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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too Soon

In The Daily Mail about a week ago was an article on Ms Caroline Kennedy releasing tapes her Mother, Jackie Kennedy Onassis had made recording her experiences and opinions regarding the history of her years with President John F Kennedy.  The recordings were made soon after the 22 November 1963 assassination of President Kennedy and were made with the assistance of historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

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.

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.
I think that releasing these tapes early is wrong at two levels.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the tapes purport to contain Jackie O's assertion that LBJ was behind the assassination of JFK. Whether that is actually articulated by Jackie in the tapes remains to be seen, but the claim has been made in the past few weeks.

Certainly, there are many, including me, that believe that LBJ was complicit on some level. His political avarice is almost supreme in the world of power politics and the most important thing in the world.....for which he would mortgage his very soul...was The Great Society. The power brokers behind the scenes gave him that....many will say as a quid pro quo for his role in getting JFK out of the way....because JFK had grown far too big for his well as RFK. The went from revered change makers to despised oligarchs among true oligarchs who funded their rise to power...only to feel betrayed.

This very argument will last for all eternity I am certain...even if Jackie O makes the claim convincingly on the tapes. Folks simply want to believe what they want to believe...and confusing them with apparent facts serves as no deterrent to those beliefs.

I for one will never believe that one loner with a barely functional IQ was behind the taking of JFK's life.

As for Cliff's magnificent hope for the Presidential powerful...and their automaton supporters......I do not share his hope or his opinion. I think these are people for whom power and fame are an addiction that they will feed and grow at any cost. That there is a derived benefit from their egomania is more of an unintended benefit or accident than a planned consequence. If the White House walls could actually opposed to the bookshelves or oval office desk.....Americans would likely be shocked at what they hear and learn about their vaunted leaders. Let's just say that Clinton's indiscretions in the hallowed halls and closets of the WH are mundane and elementary by comparison to his predecessors.