John Simkin Posted January 12, 2005 Share Posted January 12, 2005 There is always one person that knows if a politician is involved in corrupt activities. Their personal secretary. Walter Jenkins played this role for LBJ. He took great care about appointing him. It is no surprise that he selected a secret homosexual for the task. This gave him complete power over Jenkins (along with his own involvement in corrupt activities). Therefore, it is not surprising that the secretaries of Bobby Baker (Nancy Carole Tyler) and George Smathers (Mary Jo Kopechne) were killed in accidents. I have always felt that JFK’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, would have important information on the assassination of JFK. She knew who he was meeting and how he was responding to those conversations. Maybe JFK told her directly what was going on in the months leading up to the assassination. After all, we all need to talk to someone. Who better than the person always by your side. Not that Lincoln would ever disclose any information that would knowingly hurt JFK. She was too loyal for that. However, she might have revealed information that would have hurt his enemies. Lincoln also had access to the tapes of JFK telephone conversations. Immediately after the assassination these tapes were seized by RFK (with the help of Secret Service agent Robert L. Bouck). Afterwards RFK showed concern about Lincoln’s knowledge of JFK's activities. He suspected that she had taken papers that belonged to JFK. However, he was unable to prove it. He also seemed scared of Lincoln. Friends say that RFK was often highly critical of Lincoln behind her back but was unwilling to take her on in face to face situations. RFK was right to be suspicious of Lincoln. When she died in 1995, tapes of JFK’s conversations were found in her possession. These were of course handed over to the Kennedy family and it is not known what was on them. I read Lincoln’s My Twelve Years With John F. Kennedy some time. Published in 1965, it provided no useful information for people researching the assassination. I was aware that she had written another book, Kennedy & Johnson (1968). However, after the disappointment of her first book, I decided not to bother to read this one. Recently I became very interested in the reasons why JFK selected LBJ as his running mate. During this research I came across a reference that suggested this issue was discussed in Lincoln’s book, Kennedy and Johnson. Using Abe Books I managed to track down a copy of this book. It arrived yesterday. It indeed does contain a lot of information that relates to the assassination (although Lincoln never attempts to show these links and never discusses what took place in Dallas). As the title suggests, the book discusses the relationship Kennedy had with Johnson. Lincoln, like all JFK’s other close associates, was shocked by JFK’s decision to select LBJ as his running mate. She claims that LBJ was never once considered in the months leading up to the decision as a possible vice presidential candidate. The main reason for this was that JFK hated LBJ. This isnot surprising considering LBJ’s attacks on JFK during the campaign. He was especially upset by LBJ’s dirty tricks campaign. In the book Lincoln points out the role that Philip Graham played in these events (we know from Bobby Baker’s book Wheeling and Dealing that Graham had been having meetings with LBJ in an attempt to get him the VP job). Lincoln claims that Stuart Symington had been offered the job of VP (he accepted). The problem came when Graham’s newspaper Washington Post published a story on the day of his nomination that JFK had selected LBJ as VP. This story disturbed JFK. He thought that his announcement that Symington was his choice would humiliate LBJ. He knew LBJ was in a position to cause problems when he tried to introduce legislative measures. Therefore he decided to personally explain to LBJ why he had chosen Symington. The meeting took place at 10.00 the morning after the nomination. JFK returned from the meeting with the news that he had given the job to LBJ. Lincoln points out that when Graham published his account of events he lied about some important aspects of the case. Graham was obviously involved in this plot to get LBJ as VP. Why? We will probably never know as he committed suicide, aged 48, a few weeks before JFK was assassinated. Lincoln goes on to describe the relationship JFK had with LBJ. Lincoln recalls the first important meeting the two men had after the decision had been made. It took place in JFK’s home. She saw the meeting through the glass. She also had reason to enter the room several times. She was shocked by what went on. Lincoln claims that LBJ did almost all of the talking. He constantly wagged his finger at JFK as if he was telling him what to do. Lincoln reports that JFK was distressed after his meeting. In fact, LBJ nearly always had this impact on JFK. Especially in the early days of the presidency when LBJ played an active role in decision making. Lincoln was surprised by the way LBJ was able to persuade JFK to appoint his friends to positions of power. Lincoln was particularly shocked by JFK willingness to appoint John Connally as Secretary of the Navy. She knew that JFK did not like or respect Connally. This was an important post as it made decisions about government arms contracts. When Connally left to become Governor of Texas, he was replaced by Fred Korth, another one of LBJ’s buddies. JFK in fact gave LBJ the right of veto to “all job appointments for Texans, in or out of the state”. JFK’s major objective when becoming president was to deal with the power held by the important Congressional Committees. He was particularly concerned about the seniority rule. LBJ had used this rule to ensure that his men chaired all the important committees. In this way they were able to block all liberal legislation from being passed by Congress. JFK had come under considerable pressure from liberal senators in the North to tackle this problem. JFK’s first task was to undermine the power of Howard W. Smith, the chairman of the House Rules Committee. In this post he held a stranglehold over all legislation. One possibility was to get rid of his right-hand man, William Colmer of Mississippi. LBJ and Sam Rayburn rejected this idea. Instead they suggested that the size of the committee should be increased from 12 to 15. This would enable them to get a committee that would allow more liberal legislation through. LBJ and Rayburn promised they would ensure that Democrats in the South would vote for this measure. JFK agreed to this proposal but later discovered that LBJ and Rayburn were in fact lobbying against this plan. The only way JFK could get in through was to persuade Republicans to vote for this proposal. JFK won the vote by 217 to 212. All 64 democrats from the South and border states voted against the legislation. However, JFK won because he had persuaded 22 Republicans in the North to vote for the proposal. JFK now knew that LBJ was unwilling to help him get his legislation passed. Therefore he isolated LBJ from decision making and made preparations to replace him in 1964. Stories on JFK’s plans to dump LBJ emerged as early as 1962. At a press conference on 9th May, 1962, JFK was forced to deny this story. However, it was true. JFK had already selected his 1964 running mate. His choice was Terry Sanford. The two men had become very close during JFK election campaign. By 1963 they held similar views on all the major issues. JFK became convinced that Sandford was the one liberal from the South who could help him get progressive legislation through Congress. The Bobby Baker scandal reinforced JFK’s plans to dump LBJ. JFK became aware that LBJ was blackmailing Republicans with threats that their G.O.P. tax returns would be audited. At a press conference on 14th November, 1963, JFK admitted that the Department of Justice had discovered a great deal about Bobby Baker and he promised that appropriate action would be taken against all those involved in this scandal. JFK of course knew that this involved LBJ and the chairman of all the important committees in Congress. What he did not know was that Bobby Baker had cleverly pulled JFK into this scandal (see my posting in the Suite 8F Group later today for information on this) and that the full truth would never emerge. Lincoln is also very interesting about what she has to say about the trip to Texas. She says that JFK was very reluctant to go on this trip: “Advance reports from our own staff and from many other people gave us cause to worry about the tense climate in Texas – and, most especially, in Dallas. Dallas was removed and then put back on the planned itinerary several times. Our own advance man urged that the motorcade not take the route through the underpass and past the Book Depository, but he was overruled.” Lincoln comments on a meeting that took place between JFK and Connally only three days before Bobby Baker resigned. The meeting was about Baker and the proposed trip to Texas. After Connally left JFK told Lincoln: “He sure seemed anxious for me to go to Texas”. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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