The Atlantic has published a fascinating article entitled “JFK vs. the Military” by Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek which details
the war that was taking place between President Kennedy and the U.S. national-security state establishment. While this has long been a subject of interest to Kennedy assassination researchers, it’s not the type of thing that mainstream authors and mainstream publications have wanted to confront, especially in an era in which the military and the CIA (and the NSA) have become permanent and exalted parts of America’s governmental structure.
I’d venture to say that very few Americans are familiar with this particular war. It’s certainly not the type of thing that is taught students in America’s public schools. Indeed, I’m willing to bet that quite a few Americans, upon learning of this war, would be shocked. After all, what president would dare to go to war against the part of the government that is considered to be absolutely essential to national security and to the freedom and well-being of the American people?
But that is precisely what Kennedy did. Having come into office as a died-in-the-wool Cold Warrior, sharing the same mindset as most Americans — that the communists were coming to get us and, therefore, that it was absolutely essential to maintain an enormous permanent military and intelligence establishment keep us safe from the communists — by the time he was assassinated, Kennedy’s perspective had completely changed, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA knew it.
What had caused Kennedy to change his Cold War perspective and go to war against the national-security establishment?