excerpts from the book
LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination
by Phillip F. Nelson
Xlibris Press, 2010, paperback
Lyndon Johnson, describing himself to a friend.
I'm just like a fox. I can see the jugular
in any man and go for it, but I always keep myself in rein. I
keep myself on a leash, just like you would an animal.
The single most important thing [Lyndon] Lyndon learned in college
was how to control powerful men who were flattered by his exceedingly
deferential, sycophantic treatment of them... he became more and
more adept in his skills in the manipulation of people ... These
skills ... were the most essential defining points of his personality
throughout his life.
a Lyndon Johnson college classmate, Mylton
Kennedy, describing Lyndon Johnson's unctuousness to John biographer
Words won't come to describe how Lyndon
acted toward the faculty--how kowtowing he was, how suck-assing
he was, how brownnosing he was.
Among [Lyndon Johnson's] clients was ... the Mafia.
When he was first "elected" to the Senate, Johnson established
a close relationship with the twenty-year-old Senate Page Bobby
Baker, as revealed by Baker himself in his book: "The drawling
voice on the telephone said, 'Mr. Baker. I understand you know
where the bodies are buried in the Senate. I appreciate it if
you'd come by my office and talk to me." Baker would become
more than an aide or protégé to Johnson; their relationship
would become so close that Johnson would say that if he had a
son, it would be Bobby Baker.
... Baker would become, along with Walter
Jenkins, John Connally, Cliff Carter and Ed Clark, one of many
"bagmen" and intermediaries between Johnson and shady
businessmen and mobsters. Johnson was smart enough to know that
he could never be tied directly to criminals and mobsters, so
these ties were obfuscated by his use of intermediaries.
There were] extended relationships between many men at the lower
levels of the hierarchy headed by Lyndon Johnson, the ultimate
dispenser of political influence, and his closest associate, Bobby
Baker. The next level in the "triangle of influence"
connected Baker, Clint Murchison, and James Hoffa directly to
Carlos Marcello, the Mafia chieftain of New Orleans, as well as
his longtime lobbyist Irving Davidson.
... Davidson was connected to everyone
in Baker's influence-peddling empire as well as Jimmy Hoffa and
a number of people in organized crime.
... Irving Davidson was one of the first
Washington superlobbyists; his many clients ranged from the Coca-Cola
Company to the CIA and a number of third-world dictators, including
the Somozas of Nicaragua, the Duvaliers of Haiti, and the Trujillos
of the Dominican Republic. As the registered lobbyist for the
Teamsters Union (he was also a close friend of Jimmy Hoffa), he
"was deeply involved in a Murchison business deal that provided
funds for Lyndon Johnson's bagman, Bobby Baker." He represented
both Carlos Marcello and Clint Murchison and would also become
involved in their efforts to keep Jimmy Hoffa from going to prison,
an initiative that eventually led to Hoffa being pardoned by Richard
Nixon, another close friend of Davidson. But in the period of
1961-1963, he was deeply involved in handling illegal bribes and
payoffs for Lyndon Johnson with his old neighbors Bobby Baker
and Fred Black, all while being simultaneously protected by his
other friend and neighbor, J. Edgar Hoover. The tentacles of these
relationships can be traced further to Las Vegas (from Baker through
his associates Eddie Levinson and Ben Siegelbaum to former FBI
agent turned Mafia lawyer Robert Maheu and Johnny Rosselli), Miami
(through Rosselli to Santos Trafficante), and Dallas (through
Murchison, H. L. Hunt, and Mafia boss Joseph Civello to many policemen
as well as Dallas County Sheriff Bill Decker and Jack Ruby). In
neighboring Fort Worth, W C. Kirkwood hosted Hunt, Murchison,
Sam Rayburn, and Lyndon Johnson at his sprawling complex named
the Four Deuces.' Moreover, there were many links to several of
these men-Rosselli and Jack Ruby in particular-back to the "Chicago
Outfit" and Sam Giancana, their lawyer Sidney Korshak, and
finally to financier Henry Crown, who happened to be the major
stockholder (20 percent) of Fort Worth's General Dynamics Corporation.
Lyndon Johnson also had deep ties to Carlos
Marcello in New Orleans, through Jack Halfen and Irving Davidson;
Halfen was Johnson's original connection to the Mafia, funneling
campaign funds to him since the late 1940s. The finances flowing
from illegal slot machine profits and bookies using the Marcello
racing wire services throughout Texas were a major part of the
foundation of Johnson's rise to the top of the political empire.
Many other "tentacles" of these groups [include] Meyer
Lansky, who were among the few top crime figures never wiretapped
or bugged by the FBI (except for the investigation of Las Vegas
"skim"), even as Robert Kennedy's Justice Department
aggressively pursued Mob figures throughout the rest of the United
States. The reason for the FBI's reticence had less to do with
insufficient cause than it did with the Mob's coercive power over
the vulnerable director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover.
Many men dream of becoming president and lay out complex plans
to achieve their dream, but no one has ever been more obsessed
with that goal than Lyndon Johnson was. His goal to become president
was clearly something more than the mere word obsession would
connote. It was something so absolute that it would be in practically
all of his thoughts, awakened or not. He considered it his destiny,
and nothing--least of all any other person--could get in his way
to make it happen.
[Lyndon Johnson's] political genius was rooted in his people-manipulation
skills, especially his ability to pick subordinates who he could
depend upon to forfeit their own values completely and, apparently,
become extensions of his own amorality.
The traces and echoes of Lyndon Johnson's character reverberated
throughout his lifetime of ill-begotten triumphs, from his first
election fraud as a college student to his achievement of the
highest office of his country... It was his genius planning ability
that finally allowed him to manipulate other men, using his insights
into their psyche to motivate and manipulate them to do exactly
what he wished them to do through the use of every tool in his
huge storehouse of custom paraphernalia.
[Lyndon] Johnson had this ability 'to
eat people up, even people who are considered rather strong figures
... He's mean, bitter, vicious-animal in many ways.
[Lyndon Johnson] lies all the time...
he just lies continuously about everything. In every conversation
I have with him, he lies... he lies even when he doesn't have
one of Lyndon Johnson's classmates
[Lyndon Johnson] was a man who just could
not tell the truth.
Most men would be embarrassed to be caught in a lie, but not Johnson:
men who knew him in Texas agreed that even when caught in a lie,
he wouldn't flinch; he would resume lying again about the same
thing, almost immediately.
[Lyndon Johnson's] single most fundamental attribute, an opinion
consistently shared by friends and foes alike, was his capacity
for lying. He was somehow able to succeed on his trip up the political
ladder in spite of his lack of credibility.
Lyndon Johnson's former press secretary, George Reedy
As a human being he was a miserable person--a
bully, sadist, lout, and egotist. He had no sense of loyalty,
and he enjoyed tormenting those who had done the most for him.
He seemed to take a special delight in humiliating those who had
cast in their lot with him. It may well be that this was the result
of a form of self-loathing in which he concluded that there had
to be something wrong with anyone who would associate with him.
John Connally, one of LBJ's closest aides and friends
[LBJ] was cruel and kind, generous and
greedy, sensitive and insensitive, crafty and naive, ruthless
and thoughtful, simple in many ways yet extremely complex, caring
and totally uncaring; he could overwhelm with kindness and turn
around and be cruel and petty toward those same people.
President Lyndon Johnson to Senator Hubert Humphrey
I want people around me who would kiss
my ass on a hot summer's day and say it smells like roses.
Arthur Krock, The New York Times, October 3, 1963
The CIA growth was like.. . a malignancy
which... [JFK] was not sure even the White House could control
... any longer. If the United States ever experiences [an attempt
at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the CIA
and not the Pentagon. The agency represents a tremendous power
and total unaccountability to anyone.
James Angleton, CIA Chief of Counterintelligence
Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Office
and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room
with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe
would deservedly end up in hell.
President Dwight Eisenhower, in his Farewell Address, January
[He was originally planning to describe
the phenomenon as the "Military-Industrial-Congressional
Complex", however, "Congressional," was dropped
from the speech at the last minute, and it was simply referred
to as the "Military-Industrial Complex"]
We have been compelled to create a permanent
armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and
a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense
establishment. We annually spend on military security more than
the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military
establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American
experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is
felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the Federal
Government. We recognize the imperative need for this development.
Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our
toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very
structure of our society. In the councils of government we must
guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether
sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential
for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist...
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our
liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for
The CIA was established in 1947, but its mission was not defined
until 1949 when Public Law 81-110 was passed; the prevailing attitude
in Congress and the other branches of government was that an open-ended
license to conduct its shadowy business was necessary in order
to match the capabilities of the Soviet Union's intelligence agency,
the KGB, which operated similarly. Thus, "the Agency"
was free to use confidential fiscal and administrative processes
to achieve its ends. The act exempted it from having to disclose
anything about its organization, functions, officials, titles,
salaries, whatever. Given such a broad mandate, it is not surprising
that congressional scrutiny was, for practical purposes, nonexistent.
The director of Central Intelligence during most of this period,
Allen Dulles, fostered the sense of autonomy and independence
throughout all of its sections. Its leaders, including [Allen]
Dulles, Richard Helms, Richard Bissell, James Jesus Angleton,
William Colby, and Cord Meyer.
For the last sixty-odd years, the CIA has somehow managed to maintain
reputation despite its checkered past... Its global reach enabled
it to extend its umbrella over the entire hemisphere and attempt
to reshape the world by discreetly manipulating--and worse, forcefully
changing--the ideologies of sovereign nations.
During 1960, even before the presidential election came into full
swing, the CIA--acting at the behest of Vice President Nixon (as
proxy for President Eisenhower)--recruited ex-FBI agent Robert
Maheu, who would later become a top aide to the reclusive billionaire
Howard Hughes in Las Vegas, to ask Johnny Rosselli and Sam Giancana
for help in murdering Castro. Although the Mafia did not manage
to successfully kill Castro with the poison pills they were given
by the Agency to accomplish this, that proved to be only the start
of an association between the nation's leading intelligence agency
and an underworld organization that the head of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation claimed did not even exist.
The pressure from the Pentagon resulted in the Kennedy Administration
increasing the number of American military personnel in South
Vietnam from 685 in January 1960 to 16,732 in October 1963. However,
despite this increase in military advisers and material support,
Kennedy was still not fully supportive of further increases in
troop levels, or of any introduction of combat troops.
John Kennedy told his assistant secretary of state, Roger Hilsman
The Bay of Pigs has taught me a number
of things. One is not to trust generals or the CIA, and the second
is that if the American people do not want to use American troops
to remove a Communist regime 90 miles away from our coast [Cuba],
how can I ask them to use troops to remove a Communist regime
9,000 miles away [Vietnam].
Author and former CIA operative Robert
Morrow described a dramatic scene shortly after the Bay of Pigs
fiasco in which he was invited by chief of the Miami (JM/WAVE)
station Tracy Barnes to meet with the CIA's General Charles Cabell
and Richard Bissell. In that meeting he was purportedly shown
a letter, handwritten on the official stationery of the vice president
of the United States and signed by the man who wrote it, using
only his initials: "LBJ." He said the letter was written
to "My Dear Charles," and started with ... a number
of critical, self-serving comments about the intention of the
President and his brother to build a Kennedy dynasty in the White
House." Then the content of the letter next explained how
he had learned "strictly by accident" of the secret
directives Kennedy had given to Defense Secretary McNamara, ordering
him to usurp all CIA control over its extant activities; he was
further authorized to establish an alternative intelligence agency
that would be assigned the functions formerly given to the CIA.
This would all be done in conjunction with the firing of Director
Dulles and Deputy Directors Bissell and Cabell. It would include
a repudiation of the CIA charter and put control over all intelligence
activities under the auspices of the soon-to-be-established DIA
(Defense Intelligence Agency).
Lyndon Johnson ... decided on his own to warn the entire CIA organization
that their days were numbered as long as Kennedy remained president,
and the Agency was about to be "torn into a thousand pieces."
Johnson would extend his clandestine activities
to his military friends as well, working to develop his own "back
channel" to key people in the Pentagon as well as at Langley.
One of the military men-who clearly also had direct connections
to key men in the CIA-who he personally brought into his inner
circle was Col. Howard Burns f whom we will turn our attention
in subsequent chapters), and another he would undoubtedly recruit
was General Curtis LeMay who shared many of Johnson's attitudes,
especially about the president, whom he regarded as an indecisive
coward and avowed socialist.
In the test-ban talks, which followed the [Cuban] missile crisis
, the Pentagon and the State Department weren't included
in the negotiations; instead, a direct communication link between
Washington and Moscow was established and a treaty was negotiated
to ban nuclear testing, except for underground tests.
... At the same time that Kennedy was
engaged in the test-ban negotiations and attempting to settle
the strained relationship with Khrushchev the Joint Chiefs were
pressing for a renewed buildup of strategic forces, arguing for
achieving a first strike capability. On November 2, 1962, they
sent a memorandum to Secretary McNamara that stated that such
a capability is "feasible and desirable." The previous
year he had attended an NSC meeting in which this idea was first
broached, and he asked a series of questions about such an attack's
likely damage to the USSR and its impact on American citizens,
such as how long they would have to remain in fallout shelters
afterward. Deputy Secretary of Defense Gilpatric duly noted in
his minutes that "finally Kennedy got up and walked right
out in the middle of it, and that was the end of it." Against
the backdrop of mistrust, paranoia, and mutual derision, Jack
Kennedy had begun to form his own ideas as to how to handle the
multiple hot spots around the world: Berlin, Cuba, and Vietnam.
In almost every aspect, they were positions at odds with those
held firmly by the military and intelligence chiefs and of his
own vice president. In a series of speeches and executive actions,
JFK effected changes, which, for that era, were regarded by many
people-the Joint Chiefs of Staff in particular-as belying a radically
left-wing attitude. JFK's biographer Richard Reeves observed,
"By moving so swiftly on the Moscow negotiations, Kennedy
politically outflanked his own military on the most important
military question of the time." Kennedy himself mused about
the irony that he and Khrushchev were in essentially the same
position within their respective governments; both were trying
to prevent nuclear war, but they were both under "severe
pressure from [the] hard-line crowd, which interprets every move
in that direction as appeasement.
... In his ongoing battles with the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and many of his own appointees at the
highest levels of the executive department, the schism between
the "government" in its largest context and himself
was growing deeper and wider as summer turned into fall. Kennedy
was rapidly losing control of his administration and of the entire
government it was supposed to direct... The larger point was that
it was a message the CIA was sending to the president, who was
being told who was really in control of his government, and it
wasn't John Kennedy" But the shock he felt this time was
nothing compared to what he would later experience when he discovered
that his own government had done an end run around him and his
administration with the coup d'etat in Vietnam and the assassination
of Diem and his brother. Only then did he realize how little control
he had over the CIA and the combined military organizations symbolized
and headed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Three months after Kennedy took office, on April 17, 1961, the
CIA invasion of Cuba was executed. It was an unmitigated disaster.
Getting word of the impending invasion, Castro's army routed the
fifteen hundred Cuban exiles that landed at the Bay of Pigs.
... The CIA had begun plotting the assassination
of Castro in August 1960, headed by Richard M. Bissell Jr. Moreover,
Allen Dulles had gone to see President Eisenhower as early as
March 1960 seeking approval to develop a plan to overthrow Castro.
The original idea for using Mafia figures to assist the CIA in
this plan originated as early as 1960.
Neither the president nor the "assistant president"
(RFK) were widely respected at the Pentagon or in Langley.
That vacuum was filled, somewhat, by the
vice president [Lyndon Johnson], someone who better "understood"
the military mentality not through his own expertise so much as
his deference to theirs: he was easier to deal with because of
his inclination to let them establish policy, not lead them to
a position at odds with their conventional positions. This allegiance
to the vice president by the military and intelligence leadership
of the country came at the expense of their relationship to the
president. Over the course of the next two years, those relationships
would continue growing even further apart and become so well established
that it could be argued that in the larger scheme, Lyndon B. Johnson
had assumed the mantle of commander-in-chief.
[Nikita] Khrushchev had expected to be able to have the missiles
installed [in Cuba] and the nuclear warheads ready to be deployed
before any of it was discovered, presenting the United States
with a fait accompli, and no realistic way to undo it. The Kennedy
administration, he believed, would "swallow this bitter pill.
I knew that the United States could knock out some of our installations,
but not all of them. If a quarter or even a tenth of our missiles
survived--even if only one or two big ones were left--we could
still hit New York, and there wouldn't be much of New York left."
... On October 16, 1962, Kennedy was given
irrefutable U-2 photographic evidence of a Soviet ballistic site
... Two weeks before the November congressional
elections, at 7:00 p.m. October 22, 1962, the president addressed
the nation by television from the Oval Office, saying that we
now had "unmistakable evidence" that offensive missile
sites were being prepared in Cuba, for both MRBMs and IRBMs. This
represented, the president said, an explicit threat to the peace
and security of the Americas and was directly in contrast to the
"repeated assurances" by Soviet spokesmen who had maintained
that the buildup in Cuba was of a defensive nature. He attacked
Foreign Minister Gromyko for misrepresenting their intentions
and demanded that the Soviets withdraw or eliminate the missiles.
He stated that a "strict quarantine" was being imposed
on all offensive military equipment being shipped to Cuba and
warned that further actions would be justified if these shipments
... Nikita Khrushchev had begun secret,
"back-channel" direct communication with John Kennedy
in September, 1961; it had been used by both leaders for one year
as a means to communicate directly, around the normal diplomatic
channels and would now play an important part in the settlement
of the crisis.
... John Kennedy dispatched Robert [Kennedy]
to meet secretly with Ambassador Dobrynin to personally convey
the president's concerns. His message, according to Khrushchev,
was that "the President is in a grave situation... and he
does not know how to get out of it. We are under very severe stress.
In fact we are under pressure from our military to use force against
Cuba... We want to ask you, Mr. Dobrynin, to pass President Kennedy's
message to Chairman Khrushchev through unofficial channels...
Even though the President himself is very much against starting
a war over Cuba, an irreversible chain of events could occur against
his will... If the situation continues much longer, the President
is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize
President John F. Kennedy
If the United States ever experiences
an attempt at a coup to overthrow the government, it will come
from the CIA. The agency represents a tremendous power and total
unaccountability to anyone.
John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert, though now venerated by
many for their public-spirited idealism and the aggressiveness
with which they tackled the great issues of their time, were nonetheless
hated viscerally by their enemies for the same qualities. Their
political enemies on the right felt that their risk-taking aggressiveness
was reckless and their idealism was putting the country at risk
of being overcome by its Communist enemies. Their enemies in the
Mafia, who felt they had been ambushed by John and Robert, after
having helped their father get them elected in 1960, thought they
had been used and abused by them. The oilmen of Texas had given
at least partial support for the Democratic ticket because of
Johnson's presence, but then felt they were being double-crossed
as well. Unfortunately for JFK, his decision to allow Lyndon B.
Johnson to be his partner put the primary leader of his opposition--the
military and the intelligence agencies, the oil barons, the defense
contractors, even the Southern segregationists--into the White
From the very first days of the Kennedy administration, behind
the scenes in the Oval Office, Lyndon Johnson had acquired the
services of a Secret Service agent to spy on the president.
[Lyndon] Johnson had ostensibly written a letter to General Charles
Cabell alerting him to Kennedy's plans to do away with the CIA
and move its functions to a new agency--the DIA--to be housed
within the Pentagon. The import of this cannot be overemphasized:
Johnson was already plotting--only three months into JFK's administration--with
his friends in the CIA, against his nominal boss the president.
The CIA contact said that "LBJ is our inside man in the Kennedy
Administration. Every morning he walks to his office through the
White House. If his friend in the Secret Service has any information,
he meets him on his morning walk and supplies him with all the
latest inside dirt to come out of the Oval Office.
John Kennedy told an Kenneth O'Donnell
I'm forty-three years old, and I'm the
healthiest candidate for president... I'm not going to die in
office. So the vice presidency doesn't mean anything... I won't
be able to live with Lyndon Johnson as the leader of a small Senate
majority. Did it occur to you that if Lyndon becomes the vice
president, I'll have Mike Mansfield as the Senate leader, somebody
I can trust and depend on?
John F. Kennedy had come to terms with putting a man he deeply,
distrusted into the vice presidency [Lyndon Johnson], not because
he thought he could be an effective member of his administration,
but to put him into what he considered a dead-end position and
"out of the way" so that he could achieve his legislative
objectives with someone more reliable on Capitol Hill .
... In fact, Kennedy had been forced into
accepting [Lyndon] Johnson, because he was blackmailed by the
aging, duplicitous, and conniving director of the FBI [J. Edgar
Hoover], who was enlisted by Johnson for that very purpose.
After World War II, a group of people involved in Washington journalism,
politics, and covert intelligence began meeting on a regular basis
in the long-trendy area of Washington known as Georgetown, thus
becoming a group that was referred to as the "Georgetown
crowd." Many of them had gone to the same Ivy-League universities
or worked together; others had been members of the military-intelligence
agency OSS (Office of Strategic Services) during the war. Many
of the OSS alumni eventually became employed at the highest levels
of the Central Intelligence Agency.
... The Alsop brothers--Stewart and Joseph--having
returned from service in both of the respective theaters of World
War II in 1946, became Georgetown fixtures as well as collaborators
in their syndicated newspaper columns and as Saturday Evening
Post feature writers. Their political influence, based in large
part by their ubiquitous presence at Georgetown dinner parties,
was directed toward containing communism in general and Soviet
expansionism in particular. Their frame of reference was grounded
by a common goal of bringing order to the chaos in countries left
ravaged or destroyed by the war. The biggest fruit of their work
with key statesmen in Washington was the Marshall Plan; some of
the statesmen with whom they collaborated were Averell Harriman,
Dean Acheson, Robert Lovett, John McCloy, George Kennan, and Chip
Bohien, who were considered among the original "best and
brightest." Joseph Alsop became their leading chronicler,
identifying with them in all their causes. Unfortunately, his
association with them led him to follow the "groupthink"
attitude into some areas where its simplistic and uncritical application-absent
a thorough vetting from an honest debate-produced tragic results.
... The "Georgetown crowd" included
Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Cord Meyer, Richard Helms, Desmond
FitzGerald, Tracy Barnes, Philip Graham, Clark Clifford, Walt
Rostow, Eugene Rostow, William Bundy, William Averell Harriman,
John McCloy, Felix Frankfurter, John Sherman Cooper James Reston,
Allen W Dulles, Paul Nitze, Adlai Stevenson, James Forrestal,
William 0. Douglas, Dean Acheson, and George Kennan.
... An assortment of other politicians
also socialized with these people, even some whose diplomatic
and social skills would seem to be rather incongruent with the
Ivy League background of many of the above names, probably caused
by a kind of "moth to a fire" phenomenon--men like Lyndon
B. Johnson and Joseph McCarthy, for example.
... Although the Georgetown group generally
supported Truman's policies, they believed he was not sufficiently
proactive regarding national security concerns, specifically his
anti-Communist strategy. This caused Frank Wisner and George Kennan
to create, with Secretary of Defense James Forrestal's approval,
the Office of Special Projects in 1948; it was later renamed the
office of Policy Coordination (OPC), which became the espionage
and counterintelligence branch of the Central Intelligence Agency.
... One of the Georgetown regulars, Frank
Wisner, was made the original director of OPC, charged with the
creation of "propaganda", economic warfare; preventive
direct action, including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and
evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including
assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous
anti-Communist elements in threatened countries of the free world."
His organization evolved and became the agency's "Plans Division"
in 1951, when Wisner succeeded Allen W Dulles as head of the Plans
Division. In the 1950s, Frank Wisner was intent on establishing
direct contacts between the agency and the "Fourth Estate"-the
American press-journalists and book publishers who would willingly
assist the CIA to communicate their view of any national or international
political or military issue in a favorable light. he principal
responsibility of both the OPC and the Plans Division was the
conduct of secret political operations, in contrast to the other
agency functions of gathering intelligence and making analysis.
In 1951, Wisner established Operation Mockingbird, a program to
influence the American media. "Wisner recruited Philip Graham
(Washington Post) to run the project within the industry... By
the early 1950s, Wisner 'owned' respected members of the New York
Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications vehicles.
... Lyndon Johnson had struggled with
recurrent bouts of depression since he was a child; but he was
not alone among the men of the Georgetown crowd to have this burden.
Phil Graham was one of Wisner's first recruits; he was the publisher
of the Washington Post, until his own death by a gunshot to the
head in 1963 stemming from a long and brutal fight with himself
as a manic-depressive (in the vernacular of the time; the modern
term, of course, is bipolar disorder). Frank Wisner, ironically,
suffered from the same disease as his friend and collaborator
... Two years after Graham shot himself,
so did Wisner.
... One of Phil Graham's best friends
was Lyndon Johnson, who--unbeknownst to both of them--also shared
similar psychological issues.
... By the early 1950s, Wisner had implemented
his plan and owned respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek,
CBS and other communications vehicles, plus stringers, four to
six hundred in all, according to a former CIA analyst. By 1953
the CIA, through Wisner and Graham, had a major influence over
25 major newspapers and wire agencies... Other former members
of the OSS such as Arthur Schlesinger worked closely with this
group. To make Operation Mockingbird work effectively, Wisner
realized that he could not rely only on journalists and publishers
like Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, who shared
the Georgetown crowd view of the world. He therefore set out to
recruit conservatives like William Paley (CBS), C. D. Jackson
and Henry Luce (of Time and Life magazines). According to Alex
Constantine (Mockingbird: The Subversion of the Free Press by
the CIA), in the 1950s, "Some 3,000 salaried and contract
CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts."
One of the most important journalists under the control of Operation
Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over
three hundred different newspapers. Other journalists willing
to promote the views of the Central Intelligence Agency included
Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek),
James Reston (New York Times), Walter Pincus (Washington Post),
Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles Bartlett (Chattanooga Times).
... After his second breakdown, Graham
finally began to have misgivings about the CIA's manipulation
of journalists; by 1963 he saw that the former CBS newsman, Edward
R. Murrow, now employed as the director of the United States Information
Agency (USIA), was deeply involved in mobilizing support for the
... In August 1952, the CIA reorganized
itself again, merging the Office of Policy Coordination and the
Office of Special Operations (the espionage division) into the
new Directorate of Plans (DPP). Wisner was put in charge of the
new, much larger organization, and Richard Helms became its chief
of operations. The DPP being run by Wisner represented 60 percent
of the personnel within the CIA.
The truth about J. Edgar Hoover had been well hidden throughout
his forty-eight-year term as the head of the FBI. Although many
people had long suspected that he was far more enigmatic than
he appeared, most of the nation still held him in high esteem,
as the ultimate protector of core American values, by the time
of his death in 1973.
former assistant FBI director William Sullivan, in December 1975
Time magazine article
He was a brilliant chameleon. But he was
also a master con man. That takes intelligence of a certain kind,
an astuteness, a shrewdness. He never read anything that would
broaden his mind or give depth to his thinking. I never knew him
to have an intellectual or educated friend.
Joseph P. Kennedy had known how to handle J. Edgar Hoover because
they were of the same age and shared many friends and values;
they were a lot alike. Many of their mutual friends were key Mafia
leaders. Ironically, the thirty-five-year-old son of Joseph in
1961 became the attorney general and boss over the sixty-eight-year-old
Hoover; Bobby Kennedy had already targeted some of these same
friends of his father in his quest to "clean up" organized
crime. The vitriol between Hoover and John and Robert Kennedy
is wide, deep.
The chief of the FBI--a demagogue and bully, unbeknownst to most
people at the time--was running his own autonomous fiefdom within
a federal government agency that he thought virtually belonged
"Mr. G-Man" J. Edgar Hoover
was a closet homosexual and cross-dressing transvestite in his
private life. He was also closely associated with a number of
leading Mafia gangster from time spent at the racetracks and the
month-long free annual vacations at a La Jolla, California resort...
Mafia boss Meyer Lansky had obtained photos of Hoover that would
have ruined his career if they had been revealed. He used the
photos to blackmail Hoover to lay off the Mob; they allegedly
showed Hoover engaging in oral sex with his chief deputy, Clyde
Tolson...Hoover's own closet homosexuality and transvestism had
compromised his ability to fight the Mafia, whose very existence
he not only denied but in fact he was arguably their number one
J. Edgar Hoover used his huge cache of "official and confidential"
files, a generic term, since there were also files of even greater
secrecy, called "Personal and Confidential," "Sex
Deviate," "Cointelpro," and others of less secrecy,
all the way down to "Confidence Man File," "Anonymous
Letter File," not to mention the "Do Not File"
system, "so named to keep reports on illegal bureau break-ins
out of the central record system' to blackmail anyone whom he
deemed necessary, including congressmen, senators, high-level
officials in every department or agency up to and including a
succession of presidents, from Roosevelt to Nixon.
Even as other politicians of lesser note would be censured for
illegally converting campaign funds to their personal use, Lyndon
Johnson--the most prolific campaign fund abuse practitioner in
history, bar none--would escape such scrutiny; doubtlessly because
too any others were indebted to him and/or justifiably afraid
JFK's predilection for sexual relations with a wide variety of
young women is essential to the understanding of his vulnerability
to other high-ranking government and military officials. Unfortunately,
it became such a major part of his character that he allowed it
to become a direct threat to his fitness for office, at least
in the opinion of many men within the federal government bureaucracy,
military establishment, and the intelligence community. If it
had not involved a series of high-risk affairs with suspected
spies, it might not have risen to the level that threatened his
life. But it did involve very high-risk liaisons with the wrong
... J. Edgar Hoover had known all about
Kennedy's affairs with numerous women, and he made sure that both
JFK and RFK knew that he knew all about them. Hoover's agents
had documentation on JFK liaisons with as many as thirty-two women
during his presidency. Although most of the president's sexual
conquests were with women who posed no "national security"
threats ... there were several others who posed a serious threat.
Those included women who were suspected spies ... and finally,
the glamorous Marilyn Monroe, who had threatened, only days before
her own demise, to hold a press conference to reveal the details
of her intimate affairs with the president and the attorney general,
as well as the secrets of the international affairs that she had
... Altogether, four of the people involved
in JFK's affairs--Kennedy himself Dorothy Kilgallen (who had never
met any of the others, yet became exposed to them all through
her work), Mary Meyer and Marilyn Monroe--would eventually die
of very unnatural causes.
... For the president and his attorney
general brother, there were obvious risks of having been involved
with a famous Hollywood sex symbol. Unfortunately, for all concerned,
this one was a lady whose hold on rationality was tenuous at best:
The most glamorous movie star of all time was now threatening
to expose her affairs by conducting a news conference to announce
her experiences with both of the Kennedys and to disclose her
knowledge of major national secrets... Marilyn [Monroe] was murdered
fifteen months before JFK was assassinated; Mary [Meyer] was killed
eleven months later. Kilgallen would die the year after Meyer.
The three women did not know each other, but they had one thing
in common: They were all "Women Who Knew Too Much."
Their knowledge of Kennedy's secrets (in Kilgallen's case, secrets
obtained about Lyndon Johnson from Jack Ruby) might have been
the cause of their murders.
In his official capacity as the attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy
had undertaken an ongoing battle with organized crime, a personal
war that he started in 1956 as an investigator for his brother's
Senate committee investigating this issue. Yet despite the intensity
of Kennedy's drive to eradicate organized crime throughout the
country, the FBI, which reported to him, somehow avoided ever
wiretapping Meyer Lansky, Carlos Marcello, or Santos Trafficante,
the only three high-level crime figures who were not tapped. The
reason for Lansky's excusal was due to the secrets he used to
control Hoover for over a decade already. In the cases of Marcello
and Trafficante, the reason could only be that, despite RFK's
pursuit of mobsters in general, the CIA gave both men necessary
cover and protection by involving them in the plan to assassinate
Fidel Castro. Lyndon Johnson's (and J. Edgar Hoover's) long-time
relationship with Marcello, through his lieutenants in Texas was
another reason for the absence of wiretaps in his case.
Despite being protected by Johnson and
Hoover, these same men were being pursued aggressively by Bobby
Kennedy: On the morning of November 22, 1963, RFK was conducting
a conference to review the progress and establish the priorities
for the ongoing battle. His top four targets were Sam Giancana
of Chicago, Santos Trafficante of Florida, labor boss Jimmy Hoffa,
and Carlos Marcello of New Orleans.
The CIA's plan to assassinate Fidel Castro, which emanated from
the Eisenhower administration's 1960 planning, under Vice President
Richard Nixon's tutelage, had involved Sam Giancana and Johnny
... Noel Twyman pieced together the relationships
between the CIA and Rosselli, Giancana, Marcello, Trafficante,
David Ferrie, and Jack Ruby.
... Within three weeks of Kennedy's murder,
a team of FBI agents had uncovered evidence connecting all of
the above names in an apparent conspiracy to assassinate the president...
Then, suddenly, on December 18, 1963, all FBI investigations ceased.
No mention of David Ferrie or Carlos Marcello was made to the
Warren Commission in its supplemental report of January 13, 1964.
Hoover obviously realized, only three weeks after the assassination,
that if he did not put an immediate stop to any further investigation
of the murder of the president, then he and Johnson would run
the risk of one of his own investigators finding out about the
The USDA was a repository for CIA agents around the world, because
of the "perfect cover" it provided for its agents to
embed themselves into offices and operations under the guise of
being agricultural workers, agronomy scientists, or weather specialists;
whatever masquerade might be necessary to suit the need was readily
Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy hated each other with a passion.
J. Edgar Hoover also hated Robert Kennedy, possibly even more
than Johnson did, and Kennedy reciprocated at the same level.
Clint Murchison and Lyndon Johnson had been feeding off each other
for many years, Murchison providing practically unlimited financial
support and Johnson providing practically unlimited political
influence and legislative favors. Johnson's rapid rise in power,
especially after he was in the Senate, was directly related to
his ability to raise money and dole it out to other politicians,
who would thereafter be in his debt. Early on, wealthy Texans
realized that, through Johnson, they could increase their leverage
in the Senate beyond that which would come from only the two senators
they were allotted. Murchison considered Lyndon Johnson his personal
agent in Washington, knowing that he was in a position of enormous
influence for the Senate at large, and the entire Capitol for
that matter. His primary interest, and that of the other Texas
oilmen, was in Johnson's ability to protect their 27.5 percent
oil depletion allowance, a direct tax credit that allowed them
to continue saving hundreds of millions of dollars from their
federal taxes--revenue lost from the government coffers that would
have to be made up for by other taxpayers.
[Lyndon] Johnson's most important fund-raisers were Tommy Corcoran,
George and Herman Brown, John Connally--who gathered cash from
Sid Richardson and H. L. Hunt--and Ed Clark, who funneled money
from Clint Murchison among others. Johnson received payoffs not
only from men like Murchison, but also from Teamster leader Jimmy
Hoffa, another enemy of Robert Kennedy. For years, men came into
Johnson's office and handed him envelopes stuffed with cash. John
Connally and Ed Clark spoke freely to Robert Caro about taking
envelopes stuffed with cash to Washington inside the breast pockets
of their suit jackets.
John F. Kennedy to Kenny O'Donnell
I'm forty-three years old. I'm not going
to die in office. So the vice presidency doesn't mean anything.
Lyndon B. Johnson to Clare Boothe Luce
One out of every four presidents has died
in office. I'm a gambling man, darling, and this is the only chance
Lyndon Johnson had a lifelong, obsessive dream to become the presided
of the United States, yet he realized that his chances of winning
a national election as a Southerner running for the presidency
were practically nil... Knowing the available time to achieve
that dream was very limited, and that between John and Robert
Kennedy, it would be unlikely that he could even mount an effective
campaign before he was sixty-eight years old ... LBJ had an overwhelming
motive to fulfill his lifetime goal. As the new president, Johnson
knew he would have the power to control the subsequent investigation;
he would use it immediately to derail attempts find the truth
into a well-coordinated, intensive cover-up.
Lyndon Johnson's military aide, Col. Howard Burns was told by
a high-ranking Kennedy insider
Johnson served his purpose in 1960. He's
not going to be on the ticket.
JFK's personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln
[Lyndon Johnson] had been using all the
information [FBI Director J. Edgar] Hoover could find on Kennedy--during
the campaign , even before the convention. And Hoover was
in on the pressure on Kennedy at the convention... about womanizing,
and things in Joe Kennedy's background, and anything he could
The combination of Hoover's extensive files of compromising information
on Kennedy's numerous sexual affairs and health records, including
his history of Addison's disease, together with Lyndon Johnson's
propensity for using brazen and brutal force to achieve his ends,
would put enormous pressure on JFK to accede to LBJ's demands.
The tentacles of [Lyndon] Johnson's arm's length reach into the
underworld--through his close associations with such men as Bobby
Baker, Mickey Weiner, Fred Black, Billie Sol Estes, Cliff Carter
and Irving Davidson--led ultimately to Carlos Marcello, the head
of the mafia in New Orleans. The very same Carlos Marcello who
had been targeted by Bobby Kennedy in an all-out campaign of prosecution.
Bobby Kennedy had a thick file on his desk which documented [Lyndon]
Johnson's long criminal history on many fronts: Bobby Baker, Billie
Sol Estes, and Jack Halfen, the legendary bagman go-between who
connected Lyndon Johnson directly to Carlos Marcello.
By November 21, 1963, then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was
caught in a web of legal and political troubles that threatened
to remove him from politics forever and likely cause him to spend
time in prison. The Senate investigations had now reached the
point of no return: Left to their natural and inevitable course,
not only would he lose his position as vice president the following
year, but he might even be in jail by then. The only way to change
the course was for him to become president. He had to become president
immediately, or his destiny would never be achieved. In his mind,
the only conceivable option was to proceed with the plan he had
worked on at least since July 15, 1960, arguably even well before
then. His own "executive action" plan for eliminating
JFK created a new singular timeline and a nexus between the twin
objectives of ending the current Senate investigations and simultaneously
starting a long-term cover-up that would immediately ensue. Johnson
knew where all the skeletons were buried, but just as importantly,
he knew how to rattle the right bones whenever anyone stepped
out of line.
[The assassination of JFK] was a multiple-part, carefully prepared
and coordinated plan involving elements of the Mafia, the Cuban
exile community, international professional assassins, and renegades
from the intelligence community.
... The top level of [Lyndon Johnson's]
secret "task force" would have to comprise only men
who shared his hatred of the Kennedys enough to act on it, with
full knowledge of the risks and implications of being caught.
It was imperative that all the "renegades" picked for
this assignment were the best and could be trusted to keep the
secret. Some were recruited for planning a simulated assassination
that the Secret Service was supposedly planning as a pretext for
the removal of all protection when the motorcade arrived in Dealey
Plaza. These men could be trusted to "sign on" to Phase
II without a missed step. It was also understood that certain
men of the Dallas Police force would have to be called in as necessary,
and ... would need to be extensively investigated beforehand in
order to get any negative information on them to force their cooperation
in event they resisted.
... J. Edgar Hoover, would be enlisted
to help... Hoover's unique abilities for dissembling, evidence
tampering, stealing, and fabrication of evidence would eventually
be manifested... Hoover knew that if Kennedy was reelected in
1964, his ability to retain his directorship might be in jeopardy.
... Other high-level and like-minded officials
of the government, who Johnson knew were either personally beholden
to him or whose own hatred of John and/or Robert Kennedy was at
least as great as his own, had been recruited one by one to handle
key aspects of the plan... For everyone else farther down in the
hierarchy. a successively smaller span of knowledge of the entire
plan would be maintained; most would become unwitting participants
simply because they were overtly forced to, or were misled by
a superior into unwittingly taking an action that facilitated
the series of acts which culminated in the assassination. For
example, the need to control the Secret Service--to provide for
a complete breakdown of all the normal security elements during
a motorcade--would only need the actions of one man at the top:
the head of the Secret Service, James Rowley, who was a good friend
of Johnson, as well as Hoover, his former boss.'
... The key to the assassination, according
to [Vice-President Lyndon] Johnson's plan, concerned the order
to the Dallas Police and Sheriff's Departments to end their protection
of the JFK motorcade at the corner of Main and Houston, under
the disinformation that the Secret Service would take over at
that point. Johnson would be in daily contact with his Washington
staff, both the official one and the rogue group that was already
finalizing the operational plans for the assassination. The real
team in charge of Dealey Plaza that day had fake Secret Service
identification, which they would successfully use to ward off
any efforts by real policemen to investigate the source of the
shooting. Johnson had specifically instructed ... the Dallas officials
to end their protection at the intersection of Main and Houston
... The fact that Dealey Plaza had been
selected as the scene for the crime of the century was due to
the phantom organizer's realization that it was the perfect location
for multiple snipers.
... All of the orders to "stand down"
were to be presented to subordinates downstream as coming directly
from JFK, who, allegedly, was irritated by the noise of the motorcycles
and the presence of Secret Service agents, who "came between
him and the people." (These were among the most publicized
lies perpetrated upon the Warren Commission by the Secret Service
and the Dallas Police and have been conclusively debunked by later
[The assassination of JFK was] an intricately managed plan simultaneously
invoked through several government agencies and at multiple levels
within them. The ultimate masterstroke was that all contingencies
were covered and redundancy would guarantee a satisfactory result;
Johnson's power as the new president would ensure complete control
over the ensuing investigation, yet the upper reaches-all the
way to himself-would be protected through "compartmentalization"
and the rigorously applied precepts of plausible deniability.
The idea that such a complex plan could be executed by a single
"lone nut" considered to be a poor shot with a good
rifle, yet who somehow successfully shot multiple rounds from
a poorly made antique Italian rifle with a cheap unadjustable
scope, was laughable.
The order for JFK's assassination could only have come from his
successor, Lyndon B. Johnson. No other possible candidate for
the key man of the assassination-not Santos Trafficante, Carlos
Marcello, or Sam Giancana; not H. L. Hunt or Clint Murchison;
not James Angleton, Bill Harvey, or David Morales; not Curtis
LeMay, Charles Willoughby, or John McCloy; not even J. Edgar Hoover,
and certainly not Lee Harvey Oswald-had the motive, the means,
the opportunity, the demonstrated pattern of previous criminal,
even murderous, conduct and the overall demented resolve to see
it through. Only one man met all of the criteria required for
the murder of John F. Kennedy: Lyndon B. Johnson. He not only
had the most to gain with Kennedy's assassination, he had the
most lose if JFK had not been murdered.
John F Kennedy
[When we pull out] of Vietnam in 1965:
I'll become one of the most unpopular presidents in history. I'll
be damned everywhere as a communist appeaser. But I don't care.
If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam, we would have
a Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I'm
reelected. So we had better make damned sure that Jam reelected.
Lyndon B. Johnson to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a 1963 Christmas
Just get me elected, and then you can
have your war.
Lyndon Johnson liked to say that "he wanted men around him
who were loyal enough to kiss my ass in Macy's window and say
it smelled like a rose." He proved over and over again that
there were plenty of men who would willingly do exactly that,
figuratively or not. As difficult as it may be to comprehend how
Johnson could control other men so completely, one need only reflect
on the fawning sycophancy he expected from his associates or subordinates,
especially after becoming president, when practically everyone
was considered his subject.
JFK's secretary Evelyn Lincoln wrote a letter in October 1994,
seven months before her death
It is my belief that there was a conspiracy
[to kill JFK] because there were those that disliked him and felt
the only way to get rid of him was to assassinate him. These five
conspirators, in my opinion, were Lyndon B. Johnson, J. Edgar
Hoover, the Mafia, the CIA and the Cubans in Florida.
By 1958, at the age of fifty, Lyndon B. Johnson had accomplished
a nearly unbelievable rise to the pinnacle of political power
in the United States, yet he had come to believe that the chasm
between where he was-the Majority Leader of the U. S. Senate-and
where he aspired to be, was practically an impossible hurdle.
His mentors in Congress, Representative Rayburn and Senator Russell,
had convinced him that his Southern ties would prevent him from
winning the presidency. By this time, his constant battles with
the highs and lows brought on by his bipolar disorder-which grew
unchecked by medical attention for the entire course of his political
career-left him with a great fear of rejection, afraid to run
for the office he had always been obsessed with achieving.
In 1960, he so feared losing the nomination
for the presidency that he didn't announce his candidacy, and
did no campaigning, until five days before the Democratic convention.
Even then, he seemed to know that the campaign was over before
it started; his only hope of beating John Kennedy was exposing
his health problems, however that did not work inasmuch as he
could not produce the "proof" that it required; that
would risk revealing his source for the information. Other than
the most negative attacks on JFK and his father, Johnson's presidential
"campaign" was virtually nonexistent.
In contrast to his presidential "non-campaign,"
his campaign for the vice presidential nomination was stunning
in its ferocity. The array of armaments he deployed in Los Angeles-for
a position no one had ever before striven for-was formidable,
unmistakably well planned, and precisely executed. He used every
tactic imaginable, from the persuasive powers of Phil Graham and
Sam Rayburn to the blackmail material from the files of J. Edgar
Hoover to the use of threats and intimidation by Johnson himself:
he vowed to kill any legislative initiatives Kennedy might ever
send to the Hill. The overpowering blitz was so effective that
it became an offer Kennedy "could not refuse." Lyndon
Johnson desperately wanted the vice presidential nomination-arguably
a "step down" from his position as Majority Leader-because
he knew it would be the only means by which he would ever reach
the White House. In 1960, he was fifty-two years old; if Kennedy
had lived and been re-elected in 1964, by the end of his term
in 1968, Johnson would have been sixty years old, almost the end
of his expected life given his family history. That wouldn't do;
he knew he had to create another plan to ensure his ascendancy
During his almost three-year term as the
vice president, Johnson would do everything he could to sabotage
Kennedy behind his back: In foreign affairs, it included disagreements
on Cuba and the Soviet Union and, most significantly, Vietnam.
In the domestic arena, the primary issue was how he attempted
to slow the progress of civil rights legislation and keep it as
ineffective as possible only months before he would reverse course
and force congress to pass the most sweeping reforms in history.
His real objectives during the period
1961-63 were focused on taking high level risks to continue his
side businesses of selling the value of his political influence
through associates, underworld figures, and lobbyists. He even
compromised other administration officials to assist him to perpetuate
these scandals, in one instance persuading Orville Freeman, the
secretary of agriculture, to relax regulatory rules in order for
his friend and benefactor Billie Sol Estes to carry out massive
financial fraud. The traces of Johnson's hand in the criminal
activity of a number of men, culminating in that of Estes and
Bobby Baker-including the murders of several men uniquely vulnerable
to the will of only one man, Lyndon B. Johnson-lead to the inescapable
conclusion that he was capable of the most heinous crimes imaginable.
In Dallas that day, he had key men pre-positioned in place, such
that they would be available at the right times and the right
places to ensure the plan was well executed. Only two of them-Cliff
Carter and Malcolm Wallace-would know what was really going on;
the others on hand, Connally, Moyers, Jack Puterbaugh, and a few
lesser aides-would not. They were only following what might have
been, for anyone else, strange and inexplicable orders, such as
one that appears to have been assigned to Moyers, noted elsewhere:
"Get that God-damned bubble off unless it pouring rain."
Johnson's behind-the-scenes manipulation
of "his men" to prepare for the complete suspension
of ordinary protection of the president-and his secretive charter
of men to be selected by Angleton and his associates, purposely
done with limited knowledge of operational details on his own
part-would create the scene of the crime and presence of the assailants
on the last day possible for salvaging his career. His plans for
"Phase II" were designed to sew up the investigation
and use the Texas judicial system to pronounce the designated
"lone nut" the guilty party. At any later time, his
nemesis, Bobby Kennedy, would have closed in on him and served
an indictment, rather than merely feeding information to congressional
committees and LIFE magazine. His last day for achieving his lifetime
obsession was, ironically, also the last day for him to thwart
his grandmother's prognostication. Rather than end his lifetime
in prison, as she had predicted, he would end it in the White
House, in accordance with what he had always believed was his
He had always favored the "lone nut"
option, since it would avoid the risk of World War III, an event
which would certainly have carried with it the possibility of
nuclear war, and of course the Soviets could be expected to aim
their first missiles at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. However, there
were many men at the highest levels of the military and intelligence
organizations who preferred a head-on confrontation with these
enemies, promising to annihilate them with a "first strike."
To keep that option on the shelf, multiple trails to the assassin
would be planted in Dallas, New Orleans and Mexico City to justify
an immediate invasion of Cuba; this would serve the purpose of
Plan B (required in the event that a "conspiracy" was
undeniable) but would need to be covered over in the event that
Plan A prevailed.
Other trails-the supposed mail order purchase
of guns which were allegedly shipped to Oswald's post office box
in Dallas (even though he had given no authorization for mail
to "A. Hidell" at that location), and the newly created
allegation that Oswald was the "shooter" of the retired
right wing General Walker-were so immediately established as to
create the impression that they were just a little too convenient
for reality. Since Oswald had not been immediately killed-and
his voice, which had now been recorded, was clearly different
than the "Oswald" voice recorded by the CIA-it quickly
became apparent that the Castro-inspired conspiracy option had
to be scuttled. As the new president settled in for the flight
back to Washington, an impromptu decision was made which officially
deemed Oswald the assassin; Phase II, the Cover-Up, was redirected
to prove that the assassin was a poor misguided communist "lone
nut" and Castro had nothing to do with it.
Cliff Carter had already begun calling
the Dallas authorities to tell them as much, starting with the
instruction that "you have your man" and no further
investigation is necessary. Allen Dulles, probably knowing the
real source of the assassination, stood ready to lead the charge
that it was indeed merely a "lone nut" who killed the
president when he prepared his notes for the first meeting of
the presidential commission. In the meantime, it was time to "heal
the country" and put the matter aside while the official
government commission did its work. The citizens were assured
that the government was in good hands, and the leaks from the
commission performed their function of mollifying an entire population.
The presidential commission dutifully returned its verdict: the
dastardly deed was merely the work of a misguided fool and he
had been killed by another misguided but patriotic citizen and
now, all the rest were safe from both of them. With that, the
case was, almost, closed. The fact that it was not is testimony
to the relentless work of hundreds of researchers and authors
previously cited, who have successfully dismantled the lie piece
The objectives set forth at the beginning
of this book have been completed; Lyndon B. Johnson uniquely met
every one of the criteria for evaluating who might have been behind
the assassination of John F. Kennedy:
* Who had the most to gain?
* Who had the least to lose?
* Who had the means to do it?
* Who had the apparatus in place to subsequently
cover it up? and
* Who had the kind of narcissistic / sociopathic
personality capable of rationalizing the action as acceptable
and necessary, together with the resolve and determination to
see it through?
The massive body of information about
the Kennedy assassination-including the hundreds or thousands
of books, the materials collected by researchers for more than
four decades, the partially released secret government files-have
produced a more complete understanding of the forces which culminated
in Kennedy's murder. Some of the evidence has been there all along,
including the Altgens photograph taken two to three seconds after
Kennedy was hit in the throat in one of the first shots. Most
of the rest of it, as attested to by the books listed in the bibliography,
have spanned the forty-five-year period 1964-2009, and it has
emerged very slowly despite the best efforts of many people to
obfuscate facts and cloud the memories of those who witnessed
the actual event.
How does one begin to explain the persona
of Lyndon Johnson? To start a description by saying he was the
thirty-sixth president of the United States automatically evokes
the respect normally accorded to a person who achieved that high
and majestic office. That the path he took to achieve it was different
than any other man before (or after) him is worthy of more than
an asterisk. His ascendancy came on the back of John F. Kennedy,
just as his engineered (albeit flawed) "legacy" was
bought with IOUs from JFK's bank of favors. His legacy should
reflect his real persona: an egomaniacal, duplicitous politician
dedicated only to his pursuit of the presidency; worse, it was
only to satisfy his own vanity rather than for any altruistic,
public spirited, or patriotic reasons, though he sought to convince
his "subjects" otherwise. His character should be at
least partially defined by the ever higher stolen elections all
along the way-from his college days on, through his clearly fraudulent
election to the Senate in 1948-all of the steps in his ascendancy
were tainted by fraud. His reputation as a magnanimous and gregarious
respected world leader was as bogus as the voter fraud, illicit
fund raising, and influence peddling activities that "won"
him his high offices. Historians credit him with his "people
skills" but if one looks beneath the semipolished veneer-beyond
the Texas colloquialisms, past the bluntness and sarcasm, the
gross and demeaning behavior to others, and the ruthless disregard
for legal and moral boundaries-the man should be known for what
he was: a world-class criminal, whose own grandmother had him
pegged since he was a child when she predicted that he would one
day end up in the penitentiary.
Lyndon B. Johnson, at the very least, had foreknowledge of John
F. Kennedy s assassination. More than any other person, he had
the means, motive, and opportunity to have been the singular key
conspirator-instigator and the mastermind of the operation. The
factual evidence presented here renders the long-debated official
"conclusions" suspect because so much of it is simply
part of the lie created by Johnson. Accepting this premise means
that many of the cover-up actions once considered as too unbelievable
must now be considered as the most plausible accounts. Such factually
supported assertions can be summarized as follows:
* A widely based conspiracy existed to
assassinate Kennedy, including the involvement of a number of
Secret Service personnel-as well as a number of "fake"
Secret Service agents-to eliminate normal protection of the president
in the Dallas motorcade.
* The Zapruder film, and other films and
photographs, were altered for the purpose of showing that Kennedy
was shot only twice from behind, through deletion of frames showing
his brains being blown out the back of his head, which was the
same footage that showed how the limousine stopped momentarily
as the fatal shots hit Kennedy's head-false debris was "painted
in" to attempt to portray the brain matter being ejected
* Johnson ordered his personal aide Carter
to pressure Dallas Assistant DA Alexander and DA Wade to not charge
Oswald with "conspiracy." It was at this point that
he clearly had reached a decision to drop the "Castro did
it" option, for which much evidence had been created, and
go with the "lone nut" option.
* The body of JFK was taken at gunpoint-as
only a "presidential" directive could have assured-away
from Parkland Hospital before a real autopsy could be performed
then later removed from the heavy bronze funeral casket and subjected
to alterations to also show that shots came only from the rear.
* Autopsy records, photographs, and x-ray
film have been destroyed and replaced with fabrications on Johnson's
orders. As Larry Hancock
pointed out, "In a  conversation
with attorney General Ramsey Clark, Johnson expressed his displeasure
with Dr. James Humes' referring to a photograph that did not officially
* Also as shown by Larry Hancock, Johnson
"personally issued orders to place Bethesda personnel under
a gag order in regard to the autopsy; Captain John Stover, commanding
Officer of the National Naval Medical School, reportedly received
this instruction from Admiral Buckley on orders from the White
* As previously documented, much of the
"evidence" used by the Warren Commission was fraudulent,
just as many of the witnesses it used threatened to provide incorrect
testimony to support its predetermined verdict. Only a well-defined
comprehensive plan established well in advance of the operation
could possibly have ensured this result.
* In the aftermath of the assassination,
the "invisible hand" quickly produced a "verdict"
for the hapless "patsy," followed by a curtailed and
corrupted "investigation," which was given over to a
commission which completely accepted the tainted FBI reports,
added their own distorted analysis, and fabricated evidence based
largely on the most incredible witnesses-creating fanciful if
outrageously absurd "theories" in the process-and dutifully
added the imprimatur of the U. S. government to its report back
to the instigator of the entire crime; only Lyndon B. Johnson
was in a position to control every aspect of the pre-and post-assassination
Lyndon B. Johnson's "accidental presidency" should be
... regarded for what it was: a coup d'etat; a deeply insidious
subversion of the democratic process, the result of a criminal
enterprise with other men who, deluded to think that their actions
were patriotic, conspired to murder the thirty-fifth president
of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
Encarta Dictionary on "personality disorder" reads as
People with antisocial personality disorder
act in a way that disregards the feelings and rights of other
people. Antisocial personalities often break the law, and they
may use or exploit other people for their own gain. They may lie
repeatedly, act impulsively, and get into physical fights. They
may mistreat their spouses, neglect or abuse their children, and
exploit their employees. They may even kill other people. People
with this disorder are also sometimes called sociopaths or psychopaths
... Antisocial personalities usually fail to understand that their
behavior is dysfunctional because their ability to feel guilty,
remorseful, and anxious is impaired. Guilt, remorse, shame, and
anxiety are unpleasant feelings, but they are also necessary for
social functioning and even physical survival. For example, people
who lack the ability to feel anxious will often fail to anticipate
actual dangers and risks. They may take chances that other people
would not take. Antisocial personality disorder affects about
3 percent of males and 1 percent of females. This is the most
heavily researched personality disorder, in part because it costs
society the most. People with this disorder are at high risk for
premature and violent death, injury, imprisonment, loss of employment,
bankruptcy, alcoholism, drug dependence, and failed personal relationships.
Lyndon B. Johnson met every one of the criteria of "personality
disorder"... Lyndon B. Johnson was paranoid and a sociopath
who suffered from manic depression.
Gerald Tolchin, PhD and professor of psychology
[Lyndon] Johnson may well have been the
most psychologically unstable person ever to assume the presidency...
It appears likely that Lyndon Johnson suffered from bipolar (manic-depressive)
disorder throughout his life, a condition that grew worse as he
grew older, peaking just as he reached the zenith of his influence
D. Jablow Hershman in her book "Power Beyond Reason: The
Mental Collapse of Lyndon Johnson"
The United States was being led by a man
who already was or rapidly was becoming psychotic. LBJ's grandiosity,
megalomania and paranoia reached dimensions that could no longer
pass for normalcy. Signs of grandiosity and paranoia were present
before LBJ became President, but assuming responsibility for the
war in Vietnam appears to have been more stress than he could
bear as 1966 wore on... LBJ's manic furies and incapacitating
depressions, his pathological ego, megalomania and paranoia were
products of his manic depression.
[Lyndon] Johnson's disease was as responsible for his political
success in the early years as it was responsible for his self-destruction
as president. It accounted for his single-minded obsessiveness
in wanting more and more power, money, and glory and his turn
to the criminal activities necessary to attain those goals. It
contributed to his crude, vulgar, and obnoxious behavior to others
and his condescending, belittling, and arrogant treatment of his
subordinates. the worst, of course, was that it fueled his compulsion
to become president at all costs, including the murder of John
F. Kennedy because he was the only person standing in the way.
Lyndon B. Johnson could be made a case study for future psychological
textbooks--in the sections dealing with extreme narcissism, egomania,
paranoia, bi-polar and sociopathic disorders, and the compound
effect of multiple disorders--and how a person, left untreated
for decades, could take over the government not only in a third
world country but in a superpower nation.