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LBJ Tapes: The Vital Evidence


John Simkin
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I believe that the LBJ tapes provide the best information we have on the cover-up of the assassination of JFK.

The dictating equipment used to record the conversations was attached to LBJ's telephone line. Johnson signalled the secretary when he wanted a conversation recorded, and she pressed a switch located at her desk to activate the machine. It appears from the content and nature of the recordings that the secretaries often left the machine running and recorded many conversations inadvertently.

Between November 1963 and January 1969, LBJ taped over 9,500 conversations (around 643 hours).

According to LBJ’s aid, Mildred Stegall, he made these tapes for two main reasons: (i) to use the information to apply pressure on political friends; (ii) to help him write his memoirs.

The interesting point is that LBJ never intended to make these tapes public. One of the last conversations he had with Stegall was a reminder that she had to make sure they were never released. However, when he died on 22nd January, 1973, Stegall did not obey his instructions. Instead she placed the tapes and transcripts in sealed boxes and sent them in the Johnson Library. A label was added to the boxes that they must not be opened until 2023.

The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 required the Johnson Library, like all U.S. government archives to open virtually all of its holdings dealing with the Dallas murder. This forced the Johnson Library to hand over the tapes. Significantly, after being examined by the intelligence services, 4 per cent of the tapes were not released.

As LBJ never intended these tapes to become public, I think this indicates that historians can use this material with confidence. The fight goes on to get the remaining 4 per cent released.

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I believe that the LBJ tapes provide the best information we have on the cover-up of the assassination of JFK.

The dictating equipment used to record the conversations was attached to LBJ's telephone line. Johnson signalled the secretary when he wanted a conversation recorded, and she pressed a switch located at her desk to activate the machine. It appears from the content and nature of the recordings that the secretaries often left the machine running and recorded many conversations inadvertently.

Between November 1963 and January 1969, LBJ taped over 9,500 conversations (around 643 hours).

According to LBJ’s aid, Mildred Stegall, he made these tapes for two main reasons: (i) to use the information to apply pressure on political friends; (ii) to help him write his memoirs.

The interesting point is that LBJ never intended to make these tapes public. One of the last conversations he had with Stegall was a reminder that she had to make sure they never became public. However, when he died on 22nd January, 1973, Stegall did not obey his instructions. Instead she placed the tapes and transcripts in sealed boxes and placed them in the Johnson Library. A label was added to the boxes that they must not be opened until 2023.

The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 required the Johnson Library, like all U.S. government archives to open virtually all of its holdings dealing with the Dallas murder. This forced the Johnson Library to hand over the tapes. Significantly, after being examined by the intelligence services, 4 per cent of the tapes were not released.

As LBJ never intended these tapes to become public, I think this indicates that historians can use this material with confidence. The fight goes on to get the remaining 4 per cent released.

I agree, John--The one where RFK called LBJ about 3 months after the Assassination-complaining that Hoover would not talk to RFK, and basically LBJ said tough tonails--and did not care-RFK said he had no dealings with Hoover,especially after Hoover told RFK,"Your brother's dead!" and hung up with no condolences, and then removed the "Hot-Line" phone from his office and put it back in the Secretary's office--Hoover was just as happy as Hoffa when it happened--wonder if they ever released the "Tapes" of Carlos Marcella that(Author) John Davis said existed?

Thanks

Mark Oakes

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I have found these documents on another website. Are they genuine? If so, I think they are very important. Note how like on the LBJ tapes, reference is again made to the 5th rather than the 6th floor.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

WASHINGTON, D.C.

1:39 p.m.

November 29, 1963

MEMORANDUM FOR MR. TOLSON

MR. BELMONT

MR. MOHR

MR. CONRAD

MR. DE LOACH

MR. EVANS

MR. ROSEN

MR. SULLIVAN

The President called and asked if I am familiar with the proposed

group they are trying to get to study my report - two from the House,

two from the Senate, two from the courts, and a couple of outsiders. I

replied that I had not heard of that but had seen reports from the

Senate Investigating Committee.

The President stated he wanted to get by just with my file and my

report. I told him I thought it would be very bad to have a rash of

investigations. He then indicated the only way to stop it is to

appoint a high-level committee to evaluate my report and tell the House

and Senate not to go ahead with the investigation. I stated that would

be a three-ring circus.

The President then asked what I think about Allen Dulles, and I

replied that he is a good man. He then asked about John McCloy, and I

stated I am not as enthusiastic about McCloy, that he is a good man but

I am not so certain as to the matter of publicity he might want. The

President then mentioned General (Lauris) Norstad, and I said he is a

good man. He said in the House he might try (Hale) Boggs and (Gerald

R.) Ford and in the Senate (Richard B.) Russell and (John Sherman)

Cooper. I asked him about Cooper and he indicated Cooper of Kentucky

whom he described as a judicial man, stating he would not want (Jacob

K.) Javits. I agreed on this point. He then reiterated Ford of

Michigan, and I indicated I know of him but do not know him and had

never seen him except on television the other day and that he handled

himself well on television. I indicated that I do know Boggs.

Johnson, President Lyndon B.

Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Presidential Commission on Assassination

of President John F. Kennedy

Security - Presidential

Presidential Conferences

Presidential Travel Security

Memorandum for Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, Mohr, November 29, 1963

Conrad, DeLoach, Evans, Rosen, Sullivan

The President then mentioned that (Walter) Jenkins had told him that

I have designated Mr. DeLoach to work with them as he had on the Hill.

He indicated they appreciated that and just wanted to tell me they

consider Mr. DeLoach as high class as I do, and that they salute me for

knowing how to pick good men.

I advised the President that we hope to have the investigation

wrapped up today but probably won't have it before the first of the week

as an angle in Mexico is giving trouble - the matter of Oswald's getting

$6500 from the Cuban Embassy and coming back to this country with it;

that we are not able to prove that fact; that we have information he

was there on September 18 and we are able to prove he was in New Orleans

on that date; that a story came in changing the date to September 28

and he was in Mexico on the 28th. I related that the police have again

arrested Duran, a member of the Cuban Embassy; that they will hold her

two or three days; will confront her with the original informant; and

will also try a lie detector test on her.

The President then inquired if I pay any attention to the lie

detector test. I answered that I would not pay 100% attention to them;

that it was only a psychological asset in investigation; that I would

not want to be a part of sending a man to the chair on a lie detector

test. I explained that we have used them in bank investigations and a

person will confess before the lie detector test is finished, more or

less fearful it will show him guilty. I said the lie detector test has

this psychological advantage. I further stated that it is a misnomer to

call it a lie detector since the evaluation of the chart made by the

machine is made by a human being and any human being is apt to make the

wrong interpretation.

I stated, if Oswald had lived and had take a lie detector test, this

with the evidence we have would have added that much strength to the

case; that these is no question he is the man.

I also told him that Rubenstein down there has offered to take a lie

detector test but his lawyer must be consulted first; that I doubt the

lawyer will allow him to do so; that he has a West Coast lawyer

somewhat like the Edward Bennett Williams type and almost as much of a

shyster.

The President asked if we have any relationship between the two

(Oswald and Rubenstein) as yet. I replied that at the present time we have

- 2 -

Memorandum for Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, Mohr, November 29, 1963

Conrad, DeLoach, Evans, Rosen, Sullivan

not; that there was a story that the fellow had been in Rubenstein's

nightclub but it has not been confirmed. I told the President that

Rubenstein is a very seedy character, had a bad record - street brawls,

fights, etc.; that in Dallas, if a fellow came into his nightclub and

could not pay his bill completely, Rubenstein would beat him up and

throw him out; that he did not drink or smoke; that he was an

egomaniac; that he likes to be in the limelight; knew all of the

police officers in the white light district; let them come in and get

food and liquor, etc.; and that is how I think he got into police

headquarters. I said if they ever made any move, the pictures did not

show it even when they saw him approach and he got right up to Oswald

and pressed the pistol against Oswald's stomach; that neither officer

on either side made any effort to grab Rubenstein - not until after the

pistol was fired. I said, secondly, the chief of police admits he moved

Oswald in the morning as a convenience and at the request of motion

picture people who wanted daylight. I said insofar as tying Rubenstein

and Oswald together, we have not yet done so; that there are a number

of stories which tied Oswald to the Civil Liberties Union in New York in

which he applied for membership and to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee

which is pro-Castro, directed by communists, and financed to some extent

by the Castro Government.

The President asked how many shots were fired, and I told him three.

He then asked if any were fired at him. I said no, that three shots

were fired at the President and we have them. I stated that our

ballistic experts were able to prove the shots were fired by this gun;

that the President was hit by the first and third bullets and the second

hit the Governor; that there were three shots; that one complete

bullet rolled out of the President's head; that it tore a large part of

the President's head off; that in trying to massage his heart on the

way into the hospital they loosened the bullet which fell on the

stretcher and we have that.

He then asked were they aimed at the President. I replied they were

aimed at the President, no question about that.

I further advised him that we have also tested the fact you could

fire those three shots in three seconds. I explained that there is a

story out that there must have been more than one man to fire several

shots but we have proven it could be done by one man.

The President then asked how it happened that Connally was hit. I

explained that Connally turned to the President when the first shot was

fired and in that turning he got hit. The President then asked, if

Connally had not been in his seat, would the President have been hit by

the second shot. I said yes.

- 3 -

Memorandum for Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, Mohr, November 29, 1963

Conrad, DeLoach, Evans, Rosen, Sullivan

I related that on the fifth floor of the building where we found the

gun and the wrapping paper we found three empty shells that had been

fired and one that had not been fired. that he had four but didn't fire

the fourth; then threw the gun aside; went down the steps; was seen

by a police officer; the manager told the officer that Oswald was all

right, worked there; they let him go; he got on a bus; went to his

home and got a jacket; then came back downtown, walking; the police

officer who was killed stopped him, not knowing who he was; and he

fired and killed the police officer.

The President asked if we can prove that and I answered yes.

I further related that Oswald then walked another two blocks; went

to the theater; the woman selling tickets was so suspicious - said he

was carrying a gun when he went into the theater - that she notified the

police; the police and our man went in and located Oswald. I told him

they had quite a struggle with Oswald but that he was subdued and shown

out and taken to police headquarters.

I advised the President that apparently Oswald had come down the

steps from the fifth floor; that apparently the elevator was not used.

The President then indicated our conclusions are: (1) he is the one

who did it; (2) after the President was hit, Governor Connally was hit;

(3) the President would have been hit three times except for the fact

that Governor Connally turned after the first shot and was hit by the

second; (4) whether he was connected with the Cuban operation with

money we are trying to nail down. I told him that is what we are trying

to nail down; that we have copies of the correspondence; that none of

the letters dealt with any indication of violence or assassination; that

they were dealing with a visa to go back to Russia.

I advised the President that his wife had been very hostile, would not

cooperate and speaks only Russian; that yesterday she said, if we could

give assurance she would be allowed to remain in the country, she would

cooperate; and that I told our agents to give that assurance and sent a

Russian-speaking agent to Dallas last night to interview her. I said I do

not know whether or not she has any information but we would learn

what we could.

The President asked how Oswald had access to the fifth floor of the

building. I replied that he had access to all floors. The President

asked where was his office and I stated he did not have any particular

place;

- 4 -

Memorandum for Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, Mohr, November 29, 1963

Conrad, DeLoach, Evans, Rosen, Sullivan

that he was not situated in any particular place; that he was just a general

packer of requisitions that came in for books from Dallas schools; that

he would have had proper access to the fifth and sixth floors whereas

usually the employees were down on lower floors. The President then

inquired if anybody saw him on the fifth floor, and I stated he was seen

by one of the workmen before the assassination.

The President then asked if we got a picture taken of him shooting

the gun and I said no. He asked what was the picture sold for $25,000,

and I advised him this was a picture of the parade showing Mrs. Kennedy

crawling out of the back seat; that there was no Secret Service Agent

on the back of the car; that in the past they have added steps on the

back of the car and usually had an agent on either side standing on the

bumper; that I did not know why this was not done - that the President

may have requested it; that the bubble top was not up but I understand

the bubble top was not worth anything because it was made entirely of

plastic; that I had learned much to my surprise that the Secret Service

does not have any armored cars.

The President asked if I have a bulletproof car and I told him I

most certainly have. I told him we use it here for my own use and,

whenever we have any raids, we make use of the bulletproof car on them.

I explained that it is a limousine which has been armorplated and that

it looks exactly like any other car. I stated I think the President

ought to have a bulletproof car; that from all I understand the Secret

Service has had two cars with metal plates underneath the car to take

care of hand grenades or bombs thrown out on the street. I said this is

European; that there have been several such attempts on DeGaulle's

life; but they do not do that in this country; that all assassinations

have been with guns; and for that reason I think very definitely the

President ought to always ride in a bulletproof car; that it certainly

would prevent anything like this ever happening again; but that I do

not mean a sniper could not snipe him from a window if he were exposed.

The President asked if I meant on his ranch he should be in a

bulletproof car. I said I would think so; that the little car we rode

around in when I was at the ranch should be bulletproofed; that it

ought to be done very quietly. I told him we have four bulletproof cars

in the Bureau: one on the West Coast, one in New York and two here. I

said this could be done quietly without publicity and without pictures

taken of it if handled properly and I think he should have one on his

ranch.

- 5 -

Memorandum for Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, Mohr, November 29, 1963

Conrad, DeLoach, Evans, Rosen, Sullivan

The President then asked if I think all the entrances should be guarded.

I replied by all means, that he had almost to be in the capacity of a

so-called prisoner because without that security anything could be done.

I told him lots of phone calls had been received over the last four or five

days about threats on his life; that I talked to the Attorney General about

the funeral procession from the White House to the Cathedral; that I was

opposed to it. The President remarked that the Secret Service told them

not to but the family wanted to do it.

I stated that was what the Attorney General told me but I was very much

opposed to it. I further related that I saw the procession from the Capitol

to the White House on Pennsylvania and, while they had police standing

on the curbs, when the parade came, the police turned around and looked

at the parade.

The President then stated he is going to take every precaution he can;

that he wants to talk to me; and asked if I would put down my thoughts.

He stated I was more than head of the FBI - I was his brother and his

personal friend; that he knew I did not want anything to happen to his

family; that he has more confidence in me than anybody in town; that

he would not embroil me in a jurisdictional dispute; but that he did want

to have my thoughts on the matter to advocate as his own opinion.

I stated I would be glad to do this for him and that I would do anything

I can. The President expressed his appreciation.

Very truly yours,

[signed J. E. H.]

John Edgar Hoover

Director

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