As part of research I was doing in regards to a dispute with someone in the news media, I came across a book entitled “The Dark Side of Camelot”. I have heard uncomplimentary things about the Kennedy family . Even so, this very well researched book by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh surprised me. I am late getting to it as it is copyright 1997 but I am still glad I have read it.
Hersh’s book discloses things like just how dishonest President John F Kennedy and his attorney general brother Bobby Kennedy were when it suited them. The amount of lying they and others did was truly amazing as well as other surprising information concerning immorality that was revealed in regards to their lives and the lives of others at the time. Last November 22nd marked the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination.
Hersh has spent years doing things like making Freedom of Information requests, reading original source material such as personal journals and papers and interviewing principals of the events. His research is meticulous, impressive and I can say from personal experience, must have been a tremendous amount of work. He found astonishing information that was just “sitting there” but no one had looked for it. Again I can relate to this.
According to him, on his way to winning the Democratic nomination, Kennedy took the West Virginia primary, in large part due to $2 million dollars (and possibly double that, perhaps $15 million or higher in today’s dollars) mostly spent, “in direct payoffs to state or local officials.” Hersh declared: “In interviews for this book, many West Virginia county and state officials revealed that the Kennedy family spent upward of $2 million in bribes and other payoffs before the May 10, 1960, primary, with some sheriffs in key counties collecting more that $50,000 apiece in cash in return for placing Kennedy’s name at the top of their election slate.” In Protestant West Virginia, Kennedy had confronted the issue that he was a Catholic candidate for President. Astonishingly, Hersh reported of Kennedy’s Democratic rival, Senator Hubert Humphrey:
In his autobiography, The Education of a Public Man, published in 1976, Hubert Humphrey told of a 1966 meeting with Richard Cardinal Cushing, the archbishop of Boston… Cushing told Humphrey, “I’ll tell you who elected Jack Kennedy, it was his father, Joe, and me, right here in this room.” Humphrey and an aide sat in stunned silence as Cushing told how he and Joe Kennedy had agreed that West Virginia’s anti-Catholicism could be countered by a series of cash contributions to Protestant churches, particularly in the black community. Cushing continued, Humphrey wrote: “We decided which church and preacher would get two hundred dollars or one hundred dollars or five hundred dollars.”
This is a taste of the incredible information this book disclosed. Regarding Cardinal Cushing’s statements, how is that for corruption from one of the “Church’s princes”? While he did not dwell on it, Hersh also certainly noted the Kennedys’ Catholicism.