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Alistair Cooke's report on the assassination


John Simkin
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The Guardian is putting all past editions online. The published a sample of these papers in the Guardian last week. This included Alistair Cooke's original report on the assassination of JFK. A reader, Michael Daly of Sunbury, Middlesex, pointed out an error in the original article:

According to Alistair Cooke's report on President Kennedy's assassination (November 9), both Robert and Edward Kennedy made their way to Dallas on hearing of their brother's death. In fact neither left the capital. Who knows whether history would have been changed had Robert Kennedy, then attorney general, been able to get to Dallas immediately following the assassination. Surely he would have prevented the hasty and illegal removal of the president's body from Parkland hospital and ensured a proper autopsy was undertaken. Would the hasty inauguration of Lyndon Johnson aboard Air Force One at Dallas airport have taken place? Johnson was back in Washington, as president, before Kennedy could do anything.

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John, I beg to differ. The Kennedy forces WANTED the body brought to DC and not left in Dallas.

The "Kennedy forces" were in a state of complete shock and devastation. All the circumstances indicate that it was not Jackie, RFK or Ken O'Donnell who wanted the body removed to prevent a Dallas autopsy, it was the Secret Service. Because Jackie and O'Donnell were in such a state of shock they went along with the Secret Service.

Also, it was not the "Kennedy forces" who wanted the limo removed from Dallas as quickly as possible. The limo was an important element of the crime scene, and the Secret Service tampered with this evidence.

We can only conclude that the secret service wanted the limo and the body out of Dallas urgently. The question is did they make this decision before the assassination?

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