web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

The Lies Of Camelot


Camelot-112213

Another November 22 is upon us, and with it come the usual encomiums to the lost glories of “Camelot,” the glitzy term that has come to symbolize the Kennedy years but that actually was an invention after the fact. Never once used to describe the Kennedy administration while John Kennedy was alive, it was applied shortly after JFK’s assassination by a grieving Jacqueline Kennedy and the writer Theodore H. White, a Kennedy sycophant of the first order, in the pages of Life magazine.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

But facts can be stubborn things, and contrary to the media-generated myth of Camelot, Kennedy was a president of questionable character and meager accomplishment who almost certainly would have been impeached or forced to resign the presidency had even a fraction of what we now know been made public while he was still alive and in office.

The left-wing journalist Seymour Hersh, having spent years wading through the muck of pumped-up war stories, doctored medical records (contrary to the image of “vigor” he liked to project, Kennedy suffered from a variety of ailments and consumed a prodigious daily cocktail of pharmaceuticals), compulsive extramarital activity, Mafia ties and electoral shenanigans, was forced to reevaluate the man he once admired.

“Kennedy,” he said in an Atlantic Monthly web interview shortly after the publication of his 1997 expose The Dark Side of Camelot, “was much more corrupt than other postwar presidents, by a major factor. Much more manipulative, though Nixon was a close second. There’s nothing wonderful about Nixon – Watergate proved that – but I think that Nixon was an amateur compared to Kennedy….”

Particularly irksome to those who see through the Camelot haze is the claim by JFK apologists that had Kennedy lived he would have put an end to America’s involvement in Vietnam – this despite the fact that the U.S. commitment there expanded from a few hundred military advisers under Eisenhower to nearly 17,000 troops under Kennedy; that the men generally viewed as the architects of Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam policies, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, were holdovers from the Kennedy administration; that just two months before his death Kennedy told CBS’s Walter Cronkite, “I don’t agree with those who say we should withdraw” and insisted to NBC’s Chet Huntley, “We are not there to see a war lost”; and that the speech Kennedy planned to give in Dallas the very day he was killed warned that a diminished American commitment in Vietnam would “only encourage Communist penetration.”

But then, Kennedy insiders have a history of revisionism that goes well beyond Vietnam. “Kennedy,” the liberal journalist Lawrence Wright observed, “had spent thirteen years in the House and Senate without passing a single important piece of legislation. And yet before his election to the presidency, people were comparing him with Franklin Roosevelt, with the young Churchill, with various movie stars, with Lindbergh.”

The World War II incident that bestowed on Kennedy an aura of heroism? “It was true,” wrote Wright, that “Kennedy had saved the life of one of his men on PT-109, on a mission in which Kennedy was supposed to torpedo a Japanese destroyer. Instead, the lumbering destroyer managed to slice the PT boat in half, killing two crewmen.

“Apparently, Kennedy had failed to notice the ship until it was bearing down on top of him. ‘Our reaction to the 109 thing had always been that we were kind of ashamed of our performance,’ admitted one of the crew, Barney Ross. ‘I had always thought it was a disaster.’ ”

Among close acquaintances Kennedy was candid about the incident. In his 1991 book A Question of Character, historian Thomas Reeves wrote that Kennedy told a friend, “My story about the collision is getting better all the time. Now I’ve got a Jew and a nigger in the story and with me being a Catholic, that’s great.”

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Lies Of Camelot”

  1. Jeff Feinberg says:

    The Lies Of Camelot, was he a friend of mine?

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Sha'ar Shechem / Damascus Gate. The Old City of Jerusalem.
Arab Stabs 2 Jewish Teens in Old City Terror Attack on Shavuot
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Front-Page-051515

Some of the president’s defenders took to arguing that the overwhelming majority of German military personnel interred in Bitburg were regular Wehrmacht soldiers who died on the battlefield and likely were not involved in atrocities against civilians.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both outspokenly critical of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Congress, were wowed by him in 2011.

Note also the response to the speech by the top Democrats in the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, both of whom have been outspoken in their criticism of Netanyahu’s upcoming visit.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-lies-of-camelot/2013/11/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: