Reflections on Jack Kennedy - by Stephen Lendman
Though much about his background and public service warrants criticism, he also deserves praise rarely given properly, this article offering some and the writer's personal reflections on his commencement address to my June 14, 1956 graduating class, a message not heard now by US leaders - erudite, incisive and timely. More on it below.
Had an assassin not taken his life, his health surely would have, some around him saying "from a medical standpoint, (he) was a mess." Indeed so, having been hospitalized more than three dozen times in his life and given last rites on three occasions.
At age 2 years, 9 months, he nearly died of scarlet fever. He contracted measles, whooping cough and chicken pox the same year, and as a child, was susceptible to upper respiratory infections and bronchitis. In 1935, he suffered jaundice, had a history of sports-related injuries because of his weak physique, and his mother remembered him as "a very, very sick little boy." In the 1930s, he began taking steroids for colitis, later developing complications, including a duodenal ulcer, back pain, digestive trouble, and underactive adrenal glands known as Addison's disease.
He had a host of other problems as well, including a bout of malaria as a naval officer in the Pacific. At age 43, the 1960 presidential campaign exhausted him because he overdid it for a man of his health and stamina. In 1947, his Addisonism was diagnosed, at the time told he had one year to live, and was given his last rites shortly afterward. Yet as senator and president, his health problems were hidden, an observer calling it "one of the most cleverly laid smoke screens ever put down around a politician('s)" physical well-being.
Much about it has been written and speculated, some of the best from James Douglas in his 2008 book titled, "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters," debunking mainstream myths and much more. From a wealth of information he uncovered, he showed how threatening Kennedy was to the military-industrial complex and had to go, "the CIA's fingerprints....all over the crime and the events leading up to it."