Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Robert Francis Kennedy. 1925 - 1968

I remember when it happened. He was killed late on a Wednesday night and I did not hear about it until the next morning as I was driving to work and had to pull over to absorb the news. It was a shock to me following so closely after the twin tragedies of President Kennedy's assignation and Martin Luther King's execution. I was not prepared for it, I thought the USA was on the road to recovery, that everything bad that could happen had already happened and then suddenly it was not OK any more, something else inconceivably bad had happened. And then only two years later the students were murdered by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University. Recovery would not come quickly.

Conspiracy theories fly and not without good reason. At least thirteen shots were recorded on tape, more than the eight bullets held by Sirhan Sirhan's gun and there are many photos showing Sirhan standing in front of Kennedy while the killing shot was to the back of Kennedy's head. "They" do not want us to know the truth of what actually happened so probably we never will, at least not in our lifetimes.

"Is everybody OK?"

Rfk assassination.jpg

"Kennedy's approach to national problems did not fit neatly into the idealogical categories of his time...His was a muscular liberalism, committed to an activist federal government but deeply suspicious of concentrated power and certain that fundamental change would best be achieved at the community level, insistent on responsibilities as well as rights, and convinced that the dynamism of capitalism could be the impetus for broadening national growth."
Edwin O. Guthman and C. Richard Allen, 1993


  1. I was not a fan of Mr. Kennedy's politics but I held him in high respect as a human and would have been proud to have him visit my home. We have votes and should not need bullets to settle our differences. It was a dark time for this country during those times in my opinion.

    1. Funny, I was just thinking about associating with former Presidents. Back in their time I would not have even entertained the thought of acknowledging the presence of any Republican President but now, having seen just how bad it can really get, I could see myself having a beer with Dubya.

    2. To this day, Robert Kennedy, Sr.'s oldest son, Robert, Jr., does not believe Sirhan Sirhan was a lone gunman perpetrating his father's murder. This is not an opinion solely based on emotion, but a conclusion reached after a significant amount of money was spent delving into the background and events leading up to the crime. Robert, Jr. for hours has actually visited and spoken with Sirhan Sirhan in prison. The start of the controversy that lead to both Jack and Robert Kennedy's deaths goes way back to their father's involvement in the mob and promises that were not kept by their father after Jack's presidential election and Bobby's election to the Senate. I am not just speaking of relieving the pressure off the mob in the US, but in addition I am speaking about Cuba and the mob wanting to retrieve its assets in Cuba. Bobby, Jr. will not release his full blown investigation because 1) there are still Kennedys involved in the political world and 2) his family's reputation is at stake because of his grandfather's misdeeds. But there has been a number of leaks regarding Bobby, Jr.'s investigation. By the way, while I was vacationing in Cuba, Roly was quite helpful with describing the backdrop of the situation before Castro and led me to a bookstore where I picked up a couple of books (in English) authored by Cubans who knew the "players" in pre-revolutionary Cuba, and those "players" were not all Cubans.

      Personally, in my early twenties, I enjoyed having the youthful Kennedy family in politics. Before, I had perceived that politics was a "closed society" of old people. All the energy made me sit up and take notice! Robert Kennedy was an idealist, and I liked that. I believe the world would have been a better place had he lived. However, John L. Lewis (I think that's who it was) has said "You can't have both guns and butter." At that time, we were throwing tons of money at the Vietnam War and concurrently, wanting to launch a Great Society Program and also concurrently, in the middle of a Civil a Rights Movement. Where was the money to fight poverty in this country?

    3. P.S. Remember, the sins of the father (Joe Kennedy) are visited upon the sons (Jack and Bobby Kennedy).

    4. I was just reading about Bobby, Jr's visit with Sirhan. Besides the mob, I believe that Edgar Hoover had his grimy little hands in these killings as well, specially MLK's.

    5. Croft, more actively (not to say Hoover did not know about it), it is a name you probably have never heard before and which came up in Bobby, Jr.'s investigation, Santo Trafficante, Jr. living in Tampa, Florida and he had invested huge assets in Cuba and did not leave Cuba until AFTER Castro took over. You will have to read up on how Trafficante got out of there when Castro was executing people left and right. Can you believe he lived a long life and died of natural causes.

    6. I have certainly heard of Trafficante. I will have to research him.

    7. I remember Roly driving us down Havana's Malecon telling us of all the speedboats from the USA lined up waiting to take mobsters out of Cuba during the Revolution. It was quite a time.

    8. Well, more insight was gained after I read the two books Roly recommended and purchased at a Havana book store. I got to read events from the Cuban side of things, and I'm pretty good at determining how objective an author is and whether the author is just pushing the Communist line. In the US, the media goes right to the official Cuban reason Trafficante was kicked out Cuba by Castro, and that was because he was considered an "undesirable alien." Come on, do you believe Castro would let Trafficante (the big tamale) off that easy when his associates were being executed in large numbers? You got it, the skids were greased because Castro needed big bucks (and I mean BIG bucks) to keep the new government afloat. And, guess who was Trafficante's bagman to Cuba for the pay off, Jack Ruby. Does that name ring a bell? The two books Roly recommended were very enlightening.

    9. Ruby and associates were able to travel back and forth between the US and Cuba without going through Immigration or their visits being recorded in the US. Cuba has records of Ruby visiting Trafficante when he was being held in a Cuban deportation camp. I don't have a problem considering it was the mob who killed JFK but I also think they had help, probably from J. Edgar Hoover who hated the Kennedy's. Recent reading I have done also indicates Jimmy Hoffa was also involved and we know his union represented many police forces and influence could have been exerted to allow the assignation(s) to take place, even without their direct involvement.