Enduring the Kennedys: RFK Jr. Edition

January 14, 2013

Later this year will come the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination.  The festivities, such as they are, kicked off the other night with a live appearance in Dallas by one of the late president’s nephews who was nine years old in 1963 and 14 when his own father was assassinated in 1968.

The appearance was in keeping with the recent Kennedy tradition of circus sideshows.

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.” …

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.”

RFK’s son does his father’s memory no good with this flatulence.  Robert Kennedy was the attorney general of the United States the entire nine months that the Warren Commission was investigating the assassination.  And when he resigned that office, almost exactly when the commission’s report was issued, he didn’t spend his days criticizing its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone—or even, to the best of my knowledge, ever mention his doubts.

Instead, he loudly ran for U.S. Senate in New York…where he’d never lived…and carpet bagged his way to victory as a launching pad for his presidential run four years later.

Then there’s the implication that RFK’s reading of great philosophers for insights into the universe’s injustices was motivated by the assassination.  RFK Jr. may as well have called his father a solipsist.  Anyone who requires a personal tragedy to recognize that bad things happen in the world is indeed that.

It seems that the former attorney general’s son is unaware how many people his father pissed off  during his time as attorney general, and not just in the White House.  Organized crime kingpins were particularly displeased with him.  But so was Castro, given that Bobby had apparently hatched numerous (failed) plots to off the Cuban dictator, of whom Lee Harvey Oswald was a well-documented fan.

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.”

A former acquaintance of mine who never met a lie he could tell was present in the White House on the day of the assassination and witnessed Bobby Kennedy crying while muttering to himself, “What have I done?” This actually comports with something RFK Jr. hinted at.

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.

So in private he voiced his concerns about the Commission’s findings…but not to his brother, Ted Kennedy, a sitting U.S. senator, the so-called Lion of the Senate?  If he had, why didn’t Teddy spend even a single moment of his career in pursuit of the truth?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is, as the story says, an “attorney and well-known environmentalist” who has, as the story doesn’t say, apparently spent his years in a search for relevance.  Being a Kennedy must be hard work, with unreasonable expectations placed on you.

The burden took its toll on RFK Jr. nearly 30 years ago, when he was arrested for heroin on a flight from Minnesota to South Dakota.  He pleaded guilty to possession.  It was a felony conviction.

Presiding Judge Marshall P. Young of Seventh Circuit Court ordered the 30- year-old Mr. Kennedy to take periodic tests for drug use, treatment, join Narcotics Anonymous and perform 1,500 hours of community service.

The son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy will remain in New York during the probation. If he meets the conditions, the felony conviction will be sealed and his court record legally erased.

If he violates probation, he will face two years in the penitentiary, the judge said. He added that the sentence ”has nothing to do with your name or anything else.”

But with the burden comes a range of perks.  Before the two years were up—meaning he was an active felon—Kennedy was allowed to sit for the bar in New York; and, when he passed, was admitted.  Hmmm.

The New York State Bar Character and Fitness Brochure says this:

Members of Character and Fitness Committees typically consider the following conduct as cause for further inquiry before making a recommendation to the Appellate Division regarding character and fitness:

Unlawful conduct (even conduct that you may consider minor – including speeding or other traffic infractions, underage offenses, alcohol consumption or drug charges, disorderly conduct and other offenses)

Conduct evidencing mental or emotional instability

Conduct evidencing drug or alcohol abuse or addiction (open bottle, DWI, or underage drinking charges)

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