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The involvement of the KKK in the assassination of JFK is likely from a distance -- offering approval, funds and perhaps manpower -- but we have a paucity of documented evidence.

Guy Banister was allegedly a member of both the KKK and the John Birch Society (JBS). The position of the KKK regarding the Civil Rights movement was simply that American blacks had to be kept down at all costs. The position of the JBS was that the Civil Rights movement was a Communist Plot.

The effect is the same -- a violent opposition to the Civil Rights movement. But the motive is significantly different. We have solid evidence from Jim Garrison that Guy Banister was involved in the JFK assassination. The question is whether Guy Banister's motivation stemmed mainly from the KKK or from the JBS.

There was a time when the KKK represented the majority of American citizens. President Woodrow Wilson was a supporter of the KKK, and allowed them to march in Washington DC. That's how mainstream the KKK really was at the turn of the 20th century.

By the 1950's however, the KKK was widely regarded as a lower-class organization -- not well-read, and not very eloquent. There were still adherents throughout the South, but the KKK lacked the rich, national following that they had in 1920.

People who sympathized with the KKK, but also demanded more sophistication in their argumentation, tended to join the JBS. The net effect is the same -- racial minorities in the USA would be held back at all costs.

Yet, even Americans for whom the JBS was too extreme would still oppose the Civil Rights movement with great energy -- for example, J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover made a study of the JBS, and he decided that any organization which taught that several US Presidents were Communist, was not a very patriotic organization. So Hoover made a rule that no FBI agent could ever be a member of the John Birch Society.

Nevertheless, Hoover was the number one advocate of the theory that the Civil Rights movement was a Communist Plot. Hoover spied on Martin Luther King, Jr. more than any other alleged "criminal" in his career as FBI Director. Hoover was old-fashioned; even for 1963.

In my opinion the people who were violently involved with suppressing the Civil Rights movement -- like ex-General Edwin Walker -- were also involved in the JFK assassination plot.

However, Edwin Walker was not a member of the KKK. He had many friends who were members of the KKK -- but he himself was not a member.

Instead, Walker was a member of the JBS. It was their ideology -- their 1963 mythology of a Communist JFK -- that Walker would use as his paramiltary motivation for gathering his troops.

Because the net effect was similar, I believe that Edwin Walker had many KKK followers who offered him encouragement, funds, and possibly manpower. But they did not lead the JFK plot. Walker was the highest-ranking plotter in Dallas that I perceive.

Therefore, in the question of the KKK involvement in the JFK assassination, I would opine that the JBS had a higher profile than the KKK in this particular historical question.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo

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I perceive some inconsistancies. The KKK is not well documented. True, in a sense. They embraced what became attributed to U.B. Amos : independent units. When put on the stand (1965 report 5vols+index) with endless fifth amendment pleas and fairly confused testimonies, where there is any. Elizabeth De Witt stands out as one of the most slippery and also one who seems to have been at the center of a plot. Yet one can read between the lines and perceive a well thought out structure. This is the Militant Right.

Anyway the point is that the paucity of documentation and statements definite about various persons KKK involvement is one matter to deal with.

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I perceive some inconsistancies. The KKK is not well documented. True, in a sense. They embraced what became attributed to U.B. Amos : independent units. When put on the stand (1965 report 5vols+index) with endless fifth amendment pleas and fairly confused testimonies, where there is any. Elizabeth De Witt stands out as one of the most slippery and also one who seems to have been at the center of a plot. Yet one can read between the lines and perceive a well thought out structure. This is the Militant Right.

Anyway the point is that the paucity of documentation and statements definite about various persons KKK involvement is one matter to deal with.

John, yes, the weak point of my conclusion rests on the fact we both agree upon -- that the KKK is not well documented.

It is not impossible, for example, that the KKK played a leading role in the JBS itself. For example, the JBS was officially non-anti-Semitic, however, reports abound from members complaining that their particular JBS cell was thoroughly anti-Semitic. Rather than discipline these groups, Robert Welch would tell the complainer to "just find another cell."

I witnessed JBS folks as I grew up in Southern California, in the San Gabriel Valley, which was so rife with the JBS that they elected Congressman John Rousselot largely because he was a member and a leader of the JBS there. Those I witnessed would have nothing to do with minority races. This suggested to me a KKK atttitude at the time, although the KKK was notoriously absent in Los Angeles, which was mainly a J. Edgar Hoover town.

Just as San Francisco resonated with New York and the Eastern USA, in the same way, Los Angeles resonated with Dallas and the Southern USA. Racial discrimination was taken for granted by the most conservative folks there. Public school bussing was frowned upon, and the so-called Taxpayers Revolt of Proposition 13 was waged mainly against the racial integration of public schools. Howard Jarvis had been an outspoken anti-Semite long before he waged Prop 13, and his clique strongly advocated private schools.

What was this undercurrent in Los Angeles society? Why the intense support of the JBS there? Historically it had to begin with an organized movement that existed before the JBS was founded (in 1959), and that had very similar values, and that was most likely the KKK.

Although the KKK would no longer come out in the open and say what they believed, their sentiments still existed for millions of people, and perhaps they did exist underground (although I find no documented evidence of that). Their children seem to have migrated to the JBS.

The sociological underpinnings of the KKK and the JBS are the same -- they both favor Fundamentalist Christianity, with its strict upbringing of children, its Protestant Work Ethic (c.f. Max Weber) and oppresive attitudes towards minorities, women and the poor in general.

And yes - they were militant. They often lived off the land in the South, so learning how to shoot a rifle was often a matter of daily survival, and hunting was a skill passed on from parent to child. Military service was common -- not by religious stricture, but often, as the bard said, because the young man would knockout his father and then have no place else to go except the Army.

Yet those macho values were paramount. Work, dominate, accumulate -- these were the values of the Scots-Irish and German immigrants that made up the majority of the Southern USA. The KKK was down home, common sense USA culture from 1870-1920. No politician could rise in the South during that half-century without the support of the KKK. That included President Woodrow Wilson.

The advent of World War One stretched the feasibility of the KKK, which was unconcerned with international affairs. If that's true, then World War Two made the KKK irrelevant in a world in which the USA suddenly became the central international player.

But the children of the KKK apparently lived on in the JBS. Now, does that mean the KKK just disappeared? They clearly faded into the background, but they didn't entirely disappear. They represent much of the tradition and history of the South. It remains possible -- although undocumented -- that these KKK grandparents continued to guide the actions of their grandchildren in the JBS.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

<edit typos>

Edited by Paul Trejo

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Thanks, Daniel, for posting an indication of the documentation that exists on the KKK during the 1960's.

Sociologically this confirms my statement that the KKK would suppress the Civil Rights movement on the principle of white supremacy, while the JBS would suppress the Civil Rights movement on the claim that it was a Communist plot.

In reference to the JFK assassination, we must ask which of these two groups was the most violent -- and the existing documentation suggests that, by far, the KKK was the most violent. That should modify our opinions about KKK inclusion (or at least support) inside any possible JFK plot.

Your documentation also mentioned the Minutemen, a 1960's group that arose when Castro took over Cuba and showed his true colors. The connection in your documentation was this: David Ferrie (whom Jim Garrison named in the JFK conspiracy that succeeded) is identified as a member of both the Minutemen and the KKK.

This is a new phenomenon of the 1960's. While the KKK was largely interested in local affairs, the Minutemen were alert to International affairs, and often spread alarmist propaganda about a probable Communist invasion from armed revolutionaries from Latin America.

Let's take a closer look at the Minutemen here:

The Minutemen group was set up State by State by independent citizens to prepare for a Communist invasion because the Minutemen believed that the US military was led by Communist Traitors. So, the Minutemen expected the US military to stand down during such a Communist invasion, and so the Minutemen bought as many assault weapons as they could afford, and trained in guerrilla warfare on weekends in secret country locations.

Their membership lists were never publicized, by formal policy -- otherwise, they feared, the US Communists would find the membership lists and round them up.

So, here again we have a violent right-wing organization, equal to, or perhaps even more violent than the KKK. It would be no accident that a member of the KKK in the 1940's and 1950's would also join the Minutemen in the 1960's.

However, there was a difference -- the KKK was mainly interested in keeping American blacks from enjoying their Civil Rights. This had been their purpose in the US South dating back to the previous century (1800's) following the Civil War.

How, then, would the KKK arrive at the idea of the Communist invasion? That was not a native ideology within the KKK. There were two groups in the USA in the 1960's that promoted the alarmist idea of a Communist invasion, namely, the John Birch Society and the Minutemen.

That is, while it is true that the KKK was more violent than the JBS, and therefore the KKK was more suspicious in a JFK conspiracy than the JBS on those grounds, this model ignores the reality of the Minutemen.

When Robert de Pugh founded the Minutemen in 1960, he admitted that he was influenced by the John Birch Society literature that tried so hard to demonstrate that the US Government was secretly Communist. This belief, coupled with the reality of the fall of Cuba to the Communists, and the failure of the White House to implement the Monroe Doctrine, convinced Robert De Pugh that he must organize a citizen's militia in the USA, to ward off a Communist invasion from Latin America.

Now we have a new element. The JBS spawned an independent militant offshoot called the Minutemen. It was as violent or more violent than the KKK. It was not locally motivated, but internationally motivated. It was more aware of Cold War politics as a whole.

The end result for the Civil Rights movement (of which both MLK and JFK were prime movers) was that two very different rightist and violent groups would cooperate in the violent suppression of Civil Rights, especially when it came to African-Americans.

The JBS was not officially racist (as the KKK was) but the JBS did believe that the Civil Rights movement was a Communist plot. So, while the JBS and the KKK had different motives, their combined suppression of the Civil Rights movement had a severe impact. To this fact we must now add the rise of the Minutemen.

Finally, in reference to the documentation you shared, Daniel, we find a key suspect, David Ferrie (a long-term personal associate of Lee Harvey Oswald) holding a membership in both the Minutemen and the KKK.

We should not be surprised, therefore, if David Ferrie had a dual membership, that many people in the South would have a dual membership. With this scenario, we come closer to defining the Far Right in the 1960's -- and the people most likely to have participated in the JFK assassination.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

<edit typos>

Edited by Paul Trejo

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Good, Dan. Yeah I remember. Searchuing for it I got hold of the HU unamerican whatsit volumes from 1965 and got stuck in that. At the time I kept trying to cross reference with your info.

Interesting.

I got sidetracked by a Elizabeth DeWitt and co. Quite an interesting story there.

Montreal is an interesting one. It's fascist history is interesting. Grey shirts or something.

Anyway in amongst all that I'm sure there is stuff of interest.

''ideology that was best exemplified in the Ronald Reagan idolatry; in real terms that only meant that they were deceptive bigots, as opposed to the Klan whose members were more comfortable with being straightforward bigots.'' - amen.

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...While it sounds rather pleasant that "the KKK was mainly interested in keeping American blacks from enjoying their Civil Rights," whereas the John Birch Society (only) believed "that the Civil Rights movement was a Communist plot," I believe the distinctions being made are quite meaningless in real terms. For one thing, the Ku Klux Klan did indeed subscribe to worries about Communist plots themdamnselves; to suggest otherwise reveals a lack of knowledge about the Klan(s). For another, the John Birch Society offered its membership (and admirers) a rationalizing ideology which appeared intellectual and respectable -- not racist but "rational," the very ideology that was best exemplified in the Ronald Reagan idolatry; in real terms that only meant that they were deceptive bigots, as opposed to the Klan whose members were more comfortable with being straightforward bigots.

Surely, Daniel, nobody has suggested that the KKK was disinterested in alleged Communist plots -- yet they didn't originate them, they merely reacted to them. Furthermore, the KKK opposition to Civil Rights was straightforward, i.e. they openly stated that they didn't want American blacks to get ahead.

By contrast, the JBS originated the Communist plot theories that the public (including the KKK) consumed. Furthermore, the JBS opposition to Civil Rights was deceptive, i.e. they openly stated that they wanted to stop Communist plots, although the end result was that it stopped American blacks from getting ahead.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo

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Drat, I wrote a reply not logged in. I can't do it again for now in detail. It's about ideas like the M3 had been taken by RFK to behind the Iron Curtain aand other now whimsical notions that encoraged survivalism. This partly why I say that the Civil War has really never ended. The same dogma is there just as much today except now it's on a slow burn.

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...Ideas like the M3 had been taken by RFK behind the Iron Curtain and other now whimsical notions that encoraged survivalism.

This partly is why I say that the Civil War has really never ended. The same dogma is there just as much today except now it's on a slow burn.

I basically agree with your insinuations John -- the John Birch Society 1960's notions and detailed fantasies about Communists in the White House inspired the Survivalist cults in later decades.

Furthermore, the John Birch Society was racist in a deceptive manner, while the KKK was racist in a straightfoward and honest manner.

The KKK was a direct outgrowth of the Civil War -- Abraham Lincoln freed the Slaves, but to what fate? There was no more Slavery, but American blacks were now allowed to free-fall, and what education did they have? What industries did they support? What did American blacks know about the European civilization in 1860 except chains, whips, brothels and agricultural field work?

So, clearly, after the Civil War, blacks did not have social equality -- even the English language was ESL to them, and they were accepted only to the degree that they deferred to whites in every aspect of life. Therefore the South, which had an enormous proportion of black citizens compared with the North, held very different social views compared with the North.

The North, for its part, was ready to forget the war and accept a measure of racism in the South, and try to move forward from there. The South, which had regarded the Civil War as "the Northern aggression," quickly settled into familiar racist attitudes. Perhaps Mississippi best exemplified the post Civil War culture in the South. (The modern movie, The Help, shows how these attitudes lasted well into the 1960's.)

The assassination of JFK is almost certainly linked to the Civil Rights movement. If this is true, then we have a bit of evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy, because Oswald was friendly to the Civil Rights movement. As the Warren Commission admitted, they could find no motive for Oswald to shoot JFK.

But the USA was being torn apart by the Civil Rights movement during the JFK years. It was no accident that the Ole Miss riots broke out during JFK's second year. It was probably no accident that the day after JFK made his famous Civil Rights speech on 11 June 1963, that black activist Medgar Evers was shot in the back by the KKK on 12 June 1963.

The notion that the KKK was involved in the JFK assassination -- as supporters and well-wishers -- seems most reasonable to me. However, attempting to ascribe sole responsibility to the KKK for the JFK slaying does not square with the facts as I read them.

I will paraphrase the rhetoric of Jim Garrison who denied the Mafia was responsible for the JFK assassination: Could the KKK change the JFK parade route? Could the KKK eliminate the protection for JFK? Could the KKK send Oswald to Russia and get him back? Could the KKK get the FBI the CIA, and the Dallas Police to make a mess of the investigation? Could the KKK appoint the Warren Commission to cover it up? Could the KKK wreck the autopsy? Could the KKK influence the national media to go to sleep?

No - not in 1963. However, if this had happened in 1913, then the answer would have been, yes, certainly, because the KKK had lots of social power, and had plenty of Congressmen and even US Senators in office, and even played a major role in electing the US President.

But in 1963, the KKK was already sunken to backwoods obscurity. The real question now is whether there was an extreme rightist group in the USA that had the kind of influence in 1963 that the KKK had in 1913.

Yes there was. It was the John Birch Society. We have plenty of witnesses that link the John Birch Society (along with ex-General Edwin Walker) with the JFK assassination, John, and I can name three from the Warren Commission testimomny immediately -- Bernard Weissman, Frank Ellsworth and Jack Ruby. We also have an eye-witness on this FORUM, Harry Dean, who continues to testify to the charge.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

<edit typos>

Edited by Paul Trejo

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Paul, I think you are on the right track. I've been pushing the Civil Right angle for donkeys years now. The more I learn the clearer it becomes and the beauty of it is that as this has been so overlooked for so long there are some things that cannot be redacted now and there's heaps to connect. There's so much to mention. Much is littered through some thousands of posts. Questions I had years ago are being answered as I expected them to be.

I agree with all this :

The assassination of JFK is almost certainly linked to the Civil Rights movement. If this is true, then we have a bit of evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy, because Oswald was friendly to the Civil Rights movement. As the Warren Commission admitted, they could find no motive for Oswald to shoot JFK.

(edit add : actually I don't agree with this bit about Oswald. I think there is evidence the opposite is true. Not that I'm saying he wasn't a patsy, I think he was but in a different way for different reasons and with a different meaning of what a patsy actually is, or can be.)

But the USA was being torn apart by the Civil Rights movement during the JFK years. It was no accident that the Ole Miss riots broke out during JFK's second year. It was probably no accident that the day after JFK made his famous Civil Rights speech on 11 June 1963, that black activist Medgar Evers was shot in the back by the KKK on 12 June 1963.

and other stuff.

On e thing I question is the slant of the statement

Could the KKK wreck the autopsy? Could the KKK influence the national media to go to sleep?

No - not in 1963. However, if this had happened in 1913, then the answer would have been, yes, certainly, because the KKK had lots of social power, and had plenty of Congressmen and even US Senators in office, and even played a major role in electing the US President.

But in 1963, the KKK was already sunken to backwoods obscurity

You should read up on the M3 case again and the Evers saga. Re the M3 there was a culture that included KKK members as Police force, Coroners, Dentists, Educators, Intelligence agents. (JE Day was a racist), and what about Hugo Black? He did some major constitutional work. Strom Thurmond. Hardly backwoods stuff.

The foot-soldiers for sure, Lumpen as Marx would have it, but I understand this was the Fifth Age of the KKK. They were huge. and armed. in '63.

Now, 'sole responsibility'. ?

What does the foot soldier need to know about the financiers? That's what a middleman is for (eg Walker.) One purpose at the top, a strong motivation at the bottom, and the gatekeeper in between. Who gave the order? Who pulled the trigger? Top and Bottom.

Guilt? The Law's an ass.

....

Edited by John Dolva

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John, I'd like to hear about your nuances regarding Oswald as a patsy. Very interesting.

Also, I admit I overstated my case when I described the 1963 KKK as "sunken to backwoods obscurity." You're right to point that out.

However, even in the M3 case that you cite, and even in the Evers assassination, the KKK were always part of a local community, and not a nationally recognized mainstream community as they had been in 1913. I remember that William Turner described the Dallas Police Department in 1963, saying that to join the DPD a policeman had to belong to one of three groups: the JBS, the MInutemen or the KKK, and preferably some combination of the three.

So, I agree that the KKK were still local players. I also agree that as local players they would theoretically make excellent foot soldiers for their general officers in any right-wing plot. So they're still interesting here.

Now, I've always said I want the ground-crew first -- and I can't stop looking just because a KKK member was found guilty of killing Medgar Evers.

Remember that the MInutemen were the young guys in the movement -- with lots of extra energy to offer. Also, we know with certainty that some of ex-General Edwin Walker's award-winning sharpshooter troops from Augsburg Germany followed him in the USA, and some of them were Minutemen.

Harry Dean has requested that researchers take a look inside that door. We still have much research ahead of us.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

<edit typos>

Edited by Paul Trejo

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John, we do include an appendix in AGOG where we write about the military intelligence context at some length, especially about the role of the 114th MIG group. That stuff was quite mysterious for a long time but there have been some very good historical studies about the growth of the domestic mil intel program, not only in response to antiwar activities but also given the tasking of the military in response to the major urban riots and protests starting in the middle of the decade. Like the FBI domestic programs, its strong stuff - and having lived through it, I can say virtually nobody had the least comprehension of the weight of resources that were brought into play.

As to Dulles, its fascinating but as I recall, actually RFK requested that he do some survey work in the south in regard to the civil rights situation and he did prepare a report. Quite amazing that RFK would call on him, at least to me.

On a side note, in regard to the FBI, the FBI eventually generated an actual report for the State of Mississippi showing how many state and local law enforcement officers were active Klan members....a very long and scary list.

As to Birdsong, the name is familiar but I can't bring up any recollection of what happened with him eventually.

-- Larry

Just on Birdsong. (Lots of interesting stuff in your post to ponder) for now:

bird9

bird8

bird7

bird6

bird5

bird4

bird3

bird2

birdsong1

Edited by John Dolva

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...As to Birdsong, the name is familiar but I can't bring up any recollection of what happened with him eventually.

-- Larry

Just on Birdsong. (Lots of interesting stuff in your post to ponder) for now:

bird9

bird8

bird7

bird6

bird5

bird4

bird3

bird2

birdsong1

While the riots at Ole Miss were raging on 30 September 1962, the students heard a rumor (which was based on fact) that Governor Ross Barnett, who had promised never to yield in his ban on black students at Ole Miss, had actually made a deal with RFK that morning.

When this news was brought to ex-General Edwin Walker who was directing the protests, he denied that Ross Barnett was the one who "sold us out" and he pinned the blame on Colonel Birdsong. At the sound of Birdsong's name, then, the mob let out a massive "boo" and geared up for another attack on the U.S. Marshals that JFK and RFK had sent to Ole Miss.

This factoid comes out in Chris Cravens' rare and superior 1993 dissertation entitled, Edwin Walker and the Right Wing in Dallas 1960-1966.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo

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Interesting. The deal had been struck between the Kennedy brothers and Barnett and was basically a threat (by RFK to Barnett) to release the recordings (which Barnett had been unaware of) of the negotiations that were continuous during the crisis and put Barnett in a bad light. Col. Birdsong was the head of the MHP which was tasked to, but didn't, keep out the '10 000' that Walker had called for. Interesting that the deal had been leaked and that Walker choose to portray it the way he did.

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Interesting. The deal had been struck between the Kennedy brothers and Barnett and was basically a threat (by RFK to Barnett) to release the recordings (which Barnett had been unaware of) of the negotiations that were continuous during the crisis and put Barnett in a bad light. Col. Birdsong was the head of the MHP which was tasked to, but didn't, keep out the '10 000' that Walker had called for. Interesting that the deal had been leaked and that Walker choose to portray it the way he did.

That's right, John. It seems that Colonel Birdsong, as head of the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) was given the task to deny passage to the thousands of Federal Troops that JFK and RFK sent to Jackson, Mississippi that week. Yet honestly, what in the world was Birdsong to do? Have a war with US Federal Troops at the Jackson Mississippi county line? What a joke.

Of course Birdsong quickly yielded to the Federal Troops. Immediately, then, the Federal Troops' first act was to set up roadblocks for all the Minutemen, KKK and other rightist groups bringing guns into Jackson, Mississippi.

The Federal Troops then checked the trunk and glove compartment of every car coming into Jackson, Mississippi and if they found guns or rifles, they would ask what the riders were were headed with these guns, and either (1) register and confiscate the guns so that the owners could claim them on their way back out of Jackson county, and then let them pass; or (2) send the riders back home.

This step probably prevented a full-scale battle from breaking out at Ole Miss in Oxford, and preventing potentially hundreds of deaths.

The second step of the Federal Troops was to set up army camps around Jackson, Mississippi, and begin drills with bayonets. NARA has some film of these training drills. (NARA claims to have no films at all of the actual riots themselves.)

What did Walker and the students really expect? That Birdsong would delay the Federal Troops in time for some armed paramilitary militia to have time to make it to Oxford?

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo

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The MHP were tasked to keep Walkers '10 000' out. They didn't. There are accounts in William Doyles 'An American Insurrection ... ' of the MHP letting them through or telling them alternative routes. The Federal troops took over. Birdsong is portrayed as not supporting Walker as a consequence. Mere political expediancy Things moved very quickly that night. Katzenbachs account of feeding coins into a pay phone at the height of disturbances in order to get instructions from the Kennedys and to keep them informed shows the volatility. What the Kennedy's demanded most was that the Troops not unholster their weapons. Barnett wanted them to so that he could step aside as a defender. He was denied this. As a consequence Alabama Uni went much smoother. The Kennedys were brilliant tacticians and Katzenbach their loyal enforcer.

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