Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why Did Kennedy Meet Nikita S. Khrushchev?

Considering how poorly prepared Kennedy was, why did he take the risk of meeting Nikita S. Khrushchev, who was well-known to be a tough Communist street-brawler who would not hesitate to accuse, insult and threaten opponents?

An answer suggested in a letter to editor of the NYTimes, reproduced in its entirety below:

To the Editor:

Nathan Thrall and Jesse James Wilkins argue that President John F. Kennedy’s disastrous summit meeting with Nikita S. Khrushchev was a result of the president’s naïve rush to meet with an enemy leader.

There was another factor — Kennedy may well have been high on amphetamines.

As Lawrence K. Altman and I reported in The New York Times on Dec. 4, 1972, Kennedy was accompanied to the summit by Dr. Max Jacobson, a physician who routinely injected the stimulant into many prominent figures.

Dr. Jacobson told us that he injected Kennedy there. White House records confirm that the doctor was on that trip. It is not certain that the shots contained “speed,” but Dr. Feelgood, as patients called him, is known routinely to have mixed amphetamines into his potions.

The drug causes not only feelings of euphoria but also an exaggerated sense of power and superiority.

Boyce Rensberger
North Reading, Mass., May 22, 2008

The writer was a science reporter at The New York Times, 1971-79.

When Obama promised to meet enemies like Ahmadi Nejad and other tyrannical loonies without pre-conditions, was he also high on amphetamines?


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