Jump to content
The Education Forum

Robert Caro declares LBJ had nothing to do with JFK death


Recommended Posts

I disagree about opportunity. LBJ was way too exposed. As for motive, that's questionable. In politics these kind of survival situations come up every day, without murder.

Too exposed for what? You do realize that not every phone call made by Johnson was recorded, right? You do realize that someone went back and erased the tape of Johnson's 11-23-63 phone call with Hoover, right?

As far as "survival situations" coming up every day, well, Caro documents this as well. Johnson was at the end of his rope on 11-22-63. His corruption was being exposed, and he lacked the political capital and backing of the President to stop it. He very likely would have been forced off the ticket in 64. So, why not try for a "Hail, Mary" pass?

All it would have taken on his part was a wink. Or a nod.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

... Now I wonder how much the fear of insurrection was behind the Civil Rights legislation - on Johnson's part, and on the parts of certain of the influential people whe were running him. Fear, also, of suffering the consequences of real or imagined Soviet involvement in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements.

It would be useful to track Civil Rights developments against US civil unrest against the war to see at what point Johnson's decision to initiate Civil Rights legislation became an inevitable one.

I share this viewpoint. By the mid 1960's the social fabric of the country was bursting at the seams.

If LBJ were considering his legacy, it was that of a VP who had assumed power under suspicious circumstances after the assassination of a very popular President, and then as President, had turned Vietnam from a trouble-spot into a very unpopular War. Anti-war demonstrations and student protests were commonplace, as were Civil Rights protests and demonstrations. The two movements were becoming linked.

From his viewpoint, the "Great Society" legislation would bolster his humanitarian image, and with the same stroke, attempt to defuse the social unrest that was sweeping the nation.

As demonstrated in Caro's book, LBJ began pushing Kennedy's civil rights legislation immediately after the assassination. His pumping up the war in Vietnam, and the protests that came as a result, came later, and helped undermine the "Great Society" he'd tried to engineer. This is why many historians consider the Vietnam War a double-edged tragedy. It hurt the U.S. both internationally, and domestically.

True, LBJ quickly began working on the JFK Civil Rights legislation. I have not read Caro's book yet so I can't comment on his view.

The resistance to U.S. involvement in Vietnam was kick-started almost immediately as LBJ assumed office. He made no secret of his hawkish views on Vietnam.

The new administration's rhetoric was encountering resistance well before the Gulf of Tonkin or large scale combat troop deployment.

The first formal demonstrations began in May of 1964. But even before the larger scale public demonstrations, students and young people in the "coffee house" scene were discussing the draft and how Vietnam would impact their futures.

From my experience, it is a fair statement to say that LBJ's Civil Rights legislation and the anti-war movement were both developing soon after he took office.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Robert Morrow

Just saw Caro on The Daily Show. He acknowledged something that conspiracy theorists might find helpful. He said that LBJ told a number of people why he took the Vice-Presidential slot, and that the reason HE provided was that he wanted to be President, knew no southerner would get elected in his lifetime, and had observed that 6 Vice-Presidents had gained the Presidency upon the death of their predecessor. In other words, LBJ acknowledged that he only took the VP slot because he thought Kennedy might die. Hmmm....

Lyndon Johnson was in a drunken stupor in much of 1960 because he wanted to be president but he was mortified that he might lose to John Kennedy in the primary process. LBJ did not want to be vice president but I think he got talked into it by Sam Rayburn, H.L. Hunt and Lady Bird Johnson. After the last minute decision was made to go for the Vice presidency that is when the blackmail/strong arm tactics were used on JFK on the night of July 13, 1960 (see Hersh and Anthony Summers for that). The Kennedys had already picked Symington and in fact had told him through Clark Clifford that he was the one (VP nominee).

Then JFK melted like a chocolate bar in the hot sun under the pressures of Johnson and Rayburn. Remember Johnson still does not want to be VP although he is *insisting* on being VP. That is a warning flag.

1) Lyndon Johnson to Clare Luce Booth:

"Clare Booth Luce, admittedly no friend of LBJ, rode on the bus to the inaugural ball with him after the election. She pressed him to tell her why, after a year and a half of denials, he had agreed to accept second place on the ticket. `And he leaned close and said,' Luce recalled, `Clare, I looked it up; one out of every four presidents has died in office. I'm a gamblin' man, darlin', and this is the only chance I got.'"

Lyndon Johnson:

2) LBJ's extremely close associate Bobby Baker was predicting on Inauguration Day, 1960, that JFK would die a violent death. Baker told this to Don Reynolds, another man involved in the LBJ corruption.

http://www.spartacus...k/JFKbakerB.htm

(11) Edward Jay Epstein, Esquire Magazine (December, 1966)

In January of 1964 the Warren Commission learned that Don B. Reynolds, insurance agent and close associate of Bobby Baker, had been heard to say the FBI knew that Johnson was behind the assassination. When interviewed by the FBI, he denied this. But he did recount an incident during the swearing in of Kennedy in which Bobby Baker said words to the effect that the s.o.b. would never live out his term and that he would die a violent death.”

3) Don Reynolds was the one giving informal testimony on LBJ's corruption to the Senate Rules Committee on 11/22/63. He was testifying at 1:30 PM Eastern just as a bullet is going into JFK's head. John Simkin:

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

Note I think that military intelligence murdered John Kennedy, but that Lyndon Johnson was in on the plot up to his bloody eyeballs.

Edited by Robert Morrow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

still waiting for any direct evidence of LBJ's involvement; all the above proves is that he was a slime and a war criminal. That I knew. And it doesn't take a recorded phone call to illustrate exposure. Hell, he was the president of the USA, what's more exposed than that? And once again, someone would have talked......

Edited by Allen Lowe
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish that I would have read this before I bought the damn book yesterday! Sorry for Caro. The LBJ Family shut him out of the library and LBJs papers for years because of his previous volumes and how they portrayed LBJ. That's why this volume really took so long to publish. To indict Johnson, LBJ had to ask CBS and Cromkite to delete his interview comment where he stated that he believed that there was a conspiracy...LBJ The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination by Phillip F. Nelson for so many LBJ links to the assassination that you know why he needed to see a shrink (Barr McClellan; Blood, Money & Power) and why he was petrified with the sheets of a bed pulled up to his face when Doris Kearns Goodwin interviewed him for LBJ and The American Dream. Meetings at Clint Murchinson's house the night before the assassination, Cooks and Valets seeing him there with Hoover (The Men Who Killed Kennedy). Madeline Brown for what it's worth. And, why was LBJ ducking into Lady Bird's lap all during the motorcade? ~ Sen Ralph Yarborough. Sure wish we could see those shrinks records...And why did LBJ call Dr. Crenshaw at Parkland Hospital when they were trying to save Oswald and telling Crenshaw that a death bed confession was needed! Just sayin

Edited by Anthony DeFiore
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't all of it by far.

KKK

http://mdah.state.ms...|3|42|1|1|118|#

Black Power

http://mdah.state.ms...|9|1|1|1|7967|#

New Orleans

http://mdah.state.ms...3|1|1|1|43793|#

The MSC files have some 2 - 300 direct references to LBJ. Statements and News articles. This is out of looking at about ten of them. I have looked before and was looking for a particular one of a train to be blown up but I can't be bothered to find it again.

edittypo

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, this new Caro book is REALLY bad. Yes there are one or two redeeming qualities. But, this new Caro book is REALLY bad. There are some reviews making some good points, but generally a lot of the LBJ did it centric-ness of these reviews is playing right into the hands of the disinformationists.

I hope that people who can point out the wider political implications of the coup can post stuff on there soon.

This book is getting lots and lots of views, and it is a shame that readers are sometimes only being given a caricature of the research community. We need to get more media-smart and realize that this is a wider angle opportunity to escape the horrible prison that the internet has become. Please post reviews with links to good books NOW!! . I will asap but unfortunately this is my most hellish time of year and I have zero time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I haven't read the book yet, I've talked with a few people who are reading it, and read his excerpt on 11/22/63 that was published in NY mag. and found that it peculiar he didn't mention the call LBJ made to his lawyer J.W.Bullion from either Parkand or AF1 before take off.

Caro may say that he has come across no evidence of LBJ in a conspiracy to kill JFK, I'd like to know what Caro has to say about the murder of Marshall, and other crimes, which should be in the earlier books.

I have heard Caro interviewed on NPR and found him a compelling story teller, and many of the stories he tells - how LBJ got on the ticket with JFK, how his feud with RFK became a blood fued, how LBJ and RFK met in the Senate dining room, how LBJ called RFK out over why he hated him at a party - and how his powers as VP were diminished as time went on. Caro even gets into how RFK kept LBJ from using the SAM fleet of planes including AF2. Then there's the shouting match between LBJ and JFK in the hotel on the night before the assassination, apparently over the role Sen. Yarborough was to play and where he would sit in the motorcade and the banquet that night that never happened. He also gets into the Bobby Baker investigation and how it was about to take LBJ down, and the shift in the relationship between LBJ and John Connally, who was able to deliver Texas and the south without LBJ, making the VP expendable on the ticket.

While Caro may parrot the no-conspiracy party line, he is also not writing a straight bio but a study in power, and how LBJ exercised power, in Congress, as VP and as President, and he sets the stage, quite accurately, in the power plays that were being waged that culminated with the murder of JFK.

So, regardless of what opinion Caro may have about the assassination, he sets the stage for the power play that occurs at Dealey Plaza, and how LBJ was the chief beneficiary, Que Bono? LBJ.

Just as with Poser, Holland and Blaine, they can't write about the assassination without giving up new incriminating information.

BK

JFKcountercoup

JFKCountercoup2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Robert Morrow

Lyndon Johnson was at the epicenter of the JFK assassination. One thing Robert Caro does well is illustrate how much Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedys hated each other. Notice I said the "Kennedys" and not just RFK. Lyndon Johnson was completely aware that Robert Kennedy was acting on behalf of President Lyndon Johnson as RFK was on the verge of politically executing and personally destroying Lyndon Johnson in the fall of 1963. In fact, RFK was within mere days of having accomplished this using the Bobby Baker scandal as the "ammunition" for this in the words of Evelyn Lincoln.

Note: I have no doubt that military intelligence carried out the JFK assassination; but Lyndon Johnson was one of the inner circle plotters. I do think "Cuba policy" was a bigger reason for the JFK asssassination than Vietnam. Cuba is where the passions of the day were focused. As Nixon called it: the "whole Bay of Pigs thing" when he referred to the JFK assassination.

If Vice President "Rufus Cornpone" and the Kennedys hated each other so much, they why in the world would the Kennedys put this psychopath on the 1960 Demo ticket anyhow?

Answer: read Seymour Hersh, Anthony Summers and Evelyn Lincoln for that. LBJ and his mentor Sam Rayburn used sexual blackmail and other strong arm tactics to force a John Kennedy to put him on the ticket. John Kennedy melted like a chocolate bar in the hot sun under the pressures of LBJ and Rayburn. JFK said they promised trouble, and he did not need trouble.

Another good thing Caro shows is that the Kennedy brothers were indeed trying to get rid of LBJ, despite what a Schlesinger or Sorensen may have said in the past. Evelyn Lincoln is more reliable than those 2 CFR hacks who simulaneously wanted to preserve their standings with the establishment and paper over any unpleasant facts, weaknesses and embarrassments of the Kennedys.

So while Caro with his whitewash of Lyndon Johnson and the JFK assassination has delivered an epic fail in the study of power and Lyndon Johnson, he has nevertheless inched and slightly bumped the establishment towards the truth of the JFK assassination.

Still, I can't forgive Caro. The man spent 35 years studying Lyndon Johnson, with particular focus on his dark use of power and Caro still comes up empty on the JFK assasination. That is like saying the Chicago Bulls of the 1990's were a great basketball team, but who is Michael Jordan? Caro spends pages and pages on Johnson's passage of the JFK tax cut bill. That is like an autistic kid reading a bubble gum wrapper over and over again. Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover were in the midst of covering up the crime of the century - one of the most famous in world history ... and Caro is laser focued on a tax cut bill?

I do encourage JFK assassination researchers to read Caro's book and please post your reviews on Amazon as well as get active in the comments sections on the reviews there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having read the New Yorker excerpt, I'm wondering what people's opinion is on why Johnson was so vehemently insistent on having Sen. Ralph Yarborough ride with him and not in the Kennedy limo in Dallas. Was it only a forced attempt at public fence mending?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

still waiting for any direct evidence of LBJ's involvement; all the above proves is that he was a slime and a war criminal. That I knew. And it doesn't take a recorded phone call to illustrate exposure. Hell, he was the president of the USA, what's more exposed than that? And once again, someone would have talked......

If you trust Madeline Brown's comments, LBJ is guilty. However, she had a son with LBJ who never got a dime of LBJ inheritance ~ so her words could be revenge. However, she may have given testimony before LBJ's death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I haven't read the book yet, I've talked with a few people who are reading it, and read his excerpt on 11/22/63 that was published in NY mag. and found that it peculiar he didn't mention the call LBJ made to his lawyer J.W.Bullion from either Parkand or AF1 before take off.

Caro may say that he has come across no evidence of LBJ in a conspiracy to kill JFK, I'd like to know what Caro has to say about the murder of Marshall, and other crimes, which should be in the earlier books.

I have heard Caro interviewed on NPR and found him a compelling story teller, and many of the stories he tells - how LBJ got on the ticket with JFK, how his feud with RFK became a blood fued, how LBJ and RFK met in the Senate dining room, how LBJ called RFK out over why he hated him at a party - and how his powers as VP were diminished as time went on. Caro even gets into how RFK kept LBJ from using the SAM fleet of planes including AF2. Then there's the shouting match between LBJ and JFK in the hotel on the night before the assassination, apparently over the role Sen. Yarborough was to play and where he would sit in the motorcade and the banquet that night that never happened. He also gets into the Bobby Baker investigation and how it was about to take LBJ down, and the shift in the relationship between LBJ and John Connally, who was able to deliver Texas and the south without LBJ, making the VP expendable on the ticket.

While Caro may parrot the no-conspiracy party line, he is also not writing a straight bio but a study in power, and how LBJ exercised power, in Congress, as VP and as President, and he sets the stage, quite accurately, in the power plays that were being waged that culminated with the murder of JFK.

So, regardless of what opinion Caro may have about the assassination, he sets the stage for the power play that occurs at Dealey Plaza, and how LBJ was the chief beneficiary, Que Bono? LBJ.

Just as with Poser, Holland and Blaine, they can't write about the assassination without giving up new incriminating information.

BK

JFKcountercoup

JFKCountercoup2

Mr. Kelly, I once wrote to Doris Kearns about the LBJ - Connolly rift (no answer), but I'm interested in anything you have on it. Tony DeFiore

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Robert Morrow

Re: the LBJ/Connally division

Robert Novak:

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

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

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

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

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Robert Morrow

I spoke with Mr. Caro on May 22nd at a book signing in Austin, TX at the Bob Bullock History Museum. I asked if he had ever read Hoover's memo to LBJ on 12/1/66, which I read as the first question in the Q&A session:

"On September 16, 1965, this same source reported that the KGB Residency in New York City received instructions approximately September 16, 1965, from KGB headquarters in Moscow to develop all possible information concerning President Lyndon B. Johnson's character, background, personal friends, family, and from which quarters he derives his support in his position as President of the United States. Our source added that in the instructions from Moscow, it was indicated that "now" the KGB was in possession of data purporting to indicate President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy. KGB headquarters indicated that in view of this information, it was necessary for the Soviet Government to know the existing personal relationship between President Johnson and the Kennedy family, particularly between President Johnson and Robert and "Ted" Kennedy."

http://www.indiana.edu/~oah/nl/98feb/jfk.html#d1

Caro said "No" he had never read that memo and in all his reseach he had never found a "hint" of Lyndon Johnson's participation in the JFK assassination.

Caro is obsessed with LBJ and the uses of power.... yet he can't see the elephant - make that beached whale - laying right in front of him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hey can we believe that Caro cites ONLY LBJ's diary for claiming that Dulles was suggested for the Warren Commission to LBJ by RFK?

Has anyone ever heard any other sources for this idea that RFK told LBJ to put Dulles on WC?

And this diary or journal entry is, according to Caro, In July or August of 1969. Now why do I have a problem with this source on that allegation????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...