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The conspiracy theory that won’t go away - Robert F Kennedy and the secrets behind the assassination of JFK

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr
Early in Oliver Stone’s hyper-paranoid film JFK, Guy Bannister (played by Ed Asner) grumbles that he hates the fact that, by 1963, African Americans could  more or less vote safely.  He adds, “[Blacks] get together with the Jews and the  Catholics and elect an Irish bleeding heart.”

According to the film, Bannister -- and a whole bunch of other people -- did  something to stop that “Irish bleeding heart.” 

Bannister and the mob and the CIA and Lyndon Johnson and perhaps even Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

The Warren Commission later argued that Oswald, in fact, acted alone. But most Americans remain skeptical of the Warren Report.

Bobby Kennedy Jr., it turns out, is one of them.  Earlier this month, JFK’s nephew, as well as his niece, Rory, sat down for an interview in Dallas.

Eventually, Bobby Kennedy’s two children were asked about the conspiracy theories swirling around JFK’s murder. “The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman,” RFK Jr. said, though he didn’t elaborate much beyond that. 

He did add that his father, who himself was assassinated in June of 1968, also believed their was another killer aside from Oswald. According to RFK Jr., his father considered the Warren Commission report “shoddy.”

RFK Jr. added, “He publicly supported the Warren Commission report but  privately he was dismissive of it."

RFK Jr. also suggested that the most likely co-conspirators were mafia leaders who were targeted by JFK’s attorney general -- who was none other than Bobby Kennedy Sr.

To quote another famous mafia figure, “Every time I think I’m out...they pull me  back in!”

Things have been quiet on the JFK conspiracy front.  And then, RFK Jr. went and made his comments. 

And then, a few days later, an apartment in Dallas which Oswald called home in 1962 and 1963 was torn down, briefly resurrecting interest in Oswald’s bizarre life prior to being thrust onto the world stage.

And so we have, arguably, the most compelling defender yet of a conspiracy  theory to kill JFK -- his own martyred brother and his crusading son. 

It means nothing to me.  For years I waded into the muck and mire of the JFK conspiracy underworld and emerged unconvinced. 

Yes, there is a lot of evidence to suggest others were involved in the Kennedy killing.  Yes, the Warren report is flawed. 

But I also discovered that most people who buy into the JFK conspiracy do so not only based on facts, but also on something that can only be described as vaguely  religious.

You also see this from those who buy into conspiracies surrounding another  tragedy which hit Irish America hard -- the 9/11 attacks.  Part of the allure of  conspiracy theories surrounding both 9/11 and JFK is that they explain the seemingly unexplainable.  

How could one Marxist loser end Camelot?  How could 20 fanatics with a few hours of flying lessons murder 3,000 people? No, it must have been something larger.

But have you ever noticed that people don’t talk much about conspiracy theories when it comes to plots that more or less failed?

In December of 1960, a man named Richard Pavlick packed his car with dynamite and was going to ram the vehicle into a Kennedy home in Florida.  He chickened out and was arrested. 

Had he succeeded, perhaps great energy would have gone into uncovering a broader conspiracy. Instead, the truth was fairly easy to swallow.  The guy was an anti-Catholic nut who hated JFK.

And why so few conspiracy theories about the 1993 effort to topple the World Trade Center?  Why do theories about rogue government elements, and, yes, even Israel and the Jews, flourish only around the 2001 attack that actually brought the towers down?

It is generally futile to go detail for detail with conspiracy theorists.  They are dogged in their shaping of facts which support their view, and, like the  religiously faithful, defend their organization of those facts. 

As for me, once I read Gerald Posner’s book Case Closed, I was able to accept the fact that Oswald acted alone.

The odd thing in all of this is why RFK Jr. was not asked if he believes Sirhan Sirhan acted alone when he killed Bobby Kennedy in Los Angeles in 1968?  Why not ask that question?

Must be a conspiracy.

(Contact Sidewalks at tdeignan.blogspot.com or tomdeignan@earthlink.net)

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