Sunday, 03 February 2013 14:35

The MSM and RFK Jr.: Only 45 years late this time

Jim DiEugenio reports on how the MSM's Charlie Rose reacted to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s statements concerning his uncle's assassination, and how the filmed interview was subsequently withheld from the public.

The evidence at this point I think is very,
very convincing that it was not a lone gunman.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Jan. 11, 2013

On the evening of January 11th, Charlie Rose interviewed Robert Kennedy Jr. and his sister Rory in Dallas at the Winspear Opera House. This was part of Mayor Mike Rawlings hand chosen committee’s year long program of celebrating the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy. In fact, Rawlings introduced the program. He probably did not like how it turned out, for during this interview Kennedy Jr. said that his father thought the Warren Report was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship” and he was “fairly convinced” that others were involved. Robert Jr. himself thought that the evidence in the JFK case, “…at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman.”

To my knowledge, this is the first time that a member of the Kennedy family has stated these sentiments in public. Kennedy Jr. went further and backed up the idea, widely held by many that RFK “publicly supported the Warren Commission report but privately he was dismissive of it.” He added “He was a very meticulous attorney. He had gone over reports. He was an expert at examining issues and searching for the truth.”

RFK, JR. Charlie Rose
The Associated Press

Once this story hit the wires, it created a mini-sensation. Cable and network news programs did segments on it; hundreds of Internet outlets and newspapers carried the story. This really sums up how cloistered and controlled our news media is even today, with cable channels and the Internet now on the scene. The only thing new about this story is what I mentioned above: the fact that a member of the Kennedy family was saying it in public. As of this writing, there is no official transcript available of this interview, nor is there an audio or videotape which seems odd since it was recorded in front of cameras. Since Dallas Mayor Rawlings was there as the taboo subject was mentioned maybe it is not so odd. But clearly, people should contact Rawlings’ office and ask that this interview be placed on the web immediately. Therefore, people can write articles based upon the actual exchange instead of reporters’ stories about the exchange.

The fact that RFK did not buy into the Warren Report, and he only endorsed it in public for political reasons, this has been established for quite some time. In 2007 David Talbot, in his book Brothers, clearly showed that Bobby Kennedy never bought into the Oswald-did-it line. That from the moment he learned of his brother’s death he suspected a plot had been behind it. (Click for a review)

He "publicly supported the Warren Commission report but privately he was dismissive of it.” He added “He was a very meticulous attorney. He had gone over reports. He was an expert at examining issues and searching for the truth."

RFK, Jr. about his father Robert Kennedy

A decade previous to Talbot, in 1997, Tim Naftali and Aleksandr Fursenko published the fine book, One Hell of a Gamble,a study of the Missile Crisis from the Russian point of view. In that volume, the authors first wrote about William Walton’s now famous mission to Moscow in 1964. Walton was ostensibly going as a goodwill ambassador for cultural exchanges, but his real objective was to carry a message to Nikita Khrushchev from Robert and Jackie Kennedy. That message was that, although the American media had jumped on this lone gunman idea, they thought that President Kennedy had been killed by a domestic conspiracy… one that was politically motivated from the rightwing. That because of this assassination, the attempts at détente that Kennedy and Khrushchev had made would now have to be placed on hiatus. Johnson was much too pro-big business to pursue that ideal. Therefore, RFK would soon resign. When he became president, the effort at reconciliation would then continue. (Talbot, p. 12)

However, way before that book, there had been instances during Jim Garrison’s inquiry into the Kennedy assassination that indicated Robert Kennedy was quite interested in what the New Orleans DA was uncovering. In this author’s current book, Destiny Betrayed (Second Edition) I note an instance where RFK was in California staying at a friend’s house in 1968. Family friend Mort Sahl was also there. That night, Sahl had to leave for a performance. When he got back, his then wife told him that RFK peppered her with questions about what Garrison was digging up. (Sahl was working for Garrison.) Richard Lubic, a campaign worker for Bobby Kennedy in 1968 told another Garrison investigator, Bill Turner, that RFK said that if he were elected president, he would like to reopen the Warren Commission inquiry. (Talbot, p. 359) In Harold Weisberg’s original manuscript of Oswald in New Orleans, he wrote about being in contact with someone in Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 campaign. He communicated to Weisberg that RFK had real doubts about the Warren Commission. Weisberg told his contact if this were the case RFK should voice his concerns in public, making sure he would not be assassinated because of his belief. After Bobby was killed, Weisberg wrote that never was a seer less happy with the fulfillment of his prophecy.

In other words, anyone looking for evidence of this could have found it many years previous. Only in our media, especially in the MSM, could any such story be considered news. From a sociological point of view it is interesting to note two factors that figured in the reaction.

Charlie Rose has built a career out of being the alleged thinking man’s talk show host and he actually began hosting such programs on Dallas’ KXAS-TV in the seventies. He then worked for CBS News in the eighties and began the present version of his talk show on PBS in the nineties. But while doing his show he also worked for the CBS program Sixty Minutes II from 1999 until 2005. Therefore Rose was the perfect choice from the Dallas power elite point of view. All this would indicate that he is pretty much a canned establishment figure. How much of an establishment figure is he? Well, he has attended several Bilderberg Conferences of late. His second wife is the stepdaughter of CBS founder Bill Paley. It will be a cold day in Hades if one ever catches anything on his snooze fest that seriously counters the established American Conventional Wisdom. Therefore Rose was the perfect choice from the Dallas power elite point of view.

Consequently, when his guest began uttering such heresies in public, Rose automatically kicked into damage control mode. When the son mentioned that his father went into a long funk after JFK was killed, Rose (understanding his next ticket to a Bilderger Conference depended upon his stemming this tide) quickly suggested if this was because RFK felt "some guilt because he thought there might have been a link between his very agressive efforts against Organized Crime?". This question was, of course, an attempt to simultaneously:

  1. Turn the crime inward on the Kennedy clan by focusing on RFK’s ambitious drive against the Mafia, and
  2. Pin the assassination on an acceptable culprit. One made acceptable by the likes of Robert Blakey, namely the Cosa Nostra.

Rose’s response was unwarranted. There are any number, or even combination of reasons RFK may have sunk into emotional quicksand. As indicated above, he clearly understood that his brother’s large and looming foreign policy agenda would now go unfulfilled. RFK may also have come to an understanding, realizing the enormous pressure now placed upon him, to become something he was not: a political candidate. He also had to have realized that, in fact, he had no choice but to do so because his power base had now been pretty much circumscribed by President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover. In fact, this idea was mentioned by the son when he said, “As soon as Jack died, he lost all his power.” Further, after this point, Hoover “never spoke to him again.”

But RFK Jr. then returned to this Mafia theme when he said one of the things that pricked his father’s curiosity was the phone records of Oswald and Ruby. These contained many calls to organized crime figures. Therefore, his father “was fairly convinced at the end of that there had been involvement by somebody.” Again, Rose jumped in and did his bit: “Organized crime, Cubans.” To which, RFK Jr. (thankfully) replied, “Or rogue CIA.”

Rose’s initial reaction was the first attempt to channel the story down a certain acceptable path. Rawlings’ decision not to release a recording is another. But the third is the reaction of the Dallas Morning News to it. In about one week they wrote three articles based on the interview. In these articles, dating from January 11th to the 14th, the paper consulted with their official propaganda mouthpiece Gary Mack. Mack tried to cast aspersions on the credibility of RFK Jr. by saying that there really could not be any Oswald phone calls since there is no record of him having a personal phone service. Bill Kelly quickly and effectively countered this deliberate obfuscation. ( One of the Morning News writers, Rodger Jones, then tried to confuse things even further by saying that, well, RFK Jr. said that Bobby’s interest first began during the Garrison inquiry. Yet, according to David Talbot, Bobby Kennedy actually started his inquiry back in 1963. This spin control ignores two things: 1.) According to Garrison volunteers, like Mort Sahl, the Attorney General clearly did have an interest in Garrison’s investigation, and 2.) Since RFK Jr. was still something of a child in 1963, it is much more likely that four years later, as an adolescent, he would more clearly recall such a matter.

In further comments, Mack said that it appears that some members of the Kennedy clan have decided to say one thing in public, “But apparently, privately, some members. . . have raised questions about areas of the assassination.” Well, from the material I have presented here, its pretty clear that the Kennedy family did have doubts from a very early date. In fact, we can go back even further, to Arthur Schlesinger’s massive biography of the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy and His Times. In that biography, published back in 1978, Schlesinger made clear that Kennedy thought the Warren Report was a subpar and unsatisfactory effort. And further that CIA Director John McCone told him that two assassins were involved in the shooting. (pgs. 643-44)

Further demonstrating how only in the MSM can the fairy tale exist that RFK and the Kennedy family abided by the Warren Commission, consider the words of Kennedy cousin Kerry McCarthy to Debra Conway in 1997. McCarthy was a speaker at Lancer’s November in Dallas conference. She told Conway that, whatever the Kennedys say in public about the JFK murder, when you visit their homes, you will see several of the JFK assassination books lining their shelves.

Chris Lawford, son of Peter Lawford and Pat Kennedy, more or less explained why this was so. In his book, Symptoms of Withdrawal, he wrote that the day after the assassination, “I woke up [and] found my father sitting at the flagpole where I used to raise the presidential flag when Uncle Jack came to visit. He was crying like a baby. Strangers held a vigil on the beach outside my parents’ house for days after the assassination.” Pat Kennedy now started drinking with a new seriousness, and the couple was divorced shortly afterwards.

It takes a long time to come to grips with that kind of pain. And who wants to deal with it in public? At this talk, Robert Jr. finally did. He also praised one of the books the clan had on their shelves, JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass. This is one of the few books on the case that has managed to make its way out of the JFK assassination niche. It has sold well now for four years, and there are now over 100,000 copies of it for sale in various formats, including audio book. Bobby Kennedy Jr. liked this book so much that, after he read it, he called Douglass and congratulated him on a job well done. Maybe that was the first sign of recovering from a family trauma that has lasted for well over four decades. And maybe now the MSM can wake up and say, well, if the Attorney General thought the Warren Report was shot full of holes, maybe it was. Thanks to his son for making that moment possible.

As mentioned above, the fact that this interview is not on the Internet is a disgrace. Please contact Mayor Mike Rawlings and tell him that, in the interest of democracy, history, and proper journalism, it should be posted immediately.

Phone: 214-670-4054

Fax: 214-670-0646

Address: Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla Street, Room 5EN, Dallas Texas, 75201

or send an email to Chris Heinbaugh, Vice President of External Affairs | AT&T Performing Arts Center

~Jim DiEugenio

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