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Lyndon Johnson and the JFK Assassination - an essay

Guest Robert Morrow

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Guest Robert Morrow

Here is the "LBJ Did It" essay I posted over at Op-Ed News. Link to Op-Ed News: http://www.opednews.com/articles/Lyndon-Johnson-and-the-JFK-by-Robert-Morrow-130802-675.html

I focused on the sub rosa war between the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson which I think is critical to understanding the JFK assassination. Robert Kennedy in 1964 denied that there were any attempts to remove LBJ from the 1964 Democratic ticket. That, of course, is an outrageous lie as RFK was tending to his personal political interests & political future when he made that remark. The reality is the Kennedys wanted every drop of LBJ's blood because Johnson was pretty much undermining everything the Kennedys were attempting to do.

The Kennedy entourage has also been dishonest about how in the world the hated LBJ got on the 1960 Demo ticket in the first place. The reason for this posthumously lying is that the real reason - LBJ's and Rayburn's blackmail, threats and intimidation would make John Kennedy look like a weakling if properly acknowledged. It also will direct one to the truth about the JFK assassination.

My thinking in 2013 is that LBJ, his Dallas, TX oil men, military intelligence, CIA, Hoover and Allen Dulles, CIA connected anti-Castro Cubans were all involved in the JFK assassination - not just the cover up. I could not cover all that in 1,500 words, so I focused on the sub rosa war between the Kennedys and LBJ.

Here is my article, footnotes and supporting material.

Lyndon Johnson and the JFK Assassination

By Robert Morrow

On the night of New Year's Eve Dec. 31st, 1963, at the Driskill Hotel, Lyndon Johnson and Madeleine Brown, one of his longtime mistresses, had an interesting conversation. Madeleine asked LBJ if he had anything to do with the JFK assassination. Johnson got angry; he began pacing around and waving his arms. Then LBJ told her: it was Dallas, TX, oil executives and "renegade" intelligence agents who were behind the JFK assassination. [1] LBJ later also told his chief of staff Marvin Watson that the CIA was involved in the murder of John Kennedy. [2]

Lyndon Johnson would often stay at the Driskill (room #254 today) and LBJ is confirmed by his presidential schedule as being present at the Driskill Hotel the night of 12/31/63. [3]

History is proving that Lyndon Johnson played a key role in the JFK assassination. An important book is LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination (2011) by Phillip Nelson. [4] Roger Stone, an aide to Richard Nixon, is writing a book pinning the JFK assassination on LBJ. Stone quotes Nixon as saying “The difference between me and LBJ was, we both wanted to be President but I wouldn’t kill for it.” [5]

By 1973 Barry Goldwater privately telling people that he was convinced that LBJ was behind the JFK assassination. [6]

Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedys hated each other. So why was LBJ even put on the 1960 Demo ticket in first place? The old wive's tale is that it was to balance the ticket and win the electoral votes of Texas. The reality is that JFK was set to pick Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri and had already had a deal with Symington to be VP that was "signed, sealed & delivered" according to Symington's campaign manager Clark Clifford. [7] Then something strange happened on the night of July 13, 1960, in Los Angeles. According to Evelyn Lincoln, JFK's longtime secretary, LBJ and Sam Rayburn were using some of Hoover's blackmail information on John Kennedy to force JFK to put Johnson on the ticket in a hostile takeover of the vice presidency. [8]

JFK told his friend Hy Raskin, "They threatened me with problems and I don't need more problems. I'm going to have enough problems with Nixon." [9]

LBJ & Hoover were very close and literally neighbors for 19 years in Washington, DC, from 1943-1961. Both men were also plugged in socially and professionally to Texas oil executives such as Clint Murchison, Sr, H.L. Hunt and D.H. Byrd.

From that point on, for the next 3 and 1/3 years the Kennedy brothers and LBJ were engaged in a deadly sub rosa war, even though they were ostensibly a political team. On the day of the '61 inauguration, LBJ protégé Bobby Baker told Don Reynolds that JFK would never live out his term and that he would die a violent death. [10]

For his part, Robert Kennedy spent the remainder of JFK's term trying to figure out a way to get rid of the power-grasping LBJ. The first opportunity to do this was the Billie Sol Estes scandal of 1961. Estes was a cut out for LBJ doing business and had received $500,000 from LBJ (which tells us how important Estes was). [11] LBJ and his aide Cliff Carter manipulated the federal bureaucracy for Estes to ensure that he got exclusive grain storage contracts and numerous other special and highly lucrative favors. Estes says that he funneled Johnson over $10 million in kickbacks. [12]

Henry Marshall was a US agricultural official who was investigating the corruption of Estes, particularly his abuse of a cotton allotment program. In January, 1961, LBJ, Cliff Carter, Estes and LBJ's personal hit man Malcolm Wallace had a meeting about what to do about Henry Marshall. LBJ said, "It looks like we will just have to get rid of him." [13]

Side note: the first person I know who accused Lyndon Johnson of committing a murder was Gov. Allan Shivers who in 1956 personally accused LBJ of having Sam Smithwick murdered in prison in 1952. Smithwick was threatening to go public with information about the Box 13 ballot stuffing scandal of 1948 which gave LBJ the margin of victory over Coke Stevenson in the Democratic primary. [14]

Gov. Shivers directly confronted LBJ over the Smithwick murder. “Shivers charged me with murder. Shivers said I was a murderer!” Johnson later told journalist Ronnie Dugger. [15]

Henry Marshall was murdered on June 3, 1961. He was shot to death 5 times with a bolt action gun and his death was astoundingly ruled a suicide at the time. The Marshall murder & cover up shows the depth, breadth and absolute ruthlessness of the LBJ organization. Billie Sol Estes died recently on May 14, 2013.

Historian Douglas Brinkley has said that by 1963 JFK and his vice president LBJ had no relationship at all. [16] That is not correct; in fact a sub rosa war was being waged between the Kennedys and LBJ. It was an adversarial, death struggle relationship.

In the fall of 1963, the Bobby Baker scandal exploded into the national media. Bobby Baker, who as the secretary of the Senate was a virtual son to Lyndon Johnson, was being investigated for a vending machine kick back scam and numerous shady deals. Baker was known for providing booze & women to the senators. LBJ denied any relationship with Baker (who had named two of his kids after LBJ) while at the same time sending his personal lawyer Abe Fortas to run (control) Baker's defense. JFK’s personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln told author Anthony Summers that the Kennedys were going to use the Bobby Baker scandal as the ammunition to get rid of LBJ. [17]

Robert Kennedy had a two-track program to get rid of LBJ. Phil Brennan was in DC at the time: "Bobby Kennedy called five of Washington's top reporters into his office and told them it was now open season on Lyndon Johnson. It's OK, he told them, to go after the story they were ignoring out of deference to the administration." [18] James Wagenvoord, who in 1963 was a 27-year old assistant to LIFE Magazine's managing editor, says that based on information fed from Robert Kennedy and the Justice Dept., LIFE Magazine had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. This expose was set to run within a week of the JFK assassination. [19] LBJ aide George Reedy said that LBJ knew about the RFK-inspired media campaign against him and was obsessed with it. [20]

RFK's other "get rid of LBJ" program was an investigation by the Senate Rules Committee into LBJ's kickbacks and other corruptions. Burkett Van Kirk was a counsel for that committee and he told Seymour Hersh that RFK had sent a lawyer to the committee to feed them damaging information about LBJ and his corrupt business dealings. The lawyer, Van Kirk said, "used to come up to the Senate and hang around me like a dark cloud. It took him about a week or ten days to, one, find out what I didn't know, and two, give it to me." The goal of the Kennedys was "To get rid of Johnson. To dump him. I am as sure of that the sun comes up in the east," said Van Kirk to Hersh. [21]

Literally at the very moment JFK was being assassinated in Dallas on 11-22-63, Don Reynolds was testifying in a closed session of the Senate Rules Committee about a suitcase of $100,000 given to LBJ for his role in securing a TFX fighter jet contract for Fort Worth's General Dynamics. [22]

Three days before the JFK assassination, JFK told Evelyn Lincoln that he was going to get a new running mate for 1964. "I was fascinated by this conversation and wrote it down verbatim in my diary. Now I asked, "Who is your choice as a running-mate.' He looked straight ahead, and without hesitating he replied, 'at this time I am thinking about Gov. Terry Sanford of North Carolina. But it will not be Lyndon.'" [23]

At this point I should add that I think military intelligence/CIA murdered John Kennedy for Cold War reasons, particularly over Cuba policy. The fact that the Kennedys were within days of politically executing & personally destroying Lyndon Johnson could very well have been the tripwire for the JFK assassination.

The Russians immediately suspected that Texas oilmen were involved in the JFK assassination. They and Fidel Castro both feared they were going to be framed for it by US intelligence. By 1965 the KGB had internally determined that Lyndon Johnson was behind the JFK assassination.

Hoover wrote to LBJ about this in a memo that was not declassified by the US government until 1996:

"On September 16, 1965, this same source [an FBI spy in the KGB] reported that the KGB Residency in New York City received instructions approximately September 16, 1965, from KGB headquarters in Moscow to develop all possible information concerning President Lyndon B. Johnson's character, background, personal friends, family, and from which quarters he derives his support in his position as President of the United States. Our source added that in the instructions from Moscow, it was indicated that "now" the KGB was in possession of data purporting to indicate President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy. KGB headquarters indicated that in view of this information, it was necessary for the Soviet Government to know the existing personal relationship between President Johnson and the Kennedy family, particularly between President Johnson and Robert and "Ted" Kennedy." [24]

Robert Morrow, a political researcher and political activist, has an expertise in the JFK assassination. He can be reached at Morrow321@aol.com or 512-306-1510.


1) Brown, Madeleine Duncan. Texas in the Morning: The Love Story of Madeleine Brown and President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Conservatory Press, 1997. Page 189.

2) Schlesinger, Arthur. Robert Kennedy and His Times. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978. Page 616.

3) http://www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/daily-diary.html Go to 12/31/63. It is listed on LBJ’s schedule as “White House Press” - a party that was going on at the Driskill Hotel.

4) Nelson, Phillip. LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination. Skyhorse Publishing, 2011.

5) http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/poll/why-roger-stones-jfk-book-cant-be-dismissed/

6) Jeffrey Hoff conversation with Barry Goldwater, October, 1973.

7) Dickerson, Nancy. Among Those Present: A Reporter's View of 25 Years in Washington, p. 43.

8) Summers, Anthony. Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, p. 272.

9) Hersh, Seymour. The Dark Side of Camelot. Back Bay Books, 1998. Page 126.

10) Epstein, Edward Jay. Esquire Magazine. December, 1966. Also, cited here: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKbakerB.htm

11) Estes, Billie Sol. Billie Sol Estes: A Texas Legend. BS Productions, 2004. Page 43.

12) Russo, Gus. Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK, p. 283.

13) http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKmarshallH.htm

14) Dallek, Robert. Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1908-1960. Oxford Univesity Press USA, 1992. Page 347.

15) Woods, Randall. LBJ: Architect of American Ambition, p. 250.

16) Brinkley, Douglas. Speaking on Hardball with Chris Matthews, 2012.

17) Summers, Anthony. Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, p. 272.

18) Brennan, Phil. "Some Relevant Facts about the JFK Assassination," NewsMax, 11-19-2003. http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/11/18/152526.shtml

19) Wagenvoord, James. Email to John Simkin dated 11-3-09. Web link: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=14966

20) 11) Reedy, George. Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir, p. 134.

21) Hersh, Seymour. The Dark Side of Camelot, p. 407.

22) http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKreynoldsD.htm

23) Lincoln, Evelyn. Kennedy and Johnson, p. 205.

24) Hoover, J. Edgar. Memo to Lyndon Johnson with FBI leadership carbon copied. 12-1-66. Web link: http://www.indiana.edu/~oah/nl/98feb/jfk.html#d1

From Robert Kennedy and His Times by Arthur Schlesinger (1978):
"In 1967 Marvin Watson of Lyndon Johnson's White House staff told Cartha DeLoach of the FBI that Johnson "was now convinced there was a plot in connection with the assassination. Watson stated the President felt that CIA had had something to do with this plot." (Washington Post, December 13, 1977)

Madeleine Duncan Brown was a mistress of Lyndon Johnson for 21 years and had a son with him named Steven Mark Brown in 1950. Madeleine mixed with the Texas elite and had many trysts with Lyndon Johnson over the years, including one at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, TX, on New Year's Eve 12/31/63.

Late in the evelning of 12/31/63, just 6 weeks after the JFK assassination, Madeleine asked Lyndon Johnson:

"Lyndon, you know that a lot of people believe you had something to do with President Kennedy's assassination."

He shot up out of bed and began pacing and waving his arms screaming like a madman. I was scared!

"That's bullxxxx, Madeleine Brown!" he yelled. "Don't tell me you believe that crap!"

"Of course not." I answered meekly, trying to cool his temper.

"It was Texas oil and those ____ renegade intelligence bastards in Washington." [said Lyndon Johnson, the new president.] [Texas in the Morning, p. 189] [LBJ told this to Madeleine in the late night of 12/31/63 in the Driskill Hotel, Austin, TX in room #254. They spent New Year’s Eve ‘64 together here. Room #254 was the room that LBJ used to have rendevous’ with his girlfriends – today it is known as the "Blue Room" or “LBJ Suite” or the "Presidential room" and rents for $600-1,000/night as a Presidential suite at the Driskill; located on the Mezzanine Level.]

James Wagenvoord email to John Simkin, dated 11-3-2009:

Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:52 AM

I thought researchers would be interested in reading this email I received last night:

I've been reading through you web site and believe that I can add one of the final jigsaw puzzle pieces that affect the timing of JFK's Dallas trip and the nervousness of LBJ during the weeks preceding the killing At the time I was the 27 year old Editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor. Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developoing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the '64 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligance agencies and we were used ofter by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public. Life's coverage of the Hoffa prosecution, and involvement in paying off Justice Department Memphis witesses was a case in point.

The LBJ/Baker piece was in the final editing stages and was scheduled to break in the issue of the magazine due out the week of November 24 (the magazine would have made it to the newsstands on Nov.26th or 27th). It had been prepared in relative secrecy by a small special editorial team. On Kennedy's death research files and all numbered copies of the nearly print-ready draft were gathered up by my boss (he had been thetop editor on the team) and shredded. The issue that was to expose LBJ instead featured the Zapruder film. Based upon our success in syndicating the Zapruder film I became Chief of Time/LIFE editorial services and remained in that job until 1968.

Evelyn Lincoln (JFK’s personal secretary for 12 years):

As Mr. Kennedy sat in the rocker in my office, his head resting on its back he placed his left leg across his right knee. He rocked slightly as he talked. In a slow pensive voice he said to me, 'You know if I am re-elected in sixty-four, I am going to spend more and more time toward making government service an honorable career. I would like to tailor the executive and legislative branches of government so that they can keep up with the tremendous strides and progress being made in other fields.' 'I am going to advocate changing some of the outmoded rules and regulations in the Congress, such as the seniority rule. To do this I will need as a running mate in sixty-four a man who believes as I do.' Mrs. Lincoln went on to write "I was fascinated by this conversation and wrote it down verbatim in my diary. Now I asked, 'Who is your choice as a running-mate?' 'He looked straight ahead, and without hesitating he replied, 'at this time I am thinking about Governor Terry Sanford of North Carolina. But it will not be Lyndon.'

Sen. Barry Goldwater (1973) was convinced that Lyndon Johnson was behind the JFK assassination

Goldwater told Jeffrey Hoff that in October, 1973

At the 2012 Dallas JFK Lancer conference I ran into JFK researcher Jeffrey Hoff of Arizona. Jeffrey Hoff was a leadership position in the local Cochise County Democratic Club from 1980-1983. He used to be a member of SDS in the 1960's. Now he installs "off the grid" solar systems. I briefly interviewed Hoff on Saturday, November 17, 2012 in Dallas, TX, at the JFK Lancer conference.

Jeffrey Hoff told me that in October, 1973 he met Barry Goldwater at a Republican political picnic in Willcox in Cochise County, AZ. I asked him how he ended up at a Republican picnic and he told me his friend Louise Parker, a friend and "real estate lady" from an Arizona "pioneer" family, had invited him. She said do you want to meet Barry Goldwater? Hoff said yes.

When Hoff met Sen. Barry Goldwater, Hoff, who had a keen interest in the JFK assassination, brought up that topic. Sen. Barry Goldwater told Hoff in October, 1973, that he (Goldwater) was convinced that Lyndon Johnson was behind the JFK assassination and that the Warren Commission was a complete cover up. Hoff got the impression that Goldwater had told others privately the same thing. I asked Hoff how confident was Goldwater when he was making these statements. Answer: Goldwater was very confident.

Jeffrey Hoff currently (2012) lives about 35 miles from Pierce, AZ. Lyndon Johnson died in January, 1973. J. Edgar Hoover had died in May, 1972. Allen Dulles died in January, 1969.


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]

Edited by Robert Morrow
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Very good Robert.

It's good to see you put your arguments together and make a clear case, complete with sources and documentation.

And OpEd News is a good outlet for such things.

I also look forward to your response to my new article on the LBJ Swearing In - A New Perspective, and the longer piece A Prequil to a Forensic Analysis of the AF1 Tapes, which to me, indicates LBJ was behind the rejection of the original Castro Commie Conspiracy Cover Story, which was an integral part of the plans for the Dealy Plaza operation,

Since that's the case, LBJ certainly wasn't the mastermind of the assassination if he rejected a major part of the plan, which was intended to spark a US military invasion of Cuba.

Even accepting all of the things that you say indicates LBJ was behind the murder, its hard to get around the fact he rejected that part of the conspiracy, something he wouldn't have done if he was the person who put the deal to murder JFK together.

Also, if you are going to cut and paste, It's better to cut and paste articles into a word document first, and then, at the top left corner, where you choose the font - pick Clear Formating - that takes the different fonts you have pasted and clears them so when you paste it onto the forum it is easier to read.


Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Robert Morrow

Thank-you, Bill. It might take me a little while to respond more fully to your column. I will say this LBJ told 3 or 4 people on 11/22/63 that it was a conspiracy, even an international conspiracy. And in the days after the JFK assassination, LBJ privately told many people Fidel Castro was behind it. And he told 2 of his most trusted people - mistress Madeleine Brown & chief of Staff Marvin Watson - that the CIA did it.

"Since that's the case, LBJ certainly wasn't the mastermind of the assassination if he rejected a major part of the plan, which was intended to spark a US military invasion of Cuba."

I take it you have never done business with LBJ. He will screw you over in a heartbeat and that is what he did to the war hawks who wanted to have a war with Cuba. LBJ's main goal was to escape his impending personal execution at the hands of the Kennedys. His friends in military intelligence/CIA had other motives, but it was a nice lagniappe for them that the Kennedys were gone from power.

LBJ gave the war hawks the Vietnam War, which someone smart told me was a pressure release valve for anger and rage over Cuba policy.

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