Dear Doctor Cinque
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Ralph Cinque: M, You have to distinguish between Jackie's and RFK's public view and their private one. I don't think it can be said that either of them publicly disputed the official story of the assassination. Obviously if they had, we'd have been talking about it for 53 years. And Jackie's case, it's easy to see why: she was afraid. She was deathly afraid for herself and children. It's been written that the primary reason she married Aristotle Onassis was because he could provide her and them with: safety and protection.
Now, who was she afraid of? It wasn't the relatives of Lee Harvey Oswald. But, would she really remain silent if she thought the very people in power killed her husband? She did. Well, not completely silent. She did that interview with Arthur Schlesinger and even let herself be recorded saying that she thought LBJ was behind it. But, it was meant for Schlesinger's use only. He was going to write about a book about the Kennedy administration, and he did, A Thousand Days. He was in the Kennedy administration. His official title was "Special Assistant to the President." He attended Cabinet meetings. But, he obviously didn't put what she said in the book.
And RFK did not publicly dispute the official story either, although he stayed in close touch with people who were publicly disputing it, such as Mark Lane. There is a famous story that he confronted LBJ at the White House, asking him why he had his brother killed, and there is even a photo that goes along with it.
I consider it plausible but not bankable.
LBJ announced his decision not to run for reelection on March 31, 1968, but think about how late that was. When does the Presidential race start? Most say about 2 years before Election Day. This was less than 8 months before Election Day. But wait; there was a reason for it. RFK didn't announce his intention to run for President until March 18, just 2 weeks before. So, in doing that, RFK was announcing his intention to run against Johnson. What if RFK hadn't entered the race? Would LBJ have withdrawn? It's anybody's guess, but I presume he would not have. He did not want to run against Robert Kennedy. But, let's really get Machiavellian here. Perhaps, there were already discussions that no way could they let RFK become President, that if he did well they would have to kill him. And if LBJ were running against him, LBJ would appear to be the beneficiary of the killing. So in order to deflect suspicion in advance, LBJ withdrew. But, the thing I really want to note is that at no time was reopening the JFK investigation a part of RFK's platform when he ran for President.
But, would he have? Many people assume he would have, but I do not. I think the odds are better than 50/50 that he would not have, regardless of what he believed.
So, in a way, it doesn't matter what either RFK or Jackie believed because regardless, neither was willing to do anything.
And that continues to this day for the Kennedy family in its entirety. It's a sad thing to ponder.