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Jackie Kennedy and the assassination of JFK


John Simkin
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I was watching a two hour documentary on the political career of Robert Kennedy last night. It was argued that Jackie was upset when she heard that Robert was going to campaign for the presidency in 1968. It was said that Jackie was worried that “they would do the same thing to Robert that they had done to Jack”. It would seem that Jackie also believed that JFK had died as a result of a conspiracy.

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When Bobby Kennedy was murdered, Jackie said, "I hate this country.... I despise America and I don't want my children to live here anymore. If they're killing Kennedys, my kids are number one targets.... I want to get out of this country."

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JFK had the drive to change the country, but I believe RFK had the passion to change the world.

And he never got a chance.

I was talking to this guy about history, and I said something something "RFK." He actually paused and said, "Wait, you mean JFK?" Nobody even knows who Bobby was anymore. He did so much and could have done so much more, but nobody even remembers him.

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John

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- On the day she buried her husband, Jacqueline Kennedy clung to the hands of a Soviet diplomat and urged Moscow to continue working with Washington in an effort to achieve peace, according to newly released Soviet documents.

The documents show a delicate diplomatic dance between the two super powers during the days immediately following the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy 36 years ago. They also reveal that personal letters were exchanged between the U.S. president's widow and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin turned the documents over to U.S. President Bill Clinton during their June meeting in Germany. Copies of the documents, and translations by the U.S. State Department, were released Thursday by the National Archives.

Particularly poignant were descriptions of a White House reception following Kennedy's burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

Soviet diplomat A.I. Mikoyan, who was first deputy chairman of the council of ministers, met Mrs. Kennedy at the reception to express his nation's condolences.

Diplomat's perspective

In a dispatch about the reception to Soviet leaders, Mikoyan wrote: "It struck us that Jacqueline Kennedy, who exchanged only two or three words with the persons introduced to her, looked very calm and even appeared to be smiling.

"However, when we were presented to her, and when we conveyed our heartfelt condolences to her on behalf of Nina Petrovna, N.S. Khrushchev, and Rada and Alyosha Adzhubey ... Jacqueline Kennedy said, with great emotion and nearly sobbing: 'I am sure that Chairman Khrushchev and my husband could have been successful in the search for peace, and that they were really striving for that. Now you must continue this endeavor and bring it to completion.'

"She said all this with inspiration and deep emotion," Mikoyan wrote. "During the entire conversation she clasped my hands with her two hands, trying to convey as convincingly as possible her feelings and thoughts ... Her fortitude is most impressive."

New widow wrote of self-control

A week later, Jacqueline Kennedy wrote a handwritten letter to Khrushchev, the Soviet documents show. Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin wrote in a telegram to Soviet officials that, "The envelope was slightly glued in one spot. The entire letter was not typed, but written from beginning to end in the handwriting of Jacqueline Kennedy, which is considered here to be a sign of particular respect for the addressee."

In the letter, Mrs. Kennedy thanked Khrushchev for sending Mikoyan to the funeral. But she said that it had been "such a horrible day for me that I do not know if my words were received as I wanted them to be."

So the new widow said she was writing to explain how important her husband had felt Khrushchev was to the peace effort --- and how she hoped those efforts continued.

"The danger troubling my husband was that war could be started not so much by major figures as by minor ones," Mrs. Kennedy wrote. "Whereas major figures understand the need for self-control and restraint, minor ones are sometimes moved rather by fear and pride. If only in the future major figures could still force minor ones to sit down at the negotiating table before they begin to fight!"

Dobrynin concluded his report by suggesting that Khrushchev and his wife reply to Mrs. Kennedy with a personal letter. The ambassador also suggested Mrs. Khrushchev invite Mrs. Kennedy and her children to an unofficial summer vacation on the Black Sea.

Dobrynin said that would "make a very good impression on American public opinion and on U.S. government circles as well. Moreover, it would also be useful to maintain contacts with the Kennedy family."

It would look as if Mrs. Kennedy's phrases, "The danger troubling my husband..." and, "If only in the future major figures COULD STILL FORCE MINOR ONES(emphisis mine) to sit down at the nefotiating table before they begin to fight!" are supportive of the belief that immediately following the assassination she may have thought certain government officials could have been involved.

Jim Root

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- On the day she buried her husband, Jacqueline Kennedy clung to the hands of a Soviet diplomat and urged Moscow to continue working with Washington in an effort to achieve peace, according to newly released Soviet documents.... 

So the new widow said she was writing to explain how important her husband had felt Khrushchev was to the peace effort --- and how she hoped those efforts continued.

"The danger troubling my husband was that war could be started not so much by major figures as by minor ones," Mrs. Kennedy wrote. "Whereas major figures understand the need for self-control and restraint, minor ones are sometimes moved rather by fear and pride. If only in the future major figures could still force minor ones to sit down at the negotiating table before they begin to fight!"

Jim Root

Clearly, Jackie was aware of her husband's mutual and shared concerns with Khrushchev about the problem of containing their respective hardliners. The secret correspondence and backchannel contacts between Kennedy and Khrushchev have been some of the most tightly classified documents from that era. Beschloss notes that, "the President wished his communications with Khurshchev...to be classified into eternity." Bobby's friendship with, and trust in Georgi Bolshakov was genuine. The construction of the Berlin Wall (which removed Berlin as an inevitable nuclear trigger) and the secret deal to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis were both products of these backchannel communications. The reactions of the military to both resolutions was deep resentment, even resistence. Months after the Wall went up, there was the military-provoked tank standoff at Checkpoint Charlie, again resolved through the back channel. And then we have LeMay's comment after the Missile Crisis, when Kennedy was thanking the JCS, the cigar chomping general pounded the table and said, "It's the greatest defeat in our history, Mr. President.... We should invade today." Richard Nixon claimed that Kennedy had "enabled the United States to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory." How would they have felt had they known of Kennedy's secret capitulation in the removal of the Jupiter missiles from Turkey?

Tim

Edited by Tim Carroll
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- On the day she buried her husband, Jacqueline Kennedy clung to the hands of a Soviet diplomat and urged Moscow to continue working with Washington in an effort to achieve peace, according to newly released Soviet documents.... 

So the new widow said she was writing to explain how important her husband had felt Khrushchev was to the peace effort --- and how she hoped those efforts continued.

"The danger troubling my husband was that war could be started not so much by major figures as by minor ones," Mrs. Kennedy wrote. "Whereas major figures understand the need for self-control and restraint, minor ones are sometimes moved rather by fear and pride. If only in the future major figures could still force minor ones to sit down at the negotiating table before they begin to fight!"

Jim Root

Clearly, Jackie was aware of her husband's mutual and shared concerns with Khrushchev about the problem of containing their respective hardliners. The secret correspondence and backchannel contacts between Kennedy and Khrushchev have been some of the most tightly classified documents from that era. Beschloss notes that, "the President wished his communications with Khurshchev...to be classified into eternity." Bobby's friendship with, and trust in Georgi Bolshakov was genuine. The construction of the Berlin Wall (which removed Berlin as an inevitable nuclear trigger) and the secret deal to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis were both products of these backchannel communications. The reactions of the military to both resolutions was deep resentment, even resistence. Months after the Wall went up, there was the military-provoked tank standoff at Checkpoint Charlie, again resolved through the back channel. And then we have LeMay's comment after the Missile Crisis, when Kennedy was thanking the JCS, the cigar chomping general pounded the table and said, "It's the greatest defeat in our history, Mr. President.... We should invade today." Richard Nixon claimed that Kennedy had "enabled the United States to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory." How would they have felt had they known of Kennedy's secret capitulation in the removal of the Jupiter missiles from Turkey?

Tim

I recommend that Forum members read and at least consider the views stated by Joseph Trento in his book The Secret History of the CIA (a book denounced on the CIA's official web-site, by the way) that a hard-line clique within the KGB orchestrated both the Kennedy assassination in Nov of 1963 and the coup in

Oct of 1964 that removed Khruschev from power in the Soviet Union. It must be remembered that there were hard-liners in the KGB that did not like the Kennedy-Khruschev peace initiatives any more than hard-line militarists in the U.S. did.

I had long thought it interesting that within a year after Kennedy was killed, Khruschev was gone too (albeit bloodlessly). Coincidence? Probably. But then again, maybe not. . .

Edited by Tim Gratz
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I had long thought it interesting that within a year after Kennedy was killed, Khruschev was gone too (albeit bloodlessly).  Coincidence?  Probably.  But then again, maybe not. . .

I've always assumed (perhaps wrongly) that Khruschev was removed because of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which Russia was seen in the eyes of the world as having backed down when confronted by the U.S. It was a disaster for Khruschev in the same way that the Bay of Pigs was a disaster for JFK. It can thus be argued that Cuba was the downfall of both men. In any case I think history will show that Fidel Castro was a lot more trouble than he was worth.

Ron

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I recommend that Forum members read and at least consider the views stated by Joseph Trento in his book The Secret History of the CIA (a book denounced on the CIA's official web-site, by the way) that a hard-line clique within the KGB orchestrated both the Kennedy assassination in Nov of 1963 and the coup in

Oct of 1964 that removed Khruschev from power in the Soviet Union.  It must be remembered that there were hard-liners in the KGB that did not like the Kennedy-Khruschev peace initiatives any more than hard-line militarists in the U.S. did.

I had long thought it interesting that within a year after Kennedy was killed, Khruschev was gone too (albeit bloodlessly).  Coincidence?  Probably.  But then again, maybe not. . .

Tim,

How many plugs for the Trento book does that make now? Enough that those who are reading here who haven't already read it, have seen your - strident - recommendation of it. Apparently you have more than read the book; you believe it. The KGB did it, right?

Tim

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I recommend that Forum members read and at least consider the views stated by Joseph Trento in his book The Secret History of the CIA (a book denounced on the CIA's official web-site, by the way) that a hard-line clique within the KGB orchestrated both the Kennedy assassination in Nov of 1963 and the coup in

Oct of 1964 that removed Khruschev from power in the Soviet Union.  It must be remembered that there were hard-liners in the KGB that did not like the Kennedy-Khruschev peace initiatives any more than hard-line militarists in the U.S. did.

I had long thought it interesting that within a year after Kennedy was killed, Khruschev was gone too (albeit bloodlessly).  Coincidence?  Probably.  But then again, maybe not. . .

Tim,

How many plugs for the Trento book does that make now? Enough that those who are reading here who haven't already read it, have seen your - strident - recommendation of it. Apparently you have more than read the book; you believe it. The KGB did it, right?

Tim

I think it's two, on two different threads. I would just like assassination researchers ought to read his book (have you?) and consider his proposition. He names names, etc. And, as I said, Trento is certainly no apologist for the CIA, nor is he a right-winger. (Check out all of the anti-Bush stuff on his web-site.)

I would like to know the source of his information.

When I first got to Key West I was amazed that there is a Mosquito Control Board (the weather here is great but the mosquitoes are terrible!) that is elected on a partisan basis, as if there is a partisan difference in how to spray to kill mosquitoes. It is, I submit, equally absurd to elect coronoers (or sheriffs, for that matter) on a partisan basis. Law enforcement ought to be above politics.

So should assassination research, if the objective is to indeed solve the assassination rather than to propound a "party line" or political philosophy.

If the KGB did it, it was undoubtedly because of our country's continued efforts to kill Castro and our continued sabotage against the Cuban economy. One can probably argue until the cows come home whether JFK knew about the CIA's continued efforts to kill Castro. One thing we do know, for sure, however, that on October 29, 1963 a high-ranking CIA official assured a high-ranking member of the Castro regime (who many people think may have been an agent provocateur) that his intent to murder Fidel had the personal support of Robert F. Kennedy. (And you know as I do that Helms authorized Fitzgerald to make this representation without first clearing it with Robert Kennedy.) Less than a month later Robert's brother was dead. Castro had the strongest motive, I suggest, of any that have been propounded here, to strike at Kennedy: not retaliation, but self-defense. And if Cubela was indeed an agent provocateur, Castro waited until he had evidence (whether correct or not) that the Kennedys had authorized a member of his cabinet to kill him.

Many people think Trafficante had involvement in the assassination. As I said before (in a different thread) Trafficante was visited in Trescornia Prison in 1959 (on separate occasions) by two people whose names come up in the assassination story...Rolando Cubela and Jack Ruby.

It does not take a rocket scientist to connect the dots!

Are there alternative theories? Of course. In a different thread, I argued that if southern racists were behind the assassination, they were dam stupid because the assassination probably resulted in the passage of civil rights legislation that would not otherwise have passed. But the southern racists may have misread LBJ and may have been as surprised as black leaders were by his adoption of the civil rights legislation.

And anti-Castro Cubans may have been enraged by Kennedy's secret attempt to reach out to Castro (if they were aware of it). They may have engineered the assassination to prompt an invasion of Cuba.

One other thing we do know, however, is that of the various possible motives suggested above, the only one that did not in fact backfire was Castro's. This observation may not be of any evidential value in assessing who killed Kennedy, but it is interesting nonetheless.

I want to reiterate, however, that in my humble opinion, assassination research ought to be predicated on a search for truth. Solving a murder is no more a partisan quest than is killing mosquitoes.

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The activities of the counter-intelligence Cold War spy trade, as acted out by characters like Oswald and Nosenko, Whitaker Chambers and Buy Burgess,

makes it perfectly imcumbent on us that we consider that the KGB did in fact do it.

If Oswald was a crazy COmmunist from Minsk, the dark secret of the null hyposthesis is that the KGB did it. Counter Defection and the Thirteenth Section of Comrade Nosenko make the theory plausible.

E. Jay Epstein holds Oswald's visit to the Mexico City Russian and Cuban Embassies in the weeks before the assassination to have been credible.

Oswald was apparently telling the Russians and Cubans something, or trying to get permission to do something. We don't know. It may have been faked. Perhaps the Cubans and Russians only dealt with the authentic Oswald, and did (say he slipped in without going on camera) and the bad photos (see thread) were smoke thrown up by agencies to say "ah, someone else"

When Oswald was igniting the WH flap of all time, his KGB contact he was looking for was VALERY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV.

People like Oswald were a thin membrane, an interface, they lived in both worlds and were trusted by neither.

By raising the stakes they covered their tracks.

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E. Jay Epstein holds Oswald's visit to the Mexico City Russian and Cuban Embassies in the weeks before the assassination to have been credible.

It is highly unlikely that the real Oswald "slipped in without going on camera" to the two different consulates/embassies on two different days wearing different clothing, photographed by the CIA, who also had the places bugged and subsequently destroyed the audio tapes. John Simkin should have some contribution from LBJ's own utterances about the Mexico City Oswald. This is not inadvertant or accidental. Someone screwed up big time, and the photos of the Mexico City Oswald reveal someone whose identification is still a priority in any sincere investigation. There is just no way the intelligence agencies don't know this man's identity:

As for Tim Gratz's assertion that he has only plugged the Trento "KGB did it" book twice, and then admits that he "would like to know the source of his information" as if Trento's just saying something in unsubstantiated fashion is worthy of multiple recommendations, I would respond that in the past few days he has promoted the Trento KGB assertion in the Jackie, Nosenko and Serendipity threads, at the least. Perhaps Tim Gratz also finds the similarity between Mexico City Oswald and Molonkev compelling. I don't:

I find the Russkies did it argument as conveniently right-wing and disinformational as the Castro did it argument.

Tim

Edited by Tim Carroll
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The activities of the counter-intelligence Cold War spy trade, as acted out by characters like Oswald and Nosenko, Whitaker Chambers and Buy Burgess,

makes it perfectly imcumbent on us that we consider that the KGB did in fact do it.

If Oswald was a crazy COmmunist from Minsk, the dark secret of the null hyposthesis is that the KGB did it. Counter Defection and the Thirteenth Section of Comrade Nosenko make the theory plausible. 

E. Jay Epstein holds Oswald's visit to the Mexico City Russian and Cuban Embassies in the weeks before the assassination to have been credible.

Oswald was apparently telling the Russians and Cubans something, or trying to get permission to do something. We don't know. It may have been faked. Perhaps the Cubans and Russians only dealt with the authentic Oswald, and did (say he slipped in without going on camera) and the bad photos (see thread) were smoke thrown up by agencies to say "ah, someone else"

When Oswald was igniting the WH flap of all time, his KGB contact he was looking for was VALERY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV.

People like Oswald were a thin membrane, an interface, they lived in both worlds and were trusted by neither. 

By raising the stakes they covered their tracks.

Good, interesting post. Important that we consider all the possibilities.

According to the book The Very Best Men by veteran Newsweek columnist Evan Thomas, there was another man besides LHO (or his impersonator) who met with Kostikov in Mexico City. That man's name? Rolando Cubela.

I think Mexico City is a key to the assassination. Reportedly, it was not LHO but an impersonator (or a second Oswald) who spoke with Kostikov in Mexico City. If so, that fact argues against CIA involvement in the assassination (since a CIA agent would be aware of the CIA's sophisticated photo and electronic bugging of the Russian embassy). It may very well also argue against KGB involvement.

Parenthetically, on the History Matters web-site you can find an interesting, partially redacted, CIA history of its activities in Mexico City. It was the version the CIA gave to the HSCA. I have not yet had the opportunity to read it but a cursory review suggests it merits examination.

Mexico City is one reason why I would reject theories of Southern racists or the MIC as the planners. IMO, Mexico City suggests either KGB (witness Cubela's contact with Kostikov) or anti-Castro Cubans (i.e. someone sending in an imposter without being aware of CIA surveillance). If (and it is a big if, admittedly) one credits polygraphs, Nosenko's responses to the 1966 CIA polygraph examination suggest that LHO was a KGB agent. As John once said, maybe he was a triple agent!

Edited by Tim Gratz
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I think Mexico City is a key to the assassination.  Reportedly, it was not LHO but an impersonator (or a second Oswald) who spoke with Kostikov in Mexico City.  If so, that fact argues against CIA involvement in the assassination (since a CIA agent would be aware of the CIA's sophisticated photo and electronic bugging of the Russian embassy).  It may very well also argue against KGB involvement.

The Mexico City Oswald does not serve as an argument "against CIA involvement in the assassination" unless one assumes that the agency is perfectly coordinated with no rogues running loose. And if the CIA had nothing to hide, it would not have had reason to destroy the audio tapes, which also "may very well argue against KGB involvement," as Tim Gratz says.

Tim Carroll

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I find the Russkies did it argument as conveniently right-wing and disinformational as the Castro did it argument.

Tim

"Who did it" is not a function of political philosophy, other than if one wants to "pin" the assassination on the CIA to advance a left-wing agenda.

But as I tried to explain, the "KGB did it" ultimately lays the blame on the CIA in any event. When, even after Castro's warning, and despite the expressed concern of several high-ranking CIA agents that Cubela may be an agent provocateur, Helms authorized Fitzgerald to meet in Paris with Cubela, claiming to be Robert Kennedy's personal emissary, he may (Tim: I said "may") have been signing President Kennedy's death warrant.

IMO, to reject the KGB argument as "right-wing" is tantamount to commiting the logical fallacy of ad hominen: to reject an argument because of the person who makes it. But Trento is by no means a "right-winger": the last time I looked at his web-site (pre-election), his columns sounded like Michael Moore.

To say Trento's argument is "disinformational" suggests you believe he is deliberately spreading misinformation. For whom? The CIA hates his book.

And at the risk of repeating myself, the "KGB did it" is not, in the light of all we now know, a "right-wing" argument. It lays the responsibility for the assassination ultimately on the CIA for launching multiple murder plots against Castro, giving Castro, or his sponsor, an imperative to strike back.

If the CIA plots against Castro have no relevance to the assassination, perhaps the CIA was justified in failing to disclose them to the CIA?

Come on, let's debate. Castro had the strongest motive to kill Kennedy (self-defense). (Castro's motive exists whether or not Kennedy was aware of the plots. Kennedy was the chief executive of the country whose intelligence service launched numerous murderous attacks against Castro.

Will you agree that much? That Castro had a strong motive. Any disinformation there?

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