How RFK Could Have Saved His Life, and His Country

In our previous article on the subject, we explained why it was absolutely essential to the plotters of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that Vice President Lyndon Johnson and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover be involved in the plot at the very least to the point that they would have given it the green light.  We also pointed out that they would have to have been assured of the complete cooperation of the American press.  How that was so might be explained by a combination of my two poems, “Spook News and Views” and “Mister Big.”

Another key actor in the drama had to be, at the very least, neutralized.  That was President Kennedy’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.  My best guess is that a combination of methods was used to keep the younger Kennedy from upsetting the applecart.  The most effective was probably just overwhelming him with the display of united power that was arrayed against him in the government and the press.  And FBI Director Hoover would hardly have been above playing one of his favorite cards, blackmail.  Just recently, new evidence hardly reported by the American press has come to light suggesting that Bobby really did have an affair with actress Marilyn Monroe.  Hoover would certainly have made it his business to know about that.  Monroe, herself, died very suspiciously on August 5, 1962.

In fact, Bobby Kennedy’s behavior in the wake of his brother’s assassination was very much like that of the title character in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  One can easily make the case that he was just biding his time until he could set things aright by attaining the presidency when the opportunity arose.  He was still young.  We explore that question to a degree in our 2014 article, “Did Lyndon Step Down So Bobby Could Be Killed?

Timing, it has been said, is everything in politics.  Perhaps Bobby simply waited too long to make his move.  He resigned as attorney general on September 3, 1964.  The Warren Commission submitted its report to President Johnson on September 24, and it was made public three days later.  Let us suppose that Bobby had postponed his resignation until some time after the commission had finished its work and then decided that it was time that he act more like Mark Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar than like Hamlet.  He might have requested national airtime for a speech, indicating to the powers-that-be that the blackmail had taken and that his intention was to put his seal of approval upon the Warren Commission’s conclusions.  Even had his request been denied, had he made the following speech at a press conference, it is likely to have had a very great effect: The Man Who Knew Too M... Russell, Dick Best Price: $6.00 Buy New $11.41 (as of 08:30 UTC - Details)

The Speech

My fellow Americans, I come before you tonight to speak about the great efforts that your president and his appointed commission have made to lay to rest all the suspicions that have been raised about the death of my brother, John.  As you have no doubt heard, many, if not all of the spectators who were present at Dealey Plaza in Dallas on that fateful day believe they heard shots fired from the front, or front-right of the presidential motorcade; the Secret Service driver of my brother’s limousine temporarily brought it to a virtual halt, as though he feared proceeding into the hail of bullets.  But the president’s commission, led by the esteemed Chief Justice Earl Warren has assured us after very careful examination of the facts that the witnesses were all mistaken and that all the shots were fired from above and behind the car by a single gunman, and they are all very honorable men.

You might have heard as well that initially all the doctors at Parkland Hospital who treated my stricken brother described the bullet wound in his throat as an entrance wound.  Early news reports explained that John must have turned his head to look to the rear at the crowds, and it must have been at that instant that the sniper high in the building to his right rear shot him.  However, a film of the event came to light showing that the president was looking forward the entire time, and the doctors, doubtless with the encouragement of the outstanding agents of our Federal Bureau of Investigation, have changed their minds and have concluded that the wound in the throat was from the exiting of a bullet.  Those doctors and those FBI agents, I can assure you, are all very honorable men, and there is little chance that the doctors have changed their stories because of pressure that might have been brought upon them.

Some people who would undermine confidence in our chosen leaders have been spreading the word that the rifle that was found near assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s perch on the 6th floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository was a 7.65 mm German Mauser, not the 6.5 mm Italian Mannlicher Carcano that Oswald had obtained by mail order and used to shoot my brother with.  While it is true that initial reports said the rifle was found on the 5th floor, not the 6th, and that Dallas police officer Seymour Weitzman, who discovered the rifle, described it as a 7.65 German Mauser in an affidavit, we were later assured by District Attorney Henry Wade that Weitzman was mistaken and that it was a Mannlicher-Carcano that he found (Wade, himself, was mistaken, Dallas authorities have told us, when he reported to the newspapers that a map had been found in Oswald’s room showing the motorcade rout, with a dotted line from the sniper’s perch to the presidential limousine.  There never was any such map, they now say.)  I am sure that any mistakes that officer Weitzman or District Attorney Wade might have made were honest ones.  Mr. Wade spent many years working for the FBI, the finest law enforcement organization in the world, before assuming his current post, and he is an honorable man.

Though others might have changed their accounts, bringing them into closer accord with the objective findings of the commission, a key witness who has not done so is the fine governor of the state of Texas, John Connally, who was gravely wounded in the assault that killed my brother.  To his credit, he has steadfastly maintained that he heard the initial shot, the one that struck my brother in the neck, and turned around to see John grasping his throat with both hands.  At that point, he says, he felt a powerful blow to his back from the next shot, and, indeed, in the film of the event one can see his cheeks puff out as the second shot collapses his lung.  One gunman with a bolt-action rifle could not have fired two shots so quickly, however, so the president’s commission has concluded that the bullet that struck my brother in the neck is the same one that passed through Governor Connally’s body.  Although he stands by his story, Governor Connally has assured us that the members of the commission are all such honorable men that it is their conclusions rather than his experience that must be believed.  And Governor Connally, at least by his lights, is himself an honorable man.

Someone else who apparently stuck by his story to the end is the young man, Oswald, who was arrested shortly after my brother’s murder.  Even though he was interrogated for two days without a lawyer present, he apparently never wavered from his initial claim that he was just a patsy.  Before he was able to defend himself in court, a man with many connections to the organized crime network that our administration had been vigorously pursuing killed him.  Certain members of that crime network have also worked in close cooperation with our Central Intelligence Agency, and there is an abundance of evidence that Oswald was a relatively low level CIA operative.  He had been allowed back into the country with a minimum of debriefing that we know of after he had defected to the Soviet Union.  He had announced there that he would share important state secrets with his new host country, secrets that he had learned while stationed at a very sensitive U.S. Marine base in Japan.  Not only was he never charged with any crime but he even found work in Texas that required a federal security clearance.

I have brought with me tonight another young man who will be available to answer your questions.  As a PFC in the U.S. Army, he worked as a cryptographic clerk in Metz, France.  His name is Eugene B. Dinkin.  In October, the month before my brother’s trip to Dallas, he decoded messages between members of the CIA and organized crime that laid out specific plans for an assassination of the president.  At great personal risk, he attempted to alert me of the plans by sending me a letter describing what he had heard of the plot.  That letter, unfortunately, was intercepted, but after the assassination his mother informed me of what he had done and of the persecution that he has suffered for his futile attempt to change the course of history.

Not only did Private Dinkin attempt to warn me about the assassination plans, but he also attempted to warn the public by telling what he had learned to members of the American news media.  He had no more success than I have had in alerting them to the cover-up of the murder plot that is taking place.  That is why I am addressing you directly tonight.

So now, my fellow Americans, I ask you to support my office as we open a truly independent investigation, one that will bring all the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice, from the lowest to the highest.  The course of our nation’s history must be changed from its current detour into the abyss.  If we allow this horror, this affront to the fundamental tenets of truth and justice, to stand we invite even worse horrors to follow.  Leader after leader could be struck down and our country and its people could be led off into one bloody foreign adventure after another on the most transparent of phony pretexts.

I am confident that you will do your duty.

Virtually all the information that is in the hypothetical speech was widely known at the time for anyone willing to navigate the thicket of propaganda.  See Bertrand Russell’s “16 Questions on the Assassination” published on September 6, 1964.  PFCDinkin’s experience was not known at the time, and we do not know if either he or his mother was successful in making contact with Robert Kennedy.  We do know that they tried.  See my “Abuse of Psychiatry in the Kennedy Assassination.

The speech would have been almost as effective even without bringing in Dinkin.  Furthermore, in his position it is highly likely that Bobby would have learned of testimony by other inconvenient witnesses such as Ralph Leon Yates, whom we talk about in “More Abuse of Psychiatry in the JFK Cover-up,” Richard Case Nagell, revealed by Dick Russell in his book, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Beverly Oliver, Mary Pinchot Meyer, or quite likely someone that we have never heard of even to this day.  Even more likely is that other people with incriminating information would have emerged in the days after the speech with Bobby, at last, having given them someone to whom they could safely come forward.

Bobby Kennedy had the cards, but he waited too long to play them.  He might have made such a speech as he accepted the nomination for president at the Democratic Convention in 1968 with the eyes of the nation upon him.  We will never know, because it was not permitted to happen.


I have received this very incisive observation by Constitutional scholar Edwin Vieira:

At the moment of JFK’s assassination, RFK became potentially the most powerful man in this country. No one could have denied him his right, as Attorney General, to head up the investigation of the assassination, and to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion. Would Johnson have dared to “fire” him? But, notwithstanding how “ruthless” he had been portrayed as being, RFK turned out to be a fool who lacked the insight and foresight to see that, if he failed to use the power he then had, “they” would deny him access to a new position of sufficient power later on. When he walked away from his duty as Attorney General, and to his own brother, and to his country, he sealed his own fate.

Vince Foster death case expert Hugh Turley, however, in response has suggested that Vieira reckons without the power of the press, which did its best from the very first day to persuade the public that Oswald was the lone assassin, and the limited time Bobby had as Attorney General to make his move.  Lyndon Johnson established the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy by executive order exactly one week after the assassination to investigate the murder, superseding the authority of the Justice Department.  To be motivated to assert his own authority Bobby also would have to have seen quickly and clearly that he was dealing with a massive plot that included Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, the CIA, key elements of the military, and the press.  The power struggle that he would have faced would have been daunting, and it would have been very difficult for him to know whom around him he could trust.

One thing is certain.  Any speech that he would have given under the Vieira scenario would have been very different from the one that I have imagined here.

Political Theatre

LRC Blog

LRC Podcasts