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Who Killed JFK?: Texas Oil Industry


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I thought I would start a thread where people couple speculate about the motive the conspirators had for killing JFK. I will start the ball rolling with the case for the Texas Oil Industry.

The most prolific oil reserves in the United States was not discovered until October, 1930. The East Texas Oilfield included Rusk, Upshur, Gregg and Smith counties. The first small company to find oil in East Texas was Deep Rock Oil Company. The first investor to take advantage of the discovery was Haroldson L. Hunt. He bought 5,000 acres of leases and an eighty-acre tract for $1,335,000. Hunt soon owned 500 wells in East Texas.

The discovery of oil in Texas made a small group of men a great deal of money. They decided to join together in order to maintain their profits. This included strategies for keeping the price of oil as high as possible. The rich East Texas field caused problems as it initially caused the price of oil to fall.

Ross Sterling, the former owner of Humble Oil, was elected governor of Texas and took office on 20th January, 1931. The Texas Railroad Commission, under the control of the large oil producers, attempted to limit the production of oil (prorationing) in the new fields of East Texas. On 31st July, 1931, the federal court in Houston sided with a group of independent oil producers and ruled that the Texas Railroad Commission had no right to impose prorationing.

Large oil companies in Texas such as Humble Oil were in favour of prorationing and Sterling came under great pressure to intervene. On 16th August, 1931, Sterling declared martial law in Rusk, Upshur, Gregg and Smith counties. In his proclamation Sterling declared that the independent oil producers in these counties were "in a state of insurrection" and that the "reckless and illegal exploitation of (oil) must be stopped until such time as the said resources may be properly conserved and developed under the protection of the civil authorities".

Sterling now ordered the commander of the Texas National Guard, Jacob F. Wolters, to "without delay shut down each and every producing crude oil well and/or producing well of natural gas". Wolters who was the chief lobbyist of several major oil companies in Texas, readily agreed to this action. Wolters used more than a thousand troops to make sure that the oil wells in East Texas ceased production. The Texas Railroad Commission was now in firm control of the world's most prolific oil fields. It now controlled the supply of the oil in the United States. As a result, the price of oil began to increase.

The courts ruled that Sterling had exceeded his authority by the declaration of martial law and he was easily defeated by Miriam A. Ferguson when he attempted to be elected for a second term as governor.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt gained power he attempted to push a bill through Congress that would give his Secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, the authority to regulate domestic oil production. However, Sam Rayburn, a politician from Texas, as chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, was able to kill the bill. It was left to another powerful Texan, Tom Connally, to sponsor the Connally Hot Oil Act. This gave the Texas Railroad Commission the authority to proration oil.

Texas oil millionaires also fought hard to maintain its tax concessions. The most important of these was the oil depletion allowance. It was first introduced in 1913 and allowed producers to use the depletion allowed to deduct just 5 per cent of their income and the deduction was limited to the original cost of their property. However, in 1926 the depletion allowance was increased to 27.5 per cent.

As Robert Bryce pointed out in his book, Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America's Superstate (2004): "Numerous studies showed that the oilmen were getting a tax break that was unprecedented in American business. While other businessmen had to pay taxes on their income regardless of what they sold, the oilmen got special treatment."

Bryce gives an example in his book how the oil depreciation allowance works. "An oilman drills a well that costs $100,000. He finds a reservoir containing $10,000,000 worth of oil. The well produces $1 million worth of oil per year for ten years. In the very first year, thanks to the depletion allowance, the oilman could deduct 27.5 per cent, or $275,000, of that $1 million in income from his taxable income. Thus, in just one year, he's deducted nearly three times his initial investment. But the depletion allowance continues to pay off. For each of the next nine years, he gets to continue taking the $275,000 depletion deduction. By the end of the tenth year, the oilman has deducted $2.75 million from his taxable income, even though his initial investment was only $100,000."

Such a system was clearly unfair and only benefited a small group of businessmen in Texas. It seemed only a matter of time before Congress removed this tax loophole. However, these oilmen used some of their great wealth to manipulate the politicians in Washington.

1932 several politicians from Texas assumed important positions of power in Washington. John Nance Garner became Speaker of the House of Representatives. Texans also became the chairmen of some very important committees. This included Samuel Rayburn (Interstate and Foreign Commerce), Joseph J. Mansfield (Rivers and Harbors Committee), Hatton W. Sumners (Judiciary Committee), Marvin Jones (Agriculture Committee) and Fritz Lanham (Public Buildings and Grounds Committee).

As the historian, Robert A. Caro has pointed out in Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power (1982): "Texans were elected on December 7, 1931, not only to the Speakership of the House but to the chairmanship of five of its most influential committees, Lyndon Johnson's first day in the Capitol was the day Texas came to power in it - a power that the state was to hold, with only the briefest interruptions, for more than thirty years."

Sam Rayburn as chairman of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, played an important role in the establishing the and the Federal Communications Commission. In 1937 Rayburn became majority leader and held the post for the next three years.

Several of these Texas politicians became involved in the Suite 8F Group, a collection of right-wing political and businessmen. The name comes from the room in the Lamar Hotel in Houston where they held their meetings. Members of the group included George Brown and Herman Brown (Brown & Root), Jesse H. Jones (multimillionaire investor in a large number of organizations and chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation), Gus Wortham (American General Insurance Company), James Abercrombie (Cameron Iron Works), William Hobby (Governor of Texas and owner of the Houston Post), William Vinson (Great Southern Life Insurance), James Elkins (American General Insurance and Pure Oil Pipe Line), Albert Thomas (chairman of the House Appropriations Committee), Lyndon B. Johnson (Majority Leader of the Senate) and John Connally (Governor of Texas). Alvin Wirtz and Edward Clark, were two lawyers who were also members of the Suite 8F Group.

Suite 8F helped to coordinate the political activities of other right-wing politicians and businessmen based in the South. In this way they were able to prevent the oil depletion allowance removed. This sometimes meant that they supported the Republican Party in elections. For example, Dwight D. Eisenhower received considerable funds from Texas oilmen in the 1952 presidential elections.

Soon after being elected, Eisenhower stopped a grand jury investigation into the “International Petroleum Cartel” citing reasons of “national security”. Eisenhower had already starting paying back the generous support he had received from the oil industry.

In 1954 Paul Douglas began making speeches in the Senate about the need for tax reforms in order to eliminate special privileges such as the oil depletion allowance. Douglas attempted to join the important Finance Committee. He held seniority priority and should have been given one of the two available seats on the committee. Johnson had to apply considerable pressure on Harry Byrd, the chairman of the Finance Committee, to stop this happening.

In 1955 LBJ became majority leader of the Senate. LBJ and Richard Russell now had complete control over all the important Senate committees. This was proving to be an expensive business. The money used to bribe these politicians came from Russell’s network of businessmen. These were men usually involved in the oil and armaments industries.

According to John Connally, large sums of money was given to LBJ throughout the 1950s for distribution to his political friends. “I handled inordinate amounts of cash”. A great deal of this came from oilmen. Cornel Wilde worked for the Gulf Oil Corporation. In 1959 he took over from David Searls as chief paymaster to LBJ. He testified that he made regular payments of $10,000 to Walter Jenkins.

In 1956 there was another attempt to end all federal price control over natural gas. Sam Rayburn played an important role in getting it through the House of Representatives. This is not surprising as according to Connally, he alone had been responsible for a million and a half dollars of lobbying.

Paul Douglas and William Langer led the fight against the bill. Their campaigned was helped by an amazing speech by Francis Case of South Dakota. Up until this time Case had been a supporter of the bill. However, he announced that he had been offered a $25,000 bribe by the Superior Oil Company to guarantee his vote. As a man of principal, he thought he should announce this fact to the Senate.

LBJ responded by claiming that Case had himself come under pressure to make this statement by people who wanted to retain federal price controls. LBJ argued: “In all my twenty-five years in Washington I have never seen a campaign of intimidation equal to the campaign put on by the opponents of this bill.”

LBJ pushed on with the bill and it was eventually passed by 53 votes to 38. However, three days later, Eisenhower, vetoed the bill on grounds of immoral lobbying. Eisenhower confided in his diary that this had been “the most flagrant kind of lobbying that has been brought to my attention”. He added that there was a “great stench around the passing of this bill” and the people involved were “so arrogant and so much in defiance of acceptable standards of propriety as to risk creating doubt among the American people concerning the integrity of governmental processes”.

Senators called for an investigation into the lobbying of the oil industry by Thomas Hennings, the chairman of the subcommittee on Privileges and Elections. LBJ was unwilling to allow a senator not under his control to look into the matter. Instead he set up a select committee chaired by Walter F. George of Georgia, a member of the Southern Caucus. Johnson had again exposed himself as being in the pay of the oil industry.

Drew Pearson of The Washington Post picked up on this story and wrote a series of articles about LBJ and the oil industry. Pearson claimed that LBJ was the “real godfather of the bill”. Pearson explored LBJ’s relationship with George Brown and Herman Brown. He reported on the large sums of money that had been flowing from Brown & Root, the “big gas pipeline company” to Johnson. He also referred to the large government contracts that the company had obtained during the Second World War. Pearson also quoted a Senate report that pointed out there was “no room for a general contractor like Brown & Root on Federal projects”. Nevertheless,LBJ had helped them win several contracts including one to build air-naval bases in Spain.”

LBJ was now in serious trouble and sought a private meeting with Pearson. He offered the journalist a deal, if Pearson dropped the investigation, he would support Estes Kefauver, in the forthcoming primaries. Pearson surprisingly accepted this deal. He wrote in his diary: “I figured I might do that much for Estes (Kefauver). This is the first time I’ve ever made a deal like this, and I feel unhappy about it. With the Presidency of the United States at stake, maybe it’s justified, maybe not – I don’t know.”

The decision by Eisenhower to veto this bill angered the oil industry. Once again Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison began negotiations with Eisenhower. In June, 1957, Eisenhower agreed to appoint their man, Robert Anderson, as his Secretary of the Treasury. According to Robert Sherrill in his book, The Accidental President (1967): "A few weeks later Anderson was appointed to a cabinet committee to "study" the oil import situation; out of this study came the present-day program which benefits the major oil companies, the international oil giants primarily, by about one billion dollars a year."

During the 1960 presidential election JFK gave his support for the oil depletion allowance. In October, 1960, he said that he appreciated "the value and importance of the oil-depletion allowance. I realize its purpose and value... The oil-depletion allowance has served us well."

However, two years later, JFK decided to take on the oil industry. On 16th October, 1962, JFK was able to persuade Congress to pass an act that removed the distinction between repatriated profits and profits reinvested abroad. While this law applied to industry as a whole, it especially affected the oil companies. It was estimated that as a result of this legislation, wealthy oilmen saw a fall in their earnings on foreign investment from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.

On 17th January, 1963, JFK presented his proposals for tax reform. This included relieving the tax burdens of low-income and elderly citizens. Kennedy also claimed he wanted to remove special privileges and loopholes. He even said he wanted to do away with the oil depletion allowance. It is estimated that the proposed removal of the oil depletion allowance would result in a loss of around $300 million a year to Texas oilmen.

After the assassination of JFK, LBJ dropped the government plans to remove the oil depletion allowance. Richard Nixon followed his example and it was not until the arrival of Jimmy Carter that the oil depletion allowance was removed.

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At the outset I should note a caveat that the person with the strongest motive to kill someone is not necessarily the guilty party. Nor is it necessary in a murder prosecution to even show a motive.

That being said, the person with the strongest motive to kill JFK was without doubt Fidel Castro, for the US continued its efforts to kill him and he was surely aware through his inestimable intelligence organization that JFK's brother was helping Manuel Artime organize a second invasion of Cuba.

That Castro might do something seemingly as foolhardy as the murder of the president is suggested by a Cuban plot (ironically almost exactly one year to the day before the Kennedy assassination) to kill thousands of innocent New Yorkers in subways and department stores in a serious of terrorist acts that would have been far worse than 9/11. (See my post on this plot in the "Fidel Did It" thread.)

Perhaps the second strongest motive to kill someone (after self-defense) is retaliation if the victim has killed a close relative. Gerry Hemming advises that Ramfis Trujillo helped fund the Kennedy assassination in retaliation for the CIA sanctioned murder of Ramfis' father, Gen Rafael Trujillo. That Ramfis might have retialiated is indicated by the fact that he did indeed track down and torture Dominicans he felt were involved in the assassination.

Self defense and retialiation for the murder of one's parent easily trump the preservation of a tax benefit as a motibe for murder.

Fidel's regime murdered thousands of his countrymen. Ramfis murdered without trial his own countrymen involved in the plot to kill his fasther.

Perhaps John can suggest a single member of the Suite 8F group previously involved in a murder solely for economic benefit. (I would of course exclude murders of relatives for motives such as jealousy as being irrelevant.)

Edited by Tim Gratz
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At the outset I should note a caveat that the person with the strongest motive to kill someone is not necessarily the guilty party.  Nor is it necessary in a murder prosecution to even show a motive. 

That being said, the person with the strongest motive to kill JFK was without doubt Fidel Castro, for the US continued its efforts to kill him and he was surely aware through his inestimable intelligence organization that JFK's brother was helping Manuel Artime organize a second invasion of Cuba.

While I'm not aware of Castro's supposed plans for terrorist acts in the U.S. in 1962, I do know one simple fact: the Cuban Government has not been shown to be behind numerous acts of terrorism in the U.S., while the United States has admittedly sponsored dozens if not hundreds of acts of terrrorsim against Cuba.

If Castro was so set on self-preservation that he'd murder Kennedy, and if his intelligence network was so strong, why were the lives of much-easier to kill people like Richard Helms, David Phillips, William Pawley, Clare Booth Luce, Antonio Veciano, Tony Varona, Manolo Ray, Manuel Artime, Pedro Lanz, and Frank Sturgis spared? Why wasn't Hemmings killed? Why wasn't Bosch, for Christ's sake, killed? All of them were more immediate threats to kill Castro or have him killed than Kennedy yet none were killed. Why? Because Castro's assassination capability within the United States was then and remains a myth perpetrated by those trying to paint him as a fall guy. The man, as brutal as he has been within his own country against dissent, simply does not go into other countries to murder people. That's something he leaves to the good old U.S.A.

The entire argument that Castro would risk WW3 to kill Kennedy relies on the presumption that Castro saw no other way to avert his own murder. Since Castro had not sent Kennedy any personal warnings or attempted any urgent personal contact, there is no reason to believe that level of desperation existed. Castro had hundreds of enemies, who wanted him dead, who he did not kill; it's simply wrong-headed to insist that the one American he would have killed would be the President, and that he would elect to have him killed by someone who was publicly a supporter of his cause. It's just weak. No one protects themself by implicating themself; while it might happen on Columbo, in reality it's just too risky.

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Pat wrote:

The entire argument that Castro would risk WW3 to kill Kennedy relies on the presumption that Castro saw no other way to avert his own murder. Since Castro had not sent Kennedy any personal warnings or attempted any urgent personal contact, there is no reason to believe that level of desperation existed.

Pat, if Castro's statement on September 7, 1963 was not an express warning to JFK ("American political leaders") what was it? What else was he to do, call JFK on the phone and say, "Hey, buddy, call it off or you'll get yours!" The fact that his warning was public not private only added emphasis to it.

As to the argument why had Castro not killed the underlings, what good would that do if they were following administration policy? They were replaceable and would certainly be replaced with others following the same policy.

And of course Castro executed the men the CIA sent into Cuba to kill him.

The murder of JFK could be considered an act of desperation by a cornered man but so, of course, could the plot to bomb New York City with 500 kilos of dynamite on the day after Thanksgiving of 1962. Which is why that 1962 incident is so relevant to our discussion.

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I believe that perhaps the three most common motives for murder are money, revenge, and power. John and Tim have, to some degree, covered the money and revenge angles. [Of course, no discussion of revenge in the JFK assassination case would be complete without mention of the Mafia...and I fully expect someone to add that angle to the revenge discussion in short order.]

So that leaves power. In the Kennedy administration, there were power struggles going on almost constantly. The Bay of Pigs [bOP] invasion was a power struggle, where the CIA and those behind the invasion clamored for air support that Kennedy denied them. So Kennedy won the power struggle here, but probably added both the CIA and the Cuban expatriot community to the revenge column of accounts.

And as early as 1961, there was a faction in the National Security Council--according to James Galbraith--which advocated a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union, during the projected "window of opportunity" in which US nuclear superiority over the Soviet union was guaranteed, a window which was projected to close around December of 1963. Yet JFK was resisting the overtures toward war, especially toward nuclear war and its risk of casualties on both sides in the millions of lives. And with National Security Action Memo [NSAM] 263, Kennedy was putting into motion a plan that, according to statements by Defense Secretary McNamara, would have withdrawn ALL American troops from Vietnam by early 1965. These decisions by Kennedy didn't sit well with the military; add in the 1963 Test Ban Treaty, and Kennedy's negotiated settlement of the Cuban Missile Crisis [negotiations which weren't revealed at the time], and the folks in the "war business" saw a President who was trying to put them OUT of business. While the President was, nominally, the Commander-in-Chief of the military, more often than not in American history presidents have merely "rubber-stamped" the military's desires to go to war. But Kennedy was actually exerciusing some power as Commander-in Chief, and the military powers-that-be were bristling at a civillian [ex-Navy or not] who was calling the tune. If something wasn't done soon, the military forces of the United States might just become what their cabinet department had been named after WWII--a Department of Defense, rather than a Department of War, as it had been known for most of US history. The military had to find a way to wrest the power to make war from the hands of this apparent peace-lover, and place the power into the hands of one not so reluctant to let the men of war do what they knew best. And if they could make the "changing of the guard" appear to be the result of a plot from our arch-enemy, the war they drooled for might be precipitated.

But it wasn't ONLY the military that craved power. LBJ wanted to be President more than anything in the world [the admonition "be careful what you wish for" comes to mind in this case]; the same could be said for Richard Nixon. While both LBJ and Nixon apparently lacked the power themselves to pull off the Kennedy assassination, each had associates capable of engineering the feat, and BOTH appear to have had some knowledge and involvement in the assassination AFTER the fact.

And this is why, over 40 years later, there is still reasonable doubt. What WAS the actual motive? Money? Revenge? Power? There is considerable circumstantial evidence pointing in each direction, but at this point we haven't determined with 100% certainty WHO held the actual "smoking gun," much less the actual motive for what was undoubtedly the "crime of the century."

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Tim, two follow up observatins on Pat's remarks.

First, Castro had been in ongoing backchannel communication with JFK all through 1963 and this channel was expanding in the fall of 1963 with the direct use of personal representatives just having been approved by JFK. I'd have to think that if Fidel felt cornored and at extreme risk he could easily have gotten that message directly to JFK... in fact there is no evidence it was even a point being brought up by Castro as an objection to or condition to the dialog. Nor was it brought up by Castro when he reached out to Johnson offering Johnson the out of staging some sort of attack against Cuba in order to ensure his victory in the next election.

Second, nobody has ever accused Fidel of being bashful. I have to think that if he wanted to really communicate that he felt his back was against the wall he would have called a press conference in the middle of Havana and said it loudly and clearly. He would not have brought it up during a random dialog at the Brazilian consulate. Interestingly enough the Cubans have always challenged the articles that came from those remarks, claiming that Castro had actually said that the exiles were so dangerous they could as easily be a danger to JFK as to him. Considering that the reporter who did the story can be shown to be part of the Phillips media network and that virtually all the exile suspects were ready to pitch the article as supporting a Castro sponsored Oswald, I'd consider it just a little suspect. Even Roselli introduced it during his testimony..... its at least possible that it was spun as part of the Castro did it disinformation story line.

-- Larry

Pat wrote:

The entire argument that Castro would risk WW3 to kill Kennedy relies on the presumption that Castro saw no other way to avert his own murder. Since Castro had not sent Kennedy any personal warnings or attempted any urgent personal contact, there is no reason to believe that level of desperation existed.

Pat, if Castro's statement on September 7, 1963 was not an express warning to JFK ("American political leaders") what was it?  What else was he to do, call JFK on the phone and say, "Hey, buddy, call it off or you'll get yours!"  The fact that his warning was public not private only added emphasis to it.

As to the argument why had Castro not killed the underlings, what good would that do if they were following administration policy?  They were replaceable and would certainly be replaced with others following the same policy.

And of course Castro executed the men the CIA sent into Cuba to kill him.

The murder of JFK could be considered an act of desperation by a cornered man but so, of course, could the plot to bomb New York City with 500 kilos of dynamite on the day after Thanksgiving of 1962.  Which is why that 1962 incident is so relevant to our discussion.

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I tend to agree with some of the remarks made by Mark Knight. The association of General Maxwell Taylor with Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker has been researched by myself for years and leads me to suggest that Taylor is a key suspect.

Taylor would have the motive (extention of his own power, his war in Vietnam, loss of prestige within the administration, feelings of ingratitude on the part of Kennedy, etc.).

Taylor would have had the method (the ability to manipulate the motorcade route, knowledge of Oswald, his work location and his attempted assassination of Walker, as well as access to the "black opps" apparatus).

Taylor would have had the ability to plan the type of opperation that could be carried off and covered up (as the leader of the most powerful military force in the world, Taylor would be structurally able to move and place the right people in the right places without question and as part of his normal duties).

Taylor would be at the head of his own intelligence organization that would have the ability to manipulate the investigation (military intelligence would limit access to information about Oswald and would leagally destroy that infromation).

Taylor would have the experience necessary to plan and execute an assassination coup with confidence in his own ability to succeed, (from World War II, post war Italy, Greece, South America, Central America, Korea and just days before the assassination of Kennedy an assassination in Southeast Asia).

It could be argued that Taylor was good at it!

Jim Root

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Pat wrote:

The entire argument that Castro would risk WW3 to kill Kennedy relies on the presumption that Castro saw no other way to avert his own murder. Since Castro had not sent Kennedy any personal warnings or attempted any urgent personal contact, there is no reason to believe that level of desperation existed.

Pat, if Castro's statement on September 7, 1963 was not an express warning to JFK ("American political leaders") what was it?  What else was he to do, call JFK on the phone and say, "Hey, buddy, call it off or you'll get yours!"  The fact that his warning was public not private only added emphasis to it.

As to the argument why had Castro not killed the underlings, what good would that do if they were following administration policy?  They were replaceable and would certainly be replaced with others following the same policy.

And of course Castro executed the men the CIA sent into Cuba to kill him.

The murder of JFK could be considered an act of desperation by a cornered man but so, of course, could the plot to bomb New York City with 500 kilos of dynamite on the day after Thanksgiving of 1962.  Which is why that 1962 incident is so relevant to our discussion.

Tim,

You just don't give up on this Castro thing. You still haven't answered the issues of LHO and Jack Ruby, which I asked you about on another thread. Namely, why would Fidel frame a man who had an active profile within Communist circles--whether genuine or not? And if Fidel didn't frame him, why would the CIA, FBI, DPD, US Government, US media etc all join forces to cover for Fidel, for heaven's sake? Also, why did Ruby kill LHO? So Castro wouldn't be exposed? I thought Ruby wanted Castro out, like everyone else in the mob did. Are you arguing that Ruby was genuine when he initially stated that he killed LHO to save Jackie and the kids from enduring a courtroom trial, even though he later contradicted this? The Castro/Soviet argument is all upside down. You're just cherry picking quotes and heresay and trying to make them fit your premise. So what if Castro made threatening statements directed at the U.S.? He's a dictator, they often make inflammatory statements. It doesn't mean the case is closed. Unless you can credibly explain LHO and Jack Ruby's involement, Castro can't be a serious contender.

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Mark, a number of things suggest themselves in answer to your question.

First with respect to LHO it is likely, IMO, he was acting for a US intelligence agency. If so, and if the conspiracy was conceived in Cuba, then using LHO as the patsy makes perfect sense. Obviously the CIA would want a cover-up if it thought one of its agents went nutso and killed Kennedy. Or what if the CIA thought its agent had been doubled but could never prove it? Again, an assured cover-up.

Anyone, I think, who argues that LHO was linked to a US intelligence agency, whether CIA or military intelligence, makes the case that exculpates anyone from our side who knew his true role. One does not use one's own agent as a "patsy".

The murder of LHO by Ruby makes Ruby the single person that everyone can agree was involved in the conspiracy. Interestingly, there exists some evidence linking Ruby to Communism as well as to Cuba. But Ruby's role can be explained merely by his link to Santo Trafficante, Jr.

IF you have read my posts you know it is my scenario that Trafficante was acting as an agent for Castro in exchange for a protected drug route through Cuba. If we forget all the evidence of Castro agents, up to even Fabian Escalante, in Dallas--although there is no reason such evidence should be ignored--then Castro could have sponsored the assassination merely by contracting Trafficante to do it for him. The role of Trafficante in the assassination is, in my opinion, fairly clear: first, he predicted it in 1962; second, he admitted his participation to his lawyer. One thing that links it back to Castro is the fairly well-accepted assumption that Cubela was a Castro "dangle" and Trafficante's close ties to Cubela.

Plus of course the fairly clear indication that the Trafficante organization whacked Rosselli.

Did I get all your questions?

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Good Day John.... IMHO, the primary motives were money, and, to prevent LBJ's imminent scandals/mafia-ties investigations/prosecutions/imprisionment (in the rhelm of "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," LBJ simultaneously thirsted to retain and increase his self-centered/self-consuming power).... money and power, not necessarily in that order, and, not necessarily seperate from each other.

Revenge aganst President KENNEDY for his Bay of Pigs inactions (as perceived & portrayed by the far-rightist and anti-Castrolites), and his Cuban missile crisis main decision to not invade Cuba (a very wise decision as documentions show that Russian missile site commanders in Cuba had been given individual authority to decide if and when to explode their nuclear weapons against any combatants), and KENNEDY mafia prosecutions increasing 11-fold since only 1961 (despite the mafia-perceived POTUS election help for KENNEDY in 1960) were two of several other sub-motives. The mega-wealthy oil barons also did not not bewail for a single second the fact that their 27.5% per year oil-depletion tax credit allowance was not ended as President KENNEDY had spoke of wanting to do. (it was ended very shortly after LBJ left office).

The defense industry buildup -of which the C.I.A. was/is a part- --and the #1 dollar$-wise export industry in the United States for decades-- (again, mostly money-related, but also political-will power-motivated as a mostly rightists (and including centrists and leftists) beliefs to stand up to Communism anywhere and everywhere) for confrontation/war against the Communists aggressions in southeast Asia had been on-going since the French left in the mid-50's (defense industry dollars had declined/leveled-off after WWII) ---there is strong evidence that in mid-to-late 1963 President KENNEDY had changed his thinking about southeast Asia (and Cuba/CASTRO confrontations/assassination attempts) and wanted to lessen/end military/C.I.A. involvement by the end of his second term.

Lest we not forget, scumbaggius-maximus J. "Edna" HOOVER was facing a mandatory retirement very early in President KENNEDY's second term.... only a few days after HOOVER first testified to the warrenatti commisars, none other than HOOVER's 22NOV63-neighbor, longtime friend/ally/crony LBJ made HOOVER (gave as payback, more like, imho) the "Director of F.B.I. for Life."

etc.

Motives galore.... you betcha'

Don Roberdeau

U.S.S. John F. Kennedy, CV-67, "Big John" Plank Walker

Sooner, or later, the Truth emerges Clearly

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"From a moral standpoint, Johnson had no use for religion except for the political benefits that it bestowed upon him. He had no use for the sanctity of marriage except for the voting benefits it offered to him as a 'married man.' And, his desire for alcohol, just like with sex, was excessive. In short, moral rules relating to his personal conduct had no effect on stopping him from getting what he wanted."

----CRAIG ZIRBEL, summarizing LBJ's amoral characteristics that may have contributed, along with 4 on-going criminal investigations implicating LBJ, to LBJ's motivations for wanting President KENNEDY assassinated, "The Texas Connection" (pg.108)

Edited by Don Roberdeau
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Tim

While I read with interest many of your posts I find myself having an alternative opinion for two of the ideas you suggest in this string.

"Anyone, I think, who argues that LHO was linked to a US intelligence agency, whether CIA or military intelligence, makes the case that exculpates anyone from our side who knew his true role. One does not use one's own agent as a "patsy"."

I do argue that Oswald was linked to a US intelligence agency and believe that it is just for that reason that so many agencies and persons lined up to profer for the coverup. How could any US intelligence agency say to the American public that, on one hand, Oswald was one of our agents but, on the other hand, we had nothing to do with the assassination? He becomes the perfect "patsy" that assures a coverup will be supported by the government.

I will go one step further and say that I believe that Oswald was what James Angleton discribed in the "the orchid man" article. An "insect" that could spread the pollen necessary to perpetuate the species without actually knowing what they were doing. Oswald, when entering Russia, followed the exact directions for entry (memos of Sept. 4, 1959 and Oct. 9, 1959) provided by the American Abassador in the Helsinki. Those two dates are connected to Oswald's application for his passport (Sept. 4) in Anaheim, CA and his bascktracking travel from France to England then to Finland (Oct. 8 & 9, 1959) suggesting an intelligence connection.

The November 4th Hosty note and the newly discovered information that Oswald's movements were monitored by the highest echelons of the CIA prior to the assassination suggest that the selection of the motorcade route, a decission made in Washington not Cuba, put the President in harms way.

"The murder of LHO by Ruby makes Ruby the single person that everyone can agree was involved in the conspiracy. Interestingly, there exists some evidence linking Ruby to Communism as well as to Cuba. But Ruby's role can be explained merely by his link to Santo Trafficante, Jr."

I agree with the premise stated but can provide an alternative conclusion suggesting "there exists some evidence linking Ruby to" Israeli intelligence. While on the surface a link to Trafficante provides a convincing cover for the propriator of a "strip joint" it is Ruby's Jewish religion that seems to be the one consistant factor in his life. Thirty days of prayer after the death of his father, attendance at Jewish services befor going to the DPD, unidentified men he entered the DPD with, admission that he was acting as an interpeter for the Israeli press, lie detector inconsistancies, desire to go to Washington to tell the "truth" all could point to a connection to Israeli intelligence. One can only imagine the advantages that could be gained by Israeli intelligence if they could silence a "rouge" agent for the US or for both Russia and the US. Both super powers would become indebted to them. (James Jesus Angleton was the CIA laison to Israeli intelligence)

Just different thoughts,

Jim Root

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Mark, a number of things suggest themselves in answer to your question.

First with respect to LHO it is likely, IMO, he was acting for a US intelligence agency. If so, and if the conspiracy was conceived in Cuba, then using LHO as the patsy makes perfect sense. Obviously the CIA would want a cover-up if it thought one of its agents went nutso and killed Kennedy. Or what if the CIA thought its agent had been doubled but could never prove it? Again, an assured cover-up.

Anyone, I think, who argues that LHO was linked to a US intelligence agency, whether CIA or military intelligence, makes the case that exculpates anyone from our side who knew his true role. One does not use one's own agent as a "patsy".

The murder of LHO by Ruby makes Ruby the single person that everyone can agree was involved in the conspiracy. Interestingly, there exists some evidence linking Ruby to Communism as well as to Cuba. But Ruby's role can be explained merely by his link to Santo Trafficante, Jr.

IF you have read my posts you know it is my scenario that Trafficante was acting as an agent for Castro in exchange for a protected drug route through Cuba. If we forget all the evidence of Castro agents, up to even Fabian Escalante, in Dallas--although there is no reason such evidence should be ignored--then Castro could have sponsored the assassination merely by contracting Trafficante to do it for him. The role of Trafficante in the assassination is, in my opinion, fairly clear: first, he predicted it in 1962; second, he admitted his participation to his lawyer. One thing that links it back to Castro is the fairly well-accepted assumption that Cubela was a Castro "dangle" and Trafficante's close ties to Cubela.

Plus of course the fairly clear indication that the Trafficante organization whacked Rosselli.

Did I get all your questions?

Tim,

Thanks for your reply. When you say "one does not use one's own agent as a patsy" I disagree. It's fine to use one's own agent as a patsy providing one has the capacity to silence one's own agent before he has the opportunity to implicate those higher up on one's totem pole, so to speak. Does one agree?

As for Ruby, where's the evidence linking him to Communism? I believe he visited Cuba in the pre-Castro days but I don't see how that links him to Communism. He may have had ties to Trafficante, but his underworld associations are now well known. In any case, the underworld figure pulling all their strings was, IMO, Meyer Lansky. As for Trafficante confessing participation to his lawyer, I wouldn't place great faith in what mobster's lawyers say---they're often as bent as their clients.

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Mark wrote:

It's fine to use one's own agent as a patsy providing one has the capacity to silence one's own agent before he has the opportunity to implicate those higher up on one's totem pole, so to speak. Does one agree?

Well, I for one disagree for several reasons.

First, it makes logical sense that any intelligent person planning a crime will eliminate any unnecessary risks. Regardless of how much effort was made to eliminate paper trails, there was always a risk someone with knowledge of lHO's status as an agent would talk, In fact, as I recall, there is at least one former CIA agent who has identified LHO as a CIA agent or asset.

There were cedrtainly plenty of genuine leftists, or genuine lone nuts for that matter, who could have been "patsified" (might as well create a new word!) even if the hit had to take place in a city other than Dallas.

Second, it does not do much for morale in the organization if operatives know they may be framed for murder and eliminated.

It would be a lot easier for me to suspect CIA involvement if LHO was indeed a Fidel-loving pinko. But I do not think he was.

Re Ruby, Mark there is evidence that Rubinstein attended Communist meetings in Chicago, as well as his Cuba connections.

And the only thing linking Trafficante to the assassination is not just his statement to his "mob lawyer" (who, I agree, rank only slightly higher than divorce lawyers); he also predicted the assassination in 1962. And there is fairly clear evidence linking his organization to the Rosselli hit. And there are also his links to Ruby and Rolando Cubela, And Fidel Castro.

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Eccl. 1:9 RSV : What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun."

There have certainly been at least one hundred political assassinations throughout history.

John, are you aware of ANY assasination motivated by a desire to prevent a change in the tax laws of the jurisdiction?

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Eccl. 1:9 RSV :  What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun."

There have certainly been at least one hundred political assassinations throughout history.

John, are you aware of ANY assasination motivated by a desire to prevent a change in the tax laws of the jurisdiction?

I can tell you one, Tim. The assassination of JFK.

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