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Joan Mellen did not debunk LBJ’s complicity in JFK’s murder


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Joan Mellen in her book, Faustian Bargains: Lyndon Johnson and Mac Wallace in the Robber Baron Culture of Texas, opined on page 14 that "People who served Lyndon Johnson[Johnson Press Secretary George] Reedy wrote, ' were required to drop everything to wait upon him and were expected to forget their private lives in his interests.'

"Mac Wallace is a case in point, his history with Lyndon Johnson a window into Johnson's methods. Wallace's story is so Intriguing because, unlike other of Johnson's acolytes, it is difficult to prove what he did for Lyndon Johnson, or what Lyndon Johnson, it turn, did for him. More than any other of Johnson's protégés and acolytes, Wallace's connection to him remains cloaked in secrecy.

"In the major events of Mac Wallace's life, Lyndon Johnson remains invisible. Yet one truth is irrefutable. Everything that was positive and promising in Wallace's life came to him before he made the acquaintance of Lyndon Baines Johnson and joined Johnson's circle."

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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26 minutes ago, Vince Palamara said:

Hi, Jim!

He was there- I remember him (saw his picture on Facebook)! 

 

I was there and was also one of the speakers and in my speech read aloud what Joan had written on page 14 (see above.)

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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 I have to say the Denton article is very unfair to Joan.

According to her book, and an email to me, she did not get any of the tested materials from the FBI.  Which is what Denton implies.

I think this was done in order to question her methods, and to somehow insinuate she was doing the FBI's bidding.

Which is completely false.  She is transparent as to her sources, and I noted this in my review of her book.

That tactic is hitting below the belt.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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21 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:


And then in return, all JFK had to do was have LBJ indicted for illegal activities, thus destroying his career and possibly landing him in prison.

From the blog of James Wagenvoord, assistant to Life Magazine's executive editor at the time of the assassination:

A story that would have forced Johnson off the Democrats 1964 presidential election ticket had been slated to publish in the first December issue of [Life] magazine. For weeks the Kennedy Justice Department had been a rich source of confidential information concerning money allegedly funneled to Johnson from lobbyists and contractors during his years as Senate Majority Leader, through his senior aide, Bobby Baker. Tension between the President and the Vice President had been widely reported since the early days of the administration. Exposure would mean that Johnson would have effectively taken himself off the ticket and likely out of politics sparing President Kennedy the controversy that might arise if he announced that simply wanted a different Vice-President. Two articles, the first a general bad guy picture essay detailed the opening of Baker’s Carousel Hotel on Maryland’s eastern shore and showed Baker in a glaringly negative light. My boss headed the reporting team and the material, kept under wraps for weeks, now being readied to be shredded, would if published tie Lyndon Johnson directly to illegal compromises and graft.

It didn’t matter anymore. Now the story was the violent death of a President. And a smooth transition


As a shrewd politician, LBJ knew that exposing JFK's weaknesses would have led to his own demise. Knowing that Kennedy was in the process of exposing his scandals, LBJ had every reason for wanting Kennedy dead.

 

 

Thanks Sandy, Life not Time.  My memory Is faulty again.  And I once subscribed to Life.

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6 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Personally I think, despite the credibility of May Newman, her testimony is immaterial, as she was not present. Madeleine Brown has a child by LBJ but that does nothing for her credibility. No doubt Murchison and friends were delighted after the fact, but this doesn't mean they did it. Who is Pfeiffer? Why didn't he come forward later, like Newmann?

LBJ had motive aplenty of course. And if there was a meeting of sorts the night before the assassination, it certainly wasn't about planning the assassination, though it may have been to plan the aftermath. I'm no fan of LBJ or Hoover, but I think it more likely that it was the Nixon/Bush/Dulles group that arranged it.

Bada Bing.  If JFK, and LBJ landed at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth at 11:07 PM how did LBJ get to Murchison's, North of Dallas for the big event pre party?  A never disclosed helicopter waiting to wisk him away and back?  Help here please,  Did JFK and LBJ not have a (angry?) conversation that night after they arrived at the Hotel Texas?  I.E. delaying such a remote possibility?

In looking for info on the subject I came across this interesting link I've never seen.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/21/november_21_1963_120742.html

Edited by Ron Bulman
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22 hours ago, Sandy Larsen said:

And then in return, all JFK had to do was have LBJ indicted for illegal activities, thus destroying his career and possibly landing him in prison.

From the blog of James Wagenvoord, assistant to Life Magazine's executive editor at the time of the assassination:

A story that would have forced Johnson off the Democrats 1964 presidential election ticket had been slated to publish in the first December issue of [Life] magazine. For weeks the Kennedy Justice Department had been a rich source of confidential information concerning money allegedly funneled to Johnson from lobbyists and contractors during his years as Senate Majority Leader, through his senior aide, Bobby Baker. Tension between the President and the Vice President had been widely reported since the early days of the administration. Exposure would mean that Johnson would have effectively taken himself off the ticket and likely out of politics sparing President Kennedy the controversy that might arise if he announced that simply wanted a different Vice-President. Two articles, the first a general bad guy picture essay detailed the opening of Baker’s Carousel Hotel on Maryland’s eastern shore and showed Baker in a glaringly negative light. My boss headed the reporting team and the material, kept under wraps for weeks, now being readied to be shredded, would if published tie Lyndon Johnson directly to illegal compromises and graft.

It didn’t matter anymore. Now the story was the violent death of a President. And a smooth transition


As a shrewd politician, LBJ knew that exposing JFK's weaknesses would have led to his own demise. Knowing that Kennedy was in the process of exposing his scandals, LBJ had every reason for wanting Kennedy dead.


I forgot the link to the blog. It's an interesting story of how Life Magazine's executive editor had all the draft copies of the Johnson article shredded when it became clear that he was about to be made president.

http://jameswagenvoord.typepad.com/

 

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David, just go to You Tube and type in THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY  PART 9 THE GUILTY MEN.

At just after the 23 minute mark the Mae Newman interview begins. The interview continues with a few breaks and her final remarks begin at the 27 minute and 33 second mark.

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21 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Personally I think, despite the credibility of May Newman, her testimony is immaterial, as she was not present.

True Paul, especially in the legal sense.  However, Ms. Newman never says one word in her interview or even speculates about who was actually at this big Murchison get together ( outside of Hoover ) or what it was about. All she mentions are the words and actions of her fellow Murchison household servant staff as seen and shared directly to her verbally that evening.  

And what JFK truth value is there to any of her hearsay story?  I guess what ever one decides to choose from this.

Madeleine Brown has a child by LBJ but that does nothing for her credibility.

I believe this fact does have some bearing on her credibility as in the least we can fairly assume Brown spent many days over years in intimate physical contact and surely conversational situations with LBJ.

No doubt Murchison and friends were delighted after the fact, but this doesn't mean they did it. Who is Pfeiffer? Why didn't he come forward later, like Newmann?

No one suggests that the Murchisons "did it"  just because they celebrated JFK's brains being blown out inches from his wife's face.  The Newman recounting of this perverse celebration just highlights the extreme extent of JFK hatred in that super wealthy family.  And who was Jules Pheifer/Fiefer?

According to Mae Newman he was the driver for the Murchison family and she described him as being a black man.

And why didn't this Jules Pheifer or the Murchison cook ever come out and say anything about what Newman said they said and did on the evening of 11,21,1963?

Again using common sense, these people were dependent on the Murchison family for their incomes.

Ms.Newman waited until she retired to comment on that 11,21,1963 evening event undoubtedly because of fear of losing her job. And when you know you work for one of the richest families on Earth and the most powerful in Texas, and you know of their great and strong bias's against the Kennedys you would logically fear how they might retaliate against you if you shared family secrets like the one Ms. Newman shared with the media.

Another fear ( of physical harm ) is the very common one of not wanting to have your name involved in anything surrounding one of the most violent and scary highest power level events in our history. I guarantee you that for each and every person who came forward to the press or police to share what they may have seen, heard or experienced that involved anything suspicious regarding the main characters reportedly involved in the JFK assassination before, during or after 11,22,1963 in Texas or elsewhere, there are 2 or 3 or more who never came forward out of this fear and who never came forward for the rest of their lives.

Paul, I have no idea what any get together of big shots at the Murchison estate on the evening of 11,21,1963 was about. But with what we know of the Murchison's hatred of the Kennedys ( and probably shared by all who were invited )  one can fairly surmise it had something to do with Kennedy's trip to their home turf.

And to me,  if Hoover did actually fly in and attend this get together it shows , in the least, he had a relationship with these super wealthy and powerful fellow Kennedy haters ( like himself )  that would appear to be closer and more friendly than what is generally known or reported. Combined with the date of JFK's visit to Dallas and the secrecy of the visit, one is kind of forced to suspect some nefarious context of the meeting and Hoover's possible attendance.

 

 

 

 

Quote

LBJ had motive aplenty of course. And if there was a meeting of sorts the night before the assassination, it certainly wasn't about planning the assassination, though it may have been to plan the aftermath. I'm no fan of LBJ or Hoover, but I think it more likely that it was the Nixon/Bush/Dulles group that arranged it.

Maybe LBJ wasn't even at this meeting. But if Hoover and McCloy were, surely it wasn't to "discuss the price of ice cream" as Colonel Dan Marvin once said.

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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13 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Question:  Is this story about the Life Magazine feature on LBJ single sourced?

In other words, is it only Wagenvoord?

And didn't Life do a story on this subject later anyway?


Jim,

It appears that Wagenvoord went public with his story in his retirement, when he "discovered" the internet in 2009. He became a member of this forum then and told his story to John Simkin. I came across his blog by accident years ago and made a copy of it should it disappear.

This 2012 New Yorker article by LBJ biographer Robert Caro is about the reporting of the Bobby Baker scandal and how it was morphing into the LBJ scandal just prior to the assassination. Here's an apropos excerpt:

The scandal had thus far concentrated on the man known in Washington as “Little Lyndon,” but the stories were beginning to focus more and more on Johnson himself. On the Monday of the week that Kennedy left for Texas [11/18/63], a lengthy and detailed article had appeared in Life—“SCANDAL GROWS AND GROWS IN WASHINGTON,” based on the work of a nine-member investigating team headed by a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, William G. Lambert. It had gone beyond a recounting of Baker’s personal financial saga to make clear that, in distributing campaign contributions and in his other Senate activities, Baker had simply been “Lyndon’s bluntest instrument in running the show.” And the focus was about to sharpen that morning. Reynolds, who was Baker’s former business partner, had come to Room 312 to tell the Senate investigators about a number of Baker’s activities, one of which—the purchase of television advertising time and an expensive stereo set, in return for the writing of an insurance policy—Baker himself later called “a kickback pure and simple,” to Johnson. On the advice of his attorney, Reynolds had brought with him documents—invoices and cancelled checks—that he said would prove that assertion. Another of Baker’s activities that Reynolds began describing that morning would also turn out to be related to Johnson: an overpayment by Matthew McCloskey, a contractor and major Democratic funder, for a performance bond—an overpayment of a hundred and nine thousand dollars for a bond that had cost only seventy-three thousand dollars, with twenty-five thousand dollars of that overpayment, Reynolds later said, going to “Mr. Johnson’s campaign.”

In New York, there was also going to be a meeting that morning—of about a dozen reporters and editors in the offices of Life’s managing editor, George P. Hunt. During the past week, reporters who had been sent to Texas to investigate the Vice-President’s finances had found areas ripe for inquiry. For one thing, they had begun searching through deeds and other records of recent land sales and had found that the real-estate and banking transactions of the Johnson family’s L.B.J. Company were on a scale far greater than had previously been suspected. And other reporters were digging into the advertising sales and other activities of KTBC, the cornerstone of the Johnsons’ extensive radio and television interests, and they, too, were turning up one item after another that they felt merited looking into. “With every day that week,” the story “kept getting bigger and bigger,” Lambert said later, and it was no longer a Bobby Baker story but “a Lyndon Johnson story”: after thirty-two years “on the [government] payroll . . . he was a millionaire many times over.” But, Lambert said, so many reporters were working in Johnson City, Austin, and the Hill Country that “they were tripping all over each other.” An article laying out some of their new findings had already been written, by Keith Wheeler, a staff writer. A decision had to be made on whether to run his story in the magazine’s next issue or whether the material already in hand should be held until more was available, and combined into a multi-part series on “Lyndon Johnson’s Money”—what Lambert termed a “net worth job”—and a meeting to decide this, and to divide up the areas of investigation in Texas, had been scheduled for 11:30 A.M. on November 22nd.

So Life Magazine reporter William G. Lambert's account appears to support Wagenvoord's story.

 

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14 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:
Quote

LBJ had motive aplenty of course. And if there was a meeting of sorts the night before the assassination, it certainly wasn't about planning the assassination, though it may have been to plan the aftermath. I'm no fan of LBJ or Hoover, but I think it more likely that it was the Nixon/Bush/Dulles group that arranged it.

Maybe LBJ wasn't even at this meeting. But if Hoover and McCloy were, surely it wasn't to "discuss the price of ice cream" as Colonel Dan Marvin once said.

But of course your only source is Madeleine Brown. Her only credibility is derived from being LBJ's mistress. I can't understand why you'd be willing to accept that she'd be lying about LBJ being there but be telling the truth about John J. Mac Cloy.?

I did take your cue and looked at the segment. The producer's later account only Johnson, Hoover and Texas Oil Men at the meeting. Yet you can find Madeline's account of  the entire "Ocean's 22" who retired to the conference room in a later interview set outside in a ranch setting., which again included LBJ, Hoover,Nixon, Jack Ruby, Carlos Marcello, H.L Hunt,, Malcolm Wallace and even Clint People's, who Doug knows was eventually instrumental in encouraging Billy Sol to come out with his book, but why would he do that if he was in fact, one of the plotters?

In an earlier  "Geraldo "episode in the 90's she accounts Jack Ruby being there. But there's no mention of that in TMWKK. Which leads one to conclude that they're cherry picking  only the information that they have reason to think is credible.  So Nigel Turner doesn't completely believe her.

The story  of the meeting  just became more inclusive, and more embellished over the years.

You know  what I think? I think ole' Madeleine's well was running dry, and one day when she was gettin' her hair "fixed", she decided "Hey if I want to continue to keep gettin'' my hair fixed , I better come up with something". Then the ole' gal proceeded to tell the biggest giant Texas whopper she could, and wrote a book, and went after as much publicity as she possibly could and over years the story took on a life it's own.. ,   JMO

 

Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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Kirk, having known MB fairly well and actually having helped fund the publication of her book I can tell you it was not nearly that simple.  Her reason for doing the book was to tell her family history and primarily the story about Johnson and her son and his abandonment of them.  That was a very emotional and personal thing for her.  She was also sincerely convinced of Johnson's complicity, not by the party as that was a minor thing early on but rather by some personal remarks he made to her - which are classic Johnson and very possibly classic Johnson braggadocio and/or misinformation.  Anybody who ever believed personal remarks from Johnson was just being played as a sucker.  She was particularly convinced by his violently angry remarks on the day of the assassination - which we know related to Connolly and the car seating and which was a real event. 

However I can also tell you that her early remarks about a party and guests were very mild and far more limited than what they later came to be....certain people played on her as she became older and essentially manipulated her story to fit their agendas and to make it much more sensational and dramatic.  I know that to be true.  In the beginning it was not much more than being invited to a party, going and very late seeing LBJ arrive and immediately take a couple of folks behind closed doors. Actually given how the trip was going down, the fact that he had never been happy with it and that it was giving way too much political leverage to Connally - who he was competing with - could easily explain that.  What the story became during the years after she began to work on her book was part MB and part a number of other people.

Its yet another lesson to us all to be very cautious about sources, especially those that come very late and whose story evolves over time.

 

 

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Larry H.'s "first hand knowledge" take on MB and her story seems closer to the truth to me than those who have tried to make her seem more "out of it "  than not.

Regardless of Madeline Brown's take on the 11,21,1963 Murchison get together, her recountings of her many intimate rendezvous over many years with LBJ  ( dozens if not many more than this number? ) and the one-on-one conversations they shared during these as well as her financial support story through connections on behalf of LBJ provides very interesting and I feel important personal backstory information that helps to fill in a more complete picture of LBJ that we may never have known about otherwise.

Dismissing most or even more-versus-less of MB's story and her LBJ recountings because she made some embellishments regards the Murchison get together is an illogical mistake.

 

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