Tuesday, August 3, 2021

LBJ announcing Kennedy trip to Texas: "wait until next November before you SHOOT HIM DOWN"

Lyndon Johnson sure had a INTERESTING WAY of being the first person to announce that JFK was coming to Dallas, TX on April 23, 1963. Notice how LBJ did not say, "At least wait until next November before you shoot both of us down."



Lyndon Johnson on April 23, 1963 was the FIRST person to announce that John Kennedy was coming, not merely to Texas, but to DALLAS and LBJ was also urging that JFK be in a open motorcade in Dallas

 LBJ in announcing the trip said of JFK, “At least wait until next November before you shoot him down." Charitably, we can think LBJ is referring to the general election of November, 1964. Uncharitably, we can think LBJ is making a Freudian slip about what he has in store for JFK in Dallas in November, 1963.

 

LBJ Sees Kennedy Dallas Visit - One-Day Texas Tour~ Eyed ."

Dallas Times Herald

Page One

April 24, 1963

LBJ:


"President Kennedy's schedule would permit him to attend a breakfast in Ft. Worth, a luncheon in Dallas, and an afternoon tea in San Antonio..."
He's the only pilot you have, and if the plane goes down, you go down with it. At least wait until next November before you shoot him down."


LBJ to editors of Dallas Times Herald who were hyper critical of JFK on Tuesday April 23, 1963 - also present were execs from KRCE: AM, FM and TV station.

The Dallas Times Herald – April 24, 1963:

 The bold print headline at the top of the paper said

 LBJ Sees Kennedy Dallas Visit

 “One-Day Texas Tour Eyed”

 Sub headline “Continued Cuba Watch Revealed by Vice President”

 The article read:

 QUOTE

           At the afternoon reception, a crowd of nearly 2,000 jammed the Cystal Ballroom of the Baker Hotel to hear Vice President Johnson lash out at vociferous critics of the government.

          Before shaking hands for nearly an hour, the vice president said he had not come to “say anything ugly” about anyone. “My heart is not filled with fear or hate or hypocrisy” he said.

                   SCORES DETRACTORS

           “I see some people who are filled with hate and fear and hypocrisy and I say ‘God forgive them’” he said to cheers from the Democrats assembled.

          “I sympathize with those few who are in the minority. If they think this country is in as bad shape as they say it is, if they think our government is stupid and disloyal, well, I wonder why they agree to stay here anyway?” he said.

          He said the President of the United States is like a pilot and the election is when the nation picks an airplane and a pilot for the next four years.

           COMMON DANGER

           “Once you pick him, and you’re flying across the water in bad weather, don’t go up and open the door and try to knock him in the head. He’s the only pilot you have and if the plane goes down, you go with it.”

          “At least wait until next November before you shoot him down.”

          The vice president said he had supported President Eisenhower …

 UNQUOTE

 [“LBJ Sees Kennedy Dallas Visit,” Dallas Times Herald, 4-24-1963, excerpt is from a continuation of the article on page 22A, column 3]

 Penn Jones’s editorial in his Midlothian Mirror, March 5, 1970 issue

 http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/White%20Materials/White%20Magazines%20And%20Articles/Midlothian%20Mirror/70-03-05.pdf

 On April 23, 1963, Vice President Lyndon Johnson made a round of appearances in Dallas, Including a stop for a press conference at The Dallas Times Herald in which he predicted President Kennedy would visit Texas later in the year. Johnson gave the general schedule which included a Dallas luncheon. During the day's activities, Johnson spoke to 2,000 business and civic leaders in the Crystal Ball Room of the Baker Hotel. Included in Lyndon's remarks, according to page 22 of The Times Herald of April 24, are the quoted paragraphs:

 He said the President of the United States is like a pilot and the election is when the nation picks an airplane and a pilot for the next four years.

COMMON DANGER "Once you pick him, and you're flying across the water in bad weather, don't go up and open the door and try to knock him in the head. He's the only pilot you have and if the plane goes down, you go with it. "At least wait until next November before you shoot him down."

 

 Lyndon Johnson, despite Secret Service concerns, wanted JFK to be driven through Dallas in an open motorcade 

Jack Bell: “It was a wonderful day, beautiful weather. He came down Dallas’s Main Street in a motorcade. Kennedy had overruled the Secret Service, which wanted to take him directly from the airport to the Trade Mart where he was supposed to make a speech. Johnson had not wanted that. He wanted Kennedy to go through Dallas and demonstrate to these people – and to the world – that Dallas loved Kennedy. The people did. Out in the streets they gave him a terrific hand. Jackie was beautiful, and the people were rushing out to lay a hand on the car if they couldn’t get to the president. We turned a corner, and there was the Texas Schoolbook Depository.”

 [Merle Miller, Lyndon: An Oral Biography, p. 312]

  Jack Bell was a reporter for the Associated Press

 Jack Bell – Spartacus bio - https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKbellJL.htm

 Jack Bell oral history at JFK Library - https://www.jfklibrary.org/sites/default/files/archives/JFKOH/Bell,%20Jack%20L/JFKOH-JLB-01/JFKOH-JLB-01-TR.pdf

  Jackie Kennedy: Lyndon Johnson went to JFK’s hotel room in Houston on the night of 11-21-63 and he was complaining about seating arrangements in the motorcades in Texas

 

Robert Morrow translation: Lyndon Johnson, who hated Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s liberal guts, was trying to put Ralph Yarborough into JFK’s car, while at the same time putting his longtime pal Gov. John Connally in his car in the Dallas motorcade the next day. That is because LBJ knew that bullets were going to be flying into JFK’s car the next day in an assassination attempt, which LBJ was, of course, orchestrating.

 QUOTE

 Vice-President Johnson came to our hotel room in Houston the night before we went to Fort Worth. There was all of this about people not wanting to ride in the car with him. I forget if John Connally wouldn’t ride in the car or Senator Yarborough wouldn’t.

 I remember asking Jack that night in Houston what the trouble was. He said that John Connally wanted to show that he was independent and could run on his own and was making friends with a lot of … I think he might have said “Republican fat cats,” and he wanted to show that he didn’t need Lyndon Johnson, or something. And that part of the trouble of the trip was him trying to show he had his own constituency.

 UNQUOTE

 [Merle Miller, Lyndon: An Oral Biography, p. 312]

 

Lyndon Johnson was "insisting that Jackie ride" in his car in  the Texas motorcades. Source: George Smathers who conversed with JFK on Air Force One on the flight back from Florida on Monday, Nov. 18, 1963

 

          QUOTE

           On Monday, Kennedy returned to Washington on Air Force One. His back hurt. Lying on his stateroom bed, he summoned George Smathers from the front of the plane: “God, I wish you could think of some way of getting me out of going to Texas…. Look how screwed up it’s going to be. You’ve got Lyndon, who is insisting that Jackie ride with him. You’ve got Ralph Yarborough, who hates Lyndon, and Johnson doesn’t want Yarborough with him. Connally is the Governor.

          “They are all prima donnas of the biggest order, and they’re all insisting that they either ride with me or Jackie. The law says the Vice President can’t ride with the President. I’ve got to start off my speech saying what a fine guy Johnson is, what a fine guy Connally is, and then Yarborough, and they all don’t like each other. I just wish to hell I didn’t have to go. Can’t you think of some emergency we could have?”

           UNQUOTE

           [Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev 1960-1963, pp. 665-666]

Lyndon Johnson told journalist Robert Novak in summer 1962 that the Kennedys were losing the cold war against the Soviet Union, losing to conservatives in Congress and that Robert Kennedy was planning to dump him off the 1964 Democratic ticket.

Robert Novak later married Geraldine, a secretary to LBJ

          Notice how Johnson is telling Novak in the summer of 1962 how the Kennedy Administration was "losing" the cold war to the Russians. This is before the fall, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. I imagine Johnson was using these same arguments with the generals, the Texas oil men and the military intelligence in the lead up to the JFK assassination.

     

Robert Novak:

 QUOTE

           "After a Texas-style cookout, LBJ reclined, nearly prone, by the swimming pool. It was just the two of us drinking Scotch, and he spoke with a candor he never bestowed on me before or after. He felt the Kennedy administration was in serious trouble, losing the cold war to the Soviet Union and losing the legislative war to conservatives in Congress. He said that he had done everything the Kennedys had wanted, including foreign missions that only guaranteed him bad publicity.

          He was repaid with insults and humiliation, especially from the attorney general. Johnson  was sure Bobby Kennedy was plotting to dump him in 1964. "But I'm going to fool them," he said. "I'm going to pack it in after the term ends and go home to Texas." That would have been a huge scoop, but I knew Johnson was just blowing off steam.

          As for going back to Texas, the political environment there was hardly more congenial for LBJ than it was in Washington. Johnson's protege, John B. Connally, had just won the Democratic nomination for governor of Texas, which still all but guaranteed election in Texas. As secretary of the Navy, Connally had been the highest Kennedy administration official bearing the LBJ brand.

           But campaigning for governor, Connally removed the brand. With JFK and LBJ both unpopular in Texas, Connally ran against the administration he had just left, and won. Talking about Big John in that summer evening in 1962 led Johnson into self-pity. "John has turned my picture to the wall," LBJ told me. "You know I would never turn his picture to the wall."

 QUOTE

 [Robert Novak, The Prince of Darkness, pp. 90-91]

 

 David Lifton analysis of what Lyndon Johnson was telling Robert Novak about his major bad blood with the Kennedys in summer, 1963.

 David Lifton email to Robert Morrow on 2/18/2020

 

2/18/2020 - 8:20 AM CST

 

Robert, 

 I think you missed an important “data-point.”

 Note the following quote:

 " He was repaid with insults and humiliation, especially from the attorney general. Johnson  was sure Bobby Kennedy was plotting to dump him in 1964. "But I'm going to fool them," he said. "I'm going to pack it in after the term ends and go home to Texas." That would have been a huge scoop, but I knew Johnson was just blowing off steam.

 Forget about what Novak thinks; and focus on what LBJ said.

 By stating this to Novak, LBJ was creating a public record of his having no future political ambition(s).  Rather, his intent is to “go home to Texas.”  IMHO: This statement is his (somewhat weak) attempt to create the appearance that he has no future political ambition; thus, removing him as having a “personal motive” in the upcoming assassination of JFK.   Think about it. . : The bank robber is outside the bank; a key person says, “I don’t know what you guys think you’re up to, but I’ve got to go to the bathroom.  Is there a bathroom nearby?  Oh well, I’m going down the street to that Texaco station. I think they have a toilet.”  etc etc. So. . . He’s no longer at the scene of the crime; he’s not “in charge.” He was just there, but that’s of no consequence, because he left when he suddenly needed to go to the nearest bathroom, down the street.” 

 IMHO: That’s what LBJ was doing with Novak. Creating a “political alibi.”  I disagree with Novak. Johnson was not “blowing off steam.”  He knew about—and was probably up to his neck—the upcoming plan to “get rid of JFK” . (And remember: it was LBJ who—as Manchester reported, based on extensive interviews with Jackie and with Kenneth O’Donnell’—pleaded with JFK to make the Texas trip ; and who (according to Jackie)“lured” him to go to Texas. 

 And that’s the word that she used: “lured” — and that’s after all the editing of what Manchester originally wrote. The word “lured” remained. G-D only knows what the original draft stated, before the editing by Sorensen (remember that?).

 So, the central notion that LBJ (according to the evidence  was deeply involved in getting Kennedy to “make the trip”; but, simultaneously was planning  to “go home to Texas”—is absurd. That’s just plain nonsense.  As I’ve heard they would say, down there in Texas: “That dog won’t hunt!”.

 DSL

 P.S. Also. . 

Lyndon Johnson told Robert Novak in summer,1962 that the Kennedys were losing the cold war against the Soviet Union, 

For Johnson to be saying this is significant because (a) That would echo the sort of thing coming from a Curtis Lemay, (and others of that ilk); and second: since when does a Vice President take up a political position that is so completely different than his boss, the President, who is pursuing reasonable compromise, so that the world is peaceful, and things don’t escalate into a nuclear exchange?  IMHO.  DSL

 

 Political Journalist and author Alfred Steinberg: LBJ was so concerned about being dropped from the 1964 Democratic ticket that he developed severe stomach pains in the fall of 1963

 

QUOTE

 By the fall of 1963 talk was common in Washington that Johnson would be dropped from the 1964 ticket because he had turned into a negative factor. A Midwestern senator, who traveled to Connecticut with the Vice President for a fund-raising affair for the Vice President’s pal Senator Tom Dodd, reported to his Senate colleagues afterward that Johnson had lugubriously remarked during their New England visit, “I’m going to be out of it for a second term. Jack has another man in mind for Vice President.” So concerned was Johnson over what he believed would be his political doom that he developed severe stomach pains. But in this instance, the doctor’s diagnosis found it a coincidence of timing, that he was suffering from an oversupply of calcium and should eliminated milk from his diet.

 UNQUOTE

 [Alfred Steinberg, Sam Johnson’s Boy: A Close-Up of the President from Texas, p. 589]

 Lyndon Johnson told Liz and Leslie Carpenter in the fall of 1963 that he was get off the 1964 Democratic ticket before the Kennedys could kick him off of it. Liz Carpenter was a longtime LBJ partisan who became Lady Bird’s press secretary in the White House


(LBJ’s “right hand man” Bobby Baker had resigned as Secretary of the Senate on 10/7/63)

 

QUOTE

 But denying any intent to dump Johnson was good politics. There is no doubt that if scandal sank the vice president, not a tear would have been shed in the White House. More important, Johnson believed the Kennedys wanted him off the ticket. Shortly after the Baker scandal broke, Johnson had dinner with friends, including Liz and Leslie Carpenter. Johnson's car took the couple home and Johnson rode with them. "Park in the driveway and let's talk a few minutes," Johnson said. "I think I'm going to announce that I'm not going to run again for vice president so that I can get off that ticket before they try to knock me off. What I would like to do is go back to Texas and be president of Southwest Texas State Teachers College."

 UNQUOTE

 [Randall Woods, LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, p. 414, Leslie Carpenter oral history]


Monday, August 2, 2021

Senate counsel Burkett van Kirk and James Wagenvoord of Life Magazine confirm Robert Kennedy was feeding their investigations of LBJ's corruption

 Burkett van Kirk confirms that Robert Kennedy was feeding damaging information on Lyndon Johnson's corruption to the Senate Rules Committee in fall, 1963, in attempt to destroy LBJ. The Kennedys were working with the Republicans on the Senate Rules Committee to take down LBJ because LBJ was too close to the Democrats.

 

 SEYMOUR HERSH:

 QUOTE

             In a series of interviews for this book, Burkett Van Kirk, who was chief counsel in 1963 for the Republican minority on the Rules Committee, told me of his personal knowledge of Bobby Kennedy's direct intervention. "Bobby was feeding information to 'whispering Willie'" - the nickname for Senator John Williams. "They" - the Kennedy brothers, Van Kirk said - "were dumping Johnson.." Williams, as he did earlier with Donald Reynolds's information about Lyndon Johnson, relayed the Kennedy materials to the senior Republican on the Rules Committe, Carl Curtis. The attorney general thus was secretly dealing with Williams, and Williams was dealing secretly with Curtis and Van Kirk. The scheming was necessary, Van Kirk told me, because he and his fellow Republicans understood that a full-fledged investigation into Bobby Baker could lead to the vice president. They also understood, he said, that the chances of getting such an investigation where slim at best. The Democrats had an overwhelming advantage in the Senate - sixty-seven to thirty-three - and in every committee. The three Republicans on the ten member Rules Committee, Van Kirk said, had little power. "We never won one vote to even call a witness," he told me. The investigation into Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson would have to be done in a traditional manner - by newspaper leak.

 

            Van Kirk, who was named after his grandfather Senator E. J. Burkett of Nebraska, said that Bobby Kennedy eventually designated a Justice Department lawyer that fall to serve as an intermediary to the minority staff; he began supplying the Republicans with documents about Johnson and his financial dealings. The lawyer, Van Kirk told me, "used to come up to the Senate and hang around me like a dark cloud. It took him about a week or ten days to, one, find out what I didn't know, and two, give it to me." Some of the Kennedy-supplied documents were kept in Williams's office safe, Van Kirk said, and never shown to him. There was no doubt of Bobby Kennedy's purpose in dealing with the Republicans, Van Kirk said: "To get rid of Johnson. To dump him. I am as sure of that the sun comes up in the east."

 UNQUOTE

 [Seymour Hersh, "The Dark Side of Camelot," pp. 406-407]

  

Burkett Van Kirk on how Don Reynolds had the proof of Lyndon Johnson’s corruption as he testified to a closed session of the Senate Rules Committee in the morning of November 22, 1963.

 Van Kirk was interviewed  in the History Channel’s documentary LBJ vs. The Kennedys: Chasing Demons and it aired on June 1, 2003.

 

Burkett Van Kirk:

 QUOTE

 Don presented a good case. He could back it up. Everything he had, he had a receipt for. It’s hard to argue with a receipt. Or a cancelled check. Or an invoice. It’s hard to argue with documentation.

 UNQUOTE

 [Burkett van Kirk in the History Channel’s LBJ vs. The Kennedys: Chasing Demons, 2003] also in [Robert Caro, Passage of Power, p. 664]

 

 Robert Caro on the Senate Rules Committee investigation into Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson

 QUOTE

 Mollenhoff, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Des Moines Register was, in Novemer 1963, working closely – and on virtually a daily basis – with Senator Williams and the Rules Committee staff. He was to write that “It was a few minutes before 10 A.M. when Reynolds and Fitzgerald were escorted to Room 312, where two committee staff members (Van Kirk and Drennan) waited.” Mollenhoff was to report that “in the first two hours, the questioning ranged over the whole scope of Baker’s financial operations,” including those concerning the District of Columbia Stadium (Mollenhoff, Despoilers of Democracy, pp. 295-97).

          The journalist Sy Hersh had a series of interviews with Van Kirk, and writes that “at ten o’clock” Reynolds walked with his lawyer into a small hearing room… and began providing … Van Kirk … with eagerly awaited evidence” (Hersh, Dark Side of Camelot, p. 446). Senator Carl Curtis of Nebraska, the ranking Republican member of the Rules Committee, who was told in 1963 about Reynolds’s testimony by Van Kirk, confirmed that Reynolds had provided  documentation. Also Curtis Files, Curtis Papers; Curtis interview. Mollenhoff, Despoilers of Democracy, pp. 295-98; Rowe, The Bobby Baker Story, pp. 84-86; Steinberg, Sam Johnson’s Boy, pp. 602, 611.

 

UNQUOTE

 

[Robert Caro, Passage of Power, pp. 664-665]

James Wagenvoord of LIFE Magazine came forward in 2009 and revealed that LIFE Magazine was preparing a “crusher” expose of Lyndon Johnson that would utterly destroy him and it was to be published one week after the JFK assassination.

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=8smSeEOthZkC&pg=PT299&lpg=PT299&dq=james+wagenvoord+education+forum&source=bl&ots=JS-bt2F41A&sig=ACfU3U2u-XhxO7mw_mMzPQdFiayxayZmjw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjSz-7Cv6zmAhUK5awKHR4oBPwQ6AEwAnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=james%20wagenvoord%20education%20forum&f=false


LIFE Magazine, being fed damaging info by RFK, was on the verge of running a story on 11/29/63 that would have annihilated Lyndon Johnson’s political career once and for all

Source: James Wagenvoord who in 1963 was the 27 year old assistant to LIFE Magazine’e managing editor; this issue would have been dated 12/6/63 and mailed out 11/29 and 11/30/63 (Friday/Saturday mailing)

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=14966&st=0  

James Wagenvoord to John Simkin (in November, 2009):

“I've been reading through you web site and believe that I can add one of the final jigsaw puzzle pieces that affect the timing of JFK's Dallas trip and the nervousness of LBJ during the weeks preceding the killing. At the time I was the 27 year old Editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor. Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the '64 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligence agencies and we were used after by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public. Life's coverage of the Hoffa prosecution, and involvement in paying off Justice Department Memphis witnesses was a case in point.

The LBJ/Baker piece was in the final editing stages and was scheduled to break in the issue of the magazine due out the week of November 24 (the magazine would have made it to the newsstands on Nov.26th or 27th). It had been prepared in relative secrecy by a small special editorial team. On Kennedy's death research files and all numbered copies of the nearly print-ready draft were gathered up by my boss (he had been the top editor on the team) and shredded. The issue that was to expose LBJ instead featured the Zapruder film. Based upon our success in syndicating the Zapruder film I became Chief of Time/LIFE editorial services and remained in that job until 1968.”

Biography of James Wagenvoord: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKwagenvoord.htm

LIFE Magazine was within days of breaking a major story on Lyndon Johnson that would have been extremely politically damaging to him. By 11/22/63, the political career of Lyndon Johnson was hanging by a thin, thin thread and Robert Kennedy, having told the Washington press corps that it was open season on Johnson, was about to cut it with scissors:

In 1963 Johnson got drawn into political scandals involving Fred Korth, Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker. According to James Wagenvoord, the editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor, the magazine was working on an article that would have revealed Johnson's corrupt activities. "Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the 1964 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligence agencies and we were used after by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public."

The fact that it was Robert Kennedy who was giving this information to Life Magazine suggests that John F. Kennedy intended to drop Johnson as his vice-president. This is supported by Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy's secretary. In her book, Kennedy and Johnson (1968) she claimed that in November, 1963, Kennedy decided that because of the emerging Bobby Baker scandal he was going to drop Johnson as his running mate in the 1964 election. Kennedy told Lincoln that he was going to replace Johnson with Terry Sanford.

Don B. Reynolds appeared before a secret session of the Senate Rules Committee on 22nd November, 1963. Reynolds told B. Everett Jordan and his committee that Johnson had demanded that he provided kickbacks in return for him agreeing to a life insurance policy arranged by him in 1957. This included a $585 Magnavox stereo. Reynolds also had to pay for $1,200 worth of advertising on KTBC, Johnson's television station in Austin. Reynolds had paperwork for this transaction including a delivery note that indicated the stereo had been sent to the home of Johnson. Reynolds also told of seeing a suitcase full of money which Baker described as a "$100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the Fort Worth TFX contract".


Lyndon Johnson, over Secret Service protests, was urging that JFK be driven in an open motorcade in Dallas

 Lyndon Johnson, on April 23, 1963 was the FIRST person to announce that John Kennedy was coming, not merely to Texas, but to DALLAS and LBJ was also urging that JFK be in a open motorcade in Dallas

  

LBJ Sees Kennedy Dallas Visit - One-Day Texas Tour~ Eyed ."

Dallas Times Herald

Page One

April 24, 1963

LBJ:


"President Kennedy's schedule would permit him to attend a breakfast in Ft. Worth, a luncheon in Dallas, and an afternoon tea in San Antonio..."
He's the only pilot you have, and if the plane goes down, you go down with it. At least wait until November before you shoot him down."
LBJ to editors of Dallas Times Herald who were hyper critical of JFK on Tuesday April 23, 1963 - also present were execs from KRCE: AM, FM and TV station.

 Lyndon Johnson, despite Secret Service concerns, wanted JFK to be driven through Dallas in an open motorcade

 

 Jack Bell: “It was a wonderful day, beautiful weather. He came down Dallas’s Main Street in a motorcade. Kennedy had overruled the Secret Service, which wanted to take him directly from the airport to the Trade Mart where he was supposed to make a speech. Johnson had not wanted that. He wanted Kennedy to go through Dallas and demonstrate to these people – and to the world – that Dallas loved Kennedy. The people did. Out in the streets they gave him a terrific hand. Jackie was beautiful, and the people were rushing out to lay a hand on the car if they couldn’t get to the president. We turned a corner, and there was the Texas Schoolbook Depository.”

 [Merle Miller, Lyndon: An Oral Biography, p. 312]

 

Jack Bell was a reporter for the Associated Press.

 Jack Bell – Spartacus bio - https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKbellJL.htm

 Jack Bell oral history at JFK Library - https://www.jfklibrary.org/sites/default/files/archives/JFKOH/Bell,%20Jack%20L/JFKOH-JLB-01/JFKOH-JLB-01-TR.pdf

   

New York Post 1/14/2007  - I need a source for Hunt saying LBJ tried to get Connally to ride in his car in Dallas

 

E. Howard Hunt - the shadowy former CIA man who organized the Watergate break-in and was once eyed in the assassination of President Kennedy - bizarrely says that Lyndon Johnson could be seen as a prime suspect in the rubout.

 

Only the most far-out conspiracy theorists believe in scenarios like Hunt's. But in a new memoir, "American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond," due out in April, Hunt, 88, writes: "Having Kennedy liquidated, thus elevating himself to the presidency without having to work for it himself, could have been a very tempting and logical move on Johnson's part.

 

"LBJ had the money and the connections to manipulate the scenario in Dallas and is on record as having convinced JFK to make the appearance in the first place. He further tried unsuccessfully to engineer the passengers of each vehicle, trying to get his good buddy, Gov. [John] Connolly [sic], to ride with him instead of in JFK's car - where... he would have been out of danger."

 

 Doug Caddy talks about the time he met Robert Caro; email to me on 6/7/12

 Yes, and I have posted the story of this incident several times on the EF's JFK assassination topic over the years.

 The incident occurred in 1985 or 1986. Robert Caro was scheduled to speak at the University of Houston about urban planning, etc. He is an expert on this after having written about Robert Moses in "The Power Broker" for which he was awarded a Pulitzer.

 So my father and I attended Caro's lecture. Afterwards, when a crowd had gathered around him informally to ask him questions, I spoke up and asked whether he planned to write about Mac Wallace in his forthcoming books on LBJ. Caro's face turned white and he looked shocked and startled and he then quickly grabbed the lapels of my suit and asked who I was and how could he get in touch me with. I introduced myself and gave him my business card but never heard anything more from him.

 It was around that time that Billie Sol Estes casually mentioned to me that J. Evetts Haley and Caro had stopped by to visit with him in Abilene but that he refused to see them.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Newsweek's December 1991 hit job on Oliver Stone's movie JFK really just focuses on a JFK research convention.

There is an absolutely overwhelming avalanche of information that indict both Lyndon Johnson and the CIA in the JFK assassination and you are not going to find it in this 1991 Newsweek article.

It quotes Chauncey Holt, who I think to be a fraud, at length.

It mentions Jim Moore, who wrote one of the worst JFK assassination books ever, a lone nutter piece. I have spoken to Jim Moore before and he used to be a groupie of Bill Clinton until he got burned by Bill Clinton who just uses people.

David Lifton has some very valuable interviewing of witnesses in the JFK assassination.

LBJ often said Castro killed JFK, which was a deflection from his own participation in JFK's murder.

The piece mentions a 1967 New Yorker article which I would like to get my hands on.

Johnny Roselli, maybe involved in the JFK assassination, maybe not.

Newsweek article written in 1991, E. Howard Hunt later told his son Saint John Hunt that LBJ and the CIA murdered JFK, just before E. Howard Hunt died. E. Howard Hunt, who I think WAS involved in the JFK assassination, spied for the LBJ campaign in 1964 on the Barry Goldwater campaign. That is quite telling. Richard Nixon was convinced E. Howard Hunt was involved in the JFK assassination.

Lois Gibson identification of the three tramps is absolute trash.

As for Jack Ruby, he thought LBJ killed JFK as did Jackie Kennedy and numerous other insiders.

My take on Rose Cheramie, I don't think she had inside knowledge of the JFK assassination.

Robert Morrow     Austin, TX     512-306-1510


https://www.newsweek.com/bottom-line-how-crazy-it-201178

Bottom Line: How Crazy Is It?

BY NEWSWEEK STAFF ON 12/22/91 AT 7:00 PM EST

In the opening minutes of Oliver Stone's "JFK" a man collapses, twitching, on a city sidewalk; a woman mumbles about the president's murder from a hospital bed. Most moviegoers will see these simply as surrealistic omens. But a few people will instantly see that Stone did his homework. A man named Jerry Belknap really did have a seizure in Dealey Plaza minutes before President Kennedy's motorcade arrived. He was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital by the same drivers who were later to load the president's body into their ambulance for the trip from Parkland to the airport. It was probably not a staged distraction as plotters moved into place. Why didn't the hospital have a record? Belknap said he'd wandered out during the confusion when Kennedy was brought in.

The mumbling woman is something else again. Rose Cheramie, a prostitute and junkie, warned a doctor and a Louisiana state cop about the assassination in Dallas two days before it happened. She claimed she had been abandoned on the road by two men driving from Florida to Dallas who said they were going to shoot the president. She said she worked for a Dallas strip-joint owner named Jack Ruby. Stone doesn't tell the end of her story. ("JFK" is only a three-hour movie, after all, and Rose Cheramie is only a footnote to a footnote in the byzantine annals of the assassination.) In September 1965, a motorist outside Big Sandy, Texas, found her lying dead in the highway.

People who carry such information around are usually dismissed as assassination buffs. True, some are hobbyists, like rotisserie leaguers who buy Bill James's books of baseball stats. Others are careerists, like Mark Lane, whose 1966 "Rush to Judgment" was a best-selling attack on the official version of the assassination. But there's also a network of serious freelance researchers who think the government dropped the ball on the Kennedy assassination; they have become citizen investigators, with overstuffed Rolodexes and overdue phone bills. They're the people for whom Stone's improbably virtuous Jim Garrison is the paradigm: ordinary folks fighting the Power.

Last month in Dallas, the Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy drew specimens of all these types-plus a few hardcore zanies. (First Prize: the theory that Kennedy was shot by LBJ himself, who concealed his six-guns under a cape.) As lower-profile researchers socialized and swapped leads, Lane threatened from the dais to sue researcher Jim Moore for libel. Moore, a onetime believer in a conspiracy, has become a maverick among mavericks: he now believes, as the Warren Commission said in 1964, that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut who killed Kennedy and Jack Ruby was a lone nut who killed Oswald. He even defends the much-ridiculed ,'single bullet" hypothesis, made necessary by Abraham Zapruder's famous home movie, which serves as a clock for the assassination. Oswald had time to fire only three shots. One missed, one hit the president in the head. Ergo, one passed through Kennedy, broke Texas Gov. John Connally's wrist and one of his ribs. (This bullet is surprisingly little the worse for wear.) Critics say there's no "ergo" about it, and that the conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin forced the commission into a scenario out of Rube Goldberg.

Folks at the symposium admired Moore's pluck, but they were more ready to listen to David Lifton reprising his grisly conclusions-that Kennedy's body was spirited away and tampered with to make it appear he was shot from behind. The symposium's real zinger, though, was a presentation by a Houston police artist named Lois Gibson in which she provided names and rap sheets for each of the famous three "tramps," mystery men photographed in police custody on Nov. 22.

Exactly how crazy is this stuff? Not especially, compared with what we've already found out to be true, like the loony Mafia-CIA schemes against Fidel Castro back in the early '60s-which ranged from outright assassination to giving Castro a scuba suit permeated with LSD. Lyndon Johnson, who appointed the Warren Commission, said in 1973 that he had never believed its report. His candidate for Mr. Big: Castro. This has never been a popular theory: Castro himself said it would have been suicidally stupid.

Most dissenters from the Warren Commission would agree to something like the following: (1) Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy involving figures from the murky underground in which anti-Castro exiles, the Mafia and the CIA made common cause; (2) Lee Harvey Oswald was, as he claimed, a "patsy," and (3) the mob-connected Jack Ruby was sent to silence him. In a note to his lawyer, Ruby claimed another attorney put him up to saying he'd merely wanted to spare Mrs. Kennedy the ordeal of a trial. Larry Houston, the CIA's general counsel for more than 20 years, says that after the Warren Report, "I went through every one of these stories in detail and knocked them all out." Robert Tannenbaum doesn't buy it. "I'm not saying the CIA was involved," says Tannenbaum, deputy chief counsel of the Kennedy investigation for the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). "But there's no doubt in my mind that the CIA knows exactly what happened."

If conspiracy theorists seem paranoid about the CIA, the agency is partly to blame. In the late '60s, for instance, the CIA sent its agents a detailed memo explaining how to counter skepticism about the Warren Commission. It was accompanied by a New Yorker article highly critical of New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison's investigation of the Kennedy case and suggested agents "employ propaganda assets [that is, friendly journalists] to answer and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose." In 1978, the CIA agent assigned as liaison to the HSCA was reportedly fired from the agency after rifling the safe containing the Kennedy autopsy photos and X-rays. The agent claimed he had an innocent explanation but would not give it to the press. "There's other things that are involved," he told The Washington Post's George Lardner, "that are detrimental to other things."

Despite its chronic suspicion of disinformation, the self-styled "research community" seems almost upbeat these days. "The case will break in one of three ways," says Dr. Cyril Wecht, distinguished forensic pathologist and colorfully intemperate Warren Commission critic. "Somebody will spill the beans, the technical analytical studies will be confirmed by appropriate experts, or we'll get into an appropriate legal forum." In fact, all these avenues have been tried over the years. Spilling the beans--assuming there are beans---seems to bring bad luck. John Roselli, who helped hatch CIA/Mafia assassination plots, was found, dismembered, in an oil drum after telling the HSCA he would testify that mob-connected Cubans were behind JFK's murder. And high-tech microanalyses of everything from Dealey Plaza photographs to police-radio recordings from a motorcycle in the motorcade have led only to experts duking it out with other experts.

Jim Garrison provided the "appropriate legal forum," such as it was, in his disastrous 1967 prosecution of New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw. Shaw was acquitted of conspiring to kill Kennedy because Garrison (as he himself acknowledged) had no case especially after Shaw's alleged coconspirator, David Ferrie, suddenly dropped dead. Garrison ran roughshod over fairness and common sense. He may also have been on to something, though God knows what. Shaw, it turns out, despite his denials, was a CIA "domestic contact"; Ferrie, a former airline pilot, spent the two weekends before the assassination conferring with Kennedy-hating Carlos Marcello, reputed New Orleans Marfia boss. The third supposed conspirator (also dead), ex-FBI agent Guy Banister, was an anti-Castro right-winger; why did the pro-Castro leaflets Oswald handed out in New Orleans bear the address of the small building that housed Banister's office?

Since Garrison, the research community has been burned time after time. Comedian-activist Dick Gregory once claimed Watergate spook E. Howard Hunt Jr. was one of the three "tramps." (Bottom line: he wasn't.) Last year Ricky White, son of a Dallas cop, said he'd produce a diary his late father kept of his role in an assassination plot. (Bottom line: no way.) Hunt turns up again this year as the villain of Mark Lane's "Plausible Denial." In 1985, Lane successfully defended the far-right Liberty Lobby in a libel suit over an article implicating Hunt in the assassination. Lane humiliated Hunt on the witness stand; according to forewoman Leslie Armstrong, Lane convinced a Florida jury the CIA "was directly involved in the assassination." Another juror, Suzanne Reach, told The Miami Herald that wasn't the reason for the verdict. Armstrong says Reach is "in total denial."

Lane's star witness, Marita Lorenz, testified she had been with Hunt plus his future Watergate colleague Frank Sturgis plus the actual gunmen in Dallas the day before the assassination-a story the HSCA had doubted. "I've met Marita many times," says well-respected researcher Gus Russo of Baltimore. "She's a nice person, but her stories are wacky, totally unverifiable." Other researchers are less printable; some suggest Marita is part of a disinformation scheme. Lane himself says the CIA has long attempted to discredit him.

Nobody at last month's symposium came right out and accused Lois Gibson of spreading disinformation, but someone will probably get around to it. She says she's helped solve the old mystery of the three "tramps" police found in a boxcar in the railroad yards near Dealey Plaza after the assassination. We know about them only because of news photos; the police kept no record. Gibson has helped solve scores of cases. She says she'd "bet the farm" on her identifications: Charles V. Harrelson, a hit man (and, incidentally, the father of actor Woody Harrelson) convicted of assassinating federal Judge John Wood with a high-powered rifle in 1982; Charles Rogers, chief suspect in the unsolved 1965 murder and dismemberment of his parents, and one Chauncey Holt, a self-described forger and career criminal. If it could be proved, the presence of someone like Harrelson-not to mention the other two-would be, to say the least, suspicious.

Gibson's photo comparisons looked persuasive, though no rigorous scientific analysis has been done. At the symposium Jerry Rose, publisher of a researchers' newsletter, stood up and urged Dallas's JFK Assassination Information Center, which cosponsored the event, not to endorse Gibson's work. Mark Lane's associate Steve Jaffe called the identification of Harrelson-which researchers have made before"the most irresponsible and inaccurate in my experience." Harrelson reportedly once told police he had shot Kennedy, then claimed he'd been skyrocketing on cocaine when he said it. He's now in a federal penitentiary in Illinois and couldn't be reached for comment. Rogers has been missing for years.

But Chauncey Holt is glad to talk-and the more publicly the better. Holt says he was once an accountant for mob financier Meyer Lansky, but spent most of his career forging documents and doing other illegal chores for the CIA. He says he was ordered to Dallas before the assassination--of which he had no foreknowledge--to deliver fake Secret Service credentials. (Several people in Dealey Plaza said they'd encountered men claiming to be Secret Service agents of whom the Secret Service had no knowledge.) He says the men he traveled to Dallas with were both contacted by the HSCA in the '70s: one was killed before he could testify, another disappeared. He readily names them; he also names the man he says gave him his orders, the man who gave the man his orders, the gangster whose ranch he flew to when the Dallas police turned him loose and the pilot who flew him. Who, he says, later died in a plane crash. He knew his picture had been taken; he says the law partner of a Warren Commission attorney told him not to worry.

Holt says he met Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans ("he wasn't any dummy"), as well as David Ferrie ("the weirdest guy you would ever want to meet") and Guy Banister ("an extreme right-wing type of individual, into just about everything"). It says something for Holt's credibility that he doesn't claim to have known Jack Ruby, too. "I never even heard the name," says Holt. "What he said was asinine. Someone might sympathize with Jacqueline Kennedy, but you can't tell me a guy who's running a strip joint and beating up women is worried that she'll have to come back to Texas for a trial. I think he was just a gofer for the syndicate down there."

Why would conspirators order Holt so unnecessarily to the scene of the crime? "Dallas that day was flooded with all kinds of people who ended up there for some reason," says Holt. "It's always been my theory that whoever was the architect of this thing-and no one will ever know who was behind it, manipulating all these people-I believe that they flooded this area with so many characters with nefarious reputations because they thought, 'Well, if all these people get scooped up it'll muddy the waters so much that they'll never straighten it out'." Whether Chauncey Holt is the real thing or not, that's something like what happened. The police did scoop up and release several mysterious people in Dallas that day: a man with a leather jacket and black gloves, a Latin man, a crew-cut blond man in a hooded sweat shirt. A man named Jim Braden, with a long criminal record; Holt says Braden was with him on the plane out of Dallas.

 If Holt's story could be verified, it would be pretty scary: the mob and the agency, cover-ups and rubouts. It could also be the product of a runaway imagination, or yarn-spinning for the sake of a little attention. What Holt says fits well with what researchers have long suspected. That's what makes his story at once persuasive and open to question, Should Holt be cheeked out? Certainly. Will that settle the question of conspiracy? Probably not.

The best argument against conspiracy theories is that if any moment in history were to be scrutinized with the obsessiveness focused on 12:30 p.m., Nov. 22, 1963, you could come up with weird coincidences, hidden connections, terrifying portents. People who believe the official version of the assassination-that Kennedy was shot by a lunatic whose motives were probably beyond even his own understanding-say that conspiracy theorists need to grow up, to come to terms with the fact that this was a random event, the moral equivalent of a bolt of lightning. Those who find a pattern here, it's said are indulging in wishful thinking: to them, even sinister meaning is more comforting than no meaning at all.

"I have chosen to offer a way out of the madness," writes Jim Moore at the end of "Conspiracy Of One." "To believe that President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy is not always to believe in zombie CIA assassins and Watergate burglars on the grassy knoll or in a Secret Service-FBI cover-up, but it is a path to personal doubt and disaster. Only when you and I come to grips with the fact that this -mammoth tragedy can, in fact, be blamed on one man, can the personal growth and the healing process begin." In other words, get a life. It's a powerful altar call (assuming he's got his facts straight). What we'd give to be able to run it by Rose Cheramie.














Saturday, July 31, 2021

Sam Houston Johnson to his brother LBJ: I didn't use Oswald to murder JFK for your benefit

Context: Sam Houston Johnson (1914 - 1978) was a close aide of and political schemer in the mold of Lyndon Johnson. Both men were alcoholics and both men liked to lie and run political manipulations. Sam Houston Johnson said he knew a lot more about LBJ than LBJ knew about him. The first words out of Sam Houston's mouth after the JFK assassination was to tell LBJ that he didn't murder JFK on behalf of LBJ. That fact that Sam Houston Johnson would have to say something like that just shows you how acidic the relationship between LBJ and the Kennedys were in the fall of 1963. The Kennedys were out to utterly destroy Lyndon Johnson and not merely remove him from the 1964 Democratic ticket.

 In Sam Houston’s first conversation with his brother Lyndon Johnson after the JFK assassination, Sam Houston felt compelled to tell LBJ that he (Sam Houston) didn’t use Oswald to murder JFK for the benefit of Lyndon Johnson.

  

QUOTE

 

“Lyndon,” I said. “I had nothing to do with Oswald.”


UNQUOTE

 

[Sam Houston Johnson, My Brother Lyndon, p. 126]

 

The context of that comment by Sam Houston:

 

QUOTE

 

          Whenever things got too gloomy and oppressive, I might have to go on a toot to get away from it all. That’s exactly how I felt a few days after Kennedy was killed. I had been a virtual recluse, holing up in my bedroom to get away from all the yak-yak of people dropping by to gawk at us. Then, when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I called up my old friend Judge Jeff Willens (which, of course, isn’t his real name) and asked him to join me for a quick holiday in San Antonio….

          “Never mind that,” I answered. “Let’s call up some girls I know and we’ll have ourselves a few drinks and forget all this crap.”

          But just as our lady friends came in  - one of them was the secretary of a lobbyist I knew – the phone started ringing and then stopped before I could pick it up. Then it rang again and the hotel operator almost shouted in my ear, “The White House is c-c-calling,” she stammered. “It’s the r-r-real White H-H-House calling, Mr. J-J-Johnson!”

          “Just a moment,” I said. “I’ll take it in the bedroom. Please switch it there.”

          But when I got to the next room the operator told me the call had been interrupted – that the President would call me back in a few minutes. Well, I waited on that bed for nearly two hours, not wanting to join Jeff and the ladies until I’d gotten the call. With that phone operator getting so excited, I didn’t think I should complicate matters by switching a call from one extension to another.

          Finally the call came through, with the operator breathlessly saying, “It’s him! It’s the President of the United States calling.”

          Then Lyndon’s voice came over the wire. “Hi, Sam Houston, how y’ doing?”

          “Fine, Lyndon, everything’s fine here.”

          “Sorry about that first call. I got involved in a hurry-up conference with Rusk and McNamara, so I decided to wait till I got back home to call you. I’m still living at the Elms, you know. Just got in.”

          “I imagine you’re pretty busy,” I said.

          “Never been busier,” he said. “But I’ve been waiting for a chance to talk with you and to let you know how much I appreciate all you’ve done for me, Sam Houston. I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for you.”

          “Lyndon,” I said. “I had nothing to do with Oswald.”

          He gasped, sputtered, and then exploded. My God, what an explosion! I have never heard him so angry.

          “Goddamnit, Sam!” he shouted. “What the hell kind of a remark is that? Here I come all the way home to have a serious talk with you, and you come out with a damned stupid crack like that! Why in the hell can’t you ever be serious, you crazy ass? You make your lousy sick jokes about everything….”

          He went on like that, getting angrier and angrier, for about twenty minutes. And I kept expecting him to slam the phone down like a sledgehammer, but he went on talking at full fury. Finally, in a tired, somewhat despairing voice, he said, “I’ll call you some other time.”

 

UNQUOTE

 

[Sam Houston Johnson, My Brother Lyndon, pp. 124-126]