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Robert F. Kennedy Assassin Sirhan Sirhan Granted Parole

Last week, I posted about an Electronic Intifada piece arguing that Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan should go free because he likely was not really the killer. I showed how they included in the piece a link to a video interview with the killer, in which he admits he did kill Kennedy and knew exactly what he was doing, contrary to their claims.

What I missed at the time was their laughable tweet suggesting there is “compelling evidence” he did not kill Kennedy.

The piece also included as “proof” the fact that one of Kennedy’s children believes Sirhan did not kill his father:

One of the most important family members, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., also does not believe Sirhan acted alone.

In 2017, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. visited Sirhan in prison, made his peace with him and came out asking for a reinvestigation of one of the most controversial political assassinations of the 20th century.

“I went there because I was curious and disturbed by what I had seen in the evidence,” Kennedy explained. “I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father. My father was the chief law enforcement officer in this country. I think it would have disturbed him if somebody was put in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.”

Since my post, California’s parole board voted to free Sirhan after two of RFK’s sons – including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – said that they supported releasing him and prosecutors declined to argue he should be kept behind bars. But here’s the part the Electronic Intifada don’t want you to know.

Six children of Robert F Kennedy have condemned the decision to grant parole to Sirhan Sirhan, the man who shot and killed the New York senator as he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968.

“He took our father from our family and he took him from America,” the six said in a statement late on Friday. “We are in disbelief that this man would be recommended for release.”

The statement was signed by Joseph P Kennedy II, Courtney Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Christopher G Kennedy, Maxwell T Kennedy and Rory Kennedy.

The six Kennedy children who oppose release said they were “devastated” and appealed to the governor, Gavin Newsom, “to reverse this initial recommendation” which had “inflicted enormous initial pain”.

“Sirhan Sirhan committed a crime against our nation and its people,” they said, adding: “We hope that those who also hold the memory of our father in their hearts will stand with us.”

Only two of his living children, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. supported the decision. But note he no longer seems to be arguing Sirhan Sirhan was not the killer.

Douglas Kennedy, a toddler when his father was killed, said he was “overwhelmed just by being able to view Mr Sirhan face to face. I’ve lived my life both in fear of him and his name in one way or another. And I am grateful today to see him as a human being worthy of compassion and love.”

Robert F Kennedy Jr, who has spoken for release in the past, wrote in favor of parole. He said he was moved by Sirhan, “who wept, clinching my hands, and asked for forgiveness” when they met in prison.

“While nobody can speak definitively on behalf of my father, I firmly believe that based on his own consuming commitment to fairness and justice, that he would strongly encourage this board to release Mr Sirhan because of Sirhan’s impressive record of rehabilitation.”

Meanwhile Sirhan Sirhan is claiming he didn’t recall the killing

Appearing by video from a San Diego county prison, Sirhan said: “Senator Kennedy was the hope of the world … and I harmed all of them and it pains me to experience that, the knowledge for such a horrible deed, if I did in fact do that.

while at the same time

Sirhan said he had learned to control his anger and was committed to living peacefully.

So which is it? He doesn’t remember doing it, or he did it because he could not control his anger?

All I know is he certainly seemed sure he killed Kennedy in this 1989 interview:

My guess is he lying – as, of course, is the Electronic Intifada.

Thankfully, this is not the end of the story.

The ruling will be reviewed over the next 120 days by the board’s staff. Then it will be sent to the governor, who will have 30 days to decide whether to grant it, reverse it or modify it. 

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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