JFK Library releases long-secret RFK files

In a victory for the JFK research community, the JFK Library announced today that it has made public 26 boxes of long-secret files held by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. 

The files will likely shed new light on the inner workings of the Kennedy presidency.

One document released last summer showed that The CIA kept RFK apprised of Castro assassination plotting. (JFK Facts, Aug. 2, 2013).

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If any JFK Facts readers are in the Boston area, we are looking for news stories about what the new files contain.

 

 

 

18 comments

  1. JSA says:

    I wonder if these files will validate Thom Hartmann and Lamar Waldron’s premise about a “C-Day” plan to invade Cuba on December 1, 1963—based on the book, “Ultimate Sacrifice” from 2005. Or has that thesis been completely debunked? The book mentions Jefferson Morley and his push to release CIA held files.

    • I doubt it the RFK files will support Lamar’s thesis. Lamar’s book doesn’t support it so why would RFK’s files.

      I find the whole C-Day thesis to be so much historical cotton candy: well-spun, enticing, and bad for you.

      Lamar seems wholly innocent of the literature about how Castro’s government functioned in 1963. The notion that Juan Almeida was a CIA agent and potential coup leader strikes me and every Cuba scholar I know as sheer fantasy. He was a loyal and mediocre apparatchik. Of course, Lamar can say this is proof of the CIA’s cunning. But the CIA’s record of penetrating Castro’s inner circle was one of unrelieved failure. They CIA thought Rolando Cubela was in Castro’s inner circle–which he most certainly was not.

      I expect these 26 boxes to be, like the material released last summer, to be heavily redacted.

      • JSA says:

        Thanks for the information. I have another question: If it turns out that RFK shows up as being “informed” of anti-Castro plots by CIA in 1963, does this implicate him as going against his brother’s alleged promise not to invade Cuba, or is it more fine-lined? I also wonder if CIA was trying to “keep the Attorney General informed” so as to cover their butts and say that the Kennedy’s were on board with Operation Mongoose or with anti-Castro activities up until the assassination? I am confused about all of this, because in other books, most notably Douglas’ book, “JFK and the Unspeakable” the thesis is that John F. Kennedy was moving away from any anti-Castro policies, trying to reach a detente with Cuba. But to add to the confusion, Bobby is said to have blamed himself for his brother’s death, mentioned in the Talbot book. So if someone can sort out these tangled historical strings, I would be interested in listening.

      • Ronnie Wayne says:

        I.E. this is fluff? A distraction from the real issue of the Joannides, Phillips, “Bishop”, Helms, Angleton, Dulles, etc. files? I have hopes this might reveal Something regarding their role. I don’t expect it to be a smoking gun but possibly helpful.

      • Gary says:

        I agree Jefferson…It will be “blacked out” a lot.

  2. Alan Dale says:

    I believe there are very good reasons why Robert Kennedy could never have “come out publicly,” and that sending Bill Walton as an emissary to the Soviets with a private message of assurance was an effective way of attempting to turn down the heat of post assassination hysteria regarding American/Soviet tensions.

    There is certainly no question that JFK and Robert Kennedy shared some exclusive Cold War secrets, the most obvious category of which may have concerned American policies and operations relating to Cuba. I personally believe we may find some explanation for the parallelisms, two-tracks, rapprochement and assassination, if we consider the possibility that President Kennedy and the Attorney General may have been pursuing opposing agendas at the time of the president’s murder. As absurd as it may sound, I believe we may have a slightly inaccurate understanding of the relationship President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy shared. I believe we may err by assuming and accepting that their relationship was essentially a co-presidency.

    Regardless of the many strange bedfellows Robert Kennedy learned about during his involvement with Cuban operations, I believe the possibility that he was intent to see those operations through to an ultimate resolution of Castro being eliminated, in a manner intended to “take care of the problem” on his brother’s behalf, may have come without being informed or included in the president’s decision to pursue an alternate course. My conjecture is that Robert Kennedy’s leadership in the “Get Castro” program may be defined as a personal operational agenda, not merely the means by which the president was protected via plausible deniability.

    Following the peaceful resolution to the missile crisis, President Kennedy and Premier Khrushchev evolved an important working relationship with each other that was an achievement for each in their mutual opposition to proponents of war. I feel that any further acts of aggression by the United States towards the leadership of Cuba would, at that time, have demolished the integrity of that relationship.

    I could certainly be wrong.

    • TLR says:

      I agree that Bobby seems to have been more emotionally involved in “getting even” with Castro, while JFK was more detached about it. They were very different in personality that way. RFK had more of his father’s competitive streak that JFK did.

    • There is no way JFK was going to invade Cuba on Dec 1, 1963 or any other date. After his “peace speech” at American University in June of 1963 where he called an end to all aggression, he was putting his entire Presidency and his personal integrity on the line. JFK had peace emissaries everywhere and meant what he said about their not being a Pax Americana peace but real peace. “What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children — not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.” JFK … Those are not the words of a man who would invade anything or be the aggressor in any war or military action. We were very close to Détente, but that all changed, didn’t it? The whole premise of this book is flawed and based only on hear-say.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Over Thanksgiving, my daughter raised the point that RFK publicly supported the Warren Report. Privately, of course, he felt the CIA was involved. He was in a conflict: both he and JFK had had dalliances he didn’t want to see the light of day.

    RFK was an unusual guy. I remember him well. I’ve rued his assassination. And never believed the LAPD version.

  4. Preston Newe says:

    The JFK Library should be saluted for aiding the strenuous efforts of a dedicated few to clarify & better understand what happened half a century ago with this release of RFK files. As a go between JFK & US Intel RFK’s files should reveal a lot in what was being disseminated to RFK & what wasn’t (did Hoover or CIA ever inform his of Oswald’s New Orleans arrest?).

    RFK was no dummy; the info he was getting on Oswald post-assassination had to have caused him immediate suspicion simply because Oswald’s best shot at gaining entry into Cuba was when he lived in the Soviet Union, not when he returned to the USA with Marina in tow (assuming Lee Oswald was a genuine Marxist that wanted to live in Cuba & help Castro’s communist government prosper). When Hoover informed the Warren Commission that LHO had allegedly threatened to kill JFK while in Mexico City, RFK had the authority to demand from Hoover a satisfactory reason why LHO was arrested following the alleged threat. Hopefully, the files will tell us.

    • ruboswald says:

      You mean why LHO was not arrested don’t you?

      • Preston Newe says:

        You are correct, that was a typo. I meant to say ‘wasn’t arrested’. In following Professor Joan Mellen’s research from her book “A Farewell to Justice” I am learning that RFK was aware of Lee Oswald & was involved in monitoring him. She says RFK knew about Clay Shaw’s attempts to get Lee Oswald a job at a state hospital in Louisiana. Mrs. Mellon believes RFK was responsible for sabotaging Jim Garrison’s investigation because he feared Garrison would uncover RFK’s knowledge of Lee Oswald prior to the assassination. A multipart essay explain this startling information can be found online here:

        http://joanmellen.net/updates.htm

        The release of the RFK files will either bolster Mrs. Mellen’s research or cause her to make redactions. I have long wondered how Lee Oswald could be promoting Fidel Castro on the radio (Latin Listening Post) or in public (‘Hands off Cuba’ pamphlets & street brawl with DRE) without RFK NOT knowing about Oswald.

        We’ll all see what happens with the release of these RFK files. Professor Mellen, like Doug Horne & David Lifton are ignored by MSM as if they all were radioactive.

  5. Dan says:

    I rechecked the RFK confidential files that are posted online by the JFK Library. There are still many pink sheets evidencing withdrawn classified documents in files labelled Cuba/CIA 1963 and 1964. It does not look like any classified files have been declassified and added to the online collection.

  6. Philip T. says:

    I have read that during the Bay of Pigs aftermath, RFK obtained a copy of the ever-illusive Bruce-Lovett Report. According to CIA via Cryptome:

    “Having reached a dead end, we consulted the author of the Dulles biography, Peter Grose. Grose told us that he had not seen the report itself but had used notes made from it by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger for Robert F. Kennedy and His Times (1978). Professor Schlesinger informed us that that he had seen the report in Robert Kennedy’s papers before they were deposited at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. He had loaned Grose his notes and does not have a copy of these notes or of the report itself.”

    http://cryptome.org/ic-black5601.htm#report

  7. Kennedy63 says:

    I think JFK and RFK did have different personalities and perspectives. I also think RFK, in his role as “can doer” for JFK, subrogated his personal drive for the advancement of JFK’S Presidency. Remember, it was RFK that suggested that pushed for blockading Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis and RFK who successfully opened the “back door” diplomacy that led to a peaceful resolution to that crisis. All the speculation about RFK’s uncontrollable and personal desire to “get Castro” is a contrivance of the CIA propaganda machine. Remember Arthur Krock opined and published his slant on where a coup d’etat would come from: the CIA. President Kennedy also recorded, with Walter Cronkite, his thoughts about how and under what circumstances a coup could take place in America. JFK stated that the war mongers would repeatedly push (or agitate in global hot-spots) for war. When the President/Commander-in-Chief repeatedly refused, either the military or covert operations (CIA) would move to replace him. I doubt if the files reveal anything of significance or proof of who was involved in killing JFK. Still, such files belong in the public domain.

  8. Ronnie Wayne says:

    I think the “in collaboration with the family of RFK” is important. to me this would imply at least his children and possibly a well known cousin and or aunt. With RFK JR’s recent comments about his father’s private beliefs of conspiracy there is potential for important information. No matter what is found the family’s agreement to release these files is a courageous one and I would like to publicly thank them for doing so on behalf of the American people. The have had to live with this subject intimately their entire lives. This has to be a burden they may at often times would like to ignore or escape. In light of the comparatively little attention paid to their own father’s assassination I admire and respect their candor and fortitude in this decision.

  9. All of this information is going down a funnel, to be sorted out later in October 2017. Patience is a virtue. Am sure we shall all be surprised, one way or another, by its “release”.

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