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Question: Did LBJ cover up the assassination?


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Hello,

My name is Lia Kelinsky, I'm a 17 year old American student at the International School of Toulouse, France.

My question is rather open ended. It's been argued that Lyndon B. Johnson justified his involvement with the assassination because he wanted to prevent a Third World War. However, to what extent does the evidence available suggest his involvement? Afterall, he is said to have destroyed most of the evidence that would have implicated him with the assassination.

Background details of the people answering this questions can be found at:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=1169

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Hello Lia, your question is a fascinating one for two reasons. First, the release of the Johnson tapes gives clear evidence that Johnson used the excuse of something which had happened in Mexico City and the related threat of an atomic war to force the creation of the Warren Commission, the personal participation of Warren and very possibly the cover up itself. However although that is now very public, we have not seen a rush of media nor historians to reexamine the issue that a conspiracy existed and was left unexplored due to Johnson's actions and the pressure of the war issue.

Second, there are several aspects of Johnsons documented behavoir which suggest that this issue was a sham.

1) A detailed analysis of Johnson's behavior on the evening of Nov. 22 and over the weekend reveal no indications he was concerned either about any Communist plot nor an atomic exchange (a Soviet first strike would have been a strong possiblity if he truly belived their plan had ended up with a Cuban/Soviet agent in custody and potentially talking about his sponsors).

2) In Johnson's first conversation with Hoover early on the morning of the 23rd, Hoover informs him among other things that there is strong evidence that Oswald had been impersonated in Mexico City - obviously an indication of conspiracy. Johnson makes not a single remark to this information from Hoover and appears to show no interest in it.

3) Johnson's own behavior over the next few days shows no indication that he considered any Communist conspiracy or threat worth his focus nor energy, no special military planning nor any indications that he gave orders to investigate such a conspiracy. One indicator of this is in his call record, even when recruiting WC members and pressuring them with the war threat, all his other calls relate to politics, fund raising and making the Kennedy program agenda his own.

- corroboration for this lack of concern is seen in his first personal remarks to Defense Secetary McNamara upon arrival in DC which are a trivial exchange, his reported lack of interest in a serious briefing from the CIA Director on his morning arrival at the White House and the fact that he did not even call Hoover in to meet with him Friday night nor did he meet with any military personnel.

One of the problems in any study of this nature though, is that we are missing key data from the first two days. We do not have the complete communications records from AF1 on the flight back, we do not have transcripts or even summaries of his first CIA briefings over the weekend. And it is possible that key information may have been suppressed in regard to Oswald which would have quickly removed suspicion that he was indeed a Communist agent - if that was covered up it becomes extremely difficult to accurately evaluate Johnson.

However, on the surface it appears that his use of the "war issue" is highly questionable and accepting that as an explanation of his behavior may be way to simplistic.

-- Larry

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An excellent question. The answer you will get depends on the interpretation of the sources that are available.

Within hours of the assassination J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI, told LBJ that JFK had been assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. He told LBJ that Oswald was linked to several left-wing organizations: the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, the American Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Congress of Racial Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union. Hoover also told LBJ that Oswald had lived in the Soviet Union and was married to a Russian woman who had links to the KGB. Hoover added that in recent weeks Oswald had visited the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City. On the surface this seemed to be evidence of some left-wing plot that involved the governments of Cuba and the Soviet Union.

It is clear from the recorded tape conversations of LBJ that he did not want to believe that JFK had been killed as a result of a conspiracy. This obviously upset Hoover as he had a particular hatred of these five organizations. It could be argued that LBJ knew this and suspected that Oswald had been set up by Hoover. (We now know that there were attempts to set up another man, Vaughn Marlowe, with links to these five organizations in Los Angeles, in the summer of 1963).

You are right to suggest that LBJ claimed that the reason why he did not want it to be a conspiracy as he thought it would lead to a nuclear war. This for example is part of a taped conversation that LBJ had with Richard B. Russell at 8.55 p.m. on 29th November, 1963.

Richard Russell: I know I don't have to tell you of my devotion to you but I just can't serve on that Commission. I'm highly honoured you'd think about me in connection with it but I couldn't serve on it with Chief Justice Warren. I don't like that man. I don't have any confidence in him at all.

Lyndon B. Johnson: It has already been announced and you can serve with anybody for the good of America and this is a question that has a good many more ramifications than on the surface and we've got to take this out of the arena where they're testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that and chuck us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour....

LBJ explains that if he accepts a communist conspiracy he will be under pressure to invade Cuba. This is likely to lead to a nuclear war that would “kill 40 million Americans in an hour.” Therefore, the only safe course is to believe that Oswald was a lone gunman. That there was no communist conspiracy. Therefore, LBJ’s cover up helps to save the world. Well, that is what he wants us to believe, but is it true?

As this is a conversation with a close friend (the leader of the conservative Democrats in the Deep South) we could assume this was what LBJ genuinely thought about the situation. However, it is more complicated than that. LBJ taped all his telephone conversations. Later, most of them were destroyed. LBJ decided to keep this one and it eventually appeared in the public domain. So this is what LBJ wanted us to believe. That of course does not mean it isn't true.

I am not convinced that LBJ believed that if he invaded Cuba it would result in a nuclear war. For example, the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 had not led to a war with the USA. There was an informal agreement that the Soviet Union and the USA could invade neighbouring countries if they posed a threat to their security.

The interesting question is why LBJ did not take this opportunity to invade Cuba. This is definitely what the anti-Castro Cubans and the hawks in the CIA expected to happen. Could it be that it served the interests of the Military Industrial Complex (probably the real people behind the assassination) to have a communist controlled country so close to the United States. This was a good example of the domino theory and was a permanent argument for increased military spending. It was also the same argument that LBJ would use to justify increased military involvement in Vietnam.

Is it possible there are other reasons why he does not want the assassination fully investigated? Could he be worried what might be found at in such an investigation. This does not mean he was in some way involved in the assassination. It could mean that he knew he would be implicated in the assassination of JFK. If that was the case, he would go along with others who had been implicated in this murder (the FBI and the CIA), to cover up all traces of the conspiracy.

This is my interpretation of the sources we have available. Other historians, especially those who have more respect for LBJ than I have, will be convinced that the fear of nuclear war was the real reason why he refused to accept that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK.

Please feel free to ask follow up questions on this subject.

You might want to take a look at the political career of LBJ.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAjohnsonLB.htm

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Hello,

My name is Lia Kelinsky, I'm a 17 year old American student at the International School of Toulouse, France.

My question is rather open ended. It's been argued that Lyndon B. Johnson justified his involvement with the assassination because he wanted to prevent a Third World War. However, to what extent does the evidence available suggest his involvement? Afterall, he is said to have destroyed most of the evidence that would have implicated him with the assassination.

Lia... your question (3rd WW) really refers to LBJ's tactics used to convince Earl Warren to head the Presidential Commission. Look up references on Johnson's persuading Warren. He did not really believe it.

My research for more than 40 years indicates that LBJ knew the Russians were not involved... BECAUSE HE KNEW WHO THE PERPETRATORS WERE.

Lyndon, Dulles, Hoover, Nixon and their cronies were the chief plotters, and none of them were going to start a Third World War.

Jack White

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Hello to everyone! ;)

My name is Evgenia Plotnikova-Doumerc (everyone, however, calls me just Zhenia for short)

While reading these posts, I have got another question, may be a bit off this particular topic. However, as Mr Simkin said to be free to ask follow-up questions, I thought that I may ask it.

As far as I understood, it seems like LBJ was trying to cover up Communist conspiracy or perhaps pretend covering up, as Mr White suggested. ( Mr White, sorry, for not actually quoting the post, I thought that that was its message).

So, is there any sources available now that can prove this Communist conspiracy besides Oswald's participation in Communist organisations? And do you think this participation proves Communist conspiracy or could Oswald's figure have been just chosen and exposed on purpose?

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Hello to everyone! ;)

My name is Evgenia Plotnikova-Doumerc (everyone, however, calls me just Zhenia for short)

While reading these posts, I have got another question, may be a bit off this particular topic. However, as Mr Simkin said to be free to ask follow-up questions, I thought that I may ask it.

As far as I understood, it seems like LBJ was trying to cover up Communist conspiracy or perhaps pretend covering up, as Mr White suggested. ( Mr White, sorry, for not actually quoting the post, I thought that that was its message).

So, is there any sources available now that can prove this Communist conspiracy besides Oswald's participation in Communist organisations? And do you think this participation proves Communist conspiracy or could Oswald's figure have been just chosen and exposed on purpose?

Hello, Eugenia (as it is said in the USA). I have a friend by that name.

The whole "Communist connection" was a scheme by the CIA to blame Russia/Cuba for the assassination. The Russians had no motive, means or opportunity to commit the crime. They could not control the coverup.

Oswald was a low level CIA agent who was a false defector to Russia for an unknown spying assignment. Later his CIA handlers implicated him in the assassination as a cold war effort to blame Communism (Castro, Kruschev) as an excuse to invade Cuba.

There is no single source to prove this. It took me years of studying many sources to reach this conclusion.

Welcome to the forum.

Jack White :)

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Hello Zhenia, the answer to your question gets pretty lengthy but I'll try to be brief. There were several incidents/sources which were floated after the assassination in an attempt to associate Oswald with Castro. They include:

1) Several anti-Castro groups and their supporters put forth this story, such sources included were DRE, John Martino and Frank Sturgis - and much later John Roselli via Jack Anderson. None of these sources were credible and several of them may well have been associated with the actual conspiracy to kill the President and blame it on Castro.

2) Several ultra-right organizations - none offering any specific evidence.

3) The FBI investigated a number of purported connections ranging from letters supposedly sent from Cuban agents to Oswald (Pedro Charles letters) to observations of Oswald with Cuban agents in Mexico City (including Gilberto Alvarado who had presented himself to the CIA and was initially heavily endorsed by David Phillips of the CIA). None of these proved to be credible and in the latter case raised questions as to the motives of the CIA officers involved with the story in Mexico City.

4) The CIA, in addition to Alvarado, investigated indications that Oswald had been in contact with senior KGB assassination officers in Mexico City. Nothing concrete came from this although there is considerable evidence that this Oswald was actually impersonated in some of these reported contacts - again raising issues about the behavior of certain CIA officers and CIA counter intelligence (CI/SIG).

5) The CIA also floated several reports of possible Castro agents in the US at the time of the assassination but investigation revealed nothing substantive in the reports.

In addition, there is no evidence that any of this had any real impact on LBJ or that he showed any real interest to it - in one case, when Hoover reported the Oswald impersonation in Mexico City, Johnson did not even comment and there is no sign that he asked questions about or showed any interest in the other items listed above. This includes his lack of any comment on the Alvarado incident which was reported to him and no evidence that he was ever even briefed on Kostikov (probably the most potentially dangerous of all these incidents).

Based on the Johnson tapes there is no evidence that any Agency, individual or the media was putting any pressure on Johnson over the subject - all the significant pressure in regard to communist involvement a potential atomic war was being asserted by Johnson himself, apparently on his own initiative.

-- Larry

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Hi Lia,

The first person to mention anything about a possible communist conspiracy came from LBJ just after he found out that JFK was dead.

This is from historian William Manchester's book, Death of a President:

"...Kilduff saw the broad back of Kennedy's constitutional successor.

He cleared his throat and said, "Mr. President."

"It was the FIRST time that anyone had so addressed Johnson. He turned and, according to Kilduff's later recollection, "looked at me like I was Donald Duck."

"Kilduff asked permission to make a statement [that Kennedy had died]. Johnson shook his head. 'No, wait. We don't know whether it's a Communist conspiracy or not. I'd better get out of here and back on the plane. Are you prepared to get me out of here?"

Additionally, JFK's secretary, Mrs Lincoln, is on record as saying that LBJ was crying "Communist conspiracy" to anyone who would listen at Parkland.

If Kilduff and Lincoln were being truthful, it (a Communist conspiracy) was an unusual assumption to be making in the heart of extreme right country- especially given the Dallas Morning News black border ad, the wanted for treason flyers, and the recent physical attack on Adlai Stevenson by Birchers.

It seems everyone, very early, was pushing to find a Communist (Soviet or Cuban) conspiracy. This included the Dallas police, the US ambassador to Mexico, and of course, J Edgar Hoover. Among the "evidence" being pushed in support of this was advice by Hoover that Oswald had been to Cuba a number of times, and a report from Mexico that a red-haired Cuban had passed a large sum of money to Oswald in the Cuban embassy there.

So what happened to change things and make everyone, including LBJ, back off this particular scenario?

In my opinion, what changed was the designated patsy surviving long enough to be arrested. The "evidence" which would have made him look like a Cuban agent simply would not work with him alive and in captivity. It would have worked with him flown out of the country and killed.

There was a report of a plane leaving Mexico City for Havana on the 22nd which had a single passenger. If Oswald had been whisked out of the country and killed, I have little doubt this flight and passenger would have been thoroughly "investigated", with the "investigation" concluding the mystery man was one, Lee Harvey Oswald.

So...was the original plan to force an invasion of Cuba? Well, despite my respect for people like Larry and John... on this, I have to disagree with them, and say that it was.

The 40,000,000 deaths was an excuse for a cover-up either way.

Cheers,

Greg

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Greg, I don't think we disagree at all unless I misread you...

The premise of my book is that the murder of JFK was absolutely to frame Oswald (and others) as Castro agents, to force a war with Cuba and an invasion and ouster of Castro.

But as Martino said, as soon as Tippett was shot and Oswald taken into custody the whole thing fell apart - there were various efforts afterwards to keep pushing the scanario but Johnson moved to a solid no conspiracy/cover-up stance and took complete mastery of the situation.... despite his early public remarks about conspiracy and later private ones on Castro being behind it (which became sort of a fall back for Johnson it appears).

-- Larry

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I would agree that there was never any real evidence of a communist conspiracy. Over the years, the media has repeatedly run articles on the "Pedro Charles letters" as new evidence of such, but they were exposed as fakes many years ago, and are very old news. Johnson tried to suggest Cuban involvement at times, but there is no real evidence for this.

As for Lyndon Johnson, reports of his involvement have circulated ever since the assassination. Right-wing author J. Evetts Haley considered him responsible, as did left-wing playwright Barbara Garson, among others.

One theory has Johnson's own organization in Texas, using their hit man Mac Wallace, committing the assassination, or being involved in it. This has been revived recently, as noted below.

Another has Texas oil money behind it, with Johnson knowing ahead of time and helping to cover it up--this is what his mistress Madeleine Brown said.

A third has the Carlos Marcello organized crime family, which had a subordinate organization in Dallas, and which made payoffs to the Johnson organization through Jack Halfen, committing the crime and Johnson covering it up.

The latest theory, in Barr McClellan's book, and in the recently-suppressed History documentary, has a Johnson lawyer organzing the assassination, again using Mac Wallace in the plan.

At one point, Johnson's press secretary George Reedy, in a taped phone call, suggested that Johnson tell the truth about his Texas activities, with Johnson reponding that if he did that, he would go to jail. There were plenty of other activities, of course, to which this could refer, so it doesn't necessarily relate to the assassination.

Whether Johnson was involved remains a puzzle, but we seem to have more of the pieces than we once did.

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So...was the original plan to force an invasion of Cuba? Well, despite my respect for people like Larry and John... on this, I have to disagree with them, and say that it was.

I agree that some (but possibly not all) of the plotters were trying to force the US government to invade Cuba. The problem was that LBJ refused to do that. The question for historians is why? Was it because he feared a nuclear war? Or were there other reasons for this (as I have tried to explain above).

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There were several books and articles published after the assassination that claimed that JFK was killed as a result of a communist conspiracy.

One of the first to do so was Billy James Hargis, the founder of Christian Crusade (a Christian weapon against Communism and its godless allies). He claimed in his book The Far Left (1964) that JFK was assassinated as a result of a communist conspiracy. He also believed that the KGB and the American Communist Party had also planted evidence in an attempt to put the blame on right-wing organizations such as the John Birch Society.

… there are not thousands upon thousands of trained Communist agents in this country today, some of them trained, as Lee Harvey Oswald obviously was, to be expert killers. The murder of the President of the United States was one of the most skillful acts of killing imaginable and could have been accomplished only by great training, and now the facts show that Oswald received such training inside the Soviet Union, while he lived there as a citizen.

It is a lie hatched in hell that the so-called “right-wing extremists” are guilty of the murder of the President of the United States. That lie was put out as official Communist Party propaganda in the first flash of Tass News Agency in Moscow as reported in this country within minutes after the President was killed. Tass, the Russian Communist News Agency, said it was believed that “right-wing extremists” were responsible for the murder of the President, and specifically branded General Edwin A. Walker as being one of those guilty.

James Angleton, chief of the CIA's counter-intelligence section, also argued that Nikita Khrushchev was involved in the assassination. He claimed that Khrushchev sought revenge after he had been humiliated by Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

In his book, Khrushchev Killed Kennedy (1975), Michael Eddowes argued that Kennedy was killed by a Soviet agent impersonating Lee Harvey Oswald. In Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (1978), Edward Jay Epstein argues that Oswald was a KGB agent.

In a series of articles for the Washington Post Jack Anderson argued that Fidel Castro joined forces with the Mafia to kill Kennedy. Recently it has been discovered that Anderson relied on information from LBJ and the CIA for his stories.

As far as I can see, there is no evidence to support these claims. In fact, evidence has emerged that undermine these theories. For example, to test his theory, Eddowes tried to force the government to exhume Oswald's body. This was originally refused but after gaining the support of Oswald's family, the exhumation took place on 4th October, 1981. The body was taken to the Baylor Medical Center. Identification was made primarily using dental records. At a news conference held later the following statement was issued: “The findings of the team are as follows: We independently and as a team have concluded beyond any doubt, and I mean beyond any doubt, that the individual buried under the name of Lee Harvey Oswald in Rose Hill Cemetery is in fact Lee Harvey Oswald.”

Eddowes accepted this judgement and as a result lost all interest in the case. It was later revealed that his research (and the publication of his book) had been funded by the Texas oil billionaire, Haroldson L. Hunt (a right-wing critic of JFK who had been himself accused of being behind the assassination).

For a summary of these theories (follow the links provided) see:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKSinvestSoviet.htm

The main reason why serious historians have given little credence to the theory that JFK was killed by Castro/Khrushchev/KGB, etc. is that it makes no political sense at all. Why have JFK replaced by LBJ? All the evidence suggests that during the summer of 1963 the Cold War was going through a significant thaw. Why would Castro and Khrushchev want the Cold War warrior, LBJ as president?

However, let us assume that they did order the assassination. For example, it has been argued that Castro sought revenge after discovering that JFK had been behind the various attempts to have him assassinated. Would the communists have used Lee Harvey Oswald as one of the assassins? This is absolute madness. No one could be more obviously linked to the governments of Cuba and the Soviet Union. On the surface, it immediately looked like Oswald was working for the KGB. Of course it did, because the conspirators wanted it to look that way.

As Jack has pointed out Castro and Khrushchev had no power to cover up the conspiracy (although Tony Frank will probably argue that the CIA was under the control of the KGB). It was those who did have this power (LBJ/CIA/FBI/SS) that decided that the communists were not to be blamed for JFK’s death. As I have argued earlier, the reason for this was a fear of a thorough investigation into JFK’s death. It was far safer for all concerned to believe that JFK had been killed by a “lone nut”.

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Greg,  I don't think we disagree at all unless I misread you...

The premise of my book is that the murder of JFK was absolutely to frame Oswald (and others) as Castro agents,  to force a war with Cuba and an invasion and ouster of Castro.

But as Martino said,  as soon as Tippett was shot and Oswald taken into custody the whole thing fell apart - there were various efforts  afterwards to keep pushing the scanario but Johnson moved to a solid no conspiracy/cover-up stance and took complete mastery of the situation.... despite his early public remarks about conspiracy and later private ones on Castro being behind it  (which became sort of a fall back for Johnson it appears).

-- Larry

Sorry Larry... sleep deprivation... 5 month old twins. I possibly had your take on this particular issue confused with that of PD Scott?

Your book is one I have to get.

greg

Edited by greg
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Hi Lia and Zhenia,

In December 1972, more than nine years after President Kennedy was assassinated, retired Chief Justice Earl Warren was interviewed for a PBS television show and he stated the reason why a cover up was paramount and why he agreed to lead the cover-up team.

He said that President Johnson was worried “that Soviet Premier Khrushchev and Cuba’s Premier Castro might have been involved in the assassination.”

Warren “was invited to the White House by Mr. Johnson who ‘told me he felt conditions around the world were so bad at the moment that he thought it might even get us into a war; a nuclear war.’”

Two hours before going to the White House, “Mr. Warren said that he had advised the President’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy, that he did not believe a Chief Justice should undertake non-judicial duties while sitting on the Supreme Court.”

“Warren also related that Mr. Johnson said he had asked for a report from Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara for an estimate on how many Americans would be killed in a Soviet nuclear attack. He said that Mr. Johnson had told him he was given a figure of 60,000,000 . . . The former Chief Justice said that the President’s concern had caused him to agree to head the inquiry.”

(New York Times, 12-9-72, page 25)

President Johnson “also talked personally with each member appointed” when the Warren Commission was established.

When Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach wrote his memo to the White House, he suggested proffering a perspective “which will satisfy people in the United States and abroad that all the facts have been told, and that a statement to this affect be made now,” and “We should have some basis for rebutting the thought that this was a Communist conspiracy.”

With this “basis” for establishing the Warren Commission, Earl Warren certainly wasn’t going to admit that they found evidence that it was a “Communist conspiracy.” The whole point of the Warren Commission was to cover up evidence of Cuban and Soviet involvement because President Johnson “thought it might even get us into a war; a nuclear war.”

The monumental concern about a nuclear war resulting from Soviet and Cuban involvement in Kennedy’s assassination was pointedly logical, and circumstances made it extremely convenient to use as justification for a cover up.

In 1961, when Johnson was Vice President, the notorious CIA supported Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba took place and in October of 1962, when Soviet missile sites were discovered in Cuba, President Kennedy initiated a blockade of Cuba which has since been viewed as a nuclear stand-off that brought us to the brink of nuclear war.

Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, had lived in the Soviet Union, was married to a woman from the Soviet Union, and was purported to be pro-Castro. Oswald was conveniently arrested within an hour and a half of President Kennedy’s assassination and then killed less than forty-eight hours later.

Johnson’s efforts to prevent the revelation of a Cuban connection failed in 1967 when a New Orleans District Attorney named Jim Garrison (whose celebrated prosecutorial effort was spotlighted in the movie “JFK”) promulgated information that there was Cuban involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Garrison’s investigation was first publicized in a New Orleans newspaper on February 17, 1967. It identified the focus of the investigation as a New Orleans pilot named David Ferrie and on the following day, “District Attorney Jim Garrison issued a statement predicting ‘arrests and convictions’ in New Orleans.”

It was also on the following day that “Mr. Ferrie acknowledged that he was under investigation but called the inquiry ‘a big joke.’”

David Ferrie was found dead in his apartment at 11:40 AM on February 22, 1967. The coroner, Dr. Nicholas Chetta, said he had died on the evening of February 21st, four days after Jim Garrison’s investigation became public.

The New York Times stated that Ferrie was naked under a sheet in his bed, where he died of a “brain hemorrhage.” The brain hemorrhage was brought on by “natural causes.”

The Times initially stated: “What appeared to be a suicide note was on the dining room table in the apartment, according to Dr. Nicholas Chetta, the Orleans Parish coroner . . . He quoted part of it as saying, ‘To leave this life is, for me, a sweet prospect. I find nothing in it that is desirable, and on the other hand, everything that is loathsome,’” but “Mr. Chetta declined to reveal the full contents of the note.”

“Dr. Chetta said he was not yet classifying the death as a suicide. He said ‘anatomical findings’ thus far had shown that Mr. Ferrie suffered a brain hemorrhage.”

“‘Probably this man was under undue pressure,’ Dr. Chetta said.” (Maybe that’s what naturally caused his brain hemorrhage, while he was in bed, naked under a sheet.)

On February 25, 1967, the New York Times reported: “Dr. Chetta said Mr. Ferrie’s physician, whom he declined to name, had told him that Mr. Ferrie grew increasingly depressed in recent weeks and ‘talked of suicide and rambled on about suing Mr. Garrison.’”

On February 23, 1967, two days after Ferrie was silenced, the New York Times stated: “Housewives who lived near Mr. Ferrie at the time of the assassination told newsmen he had a strong interest in Cuba, and acquaintances reported him to be militantly anti-Castro . . . According to a friend, Mr. Ferrie was ‘a rabid anti-Castroite.’ The friend said he hinted that he had participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion but would never elaborate.”

On May 22, 1967, the New York Times stated: “District Attorney Jim Garrison says that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill President Kennedy and the Central Intelligence Agency knows who did.”

“‘Purely and simply it’s a case of former employees of the CIA, a large number of them Cubans, having a venomous reaction from the 1961 Bay of Pigs episode. Certain individuals with a fusion of interests in regaining Cuba assassinated the President,’ Mr. Garrison says.”

“Mr. Garrison said that the agency knew ‘the name of every man involved and the name of the individuals who pulled the triggers’ to kill Mr. Kennedy.”

“Mr. Garrison said it would take ‘only 60 minutes for the CIA to give us the name of every last Cuban involved in this and that’s how close we have been to the end for some time, but we are blocked by this glass wall of this totalitarian, powerful agency which is worried about its power.’”

“He repeatedly accused the agency of blocking and attempting to block his investigation, begun last fall.” (Obviously the CIA was the source of information that Cubans were involved.)

This Cuba connection that needed to be covered up was almost instantaneously made part of President Kennedy’s assassination. When Ferrie died, the New York Times reported: “Mr. Ferrie came under investigation by local and Federal authorities only hours after the assassination when Edward Voebel, a high school classmate of Oswald’s, told investigators that Oswald had served briefly in a civilian air patrol unit commanded by Mr. Ferrie.”

“Secret Service records show that Mr. Ferrie told agents shortly after the assassination that he was ‘positive’ he was in New Orleans on the day of the murder, Friday, November 22, 1963.”

“Three days after the assassination, when they received reports that Mr. Ferrie had made a quick trip to Texas immediately after the Presidential murder, Mr. Garrison’s staff arrested him for questioning, but Federal interest in Mr. Ferrie waned, according to one investigative source, when the FBI determined that Mr. Ferrie had gone to Houston rather than Dallas and had not known Oswald in the air patrol.”

(It seems that a man who was supposedly Oswald’s high school classmate lied to investigators and in the process established an immediate Cuban connection that the “Secret Service” was looking into.)

On the day Ferrie was found dead, Jim Garrison stated: “Evidence developed by our office had long since confirmed that he was involved in events culminating in the assassination of President Kennedy. Although my office has been investigating Mr. Ferrie intensively for months, we have not mentioned his name publicly up to this point . . . In a meeting in my house this morning, we had reached a decision to arrest him early next week. Apparently we waited too long.”

Edited by Anthony Frank
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