Jack & Bobby Kennedy were even tougher than their most ardent supporters could imagine. They had seemingly coasted through nearly three years of Presidency with the attendant domestic & foreign crises, but in reality they gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “living on the edge”. They knew well that at any one time they were just one news story away from terminal political scandal & oblivion. Well schooled by both their father – himself a Wall Street inside dealer, ghost financier for bootleggers during Prohibition & divisive US Ambassador at the Court of St James in 1940 – & by their maternal Grandfather – an unapologetically corrupt politician – at keeping secrets whilst ignoring unpleasant realities, Jack & Bobby learned well that as Kennedy men they enjoyed freedom & privileges denied to others, & that consequences of their acts were for others to worry about.
The main domestic opponent of the family was J Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, who was well aware of the marriage that “never happened”. Hoover had been relentlessly collecting damaging political & personal information about the Kennedys, father & sons, since the early 1940s, & whilst appalled by their private & public excesses, was a firm believer in the institution of the Presidency. He could be counted on providing support in moments of crisis, especially those that involved angry women looking to make trouble for the President. His symbiotic relationship with the Kennedys was sealed by the first announcement of the President elect being Hoover’s re-appointment as FBI Director.
Whilst Air Force One was still in the air en route back to Washington, Bobby instructed a trusted senior Secret Service agent Robert Bouck to begin dismantling another of the Kennedy brothers deep secrets – the tape recording systems in the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room ,& JFKs living quarters on the second floor of the White House. There was also a separate recording system for use on the telephone lines in the Presidents office & his upstairs bedroom. These had all been installed in the summer of 1962 by Bouck, and the only two other people “in the know” about this were Bobby, Jack, & his long term personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln. During the sixteen months of operation, this seemingly frank, open & straightforward President used hidden switches to produce more than two hundred reels of tape, which Bouck was tasked with securing before LBJ could return. The tapes remained in the direct control of the Kennedy family until 1976, when they were deeded to the JFK Library in Boston. In 1985, the library finally acknowledged that it was impossible to establish how many tapes had been removed prior to 1975, but that some were missing was beyond all reasonable doubt. Some tapes were also discovered to be in the possession of Lincoln, after her death in 1995.
By the late afternoon Bobby turned briefly from damage protection to seek out who might have carried out the assassination. His first suspect was Sam Giancana, a sociopathic associate of organised crime, secret helper of the Kennedy family in the stolen 1960 U.S. election & later on in Cuba. He had been repeatedly heard on FBI wiretaps & bugs complaining about being the victim of a double cross since 1961 : Bobby Kennedy had made the Chicago Mob a chief target of the Justice Department, & Giancana was enraged at this. Another target of Bobby’s “war on crime” was Jimmy Hoffa & his corrupt Teamsters Union. After John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected to the White House and before he was sworn in, the outgoing Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower sat the young senator down in a bug-free room and warned him about the MIC (Military Industrial Complex – the forerunner of today’s Alt State) as a clear and present threat to free-speech democracy.
Grateful for the warning, JFK already knew some of this. His first two years in office, however – in dealing with Cuba, the Pentagon, the Mafia and Texan oilmen – opened his eyes to the sheer size of the problem. So during the last year of his life, Kennedy and his inner core of staff worked not just on economic management and a tough anti-USSR foreign policy, but also on being the opposition to alt statism, organised crime, militarily mendacious intelligence, overseas adventurism, CIA régime change, and the Texan security/oil wealth nexus. There is now little doubt that, had he survived to run for a Second Term, JFK would’ve dumped Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson (a Texan hawk) to send a clear message to the “enemy”. He told FBI boss J Edgar Hoover that he would “scatter the CIA to the four winds”. Ten days before going to Dallas in November 1963 he made a major speech, syndicated across American radio, to express his total opposition “to fighting Communism by restricting American liberty”. The night before his assassination, he told his press secretary Pierre Salinger, “The thing we have to get in Vietnam after ’64 is the f**k out”. Like other real Democrats like FD Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Jack Kennedy was opposed to the unelected status quo that threatened the Bill of Rights. We shall never know for sure who organised his assassination, but it is increasingly clear that one or more of the Alt State operatives cooperated in ensuring that the hit in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas succeeded. Those he opposed also knew how to send a message.
One final act of cover up occurred in the early house of Saturday November 23rd as Bobbie & Jackie returned to Washington, accompanied by the body of JFK. Bobbie requested & obtained possession of the Ushers Logs (the records of the visitors to the dead President’s personal White House quarters). In public, JFK had appeared as the attentive husband of Jaqueline, the glamorous & high profile First Lady. In private however, his time was spent to an almost unbelievable extent in daily sexual liaisons & swinger partying. The logs provided a comprehensive list of the staggering number of sex partners provided to the President by his personal staff. Traditionally considered a matter of public record, these logs were never seen again & do not form part of the documentation on file in the Kennedy Library.
JFK’s recklessness finally caught up with him in the last weeks of his life. One of his casual paramours in Washington was the wife of a military attache at the (West) German Embassy & was believed by a group of Republican Senators to be a possible agent of East German Intelligence. She & her husband were hurriedly flown out of Washington, whilst RFK used his powers as Attorney General (with the help of Hoover) to quash investigations by Congress & the FBI. The potential damage to the President was heightened by the on-going sex scandal across the Pond which involved the British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo. The UK government of Harold Macmillan barely survived this affair.
Kennedy’s fate was perhaps sealed in September 1963, when (during a poolside frolic in Palm Beach) he severely tore a groin muscle. The pain was so intense that his doctors prescribed a stiff canvass shoulder-to-groin brace that locked his body in a rigid upright position. It was far more constraining than his usual back brace, (which he continued to wear) & was meant to keep him as comfortable as possible during the strenuous days of campaigning to come in the run up to the forthcoming Presidential election. Those braces also made it impossible for the President to bend in reflex when he was struck in the neck by the first bullet fired in Dealey Plaza. The first shot was not necessarily fatal, but JFK remained erect & a perfect target for the second fatal bullet to the head. The groin brace (now in the possession of the National Archives) in Washington, was not mentioned in the autopsy report, nor was the injury that had led to his need for it.
November 22 1963 would remain a day of carefully kept Kennedy family secrets for decades to come. Robert Kennedy could do nothing to pursue the truth behind his brother’s death, indeed he would have done nothing – even if he had won the Democratic Party nomination in 1968 & the Presidency. Whilst everyone on the Warren Commission was aware that Oswald was not the assassin of President Kennedy, it would have been impossible to tell the public, in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis with the Soviet Union, that their president had been assassinated by the US Joint Chiefs and CIA with the complicity of the Secret Service. The Warren Commission understood completely that destroying the public’s confidence in military and security leaders at a time of such tension with the Soviet Union would have been disastrous. Moreover the price for a full investigation would have meant making public the truth about JFK & the Kennedy family….
© DJM 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file