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Mrs. Kennedy on "They"


Peter McGuire
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"When one of her entourage suggested to the young widow that she should change her blood-stained clothes before the flight back to Washington with the Johnson party alread installed on Air Force One, Jacqueline Kennedy fiercely resisted. No, she was not going to change, she replied, " so they can see what they've done."

Who, Oswald? Or any other nameless assassin? It stands to reason that Mrs. Kennedy's insistence on wearing her blood-caked clothes on the plane could not be meant to show to the acutal snipers what they had done to her; none of them could possibly be on that plane. Who, then, was "they"?

Is there any other possible explanation than that she meant Lyndon Johnson and his party?

"The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson" by Joachim Joesten 1968

Edited by Peter McGuire
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I wouldn't blame her, if it were true, and I can't say it's not. I've always felt, though, that the remark addressed the whole right-left spectrum of political fanaticism in a country that, even a decade later, seemed to burning from within like one of those great West Virginia mine fires that undercut the earth, until the surface fissured and structures were swallowed and consumed.

Edited by David Andrews
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I think LBJ was in it up to his ears, too. It just depends on what in was, exactly. I've been in it myself, and a man can be up to his ears in all moral and actual variety of in it.

I think LBJ got the heads-up that he stood to succeed. I think that, for some time before, he lobbied the Texas small oil money for Kennedy's removal. I think that the Baker scandal put on pressure to remove. But I think that the removing was ordered by money and influence beyond the compass of the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency.

I think that on 11/22/63 and after, LBJ was frightened of what stood beyond his arms' length. I think the same money and influence brought on LBJ's abdication and RFK's death, so that nothing barred Nixon, their next tap, from office - the action having now moved from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia.

I could go on into the Ford years. I think that a lot of this is right there on the surface, in the involvements among characters and the timing of events.

Apologies to the shades of Manchester and Mailer, and to all lovers of the fallacy that we are deluded into believing that the small-time trade couldn't possibly have killed Kennedy. Great events have great causes.

Edited by David Andrews
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"Lyndon B. Johnson never had wisdom, style or grace. He was possessed of ambitious zeal, dynamic energy and relentless drive, a typical go getter who combined the craftiness of the political pro with the insatiable appetites of a Southern " wheeler-dealer".

"His Own Worst Enemy" The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson" Joachim Joesten 1968

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"When one of her entourage suggested to the young widow that she should change her blood-stained clothes before the flight back to Washington with the Johnson party alread installed on Air Force One, Jacqueline Kennedy fiercely resisted. No, she was not going to change, she replied, " so they can see what they've done."

Who, Oswald? Or any other nameless assassin? It stands to reason that Mrs. Kennedy's insistence on wearing her blood-caked clothes on the plane could not be meant to show to the acutal snipers what they had done to her; none of them could possibly be on that plane. Who, then, was "they"?

Is there any other possible explanation than that she meant Lyndon Johnson and his party?

"The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson" by Joachim Joesten 1968

In my opinion, "They" were, in her mind, the Texans, none of whom could measure up to what her husband was. Everyone who opposed him. There were scary ads published that day: Kennedy Wanted for Treason, etc. Black-boarded pages in the Dallas papers. She didn't like campaigning in the first place. Did she blame Johnson? If yes, then what was behind the phone call he received from her during his presidency? He sent her some fabulous present and she called him, Mr. President in a little girl's voice. And she quipped, "That's what they'll remember about me -- she ran around with 2 presidents."

How could this gracious and charming exchange occur if she thought Johnson was behind it? I don't understand that.

And I agree with her decision of letting people see what they did to her husband.

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"This terrible phrase ' so they can see what they've done' , constitutes postive proof that Mrs. Kennedy instantly guessed what lay behind the tragedy; that she knew deep down in her heart that her husband had been killed at the instigation of Vice-President Johnson.

Nor is that all. When Johnson later, in his incomparabley hypocritical manner, tried to "comfort" the widow, she pushed him back. " I don't want that man to touch me, ' she cried out to her entourage.

So does a sensitive woman shrink from a murderer."

Joachim Joesten The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson 1968

Edited by Peter McGuire
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"This terrible phrase ' so they can see what they've done' , constitutes postive proof that Mrs. Kennedy instantly guessed what lay behind the tragedy; that she knew deep down in her heart that her husband had been killed at the instigation of Vice-President Johnson.

Nor is that all. When Johnson later, in his incomparabley hypocritical manner, tried to "comfort" the widow, she pushed him back. " I don't want that man to touch me, ' she cried out to her entourage.

So does a sensitive woman shrink from a murderer.

Joachim Joesten

Where does the quote, "I don't want that man to touch me" come from? And why was she so nice to LBJ over the tape-recordered phone conversation?

Kathy C

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Where does the quote, "I don't want that man to touch me" come from? And why was she so nice to LBJ over the tape-recordered phone conversation?

Kathy C

William Manchester, who interviewed Mrs. Kennedy in April 1964, did not dispute these things were said by her. He instead, attempted to explain away Mrs. Kennedy's intense bitterness towards Johnson with trivial reasons. Such as;

*"They pretend to believe that these harsh feelings resulted from Johnson's uncouth behavior after he and his party had taken possession of Air Force One. But, could a state of mind lasting for years be induced by trivia? "

To be sure, the Kennedy's kept up appearances rather well.

*The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson 1968

Edited by Peter McGuire
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Kathleen,

I agree with you about that phone call. I've listened to the whole nauseating thing, and you are right- it is very perplexing in light of her alleged disdain towards LBJ. Jackie does indeed use a little girl voice, and appears to be overtly flirting with him.

If I recall correctly, there is another call, this one between LBJ and RFK, at the height of their seemingly bitter feud, where RFK appears incredibly friendly and respectful to his sworn enemy. It's been awhile since I heard it (they used to play the LBJ tapes on C-SPAN radio, and I listened to them while driving), but in all honesty it kind of sounded like he was really kissing LBJ's butt.

There are so many things about the post-assassination behavior of the Kennedy clan that make little sense to me. Thanks for spotlighting one of the most obvious examples.

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That Jackie call sounds so faceitiously seductive, so disingenuous, so "phony," that I cannot see other than ulterior motive in it. I recall that it was played in on one of the cable networks' (History channel?) "LBJ Secret Tapes" documentaries of a couple years ago, and I believe that Jackie got on the phone either before or after Bobby did.

So - when somebody sugars up an old ham - they must have plans to eat him.

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That Jackie call sounds so faceitiously seductive, so disingenuous, so "phony," that I cannot see other than ulterior motive in it. I recall that it was played in on one of the cable networks' (History channel?) "LBJ Secret Tapes" documentaries of a couple years ago, and I believe that Jackie got on the phone either before or after Bobby did.

So - when somebody sugars up an old ham - they must have plans to eat him.

Someone, possibly Norman Mailer, said of Jackie: "She sounds like Marilyn Monroe playing Ophelia (the insane girl in Hamlet)." There's madness in that voice. And later, that perpetual smile.

Kathy C

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