of the other material in the project is distorted, including the claim that “for the most part,” black Americans have fought their freedom struggles “alone.”

Still other material is misleading. The project criticizes Abraham Lincoln’s views on racial equality but ignores his conviction that the Declaration of Independence proclaimed universal equality, for blacks as well as whites, a view he upheld repeatedly against powerful white supremacists who opposed him. The project also ignores Lincoln’s agreement with Frederick Douglass that the Constitution was, in Douglass’s words, “a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT.” Instead, the project asserts that the United States was founded on racial slavery, an argument rejected by a majority of abolitionists and proclaimed by champions of slavery like John C. Calhoun.

The 1619 Project has not been presented as the views of individual writers — views that in some cases, as on the supposed direct connections between slavery and modern corporate practices, have so far failed to establish any empirical veracity or reliability and have been seriously challenged by other historians. Instead, the project is offered as an authoritative account that bears the imprimatur and credibility of The New York Times. Those connected with the project have assured the public that its materials were shaped by a panel of historians and have been scrupulously fact-checked. Yet the process remains opaque. The names of only some of the historians involved have been released, and the extent of their involvement as “consultants” and fact checkers remains vague. The selective transparency deepens our concern.

We ask that The Times, according to its own high standards of accuracy and truth, issue prominent corrections of all the errors and distortions presented in The 1619 Project. We also ask for the removal of these mistakes from any materials destined for use in schools, as well as in all further publications, including books bearing the name of The New York Times. We ask finally that The Times reveal fully the process through which the historical materials were and continue to be assembled, checked and authenticated.

Victoria Bynum, distinguished emerita professor of history, Texas State University
James M. McPherson, George Henry Davis 1886 emeritus professor of American history, Princeton University
James Oakes, distinguished professor, the Graduate Center, the City University of New York
Sean Wilentz, George Henry Davis 1886 professor of American history, Princeton University
Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Wade University emeritus professor and emeritus professor of history, Brown University.

Editor’s response:

Since The 1619 Project was published in August, we have received a great deal of feedback from readers, many of them educators, academics and historians. A majority have reacted positively to the project, but there have also been criticisms. Some I would describe as constructive, noting episodes we might have overlooked others have treated the work more harshly. We are happy to accept all of this input, as it helps us continue to think deeply about the subject of slavery and its legacy.

The letter from Professors Bynum, McPherson, Oakes, Wilentz and Wood differs from the previous critiques we have received in that it contains the first major request for correction. We are familiar with the objections of the letter writers, as four of them have been interviewed in recent months by the World Socialist Web Site. We’re glad for a chance to respond directly to some of their objections.

Though we respect the work of the signatories, appreciate that they are motivated by scholarly concern and applaud the efforts they have made in their own writings to illuminate the nation’s past, we disagree with their claim that our project contains significant factual errors and is driven by ideology rather than historical understanding. While we welcome criticism, we don’t believe that the request for corrections to The 1619 Project is warranted.

The project was intended to address the marginalization of African-American history in the telling of our national story and examine the legacy of slavery in contemporary American life. We are not ourselves historians, it is true. We are journalists, trained to look at current events and situations and ask the question: Why is this the way it is? In the case of the persistent racism and inequality that plague this country, the answer to that question led us inexorably into the past — and not just for this project. The project’s creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones, a staff writer at the magazine, has consistently used history to inform her journalism, primarily in her work on educational segregation (work for which she has been recognized with numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship).

Though we may not be historians, we take seriously the responsibility of accurately presenting history to readers of The New York Times. The letter writers express concern about a “closed process” and an opaque “panel of historians,” so I’d like to make clear the steps we took. We did not assemble a formal panel for this project. Instead, during the early stages of development, we consulted with numerous scholars of African-American history and related fields, in a group meeting at The Times as well as in a series of individual conversations. (Five of those who initially consulted with us — Mehrsa Baradaran of the University of California, Irvine Matthew Desmond and Kevin M. Kruse, both of Princeton University and Tiya Miles and Khalil G. Muhammad, both of Harvard University — went on to publish articles in the issue.) After those consultations, writers conducted their own research, reading widely, examining primary documents and artifacts and interviewing historians. Finally, during the fact-checking process, our researchers carefully reviewed all the articles in the issue with subject-area experts. This is no different from what we do on any article.

As the five letter writers well know, there are often debates, even among subject-area experts, about how to see the past. Historical understanding is not fixed it is constantly being adjusted by new scholarship and new voices. Within the world of academic history, differing views exist, if not over what precisely happened, then about why it happened, who made it happen, how to interpret the motivations of historical actors and what it all means.

The passages cited in the letter, regarding the causes of the American Revolution and the attitudes toward black equality of Abraham Lincoln, are good examples of this. Both are found in the lead essay by Hannah-Jones. We can hardly claim to have studied the Revolutionary period as long as some of the signatories, nor do we presume to tell them anything they don’t already know, but I think it would be useful for readers to hear why we believe that Hannah-Jones’s claim that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery” is grounded in the historical record.

The work of various historians, among them David Waldstreicher and Alfred W. and Ruth G. Blumrosen, supports the contention that uneasiness among slaveholders in the colonies about growing antislavery sentiment in Britain and increasing imperial regulation helped motivate the Revolution. One main episode that these and other historians refer to is the landmark 1772 decision of the British high court in Somerset v. Stewart. The case concerned a British customs agent named Charles Stewart who bought an enslaved man named Somerset and took him to England, where he briefly escaped. Stewart captured Somerset and planned to sell him and ship him to Jamaica, only for the chief justice, Lord Mansfield, to declare this unlawful, because chattel slavery was not supported by English common law.

It is true, as Professor Wilentz has noted elsewhere, that the Somerset decision did not legally threaten slavery in the colonies, but the ruling caused a sensation nonetheless. Numerous colonial newspapers covered it and warned of the tyranny it represented. Multiple historians have pointed out that in part because of the Somerset case, slavery joined other issues in helping to gradually drive apart the patriots and their colonial governments. The British often tried to undermine the patriots by mocking their hypocrisy in fighting for liberty while keeping Africans in bondage, and colonial officials repeatedly encouraged enslaved people to seek freedom by fleeing to British lines. For their part, large numbers of the enslaved came to see the struggle as one between freedom and continued subjugation. As Waldstreicher writes, “The black-British alliance decisively pushed planters in these [Southern] states toward independence.”

The culmination of this was the Dunmore Proclamation, issued in late 1775 by the colonial governor of Virginia, which offered freedom to any enslaved person who fled his plantation and joined the British Army. A member of South Carolina’s delegation to the Continental Congress wrote that this act did more to sever the ties between Britain and its colonies “than any other expedient which could possibly have been thought of.” The historian Jill Lepore writes in her recent book, “These Truths: A History of the United States,” “Not the taxes and the tea, not the shots at Lexington and Concord, not the siege of Boston rather, it was this act, Dunmore’s offer of freedom to slaves, that tipped the scales in favor of American independence.” And yet how many contemporary Americans have ever even heard of it? Enslaved people at the time certainly knew about it. During the Revolution, thousands sought freedom by taking refuge with British forces.

As for the question of Lincoln’s attitudes on black equality, the letter writers imply that Hannah-Jones was unfairly harsh toward our 16th president. Admittedly, in an essay that covered several centuries and ranged from the personal to the historical, she did not set out to explore in full his continually shifting ideas about abolition and the rights of black Americans. But she provides an important historical lesson by simply reminding the public, which tends to view Lincoln as a saint, that for much of his career, he believed that a necessary prerequisite for freedom would be a plan to encourage the four million formerly enslaved people to leave the country. To be sure, at the end of his life, Lincoln’s racial outlook had evolved considerably in the direction of real equality. Yet the story of abolition becomes more complicated, and more instructive, when readers understand that even the Great Emancipator was ambivalent about full black citizenship.

The letter writers also protest that Hannah-Jones, and the project’s authors more broadly, ignore Lincoln’s admiration, which he shared with Frederick Douglass, for the commitment to liberty espoused in the Constitution. This seems to me a more general point of dispute. The writers believe that the Revolution and the Constitution provided the framework for the eventual abolition of slavery and for the equality of black Americans, and that our project insufficiently credits both the founders and 19th-century Republican leaders like Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner and others for their contributions toward achieving these goals.

It may be true that under a less egalitarian system of government, slavery would have continued for longer, but the United States was still one of the last nations in the Americas to abolish the institution — only Cuba and Brazil did so after us. And while our democratic system has certainly led to many progressive advances for the rights of minority groups over the past two centuries, these advances, as Hannah-Jones argues in her essay, have almost always come as a result of political and social struggles in which African-Americans have generally taken the lead, not as a working-out of the immanent logic of the Constitution.

And yet for all that, it is difficult to argue that equality has ever been truly achieved for black Americans — not in 1776, not in 1865, not in 1964, not in 2008 and not today. The very premise of The 1619 Project, in fact, is that many of the inequalities that continue to afflict the nation are a direct result of the unhealed wound created by 250 years of slavery and an additional century of second-class citizenship and white-supremacist terrorism inflicted on black people (together, those two periods account for 88 percent of our history since 1619). These inequalities were the starting point of our project — the facts that, to take just a few examples, black men are nearly six times as likely to wind up in prison as white men, or that black women are three times as likely to die in childbirth as white women, or that the median family wealth for white people is $171,000, compared with just $17,600 for black people. The rampant discrimination that black people continue to face across nearly every aspect of American life suggests that neither the framework of the Constitution nor the strenuous efforts of political leaders in the past and the present, both white and black, has yet been able to achieve the democratic ideals of the founding for all Americans.

This is an important discussion to have, and we are eager to see it continue. To that end, we are planning to host public conversations next year among academics with differing perspectives on American history. Good-faith critiques of our project only help us refine and improve it — an important goal for us now that we are in the process of expanding it into a book. For example, we have heard from several scholars who profess to admire the project a great deal but wish it had included some mention of African slavery in Spanish Florida during the century before 1619. Though we stand by the logic of marking the beginning of American slavery with the year it was introduced in the English colonies, this feedback has helped us think about the importance of considering the prehistory of the period our project addresses.

Valuable critiques may come from many sources. The letter misperceives our attitudes when it charges that we dismiss objections on racial grounds. This appears to be a reference not to anything published in The 1619 Project itself, but rather to a November Twitter post from Hannah-Jones in which she questioned whether “white historians” have always produced objective accounts of American history. As is so often the case on Twitter, context is important. In this instance, Hannah-Jones was responding to a post, since deleted, from another user claiming that many “white historians” objected to the project but were hesitant to speak up. In her reply, she was trying to make the point that for the most part, the history of this country has been told by white historians (some of whom, as in the case of the Dunning School, which grossly miseducated Americans about the history of Reconstruction for much of the 20th century, produced accounts that were deeply flawed), and that to truly understand the fullness and complexity of our nation’s story, we need a greater variety of voices doing the telling.

That, above all, is what we hoped our project would do: expand the reader’s sense of the American past. (This is how some educators are using it to supplement their teaching of United States history.) That is what the letter writers have done, in different ways, over the course of their distinguished careers and in their many books. Though we may disagree on some important matters, we are grateful for their input and their interest in discussing these fundamental questions about the country’s history.


Hotline established between Washington and Moscow

On August 30, 1963, John F. Kennedy becomes the first U.S. president to have a direct phone line to the Kremlin in Moscow. The “hotline” was designed to facilitate communication between the president and Soviet premier.

The establishment of the hotline to the Kremlin came in the wake of the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the U.S. and U.S.S.R had come dangerously close to all-out nuclear war. Kennedy’s administration had discovered that the Soviets had planted missiles capable of launching nuclear warheads into the U.S. on the island of Cuba. The highly tense diplomatic exchange that followed was plagued by delays caused by slow and tedious communication systems. Encrypted messages had to be relayed by telegraph or radioed between the Kremlin and the Pentagon. Although Kennedy and Khrushchev were able to resolve the crisis peacefully and had both signed a nuclear test-ban treaty on August 5, 1963, fears of future “misunderstandings” led to the installation of an improved communications system.

On August 30, the White House issued a statement that the new hotline would “help reduce the risk of war occurring by accident or miscalculation.” Instead of relying on telegrammed letters that had to travel overseas, the new technology was a momentous step toward the very near future when American and Soviet leaders could simply pick up the phone and be instantly connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was agreed that the line would be used only in emergencies, not for more routine governmental exchanges.


The Military Draft During the Vietnam War

In November 1965, draftees are leacing Ann Arbor, MI to be processed and sent to basic training camps. The November 1965 draft call was the largest since the Korean War.

The Draft in Context

The military draft brought the war to the American home front. During the Vietnam War era, between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. military drafted 2.2 million American men out of an eligible pool of 27 million. Although only 25 percent of the military force in the combat zones were draftees, the system of conscription caused many young American men to volunteer for the armed forces in order to have more of a choice of which division in the military they would serve. While many soldiers did support the war, at least initially, to others the draft seemed like a death sentence: being sent to a war and fight for a cause that they did not believe in. Some sought refuge in college or parental deferments others intentionally failed aptitude tests or otherwise evaded thousands fled to Canada the politically connected sought refuge in the National Guard and a growing number engaged in direct resistance. Antiwar activists viewed the draft as immoral and the only means for the government to continue the war with fresh soldiers. Ironically, as the draft continued to fuel the war effort, it also intensified the antiwar cause. Although the Selective Service’s deferment system meant that men of lower socioeconomic standing were most likely to be sent to the front lines, no one was completely safe from the draft. Almost every American was either eligible to go to war or knew someone who was.

Selective Service induction
statistics during the Vietnam
War era.

History of the Draft

Conscription during the 1960s took place under the legal authority of the peacetime draft, because the United States never formally declared war on North Vietnam. Legal authority for a peacetime draft came from the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in order to mobilize American civilian-soldiers in anticipation of entry into World War II. During the Korean War, the Selective Service began the policy of granting deferments to college students with an academic ranking in the top half of their class. Between 1954-1964, from the end of the Korean War until the escalation in Vietnam, the “peacetime” draft inducted more than 1.4 million American men, an average of more than 120,000 per year. As part of their Cold War mission, many state universities required ROTC training by male students, although campus protests caused administrators to begin repealing mandatory ROTC in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

President John F. Kennedy, who began the escalation of the American military presence in Vietnam, also defended the peacetime draft and the Selective Service in 1962 statement, stating that “I cannot think of any branch of our government in the last two decades where there have been so few complaints about inequity.” One year later, the Pentagon acknowledged the usefulness of conscription, because one-third of enlisted soldiers and two-fifths of officers “would not have entered the service if not for the draft as a motivator.” The Selective Service also authorized deferments for men who planned to study for careers labeled as “vital” to national security interests, such as physics and engineering, which exacerbated the racial and socioeconomic inequalities of the Vietnam-era draft. Of the 2.5 million enlisted men who served during Vietnam, 80 percent came from poor or working-class families, and the same ratio only had a high school education. According to Christian Appy in Working-Class War , “most of the Americans who fought in Vietnam were powerless, working-class teenagers sent to fight an undeclared war by presidents for whom they were not even eligible to vote.”

In the 1964 Presidential election,

LBJ makes a speechwhere he

promises to not escalate the war

Broken Promises Lead to Discontent

Lyndon Johnson ran as the “peace” candidate in his 1964 campaign against conservative Barry Goldwater, who wanted to escalate the military offensive against North Vietnam and the Viet Cong guerillas. In October, at a campaign appearance in Ohio, Johnson promised that “we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” But in the months after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Johnson rapidly increased the U.S. military presence in the defense of South Vietnam, with 184,000 troops stationed there by the end of 1965. During that pivotal year, while UM professors organized the first Vietnam teach-in and Students for a Democratic Society launched the campus antiwar movement, the U.S. military drafted 230,991 more young men. During the next four years, the Selective Service inducted an average of around 300,000 young men annually--including a significant percentage of the 58,156 American troops who would die in the conflict.

America Had No Choice But to Escalate?

In July 1965, at the beginning of this steady escalation, President Johnson attempted to explain the need for increased military intervention in Vietnam in a press conference announcing that draft inductions would increase from 17,000 to 35,000 per month. LBJ started his address by quoting a letter from an American mother asking why her son had to serve in Vietnam for a cause that she did not understand. The president rephrased the question in his own words: “ Why must young Americans, born into a land exultant with hope and with golden promise, toil and suffer and sometimes die in such a remote and distant place?” Johnson lamented his responsibility “to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle” and said he knew “how their mothers weep and how their families sorrow.” But, he explained, America had no choice, because North Vietnam and Communist China sought to “conquer the South, to defeat American power, and to extend the Asiatic dominion of communism. . . . An Asia so threatened by Communist domination would certainly imperil the security of the United States itself.”

President LBJ discusses why the
U.S. is at war with Vietnam in a
1968 speech entitled, "Why Are
We in Vietnam?"

Feelings Towards the Draft

The military draft and the escalation of the Vietnam war played a major role in turning direct action resistance into a mass movement on college campuses in the mid-1960s, including at the University of Michigan. In a 1965 Michigan Daily article, experts unveiled the fear that the military was not receiving enough volunteers and recognized the need to make military service more attractive to well-educated Americans, not just to those who had no other option but enlistment or induction. Bill Ayers, a UM student activist who was arrested in a 1965 sit-in at the Selective Service Office, discussed how conscription can actually benefit society in a 2015 interview. First, he argued, because the draft affects the people around an individual, they are more likely to pay attention to the foreign policy decisions being made by the government. Therefore, Americans in the era of the draft were much more actively engaged in politics and in questioning the true consequences of foreign policy decisions. Second, Ayers pointed out that an all-volunteer military has created a poor man’s army, because enlistment is attractive to individuals who have no other options because they are poor or uneducated.

Bill Ayers says the draft made people, who were normally

unaware of U.S. foreign policy decisions, more concious to

On December 1, 1969, the first draft lottery since 1942 began, but college deferments were kept intact. Anti-war activists recognized the draft lottery system did not produce truly random results. The draft received even more resistance as dissenters became more frustrated with the system. Finally, Nixon ended the draft in January 1973, but by then the war was almost over.

Citations for this page (individual document citations are at the full document links).

1. Michael S. Foley, Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), esp. pp. 35-40 Christian G. Appy, Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), esp. pp. 1-43 (quotation p. 27).

2. Selective Service System, “Induction Statistics, < https://www.sss.gov/induct.htm >, accessed April 26, 2015.

3. Lyndon B. Johnson, “Remarks in Memorial Hall, Akron University,” October 21, 1964, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States , 1964, Book II, pp. 1391-1393

4. Lyndon B. Johnson, “The President’s News Conference: Why Are We in Vietnam?” July 28, 1965, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States , 1965, Book II, pp. 794-803 .

5. “Experts See Changes Needed in Draft Policy,” Michigan Daily , May 20 1965.

6. Interview of Bill Ayers by Obadiah Brown and Chris Haughey, March 26th, 2015.


Presidents & VPs / Sessions of Congress

3 Resigned Dec. 28, 1832, to become United States Senator

11 First Vice President nominated by the President and confirmed by the Congress pursuant to the 25th amendment to the Constitution took the oath of office on Dec. 6, 1973 in the Hall of the House of Representatives

13 Nominated to be Vice President by President Gerald R. Ford on Aug. 20, 1974 confirmed by the Senate on Dec. 10, 1974 confirmed by the House and took the oath of office on Dec. 19, 1974 in the Senate Chamber


With An Eye To History, Biden And Johnson Try To Rekindle The 'Special Relationship'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden talk Thursday during a meeting in Carbis Bay, England, as they look over copies of the original Atlantic Charter from 1941. Patrick Semansky/AP hide caption

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden talk Thursday during a meeting in Carbis Bay, England, as they look over copies of the original Atlantic Charter from 1941.

In their first face-to-face meeting, President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed a 21st century version of the historic Atlantic Charter, an attempt to depict their countries as the chief global leaders taking on the world's biggest challenges.

The two leaders pledged to work "closely with all partners who share our democratic values" and to counter "the efforts of those who seek to undermine our alliances and institutions."

The charter encompasses a commitment to cooperate on climate change, technology and science. It also reaffirms support for NATO while underscoring opposition to election interference and disinformation campaigns.

"We must ensure that democracies – starting with our own – can deliver on solving the critical challenges of our time," the document says. By highlighting their similarities as "democracies," the two are trying to create a clear contrast with Russia and China.

The document is a symbolic nod to the original Atlantic Charter signed in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. That document was a blueprint for emerging from World War II, and included a set of common principles, such as liberalized trade, labor standards and commitments to restore self-government to countries that had been occupied.

Biden has often spoken of his presidency in grand historic terms, and he's repeatedly praised Roosevelt as a role model for his time in the White House. Likewise, Johnson sees Churchill as a personal idol and has even written a book about him.

This new charter comes not after a world war but a pandemic, and it is attempting to clarify what the coming decades can and should look like from the two leaders' shared perspectives, officials said. Signing this charter signals a renewal of the historic "special relationship," a phrase Churchill coined to describe the depth of ties between the two democracies.

Before the two men signed this new Atlantic Charter, they viewed a copy of the original document, under glass, as reporters looked on. The rest of their meeting was behind closed doors.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard a ship off Newfoundland in 1941, where they signed the original Atlantic Charter. Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill aboard a ship off Newfoundland in 1941, where they signed the original Atlantic Charter.

Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

First impressions

Roosevelt and Churchill forged a deep wartime friendship that some historians now say "saved the world."

There have been plenty of questions about how "special" (or not special) the personal relationship between Biden and Johnson might be. Before Thursday's meeting in Cornwall ahead of the Group of Seven summit, the two men had never met in person.

And yet first impressions had already been made. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden mocked Johnson at a fundraiser, calling him as a "physical and emotional clone" of former President Donald Trump.

Politics

Biden Heads To Europe To Convince Allies The United States Has Their Backs

Biden opposed the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Johnson championed Brexit, and eventually shepherded it through Parliament. Biden wants to rebuild America's global alliances. Johnson is seen as the embodiment of nationalist populist politics. Biden ran for president as an explicit rebuke of Trump. Johnson was known for being particularly chummy with the former president, who once admiringly called him "Britain Trump."

Trump, and some political observers, saw Brexit in a similar vein to Trump's "America First" philosophy.

Still, the first European leader Biden spoke with after his inauguration was Johnson, who was quick to acknowledge the president's victory at a time when his old friend Trump was bitterly fighting it.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters this week that Biden and Johnson have had a couple of phone calls, and he described those conversations as "warm" and "constructive."

"They've been very much down to business," he said.

Northern Ireland, trade deal in focus

Still, the two men aren't starting from a clean slate.

Last year, during the presidential campaign, Biden warned that a post-Brexit, U.S.-U.K. free trade deal could be in jeopardy if peace in Northern Ireland became a "casualty" of Brexit.

We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.

Any trade deal between the U.S. and U.K. must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period. https://t.co/Ecu9jPrcHL

&mdash Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 16, 2020

One side effect of Brexit has been renewed tension in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, which finally left the EU this year. The Republic of Ireland remains part of the EU.

As part of a deal to prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland in the aftermath of a Brexit, a customs border has been created, dividing Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom. In April, that helped trigger some of the worst riots the region has witnessed in years.

Biden, who often talks about his Irish heritage, has warned he would scrap any trade deal if Britain damages the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to the region after decades of violence. The EU hopes Biden can press Johnson to abide by his government's agreement to institute the required customs checks along the border.

Johnson is eager to cut a free trade deal with the United States. Although such a deal is not expected to be especially lucrative — trade barriers between the two countries are already low – it would boost Johnson's prestige and help him fulfill his promise to British voters that leaving the EU would free the United Kingdom to make new trade agreements with major economies.

Pandemic recovery, climate change

A U.K.-U.S. trade deal is not particularly high on Biden's agenda. There are other issues, such as pandemic recovery and climate change, that are of importance to Biden — issues where the two men are expected to find significant common ground.

Johnson welcomed Biden's decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization. Trump had abandoned both.

After Biden left his meeting with Johnson, the president announced a new donation of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries, and said the G7 would have more announcements to make on the issue on Friday.


A Message from Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky About Recent Events in the United States

s protests spurred by the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery escalated over the weekend, the Executive Committee sent out a communication to U.S. employees affirming our company’s commitment to justice and equality. But as the turmoil in our streets continues, I think it’s important to address this issue again with all members of the Johnson & Johnson family worldwide.

As the CEO of the world’s largest healthcare company, I must state unequivocally that racism in any form is unacceptable, and that black lives matter. And as a white man, I also need to acknowledge the limits of my own life experience and listen to those who have faced systemic injustice since the day they were born.

I spent the weekend reaching out to black colleagues and friends, and their stories—like the father who drives behind his teenage daughter anytime she goes jogging because he fears for her safety—landed like a punch to the gut. There will always be a multitude of reasons for parents to worry about their children, but racist violence should not be one of them.

As much as we at Johnson & Johnson pride ourselves on our accomplishments in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, we must do more. And we must do it now. Our company is committing $10 million to fighting racism and injustice in America—a pledge that will span the next three years. We will kick it off by extending our support of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and its initiatives, such as the "Talking About Race” program. This new online offering is a valuable resource that reflects our belief in the transformative power of dialogue and education when it comes to unearthing and confronting the root causes of racism.

In the coming months, we will continue to identify and announce other partnerships that we believe will make the biggest difference in advancing social justice. One important area of focus: the urgent need to address the inequities in medical care that have long plagued minority communities—gaps that have recently been both highlighted and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been working through a major initiative that will help address issues including underrepresentation in clinical trials, equipping community health workers, and strengthening existing community medical systems. I look forward to sharing more details with you about this soon.

Of course, change ultimately begins at home. Johnson & Johnson must create a safe, open space for us to connect as a company and learn from one another’s unique experiences and capabilities. We are organizing a series of listening tours and events that will serve as an opportunity for dialogue with leaders and fellow employees—conversations that may not be easy, but are more important now than ever before. They will shape an action plan for what we need to do within our company to live up to our commitment to equality. And because we are able to use our size and scale for good, we will also ensure this action plan is understood and upheld by our suppliers and other business partners so that the effects are as far-reaching as possible.

Most immediately, to our black colleagues: Please know we see the extra burden that is weighing on you during this already difficult time. Please take the time you need to process, stand up for your beliefs, and do whatever you need to do to take care of your families, communities and yourselves.

To every member of the Johnson & Johnson family: Please be mindful of what your fellow employees may be going through in these turbulent times, even if they seem “fine.” Take a moment to reach out to coworkers and let them know you care about what is happening to people of color in America. If recent events have been a revelation to you, let that serve as a challenge to step up and do more as peaceful and determined agents of change—a challenge I myself am determined to embrace.

Since this pandemic began, we have spoken a lot about uniting as one Johnson & Johnson. At a time when the deep fractures in society are impossible to ignore, this unity is more essential than ever before.


Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Johnson - History

Here you will write at least 3 questions that details the information answered through this content topic. These answers should be broad enough to cover the topic, but detailed enough to expect well thought out answers.

A image (or multiple images) relevant to this content topic.

An additional media (listed in the Overview)

1. What deal does Khrushchev propose to Kennedy?

Khrushchev proposes to Kennedy for him to remove the Missiles from Turkey for the price of Cuba.

2. What is the tone of this letter? Provide a quote to support your claim?

The tone was demanding and sensitive. “Placed military bases literally around our country” “will removes its missiles from Turkey”

3. Do you think Khrushchev has the upper hand? What or why not?

I don’t think so because Kennedy has already taken action and has the upper hand in this situation.

4. in this letter kennedy restates Khruschev’s proposals. does kennedy include everything Khruschev proposed? if not, why might have he left something out?

5. what is the tone of this letter? provide a quote to support.

6. do you think kennedy has the upper hand? why or why not?

7. what new information do you learn from Robert Kennedy?

8. why do you think this exchange happened in a private meeting (rather than in an official letter)?

9. how do you think Robert Kennedy felt during this meeting? Provide evidence.

Here you will detail the information that is needed to master this content topic. This analysis should consider the four lenses of social studies and draw evidence from previous lectures and text. Be detailed and extract fact-based information. This section should be 4-5 paragraphs.

All information presented in these 4-5 paragraphs should relate back to the overall question of the unit:

Choose one (for the entire site):

In what ways, peaceably or forcefully, do culture and society change? What does this mean for different individuals?

Moving from the 20th to the 21st century, what is the role of the “American” both domestically and globally?

The New Frontier: Kennedy's broad plan of progress

mandate: a clear conclusion that voters wanted something ( in this time period, JFK's plan)

Peace Corps- a volunteer program where people can travel to and help developing nations

Alliance for Progress : offered economic and technical assistance to Latin American countries.

Warren Commission investigated JFK's assassination

2. Programs of the New Frontier-

The most successful program was probably the NASA program because it still exists today and contributes to the space exploration and expansion of human knowledge outside our world.

3. I think that Congress allocated the space program instead of education and other programs was because of the Cold War. We were in competition with the USSR who were communist. American wanted to show that democracy was better than communism and a way we could do that was to get into space first.

4. I think that JFK lost a lot of popularity due to civil rights because a lot of people still thought that "white" men were supreme. JFK advocated for equality for the most part and wanted to help people in developing countries which people who grew up think that they were the best disagreed to.

5. In my opinion Kennedy was a successful leader for being able to tackle the big problems and cut them down into little pieces to solve them. He was a great leader for being able to lead the country through hard times pushing his policies through congress and even beating Russia. He was also a great leader for dealing with every problem- domestic affairs, foreign countries, the economy, poverty, and more.

Lyndon Baines Johnson -, succeeded to the presidency, his ambition and drive had become legendary.

•Great Society • Johnson's vision for America

Immigration Act of 1965- opened doors for many non- European people to settle in the United States by ending quota based on nationalities

Economic Opportunity Act -approving nearly $1 billion for youth programs, antipoverty measures, small-business loans, and job training.

Medicare and Medicaid • Medicare gave people over 65 a low cost insurance to the hospital while Medicaid extended that benefit to the welfare of recipients

Warren Court: banned prayer in school and declared state required loyalty oaths to be unconstitutional

reapportionment: the way which states redraw election districts based on the changing number of people in them

2. List four or more Great Society programs and Warren Court rulings.

2. Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Area Redevelopment Act

4. Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board of Education: was a case that ruled school segragation unconstitutional.

3. Johnson really looked up to FDR as president. He made a lot of programs just like FDR did and he also thought education was the key of the future. He established four programs that helped America with education.


Letter From Chairman Khrushchev to President Johnson - History

Letter to Vincent J. Salandria
April 5, 1995

Confronted with a crime so high and so great that all authority intuitively protects itself by turning away, we, citizens without authority, completely independent of the power structure, must see and utter the truth. This is the significance of our little committee. We can see who killed President Kennedy and why and equally important, how and why the American people have failed to face the truth.

To those citizens who really want to know and for the generations to come who will need to, we have a responsibility. My idea is a book which would provide the essential documents and an analytical summary with notes and references. The analytical summary follows.

By now there is no doubt that the President&rsquos murder was organized at the highest echelons of the CIA. Indeed it is clear to us that immediately following the assassination this was obvious to any sophisticated observer, as Castro revealed the night after the assassination in his address to the Cuban people.[1]

Noting the instantaneous response of the U.S. government, which was not to pursue the truth but to follow the transparently phony scenario of Oswald as a deranged pro-Castro leftist, a truly sophisticated observer would have seen immediately the evidence of U.S. governmental involvement in the crime. The immediate release of critical information on Oswald&rsquos &ldquopossible motives&rdquo from CIA media assets and the immediate wedding of the government to Oswald as the lone assassin reveal its cooperation from the beginning with what was obviously a prearranged plan to shield the conspirators.[2]

Since we were not sophisticated observers at the time, we needed your early articles in The Legal Intelligencer (1964) and then Liberation (1965) to settle certain questions. You established, using the government&rsquos own evidence, that without a doubt there was a conspiracy, and that the Warren Commission was clearly and consciously cooperating with the cover-up. In other words, your articles proved much more than a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, for they demonstrated that across the entire spectrum of our governmental establishment there was a systematic involvement of the civilian authorities (either actively or through acquiescence) in covering for the murderers.

All of this brings us to the real cover-up over all these years, which was not &ldquoOswald&rdquo per se but rather &ldquothe debate over Oswald.&rdquo[3] In this process we see the CIA following the principles of intelligence agency assassination and cover-up as outlined by Isaac Don Levine, an associate of Allen Dulles, in his analysis of the assassination of Leon Trotsky by the Soviet Union&rsquos NKVD. As Levine revealed, the classic manner by which an intelligence agency attempts to cover itself is by the use of confusion and mystery. The public is allowed to think anything it wants, but is not allowed to know, because the case is shrouded in supposed uncertainty and confusion. This was and is the big lie, that virtually no one is sure who really killed President Kennedy or why.[4]

Of course over the years the terms of the &ldquodebate&rdquo have been shifted as the public has learned more and more about the case. Thus initially the phony debate was organized around the question of whether the Warren Report was accurate or not. In other words, the public was supposed to debate whether there was or wasn&rsquot a conspiracy. As this position was gradually eroded and it became evident that more and more of the public did not believe in the lone assassin theory, another aspect of the debate was developed.

The first fallback position of the government was to acknowledge that perhaps or more than likely there was a conspiracy, but if there was, the chief suspects were Fidel Castro, the KGB, or the Mafia. And while these theories were pushed, it was argued that the Warren Commission, acting in haste, had perhaps erred in missing an assassin here or there. But all this was framed as honest error.

In order to bolster the government&rsquos credibility, the government always needed some writers who would argue that the Warren Report in fact had been true, that Oswald was the lone assassin after all. Thus the &ldquodebate&rdquo was broadened and complicated, but the honor of the members of the Warren Commission was never conceded by the government. It is important to understand that for the purposes of the government it was not necessary that anyone actually be convinced that these defenders of the Warren Report were correct. It was only necessary that people believe that their writings were debatable, i.e., that there was some substance to their arguments that Oswald was the lone assassin. If that point could be debated, then the government was safe, because the criminal conspiracy of the government of the United States to shield the assassins after the fact was obscured.

With the emergence of Jim Garrison&rsquos efforts in New Orleans to pursue those parts of the assassination conspiracy over which he had jurisdiction as Orleans Parish District Attorney, and in the face of the fact that Garrison was unflinchingly pointing directly at the CIA as the source of the assassination conspiracy, a new phase of the pseudo-debate opened. Aside from obstructing and undoing Garrison&rsquos prosecution efforts and presenting him as a self-seeking and irresponsible person,[5] the CIA and the government had to be prepared to deal with the fact that significant portions of the public might believe that the CIA had killed the President. So at this point the debate was broadened again to &ldquoconsider the possibility&rdquo of CIA involvement. But of course, if it were admitted that the CIA had been involved, it would have to be presented as the act of so-called &ldquorogue elephants&rdquo within the Agency.[6]

Eventually we had the investigation by the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations, which appears to have begun with some seriousness but was quashed, a process which Fonzi documents so brilliantly in his book.

The latest round of the &ldquodebate&rdquo is currently being organized around the question of whether President Kennedy would or would not have followed the course Johnson did in escalating the War in Vietnam. Two significant players in the process are John Newman and L. Fletcher Prouty. Both of these individuals claim to have broken their earlier allegiances with military intelligence and the CIA. Both claim to be revealing the truth of the case, and yet both narrowly focus all &ldquodebate&rdquo around Vietnam, lending weight to the &ldquorogue elephant&rdquo theory and obscuring the true motive for the assassination and the nature of the cover-up. Very interestingly, on the other side of this &ldquodebate,&rdquo arguing that there is nothing of significance in all the talk about conspiracy, is Noam Chomsky.[7] This odd position for someone who is thought of as such a left-wing radical is worthy of exploration.

Of course, as part of this &ldquodebate&rdquo around Vietnam and JFK there is the requisite Warren Commission &ldquodefense&rdquo that Oswald was the lone assassin after all. This role, currently played by Gerald Posner with his Case Closed, is touted by the media as serious. And for those of a more literary bent, and to complete the circus atmosphere, we have Norman Mailer&rsquos foray into the archives of the KGB, Oswald&rsquos Tale.

The Role of the Establishment&rsquos
Left/Liberal Wing in the Cover-up

Which brings us to another very interesting, important, and revealing aspect of this case: the defense of the Warren Commission by the left/liberal establishment. I have in mind such individuals as Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn,[8] the editors of The Nation magazine,[9] and, if everyone remembers, I.F. Stone[10] as well. I think the positions of these individuals are very important because in their surprising (to us) dishonesty and willingness to cooperate with the warfare state in covering up the crime, there is obviously something to be learned.

Here some principles and insights from my clinical work in child psychiatry are relevant. It is not uncommon for me to be told that a patient&rsquos actions are out of character. Excluding those instances of organic brain disease such as epilepsy, it is never the case that the patient&rsquos actions are truly out of character. Rather the patient&rsquos true character has not been previously adequately understood.

The positions of Chomsky, The Nation, I.F. Stone, et al., must be understood from this standpoint. They are disillusioning us and in the process indicating to us that we have not previously understood their true character.

Vince, the responses of I.F. Stone, Carey McWilliams, The Nation, and Chomsky et al., form a pattern! This is not merely the individual idiosyncrasy of an arrogant intellectual who cannot admit that he is wrong. Rather I suggest that it is symptomatic of the natural response of a section of our left/liberal intelligentsia which we have not properly understood. This pattern is something to ponder over in order to understand the nature of the assassination and our society more correctly.

I know there has been a lot of feeling in the &ldquocommittee,&rdquo amongst those of us on the left, about these left/liberal defenders of the government cover-up. Moral outrage, bewilderment, a feeling of alienation, and disgust are all appropriate and healthy responses. But necessary as these responses are, they are not sufficient to pursue a cure, i.e., if we wish to approach matters in a clinical fashion as healers. Here Galbraith&rsquos suggestion is valuable: that we are witnesses to a strange religious/ideological rite which is alien to us, and that we must try to observe it and describe it dispassionately as would the anthropologist.[11]

What is it that we are witnessing in this assassination and in the response which the left/liberal establishment has manifested to it? That is the question we must address.

For years I, like the rest of the members of our little committee, was captivated by the notion that the CIA&rsquos murder of the President was a grievous wound to our democracy in urgent need of being exposed so the society could heal. But if this is so, how could it be that people like Carey McWilliams and I.F. Stone, who were amongst the most ardent defenders of our democracy in some of its darkest days, how could it be that such people would oppose us &mdash not only oppose us, but rail against us, manipulate so as to deflect before the public what we were saying?[12] There is something very big at stake here. And I think what we are confronted with is a profound flaw in our own thinking in regard to this case.

I suggest we consider that possibly the assassination of JFK was not a wound to American democracy. It was a wound against certain political forces in our democracy, but not to the democracy itself. In fact, I submit that the assassination was totally within the framework of how American democracy works, and that this was instantly the opinion of people who were knowledgeable, sophisticated, and leading participants in the so-called democratic politics of this society.

The notion that American democracy was not wounded by the assassination of its President is supported by the fact that virtually every segment of the establishment &mdash right, left, and center &mdash lined up to support the mystery cover-up and participate in the pseudo-debate. Not a single member of the Kennedy Administration resigned in protest over what had been done. Not a single member of Congress resigned in protest. Not a single judge in the entire country, not to mention a single justice of the Supreme Court, resigned in protest over the role of the Chief Justice of the United States in this case. The President&rsquos brother did not resign in protest, and the entire Kennedy family publicly accepted the Warren Report, albeit with their behind-the-scenes maneuvering and their delayed and lukewarm endorsements. Not a single editor of a major newspaper resigned over being forced to swallow this obviously phony story.

Jim Garrison, the only public official in the country who took his legal responsibility seriously as a district attorney, was systematically attacked in the press and legally persecuted.[13] Notwithstanding the homage to him which Oliver Stone&rsquos JFK represented, toward the end of his life, Garrison expressed doubt about whether his efforts to reveal the truth of the assassination had been worth what it had cost him.[14] What a sad commentary on our society.

But how is it possible? How can you have a democracy in which there is a coup and literally no one, not a single person in power, protests by resigning? You could have this only if it is not really a coup. You could have this only if, no matter how distasteful it may be, all these people are prepared to find what had been done ultimately acceptable. The fact that for American democracy it was acceptable for the CIA to shoot Kennedy is proven by the fact that it was accepted virtually without protest.[15]

At first glance this idea may seem disorienting, shocking, even bizarre. Is it really conceivable that it is acceptable to the entire spectrum of the governmental establishment, the entire spectrum of the university establishment, the entire spectrum of our media establishment that the CIA can very obviously carry out the murder of a president? This seems crazy. But it is what happened. It was accepted, ergo it was acceptable.

Now I think the first thing the skeptical reader is likely to say in reading this is, &ldquoWell, wait a second. Maybe it wasn&rsquot all that obvious. Maybe all these people didn&rsquot know the CIA had done it.&rdquo So let&rsquos allow this for argument&rsquos sake. Maybe they didn&rsquot know the CIA did it. But certainly they knew there was a conspiracy. Certainly no honest person could ever accept the &ldquosingle bullet theory.&rdquo So then we have a situation in which all these people basically know the Warren Report is a fraud. They know there has been a criminal conspiracy to kill the President and a conspiracy after the fact to obstruct justice in the murder of the President by the government. And they choose not to find out what happened. They look the other way. They are willing to live with the CIA&rsquos confusion and mystery story cover-up. Where does that leave us? Virtually the entire establishment knows that there was a conspiracy to kill the President but chooses not to find out who did it and why. What does that say? It says that a conspiracy to kill the President and its cover-up are acceptable. Not legal, mind you. Nor moral. Upsetting? Of course. But, in the end, acceptable. The government continues to function and everyone remains in place. This is American democracy.

Now I grant you, virtually none of these people are aware that it is acceptable to them for the CIA to kill the President. If you asked them, &ldquoIs it acceptable for the CIA to kill the President?&rdquo everyone would say, &ldquoNo.&rdquo And they would not be lying in any conventional sense. But here we must take another page from clinical psychiatry, because what we have here is a case of what is technically termed &ldquodenial.&rdquo Only in this instance we have it on a mass scale.

Let me describe this phenomenon as it presents itself in the clinical situation. I am not infrequently confronted with a psychologically disturbed family which includes an anti-social teenager, a family in which the parents tell me that what the child is doing is &ldquototally unacceptable.&rdquo And then I start looking into the situation and I find that this isn&rsquot true. Much as the parents may not like what the teenager is doing, they are so wedded to the child and their need for the child, that they are unwilling to take the steps necessary to stop the process. So in reality what the teenager is doing is acceptable, and at the same time the parents maintain in their own minds the fiction about themselves that it isn&rsquot acceptable. This is &ldquodenial&rdquo in a technical sense, a part of the psychological illness, the ideological falsity, that can exist in a family system that is complicit with, if not actually fostering, anti-social conduct by a teenager.[16]

So I think we need to go back to the beginning and look at how this case unfolded all over again. I think we need to focus particular attention on Carey McWilliams and The Nation. Very early on The Nation published Harold Feldman&rsquos article which pulled together the available evidence pointing to Oswald as a U.S. intelligence agent, and explicitly identified the government as a possible suspect in the assassination. But at the same time that The Nation was publishing this article, what was their editorial policy in regard to the assassination and the government? Go back and look at that editorial process.[17]

Basically, The Nation&rsquos position was one of tolerance and patience, urging their readers not to rush to judgment, that Feldman&rsquos material was important but that everyone should wait to see what the Warren Commission would come up with.

At first glance this position seems fair and open-minded. However, if we think about it, we see something else. There is a big problem in The Nation&rsquos position which should have been obvious to us from the outset. If there was not U.S. governmental involvement in the murder, one would expect the government to be able to investigate the assassination but what if there was? After all, Oswald certainly looked like a low-level CIA agent. Would it be reasonable to assume that the Warren Commission could actually entertain and honestly investigate the possibility that there had been a CIA conspiracy? Did such a question ever occur to Carey McWilliams and The Nation? It had to. And yet nowhere did they address this question to their readers. And this is critical.

Perhaps the Warren Commission could be expected to assess honestly a non-governmental conspiracy, but it would certainly not be in a position to investigate a governmental conspiracy, since this would amount to the government investigating itself. At a very minimum, The Nation had the responsibility to ask the government what steps the Commission would take to ensure an honest investigation of the possibility of a conspiracy from within the U.S. government. In failing completely to address this point, The Nation was not being honest with its readers. Honesty would have compelled The Nation to say that that section of investigation which dealt with whether a U.S. government agency itself had been involved could not be carried out by the Warren Commission and would have to be handled by some institution or group of people independent of the U.S. government. And The Nation could have played this role. It could have assembled the same data which Castro, Salandria, and others assembled. It could have brought together a fearless group of individuals, its own Commission completely unbeholden to the U.S. government, and asked them to provide an analysis. And, of course, if this had been done, the group would have come to the inescapable conclusion that it was obvious that the CIA had killed the President.

Clearly The Nation did not wish to do this. From the outset its position was in reality that if there had been a government conspiracy, it would go unchallenged. Note again that they had in fact taken this position at the same time that they were publishing Harold Feldman&rsquos article. So we are left with the unavoidable conclusion that the staunchest liberal leaders of American democracy were prepared to accept a CIA assassination of President Kennedy and not object or protest quite to the contrary, they were fully prepared to cooperate. And indeed The Nation&rsquos editorial role in the cover-up has never wavered.

Think of it this way. Try to put yourself into the shoes of McWilliams, I.F. Stone, and Chomsky. You are leading participants in this process we call American democracy. You are opinion makers. You have access to the media and the media reports what you say to the public. You are leading figures in this &ldquocivilized&rdquo process of struggle we call our democracy. You represent certain forces and they struggle against other forces, but they must conduct themselves in a civilized manner. As leaders in the left/liberal establishment you may hate the military and the CIA and not give a damn what they think of you, but you cannot afford to be indifferent to what liberal, and more importantly, moderate members of Congress or the media think of you. You certainly would not want to wind up painting Earl Warren as an enemy in this civilized discourse. You are interested in building coalitions to effect change, and moderates are part of the process. Now if you go off and start calling Earl Warren an accessory after the fact in the murder of the President, where does that leave you? It leaves you totally outside.

Go back and look at Fred Cook&rsquos memoir about his efforts to get The Nation to publish his piece on the case.[18] McWilliams is just silent. He doesn&rsquot respond to Cook, because he can&rsquot. Cook is a reporter, but McWilliams is more than this he is a player. And when you&rsquore playing a game, you don&rsquot go around trashing your opponent beyond a certain point, or there is no game any more.

And that was the situation in which the left/liberal establishment found itself with the assassination. &ldquoDo we or don&rsquot we blow the whistle on this game? Because if we level with the American people over what has happened, there is no telling what would happen. People might start asking questions. We might have wholesale unrest. Or maybe some kind of right-wing reaction, maybe a pogrom on the left. . . . Better leave well enough alone and go on with our struggle by continuing the game.&rdquo[19]

Look at what Chomsky tells us: &ldquoMy friends in the National Academy of Sciences are not going to lie about this.&rdquo[20] I.F. Stone did the same thing. He was apoplectic over the accusation that Warren was engaging in a fraud. But that tells us Stone is in an enormous bind or he wouldn&rsquot be driven to react in such an emotional fashion.

We are thus left with a conclusion that the President&rsquos murder by the CIA was accepted throughout the entire establishment. Indeed the liberal leadership ultimately confirmed that the murder of the President by the CIA and the military could go unpunished and unrevealed without disturbing our constitutional process. It is they who made the decision that the murder of the President by the CIA would be politically acceptable. And as a result, this murder did not cause the ripple of a single resignation. It was business as usual. This is not an ideological conclusion. This is a logical conclusion based on a factual analysis of the way our democracy reacted to the crime.

But why? Why did the CIA kill Kennedy and how did we get into this situation where the murder of the President by the CIA is acceptable? These are some of the questions to which I now want to turn.

Up to this point my analysis has not depended on any ideological orientation, just commitment to facts and logic. We must however go beyond this level of analysis if we want to see the assassination in the context of our society as it really is. We thus turn to an aspect which inevitably draws upon a certain ideological orientation to the world.

Ten years ago I wrote a scene in a play in which Allen Dulles and JFK confront each other in heaven and Dulles insists that he was the true upholder of American values and out of his patriotic duty had Kennedy killed. Eventually in the dialogue Kennedy is won over to Dulles&rsquo position and in the end JFK accepts the assassination.[21] Curiously when I wrote this scene, I did it as a way of simply exploring the logic of certain political positions. I did not fully understand what I was writing and the full truth of the ideas being expressed there. I say this because there is one critical point in the dialogue when Dulles says to JFK in heaven, &ldquoLook Jack, suppose you&rsquod had a stroke and died in Dealey Plaza that afternoon. Would the history of the United States be any different? We didn&rsquot take over the government. We just shot you.&rdquo And it turns out that from the standpoint of historical truth, this claim by the fictional Dulles is quite correct. Dulles and the CIA didn&rsquot take over the government, because they didn&rsquot have to. The CIA reasoned quite correctly that basically the balance of forces would be on its side if Kennedy were removed.

Kennedy ran afoul of the CIA because he departed from the Cold War script in his dealings with the U.S.S.R., and on the critical issue of peaceful coexistence with socialism. Kennedy&rsquos movement on the peace question, his rapprochement with Khrushchev facilitated behind the scenes by Pope John XXIII, his &ldquosecret&rdquo efforts in the U.N. to move toward normalization of relations with Cuba, all of this following the Cuban Missile Crisis, was the critical point at which Kennedy &ldquostepped over the line.&rdquo

For ideological reasons, liberal opinion, which remains steeped in anti-communism and the mentality of the Cold War, cannot acknowledge the significance of the moral challenge that the Cuban Revolution represents to the United States. Mike Morrissey has recently pointed out that Chomsky has publicly declared that in spite of everything, he (Chomsky) still considers the United States to be the freest country in the world. Such a statement reflects a narrow notion of freedom, which is characteristic of liberalism and perhaps explains why for all of Chomsky&rsquos radical critique of American foreign policy he is still so welcome in the halls of the establishment.[22]

Failing to note the critical significance of the Cuban Revolution, the left/liberal intellectuals will not be able to take account of the full significance of Kennedy&rsquos rapprochement with Khrushchev and Castro. They will note it of course, and support it, but they will not be aware of the critical departure that these actions represented on Kennedy&rsquos part. And consequently they will not be able to make sense of the reasons the CIA felt compelled to do away with Kennedy. They will not correctly assess the significance of the split in socialism as well as within capitalism that was represented by the Sino-Soviet split and the split of Kennedy from the CIA. I have detailed the importance of all this in earlier correspondence in a discussion of the &ldquoradical&rdquo nature of Kennedy&rsquos shift at the Cuban Missile Crisis.[23] Similarly the question of the significance of the break in capitalism and socialism is discussed in the analysis of Khrushchev&rsquos very important January 31, 1963 letter to Castro.[24]

All of this will be of little or no interest to people who do not include social and economic democracy within their concept of freedom. And unfortunately that probably characterizes the majority of Americans at this point.

I would argue that the lack of interest in social and economic democracy which Americans manifest today, the failure of American society to address the problems of social and economic democracy, is ultimately related to the vulnerability of American society to the Kennedy assassination. Again, how, after all, did we come to a point as a society in which this conspiracy to murder the President would be acceptable? This is a critical question. In order to answer it we have to go back and look at this democracy we call America, the real one, as it is day in and day out.

Let us turn to what Michael Parenti reminds us of &mdash the murder and suppression of the radical leadership that emerged in the sixties.[25] Think about &ldquoJim Crow&rdquo and the lynchings in the South, where African Americans were subjected to systematic terror for asserting basic democratic rights, while in the North legal forms of discrimination, an American form of apartheid, served and serves similar purposes. This was the America which accepted the murder of President Kennedy, the America which was prepared to accept the systematic terror of African Americans.

Indeed, President Kennedy as President was prepared to accept this.[26] Shortly after coming into office, he had a meeting with a number of African American leaders who urged him to take action on the problem of systematic racist terror in the South and his response was to tell them not to rock the boat, that the Democrats had won a narrow victory over the Republicans, that he was not in a political position to take a stand on this question. Of course, he didn&rsquot say and didn&rsquot have to say that he owed his election in part to Lyndon Johnson and the racist southern power structure.

We are talking about an American democracy that found McCarthyism acceptable as a means of ridding our labor movement, the entertainment industry, and our educational institutions of &ldquocommunists,&rdquo people who refused to accept the legitimacy of the Cold War and insisted that the United States should reach accommodation with the Soviet Union, people who insisted that the arms race was a rip-off of the American people and the world. The systematic persecution of these people was acceptable within American democracy. The murder of the Rosenbergs was acceptable. The repression and persecution of Robeson and DuBois and all the others was acceptable. All of it was acceptable to America and her democracy. Indeed, McCarthy was only brought down when he lost his wits altogether and began to attack the military itself. And of course here Robert Kennedy can be found playing a role as a McCarthyite witch-hunter.

As steeped in this Cold War tradition as President Kennedy was, he nevertheless was capable of moving beyond the confines of Cold War thought. He was a person with a certain independence of mind. He was sensitive to the erosion of civilian control of the military. He was appalled at the glib approach the Pentagon could take to the idea of millions and millions of casualties in a nuclear war. He was, as Castro has pointed out, a person of a certain kind of &ldquomoral authority&rdquo in his connection with the American people. And thus when roused by them as he was in the crisis over civil rights, he was capable of providing a definite moral leadership. And roused by his own sense of disquiet over the direction and implications of the Cold War domestically as well as internationally, Kennedy set about trying to work out some alternative. But in this case, unlike the case of the civil rights issue, there was no mass movement to propel Kennedy and to provide the social momentum necessary for ending the arms race and the Cold War. In this case Kennedy took the lead, hoping eventually to galvanize sufficient support.[27] He backed off on Cuba and started negotiating recognition.[28] He refused to support the junta in the Dominican Republic. He was dragging his feet in Vietnam. He began working with the Pope and Khrushchev on the nuclear arms race (a portion of Kennedy&rsquos correspondence with Khrushchev is still hidden from the American people[29]). And in doing all this he was moving in a direction which communists had been advocating for decades. Castro tells us that the Cuban government had come to recognize that it was possible to talk with Kennedy, that he was someone who could be dealt with, and that there was, with him in office, the possibility of accommodation.[30]

Look at Kennedy&rsquos American University speech in which he tried to indicate to the American people the direction our nation needed to go in securing world peace.[31] Interestingly he could not bring himself to tell the American people about the dangerous conflict that had erupted in Washington over the direction he was taking, even though at the time his brother, the Attorney General, was sending messages to Khrushchev to cool it, because they were worried about the possibility of assassination.[32]

This American University speech is so important. As I go back and reread it, I realize how advanced Kennedy&rsquos position was at that time, much more advanced than anything we have coming from our government today. In that speech there is an understanding very close to the position George Kennan articulates in the later essays in The Nuclear Delusion.[33]

What I am referring to is an understanding that there was something of value to the powers that be in the United States, as well as to the people of the United States, in the existence of the Soviet Union: namely that there was an organized force on &ldquothe other side&rdquo that was also interested in disarmament. When I go back and read Mikhail Gorbachev&rsquos Perestroika[34] today I think of where Kennedy and Khrushchev were in 1963 and the opportunity that was beginning to emerge and that was destroyed.

I know that no one seems to be interested in the McCloy-Zorin agreement.[35] Hardly anyone even knows about it any longer. And I really don&rsquot understand why. Maybe they were just words as far as Kennedy was concerned in 1961 when it was signed. But as events developed, particularly after the Cuban Missile Crisis, I think the McCloy-Zorin agreement began to take on real significance. Because if you go back and look at that American University speech, I think Kennedy is talking about the McCloy-Zorin agreement without mentioning it by name. Khrushchev and Kennedy were talking about worldwide disarmament, conventional as well as nuclear. That is really radical. That is what Gorbachev was talking about, that you can&rsquot settle problems with military means any longer. And the &ldquopowers that be&rdquo in this country didn&rsquot want Gorbachev. And even the liberals were ecstatic when the Soviet Union collapsed and Yeltsin replaced Gorbachev. You read the American University speech by Kennedy and George Kennan&rsquos later writing and you read Castro, Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela[36] and you realize how foolishly narrow the political mind set that dominates this country is.

People are always asking how would our history be different if President Kennedy hadn&rsquot been assassinated. For me this isn&rsquot the question to ask. Rather ask how would history have been different if President F.W. de Klerk had been assassinated in the midst of South Africa&rsquos transition to majority rule and the ending of apartheid. It seems to me that South Africa would still have gone through the changes it has accomplished because that society had the organized social momentum to move in that direction.

This is why I see Kennedy as a &ldquode Klerk without an ANC.&rdquo He saw the handwriting on the wall in our situation, the way de Klerk did in his. But Kennedy didn&rsquot have an &ldquoANC,&rdquo an organized social movement for peaceful coexistence that could compel the society to move in that direction. So he was in a very vulnerable position.

And as in South Africa before the ascendancy of Nelson Mandela and the ANC to the government, we too in America are confronted by a &ldquothird force&rdquo which is shadowy and operates behind the scenes. You will recall that this &ldquothird force&rdquo in South African society turned out to have the clandestine backing of the government.

It seems to me that at the moment of the assassination the Kennedy forces had a choice. They could openly acknowledge to the American people what had happened. To do this might have meant to release a popular disillusionment with the military and the CIA. You understand that in such a situation these liberal leaders as well as the conservatives might lose control of the situation to popular forces. Or they could decide not to run that risk they could accept the assassination as a brutal, heinous wound to their side, but nevertheless keep going with the people in the dark. Obviously this was the decision that was made. And in so doing they decided (perhaps unconsciously like the &ldquoinnocent&rdquo parents of the anti-social teenager) that the CIA murder of the President was acceptable to American democracy. The fact that our press and universities fell into line is an indication that they too accepted American democracy as delimited by this liberal-conservative establishment.

Are the American people really any different? Do they really want to know what happened and take responsibility, as opposed to indulging themselves in endless speculation?

Warren Commission member John J. McCloy is quoted by Edward J. Epstein in Inquest as saying that the paramount importance of the Commission was to &ldquoshow the world that America is not a banana republic where a government can be changed by conspiracy.&rdquo[37] Nowhere has the primary concern of the establishment been more honestly acknowledged in this case.

Anyone with any real access to the public, any person of importance who dared to speak the truth that would threaten the purposes of the government would be immediately suspended. Note if you will the case of Malcolm X, who instinctively read the situation correctly and said publicly, &ldquothe chickens have come home to roost.&rdquo He was immediately censured by Elijah Muhammad and the Black Muslim leadership for being insensitive to the American people.

As far as I am concerned, in confronting the murder of JFK we are not confronted with the task of repairing something that has been injured. We are confronted with the task of addressing a society that in 1963 was already profoundly ill, and if anything has become sicker in the intervening years. At the core of this illness is that mentality which pursues anti-communism and the Cold War above all else, a mentality which will subordinate any crime, including the threat to annihilate mankind, in pursuit of defeating this supposed enemy. I reiterate, what did Kennedy in was his effort to depart from this insanity. And on this score, in deciding to handle the assassination as they did, the left/liberal establishment revealed that when push came to shove, when they had to make a choice, this left/liberal establishment was more addicted to the military and the CIA than to the Constitution. And by and large the American people are part and parcel of this addiction.

Of course this is not to say that you or anyone else must accept this liberal/conservative definition of American democracy. But in practical terms, the quality of American democracy is ultimately up to the American people to determine. And the people for now are dominated by the &ldquopowers that be&rdquo and their press. For American democracy to return to being governed by the Constitution, instead of by the mentality of the Cold War, will mean confronting truly vast forces that will stand in opposition. Such a process can only proceed on the basis of a broad social movement which is prepared to challenge the political assumptions of our society at its roots. Along the way such a movement will inevitably want to know everything it can about the illness it must overcome.

I believe that as people become part of such a movement they will want to know, they will need to know, who killed President Kennedy and why and how the murder was covered up. They will need to know because they will be struggling to overcome the Orwellian forces that today dominate our nation and the world. And this case is a window on those forces. So no matter if our work is ignored today, it will have something to offer people eventually.

From my point of view, the Kennedy assassination is a strand in the fabric of a society suffering from an illness which is the outgrowth of more than a century, an illness which has been growing since shortly after the American Civil War, when the reconstruction process was short-circuited. From that point on, the &ldquopowers that be&rdquo in the United States from a moral standpoint have more often than not been on the wrong side of history, frustrating change, opposing human freedom, exploiting the majority in the interest of the privileged few. For most of this century anti-communism and the Cold War formed the rationale for this American policy.

The only exception is the period in which Hitler went too far and had to be called back, at which point the United States joined with the Soviet Union. And the minute Hitler was out of the picture, U.S. policy reverted. Our military intelligence began working with the Nazis, helping them find their way to South America, coordinating repression in Latin America with fascist military regimes, embarking on domestic witch hunts in order to cancel the cultural and political progress which the American people had achieved through the struggles of the Depression and World War II.

The real reason for the Cold War was that the Soviet Union, with all its problems and deviations, remained throughout an obstacle to the U.S. policy of dominance in the Third World. The minute Communist China abandoned the anti-colonialist stance, it was able to normalize relations with the United States. The reason the United States will not normalize relations with Cuba is because of Cuba&rsquos determined, principled anti-colonialist foreign policy and the fact that its development as a Third World country independent of U.S. control stands as a glaring alternative to the results in those third world countries which submit to United States domination.

Look at the points where Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated. These are also political assassinations in which there is evidence of involvement by the federal government. Malcolm was killed when he had joined the struggle of African Americans in the United States with the anti-colonialist movement internationally. King was killed at the point he was joining our civil rights movement to our anti-war movement, again with the possibility of our domestic movement being linked with a worldwide movement against colonialism.

As an example of the timeliness of these issues I am enclosing an article which appeared in the March 22nd issue of Granma International,[38] remarks that Fidel Castro recently made in Europe at the U.N.-sponsored conference on social development.

So this is where we are today. The assassination of President Kennedy is a window onto the reality of American democracy, a militarist political democracy lacking in social and economic democracy and justice, a system that is apparently threatened by a small island of a few million people ninety miles off its shore who for thirty-five years have refused to allow the United States to define for them their notion of freedom, democracy, and justice. And make no mistake about it. Although the powers that be are trying to convince everyone that the Cold War has ended, the refusal by the U.S. to recognize Cuba and to peacefully coexist with this nation, the continuing attempt to embargo this nation &mdash all this is proof that the Cold War is not over. Virtually every month brings a new expose on the role of the CIA in horrors committed in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, and so on. But the struggle continues.

Since peace is the order which flows from social justice, so long as there is an absence of social justice in any society, that society will find itself at war. This is a law of human life. It is true for our society, and it is true for the world. The struggles for social and economic justice in the United States are connected with the struggles against colonialism and for social and economic development throughout the world, and these struggles are connected with the struggle for peace and the transformation of mankind&rsquos relationship to nature.

I leave you with the following quotation from Chinghiz Aitmatov, the great Kirghiz writer:

Since the Warren Report was an obvious fraud, so was the pseudo-debate over whether there was or wasn&rsquot a conspiracy, a debate over a question which had long ago been answered definitively. This thirty-year pseudo-debate over the validity of the Warren Report has occupied the efforts and attention of many honest citizens who were taken in by it. Unwittingly many honest citizens, tricked into participation, became part of the cover-up, because the debate gave legitimacy to the notion that there was doubt and uncertainty when there really was none.


What is the tone of this letter? Provide a quote to support your claim on the document B

Nikita Khrushchev commenced the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War.Khrushchev's reputation was disintegrated by defects in his policies.John Kennedy is an American diplomat who worked as the thirty-fifth leader of the United States and he is the youngest president in the USA

The tone was difficult and painful. “Assigned military bases literally throughout our country” “will withdraw its weapons from Turkey”

The letter was calm and restrained.

Tension between the United States and Russia, formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialists States were on the rise. From the rocket race, to the missiles race, the tensions between the two countries kept escalating. In the wake of the events, one of the potentially dangerous events was the Cuban missile crisis. Russia thought to build a missile base in Cuba. This would present a great danger to the US. In the letter, Kennedy is tentative in his approach. He exercises restraint. In fact, in one of the lines he says, ". I recognize Mr. Chairman, that it was not I who issued the first challenge in this case. " The president distances himself from the provocations that had been sent his his predecessors.


Watch the video: How Khrushchev Fed the Soviet People