Tuesday, July 19, 2005


If the Soviet archives are accurate, and if the statements made by Walton and Bartlett [Kennedy family friends who met with Khrushchev aides in Moscow during 1963-64] were authorized by him, then Robert Kennedy was guilty of acts of insubordination and political treachery with few if any parallels in American history. A sitting attorney general, by channels chosen to avoid drawing the attention of the president whom he served and other officials of the U.S. government, was denigrating the newly inaugurated president [Johnson] behind his back – and, worse was urging America’s Soviet enemies to stand firm until he, Robert Kennedy, could become president in 1968 and pursue a policy more to Moscow’s liking. Richard Nixon’s secret dealings with the South Vietnamese government in the election of 1968, and his later conniving with the Greek military dictatorship, were petty misdemeanors by comparison; those regimes were allies, not rivals. (The claims of Robert Dallek and other presidential historians that Lyndon Johnson’s fears of sabotage by the Kennedy circle were “paranoid” must be reevaluated, in light of the revelations from Moscow.)

- Michael Lind, in Vietnam: The Necessary War

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