If RFK Jr. is Skeptical of the Warren Report, He Should Help His Fellow Skeptics Fight Dallas

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To: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

You and your sister, Rory, appeared here in Dallas a few days ago as part of the run-up to this city's observance of the 50th anniversary of the murder of your uncle, President John F. Kennedy, in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on November 22, 1963. This letter to you is my request for your help in an urgent related matter.

See also:
Assassination? What Assignation?

Your visit here was taken by the Dallas establishment as a welcome gesture of reconciliation, since as far as most people know none of your family has come here officially since the assassination a half-century ago. I don't diminish that.

But in your appearance here you revealed that your father, Robert F. Kennedy, was skeptical of the work of the Warren Commission and skeptical of the single-gunman theory it propagated. I did not attend the event where you spoke. I understand from the reports that you mentioned the Mafia and rogue CIA agents as possible co-conspirators.

Let me mention quickly, for what it's worth, that I do not have a personal theory about the assassination of your uncle. Like anybody else who has been a reporter in Dallas for a long time, I have traipsed across the trail many times, but only enough to remind me how little I know and how silly it would be for me to offer opinions. That's not why I am bothering you.

This is why. Are you aware -- do you have any knowledge of -- the vicious campaign of repression that the City of Dallas has carried out for many years and is still prosecuting against people here for doing exactly what you just did so easily on a Dallas stage: expressing skepticism about the Warren Commission?

Groden_01.jpg
Mark Graham
Here's a visual, RFK Jr.: Charles Groden, the skeptic City Hall keeps shutting down.
One man in particular, Charles Groden, has been ticketed more than 80 times and jailed twice, in spite of findings by city judges in each and every instance that he had broken no law by speaking and offering books for sale on city land near where your uncle was killed.

Even today the city is using a bogus, and probably illegal, permitting procedure to clamp down Soviet-style on assassination skeptics for the November 22, 2013 observances at Dealey Plaza. The entire thrust and style of the event itself is designed to ward off any discussion of theories that depart from the Warren Commission findings.

In fact, at the press conference to announce plans, the mayor of Dallas, an otherwise reasonable man, instructed reporters that the event itself was to be called only "The 50th," without any verbal reference or allusion to the murder of your uncle, a bizarre exercise in euphemism that should tell you all you need to know.

The problem of suppression, sadly, goes far beyond the case of Groden. In fact the city has raised a large sum of money privately for "security" in order to bar presence at the event next November of a group called COPA, Committee on Presidential Assassinations.

Obviously you know and I know that the assassination has attracted the attention of lots of eccentric people, even crazy people. They can be irritating, and I think I'm guilty of having expressed that irritation by making fun of some of them here in the past.
COPA is not crazy people. If anything, the dedicated scholars and investigators of COPA and some other study groups are the monks who have kept scholarship alive on these questions over long decades of derision and even aggressive attack like the behavior of the City of Dallas. If there is a body of knowledge out there now capable of responding to your own personal curiosity about these questions, it exists today only because of the work of COPA and some other groups and individuals.

These are the people Dallas is banning from the observances. What you were allowed to say without incident on a stage in Dallas last weekend they will not be allowed to say at the observance itself next November. In fact they will not be allowed to be even physically present and silent, under an especially Kafkaesque ruling by the city that the moment of silence they wished to observe on November 22 would conflict with other moments of silence already planned. Under current arrangements they will be physically shut out of Dealey Plaza, banned by a jury-rigged ticketing process.

Why? That's another long conversation. Are the answers psychological, moral, political or conspiratorial? I don't have an answer worth uttering. I don't know.

I do know this. Your uncle and father would never have countenanced the suppression of free speech being carried out in Dallas now around your family name. No one could do more to defeat those efforts now than a Kennedy. A word from any one of you on this subject, publicly or privately, would go far.

Please don't be deceived by the fawning reception I'm sure you received here. What's going on behind those practiced smiles is not pretty. They invoke your name to justify their actions, insisting that free speech at the event on November 22 would be an affront to your family.

Your words here last weekend put the lie to that rationale but did not put an end to the effort. That will take more. This is an urgent sincere plea that you do more.

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48 comments
bkjfk3
bkjfk3

Why can't you correct Robert Groden's name and the correct acronym for COPA - the Coalition on Political Assassinations? I mean the mistakes aren't written in stone but they are sloppy if you know Robert's real name and the correct name of COPA. 

copa
copa

 Thanks for the kind comments, Jim. We are the Coalition on Political Assassinations based in Washington, DC and we are planning a major conference on the 50th anniversary of murder of President Kennedy in Dallas. The theme is "50 Years is Enough! Free the Files - Find the Truth". We study not only the assassination of President Kennedy but his brother Robert, Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, among others. For the last 49 years we have held a Moment of Silence on the Grassy Knoll every November 22 at 12:30 pm and spoken out about the unsolved murder of our President in 1963. This year the Sixth Floor Museum took out an exclusive permit on behalf of the Mayor's office to prevent what the Director called "conspiracy theory" in the Dallas Morning News. 

 We have a pending legal permit for our event, and have met recently with the Mayor of Dallas to suggest alternatives to blocking off the whole of Dealey Plaza on November 22 to what he told us would be "tens of thousands" of people coming to commemorate the event. He wants to hold an event to "celebrate the life and legacy of President Kennedy" to allow the people of Dallas some "catharsis" and improve the City's image. He does not want to discuss the assassination save for his own moment of silence from a stage for ticketed residents and press, visible around the city on Jumbotrons for the rest of us. We are waiting to hear back from his planning committee about our proposal that he either move his event to the nearby JFK Memorial park or allow our event to be visible on the Grassy Knoll and let the public in.

We feel this is a content-based denial of our free speech rights under the First Amendment.

Dealey Plaza was designated as a National Historical site by the U.S. Department of Interior, and as such belongs to the American people, the world and to history, especially on November 22 at 12:30 pm this year. They are coming from all over the world to be there and will be rudely shocked to find that they are barricaded out.

In addition, if you wanted to honor the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln, you would not do it at the Ford Theater in Washington, DC on April 14, the date and place of his assassination. JFK's life can be celebrated anywhere and on any day and should be. Our events celebrate his life and legacy as well, but we believe it got him killed. 

 Skeptics of the official version of the Warren Commission report represent 85% of the American people in a recent poll, we are the mainstream, not a fringe group. The House Select Committee on Assassinations found in the 1970s that the Warren Commission failed and that a "probable conspiracy" led to the deaths of both President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but the Justice Department never followed up. Millions of pages of classified records concerning Kennedy's life and assassination were released by the JFK Assassination Records Board and they support the critics like Jim Garrison and others, and all the hard evidence points to conspiracy in the case.

By the way, there are already several films in the public domain of the shooting of the President that prove a conspiracy, the primary one being the famous Zapruder film. Robert Groden was a consultant to both the HSCA and the ARRB on photographic evidence and the author of a best selling book on the assassination. He has devoted his life to this case, finding the truth and making it public. The rude comments about him and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. here merely reflect the lack of intelligence or information of those who are making them.

We'd all like to freeze time at 12:29 pm on November 22, 1963, when Texas Governor John Connolly's wife Nellie turns to President Kennedy in the motorcade limousine on Elm Street and says, "Well, Jack, you can't say Dallas doesn't love you," but we can't. Dallas didn't kill President Kennedy, but it if really wants to get closure and worldwide positive press, the Mayor should take on this unsolved homicide as a cold case, call for full release of records this year, call on the citizens of Dallas and elsewhere to come forward with any new information, and if warranted open a Grand Jury investigation of the crime under the D.A.'s office in Dallas.

Robert F. Kennedy needs to be applauded for the courage of his convictions in speaking out in Dallas at the start of the 50th anniversary events there. We have to wonder if he would have been allowed to make the same comments had he been invited to the Mayor's planned event on November 22. We would welcome his support and presence, but it's not really his fight, it's ours. It was our President and our democracy that were killed that day so long ago and it is up to us to reclaim our history and our rights in America and take our democracy and sense of justice back.

John Judge, Coalition on Political Assassinations, Washington, DC - www.politicalassassinations.com

jimglover
jimglover

Robert Groden also told me that he photographed the singers at the Murray the “K" show at the RKO in NYC in the late 60’s with The Cream, The Who, Wilson Pickett, Mitch Rider, Simon and Garfunkel, Phil Ochs, Jim and Jean (thats us) and more.

Too bad it takes 50 years before the people's demand for the truth finally begins to grow and it will take more time.  Time is everything.

robertw2
robertw2

That's Robert Groden. Charles Grodin is an actor.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

As the story was told to me, and this comes from not only a doctor but an old family friend (i have to leave his name out of this). This man and his father were there in 1963, and his father was filming in Dealey Plaza when it happened.

When his father passed, he inherited the film. Almost immediately he started getting threatening voice modified phonecalls that he'd best never release that tape. So to this day, he has a copy of not publicly scene footage of the events thag day.

The fact that it never even got to the Warren Commission explains what a sham that was. The narrative had already been written. And I'm usually not a conspiracy guy.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

Is this the same guy that championed the idea that a government conspiracy was covering up the link between vaccination and autism? A hierarchy of pinheads does exist. Your buddy Mr. Groden is near the bottom. Though he is a pain, his subject is something dead in the past. He cannot really harm anyone. RFK Jr. Is a higher class of pinhead. Using his celebrity to spread ridiculous rumors about critical preventive care for children is pretty awful. His hypocrisy on flying on private jets to global warming meetings to harangue execs that just do not get it is another matter.

This issue attracts pinheads. Just because he had a famous father does not vaccinate him from being in that corps of confused Americans.

heart_and_soul
heart_and_soul

The "50th"? A moment of silence?  After 50 years, the last thing we need is more silence. It is silence that has kept a lie alive for 50 years. This whole dumb idea is going to backfire. People will see this for exactly what it is, another Dallas coverup.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

World class cities do not have warts. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

lorlee0828
lorlee0828

The kid was only 8 when his uncle died and the other one wasn't even born so whatever they are saying is at best hearsay.

That said, anyone who wants to come to the 50th should be allowed to come. 

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Get over it Dallas, JFK is dead.  Will we ever know the "truth" about what went on and why?  Probably not.


At some point, a string of connected events can no longer be considered random, but being considered to be not random is not sufficient to establish a conspiracy.


Was the event tragic?  ... You betcha ...

Will we ever know beyond a reasonable doubt all of the actors involved? ... Most likely not ...

Will Dallas ever get over it? ... Not by a long shot ...

Will the DCC and the other major groups ever recognize anything other the Warren Report? ... Not on your life ...

Can the factual evidence be used to support alternate theories of the assassination? ... Of course, because there are more holes in the available evidence than there are in a wheel of Swiss Cheese ...


BTW, I saw JFK and the Governor on Lemmon Avenue ...

ruddski
ruddski

The live  Kennedys are incredibly aggravating.

GoBlue
GoBlue

@robertw2 Robert Groden also acted -- as the film projector operator in the courtroom during the Clay Shaw trial in "JFK."

GoBlue
GoBlue

@SuperfuzzBigmuff  You don't have to play games with this case. Just look at the testimonies of witnesses -- Dallas County residents, not government suits who came into town and punked local authorities -- who were there.  Dr. Malcolm Perry performed a trach through what he called an entrance wound in the throat; Bobby Hargis and BJ Martin, both DPD motorcycle officers, rode to JFK's left rear during the shooting; both were splattered with blood, brain tissue and small bits of bone. Hargis said he was struck with such force that he though he was hit, too. Union Pacific Railroad workers, who were standing atop the Triple Overpass, saw a puff of smoke come out from behind the picket fence on the Grassy Knoll. Sam Holland, Richard Dodd, James Leon Simmons and others, ran around the concrete abutment, maneuvered between cars, jumped over hoods, and when they arrived at the area behind the fence where they heard the shot and saw the smoke, they found what one of them described as a hundred footprints within a small area, cigarette butts, mud on the lower fence cross rail and mud on the back of a car's bumper.

This only scratches the surface. A lot of the testimony, ironically, can be found in the Warren Commission volumes; others were extracted by independent researchers.

JustSaying
JustSaying

@SuperfuzzBigmuff I dont buy that story for 2 reasons. First, no way someone in a story like you were told would call and warn against releasing his film. If it were true, they would  have just come and snagged that fucker years ago. Secondly, if the family friend did have such a tape, at this point it would be like winning the fucking lottery and never cashing in the ticket. He could make millions selling some never before seen footage that proves a conspiracy. Millions I say.

observist
observist topcommenter

@SuperfuzzBigmuff   So the all-powerful and all-secretive "real killers" just happen to know which innocent bystander's film has the REAL incriminating evidence from that day, and have been carefully monitoring/intimidating the owner of said film - without hurting him -  for 50 years.   Uh huh.  And in their spare time, they secretly shelter the last remaining descendent of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.

GoBlue
GoBlue

@MikeWestEast Good job of being a follower of the government's propaganda machine. You know nothing about the subject, that is clear.

James080
James080

@MikeWestEast 

Well said. JFK, Jr. once said those who don't believe in catastrophic global warming due to CO2 should be charged with treason. I find it curious that RFK, the Attorney General of the United States at the time his brother was assassinated, apparently didn't have the contacts inside government, or the resources, to investigate and discover any proof of an actual conspiracy. As US AG, if RFK was unhappy with the Warren Commission, he should have launched his own investigation while he was the AG, or later when he became a Senator from NY in 1965.

For myself, I'm still concerned by the Soviet style clamp down on skeptics of the lone gunman explanation of the McKinley assassination, in that hotbed of leftist anarchy, Buffalo, NY. Its been 102 years and we still don't know who was behind Leon Czolgosz's bullet. Lone gunman my eye. Someone, for the love of justice, send Groden to Buffalo to sell his pamphlets and books so we can finally get to the bottom of the McKinley conspiracy before the the second centennial commemoration in 2102.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MikeWestEast 

OK but do you think he has a right to express his opinion?

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul there is enough classified information out there that odds are we'll know the truth eventually. They're just waiting for the boomers to die off.

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul will you ever stop asking questions and then answering them? nah. is your douchemanship world class? absolutely.

Jethro_Pugh
Jethro_Pugh

Did you see the limo stop briefly to greet the kids at Craddock Park?

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@observist hey, its not my story. But this man is a very good doctor and a rational man. This isnt a bum off I-30 and Winslow. I don't know the truth, I'm just repeating what he told me.

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@James080 @MikeWestEast yes! more McKinley assassination coverage! two people have spoken!!!

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@James080 @MikeWestEast 

Yeah. But, you know, I bet there are still mid-level apparatchiks in the Kremlin who have lots of funny wisecracks to offer about this free speech thing. Tell me: what is the cause you defend that is so important, it trumps free speech?

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@JimSX @MikeWestEast hey, this is the p.c. version of the game, brah..

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@ruddski @Lakewooder no, that'd be the rest of Texas not named Dallas, actually...

observist
observist topcommenter

@SuperfuzzBigmuff I have a friend who picked up a hot chick at bar, took her home, passed out, then woke up in a bathtub full of ice water with his kidneys removed.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@heart_and_soul @MikeWestEast @James080 Evan Thomas, author of a well respected biography of RFK, he was a bureau chief for either a large daily or chain for Washington DC. Book is available in paperback on Amazon. I think he is still alive.

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@heart_and_soul @James080 an investigation into Marilyn's assassination?

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@heart_and_soul @James080 Truth is the opposite.  RFK saw no good coming from dredging up the Cuba/CIA/Mafia links since they had zip to do with his brother's death and exposure would be bad for everyone concerned, especially JFK and RFK.  He was smart and foresaw exactly what did happen in the mid 70's.  A lot of dirt, no answers, and intelligence efforts sidetracked for years.

James080
James080

@JimSX @James080 @MikeWestEast  

Ah...a Westboro Baptist kind of guy? Are there no limits? Before you impale yourself on the 1st Amendment, tell us how you feel about the 2nd? Would you interpret and enforce the 2nd as broad and all-encompassing as you want the 1st enforced?  I'll bet not.

clevertrousers
clevertrousers

@James080 @JimSX @MikeWestEast no dogs are leaving china, rubber or otherwise.

James080
James080

@JimSX@James080@MikeWestEast 

In 1963 Washington DC, had a peddler trying to sell his latest his assassination book, been prevented by the government from running along side JFK's horse drawn caisson and casket while it was pulled along Pennsylvania Avenue, would you consider the peddler's freedom of speech to have been violated?

On 11/25/63, the US government effectively reserved Pennsylvania Avenue. What is the difference in your mind.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@JimSX @James080 @MikeWestEast Same for the homeless?  They'd be down there in force if the cops didn't run 'em off.  Free speechifian' all over the place.

And helping you park your car, for a fee.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@James080 @JimSX @MikeWestEast 

So, in answer to my question, the important principle you believe should trump free speech at this highly visible global interest event is "reserved the room."

James080
James080

@JimSX @James080 @MikeWestEast  

I don't see Mr. Groden's desire to sell books and pamphlets at a civil ceremony to be an infringement of his constitutional right to free speech and assembly. The city of Dallas has "reserved the room" so to speak for a commemorative event (I wonder if they will sell the naming rights, e.g. "The AT&T Observance of The 50th").

Perhaps the City should provide a designated "free speech, peddler and protest" area, as is done during political conventions and trade summits.

For the other 364 days of 2013, Groden can earn a living on city property selling books, or even rubber dogs hit flown in from China, if that's what he wants. 


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