Historian questions secret RFK-LBJ Vietnam huddle

Historians in the News

A historian is casting doubt on one of the headlines about Senator Edward M. Kennedy's memoir -- that his brother Robert asked in a secret 1967 meeting then-President Lyndon B. Johnson to let him negotiate peace in Vietnam.

"He would shuttle back and forth between Washington and Saigon and would even travel to Hanoi and China if necessary — and Moscow — if Johnson would trust him to be the U.S. government’s agent in these secret negotiations," the late Massachusetts senator wrote in "True Compass."

But historian Jack Bohrer, who is working on a book about the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and his aides, writes in an essay posted today on Politico that circumstantial evidence and an eyewitness account suggest that such an offer was never made.

"But a secret meeting never happened. Not in Kennedy’s book. Not in real life," Bohrer writes. "In fact, the meeting the late Sen. Kennedy refers to in his memoir has been well-known, practically since the moment it happened."

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