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RFK children: Bobby didn’t believe Warren Commission report on JFK’s death

By JAMIE STENGLE | Associated Press
January 12, 2013

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., left, makes comments during the opening minutes of a interview with journalist Charlie Rose in front of a full audience at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. The Kennedys are in Dallas as a year of observances begins for the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., left, makes comments during the opening minutes of a interview with journalist Charlie Rose in front of a full audience at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. The Kennedys are in Dallas as a year of observances begins for the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is convinced that a lone gunman wasn’t solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and said his father believed the Warren Commission report was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship.”

Kennedy and his sister, Rory, spoke about their family Friday night while being interviewed in front of an audience by Charlie Rose at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. The event comes as a year of observances begins for the 50th anniversary of the president’s death.

Their uncle was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, while riding in a motorcade through Dallas. Five years later, their father was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel while celebrating his win in the California Democratic presidential primary.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said his father spent a year trying to come to grips with his brother’s death, reading the work of Greek philosophers, Catholic scholars, Henry David Thoreau, poets and others “trying to figure out kind of the existential implications of why a just God would allow injustice to happen of the magnitude he was seeing.”

He said his father thought the Warren Commission, which concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president, was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship.” He said that he, too, questioned the report.

“The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman,” he said, but he didn’t say what he believed may have happened.

Rose asked if he believed his father, the U.S. attorney general at the time of his brother’s death, felt “some sense of guilt because he thought there might have been a link between his very aggressive efforts against organized crime.”

Kennedy replied: “I think that’s true. He talked about that. He publicly supported the Warren Commission report but privately he was dismissive of it.”

He said his father had investigators do research into the assassination and found that phone records of Oswald and nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald two days after the president’s assassination, “were like an inventory” of mafia leaders the government had been investigating.

He said his father, later elected U.S. senator in New York, was “fairly convinced” that others were involved.

The attorney and well-known environmentalist also told the audience light-hearted stories Friday about memories of his uncle. As a young child with an interest in the environment, he said, he made an appointment with his uncle to speak with him in the Oval Office about pollution.

He’d even caught a salamander to present to the president, which unfortunately died before the meeting.

“He kept saying to me, ‘It doesn’t look well,'” he recalled.

Rory Kennedy, a documentary filmmaker whose recent film “Ethel” looks at the life of her mother, also focused on the happier memories. She said she and her siblings grew up in a culture where it was important to give back.

“In all of the tragedy and challenge, when you try to make sense of it and understand it, it’s very difficult to fully make sense of it,” she said. “But I do feel that in everything that I’ve experienced that has been difficult and that has been hard and that has been loss, that I’ve gained something in it.”

“We were kind of lucky because we lost our members of our family when they were involved in a great endeavor,” her brother added. “And that endeavor is to make this country live up to her ideals.”

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright © 2013 Capitol Hill Blue

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9 Responses to RFK children: Bobby didn’t believe Warren Commission report on JFK’s death

  1. Jon

    January 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I think this is highly insulting to those who worked with and upon the Warren Commission.

    It may very well have been a shoddy work, but if you want to attack the work, be specific. Just saying the whole thing is ‘shoddy’ without providing the least specific objection is monday-morning quarterbacking, it’s after the fact rationalization, and to be blunt, it’s insulting.

    Furthermore, I’d suggest just on my own that the Kennedy family are not exactly unbiased observers, and their unsupported opinions deserve as much credence as they can provide evidence for.

    I’m not sympathetic.

    J.

  2. blutodog

    January 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The Kennedy Bros. and their family in general were and are part of the American ruling class elite and as such put themselves into peril. They had a lot of enemies in a very chaotic time in American history. Considering, what we now know about how our Gov’t’s secret agencies were turning over Gov’ts left and right in that era , who would be surprised that our own leadership had fallen victim to these extralegal agencies themselves? This is what happens when power becomes hidden. If anything, it’s even worse today then back then.

  3. Willie Buck Merle

    January 12, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    AP Newsflash: Water is Wet, Sun rises from East, Bears apparently defecate in wooded forest.

  4. Al Supe

    January 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I very well remember where I was, and what I said to my then-new bride, when the first news came across that Kennedy had been killed. I told her “There is something fishy about this. Mark my words, we are not being told the truth.” What I had noted was that the rifle was identified, supposedly, by a Dallas policeman who ran a gun shop in his off hours. He identified the rifle as, 1. a .30 caliber, 2. a .30-30, 3. a .30-06, and finally, 4. as a 7.65 Mannlicher-Carcano. Anyone who has owned a rifle knows that the caliber is deeply engraved in the receiver end of the barrel. Thus, my skepticism. Anyone who could read would have gotten the caliber correct the first time.

    • Willie Buck Merle

      January 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Interesting. I got Stephen King’s “11-22-63, a novel” last year but haven’t finished the first segment yet. It’s good stuff by far.

  5. woody188

    January 13, 2013 at 12:32 am

    What? How dare they question an official report from our infallible government! Our government never lies, except for:

    Explosion on the battleship Maine sparking the Spanish-American war, 1898.

    The attack on the Lusitania which was carrying arms and passengers, a violation of US law.

    US agencies had advance knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attacks and withheld that information from the Hawaiian commanders.

    The Gulf of Tonkin incident which sparked the Vietnam War never happened.

    DoD secretly tested chemical agents on Navy sailors without their knowledge and denied doing so for nearly 50 years. (Project SHAD/Project 112) Ironically, this was started by President Kennedy, April 17, 1963. Until 1998, the Department of Defense stated officially that Project SHAD did not exist.

    And then there is 9/11, the assassination of bin Laden, the counting of the unemployed, etc.

    Ok, maybe the Kennedy’s have a point…

  6. Sandy Price

    January 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

    The Warren Report was the first legal presentation on any effort to explain a disaster that I felt was pure bull itshay. I read many books that followed the killing and studied the placement of the sound of the shots that were no place near reality. I had been a friend of Mort Sahl at that time and he reported many details of the shooting that were more accurate than anything found in the Warren Report, I grew up knowing the Warren family that that didn’t make them more credible.

    Mort Sahl had a top rated television show and was soon fired from the network. His backers were upset because they made money from sponsoring him. I’ve never had the same respect for the CIA after this news covering of the murder. Television news coverage was based on what sells products and had a lot to do with why I dumped my television. The only thing worse is the way the internet covers the stories. The internet plays only to the blogs. Truth takes a back seat to the laugh tracks. Too much I Love Lucy has destroyed our dialog on all news.

  7. Keith

    January 13, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    I wonder how much longer we are going to keep hearing so-called “experts” hash and rehash all this “conspiracy” stuff?

    President Kennedy been dead for going on 50 years now. That’s half a century.

    And, regardless of who pulled the trigger (or triggers) my hunch is that most (if not all) of the “other” alleged conspirators are probably now very much dead as well.

    The bottom line is that the circumstances surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination have LONG since been overcome by both time and events.

    We need to get over it and move on.

  8. Sandy Price

    January 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Move over to what Keith? More lies? More cover ups? No need to waste time on lies, is there? So we have the CIA set a timer on when we can close up on facts? Nobody care anymore. Our government is something to laugh at. The truth takes too long to establish. It’s like 9-11 and all the other things that are made up to cover the butts of Americans in power. Even here at CHB the time has run out on whether anything is the truth so why waste time on it.

    We can go back as far as the Plantangenets and nobody cares if the blood lines are pure and valid. I remember when Princess Elizabeth was crowned and we all really wanted to believe her blood line was pure. Most of us can’t guarantee that our parents are who they claim to be.