Thursday, November 18, 2010

                 LBJ AND THE ASSASSINATION CONSPIRACIES

                         John Delane Williams

    Two separate conspiracies are envisioned regarding the assassination of John F. Kennedy: the plot to assassinate him, and the plot to cover it up. It is conjectured that LBJ was "in the loop" regarding the first conspiracy, and a major player (if not "the" major player) in the second. The outline of the second conspiracy has been described or alluded to several times. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] Investigating the first plot in relationship to Lyndon Johnson is the emphasis here.
                 Reasons for Johnson's Involvement
    It has been conjectured [7, 8, 9 among others] that Johnson would be dropped from the ticket as a Vice-Presidential candidate by Kennedy. In fact, the headline of The Dallas Morning News on November 22, 1963, was "NIXON PREDICTS JFK MAY DROP JOHNSON". [10, p. 295]  Johnson had several things to hide: 1) his relationship to Billy Sol Estes and entanglements with the Agriculture Department, together with the murder of Henry Marshall, an Agricultural Department official who was investigating Estes.   Marshall was asphyxiated and shot five times with a single shot bolt action rifle, yet the death was ruled a suicide. Estes later testified with immunity, in 1984, that Marshall was murdered by Malcolm "Mac" Wallace, former student body president at the University of Texas (1944-45) and apparently a "hit" man who was connected to LBJ; [11]  2) his relationship to Bobby Baker and influence peddling in Congress; [12]  3) the TFX plane scandal that yielded to General Dynamics  (of Ft. Worth) a huge contract that was later determined to have been awarded on falsified data and also to have resultant large cost-overruns; Johnson apparently pocketed satchels of money from this arrangement; [13] and, 4) his extramarital relationship with Madeleine Brown, which was ongoing and had produced his only (and unacknowledged) son. [14]  On the morning of November 22, 1963, Donald Reynolds, a Washington insurance broker, was providing evidence of Johnson having received unreported gifts.  Apparently Reynolds and Bobby Kennedy had been secretly meeting for weeks to accumulate evidence of payola on both Johnson and Bobby Baker. These hearings were being conducted when, at 2:30 PM, persons in the hearing room were informed of the assassination. It was the opinion of the minority counsel, Burkett Van Kirk, that Reynold's testimony would have been sufficient to remove Johnson from the Vice Presidency. [15] Johnson was said to have retreated to Texas in early October with nothing much to do in Washington. [16]
          The Relationship with Madeleine Duncan Brown
     Madeleine Brown was in the process of getting a divorce when she met Johnson at a party celebrating his "landslide" victory, by 87 votes, for the Democratic Party’s nomination for the seat in the US Senate in 1948. Brown was invited by Jesse Kellam, a wealthy Texas oilman. Lyndon invited her to a party three weeks hence. After that party, a 21 year relationship began between Brown and LBJ. From her writings, there appears to be a genuine love of LBJ by Brown. [17] A cynical view might report their relationship as a long term sequence of one night stands- and at least for Madeleine, with the same person. Madeleine became pregnant and bore Johnson a son, christened Steven Brown, on December 27, 1950. Johnson never acknowledged the boy; Steven found out the name of his father in 1987, only three years prior to his own death. While Lyndon did provide for this second family, the provision was insufficient when Madeleine was involved in a near fatal automobile accident in 1967. While she was recuperating in the hospital, her boss at the advertisement agency died, liquidating the company and ending her insurance coverage. [18]
              LBJ's Secret Reign of Terror
    Lyndon would sometimes forget and confide in Madeleine. He expected her to keep these utterances to herself. In 1951, LBJ told of having to fix a murder trial for Mac Wallace, who dispatched with a 33 year old golf pro named Doug Kinsler, who replaced Wallace as the lover of Josefa, Lyndon's sister. [19] Over time, Madeleine was to come into other incriminating material about LBJ, partly because of her friendship with Billie Sol Estes. In a letter from Estes' lawyer, Douglas Caddy, to Stephen S. Trott, Assistant US Attorney General, it was revealed that eight murders had been ordered by Johnson and carried out by Wallace: Kinsler, Josefa, Henry Marshall, Ike Rodgers, George Krutilek (Estes' accountant), Harold Orr (who played a key role in Estes' financial frauds), Coleman Wade, and JFK. Johnson was accused of ordering 17 murders. [20] Cliff Carter was also present at meetings where these murders were ordered. Tape recordings were made of Estes, Carter and LBJ discussing illegal cotton allotment schemes; the recordings were made with Carter's knowledge. The recordings were made to protect Estes and Carter from LBJ ordering their deaths. [21]
         The Party at the Murchison's, November 21, 1963
    On the night of November 21, a party was held at Clint Murchison's house in honor of J. Edgar Hoover, who had secretly flown in for the occasion. Also in attendance, in addition to Madeleine Brown, were Clyde Tolson, Richard Nixon, and John McCloy
(soon to be named to the Warren Commission), George Brown (whose construction company benefited greatly from a relationship with LBJ), R.L. Thornton (President of Mercantile Bank), H.L. Hunt, and several other oilmen. Whenever Madeleine was to meet LBJ, it was done by pre-arrangement. No arrangements had been made for the two of them to meet on November 21; Lyndon was not expected at the Murchison party. As the party was breaking up, LBJ made an unexpected appearance. The group made a hasty retreat to a meeting behind closed doors. [22] Upon emerging from this meeting, LBJ  walked up to Madeleine and whispered into her ear, "After tommorrow those goddamn Kennedy's will never embarrass me again--that's no threat--that's a promise ." [23, p. 166] And LBJ was out the door. [24] Inferring from LBJ's behavior, it is much more likely that he entered Murchison's party and informed them of the events of the following day, rather than vice-versa. Judging also from his intensity, it would seem that the information was relatively fresh (to LBJ), perhaps less than an hour old.
    The next morning, Lyndon called Madeleine and snarled at her, "That son-of-a-bitch crazy Yarborough and that goddam fucking Irish mafia bastard, Kennedy, will never embarrass me again!" [25, p. 167] Madeleine then tried to engage LBJ in a somewhat more personal conversation. LBJ then bellowed, "I've got about a minute to get to the parking lot to hear the bastard!" [26, p. 167] LBJ was clearly a driven man.
                   In the Motorcade
     The official story of LBJ in the motorcade is deceptively simple; Upon hearing the shots, Secret Service Agent Rufus Youngblood immediately jumped from the front seat of the closed sedan to the back seat, covering and protecting Johnson. [27, p. 52] Youngblood received a medal for his reported actions. [28] However, Senator Yarborough, also an occupant of the vehicle carrying LBJ, has said that both Johnson and Youngblood were listening to walkie-talkies with the volume set too low for the Senator to hear the communications. SS Agent Dave Powers, in the  following car, corroborates Yarborough's story. [29] There is apparently no photographic proof of Youngblood's bravery. On the other hand, Walt Brown has pointed out no movement has taken place by Z258, using the Altgens 6 photo as reference. [30] The Altgens 6 photo is on the dust-jacket of Treachery in Dallas. [31] Connally and Johnson were said to be the ones that insisted that the trip and motorcade route go ahead as they planned. (32) 
                Mac Wallace and the Assassination
     Mac Wallace may well have played a role in the events of Dealy Plaza on November 22, 1963. According to one version, Loy Factor, a native-American from Oklahoma, was on the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository with "Ruth Ann", Mac Wallace and Lee Harvey Oswald. Factor claims to have been recruited as a backup shooter for the assassination by Wallace at the funeral for Sam Rayburn. Factor claims he and "Ruth Ann", who had been operating a walkie-talkie (talking to LBJ?), ran down the stairs and out the back door shortly after the shooting began. [33] More recently revealed evidence squarely ties Wallace to the so-called "sniper's nest" on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository; recall that a set of unidentified latent fingerprints were found at the scene of the snipers nest on the trigger guard of the Carcano rifle. [34] Savage [35] tried to show that the fingerprint was likely Oswald's.  John Norris, a retired Secret Service agent, determined they did not belong to Oswald. [36] Those fingerprints have recently been identified as belonging to Malcolm Wallace. [37, 38]
     Another role attributed to Wallace (and he clearly could not have been in two places at the same time) is that he reportedly was a shooter from the grassy knoll. This information was contained in the letter referred to earlier [39] by Douglas Caddy. According to Billie Sol Estes, Cliff Carter told Estes that Wallace hit JFK from the front during the assassination.

                Malcom Wallace and Ralph N. Geb
     Attending high school and playing on the same football team at Woodrow Wilson High School with Mac Wallace was Ralph N. Geb, who was also described as Wallace's best friend. [40] Geb has also been identified as the person photographed (CE 237) in Mexico City and originally identified as Oswald. [41] Hugh McDonald [42] claimed that he was brought in contact with the person photographed in Mexico City. McDonald referred to this person as "Saul". Supposedly, Saul was shooting from the Dal-Tex Building, directly accross the street from the TSBD. McDonald would seem to rule out Geb; Saul was supposedly born in 1928 in Europe and whose name was Georgi Visko [43].  In 1963, Geb was in USAF intelligence; Geb has since died. [44] We are given, at this point, two stories on the person whose photograph appears in CE 237. The stronger case seems to be with Geb; he was identified as being in CE 237 by a high school classmate; photographs of Geb are given in Sample and Collom. [45] To my knowledge, McDonald had no other photographs of Visko that have been published to establish his claim that Visko appears in CE 237.
                The Death of Mac Wallace
     Madeleine Brown related the story of the death of Mac Wallace as a Texas murder. He was reportedly run off the road. (January 7, 1971) The car was sent to Houston and mashed without any investigation. Madeleine Brown heard of Wallace's death in a phone call from Billie Sol Estes. Apparently Wallace also killed Brown's maid, according to Estes. [46] Walt Brown adds a twist about Wallace's death. Wallace's ex-wife moved back (in 1978) to a rented duplex in Georgetown, Texas that was previously her home with Wallace in 1952. She reportedly had a frequent visitor who strongly resembled Wallace. She died in 1980. [47]
                  Tentative Conclusions
     What then, was the involvement of Johnson in Kennedy's assassination? It would appear a master planer (or planners) involved Johnson on a need-to-know basis [see 48] just prior to Johnson's unscheduled visit to the Murchison's on November 21, 1963. It would appear also that Mac Wallace, who was traceable to Johnson, was involved in some way with the assassination. Wallace's involvement might have been either as a shooter, back-up shooter, or as the walkie-talkie communicator with Johnson and Youngblood.
With the identification of Wallace's fingerprints in the "sniper's nest", it seems difficult not to conclude that Wallace was one of the shooters. The most plausible explanation of the presence of his fingerprints in the sniper's nest, is that he was there, either shooting, or with a person who was shooting. Wallace would be a likely source of LBJ's preknowledge of the assassination, though it is not necessary that he be that source. It seems extraordinarily unlikely that Wallace was involved in the assassination without LBJ's knowledge. Thus, at the very least, LBJ was a passive co-conspirator before the assassination; his preknowlege insures that.
It would appear that Johnson was "put in the loop"  sufficiently to keep him informed, and coincidentally, to raise him to the level of co-conspirator, which presumably would insure his loyalty to his "real" role, the cover-up of the crime of the century. It is also possible that Johnson could have been a party to the original decision to go ahead with the assassination, but as would seem to be his role in other murders by Mac Wallace, Johnson may have distanced himself from the actual act. Judging from remarks he made to Madeleine Brown, he accepted his role of co-conspirator without any missgivings. Indeed, he may have understood that the assassination wasn't about killing Kennedy as much as it was about raising him to the role of president. Clearly, he had the most to benefit from the Kennedy assassination. For a person who might not only be dropped from the ticket, but might also be faced with a possible prison term, any other way to rise to the presidency would have seemed out of the question.
     It is also possible that LBJ never perceived his apparent pre-knowledge of the assassination as raising him to anything other than having a political liability. In his recorded conversations with J. Edgar Hoover [11/23/63; 11/25/63; 11/29/63, 49] the two do not belie responsibility for a conspiratorial role in the actual assassination. If LBJ's information base was minimal, he may have envisioned three possibilities for the motorcade 1) JFK alone would be hit; 2) no one would be hit; or 3) multiple targets would be attacked, in which case his own life might have been in danger. The shooting of Connally may have been unexpected. However, it has been reported that JFK and LBJ were arguing violently on the night before the assassination. They were said to be arguing about Johnson's insistence to change Yarborough into Kennedy's limousine, replacing Connally. Kennedy refused to give in to LBJ's tirade. [50] If LBJ knew of the plan to shoot into the limousine (he had indicated that Kennedy and Yarborough would not embarass him again), he would likely wish to place Yarborough, his enemy, in the line of fire, and get his friend John Connally out of the line of fire. Shooters (a team of three) in Dealy Plaza reportedly were to shoot Connally, but Connally had already been shot before they were given a go-ahead. [51] Under this confusion, and LBJ's way of seeing the world in his own construction, Johnson could well have excluded himself from the conspiracy in his own mind. That he chose to orchestrate the cover-up phase of the conspiracy may be for reasons as complex as the man himself. It would be remiss to omit that Sample and Collom make a stronger statement regarding LBJ-they conclude LBJ was the master planner. [52] Even if LBJ ordered the assassination (as was claimed in Caddy's letter), it still seems likely that someone else did the actual planning.

Notes
1.  Brown, W. (1996). The Warren Ommission: A Micro-Study in the       Methods and Failures of the Warren Commission. Wilmington, DE:      Delmax.
2.  North, M. (1991). Act of Treason: The Role of J. Edgar Hoover      in the Assassination of President Kennedy. New York: Carroll &      Graff.
3.  Jones, P. (1976). Forgive My Grief-III. Midlothian, TX: Author.
4.  Shaw, G. & Harris, L.H. (1992). Cover-Up. Austin, TX: Thomas.
5.  Smith, M. (1992). JFK: The Second Plot. Edinburgh, UK:             Mainstream Publishing Co.
6.  Zirbel, C.I. (1991). The Texas Connection: The Asssassination      of John F. Kennedy. Scottsdale, AZ: The Texas Connection           Company.
7.  Brown, M.D. (1997). Texas in the Morning: The Love Story of        Madeleine Duncan Brown and President Lyndon Baines Johnson.        Baltimore: The Conservatory Press.
8.  Brown, W. (1995). Treachery in Dallas. New York: Carroll &         Graff.
9.  Jones, P. (1976).
10. Marrs, J. (1989). Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy. New      York: Carroll & Graff.
11. Brown, M.D. (1997).
12. Zirbel, C.I. (1991).
13. Ibid.
14. Brown, M.D. (1997).
15. Hersh, S.M. (1997). The Dark Side of Camelot. New York:            Little, Brown.
16. Zirbel (1991).
17. Brown, M.D. (1997).
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid.
20. Caddy, D. (1984) Letter to Stephen S. Trott. Reproduced in         Brown, M.D. & Kritzberg, C. (1996). Dallas Did It. Tulsa, OK:      Under Cover Press.
21. Ibid.
22. Brown, M.D. (1997).
23. Ibid.
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. The Warren Commission Report. (1964). New York: Barnes & Noble.
28. Palmara, V. (1993). The Third Alternative: Survivers Guilt: The      Secret Service and the JFK Murder. Pittsburgh: Self.
29. Palamara, V. (1997). The "Breakdown" of the Infrastructure of      the Secret Service on November 22, 1963. The Fourth Decade. 4,      #6, 17-21.
30. Brown, W. (1996).
31. Brown, W. (1995). Treachery in Dallas. New York: Carroll &         Graff.
32. Zirbel (1991).
33. Sample, G. & Collom, M. (1995). The Men on the Sixth Floor.:       The Story of Loy Factor, an Insider/Participant in the JFK         Killing. Garden Grove, CA: Sample Graphics.
34. Sloan, B. (1993). JFK: Breaking the Silence. Dallas, TX:           Taylor.  
35. Savage, G. (1993). JFK: First Day Evidence. Monroe, LA: The        Shoppe Press.
36. Sloan, B. (1993).
37. Brown, W. (1998a). TSBD Evidence Places LBJ "Hit Man" in            "Sniper's Nest". JFK/Deep Politics Quarterly, 3, No. 3, Extra.
38. The Fingerprint Affidavit of A. Nathan Darby, 9 March, 1998,        reprinted in JFK/Deep Politics Quarterly, 3, No. 3, 29-31.
39. Caddy, D. (1984).
40. Sample, G. & Collom, M. (1995).
41. Sample, G. & Collom, M. (1995).
42. McDonald, H. (1975). Appointment in Dallas: The Final Solution      to the Assassination of JFK. New York: Hugh McDonald.
43. McDonald, H. & Moore, R. (1978). LBJ and the JFK Conspiracy.       Westport, CN: Condor.
44. Brown, M.D. (1997).
45. Sample, G. & Collom, M. (1995).
46. Brown, M.D. (1997).
47. Brown, W.D. (1998b). The Sordid Story of Mac Wallace. JFK/Deep      Politics Quarterly, 3, No. 4, 22-27.
48. Shaw, G. & Harris, L.H. (1992).
49. Beschloss, M.R. (1997). Taking Charge: The Johnson White House
    Tapes. New York: Simon & Schuster.
50. Zirbel, C.I. (1991).
51. Milan, M. (1989). Squad. New York: Berkley Books.
52. Sample, G. & Collom, M. (1995).    

 From JFK Deep Politic Quarterly. (1999). 4, 2, 25-28.  

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