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Ronnie Dugger


John Simkin
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Ronnie Dugger worked for the Texas Observer in 1963. Does anyone know if he carried out any investigations into the Kennedy assassination?

Yes, Ronnie did some original research early on - interviewing witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald in San Antonio or Houston - when he reportedly visited official offices about his military discharge - including some waitresses in a coffee shop who recalled him reading and writing while there.

I met Ronnie at a 9/11 Conference a few years ago, and he maintains an interest in the case.

BK

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Guest Robert Morrow

Ronnie Dugger worked for the Texas Observer in 1963. Does anyone know if he carried out any investigations into the Kennedy assassination?

Yes, Ronnie did some original research early on - interviewing witnesses who claimed to have seen Oswald in San Antonio or Houston - when he reportedly visited official offices about his military discharge - including some waitresses in a coffee shop who recalled him reading and writing while there.

I met Ronnie at a 9/11 Conference a few years ago, and he maintains an interest in the case.

BK

Ronnie Dugger is a friend of John Judge and I have seen him at a couple of fairly recent COPA conferences in Dallas. Ronnie Dugger was in the press motorcade of the JFK assassination.

One of the biggest funders of the Texas Observer was Bernard Rapoport, a very wealthy philanthropist and businessman out of Waco. Rapoport was an "early and close supporter of Lyndon Johnson." I have long wondered if the influence of Rapoport, his close ties to LBJ, corrupted or "silenced" the coverage of the Texas Observer of the JFK assassination.

Ronnie Dugger and the Texas Observer basically did NOTHING on the JFK assassination especially in the early years. Dugger wrote a milquetoast book on LBJ - nothing compared to Caro's early works. Lyndon Johnson even granted Dugger an interview in the White House when LBJ was president; LBJ pulled out a photo of Box 13 (symbol of the Duval County voting fraud that secured LBJ the 1948 Democratic nomination over Coke Stevenson) and just grinned silently.

I hate to say this but this tells me Ronnie Dugger was a lapdog journalist and under his stewardship the Texas Observer would not touch the JFK assassination with a 100 foot pole. I think 20 years post 1963 they did an article discrediting Howard Brennan [Correction: it was on Charles Givens].

I will go further, the Texas Observer's (non) coverage or "cover-up-age" of the JFK assassination for 49 years has been a shame and an embarrassment. Just look at the kind of garbage Josh Rosenblatt put out in 2012 - "JFK's Cinematic Legacy:" http://www.texasobse...nematic-legacy/

As revelations on the JFK assassination came out year after year after year, the Texas Observer seemed to completely ignore them, especially on the LBJ angle, which is inexcusable because the Observer is located in Austin, TX, in the center of LBJ country.

Penn Jones who was doing the real spadework in Texas on the JFK assassination, knew this in real time: that the Texas Observer was not willing to touch the 3rd rail of the JFK assassination, Lyndon Johnson's involvement and the fact that the government (and shadow government of Texas oil executives) murdered John Kennedy.

The "ostrich in the sand" mentality of the Texas Observer with respect to the JFK assassination is quite similar to what liberal icon I.F. Stone did - absolutely refuse to deal with it.

For example, when Joachim Joesten, Thomas Buchanan, Mark Lane, Vincent Salandria, Harold Weisberg and others were not invited to chit chat with President LBJ at the White House in the 1960's.

I get the feeling today that Ronnie Dugger knows that he and the Texas Observer blew it in their non coverage of the JFK assassination. Maybe they were engaging in self censorship because of Rapoport, an LBJ friend, was such a major donor to the Observer. Maybe they were cowards. Maybe they wanted access - such as they Dugger visit to the White House.

I can more easily understand the major newspapers being corrupted in their coverage of the JFK assassination. But it is sad to see that the Texas Observer fell flat on its face in its (non) coverage of the greatest political event in the past 60 years in Texas and American history: the JFK assassination.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Guest Robert Morrow

I think that is kind of hard on Dugger.

In 1971, the Texas Observer printed Sylvia Meagher's expose on the lying Charles Givens entitled The Curious Testimony of Mr. GIvens. This essentially showed that the WC knew Givens was a xxxx, and further, why he was lying. But they used him anyway since they had no one else to put Oswald on the Sixth Floor prior to the assassination.

Also, Dugger did some nice work on the Oswald's visits to employment places in Texas which seemed to indicate that there was a Second Oswald.

I don't think I am being too hard on Dugger and the Texas Observer. Where were they in the 1960's? Nowhere. How about the rest of the 1970's, the 1980's, the post 1980 LBJ revelations (Brown, Estes, McClellan, Crenshaw, KGB, E. Howard Hunt), the 1990's, the 2000's, the 2010's? Or the CIA anti-Castro angle? Nothing - nada - zippo. Then they put out that column that rips Oliver Stone's JFK in 2012? After all that has come out.

I think they did do a story on the LBJ inspired 1961 Henry Marshall murder.

The Texas Observer, the progressive standard bearer in Texas, publishes not even a sprinking of articles in 50 years on the JFK assassination and LBJ's corruption? Not even a handful just one or 2 fingers?

When you count to one and stop, it is pretty sad.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Ronnie Dugger and the Texas Observer basically did NOTHING on the JFK assassination especially in the early years....

I hate to say this but this tells me Ronnie Dugger was a lapdog journalist and under his stewardship the Texas Observer would not touch the JFK assassination with a 100 foot pole. I think 20 years post 1963 they did an article discrediting Howard Brennan [Correction: it was on Charles Givens].

According to Barbie Zelizer "the Texas Observer issued a number of articles in critique of the (Warren) commission."

http://books.google....tter up&f=false

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I have a copy of Barbie Zelizer's book and unfortunately it is only a one line reference to two articles written by Dugger: November 22, 1963: The Case is not Closed (11th November 1966) and Batter Up (3rd February 1966). According to Barr McCleellan, the author of, Blood Money and Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. (2003) Dugger considered that Lyndon B. Johnson was capable of being involved in the assassination: "Ronnie Dugger concluded Johnson was a man without moral principle or compass, a man capable of murder and assassination. While editor of the Texas Observer, he closely followed the developments in the Warren investigation, and the newsweekly regularly reported on progress. In perhaps the closest he got to the conspiracy was noting recognition between Oswald and Ruby just before the fatal shot." (page 299)

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Guest Robert Morrow

"According to Barbie Zelizer "the Texas Observer issued a number of articles in critique of the (Warren) commission."

I have been looking for those articles for years. Milquetoast - nothing compared to what Salandria, Joesten and Mark Lane were onto in the early years.

If someone has those Texas Observer articles I would love to read them. I read somewhere that Penn Jones was complaining in real time back in the 1960's that Dugger and the Texas Monthly wouldn't do anything on the JFK assassination. (I can't source everything I read that is floating around in my head. Read it somewhere.)

I have Dugger's The Politician: Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson - The Drive for Power From the Frontier to the Master of the Senate (1982).

The JFK assassination is mentioned on exactly 2 pages in that book. Nothing about LBJ's potential involvement in it. Nothing about LBJ covering up the JFK assassination. The Warren Commission is NOT EVEN mentioned in this book.

On page 154 the JFK assassination is obliquely mentioned as Dugger quotes LBJ mentioning "those first dark days of November" and how he (LBJ) would bow his head and say grace at the dinner table. That is the full extent to which the JFK assassination is mentioned in Dugger's book.

Ronnie Dugger and Texas Monthly pretty much COMPLETELY BLEW the JFK assassination for 49 years. One credible article in 1971. And one good article on the LBJ directed Henry Marshall 1961 murder in the 1980's and these 2 other articles in 1966 that must have been pretty skimpy or we would not have to ask what was in them (although I would like to know).

Ronnie Dugger interviewed Lyndon Johnson in the White House on 4 times: Dec. 13 (2 sessions), Dec. 14 & Dec 16, 1967. And another time on Mar. 23, 1968. [The Politician, p. 405]

Do you know how hard it is to get into the White House for an interview? Especially with Lyndon Johnson who was so paranoid and hateful of the media (even when they carried water for him)? LBJ knew he had a compliant newsman; LBJ was trying to co-opt the left and he knew Dugger was not that dangerous; that is why he let him back in 1968 for another chit chat with a lap dog journalist.

It is sad to say, but it is true: Ronnie Dugger's and the Texas Observer's record of coverage of the JFK assassination is a shame and an embarrassment. It is even more egregious because it came from a so-called independent progressive politics magazine that was in the heart of LBJ country.

I know Dugger is friends with John Judge and he is a regular at COPA conferences. I think the man is shell shocked at how awful he blew the coverage of the JFK assassination, particularly Lyndon Johnson's role in it and certainly LBJ's cover up of it. I will concede this: the worst on LBJ did not come out until after Dugger's 1982 book was printed. Having said that, there was a lot to chew on from 1963 to 1982 with regards to anyone honestly looking at the JFK assassination. Ronnie Dugger then, like Robert Caro today, was too scared to look.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Ronnie Dugger and the Texas Observer basically did NOTHING on the JFK assassination especially in the early years....

I hate to say this but this tells me Ronnie Dugger was a lapdog journalist and under his stewardship the Texas Observer would not touch the JFK assassination with a 100 foot pole. I think 20 years post 1963 they did an article discrediting Howard Brennan [Correction: it was on Charles Givens].

According to Barbie Zelizer "the Texas Observer issued a number of articles in critique of the (Warren) commission."

http://books.google....tter up&f=false

I have been looking for those articles for years.....

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One of the biggest funders of the Texas Observer was Bernard Rapoport, a very wealthy philanthropist and businessman out of Waco. Rapoport was an "early and close supporter of Lyndon Johnson." I have long wondered if the influence of Rapoport, his close ties to LBJ, corrupted or "silenced" the coverage of the Texas Observer of the JFK assassination.

Ronnie Dugger and the Texas Observer basically did NOTHING on the JFK assassination especially in the early years. Dugger wrote a milquetoast book on LBJ - nothing compared to Caro's early works. Lyndon Johnson even granted Dugger an interview in the White House when LBJ was president; LBJ pulled out a photo of Box 13 (symbol of the Duval County voting fraud that secured LBJ the 1948 Democratic nomination over Coke Stevenson) and just grinned silently.

It has to be understood that in the 1950s the Democratic Party in Texas was split between the progressives led by Ralph Yarborough and the traditionalists (called Shivercrats). The Republicans were not a factor and the important elections were the primaries. LBJ had been a progressive in the 1930s and had been their candidate against Coke Stevenson in 1948. LBJ won what is now believed to have been stolen from Stevenson by ballot rigging.

The progressives were furious when once in the Senate, LBJ supported the conservatives. In 1949 Johnson mounted a smear campaign against Leland Olds, chairman of the Federal Power Commission. Olds had managed to lower the prices of electricity. This upset Johnson's friends in the Texas oil industry. As Robert Bryce, the author of Cronies: Oil, The Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate (2004) pointed out: "Johnson saw that the best way to take care of Olds was to brand him a Communist. In the 1920s, Olds had worked for a wire service, and during that time he'd praised some aspects of the system of government in Russia." Olds was forced to resign. Dugger pointed out that by joining in the political crucifixion of Leland Olds - driving in the nails himself - Johnson had used most of the tricks of what would come to be known as McCarthyism, and he nauseated some of his colleagues, but he had achieved his purpose - he had convinced the oilmen back in Texas that he was their man."

Dugger pointed out that he had been on the left of the Democratic Party until coming under the influence of Herman Brown and George R. Brown. "The alliance (of Brown & Root and Johnson) became common knowledge as his political identity changed from left to right before everyone's eyes." Johnson later told Dugger when he said: "I never recommended them for a contract in my life. They never asked me to do anything for them." Dan Briody, the author of The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money (2004), wrote that "when Johnson told reporters that he had never recommended Brown & Root for a contract in his life, he was lying."

In 1954 the progressives started the Texas Observer and made Dugger their editor. Dugger later recalled: "Texas in 1954 had no big-city daily newspaper in which one could sense freedom of conscience. A group of us decided to build The Texas Observer into an independent liberal weekly paper that would introduce freedom of conscience into the press of the state. From the first I sought to practice journalism according to three basic standards, accuracy, fairness instead of objectivity, and moral seriousness. We were a tiny group, running on a shoestring, and we lost money at once and for the next 44 years. But we found and told a lot of stories that would have been lost, and somehow together we made a go of it."

Dugger campaigned against racism in Texas: "One day in 1955, a subscriber in East Texas phoned me that he had read a two-inch story in his area daily that somebody had driven through a little country town for blacks only, shooting bullets. I went out there and got the story. Bullets slammed into a schoolbus and houses, landing around a woman who was kneeling at her bed saying her nightly prayers, plugging into a café, killing a boy of 16 and injuring two younger girls who had been dancing together. The publicity led to a trial and to Southern justice for one of the two young white men who had done it, (guilty, five years suspended); no trial at all for the other one. But the story was told, and 50 years later is part of the memorialized history of East Texas."

Dugger also investigated the corruption of LBJ but was never able to accumulate enough evidence to bring him down. In truth, LBJ was too clever for him. Dugger did have doubts about the accuracy of the Warren Commission but does not appear to believe that LBJ was involved in the conspiracy.

Max Holland makes an interesting point when he reviewed "The Guilty Men" when it appeared on the History Channel:

The Guilty Men presents “yet another theory” about the assassination. But The Guilty Men doesn’t merely present the theory in a neutral manner; it offers up big lies uncritically, and therefore propagates them. If an objective documentary were to be made about Johnson’s alleged involvement, say 60 minutes in duration, 30 minutes would have to be devoted to presenting Johnson’s side of the case. It would take at least that long to rebut the potpourri of charges that have been leveled over the years (ranging from variations on Garrison’s “Qui bono” theory to the “oil depletion allowance” motive). Unfortunately from Johnson’s perspective, his alleged co-conspirators all have one thing in common: they are deceased. Indeed, it does not seem coincidental that the persons so casually slandered in “The Guilty Men” (such as Edward Clark, Don Thomas, Cliff Carter, Clint Murchison, Jr., J. Edgar Hoover, and John Connally) all happen to be dead. This has been the The Men Who Killed Kennedy modus operandi since the first two episodes had to be redone.

At the same time, some very well-informed individuals about Texas politics are still around, and their absence from the program is glaring. One thinks of Ronnie Dugger, for example, who wrote (as editor of the Texas Observer) about the machinations of some of the individuals mentioned during the course of the program, most notably Billie Sol Estes. Dugger is not known to be overly enamored of Lyndon Johnson and is on record as not even subscribing to the Warren Commission’s findings. How is it that someone with his demonstrated knowledge, expertise, and first-hand exposure to Texas politics and business circa 1963 - a journalist who knows the Texas players - is not to be found on the program? Might it have something to do with Dugger’s ability to debunk these allegations?

http://www.spartacus...nnie_dugger.htm

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JFKCountercoup2: Ronnie Dugger on Stevnson Demonstration

Oswald Picketed Adlai Rally in Dallas, Witnesses Say

By Ronnie Dugger

DALLAS, Dec.8 -- Curious ironies continue to multiply in the wake of the President's assassination here Nov. 22.

It now appears that Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, attended not only a rally addressed by Gen. Edwin Walker Oct. 23, but also one addressed by United Nations Ambassador Adlai Stevenson Oct. 24.

A Dallas woman who sat near Oswald at an Oct. 25 meeting of the Dallas Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says that when the Stevenson meeting of the night before was being discussed, Oswald nodded his head and said, "I was there."

Oswald said this in an aside to Michael Paine, who had brought him to the meeting, the woman clearly recalled. Oswald's wife and children lived with Paine's estranged wife in Irving, a Dallas suburb.

Larrie Schmidt, Dallas insurance salesman was also at the Stevenson meeting, leading a group of pickets against Stevenson.

Yesterday Bernard Weissman, who placed an anti-Kennedy advertisement in the Dallas News on the morning of the assassination, told a newsman in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., that Schmidt telephoned him after the meeting at which Stevenson was spat upon, and asked Weissman to come to Dallas to help out in the aftermath.

Schmidt acknowledges that, in advance of the Stevenson speech, he telephoned "a friend of mine in a local university" and asked if he could help find people to demonstrate against the United Nations. The friend arrived with 14 young pickets, and a "peaceful picketing" was organized, Schmidt said.

The persons who spat on Stevenson and struck him with a picket sign had nothing to do with his well-dressed and orderly group, Schmidt said today. "We deplore and certainly do not condone the actions of those people," Schmidt says.

At the A.C.L.U. meeting on Oct. 25, Oswald rose during the open discussion and remarked that he had attended the Walker speech two nights before and had observed anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic symptoms there.

A man who attended the A.C.L.U. meeting and who sat beside Oswald, has been located and corroborates other recollections about Oswald's remarks there.

This source confirms that Oswald said in the aside that he had attended the Stevenson rally.

A Dallas businesswoman, who refused to be identified, said she believes she saw Oswald picketing at the scene of the Stevenson speech.

"He was the only one who did a military type turn. This called my attention to him," she said.

She believed Oswald's group picketed and left before the disturbance broke out against Stevenson.

A second Dallas woman, a housewife, said: "I believe he was there, and he was carrying a picket sign in the lobby."

Neither the businesswoman nor the housewife remembered what kinds of signs were carried by the group led by the man they now believe was Oswald.

Dave - The "local university" was most likely the University of Dallas. Robert Morris was president. Morris was a noted Bircher, lawyer to Walker, and source to Loran Hall.

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I have Dugger's The Politician: Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson - The Drive for Power From the Frontier to the Master of the Senate (1982).

The JFK assassination is mentioned on exactly 2 pages in that book. Nothing about LBJ's potential involvement in it. Nothing about LBJ covering up the JFK assassination. The Warren Commission is NOT EVEN mentioned in this book.

Of course there is nothing about the assassination. The book does not cover that period of LBJ's career (Dugger makes that clear from the title of the book.) However, Dugger is very good on the corruption of LBJ from a New Dealer to a mouthpiece of the oil and construction industries.

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