political elites 2

JAR2 ("JAR2"@OFS.co.westchester.ny.us)
Fri, 22 Nov 1996 20:09:13 -0500

In 1966-67 as a young grad student in poli sci at Fordham we used to
speculate with our profs on what may, repeat, may have been behind the JFK
assassination. On discussion and reflection at that time we came to believe
it was JFK's decision to reduce/remove the oil depletion allowance, for
which he had gone to Texas in the first place. For the kind of money
involved and some of the oil people involved, assassination would not be
unthinkable. Big money involved, yes. And it could be assumed LBJ would know
how to be on the "right" side of this issue as President.

We were also very much aware of how effective RFK and how fearless RFK
was in lining up prosecutions of organized crime. That was major goal and
major program of the Justice Dept then, never since. We know something more
now, years later, on J Edgar Hoover's flirtations with the mob and just how
much he hated the Kennedy's.

Following the Bay of Pigs and the ransoming of Castro's prisoners for
medical supplies (unlike Reagan dealing with Iran for weapons!), JFK went to
Florida to address the Bay of Pigs veterans and applaud their cause, after
which he ordered the dispersal of Cuban exiles so far as the federal gov't
could do so. Of course this plus the failure of the US to openly back and
support invasion of Cuba made JFK enemy to Cuban exiles. A group of CIA
operatives high and low felt betrayed by the President.

I have said that Vietnam did not loom that largely in 1963 and 1964 but
perhaps I am wrong here. I recall now much more coverage of Vietnam in Time,
Newsweek and elsewhere even before the massive US troop involvement, yes.
Also the Diem regime, its problems, the protesters against the regime and
the assassination of Diem were all front page headline news. I am not
certain Vietnam loomed all that large as a policy matter for the
Administration, a point MacNamara made in his book with which I tend to

It is not a matter of JFK worship or deification to say that once in
office he displayed a rather (to me at least) remarkable sophistication and
wisdom in the handling of political matters. The Berlin Wall, integration,
the Cuban Missile Crisis were really handled in superb fashion politically
for that time. Simply imagine how Nixon, Reagan, Carter or Bush would have
acted, not to mention Clinton.

For some years I was involved in considerable research on Trotsky and
the American Trotskyist movement, got to know and talk with the then
Trotskyist leaders. At one point in some discussion Oswald came up. I was
told that after Oswald returned from Soviet Union he had applied to join the
Trotskyists (Socialist Workers Party). Their intelligence (then always very
good, they knew before any other indication I saw when Che Guevara was in
Bolivia and who was with him) indicated that Oswald was with the CIA. I
never saw any of their documentation but I never forget what the Trotskyists
said. They had turned Oswald down for membership, they said.

So in terms of JFK assassination there are reasonable questions yet to
be settled that would focus on mob, dissident CIA, Cuban exiles, Texas oil
money, etc. The focal point thus in my mind would have been Cuba rather than
Vietnam, and who would have benefitted from then freeing Cuba from Castro
regime. My point of view.