Letter: John F Kennedy

In commenting on John F Kennedy Jeff Grigor (Thursday) deals with dates, but the circumstances behind them often tell a different story.

The Civil Rights Acts were in train when Martin Luther King visited Kennedy at the White House. Lyndon Johnson inherited the legislation.

Although he came from Texas, a ''segregation state'', LBJ was a very pragmatic politician and a Democrat so the Bill was signed.

Similarly, any international agreement takes a long time to work out.

The Salt talks may have formally started in 1969, but their genesis was in the conversations between Kennedy and Kruschev after the Cuban missile crisis.

As for resisting the military, a 2008 book, after research, says that JFK did oppose their ideas. As in all these cases the truth tends to be shaded by the writer's interpretation.

This is especially true in government papers.

As for blackmail possibilities; JFK's personal flaws where women were concerned were well known.

Blackmail is only possible if there is a secret being kept.

I do agree with Jeff Grigor that J Edgar Hoover needed firing. Then as now the US security agencies were a law unto themselves, more interested in power than justice.

Oppenheimer was responsible for the development of the atom bomb which gave America ultimate victory over the Japanese. The security services had him disgraced because he had Communist friends a decade beforehand.


The Timaru Herald