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LBJ Tapes: The Key Evidence?

John Simkin

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While LBJ was Vice President used an Edison Voicewriter to record his telephone conversations. After he became President he began to use a Dictaphone Dictabelt. The first of these took place at 3.15 pm on 22nd November, 1963. In fact, it was a telephone call to Rose Kennedy.

The dictating equipment used to record the conversations was attached to the telephone line. Johnson signaled the secretary when he wanted a conversation recorded, and she pressed a switch located at her desk to activate the machine. It appears from the content and nature of the recordings that the secretaries often left the machine running and recorded many conversations inadvertently.

These tapes were found in 1992. I believe a close analysis of these tapes can explain a great deal about the assassination of JFK and the subsequent cover-up. Over the next few weeks I intend to analyze some of these telephone conversations. Hopefully, others will help me do this.

I first of all want to concentrate on three conversations LBJ had with J. Edgar Hoover. Later I intend to look at important conversations that LBJ had with George Smathers, James Eastland, Everett Dirkson, Abe Fortas, Richard Russell, B. Everett Jordan, Walter Jenkins and Frank Stanton.

The transcripts of some of these telephone conversations can be found here:


The first telephone conversation between LBJ and J. Edgar Hoover took place at 10.01 on 23rd November, 1963.

(1) J. Edgar Hoover: I just wanted to let you know of a development which I think is very important in connection with this case - this man in Dallas (Lee Harvey Oswald). We, of course, charged him with the murder of the President. The evidence that they have at the present time is not very, very strong. We have just discovered the place where the gun was purchased and the shipment of the gun from Chicago to Dallas, to a post office box in Dallas, to a man - no, to a woman by the name of "A. Hidell."... We had it flown up last night, and our laboratory here is making an examination of it.

(2) Lyndon B. Johnson: Yes, I told the Secret Service to see that that got taken care of.

(3) J. Edgar Hoover: That's right. We have the gun and we have the bullet. There was only one full bullet that was found. That was on the stretcher that the President was on. It apparently had fallen out when they massaged his heart, and we have that one. We have what we call slivers, which are not very valuable in the identification. As soon as we finish the testing of the gun for fingerprints ... we will then be able to test the one bullet we have with the gun. But the important thing is that this gun was bought in Chicago on a money order. Cost twenty-one dollars, and it seems almost impossible to think that for twenty-one dollars you could kill the President of the United States.

(4) Lyndon B. Johnson: Now, who is A. Hidell?

(5) J. Edgar Hoover: A. Hidell is an alias that this man has used on other occasions, and according to the information we have from the house in which he was living - his mother - he kept a rifle like this wrapped up in a blanket which he kept in the house. On the morning that this incident occurred down there - yesterday - the man who drove him to the building where they work, the building from where the shots came, said that he had a package wrapped up in paper... But the important thing at the time is that the location of the purchase of the gun by a money order apparently to the Klein Gun Company in Chicago - we were able to establish that last night.

(6) Lyndon B. Johnson: Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet embassy in Mexico in September?

(7) J. Edgar Hoover: No, that's one angle that's very confusing, for this reason - we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there. We do have a copy of a letter which was written by Oswald to the Soviet embassy here in Washington, inquiring as well as complaining about the harassment of his wife and the questioning of his wife by the FBI. Now, of course, that letter information - we process all mail that goes to the Soviet embassy. It's a very secret operation. No mail is delivered to the embassy without being examined and opened by us, so that we know what they receive... The case, as it stands now, isn't strong enough to be able to get a conviction... Now if we can identify this man who was at the... Soviet embassy in Mexico City... This man Oswald has still denied everything. He doesn't know anything about anything, but the gun thing, of course, is a definite trend.

(8) Lyndon B. Johnson: It definitely established that he - the same gun killed the policeman?

(9) J. Edgar Hoover: That is an entirely different gun. We also have that gun...

(10) Lyndon B. Johnson: You think he might have two ?

(11) J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, yes, he had two guns... The one that killed the President was found on the sixth floor in the building from which it had been fired. I think that the bullets were fired from the fifth floor, and the three shells that were found were found on the fifth floor. But he apparently went upstairs to have fired the gun and throw the gun away and then went out. He went down to this theater. There at the theater was where he had the gun battle with the police officer.

(12) Lyndon B. Johnson: I wonder if you will get me a little synopsis and let me have what developments come your way during the day and try to get to me before we close up for the day.


(1) After only two sentences Hoover admits the case against Oswald “is not very, very strong”. He says despite the fact they have found the gun and shells in the Texas Book Depository. A bullet from the gun on one of the stretchers (Hoover says its from JFK’s but later it was claimed it was on Connally’s stretcher). The FBI also have discovered links between the gun and A. Hiddell/Oswald.

Note how Hoover says that the gun was purchased by a woman. The fact that he initially says a man and then corrects himself to say a woman suggests this is not a mistake. What evidence did he have for this statement? What happened to this evidence?

(5) Hoover makes the mistake of claiming that Ruth Paine was his mother. I suspect this is not relevant. Any ideas?

(7) This statement shows that Hoover is aware that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. He is already aware that someone was impersonating Oswald in Mexico City. It is clear that someone was trying to implicate Oswald in some pro-Castro plot. The idea of a lone gunman is completely undermined. (We will see later that Hoover never really believed that Oswald acted alone). Hoover rightly goes on to explain that the evidence from Mexico City has created terrible problems for the investigation. As Hoover so rightly says: “The case, as it stands now, isn’t strong enough to be able to get a conviction.”

LBJ does not respond to this information. It is hard to believe that he must also realize that Oswald has been fitted up for the crime. However, he changes the subject and asks a question (a very silly question) about the gun that killed Tippit.

(11) Hoover claims that the gun was fired from the 5th floor of the Texas Book Depository. This is no mistake he makes the same point in the conversation he has with LBJ on 29th November). He states quite clearly that the gun was found on the 6th floor but the shells was found on the 5th floor. It was after the 29th November that the story was changed. One can understand why this had to happen.

(12) LBJ asks Hoover to report back to him later that day. I would love to know what was said at that meeting.

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The second recorded conversation between Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover took place at 10.30 am on 25th November.

(1) Lyndon B. Johnson: Apparently some lawyer in Justice is lobbying with the (Washington) Post because that's where the suggestion came from for this presidential commission, which we think would be very bad and put it right in the White House. We can't be checking up on every shooting scrape in the country, but they've gone to the Post now to get 'em an editorial, and the Post is calling up and saying they're going to run an editorial if we don't do things. Now we're going to do two things and I wanted you to know about it. One - we believe that the way to handle this, as we said yesterday - your suggestion - that you put every facility at your command, making a full report to the Attorney General and then they make it available to the country in whatever form may seem desirable. Second - it's a state matter, too, and the state Attorney General is young and able and prudent and very cooperative with you. He's going to run a Court of Inquiry, which is provided for by state law, and he's going to have associated with him the most outstanding jurists in the country. But he's a good conservative fella and we don't start invading local jurisdictions that way and he understands what you're doing and he's for it... Now if you get too many cooks messing with the broth, it'll mess it up. ... These two are trained organizations and the Attorney General of the state holds Courts of Inquiry every time a law is violated, and the FBI makes these investigations... You ought to tell your press men that that's what's happening and they can expect Waggoner Carr, the Attorney General of Texas, to make an announcement this morning, to have a state inquiry and that you can offer them your full cooperation and vice versa. . . .

(2) J. Edgar Hoover: We'll both work together on it.

(3) Lyndon B. Johnson: And any influence you got with the Post... point out to them that... just picking out a Tom Dewey lawyer from New York and sending him down on new facts - this commission thing - Mr. Herbert Hoover tried that and some- times a commission that's not trained hurts more than it helps.

(4) J. Edgar Hoover: It's a regular circus then.

(5) Lyndon B. Johnson: That's right.

(6) J. Edgar Hoover: Because it'll be covered by TV and everything like that.

(7) Lyndon B. Johnson: Just like an investigating committee.

(8) J. Edgar Hoover: Exactly. I don't have much influence with the Post because I frankly don't read it. I view it like the Daily Worker.

(9) Lyndon B. Johnson: (laughs) You told me that once before. I just want your people to know the facts, and your people can say that. And that kind of negates it, you see?


By 25th November, LBJ is heavily involved in the cover-up. He is especially concerned by the calls to form senate commissions into the assassination. LBJ believes the best strategy is to leave the investigation to Hoover and Waggoner Carr.

Hoover agrees on this strategy. Both men seem particularly concerned about a public investigation that will “be covered by TV and everything like that.”

There is no talk about the FBI investigation into Oswald. Yet LBJ would have been very interested in the developments in the case at this stage. This information is obviously being communicated in another form.

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The third recorded telephone conversation takes place at 1.40 pm on 29th November. This time it is a long and detailed conversation.

(1) Lyndon B. Johnson: Are you familiar with this proposed group that they're trying to put together on this study of your report and other things - two from the House, two from the Senate, somebody from the Court, a couple of outsiders?

(2) J. Edgar Hoover: No, I haven't heard of that. ... I think it would be very, very bad to have a rash of investigations on this thing.

(3) Lyndon B. Johnson: Well, the only way we can stop them is probably to appoint a high-level one to evaluate your report and put somebody that's pretty good on it that I can select... and tell the House and the Senate not to go ahead... because they'll get a lot of television going and I thought it would be bad.

(4) J. Edgar Hoover: It would be a three-ring circus.

(5) Lyndon B. Johnson: What do you think about Alien Dulles?

(6) J. Edgar Hoover: I think he would be a good man.

(7) Lyndon B. Johnson: What do you think about John McCloy?

(8) J. Edgar Hoover: I'm not as enthusiastic about McCloy... I'm not so certain as to the matter of the publicity that he might seek on it.

(9) Lyndon B. Johnson: What about General Norstad?

(10) J. Edgar Hoover: Good man.

(11) Lyndon B. Johnson: I thought maybe I might try to get Boggs and Jerry Ford in the House, maybe try to get Dick Russell and maybe Cooper in the Senate.

(12) J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, I think so.

(13) Lyndon B. Johnson: Me and you are just going to talk like brothers. ... I thought Russell could kind of look after the general situation, see that the states and their relations -

(14) J. Edgar Hoover: Russell would be an excellent man.

(15) Lyndon B. Johnson: And I thought Cooper might look after the liberal group.... He's a pretty judicious fellow but he's a pretty liberal fellow. I wouldn't want Javits or some of those on it.

(16) J. Edgar Hoover: No, no, no. Javits plays the front page a lot.

(17) Lyndon B. Johnson: Cooper is kind of border state. It's not the South and it's not the North.

(18) J. Edgar Hoover: That's right.

(19) Lyndon B. Johnson: Do you know Ford from Michigan?

(20) J. Edgar Hoover: I know of him, but I don't know him. I saw him on TV the other night for the first time and he handled himself well on that.

(21) Lyndon B. Johnson: You know Boggs?

(22) J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, yes, I know Boggs.

(23) Lyndon B. Johnson: He's kind of the author of the resolution. That's why. Now Walter tells me - Walter Jenkins - that you've designated Deke (Cartha DeLoach) to work with us, like you did on the Hill, and I tell you I sure appreciate that. I didn't ask for it 'cause ... I know you know how to run your business better than anybody else... We consider him as high-class as you do. And it is a mighty gracious thing to do. And we'll be mighty happy We salute you for knowing how to pick good men.

(24) J. Edgar Hoover: That's mighty nice of you, Mr. President, indeed. We hope to have this thing wrapped up today, but could be we probably won't get it before the first of the week. This angle in Mexico is giving us a great deal of trouble because the story there is of this man Oswald getting $6,500 from the Cuban embassy and then coming back to this country with it. We're not able to prove that fact, but the information was that he was there on the 18th of September in Mexico City and we are able to prove conclusively he was in New Orleans that day. Now then they've changed the dates. The story came in changing the dates to the 28th of September and he was in Mexico City on the 28th. Now the Mexican police have again arrested this woman Duran, who is a member of the Cuban embassy... and we're going to confront her with the original informant, who saw the money pass, so he says, and we're also going to put the lie detector test on


(25) Lyndon B. Johnson: Can you pay any attention to those lie detector tests?

(26) J. Edgar Hoover: I wouldn't want to be a party to sending a man to the chair on a lie detector... We've found many cases where we've used them - in a bank where there's been embezzlement - and a person will confess before the lie detector test is finished. They're more or less fearful of the fact that the lie detector test will show them guilty psychologically... Of course, it is a misnomer to call it a lie detector because what it really is is the evaluation of the chart that is made by this machine and that evaluation is made by a human being.... On the other hand, if this Oswald had lived and had taken the lie detector test and it had shown definitely that he had done these various things together with the evidence that we very definitely have, it would just have added that much more strength to it. There is no question but that he is the man now - with the fingerprints and things we have. This fellow Rubenstein down there - he has offered to take the lie detector test but his lawyer has got to be, of course, consulted first and I doubt whether the lawyer will allow it. He's one of these criminal lawyers from the West Coast and somewhat like an Edward Bennett Williams type - and almost as much of a shyster.

(27) Lyndon B. Johnson: (laughs) Have you got any relationship between the two yet?

(28) J. Edgar Hoover: No, at the present time we have not. There was a story down there...

(29) Lyndon B. Johnson: Was he ever in his bar and stuff like that?

(30) J. Edgar Hoover: There was a story that this fellow had been in this nightclub that is a striptease joint, that he had. But that has not been able to be confirmed. Now this fellow Rubenstein is a very shady character, has a bad record-street brawler tighter, and that sort of thing-and in the place in Dallas, if a fellow came in there and couldn t pay his bill completely, Rubenstein would beat the very devil out of him and throw him out of the place... He didn't drink, didn't smoke boasted about that. He is what I would put in a category of one of these - egomaniacs. Likes to be in the limelight. He knew all the police in that white-light district... and he also let them come in, see the show, get food, liquor, and so forth. That s how, I think, he got into police headquarters. Because they accepted him as kind of a police character, hanging around police headquarters They never made any moves, as the pictures show, even when they saw him approaching this fellow and got up right to him and pressed his pistol against Oswald s stomach. Neither of the police officers on either side made any move to push him away or grab him. It wasn't until after the gun was fired that they then moved.... The Chief of Police admits that he moved him in the morning as a convenience and at the request of morion-picture people, who wanted to have daylight. He should have moved him at night... But so far as tying Rubenstein and Oswald together we haven't as yet done. So there have been a number of stories come in, we've tied Oswald into the Civil Liberties Union in New York, membership into that and, of course, this Cuban Fair Play Committee which is pro-Castro and dominated by Communism and financed, to some extent, by the Castro government.

(31) Lyndon B. Johnson: How many shots were fired? Three?

(32) J. Edgar Hoover: Three.

(33) Lyndon B. Johnson: Any of them fired at me?6

(34) J. Edgar Hoover: No.

(35) Lyndon B. Johnson: All three at the President?

(36) J. Edgar Hoover: All three at the president and we have them. Two of the shots fired at the President were splintered but they had characteristics on them so that our ballistics expert was able to prove that they were fired by this gun. The President-he was hit by the first and third. The second shot hit the Governor the third shot is a complete bullet and that rolled out of the President's head It tore a large part of the President's head off and, in trying to massage his heart at the hospital on the way to the hospital, they apparently loosened that and it fell off onto the stretcher.7 And we recovered that... And we have the gun here also.

(37) Lyndon B. Johnson: Were they aiming at the President?

(38) J. Edgar Hoover: They were aiming directly at the President. There is no question about that. This telescopic lens, which I've looked through-it brings a person as close to you as if they were sitting right beside you. And we also have tested the fact that you could fire those three shots... within three seconds. There had been some stories going around... that there must have been more than one man because no one man could fire those shots in the time that they were fired...

(39) Lyndon B. Johnson: How did it happen they hit Connally?

(40) J. Edgar Hoover: Connally turned to the President when the first shot was fired and I think in that turning, it was where he got hit.

(41) Lyndon B. Johnson: If he hadn't turned, he probably wouldn't have got hit?

(42) J. Edgar Hoover: I think that is very likely.

(43) Lyndon B. Johnson: Would the President've got hit with the second one?

(44) J. Edgar Hoover: No, the President wasn't hit with the second one.

(45) Lyndon B. Johnson: I say, if Connally hadn't been in his way?

(46) J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, yes, yes, the President would no doubt have been hit.

(47) Lyndon B. Johnson: He would have been hit three times.

(48) J. Edgar Hoover: He would have been hit three times from the fifth floor of that building where we found the gun and the wrapping paper in which the gun was wrapped... and upon which we found the full fingerprints of this man Oswald. On that floor we found the three empty shells that had been fired and one shell that had not been fired... He then threw the gun aside and came down. At the entrance of the building, he was stopped by a police officer and some manager in

the building told the police officer, "Well, he's all right. He works there. You needn't hold him." They let him go... And then he got on a bus... He went out to his home and got ahold of a jacket.... and he came back downtown... and the police officer who was killed stopped him, not knowing'who he was and not knowing whether he was the man, but just on suspicion. And he fired, of course, and killed the police officer. Then he walked.

(49) Lyndon B. Johnson: You can prove that?

(50) J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, yes, oh, yes, we can prove that. Then he walked about another two blocks and went to the theater5 and the woman at the theater window selling the tickets,6 she was so suspicious the way he was acting, she said he was carrying a gun... He went into the theater and she notified the police and the police and our man down there went in there and located this particular man. They had quite a struggle with him. He fought like a regular lion and he had to be subdued, of course, and was then brought out and... taken to the police headquarters....

(51) Lyndon B. Johnson: Well your conclusion is: (1) he's the one that did it; (2) the man he was after was the President; (3) he would have hit him three times, except the Governor turned.

(52) J. Edgar Hoover: I think that is correct.

(53) Lyndon B. Johnson: (4) That there is no connection between he and Ruby that you can detect now. And (5) whether he was connected with the Cuban operation with money, you're trying to...

(54) J. Edgar Hoover: That's what we're trying to nail down now, because he was strongly pro-Castro, he was strongly anti-American, and he had been in correspondence, which we have, with the Soviet embassy here in Washington and with the American Civil Liberties Union and with this Committee for Fair Play to Cuba... None of those letters, however, dealt with any indication of violence or contemplated assassination. They were dealing with the matter of a visa for his wife to go back to Russia. Now there is one angle to this thing that I'm hopeful to get some word on today This woman, his wife, had been very hostile. She would not cooperate, speaks... Russian only. She did say to us yesterday down there that if we could give her assurance that she would be allowed to remain in this country, she might cooperate. I told our agents down there to give her that assurance... and I sent a Russian-speaking agent into Dallas last night to interview her.... Whether she knows anything or talks anything, I, of course, don't know and won't know till -

(55) Lyndon B. Johnson: Where did he work in the building? On this same floor?

(56) J. Edgar Hoover: He had access on all floors.

(57) Lyndon B. Johnson: But where was his office?

(58) J. Edgar Hoover: He didn't have any particular office... Orders came in for certain books and some books would be on the first floor, second floor, third floor, and so forth... He was just a general packer of the requisitions that came in for school books for the Dallas schools there and therefore he had access... to the fifth floor and to the sixth floor. Usually most of the employees were down on a lower floor.

(59) Lyndon B. Johnson: Did anybody hear, did anybody see him on the fifth floor or...

(60) J. Edgar Hoover: Yes, he was seen on the fifth floor by one of the workmen there before the assassination took place. He was seen there so that...

(61) Lyndon B. Johnson: Did you get a picture of him shooting?

(62) J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, no. There was no picture taken of him shooting.

(63) Lyndon B. Johnson: Well what was this picture that that fellow sold for $25,000?

(64) J. Edgar Hoover: That was a picture taken of the parade and showing Mrs. Kennedy climbing out of the back seat. You see, there was no Secret Service man standing on the back of the car. Usually the presidential car in the past has had steps on the back, next to the bumpers, and there's usually been one on either side standing on those steps. . . . Whether the President asked that that not be done,

(65) Lyndon B. Johnson: Do you have a bulletproof car?

(66) J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, yes I do.

(67) Lyndon B. Johnson: You think I ought to have one?

(68) J. Edgar Hoover: I think you most certainly should have one.. I have one here... I use it here for myself and if we have any raids to make or have to surround a place where anybody is hidden in, we use the bulletproof car on that because you can bulletproof the entire car, including the glass, but it means that the top has to remain up.... But I do think you ought to have a bulletproof car... I understand that the Secret Service has had two cars with metal plates underneath the car to take care of a hand grenade or bomb that might be thrown out and rolled along the street. Of course, we don't do those things in this country. In Europe, that is the way they assassinate the heads of state.... They've been after General de Gaulle, you know, with that sort of thing. But in this country, all of our assassinations have been with guns... I was very much surprised when I learned that this bubble-top thing was not bulletproof in any respect and that the plastic - the top to it was down. Of course, the President had insisted upon that so that he could stand up and wave to the crowd. Now it seems to me that the President ought to always be in a bulletproof car. It certainly would prevent anything like this ever happening again... You could have a thousand Secret Service men on guard and still a sniper can snipe you from up in the window if you are exposed, like the President was...

(69) Lyndon B. Johnson: You mean, if I ride around my ranch, I ought to be in a bulletproof car?

(70) J. Edgar Hoover: I would certainly think so, Mr. President. It seems to me that that car down at your ranch there, the little car that we rode around in when I was down there, I think that ought to be bulletproof. I think it ought to be done very quietly. There is a concern, I think, out in Cincinnati, where we have our cars bulletproofed. I think we've got four, one on the West Coast, one in New York, and one here and I think it can be done quietly, without any publicity being given to it or any pictures being taken of it if it's handled properly. But I think you ought to have it at the ranch there. It is perfectly easy for somebody to get onto the ranch.

(71) Lyndon B. Johnson: You think those entrances all ought to be guarded though, don't you?

(72) J. Edgar Hoover: Oh, I think by all means... You've got to really almost be in the capacity of a so-called prisoner because without that security, anything can be done. Now we've gotten a lot of letters and phone calls over the last three or four

or five days. We got one about this parade the other day that they were going to try to kill you then and I talked with the Attorney General about it. I was very much opposed to that marching from the White House.

(73) Lyndon B. Johnson: Well, the Secret Service told them not to, but the family felt otherwise.

(74) J. Edgar Hoover: That's what Bobby told me... I was very much opposed to it because it was even worse than down there in Dallas - you know, walking down the center of the street.

(75) Lyndon B. Johnson: Yes, yes, that's right.

(76) J. Edgar Hoover: And somebody on the sidewalk could dash out. I noticed even on Pennsylvania Avenue - I viewed the procession coming back from the Capitol, and while they had police assigned along the curbstone looking at the crowd, when the parade came along, the police turned around and looked at the parade...

(77) Lyndon B. Johnson: (laughs)

(78) J. Edgar Hoover:... which was the worst thing to do. They also had a line of soldiers, but they were looking at the parade.

(79) Lyndon B. Johnson: Well, I'm going to take every precaution I can... and I wish you'd put down your thoughts on that a little bit, because you're more than the head of the Federal Bureau. As far as I'm concerned, you're my brother and personal friend. You have been for twenty-five to thirty years... I know you don't want anything happening to your family.

(80) J. Edgar Hoover: Absolutely not!

(81) Lyndon B. Johnson: I've got more confidence in your judgment than anybody in town. So you just put down some of the things you think ought to happen and I won't involve you or quote you or get you in jurisdictional disputes or anything, but I'd like to at least advocate them as my opinion.

(82) J. Edgar Hoover: I'll be very glad to indeed. I certainly appreciate your confidence.

(83) Lyndon B. Johnson: Thank you, Edgar. Thank you.


(1 - 3) By 29th November, LBJ has changed his mind about the investigation into the assassination. He has given up all hope of restricting the investigation to Hoover and Waggoner Carr. His new strategy is to appoint a presidential commission. Hoover is not very keen but as LBJ points out, the only way of avoiding senate investigations is “to appoint a high-level one to evaluate your report”. In other words, the role of the Warren Commission will be to rubber-stamp Hoover’s report into the investigation. Hoover is only convinced when LBJ points out who is going to appoint to the commission. This includes safe figures such as Allen Dulles. It also includes people that Hoover and LBJ can control. Hoover and LBJ shared information on members of the Senate. (See for example how the two men dealt with those politicians calling for an investigation into the Bobby Baker/Don Reynolds scandal).

(7) LBJ is keen to have John McCoy on the commission. Hoover obviously knows little about McCoy. LBJ insists on McCoy. As I have argued on another thread, McCoy had an interesting time after the war and as high commissioner in American occupied Germany, managed to obtain the release from prison of two very wealthy Nazi leaders: Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick. This was done at a time when David Morales, Ted Shackley and William Harvey were all stationed in Germany.


(23) Deke plays an important role in the cover-up of both the assassination and the Bobby Baker/Don Reynolds affair. Deke is Cartha Deloach, Assisant Director of the FBI. Hoover introduced LBJ to DeLoach in 1958. The two men worked together in order to get a bill through Congress that would ensure Hoover receive his FBI Director salary for life. The men became close friends and in 1963 Deloach became FBI Liaison to the President.

(24) Hoover still has problems with Oswald in Mexico City. He has now discovered evidence that Oswald was in New Orleans on 28th September.

Silvia Duran, a Mexican woman, was a secretary to the Cuban consul in Mexico City. Oswald had spoken to her when he obtained his Cuban visa.

(30) Hoover uses the name Jacob Rubenstein. This is strange, Jack Ruby had not used the name of Rubenstein for many years. Did the FBI/CIA hold files on him under the name Rubenstein?

Hoover also points out that Ruby “knew all the police in that white-light district... and he also let them come in, see the show, get food, liquor, and so forth.” This is of course true, but the idea was rejected by the Warren Commission. It is therefore significant that Hoover drooped these claims in his final report that was rubber-stamped by Warren.

Hoover also points out that they have now “tied Oswald into the Civil Liberties Union in New York, membership into that and, of course, this Cuban Fair Play Committee which is pro-Castro and dominated by Communism and financed, to some extent, by the Castro government.”

This raises issues about who set up Oswald. It makes sense to get Oswald to join the Cuban Fair Play Committee. This helps to link him to Castro. It also makes sense to link Oswald with the Socialist Worker Party. However, why bother to tie him into the American Civil Liberties Union and CORE. Both these organizations were highly unlikely to be involved in any “communist” plot to kill JFK. What we do know is that Hoover had a strong hatred for both organizations (he foolishly believed they were both communist-front organizations. This suggests to me that Hoover was involved in the setting up of Oswald. It is probably no coincidence that Vaughn Marlowe was also associated with all four of these organizations.

(36) Hoover is still under the impression that the bullet was found of JFK’s stretcher.

(37-42) As Ron Ecker has pointed out on another thread this section of the conversation shows that both LBJ and Hoover believe that Connally was shot by a gunman in front of the motorcade.


At this point LBJ is willing to go along with the idea of Oswald being part of a communist conspiracy to kill JFK. This is clearly what Hoover wants to believe and sees it as his chance to clamp down on left-wing groups like the Socialist Workers Party, American Civil Liberties Union and CORE. However, LBJ has already decided that it is not in his interest to let the public know about this so-called communist conspiracy (see the transcript of his phone calls to Richard Russell and John McCormack earlier on the same day). LBJ knows that once it is known that Oswald was part of a communist conspiracy he will not be able to contain the investigation. Not only would this investigation show that Oswald was set-up, it will also reveal the truth about his relationship with Bobby Baker and Fred Black and LBJ would be forced to resign.

LBJ would have to find ways of persuading Hoover to abandon the plan to blame these left-wing for the assassination. This would not be too difficult. LBJ had a great deal of information on Hoover. I would have thought by this time the CIA had already provided LBJ with evidence that showed the FBI were involved in the setting up of Oswald.

(48) Hoover is still insisting that the gun was fired from the 5th Floor. It is now also the floor where the gun and shells were found. At what date was it changed to the 6th floor?

(51-52) LBJ asks Hoover again if he really meant that a gunman in front of the motorcade shot Connally. Hoover once again conforms this information.

(54) Hoover confirms that a deal has been done with Marina Oswald.

(59) LBJ makes it clear he believes the shots were fired from the 5th Floor.

(61) Strange question. Had LBJ been told a photograph had been taken of the gunman on the 5th Floor? Was there one? Was it destroyed?

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Johnson and Hoover would obviously seem to believe that a shot came from the front if Connally got in the way off it and kept Kennedy from being hit three times. This is clear from 43-47. But then Hoover says that, if Connally hadn't moved, Kennedy "would have been hit three times from the fifth floor . . . (48).” Is Hoover saying that we’re going to claim that and frame Oswald? Johnson says, “You can prove that?” (47), and Hoover says, “Oh, yes, oh, yes, we can prove that” (50).

But then Johnson says, “Well your conclusion is: (1) he's the one that did it; (2) the man he was after was the President; (3) he would have hit him three times, except the Governor turned (51),” and Hoover says, “I think that is correct” (52). This makes absolutely no sense, since Hoover cannot conclude both that Oswald did it and that Connally got in the way of one shot that would have hit Kennedy.

This leads to either one of two conclusions: One, they are talking nonsensically because they know a shot came from the front but they are going to frame Oswald but they’re not coming right out and saying it; or two, they both really have no idea where Oswald and the TSBD window were in relation to JFK and Connally, and actually think that Connally somehow got in the way of a bullet fired by Oswald.

The second conclusion doesn’t make sense because Johnson was there in Dealey Plaza and rode right by the building, owned by his friend Mr. Byrd, where the shots allegedly came from.

That leaves the first conclusion as the only possibility: Johnson and Hoover are talking nonsensically but know what they’re really talking about: framing Oswald for shots that came from more than one direction.

One thing that has me curious: Johnson wonders whether Oswald “was connected with the Cuban operation” (53). What “Cuban operation” is he talking about?

Edited by Ron Ecker
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Great Stuff--rich goldmine of contemporary primary documents.

1) Hoover probably heard "Alice" for "Alex" over the phone to Texas.

i.e. "Alice Hidell" This happens all the time in the south, (when we talk to yankees)

Shanet in Atlanta

ps It's also going to be the case that these talks are "surface" No two people in the world knew more about bugs, taps and insecure telephonic communications than the new President and the old FBI director...these are veiled...

Edited by Shanet Clark
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36) Now there's a magic bullet, it tore the top of his head off and came out during heart massage---that little sucker sure gets around!!

Edited by Shanet Clark
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Hoover probably heard "Alice" for "Alex" over the phone to Texas.

Good point. Never would have thought of that.

If they told him Alice Hidel was an alias of Oswald (and not just the name the gun was bought under), Hoover probably figured that Oswald was a cross-dresser like himself.

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Hoover probably heard "Alice" for "Alex" over the phone to Texas. i.e. "Alice Hidell"  This happens all the time in the south, (when we talk to yankees)

Shanet in Atlanta

A good example of how this forum works so well (collective intelligence).

Still some questions that need to be answered (any ideas?):

1. Hoover was under the impression that the bullet was found of JFK’s stretcher. When was this story changed?

2. Hoover was under the impression that the gun and shells were found on the 5th Floor. When was this story changed?

3. Had LBJ been told a photograph had been taken of the gunman on the 5th Floor? Was there one? Was it destroyed?

4. Hoover uses the name Jacob Rubenstein. This is strange, Jack Ruby had not used the name of Rubenstein for many years. Did the FBI/CIA hold files on him under the name Rubenstein?

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3. Had LBJ been told a photograph had been taken of the gunman on the 5th Floor? Was there one? Was it destroyed?

My guess is that the $25,000 "photo" LBJ had heard about was the Zapruder film, which Zapruder was said to have sold for $25,000.

4. Hoover uses the name Jacob Rubenstein. This is strange, Jack Ruby had not used the name of Rubenstein for many years. Did the FBI/CIA hold files on him under the name Rubenstein?

From article by Don Fulsom in Crime Magazine:

“A 1947 memo, found in 1975 by a scholar going through a pile of recently released FBI documents, supports Giancana's contention (that Ruby once worked for Nixon). In the memo, addressed to a congressional committee investigating organized crime, an FBI assistant states: ‘It is my sworn testimony that one Jack Rubenstein of Chicago ... is performing information functions for the staff of Congressman Richard Nixon, Republican of California. It is requested Rubenstein not be called for open testimony in the aforementioned hearings.’ (Later in 1947, Rubenstein moved to Dallas and shortened his last name.) The FBI subsequently called the memo a fake, but the reference service Facts on File considers it authentic.”


It’s possible that Hoover had a conversation with Nixon after Ruby shot Oswald and Nixon remembered him. (I recall reading that Nixon called Hoover after Nixon heard that JFK was shot, and asked, “Was it one of the nuts?” Hoover said, “No, it was a Communist.”)

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It’s possible that Hoover had a conversation with Nixon after Ruby shot Oswald and Nixon remembered him. (I recall reading that Nixon called Hoover after Nixon heard that JFK was shot, and asked, “Was it one of the nuts?” Hoover said, “No, it was a Communist.”)

This story appears in Richard Nixon’s autobiography (Memoirs of Richard Nixon – page 252). Nixon claims he was in a taxi in Dallas (on his way to the airport) when he heard about the assassination. As soon as he got home he phoned Hoover. Nixon writes: “He came right on the line and without wasting words I asked, “What happened? Was it one of the right-wing nuts?” “No,” he replied, “it was a Communist”.

Nixon does not say what time he arrived back but it is clear that Hoover knew that Oswald was a communist soon after he was arrested. Or did he know that before he was arrested?

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Nixon does not say what time he arrived back but it is clear that Hoover knew that Oswald was a communist soon after he was arrested. Or did he know that before he was arrested? (John Simkin)

On the day of the assassintion, the DRE were pushing Oswald as a Communist and less than subtely hinting he was backed by Castro. The DRE statement at the bottom of the page is very interesting as they seemed to know a lot about LHO who official history records as some lone nut loser.

Given Hoover's comment, one would have to say that for a lone nut, Oswald certainly got around and kept some interesting company.


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In his book, The Kennedy Assassination Cover-Up, Donald Gibson argues that the idea of a Warren Commission was first suggested by Eugene Rostow on 24th November (in a telephone call to LBJ aide, William Moyers). Rostow argues that LBJ needs a commission because “world opinion and American opinion is just now so shaken by the behaviour of the Dallas Police that they’re not believing anything.”

However, I believe that LBJ began thinking of having a presidential commission the day before Rostow phoned. It was his discussion with Hoover that made him realise that he had to intervene. LBJ wanted to hear that JFK had been killed by a “lone nut”. Hoover’s information makes it clear that JFK had been killed as part of a conspiracy. LBJ might not have shared Hoover’s view that it was necessarily a communist conspiracy (it is possible that he already knew who was behind the assassination). What is clear to LBJ, that if it was a conspiracy, there would be a thorough public investigation of all the issues related to the assassination. This would inevitably have drawn in LBJ’s troubles with Bobby Baker and Don Reynolds into the investigation. The same politicians who had been calling for an investigation into the Baker/Reynolds case, were now calling for a senate investigation into the assassination. I suspect that those who were aware of Reynolds’ secret testimony before the Senate Rules Committee on 22nd November, were already linking LBJ’s plight with the assassination of JFK.



For example, the first senator to call for a Senate Judiciary Committee into the assassination was Everett M. Dirksen (Senate Minority Leader). On 23rd November, LBJ was on the phone to Dirksen pleading with him that the “country must come first”.

LBJ was also embarrassed by Charles E. Goodell’s proposal for a joint Senate-House investigation into the assassination. As LBJ points out to Hoover on 25th November, these Senate investigations would take place in public. If this happened, it would be impossible to keep control of the evidence of a conspiracy.

The day before this Walter Jenkins has a conversation with Hoover. A memo of this meeting included the following statement by Hoover: "The thing I am most concerned about, and Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so that they can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin."


Nicholas Katzenbach (Attorney General of the United States) published his memo the following day: 25th November:

It is important that all of the facts surrounding President Kennedy's Assassination be made public in a way which will satisfy people in the United States and abroad that all the facts have been told and that a statement to this effect be made now.

1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.

2. Speculation about Oswald's motivation ought to be cut off, and we should have some basis for rebutting thought that this was a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy to blame it on the Communists. Unfortunately the facts on Oswald seem about too pat - too obvious (Marxist, Cuba, Russian wife, etc.). The Dallas police have put out statements on the Communist conspiracy theory, and it was they who were in charge when he was shot and thus silenced.

3. The matter has been handled thus far with neither dignity nor conviction. Facts have been mixed with rumour and speculation. We can scarcely let the world see us totally in the image of the Dallas police when our President is murdered.

I think this objective may be satisfied by making public as soon as possible a complete and thorough FBI report on Oswald and the assassination. This may run into the difficulty of pointing to in- consistencies between this report and statements by Dallas police officials. But the reputation of the Bureau is such that it may do the whole job. The only other step would be the appointment of a Presidential Commission of unimpeachable personnel to review and examine the evidence and announce its conclusions. This has both advantages and disadvantages. It think it can await publication of the FBI report and public reaction to it here and abroad.

I think, however, that a statement that all the facts will be made public property in an orderly and responsible way should be made now. We need something to head off public speculation or Congressional hearings of the wrong sort.

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The first signs that LBJ favoured the presentation of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman was on 29th November. In a phone call to John McCormack (speaker of the House) at 4.55 p.m. LBJ says he does not want someone testifying in public that “Khrushchev planned the whole thing and he got our President assassinated. You can see what that’ll lead us to, right quick. You take care of the House of Representatives for me”. In other words, make sure the joint Senate-House Investigation suggested by Charles E. Goodell does not take place.

Later that day (6.30 p.m.) LBJ spoke to Charles Halleck (House Minority Leader):

(1) Lyndon B. Johnson: Charlie, I hate to bother you but. . . I've got to appoint a commission and issue an executive order tonight on investigation of the assassination of the President because this thing is getting pretty serious and our folks are worried about it. It's got some foreign complications - CIA and other things - and I'm going to try to get the Chief Justice to go on it. He declined earlier in the day, but I think I'm going to try to get him to head it....

(2) Charles Halleck: Chief Justice Warren?

(3) Lyndon B. Johnson: Yes.

(4) Charles Halleck: I think that's a mistake....

(5) Lyndon B. Johnson: I'd be glad to hear you, but I want to talk to you about - he thought it was a mistake till I told him everything we knew and we just can't have House and Senate and FBI and other people going around testifying that Khrushchev killed Kennedy or Castro killed him. We've got to have the facts, and you don't have a President assassinated once every fifty years. And this thing is so touchy from an international standpoint that every man we've got over there is concerned about it....

(6) Charles Halleck: I'll cooperate, my friend. I'll tell you one thing, Lyndon - Mr. President - I think that to call on Supreme Court guys to do jobs is kind of a mistake.

(7) Lyndon B. Johnson: It is on all these other things I agree with you on Pearl Harbor and I agree with you on the railroad strike. But this is a question that could involve our losing thirty-nine million people. This is a judicial question.

(8) Charles Halleck: I, of course, don't want that to happen. Of course, I was a little disappointed in the speech the Chief Justice made. I'll talk to you real plainly. He's jumped at the gun and, of course, I don't know whether the right wing was in this or not. You've been very discreet. You have mentioned the left and the right and I am for that.

(1) LBJ is in fact lying to Halleck. Warren had already agreed to chair the commission.

His reference to “foreign complications – CIA and other things” is intriguing.

(7) For the first time LBJ begins to develop the idea that the reason to withhold details of a conspiracy is to save the world from a nuclear war (“could involve our losing thirty-nine million people”).

(8) This is a reference to a speech Warren made on 24th November: “What moved some misguided wretch to do this horrible deed may never be known to us, but we do know that such acts are commonly stimulated by forces of hatred and malevolence, such as today are eating their way into the bloodstream of American life. What a price we pay for such fanaticism!" Conservatives like Halleck believed Warren's comments referred to them.

Halleck last two sentences are interesting: “I don't know whether the right wing was in this or not. You've been very discreet. You have mentioned the left and the right and I am for that.”

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