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Robert Caro declares LBJ had nothing to do with JFK death

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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????


To me most of the negative reviews of this book that are currently on Amazon are counterproductive. Most make their focus the question of whether or not LBJ was directly involved in the assassination. They leave out the role of the permanent military intel bureaucracies and the contrast of how JFK and LBJ got along with this new National Security State, that had continued to evolve well after 1950, thank you Mr. Chomsky.

Many of them also leave out the biggest problem with Caro's horrible book, its complete omission of policy contrasts between the two presidents which he avoids by making the book only cover up through immediate post assassination period and by making zero contrasts between LBJ and JFK during his description of the latter's admin.

Caro thus preserves the myth of continuity in policy.. by avoiding almost all policy! And too many of the critics have let him off the hook.

I urge everyone to read this horrible book and send your reviews to amazon now. You will hit more eyeballs with this review than you will posting anywhere else. Specialists CAN write for generalists and newbies. You don't have to start from scratch. The authority well informed commentary is convincing enough to draw new readers in, snag their attention, and get them to read more. Please snag now.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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Nathaniel, LBJ claimed in the phone conversations leading to the creation of the Warren Commission that he allowed Bobby to pick two men for the commission, and that Bobby picked Dulles and McCloy. I'm not sure I believe him, but he was consistent on this point.

There is a section in Dean Acheson's book Present at the Creation, that deals with LBJ, which is most illustrative, IMO. As I recall it, he claimed that LBJ was basically a weasel, without any confidence in his own decisions, or at least in his decisions being taken seriously, and that LBJ would get around this by floating ideas to people, getting them to agree that his idea might be a good one, and then floating this idea to someone else to see what they think--while claiming it was the first person's idea. Acheson noted that by using this technique LBJ was able to avoid accountability for his own decisions. He'd say "Well, Bobby said it was O.K." or "McNamara and Bundy were Kennedy men, and they thought..."

Anyhow, my gut instinct is that this is what happened... LBJ and Fortas made out a list of people that were acceptable. LBJ then called up RFK, telling him he was gonna use Warren, two Senators and two congressman. He then told Bobby he was thinking of using Dulles and McCloy, and asked if that would be okay. He then told everyone that followed not the truth--that Bobby said it was okay--but that it was Bobby's idea to begin with. This froze those to follow in place--where they couldn't argue with Dulles and McCloy because they were the grieving brother's picks. In this manner, then, he made sure Dulles and McCloy were on the panel.

That's my hunch anyway.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Guest Robert Morrow

One would have to be literally insane to believe Lyndon Johnson's sole account - with no secondary confirmation - that Bobby Kennedy was the one who insisted that Allen Dulles and John J. McCloy be on the Warren Commission. The Kennedy's man on the Warren Commission was probably Sen. John Sherman Cooper who was friends with the Kennedys.

John J. McCloy and Clint Murchison, Sr. went white tail dove hunting in Mexico in summer, 1963 at Murchison's ranch in Mexico. You can read that in Kai Bird's book on McCloy: http://www.amazon.co...kai bird mccloy

Murchison, one of LBJ's inner circle supporters, was probably involved in arranging the JFK assassination.

You can read about the business and personal relationships between John J. McCloy and Clint Murchison, Sr. in the Kai Bird biography of John McCloy: The Chairman: John J. McCloy and the Making of the American Establishment. In 1954 McCloy helped to broker a big railroad take over deal in New York that Clint Murchison and Sid Richardson were investors. (pp. 431-432).

Then there is this nugget from 1963 which shows the close personal ties between John J. McCloy and Clint Murchison, Sr.:

"That summer, McCloy relaxed more than he had for many years. He hunted whitewings with Clint Murchison on the Texas oil man's Mexico farm." [Kai Bird, "The Chairman," p. 542]

That is the SAME John McCloy who Lyndon Johnson appoints to the Warren Commission on 11/29/63 later in that year.

Now check out this passage from the biography Clint: Clint Williams Murchison by Ernestine Orrick Van Buren who was Murchison's personal secretary for 20 years. Note 3 things: 1) Murchison is in "cold disbelief" at the idea of Lyndon Johnson on the ticket with John Kennedy. 2) The author completely skips over the Kennedy years. 3) Clint turns down an LBJ presidential phone call to resume a nap. That shows hierarchy. Very few folks turn down a presidential phone call.

"Clint was in La Jolla during the Democratic Convention in Los Angeles, in July 1960, and he avidly followed the proceedings on television. The avalanche of superb organization which gave John F. Kennedy the nomination on the first ballot was a huge disappointment. When the word was flashed that Lyndon Johnson had accepted the vice-presidential spot on the Kennedy ticket, Clint Murchison listened in cold disbelief.

In December 1963, soon after Lyndon Johnson became president following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, there was a soft rap on the bedroom door where Clint was napping. It was Warren Tilley, butler at Gladoak Farms. "Washington calling, Mr. Murchison. The president [Lyndon Johnson] wants to speak with you.

A brief silence followed. Then through the closed door came the muffled voice of Clint Murchison. "Tell the president I can't hear him." Clint resumed his nap."*

*Virginia Murchison Linthicum Interview, September 20, 1980

[Ernestine Orrick Van Buren, "Clint," pp. 317-318]

Edited by Robert Morrow
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This book has something like 150 5 star reviews.

Only about 10 reviews are written by people who know anything.



Correction: Wee Willie said HIT em where they ain't, NOT POST EM WHERE THEY AIN'T.

Amazon reviews are a great way to tell LOTS of people about other good books. Use the product links and tell people about great books. It will raise sales instantly and you can tell.

It seems we have people who really don't care about the JFK assassination. If they did they would be trying to SPREAD TRUTH out of the moat called the internet.

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The Wall Street Journal of April 28-29, 2012 contains a lengthy review by Robert Draper of Robert Caro’s new book, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power.”

Here are some highlights of the book review:

“…Mr. Caro’s almost monastic 36-year-long dedication to his subject has succeeded in winning over virtually all of his critics, including almost every Johnson confidant.”

“…Mr. Caro has revealed that Johnson had accepted the ignominy of the vice presidency in large part because (as he told Ed Clark, a key consigliere[sic] and later a key Caro source) ‘seven of them got to be president without even being elected.’”

“What commands the most attention in ‘The Passage of Power” is an unforgettable 65-page elaboration of November 22, 1963, the day of infamy on which the assassin’s bullet elevated Johnson to the presidency.”

“(While conspiracy buffs will be riled by Mr. Caro’s statement that ‘nothing I have found in my research leads me to believe that whatever the full story of the assassination may be, Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it,’ most of us will probably be relieved that the narrative doesn’t wallow in innuendo.”)

I find it difficult, if not impossible, to accept Robert Caro's cavalier statement that “whatever the full story of the assassination may be, Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it.” Just who does he think he is kidding?

And just what does Caro mean when he refers to "the full story of the assassination," and what it "may be" (apparently referring to some unspecified divergene from the official account, as presented to the nation, and the world, by the Warren Commission?)

President Kennedy’s body was the most important evidence in the case. Without getting into a lengthy debate about the wounds (and the plethora of evidence that the wounds were altered, prior to autopsy), all one has to know--in making an informed judgement on Caro's rather cavalier statement--is the following, based on the sequence of arrivals of these two critical items of evidence at Bethesda Naval Hospital, data that has been in the public record for years:

(a) The arrival of Kennedy’s body (at the Bethesda morgue), and. . .

(b ) The arrival, at the same morgue, of the luxurious coffin in which it originally reposed, when it left Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

The "arrival sequence"--of the body, and the coffin in which it began its journey from Dallas--tells a story that cannot be ignored.

Re (a):

President Kennedy’s body, the most important evidence in this murder case, arrived at Bethesda Naval Hospital at 6:35 PM EST. It arrived in a shipping casket, inside of which was a body bag.

Regarding the time of arrival: This is confirmed not only by the report of Roger Boyajian, the NCOIC of the Marine Security Detail at the Bethesda autopsy—a document unearthed by the ARRB (Google "MD-236" and "ARRB")—but also by much other chronological evidence as originally published in BEST EVIDENCE (January, 1981) and reconfirmed by the ARRB (1995-1998):


(1) the account of Dennis David (originally published in Chapter 25 of B.E. 1981)) who witnessed the arrival of the black hearse containing the shipping casket, a good 20 minutes prior to the arrival of the naval ambulance, and the accounts of others. .

(2) the late Jerrol Custer, the X-ray tech (See Chapter 25, B.E.)

(3 ) Commander Humes himself, who told the ARRB that he first saw the President’s body at 6:45 PM (See Humes ARRB deposition)

(4) Donald Rebentisch, who, back in January, 1981, provided me an account similar to that of Dennis David, and which I included in all the following editions of Best Evidence, in a “1982 epilogue.”

Re (b ): The arrival of the Dallas casket at Bethesda Naval Hospital

The naval ambulance carrying the Dallas coffin (plus Jacqueline Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy) arrived at Bethesda at 6:55 P.M. That is simply a fact of the public record.


Let’s now cycle back to Dallas, earlier in the afternoon, when the President’s body arrived at the side of Air Force One, parked at Love Field, in the cream colored hearse from the O’Neal Funeral home. The casket left Parkland Hospital a few minutes after 2 P.M., and arrived at the side of Air Force One at 2:14 PM, CST.

With the assistance of a contingent of Secret Service agents, led by Roy Kellerman (and in an event that was photographed by White House Photographer Cecil Stoughton), the Dallas coffin, containing the President’s body was placed aboard Air Force One at 2:18 PM, CST.

At the time, Lyndon Johnson was at the back of the plane. (I know that for a fact based on interviews with Air Force personnel, which occurred since the publication of B.E.). One said he was “supervising”; another, that he actually was “hands on” when it came to carrying the Dallas coffin.

LBJ told those aboard the plane that the flight had to be delayed because “Bobby” told him he should be sworn in –a “fact” which RFK vehemently denied to his aides.

The swearing in occurred at 2:38 CST.

Air Force One took off at 2:47 PM CST.

So. . what happened?

Unless one wishes to subscribe to the notion that the U.S. Government is run by some GS-13’s who were Secret Service agents (and who didn’t know, or “see” what happened) or that there were magicians aboard Air Force One, then Lyndon Johnson had to know how the most important evidence in this case—his predecessor’s body—which was in a coffin that was placed aboard AF-1 at 2:18 P.M., CST was not in that coffin when the plane took off at 2:47 PM CST (and when it was offloaded from AF-1 at about 6:08 P.M., EST).

IMHO: There is a direct line connecting the kind of dishonesty and fraud attendant to “Ballot Box 13” which was so central to Lyndon Johnson first entering the Senate, in 1948, and the sort of trickery and fraud that swirls around this particular mystery, so central to the integrity of JFK's body at autopsy and the elevation o Johnson to the Oval Office-–the mystery being the exact circumstances surrounding the fact that, based on the sequence of arrivals (enumerated above), President Kennedy’s body was in the Dallas coffin when it was placed aboard AF-1, at 2:18 CST, but was not in the coffin when it was offloaded from AF-1 shortly after 6 P.M. EST, at Andrews Air Force Base.

Ducking this issue by hiding behind the statement that “. . .whatever the full story of the assassination may be Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it. . .” is absurd. And just what does Caro have in mind when he provides such a major loophole for himself when he writes ". . .whatever the full story of the assassination may be. . ."?

". . .may be. . ."?

It is the ultimate act of denial to attempt to bypass this issue by focusing on Lyndon Johnson’s efforts to get the Kennedy civil rights bill passed, in the days and weeks following, constantly invoking the martyred dead President, while ignoring the fact that JFK's body, which was in the coffin placed aboard Air Force One at 2:18 CST, was not in the coffin when it was offloaded at Andrews Air Force Base at about 6:08 PM, EST.


7/29/12; 5:50 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

Edited by David Lifton
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I find it difficult, if not impossible, to accept Robert Caro's cavalier statement that “whatever the full story of the assassination may be, Lyndon Johnson had anything to do with it.” Just who does he think he is kidding?



7/29/12; 5:50 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

David, you charge that the proposition that "LBJ had nothing to do with the JFK assassination," must be false. Allow me to fine tune your charge.

I've proposed two conspiracies: (1) the JFK assassination; and (2) the cover-up. If (and only if) the two conspiracies were conducted by two separate groups that may or may not have acted in close cooperation, then your charge has three relevant meanings here:

If you mean that LBJ was a participant in conspiracy #1, then I disagree. I see no solid proof that LBJ was involved in conspiracy #1. Although there is suspicion, a possible motive and so on – yet I see no solid proof.

However, if you instead mean that LBJ at least had something to do with #2, then I agree. It seems to me that LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover, Allen Dulles and Earl Warren cooperated to cover-up the known accomplices of Lee Harvey Oswald. This might make them, as Sylvia Meagher said, ‘accessories after the fact.’ (Yet if this were the case, then a National Security concern could be a legitimate defense of their action.)

However, if you instead mean that LBJ was necessarily involved in both conspiracies #1 and #2 combined, then again I disagree. In my view those who were involved in conspiracy #1 wanted a different outcome from their act than the cover-up conducted by conspiracy #2, and so any cooperation between conspirators #1 and #2 was probably accidental.

Regarding your suspicion that the handling of JFK's body was clearly and necessarily coordinated by LBJ, I deny seeing any final proof in the evidence that you presented.

Yes, the handling of JFK's body was suspicious, and its conduct suggests a cover-up. Still, any direct connection to LBJ remains lacking. Circumstantial coincidence is all I see so far.

On a side note, none of the books that have blamed LBJ for the JFK assassination have been convincing to me, starting with the best of them, The Texas Connection (1992) by Craig I. Zirbil, all the way through LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination (2011) by Philip F. Nelson (which I regard as a mere 678 page revision of Zirbil’s orignal 320 page effort; Nelson’s claim, that LBJ personally knew no details because LBJ's lawyer shielded him from all the details, is a particularly circular logic, IMHO).

Innuendo and the quality of argumentation that convicted Lee Harvey Oswald – that's what we've received so far from the published sources that accuse LBJ.

I'm not biased in favor of LBJ. If somebody actually presents a solid proof of LBJ's involvement in conspiracy #1, I will openly accept it. But until then, I won't. Show me hard evidence, and not more innuendo by proxy.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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