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The Swearing in Aboard AF1 - A New Perspective


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Although not my intention, I think this article pretty much exonerates LBJ as the mastermind of the Dealey Plaza operation.


The Swearing In aboard AF1 - A New Perspective

Was it a Public Relations Ploy or LBJ Holding off a Military Coup?

http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-swearing-in-on-af1-re-evaluated.html

By William Kelly

"Officials at the Pentagon were calling the White House switchboard at the Dallas-Sheraton Hotel asking who was now in command. An Officer grabbed the phone and assured the Pentagon that Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chief of Staff ' are now the President.”

Jim Bishop – “The Day the President Was Shot”

Among the law enforcement textbooks on my father’s small bookshelf was one on the elements of a homicide for police officers, detectives, prosecutors and judges, for the investigation of political murders in which elimination is the motive, to concentrate not on the triggerman or gunman, who is only acting on orders, but instead to focus on the victim – and his enemies and adversaries.

Taking advantage of the increased public and media interest in the subject on the 50th anniversary, among the recent spate of books published on the assassination of President Kennedy are a dozen or so books and articles that attempt to blame the assassination on Lyndon Baines Johnson, among them - Texas attorney Barr McClellan, Republican strategist Roger Stone, sniper victim James Tague and internet conspiracy evangelist Robert Morrow, among others.

While LBJ may answer the Qui Bono? test question, and he certainly had the means, motive and opportunity to kill JFK, making him as much a suspect as Oswald, masterminding the Dealey Plaza Operation was beyond LBJ’s capabilities.

The DealeyPlaza operation was far more sophisticated than LBJ or the Mafia or renegade CIA agents because it involved complex psychological warfare methods and techniques that LBJ and the Mafia couldn’t fathom, at least until after the fact.

The psychological warfare methods and techniques used in the Dealey Plaza operation were not only successful in framing Oswald as the patsy for the crime, they were also used to pin the blame for the operation on Castro Communists, a ploy designed not only to protect the actual sponsors, but to intentionally spark an invasion of Cuba and risk limited nuclear war with the Soviets.

Such a plan and doomsday scenario was well beyond the abilities of LBJ, the Mafia or even renegade CIA agents, but was a coup d’etat from within the federal government, a coup that needed the cooperation or compromise of every agency and department of government.

LBJ may have been a very crude and rude and even a murderer, and is a prime suspect in the minds of many people, but he didn’t conceive the plan that unfolded at Dealey Plaza, not only because it was beyond his capabilities, when he recognized it for what it was he rejected the original cover story.

Before Air Force One left the ground, LBJ had discarded the original cover story – that the ambush was a conspiracy, albeit a Cuban Communist one, and he refused to allow the military to effectively respond to the assassination by invading Cuba, as they wanted and as fully incorporated in the original plan.

That LBJ separated himself from Kennedy’s killers by rejecting their original cover-story, he did so by adopting the “Phase Two” cover-story (as per Peter Dale Scott) of a deranged lone nut being responsible, though the Cuba-Castro scenario provided the nuclear doomsday motive LBJ used to convince Earl Warren and other Warren Commissioners of the necessity for mutual agreement on this issue.

If LBJ was the real power behind the assassination, he would have gone along with the original cover story, recognized the international communist conspiracy behind DealeyPlaza and sent the police after the commies in the USA and the military after Castro and Cuba, as the DealeyPlaza operation was originally designed.

It can be shown that LBJ took the first steps against the actual sponsors of the DealeyPlaza operation by declining to buy the original Castro-Commie Cover story, but salvaged his own life by signaling them that he would nonetheless also protect them by adopting the “Phase Two” cover story of Oswald’s singular guilt.

Evidence and support for this perspective can be found in the official archival record as well as the deep political record that is more elusive but when documented, confirms much of what is on the record. It also explains the imperative of LBJ being officially sworn in as President, not to reassure a grieving nation that the Constitutional lines of executive authority has been passed on, but to hold off a full fledged coup by the military to use the assassination as an excuse to commandeer the national command authority and go to war with Cuba.

FIRST STRATEGIC DECISIONS OF THE NEW PRESIDENT

From all accounts the first decision LBJ made as president was to go to Air Force One because, as the Warren Report tells us, it had superior communications equipment than the plane he flew in on.

The second decision LBJ made as president was to hold the swearing in ceremony aboard Air Force One immediately – as soon as possible, before they took off for Washington.

The first decision was made at Parkland Hospital before the official announcement that JFK was dead.

The second decision was made aboard Air Force One before LBJ made a series of telephone calls, one to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to obtain the wording of the oath of office and another to the office of Federal Judge Sarah Hughes, to direct her to Love Field to administer the oath.

We also know that LBJ made another call to his personal tax attorney J. Waddy Bullion, during which they discussed his Halliburton stock.

While Bullion’s personal biography says the call didn’t get through, one of Bullion’s law partners says otherwise. As recounted by Russ Baker in “Family of Secrets” (p. 132), “Pat Holloway, former attorney to both Poppy Bush and Jack Crichton, recounted to me an incident involving LBJ that had greatly disturbed him. This was around one P.M. on November 22, 1963, just as Kennedy was being pronounced dead. Holloway was heading home from the office and was passing through the reception area. The switchboard operator excitedly noted that she was patching the vice president through from ParklandHospital to Holloway’s boss, firm senior partner Waddy Bullion, who was LBJ’s personal tax lawyer. The operator invited Holloway to listen in. LBJ was talking ‘not about a conspiracy or the tragedy,’ Holloway recalled. ‘I heard him say: “Oh, I gotta get rid of my goddamn Halliburton stock.” Lyndon Johnson was talking about the consequences of is political problems with his Halliburon stock at a time when the president had been officially declared dead. And that pissed me off….It really made me furious.”

While there are no historic records of these calls, we must also assume that LBJ’s close aides, such as Bill Moyers and Cliff Carter also made telephone calls in the hours after the assassination.

The secure telephone lines set up for Air Force One at Love Field were special trunk lines that had to be detached from the plane before take off, after which all the communications were made through radio patches over three or four sideband radios in the communications room behind the cockpit.

All of the president’s communications – the “Star Network,” were controlled by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), then led by Col. George McNally (code name “Star”), who was having lunch at the airport terminal when the assassination occurred. He immediately returned to Air Force One to ensure that the new president could communicate with anyone in the world.

The trunk lines at Love Field connected to Air Force One were only a few of a dozen such secure land lines that were controlled by the WHCA – others being at locations where ever the President was or would be – the hotel in Fort Worth where JFK spent his last night, at the Dallas Trade Mart where he was scheduled to give a luncheon speech, and other locations in Texas where he was scheduled to be that weekend.

The WHCA Command Center and base station for the Dallas portion of the Texas trip was set up in a suite of rooms at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel.

According to William Manchester, it was McNally’s duty to ensure that the president was always within five minutes of a secure telephone. “Colonel McNally had a corps of advance men. By dawn of that Thursday morning temporary switchboards had been installed in trailers and hotel rooms in San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin and at the LBJ Ranch. Each had its own unlisted phone number. The Dallas White House, for example, was in the Sheraton-Dallas Hotel. It could be reached through RIverside 1-3421,RIverside 1-3422, and RIverside 1-3423, though anyone who dialed one of them and lacked a code name of his own would find the conversation awkward.”

And according to Jim Bishop, who apparently talked with some of the WHCA radio operators, one such awkward phone call came in during the immediate aftermath of the assassination. "Officials at the Pentagon were calling the White House switchboard at the Dallas-Sheraton Hotel asking who was now in command. An Officer grabbed the phone and assured the Pentagon that Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chief of Staff are now the President." - Jim Bishop's book “The Day Kennedy Was Shot”

Theodore H. White, in The Making of the President, 1964, wrote: “There is a tape recording in the archives of the government which best recaptures the sound of the hours as it waited for leadership. It is a recording of all the conversations in the air, monitored by the Signal Corps Midwestern center "Liberty," between Air Force One in Dallas, the Cabinet plane over the Pacific, and the Joint Chiefs' CommunicationsCenter in Washington.”

“…..On the flight the party learned that there was no conspiracy, learned of the identity of Oswald and his arrest; and the President's mind turned to the duties of consoling the stricken and guiding the quick.”

While “Liberty” station is heard on the existing Air Force One radio transmission tapes, there is no mention of Oswald or the lack of conspiracy, which means that these patches were edited out of the publicly released version of the tapes, or perhaps they took place before the plane took off, in which case they were possibly not recorded at all.

Oswald was publicly identified in wire service reports before Air Force One was in the air, so perhaps White was only partially accurate, in that LBJ learned of Oswald’s arrest and there was no conspiracy while aboard the plane, but before it took off, so they weren’t quite yet on the flight back to Washington.

While there is no documented or officially archived evidence that LBJ, as the new president, communicated directly with the Pentagon or any of his generals, except those who were aboard Air Force One, it is possible that LBJ, from the same source that informed Bishop, knew of the report(s) that “the Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff are now the President.

While the constitutional lines of accession for the executive branch of government goes from President to Vice President to Speaker of the House, the lines of authority for release of nuclear weapons – the power to go to war – goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense. According to Thomas B. Allen (of War Games), the nuclear... release authority passes from a ...disabled or missing President to the Secretary of Defense, and then, if necessary, to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who at the time of the assassination was Roswell Gilpatrick, the Texan who arranged for General Dynamics to get the TFX contract over Boeing.

With the president dead, and the accused assassin being a pro-Castro Communist, did the military consider using the murder of the president as an excuse to invade Cuba?

Consider the fact that shortly after Oswald was identified as the assassin and his Soviet and Cuban background became known, Jack Crichton arranged for a Russian language translator for Oswald’s wife Marina, and the information was then immediately transmitted to the Strike Force at McDill Air Force Base in Florida, who would have taken the lead in any military attack on Cuba.

In the first hours after the assassination, before Air Force One even left the ground, action against Cuba was being suggested, the White House Communications Agency officers were acknowledging that “the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs were now the President” and as McGeorge Bundy put it, “the Pentagon was taking its own steps.”

At that point, with JFK incapacitated, and LBJ soon to be in the air and out of action, the “Secretary of Defense” Robert MacNamara had the National Command Authority to go to war, and such a war against Cuba had been planned for and was being contemplated at that moment in time.

If that is the case, rather than merely a public relations ploy to sooth the doubts of the shocked nation, the swearing in ceremony may have been LBJ’s reaction to the reports that the Joint Chiefs “were now the President,” and to prevent the military from using the assassination as an excuse to go to war over Cuba.

And this wasn’t all knee-jerk reactionary responses to an unforeseen crisis, but a well planned out scenario that had been recently practiced.

“Of all the things Kennedy did for Johnson, none, however, was perhaps more instantly important on the weekend of Nov. 22 than a minor decision Kennedy made months before,” wrote T.H. White, in “The Making of the President 1964.”

“He (JFK) had decided that, in the secret and emergency planning for continuity of American government in the happenstance of a nuclear attack, Johnson should be given a major role. Through Major General Chester V. Clifton, who acted as White House liaison with the Department of Defense, all emergency operational planning was made available to the Vice President in duplicate. These plans, envisioning all things – from the destruction of all major cities to the bodily transfer of governing officers to an underground capital – included, of course, detailed forethought of the event of the sudden death of a President.”


“Because he had participated in all these plans, both panic and ignorance were already preauthorized in the vice President; on the night of Nov. 22, 1963, he knew exactly all the intricate resources of command and communications at his disposal. Beneath this lay the experience of a man who had spent 30 years observing the work of the federal government, while beneath that lay the instincts of a Texas country boy. Now it was him to act.”

So the first two decisions LBJ made – to go immediately to Air Force One because of its superior communications equipment and take the oath of office before taking off, were both moves that were engrained in the special continuity of government plans that JFK had made LBJ privy to.

That LBJ took the oath of office, not to convince the American public who was president, but to head off a full blown military coup, is supported by LBJ’s actions in the immediate aftermath of the assassination and his opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

LBJ’s opinions of the Joint Chiefs, as he himself expressed to them in a meeting in the Oval Office a year later, and as recounted by Lt. Gen. Charles Cooper, USMC (Ret), in "Cheers and Tears: A Marine's Story of Combat in Peace and War" (2002): “….Seemingly deep in thought, President Johnson turned his back on them for a minute or so, then suddenly discarding the calm, patient demeanor he had maintained throughout the meeting, whirled to face them and exploded. I almost dropped the map. He screamed obscenities, he cursed them personally, he ridiculed them for coming to his office with their ‘military advice.’ Noting that it was he who was carrying the weight of the free world on his shoulders, he called them filthy names - xxxxheads, dumb xxxxs, pompous assholes - and used ‘the F-word’ as an adjective more freely than a Marine in boot camp would use it. He then accused them of trying to pass the buck for World War III to him. It was unnerving, degrading. After the tantrum, he resumed the calm, relaxed manner he had displayed earlier and again folded his arms. It was as though he had punished them, cowed them, and would now control them. Using soft-spoken profanities, he said something to the effect that they all knew now that he did not care about their military advice. After disparaging their abilities, he added that he did expect their help…” [For the complete article on this meeting see:http://jfkcountercoup2.blogspot.com/2012/07/lbj-joint-chiefs-day-it-became-longest.html ]

If LBJ held the same feelings for the military at the time of the assassination, the early reports immediately after the assassination that MacNamara and the Joint Chiefs “were now the President,” which came from the WHCA base station at the Dallas Sheraton, could have stimulated LBJ to hold the swearing in ceremony immediately aboard Air Force One so that the whole nation and the world, as well as the brass at the Pentagon, knew who was President.

For more details on LBJ's AF1 Radio Communications see: Prequil to a Forensic Analysis of the Air Force One Radio Transmission Tapes. - BK

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Very insightful analysis, Bill. I think you're probably on the right track here.

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I'm wondering if the "Castro did it" scenario, adapted from Operation Northwoods, wasn't just window dressing to attract participation of radical government, business, and mob elements, while, in the interests of the top echelon, the plan was simply to "Dump Jack" amid a vast confusion of motives.

It's a gamble, but that was a weekend full of wagers.

Otherwise, Oswald might have been kept alive to be framed and imprisoned, and might even have been coerced into cooperating. Oswald's self-excuplating conduct on camera, and his reaching out for contacts to support and vouch for him, may have helped seal the deal to write the assassination off as a lone-nut job, meaning he wasn't cooperative and had to be killed fast.

So much went on according to the power climate of the time, and depended on what the traffic in that climate would bear, that it's hard to split hairs on motive without speculation. But I think the "Blame Castro" scenario was cut off by elements above Johnson.

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One of the elements that has to go into this equation is that the Castro Did It theme was reintroduced again and again during the two months following the assassination. It

was not something that was "shut down" immediately by anyone. You find it all over the place, coming from either Cuban exiles or particularly from CIA officers working with

the exiles. The FBI was quite interested in some of the leads and Hoover even asked permission to put something in the FBI report about foreign influence since he was still

looking for Cuban involvement....and Martino was feeding a chain of reports upstream through the Miami field office.

Another element, that will become clearer once Bill Simpich gets his book out, is that the highest levels in Washington had a major worry over the weekend following the

assassination, and that was that US intelligence officers or someone who had gotten inside information from them about Lee Oswald had been involved in linking Oswald to

Castro and Cuba in Mexico City. It would have been the same concern that JMWAVE had when Shackley ordered a secret investigation of exile involvement and then suppressed

the reports. And in the end, it would have been the same thing David Phillips admitted to not long before his death when he admitted that a conspiracy involving American

intelligence officers had occurred. I'll leave that to Bill, but starting on Saturday morning and going on over the weekend, there was ample reason to suspect that any

true investigation of the murder would not lead to Castro but rather to something domestic...and the notes from the national security level meetings on that are gone...we know

the subject was discussed but the content of the discussion never went on record..of course few real deep national security discussions ever do, its all verbal.

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Guest Robert Morrow

Is it ok if I print this extended passage here? It is a nice little summary of LBJ blaming the JFK assassination on Fidel Castro, which I think LBJ felt was a great way to manipulate people into the cover up and to deflect attention away from his own culpability.

Larry Hancock:

The day after John Kennedy’s funeral, Johnson pointed at a picture of Diem and told Hubert Humphrey that, “We had a hand in killing him; now it’s happening here.” Johnson later told Pierre Salinger a story about “divine retribution” and implied that perhaps also applied to Kennedy’s death. A few days after Kennedy’s funeral, Kennedy aide Ralph Dungan was working late in his office in the West Wing when he heard a noise at the door. Dungan looked up and there was President Johnson, in nothing but a t-shirt and boxer shorts. He told Dungan he wanted to talk to him and motioned him to the Oval Office, where Johnson forced him to sit on the sofa and in a low voice said, “I want to tell you why Kennedy died.” A stunned Dungan sat while Johnson pointed his finger and said, “Divine retribution … he murdered Diem and then he got it himself.” (Mahoney 302-303, from Mahoney interview with Dungan). Shesol also relates that Johnson told Jack Valenti his inner political instinct was that Castro was behind the killing. Johnson expanded on that thought to Joseph Califano – President Kennedy tried to get Castro, but Castro got Kennedy first. Apparently, Johnson made a similar remark to Richard Helms of the CIA. When asked by the Congressional Committee if he had ever heard the theory that Castro might have been behind the assassination of President Kennedy, Helms replied that “the very first time I heard such a theory (that Castro might have shot the president on Casto’s behalf) was in a very peculiar way from President Johnson.” Later Johnson would relate to Acting Attorney General Ramsey Clark that (he) Castro called Oswald and a group in … and said go set it up and get the job done (killing Kennedy). Jeff Sheshol, Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade, (New York, NY: Norton and Company, 1997), 131-134. Johnson’s best known biographer, Robert Caro, remarked that “Johnson could believe whatever he wanted to believe … could believe it with all his heart … he could convince himself of anything, even something that wasn’t true”

[Larry Hancock, Someone Would Have Talked, p. 462]

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Well absolutely you can quote me Robert.....and to elaborate a bit, my view is that even within the first 48 hours there were quite clear indications of multiple shooters and some sort of conspiracy in play. Hoover told that to Johnson on Saturday morning when he advised him about an impersonation of Oswald....what else he told him and Johnson's response disappeared with an intentional tape erasure some time after that as Rex Bradford has demonstrated. Within 72 hours it got even worse, with information out of Mexico City, an early study of the Zapruder film and possibly other things we know nothing about. But there were strong suspicions that it was really not Castro and the Russians, regardless of how many leads are appearing pointing that direction. Of course the leads were actually handy for Johnson as he could use them as leverage to intimidate Warren and others into suppressing a true investigation.

But Johnson, being Johnson (and possibly even having had some idea that something was going to happen to JFK that fall, as I also discuss in obnoxious length in the book) needed to satisfy everyone on all points - so the old spin master ran the gamut, for Warren its the Communists and we better not go there or millions will die, for others its retribution and bad karma from the Diem deaths, and for the long run its something like "well maybe there was a conspiracy and Castro was behind it and...but that's old news". For a more accurate discussion of that take a look at what happens when Roselli moved to preempt Garrison with an end run to Jack Anderson and the ensuing involvement of Johnson...that's also in SWHT

Nothing like watching a master politician at work. But perhaps the most appalling comment in that quite is not from Johnson, its from Helms.

"...when asked by the Congressional Committee if he had ever heard the theory that Castro might have been behind the assassination of President Kennedy, Helms replied that “the very first time I heard such a theory (that Castro might have shot the president on Casto’s behalf) was in a very peculiar way from President Johnson.”

....Perhaps Helms wasn't reading his own internal mail? Perhaps the CIA was too clueless to even suspect Fidel after the assassination programs they were running against him? Certainly Helms missed the newspaper headlines like the one I have in a San Antonio paper which reads something like "Castro Supporter Kills President" What a strange theory, gosh it never even occurred to the clandestine experts, LBJ had to run it past them and then they just giggled....

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Larry Hancock: "One of the elements that has to go into this equation is that the Castro Did It theme was reintroduced again and again during the two months following the assassination. It was not something that was "shut down" immediately by anyone. You find it all over the place, coming from either Cuban exiles or particularly from CIA officers working with the exiles. The FBI was quite interested in some of the leads and Hoover even asked permission to put something in the FBI report about foreign influence since he was still

looking for Cuban involvement....and Martino was feeding a chain of reports upstream through the Miami field office."

I hear you Larry, and I've read some of this myself. But its all from guys who had no means or opportunity to influence LBJ on Air Force One at Love Field, or direct the Warren Commission. I'm thinking of the echelon that Allen Dulles and John J. McCloy customarily served.

Edited by David Andrews
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I'm not quite sure of the first part David, in SWHT I lay out a scenario and connect some dots in a chain that could have influenced LBJ on AF1 and produced the calls from DC ordering suppression of remarks about conspiracy as of that evening. Just a hypothesis of course. As to the Warren Commission, that would directly follow and its clear that Johnson was the key player in that...no big surprise there, President Bush tried to sell Iraq sponsorship to the 911 Commission, but they were a lot more skeptical and the deck was not quite so well stacked since Bush had not done all the appointments.

As I've stated before, I believe there may well be a presidential NSAM in place, fully classified, which would have legally driven the cover up. President's do have that sort of power. The question becomes what would cause such an NSAM to be issued. There you can diverge on different tracks, you can make Johnson the master mind and have him cover up his own act, you can have the echelon you are talking about order him to do so, or you can follow another trail which requires the suppression because it becomes apparent early on that there was a domestic element to the conspiracy, one involving intelligence officers, and everybody meeting in the NSC session I discussed wants nothing more than to avoid something that would kill their agency and end their own careers. That's the scenario I follow in NEXUS and one which Bill Simpich will elaborate on in his new work. It so happens that after a career in corporate business I developed a healthy respect for the fundamental power of CYA and career preservation.

But I'm not into evangelism on my preferred scenario so I'm happy enough to put it on record and leave it alone....well obviously not totally since I return to pester people with it occasionally as in this post.

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I, too, have some problems with your scenario, Bill.

Earlier this year, I added a chapter to my website on LBJ's behavior on the plane. The evidence is fairly clear on a number of points, and one of these is that Air Force One did not have "superior communications equipment" to the equipment on LBJ's plane and that this was something made up by LBJ's supporters to cover up that he just wanted to be on Kennedy's plane, which was a bit newer, and slightly bigger, than his own.

LBJ's plane, in fact, had been Kennedy's plane up through 1962. It served as LBJ's plane yet again a few years later, when he decided, almost on a whim, to fly around the world. It flew back into the spotlight yet again when Reagan was shot, and George H.W. Bush returned upon it back to Washington.

So it was far from an inferior puddle-jumper.

I also think you're wrong about the oath. LBJ was convinced that Bobby was gonna try to stop him from becoming President, and wanted to make his new status official asap. He called RFK AFTER he'd decided to take the oath in Dallas, and then lied through his teeth and told everyone it was Bobby's idea.

If he took Air Force One because it was better, and was sworn in to stop a coup, he would have told as much to Kenny O'Donnell, and RFK himself. But he didn't.

He told some stories and fueled a feud that would haunt him till the end.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I, too, have some problems with your scenario, Bill.

Earlier this year, I added a chapter to my website on LBJ's behavior on the plane. The evidence is fairly clear on a number of points, and one of these is that Air Force One did not have "superior communications equipment" to the equipment on LBJ's plane and that this was something made up by LBJ's supporters to cover up that he just wanted to be on Kennedy's plane, which was a bit newer, and slightly bigger, than his own.

LBJ's plane, in fact, had been Kennedy's plane up through 1962. It served as LBJ's plane yet again a few years later, when he decided, almost on a whim, to fly around the world. It flew back into the spotlight yet again when Reagan was shot, and George H.W. Bush returned upon it back to Washington.

So it was far from an inferior puddle-jumper.

I also think you're wrong about the oath. LBJ was convinced that Bobby was gonna try to stop him from becoming President, and wanted to make his new status official asap. He called RFK AFTER he'd decided to take the oath in Dallas, and then lied through his teeth and told everyone it was Bobby's idea.

If he took Air Force One because it was better, and was sworn in to stop a coup, he would have told as much to Kenny O'Donnell, and RFK himself. But he didn't.

He told some stories and fueled a feud that would haunt him till the end.

Hi Pat,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my stuff, as well as Mark and Larry, et al.

I'd like to read your article on LBJ on AF1 if you post a link to it.

Got It - Is this it?

Chapter 21: Rorschach Test - www2

Will read with interest.

As for the superior communications equipment, AF1 was newer and while having the same Collins Radio sideband equipment, I think AF1 had more of them - three or four.

The Warren Report (I think its p. 57) says: "...When consulted by the Vice President O'Donnell advised him to go to the airfield immediately and return to Washington. It was decided that the Vice President return on the Presidential plane rather than the Vice Presidential plane because it had better communications equipment..."

They certainly didn't take it because it had more bathrooms.

LBJ certainly lied about a lot of things, but he was really pissed off at the Joint Chiefs and when he chewed them out for trying to pin WWIII on him, it was because of what they did in the immediate aftermath of the assassination.

If Jim Bishop heard (from AF1 radio operators) that the "Sec of Defense and Joint Chiefs were now the President" and McBundy said "the Pentagon were taking their own steps" then LBJ certainly heard these things in real time, and his reaction to it was to have the swearing in immediately and to reject the Castro Commie Conspiracy.

Well, that's my take on it, though i am open to persuasion.

For a more detailed analysis:

JFKcountercoup: Notes to Prequil to a Forensic Analysis

I am preparing a forensic analysis of the AF1 tapes for a presentation at the Wecht Conference, and this is just a part of it.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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A stunned Dungan sat while Johnson pointed his finger and said, “Divine retribution … he murdered Diem and then he got it himself.” (Mahoney 302-303, from Mahoney interview with Dungan).

And I seem to recall that E. Howard Hunt collaborated with LBJ in blaming Diem's murder on JFK. Something to do with forged cables.....

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Lifton's work suggests that the swearing-in was a ruse to get Jackie et al

away from the coffin, so JFK's body could be taken and altered.

That seems to me most likely, since the body had to be removed either on the plane or at Parkland. The swearing-in is a clue as to which place it was. And as I recall, there was always someone with the coffin at Parkland, at least if Rike is to be believed.

OTOH it's also possible that the SS caused such a scene in getting the coffin out of Parkland not because they didn't want an autopsy in Dallas but because they knew, and didn't want anyone else to find out, that the coffin was empty.

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OTOH it's also possible that the SS caused such a scene in getting the coffin out of Parkland not because they didn't want an autopsy in Dallas but because they knew, and didn't want anyone else to find out, that the coffin was empty.

I see Mr. Ecker is developing a suspicious mind about the Secret Service. Tut Tut!

This is a totally new theory to me, but is there any evidence to support it?

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I, too, have some problems with your scenario, Bill.

Earlier this year, I added a chapter to my website on LBJ's behavior on the plane. The evidence is fairly clear on a number of points, and one of these is that Air Force One did not have "superior communications equipment" to the equipment on LBJ's plane and that this was something made up by LBJ's supporters to cover up that he just wanted to be on Kennedy's plane, which was a bit newer, and slightly bigger, than his own.

LBJ's plane, in fact, had been Kennedy's plane up through 1962. It served as LBJ's plane yet again a few years later, when he decided, almost on a whim, to fly around the world. It flew back into the spotlight yet again when Reagan was shot, and George H.W. Bush returned upon it back to Washington.

So it was far from an inferior puddle-jumper.

I also think you're wrong about the oath. LBJ was convinced that Bobby was gonna try to stop him from becoming President, and wanted to make his new status official asap. He called RFK AFTER he'd decided to take the oath in Dallas, and then lied through his teeth and told everyone it was Bobby's idea.

If he took Air Force One because it was better, and was sworn in to stop a coup, he would have told as much to Kenny O'Donnell, and RFK himself. But he didn't.

He told some stories and fueled a feud that would haunt him till the end.

As for the superior communications equipment, AF1 was newer and while having the same Collins Radio sideband equipment, I think AF1 had more of them - three or four.

The Warren Report (I think its p. 57) says: "...When consulted by the Vice President O'Donnell advised him to go to the airfield immediately and return to Washington. It was decided that the Vice President return on the Presidential plane rather than the Vice Presidential plane because it had better communications equipment..."

They certainly didn't take it because it had more bathrooms.

O'Donnell provided sworn testimony to the WC, and swore not only that he'd never told Johnson to take Kennedy's plane because it had better equipment, but that the planes were nearly identical, and that he didn't even know Johnson was taking Kennedy's plane before his own arrival on the plane.

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