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Robert Kennedy and the Warren Report


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October 30 1966

"[RFK] talked a bit about campaigning with Johnson. He said that, after a day together in New York, he said to Johnson back at the hotel, "Did you enjoy the day?" Johnson looked at him earnestly and said "Of all the things in life, this is what I most enjoy doing." Bobby said it to us incredulously" "Imagine saying that, of all the things in life, this is what you like the most."

At Clark's we talked about the [William] Manchester book [The Death of a President], and this led on to a discussion of the autopsy photographs and then of the Warren Report. RFK wondered how long he could continue to avoid comment on the report. It is evident that he believes it was a poor job and will not endorse it, but that he is unwilling to criticize it and thereby reopen the whole tragic business."

[schlesinger, Journals, p. 254]

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I had mixed feelings about Talbot's book.

Realizing it was a conspiracy almost immediately, he also understood he had been blindsided.

He understood that with LBJ and Hoover in power, there was no way he could solve the crime.

Once he realized that LBJ was not going to continue JFK's policies and that he would be marginalized, he left.

HE decided to run for the presidency in some degree to reopen the case. The other side knew this, and this was one reason behind his murder--which could not have been done by Sirhan.

I don't understand why people are surprised. Of course he felt threatened. His brother was blown away in broad daylight in front of thousands while the SS stood down. The entire family "got it". After RFK was killed Jackie did say something: " They are killing Kennedys and my kids are next" or words to that effect. And she was right: they killed her son. So let's just all blame the victims for not "solving this case" .

Dawn

Dawn I'm pretty amazed that you consider JFK Jr as possibly murdered as well. I agree and think it is utterly tragic that he and his case just came and went without any consideration (other than Hankey of course, who did a good documentary regarding the matter). I lean in the direction that JFK Jr was probably murdered as well and I hope that someday (maybe 30-40 years from now?) people will start to think more about his death. It happened at a VERY crucial time (right before 9/11, relatively speaking), he had a magazine that printed very "controversial" subject matter and he was the firstborn son of JFK. By those facts alone you have motive, means and opportunity. The entire JFK Jr crash is as smelly and bizarre as they come.

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Jim Garrison, the flamboyant New Orleans district attorney who challenged the Warren Commission's conclusions, recalled a telephone conversation he had with RFK in 1964: "I told him some of my theories. He listened carefully, then said, `Maybe so, maybe you're right. But what good will it do to know the truth? Will it bring back my brother?' I said, `I find it hard to believe that as the top law man in the country you don't want to pursue the truth more ardently.' With this he hung up on me."[/color]

1964? Is that date correct? Garrison's investigation didn't begin until '66. It seems odd to think he would be discussing his theories with RFK as early as '64.

FYI (and on this very point): Some years ago, I contacted the State University of N.Y. archives, and retrieved the actual handwritten notes made by the author of the book, at the time the conversation took place. I do believe the conversation is real--i.e., that Garrison spoke to RFK (briefly) and that this is what indeed happened--but the author made an error as to the date. Unfortunately, I did not have a scanner at the time, so this document resides in one of hundreds of manila file folders that are currently "on file" but not fully indexed and so not retrievable. Of course, it can also be retrieved from SUNY. Also keep in mind: its a fact that 1st generation JFK researcher made strenuous attempts to get JG to call RFK. Awhile back, I asked Ray if he recalled the details, and specifically whether he had been successful. He simply did not recall what came of those efforts.

DSL

8/21/12; 12:15 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

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Guest Tom Scully

After reading this, and I've never read an obituary of an contemporary, high visibility author that is so filled with unflattering details related to the veracity / integrity of the author, I think this thread should be closed. In fairness, possibly some of these details were not known when this thread was initiated.

http://www.nytimes.c...dies-at-67.html

C. David Heymann, Biographer of the Rich and Famous, Dies at 67

By MARGALIT FOX Published: May 10, 2012

C. David Heymann, a literary biographer turned best-selling celebrity biographer who came to wide attention in 1983 after his life of the heiress Barbara Hutton was withdrawn by its publisher because of factual errors, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 67.

Mr. Heymann died after collapsing in the lobby of his apartment building, his wife, Beatrice Schwartz, said. The cause was believed to be cardiopulmonary failure.

Trained as a literary scholar, Mr. Heymann began his career with “Ezra Pound, the Last Rower: A Political Profile,” published in 1976; continued it with “American Aristocracy: The Lives and Times of James Russell, Amy, and Robert Lowell” four years later; and then had an epiphany:

“I learned from this,” he told The New York Observer in 1999, “never write a book about a poet if you want to sell books.”

What followed included three New York Times best-sellers: “A Woman Named Jackie” (1989), a life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that reached No. 1; “Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor” (1995), and “Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story” (2009), in which Mr. Heymann argued that the former first lady had an affair with her brother-in-law Robert F. Kennedy after her husband’s assassination.

Mr. Heymann’s lives of Ms. Hutton, Mrs. Onassis and Ms. Taylor were made into televisions films starring, respectively, Farrah Fawcett, Roma Downey and Sherilyn Fenn.

Though some critics admired Mr. Heymann’s biographies for their comprehensiveness, others were far more caustic. Their concerns included his use of single rather than multiple sources in reconstructing historical events, and his reliance on hearsay accounts by people not directly involved in incidents he was describing.

An image from page 361 of Heymann's book, relating what Heymann claimed Jim Garrison shared with him

about a 1964 telephone conversation with RFK :

[PDF]

Rs- ..91_12,_n_›1:2

jfk.hood.edu/.../Kennedy%20Robert%20F%201974/Item%2006.pdf

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View

BIOGRAPHY OF. ROBERT F. KENNEDY ... the driving force in the Kennedy administration's most aggres- iations. He had .... Will it bring back my brother?' I s

The most dramatic response to Mr. Heymann’s work was engendered by his first celebrity biography, “Poor Little Rich Girl: The Life and Legend of Barbara Hutton,” an account of the Woolworth heiress that arrived in bookstores in the autumn of 1983.

That December the book’s original publisher, Random House, recalled and destroyed 58,000 copies of the book because of factual errors. Chief among them was Mr. Heymann’s assertion that Edward A. Kantor, a Beverly Hills doctor, had prescribed excessive drugs for Ms. Hutton in 1943.

Dr. Kantor, who became Ms. Hutton’s physician in the late 1960s, graduated from medical school in 1954. In 1943, as the news media reported after the error came to light, he would have been 14.

Mr. Heymann, who did not dispute this and other errors ascribed to the book, attributed them to researchers he had engaged to conduct interviews on his behalf.

After the book was withdrawn, Mr. Heymann later said, he attempted suicide. He moved to Israel for a time; there, he told interviewers afterward, he worked for Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

On Thursday, Mr. Heymann’s wife said that while he had sometimes spoken to her of having worked for Mossad, she could not confirm that assertion.

In 1984 Mr. Heymann’s biography of Ms. Hutton was republished, in what was described as a revised and corrected version, by Lyle Stuart, an independent publishing house known for renegade titles.

A self-described eccentric who told interviewers he liked to write in the nude, Mr. Heymann was born Clemens Claude Oscar Heymann in Manhattan on Jan. 14, 1945. He adopted the pen name C. David Heymann at the start of his career, his wife said.

Mr. Heymann earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from Cornell in 1966, followed by a master of fine arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1969.

He did doctoral-level study in English literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and it was there that he became interested in Ezra Pound.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr. Heymann obtained previously classified files from the Federal Bureau of Investigation documenting Pound’s pro-Fascist activities in the 1940s; these became the seeds of his biography.

The flap over Mr. Heymann’s Hutton book put his earlier work under scrutiny. After that book was withdrawn, news organizations reported on a charge by the Pound scholar Hugh Kenner that had received comparatively little attention at the time:

In 1977, writing in the magazine The Alternative: An American Spectator (a forerunner of The American Spectator), Mr. Kenner accused Mr. Heymann of having taken an interview with Pound by an Italian interviewer, published in Venice, and presented it in his book as if it he had conducted it himself.

Mr. Heymann denied the accusation, calling it retribution for a negative review he had written of one of Mr. Kenner’s books.

Mr. Heymann’s first marriage, to Jeanne Lunin, ended in divorce; his second, to Rebecca Coughlan, was annulled. Besides his wife, whom he married in 2008, he is survived by a daughter, Chloe Heymann, from his first marriage, and a son, Paris Fineberg-Heymann, from another relationship.

His other books include “RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy” (1998), “The Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation’s Capital” (2003) and “American Legacy: The Story of John & Caroline Kennedy” (2007).

In 1984, in the wake of the Hutton recall, Mr. Heymann defended his work in an interview with The Washington Post.

“There’s a great degree of difference in the amount of accuracy required between a book about Ezra Pound and a book about Barbara Hutton,” he said. “She’s not a historical personage — she was a social figure. What I wanted to do was a mise en scène of a life.”

He added, “I may have made an error or two, or three, or four, or five — but at least I tried to write an accurate biography.”

Edited by Tom Scully
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  • 3 weeks later...

October 30 1966

"[RFK] talked a bit about campaigning with Johnson. He said that, after a day together in New York, he said to Johnson back at the hotel, "Did you enjoy the day?" Johnson looked at him earnestly and said "Of all the things in life, this is what I most enjoy doing." Bobby said it to us incredulously" "Imagine saying that, of all the things in life, this is what you like the most."

At Clark's we talked about the [William] Manchester book [The Death of a President], and this led on to a discussion of the autopsy photographs and then of the Warren Report. RFK wondered how long he could continue to avoid comment on the report. It is evident that he believes it was a poor job and will not endorse it, but that he is unwilling to criticize it and thereby reopen the whole tragic business."

[schlesinger, Journals, p. 254]

IMO the following post of Pat Speer from another thread fits here:

quote:

An AP dispatch from later that day only confirms that the investigation is over, and unlikely to meet any public resistance. It reads:

KRAKOW, POLAND, JUNE 29 CAP)-U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ROBERT F. KENNEDY SAID TONIGHT LEE HARVEY OSWALD KILLED HIS BROTHER, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, AND "THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT HE DID IT ON HIS OWN AND BY HIMSELF."

"I BELIEVE IT (THE ASSASSINATION). WAS DONE BY A MAN NAMED OSWALD WHO WAS A MISFIT IN SOCIETY," KENNEDY TOLD A GROUP OF CIVIC LEADERS AND STUDENTS IN THIS SOUTHERN POLISH CITY.

AIDES SAID IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THE HEAD OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS SPOKEN PUBLICLY ABOUT WHO KILLED HIS BROTHER IN DALLAS, TEX., LAST NOV. 22. OSWALD WAS SHOT BY JACK RUBY, DALLAS CAFE OWNER, BEFORE HE COULD BE BROUGHT TO TRIAL, THERE HAVE BEEN SUGGESTIONS IN EUROPE, ESPECIALLY COMMUNIST COUNTRIES SUCH AS POLAND, THAT THE SLAYINGS OF KENNEDY AND OSWALD WERE PART OF THE SAME CONSPIRACY.

KENNEDY SAID IT WAS NOT OSWALD'S PROFESSED BELIEF IN COMMUNISM THAT PROMPTED HIM TO MURDER THE PRESIDENT.

"HE WAS A PROFESSED COMMUNIST BUT THE COMMUNISTS--BECAUSE OF HIS ATTITUDE--WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM," KENNEDY SAID. "IDEOLOGY IN MY OPINION DID NOT MOTIVATE HIS ACT, IT WAS THE SINGLE ACT OF AN INDIVIDUAL PROTESTING AGAINST SOCIETY."

KENNEDY WAS REPLYING TO A QUESTION BY HIERONYM KUBIAK,25-YEAR-OLD HEAD OF, THE POLISH STUDENT UNION IN KRAKOW, WHO HAD DECLARED:"WE ALWAYS GREATLY RESPECTED PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND WE ARE VERY INTERESTED IN YOUR VERSION OF HIS DEATH, WE HOPE YOU WILL FORGIVE US FOR ASKING SUCH A DIRECT QUESTION BUT WE REALLY WOULD LIKE YOUR VIEW."

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL REPLIED "IT IS A PROPER QUESTION WHICH DESERVES AN ANSWER." HE CALLED OSWALD "A MISFIT IN SOCIETY WHO HAD LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES AND WAS DISSATISFIED WITH OUR GOVERNMENT AND OUR WAY OF LIFE. HE TOOK UP COMMUNISM AND MOVED TO THE SOVIET UNION BUT WAS DISSATISFIED THERE. HE CAME BACK (TO AMERICA), WAS ANTI-SOCIAL AND FELT THE ONLY WAY TO TAKE OUT HIS STRONG FEELINGS AGAINST SOCIETY AND DISSATISFACTION WITH THE WAY HE WAS TREATED WAS BY KILLING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES."

On 6-30-64 the New York Times carries its own version of this story. It takes the opportunity to throw in that the Attorney General's conclusions reflect those of the Warren Commission. It reads:

"Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy said today that his brother had been assassinated by Lee H. Oswald, “a misfit,” who took out his resentment against society by killing the President of the United States. Answering questions at a meeting of the City Council of Cracow, the Attorney General said that Oswald was "a professed Communist" but had not been motivated by Communist ideology when he shot the President last Nov. 22. It was in response to a hesitant question put by a Communist youth leader of Cracow, who attended the council's meeting, that the Attorney General spoke about Oswald and the assassination. It was Mr.Kennedy's first public discussion of the accused assassin, aides said... The Attorney General briefly sketched Oswald's life story, describing him as a man who had embraced Communism, and had gone to the Soviet Union, but found no place for himself there. He was a professed Communist," but the Communists, because of his attitude, would have nothing to do with him," he said. "What he did he did on his own, and by himself."

Discredits Plot Theories

Mr. Kennedy said that the assassination was not a racist plot, such as some persons had speculated.

"Ideology in my opinion did not motivate his act," the President's brother said. "It was the single act of one person protesting against society." The Attorney General is known to be fully acquainted with the findings of the Warren Commission. It is presumed by persons close to him that the Commission's report will reflect the views expressed by Mr. Kennedy today."

Between the Lines: a Discussion of RFK's Comments

It is intriguing that Robert Kennedy's first and only public comment on the assassination during the Warren Commission's investigation comes on a goodwill trip to a communist country, where he was pretty much boxed in. If, in such a setting, he said anything suggesting he had doubts about the Warren Commission's findings, and thought a domestic conspiracy responsible for his brother's death, it's almost certain he would be crucified back home, and accused of encouraging communism worldwide. If, in such a setting, he said anything suggesting he had doubts about the Warren Commission's findings, and thought a foreign conspiracy responsible, on the other hand, he would be crucified by his fellow liberals for spreading fear of World War III, and providing fuel for the right-wing fanatics back home. It was a lose-lose proposition. This, then, left him little alternative but to pin the tail on Oswald, and claim everything he'd seen proved Oswald to be a lone nut.

The possibility exists, for that matter, that Kennedy's being asked this question in this setting was no coincidence. While it's perfectly possible Hieronym Kubiak, who would rise within the ranks of the Polish Communist Party and become the member of its Central Committee in charge of Science and Education--only to resign in 1982 after voicing his support for Solidarity, the movement which led to the end of Communism in Poland--had a sincere interest in Kennedy's answer, or that he knew Kennedy would disavow a conspiracy and was anxious that he do so, it seems possible as well that he was convinced to ask this question by the CIA, who had a number of assets in Communist youth organizations. If so, their operation was successful. A July 6 Airgram from the American Embassy in Rome found in the CIA's files reports that Kennedy's statements "were given particular prominence in the Italian Press." As the CIA had a number of assets in the international press, this could very well have been bragging. There is a note of discord, however. The Airgram also reports that the Communist paper L'Unita has chosen to comment on Kennedy's comments, and has noted "Kennedy's declarations about the death of his brother and about the personality of Oswald seem disconcerting and...are in striking contrast not only with numerous facts but also with Robert Kennedy's attitude, declarations, and initiatives after the Dallas tragedy." While it's unclear which "declarations" and "initiatives" are being referenced in this article, it seems possible that Russian Premier Khruschev or one of his emissaries has been indiscreet about Robert Kennedy's private communication in December via William Walton, and has told Communist organizations and newspapers worldwide of Kennedy's private suspicion his brother was killed by a domestic conspiracy.

close quote

Between Nov. 63 and his own death it was a tricky time for RFK: he had to choose carefully between his desire for the truth and the reason of state...something a researcher normally has not to deal with.

KK

Edited by Karl Kinaski
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IMO the following post of Pat Speer from another thread fits here:

quote:

The possibility exists, for that matter, that Kennedy's being asked this question in this setting was no coincidence. While it's perfectly possible Hieronym Kubiak, who would rise within the ranks of the Polish Communist Party and become the member of its Central Committee in charge of Science and Education--only to resign in 1982 after voicing his support for Solidarity, the movement which led to the end of Communism in Poland--had a sincere interest in Kennedy's answer, or that he knew Kennedy would disavow a conspiracy and was anxious that he do so, it seems possible as well that he was convinced to ask this question by the CIA, who had a number of assets in Communist youth organizations. If so, their operation was successful. A July 6 Airgram from the American Embassy in Rome found in the CIA's files reports that Kennedy's statements "were given particular prominence in the Italian Press." As the CIA had a number of assets in the international press, this could very well have been bragging. There is a note of discord, however. The Airgram also reports that the Communist paper L'Unita has chosen to comment on Kennedy's comments, and has noted "Kennedy's declarations about the death of his brother and about the personality of Oswald seem disconcerting and...are in striking contrast not only with numerous facts but also with Robert Kennedy's attitude, declarations, and initiatives after the Dallas tragedy." While it's unclear which "declarations" and "initiatives" are being referenced in this article, it seems possible that Russian Premier Khruschev or one of his emissaries has been indiscreet about Robert Kennedy's private communication in December via William Walton, and has told Communist organizations and newspapers worldwide of Kennedy's private suspicion his brother was killed by a domestic conspiracy.

close quote

Between Nov. 63 and his own death it was a tricky time for RFK: he had to choose carefully between his desire for the truth and the reason of state...something a researcher normally has not to deal with.

KK

Someone may have given Kubiak the idea to ask the question but Pat's assumption that it was the CIA is only an assumption. It could have been other intelligence agencies.

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