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Impeachable Offense?


Tim Gratz
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I want to raise an issue that I am sure will generate much controversy.

Was Jack Kennedy's sharing a woman with a leader in the Mafia an impeachable offense?

Obviously this put Kennedy in a position that he could be subject to blackmail by the Mafia. In fact, I recall reading that at one point RFK called off an indictment against Giancana because he knew too much. And we all recall that when Giancana sued the FBI for harrassment, the US attorney was instructed not to defend the case (although the reason cited was the Justice Department position that the court lacked authority to supervise FBI operations).

Because Hoover became aware of the relationship, it also made it difficult if not impossible for JFK to have removed Hoover from office had he determined that to be in the national interest.

And of course JFK had other affairs that potentially impacted national security, such as Ellen Rometsch.

Had any Republican Congressmen been aware of JFK's relationship with Campbell and her relationship with Giancana, there is little doubt in my mind that any impeachment procedure would have destroyed the Kennedy presidency.

Had Hoover wanted to eliminate Kennedy (perhaps for reasons of national security) could he not have simply revealed the Campbell affair to a few well placed Republican Congressmen?

This is coupled with the FBI's 1962 wiretap of Frederick Vanderbilt Field in Mexico City. Field was a known or suspected Communist agent and the wiretaps showed Monroe discussing with Field matters of national security she had learned from JFK.

By not reporting these matters, Hoover was obviously protecting Kennedy. But at what price? Someone has suggested that RFK may have had "the goods" on Hoover: the alleged photos of Hoover engaged in homosexual acts.

Although I do not, as you all know, subscribe to the theory that the "power structure" (or a faction therein) assassinated Kennedy, the question is whether his conduct was egregious that someone might have concluded that he had to be removed from office and decided to use extra-legal (illegal!) procedures to do so. As I understand it this is the theory that Shanet has been advancing. Of course, it is also possible that he was assassinated for policy differences and his alleged offenses were used by the conspirators to justify their action.

I am not endorsing this theory and I am not aware of any evidence that supports it but I think it merits discussion. Does it, for instance, exculpate Hoover from any participation in the assassination because he had other reasons to remove Kennedy from office had he chosen to do so?

Is it possible Hoover would have been less than diligent in protecting Kennedy from assassination rumours because of his knowledge of Kennedy's behaviour? I would say no to this question. It is well known how upset Hoover was that his agency looked bad because it had failed to stop the assassination.

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I believe that if all of JFK's carrying on had been brought to light, he would have been legally removed from office (or at least voted out of it in 1964) and rightly so. So why wasn't this option used? After all, I think it's been fairly well established that the CIA had all the assets it needed in the media to have whatever it wanted to brought to light and hammered home.

I believe the answer is that LBJ couldn't wait for any legal proceedings to take their course. He had too many legal problems of his own, the solution of which was to get into the White House faster than a dog can trot. (And of course an exposed JFK losing to Goldwater in 1964 wouldn't help LBJ with his problems one bit. LBJ could have even been in prison by then.)

To me this is more circumstantial evidence that LBJ was involved in the assassination. He could promise his co-conspirators all they hoped to accomplish by getting rid of JFK (continued Cold War, Vietnam War, and probably an invasion of Cuba were it not for the Oswald screw-up), if they would get rid of JFK NOW.

Ron

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As we all know, JFK was introduced to Campbell by Sinatra on February 7, 1960. He had a private two hour luncheon with her in Sinatra's suite the next day but she stated that the "affair" began at the Plaza Hotel in early March of 1960. When the affair began, she was not yet Giancana's lover, although she was probably Rosselli's. I strongly suspect that the Mafia "planted" Campbell on JFK. She apparently became Giancana's lover after she was introduced to him by Sinatra at the Fountainebleu Hotel in late March.

There is no indication JFK knew Campbell was Rosselli's lover when he began his affair with her.

Being a strict traditionalist, of course I believe a president should be faithful to his wife, and of course any affair could involve the possibility of blackmail. However, I do not think an adulterous affair by itself constitutes an impeachable offense. I think what made JFK's conduct egregious (and impeachable) is if he knew of Campbell's association with the Mafia (even if not as a lover) and still continued his relationship with her.

At least with respect to the Campbell matter, the question is, therefore, when JFK learned that Campbell was also in bed (both literally and figuatively) with the Mafia. Of course, toward the end Campbell (then Campbell Exner) wrote that she was being used as a courier between JFK and Giancana, but most historians treat that claim (not part of her earlier story) with skepticism.

Is it possible that JFK did not know of Campbell's association with Giancana and Rosselli until he was confronted by Hoover on March 22, 1962? Most of his phone calls to or from her ended after that meeting, although I believe there is some indication he met her once or twice after that.

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Tim wrote: "As we all know, JFK was introduced to Campbell by Sinatra on February 7, 1960."

Tim, As we all know, the only thing we know for certain about Judith Campbell Exner is that she was a xxxx. We know this because she repeadedly said so herself. She even said that she lied under oath. As someone once said in another context, every word was a lie, including "a" and "the."

Ray

"Do not block the way of inquiry" C. S. Peirce

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Tim

You are on the right track.

Except they don't always go through the legalities of impeachment.

It is called EXECUTIVE SANCTION, and it is spelled out in the 25th amendment.

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I would like to suggest for members' consideration and comment the proposition that associates of JFK who wrote his biography, e.g. Sorenson and Schlesinger, who knew about but failed to disclose issues such as his womanizing, particularly as it related to Judith Campbell and Ellen Rometsch, were not being intellectually honest. I do not suggest that a biography of JFK need list every woman with whom he was involved, but the Campbell and Rometsch cases were so potentially explosive that I think any balanced history needs to address them. Another matter that I think intellectual honesty would require to be addressed would be the involvement of organized crime in the 1960 election. In that regard, however, I am not aware of evidence indicating knowledge by JFK of the deal his father made with the Mafia. And as I have commented before I think the record suggests Joe Kennedy never meant to keep the deal. Tragically, it is possible that the deal Joe Kennedy made with the Mafia may have led to or at least contributed to his son's murder.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Tim, At the rate you're going I expect it is only a matter of time before you start a thread entitled: "Was the assassination of JFK a good thing for America?"

Ray

"Do not block the way of inquiry" C.S. Peirce

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Was Jack Kennedy's sharing a woman with a leader in the Mafia an impeachable offense?

_____________________________

Except for the word of a proven xxxx- (Judith Exner)- what proof do we have that this ever occurred?

For a different perspective on all this charater assassination see "The Posthumous Assassination of John F. Kennedy" Jim DiEugenio. (It's in the book "The Assassinations" but I am fairly certain it's online too. Goggle Probe or CTKA perhaps.)

Dawn

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Richard J. Smith wrote:

QUOTE(Tim Gratz @ Apr 24 2005, 11:16 AM)

Was Jack Kennedy's sharing a woman with a leader in the Mafia an impeachable offense?

Answer: In my opinion, no. Clinton went through impeachment proceedings because he lied under oath about his sexcapades, not because of his infidelities.

Richard, I do not think JFK's political career could have withstood the revelation that he was a serial adulterer but I agree with you that adultery alone does not constitute an impeachable offense. I do think it does if it could be proven that JFK KNEW he was sharing Campbell's favors (what a euphemism!) with a man on the Attorney General's list of the top ten criminals in the U.S. It is not clear that Kennedy knew that until Hoover confronted him with his list of Campbell calls to the White House on March 22, 1962. Supposedly that confrontation with Hoover caused JFK to terminate his relationship with Campbell.

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J. Raymond Carroll wrote:

Tim, At the rate you're going I expect it is only a matter of time before you start a thread entitled: "Was the assassination of JFK a good thing for America?"

Ray, are you serious here? Even the most rabid Nixon haters who applauded his impeachment never suggested he should be SHOT.

And I am sincere when I state that I regret that the inquiries into Kennedy's assassination have disclosed matters about his personal life that I wish I had never learned. I think his personal indiscretions that did not affect his presidency perhaps should not be "aired" in the history books but to the extent his womanizing affected his presidential performance I believe those matters need to be considered in assessing his role in history.

And I think I have to go further than that. While I do not agree with Shanet's premise, I do think that some of the revelations are serious enough that they raise the spectre that someone knowledgeable of the problems could have decided that it was in the national interest to provide Kennedy with a martyr's death rather than tear the nation apart with a bitter impeachment. That I think is the gravamen of Shanet's scenario. From my perspective, I seriously doubt that anyone in the "power structure" would decide to kill Kennedy merely because of a difference in policy views over Cuba, Vietnam, tax policy, or you name the issue. It might be different if the power structure had decided that Kennedy was a threat to national security. Let me make it clear that in raising this as a possibility I am not calling Kennedy's assassination "good for the nation" any more than Shanet is. I am just saying that there were matters more important than policy differences that someone could have used as justification to himself or others.

So perhaps this is an appropriate time to expand on a matter raised in my first post in this thread.

Frederick Vanderbilt Field, an heir to the Vanderbilt fortune, had been identified by Louis Budenz as a Cominterm operative and the FBI had his home under electronic surveillance (i.e. they bugged it). On March 6, 1962 the FBI office in Mexico City sent Hoover a memo indicating that Marilyn Monroe had discussed with Field (while she was in Mexico) confidential matters she had learned in discussions with the president and the attorney general. There is no evidence that Monroe knew Field was a suspected Soviet espionage agent.

The incident is described in Wolfe's "The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe". The book states:

[Hoover] was deeply disturbed to learn that his warnings [to JFK] had again been ignored, and that confidential information had been unwittingly passed by Marilyn Monroe to a suspected Soviet espionage agent, known by the FBI to be in communication with foreign intelligence operatives. According to sources close to Hoover, he became enraged and demonstrated a degree of anger seldom witnessed by his subordinates. Incredibly, the president of the United States had become a security risk.

You all know that I do NOT believe JFK was killed by the "power structure". For one thing, I do not think any intelligent person would risk an assassination over mere policy differences. But matters such as the Monroe matter and the Rometsch case COULD have provided someone within the power structure with a stronger motive to consider an extralegal removal of Kennedy from office--Shanet's premise. The more egregious Kennedy's behaviour, the more Shanet's premise makes sense. I still do not subscribe to Shanet's scenario because it is difficult to understand why anyone would resort to an assassination over an impeachment, even considering that an impeachment would create great national distress (as the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment did). Moreover, as we know, Hoover PROTECTED JFK in the Rometsch matter.

Shanet wrote above that the power structure does not always conform its conduct to legalities. While this may be true in certain cases it is a great leap of logic to assume the power structure would condone a murder let alone the murder of the chief of state.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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In view of the last posting here by Mr Gratz, am I correct in assuming that this Forum has changed its theme somewhat and moved away from the assassination of Jack Kennedy to the assessment of his role in history, his womanizing, general indiscretions and his overall presidential performance?!

IMHO, are not these matters are more appropriate to sites where other current and former world leaders' roles, performances, etc can be aired?

Keep up the good work guys, your research on the assassination is top drawer.

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Tim Gratz wrote: "I do think that some of the revelations are serious enough that they raise the spectre that someone knowledgeable of the problems could have decided that it was in the national interest to provide Kennedy with a martyr's death rather than tear the nation apart with a bitter impeachment."

Let me get this straight, Tim. You think that Castro did it (he thought LBJ was such a charmer), but if Castro didn't do it, then your backup theory is that some kindhearted people in the US arranged to kill JFK for his own good, (the poor man was reduced to paying for sex with one of Bobby Baker's ladies) and for the good of the country (to spare us from the agony of impeachment).

So while you personally do not argue that the assassination of JFK was a good thing for America, you are big-hearted enough to acknowledge that the killers may have had some justification and at least their hearts were in the right place.

Tim, It is now clear that your thought processes are deeply imbued with the spirit of Christian charity and are a revelation to us all.

Ray

"Do not block the way of inquiry"

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Guest Stephen Turner

[You all that I do NOT believe JFK was killed by the "power structure". For one thing, I do not think any intelligent person would risk an assassination over mere policy differences.

Tim, with respect, I belive you underplay the nature of these policy differences.

Scaling down the war effort, with the long term view of complete disengagement.

Tax changes in regards to the oil industry,which spelled millions in lost profits.

(In capitalist terms thats a death sentance by itself) add changes to the Federal

reserve,hostility towards the CIA, the courting of Cuba, and by extention the

USSR, Bay of pigs, and the fact that the right wing belived that he had stolen the

1960 election.

Thats some differences, by the side of which serial womanising pales into

insignificance. IMHO of course.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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To Raymond:

All I was doing, with all due respect, was articulating what I believe is Shanet's theory. As I stated, I doubt that this was the motivation behind the assassination.

Anyone (e.g. Hoover) who was aware of Kennedy's apparent breaches of security need not have arranged an assassination. Even public revelation of his consorting with the girl friend of a Mafia don and a possible Communist spy would clearly have ruined his political career. Why anyone would involve oneself in a murder plot when a simple phone call to an investigative journalist from a Republican-oriented newspaper could have brought Kennedy down makes, in my opinion, no sense at all.

It does seem apparent from the heavily redacted FBI report copied in "The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe" that Kennedy had discussed national security matters with Marilyn Monroe. The seriousness of this cannot be over-emphasized. It certainly does not justify an assassination (nothing, of course, justifies extra-legal actions in a constitutional democracy--Watergate proved that) and, as I stated above, why would anyone involve himself in an assassination when a mere public revelation would presumably have brought Kennedy down.

The interesting question here is why Hoover did not report this information to Congress but instead hid Kennedy's secrets. One would assume he had a constitutional obligation TO report it. As we know, Hoover also helped RFK squelch a congressional investigation of the sexual matters arising out of the Bobby Baker investigation by threatening to disclose the sexual pecadilloes of the congressional investigators.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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