The tapes were sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library, in Boston, to remain there for 50 years after Ms Onassis' death. Now, 17 years after that death they are being turned over to TV Network ABC, with the British also bidding for the right to air the tapes. It is understood that this deal is in return for ABC not running its expensive mini-series on the Kennedy family.
It is believed that Caroline, 53, agreed to the early release of the tapes in exchange for ABC dropping its £10million drama series about the family.I think that releasing these tapes early is wrong at two levels.
The Kennedys, starring Tom Cruise’s wife Katie Holmes as Jackie, critically charted the family’s political and personal trials and tribulations since the 1930s. The series was eventually broadcast on an independent cable channel, and on BBC2 in the UK, against Caroline’s wishes.
At the first level it is a violation of the wishes of Ms Caroline Kennedy's Mother. We are supposed to follow the wishes of our parents.
At the second level there is the betrayal of an illusion—my illusion. I like to think that while Presidents may make really bad decisions, they are at least loyal to their oaths. I like to think that the petty differences are submerged by the people who manage our country and submerged by the people who support those people. Put another way, I like to think that the great men and women who lead our nation are loyal to their oaths toward their spouses as an example of their loyalty toward their oath of office.
I know that there has been the betraying of oaths in the White House and in the larger Washington governing scene, but I frankly don't take it well. The betrayal of the late Ms Elizabeth Edwards, by her husband John, is just the recent jarring example.
It is just that I would like some distance between the known facts and today. I can accept that LBJ was probably very unhappy with Richard Nixon because in the 1940s Mr Nixon defeated for office (House of Representatives seat) the incumbent, Mr Johnson's paramour. I just don't want to hear about recent escapades. The Kennedy years are still too close. Ms Jackie Kennedy Onassis was correct to want the tapes sealed for 50 years. Ms Caroline Kennedy was wrong to release them.
Regards — Cliff