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Ted Sorensen dies at 82


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31/10/2010 22:57

By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Ted Sorensen, one of President John F. Kennedy's key advisers and top speech writers, died on Sunday aged 82.

Sorensen's death was confirmed by his wife Gillian, The New York Times reported on its website.

Sorensen suffered a stroke in 2001 and had another just over a week ago.

A retired lawyer and recipient of the National Medal for Humanities in 2009, Sorensen was most closely associated with Kennedy, and known for liberal leanings seen as having doomed efforts to make him head of the CIA under Jimmy Carter."

Is it possible that his "liberal leanings" also may have including getting to the truth in the matter of the Kennedy and King murders?

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/news/topnews/reuters/2010/10/31/jfk-writer-and-aide-ted-sorensen-dies-at-82.html

I heard Mr. Sorensen say that the Kennedies were "blessed" not cursed.

Edited by Peter McGuire
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Guest Tom Scully

Kathy, I was going to reply to your post with the observation that the CIA had no need to kill Sorensen because they had long ago compromised him by maneuvering one of their agents, Steinem, into the role of his sexual partner.

But now, after reading that Sorensen and Steinem did a road tour together just last year, and assurances from a former CIA man that Steinem was one of the "good wingers". I don't know what to think, which is probably the motivation for Dr. Cumming's authorship of his book...so, mission accomplished, Dr. Cummings, CIA, and Ted Sorensen.

http://www.macomb.edu/News/1960s+series.htm

Macomb Community College - 1960s series

Feb 10, 2009 ... It features noted civil rights leader Andrew Young, March 5; feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, April 16; Ted Sorenson, an advisor to ...

http://www.africancrisis.co.za/Article.php?ID=11102

An alert reader in the UK found this. This article is the follow on by Dr Cummings to his book, "The Pied Piper" (1985).

Dr Cummings was a CIA agent in the Middle East. This is an extremely important article and it explains what went on behind the scenes in this country. Jan]

From International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Summer 1995:

...15. Interview with Harris Wofford, supra. Other CIA

"good wingers" of that generation included the Rev. William Sloane

Coffin, Jr. (See Coffin, Once To Every Man (New York, Atheneum,

1977); author and naturalist Peter Matthiessen, for whom the Paris

Review was his cover and who, according to James Linville, the

Managing Editor of The Paris Review, is "haunted by the CIA."

Conversation with James Linville, Oxford, MS, April 1993, at the

40th anniversary celebration of The Paris Review (The New York

Times first reported Matthiessen's CIA employment); Gloria

Steinem, who worked for three years for the Independent Research

Service, an organization totally supported by the CIA and whose

purpose was to disrupt Communist youth festivals. This was first

disclosed by Ramparts and later reported in The New York Times

in 1967. See Press Release, 9 May 1975, Redstockings of the Women's

Liberation Movement; letter from Jane Barry of Redstockings, 19

February 1987, and ultra liberal author/activist Robert Sam Anson

(Interview with Robert Sam Anson, May 1985). The theoretical

intellect behind "good wing" ideology in the CIA was Harry

Rositzke, who argued that democracy and capitalism were not

necessarily synonymous and that the United States should support

progressive social democratic or democratic socialist approaches in critical countries. See Rositzke, supra, p. 268.

A correction.: Steinem and Sorensen appeared last year on the same stage, as part of a series of lectures, but their appearances were two weeks apart.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Ted Sorensen, may he rest in peace.

Peace, prayers and blessings to his loved ones.

Edited by John Dolva
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Kathy, I was going to reply to your post with the observation that the CIA had no need to kill Sorensen because they had long ago compromised him by maneuvering one of their agents, Steinem, into the role of his sexual partner.

But now, after reading that Sorensen and Steinem did a road tour together just last year, and assurances from a former CIA man that Steinem was one of the "good wingers". I don't know what to think, which is probably the motivation for Dr. Cumming's authorship of his book...so, mission accomplished, Dr. Cummings, CIA, and Ted Sorensen.

http://www.macomb.ed...960s+series.htm

Macomb Community College - 1960s series

Feb 10, 2009 ... It features noted civil rights leader Andrew Young, March 5; feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, April 16; Ted Sorenson, an advisor to ...

http://www.africancr...le.php?ID=11102

An alert reader in the UK found this. This article is the follow on by Dr Cummings to his book, "The Pied Piper" (1985).

Dr Cummings was a CIA agent in the Middle East. This is an extremely important article and it explains what went on behind the scenes in this country. Jan]

From International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Summer 1995:

...15. Interview with Harris Wofford, supra. Other CIA

"good wingers" of that generation included the Rev. William Sloane

Coffin, Jr. (See Coffin, Once To Every Man (New York, Atheneum,

1977); author and naturalist Peter Matthiessen, for whom the Paris

Review was his cover and who, according to James Linville, the

Managing Editor of The Paris Review, is "haunted by the CIA."

Conversation with James Linville, Oxford, MS, April 1993, at the

40th anniversary celebration of The Paris Review (The New York

Times first reported Matthiessen's CIA employment); Gloria

Steinem, who worked for three years for the Independent Research

Service, an organization totally supported by the CIA and whose

purpose was to disrupt Communist youth festivals. This was first

disclosed by Ramparts and later reported in The New York Times

in 1967. See Press Release, 9 May 1975, Redstockings of the Women's

Liberation Movement; letter from Jane Barry of Redstockings, 19

February 1987, and ultra liberal author/activist Robert Sam Anson

(Interview with Robert Sam Anson, May 1985). The theoretical

intellect behind "good wing" ideology in the CIA was Harry

Rositzke, who argued that democracy and capitalism were not

necessarily synonymous and that the United States should support

progressive social democratic or democratic socialist approaches in critical countries. See Rositzke, supra, p. 268.

A correction.: Steinem and Sorensen appeared last year on the same stage, as part of a series of lectures, but their appearances were two weeks apart.

Sorensen 2008...looking great...

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Ted Sorensen was perhaps the greatest writer of political rhetoric in modern times. However, like almost all the "Best and Brightest" who surrounded President Kennedy, he was hardly a profile in courage on the subject of the assassination.

When David Talbot was researching his book Brothers, Sorensen told him that the events in Dallas were still too difficult for him to discuss. Could anything be more absurd? An employee who is still unable to talk about his boss's murder, which happened some four decades ago? If JFK was as dear to him as his writings invariably maintain, then he ought to have been somewhat concerned about the circumstances of his death. Didn't all those years of public controversy and mystery, the best selling books, radio shows and HSCA hearings, intrigue this stalwart soldier of Camelot just a little bit?

Sorensen's attitude towards "conspiracy theories" was establishment 101: he proclaimed himself an "agnostic" on the subject, but said he'd "never seen any evidence" to indicate the Warren Commission's findings were in error.

It's too bad that his political convictions never lived up to those beautiful, stirring words.

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Ted Sorensen was perhaps the greatest writer of political rhetoric in modern times. However, like almost all the "Best and Brightest" who surrounded President Kennedy, he was hardly a profile in courage on the subject of the assassination.

When David Talbot was researching his book Brothers, Sorensen told him that the events in Dallas were still too difficult for him to discuss. Could anything be more absurd? An employee who is still unable to talk about his boss's murder, which happened some four decades ago? If JFK was as dear to him as his writings invariably maintain, then he ought to have been somewhat concerned about the circumstances of his death. Didn't all those years of public controversy and mystery, the best selling books, radio shows and HSCA hearings, intrigue this stalwart soldier of Camelot just a little bit?

Sorensen's attitude towards "conspiracy theories" was establishment 101: he proclaimed himself an "agnostic" on the subject, but said he'd "never seen any evidence" to indicate the Warren Commission's findings were in error.

It's too bad that his political convictions never lived up to those beautiful, stirring words.

I would have agreed, Don, should Sorenson have died five years ago. But in his autobiography, published 2008, he included one of the most heartfelt and honest discussions of the assassination ever written, one I have no doubt historians will study for decades to come. He wrote, basically, that while the subject caused him too much pain to think about in detail, he had come to believe that it was quite likely Oswald did not act alone, and that there was more involved in the assassination than a simple wacko trying to make a name for himself.

In doing so, he became the person closest to Kennedy to ever admit suspecting Kennedy had been killed by a conspiracy.

I believe Richard Goodwin said as much back in the sixties (I'm not sure what he thinks now) and know Schlesinger also had a fling with conspiracy thinking, but Sorenson was more direct in his discussion, and came down firmly on the "I suspect a conspiracy" side.

Considering the circles in which he ran, this took some courage, IMO.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Ted Sorensen was perhaps the greatest writer of political rhetoric in modern times. However, like almost all the "Best and Brightest" who surrounded President Kennedy, he was hardly a profile in courage on the subject of the assassination.

When David Talbot was researching his book Brothers, Sorensen told him that the events in Dallas were still too difficult for him to discuss. Could anything be more absurd? An employee who is still unable to talk about his boss's murder, which happened some four decades ago? If JFK was as dear to him as his writings invariably maintain, then he ought to have been somewhat concerned about the circumstances of his death. Didn't all those years of public controversy and mystery, the best selling books, radio shows and HSCA hearings, intrigue this stalwart soldier of Camelot just a little bit?

Sorensen's attitude towards "conspiracy theories" was establishment 101: he proclaimed himself an "agnostic" on the subject, but said he'd "never seen any evidence" to indicate the Warren Commission's findings were in error.

It's too bad that his political convictions never lived up to those beautiful, stirring words.

I would have agreed, Don, should Sorenson have died five years ago. But in his autobiography, published 2008, he included one of the most heartfelt and honest discussions of the assassination ever written, one I have no doubt historians will study for decades to come. He wrote, basically, that while the subject caused him too much pain to think about in detail, he had come to believe that it was quite likely Oswald did not act alone, and that there was more involved in the assassination than a simple wacko trying to make a name for himself.

In doing so, he became the person closest to Kennedy to ever admit suspecting Kennedy had been killed by a conspiracy.

I believe Richard Goodwin said as much back in the sixties (I'm not sure what he thinks now) and know Schlesinger also had a fling with conspiracy thinking, but Sorenson was more direct in his discussion, and came down firmly on the "I suspect a conspiracy" side.

Considering the circles in which he ran, this took some courage, IMO.

From Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, (Harper 2008):

“I have personally reached the point where, incredible as all the conflicting conspiracy theories are, it is equally hard to believe

that none of JFK’s enemies was behind his death and his brother’s less than five years later. I remain torn on the question.”

Too little, too late by Sorenson

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Ted Sorensen was perhaps the greatest writer of political rhetoric in modern times. However, like almost all the "Best and Brightest" who surrounded President Kennedy, he was hardly a profile in courage on the subject of the assassination.

When David Talbot was researching his book Brothers, Sorensen told him that the events in Dallas were still too difficult for him to discuss. Could anything be more absurd? An employee who is still unable to talk about his boss's murder, which happened some four decades ago? If JFK was as dear to him as his writings invariably maintain, then he ought to have been somewhat concerned about the circumstances of his death. Didn't all those years of public controversy and mystery, the best selling books, radio shows and HSCA hearings, intrigue this stalwart soldier of Camelot just a little bit?

Sorensen's attitude towards "conspiracy theories" was establishment 101: he proclaimed himself an "agnostic" on the subject, but said he'd "never seen any evidence" to indicate the Warren Commission's findings were in error.

It's too bad that his political convictions never lived up to those beautiful, stirring words.

I would have agreed, Don, should Sorenson have died five years ago. But in his autobiography, published 2008, he included one of the most heartfelt and honest discussions of the assassination ever written, one I have no doubt historians will study for decades to come. He wrote, basically, that while the subject caused him too much pain to think about in detail, he had come to believe that it was quite likely Oswald did not act alone, and that there was more involved in the assassination than a simple wacko trying to make a name for himself.

In doing so, he became the person closest to Kennedy to ever admit suspecting Kennedy had been killed by a conspiracy.

I believe Richard Goodwin said as much back in the sixties (I'm not sure what he thinks now) and know Schlesinger also had a fling with conspiracy thinking, but Sorenson was more direct in his discussion, and came down firmly on the "I suspect a conspiracy" side.

Considering the circles in which he ran, this took some courage, IMO.

From Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History, (Harper 2008):

"I have personally reached the point where, incredible as all the conflicting conspiracy theories are, it is equally hard to believe

that none of JFK's enemies was behind his death and his brother's less than five years later. I remain torn on the question."

Too little, too late by Sorenson

"Sometimes, I still dream about him" - Sorenson, 2006

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Well put indeed. Ted lived an honourable life which very much concerned the safety of many people.

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When David Talbot was researching his book Brothers, Sorensen told him that the events in Dallas were still too difficult for him to discuss. Could anything be more absurd?

Unless one knows exactly what the "difficulties" he was alluding to in "too dificult to discuss", I can't judge whether the comment is "absurd" or "frightening".

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By HILLEL ITALIE

AP National Writer

NEW YORK — Of the courtiers to Camelot's king, Theodore C. Sorensen ranked just below Bobby Kennedy. He was the adoring, tireless speechwriter and confidant to President John F. Kennedy, whose term was marked by Cold War struggles, growing civil rights strife and the beginnings of the U.S. intervention in Vietnam.

Soaring rhetoric helped make Kennedy's presidency a symbol of hope and liberal governance, and the crowning achievement for Sorensen, who died Sunday, was the inaugural address that was the greatest collaboration between the two and set the standard for modern oratory.

With its call for self-sacrifice and civic engagement - "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" - and its promise to spare no cost in defending the country's interests worldwide, the address is an uplifting but haunting reminder of national purpose and confidence, before Vietnam, assassinations, Watergate, terrorist attacks and economic shock.

But to the end, Sorensen was a believer.

He was 82 when he died at noon at Manhattan's New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center from complications of a stroke, his widow, Gillian Sorensen, said.

Sorensen had been in poor health in recent years and a stroke in 2001 left him with such poor eyesight that he was unable to write his memoir, "Counselor," published in 2008. Instead, he had to dictate it to an assistant.

President Barack Obama issued a statement saying he was saddened to learn of Sorensen's death.

"His legacy will live on in the words he wrote, the causes he advanced, and the hearts of anyone who is inspired by the promise of a new frontier," Obama said.

Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, called Sorensen a "wonderful friend and counselor" for her father and all of her family.

"His partnership with President Kennedy helped bring justice to our country and peace to our world. I am grateful for his guidance, his generosity of spirit and the special time he took to teach my children about their grandfather," she said in a statement.

Hours after his death, Gillian Sorensen told The Associated Press that although a first stroke nine years ago robbed him of much of his sight, "he managed to get back up and going."

She said he continued to give speeches and traveled, and just two weeks ago, he collaborated on the lyrics to music to be performed in January at the Kennedy Center in Washington - a symphony commemorating a half-century since Kennedy took office.

"I can really say he lived to be 82 and he lived to the fullest and to the last - with vigor and pleasure and engagement," said Gillian Sorensen, who was at his side to the last. "His mind, his memory, his speech were unaffected."

Her husband was hospitalized Oct. 22 after a second stroke that was "devastating," she said.

Some of Kennedy's most memorable speeches, from his inaugural address to his vow to place a man on the moon, resulted from such close collaborations with Sorensen that scholars debated who wrote what. He had long been suspected as the real writer of the future president's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Profiles in Courage," an allegation Sorensen and the Kennedys emphatically - and litigiously - denied.

They were an odd but utterly compatible duo, the glamorous, wealthy politician from Massachusetts and the shy wordsmith from Nebraska, described by Time magazine in 1960 as "a sober, deadly earnest, self-effacing man with a blue steel brain." But as Sorensen would write in "Counselor," the difference in their lifestyles was offset by the closeness of their minds: Each had a wry sense of humor, a dislike of hypocrisy, a love of books and a high-minded regard for public life.

Kennedy called him "my intellectual blood bank" and the press frequently referred to Sorensen as Kennedy's "ghostwriter," especially after the release of "Profiles in Courage." Presidential secretary Evelyn Lincoln saw it another way: "Ted was really more shadow than ghost, in the sense that he was never really very far from Kennedy."

Sorensen's brain of steel was never needed more than in October 1962, with the U.S. and the Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear annihilation over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Kennedy directed Sorensen and Bobby Kennedy, the administration's attorney general, to draft a letter to Nikita Khrushchev, who had sent conflicting messages, first conciliatory, then confrontational.

The carefully worded response - which ignored the Soviet leader's harsher statements and included a U.S. concession involving U.S. weaponry in Turkey - was credited with persuading the Soviets to withdraw their missiles from Cuba and with averting war between the superpowers.

Sorensen considered his role his greatest achievement.

"That's what I'm proudest of," he once told the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. "Never had this country, this world, faced such great danger. You and I wouldn't be sitting here today if that had gone badly."

Robert Dallek, a historian and the author of "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963," agreed that Sorensen played a central role in that crisis and throughout the administration.

"He was one of the principal architects of the Kennedy presidency - in fact, the entire Kennedy career," he said Sunday.

Of the many speeches Sorensen helped compose, Kennedy's inaugural address shone brightest. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations includes four citations from the speech - one-seventh of the entire address, which built to an unforgettable exhortation: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

Much of the roughly 14-minute speech - the fourth-shortest inaugural address ever, but in the view of many experts rivaled only by Lincoln's - was marked by similar sparkling phrase-making:

- "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

- "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."

- "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate."

As with "Profiles in Courage," Sorensen never claimed primary authorship of the address. Rather, he described speechwriting within Kennedy's White House as highly collaborative - with JFK a constant kibitzer.

In April 1961, weeks into the Kennedy presidency, the Soviet Union launched the first man into orbit. Less than a month later, Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. The idea of a moon landing "caught my attention, and I knew it would catch Kennedy's," Sorensen recalled. "This is the man who talked about new frontiers. That's what I took to him."

Shortly after Shepard's landmark flight, Kennedy said: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." U.S. astronauts met that deadline in July 1969.

Kennedy reinforced the Eisenhower administration's commitment of sending advisers to South Vietnam, but Sorensen maintained that the president, had he not been assassinated, would eventually have withdrawn American troops. Sorensen also believed that the president would have passed the civil rights legislation that successor Lyndon Johnson pushed through.

On the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, Sorensen was leaving his home in Arlington, Va., where he had stopped briefly after lunching with a newspaper editor, when he was summoned to the White House.

There, his secretary told him that the president had been shot in Dallas.

"Sometimes," Sorensen told an interviewer in 2006, "I still dream about him."

Sorensen's youthful worship never faded, even as he acknowledged Kennedy's extramarital affairs. "It was wrong, and he knew it was wrong, which is why he went to great lengths to keep it hidden," Sorensen wrote in his memoir. "In every other aspect of his life, he was honest and truthful, especially in his job. His mistakes do not make his accomplishments less admirable; but they were still mistakes."

Sorensen would witness a brief revival of Camelot with the presidential election of Obama, whom Sorensen endorsed "because he is more like John F. Kennedy than any other candidate of our time. He has judgment as he demonstrated in his early opposition to the war in Iraq."

A year after Obama's election, Sorensen said he was disappointed with the president's speeches, saying that Obama was "clearly well informed on all matters of public policy, sometimes, frankly, a little too well informed. And as a result, some of the speeches are too complicated for typical citizens and very clear to university faculties and big newspaper editorial boards."

Theodore Chaikin Sorensen was born in Lincoln, Neb., on May 8, 1928. His father, C.A. Sorensen, was a lawyer and a progressive politician who served as Nebraska's attorney general.

His son described the elder Sorensen as "my first hero." Growing up, Sorensen once joked, "I wasn't involved in politics at all - until about the age of 4."

He graduated from Lincoln High, the University of Nebraska and the university's law school. At age 24, he explored job prospects in Washington, D.C., and found himself weighing offers from two newly elected senators, Kennedy of Massachusetts and fellow Democrat Henry Jackson, from Washington state.

As Sorensen recalled, Jackson wanted a PR man. Kennedy, considered the less promising politician, wanted Sorensen to poll economists and develop a plan to jump-start New England's economy.

"Two roads diverged in the Old Senate Office Building and I took the one less recommended, and that has made all the difference," Sorensen wrote in his memoir. "The truth is more prosaic: I wanted a good job."

At the 1956 Democratic National Convention, the charismatic Kennedy attracted wide attention as a candidate for vice president. He eventually withdrew, but his exposure at the convention led to a flurry of invitations to speak around the country.

During the next four years - the de facto beginning of Kennedy's presidential run - he and Sorensen traveled together to every state, with Sorensen juggling various jobs: scheduler, speechwriter, press rep.

"There was nothing like that three-four year period where, just the two of us, we were traveling across the United States," Sorensen told The Associated Press in 2008. "That's when I got to know the man."

After Kennedy's thousand days in the White House, Sorensen worked as an international lawyer, counting Anwar Sadat among his clients. He stayed involved in politics, joining Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968 and running unsuccessfully for the New York Senate four years later. In 1976, President Carter nominated Sorensen for the job of CIA director, but conservative critics quickly killed the nomination, citing - among other alleged flaws - his youthful decision to identify himself as a conscientious objector.

Besides "Counselor," his books included "Decision Making in the White House" (1963), "Kennedy" (1965) and "The Kennedy Legacy" (1969). In 2000, Hollywood turned the Cuban missile crisis into a movie called "Thirteen Days." Actor Tim Kelleher played Sorensen.

His role, according to Sorensen? To "think and worry. ... often bent over."

Gillian Sorensen said a public memorial service would be held for her husband in about a month, but the exact date has yet to be set. She said there would be no formal funeral. Survivors also include a daughter, Juliet Sorensen Jones, of Chicago; three sons from his first marriage, Eric Sorensen, Stephen Sorensen and Philip Sorensen, all of Wisconsin; and seven grandchildren.

Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik, Mike Stewart and Cristian Salazar contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/10/31/2591308/theodore-sorensen-top-jfk-aide.html#ixzz144vde7Yb

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Ted Sorensen was perhaps the greatest writer of political rhetoric in modern times. However, like almost all the "Best and Brightest" who surrounded President Kennedy, he was hardly a profile in courage on the subject of the assassination.

When David Talbot was researching his book Brothers, Sorensen told him that the events in Dallas were still too difficult for him to discuss. Could anything be more absurd? An employee who is still unable to talk about his boss's murder, which happened some four decades ago? If JFK was as dear to him as his writings invariably maintain, then he ought to have been somewhat concerned about the circumstances of his death. Didn't all those years of public controversy and mystery, the best selling books, radio shows and HSCA hearings, intrigue this stalwart soldier of Camelot just a little bit?

Sorensen's attitude towards "conspiracy theories" was establishment 101: he proclaimed himself an "agnostic" on the subject, but said he'd "never seen any evidence" to indicate the Warren Commission's findings were in error.

It's too bad that his political convictions never lived up to those beautiful, stirring words.

This is what he said about the assassination in his book, Kennedy (1965):

He (Kennedy) would not have condemned the Dallas police, the FBI and the Secret Service. Certainly there were limitations on their ability to guard an active, strong-willed President in a free society, and certainly to this President his agents were deeply devoted. Yet we can never be certain what prevented a more alert coordination of all the known facts on the Kennedy route and the potential Kennedy assassin.

He would not, finally, have doubted the conclusions of guilt pronounced by the Warren Commission. Certainly the members and staff of that Commission deserve the highest praise for their painstaking investigation and report. Yet, in the Commission's own words, "because of the difficulty of proving negatives to a certainty, the possibility of others being involved ... cannot be established categorically"; and thus we can never be absolutely certain whether some other hand might not have coached, coaxed or coerced the hand of President Kennedy's killer.

Personally I accept the conclusion that no plot or political motive was involved, despite the fact that this makes the deed all the more difficult to accept. For a man as controversial yet beloved as John Kennedy to be killed for no real reason or cause denies us even the slight satisfaction of drawing some meaning or moral from his death. We can say only that he died as he would have wanted to die-at the center of action, being applauded by his friends and assaulted by his foes, carrying his message of reason and progress to the enemy and fulfilling his duty as party leader.

He regarded Dallas' reputation for extremism as a good reason to include it on his schedule, not a good reason to avoid it. For, with all his deep commitments, Kennedy was fanatical on only one subject: his opposition to fanatics, foreign as well as domestic, Negro as well as white, on the Left as well as the Right. He was against violence in foreign relations and in human relations. He asked his countrymen to live peacefully with each other and with the world. Mental illness and crime, racial and religious hatred, economic discontent and class warfare, ignorance and fear of this world's complex burdens, malice and madness in the individual and society-these are the causes contributing to the atmosphere of violence in which a President may be assassinated-and these are the very evils which John Kennedy strove most often to root out.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKsorenson.htm

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