Sunday, March 23, 2008

Abraham Bolden Interviewed by Chicago Sun Times

"The American people deserve to know the truth about the tragic day of Nov. 22, 1963. I know it's a very optimistic statement, but I really believe the truth is going to come out."
Abraham Bolden, former Secret Service Agent with JFK, March 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

JFK’s Unknown Illness

submitted by Holly A. Evanoski

Most people know that JFK had severe back problems. But not many people knew he also had a fatal type of adrenal insufficiency called Addison’s disease. Recently JFK was mentioned in an article about a 10 year old girl that suffers from a form of this same disease.

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Addison’s disease is an endocrine or hormonal disorder that occurs in all age groups and afflicts men and women equally. Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol and, in some cases, the hormone aldosterone. The disease is also called adrenal insufficiency, or hypocortisolism.

Just like Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940s, JFK hid his life-long illness. However, FDR was able to hide his due to the lack of televisions. JFK wasn’t so lucky. As a President that went out and met the people face to face as well as doing televised conferences and debates he always had to look his best. Thanks to a regime of medications he was able to cover this ailment so well that no one suspected, not even media personnel.

Over the course of history the health of Presidents has turned into a political issue. The perceived political consequences of disclosing a president’s medical problems have sometimes conflicted with the public’s concern for accountability and openness. Despite this JFK refused to let his illness be known to the world, especially since he was about to become President of the United States. In the wake of the Eisenhower’s several medical issues that caused questions as to whether he could run a 2nd term, the health of the President in the 1960 election became an important issue.

JFK’s case was even put into the Journal of American Medical Association in November 1955. However, no one knew due to the fact that he was only referred to as “the 37-year old man.” During the 1960 Presidential race the JFK campaign denied that he had the disease. JFK’s staff said it was an insufficiency of the adrenal glands due to tuberculosis which wasn’t life threatening and would not impede his chances at wining an election.



References:
Primary Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/womenfamily.html?in_article_id=512416&in_page_id=1799

Supporting Articles:
http://www.uwosh.edu/faculty_staff/palmeri/commentary/jfkillness.htm
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/character/essays/kennedy.htm
http://www.doctorzebra.com/Prez/z_x35addison_g.htm
http://www.healthmedialab.com/presmed/p4.html
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/11/17/national/main529661.shtml
http://addisons.org.au/content/otherarts/oa_kennedy.htm
http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/JFK+and+Addisons+Disease.htm

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Documentary from New Zealand Highlights JFK

Monday, March 3, 2008

New Documentary & Books Planned for 40th Anniversary of RFK's Death


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Secret Service Agent Tells of JFK Plot


From Publishers Weekly:

Conspiracy theories haunt the Kennedy assassination; Bolden offers a new one, concerning discrimination and evidence suppression. Becoming, in JFK's words, the Jackie Robinson of the Secret Service, Bolden joined the White House detail in 1961. Already beset by racism (he once found a noose suspended over his desk), his idealism is further shattered by the drinking and carousing of other agents. Soon after the assassination, he receives orders that hint at an effort to withhold, or at least to color, the truth. He discovers that evidence is being kept from the Warren Commission and when he takes action, finds himself charged with conspiracy to sell a secret government file and sentenced to six years in prison, where both solitary confinement and the psychiatric ward await. That there was a conspiracy to silence him seems unarguable, but Bolden's prose is flat; so is his dialogue. This story is more enthralling than Bolden's telling of it, but the reader who sticks with it will enter a world of duplicitous charges and disappearing documents fit for a movie thriller. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Review“Excellent...Recommended for all public libraries.” —Library Journal, starred review.
"Heart-rending, longtime-coming defense of his record by a Chicago detective who paid dearly for blowing the whistle on JFK’s Secret Service."A native of St. Louis, the author became a Pinkerton detective and then a Chicago Secret Service agent. In 1961 President Kennedy handpicked Bolden for his personal detail in Washington. A self-described “racial pioneer” at each step of his professional career, he was immensely proud to serve as the first black agent on the presidential detail, and grateful for JFK’s sincere commitment to racial equality. However, Bolden soon collided with the “ol’ boys network.” He endured crude racist caricatures drawn in his service manual, separate accommodations in a “Negro Motel,” casual slurs by other agents and a shockingly blatant outburst by his superior: “You will always be nothing but a nigger. So act like one!” In early November 1963, responding to uneasy intuition and visions that had plagued him since childhood, Bolden told superiors that drinking was rampant within the ranks and that if a crisis occurred, the service could not act swiftly or appropriately to secure the president’s safety. He was in Chicago at the time of the assassination, and after that found the Secret Service wary of his outspokenness. Framed for his role in busting a Chicago counterfeiting bond gang, he was forced to take a lie-detector test and arrested by the feds in May 1964. His first trial ended in a hung jury thanks to a lone black juror; in the second, an all-white jury found him guilty. Bolden was imprisoned for more than five years, mostly in the psychiatric ward of the Springfield Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. In September 1969, after a short stint at a prison camp in Alabama, Bolden was granted parole. Many documents in the case have vanished, but the author tirelessly reconstructs the record in his compelling, if somewhat tedious and repetitious look at an attempt to silence an honorable man"An astonishing tale of aborted justice."—Kirkus Reviews