The rest of the story

On the day President Kennedy was murdered, I was having lunch at a friend’s house in Merced, California. I was in the Air Force, and I was 19 years old.

JFK was very popular, of course, and I held a high opinion of him in spite of his being the cause of the demise of men’s hats in American society. Like all in my family, I was a Democrat though I still had never voted. At this point, I will reveal a secret:

I never voted until I was 40 years old.

In subsequent decades, my high opinion of him subsided a bit as I learned more about him, but he still seemed like a favorable chap and a reasonably good president. That has changed.

I just finished a book by the award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot which was published in 1997. How I had never read this book or even heard of it surprises me, but in the late 1990s I was dealing with divorce and related distractions.

Kennedy was a half-assed president at best and a whoremonger of epic proportions. Oh, we’ve all heard that he had a thing with Marilyn Monroe, but she was just one of an ongoing parade of women, many of whom were prostitutes, who visited the White House on a regular basis to cavort naked with Jack and his pals in the White House pool while beleaguered wife Jackie was out of town.

Let’s step back to his 1960 election, which was almost certainly stolen from Richard Nixon. I had previously thought last year’s election fraud was the first in a presidential contest since Andrew Jackson’s initial victory was stolen two centuries ago, but I was wrong.

In key states, Kennedy’s crew enlisted the Mafia and other seamy sorts to rig results. And that was hardly the end of Kennedy’s doings with the Mafia, which was enlisted to assist in JFK’s ongoing campaign to murder Fidel Castro after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

In all of his doings, JFK sought the aid of his brother Bobby, a Svengali who was attorney general and likely a nastier character than Jack himself.

JFK was trying to have Castro murdered till that bloody day in Dallas. It was an obsession.

After the mob helped JFK get elected, Bobby, as attorney general, inexplicably went after organized crime in a hard way, which leads us to the assassination of Jack — and Bobby four years later. Whodunnit? Lots of suspicion has been directed at either Castro or the Mafia.

I vote for the Mafia for two reasons. Jack Ruby, who had mob connections, killed Lee Harvey Oswald. And Castro would have had little reason to knock off Bobby too, but the mob did. No way in the world did Oswald act on his own.

And how did the Kennedys get filthy rich in the first place? It came from daddy Joe who earned it via all manner of dishonest shenanigans, including bootlegging early in the 20th century.

Now I know the rest of the story. Maybe you do too. Excellent book. I recommend it.

The Kennedys were, of course, Democrats.