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View Poll Results: Are you aware of JFK's indiscretions?
Sure , now assassinate the man's character! 0 0%
Yes I am. 2 100.00%
They did not hurt his presidency, forget them. 0 0%
His indiscretions went too far and should have been exposed. 0 0%
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:51 PM
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Impeachment and Trial of John Kennedy

Had John F. Kennedy died from the assassin’s bullets that were fired at him on November 22, 1963, chances are his reputation today would still burn brightly. Yet in a marvelous instant of anticipation by Secret Service agent Clinton J. Hill and fast reaction by fellow agent and driver William R. Greer, the President of the United States lived. Looking back, it seems that surviving Dallas was the easy part.
The wrenching agony of President Kennedy’s impeachment and trial is less vivid today. For many Americans, it is only something they have read about in history books. For those of us who lived through the cold winter of 1966, however, the memories, brought to the surface by a phrase or a photo, can be as stark and vivid today as they were forty-one years ago. Kennedy’s fall from grace was monumental exactly because we as a people placed him on such a high pedestal.
John Kennedy cheated death in Dallas only to face a fate that for him might have been even worse – the public revelation of his private double life. Learning the truth was just as difficult for many Americans. We loved him when we knew him less well. Being forced to face the whole picture – for Kennedy and for the nation – was something no one ultimately was prepared for, yet we all took the journey together.
Maybe the sense of denial, anger and tragedy which hung over those days leading up to March 17, 1966 made us all just wish that it had never happened, that it would just go away. Some of us may have secretly wished that our charismatic and vigorous leader died in Dallas, leaving only cherished memories.

From the Impeachment and Trial of John F Kennedy, Bryce Zabel and Harry Turtledove.


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Old 06-04-2009, 10:01 PM
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Re: Impeachment and Trial of John Kennedy

The Impeachment and Trial of John F. Kennedy | Bryce Zabel & Harry Turtledove | WGAw #1119082

After John Kennedy survives the attack at Dealey Plaza unharmed, the resulting investigation sets events in motion that tear apart his administration.



A Novel of Alternative History

LOG-LINE: After John Kennedy survives the attack at Dealey Plaza unharmed, the resulting investigation sets events in motion that tear apart his administration.
WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT: The Impeachment & Trial of John F. Kennedy
Written by Harry Turtledove & Bryce Zabel
What if John Kennedy survived Dallas?
Historians love to speculate on this “what-if” scenario, wondering if magically the nation would have been spared the pain of Vietnam and even Watergate. They have missed the point.
If he’d gotten out of Dealey Plaza alive, John Kennedy might easily have suffered the same fate as his arch-nemesis Richard Nixon -- humiliation and removal from office.
With the eyes of the world on the United States and the media in a frenzy, with JFK himself alive and not a martyr, an immediate investigation would have been launched into who might have been interested in killing our popular American President. And the Kennedy brothers would have been hell-bent to ensure their political as well as their physical survival.
Starting with the Secret Service, the blame-game would have taken on a life of its own, forcing explosive revelations in mere months that have instead dribbled out over decades. Kennedy’s reckless conduct would have become public: the lies about his medical condition, contacts with mobsters, election money-laundering, numerous attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, and even the hundreds of high-risk sexual encounters that endangered Kennedy’s safety and, by extension, our country’s security.
This alternative history novel covers the period from the November 22, 1963 near-miss assassination attempt of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas through the events of early 1966 when the fate of John F. Kennedy was in the hands of 100 United States Senators worried about their own careers in the next election.


March 15, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)


The Story Behind The Story

We want to thank you for dropping in on this website. We're Harry Turtledove and Bryce Zabel, a couple of writers who met back in 1999 -- strange as this may seem -- at an awards ceremony where our middle-school kids were each finalists in a WorldCon science-fiction writing contest!

We both love our history bent and twisted whenever possible. We've each had a chance to do some bending and twisting in our two different business worlds -- publishing (Turtledove, Worldwar) and TV and film (Zabel, Dark Skies). So even though we've begun this alt-history project in book form, we hope to tell the story in film eventually as well.
After meeting through our talented kids, this particular project started over lunch at Korean BBQ in the LA valley. We began to imagine a world where, rather than Watergate exploding the world of journalism and politics as it did in our timeline, the engine is the JFK meltdown from a decade earlier. Think of this alternative history as the First Wave of the New Journalism -- basically, All The President’s Men for the Kennedy generation. Since we live in bitter and partisan times, it is also worth noting that both of us have been life-long Democrats. We do this because we think it's an enormously fascinating story, not because we hate JFK. We don't.
The John Kennedy of this alternative history is still an enormously likable man -- much like Bill Clinton -- skilled in politics, charming in person, intelligent, and deeply flawed as a human being. Unlike Bill Clinton, however, we think a strong case can be made that Kennedy's transgressions would eventually have been seen by a majority of Americans as having risen to the level of impeachable offenses. And, like Richard Nixon in our timeline, John Kennedy -- having survived the bullets of assassins in Dallas -- might very well have been forced to leave office before his second term was finished.

Continue reading "The Story Behind The Story" »

March 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)


Introduction by Authors
NOTE: The following introduction is assumed to be written from the point-of-view of Harry Turtledove and Bryce Zabel, writing from today's date in the alternative reality where President John F. Kennedy was not assassinated in 1963.
Had John F. Kennedy died from the assassin’s bullets that were fired at him on November 22, 1963, chances are his reputation today would still burn brightly. Yet in a marvelous instant of anticipation by Secret Service agent Clinton J. Hill and fast reaction by fellow agent and driver William R. Greer, the President of the United States lived. Looking back, it seems that surviving Dallas was the easy part.
The wrenching agony of President Kennedy’s impeachment and trial is less vivid today. For many Americans, it is only something they have read about in history books. For those of us who lived through the cold winter of 1966, however, the memories, brought to the surface by a phrase or a photo, can be as stark and vivid today as they were forty-one years ago. Kennedy’s fall from grace was monumental exactly because we as a people placed him on such a high pedestal.
John Kennedy cheated death in Dallas only to face a fate that for him might have been even worse – the public revelation of his private double life. Learning the truth was just as difficult for many Americans. We loved him when we knew him less well. Being forced to face the whole picture – for Kennedy and for the nation – was something no one ultimately was prepared for, yet we all took the journey together.
Maybe the sense of denial, anger and tragedy which hung over those days leading up to March 17, 1966 made us all just wish that it had never happened, that it would just go away. Some of us may have secretly wished that our charismatic and vigorous leader died in Dallas, leaving only cherished memories.

Continue reading "Introduction by Authors" »

March 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 1: THE MIRROR CRACKS (Part 1)

Written by Harry Turtledove & Bryce Zabel
Nobody ever took a job at the Washington Ledger intending to get famous. Walter Lippmann didn't start here. Neither did Walter Winchell, or even Walter Cronkite. You took a job at the Ledger for two basic reasons: you knew something-–or thought you knew something-–about the newspaper game, and nobody else in town wanted to hire you. As consolation, D.C. was still the best news beat in America.
First in boos, first in shoes, last in the American League wasn't just about the Senators. With better-heeled competition from the Post and the Star-News, with TV news starting to cut into every paper's circulation, the Ledger was hurting. Get famous? By November 1963, you were happy if your paycheck cleared on the first and the fifteenth.
Chuck Duncan was the Ledger's White House correspondent. That was what they called him, but around the time Lee Harvey Oswald shot Governor Connally and Special Agent Hill, Duncan was in the paper’s Washington, D.C. newsroom drinking strong coffee and eating an already stale morning doughnut. The big boys were all in Dallas, probably having BBQ ribs for lunch. Not Duncan; he had no travel budget to get there. Whatever happened in Texas, the paper would pick it up off the wire services. That’s what his desk editor, Andy Callahan, had told him last week. You could tell it made Callahan sad to say so, but that was the business.
So, today, sitting at his desk during a presidential trip, Duncan fumed. He would have enjoyed writing on the road just for the change of pace. And he enjoyed hanging out with the competition, seeing how they worked, and it pained him to get stuck here.

Continue reading "CHAPTER 1: THE MIRROR CRACKS (Part 1)" »

March 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)


E. Howard Hunt: Voice from the Grave Blames LBJ

We seem to have picked an interesting week to start telling the story of WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT: THE IMPEACHMENT AND TRIAL OF JOHN F. KENNEDY. Just when you think it's safe to dip your toes in the Kennedy conspiracy, along comes radical new information from someone with spy cred and seemingly lots of inside knowledge about the facts...

It's actually a new "old" story getting significantly more play thanks to Rolling Stone. Basically, E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent who organized the Watergate break-in, says in a new memoir published last month, American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond, that the man behind it all may, incredibly, have been Kennedy's vice-president Lyndon Johnson. This idea has existed on the radical fringe of JFK conspiracy theory almost forever, going even past Oliver Stone's "JFK."

Recently, it gained new currency in January during the run-up to the publishing of this book which, for the record, includes Hunt vehemently denying he had anything to do with the JFK assassination. The chapter, however, reads a little bit like OJ's book, If I Did It.
In any case, there is an excellent and comprehensive article about this in the just-out (April 5) Rolling Stone, "The Last Confession of E. Howard Hunt" by Erik Hedegaard. But it's more than a re-tread or synopsis of the book. Because the details of the JFK assassination come from Hunt's son and they were given to him on several occasions, and in writing. And they are in direct conflict with what Hunt says about his own involvement in the book itself. In both cases, though, Hunt's speculation about how it might have happened seems consistent with the point of divergence being his own involvement.


Continue reading "E. Howard Hunt: Voice from the Grave Blames LBJ" »

March 23, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 1: THE MIRROR CRACKS (Part 2)

Lefkowitz was still standing by the teletype when Duncan returned, out of breath. The clattering 1955 AP wireless receiver seemed to be the only place to get anything out of Dallas on this story. No--by this time, Walter Cronkite was broadcasting on CBS. But a lot of what he was reading was AP copy anyway. TV guys can’t handle a story like this, Duncan thought, even as some Dallas reporter named Dan came on the screen talking to Cronkite.

Lefkowitz approached Duncan, waving a piece of wire copy. “Your lead’s back to Connally. He’s dead.” Duncan thought, My lead always was Connally, but didn’t play journalism professor about it.

He walked over to his desk, fed a sheet of paper into the typewriter, and wrote from his notes: Governor John Connally of Texas was assassinated in Dallas this afternoon. Connally is the first governor ever to be murdered while in office. Also slain was Secret Service agent Clinton J. Hill. The Secret Service was present because Connally was riding in a motorcade with President Kennedy. The President was not injured in the attack on Connally.
As Duncan finished, he felt Lefkowitz’s eyes on him. “What?” Duncan said. This city reporter was one of those guys who read over your shoulder. They were as bad as kibitzers at a poker game. Worse.
Lefkowitz held out his hand. “I’ll look it over for you.” He watched Duncan’s face redden. “Come on, Chuck, everybody needs another set of eyes on the big ones.” Duncan, his own words coming back to bite him, handed over his copy to Lefkowitz.


Continue reading "CHAPTER 1: THE MIRROR CRACKS (Part 2)" »

March 25, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


Articles of Impeachment: If Nixon and Clinton, Why Not Bush and JFK?

After Chuck Hagel let loose the "I" word on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, people are buzzing about the possible impeachment of that other George, George Bush. After Andrew Johnson actually got himself impeached back in 1868, it took another century before Richard Nixon resigned to avoid the same fate in 1974. Now we look at it as just another political weapon to use against a vulnerable incumbent -- going after Clinton in 1998 and Bush in 2007.
There's no question impeachment would have been a very steep hill to climb in the case of John Kennedy. He was still quite popular and he had a large Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. But coming up with possible articles of impeachment wouldn't have been that difficult. We know, because we've actually done it.
In both the Nixon and Clinton cases, the "Articles of Impeachment" were drawn up and, in reading them, we certainly noticed there is a lot of overlap and similarity in form. Like filling in a contract template, we've used those examples to write the Articles of Impeachment for John Fitzgerald Kennedy. We plan to modify and finalize them as the novel is completed, but our working draft reads like this.


ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, JFK.pdf
Because many people still think of impeachment as the end result and not part of the process, a basic fact set helps to set this novel's world in a solid alternative-reality.

Continue reading "Articles of Impeachment: If Nixon and Clinton, Why Not Bush and JFK?" »

March 27, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 2: DUCK & COVER (Part 1)

Winter of Our Discontent: The Impeachment & Trial of John F. Kennedy
Written by Harry Turtledove & Bryce Zabel

Trumpeted by television, radio, and the press, Lee Harvey Oswald’s reaction to Connally’s death and Kennedy’s survival rocketed across the country. The first reaction was often shock. Then it expanded into a national parlor game, pondering whether his words proved he’d aimed at the President. Finally, for most Americans, came fury. Only the old remembered McKinley’s murder, though a few commentators did note that FDR was the target of an assassination attempt. But that anyone should try to snuff out the life of the young, vital President struck most Americans as particularly outrageous.

This was true in Dallas perhaps even more than elsewhere. Police operators lost track of the number of telephoned death threats against Oswald. They did note that almost all were for trying to kill President Kennedy, not for actually killing Governor Connally.

The threats rose dramatically following Oswald’s reaction to discovering the President survived. Some were explicit enough to alarm Dallas Police Chief Jesse E. Curry. For the first weekend, the suspect stayed in a maximum-security cell on the fifth floor. Fearing a possible lynch mob, Curry also called back off-duty policemen to help protect Police Department headquarters.

Continue reading "CHAPTER 2: DUCK & COVER (Part 1)" »

April 02, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


JFK's Reality Before Dallas

Our alternative-history take on a world where President Kennedy survived the assassination attempt in Dallas springboards to his likely impeachment for two reasons. The first is obvious: that without being martyred, the resulting investigation would have been much more likely to delve into details of his public and personal life that JFK had been able to keep quiet. The second is one that is not widely talked about, specifically because JFK was martyred, and that is that he had his share of political resistance before he ever got on the plane to Dallas.
Our case in point is this issue of Time magazine which was, ironically, just hitting the nation's newstands and mailboxes as the real events in Dallas unfolded. It's dated November 22, 1963.
The cover features Washington hostess Nicole Alphand, wife of then French ambassador to the U.S. Herve' Alphand. It details the capitol's social whirl, saying that from September to May there are roughly 200 official parties a month in Washington, perhaps 20 times as many private ones, and that Alphand was among the best of the dozens of hostesses keeping the champagne pouring and the canapes circulating. It's hard to imagine the French ambassador and his wife being the toast of Washington these days, isn't it?


What is arresting about this issue, however, is the political talk and the reporting that mentions President Kennedy. It's easy to look back now and think that Kennedy was a shoo-in for re-election but this issue starts out with its "Nation" section devoted to Republicans who seem to be falling over themselves for a chance to take him on.
In the late fall of 1963 the basic Republican Party facts are these: Only a year ago Nelson Rockefeller seemed to have his party nomination wrapped up, and only a month ago that same nomination appeared to be Goldwater's for the asking. But, unless it has an incumbent President seeking re-election, no party can afford to concede its highest prize so far in advance.
Continue reading "JFK's Reality Before Dallas" »

April 06, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 2: DUCK & COVER (Part 2)

Duncan woke an hour before his alarm would have gone off on Sunday morning, giving him time to buy seven different papers at the corner news stand and go over them while he watched “Meet the Press.” The NBC show featured Attorney General Robert Kennedy. “We are keeping all lines of communication open between the various law enforcement jurisdictions,” he told moderator Ned Brooks. “At the same time, the Justice Department, working with Mr. Hoover’s FBI, has begun its own internal investigation.”
The highlight to the show was Brooks’s question, “What did you and the President discuss when you first talked?”
Bobby Kennedy paused. “My only concern was his safety,” he said to Brooks. “And his was that the American people should pray for Governor Connally and Special Agent Hill. And later, of course, Officer Tippit.”
Duncan enjoyed the show even though he wished he knew what was going on behind the scenes. But he needed to be at St. Matthew’s Cathedral on Rhode Island Avenue within the hour. The Kennedy family worshiped there, and they would be out in force today. Even in a city where skyscrapers were popping up like toadstools after a rain, the big, cross-shaped red-brick building with the weathered green copper dome was a conspicuous landmark.

Continue reading "CHAPTER 2: DUCK & COVER (Part 2)" »

April 09, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 2: DUCK & COVER (Part 3)

In Dallas, Oswald phoned New York attorney John J. Abt, seeking his representation on the charges pending against him. Abt declined to take Oswald as a client. Oswald asked whom he would recommend, saying he himself preferred a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Abt suggested that Oswald seek the services of another New York attorney, William M. Kunstler. Kunstler was making a name for himself by defending clients no other lawyer wanted to take on. Oswald phoned Kunstler--he was given free access to a telephone by the Dallas Police Department. Kunstler agreed to defend him.

In Austin, preparations for Governor Connally’s funeral continued. Connally’s wife, Nellie; Texas’ new governor, Preston Smith; and Secret Service agents were all involved in the planning. The Secret Service wanted airtight security because President Kennedy would be there. Agents feared another attempt on Kennedy’s life, and tried to talk him out of going back to Texas. They failed. Once Kennedy made up his mind, he did what he intended to do. He wasn’t always right, but he had few doubts.
The Secret Service wanted to order crowds kept to side streets, away from the funeral procession. Nellie Connally refused. “I am not going to keep the people who elected my husband away from him,” she said. When she threatened to go public, the Secret Service, fearing more bad publicity, yielded.


Continue reading "CHAPTER 2: DUCK & COVER (Part 3)" »

April 16, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 3: DAMAGE CONTROL (Part 1)

Tuesday was raw and chilly, with a biting wind blustering down from the north. It reminded Lefkowitz how shabby his overcoat was. One of these days, when he could afford it, he needed a new one. On what the Ledger paid, that day was liable to be the twelfth of Never.

As he drove his old Ford across the Potomac to Arlington, he thought it was odd how Robert E. Lee’s mansion and grounds had become the chief military burial ground for the country Lee fought so hard to defeat. Up until 1961, the incongruity never once crossed his mind. He wasn’t sure how he’d known Arlington was Lee’s old estate. The Civil War centennial was more insidious than he’d thought.

Other reporters’ cars and television trucks in front of the mansion showed he’d come to the right place. He had a fresh notebook for the occasion. He’d labeled it “Lefkowitz and Duncan, JFK” on the front cover.

A lot of the mourners--the real mourners, not the professional vultures of the press--were Secret Service agents. They were easy to spot, and not just because they sat together. They were fairly young and tough and clean-cut. From the pictures he’d seen of Clint Hill, the dead man fit right in. Would they have taken a bullet the way he did? A lot of them would have, unless Lefkowitz missed his guess.

Continue reading "CHAPTER 3: DAMAGE CONTROL (Part 1)" »

April 22, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 3: DAMAGE CONTROL (Part 2)

Lefkowitz liked Senator Everett Dirksen. He didn’t care for Dirksen’s politics; the Illinois Republican was a moderate only by the standards of his own party. But Dirksen the man was a kick. He had curls that came close to rivaling Harpo Marx’s. And his voice was a pipe organ he could use for any sort of sound effect under the sun.

Best of all, he knew he was a kick. He was the biggest ham outside an Armour can. Even when he was saying nothing, he was good for a story because of the way he said it.

Today, he wasn’t saying anything. He was saying what he would be saying a couple of days from now. He looked and sounded as somber as a bloodhound whose grandmother had just died. “I am going to call for an investigation,” he boomed. “Congress needs to look into this.” He eyed the dozen or so reporters in the small Capitol conference room. “Why, gentlemen, do you know it’s not even a Federal crime to assassinate the President of the United States or any other official of the government? That is--I say, that is--a shame and a disgrace.”

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April 30, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


First Brother: Conspiracy Theorist

David Talbot, the founder and former editor of Salon magazine, has a new book hitting the stores, Brothers, about the relationship between John and Robert Kennedy. In it, Talbot makes clear something we have used as a bedrock assumption to Winter of Our Discontent: The Impeachment and Trial of John F. Kennedy. Namely, Robert never for a minute believed in the Warren Commission and from Day One was looking into all the possible conspirators who would want to kill his brother.

Of course, in our book, RFK doesn't look alone because he still has JFK to help him. In our telling, it's the Kennedy brothers who realize that they came "this close" to Jack Kennedy being murdered in Dallas. They set out to find out who's responsible, to punish them and, simultaneously, to keep all the secrets of the Kennedy Administration still secret. It turns out that task is simply too much to ask. All the activities and investigations take on a momentum of their own. Eventually, while searching for killers, the question must be asked and answered: Who would want to kill the popular President Kennedy and why?


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May 01, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


CHAPTER 3: DAMAGE CONTROL (Part 3)

“Look at this.” Duncan plopped a copy of the Post on Lefkowitz’s desk. They read the competition. They just hoped the competition bothered to read the Ledger. “Latest Gallup poll says Kennedy’s approval rating is eighty-seven percent.”

“That’s Galluping approval, all right,” Lefkowitz agreed.

Duncan sent him a reproachful stare. “I don’t think Jesus had an eighty-seven percent approval rating.”

“They killed Jesus a long time ago,” Lefkowitz said. “Nobody’s tried to blow his head off lately. And Kennedy’s like a pig in clover right now. What did Churchill say?” He grabbed a Bartlett’s and found out what Churchill said: “‘Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.’”

Continue reading "CHAPTER 3: DAMAGE CONTROL (Part 3)" »

May 07, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)


Kennedy's Next Speech
  • In reality, President John F. Kennedy was scheduled to deliver a speech at the Dallas Trade Mart on the day he was assassinated, November 22, 1963. In our novel's timeline, the speaking engagement would also have been canceled based on what happened at Dealey Plaza. This is the speech the White House was prepared to make on the subject of national security. In Winter of Our Discontent: The Impeachment and Trial of John F. Kennedy, a version of this speech would still have been delivered by JFK, but it would have been tempered by the "near-miss" in Dallas. Here is the text of that final, undelivered speech.
I am honored to have this invitation to address the annual meeting of the Dallas Citizens Council, joined by the members of the Dallas Assembly -- and pleased to have this opportunity to salute the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. It is fitting that these two symbols of Dallas progress are united in the sponsorship of this meeting. For they represent the best qualities, I am told, of leadership and learning in this city -- and leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. The advancement of learning depends on community leadership for financial political support, and the products of that learning, in turn, are essential to the leadership's hopes for continued progress and prosperity. It is not a coincidence that those communities possessing the best in research and graduate facilities -- from MIT to Cal Tech -- tend to attract new and growing industries. I congratulate those of you here in Dallas who have recognized these basic facts through the creation of the unique and forward-looking Graduate Research Center.

This link between leadership and learning is not only essential at the community level. It is even more indispensable in world affairs. Ignorance and misinformation can handicap the progress of a city or a company, but they can, if allowed to prevail in foreign policy, handicap this country's security. In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America's leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason -- or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.


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Old 06-14-2009, 06:49 AM
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Re: Impeachment and Trial of John Kennedy

If you had of written this in a reasonable size font I would have read it but as it is it is only an eye sore.
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