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Robert Kennedy was trying to use the Senate Rules Committee to destroy Lyndon Johnson

Guest Robert Morrow

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Guest Robert Morrow

There are those in JFK research who still attempt to deny the role of Lyndon Johnson in the JFK assassination. After all that has come out on LBJ: Madeleine Brown, Billies Sol Estes, Barr McClellan. E. Howard Hunt, the KGB in 1965, Charles Crenshaw, Pat Holloway's account of LBJ calling his tax attorney within hours of JFK's death... I don't think those doubters have a leg to stand on.

If Vice President Lyndon Johnson was involved in the JFK assassination in any way - which he was - then by definition he would have been a big player in the JFK assassination. His fellow CIA/military/Texas oil plotters knew the new president Lyndon Johnson was going to be the critical tool in the cover up and LBJ's participation dramatically increased the probability of murdering John Kennedy and getting away with it. Ditto Hoover.

The passage below underscores just how important Seymour Hersh's "The Dark Side of Camelot" is. It is one of the most important books in JFK research. "The Dark Side of Camelot" also highlights Lyndon Johnson blackmailing/strongarming his way onto the 1960 Democratic ticket through the accounts of Hy Raskin and Clark Clifford. The reason Kennedy supporters (except Evelyn Lincoln who has been more of a truthteller than anyone) could never admit this was it would make JFK out to be weak and succombing to the bullying and intimidations of LBJ and Sam Rayburn. I now agree with David Lifton that the FBI 600 page "JFK-Inga Arvad" file is probably what they were threatening JFK with. As for the mystery of just how the despised LBJ got on the ticket, the Johnson people aren't going to tell you the truth about that either - for obvious reasons, it reveals LBJ to be ruthless; it highlights his antagonistic relationship with the Kennedys and it marks a well lit path straight to the JFK assassination.

"The Dark Side of Camelot" has Hersh's interview with Burkett Van Kirk which establishes definitively that Robert Kennedy was indeed attempting, with vigor and intensity, to use the Senate Rules Committee to politically execute and personally destroy Lyndon Johnson. This jibes perfectly with what James Wagenvoord says about RFK feeding LIFE magazine damaging information on Lyndon Johnson. And that jibes perfectly with Phil Brennan's "Some Relevant Facts About the JFK Assassination," an article he posted for NewsMax in 2003 which described Robert Kennedy's attempt to destroy Lyndon Johnson with the media.


Lyndon Johnson was completely aware of and he was even obsessing about Robert Kennedy's attempts to destroy him; just read the accounts of George Reedy in his book "Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir." LBJ also told Robert Novak in summer, 1962, the Kennedys were going to get rid of him. He told the same to Liz Carpenter in the fall of 1963.

As Evelyn Lincoln told Anthony Summers, the Kennedys were going to use the Bobby Baker scandal as the means of destroying Lyndon Johnson politically and get him off the ticket.

In the last year of 1963, Lyndon Johnson spent exactly 2 hours of private time with John Kennedy. After LBJ's hawkish behavior during the Cuban Missile Crisis- after all those antics - JFK and LBJ had virtually no relationship. Let me clarify that: the relationship of the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson was one of a sub rosa WAR for three years. There is no other way to honesty characterize it. When John Connally came to meet with John Kennedy in Washington, DC to plan the Texas trip, LBJ, aka "Rufus Cornpone" aka "Colonel Cornpone" was pointedly not invited.

That is the one huge flaw with James Douglass' book "JFK and the Unspeakable." Douglass seems to think that Lyndon Johnson was some sort of innocent babe while the Kennedys were running around about to slit his throat. That is just a fantasy of the first degree.

It is not incompatible for the reasons of the JFK assassination to be both for Cold War reasons and Lyndon Johnson's reasons to avoid his personal destruction. I would go so far so say that Lyndon Johnson's involvement in the JFK assassination is a "false mystery." And make no mistake, Robert Kennedy in all his attempts to destroy LBJ is without a doubt fulfulling the express wishes of President John Kennedy. JFK & RFK were so close they could communicate in a half language/half mumble. John Kennedy told Evelyn Lincoln just days before the JFK assassination that there would be no Johnson on the ticket in 1964. Lincoln has the contemporaneous notes to prove it.

[seymour Hersh, "The Dark Side of Camelot," pp. 406-407]

Robert Kennedy was feeding damaging information on Lyndon Johnson's corruption to the Senate Rules Committee in fall, 1963, in an attempt to destroy LBJ:

In a series of interviews for this book, Burkett Van Kirk, who was chief counsel in 1963 for the Republican minority on the Rules Committee, told me of his personal knowledge of Bobby Kennedy's direct intervention. "Bobby was feeding information to 'whispering Willie'" - the nickname for Senator John Williams. "They" - the Kennedy brothers, Van Kirk said - "were dumping Johnson.." Williams, as he did earlier with Donald Reynolds's information about Lyndon Johnson, relayed the Kennedy materials to the senior Republican on the Rules Committe, Carl Curtis. The attorney general thus was secretly dealing with Williams, and Williams was dealing secretly with Curtis and Van Kirk. The scheming was necessary, Van Kirk told me, because he and his fellow Republicans understood that a full-fledged investigation into Bobby Baker could lead to the vice president. They also understood, he said, that the chances of getting such an investigation where slim at best. The Democrats had an overwhelming advantage in the Senate - sixty-seven to thirty-three - and in every committee. The three Republicans on the ten member Rules Committee, Van Kirk said, had little power. "We never won one vote to even call a witness," he told me. The investigation into Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson would have to be done in a traditional manner - by newspaper leak.

Van Kirk, who was named after his grandfather Senator E. J. Burkett of Nebraska, said that Bobby Kennedy eventually designated a Justice Department lawyer that fall to serve as an intermediary to the minority staff; he began supplying the Republicans with documents about Johnson and his financial dealings. The lawyer, Van Kirk told me, "used to come up to the Senate and hang around me like a dark cloud. It took him about a week or ten days to, one, find out what I didn't know, and two, give it to me." Some of the Kennedy-supplied documents were kept in Williams's office safe, Van Kirk said, and never shown to him. There was no doubt of Bobby Kennedy's purpose in dealing with the Republicans, Van Kirk said: "To get rid of Johnson. To dump him. I am as sure of that the sun comes up in the east."

[seymour Hersh, "The Dark Side of Camelot," pp. 406-407]

At this point I think it is appropriate to include this quote:

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.”

What more do you need, folks?

Edited by Robert Morrow
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