The Champion

April 2007 , Page 56 

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Informal Opinion

By Jay Goldberg

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Reflections: The Robert F. Kennedy I Knew

Last November a major studio released Bobby, a film about Robert F. Kennedy. PBS also recently produced a two-part documentary on the life of President Kennedy’s attorney general. Both are laudatory, as they should be, but each fails to point out a chink in the armor that surrounds the myth of RFK as a crusading crimebuster enforcing the criminal law without fear or favor. The picture painted of RFK as an unbiased law enforcement officer is not entirely accurate. I witnessed the slippage, tried to prevent it, and agonized over his behavior.1 

RFK was a complex man. He is widely thought to be one of the most active, effective attorneys general in history, but there is more to the story. During his tenure, RFK’s direction brought law enforcement agencies together and pioneered new laws to fight organized crime. As one senior Justice Department official remarked, however, “When it came to making a decision, RFK’s first cr

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