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Billie Sol Estes and John F. Kennedy


John Simkin
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There is evidence that John and Robert Kennedy were attempting to use several emerging scandals (Bille Sol Estes, Bobby Baker, Fred Korth) to remove LBJ from power.

For example, on 1st June, 1962, the Dallas News reported that President John F. Kennedy had "taken a personal interest in the mysterious death of Henry Marshall." As a result, the story said, Robert Kennedy "has ordered the FBI to step up its investigation of the case."

Carl Curtis was a Republican member of the Senate Committee investigating the Bobby Baker case. Two other Republican members, John Williams and Hugh Scott, were asking some very difficult questions (see the LBJ tapes to discover how he tried to blackmail these three men into silence). In his autobiography, Forty Years Against the Tide, Curtis reveals that throughout the inquiry, it was Robert Kennedy who was leaking information about LBJ to John Williams.

I have also discovered some newspaper articles that show that Robert Kennedy was trying to get LBJ via the Billie Sol Estes scandal.

(1) David Hanners, Dallas Morning News (4th April, 1984)

In his appearance before the grand jury last month, Estes testified that Robert Kennedy may have offered Marshall protection if he would testify against Johnson, sources said.

Sources close to the grand jury said Estes testified that Johnson, while Senate majority leader, controlled a political "slush fund" raised from some of Estes' illegal business dealings.

"He (Sanders) made, several times daily, telephone reports to Robert Kennedy as to what was happening," Wilson said. "We were aware of the tremendous emotional and personal rivalry between Robert Kennedy and LBJ. The Kennedys closely observed the proceedings and followed them by the hour Wilson said he believes Estes is telling the truth about the plot.

(2) David Hanners, Dallas Morning News (6th January, 1985)

Among those watching the grand jury proceedings was Barefoot Sanders, then U. S. Attorney in Dallas and now a federal judge. Former Texas attorney General Will Wilson said Sanders, who has declined repeated requests for interviews on the Estes case, was in constant communication with Justice Department officials, particularly with Robert Kennedy, the U. S. Attorney General. Wilson said he believed Kennedy, who Wilson said had an intense dislike for Johnson, had sent Sanders to monitor the grand jury to see if the Vice President's name arose.

Other sources seemed to agree with this scenario. It was generally known by many, that there was a political rift between Johnson and Robert Kennedy.

We also have evidence from Evelyn Lincoln that JFK intended to drop LBJ as vice president in 1964. If this is all true, and I suspect it is, and LBJ found out what JFK and RFK were up to, then he had a clear cut motive to arrange the assassination before he lost power. We must not forget that on the day JFK was assassinated, Don Reynolds was providing evidence of LBJ's corruption before a closed session of the Senate Rules Committee. It is highly likely that when JFK returned to Washington he would have sacked LBJ. Unfortunately, he returned in a coffin.

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I know there is controversy about whether JFK actually intended to remove LBJ from the ticket.

It seems strange that JFK would complete a successful tour of Texas with LBJ and then upon their return from Washington "sack him". Such a move would have cost JFK whatever benefit he had obtained from the Texas trip.

Moreover did not LBJ have sufficient "goods" on JFK that he could have used to blackmail JFK into his retention, just as Hoover had done?

Just raising questions for consideration.

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I know there is controversy about whether JFK actually intended to remove LBJ from the ticket.

It seems strange that JFK would complete a successful tour of Texas with LBJ and then upon their return from Washington "sack him". Such a move would have cost JFK whatever benefit he had obtained from the Texas trip.

Moreover did not LBJ have sufficient "goods" on JFK that he could have used to blackmail JFK into his retention, just as Hoover had done?

Just raising questions for consideration.

John:

This is just what I think did happen. LJB had one wish in life: to be president and there was but

one way -by now- to achieve this. LBJ put his plan into action, coordinated with a MIC plan

and it went down, imo.

Tim: Everytime John (or anyone) comes up with a very likely scenerio for what probably happened

you are the first to challenge it. You SAY you want this case solved but all your posts belie this.

I conclude that you only want a solution that points to Castro. The person not on most researches

list of suspects.

Dawn

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Dawn, I would consider LBJ a suspect (primarily based on the Wallace print as well as the stories of people assaociated with him).

Well that's progress TG. But how did LBJ coordinate the hit with Fidel :)?

Dawn

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Who knows? Black to Rosselli to Santo to Fidel?

Seriously, it is possible thant Trafficante was receiving requests to kill Kennedy from several sources: Hoffa; anti-Castro Cubans; and Fidel. (With the exception of Hoffa, that is the theory of Professor Kurtz who adds rogue CIA agents (he suggests Harvey).

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According to Robert Caro, and other, JFK was blackmailed into selecting LBJ as his VP. Why would he not want to get rid of him?

According to Connally, JFK's primary goal in heading to Texas was raising MONEY. The BIG money funding elections came from the eastern establishment (Rockefellers, etc.), Texas, and California. The California money was earmarked for the Republicans, thanks to people like Nixon and Reagan. Only the Texas money was up for grabs. It could very well be that Kennedy wanted to get to Texas and grab that money before LBJ took a fall, a fall he knew was coming.

As I've mentioned on other threads, the November 22 Life Magazine had an article on the Baker scandal that made clear that Baker was Johnson's protege. If an article had come out during the early days of the Watergate scandal stating that Hunt and Liddy were Spiro Agnew's proteges and that they'd learned everything under his tutelage, how long would Nixon have kept him around?

JFK was a shrewd man. He was not gonna jump the gun. He was gonna wait for the scandal to come to a boil, and then ask Johnson to step down for "personal reasons". Kind of the way Bush got rid of Tenet, Powell, and Ashcroft.

If the media and the people were in lockstep calling for LBJ's resignation, LBJ would have obliged, no matter how much dirt Hoover had on Kennedy. Perhaps JFK would have PARDONED Johnson in exchange for his and Hoover's silence, (much as Bush pardoned Weinberger and Abrams)!

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According to Robert Caro, and other, JFK was blackmailed into selecting LBJ as his VP. Why would he not want to get rid of him?

According to Connally, JFK's primary goal in heading to Texas was raising MONEY. The BIG money funding elections came from the eastern establishment (Rockefellers, etc.), Texas, and California. The California money was earmarked for the Republicans, thanks to people like Nixon and Reagan. Only the Texas money was up for grabs. It could very well be that Kennedy wanted to get to Texas and grab that money before LBJ took a fall, a fall he knew was coming.

As I've mentioned on other threads, the November 22 Life Magazine had an article on the Baker scandal that made clear that Baker was Johnson's protege. If an article had come out during the early days of the Watergate scandal stating that Hunt and Liddy were Spiro Agnew's proteges and that they'd learned everything under his tutelage, how long would Nixon have kept him around?

JFK was a shrewd man. He was not gonna jump the gun. He was gonna wait for the scandal to come to a boil, and then ask Johnson to step down for "personal reasons". Kind of the way Bush got rid of Tenet, Powell, and Ashcroft.

If the media and the people were in lockstep calling for LBJ's resignation, LBJ would have obliged, no matter how much dirt Hoover had on Kennedy. Perhaps JFK would have PARDONED Johnson in exchange for his and Hoover's silence, (much as Bush pardoned Weinberger and Abrams)!

I agree with Pat that Texas seems to be a critical cash swing vote for the two parties.

From what I've read so far JFK would have to have been very carefull how he got rid of Johnson. Caro points out that Johnson had managed to work bring together such right wingers as Murchison and Richardson, with liberals like Humphrey. This was no easy task. Any attempt to get rid of the man who had bridged this gap in the Democratic party had to be handled carefully. JFK may well have had the means and the will to do get rid of Johnson. But it needed to be handled perfectly. I dont see it happening in November of '63.

Also did Kennedy have another way to unite the party, other than the bridge-building that Johnson had done as Majority Leader of the Senate?

Caro points out that Johnson had bailed out Eisenhower from an attack by the Taft isolationist Republican senators. This ability to fuse East Coast Pro U.N. Rockefeller types with thier Murchisonian counterparts, who mostly favored a unilateral foreign policy, was no easy task. John J. McCloy could do it and this is what made him Mr. Establishment.

Maybe JFK did think the ticket had to be torn, but if you belive the firing was inevitable, I think we need to also look into how Kennedy perceived his political alternatives.

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There is evidence that John and Robert Kennedy were attempting to use several emerging scandals (Bille Sol Estes, Bobby Baker, Fred Korth) to remove LBJ from power. (John Simkin)

On the day of the assassination, the morning papers carried a story where Richard Nixon was predicting that JFK would drop LBJ if it looked like a close race at the next election. Nixon referred to LBJ as a "political liability".

FWIW.

James

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Well, I agree with Nathan's post! I thought it quite astute.

As Nathan said, Kennedy would have had to be very careful how he "dumped" LBJ.

Remember the political consequences that befell McGovern when he "dumped" Eagleton.

Re the Nixon story, I suspect Nixon was just being his usual tricky self. He knew that if JFK dumped LBJ it would benefit the GOP.

And even if LBJ had to resign because he was indicted for a crime, there would have been political consequences for JFK.

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[quote name='Tim Gratz' date='Feb 8 2006, 08:18 AM' post='54036']

Well, I agree with Nathan's post! I thought it quite astute.

As Nathan said, Kennedy would have had to be very careful how he "dumped" LBJ.

Remember the political consequences that befell McGovern when he "dumped" Eagleton.

Re the Nixon story, I suspect Nixon was just being his usual tricky self. He knew that if JFK dumped LBJ it would benefit the GOP.

And even if LBJ had to resign because he was indicted for a crime, there would have been political consequences for JFK.

Tim:

Your "logic" often just floors me. How can you compare JFK possibly dumping LBJ to McGovern dumping Eagleton? JFK was an extremely popular president by fall of 63. LBJ was scandal- ridden and his corrupt practices were catching up everywhere. Had JFk lived and NOT dumped LBJ it would have been disaster for this ticket. The situation in '72 was not even remotely analogous. McGovern was not given a real opportunity to become popular. The right wing and Tricky Dick's gansters were well-prepared to

make sure McGovern was preceived as weak, especially on defense. (Sound familiar? same old story today). The attack ads were invented in 72. Sure the Eagleton mess added to what the rabid right did to weaken McGovern's chances, but the truth of the matter is that George McGovern was a good, decent man. He was no match for the criminal mentality of Richard Nixon and his supporters-of which you were one.

Had JFK not been assassinated I have little doubt that he would have dumped LBJ. Therefore Johnson had to ensure that it was JFk who disappeared. I am not saying he was the author of the conspiracy to kill JFK but I believe he was deeply involved.

Dawn

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If there was an effort by RFK to get LBJ on the Marshall murder, and if it had succeeded, then needless to say Mac Wallace would have been going to the big house for a long time, no more suspended sentences. This really put Mac on the spot. His own life was in danger, as he knew the SOB that he worked for would have him killed if the investigation went too far. So I imagine Mac was more than willing to volunteer his services to get rid of JFK, to save his own skin as well as LBJ's. Or Mac could have insisted on being included in any plot that was afoot, to prove his complete loyalty to LBJ, lest LBJ find some Mac Wallace type to get rid of Mac.

As it turned out, someone got rid of Mac anyway, but not before he enjoyed a few more years of life.

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It's an interesting point of conjecture. I know Bobby subsequently denied there was a plan to dump LBJ, but I don't necessarily believe him. Bobby had plans to be President himself and to claim that he and JFK had planned to dump LBJ prior to the assassination might have been needlessly inflammatory, given LBJ and his party were still in office. Also, there was Evelyn Lincoln's claim that indeed such a plan was being considered by JFK.

With JFK well ahead in the polls and the prospect of facing Goldwater, a man JFK believed he could defeat easily, he probably could afford to drop LBJ and risk losing Texas. It wouldn't have been as crucial to hold as it was in 1960.

It would have been a tricky exercise. LBJ had all those MIC connections and Dame Edgar in his corner.

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