There is no more hope to ever see a righteous Kennedy emerge and challenge the U.S. war machine. But the legacy lives on.
President John F. Kennedy remains a heroic, almost Christ-like figure, in the heart of a growing community of citizens who have become aware of the disastrous longtime effect of his assassination. He is perhaps the only hero whose public cult could ever redeem the United States.
Anybody following closely the recent developments in JFK research cannot fail to notice that there are basically two kinds of books on Kennedy’s assassination. (I am only talking of books seriously engaged in the pursuit of truth, not those defending the Warren Commission cover-up, such as Vincent Bugliosi’s pitiful Reclaiming History, 2007).
Fifty years of investigative work and archive declassification has narrowed down the list of credible suspects: on the one side are books blaming a faction within the Military-Intelligence complex, the most recent and authoritative being: James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He died and Why it Matters (Touchstone, 2008), David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and Mark Lane, Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK (Skyhorse Publishing, 2011).
On the other side are books blaming Lyndon Johnson, represented recently by Phillip Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination (XLibris, 2010), James Tague, LBJ and the Kennedy Killing, by Assassination Eyewitness (Trine Day, 2013), and Roger Stone, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ (Skyhorse, 2013), just available this month.[i] I will summarize the arguments of both theses, highlight their shortcomings and contradictions, and attempt to overcome them by pointing to an alternative hypothesis.
I will contend that these two trails of investigation, if coherently connected, do compliment each other, but not quite as two halves of the truth; rather as two thirds of the truth. The remaining third piece of the puzzle is the really “Unspeakable”.
1. The Military-Intelligence complex
Douglass, Talbot and Lane basically agree with what New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison perceived already in 1968: “President Kennedy was killed for one reason: because he was working for reconciliation with the [Soviet Union] and Castro’s Cuba. […] President Kennedy died because he wanted peace.” The implications drawn by Garrison were frightening: “In a very real and terrifying sense, our government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. […] I’m afraid, based on my experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of National Security.”[ii]
What is commonly called the “National Security State” came to existence in the aftermath of the Second World War. Its birth certificate is the National Security Act of 1947, by which President Truman organized the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) under an appointed Chairman, and established the National Security Council (NSC) to advise him (Eisenhower would later create the position of National Security Adviser to preside over it). The founding texts of this Cold War apparatus are characterized by an alarmist exaggeration of the ambitions and power of the Soviet military, justifying the right of the United States to intervene in the internal affairs of any country, near or far, who by leaning slightly to the left could trigger a “domino effect” and cause the collapse on an entire region under communist influence (the “Truman Doctrine”). The National Security Council report NSC-68 dated April 7th 1950, which had a great influence on the foreign policy of the United States for the following twenty years, asserted that the Kremlin posed a threat capable of the “destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself.”
Its main author, Paul Nitze, considered a preemptive nuclear attack against the USSR desirable, but impractical, “unless it is demonstrably in the nature of a counter-attack to a blow which is on its way or about to be delivered.” For “the idea of ‘preventive’ war—in the sense of a military attack not provoked by a military attack upon us or our allies—is generally unacceptable to Americans.”[iii] This report thus raises an issue quite different from that of deterrence, the official justification of the atomic arsenal: how to strike first, strong enough to crush the striking power of the enemy, while maintaining an air of self-defense. This question obsessed the Pentagon throughout the Kennedy presidency.
This paranoid militarism was fueled by the arms industry, which formed with the Pentagon what Eisenhower coined the “Military-Industrial complex” in his well-known Farewell Address on January 17, 1961, when he warned the nation that “this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” has created “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power.”[iv]
The 1947 National Security Act also gave birth to the CIA, officially to centralize Intelligence for use by the President, but with a budget largely devoted since 1952 to its Directorate of Plans, whose specialty, “covert operations”, are defined by the directive NSC-10/2 as any activities “which are conducted or sponsored by this Government against hostile foreign states or groups or in support of friendly foreign states or groups but which are so planned and executed that any US Government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons and that if uncovered the US Government can plausibly disclaim any responsibility for them.”[vi]
Designed theoretically to absolve the President of all illegal actions in case of public disclosure, the principle of “plausible deniability” gives the CIA almost complete autonomy, since, in fact, it relieves it of the need to reveal its operations to the President, while still allowing for Presidential protection in the event of failure. George Kennan, who prepared the document NSC-10/2, would later call it “the greatest mistake I ever made.”[vii]
On three continents, the CIA, directed by Allen Dulles, overthrew democratically elected governments and replaced them with dictatorships under U.S. tutelage. Its first major success was in the Middle East, with the 1953 coup against the Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, who intended to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AOIC, renamed British Petroleum in 1954); the CIA then flew the Shah Mohammad Pahlavi into Tehran, and proceeded to train his dreaded secret police, the SAVAK.[viii]
Around the same time, in Latin America, the CIA oversaw the coup against the elected president of Guatemala Jacobo Arbenz, by a military junta responsible for more than 200,000 civilian deaths from 1954 to 1996.
By his plan to redistribute a portion of land to 100,000 poor farmers, Arbenz threatened the interests of the multinational United Fruit Company, the giant banana corporation that held more than 90% of the land. A CIA manual entitled A Study of Assassination, written in 1953 and declassified in 1997, contains detailed instructions on the various methods of murder by weapons, bombs or simulated accidents. In some cases, it is recommended that assassins be “clandestine agents or members of criminal organizations.”[ix]
When Kennedy succeeded Eisenhower in January 1961, the CIA had set a goal to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba. Paramilitary training camps were set up in Nicaragua for Cubans who had fled Castro’s revolution, joined by other mercenaries from Latin America. The plan was to land these counter-revolutionaries in Cuba, then send to their aid the U.S. Air Force and Navy under the pretext of supporting a popular uprising, and thereby invade Cuba without ethical controversy—a method of fighting imperialist wars through proxy civil wars, that today rings familiar.
The plan had been supervised by Eisenhower’s Vice-President Nixon, but was postponed until after the 1960 elections, which Nixon was sure to win. When Kennedy was elected, Dulles wasted no time in selling the operation to the new President, assuring him that the invasion by Cuban exiles would be sufficient to trigger a popular uprising.
Kennedy agreed, but warned clearly that he would not allow any participation of the U.S. Army—which would amount to an act of war. Dulles was convinced that once put before the impending crisis, the President would concede, as he explained in notes published posthumously: “We felt that when the chips were down—when the crisis arose in reality, any action required for success would be authorized rather than permit the enterprise to fail.”[x]
The operation was launched April 15, 1961: a contingent of 1,500 armed Cuban exiles boarded seven boats from the Nicaraguan coast and landed in the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. They were quickly surrounded by Castro’s army and, as expected, called the United States for help. Five U.S. destroyers and aircraft carrier Essex were just less than 2 miles from the Cuban coast.
But Kennedy understood that he had been deceived and refused to engage his ships, personally telephoning the captain of the fleet to forbid any movement. About 200 Cuban rebels were killed and 1,300 captured by Castro’s forces. Kennedy took public responsibility for the failure of the operation, but was furious with the CIA: “I want to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds,” Mike Mansfield heard him say. He started by firing the chief instigators of the operation, the Director Allen Dulles and his two Deputy Directors Charles Cabell and Richard Bissell.[xi]
But the CIA is like a clan united by a code of honor. The remaining members of the management team, almost all recruited by Dulles, remained loyal to their former boss and took a violent resentment toward Kennedy; they would no longer seek Presidential assent and effectively transformed the CIA into a parallel power.
The grudge was even stronger among Cuban exiles, a diaspora of nearly one million people concentrated around Miami. The United States is for them a temporary haven and they are not as concerned with the Cold War as with restarting and winning the Cuban civil war.
These Cuban patriots are organized around the Cuban Revolutionary Council, which defines itself as the legitimate government to replace that of Castro, and which serves as umbrella organization for many militant groups, financed by American institutions to the tune of $ 2 million per year.
In the summer of 1962, while discussing with friends a political thriller entitled Seven Days in May, Kennedy said that he found this story of a military coup for control of the White House, credible:
“It’s possible. It could happen in this country,” he said, “if, for example, the country had a young President, and he had a ‘Bay of Pigs’.”
If this “Bay of Pigs” was followed by one or two other clashes with the generals, he added, “…the military would almost feel that it was their patriotic obligation to stand ready to preserve the integrity of the nation, and only God knows what segment of democracy they would be defending if they overthrew the elected establishment.”[xiii]
Kennedy did have a couple more “Bay of Pigs”. The second one resulted from the first one, for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion had convinced Fidel Castro to officially declare himself a communist and place his country under the protection of the Soviet Union. In October 1962, the CIA’s U-2 spy planes photographed in Cuba Soviet nuclear warheads pointed at the United States.
During a meeting of the National Security Council that lasted 13 days, Kennedy resisted the generals’ vehement requests for an immediate preemptive air strike against the Cuban missiles’ launch sites, an attack that would probably not destroy all missiles before they could be fired, and would amount to a declaration of war against the Soviet Union. Kennedy simply enforced “a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba,” and instructed his brother Robert to enter into talks with the Soviet Commander in Chief Nikita Khrushchev through his ambassador in Washington Anatoly Dobrynin.[xiv]
According to an account given by Khrushchev’s son, Robert Kennedy’s message was: “If the situation continues much longer, the President is not sure that the military will not overthrow him and seize power. […] The situation might get out of control, with irreversible consequences. […] I don’t know how much longer we can hold out against our generals.
” Khrushchev would comment to his Foreign Affairs Minister Andri Gromyko, “We have to let Kennedy know that we want to help him… Yes, help. We now have a common cause, to save the world from those pushing us toward war.” Kennedy and Khrushchev would emerge from the crisis with a secret agreement in which Kennedy promised not to invade Cuba and to dismantle the American missiles in Turkey, in exchange for the withdrawal of Soviet missiles in Cuba.[xv]
Kennedy had thus deprived the Joint Chiefs a historic opportunity to engage with communist powers.
In avoiding disaster the two Heads of State were brought closer; Khrushchev sent Kennedy a private letter in which he expressed his hope that, in the eight years of Kennedy’s presidency,“[they] could create good conditions for peaceful coexistence on earth and this would be highly appreciated by the peoples of [their] countries as well as by all other peoples.”
This was the second letter of their back-channel correspondence, which would include a total of twenty-one. The first had been written by Khrushchev during the Berlin Crisis, September 29, 1961: wrapped in newspaper and discreetly handed to Kennedy’s Press Secretary Pierre Salinger by Georgi Bolshakov, a KGB agent loyal to Khrushchev and operating under the cover of a press editor. Kennedy responded positively to Khrushchev’s proposal to bypass their respective bureaucracies “for a personal, informal but meaningful exchange of views,” that “must be kept wholly private, not be hinted at in public statements, much less disclosed to the press.”[xvi]
Through such secret dialogues, the two men worked cooperatively to avoid catastrophe. “One of the ironic things about this entire situation,” Kennedy commented to journalist Norman Cousins, “is that Mr. Khrushchev and I occupy approximately the same political positions inside our governments. He would like to prevent a nuclear war but is under severe pressure from his hard-line crowd, which interprets every move in that direction as appeasement. I’ve got similar problems.”[xvii]
It should be remembered that Nikita Khrushchev was not only Stalin’s successor, but also the architect of the “de-Stalinization” taking place in the USSR. His denunciation of Stalin’s crimes to the Communist Party Congress in 1956 brought a breath of hope to the West when published by the New York Times, and his policy of détente had begun to loosen the grip of repression in the satellite countries.
Given their secret correspondence, there is little doubt that if Kennedy had lived and had been re-elected in 1964, he and Khrushchev would have normalized relations between their governments and put an end to the Cold War in the 1960s.
Kennedy’s friend Bill Walton remembers that on November 19th 1963, after signing the first treaty limiting nuclear testing, Kennedy told him that, “he intended to be the first U.S. President to visit the Kremlin, as soon as he and Khrushchev reached another arms control agreement.”[xviii]
Kennedy was killed three days later. His successor Johnson never responded to Khrushchev’s repeated pleas for exchange.
In the wake of his hopeful communication with Khrushchev, in 1963 Kennedy tried to establish dialogue with Fidel Castro.
The CIA, however, worked to sabotage his efforts. At the end of 1960, Deputy Director of Plans Richard Bissell had contacted Mafia bosses in order to place a $150,000 contract on Castro’s head. Richard Helms, who succeeded Bissel after the 1961 purge, pursued this arrangement without informing the new CIA Director appointed by Kennedy, John McCone.
The President, of course, was also kept in the dark, on the grounds, as Helms would admit before the Church Committee, that “Nobody wants to embarrass a president of the United States by discussing the assassination of foreign leaders in his presence.”[xix]
Simultaneously, the CIA-trained armed groups of Cuban exiles tried to poison relations between the U.S. and the Castro government. From October 1962, the most active of these groups, Alpha 66, staged raids along the Cuban coast, attacking both commercial and military Russian ships and leaving dozens dead, with the aim, according to Alpha 66 leader Antonio Veciana, “to publicly embarrass Kennedy and force him to move against Castro.”
Kennedy responded by ordering the Florida Coast Guard to intercept the raids and seize the boats. He further cut funds going to the Cuban Revolutionary Council, lowering the $2 million to less than one.[xx]
Meanwhile, Kennedy pursued his effort to restore diplomatic ties with Castro, while remaining discrete within a growing atmosphere of paranoid anti-communism. He made the most of his relations among journalists, a profession he had practiced before entering politics.
He asked Lisa Howard, a TV host who had interviewed Fidel Castro and was close to Che Guevara, to arrange a quiet meeting between Carlos Lechuga, the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations, and William Attwood, a former journalist who had also met Castro in 1959, before being promoted by Kennedy as UN diplomat. The first informal meeting took place at Howard’s residence on September 23, 1963, and led to the project of a meeting between Castro and Attwood in Cuba, which would be aborted by the death of Kennedy.[xxi]
Kennedy also called upon French journalist Jean Daniel. Learning that Daniel planned to go to Cuba to interview Castro, Kennedy invited him to the White House October 24th: officially to give him an interview, unofficially to ask him to be his messenger to Castro. In his message, Kennedy expressed not only his desire for reconciliation, but furthermore his empathy for the people of Cuba: “I believe that there is no country in the world, […] where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. […]
I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins.”
Castro received enthusiastically Kennedy’s message of sympathy, commenting to Daniel: “He still has the possibility of becoming, in the eyes of history, the greatest president of the United States, the leader who may at last understand that there can be coexistence between capitalists and socialists, even in the Americas.”
Daniel was having lunch with Castro when they were interrupted with news of the assassination.
“Everything is changed,” commented Castro, dejectedly. “You watch and see, I know them, they will try to put the blame on us for this thing.” Like clockwork, the radio would soon announce that the culprit was a “pro-Castro Marxist.”[xxiii]
In light of the mounting hostility faced by Kennedy from the Military-Intelligence leadership, Kennedy historians such as Talbot, Douglass and Lane agree that the Kennedy assassination was an undercover coup orchestrated and executed by CIA, with support from military generals and the active cooperation of Cuban exiles.
For his commitment to restraint and disarmament and for his determination to further diplomacy and dialogue with Khrushchev and Castro, Kennedy was perceived by hawkish cold warriors not only as a weak link in the chain of command, but also as a traitor in collusion with the enemy. After all, coups d’états and political assassinations of elected presidents were the CIA’s specialty.
On top of Kennedy’s moves toward peace with Khrushchev and Castro, there was his decision to withdraw from Vietnam. Kennedy had always resisted escalating the war, agreeing only to maintain 18,000 “military advisors” there. And in late 1963, he decided to evacuate all of them.
Worried that his decision would be exploited by his enemies in the 1964 campaign, he wanted to keep quiet about it until his second term. “The first thing I do when I’m re-elected,” he confided to his aide Tip O’Neill, “I’m going to get the Americans out of Vietnam. […] that is my number one priority—get out of Southeast Asia.”[xxiv]
From the 11th of November, he paved the way for the withdrawal by directive NSAM-263, which included removing “1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of the 1963,” and “by the end of 1965 […] the bulk of U.S. personnel.”[xxv]
Just before flying to Dallas, November 21, he read a report on the latest casualties, and commented to his Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff: “After I come back from Texas, that’s going to change. There’s no reason for us to lose another man over there. Vietnam is not worth another American life.”[xxvi]
The CIA practiced in Vietnam the same sabotage of presidential politics as in Cuba, deliberately trying to destabilize the country.
Richard Starnes, Washington Daily News correspondent in Saigon, wrote on October 2, 1963:
“The story of the Central Intelligence Agency’s role in South Vietnam is a dismal chronicle of bureaucratic arrogance, obstinate disregard of orders, and unrestrained thirst for power. […]
They represent a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.” Arthur Krock quoted Starnes’ investigation the next day in his daily column in the New York Times, addressing “The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam.”
He quoted a “very high official” comparing the CIA’s growth to “a malignancy” which “he was not sure even the White House could control any longer.” “If the United States ever experiences a ‘Seven Days in May’, it will come from the CIA.”[xxvii]
On October 30, 1963, North Vietnamese Catholic president Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated with his brother and sister-in-law by a military junta who took power with full support of the CIA.
Senator George Smathers remembers Kennedy’s reaction when hearing about Diem’s overthrow and death: “I’ve got to do something about those bastards… they should be stripped of their exorbitant power.” He was talking, of course, about the CIA.[xxix]
Instead, he was himself deprived of his life three weeks later. According to Fletcher Prouty, who served as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs under Kennedy, the President’s decision to withdraw all military personnel from Vietnam by the end of 1965 “may well have been the ultimate pressure point that created the climate in which the decision was reached to do away with the President.”[xxx]
2. Johnson the Gambler
Authors indicting the CIA make their case quite convincing. However, a careful and critical examination of their evidence reveals some weaknesses.
First, hardly any of them can name a culprit. One exception is Brazilian journalist Claudia Furiati, who in her 1994 book ZR Rifle: The Plot to Kill Kennedy and Castro, pinpointed Richard Helms as the ultimate mastermind of Kennedy’s assassination. But the accusation merely rests on Helms’s position as Deputy Director of Plans and his known obsession to assassinate Castro.
Secondly, the “CIA-did-it” thesis rests on the assumption of an intimate relationship between the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s leadership, who are supposed to have wanted Kennedy dead for the same reasons, and conspired together. But the CIA is not a part of the Pentagon, and neither Douglass nor Talbot do justice to the complexity of the relationship between the Joint Chiefs and the CIA, which was not directed by military men (among its seven founding directors, only one was not a banker or lawyer on Wall Street).
Thirdly, Douglass and Talbot overplay Oswald’s connection to the CIA, underplay his connection to the FBI, and tend to confuse the two by ignoring the deep-seated rivalry between FBI and CIA. There is evidence, as we shall see, of Oswald working for the CIA from 1959 to 1962, but for 1963, the evidence is much more solid that Oswald was actually hired and controlled by the FBI. It even comes with the proof that the Warren Commission suppressed it.
In a closed-door session on January 27, 1964, whose “top secret” transcript was declassified after a legal battle (by Harold Weisberg, who published in his Whitewash IV, 1974), the commissioners discussed evidence received by General Counsel J. Lee Rankin that “Oswald was an undercover agent for the FBI, […] employed by the F.B.I. at $200 per month from September of 1962 up to the time of the assassination.” Rankin called that information “a dirty rumor that is very bad for the Commission,” and said “it must be wiped out insofar as it is possible to do so by this Commission.”[xxxi]
The fourth weakness of the Douglass-Talbot-Lane thesis is directly related to the third: it is their underestimation of Johnson’s role. Suspicions of Johnson’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination have been voiced from the start, especially among Texans, and many books have argued the case quite convincingly. It has long been known, moreover, that Nixon privately held Johnson responsible. According to his former aide Roger Stone, Nixon never flatly said so, but he would say things like: “Lyndon and I both wanted to be President, the difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.”[xxxii]
Johnson’s behavior before, during and after the killing do not justify the benefit of the doubt that Douglass and Talbot grant him.
Before: Johnson has been named by several insiders, including his friend John Connally sitting in front of JFK and wounded on that fateful day, as the main instigator of Kennedy’s trip to Dallas.[xxxiii]
During: Johnson has been seen (and maybe photographed, if Nelson’s analysis of the “Altgens photo” is correct) ducking under his seat incomprehensively when entering Dealey Plaza.[xxxiv]
After: within hours of the killing, Johnson placed all the weight of his newly acquired authority to obstruct the quest for the truth. He had his closest assistant Cliff Carter call Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr, and Police Chief Jesse Curry, to order them to charge Oswald and close the investigation.[xxxv]
He even called personally Dallas Hospital on November 24th to order the surgeon, in the midst of trying to save Oswald’s life, to rather retrieve from him “a death-bed confession.”[xxxvi]
In his determination to keep the lid on the truth, Johnson received the full support of FBI director Edgar Hoover, who circulated a memo asserting his conviction that Oswald had acted alone on the afternoon of November 22, and leaked his findings to the press in the beginning of December, before the Warren Commission could even get to work. No one could contradict Hoover.
Johnson’s speedy reversal of Kennedy’s Vietnam policy does not lend credence to his innocence or lack of foreknowledge of the Dallas coup.
On November 24, barely installed in the Oval Office, he told Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge (whom Kennedy had summoned in Washington with the intention of firing him):
“I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the President who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.”[xxxviii]
On November 26, the day after Kennedy’s funeral, Johnson buried Kennedy’s NSAM-263 directive and replaced it with another, NSAM-273, which requires the military to develop a plan “for the United States to begin carrying the war north,” including “different levels of possible increased activity,” and “military operations up to a line up to 50 kilometers inside Laos”—which violated the 1962 Geneva Accords on the neutrality of Laos.[xxxix]
In January 1964, another memo signed by General Maxwell Taylor made clear “the resolve of the President to ensure victory over the externally directed and supported communist insurgency in South Vietnam […]. To do this, we must prepare for whatever level of activity may be required.”
It is no longer a question of stopping the war, but rather to win at any cost. Robert McNamara, continuing as Secretary of Defense, acceded to Johnson’s agenda, recommending the mobilization of 50,000 soldiers and a program of “graduated overt military pressure” against North Vietnam, a policy which Johnson rubberstamped in March 1964 by memorandum NSAM-288.[xl] The only missing thing was a suitable pretext: it would be the “Gulf of Tonkin incident” of the 2nd and 4th of August 1964, which we now know never happened.
Johnson could then announce on national television a “retaliatory” bombing of the North Vietnamese navy, and pass through Congress on August 7, 1964 the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which gave him full powers to send up to 500,000 soldiers into North Vietnam. With that, Johnson plunged the Vietnamese people into a decade of unspeakable suffering, dropping 643,000 tons of bombs as part of Operation Rolling Thunder, and taking the lives of more than a million civilians.
The Vietnam War was not the only betrayal of Kennedy’s foreign policy by his former Vice President. A similar reversal occurred in the Dominican Republic: Kennedy had supported President Juan Bosch, elected democratically in 1962, and when he was overthrown by a military junta in September 1963, he suspended diplomatic relations and economic aid, which put the leaders of the coup in difficulty.
But when in 1965 Bosch supporters organized a revolt against the junta, Johnson ordered an invasion of the Dominican Republic to prevent an alleged “communist” takeover. “Johnson thus ended up using U.S. military power against much the same forces described by Kennedy 18 months earlier as democratic and progressive,” writes author Donald Gibson. Brazil is another case in point: despite his failure to adopt policies favored by the International Monetary Fund, and his reforms to limit the profits of foreign mining concession, President João Goulard had the support of Kennedy.
But on April 1, 1964, he was ousted by a military coup orchestrated by the CIA under the code-name Operation Brother Sam. The next day President Johnson congratulated the new government. And there was also Indonesia: President Kennedy had successfully repaired the U.S. relationship with President Sukarno, severely damaged by the CIA-backed 1958 coup attempt against his government. Kennedy had welcomed Sukarno to the White House in 1961, and was planning to return the visit.
Sukarno repeated his invitation in November 1963, saying he would give the U.S. President “the grandest reception anyone ever received here.” Within weeks of taking office, Johnson changed the policy toward Indonesia by refusing to sign a directive to continue economic aid. With support from the CIA, the country was soon torn by a bloody civil war ending in the ouster of Sukarno.[xli]
Johnson has a history of doing away with people standing in the middle of his road to power. In 1952, his personal hit man Mac Wallace was convicted for the murder of John Kinser, Johnson’s sister’s boyfriend, who was probably trying to blackmail Johnson about his 1948 rigged election.
Through corruption and threat, Johnson managed to keep Wallace away from prison with a five-year suspended sentence. In 1962, Wallace is suspected to have murdered Henry Marshall, a Department of Agriculture inspector who was investigating a corruption scandal that would have led directly to Johnson.[xlii]
According Robert Caro, author of a four-volume biography of Johnson, Johnson was a man thirsting “for power in its most naked form, for power not to improve the lives of others, but to manipulate and dominate them, to bend them to his will […], a hunger so fierce and consuming that no consideration of morality or ethics, no cost to himself—or to anyone else—could stand before it.”[xliii]
Why did John Kennedy choose Lyndon Johnson as his running mate, to all his friends’ surprise and to his brother Robert’s dismay? “You know, we had never considered Lyndon,” he apologized one day to his assistant Hyman Raskin, “but I was left with no choice … those bastards were trying to frame me.
They threatened me with problems and I don’t need more problems.” Kennedy never said more about the blackmail he had been submitted to. To a question on that subject by Pierre Salinger, he replied: “The whole story will never be known. And it’s just as well that it won’t be.” Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy’s personal secretary for twelve years has her own idea on the matter: “Jack knew that Hoover and LBJ would just fill the air with womanizing.”
Edgar Hoover, nicknamed Puppetmaster by his biographer Richard Hack, was a friend and neighbor of Johnson for 19 years, and a well-seasoned expert in blackmail: his resources drawn from cabinets of incriminating secrets allowed him to remain at the head of the FBI for 48 years, spanning nine presidents from 1924 until his death at age 72.[xlv] Weeks after John Kennedy’s election, for example, he kindly informed his supervisor Attorney General Robert Kennedy that he had stumbled across evidence that the new President’s father “had been visited by many gangsters” before the election.[xlvi]
Kennedy would excuse his choice of Johnson, as his friend Kenneth O’Donnell remembers, by saying: “I’m forty-three years old, […] I’m not going to die in office. So the vice-presidency doesn’t mean anything.”[xlvii] Johnson of course saw things differently: to Clare Boothe Luce, who asked him why he had accepted a post clearly less strategic than Majority Leader in the Senate which he held prior to his nomination, he replied: “One out of every four presidents has died in office.
I’m a gamblin’ man, darlin’, and this is the only chance I got.”[xlviii] Therefore, investigators such as Phillip Nelson, James Tague or Roger Stone, see Johnson as the “mastermind” of JFK’s Assassination. Nelson even argues that when he was taking over the vice-presidency by blackmail, Johnson was already planning to take over the presidency by assassination.
Three years after his election, having repeatedly borne hostility from parts of his administration and threats to his life, Kennedy’s greatest fear was to see Johnson—that “riverboat gambler” as he called him[xlix]—take his seat. In her Historic Conversations recorded in 1964 but only released in 2011, his wife Jackie quoted him: “Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, ‘Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president’.”[l]
Likewise, Robert Kennedy remembered his brother complaining about Johnson’s incompetence at running the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity (against racial discrimination) that he had entrusted him, adding: “Can you think of anything more deplorable than him trying to run the United States?
That’s why he can’t ever be president.”[li] John Kennedy was therefore determined to change the vice-presidential name on the ticket for his reelection campaign in 1964. A few days before his fatal trip to Dallas, again confiding in his secretary Evelyn Lincoln, he justified that decision by his desire to work toward “making government service an honorable career.”[lii]
Indeed, Johnson had been implicated in three corruption scandals dating back to his tenure as a Texan senator, between 1949 and 1960, not to mention his rigged 1948 election to the Senate, well documented by Johnson’s biographer Robert Caro. In October 1963, one of Johnson’s close Texan associates, Navy Secretary Fred Korth, was forced to resign after the Justice Department implicated him in a fraud involving the Texan company General Dynamics in a $7 billion contract for the construction of TFX military aircrafts.
Johnson’s personal secretary, Bobby Baker, was charged in the same case, and one of Baker’s associates, Don Reynolds, was testifying against him on November 22 before the Senate Rules Committee; he attested to having seen Baker with a suitcase containing $100,000 in kickbacks intended for Johnson, and further claimed to have been offered bribes for his silence.[liii] Baker’s indictment took the headlines of the weekly magazine Life, just days before November 22: “The Bombshell Bobby Baker: […]
Scandal grows and grows in Washington.”[liv] A more devastating article was scheduled for the next issue, as James Wagenvoord would reveal as the then Chief Assistant to the Publishing Projects Director of Life: “It was going to blow Johnson right out of the water. We had him. He was done […] Johnson would have been finished and off the 1964 ticket, and would have probably been facing prison time.”[lv]
Instead of the planned article, however, Life published 31 images of the Zapruder film, but in a modified order that strategically presented the movement of Kennedy’s head as a validation of what would be the official story: that the shooting came from behind.
Kennedy’s death propelled Johnson to the head of the state and, in the atmosphere of national crisis thus created, enabled him to bully both Justice and the press while achieving his life’s ambition. Many Americans immediately suspected Johnson’s involvement in the assassination, especially in Texas where his methods and character were better known. But the population was somehow reassured by the fact that the new leader of the White House kept intact his predecessor’s government. Besides, no relatives of the dead president publicly challenged the official story.
Who could imagine that all those ministers and advisers, some close friends of Kennedy, could have betrayed their hero? They themselves, in fact, could not believe the culpability of Johnson, and were convinced to stand united under the auspices of national interest: “I need you now more than President Kennedy needed you,” Johnson repeated to each of them.[lvi] After all, Edgar Hoover himself assured the nation that Oswald had acted on his own initiative. The case was closed. It was necessary to ensure the continuity of government, at least until the end of the presidential term, a year later.
Several people directly implicated Johnson in the Dallas crime, starting with Jack Ruby, Oswald’s assassin, who spoke in slightly veiled terms in a filmed press conference from his prison cell in March 1965: “if [Adlai Stevenson] was Vice-President there would never have been an assassination of our beloved President Kennedy.”[lvii] Ruby was less ambiguous in a letter of sixteen pages that he managed to get out of jail, shortly before being struck down with cancer in 1967.[lviii]
Johnson’s mistress of twenty years, Madeleine Brown, wrote about Johnson’s foreknowledge of the assassination in her book Texas in the Morning (1997), and would repeat to anyone who cared to listen what Johnson had told her November 21, 1963:
“Tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again; that’s no threat, that’s a promise.”[lix]
Included among the many Texans convinced of Johnson’s guilt is also Billie Sol Estes, a Texas businessman who owed his fortune to Johnson and had funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars back to Johnson in the 50s, and who in 1984 tried in vain to negotiate leniency from the Department of Justice in exchange for information on five other killings ordered by Johnson, including Johnson’s own sister Josefa.[lx]
One of the most convincing cases against Johnson has been made by Barr McClellan, in his book Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK (2003). As a lawyer hired by Johnson’s attorney Edward Clark, McClellan has gained first-hand knowledge of financial retribution of Johnson’s accomplices. In 1998, researcher Walt Brown was able to prove that the only unidentified fingerprint found on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository (Warren Commission print 29) belonged to Mac Wallace, known as Johnson’s personal hit man.[lxi]
And then there is the KGB, who “was in possession of data purporting to indicate President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy,” according to a FBI memo dated December 1, 1966, entitled “Reaction of Soviet and Communist Party Officials to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy”, unearthed by the JFK Assassination Records Review Board in 1996.[lxii]
Even if Johnson was not the mastermind behind the assassination plot, it is unthinkable that the conspirators acted without prior assurance of his protection.
But all things considered, I believe there is enough evidence that Johnson personally mobilized his Texan network of rogue politicians and executives in preparations for the ambush in his home State. After all, Kennedy was assassinated in Texas to put a Texan in power, and we still see Texas’s enduring sense of foreignness vis-à-vis Washington and the East Coast elite, a century after the Civil War. Consideration must be given to the fact that the Texas Book Depository where Oswald got a job in October 1963 belonged to David Harold Byrd, an obliged business friend of Johnson.
Byrd was the co-founder of Ling Temco Vought (LTV), which had become one the largest government contractors thanks to Senator Lyndon Johnson. After Johnson’s hit man Mac Wallace had been convicted for murder and let go with a five-year suspended sentence, Byrd had hired him as a Purchasing Manager of LTV. As said before, Wallace left his fingerprint in the sniper’s nest discovered on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository (from where a few missed shots were fired just prior to the fatal shots from the grassy knoll).[lxiii]
3. Assassination under false flag
Is it possible to reconcile the two most convincing theories on the JFK assassination? After reading Douglass’s book three years ago, I found it totally convincing. Then I discovered Nelson’s indictment of Johnson, and ever since, I have struggled to complement and reconcile the two theories. I figured that, perhaps, Douglass was focusing on the “systemic” aspect of the evil forces that killed Kennedy, while Nelson uncovered a key “personal” factor incarnated in Johnson.
While Douglass considers focusing on Johnson a distraction, I felt it added a profound dimension to his own view of the evil system which killed Kennedy, by highlighting the psychopathic mentality which moves it. On many key points, however, Douglass and Nelson’s viewpoints are irreconcilable; one of them must be wrong at least on his assessment of Johnson’s role.
I was tempted for a time to trust Douglass and believe “Johnson-bashers” like Nelson to be motivated by some sort of scapegoating, intended to shift the blame away from the system—not unlike the Oswald theory. How convenient to blame a scapegoat! I also recognized that many of Johnson’s accusers, such as Jack Ruby, Madeleine Brown, and Billie Sol Estes, were people of dubious morality.
After reading more than twenty JFK books scanning all viewpoints, and spending countless hours on JFK websites, I now hold the opposite view: I am convinced that Douglass, Talbot, Lane, and others of the same school, have ignored a crucial part of the puzzle, while “Johnson haters” (as Talbot calls them) may equally neglect crucial factors.
Although the truth Douglass unveils with great talent is of tremendous significance, it is only part of the truth: the Johnson part of the story is equally important, because there is a deep lesson to learn from the realization that U.S. democracy can bring to power such a narcissistic and terribly destructive person as LBJ. In order to understand how the two approaches can be reconciled, we need to make sense of the struggle between Johnson and the CIA after the assassination. For that, let us first go back to the evidence implicating the CIA in the setting up of the patsy Oswald.
In the afternoon of November 22, a United Press International dispatch revealed that the alleged offender, Lee Harvey Oswald, had Marxist convictions and connections with the pro-Soviet regime in Cuba: “The assassin of President Kennedy is an admitted Marxist who spent three years in Russia trying to renounce his U.S. citizenship.” “After changing his mind and returning to the United States last year, Oswald became a sympathizer of the Cuban prime Minister, Fidel Castro.”[lxiv]
To strengthen the suspicion, much was made of a statement by Castro during the summer of 1963, in relation to recent assassination attempts against his life: “U.S. leaders should think that if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe.” The militant groups of anti-Castro Cuban exiles were quick to promote the “Castro” conspiracy theory and call for vengeance. Immediately after the assassination, the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), better known as the Cuban Student Directorate, released a special edition of their newspaper: the front page showing photos of Oswald and Castro under the heading, “Presumed Assassins.”
This was the most cynical false flag propaganda; the DRE, funded by the CIA to the tune of 25,000 dollars per month, had been, according to a report by the HSCA, “of all the anti-Castro groups, one of the most bitter toward President Kennedy.”[lxv]
Oswald, the patsy, had been groomed in advance with a “legend” meant to support the accusation that he was acting on behalf of Castro or the Soviets when shooting the President. After joining the Marine Corps, it is believed that Oswald was recruited by the CIA in 1958, then trained at the military base of Atsugi in Japan, an outpost of the CIA. Back in the United States, he subscribed to the journal of the Communist Party and in 1959 went to the USSR with a 60-day visa.
Upon his arrival in Moscow, he went to the U.S. Embassy to solemnly declare renouncing his American nationality: “My allegiance is to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” He further expressed his intention to hand over to the Soviets any information known to him as a specialist in radar operations in the Marines. He spent two and a half years in the USSR, where he married Marina Prusakova.
According to Victor Marchetti (a CIA agent since 1955 and assistant to Richard Helms for three years before his resignation in 1969), the CIA launched in 1959 a program of false defectors comprising “three dozen, maybe forty, young men who were made to appear disenchanted, poor American youths who had become turned off and wanted to see what communism was all about.” Oswald was one of those false defectors sent to the USSR.[lxvi]
In June 1962, Oswald came back to the U.S. without any harassment, and settled in Dallas, to be chaperoned by George de Mohrenschildt — a geologist and consultant for Texan oilmen, perhaps occasionally rendering his services to the CIA in exchange for foreign contacts. From June 1963, Oswald was often seen—and twice filmed—handing out leaflets for the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He even attracted enough attention to be interviewed by a local television crew, expressing to them his Marxist convictions.[lxvii]
In October 1963, he was offered a job in the School Book Depository, the building where he’ll be on November 22 at 12:30. Oswald had probably been given the mission to infiltrate pro-Castro groups. But unbeknownst to him, he was being prepared for his role as a scapegoat.
Placed in memorable situations pre-fit to construct the identity of a political enemy, Oswald was set up to be pinned as a conspirator. His “legend” as the pro-Soviet defector and Castro-friendly activist that he believes to be his undercover protection, would actually be his assassin back-story. It was a narrative never intended to deceive the communist circles he had infiltrated, but rather the American public.
With a Machiavellian cynicism that knows no limit, it seems that the conspirators for the Dallas coup hoped to blame Castro for Kennedy’s assassination while Kennedy was in fact working behind their back toward a rapprochement with Castro.
Such a false flag scheme fits with the culture of the U.S. National Security complex, comprising the Pentagon and the CIA.
The origin of that culture goes back to the beginning of the Cold War, as illustrated by the NSC-68 report quoted above. On July 20th, 1961, at a meeting with his National Security Council, Kennedy had been presented with a plan for a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union “in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.” After raising questions about the expected casualties, Kennedy got up and walked right out of the meeting, directing at his Secretary of State Dean Rusk, “and we call ourselves the ‘human race’!”[lxviii]
Finally, Kennedy was assassinated precisely in late 1963: his death not only removed the main obstacle to the generals’ plan for invading Cuba (as a first step to WWIII), but, by being blamed on Castro, it provided the very “heightened tension” that they needed.
The plan for an invasion of Cuba was eventually thwarted by Lyndon Johnson, who from the very start chose to silence the Castro conspiracy theory and to impose instead the theory of the deluded solitary gunman. In dealing with his own federal administration and with Dallas authorities, Johnson alluded to a possible Soviet plot but warned about the catastrophic consequences of admitting it publicly.
On the very afternoon of November 22, he invoked the threat of national destabilization to coerce all competent authorities in Texas to cease the investigation and expedite confirmation that Oswald had acted alone. Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade said that Cliff Carter called him three times that afternoon, from Air Force One and then from Washington, to say “that President Johnson felt any word of a conspiracy—some plot by foreign nations—to kill President Kennedy would shake our nation to its foundations. […] I was just to charge Oswald with plain murder and go for the death penalty.”[lxix]
Johnson continued to raise the specter of nuclear war to silence the “rumors” of a communist conspiracy: “40 million American lives hung in the balance,” he kept repeating.[lxx]
Johnson used the same argument to control the members of the Warren Commission: “We’ve got to be taking this out of the arena where they’re testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that and check us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour,” he explained to senator Richard Russell in a telephone conversation on November 29, to persuade him to join the Commission.[lxxi]
An internal memo dated February 17, 1964 refers to the first meeting of the Warren Commission on January 20, 1964, during which Chief Justice Earl Warren, after being briefed by the CIA and the President, explained to all Commission members that their mission was to destroy all the “rumors” that, “if not quenched, could conceivably lead the country to war which would cost forty million lives.” “No one could refuse to do something which might help prevent such a possibility,” Warren insisted, parroting Johnson’s leitmotiv.[lxxii]
What happened? Researchers like Douglass or Talbot believe that Johnson was basically not involved in the assassination plan (Douglass conceded that he might have had foreknowledge), but chose to cover it up for some reason; he could not expose the plotters for fear of plunging the country in a fatal crisis, but at least he neutralized the false flag part of the plan, and kept Kennedy’s promise not to invade Cuba.
That interpretation strikes me as highly unlikely. It considers neither the obvious motive Johnson had to see Kennedy dead, nor the opportunity he had to plan the ambush in Texas. It ignores his psychological profile as a ruthless murderer of anyone standing on his way to the White House. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that Johnson was up to his neck into the conspiracy, with accomplices in the Texas oil business and in the underworld.
A more plausible interpretation of the historical data is that the decision to cancel Plan A was motivated by problems that had occurred in the execution of the assassination: not only the fact that Oswald was able to claim his innocence before the cameras (“I didn’t shoot anybody,” “I’m just a patsy”), before being silenced in a professional manner in front of the cameras, but also the fact that the team that fired the first shots from the School Book Depository missed the target, forcing the support team to fire the fatal shots from the “grassy knoll”.
There were now too many shots for one man, and the fatal ones came from opposite Oswald. That unfortunate situation required such an aggressive cover-up (particularly in dealing with the body and the limousine) that public opinion might have objected if the stake had been a war, possibly a world war.
Quite astutely, Johnson instead played on the fear of war to justify implicitly the cover-up; ultimately, the perceived threat of nuclear war has morally forced every American citizen to avoid asking the critical questions: if the government is hiding something, it must be in the interest of national security, people surmised. Johnson would continue this game until his death: in September 1969, he admitted during a CBS interview that he has “not completely discounted” the possibility that “there might have been international connections” in Kennedy’s assassination.[lxxiii]
Yet the scenario of the plotters switching from Plan A to Plan B under Johnson’s leadership due to unexpected blunders is still unsatisfactory. It is inconsistent with the way Johnson dealt with the CIA. With the cooperation of Hoover, Johnson threatened to expose the CIA’s false flag scheme if they insisted to pursue it.
There were, indeed, vulnerabilities in the CIA’s plot, and Hoover knew about them. The CIA had been overzealous in its staging of Oswald as a Cuban-Soviet agent; it had manufactured evidence that Oswald had stayed in Mexico City between September 27 and October 2, 1963, to visit the Soviet Embassy (twice) and Cuban Embassy (three times), to which he is also supposed to have placed calls (seven to the first, three to the second). The object of his calls and visits was to obtain a Cuban and a Russian visa, in order to flee to Moscow via Havana after having killed Kennedy.
The CIA claimed to have photographs of Oswald entering the Soviet Embassy, and a recording of his telephone conversation with an employee at that embassy. It could have worked if Hoover and Johnson had gone along and not decided otherwise. But Hoover made sure that seven FBI agents who had interviewed Oswald on the 22nd and 23rd of November, listened to the CIA’s recording and agreed that the voice “was NOT Lee Harvey Oswald”. Hoover had it written down in a memo and signed it.
In a recently declassified recorded telephone conversation with Johnson, Hoover said that the photo was also no match: “that picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there.” He added, leaving his sentence unfinished: “Now if we can identify this man who was at the Soviet embassy in Mexico City…”
That was an implicit direct threat to the CIA, because an investigation on that matter would inevitably lead to the Agency: in 1977, the House Select Committee on Assassination, which concluded that “John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy,” and that “the Central Intelligence Agency was deficient in its collection and sharing of information,” also established that Oswald’s false visit to Mexico City was staged by the CIA, and suspected David Atlee Phillips, who worked under the direction of Richard Helms as Chief of Covert Action of the Northern Hemisphere, headquartered in Mexico.[lxxiv]
So immediately after the Dallas coup, we see Johnson, a master player in Machiavellian deep politics, playing a threefold game: to the public, he expressed his absolute confidence in the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald was a diluted lone gunman. To his administration and Texas authorities, he hinted at a possible Communist plot and urged them not to investigate for fear of triggering World War III. But in his conversation with Hoover, he shows knowledge that the Communist plot is phony and used that knowledge to blackmail the CIA. How are we to make sense of the arm-twisting game between Johnson and the CIA? We are led to a third explanation: Johnson (and maybe Hoover) conspired together with the CIA to assassinate Kennedy, but then double-crossed the CIA.
A plot of the magnitude of the Dallas coup necessarily involves several players with differing agendas, holding each other hostage: by killing Kennedy, the CIA wanted to eliminate an obstacle to its imperialistic black warfare, while Johnson simply wanted to eliminate the only remaining obstacle to his presidential ambition. Johnson may have outsmarted the CIA and frustrated them of their false flag, with the help of Hoover. (As a compensation for depriving the Military-Intelligence complex of a Cuban war, he offered them the Vietnam War, much farther away and therefore less risky politically.)
A fourth hypothesis needs to be mentioned, even though it may seem gratuitous. It has been suggested by Gary Wean, a detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department, in his book There’s a Fish in the Courthouse (1987). Relying on a well-informed source in Dallas (later identified as Texan Republican Senator John Tower), Wean raises the possibility that the Dallas shooting had originally been planned by the CIA as a fake failed assassination, meant to spare Kennedy’s life but force him to retaliate against Castro, but that the operation had been hijacked by another faction who wanted Kennedy dead; this other faction could be Johnson and Hoover.
Real snipers would have been added to the CIA’s staged assassination. Veteran JFK researcher Dick Russel has reached the same conclusion is his book The Man Who Knew Too Much (1992), after interviewing Cuban exiles who believe they had been used. This likely double-cross scenario is comparable to a drill exercise being diverted into a real attack.[lxxv]
Whatever the case may be, a complex blackmail involving Johnson, Hoover and the CIA forms the background of November 22 and its aftermath. Douglass, Talbot and most authors defending the “CIA did it” thesis ignore not only the evidence against Johnson, but also the FBI’s obscure role and its deep-seated rivalry with the CIA. Contrary to Oswald’s connection to the FBI, which the Warren Commission knew but covered up, Oswald’s connection to the CIA is much less documented.
For example, the common belief that Oswald was “shepherded by intelligence asset George de Mohrenschildt, at the instigation of Dallas CIA agent J. Walton Moore” seems specious, since it rests on a dubious interview of De Mohrenschiltd by journalist Edward Epstein hours before his death ; besides, Moore was known as FBI rather than CIA.
From April to September 1963, while exhibiting himself as a Marxist in New Orleans, Oswald was in close contact with Guy Banister, a former FBI agent turned private detective. Banister’s address would later be found stamped on one of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee leaflets distributed by Oswald. Even the phony Mexico City appearances of Oswald in the Soviet and Cuban embassies could very well have been fabricated by the FBI to mislead the CIA and create a trail leading from Oswald to the Agency.
David Atlee Phillips has always denied his participation to the fraud, which might have been orchestrated, in his opinion, by “some CIA guy that I never saw [who] did something that I never heard of.” No investigator, to my knowledge, has paid attention to the fact that Thomas Mann, a close friend of Johnson (in 1964, Johnson would make him his top policymaker on Latin America, in the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs) was then Ambassador to Mexico.
One reason to believe that the FBI was pulling the ropes is the fact that on October 9, 1963, one day before the CIA informed the FBI that Oswald had just contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, a FBI officer named Marvin Gheesling had just disconnected Oswald from a federal alarm system, thus making sure that the patsy would be left unwatched in Dallas on the President’s visit.
4. Israel and the Kennedy assassination
Whatever the case may be, the power struggle between Johnson-Hoover and CIA-Pentagon in the aftermath of November 22, reveal a plot that is more complex than is usually admitted, involving groups and people with partly overlapping and partly conflicting agendas, and holding each other hostages after the fact. We must now consider the possibility that there was a third group involved.
As a matter of fact, there are not two, but three kinds of books on the JFK assassination. But the third kind has only one specimen, a book which is a category by itself:
Michael Collins Piper’s Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy (1993). Warned against the book’s bad reputation among most JFK researchers, I have refrained from reading it until I realized that the Douglass-Talbot school not only ignores all evidence against Johnson, but ignores also a crucial aspect of President Kennedy’s struggle to establish a lasting peace in a world free of nuclear weapons.
This struggle is told in books like Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (1991). In his epic and deeply moving narrative of Kennedy’s effort to ban nuclear weapons, James Douglass speaks not a word of Israel’s Dimona project, which makes that very topic appear as the real “Unspeakable”. But most anti-Johnson books rarely broach on the subject either.
As I have shown in a previous article,[lxxvi] Kennedy’s death was welcomed with relief in Tel-Aviv, for it meant the end of Kennedy’s pressure on Israel to comply with UN Resolution 194 for the Palestinians’ right of return, and to renounce building its own nuclear arsenal. No president, in fact, ever attempted seriously to stop Israel from building weapons of mass destruction since Kennedy.
Consider the fact that, after firing Allen Dulles who had tricked him into the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy had appointed as director of the CIA, John McCone, who had been Eisenhower’s chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). McCone is responsible for having leaked the story of Israel’s lies regarding the true military nature of its Dimona project, to reporter John Finney of the New York Times, who published it on December 19, 1960, weeks before Kennedy was to take office.
As Alan Hart writes, “there can be no doubt that Kennedy’s determination to stop Israel developing its own nuclear bomb was the prime factor in his decision to appoint McCone.” In 1965, McCone resigned after having failed to get Johnson interested in that matter.
In view of the tremendous advantages that Israel has reaped from John Kennedy’s assassination, should we not investigate Israel?
May we not, in fact, suspect that, as in the case in the so-called 9/11 Truth movement, the exclusive focus by the JFK research community on the U.S. government’s guilt in November 22, may cover, willingly or not, the responsibility of a foreign power; not the foreign power designated by the false flag scheme, of course—Communism, Islamism in the case of 9/11—, but Israel. May we not ask, as I have done for 9/11: “Is the JFK assassination an Inside Job or a Mossad Job?”[lxxvii]
At the very least, we are entitled to say, as did Illinois Representative Paul Findley, in The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs of March 1992: “It is interesting to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned.”
That was before Michael Collins Piper’s book, Final Judgment (now in its sixth edition).
Piper’s prosecution of Israel rests in part on the mysterious personality of James Jesus Angleton. Angleton directed the CounterIntelligence Division of the CIA since his nomination by Allen Dulles in 1954 until his dismissal by William Colby in 1974. Angleton was also heading the “Israel Office” in Langley, and in that respect rendered great services to Israel.
His biographer Tom Mangold (Cold Warrior, 1991) states:
“Angleton’s closest professional friends overseas […] came from the Mossad and […] he was held in immense esteem by his Israeli colleagues and by the state of Israel, which was to award him profound honors after his death.”[lxxix]
It is believed that Angleton played a decisive role in the quick and overwhelming victory of Israel in its 1967 war of expansion by providing Mossad chief Meir Amit (who visited the CIA a week before the Israeli attack) with photos taken from satellites and spy planes, which enabled Israel to precisely locate the Egyptian armaments and destroy them within six days.[lxxx]
Having survived the 1961 purge like Helms, Angleton played an important role in the cover-up after Kennedy’s assassination, as the CIA liaison officer to the Warren Commission investigators. Angleton was also actively spreading disinformation at the time of the HSCA: he is the main source of Edward Jay Epstein’s book Legend: the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (1978), which defends the theory that Oswald was a KGB agent with CIA connections.
De Mohrenschilldt, who in his last months complained that “the Jews” and “the Jewish mafia” were out to get him, according to the Sherriff’s report,[lxxxi] was found dead hours after having been interviewed by Epstein on March 29, 1977—an interview in which he supposedly recognizes having been asked by the CIA to handle Oswald, in flagrant contradiction with his own manuscript account of his relationship to Oswald[lxxxii].
The case against Israel also stands on Jack Ruby, the man who killed the man who killed (allegedly) Kennedy, after having introduced himself in the Dallas Police station as a translator for Israeli reporters. As Piper makes clear, the common wisdom that connects Ruby to the “Mafia” is misleading: rather, Jacob Leon Rubenstein, as his real name was, the son of Jewish Polish immigrants, was closely associated to a Jewish international crime syndicate led by Meyer Suchowljansky, alias Lansky, a generous contributor to the Zionist cause who would flee to Israel in 1970.
This “Yiddish Connection” or “Kosher Nostra,” as it is sometimes referred to, included the famous Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, a boss of Murder Incorporated (romanticized by Hollywood in 1991, played by Warren Beatty).
Ruby was a close friend of Siegel’s successor as Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, who claims in his memoirs to have been “engrossed with Israel” and boasts of his financial contributions and arms smuggling in favor of the cause. Ruby himself, after having travelled to Israel in 1955, became involved in an international arms smuggling operation from Dallas, that involved a Mossad agent (Texas being then a major center of fundraising and arms smuggling on behalf of the Zionist cause).
Los Angeles Police detective Gary Wean, in his aforementioned book (There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, 1987), revealed that Cohen had frequent contacts with former terrorist and future prime Minister Menachem Begin, and “seemed to be taking orders from [him].”[lxxxiii]
As said before, Gary Wean raised the possibility that the Dallas coup was “a double-cross of fantastic dimensions”, in which a failed assassination attempt staged by the CIA had been transformed into a successful one by another force. According to Piper, Frank Sturgis, who reportedly boasted of the Dallas assassination, is the likely mole who introduced the real snipers into the CIA’s staged assassination.
Besides being involved with the Cuban exiles, Sturgis is known to have served in the Hagannah in 1948 and to have kept intimate ties with Israeli intelligence. This double-cross scenario is comparable to a drill exercise being diverted into a real attack, as 9/11 was in part.[lxxxiv]
Among the likely sayanim who made possible the Warren Commission cover-up, Piper mentions Arlen Specter, Assistant Counsel of the Warren Commission, who came up with the “single bullet theory” and stubbornly defended it against common sense (sticking to it in his 2000 biography, entitled without irony Passion for Truth). As wrote journalist Jefferson Morley:
“Specter’s theory remains the keystone on which the edifice of Oswald’s sole guilt rests.”[lxxxv] Specter is also known to have aggressively threatened witnesses reluctant to change their testimony, such as Jean Hill, who recounted it to researcher Jim Marrs for his book Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy (1989). At his death in 2012, Specter, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was officially mourned by the Israeli government as “an unswerving defender of the Jewish State,” and by AIPAC, as “a leading architect of the congressional bond between our country and Israel,” while the Committee to Free Jonathan Pollard reminded that he was “among the first to join the call for Pollard’s release.”[lxxxvi]
Questions have been raised about Abraham Zapruder, who « unexpectedly captured the President’s assassination » (Wikipedia). His film is the only one which was not confiscated on Dealey Plaza and disappeared for ever. If the plot had worked perfectly, that is, if Kennedy had been killed by the snipers positioned on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository, rather than by the support team from the grassy knoll, Zapruder’s film would have captured Kennedy being fired from the Depository, where Oswald was working.
The fact that it didn’t was unfortunate; it made it unusable for propaganda (the public only discovered the film in 1975, in an altered version). Zapruder sold the film to Life for a few tens of thousands of dollars and Life published some of the frames, but in an altered order.
So chances are that Zapruder, born of Russian Jewish immigrants, was a sayan. We have seen recently how important it is for Zionists to film the death of their mortal enemies.
All this and a few other things—such as Yitzhak Rabin’s presence in Dallas “hours before” Kennedy’s death (a “mere coincidence” revealed by his wife in her biography)[lxxxvii]—may not seem enough to implicate Israel in Kennedy’s assassination. Unless we are ready to consider as Israeli moles not only Ruby, Sturgis and maybe Angleton, but Lyndon Johnson himself.
After all, it is Johnson, more than Truman, who formed the intimate bond between the United States and Israel, which would in four decades turn the U.S. into Israel’s hit man. And Johnson’s fondness for Israel did not start at the White House.
During the Suez Crisis in 1957, Johnson used his position as leader of the Democratic majority in the to lead a successful campaign to stop President Eisenhower from supporting UN sanctions aimed at forcing Israel to retreat. He even wrote an open letter to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, which he got endorsed by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, and published in the New York Times on February 20, 1957.[lxxxviii]
Johnson’s love affair with Israel is much more widely known in Israel than in the United States; he is even honored there as a “Righteous Gentile” for having facilitated the illegal immigration in Texas of German Jews in 1938.[xc] Johnson himself attributed his philo-Semitism to a family heritage, in remembrance of his grandfather’s advice to “Take care of the Jews, God’s chosen people. Consider them your friends and help them any way you can.”[xci]
As Johnson’s wife Lady Bird would later testified, “Jews have been woven into the warp and woof of all his years.” And is not Johnson the only American President ever to have inaugurated a synagogue—in Austin, a month after becoming President?[xcii]
Some authors have therefore speculated that Lyndon, son of Samuel and Rebekah, may have belonged to a lineage of Crypto-Jews or Conversos. Originating from Spain and Portugal where they had been forced to baptize, then cruelly persecuted by the infamous Inquisition, Conversos or Marranos were numerous in Texas; most had kept their Christian cover under Mexican rule, where the Inquisition was still tracking them until the middle of the 18th century, and some families maintained some form of attachment to Judaism well into the 20th century.[xciii]
Such speculation, however, add little to our subject: Johnson’s sympathy for the Jews, whatever its origin, does not constitute evidence of his collusion with Israeli elements in Kennedy’s assassination.
Yet it is an established fact that Johnson had been the Zionists’ choice of Democratic candidate in the primaries. And that was not new. His campaign for a Senate seat in 1948 was masterminded by Abraham Feinberg, the financial godfather of Israel’s atomic bomb.
It is also on record, thanks to Arthur Schlesinger (A Thousand Days, 1965), that it was in fact Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post, and his most influential columnist Joseph Alsop, both friends and supporters of Johnson, who convinced Kennedy to take Johnson as his running mate, as soon as it became clear that Kennedy would beat Johnson at the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles.
Schlesinger doesn’t reveal the arguments that convinced Kennedy during his private conversation with Graham and Alsop, and rather censors himself by stating that Kennedy’s final decision “defies historical reconstruction”—a curious statement for an accomplished historian, which can be explained within Schlesinger’s refusal to come to grips with Kennedy’s Middle East policy and his battle with Zionism throughout his 872 pages.
Alan Hart has convincingly filled in the blanks in Schlesinger’s account: both Graham and Alsop were strongly pro-Israel as well as pro-Johnson, and both could exert huge influence on public opinion. So “Kennedy was forced by Israel’s supporters to take Johnson as his vice-presidential running mate.”
Why would the Zionists want Johnson as Vice-President, rather than Senate Majority Leader, a much more efficient position to block anti-Israel legislation? It can only be because they saw the vice-presidency as a step to the presidency. And the sooner, the better, because the Zionists hated Kennedy as much as they loved Johnson.
They hated him because of his father’s alleged support for the Nazis: “there is a question about whether the father did not inject some poisonous drops of anti-Semitism in the minds of his children, including his son John’s”, had wondered publicly Menachem Begin’s party Herut on September 9, 1960.
Mentioning some of Kennedy’s advisers, Herut further asked: “How can the future of Israel be entrusted to these men who might come to power thanks to Jewish votes, strange and paradoxical as this may seem?” The Zionists also feared Kennedy for his pro-Palestinian stances: “his personal feeling of deep sympathy for the Palestinian refugees was a matter of record,” writes Alan Hart.
In 1956, on his way back from a trip to Southeast Asia, he had visited a number of refugee camps, and on his return, had expressed on television his deep sympathy for the “displaced” Palestinian people. In February 1958, he told a Jewish group that the refugee problem “must be resolved through negotiations, resettlement and outside international assistance.”
The question that concerns us here is not: Was Johnson a Zionist mole, besides being a psychopath? The question is: Did Johnson collude with Israeli elements to have Kennedy assassinated? A clue can be found in Ruby’s own words regarding his role in the Dallas coup. Questioned by the Warren Commission, Ruby insisted to be taken to Washington, since, he said, “I am the only one that can bring out the truth to our President.” “If you don’t take me back to Washington tonight to give me a chance to prove to the President that I am not guilty, then you will see the most tragic thing that will ever happen.”
Ruby did not detail this “tragic thing,” but made it clear that it had to do with the fate of the Jewish people: “there will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.” He feared that his act would be used “to create some falsehood about some of the Jewish faith,” but added that “maybe something can be saved […], if our President, Lyndon Johnson, knew the truth from me.”[xciv]
Ruby seems to have wanted to send a message to Johnson, through the Commission members, a message containing a warning that he may spill the beans about Israel’s involvement if Johnson did not intervene in his favor.
That impression gets reinforced when we compare the respect he shows Johnson, referred to as “our President, who believes in righteousness and justice,” to the accusation he would make in 1967 against that same Johnson, whom he would now call “a Nazi in the worst order” in a handwritten letter.[xcv]
Ruby’s violent resentment suggests a sense of betrayal; perhaps Ruby was hoping that Johnson would get him out of jail, just like, in 1952, Johnson had managed to keep Mac Wallace away from prison despite being found guilty of first degree murder (normally a sure ticket for the death row in Texas).[xcvi]
There has been indeed many reporters investigating Kennedy’s assassination, but none has paid sufficient attention to Ruby, his Israeli connections, and his bizarre statements about “his people” or people “of the Jewish faith”.
Even his real name has been lost in footnotes. That is remarkable, if we think about it: shouldn’t the search for Kennedy’s assassin begin with investigating the known assassin of his presumed assassin, that is, the man who made sure the patsy played fully his role?
Logic has it that Ruby acted on behalf of Kennedy’s real assassin, and that by following his trail, we could get to the heart of the plot. In fact, before dying, Ruby repeatedly told his defense lawyer William Kunstler that he killed Oswald “for the Jews,” repeating on several occasions:
“I did this that they wouldn’t implicate Jews.” During Kunstler’s last visit Ruby handed him a note in which he reiterated that his motive was to “protect American Jews from a pogrom that could occur because of anger over the assassination.”[xcviii]
5. Robert Kennedy
All of the above elements may still fall short of prosecuting Israel in John Kennedy’s assassination. At least, taken together, they constitute a legitimate basis for investigation, and it is quite disturbing — but not surprising — that no author save one has had the courage to investigate it.
Opinion may vary as to the role played by pro-Israel interests in the JFK assassination, but to dismiss this role as non-existent, as Douglass does, is hard to justify. Moreover, this evidence against Israel in John Kennedy’s assassination gains more weight when put into perspective with incriminating elements in the assassination of John’s brother Robert on June 6, 1968.
Robert Kennedy, who under his brother’s government held the position of Attorney General, was ostensibly ignored overnight by Hoover and Johnson after his brother’s death. He was without resource against the forces that killed John, not to mention being monitored closely. He refused to testify before the Warren Commission and stated that he did not intend to read its final report, but instead accepted to sign the following statement:
“I would like to state definitely that I know of no credible evidence to support the allegations that the assassination of President Kennedy was caused by a domestic or foreign conspiracy.” To those close friends who criticized him for it, Robert replied (for example to Dick Goodwin in July 1966): “there’s nothing I can do about it. Not now.” He also said: “If the American people knew the truth about Dallas, there would be blood in the streets.”[xcix]
In 1968, Robert presented his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Those who mourned John Kennedy found hope in the prospect of seeing Bobby repossess the White House and, from there, reopen the investigation.
Although he kept quiet on the subject, his close friends knew that such was his intention, as David Talbot convincingly illustrates. Robert had originally planned to run for the presidency in 1972, but two things rushed his decision: first, Johnson’s renunciation of a second term due to his unpopularity, and secondly, the opening of Jim Garrison’s investigation in 1967.
When talks of the investigation began, Kennedy asked one of his closest advisors, Frank Mankievitch to follow its developments:
“I want you to look into this, read everything you can, so if it gets to a point where I can do something about this, you can tell me what I need to know.” He confided to his friend William Attwood, then editor of Look magazine, that he, like Garrison, suspected a conspiracy, “but I can’t do anything until we get control of the White House.”[c] He refrained from openly supporting Garrison, believing that since the outcome of the investigation was uncertain, it could jeopardize his plans to reopen the case later, and even weaken his chances of election by construing his motivation as a family feud. Instead, Robert focused his campaign on fighting poverty and ending the Vietnam War, in the same line as Dr. Martin Luther King.
Robert Kennedy was assassinated two months after Dr. Martin Luther King, in Los Angeles on June 6, 1968, just after winning the California primaries that made him the favorite for the Democratic nomination. Republican candidate Richard Nixon, who had been beaten by John Kennedy in 1960, would become President without having to face another Kennedy.
Although he was also convinced to plead guilty by his court-appointed lawyer, Sirhan Sirhan has never remembered shooting Robert Kennedy, nor even wishing to kill him. 43 years later, in a parole hearing in 2011, he keeps claiming: “I have never been able to remember what happened in that place at that time. And I have not been able to remember many things and incidents which took place in the weeks leading up to the shooting.”[ci]
Sirhan believes he was drugged and/or hypnotized. Psychiatric experts and lie detector tests confirm his amnesia. In addition, Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the coroner who conducted the autopsy of Robert Kennedy, concluded (and confirmed in his memoirs in 1983) that the fatal bullet was fired a few inches behind the right ear of Kennedy, following an upward angle. Yet all the witnesses confirmed that Robert had never turned his back on Sirhan and that Sirhan was several meters away from his target when he fired.
Finally, ballistics reports found evidence of twelve bullets, while Sirhan’s gun carried only eight. Strong suspicion falls upon Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard hired for the evening, who was set behind Kennedy at the time of shooting, and seen with his pistol drawn by several witnesses.
Cesar was never investigated, even though he did not conceal his hatred for the Kennedys, who according to him had “sold the country down the road to the commies.”[cii]
The mystery of Sirhan was partially clarified with the findings of the Church Committee and the ensuing declassification of over 18,000 pages of CIA documents, detailing extensive mind control programs such as Bluebird or Artichoke in 1950-51, that were later rolled over into the larger MKULTRA project (for Mind Kontrolle ultra-secret) in 1953—a project highly secretive even within the CIA.
ccording to the documents, experiments in mental manipulation were conducted on hundreds of unknowing subjects using drugs—including heroin, opium, mescaline and the recently synthesized LSD—, hypnosis, electroshock and permanent electrodes in the brain, under the supervision of Dr. Sidney Gottlieb (born Joseph Scheider of Hungarian Jewish immigrants), head of the so-called Technical Services Staff of the CIA.
Although Helms illegally destroyed almost all MKULTRA archives in 1975, some documents, reproduced by Colin Ross in Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists (2000), show the extent of the CIA’s mind control experiment. A document from May 1955 outlines the goal of the Chemical Division of the Technical Services Staff of the CIA: “the discovery of […] materials and methods” allowing to “alter personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person is enhanced”; and, to “produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use.”
A declassified CIA report dated February 10, 1954, describes an experiment regarding the creation of unsuspecting assassins: a young lady who had previously expressed a fear of firearms was programmed under hypnosis to “pick up a pistol and fire it at Miss [deleted]. She was instructed that her rage would be so great that she would not hesitate to ‘kill’ [deleted]. Miss [deleted] carried out these suggestions including firing the (unloaded) gun at [deleted], and then proceeded to fall into a deep sleep. After proper suggestions were made, both were awakened. Miss [deleted] expressed absolute denial that the foregoing sequence had happened.”[ciii]
Whatever one thinks about the strength of Piper’s prosecution of Israel in John Kennedy’s assassination, it is hard to avoid suspecting an Israeli implication in the assassination of his brother Robert. How else can we explain the fact that the patsy accused of the crime, Sirhan Sirhan, was this time a Palestinian young man allegedly motivated by his hatred of Israel?
Pages in Sirhan’s diary (of which he would claim no memory) were filled with repetitive expressions of anger at RFK for his promise to sell military armament to Israel, if elected:
“RFK must die, RFK must be killed.” The assassination of Robert Kennedy is therefore remembered in “superficial history” (as opposed to “deep history”) as the first act of international terrorism carried out on American soil and motivated by the Palestinians’ hatred for Israel.
Once we recognize it as a false flag scenario, Robert’s assassination bears the stamp of Israel.
Given the profile of his accused assassin Sirhan Sirhan, could Robert’s assassination have something to do with the attack on the USS Liberty by the Israeli army a year earlier, almost to the day, and with Johnson’s willingness to cover it up?
The question will probably remain forever unanswered, but what we know of Johnson’s unbridled psychopathy makes it conceivable that he bargained the impunity of Israel for the near sinking of the USS Liberty in exchange for the murder of his mortal enemy. What we know of Johnson’s key role in linking the destinies of Israel and the U.S. makes it even possible that the deal was only part of a secret pact.
There may be, after all, some mundane truth behind the mystical rumor (widespread on Zionist blogs) of a “curse” brought upon the Kennedys because of patriarch Joe Kennedy’s anti-Semitism.[cv] What about John Kennedy Jr.’s tragic death on July 16, 1999 in his private plane, together with his pregnant wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette?
The accident was officially ruled pilot error by the NTSB, but John was an experienced and cautious pilot, and his plane incomprehensibly went into a dive seconds after he had communicated (at 9:39 pm) his intention to the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Tower of an airport near Martha’s Vineyard, the Kennedy family residence in Massachusetts. Also incomprehensibly, the FAA didn’t report the plane as missing until 2 o’clock in the morning.
John Kennedy Jr. (John-John) had long been portrayed as a superficial, spoiled and harmless young man. But that image was as misleading as young Hamlet’s in Shakespeare’s play. John had serious interest in mind, and, at age 39, was just entering politics. In 1995, he had founded a magazine, George. It seemed a rather harmless man’s magazine, until it started showing an interest in “conspiracies”, and covert political assassinations in particular.
In 1997, George published a 13-page article by Guela Amir, the mother of Yigal Amir, who was convicted of assassinating Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister who offended the Israeli far-right by wanting to trade land for peace much as JFK had offended the Military-Intelligence complex by seeking a peaceful coexistence with its socialist neighbor. Guela Amir revealed that her son had operated under the tutelage and training of a Shin Bet agent, Avishai Raviv, working for forces seeking to halt the peace process.[cvi]
Canadian-Israeli journalist Barry Chamish, who investigated further into that matter (Who Murdered Yitzhak Rabin? 1988), concluded that Yigal Amir was no more the actual shooter in Rabin’s assassination than were Sirhan Sirhan or Lee Harvey Oswald in the murders with which they were credited.
Ten years after John Kennedy Junior’s death, he wrote about John Kennedy Jr.: “Yes, I’m sure he was murdered. And yes, the Israeli political establishment had a motive for involvement.
The latest Kennedy to die violently was the only American editor to expose (in the March 1997 issue of his magazine George) the conspiracy behind Rabin’s assassination. And he had every intention of continuing his exposés until he got to the bottom of the matter. We don’t know what drove him to stand alone in seeking the truth, but it may have had much to do with the information contained within Michael Piper’s (2004) book the Final Judgment.”[cvii]
There is no more hope to ever see a righteous Kennedy emerge and challenge the U.S. war machine. But the legacy lives on. President John F. Kennedy remains a heroic, almost Christ-like figure, in the heart of a growing community of citizens who have become aware of the disastrous longtime effect of his assassination. He is perhaps the only hero whose public cult could ever redeem the United States.
Credit Source : Veterans News Now
Laurent Guyénot: Engineer (National School of Advanced Technology, 1982) and medievalist (PhD in Medieval Studies at Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2009).
He has authored numerous books on the subject. He has dedicated the past three years to studying the behind-the-scenes history of the United States, where he lived for five years.
 Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. xxiii.
 William Kelly quoting the HSCA report, volume XI, p. 77-8, on: educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=8515&page=2
 Piper, Final Judgment, op. cit., p. 284.
 Michael Collins Piper, Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, American Free Press, 6th ed., 2005, p. 284.
 Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 177.
 Alan Hart, Zionism, the Real Enemy of the Jews, vol. 2: David Becomes Goliath, Clarity Press, 2009, p. 273.
 Hart, Zionism, op. cit., p. 250*.
 Hart, Zionism, op. cit., p. 247-91*.
 Hart, Zionism, op. cit., p. 251-2.
[i] For a useful compilation of “Johnson-did-it” arguments, also visit Robert Morrow’s blog: lyndonjohnsonmurderedjfk.blogspot.fr/2012/03/lbj-cia-assassination-of-jfk.html
[ii] David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, Simon & Schuster, 2007, p. 320.
[iii] Truman Library: www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/coldwar/documents/pdf/10-1.pdf
[iv] This televised speech can be watched on YouTube, “Eisenhower Farewell Address”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWiIYW_fBfY.
[v] Talbot, Brothers, op. cit. p. 68.
[vi] National Security Archive: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB52/docXXXIII.pdf.
[vii] James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He died and Why it Matters, Touchstone, 2008, p. 33.
[viii] Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, John Wiley & Sons, 2003. On National Security Archive: “The Secret CIA History of the Iran Coup, 1953”, ed. Malcolm Byrne: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/index.html
[ix] National Security Archive: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/ciaguat2.html
[x] Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 47.
[xi] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 14-5.
[xii] Spartacus Educational: www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKroderiguez.htm
[xiii] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 12-3.
[xiv] Robert Kennedy recounted that crisis in Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, released in 1969 (W.W. Norton & Co, 2000). Robert, however, remains discreet on the veiled threat of coup that his brother was under.
[xv] Sergei Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev and the Creation of a Superpower, Pennsylvania State University, 2000, quoted in Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 174-5.
[xvi] Peter Janney, Mary’s Mosaic: the CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace, Skyhorse Publishing, 2012, p. 205 ; Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 220.
[xvii] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 344.
[xviii] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 378.
[xix] Church Committee, Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, 1975: www.archive.org/stream/allegedassassina00unit#page/n7/mode/2up, p. 150.
[xx] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 342, 58.
[xxi] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 70.
[xxii] National Security Archive: www.gwu.edu/%7Ensarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB103/.
[xxiii] Jean Daniel, “Unofficial Envoy: An Historic Report from Two Capitals,” New Republic, December 14, 1963, quoted in Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 73, 251 and Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 252-3.
[xxiv] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 102-5, 181-2.
[xxv] JFK Library: www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/w6LJoSnW4UehkaH9Ip5IAA.aspx
[xxvi] Phillip Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination, XLibris, 2010, p. 638.
[xxvii] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 186, 196.
[xxviii] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 12-3.
[xxix] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 211.
[xxx] Fletcher Prouty, The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinat John F. Kennedy, Skyhorse Publishing, 2011.
[xxxi] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 65.
[xxxii] Roger Stone, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, Skyhorse, 2013, kindle pos. 3630. Watch Nixon grin while saying that LBJ “never likes to be number two” on www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJIb73SPzkE
[xxxiii] See Doug Thompson’s testimony on http://www.rense.com/general70/connol.htm
[xxxiv] Nelson, LBJ : The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 497-512.
[xxxv] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 513-4.
[xxxvi] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 585.
[xxxvii] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 454-5.
[xxxviii] Janney, Mary’s Mosaic, op. cit., p. 260.
[xxxix] LBJ Library: www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/nsams/nsam273.asp
[xl] LBJ Library: www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/nsams/nsam288.asp
[xli] Donald Gibson, Battling Wall Street: the Kennedy Presidency, Sheridan Square Press, 1994, p. 78-84; Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 253-6.
[xlii] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 271-80, 286-9.
[xliii] Quoted in Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 17.
[xliv] Jeff Shesol, Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade, WW Norton & Co, 1997, 2012, p. 1, 95.
[xlv] Richard Hack, Puppetmaster: The Secret Life of J. Edgard Hoover, New Millennium Press, 2004.
[xlvi] Richard Mahoney, The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby, Arcade Publishing, 2011, p. 156, 165.
[xlvii] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 318-20.
[xlviii] Mahoney, The Kennedy Brothers, op. cit., p. 64.
[xlix] Benjamin Bradlee, Conversations with Kennedy, 1975, Pocket Books, 1976, p. 17.
[l] Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, Hyperion, 2011.
[li] Shesol, Mutual Contempt, op. cit., p. 73.
[lii] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 372.
[liii] Russ Baker, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government, and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years, Bloomsbury Press, 2009, p. 183.
[liv] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 370.
[lv] Janney, Mary’s Mosaic, op. cit., p. 259.
[lvi] Kenneth O’Donnell and David Powers, Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye: Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Little, Brown & Co, 1970, p. 38.
[lvii] See on YouTube, “Jack Ruby Talks”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=omnpQBa1Euc
[lviii] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 604-7.
[lix] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 376.
[lx] William Reymond and Billie Sol Estes, JFK. Le Dernier témoin, Flammarion, 2003.
[lxi] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 610-1.
[lxii] This memo is quoted by James Tague, LBJ and the Kennedy Killing, by Assassination Eyewitness, Trine Day, 2013, kindle pos. 3972. See on the website of the OAH (Organization of American Historians): www.indiana.edu/~oah/nl/98feb/jfk.html#d1
[lxiii] Tague, LBJ and the Kennedy Killing, op. cit., kindle pos. 4846-4992.
[lxiv] See footage in the documentary JFK: 3 Shots That Changed America, The History Channel, 2009.
[lxv] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 69, 63.
[lxvi] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 40.
[lxvii] See footage in Matthew White’s documentary Murder of JFK: A Revisionist History, 2006.
[lxviii] Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, op. cit., p. 236-8.
[lxix] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 513-4.
[lxx] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 619.
[lxxi] Listen on YouTube, “Phone call: Lyndon Johnson & Richard Russel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE6i2vYbY3I
[lxxii] Mark Lane, Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK, Skyhorse Publishing, 2011, p. 209.
[lxxiii] This part of the interview was broadcast on April 24, 1975 on CBS Nightly News. See on YouTube: “LBJ Speaks on a conspiracy in JFK Murder”, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF4_7_Emzy0
[lxxiv] Full text on National Archives: www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/summary.html
[lxxv] Michael Collins Piper, Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, American Free Press, 6th ed., 2005, p. 291-6.
[lxxvi] Laurent Guyénot, “Kennedy, the Lobby and the Bomb,” www.voltairenet.org/article178401.html
[lxxvii] Laurent Guyénot, “September 11: Inside Job or Mossad Job?”, www.voltairenet.org/article179295.html
[lxxviii] Joe Sterling, “Jewish paper’s column catches Secret Service’s eye », CNN, January 22, 2012: edition.cnn.com/2012/01/21/us/jewish-president-threat
[lxxix] Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: the CIA’s Master Spy Hunter, Simon & Schuster, 1991.
[lxxx] Janney, Mary’s Mosaïc, op. cit.
[lxxxi] Read the Sheriff’s Office report on: mcadams.posc.mu.edu/death2.txt
[lxxxii] George de Mohrenschilldt, I am a Patsy! on: jfkassassination.net/russ/jfkinfo4/jfk12/hscapatsy.htm
[lxxxiii] Piper, Final Judgment, op. cit., p. 219-27.
[lxxxiv] Piper, Final Judgment, op. cit., p. 290-7.
[lxxxvii] Lea Rabin, Rabin: Our Life, His Legacy, Putnam, 1997, p. 119. Read on Education Forum: educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=19206&page=8
[lxxxviii] Louis Bloomfield, Egypt, Israel, and the Gulf of Aqaba, Carswell, 1957, p. 152.
[lxxxix] From this speech, former Undersecretary of State George Ball borrows the title of his book, The Passionate Attachment (1992), dealing with America’s involvement with Israel from 1947.
[xc] See for example “Lyndon B. Johnson – A Righteous Gentile”: lyndonjohnsonandisrael.blogspot.fr
[xci] James Smallwood, quoted in Wikipedia, “Operation Texas”.
[xcii] Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, Random House, 1991, p. 127.
[xciii] Richard Santos, Silent Heritage: The Sephardim and the Colonization of the Spanish North American Frontier, 1492-1600, New Sepharade Press, 2000. The hypothesis of Johnson’s crypto-judaism is explored in Salvador Astucia, Opium Lords: Israel, the Golden Triangle, and the Kennedy Assassination, Dsharpwriter, 2002, p. 170-5.
[xciv] Read Ruby’s deposition on: jfkmurdersolved.com/ruby.htm
[xcv] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 604-7.
[xcvi] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 271-80.
[xcvii] Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 262-3.
[xcviii] William Kunstler, My Life as a Radical Lawyer, Carol Publishing, 1994, p. 158
[xcix] Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 278-80, 305-16, 268.
[c] Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 312-4.
[ci] Watch on YouTube, “Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsm1hKPI9EU
[cii] Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 372-4.
[ciii] Colin A. Ross, Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, Manitou Communications, 2000. A good summary on: www.wanttoknow.info/bluebird10pg.
[civ] In Shane O’Sullivan’s documentary, RFK Must Die: the Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, 2007.
[cv] See for example: lifeinisrael.blogspot.fr/2012/05/frum-version-of-kennedy-curse.html. Nothing is mentioned of this “jewish curse” in literature destined for the goyim, such as Edward Klein, The Kennedy Curse: Why Tragedy Has Haunted America’s First Family for 150 Years, St. Martin Press, 2003, which places the blame on th Kennedys’ own hubris.
[cvi] Guela Amir, “A Mother’s Defense”, George, March 1997, reproduced on groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/soc.culture.usa/P-mc7BFF1Nc/K3S6Bizg-U4J
[cvii] Barry Chamish, “The Murder of JFK Jr – Ten Years Later,” www.barrychamish.com (also on: www.rense.com/general87/tenyrs.htm).