Barack Obama: No Jack Kennedy

Exclusive: A half century ago at the peak of the Cold War President Kennedy appealed to humankind’s better nature in a daring overture to Soviet leaders, a gamble that brought bans on nuclear testing and a safer world, a bravery that President Obama can’t seem to muster, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Democratic Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s “you’re no Jack Kennedy” put-down of Republican Sen. Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate springs to mind on a day on which I cannot help but compare the character of President Barack Obama to that of John Kennedy, the first President under whom I served in the Army and CIA.

On this day 52 years ago, President John Kennedy gave a landmark speech at American University, appealing for cooperation instead of confrontation with the Soviet Union. Kennedy knew all too well that he was breaking the omerta-like code that dictated demonization of the Soviet leaders. But the stakes could not have been higher a choice of an endless arms race (with the attendant risk of nuclear conflagration) or bilateral cooperation to curb the most dangerous weapons that jeopardized the future of humankind.

President John F. Kennedy at the American University commencement on June 10, 1963.

President John F. Kennedy at the American University commencement on June 10, 1963.

Forgoing the anti-Soviet rhetoric that was de rigueur at the time, Kennedy made an urgent appeal to slow down the arms race, and then backed up the rhetoric with a surprise announcement that the U.S. was halting nuclear testing. This daring step terrified those sitting atop the military-industrial complex and, in my opinion, was among the main reasons behind Kennedy’s assassination some five months later.

At American University, John Kennedy broke new ground in telling the world in no uncertain terms that he would strive to work out a genuine, lasting peace with the Soviet Union. And to underscore his seriousness, Kennedy announced a unilateral cessation of nuclear testing, but also the beginning of high-level discussions in Moscow aimed at concluding a comprehensive test ban treaty.

In tightly held conversations with speechwriter Ted Sorensen and a handful of other clued-in advisers, Kennedy labeled his address “the peace speech.” He managed to hide it from the military advisers who just eight months before had pressed hard for an attack on the Soviet nuclear missiles sent to Cuba in 1962.

It was then that Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, his Soviet counterpart, stood on the brink of ordering the incineration of possibly hundreds of millions of people, before the two worked out a face-saving compromise and thus thwarted the generals of both sides who were pressing for Armageddon.

Kennedy’s resistance to relentless pressure from military and civilian advisers alike for a military strike, combined with Khrushchev’s understanding of the stakes involved, saved perhaps the very life of the planet. And here’s the kicker: What neither Kennedy nor his advisers knew at the time was that on Oct. 26, 1962, just one day before the U.S.-Soviet compromise was reached, the nuclear warheads on the missiles in Cuba had been readied for launch.

This alarming fact was learned only 30 years later, prompting Robert McNamara, Kennedy’s defense secretary to write: “Clearly there was a high risk that, in the face of a U.S. attack which, as I have said, many were prepared to recommend to President Kennedy the Soviet forces in Cuba would have decided to use their nuclear weapons rather than lose them.

“We need not speculate about what would have happened in that event. We can predict the results with certainty. … And where would it have ended? In utter disaster.”

It was that searing experience and the confidential exchange of letters between Kennedy and Khrushchev that convinced them both that they needed to commit to working out ways to lessen the chance of another such near-catastrophe in the future.

American University Speech

Kennedy’s “peace speech” was a definitive break with the past. Saturday Review editor Norman Cousins wrote simply: “At American University on June 10, 1963, President Kennedy proposed an end to the Cold War.”

Kennedy told those assembled that he had chosen “this time and this place to discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely perceived … world peace.”

“What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. … I am talking about genuine peace the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living the kind that enables man and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women not merely peace in our time but peace for all time. …

“Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles which can only destroy and never create is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace. …

“So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable and war need not be inevitable. … No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. … We can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage.

“Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union suffered in the course of the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and farms were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory … was turned into a wasteland a loss equivalent to the devastation of this country east of Chicago.

“Today, should total war ever break out again … all we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the Cold War … our two countries … are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons, which could be better devoted to combating ignorance, poverty, and disease.

“So, let us not be blind to our differences but let us direct attention to our common interests and to means by which those differences can be resolved. … For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal. …

“Above all, while defending our vital interest, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy or of a collective death wish for the world. …

“Finally, let us examine our attitude toward peace and freedom here at home. … In too many of our cities today, the peace is not secure because freedom is incomplete. … We shall do our part to build a world of peace, where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and unafraid, we labor on … toward a strategy of peace.”

As mentioned above, Kennedy backed up his words by announcing the unilateral halt to nuclear testing and the start of negotiations on a comprehensive test ban treaty. In a sharp break from precedent, the Soviets published the full text of Kennedy’s speech and let it be broadcast throughout the U.S.S.R. without the usual jamming.

Khrushchev told test-ban negotiator Averell Harriman that Kennedy had given “the greatest speech by any American president since Roosevelt.” The Soviet leader responded by proposing to Kennedy that they consider a limited test ban encompassing the atmosphere, outer space and water, as a way to get around the thorny issue of inspections.

In contrast, Kennedy’s AU speech was greeted with condescension and skepticism by the New York Times, which reported: “Generally there was not much optimism in official Washington that the President’s conciliation address at American University would produce agreement on a test ban treaty or anything else.”

A ‘Complex’

In giving pride of place to his rejection of “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war,” Kennedy threw down the gauntlet to the “military-industrial complex” against which President Dwight Eisenhower had pointedly warned in his Farewell Address:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, but the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Ike got that right. Then, as now, the military-industrial complex was totally dependent on a “Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.” It was policed by the Pentagon and was/is a hugely profitable enterprise.

Opposition coalesced around the negotiations toward a test ban treaty, with strong opponents in Congress, the media, and (surprise, surprise!) the military-industrial complex. Kennedy courageously kept his warmongering senior military out of the loop, and rushed Harriman through the talks in Moscow.

On July 25, 1963, Harriman initialed the final text of a Limited Test Ban Treaty outlawing nuclear tests “in the atmosphere, beyond its limits, including outer space, or under water, including territorial waters or high seas.”

The next evening, Kennedy went on TV, using his bully pulpit to appeal for support for ratification of the treaty. In a swipe at the various players in the formidable anti-treaty lobby, the President stressed that the vulnerability of children was a strong impetus to his determination to fight against all odds: “This is for our children and our grandchildren, and they have no lobby here in Washington.”

But the Establishment was not moved; and seldom have its anxieties been more transparent. It is axiomatic that peace is not good for business, but seldom do you see that in a headline. But the plaintive title of a U.S. News and World Report on Aug. 12, 1963, was “If Peace Does Come What Happens to Business?” The article asked, “Will the bottom drop out if defense spending is cut?”

Kennedy circumvented the military-industrial complex by enlisting the Citizens Committee led by Norman Cousins, the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and prominent religious leaders among others to appeal for ratification. In early August, Kennedy told his advisers he believed it would take a near-miracle to get the two-thirds Senate vote needed. On Sept. 24, the Senate ratified the treaty by a vote of 80 to 19.

I am indebted to James Douglass and his masterful JFK and the Unspeakable; Why He Died & Why It Matters, for much of the play-by-play in that whirlwind rush to ratification. Douglass argues persuasively, in my view, that Kennedy’s bold move toward carving out a more peaceful strategic relationship with the Soviet Union, first announced on June 10 at American University, was one of the main factors that sealed his fate.

An Obama Complex

While it’s true that comparisons can be invidious, they can also be instructive. Will President Obama ever be able to summon the courage to face down the military-industrial complex and other powerful Establishment forces? Or is it simply (and sadly) the case that he simply does not have it in him?

Referring to Obama’s anemic flip-flopping on Ukraine, journalist Robert Parry wrote that Obama’s policy on Ukraine suggests that he (1) believes his own propaganda, (2) is a conscious liar, or (3) has completely lost his bearings, and simply adopts the position of the last person he talks to.

I see as the primary factor a toxic, enervating mix of fear and cowardice. Former Air Force Col. Morris Davis, who quit his job as chief prosecutor at Guantanamo when ordered to accept testimony based on waterboarding under the Bush administration, may have come close with his unusual burst of military-style candor.

Davis told an interviewer: “There’s a pair of testicles somewhere between the Capitol Building and the White House that fell off the President after Election Day [2008].”

Shortly before his re-election in 2012, Obama reportedly was braced at a small dinner party by wealthy donors who wanted to know whatever happened to the “progressive Obama.” The President did not take kindly to the criticism, rose from the table, and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Dr. King?”

It is, of course, a fair question as to whether Obama should have run for President if he knew such fears might impinge on his freedom of decision. But let’s ask the other question: What did happen to Martin Luther King Jr.? Would you believe that the vast majority of Americans know only that he was killed and have no idea as to who killed him and why?

In late 1999, a trial took place in Memphis not far from where King was murdered. In a wrongful death lawsuit initiated by the King family, 70 witnesses testified over a six-week period. They described a sophisticated government plot that involved the FBI, the CIA, the Memphis Police, Mafia intermediaries, and an Army Special Forces sniper team. The 12 jurors, six black and six white, returned after 2 ½ hours of deliberation with a verdict that Dr. King has been assassinated by a conspiracy that included agencies of his own government.

My hunch is that Obama walks around afraid, and that this helps explain why he feels he has to kowtow to the worst kind of thugs and liars lingering in his own administration the torturers, the perjurers, and the legerdemain lawyers who can even make waterboarding, which Obama publicly condemned as torture, magically legal. So far at least, Obama has been no profile in courage and he’s nearly 6 ½ years into his presidency.

I have two suggestions for him today. Let him take a few minutes to read and reflect on President Kennedy’s American University speech of 52 years ago. And let him also reflect on the words of Fannie Lou Hamer the diminutive but gutsy civil rights organizer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and of Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964:

“Sometimes it seems like to tell the truth today is to run the risk of being killed. But if I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom.”

Obama has a nine-inch height advantage over Fannie Lou Hamer; he needs somehow to assimilate a bit of her courage.

[For more on this topic, see’s “Can Obama Speak Strongly for Peace?”]

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 30 years from the administration of John Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush.

42 comments for “Barack Obama: No Jack Kennedy

  1. June 15, 2015 at 18:38

    I’m not at all disappointed by Obama, it was obvious in 2007 that he was just the “good cop” to Bush’s “bad cop.”

    As MLK said, we need to judge people on the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

    Obama’s first job after Columbia college was for a CIA front and he had war strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski as his mentor in college.

  2. June 14, 2015 at 16:43

    Interestingly enough, Mr. McGovern, Jack Kennedy, at that famous Commencement Speech of 1963 said also these words about peace that have been COMPLETELY ignored by the world of activism, but are the foundations of the repeace dot com project and vision.

    –“Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions — on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace; no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process — a way of solving problems.”–

    These words apply to the process of realizing peace that every single activist in the world is exercising every day. However, authors, historians and journalists, claiming to get a grip on how peace ought to be pursued, keep promoting the myth that “peace is the absence of armed conflicts”.

    Accountability promotes peace. Activists of all causes are realizing peace (Repeacers). Pacifists and Activists are terms that have become liabilities and WE, ordinary people can challenge that narrative right now by changing it.

    It would be time someone able to write would take the lead and see things from a different perspective.

  3. Cal
    June 12, 2015 at 20:44

    Remarkable, excellent article…….Brought back Jack and my own innocent era when I still believed in America.


  4. Joyce Ellis
    June 12, 2015 at 11:40

    All I can say is you folks have you noses in a hymn book that is rewritten daily to match your opinions, which in turn have very little to do with the facts. Glad to see you are enjoying your imaginary world.

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 12, 2015 at 12:38

      Actually, Joyce, I can’t decide if I’m an atheist or an agnostic. My opinions vacillate based on the availability of empirical evidence. Transudation is a concept I neither embrace nor refute.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 12, 2015 at 15:31

      Joyce, I am glad your glad for all of us who are led astray by our reading out of the wrong hymn books. Please back up your criticism by providing us all with some references to what hymn books we should be reading. I welcome debate, but you are not debating as much as you are just being critical of these reader opinions.

  5. Greg Allen Getty
    June 12, 2015 at 10:24

    ‘…whatever happened to the “progressive Obama.” The President did not take kindly to the criticism, rose from the table, and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Dr. King?”…and Hilary said “remember RFK and 1968” when she was staying in the race w/ no hope of winning (after being in the oval office w/ Mr. Bill, Poppy Bush and Michael Harrari in 1999 planning the JFK jr hit to eliminate the competition to her and ‘W’)

  6. James O'Neill
    June 11, 2015 at 20:35

    Ray, a great article. For what it’s worth I agree with James Douglass that the commencement speech in June 1963 was Kennedy effectively signing his own death warrant.
    I think you are over optimistic in thinking that Obama is capable of change. He has been a puppet of Wall St and the CIA since he left college, when he happened to work for both. One of the reasons JFK was killed was to discourage any future president from showing too many signs of independence, and I am sure that Obama is very well aware of that.

  7. Julian
    June 11, 2015 at 19:22

    I admit that I too was one of those naive enough to believe that Barack Obama would be different, a better president with the will to turn America around and move it away from the wreck it had become under George W. Bush and his cronies.

    But the fact is that only those already part of the system and political establishment can have any hopes of taking up a political office or becoming president. The system is rigged from start to finish and ruthlessly sorts out those who might endanger it long before that person ever gets close to power.
    We the voters don’t actually vote and elect jack sh*t. All we do is decide between to already decided upon products pre-selected by the rich and powerful (lobby groups, corporations, etc.). Think of it as a choice between Coke and Pepsi.

    Obama would’ve had a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming president if he’d actually been serious about his so called “change”. Even if he garnered huge public support, it was the support of major lobby groups which he needed to win. And one only gets those if one panders to them and promises on all that is holy that nothing will be done to endanger their interests and/or profits.

    I can only recommend watching/listening to this sketch by the late Bill Hicks, which perfectly sums up what Mr. Ray McGovern wrote:

  8. Richard Steven Hack
    June 11, 2015 at 19:18

    As I’ve said many times, Obama isn’t “afraid” – except in the sense that a pre-Emancipation South plantation foreman is afraid of losing his position and privileges bestowed on him by his white masters for betraying his people.

    Obama is happy to blind himself to the consequences – for everyone but himself – of a new Cold War, of selling out to corporate interests, of police oppression of his own race, of murder by drone, oppression, displacement and slaughter of millions in the Middle East, and every other criminal act he has enabled. As long as this serial narcissist can look at his Nobel Peace Prize, he’s happy.

    For this reason alone, Obama is the most contemptible President the US has ever had. He makes Nixon look good.

  9. Joe Tedesky
    June 11, 2015 at 13:51

    I have often thought that the JFK, MLK, & RFK assassinations were (besides wrong) pivotal moments within our US history. I also consider that what ever took place on Devil’s Island which by 1913 created the Federal Reserve, is another one of those pivotal moments, as well. An example would be as to why did the United States enter WWI? Was there a connection between the Federal Reserve and the US entry into WWI? If we as a nation were ever wanted to seriously fix our beloved country, then we would tear apart these historical events, and find out what really happen. Until the day comes, when we will be able to understand what happened on 9/11 (still to many unanswered questions) along with other occurrences that have taken place then we will continue to be stuck in the same mud we have been grinding away in for so long now. None of our modern day presidents will come up to the level of John F. Kennedy. For these presidents who have followed JFK, it is all an act. Obama for as likable as he maybe is following a script which has been written for him in some back room. It is all about corporate profits, and nothing more.

  10. Vega
    June 11, 2015 at 11:38

    These little guys deserve to be heard:

  11. Peter Loeb
    June 11, 2015 at 05:13


    Evidently Vietnam did not happen. Terror against Cuba by the US did
    not happen (under JFK and Bobby Kennedy).

    How easily one forgets if those whom we slaughtered are “them”.

    PS. My Dad also worked for JFK as US Ambassador and liberal
    activist in the “Alliance for Progress”. He received an award
    from the CIA’s “School of the Americas”. Of course the details
    were unclear to me then. He was my Dad. (See Gabriel Kolko

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Peter Loeb
      June 11, 2015 at 05:27


      The very existence of a “military-industrial complex” is disputed
      by Gabriel Kolko in his work “THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN
      FOREIGN POLICY”. In his complicated and thorough argument
      Kolko establishes the centrality of civilian over military voices
      via such agencies as the National Security Agency (established
      under Truman legislation) which originally nearly excluded the
      particiupation of the military.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Nathaniel Heidenheimer
      June 17, 2015 at 10:28

      Peter read the peer reviewed academic historians on Vietnam 1960-65 published since 1992.

      Why do our Official Leftists always leave out Laos in 1961-62 and the pressure JFK was under from the JCS and CIA to have a land war there?

      Why do they always reduce the JFK moves towards Withdrawal in 1963 to NSM 263 when they were way more than that? Why doe they forget to quote figures like North Vietnam General Giap who clearly states JFK was getting out of Vietnam?

      Re Cuba why do they always forget to include the systematic moves made backchannel (around back of CIA) to reach detente with Cuba and USSR? JFK v. CIA in Indonesia that culminated in the 1965 Indonesia CIA genocide? Brazil coup differences between CIA Nelson Rockefellers peeps V. JFK. Israel and Nukes in ME? WWIII and nuclear first strikes which historians have shown the Strategic Air Command could do without presidential authorization? Why do our Official Leftists leave so much out and cherry pick worse than Judith Miller in Iraq, when it comes to their contextless National Security State history the last time there was a president who resisted?

      You’re not going to lie to the left with the NYT. Your going to lie to the left with the “left” Rocket science I know. They need special liars because they used to read history more, and they’re the ones who would really run with that football if they ever pick up the fumble. Our Official “Leftists?” are published on conditions that they never do.

  12. Rex
    June 11, 2015 at 00:11

    When Obama came to power, a candidate who was obviously very, very carefully selected for the only qualities that were seen to be acceptable by a population ready for a change, (anything other other than a Bush), he had about nine months to make the ‘radical changes’ that were necessary to keep America on the straight and narrow, become more concerned about its own internal problems of which there were many and to remove itself as the country self-promoted into being the saviour of the world, and all that means. Wars, mainly.
    Tucked away in there somewhere was a massive national debt. Still there, just larger.

    As is well known, that did not happen. He morphed conveniently into just another mouthpiece for what America has now become, a latter day terrorist state but able through the supportive Zionist-owned media to promote the kind of picture that a majority of Americans will accept, through years of “brainwashing” almost across the whole country. Murdoch & Co have done a good job but every corrupted media organization was as bad as the next. Their philosophy? Give to the people the pap, lies, interpretations of what the people want to hear, what our Zionist owners demand and it is likely to have government approval as well. Not challenging at all. In other words, keep it simple but of our making

    He is tolerated because even a five year old can see what the alternative consists of…..Republicans, each and every one on show 18 months ahead of time for an Adelson-type selection process in Las Vegas in 2016 while the option of a Democrat success resting on the very scary shoulders of Madame Clinton, a most frightening alternative. Background……a New York Senator, owned lock, stock and barrel by the AIPAC lobby.
    A confirmed fellow-traveller

    A dreadful thought.

    These ‘radical changes’ referred to above would be radical now, but were not so radical then. In those days he could have told the Zionist / neocons that they were out, Israel was just another country and let’s have a look at Dimona and count your nuclear warheads. John Kennedy wanted to count them, control them and we know what happened to him.
    Yes, Obama took up the role in 2009, just six years ago but thanks to him, his weakness, his cowardice, and what I would say could have been his defining moment, the possible threat of assassination, he gradually became what he is now. A compliant tool for world Zionism. Yet another one.

    Of course, they are everywhere….the UK, Canada, Australia, Europe, all pawns on a chessboard, a plan developed after WWII and which to date, has not missed a beat. Israel can kill 2060 Palestinian children and not have to hear a word of dissent from the media they own. They can bomb an American ship in 1967 and have a US President say it was all just a mistake. Now must be called good planning and knowing your game. Still on track. They well understand their quarry, the USA, summed up as preoccupied with profits, so directed their attentions to buying all the media, controlling financial activities (the banksters, Federal Reserve, etc),exerting influence in the public service (very high percentage of senior roles held by Israeli-American public servants) controlling key industries (military, security, academia, lobbyists) and finally, they have 477 elected members of government dancing to their tune. And I mean dancing, daily.

    Now that’s quite an achievement over fifty years.

    Obama was and still is wise enough to know that such things are possible as JFK’s death must have demonstrated that fact to him in no uncertain way. Then going against his initial natural inclinations to make things better, he caved in, slowly at first and then bit by bit over the next five years until we have what we see now, a pawn in the hands of his controllers in Israel.

    He supports ‘regime change’ efforts as dictated by the carved-in-stone ‘Eretz Israel’ philosophy allowing the evil Saudis in concert with Israel to do the dirty work in Yemen; the same as was accomplished in Libya, now a failed state; he supports Muslim terrorists in Syria; putting together yet another ‘alliance’ in Iraq to keep the pot boiling and to justify the long term Israeli objective to divide Iraq into two states. He has also created a Cold War with Russia based on lies and corrupt behaviour and applied sanctions through his control of the malleable sycophantic countries in Europe . He has also expanded the NATO role by supporting minor dictators and encircling Russia with missile bases, a very dangerous action. So he has done nothing to improve the West / East climate, nothing to promote peace, in spite of having received a Nobel peace prize, in his case, a worthless award. A worthless Scandinavian gesture.

    Next step? The Asia push, “Pivot into Asia” with obliging sleepy Australia opening up their B51 capable base near Darwin, China clearly in their sights. That’s the Middle East, the Russian environment and the Asian theatre, soon. Have I missed anyone?
    He has been an abject failure. He has well and truly lost the respect of the people in his country and the respect of the whole world. He is and has been a flop.
    An Israeli asset, by default.

    Lame duck? Dead duck, better put.

    So what we have at this moment, is a competition between parties of like mind, Republicans and Democrats, birds of a feather trying to outdo each other to fall into line with the Zionist plans for the ownership and control on the United States of America. (Also competing for Jewish electoral funding as well. All legal, so it seems)

    Almost there in 2015. An estimate? Either 2017 or after the election of the next Republican president. Probably 2017

    What happened in those first nine months of Obama’s rule bears investigation. Pulling his strings was Rahm Emanuel, all the qualifications to have been a fifth columnist if ever there was one, a most convenient Israeli conduit for everything American, everything known to Israel before it was ever known to the American people. It was the one appointment that made Israel the controllers of US policy. A master stroke. Through him could have come the clear understanding that you ‘do it this way or history will repeat itself. Before you were born, Barak, but his name was John F Kennedy. Also, remember 9/11? Then there’s USS Liberty. It’s all on the internet.’

    This American presidency became a lame duck before the end of year one of Obama’s feckless reign.

  13. Mark Goretsky
    June 10, 2015 at 22:28

    Dear Ray — your article illuminates strategic inadequacy of our political leadership who steer us toward total collapse. Thanks for your inspiring courage.

  14. Henry Jacobs
    June 10, 2015 at 21:59

    I need the eloquent commentary of Robert Perry and Ray McGovern in order to support my own mental well being. It seems to me that most of the people of this great country at least the ones that want to call themselves conservatives and our media, other than the mentioned above, the politicians search speak without the aid of reason logic and physics let alone abstract thought day after day. Digging this great country into a deeper and deeper moral dilemma.

    I have copyrighted the thesis of a unified field theory. I discovered what Einstein spent 30 years of his life looking for. I can prove all energy is kinetic, gravity is actually a force, the the attraction of mass to a larger mass. This is actually what Tesla know about it could not describe. The scientific community will not communicate or answer any of my questions.
    anybody reading this is interested send me an e-mail.

    Hank Ps once again thanks to the words of Robert Perry and Ray McGovern I
    Recognized I’m not insane.

  15. Bob Van Noy
    June 10, 2015 at 21:20

    Ray McGovern, on your last post,, I asked you to please follow up. You certainly have! Thanks so much. JFK was my “Commander In Chief” I trusted him, he Didn’t let me down, he was on the right path, and we need to get back to a Peaceful Path. Enough War.

  16. Henry Egan
    June 10, 2015 at 20:15

    Yup, we were definitely duped.

    So far, only more of the same on offer for the next go round.

    Seems that we’re too fat and complacent to do anything about it.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    June 10, 2015 at 18:49

    The seething, vicious hatred spewed with venomous contempt.
    No serpent’s strike could match the speed nor awesome flight of fangs:
    This breathing, seeming human changed, before my very eyes.
    Accusing me and taunting me, a castigation for the pangs
    Of sentiment that as a child no prejudice could spoil.
    I was just a child then. But what I saw were meretricious lies.

    Tales of Irish faeries and the innocence of nymphs,
    Were peaceful places I had known without remembering.
    The spirit-world mythology beguiled but never lied.
    Right and wrong were clear to me and as I watched the caisson pass-
    The spirits of my childhood paid homage to the King.
    They spoke in visions made of scenes that only riddles codified.

    ‘The Island of the Dead’ portrays the destination framed.
    It beckons from beyond this world, the artist meant no harm.
    The rendezvous seems much too near, deception reigns supreme.
    Painted on the canvas is a place of peaceful charm,
    The oarsman and the lady face their duty on the tide-
    Cypress trees stand by the tomb where Justice guards the dream.

    A child’s question, innocent, inspired a fit of rage.
    I remember all too well the hateful things they said.
    The King was dead, a tragedy, some subjects hid their joy.
    But I was proud of Camelot. And then, my King was gone.
    All those dreadful years have passed since I was just a boy.
    My country now is destined for, ‘The Island of the Dead’.

    Some of them are still alive, the cowards and the snakes-
    They’ll never reach those cool, still waters by the limestone spires.
    No patriot’s creed is Regicide, nor much beloved pretenders to the realm.
    A lake of tar and creosote enflamed by treason’s raging fires
    Awaits their caissons and their boat, and hell’s own fiend will man the hopeless helm.
    The ‘Island of the Dead” requites in kind as well…intentions and mistakes.

    As an old friend of mine used to say, “Lying flat on my back, I’m as tall as anyone.”


    • Ray McGovern
      June 11, 2015 at 22:22

      MANY THANKS, F.G. I am thinking of plagiarizing this at earliest opportunity, Was it written by your hand? ray

      • F. G. Sanford
        June 12, 2015 at 11:03

        Have at it, Ray. Nobody really owns a poem – they write themselves. I would have refined a few things if there were time, but I read your article and felt like I had to crank something out. Thanks for all you do.

  18. Bruce
    June 10, 2015 at 18:46

    Barry-0 : profile in porridge. And so, it is wise man versus wiesel man. And mournfully, dead man versus dread man.

  19. dahoit
    June 10, 2015 at 18:24

    They just don’t make them like that(JFK)anymore!

  20. rosemerry
    June 10, 2015 at 16:54

    Not only has Obama caved in on so many points, but the recent decisions to upgrade the USA’s nuclear arsenal which according to the NPT should be reducing, and the cowardly refusal to make agreements on a nuclear-free zone which would force Israel to admit its universally-known arsenal are life-threatening for us all. Nobody wins a nuclear war, and even a brave Obama would be a victim. As Tom Lehrer told us decades ago “We’ll all go together when we go”.

  21. Daniel Guyot
    June 10, 2015 at 15:24

    This article is absolutely remarkable, although frightening. Thank you, Mr. McGovern

  22. Mark
    June 10, 2015 at 14:56

    Below are a few selected quotes from a JFK speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961. If one quarter our US mass media networks would take these words to heart today, we would have a different world tomorrow. With the press exposing the truth behind Obama’s policies, to the American public, there would be more pressure on Obama and the neocons to act, if not with integrity, in accordance with the law. Who runs the press in the US anyway? And why aren’t the major networks competing against each other to deliver the truth to the American public allowing us to make decisions as a true democracy? No matter who Kennedy was referring to at the time in 1961, we have more than enough evidence that the USA is being controlled by those employing the exact methods he described so many short, and long years ago.

    “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”

    “For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence – on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

    Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”

    “No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

    I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers – I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

    Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First (emphasized) Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution – not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants” – but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

    This means greater coverage and analysis of international news – for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security…”

    “And so it is to the printing press – to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news– that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”

  23. Cord MacGuire
    June 10, 2015 at 13:38

    Great piece of historical perspective, wonderfully written. Thank you, Ray.

  24. Ed Curtin
    June 10, 2015 at 13:08

    I love and respect Ray McGovern’s great writing, work, and moral courage. This article is important and timely. Of course Obama is no JFK. Kennedy exemplified courage in the extreme, as James Douglass – to whom we are all indebted -makes clear in brilliant detail in JFK and the Unspeakable, which I glowingly reviewed in 2008.

    There is one issue that I respectfully suggest might be mistaken in Ray’s piece, a point he’s made a number of times before. This is that Obama does what he does because he is afraid of nefarious forces within his own government. If I remember correctly, he once suggested that he thought Obama was afraid of the CIA.

    But Robert Parry may be closer to the truth in suggesting Obama might be a conscious liar. Isn’t it equally plausible that the lies began long ago as he was preparing to run for the presidency, and that it’s not a matter of “fear and cowardice,” but one of deception from the beginning?

    I note that in the June 2015 issue of Harper’s, David Bromwich, in “What Went
    Wrong, suggests that Obama is a victim of the Deep State, not so much that he is afraid but that he is a naive, “helpless,” and “feckless” victim.

    Lacking courage, afraid, naive, a victim?? Again, isn’t is possible that an alternative explanation is worth considering: that nothing “went wrong,” that it went right according to plan and the scam succeeded.

    • Trish Purcell
      June 10, 2015 at 15:07

      That same thought occurred to me several years ago while watching Obama’s continued appointment of Wall Streeters to cabinet positions and as agency leaders, the continuation of military expansion and abuse of military power, and his lack of progressive progress made it clear that promises and action were not connected in his mind.

      Obama’s great skill is giving inspirational speeches; the kind of words people were hungry to hear in 2008 and 2012. That made him a ready tool for those he has served while in office. There may be some naiveté and fear mixed in that have held him to the plan despite the awful results for our country that he cannot help but see. But that does not relieve him of responsibility for involvement in what looks more and more likely to have been a plan. His support of Fast Track/TPP and his almost maniacal outbursts against its opponents, wash away whatever benefit of the doubt I still had for him.

    • Bob Van Noy
      June 10, 2015 at 21:04

      Ed, good points, thanks. I can’t decide either but in our contemporary situation; we are at least honored by the thoughts of these two great reporters. Some day, hopefully, not in the too distant future, it will become evident exactly what president Obama’s intentions are.

  25. Bill Bodden
    June 10, 2015 at 12:30

    Kennedy’s resistance to relentless pressure – from military and civilian advisers alike – for a military strike, …

    It appears to be the nature of the beast that the military attracts people who glorify war and are indifferent to its catastrophic consequences. To cite one example, at dawn on the morning of November 11, 1918 American generals Pershing and MacArthur knew an armistice would be signed at 11:00 am that day. They not only ordered their troops to continue fighting until the last minute, they wanted to continue fighting to invade Germany – despite millions of people already having lost their lives in that first world war.

    Obama is repeatedly accused of lacking the cojones to take a principled stand. He is not alone. Congress is loaded with like-minded people..

  26. D505
    June 10, 2015 at 12:30

    Right on, Ray.

  27. incontinent reader
    June 10, 2015 at 11:27

    Great article, but testicles aside, it doesn’t help that Obama’s most important mentor and interlocutor in the business community is Lester Crown of General Dynamics, “Mr. Military Industrial Complex” himself.

    • Mark
      June 10, 2015 at 13:33

      Neoconservatism, Zionism, the MIC, Obama, republicans, democrats and endless wars are all joined at the hip by campaign contributions, weapons contracts and wars of choice. Obama’s “grass roots” campaign was not grass roots funded and it’s obvious he feels no profound loyalty (at least not enough to honor) towards everyday American’s nor the US laws he’s sworn an oath to uphold.

      Here’s a quote from the linked article that follows: “Lester Crown and his wife Renee hosted a fundraiser for Obama in 2007 at their home. The event invitation made it clear; their support for Obama was due to his support of Israel, its “right to exist“ and his willingness to strike militarily against Iran.”

      For more related info take your pick from this search:

      Greed for wealth and power among the US “ruling class” comes at a price to everyday Americans and innocent others around the world…

    • Nexus789
      June 11, 2015 at 05:58

      Include the ‘Prison Industrial Complex’, ‘Drug Industrial Complex’.’Educational Industrial Complex’. etc.

    • Carol DW
      June 13, 2015 at 17:53

      Lest we forget his fairy godmother….predatory bankster Penny Pritzker who bankrolled Obama from Congress into the White House and whom he made Commerce Secretary??!!
      “As Truthdig wrote this week, Pritzker is worth more than $1.8 billion and has held leadership positions in the Hyatt Hotels Corp. and the now-defunct Chicago-based Superior Bank. Her vast fortune affords her “a heavy magic wand in the world of politics,” Palast writes, an instrument that “would have been heavier … except that in 2001, the federal government fined her and her family $460 million for the predatory, deceitful, racist tactics and practices of Superior.”

      At the time of its collapse, Superior was the costliest bank failure ever and “the first of the deregulated go-go-banks to go bust.” Taxpayers lost nearly half a billion dollars. Depositors lost millions and many poor residents of state Sen. Obama’s South Side of Chicago lost their homes.”

  28. Pat Mallory
    June 10, 2015 at 10:59

    Did you think that Obama would be easier to kill?

    • Nexus789
      June 11, 2015 at 05:55

      No need as he is a puppet of the people that really run the US.

    • Vesuvius
      June 12, 2015 at 16:39

      Read Dr James W. Douglass’ book “JFK and the Unspeakable”. 1) You will learn how and why JFK was killed, 2) You will understand why the 100 percent cover-up is mantained even today, soon 52 years after the Crime of the Century was committed.

      In short, the answer is: Any president not conforming to the policies of “The Machine” can be eliminated in pretty much the same fashion as happened in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. That’s why the fairy-tale of the Lone Assassin must prevail; securing no obstacles for The Machine for another round, if need be. Under the present circumstances, the public will never be told the truth by the authorities. But Dr Douglass has found the truth.

    • June 14, 2015 at 04:38

      Six Gun (Lefty) Obama, and one small bullet, is all that stands between the US Constitution and a Zionist President of the US. this guy cannot afford to screw up. Much more than his own life is at stake. In my humble opinion.

      This is not an Eddie Murphy spaghetti Western film.

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