by Thomas Keske © 2001

One wonders sometimes if anyone could possibly be as pitiful as the "ex-gays", who despise themselves so, and who yearn for the approval of those who also despise them the most. Thanks to the John F. Kennedy Library for answering that question, by delivering its "Profile in Courage" award to former President Gerald R. Ford, for his "courageous" and "self-sacrificing" act of pardoning Richard Nixon. 

Apparently the JFK Library thought that this world is not quite Orwellian enough, already. Or, perhaps they wanted to make it easier for people to tell the difference between a conservative and a liberal. 

The conservatives tend to be the hard-eyed, hard-headed, sour, constipated, little crabapples. The liberals are the sweet ones, with the soft, Hostess Creme centers. 

Too often, the Good Heart is a soft heart, supported by a soft spine and a soft head. The sweet and sour pork barrel that is our government still leaves an overall bad taste, despite the complementary flavors. It is the excessive softness of the good hearts that allows evil to creep in, behind the scenes. 

The "liberal" media is playing their obvious propaganda games with this award. Instead of admitting any questionable elements, they go out of their way, with absurd overkill, to act as if this is all settled, all certain. They act as if some unnamed, broad-based coalition of respected, impeccable experts has Spoken, with finality, to give us the unquestioned Final Judgment of History. 

They say how the "integrity just glowed" in Ford, how his pardon of Nixon was not to save Nixon, but to "save the nation." 

Oh, please. A detailed examination of Nixon's administration would not have destroyed this nation, In fact, it might have redeemed it. What it would have largely destroyed would have been the Republican party, but that would have represented progress, not destruction. 

If Ford was of such "glowing" integrity, how could he have failed to notice the character of a man like Nixon, who was quoted as saying that "blacks lived like dogs" and that "strong societies rooted out homosexuals"? Never did my newspaper quote these choice remarks, even as they lavishly reported on the Ford's "Profile in Courage." 

Nixon may have been a deceiver, but he was deceptive to an inattentive nation, not to his own inner circle. Nixon was not exactly a subtle character. 

He wanted Teamster thugs to beat up war protesters. He shamelessly extended Presidential pardons to mobsters. He surrounded himself with men of literal Nazis mentality, like Gordon Liddy, who in his autobiography described how he could hardly resist the urge to stick out a stiff arm during the national anthem, or Pat Buchanan, who thought that Hitler was "a man of great courage."

In his "glowing integrity", Ford could not notice the goose-stepping in the shadows of Nixon's administration? How could a man of integrity get within 100 miles of Nixon, much less be his ideological partner?

 Ford was trying to save the GOP from extreme embarrassment that might have been its death knell, not trying to save the nation. It was not in the least surprising. 

Ford was a partner to the dishonesty. In Time, on February 4, 1974, Ford declared that the White House was in possession of evidence that "will exonerate the President." As events unfolded, this proved obviously to be untrue, but apparently the JFK library forgets this little blemish on Ford's "integrity". 

In the book "For the President's Eyes Only", by Christopher Andrew, Ford was quoted saying that it was against the "national interest" to reveal intelligence files, because it would "blacken the reputation of every President since Truman." "Like what?" asked an editor. 

"Like assassinations", said Ford. That statement might have sounded like "honesty", if only Ford had not then quickly exclaimed, "That is off the record!". 

Does it sound like the American people were being "saved" from a mistaken impression of some kind, or more like a corrupt government being saved from embarrassing scrutiny? 

In the early 1970s, the torture centers opened for business in Chile, with CIA support. The stadiums rang with executions; the bodies piled in the streets; the "subversive" books were hurled into bonfires. A retired U.S. naval engineer stated "We came down to do a job and it is done" [1]. 

Of the installation of the murderous Augusto Pinochet, President Gerald Ford said that what the U.S. had done was "in the best interest of the of the people in Chile." The remark could have been punctuated with a pinch of snuff. 

One of the few times that the American people saw a glimpse of truth was in the Congressional Church committee hearings of the 1970s. 

Of Ford's interference in covering up the truth, Senator Church said, "I am astonished that President Ford wants to suppress the committee's report on assassinations and keep it concealed from the American people. They have a right to know what their government has done." 

Ford soon after gave us the "Halloween Massacre", that "restructured the national-security structure", which loosely translated, meant that he was purging troublesome whistleblowers like CIA director William Colby. 

The ludicrous and obscene "Profile in Courage" award has lessons for minorities. You cannot expect to be rescued even by the "liberals" of our government. The media continues to lie as outrageously as Ford and Nixon ever did. 

This much should be plainly obvious to America's disenfranchised minorities. More chilling are the possibilities that are less obvious in the eyes of the uninformed: that the AIDS epidemic, now causing disproportionate death among minorities, might have to do with government-sanctioned experimentation and vaccine programs. That the assassination of President Kennedy involved elements of our government closely tied to the very man who is now getting awards from the JFK library.

Is it a sleazy deal of some kind, being made? It is odd the Ford should be honored for decades-old events, so soon after Clinton was accused of similar, sleazy pardons. Perhaps this is a bone thrown to conservatives, in exchange for them going easier on Clinton. If so, it is foolish for the liberals to expect tit-for-tat reciprocities from the ultra-conservatives. That has not been their style. I hope that the good-hearted liberals have the deal in writing.

Perhaps it is simply the JFK Library who is giving us a Profile in Foolishness. 

The machinery of government is too broken to trust, and so is the media. The travesty of this "Profile in Courage" is yet one more reason for disenfranchised minorities to find the courage in themselves to confront corrupt power, directly. 

[1] The CIA: a Forgotten History, by William Blum

Tom Keske © 2001 Boston, Mass.