Distorting the Life of Bobby Kennedy

As the 50th anniversary of his assassination is being remembered on Tuesday, it is vital to have a complete and accurate picture of the complex figure of Robert F. Kennedy, explains James DiEugenio.   

By James DiEugenio  Special to Consortium News

TV commentator Chris Matthews’ book, Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit, has been a best seller since it was released last October, but there’s a lot of important material that Matthews left out about Kennedy, whose assassination on June 5, 1968 is being remembered on Tuesday.

In recapping his early life, Matthews tells the story of Kennedy graduating from Harvard and going on to pursue a law degree at the University of Virginia, where he was chair of the Student Legal Forum. In that role, he invited some high profile guests to speak in Charlottesville.

One guest, Nobel Prize winner Ralph Bunche, would augur Kennedy’s later support for civil rights.  Bunche, both a diplomat and professor at Howard University, was African-American, and the invitation was to a state where most of everyday life was still segregated.  When Bunche told Kennedy he would not speak before a segregated audience, RFK appealed the issue through four levels of the college administration—saying he would not back down for moral reasons—and won. Bunche ultimately addressed an overflowing, integrated audience that was about one-third African-American. As Matthews correctly notes, Bunche stayed at Bobby’s house that night, which was pelted with stones.

A Transformative Trip Abroad

In 1951, after he graduated, Bobby traveled with his brother, then Congressman Jack Kennedy, to the Middle and Far East to learn about U.S. foreign policy and raise his credentials in that area. Matthews mentions the trip, but omits the name of Edmund Gullion, a respected State Department diplomat whom the brothers contacted in Saigon to assess whether France could win its war to re-colonize Indochina.

Matthews’ excision of Gullion is inexplicable, given his importance: he told the Kennedy brothers that  France could not win, since Ho Chi Minh had inspired the Viet Minh to fight until death, rather than return under colonialism’s yoke. Guillion also said France could not win a war of attrition, because the home front would not support it.

Bobby later said Guillion deeply affected JFK’s foreign policy views. Thus, soon after, JFK attacked both parties’ positions on thwarting Communism in the Third World. That lonely campaign continued for six years, climaxing in the senator’s speech protesting Eisenhower’s second attempt to support France’s desperate effort to maintain an imperial empire, this time in Algeria.

Gullion meeting JFK, August 18, 1961. (JFK Library)

During the next year (1958), JFK bought 100 copies of the best-selling book, The Ugly American, one for each senator, a story Matthews fails to tell. The thinly disguised novel was an unsubtle critique of America’s growing involvement in Indochina and the State Department’s incompetence in dealing with the Vietnamese.

As JFK aide Arthur Schlesinger noted, when Senator John Kennedy opposed the Eisenhower/Nixon proposed intervention at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, RFK agreed, believing one could not consider anti-Communism in the Third World without considering colonialism’s impacts.  Bobby noted this in a 1956 article for The New York Times Magazine:

. . .because we think that the uppermost thought in all people’s minds is communism….We are still too often doing too little too late to recognize and assist the irresistible movements for independence that are sweeping one dependent territory after another.”

At a talk at Fordham University, Bobby told the audience that the fatal flaw of American foreign policy was the commitment to European colonialism, noting “We supported France in Indochina far too long.” Although this is a stunning critique, Matthews does not include it in his book.

RFK and Joseph McCarthy

By leaving out such stories, it seems Matthews is trying to position Bobby Kennedy closer to Senator Joe McCarthy than he really was to paint RFK as an ardent Cold Warrior. After Bobby successfully managed his brother’s Senate campaign in 1952, his father suggested he work for McCarthy, who was Joe Kennedy’s friend. Matthews devotes seven pages to this part of the history, though he omits some key points.

For example, Bobby resigned in protest from McCarthy’s committee after only six months. During this time, he worked on what many think was the Committee’s most valuable report, about how some American allies’ trade practices benefited China and North Korea during the Korean conflict. Unlike Roy Cohn, McCarthy’s choice for chief counsel, RFK’s report did not accuse individuals of being traitors.  

Further, RFK did not participate in Cohn’s pursuit of alleged Russian spies in the State Department.  In fact, in private, he clearly admitted his dispute with Cohn, whom he found reckless and pugnacious, attracting the wrong kind of publicity to the Committee. Once he resigned, he kept a low profile for a short while and then the Democratic minority appointed him their chief counsel.

As RFK predicted, McCarthy and Cohn imploded on national television during the Army-McCarthy hearings. After this, Bobby took over the committee and retired two of its most controversial, even absurd, cases, against a Queens, NY dentist, Irving Peress and a Pentagon pastry chef, Annie Lee Moss.  Also, the RFK-run committee never filed charges with respect to McCarthy’s accusation about the infiltration of defense plants.

Matthews tries to tie them together.

When the proceedings ended, Bobby wrote the minority report, which was so critical of McCarthy and Cohn that some Democrats would not sign it. It recommended the Senate take action for their abuses. The report provoked hearings on the subject of censure; which was the end result. However, Matthews spends significantly more time on RFK’s earlier Committee work than on his later role, which was longer and more important.

Matthews skims over the next part of RFK’s life, as Chief Counsel for the McClellan Committee.  Here, the 31-year-old lawyer rose to national prominence as the foe of Teamsters’ President Jimmy Hoffa and organized crime. Mathews captures little of the political complexity of this four-year drama. For example, the Committee Republicans, led by Sen. Barry Goldwater, were pleased when RFK began pursuing Hoffa since they thought it would weaken unions, in general. But they were unhappy when RFK expanded the focus to the Teamsters’ relationship with the Mafia, since the Committee now sought to clean up corrupt unions.

It got even worse for Goldwater when, while Bobby was investigating a long strike against the Kohler Company in Wisconsin, he became close to Walter Reuther, the United Automobile Workers’ president, who was running the strike. As chief counsel, RFK made him a featured witness before the Committee. This resulted in the largest fine ever levied against a corporation in a strike until that time. Again, Matthews omits this important biographical material.

JFK’s Presidential Bid

In 1960, Bobby managed his brother’s presidential campaign against Vice-President Richard Nixon. Matthews does note Bobby’s 1959 visit to Johnson’s ranch, where LBJ lied to him about his intention not to enter the 1960 race. Thus, when Johnson did enter, late in the campaign, RFK had to run a two-stage strategy: The first beating Senator Hubert Humphrey in the primaries; the second was to beat Johnson in the local and state delegations in states without primaries. Despite the extra load, Bobby held off Johnson and JFK won on the first ballot at the convention.

At this point, a group of advisors convinced JFK to abandon his original choice for vice-president, Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, and instead pick Johnson, so he could win in the south.

Matthews’ version of what followed differs from the dominant meme in the literature.  Authors like Jeff Shesol and Robert Caro concluded that, after Johnson accepted JFK’s offer, Bobby tried to get Johnson to leave the ticket.  Matthews’ interpretation is that JFK knew what Bobby was doing and supported it, since he had not thought Johnson would accept the offer.  Whichever version is correct, it made the LBJ/RFK relationship even rockier, and the two were antagonists for the next eight years—which ultimately fractured the 1968 Democratic convention.

The Kennedys and the CIA 

Matthews correctly views the Bay of Pigs operation as one that was designed to fail.  In his previous books, he didn’t admit this, which is odd, since CIA Director Allen Dulles left a handwritten confession to that effect in his Princeton archives. Peter Grose, Dulles’ biographer, discussed this in his 1994 book, Gentleman Spy. Thus, Matthews took two decades to present what Dulles admitted over 50 years earlier. So, finally, Matthews says the goal behind the deception was to have JFK send the Navy and Marines into Cuba to save the day. However, JFK refused, although Nixon–whom Kennedy defeated in 1960 for the White House—advised the President to declare a beachhead and invade. This discredits what Matthews observed in his previous book Kennedy and Nixon, where he implies there was an equivalency between the two presidents.

Matthews virtually eliminates the crucial role Bobby had soon after. The President appointed him as a member of a White House committee that was mandated to investigate the operation. During the inquiry, Bobby granted Dulles no quarter, since he already suspected what Dulles later admitted: that the CIA director had deceived JFK about the operation’s chance of success, hoping he would approve an American armada to save himself from a humiliating defeat.

Thus, the President had authorized the Bay of Pigs given false information; and when RFK understood Dulles’ deceptions, he conferred with his father, who arranged for his son to meet former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett, who admitted he and David Bruce (at State) had tried to get Dulles fired in the 1950s.  But Dulles was protected by his brother, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

Lovett advised JFK that he now had the perfect opportunity to do what he, himself, could not. Thus, on Bobby’s and Lovett’s advice, the President fired not just Allen Dulles, but Deputy Director Charles Cabell and Director of Plans, Dick Bissell. Feeling duped by the CIA and the Pentagon–which had also approved the disastrous project–Bobby now became JFK’s trusted advisor on foreign affairs.

Dulles and JFK, 1960

Operation Mongoose

Matthews omits these episodes and then writes that 1962’s Operation Mongoose was Bobby’s idea. Mongoose was the secret campaign of sabotage and covert actions against Cuba that, after seven months of memo shuffling, was authorized in November 1961 and launched in February 1962.

The definitive record of the memoranda—Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume X—shows that it was hardly Bobby’s idea. In fact, it was Walt Rostow, Assistant to National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, who began the discussion by focusing on the “Cuba problem” and suggesting a blockade or an invasion. Others, like Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and CIA officer Tracy Barnes, joined in later; and it was Barnes’ option to infiltrate and sabotage shipping that was ultimately supported.

President Kennedy appointed Bobby to be a kind of ombudsman over the project, since he did not trust the CIA.  As David Corn revealed in Blond Ghost, a biography of Ted Shackley, Mongoose’s day-to-day supervisor, Bobby insisted on seeing every plan for every foray into Cuba.  He also demanded that every plan include a detailed, written description. To put it mildly, after the freewheeling days of Allen Dulles, the Agency chafed at this studious procedure for Mongoose. This is another point Matthews’ ignores.

Battle for Civil Rights

Matthews begins the Kennedys’ battle for civil rights with Bobby’s role as Attorney General and his intervention in the Freedom Riders’ attempt to integrate inter-state busing in the south.  However, this is not the whole story. During JFK’s campaign in June 1960, he said he was prepared to win the Democratic nomination without a single vote from the south at the convention. As author Harry Golden noted, after he was nominated, he told his civil rights advisors that he would break the walls of segregation through legal actions based on three statutes that his predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, did not use to any significant degree: the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board decision of 1954, and the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts.

And this is what Attorney General Bobby Kennedy did, filing more civil rights cases in his first year than Eisenhower filed during his two full terms in office. By the end of 1961, he opened 61 new investigations and by 1963, five times as many lawyers were working on civil rights cases than under Eisenhower.

This approach had been planned by the Kennedy campaign’s civil rights advisor, Harris Wofford.  Before Bobby became attorney general, Wofford had written a long memorandum on the issue, saying it was not possible to pass an omnibus civil rights bill through Congress in 1961, and probably not in 1962—since the Senate would filibuster it. Thus, the Attorney General and White House would be wise to use executive orders and legal actions to build momentum.

This happened, and faster than Wofford anticipated, because some of the things JFK had done before he was president encouraged the civil rights movement in a way that Eisenhower had not. For example, in 1957, he spoke in Jackson, Mississippi, stating that all Americans must accept the Brown vs. Board decision as the law of the land. Further, during the 1960 campaign, JFK called Coretta Scott King to comfort her about her husband’s arrest, while Bobby worked behind the scenes to get King out of prison. In May 1961, as the new attorney general, Bobby declared at the University of Georgia Law School that he would enforce the Brown v. Board decision.

Matthews ignores almost all of this. But without this information, the story of the meteoric success of the civil rights movement from 1961-1963 is incomplete. Vivian Malone, one of the first black students to enroll at the segregated University of Alabama, did so although Governor George Wallace stated he would stand in the schoolhouse door to prevent it. When Vivian’s sister was asked why Vivian did such a dangerous thing, she said her sister trusted that Bobby Kennedy would protect her. And he did, sending over 3,000 troops under General Creighton Abrams to the campus.  Matthews simply does not explain this crucial link between the civil rights movement and the Kennedys’ actions.

Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam

Nor does he shed light on the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam in 1963. As to the former, Matthews notes that Bobby proposed an air strike to destroy the missiles on the island, tracing this to the first meeting of President Kennedy’s advisors. However, I could not find this quote in the meeting’s transcript. In fact, RFK cautioned his brother against both an invasion and bombing campaign at the first meeting. Although he mentioned more aggressive actions at the second meeting, he qualified them with words like ‘if’ and ‘whether.’ Thus, these were contingencies, not commitments.

Acheson: Wanted sneak attack on Cuba.

Matthews then says the brothers acknowledged former Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s view, which is completely inaccurate. In one of the most famous incidents during that two-week crisis, Acheson wanted no negotiations, and rather pushed for a sneak attack on the missile sites to eliminate them. Bobby, then attorney general, recoiled, saying it would be the equivalent of what the Japanese did to America at Pearl Harbor.

The transcripts show that JFK asked about each option—an invasion, bombing campaign, and surgical air strikes. For each, he considered the number of casualties. The President even questioned Chief of Staff Maxwell Taylor about the number of fatalities with a “surgical strike.” And when the President visited the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was appalled by their opposition to his choice of a blockade. What really startled the brothers was when the congressional leaders they called to the White House said they also thought a blockade was too meek—including liberal Senator William Fulbright, who favored an invasion.

Feeling isolated, JFK had Bobby work as his back channel to the Soviets; thus, Bobby communicated with Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and worked out a deal: the Russians would remove the atomic weapons from Cuba in return for the U.S. not invading the island and making a silent promise that JFK would later remove American missiles from Turkey.

If we understand Bobby’s role here, we understand what JFK was doing in Vietnam in 1963, and also RFK’s position on the war from 1964-1968.  Nevertheless, Matthews seems unable to deal with the ramifications of NSAM 263, President Kennedy’s October 1963 order to begin withdrawing American advisors from Vietnam; and, Bobby’s prime role in designing it.

The President had sent Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and General Taylor to Saigon that fall to report on the conditions that would support NSAM 263. But since he didn’t trust the two to write what he needed to justify his withdrawal plan, he summoned General Victor Krulak and Colonel Fletcher Prouty to the White House.  As historian John Newman notes, JFK asked Bobby to supervise their report, which was sent by jet to Hawaii where it was given to McNamara and Taylor to read on their flight to Washington. But you will not read one sentence about this in Matthews’ book.

LBJ and RFK’s Decision to Run for President

This omission points to a larger vacuum. One reason Bobby decided to run for president in 1968 was because he felt that though Johnson had said he wanted to continue JFK’s policies, he obviously had little intention to. As John Bohrer notes in The Revolution of Robert Kennedy, even in early 1964, the Attorney General was advising Johnson not to militarize Vietnam. His advice, of course, was ignored.

Bobby also figured that Dean Rusk, the hawkish secretary of state, would now urge Johnson to escalate the war to heights he and his brother had never contemplated.  But it was Johnson’s signing ceremony for the civil rights bill in 1964 that was a turning point: LBJ asked RFK to pass around pens, after LBJ had already given one to racist FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Bobby had had enough. He left the Administration and successfully ran for senator from New York. After this, he headed the “Kennedy wing of the Democratic party.”

In 1965, Bobby asked Johnson to fire Rusk and tell South Vietnam the U.S. would no longer fight its war. He also railed against the NRA’s influence, insisted on warning labels for cigarettes, and even asked that “right to work” laws—which weakened unions—be repealed. You can read about these courageous stands in John Bohrer’s book, but not in Matthews’.

One thing LBJ did to reverse JFK’s foreign policy was to appoint Thomas Mann to key positions on Latin America. Bobby suspected that Johnson did this to deliberately undo one of JFK’s key diplomatic creations—the Alliance for Progress. Thus, Bobby, as senator, traveled to Latin America to find out what was going on. Matthews gives one page to this central event. Yet some of the things RFK said and did before, during and after this trip are crucial to understanding who he was at the time.

‘Robert Kennedy in Brazil (Bob Kennedy no Brasil)’, image housed at the Museu da Imagem e do Som in São Paulo.

After the State Department briefed him about whom he should meet and what to say, Bobby told a colleague, “It sounds like we’re working for United Fruit again.” He told a crowd in Lima, Peru they should imitate great Latin American revolutionaries like San Martin and O’Higgins.  At almost every other stop he ended his speeches by saying, “The responsibility of our times is nothing less than revolution.” He made it a point to visit the ancient capital of the Inca empire in Cuzco and, on his way back, children were cheering “Viva Kennedy.”  

In Brazil, when sugar cane workers told him they were paid only for three days while working six, the senator walked to the landlord’s house and yelled that he was swindling his workers.  After this, he visited Brazil’s president, who had been installed by a CIA-sponsored coup after JFK was killed. While driving back to his hotel room he saw soldiers striking some of the crowd and trying to keep them away from his car.  As Bohrer writes, he jumped out and shouted, “Down with the government! On to the palace!” I have to share these key incidents with the reader because they are not in Matthews’ book.

That journey south is a fitting prelude to Bobby’s last campaign.  Matthews does include a couple of important incidents in the prelude to RFK’s decision to run against President Johnson. First, he describes a meeting between Bobby and Walter Cronkite, where the CBS broadcaster told he him must run in order to end the Vietnam War. Second, he quotes Bobby saying in November 1967 that his brother would have never committed half a million men to Vietnam and, in fact, was determined not to send combat troops at all. But Matthews doesn’t write how Bobby came to that conclusion.

An Incandescent Crusade

Matthews’ description of Bobby’s remarkable 85-day campaign is fairly prosaic and doesn’t come close to capturing what was perhaps the most bold and brilliant presidential campaign in the last 60 years.  Here was the last crusade of the 1960s—the last hope of a generation that had already witnessed to this point the murders of JFK in 1963 and Malcolm X in 1965. Martin Luther King was relying on Bobby to enter the race, and when he did, was overjoyed, saying he would make an outstanding president. RFK had King, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta on his side.

At his first formal campaign appearance at Kansas State University, before Johnson exited the race, RFK called the president’s Vietnam policy “bankrupt” and “deeply wrong.” He then quoted the officer who said that after the Battle of Ben Tre, “We had to wipe out the village in order to save it.” Bobby then asked, “Where does such logic end?” Later he said, “We cannot send American troops to assume the burden of fighting for corrupt and repressive governments all the way round the globe. . . .” Then, in Indiana, he echoed King when he said black Americans were dying in the war in disproportionate numbers than whites.

King was gunned down in Memphis on April 4, 1968 during the Indiana primary campaign. Kennedy had a rally scheduled in a predominantly African-American area of Indianapolis that night, which the police told him to cancel, since they couldn’t assure his safety. Nevertheless, he went and made one of his two greatest speeches. The other had been his “Ripple of Hope” address in Cape Town, South Africa on June 6, 1966, exactly two years before his death. Bobby pleaded with the crowd in Indianapolis not to give in to racial polarization, to hatred and bitterness. As many have noted, almost every major city in America went up in smoke that night, but Indianapolis did not.

Kennedy won Indiana and Nebraska, two primarily agricultural states outside the northeast. He also won every primary he entered except for Oregon. And he climaxed his triumphant crusade with his greatest victory in the California primary. As journalist Jack Newfield and others have pointed out, something exceptional happened in California.  Chavez and Huerta got the word out about RFK all the way down to Los Angeles; and King’s followers did not forget RFK’s speeches in Cape Town and Indianapolis.

When the polls opened that morning, Kennedy’s workers drove around East LA to check the turnout and were shocked to see Hispanics and African Americans lined up before the doors opened. For the first time in the city’s history, the turnout on the poor east side surpassed the wealthy west side. Bobby had given the poor a reason to vote, which is why he beat Eugene McCarthy. A few moments after declaring his victory and saying, “On to Chicago, and let’s win there,” he was killed—the last of four major 1960s’ assassinations. Matthews doesn’t mention how they brought the end to a remarkable decade. Nor does he mention how his death caused the violent Chicago convention and how its influence led, among other reasons, to the victory of Richard Nixon, the anti-RFK candidate.

Why does Matthews continually ignore these points? If one thinks, as his employers at MSNBC do, that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the liberal ideal, then what Bobby Kennedy represented in 1968 was radical: Can you imagine either of these politicos telling Brazilian citizens to storm the palace? Not even on Saturday Night Live.

James DiEugenio is a researcher and writer on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other mysteries of that era. His most recent book is  The JFK Assassination : The Evidence Today

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92 comments for “Distorting the Life of Bobby Kennedy

  1. Edmund Lubega
    June 17, 2018 at 17:37

    A riveting and movin narrative. It shows why RFK assassination was almost inevitable

  2. P. Michael Garber
    June 10, 2018 at 03:09

    Thanks ConsortiumNews and Jim DeEugenio for this excellent article; when the central core of the media has blinded itself to unfortunate and disturbing realities, there is no more important task for journalists than to counter this mainstream narrative with objective and substantiated reporting like that presented here. I hope your important comments on RFK and his true activities prior to his assassination gain the widest exposure possible.

    This article does a great job of demonstrating how journalists such as Matthews can distort the truth dramatically without telling a single lie; omission is the great sin of US journalism, exhibit A the ban on casualty photos (~80% caused by us), exhibit B the passive acceptance of the embed system by US media, exhibit C the resulting profound absence of anything remotely approaching the photo Life ran in 1960 eight or nine of the naked burned Viet Namese girl running from her napalmed village.

  3. Sandra Bartels
    June 9, 2018 at 12:40

    Brilliant – can you find us a candidate of such strength, who demands ethical action, while thoughtfully listening to the needs of the many with the intention to bring healing to a nation in chaos?

  4. June 9, 2018 at 05:29

    Thank you for this very excellent critique. I have just finished reading the Chris Mathews book on RFK. The omissions you point help me to see why the book lacked a potency and accuracy that I hadn’t put my finger on. RFK continues to be an inspiration to me and your article has really helped put forth what needs to be known and remembered about him.

  5. luxetveritas
    June 7, 2018 at 21:03

    I have been reading Pentagon Papers about the coup against Diem

    under JFK/RFK/Rusk/Lodge/McNamara/Taylor.

    There was constant talk between USA and GVN generals about coup,

    initially they asked if USA would support it, and were told yes.

    Meetings on the subject were held by JFK/RFK.

    > Perhaps the most important discussion at the meeting was that engendered by Robert Kennedy over the fundamental purpose of the U.S. involvement. According to Hilsman, Robert Kennedy said:
    > As he understood it we were there to help the people resisting a Communist take-over. The first question was whether a Communist take-over could be successfully resisted with any government. If it could not, now was the time to get out of Vietnam entirely, rather than waiting. If the answer was that it could, but not with a Diem-Nhu government as it was now constituted, we owed it to the people resisting Communism in Vietnam to give Lodge enough sanctions to bring changes that would permit successful resistance. But the basic question of whether a Communist takeover could be successfully resisted with any government had not been answered, and he was not sure that anyone had enough information to answer it.
    This was the critical moment when USA could have ended its VN mission if JFK/RFK had wanted to do so.
    But they had no such desire, they wanted to “win” and get reelected.

    Then came a long period of indecision, where uncertainties of success

    were discussed, resulting in McNamara/Taylor visit to VN to assess.

    The result was that JFK gave Lodge the power to withhold economic aid to

    pressure Diem to get rid of Nhu and make peace with buddhists.

    Buddhist protests were seen by JFK/RFK as undermining “USA mission

    against communism”.

    So Lodge did withhold aid. Previously the coup generals had asked Lodge

    to use withholding aid as a signal to

    them that coup should go forward – they did not trust any other

    communications, as too many in military

    were loyal to Diem, and any communications would be compromised.

    > the senior South Vietnamese generals, predictably, interpreted the new policy as a green light for a coup. Plotting was reactivated almost immediately, if indeed it had ever been completely dormant.
    Until the last moment there was disagreement between Lodge and Harkins in Saigon. Harkins argued against the coup in cables to DC.

    This made JFK/RFK very uncomfortable. Lodge insisted that the only way

    to prevent the coup would be to inform Diem, and that would mean the

    coup plotters termination, i.e., “too late now”.

    JFK decided to continue supporting Lodge and the coup:

    > once a coup under responsible leadership has begun, and within these restrictions, it is in the interest of the US government that it should succeed.

    There is a lot more material here, (too much to quote here) and I urge you all to read it for yourself.


  6. Robert Edwards
    June 7, 2018 at 17:00

    Enough time has gone by for full transparency. So, lets not hold back and have it all out – including the famous wink when LBJ
    was signed in….

  7. Bill Ahub
    June 7, 2018 at 13:48

    Fantastic article!!! I had previously thought RFK was somewhat close to McCarthy because the “story” I heard was that RFK was a staunch anti-Communist like his father (somehow RFK had to affect his dad’s earlier Fascist history as ambassador to GB).

  8. bill
    June 7, 2018 at 05:16

    Nina Rhodes- Hughes outlines what she saw and heard on that fateful night in the Ambassador and how the FBI deliberately misreported her afterwards ( 2 parts) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGLIlhDro0k

    • Skip Scott
      June 9, 2018 at 05:56

      Thanks for this Bill. Very convincing.

  9. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 18:38

    Continued investigation of the presidency of John F. Kennedy further strengthens the view that the origins of U.S. support for the coup which overthrew South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem 50 years ago today traces directly to President Kennedy, not to a “cabal” of top officials in his administration. As the documents posted by the National Security Archive in 2009 and new material posted today indicates, the often-told story that a “cabal” of senior officials, in combination with U.S. ambassador to Saigon Henry Cabot Lodge, were responsible for the coup is a myth.

    President Kennedy resolved to modify his instructions to Ambassador Lodge, not to end U.S. backing for the South Vietnamese generals, but rather to ensure Washington lent the weight of its support to a coup that would succeed. The text below introduces this electronic briefing book in its original form, including notes on John F. Kennedy’s audiotape recording system, the context in which Kennedy made his decision on the coup against Diem, and the byplay of the Washington deliberations.

    On the tapes, Kennedy can be heard moderating NSC deliberations that aimed at forging a policy specifically aimed at the Saigon coup.

    The Kennedy tapes concern a series of top level meetings the president held at the White House in late August 1963. The tapes form part of a larger collection of audiotapes by President Kennedy, who had recording systems installed in the Cabinet Room and in his Oval Office respectively in the summer and fall of 1962. Kennedy himself controlled the taping system, using switches located underneath the conference table in the Cabinet Room and in his desk in the Oval Office.

    The view that a cabal was responsible was influenced by the president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who said that “a handful of men in the State Department and the White House had been awaiting an opportunity to encourage the Vietnamese army to move against the government.”


    • Bill Ahub
      June 7, 2018 at 13:53

      Hello … I quickly read your comment (but did not follow the link to the coup). As a generic question for anyone quoting the use of a taping system or of any other background method, how much faith can one put in discussions before an event when any number of involved individuals are just building a “straw horse” among others to a) cover their butts, b) uncover deeper information, and c) determine foe and foe?

  10. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 18:08

    When Nolting started to go public with his views on what had happened in Vietnam, he maintained that the ultimate responsibility for America’s blundering policy lay with Kennedy and Rusk. During a public address in Lynchburg (Va.), Nolting stated that the “fatal error” which had led America into so much trouble in Vietnam was the consequence of the decision to undermine Ngo Dinh Diem, and this decision had been taken by Secretary of State Dean Rusk and President Kennedy. 14


  11. June 6, 2018 at 14:17

    Thanks Michael.

    If you can believe it, there are some good articles on both RFK and the assassination in the MSM of late.

    Here is one at ABC news


  12. June 6, 2018 at 14:01

    As is always with Mister James Di Eugenio “a thoroughly critical and testimonial analysis with the facts,” and I see the spot on nature with which he takes time, to make a point by point roadmap for where the Author made some lesser version’s of what was his truly… more’s version’s… with what (the RFK record’s should’ve been) upon his reflecting. Likely, where both Kennedy’s were most misunderstood and also underpinned in written inking books via their contributions seems to be in Foreign Policy. [ This is usually where all JFK books and RFK books fail the two men which also includes my own Book.] Essentially the Kennedy’s… both men gave a voice to these third world people’s and a voice towards the poorer and oppressed societies in the world like in South America (and) Africa, (and) in’ Southeast Asia + Europe… and, they sought to set the stage’s for like an eventual shift–for the gradual change’s–for life’ overall, “global growth to allow pure’ democracy to reach out, and raise up the levels of the general lifestyle’s, and the station’s for the poor people… whose need’s were not served in all the past United States–administration’s,” since “both Kennedys were murdered for allowing that uniquely revolutionary possibility of a truly bigger slice of pie’ to go to the poor folks; that’s why they were both murdered by our own [ CIA NSC JCS ] government agencies, who wanted the pie slice’ to the rich one’s to not be cut’ nor be divided.” Essentially the review… herein became very fair and balanced, since what RFK + JFK those two combining historical foundation’s laid out for all in future and sweeping…vastly global contributions–absolutely were, and are–truly–significant, ( had they both lived to build up these bridges, for these programs and political opportunities… to expand globally… for those’ regions; ) we would have had a more secure world and a “better pie cut for the poor and under-served segments,” in our World Society Mosaic–That JFK and RFK sought to Improve? Obviously, at the end of the decade we poured money [ 1965 through 1975 ] into the disastrously divisional (and) ridiculously–unnecessary Vietnam War, and that 550 Billion–would have… went over to these Social Needs; JFK and RFK– Kennedy led–social need’s…or program’s. One would have to applaud Mister Di Eugenio for protecting such a socially historically significant RFK legacy. One legacy, I see as worth preserving for history in this case; he does preserve it here. Michael Gering THE BEACHCOMBER

  13. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 13:12

    An Interview with Geoffrey Shaw, author of The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam.

    Most Americans do not realize just how much Lodge and the Harriman cabal had to push the Vietnamese generals to embark on a coup. I remember reading one report—I think it was from CIA operative Lucien Conein to Lodge—stating that getting the ARVN (South Vietnam army) generals to plot against Diem was like trying to push spaghetti. The would-be Vietnamese coup officers were quite distinctly dragging their heels, and Kennedy’s men were trying to push them on.


  14. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 12:48

    Seymour Hersh
    From The Dark Side of Camelot
    (Little, Brown, 1997)

    The president’s files would reveal that Jack and Bobby Kennedy were more than merely informed about the CIA’s assassination plotting against Prime Minister Fidel Castro of Cuba: they were its strongest advocates. The necessity of Castro’s death became a presidential obsession after the disastrous failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961, and remained an obsession to the end. White House files also dealt with three foreign leaders who were murdered during Kennedy’s thousand days in the presidency — Patrice Lumumba, of the Congo; Rafael Trujillo, of the Dominican Republic; and Ngo Dinh Diem, of South Vietnam. Jack Kennedy knew of and endorsed the CIA’s assassination plotting against Lumumba and Trujillo before his inauguration on January 20, 1961. He was much more active in the fall of 1963, when a brutal coup d’état in Saigon resulted in Diem’s murder. Two months before the coup, Kennedy summoned air force general Edward G. Lansdale, a former CIA operative who had been involved in the administration’s assassination plotting against Fidel Castro, and asked whether he would return to Saigon and help if the president decided he had to “get rid” of Diem. “Mr. President,” Lansdale responded, “I couldn’t do that.” The plot went forward. None of this would be revealed until this book, and none of it was shared with Lyndon Johnson, then the vice president.

    there is a lot more here, too much to quote:

    • Bill Ahub
      June 7, 2018 at 14:11

      Hello … good stuff on the attempted assassinations of Castro!!! You might want to re-read info on our post-Spanish-American war period … the Negro Revolt of 1912 when US Marines landed at Daiquiri (as they had in 1898) near Gitmo to support the plantation owners (read US financial interests); see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negro_Rebellion. Should I consider the naming of the Daiquiri drink as a crude manifestation of racism? A quick check at Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daiquiri) indicates its origin before the 1912 revolt by three years when a US medical officer (and rear admiral) introduced the drink to the Army-Navy club in 1909. However, is there a need to research the “fine” line amongst the subtle and not-so-subtle past-times’ references to those not white enough; e.g. Little Black Sambo film and records, using Philippinos as waiters on US naval ships, etc.

  15. Carol Edwards
    June 6, 2018 at 12:35

    These 1960 assassinations amounted to a virtual coup d’etat of progressive politics in America and began the sad, disastrous and criminal dismantling of anything resembling democracy. We now have the complete perversion of democracy by unregulated capitalism, another euphemism for piracy.

    • June 7, 2018 at 15:33

      That is the way I view it Carol.

      Thanks. The nation has not been the same since.

  16. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 12:21

    By the end of August, JFK and his most dovish advisers (Averell Harriman, Roger Hilsman, George Ball) agreed that the client government should be overthrown. On August 28, the President “asked the Defense Department to come up with ways of building up the anti-Diem forces in Saigon,” and called on his advisers to devise actions in Washington or “in the field which would maximize the chances of the rebel generals.” Harriman said that without a coup, “we cannot win the war” and “must withdraw.” Hilsman “agreed that we cannot win the war unless Diem is removed,” as did Ball, while Robert Kennedy also called for efforts to strengthen the rebel generals. Secretary Rusk warned JFK that “Nhu might call on the North Vietnamese to help him throw out the Americans.”

    Hilsman urged that if Diem and Nhu make any “Political move toward the DRV (such as opening of neutralization negotiations),” or even hint at such moves, we should “Encourage the generals to move promptly with a coup,” and be prepared to “hit the DRV with all that is necessary” if they try to counter our actions, introducing US combat forces to ensure victory for the coup group if necessary. “The important thing is to win the war,” Hilsman advised; and that meant getting rid of the Saigon regime, which was dragging its feet and looking for ways out. The President concurred that “our primary objective remains winning war,” Rusk cabled to the Saigon Embassy.

    Through October 1963, problems with the GVN continued to mount. Nhu called openly for the Americans to get out completely, only providing aid.

    Washington’s coup plans continued, with Ambassador Lodge in operational command. The only hesitation was fear of failure. When the coup finally took place on November 1, replacing Diem and Nhu (who were killed) by a military regime, the President praised Lodge effusively for his “fine job” and “leadership,” an “achievement…of the greatest importance.” With the generals now in power, “our primary emphasis should be on effectiveness rather than upon external appearances,” the President added. We must help the coup regime to confront “the real problems of winning the contest against the Communists and holding the confidence of its own people.” The “ineffectiveness, loss of popular confidence, and the prospect of defeat that were decisive in shaping our relations to the Diem regime” are now a thing of the past, the President hoped, thanks to Lodge’s inspired leadership and coup-management, with its gratifying outcome (Nov. 6).

    Vain Hopes, False Dreams
    Noam Chomsky
    Z Magazine, September, 1992

  17. Brad Hominem
    June 6, 2018 at 10:39

    Excellent historically accurate article. I can see by the desperate comments left by those who make disinformation their business that peace, truth and justice are abstract little themes that just aint for everyone. It’s fitting that I’ve been re-reading Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial. Especially the parts where he outlines in appalling detail how intelligence agencies sponsor shameless trolls and shills to try and discredit reality in a bid to keep the country, and the world, in a perpetual state of war through demonising the prophets and glorifying the maniacs…for whom they work.

    • June 6, 2018 at 11:51

      Brad – absolutely right about the “how intelligence agencies sponsor shameless trolls.” It is rather telling that a revisit to a 50 year old assassination brings them out in droves. The Edward Snowdon document releases shed some serious light on their tactics. One of the favorites is what we see over and over at comments sections at sites like CN. It’s called in troll language using: – (“The 4 D’s: Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, Deceive”).

      When I see posts from someone that show this pattern, it is clear one is dealing with a government troll (ok, ok, they also could simply be a complete and utter idiot), but more likely they are a troll. Of course in the end it doesn’t really matter, the question of “troll vs idiot.” If someone posts like a troll, using troll tactics right out of the manual (see linked article), they are doing the work of government trolls and are in my book just as odious.

      The trolls are here because this article matters. This article matters because the “truth” matters. Plain and simple.


  18. Bob Gardner
    June 6, 2018 at 08:03

    “Distorting the Life of Bobby Kennedy” is an apt title for this series of excuses and talking points.

    • Dennis berube
      June 6, 2018 at 08:48

      “excuses and talking points”? I’m sure you were well aware of all of these points then right? I very much doubt it because they have largely been ignored which is the point of the article.

  19. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 01:24

    The author of the Bay of Pigs invasion plan was not really Dulles, it was his deputy Bissell. When the invasion actually occurred, Allen Dulles was in Puerto Rico giving a speech, it was Bissell in charge.
    On April 10, 1961, Bissell had a meeting with Robert F. Kennedy. He told Kennedy that the new plan had a two out of three chance of success. Bissell added that even if the project failed the invasion force could join the guerrillas in the Escambray Mountains. Kennedy was convinced by this scheme and applied pressure on those like Chester Bowles, Theodore Sorenson and Arthur Schlesinger who were urging John F. Kennedy to abandon the project.

    Hard to call RFK anything but an ignorant warmonger.
    As he proved all over again with the assassination of Diem in Vietnam.

    • Dennis berube
      June 6, 2018 at 08:47

      He had nothing to do with Diems murder. Hard to call your anything other than incorrect. Wikipedia is not an honest source at all and is amateur hour compared to the sources in this excellent article.

    • June 6, 2018 at 11:00

      Since he never advocated for any war, this is more disinfo.

      Again, why do you not reveal who you are? What are you hiding? And why?

      Anyone who tries to cover up for Allen Dulles is not interested in verities.

  20. JWalters
    June 6, 2018 at 00:27

    Thank you for your meticulous scholarship. I hadn’t known about the brothers’ trip to Indochina, and subsequent perspective. Nor about Bobby Kennedy’s intense commitment to civil rights while in law school. Those helped me understand them better, and appreciate even more why they would have been so threatening to the war profiteers in power.

    The fact that the full stories of their murders have been covered up by the press means the perpetrators own the press. Controlling ownership is held by big bankers. In the same way they control in weapons companies. The heartlessness in the insurance industry is dictated by Wall Street, according to insider insurance VP of PR Wendell Potter. The coverup itself is a clue, discussed for new readers who haven’t seen it at http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

  21. luxetveritas
    June 6, 2018 at 00:08

    Please remember that Senator Fulbright opposed the Kennedy plan to invade Cuba,
    and he told Kennedy this, and argued strongly against the invasion, but Kennedy ignored him.
    “To give this activity even covert support is of a piece with the hypocrisy and cynicism for
    which the United States is constantly denouncing the Soviet Union in the United Nations
    and elsewhere. This point will not be lost on the rest of the world—nor on our own
    consciences for that matter (Beschloss, 1991, p. 106).”
    Fulbright concluded by saying “the Castro regime is a thorn in the flesh; but it is not a dagger in
    the heart” (Schlesinger, 1965, p. 251).
    end quote
    Dean Rusk and Chester Bowles also disagreed with the Kennedy plan. Bobby told Rusk to shut
    up and get with the team. Bowles was sent off to be ambassador to India.
    When told of the plan, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson
    was even more blunt with Kennedy: “Are you serious? It doesn’t take Price Waterhouse to figure
    out that fifteen hundred Cubans aren’t as good as twenty-five thousand” (as cited in Dallek,
    2013, p. 135).
    A smaller number of strategists and experts who were directly involved in planning
    voiced opposition or at least encouraged caution. General David M. Shoup was one who tried to
    remind the CIA of the practicalities of an invasion effort, and used maps and diagrams, rather
    than esoteric arguments to make his case. At one point he managed to make an impression by
    showing a map of U.S. overlaid with map of Cuba. His audience expressed surprise when they
    realized how large the island is. General Shoup then overlaid those two maps with a map of
    Tarawa Atoll, which was a tiny dot in comparison, and pointed out that it had taken three days
    and eighteen thousand Marines to capture Tarawa (Halberstam, 1972, pp. 66-67).

    Kennedy reserved the right to call off the operation up until the last minute. After the
    phone call in which Kennedy gave final authorization for the invasion, Jacqueline Kennedy
    described him as being “in pain, almost … you just knew he knew what had happened was
    wrong” (Dallek, 2013, p. 143

    From the moment they began to plan for invasion, the CIA seems to have failed to
    reexamine whether such an action would serve any real purpose, even if successful. A pivotal
    question, “which none of [Kennedy’s] advisers posed, was whether Castro represented a genuine
    threat to national security… The fact that no such questions were being asked spoke volumes
    about the mind-set [of the advising team]. For all the rhetoric about a fresh approach to old
    problems, Kennedy and his team were as locked into conventional thinking as their
    predecessors” (Dallek, 2013, pp. 133-134).

    Schlesinger (1965) charges that no real critical analysis was ever performed on the
    invasion plans, and the experts who would have best been able to determine the likelihood of
    success were never consulted. As a result, “the same men, in short, both planned the operation
    and judged its chances of success.”

    Whether or not the Cuban leaders read about it in the papers or learned about it from their
    intelligence network, it is clear that they expected an invasion. In anticipation, Che Guevara gave
    a speech in which he said that “all of the Cuban people must become a guerrilla army; each and
    every Cuban must learn to handle and if necessary use firearms in defense of the nation”
    (Kellner, 1989, pp. 54-55). “Eisenhower had repeatedly warned that the anti-Castro operation
    could succeed only if American involvement remained secret. Now any hope of secrecy was
    gone” (Kinzer, 2013, pp. 296-297).

    According to Halberstam (1972), the
    entire process had involved
    too much secrecy with too many experts who knew remarkably little either about the
    country involved or about their own country; too many decisions by the private men of
    the Administration as opposed to the public ones; and too little moral reference. And
    finally, too little common sense. How a President who seemed so contemporary could
    agree to a plan so obviously doomed to failure, a plan based on so little understanding of
    the situation, was astounding (p. 66).

    None So Blind: Planning the Bay of Pigs… (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317553318_None_So_Blind_Planning_the_Bay_of_Pigs_Invasion [accessed Jun 05 2018].

    • JWalters
      June 6, 2018 at 00:57

      Kennedy had been told the invasion force would trigger a popular uprising, and would not need direct US military support. Dulles tried to trap Kennedy into providing that support with a bait and switch. Kennedy’s main mistake was trusting Dulles. Col. L. Fletcher Prouty has an excellent inside account of this in an online interview.

      It’s no use trying to portray Kennedy as a war nut. He tried to work with them, but ultimately opposed them. Your calling it “the Kennedy plan to invade Cuba” is a highly misleading opening. He was certainly not its parent or champion, but a reluctant buyer, which the evidence plainly shows.

  22. luxetveritas
    June 5, 2018 at 22:01

    You say:
    ” Nixon told JFK to invade the island and later Ike did also. If you somehow think that would not have happened on their watch you know very little about them.”
    The fact is that when Dulles proposed invading Cuba to President Eisenhower, Ike refused to implement the invasion. So it did not happen during Ike’s presidency.
    Dulles dusted off the old plan when JFK became president, and JFK implemented it with RFK’s full support. When Dean Rusk dissented, RFK told him to shut up and join the team. That was the Bay of Pigs invasion, which Cuba repelled.
    And then JFK/RFK lied to Adlai Stevenson, who was USA Ambassador to UN, and Adlai went before the UN and denied that the planes which bombed Bay of Pigs were connected to USA, and further denied that USA had any role in the invasion. The truth was that the planes were supplied by USA and the invaders were trained in Florida, just outside of Lakeland. And when they were discovered there, they were moved by JFK/RFK to new central american HQ for further invasion training.
    Perhaps the Kennedy Bros just were naive or uninformed, but that surely does not make them great leaders.
    Why did JFK/RFK appoint Allen Dulles to lead CIA? Sure, Dulles was a holdover from Ike. Likewise John Foster Dulles was Sec of State under Ike, but JFK/RFK did not reappoint him. Kennedy’s could easily have appointed their own man to run CIA, but they chose Allen Dulles. Dulles had overthrown government of Iran and also Guatemala under Eisenhower. Why did Kennedy Bros choose to keep Dulles as head of CIA. Does that show intelligent perceptive leadership?

    • June 5, 2018 at 23:01

      The reason Ike did not OK the action was that as late as November of 1960 he was not satisfied with the so called government in exile the CIA had set up. (Kornbluh, Bay of Pigs Declassified, p. 277)

      But he backed the operation all the way and told Kennedy before he left office that he was all for it. (ibid, p. 283) EIsenhower thought Nixon would win, and Nixon was the action officer in the White House on the project. Therefore, its clear that Cuba would have been a territory of the USA had Nixon won the election.

      I ask you again, what is your real name? And why will you not reveal it?

      • luxetveritas
        June 5, 2018 at 23:24

        So you have no answer why Kennedy’s appointed Allen Dulles, who was well known to have overthrown government of Iran and also of Guatemala.
        The appointment of Dulles clearly shows that the Kennedy Bros approved these coups.
        The USA invasion of the Bay of Pigs was just more of the same, and the only problem the Kennedy’s had was that it failed.
        The whole premise was that the Cuban people would welcome the invasion, and this premise was dead wrong.
        The same premise was the basis of the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq, the people would welcome USA liberators with flowers.
        How did that work out?
        Still going, no flowers yet.
        Also worth noting your failure to reply with any explanation of how Kennedy Bros told Adlai Stevenson to lie before the world at UN, and deny that it was USA invasion at Bay of Pigs.

        • luxetveritas
          June 5, 2018 at 23:43

          Ike had the wisdom to NOT invade Cuba.
          The Kennedy Bros had the ignorance and hubris to invade Cuba.
          Yes the plan did evolve under Kennedy’s, it became bigger and worse.
          The Bay of Pigs invasion was mod
          eled after Operation PBSUCCESS in which the CIA worked to oust Guatemala’s leftist president Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. The Guatemalan overthrow was poorly planned and was only adequately executed, but conditions within Guatemala allowed it to succeed.10 Seven years later, when trying to convince Kennedy that the invasion of Cuba should proceed, CIA Director Allen Dulles said he felt more confident than he had with Guatemala.11 Dulles’s words weighed heavily on Kennedy, who evidently was unaware that reality did not match his presidential briefings—that the exiles were poorly trained, supplies were limited, and Castro was on alert.12 Piero Gleijeses notes that CIA officials were so “elated” in the wake of 1954 that “they forgot the many ways that they knew it could have gone wrong.”13 The brimming overconfidence within the CIA prevented any objective internal review, and its officials were, by 1961, unaware of the inferior nature of their template.14
          The plan Kennedy approved in March 1961 was drastically different from the plan that Eisenhower sanctioned a year earlier. In March 1960, Eisenhower authorized a small guerilla infiltration with the goal of training disloyal Cubans to openly rebel and march on Havana.15 Kennedy was subsequently asked to approve a World War II–style maritime invasion. Coinciding with the presidential transition as hypothesized by Friedman, the decision-making process by which the invasion morphed from guerrilla-infiltration to a covert amphibious landing doomed the entire project. Therefore, until the final moment of failure, Kennedy continued to believe that popular uprisings would indeed occur and that guerilla operations were still being conducted on the island.
          “Defeat Is an Orphan”
          The Kennedy Administration and the Bureaucratic
          Tug-of-War over the Bay of Pigs
          Eric R. Martell

        • Dennis berube
          June 6, 2018 at 09:22

          You display a lack of political savvy asking about JFK appointing Dulles. He did not do so, he simply did not fire him immediately which would have been difficult to do. In fact, it is very rare that a President changed the DCI upon taking office, nevermind the longest serving and at that time, legendary Dulles.
          Stevenson did not intentionally lie at the Kennedys behest, that is obfuscation. He was kept in the dark as part of the operation and then JFK owned the mistake internationally soon afterwards.

        • June 6, 2018 at 11:03

          Kennedy appointed Dulles?

          Anyone who is that ignorant is not worth arguing with. And on top of that you do not have the guts or honesty to reveal who you are. If I was that ignorant I wouldn’t either.

          And with that one goodbye.

      • Robert Edwards
        June 7, 2018 at 16:49

        I think we know the reason for the concealed id entity…..

  23. Peggy
    June 5, 2018 at 19:56

    I know Senator Joe McCarthy was Kathleen Kennedys godfather.That is pretty close friends if you ask me.


    In 1952, shortly after graduating from UVA, Kennedy got one of his first jobs thanks to an old family friend, Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy, who had vacationed with the Kennedy family and even dated two of Bobby’s sisters, agreed to hire the young lawyer to work on his Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations examining possible communists infiltration of the U.S. government. Kennedy left six months later, after clashing with McCarthy’s brash young deputy, Roy Cohn.

    Though both he and his brother John became increasingly disillusioned with McCarthy’s brutal tactics, neither brother completely disavowed him. In fact, Bobby Kennedy named McCarthy godfather to his first child, Kathleen, and when McCarthy was finally censured by the Senate in 1954, John Kennedy, ostensibly recuperating from back surgery, was the only Democrat not to vote in favor of the measure. It would be take two more years before the elder Kennedy publicly denounced one of the chief architects of the Cold War Red Scare.

    • Pat Penick
      June 6, 2018 at 10:25

      Sounds pertinent! Good points.

  24. June 5, 2018 at 18:31

    Thank you very much for this fine reporting, Mr. DiEugenio; thanks also to Consortium News for having the courage to publish it. You have saved Senator and Presidential Candidate Robert Francis Kennedy from the Hillaryite Democratic (sic) Party’s sneaky effort to minimize their own Neoliberal treachery by portraying Senator Kennedy as far less progressive than he truly was.

    Not surprisingly, Goldwater Girl Hillary and her band of syncopated sycophants have likewise slandered President Kennedy, a process that, not coincidentally, began almost immediately after publication of James Douglass’ superbly reasoned JFK and the Unspeakable.

    As does Mr. DiEugenio for Robert Kennedy, Mr. Douglass makes it obvious why President Kennedy was murdered. .

    Also obvious is how the deliberate misrepresentations of the two men’s histories is part of an Orwellian effort to smokescreen the true depth of our post-1960s subjugation. By concealing the progressive efforts and intentions of the two Kennedys, — each of whom was unquestionably martyred for his vision of what this nation could have been — the Hillaryites and their Republican collaborators obscure the progressive potential that was forever stolen from us by the murderers,

    Thus the Hillaryites and the Republicans not only make themselves appear to be far less reactionary than they are; they also — by minimizing the Kennedys’ obvious threat to our then-still-clandestinely fascist overlords — prop up the obvious Big Lies the two were slain by lone demented gunmen rather than by tyrannical conspirators. (Such Josef Goebbels-type scheming no doubt originated from the Big Lie factory in Langley, but in all probability that aspect of the Kennedy story will never be revealed.)

    Anyway thanks again for a valiant effort to set the record straight.

  25. Ginni
    June 5, 2018 at 18:11

    Incredibly interesting article. I was still too young to vote at the time but was taken with Bobby Kennedy. After he was assassinated I became rather cynical, as did many. It is encouraging to review his life and legacy.

  26. June 5, 2018 at 17:20

    Fascinating article for history buffs, and well, anyone who cares about how our past impacts the present, and our present, the future.

  27. June 5, 2018 at 17:19

    Outstanding article, congratulations.

  28. CJN
    June 5, 2018 at 17:00

    Jim D.
    Oliver Stone in his Alternative History of the US on Netflix claims the Secret Service broke open a plot to kill JFK in Chicago before he went to Dallas and identified or captured 3 gunman who were going to triangulate the target at a choke point on the route. Any further info on this?

    • Skip Scott
      June 6, 2018 at 06:32

      That story is also well told in James Douglass’ “JFK and the Unspeakable”. It is an excellent read, I suggest you check it out.

      • June 6, 2018 at 11:05

        It is also in the book The Echo from Dealey Plaza by Abe Bolden.

        You can also read the essay by Edwin Black, “The Plot to Kill Kennedy in Chicago”.

  29. aterl
    June 5, 2018 at 16:34

    John & Bobby Kennedy were the best hope for America to be a decent country, Following her funding fathers dreams. Since JFK & RFK’ s death, everything politically went from bad to worse. Now 50 years later America has become the new nazi empire of planet Earth. She has been involved in all troubles seen on the five continents, Killing more humans than the second World-war. She arms terroerists and most of this planets’ dictatures.having the guts to call her innocent victims: just collateral damages. Lukily for Humanity Russia and China have become responsive super-powers capable to keep “fucken”America quiet and have her forget her mirage of Worldwide hegemony. Nevertheless this sick country has gangrened most of Europe and made states like prostitute France as bad as she is. Her president (psychopathe deficient mental Macron )is Trump little french poodle. What a shame !

    • June 5, 2018 at 17:51

      J’assume toujours ce que j’écris. En profitant d’un parcours de vie des plus originaux. A 79 ans j’ai un trou au derrière et l’on ne m’en fera pas un deuxième. J’ai vécu 3 ans au Sahara (expériences nucléaires souterraines de la France à In Ecker (Sahara) Puis je suis parti en Amérique du Nord (2 ans au Canada et 19 aux USA dont 18 au service de Boeing). De retour en France en 1985, j’ai fait la connaissance d’un journaliste russe (apparemment influent) en poste à Paris. Cela m’a permis de découvrir la Russie où j’ai fait 15 séjours d’un mois chacun. Je suis donc fluent en anglais et j’ai quelques notions de russe. En 1997 j’ai même été candidat aux élections législatives à Annecy (Très intéressante expérience). Je me considère donc être un citoyen concerné, objectif et sincère, mais aussi très directe. Maintenant. je prends le temps d’observer et d’analyser. Ce que je vois et qu’il me faut anticiper pour ceux et celles qui suivront ne me plait pas et m’inquiète. Comment a-t-on pu dans un pays relativement intelligent choisir un individu imbu de sa minable personne, psychopathe, hystérique et n’ayant aucun scrupule comme président. Un éminent professeur italien en psychothérapie (Adriano Sagatori) en a fait, avant Mai 2017, une description qui fait peur. Regardez la; elle est toujours en vidéo sur Internet. Ce qui nous évitera de refaire la même connerie en 2022…

      • June 5, 2018 at 17:56

        I should have written in English (Hell’s official language) I prefer French

  30. June 5, 2018 at 14:57

    Thanks for caring to set the record straight, Mr. DiEugenio. RFK was an extraordinary human being, who genuinely cared to make a positive difference on this blue and green planet. A man of courage amid turbulent times.

  31. June 5, 2018 at 14:05

    Thanks Jim, you inspired me to call the White House about reading and releasing my latest report to the FBI after my 91 report appears to have vanished. My ROTC roommate Phil Ochs who I am sure Told RFK that he was in Dealey Plaza as a National Security Observer and because of our being noted Castro sympathizers were set up in the “Russia/Cuba did it” which was the bases for LBJ ordering the Commission to find Oswald the Lone Nut shooter guilty in the WC report to save the world from nuclear war with Russia. Some folks might be familiar with my FBI report since I have been talking and writing about it since 91 and about the set-up in Dallas since the beginning. The racist Hoover also hated Beatniks, Peaceniks and Folksingers and the Hollywood Hootenanny tour was hijacked to provide mobility to the Dallas plot. After telling the mangers of the tour that Phil warned me not to go because Kennedy would be killed in the South, I was told “yes, that is why we want you to go, don’t wright anything down or interfere.. it is dangerous.” And so it was because when I was forced onto the Shadow tour bus near Houston for the secret pickup at the Houston “Hobby air strip” I thought i would be killed so I just watched and shut up. I was alerted to the fact that someone I knew got on the bus. As I told the FBI identifier #9036 5/7/18 the man who wanted me to spy on my family in the early 50’s George Bush was sitting with Director Hoover and on the passenger side of the isle was a blond lady…. Barbara Bush who from her own story was getting her hair done in Tyler Texas while George was speaking to the Kiwanis Club about his up coming run for the Senate, George’s speech was interrupted by the news in Dallas. So as one reporter told me I must be the only person who knows where Hoover was the late afternoon on that day. My theory on why Barbara Bush would get a marilyn Monroe hair style when Bush was getting ready to denounce Kennedy in the upcoming elections of 64 is a no brainer if we take into consideration that blaming the Kennedy’s for the death of Marylyn Monroe was in the works. The Bush’s tried to hide the fact of Blond Barbara all this time because what I witnessed was a crime scene. I recently found the Photo of Blond Barbara on Easter 64 with her 5 year old daughter Dorothy which was falsely posted in her library as a photo from 1960. So where was Hoover when he called RFK minutes after the shooting, told Robert he would get back with more info but never did? He could have flown out to Houston to meet Bush but I suspect he was already in Texas from the day before. Folks should read Hoover’s testimony to the Warren Commission where he says nothing about where he was on that day until LBJ called that night and after Hoover tells him he has no jurisdiction because Killing a President is not against Federal law, over the phone LBJ orders Hoover to take change of the investigation.
    Get it? Jim

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 5, 2018 at 16:46

      Mr Glover, with all due respect, you should submit an article to the Consortium for publishing. I know, I would love to read it. Joe

      PS I love Phil Ochs music

      • LarcoMarco
        June 5, 2018 at 18:54

        “There but for fortune go you and I.”

        — Phil Ochs

    • Pat Penick
      June 6, 2018 at 10:46

      Barbara Bush getting a Monroe styled haircut seems a normal and expected thing, sounds wacky to relate this to murder…

  32. John McLaughlin
    June 5, 2018 at 13:33

    Excellent article Mr. DiEugenio! Chris Matthews has been milking his faux leftist bona fides and tenuous asociation with Tip O’Neil for all it is worth for decades. IMO the omissions by Mathews that you pointed out were no accident. Matthews is no doubt paid very well to keep shilling for the Deep State . Thank YOU for fighting the good fight Mr. DiEugenio. I’m sure Jack, Bobby, Martin and Malcolm and theirFamilies are appreciative of all your efforts.

  33. June 5, 2018 at 13:13

    Sidebar questions: How many regular readers here believe in JFK assassination conspiracy theories?

    And, did Bob himself?

    • JoeD
      June 5, 2018 at 15:03

      Is there any doubt the CIA wanted Kennedy out of the way.

  34. June 5, 2018 at 12:53

    Thanks for an informative article. I realized reading it that I know more about the details of RFK’s assassination than I do about some of the behind the scenes politics he had been involved in earlier in his career. So interesting that even today the trolls throwing the CIA’s “conspiracy theory” label show up anywhere and everywhere a discussion either of the Kennedy’s, or MLK’s life, is discussed in alternative media. I suppose this is a testament to how absolutely corrupt the institutions of the ruling powers remain that they fear the consequences of the truth of their deeds even half a century later. Rightfully so I would add.

    The gunshot that killed Bobby was fired into the back of his skull from behind at a range of 1 to 1 1/2 INCHES, complete with the powder burns to prove it. Just as the laws of physics had to be contorted by the “magic bullet theory” in his brother’s death, they had to be twisted yet again to maintain that Sirhan Sirhan standing in front of RFK, shot him in the back of the head, at point blank range no less, though no witnesses at the scene testified this was in any way a physical possibility. Of course there is so much more to the lies necessary to frame yet a second patsy.

    The truth of all this would of course collapse the government. Which is why the trolls immediately appear doing their troll dance and trying to take the discussion anywhere but in the direction it inevitably leads. We are ruled by institutions so corrupt and vile that they killed the entire elite progressive leadership of our nation during a five year period when I was still a teenager. Our nation was transformed forever, which was exactly the intention of this internal coup to prevent actual “democracy” from challenging oligarchy.

    Our failure to punish this monstrous behavior has given us our subsequent monstrous history. Millions slaughtered, tortured, starved around the globe in pursuit of empire that continues to this day. All carried out by two political parties which offer no real difference except for the identity politics question of whether you prefer your regime change wars, invasions, coups, election rigging, assassinations, death squads and torture: “with” or “without” gender specific bathrooms? This little carnival of the absurd is what we call “democracy” in the U.S. It is not the “democracy” we would have had if JFK, Malcolm, MLK and RFK had not been killed by forces within our own ruling circles, all to insure true progressive change could not take place domestically or internationally in terms of U.S. policies.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 5, 2018 at 16:42

      Well said Gary, I could not have said it any better. Joe

    • michael crockett
      June 5, 2018 at 17:30

      Excellent post Gary. The article is both informative and well done by author as well. I too was a teenager at the time and was not able, until many years later, to understand how these assassinations would alter the course of history for the US and for much of the world. It is both profoundly sad and maddening. RFK would have been a very good President. Had King not been assassinated, and taken Peppers advise and run as an independent for President, I believe he too could have won. Thus the two party monopoly could have been broken, giving democracy and peace a chance.

  35. Phil D
    June 5, 2018 at 12:47

    Mr. DiEugenio is a historian, author and one of the most knowledgeable and respected researchers not only of the JFK assassination but of his presidency. He does not, in this article, make unsupported claims – he is reporting documented facts. I could provide more detail but there’s no sense in wasting any more of my time debating an uninformed, closed-minded idiot such as yourself.

  36. Bruce Dickson
    June 5, 2018 at 12:26

    The year, 1968, was also that of the great general strikes in France, wherein people of otherwise divergent ranks found common cause to rail against and, for a time, stay the hand of the ruling elite.

    Heady times, indeed, with an exhilarating international zeitgeist – times that those who managed to beat them back then set about to undermine forever by consolidating oligarchic power even more while hobbling all means of popular resistance and promoting materialistic individualism, polarization, cynicism and division throughout the culture, thus turning the path back to ’68 a sterile and scorched earth.

  37. June 5, 2018 at 12:22

    Mr Lux: (Since I do not know your name.)

    As I mentioned in the article, Nixon told JFK to invade the island and later Ike did also. If you somehow think that would not have happened on their watch you know very little about them. The point is, JFK refused to be snookered by Dulles’ ploy. With Nixon, Cuba would be a colony of the USA today. Kennedy would not go along with it and he then fired the top level of the CIA for doing such a thing. So where is the drive for hegemony?

    As for Hoover, wow. I guess you know very little about the relationship between RFK and Hoover. Hoover was going to be fired after 1964. LBJ extended his retirement age and Nixon backed down from firing him after he was going to do so.

    The rest of your reply is beneath comment. Question though, why do you not use your real name? I will not reply anymore if you do not. What do you have to hide?

  38. DH Fabian
    June 5, 2018 at 12:04

    Books reflect their authors, and Chris Matthews has long been on the Dem Party right. What has been disappeared from the media discussion since the 1990s is the powerful role both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. played in shining a light on US poverty.

    Martin Luther King not only pointed out how our economic system created poverty, but stressed that the majority of US poor are white, and pointed out why the poor of all races needed to unite. And On the Point notes that: “Kennedy sought to build his unlikely coalition in part by running an economically populist campaign that vilified wealthy tax cheats and earned him the enmity of business leaders. ‘We have to convince the Negroes and the poor whites that they have common interests,’ he told the journalist Jack Newfield.” In recent years, much work has gone into preventing that.
    See, for example: http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2018/06/04/robert-f-kennedys-legacy-50-years-on

  39. Kathy Gray
    June 5, 2018 at 11:51

    Bobby would have got us out of Nam sooner. And that’s why he was murdered McCarthy tried to carry on his platform but the Establishment Democrats ignored him and gave the nomination to Hubert Humphrey and that is how Nixon got elected.

  40. Bob Van Noy
    June 5, 2018 at 10:23

    Very fitting take down Jim DiEugenio of Chris Matthews articles and a great method of comparing and contrasting real history and obfuscation. Many thanks!

    I’ve been studying and waiting for this day for many years and with the many new and accurate new articles now coming out, it appears that we will soon get an accurate picture of the outrageous year of 1968. I have little doubt that the dam has been breached and our lost history will soon be exposed. What makes it even sweeter for me is, that it should begin here on Consortiumnews. Robert Parry would have been pleased to publish this piece, of that I’m sure.

    Your work is invaluable, and you’ve further illuminated the time past, so now let’s hope again that brave people will readdress the Crimes committed and correct the grave injustice done to this Country and its people.

    • DH Fabian
      June 5, 2018 at 12:19

      In this era, there is little chance of seeing that happen. We might, however, get a clearer partial picture. Starting during the Eisenhower administration, surprisingly enough, a common thread that ran through the discussions of issues ranging from foreign policy to overall conditions in the US, was American poverty — proof of the failures of our capitalism. (“War is big business, and the poor are America’s cannon fodder.”) Then came the “Reagan Revolution,” and years of massive upward wealth redistribution. Since the 1990s, even liberals no longer acknowledge the consequences — our poverty crisis. Disappearing the poor has skewed public perspectives on a number of issues.

  41. anon
    June 5, 2018 at 10:08

    No such claims at all were made in the article. Do waste your time elsewhere.

    • Skip Scott
      June 5, 2018 at 11:52

      I agree anon. Gadfly is full of tiresome, slanderous nonsense. I sure he believes the Warren Commission settled everything regarding JFK, and the NY Times and WaPo are chock-full of serious, factual journalism. He just likes to troll here to piss people off.

  42. Sam F
    June 5, 2018 at 10:02

    Thanks to Jim DiEugenio for this detailed and very readable account of RFK.

    The assassinations of the real leaders of the 1960s illuminated the destruction of the US. The Kennedys and MLK, with perhaps Carter much later, were the last real Democrats, and their efforts were the last throes of democracy in the US. Democracy cannot be restored until we protect its institutions from money power, to eliminate the dictatorship of the rich.

    The restoration of US democracy requires a new era of activism, but with mass media and elections now fully controlled by oligarchy, that will not be fashionable activism, it will arise in anger at government corruption, causing prolonged depressions. That probably requires full embargo of the US by the world, and the collapse of its bubble economy of debts and scams.

  43. RickD
    June 5, 2018 at 10:00

    I see this entire art5icle, not as clarification but as some sort of vendetta against Matthews. Puzzling really.

    I was 10 years old when I watched the Army McCarthy hearings on TV, my first exposure to politics. Though I was too young to know what was going on I instinctively knew it was important.
    Similarly, while I do not know the motivation of this author I know something is going on…..

    • Sam F
      June 5, 2018 at 10:06

      The article criticizes the Matthews book omissions, using those to point out the character of RFK. This provides the theme, that the book measures RFK by showing that he went further than it claims, so as to counter the revisionism of fake liberals today.

    • evelync
      June 5, 2018 at 14:18

      “something is going on”???
      I guess I can understand your point of view if you trust Chris Matthews to recognize and tell the truth.

      I, on the other hand, – although, sorry, I do not have the skill or the training or the evidence to prove it – find Chris Mathews a self serving hack. Intellectually dishonest, most interested in patting himself on the back and serving his ego – therefore willing to be used by TPTB to serve their financial interests – how could it be otherwise when one is a hack?

      Matthews announces regularly that he spoke out against the Iraq War. I can’t prove it at this point, but I recall that he was not outspoken against the Iraq War when it mattered – leading up to it.
      Please let me know if you have evidence that I am wrong on this point.

      Nevertheless, it’s hard to find people with Chris Matthews platform who do not allow their own personal leanings to influence their presentation of the “news”. Chris seems to be a wavering, inconsistent, unreliable and not very bright babbler. Although he seems to be very proud of himself.

      So I appreciate James DiEugenio’s article – not only that it confirms my sense of Chris Matthews as author (sorry I lack the intestinal fortitude to read his stuff) – but because it also helps me to understand the political atmosphere in which JFK and RFK and MLK were murdered and maybe why they were murdered and by whom.

      A fascinating historical analysis of the catastrophic Cold War ideology is “Cold War Crucible” by Hajimu Masuda in which he documents the illusions and fears of ordinary people that helped to feed the mindless, bloody (but surely profitable) wars that it precipitated.

  44. June 5, 2018 at 09:51

    God what a whitewash. Even before I got to the Vietnam part I knew what would be written.

    The reality is different. Jack said in the fall of 1963 that he wouldn’t leave without a victory. And, that’s a victory, not a “declaring of victory” then leaving. Chomsky and others have covered this in detail.

    Jack was indeed an original Cold Warrior and Bobby was his wingman throughout.

    • anon
      June 5, 2018 at 10:09

      That contradiction of most accounts would require a lot of evidence, not collections of statements out of context. Do you have alternative sources?

    • Brad Owen
      June 5, 2018 at 12:19

      Press conference #63, October 31st, 1963, JFK says he is committed to withdrawing 1000 troops from South Vietnam by the end of the year. He was winding down our involvement. Youtube it.

  45. Joe Tedesky
    June 5, 2018 at 09:28

    Thanks for writing this Mr DiEugenio, because Chris Matthews drives me nuts with his Kennedy versions of the Kennedy’s. In fact Mr DiEigenio your critique of Matthew’s most recent selected Kennedy life stories, and to how Matthews describes them, is on its way to your coming up with your own new book. Possibly call it, ‘a Truthteller’s Guide to how to read Chris Matthews BS’ is a potential best seller in the making. Again thanks for keeping us straight to the truth.

  46. Paora
    June 5, 2018 at 08:42

    While there were real differences between RFK’s wing of the US elite and the out & out reactionaries like Joe McCarthy & J Edgar Hoover, it is important to remember that when it came to the US Empire these were differences over means, not ends. Opposition to ‘communism’ (read opposition to US political & economic diktats) held the status of self-evident truth. For Cold War Liberals, colonialism & Jim Crow were not affronts to human dignity, they had simply outlived their usefulness in promoting US power, to be superseded by more rational, modern methods. Walt Rostow’s ‘Strategic Hamlet’ program in Vietnam was a microcosm of this new approach to empire, a hi-tech machine directly targeting the ‘hearts & minds’ of those they sought to oppress. RFK seems radical compared to today’s neoliberal imperialists like Obama & Clinton, but certainly not compared to contemporaries like Fred Hampton or Che Guevara. The most disappointing aspect of Bernie Sanders’ politics is his inability to go beyond the Cold War Liberal mindset, calling Chavez a ‘Dead Communist Dictator’ & asking Saudi Arabia to get more involved (if that were possible!) in Iraq & Syria, in a 21st century version of ‘Vietnamization’. But compared to the ‘Goldwater Girl’, & in the absence of a ‘Hampton/Guevara 2020’ ticket, he looks pretty damn good. Perhaps he should avoid open-topped limousines & hotel pantries if he decides to run again…

    • Sam F
      June 5, 2018 at 10:22

      Very interesting views.
      Sanders seems to be a sheepdog who will do nothing better in foreign policy.
      We do need genuine 1960s liberals again, now and forever, if US democracy is to be saved.

    • June 5, 2018 at 14:41

      thanks paora..we must learn, before it’s too late, that liberal supporters of capital pursuit of private profit in markets and politics dominated by a moneyed minority are only different from conservative supporters in style, not content ..inequality among people and destruction of the natural environment go hand in hand as long as we treat people, earth, air and water as commodities best served by being bought and sold for private profits which, according to fundamentalist religious market belief, ultimately benefits the greater good of the majority.. please check material reality and focus on the system and not simply which servants sound and even perform better for some from your identity group…and even that cant last much longer..

  47. Skip Scott
    June 5, 2018 at 08:35

    Thank you for this excellent article. I think we have to ask ourselves why Mathews fails to mention all these important aspects of RFK’s career, and I think we find the answer in Mathews’ paymasters at MSDNC. Since the takeover of the democratic party by the globalizing, warmongering corporate wing, propaganda has been the norm. Omission is a subtle form, but it is propaganda nonetheless. Mathews likes his paycheck, sipping on cocktails with high class mucky mucks, and pretending that Soros style liberalism is the real thing. Mathews’ paymasters don’t want us to dwell on what the world may have become had RFK won the presidency.

  48. Vesuvius
    June 5, 2018 at 06:30

    Thanks Jim DiEugenio and Consortium News for this article. I am 84 years old, and I do remember very vividly both the tragic assassinations of JFK and RFK in the 1960ies. That was a time when the world took a turn to the worse.

    Having read Jim Douglass’ exraordinary book on the JFK assassination, I agree 100 pc with Mr DiEugenio.

  49. luxetveritas
    June 5, 2018 at 01:12

    This article is so biased. It fails to mention that it was the Kennedy’s who agreed to the coup/murder of the President Diem in South Vietnam.
    This article fails to state any reason why JFK and RFK approved the invasion of Cuba in the first place, instead it makes the Dulles Bros the villains, covering up the Kennedy Bros leadership and approval. Were the Kennedy Bros just so much move naive and weak than the Dulles Bros.?
    It fails to mention the seamy side of JFK and RFK’s lives, how JFK passed Marilyn Monroe on to RFK when he was done with her, and when she committed suicide, how RFK had her personal effects disappear including her diary. It fails to mention JFK’s addiction to amphetamines, which was so strong that he traveled to meet Khruschev in Vienna with his personal doctor to administer injections.
    I suggest reading Seymour Hersh and Noam Chomsky as a good antidote to this biased article.

    • June 5, 2018 at 02:06

      JFK did not approve the Bay of Pigs, or Operation Zapata. It was approved by Eisenhower and passed on to Kennedy. Kennedy stripped it back since he did not want it to feature American involvement. In the article I show how RFK uncovered how the CIA tricked Kennedy into letting them go. He fired the top level of the when he discovered this. I guess you missed that.

      The overthrow of Diem is covered in detail in the works of John Newman and Jim Douglass. Newman shows how Kennedy was conned by members of the State Department and Douglass handles how Henry Cabot Lodge and Lucien Conein ran with it in Saigon. Kennedy was so upset by what happened he recalled Lodge to America for the purpose of firing him. But Dallas intervened. LBJ kept him on and he helped escalate the war to the disaster it became.

      As per Chomsky and Hersh, talk about biased. LOL I do not do hatchet jobs with history. Not even on people I do not like e.g. Kissinger and Nixon. As per MM and amphetamines, I do also do not do tabloid stuff. You can get that from Access Hollywood and the Globe. I try to give people information that they cannot get elsewhere. in hopes they will be enlightened about the past. That is what writing history is all about as far as I am concerned.

      • June 5, 2018 at 09:50

        So, JFK disapproved of Bay of Pigs but didn’t kill it.

        And, he was still so cowed by the CIA nearly 3 full years later that he wouldn’t call off the Diem coup?


        This piece, and you, also ignore how JFK, from some lights, overhyped Cuba 1962 and the missiles issue.

        • Sam F
          June 5, 2018 at 10:25

          JFK apparently did not have full knowledge of the Bay of Pigs or the Diem coup.
          Those appear to be complex errors caused primarily by those of secret agendas.

        • Skip Scott
          June 5, 2018 at 11:45


          I suggest you read James Douglass’ excellent book “JFK and the Unspeakable”. It goes into the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Diem coup in detail. Kennedy’s wishes were sabotaged by Allen Dulles and other Deep State actors on many fronts until they decided it was easier just to kill him.

          And exactly HOW did JFK “overhype” the cuban missile crisis? That is a ridiculous accusation.

      • June 5, 2018 at 20:59


    • MillyBloom54
      June 5, 2018 at 08:15

      Methamphetamine was a legal medication in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and no less than 52 articles were published in the medical literature outlining the multiple conditions supporting its use. Methamphetamine was commonly prescribed and administered for fatigue.

    • June 5, 2018 at 10:30

      DiEugenio’s scholarship includes footnotes, jerk, where are yours?

  50. Jeff
    June 5, 2018 at 00:13

    I’ve learned a lot about RFK in the last few days and, mind you, I’m 68. I lived though all this.

Comments are closed.