The most important book for any American to read is JFK and the Unspeakable: Who Killed Him and Why it Matters by James D. Douglass.
Douglass’ investigation into the secret papers finally released during the Clinton era begin to uncover a deadly “family pattern” of behavior in the highest levels of political power. Now, Douglass has written an important article for Tikkun magazine that looks at how the pattern is being repeated again between President Obama, Gen. Petraeus, and Afghanistan.
Below is Part 2: How Kennedy Took On the Steel Industry
The steel crisis was JFK’s second step toward freedom.
On April 10, 1962, U.S. Steel chairman Roger Blough informed President Kennedy that Blough’s company was raising steel prices by 3.5 percent — breaking an agreement to control inflation that the president had just brokered between U.S. Steel and the United Steelworkers. U.S. Steel was joined publicly in the price hike by five other companies already in collusion with it. JFK was furious at being double-crossed. He said to his staff, in a sentence Wall Street would not forget: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now.”
President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy launched an all-out domestic war to force the heads of the six colluding companies to cancel their price increase. The Justice Department raided Big Steel’s corporate offices. Robert Kennedy subpoenaed the steel executives’ personal and company records. The Kennedys were going for broke. Most ominously for Big Steel, the president ordered the Defense Department to market its steel business overseas, so as to take huge profits out of the hands of U.S. Steel and its cohorts, at the heart of the military-industrial complex. Faced by the fact that the Kennedys meant business — their business — the steel heads surrendered quickly, rescinding their price raise.
However, they accomplished a more sinister purpose. A Fortune magazine editorial stated with an insider’s knowledge that U.S. Steel’s decision to raise prices, made by a board of directors composed of the financial elite of the country, was designed to present the president with a dilemma: either accept the price hike and lose credibility or push back and unite the business world against him, as he did. Fortune publisher Henry Luce, the most powerful media magnate in the world, was behind the editorial. Drawing on Shakespeare’s prediction by the soothsayer of Julius Caesar’s assassination, “Beware the ides of March,” the Luce editorial’s title warned Kennedy of the fate he was tempting by his stand against imperial power: “Steel: The Ides of April.”
The powers that be had to be more than a little angry to be threatening the president so boldly. An American parable was in the making. As Kennedy turned heretically toward peace after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the parable of the president and the powers would be played out until it climaxed a year later on a sunny street in Dallas. Then it would be up to us to open our ears and hear.–James Douglass, from JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable