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Shame on the Kennedys

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/shame-on-the-kennedys/70050/

by John Tierney

Atlantic Monthly Magazine

January 24,2011

In yesterday's Boston Sunday Globe, Bryan Bender reported on the Kennedy family's tight-fisted and iron-willed efforts to keep the official papers of Robert F. Kennedy secret. Those papers, spanning Kennedy's public career, are housed under close guard at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. The papers of greatest interest to historians and researchers are those from Kennedy's years of service as Attorney General in the Administration of his brother, John F. Kennedy. In particular, historians say the records presumably contain valuable archival resources -- perhaps diaries, notes, messages and memos, phone logs and recordings, and other documents -- that would reveal details, and answer questions, about Robert Kennedy's role in the early 1960s as the coordinator of Operation Mongoose, a covert effort to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro or to destabilize his regime.

But so far, nobody has been able to see this trove of documentary resources about the foreign-policy intrigues and governmental activities of a half-century ago. Why not? Because Robert Kennedy's family controls access to them. The person in control is Max Kennedy, Robert and Ethel Kennedy's ninth son, and he won't let anyone see them. His explanation, in a written response to questions from Bender of the Globe, is classic stonewalling -- some blather about scholars with "poorly conceived projects" who fail to follow "correct procedures" to seek permission to consult the papers. (What? They didn't genuflect as they approached Max's office?) Nice legal-speak from Mr. Kennedy. It's also hogwash. This is the sort of nonsense that now flows from a family that once was considered, at least in some circles, synonymous with the highest aspirational values of American politics and government -- principles such as a respect for transparency, openness, and the free flow of information.

Why is this important? For historians and others who care about the Cold War and events of that period, the stakes are high. Bender reports that some historians believe the documents may contain evidence that Robert Kennedy's ruthless anticommunism led him to break laws and engage in other abuses of power. Bender quotes Lamar Waldron, author of two books about the Kennedys and Cuba, as saying, "The main acts of the Kennedy presidency involved Cuba and we still don't have the most important records." Noting speculation about the peculiarity of John Kennedy's having "handed his attorney general the anti-Cuba portfolio in the first place," Bender quotes Philip Brenner, a professor at American University, who has written extensively about US-Cuba relations: "It is very unusual for an attorney general to be in charge of an international covert operation. ...[Perhaps] It involved the violation of so many domestic laws you needed the top law enforcement officer to oversee it."

Maybe the documents show wrongdoing; maybe they don't. The point is we should know. Let's find out.

For the Kennedy family, the stakes are also high. Maybe the documents show that in addition to being the good guy of mythology (the supporter of civil rights and social programs, and, later, ardent opponent of the Vietnam War), Robert Kennedy was also a thuggish lawbreaker. Okay. So be it. The Kennedy family will not be able to forestall truthful revelations forever. And by slavishly trying to protect and perpetuate the myth, the family runs the risk of fueling an opposite view -- that the mythology is bunk, or, at least, only partially true. Yet, the Kennedys continue to stand athwart the door to this secret depository of public records.

The papers of other Attorneys General are publicly available. And Bender reports that "the JFK Library itself would like to make the documents available, but that "current law stipulates that it must first get a signed deed from RFK's heirs before the documents can be made widely available."

I don't know anything about the law governing this matter, and I don't have time right now to delve further into it. But there is something deeply wrong about a policy that lets one person, Max Kennedy, decide whether the public will have access to this important information after the passage of five decades. There are at least two problems here, it seems to me: (1) a public official's family should not have control over public documents; and (2) allowing one person to decide such matters is deeply flawed as a matter of process and policy. A bedrock principle of American government is the idea of countervailing power or "checks and balances." In this context, this should mean that, at the very least, there are several people, from different political and institutional contexts and perspectives, who have final authority over the dissemination of this information. Letting Max Kennedy -- any Kennedy family member -- decide this alone is unconscionable.

If, as noted above, some "current law stipulates" the details of this whole matter, then let's revisit that law. I am not someone who is generally happy that Republicans now have control over the House of Representatives, but I would be happy to see them use their power to try to change whatever law now governs this. I suspect such a change would make it through the House. And wouldn't John Boehner and Mitch McConnell enjoy putting Senate Democrats in the uncomfortable position of having to defend the continued protection of these dark secrets from long ago? It would sure be fun trying. In any case, the Kennedy family's desire to protect the myth should not be determinant here.

I know I sound like some anti-Kennedy zealot. I am not. In fact, I've long been an admirer of John and Robert Kennedy. Here, perhaps, is why Bender's report on the Kennedy family's position on this issue strikes me as so particularly galling right now. We are just coming off one of our periodic paroxysms of hagiographic hype about the Kennedy family. (I may have more to say about this in a future post.) Some of what we've seen in recent weeks is perfectly legitimate -- observance of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inauguration as president and the passing of Kennedy in-law Sargent Shriver. But in the past month we've also been treated to widespread news reports about the death of Teddy Kennedy's 13-year-old dog, Splash; weepy commentary about how this month marks the first time in sixty years that there hasn't been a Kennedy in Congress; and Camelot-coated ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's swearing-in as Attorney General. (Really? The 50th anniverary of a cabinet officer's swearing-in? Please.) This sort of thing is orchestrated by the Kennedy family and their legion of acolytes and media flacks.

Here's what seems increasingly wrong about all this. The Kennedys don't deserve this attention and adulation if they're not willing to be open with the truth, if they remain intent on having the public see only the attractive side of Robert Kennedy's legacy. They don't deserve the unstinting praise and the undying devotion if they're not willing to come clean. If they were to do so, they might deserve the attention that comes their way now by constant management and manipulation of the family image. Enough.

Shame on the Kennedys. Their position on Robert Kennedy's records is inexcusable and indefensible. The documents should be made public, even at the risk of bringing more shame on the Kennedys.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/shame-on-the-kennedys/70050/

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Guest Robert Morrow

I agree 100%. Of course, this is how all Presidential libraries and families behave. They care more about protecting their family "image" and "legacy" of the politician than with getting out the TRUTH, which sometimes is ugly or embarassing.

It seems to me that the Kennedys - Caroline and Maria Shriver in particular - are more interested in covering up their family ancestors' dysfunctional sex lives rather than getting out the TRUTH on the JFK assassination.

I am really disappointed in and disgusted with the Kennedy family's silence in general on both the JFK and RFK assassinations even 47 years after the death of JFK and 42 after Robert.

These assassinations were more than a family tragedy; they were a national tragedy and a blow at our republican form of government. Additionally, the murderers got away scot free and there is no statute of limitations on murder.

Google "LBJ-CIA Assassination of JFK" for my take on the JFK assassination.

Robert Morrow's advice to the Kennedy family in general: why don't you grow a pair of balls and quit being so cowardly? And that means start speaking out about the elite conspiracies that murdered both John and Robert Kennedy.

Your silence is really pathetic.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Guest Tom Scully

The work of destroying the reputations of JFK and RFK gained momentum after they were murdered and there was nothing remaining to kill, except their reputations and thus, their places in history.

I can see a son who is custodian of the records, especially if he harbors suspicions that the murders of both his uncle and his father were not entirely solved and closed cases, may not be eager to release the formerly personal and confidential records of his father, especially since his father did not live long enough to have much of a memorable relationship with him. The records may have become his closest tie to his father, and by keeping the records from the public, he thinks he is protecting what remains of his father.

The obsession of the sex lives of the Kennedys, and of Bill Clinton, seems to be rooted in moral and religious points of view, and not in a political or historical sense. If it was about the politics and the actual decisions made by these politicians, there would be related specifics posted, I would expect, but I am not seeing them show up in morals oriented posts.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Unfortunately, I must agree with the theme of this article. The Kennedy family has done so much manipulating and controlling of history it is difficult to have any remaining sympathy for them.

I am still recovering from my visit to the JFK Library last summer. I was immersed in the full ambience of the ongoing Camelot mentality. On the lower floor of the museum you hear JFK's voice from every nook and cranny of the floor, and it is almost impossible not to wonder if somehow he managed to cheat death. Oh there is one small wall with tiny tv screens showing footage announcing the shooting, but that is about all.

The Kennedys need a reality fix. If they want power and glory, they need to be courageous and forthcoming as well. When compared to the famly of MKL, who searched high and low for answers about his death, this family comes off as a bunch of quislings, cute though they may be.

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Wait a minute.

I think all of the RFK records should be released, immediately, and the fate of the missing records, including RFK's entire date book for 1963 determined, and those who stole them or destroyed them should be identified and prosecuted.

As for these guys who mimic Gus Russo and Lamar Waldron and harp on the continued concealment of RFK's records, which account for about 2 percent of all the JFK assassination records that remain sealed, why don't they harp on the CIA, who also are fighting Jeff Morley and others to keep their records related to the assassination secret?

Why not fight for the release of all the records, and not just those that the Kennedy family control?

Sunshine Week will be held in Mid-March this year, and like last year, and the year before COPA will be attempting to convince Congress, specifically the Congressional Oversight Committee, to do their job and conduct open public hearings on the JFK Act and why the records that the law ordered to be released are still being wrongfully withheld, and records have been deliberatly destroyed, and the work of the Assassination Records Review Board never reviewed, and the JFK Act never given the proper oversight that it deserves.

It's not just the Kennedy family and the RFK records that are missing and wrongfully withheld, its many records and evidence in the assassination that should have fallen under the auspicies of the JFK Act that must be released.

Most of the still withheld records are scheduled to be released in 2017, but there is a small and growing movement to make this a national issue and get Congress and the President to order their release by 2013, and if enough people get behind it, the movement could be successful, but it can't just be over RFK's famiily controlled records, it must include all the known records releated the assassination.

If that alone can be achieved by 2013 then that would be a great victory for truth and maybe even justice.

BK

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Guest Robert Morrow

Nice post by Jim.

Having said that, Jack Worthington does know who his daddy is: John F. Kennedy!

1)http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/04/jack200804

2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Worthington

Jack Worthington was born 11/22/61; so that means that JFK impregnated his mom (Mary Evelyn Bibb) perhaps in February, 1961, when she was about 20 years old.

Worthington is the SPITTING IMAGE of John Kennedy.

"According to family and friends, Mary Evelyn Bibb, a regular beauty contestant as a young woman, had modeled for the Johnson family at several of the social functions at the LBJ Ranch. She also resembled Jackie Kennedy. Mary Evelyn Bibb owned a framed personal note given to her by Lyndon Johnson which states, "I had a nice talk with your daddy. Your friend, Lyndon." This document is now in the possession of Jack Worthington, along with other White House documents sent by Lyndon Johnson to her father, William Bibb. The Bibb family had a multi-decade involvement in business and politics in Maverick County, Texas, on the Texas-Mexico border, including liquor distribution and sale of farm machinery. The Frontier State Bank in Eagle Pass, Texas was owned by the Bibbs with Carlos Marcello through his banking associate Herman Beebe. Mary Evelyn Bibb's father, William Bibb, was a personal friend and business partner with former Mexican President Miguel Aleman Valdez. Aleman was also a personal friend of John Kennedy and Joseph Kennedy Sr, having hosted John and Jackie on their Acapulco honeymoon, and later visiting JFK at the White House. Miguel Aleman Valdez also partnered with Meyer Lansky in the liquor distribution business in Mexico. Meyer Lansky and Joseph Kennedy, both power players in the North American liquor distribution business, eventually became known enemies."

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Guest Robert Morrow

How many of these do I have to post about this hoax:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4366931&page=1

Spitting image? Are you serious?

'Bout as many times as I have to post this:

[Note: Kennedys have feet of clay just like everyone else. John Kennedy was a sex addict. For him to have a child out of wedlock almost would be expected. Lyndon Johnson had at least 2: Stephen Mark Brown and Courtenay Valenti. I have been on the phone with one of George Smathers' love child.]

Jack's elderly mother denies his story. I think she is lying. Here is my response:

I just got off the phone with DOUG CADDY, who was the lawyer for Jack Worthington. You ought to give him a PM on this issue over at Education Forum (he is a member).

In my opinion that odds are 99% that Jack Worthington IS the son of John Kennedy. Do you believe everything you read in the paper? That "denial" is really just an embarassed mother denying it in her old age.

Worthington's mother is old Southern lady and does not want to deal with the embarassment of 1) having an affair with John Kennedy and 2) being the MOTHER of another one of his sons.

So that "family denial" does not mean squat. Worthington's mother was approached by Vanity Fair before the article ran to comment. She refused to speak to the reporter when she could have easily issued a denial then. It was only AFTER the Vanity Fair article on Worthington ran, that she issued this statement in an attempt to salvage her reputation.

The embarrassed mother's disinfo: http://www.canada.co...a3f566f&k=78369

Worthington is the SPITTING IMAGE of John Kennedy and he was TOLD by his now embarassed and now publicly lying mother that he was JFK's son back in the 1980's. (Reminds me of Jackie and Robert Kennedy pretending to support the Warren Commission farce for public consumption.)

Edited by Robert Morrow
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What does Worthington and the Kennedy's sex life have to to with the Kennedy family records and the JFK Presidential Records (Which belong to the American people and not the Kennedy family)?

You already have a couple threads going about JFK's sex life, why can't this thread discuss the topic of the original article - RFK's records and JFK's records as President, and the idea that they are

being held secret because of Bobby's role in Mongoose and the plots to kill Castro?

BK

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This is such baloney.

I mean we heard the same thing from Sy Hersh, when he couldn't come up with anything to implicate JFK in the CIA Castro plots. In fact, the unredacted CIA IG report says the opposite, that the plots were deliberately kept from the Kennedys and when they told them they were then halted, they then resumed them again behind their backs. So what did CIA asset Sy do? He ignored the IG report and went to Helms' dirty work guy Sam Halpern who made up something from a dead man. Which was then exposed by David Talbot.

So now, we're down to RFK right?

RFK did not coordinate MONGOOSE, as everyone who has studied those records knows, Lansdale did. What RFK tried to do was rein in some of Lansdale's more nutty schemes. Which really infuriated people like Harvey.

In fact, when Jack Anderson broke that lying story back in 1967 about RFK being in on the Castro plots, RFK told a colleague that it was BS, he actually saved Castro. Further, when he learned of them by accident from Hoover, he called in Helms to his office. He then read him the riot act about it.

Helms' appearance before the Church Committee on this was classic Dirty DIck. When he was confronted with RFK's calendar on the day he was called in, it said "Richard Helms 11:15". He was then asked what the meeting was about. Helms claimed amnesia, he didn't remember. But John Siegenthaler was there and he did recall it. He said RFK was livid about the whole thing.

What I really wish they would find in RFK's stuff is the Bruce-Lovett report, which RFK used to get Allen Dulles fired as DIrector after the Bay of Pigs. RFK got this from Robert Lovett when he was appointed to the Taylor Committee to investigate the Bay of Pigs disaster. Lovett and David Bruce had wanted Dulles fired back in the fifties. But with his brother at State and Ike in the WH it was not going to happen. They both thought that Dulles had completely gone overboard on what the CIA was now doing.Truman felt the same way of course. RFK's father had seen this devastating report made for Ike, since he was also on the FIAB back then. He told Lovett to give it to RFK while he was on the Taylor Committee. He did and RFK decided that this was now it for Dulles. He showed it to JFK and JFK called in Lovett. This was the likely last nail in the coffin, and Dulles was now gone.

But that was not enough for RFK. He was now so anti-Dulles' version of the CIA, that he called in Dean Rusk and asked if there was any other Dulles family member still in the administration. Rusk said that Allen's sister Eleanor worked in the State Department. RFK demanded she be fired also since he wanted no more of the Dulles family around anywhere.

Geez, Doug didn't you know any of this? Too busy with Billy Sol Estes and that guy who doesn't know who his Dad is, Worthington? Reading good books doesn' t hurt you know.

I wish forum members will read the last line of Mr. Jim DiEugenio’s posting above wherein he writes, “Geez, Doug didn’t you know any of this…..”

All I did was post an article from Atlantic Monthly titled, “Shame on the Kennedys.” I did not comment on the article but Mr. DiEugenio appears to think that I wrote the article. He then goes on the attack mode citing totally unrelated topics and snidely ends up with the line, “reading good books doesn’t hurt you know.”

I am not acquainted with Mr. DiEugenio but have read with interest his past postings in the forum, which I have usually found to be worthwhile and valuable contributions. Thus, I am puzzled by his personal attack on me for merely posting an article from the Atlantic Monthly that I thought might be of interest to forum members.

I readily admit there are a lot of good books that I would like to read. However, right now my time is consumed with work connected my own new book, “Watergate Exposed: How the President of the United States and the Watergate Burglars Were Set-Up.” On Monday I signed off on the final galley proofs and the book is being printed at this moment by TrineDay. This will be my sixth published book, my first being “The Hundred Million Dollar Payoff,” which was widely reviewed and earned me an interview on the Today Show. Three of my books were published by the Texas A&M University Press. I have also had articles published in Barron’s Financial Weekly, National Review and The Wall Street Journal. My bio appears in Who'sWho in America and Who'sWho in the World.

I hadn’t meant to blow my own horn but Mr. DiEugenio’s unpleasant and unprovoked attack merited a response should some forum members get the impression from Mr. DiEugenio comments that I just fell off the turnip truck.

I hope that Mr. DiEugenio will revert to good form and again make postings that bring new light to the circumstances surrounding the JFK assassination as he has done in the past.

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This is such baloney.

I mean we heard the same thing from Sy Hersh, when he couldn't come up with anything to implicate JFK in the CIA Castro plots. In fact, the unredacted CIA IG report says the opposite, that the plots were deliberately kept from the Kennedys and when they told them they were then halted, they then resumed them again behind their backs. So what did CIA asset Sy do? He ignored the IG report and went to Helms' dirty work guy Sam Halpern who made up something from a dead man. Which was then exposed by David Talbot.

So now, we're down to RFK right?

RFK did not coordinate MONGOOSE, as everyone who has studied those records knows, Lansdale did. What RFK tried to do was rein in some of Lansdale's more nutty schemes. Which really infuriated people like Harvey.

In fact, when Jack Anderson broke that lying story back in 1967 about RFK being in on the Castro plots, RFK told a colleague that it was BS, he actually saved Castro. Further, when he learned of them by accident from Hoover, he called in Helms to his office. He then read him the riot act about it.

Helms' appearance before the Church Committee on this was classic Dirty DIck. When he was confronted with RFK's calendar on the day he was called in, it said "Richard Helms 11:15". He was then asked what the meeting was about. Helms claimed amnesia, he didn't remember. But John Siegenthaler was there and he did recall it. He said RFK was livid about the whole thing.

What I really wish they would find in RFK's stuff is the Bruce-Lovett report, which RFK used to get Allen Dulles fired as DIrector after the Bay of Pigs. RFK got this from Robert Lovett when he was appointed to the Taylor Committee to investigate the Bay of Pigs disaster. Lovett and David Bruce had wanted Dulles fired back in the fifties. But with his brother at State and Ike in the WH it was not going to happen. They both thought that Dulles had completely gone overboard on what the CIA was now doing.Truman felt the same way of course. RFK's father had seen this devastating report made for Ike, since he was also on the FIAB back then. He told Lovett to give it to RFK while he was on the Taylor Committee. He did and RFK decided that this was now it for Dulles. He showed it to JFK and JFK called in Lovett. This was the likely last nail in the coffin, and Dulles was now gone.

But that was not enough for RFK. He was now so anti-Dulles' version of the CIA, that he called in Dean Rusk and asked if there was any other Dulles family member still in the administration. Rusk said that Allen's sister Eleanor worked in the State Department. RFK demanded she be fired also since he wanted no more of the Dulles family around anywhere.

Geez, Doug didn't you know any of this? Too busy with Billy Sol Estes and that guy who doesn't know who his Dad is, Worthington? Reading good books doesn' t hurt you know.

I wish forum members will read the last line of Mr. Jim DiEugenio’s posting above wherein he writes, “Geez, Doug didn’t you know any of this…..”

All I did was post an article from Atlantic Monthly titled, “Shame on the Kennedys.” I did not comment on the article but Mr. DiEugenio appears to think that I wrote the article. He then goes on the attack mode citing totally unrelated topics and snidely ends up with the line, “reading good books doesn’t hurt you know.”

I am not acquainted with Mr. DiEugenio but have read with interest his past postings in the forum, which I have usually found to be worthwhile and valuable contributions. Thus, I am puzzled by his personal attack on me for merely posting an article from the Atlantic Monthly that I thought might be of interest to forum members.

I readily admit there are a lot of good books that I would like to read. However, right now my time is consumed with work connected my own new book, “Watergate Exposed: How the President of the United States and the Watergate Burglars Were Set-Up.” On Monday I signed off on the final galley proofs and the book is being printed at this moment by TrineDay. This will be my sixth published book, my first being “The Hundred Million Dollar Payoff,” which was widely reviewed and earned me an interview on the Today Show. Three of my books were published by the Texas A&M University Press. I have also had articles published in Barron’s Financial Weekly, National Review and The Wall Street Journal. My bio appears in Who'sWho in America and Who'sWho in the World.

I hadn’t meant to blow my own horn but Mr. DiEugenio’s unpleasant and unprovoked attack merited a response should some forum members get the impression from Mr. DiEugenio comments that I just fell off the turnip truck.

I hope that Mr. DiEugenio will revert to good form and again make postings that bring new light to the circumstances surrounding the JFK assassination as he has done in the past.

Doug, the way your post was formatted at the top led me to believe that you were echoing the author's sentiments:

"Shame on the Kennedys." I was surprised, because I thought it was unlike you to make such a comment. Upon re-reading

your post a few minutes ago, I see that it was the headline of the story, not your comment. The link at the top threw me off.

I'm glad to realize it was not your comment. Good luck with your book.

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What does Worthington and the Kennedy's sex life have to to with the Kennedy family records and the JFK Presidential Records (Which belong to the American people and not the Kennedy family)?

You already have a couple threads going about JFK's sex life, why can't this thread discuss the topic of the original article - RFK's records and JFK's records as President, and the idea that they are

being held secret because of Bobby's role in Mongoose and the plots to kill Castro?

BK

Thank you BK and Jim D, the voices of reason here. Morrow is not able to write a post that does not get into sex.

Great advice from both of you. I am sooo sick of the Kennedys being trashed. Atlantic Monthly? That bastion of

truth on these matters. Shame on the media. They sould do some real investigative work. But why bother, it's far easier to blame the victims.

Dawn

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John Tierney's article for the Atlantic Monthly Magazine was largely a commentary on Brian Bender's article that appeared the day before in the Boston Globe.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=16612&view=findpost&p=218253

I think Bender's article makes some good points. And I think his story was fairly reported.

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All this brings to mind the story of the blind Indian wisemen and an elephant...it is possible that some withheld records may cast RFK if not JFK in sort of tryst with anti-Castro Cubans. After all,devilish circumstances placed three future presidents in Dallas the morning of November 22- LBJ, Nixon and Bush sr. It is also seems that both the CIA and FBI were drawn into the frame in ways that gauranteed their continuing need to maintain the validity of the Warren Report conclusions. Even Ted Kennedy's last book reads to me that he ACCEPTED the Report- not that he believed it-awaiting new evidence and a more impartial judicial review. In the meantime, I greatly respect the hard work and courageous witness of both Douglas Caddy and Jim DiEugenio. Thanks

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This is such baloney.

I mean we heard the same thing from Sy Hersh, when he couldn't come up with anything to implicate JFK in the CIA Castro plots. In fact, the unredacted CIA IG report says the opposite, that the plots were deliberately kept from the Kennedys and when they told them they were then halted, they then resumed them again behind their backs. So what did CIA asset Sy do? He ignored the IG report and went to Helms' dirty work guy Sam Halpern who made up something from a dead man. Which was then exposed by David Talbot.

So now, we're down to RFK right?

RFK did not coordinate MONGOOSE, as everyone who has studied those records knows, Lansdale did. What RFK tried to do was rein in some of Lansdale's more nutty schemes. Which really infuriated people like Harvey.

[...]

Come on Jim you obviously have a blind spot for the Kennedy clan and seem to think they can do no wrong. It is really your position RFK was NOT in charge of Mongoose? Let’s see what others have said about the matter:

At a meeting of this committee at the White House on 4th November, 1961, it was decided to call this covert action program for sabotage and subversion against Cuba, Operation Mongoose. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy also decided that General Edward Lansdale (Staff Member of the President's Committee on Military Assistance) should be placed in charge of the operation.

[…]

Robert F. Kennedy now took the leading role in trying to overthrow Fidel Castro. At a meeting in November, 1961, Kennedy accused Bissell of "not doing anything about getting rid of Castro and the Castro regime." CIA agent Sam Halpern complained that "Bobby (Kennedy) wanted boom and bang all over the island... it was stupid... the pressure from the White House was very great." Bissell did what he could to arrange the assassination of Castro. This included asking William Harvey to take over the Mafia contracts from Sheffield Edwards.

[…]

In September, 1963, Cubela had a meeting with the CIA in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was suggested that Cubela should assassinate Fidel Castro. According to a CIA report Cubela asked for a meeting with Robert Kennedy: "for assurances of U.S. moral support for any activity Cubela under took in Cuba." This was not possible but FitzGerald, now Chief of the Cuban Task Force, agreed to meet Cubela. Ted Shackley was opposed to the idea as he was now convinced that Cubela was a double-agent.

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

…In November 1961 Operation Mongoose was created to coordinate these efforts. This was not a strictly CIA operation - General Edward Lansdale was tasked with coordinating activities between the CIA, Defense Department, and State Department. The Special Group Augmented (augmented by the President's brother Robert Kennedy and General Maxwell Taylor) oversaw the program at the White House, and Robert Kennedy played a very active role.

[…]

Home/JFK Assassination/Kennedy Presidency/Kennedy and Cuba/Operation Mongoose

Failure at the Bay of Pigs did not deter the Kennedy administration from seeking ways to topple Castro. In November 1961 Operation Mongoose was created to coordinate these efforts. This was not a strictly CIA operation - General Edward Lansdale was tasked with coordinating activities between the CIA, Defense Department, and State Department. The Special Group Augmented (augmented by the President's brother Robert Kennedy and General Maxwell Taylor) oversaw the program at the White House, and Robert Kennedy played a very active role.

Mongoose entailed a wide range of activities, including intelligence collection, sabotage operations, searching for leaders within Cuba who could overthrow Castro, and more. The Northwoods operation, which contemplated faked and real terrorist activities which could be blamed on Castro and used as an provocation for invasion, were developed in this period with Lansdale's involvement.

[…]

Whether plots to assassinate Castro were part of this operation, and whether Robert Kennedy or President Kennedy condoned them, has remained a point of controversy to this day. Lansdale himself said that Robert Kennedy was aware of assassination plotting. One memo from Lansdale to RFK in early 1962, uncovered by the Church Committee, says that "we might uncork the touchdown play independently of the institutional program we are spurring."

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Operation_Mongoose

The president's brother -- the new point-man on the Cuba problem -- needed no such prompting. "We will take action against Castro," Bobby wrote. "It might be tomorrow, it might be in five days or ten days, or not for months. But it will come."

Nothing to Lose

Like most covert operations, the plan to oust the Cuban dictator was a slippery thing. Who was paid to do what to whom is still not clear. But one thing is certain: Robert Kennedy was in charge. Convinced he had been betrayed by his military and intelligence advisors in the decision to launch the Bay of Pigs invasion, John Kennedy placed Cuba in the hands of the one man he knew he could trust. But what could be done? At a White House meeting in November, 1961, RFK scribbled the following in his notes:

My idea is to stir things up on the island with espionage, sabotage, general disorder, run and operated by Cubans themselves with every group but Batistaites and Communists. Do not know if we will be successful in overthrowing Castro but we have nothing to lose in my estimate.

[…]

… Robert Kennedy organized a secret project, code named "Mongoose." On January 19, 1962, in a pep talk to the team, Kennedy called deposing Castro "the top priority of the U.S. government -- all else is secondary -- no time, money, effort, or manpower is to be spared."

[…]

The man RFK chose to run the operation was legendary CIA operative Edward Lansdale, whose exploits fighting Communists in the Philippines in the 1950s made him a model for a character in Graham Greene's novel, The Quiet American. Playing on Kennedy's desperation and distaste for bureaucratic inertia, Landsdale hatched a series of operations which were to climax in a "Touchdown Play" by October 1962…

Plausibile Deniability

The CIA had been plotting to assassinate Castro since the summer of 1960, even before John Kennedy was elected. A congressional investigation of the CIA later uncovered eight separate plots of varying ridiculousness between 1960 and 1965. But did either John or Robert Kennedy actually order him killed? History will probably never know. The Kennedys knew the meaning of the term "plausible deniability" all too well, and had been taught the old Boston Irish political rule, "never write it down."

[…]

Who Knew?

It is unclear whether the Kennedys knew what was going on. There is evidence that John Kennedy opposed the assassination as policy. Bobby's biographer Evan Thomas concludes, "the Kennedys may have discussed the idea of assassination as a weapon of last resort. But they did not know the particulars of the Harvey-Rosselli operation -- or want to."

[…]

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rfk/peopleevents/e_mongoose.html

It seems like Lansdale was the "CEO" and RFK was a hands on chairman. As for whether or not RFK knew about the assassination plots or not is irrelevant because approved ops that would lead to people being killed how is that any better than killing Castro? I am undecided about whether he knew, can you post a link to the CIA IG report you say cleared him? A document released by the AARB indicated he knew. It was Gen. Lansdale’s "memorandum for the record" of a meeting at which “McGeorge Bundy, National Security Adviser; John McCone, Director of Central Intelligence; Gen. Maxwell Taylor, military adviser to the President; Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Roswell Gilpatric, [and] deputy secretary of the Defense Department; U. Alexis Johnson” were also present:

The Attorney General then mentioned Mary Hemingway [Ernest Hemingway's widow], commenting on reports that Castro was drinking heavily in disgruntlement over the way things were going, and the opportunities offered by the "shrine" to Hemingway. I commented that this was a conversation that Ed Murrow [the former news broadcaster then heading the US Information Agency] had had with Mary Hemingway, that we had similar reports from other sources, and that this was worth assessing firmly and pursuing vigorously. If there are grounds for action, CIA had some invaluable assets which might well be committed for such an effort. McCone asked if his operational people were aware of this; I told him that we had discussed this, that they agreed the subject was worth vigorous development, and that we were in agreement that the matter was so delicate and sensitive that it shouldn't be surfaced to the Special Group [an elite interagency group that reviewed covert actions] until we were ready to go, and then not in detail. I pointed out that this all pertained to fractioning the regime. If it happened, it could develop like a brush-fire, much as in Hungary, and we must be prepared to help it win our goal of Cuba freed of a Communist government.

http://www.thenation.com/article/old-man-and-cia-kennedy-plot-kill-castro

So Kennedy approved of an “effort” that would involve “operational people” and could “fraction the regime” and “develop like brush-fire” but “was so delicate and sensitive that it shouldn't be surfaced to the Special Group until [they] were ready to go”. What the hell else could he have been talking about?

Now if RFK doesn't have any "skeletons in his closet" why doesn't his son want to allow anyone to llok insise?

Edited by Len Colby
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Mongoose was no longer in operation in November 1963.

The CIA officer assigned to RFK was Charles Ford, whose report says that they never discussed assassination.

Harvey was gone, Lansdale was gone. Mongoose was dead, but the JMWAVE Cuban activities continued.

The shift now was towards the Contingency Plans for a Coup in Cuba, except the coup wasn't planned for Cuba but Dallas.

Cubella (AMLASH) wasn't JFK or RFK approved but was a Des Fitz operation and he gave the briefings to the Joint Chiefs on the Cuban

Coup plans that were based on the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler, using a Northwoods type deception.

The US Army sent two Ranger trainers to JMWAVE, including Brad Ayers, who says that RFK was given a tour of the training facilities in

the Everglades and was introduced to at least one of the raider teams that was going into Cuba that Ayers helped train.

I believe that this was the team that was sent in to Cuba on the CIA raider mother ship the Rex, and featured on the front page of the New York

Times on November 1, 1963, and identified as being owned by Louis Somoza and leased to Collins Radio, Co. of Richardson, Texas.

RFK was set up, introduced to the Cubans who were paid and trained to kill Castro, then the target was shifted to JFK.

Bill Kelly

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