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Jim:

I second Jon's observation... that is a great article. Whenever i read about RFK, certain facts resonate.

The RFK story parallels JFK's murder in many respects. Just as Bill Kelly has seen parallels to Valkyrie with the JFK plot, I see remarkable analogies between the setup/conduct of both Kennedy assassinations. Not to redirect this thread from the Washington Post point, but there is a "coincidence" that strikes me deeply. So much that I feel compelled to highlight it here. It serves to ground or calibrate me; it clinches any doubts in my mind that there was a more innocent explanation for all of the things that swirl about the case. It's called Manuel Pena...

An investigator allegedly looking into interstate firearms sales during early 1963 (for Senator Chris Dodd's Subcommittee) was one Manuel Pena, the same Los Angeles police lieutenant who later one of the LAPD officers investigating Robert Kennedy's assassination. It was Pena who traced Oswald's telescopic sight to a California gun shop! This for me is another one of those amazing coincidences associated with the case... one that I cannot accept as simply coincidence, one that has the strong scent of conspiracy.

Gene

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Jim:

One reference in which this is quoted is Emory, Dave (1999) “The Life and Times of Senator Thomas Dodd” and also referenced to "The Gun That Didn’t Smoke" by Walter F. Graf and Richard R. Bartholomew.

It jumped out at me when I found it last year. I haven't been able to trace it back to anything more basic. It is quoted in articles that discuss Senator Christopher Dodd including those by George Michael Evica. In 1963, Dodd was involved with arms from mail order houses in an attempt to gather information allowing Congress to stem unregulated traffic. Dodd instituted the program on behalf of small firearms producers in Connecticut who complained of foreign imports. Dodd was a former FBI agent and long-time J. Edgar Hoover loyalist.

The inference from the articles is that Pena was working for Dodd, and that Dodd was not a JFK admirer. He allegedly had a a cozy relationship with the Castillo Armas Guatemalan government in 1956. He won a second Senate term in 1964 and became President Johnson’s leading foreign affairs spokesman in the Senate, but was censured in 1967 for finance improprieties. As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, Dodd worked to restrict the purchase of mail order handguns, and later shotguns and rifles.

Oswald allegedly ordered his pistol from Seaport Traders two days before Dodd's subcommittee began hearings on the matter on January 29, 1963.

Gene

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Gene - that's astounding. I was somewhat aware of Dodd but unaware of Pena. Was this committee the senate intelligence security subcommittee or a different one..

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As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, Dodd worked to restrict the purchase of mail order handguns, and later shotguns and rifles. These efforts culminated in the Gun Control Act of 1968, which Dodd introduced. See March 2011 Forum thread started by Gil Jesus.

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This from Probe (May-June 1998),"Sirhan and the JFK Assassination" by Lisa Pease:

In 1967, Pena "retired" from the LAPD, leaving to join AID, a cover for political operations in foreign countries. Roger LeJeunesse, an FBI agent who had been involved in the RFK assassination investigation, told William Turner that Pena had performed special assignments for the CIA for more than ten years. After his retirement from the LAPD (and a public farewell dinner) in November of 1967, Pena inexplicably returned to the LAPD in April 1968 ... just in time to head the LAPD group called Special Unit Senator that controlled the RFK investigation two months later.

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BTW Gene to say that Dodd was not an admirer of JFK is a large understatement.

Lisa Pease did a two part article about Dodd, and there was no doubt that, although Dodd was Democrat, he was opposed to Kennedy on a whole array of issues, especially the Congo. In fact, this was most evident when as he was flying back into Washington after the assassination, he said words to he effect that it would take 50 years to undo all the mess Kennedy had created.

Even his staff was shocked by that.

Man, if Pena worked for Dodd, that seems to suggest a run through for 1968.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Jim:

I found the following excerpts from various articles, including “The Life and Times of Senator Thomas Dodd” by Dave Emory (1999). G. M. Evica also wrote about Dodd. Its seems clear that Dodd - a former FBI man and lawyer - was a Hoover loyalist, staunch anti-Communist, an advocate for Vietnam, and by no means a Kennedy supporter.

Dodd vigorously opposed Communism, which he considered the moral equivalent of Nazism. Although an early and enthusiastic supporter of the United Nations, Dodd grew disillusioned with the organization as it came more and more to represent Third World interests. He lobbied for Guatemala and Castillo Armas in the mid-50's. In the summer of 1963, Dodd presided over a Senate Internal Security subcommittee investigation of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, calling it a public relations instrument for Castro. He won a second Senate term in 1964 and became President Johnson’s leading foreign affairs spokesman in the Senate.

Dodd was on the payroll of the American Security Council, the leading public group campaigning to use U.S. military force to oust Castro from Cuba, and to escalate the war in Vietnam. The conservative Democrat from Connecticut was closely allied with LBJ and didn't like most of JFK's policies. Watching at his Georgetown residence on television the tributes being paid to Kennedy, Dodd offered his assessment of the Kennedy administration:

“I’ll say of John Kennedy what I said of Pope John the day he died. It will take us fifty years to undo the damage he did to us in three years.”

Gene

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