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Two articles on the swearing-in ceremony


Pat Speer
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A few months back, I did a lot of reading on the timing of Judge Hughes' arrival at Air Force One. For some reason, many of the earliest articles on Johnson's taking the oath of office insinuated Johnson and Judge Hughes had to wait for Jackie Kennedy's arrival on the plane, when Mrs. Kennedy was on the plane at least 12 minutes before Mrs. Hughes arrived.

In any event, I was unable to locate two of the most important articles on the swearing-in.

1. An article written by Judge Hughes for the Washington Post on the night of the assassination. I presume this was published on the 23rd, but am not sure.

2. An article written by Anita Brewer after interviewing Judge Hughes on afternoon of the 22nd, and published in the 11-23-63 Austin American-Statesman.

If anyone has these articles and can provide us Mrs. Hughes exact words regarding the swearing-in, it would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Pat

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Guest Robert Morrow

"For some reason, many of the earliest articles on Johnson's taking the oath of office insinuated Johnson and Judge Hughes had to wait for Jackie Kennedy's arrival on the plane, when Mrs. Kennedy was on the plane at least 12 minutes before Mrs. Hughes arrived."

Pat, your LBJ bullxxxx detector is not quite as finely honed as it could be. That is Lyndon Johnson personally or his lackeys feeding that horse manure to the media. It is along the lines of LBJ saying that Attorney General Robert Kennedy was the one who told him that he should get sworn in immediately as president on Air Force One when Robert Kennedy said nothing of the sort. And after RFK was murdered, it is like Lyndon Johnson telling everyone that Robert Kennedy was the one who told him to put Allen Dulles (who RFK disliked) and John J. McCloy on the Warren Commission. When Robert Caro took that last one at face value, DiEugenio said he felt like defacing the book in an LBJ-type manner.

With Lyndon Johnson, these types of lies, 1/2 lies, 1/4 lies, white lies, black propaganda lies, delusions, self delusions, fantasies that he expected everyone else to believe flowed out on a regular basis.

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Actually, Robert, you and I are in agreement regarding LBJ's use of the media in the aftermath of the assassination, and the reluctance of mainstream historians to acknowledge the obvious: that LBJ began spinning stories about the circumstances in Dallas within hours of the shooting. I discuss this and document this in a recently-added chapter to my website, Chapter 21, The Rorschach Test.

One of the lies--that later came unraveled--was that Johnson wanted the President's quarters on Air Force One to be reserved for Jackie. He made a point of this in his statement to the Warren Commission. And yet, he went into the bedroom to make some phone calls. This came out soon enough. With Manchester's book in 1967, however, it came out that not only did he use the bedroom, but that Jackie Kennedy came into the bedroom when she first came onto the plane, only to find him in there with his secretary.

Well, this incident is not only completely missing from Johnson's statement to the Warren Commission, it is completely missing from the notes of Johnson's secretary Marie Fehmer dictated by Johnson...ON THE PLANE. That's right. From the very beginning, he had decided to create a false history of where he was on the plane when Jackie arrived, etc... That's pretty darn twisted, IMO. A healthy person would have laughed it off with a "well, this is pretty embarrassing, but..."

And we know this because that's exactly what Fehmer did, in her oral history with the Johnson Library. That's right. This is not an "I say left, you say right," kind of issue. It's indisputable. Johnson created a fake history of where he was on the plane when Jackie arrived, only to have his lie exposed by his former secretary...

That the truth is so damning on this point, unfortunately, makes me suspect there's something in the early articles by Hughes that might also be damning. I'm particularly interested in her recollections about the time she called into her office, and both received word Johnson wanted her, and left word she'd be at the plane in 10 minutes. That 10 minutes comes up over and over, and, sure enough, it would take about 10 minutes to travel from her house to the plane. Well, by most all accounts, she reached the plane about 2:30...there was but a few minute delay between her arrival and the giving of the oath at 2:38. So why do Fehmer's notes say Hughes called in at 2:02?

Was this another lie? Designed to conceal that Johnson had lied to O'Donnell and others when he told them they were waiting for Hughes? Were they in fact still trying to reach her?

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Pat:

On your website you say:

Perhaps, then, Valenti failed to realize why this story would be so upsetting to Kennedy. Perhaps he'd failed to realize that, as Robert Kennedy would subsequently confide, he'd never "agreed" with Johnson that Johnson should be sworn-in in Dallas, and had merely failed to voice an objection.

Can you please provide the source for RFK's statement?

Thanks in advance.

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Pat:

On your website you say:

Perhaps, then, Valenti failed to realize why this story would be so upsetting to Kennedy. Perhaps he'd failed to realize that, as Robert Kennedy would subsequently confide, he'd never "agreed" with Johnson that Johnson should be sworn-in in Dallas, and had merely failed to voice an objection.

Can you please provide the source for RFK's statement?

Thanks in advance.

From Chapter 21.

On 5-16-64 William Manchester interviewed Robert Kennedy. The recording of this interview, while still withheld from the public, was made available to Arthur Schlesinger for his 1978 book Robert Kennedy and His Times...

According to Schlesinger, Kennedy described the phone call Johnson made to him as follows: "First he expressed his condolences. Then he said... this might be part of a worldwide plot, which I didn’t understand, and he said a lot of people down here think I should be sworn in right away. Do you have any objection to it? And – well, I was sort of taken aback at the moment because it was just an hour after... the President had been shot and I didn’t think – see what the rush was. And I thought, I suppose at the time, at least, I thought it would be nice if the President came back to Washington – President Kennedy... But I suppose that was all personal... He said, who could swear me in? I said, I’d be glad to find out and I’ll call you back." Schlesinger then wrote that Kennedy called Katzenbach, and found out any federal judge could give Johnson the oath. Schlesinger then returned to quoting Kennedy: "So I called Johnson back and said anybody can..." Kennedy's account of the call was thus in line with Marie Fehmer's notes on every point but one--a big one--Kennedy didn't mention telling Johnson he should be sworn in in Dallas during the second phone call.

...

Manchester wrote that the substance of Kennedy's return phone call to Johnson was unclear, that Johnson thought it was about whether he should take the oath, and Kennedy thought it was about who could give the oath. He wrote as well that Johnson told the Warren Commission Kennedy told him to take the oath, and that, on this issue "Youngblood's memory is foggy. He tends to support his superior, with qualifications, but he explains--quite reasonably--that he only heard one voice. Kennedy who was on the other end, does not remember recommending an immediate ceremony, and it should be noted that such a recommendation would have been inconsistent with his mood. It is his recollection--and that of Ed Guthman, who was with him, that he said 'Anybody can swear you in. Maybe you'd like to have one of the judges down there whom you appointed. Any one of them can do it.'" (Note: Manchester interviewed Guthman on 3-24-64, 5-3-64 and 6-10-64, Kennedy on 5-14-64 and 1-12-65, and Youngblood on 11-17-64. The notes and/or transcripts of these interviews are not yet available.)

It should be noted that Kennedy was playing it cool here. He had Ed Guthman as a witness that he'd never told Johnson he should be sworn in in Dallas, and yet still refrained from calling Johnson a xxxx. Perhaps, then, Manchester had told Kennedy of his interview with McCone, and McCone's insistence Kennedy had indeed told Johnson he should be sworn in. One might assume from this as well that Manchester covered this topic in his first interview with Kennedy, at a time Kennedy was still functioning as Johnson's Attorney General, and still hoping for a slot on the Democratic ticket as Johnson's Vice President. When Kennedy was interviewed by Schlesinger the next year, we should recall, he was much more forthcoming.

Manchester, for his part, didn't stop there, either. Not only did he not tell his readers of McCone's recollections, he later wrote that Kennedy's disavowal of telling Johnson to take the oath was "supported by Kennedy's opening words to Katzenbach: 'Lyndon wants to be sworn in in Dallas.'" (Note: Manchester interviewed Katzenbach on 6-5-64)

Manchester returned to this topic later in his book, for that matter, and made sure the reader knew where both Kennedy and he stood on the matter. Of Robert Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy's first conversation after she'd landed in Washington, he wrote: "a disjointed conversation ensued, touching upon the probable future of Kennedy aides, the delayed take-off from Love Field...and the explanation which the new President had offered at the time. 'He said he'd talked to you, Bobby,' Jackie told her brother-in-law, 'and that you'd said he had to be sworn in right there in Dallas.' The Attorney General was startled. There must be some misunderstanding, he said: he had made no such suggestion." In a footnote, Manchester then offered "The author invited President Johnson to comment on this misapprehension. He replied that he had nothing to add to his statement to the Warren Commission." (Note: beyond his interviews with Robert Kennedy, in which this conversation between Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy was undoubtedly discussed, Manchester interviewed Mrs. Kennedy on 4-7-64, 5-4-64, 5-7-64, 5-8-64, and 7-20-64. The notes and/or transcripts of these interviews are, you guess it, not yet available.)

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'He said he'd talked to you, Bobby,' Jackie told her brother-in-law, 'and that you'd said he had to be sworn in right there in Dallas.' The Attorney General was startled. There must be some misunderstanding, he said: he had made no such suggestion."

In a footnote, Manchester then offered "The author invited President Johnson to comment on this misapprehension. He replied that he had nothing to add to his statement to the Warren Commission."

Thank you Pat.

If LBJ went to such lengths to disguise and deceive

and the secret service used force to remove the body,

have you now reached the point where David Lifton's

body alteration theory is starting to sound plausible?

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'He said he'd talked to you, Bobby,' Jackie told her brother-in-law, 'and that you'd said he had to be sworn in right there in Dallas.' The Attorney General was startled. There must be some misunderstanding, he said: he had made no such suggestion."

In a footnote, Manchester then offered "The author invited President Johnson to comment on this misapprehension. He replied that he had nothing to add to his statement to the Warren Commission."

Thank you Pat.

If LBJ went to such lengths to disguise and deceive

and the secret service used force to remove the body,

have you now reached the point where David Lifton's

body alteration theory is starting to sound plausible?

I'm not a convert, no, but I did tell Lifton in an email that my research into the events on the plane, etc, had added some support for his thesis. Towards the end of the chapter, if you can make it that far, I discuss Jack Valenti's statements re the events on the plane, etc. While Johnson said he didn't feel right letting Jackie fly home alone, and that he insisted she fly home on the plane with him, Valenti--one of Johnson's top aides--consistently claimed Johnson's concern was really the body, and that he thought it important the body return on the flight with him.

If follows, of course, that Johnson also had an interest in the autopsy.

This sets my mind a rumbling... Did McNamara ever discuss the autopsy with Johnson?

If so, did he discuss this in an interview?

I don't know. Do you?

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Thank you Pat - incredible work. I have to say that the kind of cunning and calumny displayed by LBJ at Parkland and on AF 1 makes Lifton's theories much more believable. I have read a lot of Lifton's work and always find myself in a quandary. They are so well researched, yet the conclusions are so unbelievable. LBJ would have wanted to be very sure about ballistic evidence. Removing the body from Parkland was already suggestive of that. I think I read that the more complete recently available transcript of the radio traffic on AF 1 suggests that the autopsy location was changed mid-flight, with the possible collusion (coerced?) of JFK's personal physician. I am sure someone reading this knows more than I do, so if my memory is faulty please weigh in.

Over the years I have favored many theories of who pulled the strings that day. Not to toot my horn too loudly, at the time I wrote Coup D'etat trading cards I believed that LBJ was the man with the clearest means, motive and opportunity. What has made this view especially difficult to espouse over the years is the fact that LBJ got the Civil Rights Act passed and declared war on poverty. It sure shut the left wing media up. And for the public to imagine a sitting president could have been possible of such pure evil was almost unthinkable. But recently I saw some clips of LBJ on the telly talking to the American people, and I remembered the feeling I had about him at the time, one of total revulsion. Was that a common reaction? His words were meant to be soothing, but his face told a different story.

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Guest Robert Morrow

" From the very beginning, he had decided to create a false history of where he was on the plane when Jackie arrived, etc... That's pretty darn twisted, IMO. A healthy person would have laughed it off with a "well, this is pretty embarrassing, but...""

LBJ was always concerned with appearances. And he was not a mentally or morally healthy person. The Kennedys (and really everyone else including his own people) knew LBJ was a pathological xxxx. The term "gaslighting" should have been invented with Lyndon Johnson in mind. Basically, LBJ was very insecure, assumed everyone was as diabibolical as he was, & he would make up any lie and *fully believe* whatever lie he felt he had to promote.

George Reedy had a painful experience of working for the man for 15 years. Let's see what Reedy says:

"He had a remarkable capacity to convince himself that he held the principles he should hold at any given time, and there was something charming about the air of injured innocence with which he would treat anyone who brought forth evidence that he had held other views in the past. It was not an act. His whole life was lived in the present and he was tenacious in his conviction that history always conformed to current necessities." [Reedy, p. 2]

"To complicate the picture, his own view of what had happened frequently shifted. To the outside world, this appeared as a form of mendacity. It is my firm belief, from close association over a number of years, that the man never told a deliberate lie. But he had a fantastic capacity to persuade himself that the "truth" which was convenient for the present was the truth and anything that conflicted with it was the prevarication of enemies. He literally willed what was in his mind to be reality and, as he was a master at imposing his will upon the people, the society, and the world around him, he saw no reason for history to be exempt from the process."

[Reedy, p. 3]Notice how Reedy puts that on page 2 of his book about LBJ; how it is some fundamental about the man that must be understood. Reedy's book "Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir:" http://www.amazon.com/Lyndon-B-Johnson-A-Memoir/dp/0836266102/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367373002&sr=8-1&keywords=george+reedy+lbj

Here is the rest of Reedy on LBJ:

"He was notorious for abusing his staff, for driving people to the verge of exhaustion- and sometimes over the verge; for paying the lowest salaries for the longest hours of work on Capitol Hill; for publicly humiliating his most loyal aides; for keeping his office in a constant state of turmoil by playing games with reigning male and female favorites."

"There was no sense in which he could be described as a pleasant man. His manners were atrocious- not just slovenly but frequently calculated to give offense. Relaxation was something he did not understand and would not accord to others. He was a bully who would exercise merciless sarcasm on people who could not fight back but could only take it. Most important, he had no sense of loyalty- at least, not the kind of loyalty I learned on the Irish Near North Side of Chicago, where life was bearable only because people who had very little in the way of wordly goods had very much in the way of mutual trust. To Johnson, loyalty was a one-way street: all take on his part and all give on the part of everyone else- his family, his friends, his supporters."

[Reedy, p. x]

"He was cruel, even to people who had virtually walked the last mile for him. Occasionally he would demonstrate his gratitude for extraordinary services by a lavish gift- an expensive suit of clothes, an automobile, jewelry for the women on his staff. The gift was always followed by an outpouring of irreverent abuse (I believe he thought his impulse was an example of weakness for which he had to atone) and a few members of his entourage noted that gift was invariably tax deductible on his part. Furthermore, some of the most lavish presents frequently went to members who had performed no services other than adulation. And when his personal desires were at stake, he had absolutely no consideration for the situation in which other people found themselves. They were required to drop everything to wait upon him and were expected to forget their private lives in his interests. He even begrudged one of his top assistants a telephone call to his wife on their wedding anniversary, which the assistant was spending on the LBJ ranch and his wife at their home in Washington, D.C." [Reedy, xiv]

"He had a habit of adopting all useful thoughts as his own, and often the originator of highly important ideas would forget his or her own authorship in a matter of hours and be ready to swear that the whole thing originated in the brain of "the Leader." [Reedy, xvi]

"He had a remarkable capacity to convince himself that he held the principles he should hold at any given time, and there was something charming about the air of injured innocence with which he would treat anyone who brought forth evidence that he had held other views in the past. It was not an act. His whole life was lived in the present and he was tenacious in his conviction that history always conformed to current necessities." [Reedy, p. 2]

"To complicate the picture, his own view of what had happened frequently shifted. To the outside world, this appeared as a form of mendacity. It is my firm belief, from close association over a number of years, that the man never told a deliberate lie. But he had a fantastic capacity to persuade himself that the "truth" which was convenient for the present was the truth and anything that conflicted with it was the prevarication of enemies. He literally willed what was in his mind to be reality and, as he was a master at imposing his will upon the people, the society, and the world around him, he saw no reason for history to be exempt from the process."

[Reedy, p. 3]

"That other man had to be Robert Kennedy, whom he regarded as the focal point for all the forces who sought the downfall of Lyndon Johnson." [Reedy, 6]

"As a rule, his language colorful, pointed, and what can most charitably be described as "earthy." His "humor" was based chiefly on the contents of toilet bowls and he was addicted to "pie-in-the-face" practical jokes. His favorite spectator sport was watching bovine copulation and he gloried in summoning fastidious males to his bathroom, where conference and excretion could be intermingled. His consumption of beverage alcohol was for purposes other than sacramental and in quantities that did not accord St. Paul's "a little wine for thy stomach's sake." [Reedy, p.34-35]

"They had to be young, they had to be cheerful, they had to be malleable, and it helped if they were slightly antagonistic to him at the outset. He dearly loved to convert an anti-Johnson liberal with a slightly plump figure and a dowdy wardrobe into a lean, impeccably clad female whose face was masked in cosmetics and who adored the ground he walked on (or, at least, told him she adored the ground he walked on). To her, he would pour out all his dreams and aspirations in what (as it was described to me later by one woman with a sense of humor) was an incredibly potent monologue. The motif was that he trusted her loyalty and needed her wisdom and she had to come with him to occupy the top spot in his organization. It was an offer rarely refused.

The reality was somewhat different. The best the woman could hope for was a position as his private secretary. She learned very quickly that it was not the post of a top "advisor." He had no respect for the political intelligence of any woman except his wife- and, unfortunately, he usually listened to her only when he had done something stupid and had to find a bail-out manuever.

There were many compensations for the reigning favorite. She could look forward to travel under plush conditions, attendance at glamourous social functions with the Johnsons (he would always find a "safe" male for an escort), expensive clothes, and frequent trips to New York, where a glamorous make-up artist would initiate her into the mysteries of advanced facial make-up, resulting in cosmetics so lavishly applied that they became a mask."

[Reedy, p. 36]

"Very few reigning favorites were allowed to run the office for any great length of time. One of them, who held his attention longer than the rest and for whom he exhibited some really deep feelings, was married off, probably because a continued relationship was incompatible with the vice presidency.

The others dropped back into the pool known to the male staff members (speaking under their breaths) as "the harem." His greatest joy was traveling with a large number of women over whom he could fuss- buying their clothes, supervising their diets, and admonishing them at every public stop to "put on some fresh lipstick." It was quite a show. He may have been "just a country boy from the central hills of Texas" but he had many of the instincts of a Turkish sultan of Istanbul."

[Reedy, p. 37]

"The result of all of this was an office in a constant state of turmoil. A new reigning favorite meant a period of several weeks in which workable routines would be upset; morale would fall to all-time lows; efficiency would go out the window."

(Reedy, p. 37)

"He was rarely candid, and when he spoke of personal matters his words were such a mixture of fantasy, euphemism, and half-truth that it was impossible to separate out the nuggets of revelation. In this case, however, the facts are compelling. As it became clearer that inexorable forces were pushing him into the small circle of men from whom the nation picks its chief executives, he developed a pattern of conduct that indicated beyond a doubt a desire to revert to childhood. He intermingled, almost daily, childish tantrums; threats of resignation (which I realize in retrospect were the equivalent of the small boy who says he will take his baseball and go home); wild drinking bouts; a remarkable nonpaternal yen for young girls; an almost frantic desire to be in the company of young people."

[Reedy, p. 56]

"A few weeks after his heart attack in 1955, he summed up the whole problem when he told a conference of doctors, gathered to evaluate his condition, that he enjoyed nothing but whiskey, sunshine, and sex. Without realizing what he was doing, he had outlined succinctly the tragedy of his life."

[Reedy, p. 56]

"The drinking bouts became increasingly heavy and increasingly frequent. When he was with staff members, there would usually be a point at which he would launch a tirade reviling an assistant for a long series of fancied wrongs and assumed inadequacies. ...

They were invariably preceded by a wild drinking bout. He was not an alcoholic or a heavy drinker in the commonly accepted sense of those words. But there were occasions when he would pour down Scotch and soda in a virtually mechanical motion in rhythm with the terrible tension building visibly within him and communicating itself to his listeners. The warning signs were unmistakable and those with past experience tried to get away before the inevitable flood of invective. As they found out, it was rarely possible.

[Reedy 56-57]

"As the 1960 campaign drew closer, the drinking bouts surpassed all previous records.... The 1960 campaign was a nightmare for the staff- a weird collage of beratings, occasional drunken prowls up and down hotel corridors, and frantic efforts to sober him up in the mornings so he could make the speaking engagements. Here again he came close to disaster. He spent a whole night in a hotel room in El Paso pouring invective upon the head of a bewildered advance man...On the stump he had very few peers. But in his rooms at night, the drinking patterns continued as did the threats of leaving the campaign." [Reedy, pp. 58-59]

"Someone had told him about the theories of subliminal conditioning then making the rounds and his methodology was to mutter "sincere" over and over in the presence of journalists. When he could insert the word into a sentence, he would do so even when it had to be dragged in by the heels, kicking and screaming. When he could find no sentence that was suitable, he would repeat "sincere" under his breath, over and over to the absolute bewilderment of his audience. Fortunately, he dropped the effort before articles could appear questioning his sanity."

[Reedy, p. 68]

"This occurred when he was vice president and obsessed with the idea that Bobby Kennedy was directing an anti-LBJ campaign. His elevation to the presidency made absolutely no difference. Brush after brush took place with the journalists who, in the early days of his administration, accepted him as a miracle worker to be treated with downright reverence. Eventually, however, his conviction that they were opposed to him created an opposition- always the outcome of paranoia. He did not attribute this to his own shortcomings but to the machinations of the man he regarded as his arch foe. At this stage of the game, Bobby was helpless to do him much mischief but LBJ still believed that there was a plot for which the press was the principal instrument." [Reedy, p. 70]

"In a very important sense, LBJ was a man who had been deprived of the normal joys of life. He knew how to struggle; he knew how to outfox political opponents; he knew how to make money; he knew how to swagger. But he did not know how to live. He had been programmed for business and for business only and outside of his programming he was lost." [Reedy, p. 81]

"I never fully understood this or other similar episodes. In the back of his mind, it is possible that he believed these visits were inspired by Bobby Kennedy as part of a "plot" to delete the name LBJ from the ticket in 1964. This had become an obsession with him- a conviction that peopled the world with agents of the president's brother all seeking to do him in. Someone- I never found out who- very actively fed this belief and kept him in a perpetual state of anxiety. This reached major proportions with the outbreak of the Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker scandals....

There was absolutely nothing to keep Johnson's name in the Billy Sol Estes story except the LBJ refusal to deal with the press. He covered up when there was nothing to cover and thereby created the suspicion that he was involved somehow. His reasoning was simple: The whole thing existed as a Bobby Kennedy plot and to talk about it to the press was to help Bobby Kennedy.

About the same thing happened in the Bobby Baker scandal except that in this instance he was really close to the central figure in the expose. He had considered Bobby as virtually a son and succeeded in promoting him to be secretary of the Senate Majority at an age when Bobby should have been in knee britches."

[Reedy 134-135]

"But Johnson refused to accept the obvious explanation. He insisted that it stayed in the press because of conscious pressure from Bobby Kennedy, who, he claimed, was holding daily briefings with the sole purpose of knifing LBJ in the back. He was so convinced of the existence of these meetings that I made a personal effort to check on them myself. There was not the least bit of evidence that they were taking place or had taken place. I am not a master spy but it is hardly likely that during that period the attorney general of the United States could have engaged in such an organized effort without one of my newspaper friends tipping me off.

This viewpoint did not impress Johnson in the slightest. He merely said I was "naive" and that he would demonstrate the truth to me. The next time the two of us were together with a correspondent, he lectured the man on how wrong it was to ask stooge questions and then said: "I know all about those briefings downtown." It became apparent at once the correspondent did not know not know about them but that did not stop LBJ. He continued his lectures to other correspondents- a practice that led to some speculation as to his mental stability. Fortunately, the speculation did not appear in print.

These episodes were merely ludicrious. Much more serious was his interpretation of all his relations with the administration as involved with "plots." He resisted- to the point of hysteria- the round-the-world trip which later became famous for his discovery of Bashir, the camel driver, in Karachi.... He raved, at least to me, that Bobby Kennedy was trying to set him up.

[Reedy, pp. 136-137]

"Those of us who had to deal with what few substantive matters characterized the vice presidency found it increasingly difficult to secure decisions from him. The consumption of booze increased as did the number of hours he would spend in bed at home just staring at the ceiling and growling at anyone who came into the room... There was some demon within the man himself that would have operated in any position short of the presidency."

[Reedy, pp. 139-140]

"Why Jack Kennedy offered Lyndon Johnson the vice presidency and why Lyndon Johnson accepted it, I will never know. Frankly, I doubt whether anyone will ever know now that the principal protagonists are dead. My guess is that it represented a shrewd political judgement on Kennedy's part."

[Reedy, p. 141]

"Behind the scenes, however, the campaign was grinding agony for a staff which felt a duty to the campaign to keep the seamy side from showing. There were some terrible moments- drunken, aimless wanderings through a hotel corridor in Chicago (fortunately blocked off by police) in which he tried to crawl into the bed of the female correspondent (I got the impression as we led him away that he was seeking comfort, not sex); a wild drinking bout in El Paso in which he spent the night cursing and raving at a good friend; continuous torrents of abuse directed at his staff. It was amazing to watch him go out in public and make truly compelling speeches off-the-cuff after such episodes."

[Reedy, p. 142]

"Whatever the reality, however, the LBJ paranoia continued to mount. He was convinced that Bobby Kennedy had virtual control over the nation's press and that this control was being used to pave the way for a "dump LBJ" campaign in 1964. This was a period in which he proceeded to "hang around" the outer offices of the White House- something like a precinct captain sitting in the anteroom of a ward leader hoping to be recognized. It was not a very propossessing sight and certainly not worthy of a man of his stature."

[Reedy, p. 147]

"He was not a man of thought and, instead, it became for him the period of intense misery. He obviously had not found what he had expected to find in the vice presidency, and while his intellect was keen, it was not of the variety that could grant him inner serenity. What could have been to a philosopher an era of growth was, in his eyes, a time of shame and failure.

[Reedy, p. 147]

"Johnson campaigned as though there were a real contest with the outcome in doubt. In time I came to understand that the act of campaigning had importance to him that was totally unrelated to the goals. There was some form of vitalizing force in frenzied crowds that drove him into a state of ectasy...

"What was even more interesting was the scene that invariably followed a session with a crowd. Despite his tapping technique, some people would always be able to grasp his palm for a fleeting moment. In such instances, it would be necessary for him to tear loose- leaving long scratches on the back of his hand. He loved those scratches. A medical attendant aboard Air Force One was ready with some soothing ointment for a gentle massage. LBJ would insist that everyone on the plane cluster around during the massage period and he would point lovingly to each scratch, describing in detail the person responsible for it. The first time I witnessed the performance, it seemed to me that he was thinking in terms of the Stigmata from the Cross. But the performance was much too sensual for such an interpretation. There was something post-orgasmic about the scene. A psychiatrist could have had a field day."

[Reedy, p. 152]

"The trouble was that Johnson himself became a victim of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. It froze him into a totally uncompromising position where he had no alternatives- or thought he had no alternative- to feeding more and more draftees into the meat grinder. He had never, in his entire life, learned to confess error, and this quality- merely amusing or exasperating in a private person- resulted in cosmic tragedy for a president. He had to prove that he had been right all along. And this meant that he had to do more of what he had been doing despite the demonstrable failure of his Vietnam policies."

[Reedy, p. 165]

"There were a few key traits to his personality and it is unlikely that he shed them. As a human being he was a miserable person- a bully, sadist, lout and egoist. He had no sense of loyalty (despite his protestations that it was a quality that he valued above all others) and he enjoyed tormenting those who had done the most for him. He seemed to take a special delight in humiliating those who had cast their lot in with him. It may well be that this was the result of a form of self-loathing in which he concluded that there had to be something wrong with anyone who would associate with him."

[Reedy, p. 171]

"His lapses from civilized conduct were deliberate and usually intended to subordinate someone else to his will. He did disgusting things because he realized other people had to pretend that they did not mind. It was his method of bending them to his designs.

[Reedy, pp. 171-172]

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Guest Robert Morrow

"What has made this view especially difficult to espouse over the years is the fact that LBJ got the Civil Rights Act passed and declared war on poverty. It sure shut the left wing media up."

"Civil rights" was LBJ's keep-out-of-jail ticket from the JFK assassination. LBJ was taking care of CIA-military hawks, Texas oil men (he preserved the oil depreciation allowance) and his and Hoover's on personal reasons. LBJ had to give a big bone - civil rights - to the liberals to inocuate himself from scrutiny in the JFK assassination.

Essentially, it worked in LBJ's lifetime. By the 1980's however, after Madeleine Brown, Billie Sol Estes & Barr McClellan went public, the culpability of LBJ in the JFK assassination became much more clear.

Edited by Robert Morrow
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I'm not a convert, no, but I did tell Lifton in an email that my research into the events on the plane, etc, had added some support for his thesis.

I must take my hat off to you Pat for that brilliant chapter

on the Rorschach Test which I have now read in full.

I appreciate the amount of work involved, and I bet David Lifton does too.

The thoroughness of your research is most impressive.

Sorry I cannot help locate the Sarah Hughes articles

or help with McNamara.

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