Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bobby Kennedy: Hippie Traitor

Next time some wingnut pins you to the wall at some cocktail party and sprays onion dip all over you while he relates a conspiracy theory involving the CIA or the Trilateral Comission or the Federal Reserve and the dastardly slaughter of our own citizens, you'd like to tell him that there is NO WAY an American politician would deliberately kill innocent civilians as part of some plot.

But you can't.

And this is why. In his new book on the Cuban missile crisis, One Minute to Midnight (pages 16-17), historian Michael Dobbs relates these events: On August 8, 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a memo suggesting ways in which the USA might justify attacking the weaker nation. The focus was on a list of potential 'staged provocations that included:

  • We could blow up a U.S. Ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.
  • We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington.
  • It is possible to arrange an incident that will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civilian airliner.
On Tuesday, October 16th 1962 at about 6:30pm, JFK met with his advisers. He had just learned that the Soviet Union had deployed nuclear missiles to Cuba.

During the meeting, Bobby Kenney argued for an "aggressive response to Moscow." Apparently thinking of the explosion of the American battleship Maine in Havana Harbor -- the incident that provided the US with an excuse to declare war on Spain in 1898 -- Bobby mused that perhaps "there is some other way we can involved in this. You know, sink the Maine again or something."

How do we know he said this? JFK recorded all the meetings. The book doesn't say what kind of reaction the president or the other advisors had to this suggestion, but the meeting continued with discussions of sabotage operations against Castro's regime, so it doesn't sound like there was outraged horror.

I wonder what the reaction would have been had Bobby proposed blowing up a US Navy ship to Dwight D. Eisenhower. I hope Ike would have punched him in the face.


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