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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


There's something vaguely creepy reading the various accounts of what's in the first batch of Ted Kennedy's files released by the FBI. The overwhelming sensation is of a man being stalked by those out to get him -- and those assigned to prevent that from happening.

There's no real surprise that there were scores of threats against the life of the third Kennedy brother, the only one to die by some means other than violence. Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is that Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Robert Kennedy, allegedly offered $1 million to a fellow prison inmate to kill Ted.

That alone could explain why Sirhan remains in prison today -- and why conspiracy theorists will have a field day trying to figure out where he could have come up with the cash.

Nor is it any surprise that J. Edgar Hoover, who kept a tight rein on the details of his own personal life, was so fascinated by Kennedy's. In a prurient way. Or that Hoover was as two-faced in his relationship with Kennedy as he was with the American people.

The files also don't provide a kind picture of Washington's other paranoid power broker -- Richard Nixon. It's hardly surprising that Nixon dispatched political consigliere John Dean to dig up dirt on Chappaquiddick, even if no federal crimes were involved.

The image that emerges from files culled by Kennedy family members is of a man who remained focused on his mission even with all the threats and turmoil around him. Many of Kennedy's greatest lapses were personal and self-inflicted, yet he never allowed those failings or the seemingly endless threats to safety and reputation to divert him from his goals.

And his legacy of accomplishment far outweighs his personal shortcomings.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Federal crimes were committed if the FBI was going to be covering for Ted. Were they going to try an cover up who the driver was? Then they realized to info was too out in the open.

June 15, 2010 8:11 AM  

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