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Posted by MinM | Wed Nov 18, 2015, 01:26 PM (1 replies)
Scary to think these clowns were running the Country. As NPR noted several years ago even with JFK's so-called "Best and Brightest" it took real leadership to get through tough times.
BOB GARFIELD: In your review of that film, 13 Days, you made another point about learning from history. It was about the supposition that a president, surrounded by a circle of trusted advisors, can be depended on to make the right decision. And you made a, a connection to the George W. Bush White House. Make it again.
FRED KAPLAN: The point was - I think George W. Bush had just been elected president, and a lot of people were wondering if he would be smart enough to deal with crises. And the common explanation at the time was well, don't worry, he has a lot of really smart people around him. And the point that you can take from the fourth draft of the history of the Cuban missile crisis is that the people around John Kennedy were really smart - I mean these were the people that David Halberstam later called, in a note of irony, "the best and the brightest," and yet John Kennedy realized that they really weren't very smart, after all. And the lesson of that is that you can have good advisors but the crucial thing is that you need a president. It's the president who makes the decisions...
Posted by MinM | Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:57 PM (0 replies)
Good piece in the Lansing State Journal about Timothy Busfield and Melissa Gilbert...
...Tim Busfield was an East Lansing kid, a baseball player, a fun guy. Melissa Gilbert was Hollywood.
“Her grandfather created ‘The Honeymooners,’” Busfield said. “He created ‘The Dean Martin Show.’ She’s from that world.”
Clearly, these people – who will be featured at the East Lansing Film Festival Wednesday -- had nothing in common ... except things that matter. They learned some of that gradually, after marrying in 2013 and moving to Howell...
Soon, a California kid was visiting Michigan on a night that looked like the inside of a snowglobe. “By the time we got to Milford, she thought she was in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” Busfield said.
That did it, Gilbert said. “I fell in love with the state and the man at the same time.” ...
Both had learned from the best. Landon showed his young actors a sense of fun and focus, Gilbert said. “We were always expected to be very professional.”
And Busfield had worked with writer-producer Aaron Sorkin, director Phil Alden (“Field of Dreams” and “Sneakers”) and the “thirtysomething” producers. “It was like an extensive (American Film Institute) course,” he said.
Most of the “thirtysomething” stars became top TV directors. On five series, Busfield has also been the producer who was in charge of hiring and supervising directors.
This season, he’s directing seven individual episodes. In a late change, one assignment – directing an “Aquarius” episode – will keep him away from his home town on Wednesday, so he’ll do the film-festival event by Skype. Gilbert will be in East Lansing and Busfield will be on the set of a TV show... which is the opposite of how they started...
Posted by MinM | Wed Nov 11, 2015, 01:46 PM (0 replies)
Posted by MinM | Mon Nov 9, 2015, 01:25 PM (0 replies)
I've been thinking recently about the impetus and timing of those wars.
Preconditioning .. palate cleansers? Probably a little bit of both.
Reagan - Thatcher - Pinochet
Posted by MinM | Sat Nov 7, 2015, 09:36 PM (1 replies)
Woodward presided over the CNO's code-room, reading every communication that went in and out, while acting, also, as a briefer and a courier. This, he tells us, is how he met Deep Throat, while cooling his heels outside the Situation Room in the White House. It was 1970 and, according to Woodward, Mark Felt was sitting in the next chair.
The Moorer-Radford affair is not usually considered a part of the Watergate story, though it deserves to be. The Nixon Administration learned of the Pentagon spy-ring in late 1971, but the affair did not become public until almost three years later. By then, the Watergate story was almost played out.
While president, Nixon was determined to keep the affair secret, telling Kissinger aide David Young, "If you love your country, you'll never mention it." But the Pentagon's chief investigator, W. Donald Stewart, was more forthcoming. Asked how seriously the affair should have been taken, Stewart replied with a rhetorical question: "Did you see that film, Seven Days in May? That's what we were dealing with..."
read more: http://www.counterpunch.org/2005/06/08/strange-bedfellows/
The truth is Woodward has always been a tool. A rather spooky one at that.
Posted by MinM | Thu Oct 22, 2015, 07:41 AM (0 replies)
With 9/11 front and center in the GOP debates and the bogus benghazi hearings dragging on .. Here's a blast from the past that compares and contrasts the handling of each ..
January 29, 2002 Posted: 9:26 PM EST (0226 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of September 11, congressional and White House sources told CNN.
The request was made at a private meeting with congressional leaders Tuesday morning. Sources said Bush initiated the conversation.
He asked that only the House and Senate intelligence committees look into the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur, rather than a broader inquiry that some lawmakers have proposed, the sources said
Tuesday's discussion followed a rare call to Daschle from Vice President Dick Cheney last Friday to make the same request.
"The vice president expressed the concern that a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism," Daschle told reporters...
Of course we now know the delaying tactic worked. Later that same year Paul Wellstone died, Democrats lost control of the Senate, and Bush-Cheney never faced any serious investigation into their handling of 9/11.
Posted by MinM | Sun Oct 18, 2015, 10:52 PM (9 replies)
DUer Jim DiEugenio further destroys the argument that JFK's differences with hardliners were mostly tactical...
Oh really Mr. Brinkley.
You mean like in the Congo, where Ike and Dulles decided to kill Lumumba. Whereas JFK was going to completely reverse American policy there and back him?
Or do you mean like in Indonesia? Where Dulles and Ike attempted to overthrow Sukarno. When JFK asked his intrepid CIA director for the report on this, Dulles gave him a redacted copy. But Kennedy still understood what happened and again he reversed policy and invited Sukarno to Washington for a state visit.
Doug, maybe you mean with Egypt? Where the Dulles brothers decided to freeze out Nasser because he would not join the Baghdad Pact, and then reneged on Aswan. Which made Nasser go to the USSR for the funds for the Aswan Dam. So Kennedy decided to rebuild that relationship by backing Nasser's importation of troops into Yemen in order to defeat the Saudi influence there. And the Saudis were the ones Dulles now backed in the Middle East after Nasser was abandoned.
This is tactical? What BS, these are reversals, plain and simple...
BTW, Brinkley is also the official biographer of Dean Acheson, who again, JFK had clashes within the White House over foreign policy.
And, in fact, Acheson criticized young Kennedy over his great Algeria speech back in 1957. It was so bad that when Jackie saw him waiting for a train at Penn station, she started yelling at him in public.
Nice source eh?
Posted by MinM | Thu Oct 15, 2015, 10:46 AM (0 replies)
The arguments in James Warren's piece bear little resemblance to reality. John Newman, author of JFK and Vietnam, can debunk a couple of Warren's assertions ..
1) JFK’s “differences with the hardliners … were mostly tactical not strategic.” Newman's JFK and Vietnam thoroughly debunks that line of thinking.
...that President Johnson appointed former DCI Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission “at the recommendation of then Attorney General Robert Kennedy.” I will hold back here on commenting about this fabrication because David Talbot’s new book, The Devil’s Chessboard, (to be released next week) so thoroughly (pp. 572-574) demolishes it ...
That said NPR probably had the best piece debunking the revisionist history that frequently gets projected onto JFK's policies...
On The Media: Missile Crisis Memories (August 27, 2010)
Journalism has been called the first draft of history, but what if that first draft is never corrected or if the mistakes persist, despite many subsequent drafts? President Bush harkened back to the peril we faced during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962 and how we were saved by the uncompromising resolve of an earlier leader, in order to justify our need to take preemptive action in Iraq. He was drawing on the first draft of history, the one that said John F. Kennedy went eyeball to eyeball with Nikita Khrushchev over Russian missiles in Cuba and that Khrushchev blinked and withdrew.
: JOHN F. KENNEDY: We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the course of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth. But neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.
BOB GARFIELD: Major players in the Cuban Missile Crisis, including then presidential speech writer Ted Sorensen and former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, have tried in recent years to correct the record of those events, but the national myth seems pretty much unshakable. Fred Kaplan, Slate columnist and, incidentally, Brooke’s husband, has examined all the declassified material related to that crisis as it’s emerged over the years. We asked him to take us through the various drafts of the Cuba showdown.
FRED KAPLAN: The basic scenario came from an article published shortly after the crisis by Stewart Alsop who was a very establishment columnist of the day who got the information from aides to Kennedy in the White House who were authorized by Kennedy to give him this account. Eyeball to eyeball with the Russians, crazy generals, on one hand, wanting us to bomb the missiles right away, lunatic doves like Stevenson, on the other, wanting to negotiate their way out of it from the beginning and, you know, smart guys like Kennedy and McNamara and Bundy navigating a, a cool and calm course through the thickets and ending us up safe to shore.
BOB GARFIELD: That's a heroic and reassuring recounting of the events, and it's certainly not the first nor the last time that a journalist has run with leaked information, but do you think Alsop had any way to know that the story he was writing did not, in fact, reflect the events as we now know them?
FRED KAPLAN: No, I don't think he had any way of knowing that. This is what people told him and he certainly wasn't privy to any of the inside stuff going on. And, in fact, this was confirmed in the second draft of history, the memoirs written by two of what could be called the palace historians, Arthur Schlesinger and Ted Sorensen, Sorensen being Kennedy's speechwriter at the time who was present at all of the — what they called the ex-con meetings, the meetings of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council which got together for the 13 Days and deliberated what to do. And this basically told the same story, though with more detail.
BOB GARFIELD: These memoirs by the "palace guard," when did they appear?
FRED KAPLAN: That was in the mid-60s. This was Sorensen's book called Kennedy and Schlesinger's A Thousand Days.
BOB GARFIELD: Okay, so what's the third rough draft? When did that happen, what form did it take?
FRED KAPLAN: The third draft was mainly by revisionists, by people like Gary Wills who in 1971 wrote a book called Kennedy Agonistes. Now, it had been revealed early on that Khrushchev had made an offer toward the end of the crisis basically saying look, I'll take my missiles out of Cuba if you take your missiles out of Turkey. At the time the United States had 15 nuclear missiles in Turkey, which were similar in range and power to the missiles that the Soviets put in Cuba. Ted Sorensen in his book dismissed that Khrushchev offer as total propaganda and that Khrushchev dropped in the end. Well, Gary Wills and the revisionists picked up on this and they said look, this guy Kennedy was a maniac. He was soaking in machismo. He'd led the United States and the world on the brink of World War III because he wouldn't take this sensible offer to do the missile trade.
BOB GARFIELD: Machismo was certainly part of the popular image of JFK back then. Here's a clip from a 1970s TV docudrama Missiles of October, starring a very young William Devane.
: WILLIAM DEVANE/JOHN F. KENNEDY: Now we must convey an uncompromising message. This government is prepared to negotiate, but not until those missiles are removed from Cuba. We will not be deterred. We will not be shaken. We'll bomb, if we must. We'll invade if we must.
FRED KAPLAN: Yeah, that, that clip is just hilarious, diametrically opposed to the way John Kennedy was acting at any of those sessions. In fact, this does lead us to the fourth draft of history, tapes that Kennedy had secretly been making. Long before Nixon and before Johnson, Kennedy was taping a lot of things that happened in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet Room, where the ex-con meetings took place. And we hear very clearly in those meetings that Kennedy took Khrushchev's offer of the missile trade very, very seriously. In fact, on the third day of the crisis, Kennedy is already musing that well, you know, Khrushchev, he's made a miscalculation. He's obviously done this for bargaining leverage, and we're going to have to help him find a way to save face. Maybe if we trade those missiles in Turkey for the missiles in Cuba, that might be the answer. Nobody even takes him up on it. So on the last day of the crisis, when Khrushchev does bring it up, he's very eager to take it. And, in fact, he is the only one in the room who's willing to take it. You know, there's been this, this model from the first draft of history on, that the room was divided into hawks and doves and centrists. But, in fact, on the last couple of days of the crisis, the room was divided between John Kennedy and everybody else. Everybody else in that room wanted to bomb the missiles in Cuba, and only John Kennedy wanted to take the trade.
BOB GARFIELD: Now, unaccustomed as we are to having presidential tapes reveal the president in a positive light —
FRED KAPLAN: Yeah.
BOB GARFIELD: — Nixon certainly was ensnared by his own voice on tape — it must have had an astonishing effect. When were the tapes released, and how long did it take before this real version of history informed our public understanding of the crisis? ...
FRED KAPLAN: I have to say, both among journalists and historians, this chapter of the Cuban missile crisis has not yet been fully incorporated into the dominant narrative, as academics might call it today, and to the degree that people do know there was a trade, it is as yet not generally well accepted how alone Kennedy was...
Posted by MinM | Wed Oct 14, 2015, 10:42 AM (1 replies)
There are definite parallels between the Dan Rather-Dubya National Guard story and the reason that Karl Rove gave JH Hatfield the Dubya cocaine scoop. Rove in both cases was able to defuse potentially explosive revelations ..
Dan Rather -- legitimate documents were doctored in order to discredit the whole Dubya National Guard story.
JH Hatfield -- the evidence of Dubya's cocaine use was 'leaked' to a convicted felon for use in his book with the purpose of short-circuiting yet one more Bush bombshell. Which it effectively did.
Posted by MinM | Wed Oct 14, 2015, 08:52 AM (0 replies)