Yes, it was a conspiracy, but a necessary one; we're better off
Oswald killed JFK
JFK was killed by the CIA/military and Texas oil, with mob assistance
JFK is not dead
JFK was never actually President, and Oswald was a hologram
Kennedy should have stayed out of Moldavia
Castro did it
Kristin did it
Saturday, May 5, 2012 1:00 PM UTC
Watergate’s final mystery
Underneath the media's obsession with the scandal lies the neglected story of the CIA's role
By Jefferson Morley
Journalists are obsessing over Watergate again. Debate exploded this week over a new biography of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, excerpted in New York magazine. It suggests the legendary editor privately doubted aspects of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s reporting that helped bring about the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
The story prompted a strong denial from Woodward, a demurral from Bradlee, an online chat at Poynter and a Daily Beast story by independent scholar Max Holland, who argues Woodward and Bernstein’s book about the scandal, “All the President’s Men,” is “a fairly tale, albeit a compelling one.” After hyping the story for a couple of days, Politico then dismissed it as “a storm in a Washington teacup.”
Not quite. As Reuters columnist and Watergate buff Jack Shafer points out, “Watergate is the Ur-journalism story.” It is a true tale that defines the profession’s imagination and its relation to Washington power. But this latest round at the Watergate cooler has been stronger on the Ur- than the journalism, focusing more on the implications of Woodward and Bradlee’s thinking than on the abuses of power that they sought to uncover.
That’s too bad. If Watergate still matters, it is because the story tells us something about the intersection of power and journalism in Washington. The ur-personalities of these veteran newsmen are important but so are new facts, and recent revelations illuminate one aspect of the story that is often overlooked: the role of the CIA.
Woodward acknowledged as much in what is perhaps the single most interesting Watergate revelation of recent years. In June 2007, the CIA released most of the so-called “Family Jewels,” a long-suppressed internal report on the agency’s abuses of power. The newly declassified documents, Woodward wrote in the Post, showed in “telling detail” how the CIA, under the leadership of director Richard Helms, served as “the perfect Watergate enabler.”
The Helms/Nixon relationship lies at the heart of the Watergate story. Nixon, of course, was a paranoid genius, a master of resentment politics at home and geopolitical maneuvering abroad. Helms, his long-serving director of Central Intelligence, was the epitome of a CIA man in the Cold War: correct, discreet and ruthless.
The CIA’s involvement in Watergate, Woodward noted, “is one of the murkiest parts of the story.” He and Bernstein didn’t write about it much in “All the President’s Men,” not because they didn’t have suspicions but because they could not pin the story down. Howard Baker, vice chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, likened the Agency’s role to “animals crashing around in the forest — you can hear them but you can’t see them.” And Helms’ role was especially elusive. Said Baker: “Nixon and Helms had so much on each other that neither one of them could breathe.”
Thanks to the release of the “Family Jewels” report and an extraordinary collection of 11 conversations between Helms and Nixon in 1971-73 (first published online in 2009) we can see (and hear) what Nixon and Helms had on each other: knowledge of the other guy’s record of ”dirty tricks.”
Plenty of people suspected this at the time. The Agency’s fingerprints were evident in the botched burglary at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment complex. It was well known that five of the seven burglars had worked for the CIA. Four were Cuban-Americans from Miami involved in the Bay of Pigs operation. It was less well-known that the two ringleaders, James McCord and Howard Hunt, were career officers who had been personally close to Helms for more than a decade.
In his 2007 Post story, Woodward revealed that McCord had written the CIA director after his arrest in June 1972, seeking assistance. Another senior Agency official told Helms that he “felt strongly” that the letter should be turned over to the FBI, which was supposedly conducting a rigorous investigation of Watergate.
“It was a critical moment in the Watergate probe,” Woodward wrote, “with Nixon seeking reelection that fall and desperate to keep the botched burglary from spoiling his chances.” He went to write:
McCord’s letter to the CIA could have been important evidence; according to later testimony, he was seeking assistance from the CIA, where he had worked for decades, and was on the verge of blowing the whistle about Watergate, as he did months later in a famous March 21, 1973, letter to Judge John J. Sirica.
Instead, Helms told the FBI nothing. Investigators never learned the story and Woodward and Bernstein could never shake Helms’ dubious denials of any connection to the burglars, whom the Agency blandly portrayed as “retired” employees acting on their own.
In hindsight, Woodward wrote that Helms “was anything but forthcoming.”
“The CIA had no involvement in the break-in. No involvement whatever,” Helms testified to the Senate Watergate committee on Aug. 2, 1973. “The agency had nothing to do with the Watergate break-in,” he added. “And I hope all the newsmen in the room hear me clearly now.”
You get the feeling Woodward felt Helms was personally lecturing him. (I left a message for Woodward requesting comment; he did not respond.)
The question, Woodward wrote in 2007, was, “What could have Helms known?”
One possibility, he said, was that he knew Howard Hunt was carrying out burglaries for the president. Another document made public in 2007 showed that Hunt had sent a memo to the CIA two months before the Watergate burglary seeking to hire a former CIA employee “accomplished at picking locks.” Helms, Woodward suggested, might have gotten wind of what Hunt was doing.
The question of what Helms knew about Watergate still matters because, amazingly enough, after 40 years later, we still don’t know who ordered the burglary or why. As Shafer told the Poynter discussion, “I’ve read all the books, listened to all the lectures, and even eaten dinner in the Watergate and I don’t know why Nixon’s people broke into the DNC twice and bugged it.”
What is certain is that Helms knew Hunt was working for the White House as early as April 1971. In response to Nixon’s pestering, Helms had offered the president two CIA reports on the failed Bay of Pigs operation in 1961 and a report about the assassination of South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963. Nixon was looking for facts that would impugn the reputation of President John F. Kennedy and thus harm the presidential ambitions of the martyred president’s younger brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy who was expected to run for president in 1972.
“Obviously, I’m going to hand this stuff over to the President,” Helms told Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, “but I’d be terribly glad if you would get his backing not to share it with a lot of the staff of there. For example, I know that Howard Hunt has been doing some work. There’s nothing he’d like better than, as an old Agency hand to run around in some of the soiled linen there is around here, in the garbage cans and so forth.”
Here you can almost hear the clench-jawed East Coast mandarin that Helms was — “terribly glad” and “soiled linen” and all that — doing his damnedest to suck up to the president. The Nixon-Helms collaboration deepened in October 1971 when Nixon summoned the CIA director to the White House. Before the meeting, Ehrlichman briefed Nixon why Helms’ was visiting: He had “dirty line” to share. He said the CIA director had told him
that his relationship with past presidents had been such that he would not feel comfortable about releasing some of this very, very dirty linen to anyone without first talking it through with you because he was sure that when you became a former president you would want to feel that whoever was at the Agency was protecting your interest in a similar fashion.
Ehrlichman also reminded Nixon of Helms’ concerns about Howard Hunt, the White House “consultant.”
“Helms is scared to death of this guy Hunt that we got working for us because he knows where a lot of the bodies are buried,” he said.
When Helms arrived in the Oval Office, Nixon wasted no time in assuring him that he would keep the secrets of the CIA, which he called without irony, the “Dirty Tricks Department.” Nixon said:
“I know what happened in Iran [CIA-sponsored coup in 1953] and I also know what happened in Guatemala [CIA-sponsored coup in 1954] and I totally approve of both. I also know what happened at the Bay of Pigs [the failed invasion to overthrow socialist Fidel Castro in 1961], which was planned under Eisenhower. I totally approved of it. The problem was not the CIA. …
Nixon wanted it to be known that he could be trusted to defend the agency.
My interest there is solely to know the facts in the event that as time goes on here, things heat up, and this becomes an issue. That is what I want you to understand regarding any information.I need it for a defensive reason … “
Then, in his abrupt, awkward way, Nixon launched into a soliloquy about what political controversies the documents might shed light on:
Who shot John? Is Eisenhower to blame? Is Johnson to blame? Is Kennedy to blame? Is Nixon to blame?
In the context of a negotiation over sensitive government records from the early 1960s, Nixon’s aside — “Who shot John?” — could only have been a reference to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. But if Nixon was implying that the CIA might have something to hide on the question of who ambushed the liberal president in Dealey Plaza, he was also assuring Helms he would keep the Agency’s secrets.
“I need to know what is necessary to protect frankly, the intelligence gathering and the Dirty Tricks Department and I will protect it,” Nixon said. “I have done more than my share of protection, and I think it’s totally right to do it.
Helms sensed his opportunity and spoke for the first time. He had an offering.
“Sir, as a matter of fact the reason that I want to speak …” he began. Helms said he had found a previously unknown document about the assassination of Diem in South Vietnam in 1963.
“When I saw this document I thought to myself, ‘This is the kind of document that I would be rather irresponsible if I didn’t go to the president and tell him what this document was,’” Helms explained. “I’ve got it right here. It’s got extracts from State Department cables, Defense Department cables …”
Helms passed the documents to Nixon. Nixon didn’t get anything with “who shot John” but he get a lot of who shot Diem (rival generals) and he might be able to use that against the hated Teddy Kennedy. The meeting ending on a satisfactory note for both men.
Nixon then passed the Diem cables to aide Chuck Colson (whose recent death was another blast from the Watergate past) who gave them to none other than Howard Hunt. A veteran undercover officer and dirty tricks specialist who loathed President Kennedy, Hunt doctored the cables to create the impression that JFK was complicit in the assassination of Diem, a pro-American despot. The forged documents were then shown to a Life magazine writer in the hopes of creating problems for Ted Kennedy’s expected presidential candidacy. Life magazine turned down the story, perhaps because the animus behind the story was so transparent. Hunt moved on to other missions for the White House. The story of the doctored Diem cables was later uncovered by Watergate investigators but Helms’ supporting role remained obscure.
Helms and Nixon had forged an effective partnership. They spoke at least five more times in the coming months. On June 16, 1972, Nixon called him to tell about certain secret CIA operations involving Mexican President Luis Echeverria, the details of which are still secret. So when Hunt and other former CIA men were arrested at the Watergate the next day, Nixon simply assumed the CIA director would help him stonewall the investigation.
“We’ve protected Helms from a hell of a lot of things,” Nixon told his chief of staff H.R. Haldeman on June 23, 1972. He wanted to remind Helms that the investigation might lead to Cuba-related revelations that would harm the CIA.
“You open that scab and there’s a hell of a lot of things,” Nixon went on, “and we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have things go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves.”
Nixon could be sure Helms would know what he was talking about. He had been seeking sensitive CIA reports about the Bay of Pigs operations for more than a year; Hunt was a leading figure in that operation. In his 1979 memoir, Haldeman speculated that Nixon was tacitly reminding Helms of two extraordinarily sensitive issues: the CIA’s plots to kill Fidel Castro and the assassination of JFK. The Oct. 8, 1971, tape lends credence to the notion. If Nixon had offered to protect the Agency’s interests on “who shot John” then surely Helms would cooperate with the White House in smoothing over what his press secretary described as a “third rate burglary.”
Nixon assumed wrong. “This has nothing to do with the Bay of Pigs,” the normally calm Helms shouted at Haldeman, who was surprised as his rage. Helms was a canny bureaucratic operator who was sensitive about Cuba and assassinations. He knew he could not block the FBI’s investigation without risk to his own position and he saw no reason why he should. Hunt was a useful scoundrel whose screw-ups were legendary but whose loyalty to the Agency was assured. Publicly and privately, Helms maintained the fiction that the Agency knew nothing of Hunt’s proclivities — and he kept very quiet about his own back channel to McCord. As Nixon and his aides scrambled to cover up the White House’s “dirty tricks,” the FBI — and the young reporters at the Washington Post — began to unravel the story, albeit without much insight into Helms’ role as enabler.
The secrets that Nixon and Helms shared exerted invisible gravitational force on the unfolding scandal. From his jail cell, Hunt let it be known that he would talk about his knowledge of “highly illegal conspiracies” at the CIA unless he was paid off. To underscore his point, he then published a memoir of the Bay of Pigs operation, “Give Us This Day,” which opened with a denunciation of President Kennedy for his “shameful” failure to support the Agency’s anti-Castro rebels. His point was blunt and subtly ominous: if JFK had backed the CIA venture, he might not have been killed by an allegedly pro-Castro gunman in Dallas. Hunt was not one to get sentimental about the playboy president’s bloody end in Dallas. Like others in the CIA, he thought JFK was a contemptible weakling who had it coming. The “whole Bay of Pigs thing” was fraught indeed.
Amid such black intrigue, the spymaster proved more agile than the president. Helms avoided talking about what he knew of Hunt’s service to the White House while Nixon succumbed to the burglar’s blackmail, ordering aides to raise money to pay off Hunt for his silence. The CIA man cultivated Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham as a social friend. Nixon enmeshed himself further in the scandal.
Nixon and Helms parted ways in December 1972. Nixon forced the CIA director to resign; Helms extracted an ambassadorship so that his exit from Washington would not be tainted with Watergate or presidential disfavor. Besieged by investigators and the press, Nixon resigned 20 months later. Helms had to plead guilty to charges of lying to Congress about a CIA assassination conspiracy in Chile. But admiring colleagues rallied to his defense and, he was never held accountable for the Agency’s deeply suspicious role in the intelligence failure that culminated in the crime of Dallas. Thanks to the forgiving culture of Washington, both men outlasted their notoriety in the 1970s and lived out their lives as controversial but ultimately respectable statesmen.
The Shakespearean struggle of Richard Nixon and Dick Helms is central to the Watergate story. It speaks a volume about the covert workings of power in Washington and is still shrouded in official secrecy 40 years later. (For example, the JFK Assassination Records Collection at the National Archives contains 366 pages of CIA documents on Howard Hunt that have never been made public.) But the unfinished story of the CIA and Watergate fits awkwardly in the annals of the scandal. Its implications eluded the best journalists of a generation and its legacy is not reassuring to readers.
Jefferson Morley is a staff writer for Salon in Washington and author of the forthcoming book, Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 (Nan Talese/Doubleday).
Not to be confused with another JFK assassination conspiracy tome, "Dr Mary's Monkey"...
BEVERLY — Next year marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, inviting a fresh deluge of books, articles, and documentaries about JFK’s murder and legacy, a legacy colored by ongoing revelations of Kennedy’s many extramarital affairs.
It’s doubtful, though, that any forthcoming book will get more personal, or more conspiracy-minded, than the new one produced by Peter Janney, 64, a Beverly psychologist and first-time author.
Janney’s 548-page tome, “Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace,” reads like a John Grisham thriller crossed with an Oliver Stone movie. Its sprawling narrative offers spies galore, missing documents, a sprinkling of Georgetown glitter, Cold War geopolitics, and even a role for LSD guru Timothy Leary.
Yet Janney maintains that his book is neither fictional nor far-fetched, based upon what he knows about the life and times of Mary Meyer, whose 1964 slaying in a Washington, D.C., park remains officially unsolved.
“She was not just another sexual fling for Kennedy,” Janney said in an interview at his home. “Theirs was really a substantial relationship.”
Such was Meyer’s impact on Kennedy, Janney maintains, that she helped soften his hard-line Cold War mentality, steering the president toward a vision of world peace before an assassin cut him down.
Janney is not the first to reveal details about the Kennedy-Meyer relationship; other published works have documented it. It’s no secret, either, that Meyer, an artist and aristocrat with a bohemian bent, had befriended Leary in the early 1960s and had touted the virtues of psychedelic drugs. Well-publicized, too, was the trial of her accused killer, a black man named Ray Crump, which transfixed Washington in 1965. Crump was found not guilty and the gun used to kill Meyer never recovered, leaving many unanswered questions of who killed Meyer and why.
For years after Meyer’s murder, Janney writes, he was haunted by her memory, and by his own childhood connection to the Meyer family, fueling his drive to see this project through.
Not only had his parents and the Meyers been close friends, but both his father, Wistar Janney, and Mary’s husband, Cord Meyer, were high-ranking CIA officials. The social circles in which they moved included powerful politicians, journalists, and government officials. And among the most glamorous women in that Camelot-era circle were the Pinchot sisters, Mary and Tony.
Among Janney’s theories is this jaw-dropper: that Wistar, who died in 1979, knew in advance that Meyer had been targeted for murder – a murder ordered by the CIA because Meyer had read the Warren Commission Report on JFK’s assassination, disbelieved its findings, and was prepared to say so publicly. The report, released to the public three weeks before Meyer was killed, blamed JFK’s murder on Lee Harvey Oswald alone and not on some broader conspiracy.
Janney sees history differently. He’s convinced that the CIA, feeling threatened by Kennedy’s mistrust of the agency after the Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba, conspired to have the president killed, then eliminated Meyer as part of a coverup.
“The whole scene around Mary’s murder was orchestrated by the CIA, and my father was part of the team,” Janney said. Like a Greek tragedy, he added, “the sins of the father are being visited on the son.”
Janney says he and his father grew apart in the 1960s and ’70s, largely over differences about the Vietnam War and the CIA’s role in it. Is it possible that their estrangement hardened or distorted his view of who had motive to kill Meyer?
“I’ve done a lot of work on myself, in therapy and elsewhere,” Janney said. “My identity isn’t centered around my family, or loyalty to them.” Friends tried to dissuade him from plunging into this story, he added, “but I reached the point where I felt, history matters. Truth matters. If our country won’t confront the mistakes we’ve made, we’re destined to keep making them. I really believe that.”
A young life in Washington
Janney’s journey to authorship began, in a sense, in the Washington of his childhood, a world peopled with figures like Benjamin Bradlee, the future Washington Post executive editor, and CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton, another family friend. Mary Meyer’s sister, Tony Pinchot, was married to Bradlee, who was also personally close to Jack and Jackie Kennedy.
Janney left D.C. for prep school in 1962 and then went on to Princeton. He later earned a doctorate from Boston University and practiced psychology in the Cambridge area for two decades. In 2003, frustrated by the impact of managed health care on his practice, he earned an MBA from Duke University, then worked for a nanotechnology company. Yet he kept circling back to the Kennedy-Meyer saga, he says, drawn by other researchers who’d embarked on the same mission.
One was Nina Burleigh, who interviewed Janney for her 1998 book, “A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer.” While Janney was dissatisfied with many of the book’s conclusions — principally, that Crump had killed Meyer and gotten away with it – he optioned its film rights. He collaborated on a screenplay, but a movie deal never came to fruition.
Another author, Leo Damore, met with Janney in 1992 while working on his own Meyer project. Damore had written a bestseller about Senator Edward Kennedy and Chappaquiddick, and he was hot on the trail of Meyer’s killer, or so he confided to Janney. Damore never finished his book, however. In 1995 he committed suicide. Years later, Janney bought Damore’s research files, using them as the basis for “Mary’s Mosaic.”
Falmouth attorney James H. Smith was among those encouraging Janney to keep digging. Smith worked for the Kennedy family years ago and knew Damore well. Now 82, he never believed the Warren Commission’s version of JFK’s murder, says Smith today, and finds nothing outlandish in Janney’s the-CIA-did-it scenario.
“I think Peter’s hit a home run,” Smith said.
According to both Janney and Smith, Damore had come to believe that Meyer’s killer was a man named William Mitchell. A shadowy figure who testified for the prosecution at Crump’s trial, Mitchell had been in the park at the time of Meyer’s murder yet had vanished in the wind after the trial; efforts to locate him through military records, phone book listings, and other means proved futile. Missing, too, by various accounts, is Meyer’s personal diary, whose whereabouts and contents are yet another piece of the JFK-Meyer puzzle.
In his 1995 memoir, Bradlee recalled hurrying to Meyer’s house and then her studio, frantically trying to locate the diary. Twice he found Angleton already there, on the same quest. A notebook of Meyer’s containing sketches and some writing was discovered by Bradlee, who turned the document over to Angleton. It was then, Bradlee wrote, that he first learned of her affair with JFK. Yet many, including Janney, believe another diary exists, containing far more detail about Kennedy, their relationship, and why he, too, was murdered.
Most key figures in Janney’s book are long gone. James Angleton died in 1987, Cord Meyer in 2001, Tony Pinchot Bradlee just last year. In 2007, Janney interviewed Ben Bradlee but says his memory of long-ago events was not that sharp. Now 90, Bradlee, through a family member, had no comment on Janney’s book.
Janney has also sent copies of the book to congressional leaders and Justice Department officials, asking that Meyer’s murder be reinvestigated. He’s had no response.
“Mary’s Mosaic” is published by Skyhorse Publishing, an independent, New York firm founded in 2006. In addition to sports, nature, and business books, Skyhorse has also published other conspiracy-minded titles such as “LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination” by Phillip F. Nelson, “O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It,” by William C. Dear, and “American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us,” by Jesse Ventura and Dick Russell.
Associate publisher Bill Wolfsthal said Skyhorse took on Janney’s book because it “brought something new to the table,” tying Meyer’s murder to JFK’s and to lingering suspicions about covert CIA operations. “Peter doesn’t prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Wolfsthal acknowledged. “But whether you believe in conspiracy or not, it’s a fascinating read.”
Janney has his doubters, certainly. Nina Burleigh, for one, posted a long review of Janney’s book on the Daily Beast website. Reaffirming her belief that Crump most likely killed Meyer, she wrote that any proof linking the CIA with the murders of JFK and Meyer “may always be tantalizingly out of reach.”
Journalist Tim Weiner, who covered the CIA for 20 years and wrote “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA,” is even more skeptical.
“You could fill a five-foot shelf with books theorizing the CIA played a role in Kennedy’s assassination,” Weiner said, calling such efforts “hearsay, innuendo, gossip, and nonsense.”
In fact, says Weiner, there are legitimate reasons to question the Warren Report and its findings about Oswald — but not, he says, to accuse the CIA of conducting domestic assassinations. “The bottom line is, there’s not a shred of evidence – none — that the CIA ever killed anyone in this country.”
Janney, however, said he is comfortable with the scenario he’s laid out, no matter how it treats his father, a career CIA man allegedly involved in a conspiracy that cost Mary Meyer her life.
“I’m sure,” said Janney, “that on some level, it troubled him.”
© Copyright 2012 Globe Newspaper Company.
Gee, Weiner might help his credibility without issuing lines like: “The bottom line is, there’s not a shred of evidence – none — that the CIA ever killed anyone in this country.”
So now they're claiming the CIA never killed anybody domestically, much less Kennedy.
The details regarding Diem's assassination is fresh in my memory as I just finished reading a book you'd recommended last year - JFK And The Unspeakable. The book is fantastic as it weaves all the threads together, I really liked how Douglass takes the reader through all the events leading to the assassination and it's immediate aftermath including the message the Kennedy family sent to the Russians.
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It's sad that NYT didn't give any importance to this book, it's truely fascinating.
An article in the Baltimore Post-Examiner July 2 2012 similar to the Salon article.
Nixon, Watergate, and the JFK assassination
Nixon, Watergate, and the JFK assassination
Was Richard Nixon afraid that the Watergate scandal would reveal the killers of John F. Kennedy?
Dozens of stories have been written recently commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. The journalistic heroes of the story, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, published a lengthy piece in the Washington Post detailing Nixon’s war on the Constitution, on the press, on democracy.
But the most tantalizing aspect of Watergate has been ignored: The possibility that Nixon worried that the investigation could reveal the truth behind the JFK assassination.
JFK and Nixon during the presidential debates in 1960
To a large extent, Nixon did himself in by taping his White House conversations. The famous Watergate tapes revealed him to be duplicitious, paranoid and profane. One particular recording may also reveal that the president was fearful that the unfolding scandal could lead to a story far bigger than slush funds or political dirty tricks.
The bungled break-in at the Democratic National Committee office, at the Watergate hotel complex, occurred on June 17, 1972. Less than a week later, on June 23, Nixon engaged in an intense conversation with one of his top aides, H.R. Haldeman.
A transcript of the conversation shows the two talking about how to contain the investigation.
Nixon refers to the Bay of Pigs
At one point, Nixon says, “When you get these people, when you get these people in, say, ‘Look, the problem is that this will open the whole Bay of Pigs thing *…”
At another point in the same conversation, Nixon says, “this is a Hunt, you will – that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab and there’s a hell of a lot of things that we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this going further.”
E. Howard Hunt
Hunt was E. Howard Hunt, a longtime CIA operative and one of the Watergate burglars.
In his memoir, Haldeman wrote that he believed “Bay of Pigs” was Nixon’s coded way of referring to the JFK assassination.
Bay of Pigs – the botched invasion by CIA-trained Cuban exiles – occurred on April 17, 1961, during JFK’s first few months in office. It was a plan JFK had inherited from the Eisenhower administration.
An initial U.S. air strike was ineffectual, and failed to knock out Cuba’s Air Force. JFK refused to call in a second air attack. The invaders were crushed. About 100 were killed by Cuban forces, and more than 1,200 were captured.
The aftermath was toxic. Military hawks were enraged at the president for not calling in more air support. JFK was livid at the CIA, which he vowed to “splinter into a thousand pieces.”* Hatred is too polite a word for what anti-Castro Cubans felt toward JFK.
From left: James W. McCord,Virgilio Gonzalez, Frank A. Sturgis,Eugenio R. Martinez, Bernard L. Barker.
Nixon was not in office when the Bay of Pigs played out. Why would he refer to it when talking about the Watergate break-in?
In the decades since JFK’s assassination, a mythic golden hue has been cast over him and his administration. He is a Democratic Party icon. His image is mounted in the living rooms of admirers from Boston to East Los Angeles.
Some dangerous people hated JFK
But at the time he was killed, JFK was reviled by a number of forces: Cuban exiles who felt betrayed, arch-conservatives who hated his stance on civil rights, mobsters who* were livid that the administration’s Justice Department, led by the president’s brother Robert, was going after organized crime. There were probably hundreds of people at the time who would have stood in line to take a shot at JFK.
The initial official story, dispensed via the Warren Commission, contended that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, used a World War II-era Italian-made Mannlicher-Carcano*rifle to fatally shoot JFK from the sixth floor of the Texas Bookstore Repository on Nov. 22, 1963.
Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.
The idea that Oswald killed JFK is not only preposterous, it is an insult to anyone who takes a few minutes to study the evidence.
At its core, the assassination was a homicide, a crime. As with any crime, one needs to follow the evidence. The Warren Commission released a 888-page report that claimed to prove Oswald killed JFK.
An untenable official theory
As one Warren Commission critic put it, the commission’s findings are a series of small and medium lies, based on one big lie: The magic bullet theory.
Boiled down, the magic bullet theory – authored by former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter, who was a commission staffer – holds that Oswald fired three shots at a moving target in six seconds. FBI sharpshooters were unable to duplicate this feat with that weapon.
The most preposterous aspect of the theory holds that one bullet strafed through the back of the president’s neck, stopped in mid-air, turned, went through Texas Sen. John Connally’s wrist and chest, and finally through the senator’s thigh.* The alleged bullet was “discovered,” hours later, in pristine condition on a stretcher at the Dallas hospital JFK and Connally were taken to.
Fired bullets do not change direction in mid-air. Bullets which pass through muscle and bone do not remain in pristine condition. For the magic bullet theory to work, the laws of physics, for starters, would have had to have not been in effect.
And then there’s the Zapruder film, which show’s JFK’s head snapping backward when the fatal bullet strikes his cranium. The footage clearly indicates the fatal shot was fired from in front, probably from the infamous grassy knoll.
The public has never bought the Warren Commission findings
The American public had serious doubts about the official account from the beginning. Those doubts have not dissipated with time. In 2004, a Fox News poll found that 66 percent of the American public believed JFK was killed as part of a conspiracy, and 75 percent believed there was a cover-up.
Sen. Arlen Specter of the Warren Commission reproducing the assumed alignment of the single bullet theory. (Wikpedia)
Most likely, JFK was killed by a collaboration of anti-Castro Cubans, the Mob, and CIA operatives. There is no doubt security people were involved. Moments after the shooting, a Dallas police officer ran toward the grassy knoll. He was met by a man in a suit who flashed what appeared to be official credentials. The man said he was with the Secret Service and told the cop the area was covered.* The Secret Service did not have anyone assigned to that area. That’s not a Mob move.
The cover-up included the killing of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby, a Mob-connected strip club owner. Initially, Ruby explained he killed Oswald – in front of a passel of cops – to spare JFK’s widow, Jackie, from having to go through a trial. Please. *A couple of years later, Ruby told the Warren Commission he would tell what he knew, but he begged to be moved out of Texas. The commission didn’t take him up on his offer.
As researchers and authors dug into the assassination, much suspicion fell on CIA man Hunt. There is a famous photograph of three so-called tramps who were near the assassination scene and were briefly detained by Dallas police. Some researchers have argued that Hunt was one of the three.
Some people are skeptical that such a huge crime could be kept under wraps for so long. The fact is, it really hasn’t been kept secret. For whatever reason, the mainstream press has, almost universally, simply not pursued the story.
Over time, significant aspects of what really happened have been revealed:
In 1978, an article by the Spotlight, a weekly publication of the hard-right organization (now defunct) the Liberty Lobby, implicated Hunt in the JFK hit. Hunt sued for defamation. In a civil trial a few years later, the Liberty Lobby was defended by JFK assassination researcher Mark Lane, a Washington, D.C., attorney. Lane won.
In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, after a lengthy probe which included public hearings, determined that JFK was “likely” killed as the result of a conspiracy.
In 2007,*Rolling Stone*reported on the deathbed confession of Hunt, who died in January of that year. In a series of tape recorded talks with his son, St. John Hunt (known as “Saint”), the dying spy named about a half-dozen CIA operatives. He minimized his own involvement, and suggested Lyndon B. Johnson spearheaded the cover-up.
In 2009, a book revealed that Carlos Marcello, the Mafia kingpin of Texas and Louisiana, declared following the assassination, “Yeah, I had the son of a bitch killed. I’m glad I did. I’m sorry I couldn’t have done it myself!” The admission was contained in FBI files and was contained in a book, “Legacy of Secrecy,” by Lamar Waldron.
Based on the evidence, it is likely that JFK was killed by a coalition of anti-Castro Cubans, the Mob, and elements of the CIA. There are some excellent books which detail the events surrounding the killing, including “Conspiracy” by former BBC correspondent Anthony Summers and “Plausible Denial” by Lane, the attorney who defended the Liberty Lobby.
Out of context, Nixon’s reference in the Watergate tapes to the Bay of Pigs may sound like a non-sequiter.*As the evidence shows, there is plenty of context.* Nixon may well have feared that the Watergate scandal could have led to the truth about the JFK assassination.
(CNN) -- Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who embodied a dying breed of liberal Republicanism before switching to the Democratic Party at the twilight of his political career, died Sunday after a long battle with cancer, his family announced.
Specter died of complications from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at his home in Philadelphia, his family said. He was 82.
The veteran Pennsylvania politician had overcome numerous serious illnesses over the past two decades, including a brain tumor and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He had been in the public eye since serving as a member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Specter was elected to the Senate in 1980 and represented Pennsylvania for 30 years, longer than anyone in the state's history. His politically moderate image fit hand-in-glove with the politically blue Northeast, both its Democratic centrists and its liberal Republicans.
March: Specter's funny side of politics He was also one of America's most prominent Jewish politicians, a rare Republican in a category dominated by Democrats over the decades. And his name is synonymous with Pennsylvania, an idiosyncratic state that pushes and pulls between the two parties, and his home, the staunchly Democratic city of Philadelphia.
In 2006, Philadelphia magazine called him "One of the few true wild cards of Washington politics ... reviled by those on both the right and the left."
"Charming and churlish, brilliant and pedantic, he can be fiercely independent, entertainingly eccentric, and simply maddening," the profile read.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, called Specter "a mentor, colleague and a political institution" who "did more for the people of Pennsylvania over his more than 30-year career with the possible exception of Benjamin Franklin." And Pat Toomey, the Republican who now holds Specter's old Senate seat, praised him as "a man of sharp intelligence and dogged determination."
And at the White House, President Barack Obama said Specter "was always a fighter."
"From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent -- never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve," Obama said in a written statement on Specter's death. "He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others."
G. Terry Madonna, director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll and professor of pubic affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, said Frank Sinatra's song "My Way" could apply to Specter.
"There isn't any doubt in many respects he was an unusual politician," Madonna said. "He didn't look at polls. He didn't track how his comments were playing out in the press. ...
"He was fundamentally a pragmatist who could bend with the times," Madonna said, and he believed greatly that government could help people.
"The Republicanism in his day, it was a different kind of Republican. He was a Philadelphian, and not into that staunchly conservative Republicanism that we see" today.
Madonna called Specter an "indefatigable" public figure, highly demanding of both himself and those who worked for him over the years. He had a few election losses but he was undeterred by defeat, the prospects of losing and the challenges he faced.
"The last thing you would have thought about Arlen Specter was that he was born in Kansas," Madonna said. "He always came across as kind of urbane. He had a kind of caustic sense of humor."
But Specter in fact was born in Wichita, the youngest child of Lillie Shanin and Harry Specter, an immigrant from Ukraine. He grew up in Russell, Kansas, also the hometown of another Republican icon, a one-time presidential nominee and senator, Bob Dole.
After graduating from Russell High School in 1947, Specter first went to the University of Oklahoma. But he eventually went east for his higher education. He earned a bachelor's degree in international relations in 1951 from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
He was in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, serving as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He returned to his studies and graduated from Yale Law School in 1956.
After Yale, he started practicing law and became an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.
He served on the Warren Commission at the recommendation of Rep. Gerald Ford, later president. Specter is credited with co-authoring the "single bullet theory," which suggested that some of the wounds to Kennedy and then-Texas Gov. John Connally were caused by the same bullet.
Even though he was a registered Democrat, Specter ran successfully for Philadelphia district attorney on the Republican ticket in 1965 and eventually registered as a Republican. He lost an election for Philadelphia mayor in 1967.
He served as district attorney until 1974 and prosecuted corruption cases against Philadelphia magistrates and Teamsters.
Specter ran for the U.S. Senate in 1976, but was defeated in the Republican primary by John Heinz. He ran for governor but was defeated by Dick Thornburgh in the primary.
But he won his bid for Senate in 1980, and distinguished himself, serving until 2011.
"During his tenure in the Senate, Specter championed Pennsylvania's economy and took an active interest in foreign affairs, meeting with dozens of world leaders as well as supporting appropriations to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and backing free trade agreements between the U.S. and under-developed countries," according to a bio from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
He served on the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he was chairman from 2005 to 2007. He served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1995 to 1997. And he was a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Specter brought more financial resources to Pennsylvania than anyone in the state, working with mayors and other local leaders to help them get grants and aid, Madonna said. And he's remembered across the state's 67 counties for his efforts.
"He didn't shy away from pork," Madonna said.
He participated in the confirmation hearings of 14 U.S. Supreme Court nominees, the Penn bio says. He is remembered for leading the charge against conservative nominee Robert Bork and going after Anita Hill, who accused nominee Clarence Thomas of harassment.
"No member of Congress shaped the Supreme Court more than he did," Madonna said. "He had a prosecutorial mindset. He could be incredibly persuasive as an interrogator."
Specter straddled right and left. He criticized Republicans for President Clinton's impeachment and voted in favor of the Iraq war. He supported embryonic stem cell research.
During the 1990s, he briefly announced a run for president but eventually dropped the effort and endorsed Bob Dole.
Despite his longtime membership in the Republican Party, Specter became more alienated from the party as it grew more conservative.
Like many of his moderate compatriots, he came to be viewed by the new conservatives as a RINO -- a Republican in Name Only. Decades after he switched to the Republican Party, he changed his stripes again. He became a Democrat in 2009, saying Republicans had moved too far to the right and embraced social conservatism.
The move gave Democrats a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. But in 2010, when he ran for re-election, Specter lost the Democratic primary to Rep. Joe Sestak.
Sestak, who went on to lose the race to Toomey, praised Specter via Twitter as "a warrior of inestimable public service."
After the loss, Specter moved from the halls of Congress to those of academia, taking on a new role at the University of Pennsylvania Law School as an adjunct professor.
"Arlen's knowledge of the inner workings of the government and lawmaking is second to none," said Michael Fitts, the law school's dean. "The insight he brings from his career in public service, particularly as a leader on judicial issues, will be invaluable to our students as they prepare for their own careers in the law."
The senator practiced law when he wasn't in office and authored books throughout his career, including:
-- "Passion for Truth: From Finding JFK's Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton"
-- "Never Give In: Battling Cancer in the Senate"
-- "Life Among the Cannibals: A Political Career, a Tea Party Uprising, and the End of Governing As We Know It"
"For the past quarter-century, he's also been a Zelig-like national figure," the Philadelphia magazine article said, referring to the Woody Allen character from the film of the same name who changed his persona as his surroundings and circumstances changed.
"From his role in sinking Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination to his cross-examination of Anita Hill, from stem-cell research to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, Specter's greatest talent may be his unique ability to put himself -- somehow, some way -- in the center of the nation's most important debates," the article said.
CNN's Sarah Hoye in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
This conspiracy theory seems to have a bit more teeth than others- unlike the plainly ridiculous Roswell- there are unanswered questions, it seems, it would not surprise me if more information came to light, but I think it's possible it's just like they said it was- either way, it would not surprise me, he was a pretty shady character to begin with. In the end, it doesn't really matter much, only to those obsessed one way or another with it- and there are plenty of those people around. Thankfully, I have managed to stay free of all that and focused a lot of my energy on minute details about old 80's nighttime soaps.
Oliver Stone on his new Showtime documentary series 'Untold History of the United States'
by Solvej Schou
Oliver Stone has more than tackled — he’s practically smothered himself — in controversial politics on film, from directing 1986′s Vietnam classic Platoon to features about presidents (Nixon, JFK, W.) to Wall Street, its sequel, multiple documentaries on Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and beyond. So when Stone told journalists at a small press dinner EW attended on Monday night celebrating next week’s Blu-ray release of his latest film Savages about his upcoming Showtime documentary series Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, he sounded uncharacteristically nervous.
He’s worked on the ten-episode TV series — which premieres its first episode next Tuesday, Nov. 12 — since February 2008, for four and a half years.
“You can understand, I’m a little bit on edge,” said Stone. “I’ve delivered seven episodes, but eight’s almost done, and nine and ten are still in the process. When you see one hour, you’ll understand the work that goes into it. It’s like ten movies.”
The episodes delve into what Stone sees an under-reported events throughout the 20th century, from the bombing of Japan during World War II to the fall of Communism. He worked with Peter Kuznick, a history professor at American University.
“It started as an atomic bomb movie, because I was born in that age,” Stone said. “We thought it would make a great film, but it would also make a great documentary. … Because of Bush, it was 2008, and I was so upset with the nightmare our country was going through. I decided to expand it to understand George Bush, and how he could get away with this. As crooked as the 2000 election was, with the 2004 election, ‘How could we vote the guy into office for what he’s done?’”
A passion project, the series was a long, twisty road, diverging him from movies.
“It detoured me from my film career,” Stone acknowledged. “I could have done five movies in those years instead of three. But I’ll be back, I hope.”
Last edited by SnarkyOracle!; 11-07-2012 at 04:25 PM.
Dallas to mark 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination with memorial ceremony
Dallas is planning a major public memorial ceremony in 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination at Dealey Plaza, it was announced Tuesday.
"The tone is very important," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. "We want to mark this day by remembering a great president with a sense of dignity and honor he deserves. The 50th will be a serious, respectful and understated public memorial."
Rawlings said public donations are being taken to cover the cost and no tax money will be used for the event, which will take place on Nov. 22, 2013.
Tickets will be issued for the Dealey Plaza event because organizers expect more people will want to attend than the plaza can safely hold.
A committee appointed by Rawlings is planning the memorial, some details of which are already on an official website.
"I'll never forget the faces of all the weeping women and the men who were just stricken, I mean you can imagine how shocking this was," said Dallas Citizens Council leader Ruth Altshuler, the committee chairperson.
Another murder that same November 1963 day was the killing of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit who was on patrol in Oak Cliff looking for the president's killer.
Witnesses said Lee Harvey Oswald gunned Tippit down before Oswald was eventually arrested at the Texas Theater.
Nearly 49 years later, a memorial to Officer Tippit was unveiled Tuesday at the corner where the shooting occurred.
Attending the dedication was former Dallas police detective Jim Leavelle, who was assigned to Tippit's case. "I think it’s a great honor to Tippit, and he deserves it, and I’m just glad I could be alive to see it," Leavelle said.
Tippit's widow Marie also attended the dedication ceremony. "I think it should be remembered," she said "The president was killed here and Jay was killed here trying to apprehend the killer of the president so I think it should be remembered."
I hate to say this, as it appears to go down the road of the "ridiculous."
But I suspect a lot of this is true:
DALLAS (AP) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is convinced that a lone gunman wasn't solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and said his father believed the Warren Commission report was a "shoddy piece of craftsmanship."
Kennedy and his sister, Rory, spoke about their family Friday night while being interviewed in front of an audience by Charlie Rose at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas. The event comes as a year of observances begins for the 50th anniversary of the president's death.
Their uncle was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, while riding in a motorcade through Dallas. Five years later, their father was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel while celebrating his win in the California Democratic presidential primary.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said his father spent a year trying to come to grips with his brother's death, reading the work of Greek philosophers, Catholic scholars, Henry David Thoreau, poets and others "trying to figure out kind of the existential implications of why a just God would allow injustice to happen of the magnitude he was seeing."
He said his father thought the Warren Commission, which concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president, was a "shoddy piece of craftsmanship." He said that he, too, questioned the report.
"The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman," he said, but he didn't say what he believed may have happened.
Rose asked if he believed his father, the U.S. attorney general at the time of his brother's death, felt "some sense of guilt because he thought there might have been a link between his very aggressive efforts against organized crime."
Kennedy replied: "I think that's true. He talked about that. He publicly supported the Warren Commission report but privately he was dismissive of it."
He said his father had investigators do research into the assassination and found that phone records of Oswald and nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald two days after the president's assassination, "were like an inventory" of mafia leaders the government had been investigating.
He said his father, later elected U.S. senator in New York, was "fairly convinced" that others were involved.
The attorney and well-known environmentalist also told the audience light-hearted stories Friday about memories of his uncle. As a young child with an interest in the environment, he said, he made an appointment with his uncle to speak with him in the Oval Office about pollution.
He'd even caught a salamander to present to the president, which unfortunately died before the meeting.
"He kept saying to me, 'It doesn't look well,'" he recalled.
Rory Kennedy, a documentary filmmaker whose recent film "Ethel" looks at the life of her mother, also focused on the happier memories. She said she and her siblings grew up in a culture where it was important to give back.
"In all of the tragedy and challenge, when you try to make sense of it and understand it, it's very difficult to fully make sense of it," she said. "But I do feel that in everything that I've experienced that has been difficult and that has been hard and that has been loss, that I've gained something in it."
"We were kind of lucky because we lost our members of our family when they were involved in a great endeavor," her brother added. "And that endeavor is to make this country live up to her ideals."
Last edited by SnarkyOracle!; 01-12-2013 at 09:30 PM.
An apartment building that Lee Harvey Oswald used to live in, in Oak Cliff (back when it was a safe and nice place to live), is being torn down.
Some tried to save it with the historical society, but failed to save it.
Amazing how this article tries to trivialize Estes' connections LBJ, and the asssassination issues...
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Billie Sol Estes, a flamboyant Texas huckster who became one of the most notorious men in America in 1962 when he was accused of looting a federal crop subsidy program, has died. He was 88.
Estes, whose name became synonymous with Texas-sized schemes, greed and corruption, died in his sleep at his home in DeCordova Bend, a city about 60 miles southwest of Dallas, his daughter said Tuesday. A local funeral home confirmed it would be handling the services.
Estes reigned in the state as the king of con men for nearly 50 years. At the height of his infamy, he was immortalized in songs by Allan Sherman (in "Schticks of One and Half a Dozen of the Other") and the Chad Mitchell Trio (in "The Ides of Texas"). Time magazine even put him on its cover, calling him "a welfare-state Ponzi ... a bundle of contradictions and paradoxes who makes Dr. Jekyll seem almost wholesome."
"He considered dancing immoral, often delivered sermons as a Church of Christ lay preacher," the magazine wrote. "But he ruthlessly ruined business competitors, practiced fraud and deceit on a massive scale, and even victimized Church of Christ schools that he was supposed to be helping as a fund raiser or financial adviser."
Estes was best known for the scandal that broke out during President John F. Kennedy's administration involving phony financial statements and non-existent fertilizer tanks. Several lower-level agriculture officials resigned, and he wound up spending several years in prison.
"I thought he would meet a very violent end. We worried about him being killed for years," his daughter, Pamela Estes Padget, said Tuesday, adding that her father died peacefully in his recliner, with chocolate chip cookie crumbs on his lips.
Estes' name was often linked with that of fellow Texan Lyndon Johnson, but the late president's associates said their relationship was never as close or as sinister as the wheeler-dealer implied.
Johnson, then the vice president, and Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman came under fire during the scandal, though the scheme had its roots in the waning years of President Dwight Eisenhower's administration, when Estes had edged into national politics from his West Texas power base in Pecos.
Estes was convicted in 1965 of mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud. An earlier conviction had been thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court over the use of cameras in the courtroom. Sentenced to 15 years in prison, Estes was freed in 1971 after serving six years.
But new charges were brought against him in 1979, and later that year he was convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to conceal assets from the Internal Revenue Service. He was sentenced to 10 more years but was freed a second time in 1983.
Former Associated Press correspondent Mike Cochran, who covered Estes' trials and schemes throughout the 1970s and '80s, recalled writing about how Estes made millions of dollars in phone fertilizer tanks — and noting, "how many city slickers from New York or Chicago can make a fortune selling phantom cow manure?"
"Billie Col was a character's character," Cochran said. "I spent literally years chasing him in and out of prison and around the state as he pulled off all kinds of memorable shenanigans."
A go-getter since he was a boy, Estes was one of the Junior Chamber of Commerce's 10 most outstanding men of 1953 and became a millionaire before he was 30. Many of his deals involved agriculture products and services, including irrigation and the fertilizer products that later led to his downfall.
Before his release from federal prison for a second time in 1983, Estes claimed he'd uncovered the root of his problems: compulsiveness. "If I smoke another cigarette, I'll be hooked on nicotine," he said. "I'm just one drink away from being an alcoholic and just one deal away from being back in prison."
One of the strangest episodes in his life involved the death of a U.S. Department of Agriculture official who was investigating Estes just before he was accused in the fertilizer tank case.
Henry Marshall's 1961 death was initially ruled a suicide even though he had five bullet wounds. But in 1984, Estes told a grand jury that Johnson had ordered the official killed to prevent him from exposing Estes' fraudulent business dealings and ties with the vice president. The prosecutor who conducted the grand jury investigation said there was no corroboration of Estes' allegations, though a judge ruled that it was "clear and convincing" that the death was not self-inflicted.
In 2003, he co-wrote a book published in France that linked Johnson to John F. Kennedy's assassination, an allegation rejected by prominent historians, Johnson aides and family members.
A 2007 search for correspondence between Johnson and Estes found a 1953 form letter and only sporadic correspondence during Johnson's Senate years, said Claudia Anderson, supervisory archivist at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin. In a 1962 memo prepared by longtime Johnson aide Walter Jenkins, Johnson recalled meeting Estes once and said he had never talked to him on the phone.
While he admitted to being a swindler, Estes also portrayed himself as a "kind of Robin Hood" and hoped to be remembered for using his money to feed and educate the poor. He was an advocate of school integration in Texas long before it was fashionable.
Estes' wife Patsy died in 2000. He later moved to Granbury, a picture-postcard town southwest of Fort Worth, and remarried.
Services for Estes are set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Acton United Methodist Church in Acton, east of Granbury.
Last edited by SnarkyOracle!; 05-14-2013 at 07:44 PM.
Of course, most of these "almost true" stories tend to minimize the CIA's involvement...
Roger Stone’s New Book ‘Solves’ JFK Assassination: Johnson Did It!
May 14, 2013
The colorful GOP consultant Roger Stone is out with ‘The Man Who Killed Kennedy.’ He tells David Freedlander why he thinks LBJ did it, how Nixon backed him up, and why he isn’t likely to run for Florida governor.
Roger Stone has had a long and colorful career in the darker undersides of Republican politics, from working on Richard Nixon’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President, to helping bring down New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to, more recently, laying the groundwork for Donald Trump’s aborted run for president.
Now Stone, who sports a tattoo of Nixon on his back and serves as the fashion editor for the conservative website The Daily Caller—among his must-haves for men: a seersucker three-piece suit and a velvet blazer—is working on his latest takedown, a new examination of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, Stone lays the half-century-old murder at the feet of Kennedy’s vice president, who Stone claims “had John F. Kennedy murdered and then as president used those powers to cover up the murder.”
Among the facts Stone says he is giving a full airing for the first time are Lyndon B. Johnson’s alleged complicity in at least six other murders, including that of a Department of Agriculture official who had been investigating a close Johnson associate and that of his own sister, Josefa Johnson, who Stone says “was a fairly high-profile bisexual at the time.”
“Johnson is facing jail, ruin, and the end of his political career. He is a very desperate man,” Stone said from Miami Beach, where he lives part-time. “Johnson knows that he is about to be indicted. He knows that Life magazine is going to publish an exposé regarding his relationship with Bobby Baker [a Johnson protégé accused of bribery]. After Kennedy’s death, Life magazine spikes the story. Johnson knows that the source of the story is Bobby Kennedy, then the attorney general desperate to get Johnson off the ticket. Johnson knows that [John F.] Kennedy has told a number of people, before leaving Washington, that he will dump Johnson and take Terry Sanford, then the governor of North Carolina, for vice president. He’s got a set of hearings coming up about his relationship to Billie Sol Estes [a Johnson ally later jailed for fraud]. On top of that, the two Kennedy brothers treat him like dogshit.”
Nixon “never flatly said who was responsible [for Kennedy’s death]. But he would say, ‘Both Johnson and I wanted to be president, but the only difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.”
Still, the juiciest parts of Stone’s book may be a series of interviews he conducted with his former boss Nixon toward the end of the former president’s life. According to Stone, Nixon “never flatly said who was responsible [for Kennedy’s death]. But he would say, ‘Both Johnson and I wanted to be president, but the only difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.”
When pressed on who he thought killed Kennedy, Nixon “would shiver and say, ‘Texas,’” said Stone.
Nixon, Stone says, had a long relationship with Jack Ruby, dating back to the time Nixon served on the House Un-American Activities Committee. There, Stone says, Ruby acted as an informant at Johnson’s request.
Stone is vague when asked to lay out exactly how Johnson was able to organize a team of assassins in Dallas for Nov. 22, 1963, but said the Dallas police force and the Secret Service were complicit.
Sean Cunningham, a professor of communication studies at Texas Tech and something of an expert on Kennedy conspiracy theories, said no evidence pointed to Johnson’s involvement. But he added that it made sense for Kennedy’s vice president to be the subject of many questions surrounding Kennedy’s death.
“Johnson has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories throughout his career, and some of them are rooted in the fact that Johnson was making friends and making deals with people throughout his career, which seems to undermine the values that he was trying to promote,” Cunningham said. “He is going to invite conspiracy theories from both liberals and conservatives because it is so hard to put your finger on who is, other than someone who will do whatever it takes to get elected.”
The professor noted that Johnson presided over a conspiracy-laden era, with the assassinations of both Kennedys, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X, as well as the Gulf of Tonkin incident and the escalation of the Vietnam War.
“It was the era of investigative journalism, of declining credibility,” he said. “Johnson makes for a good story and is an easy way to explain things.”
As for Stone, the new book marks the first in a series he intends to produce for Skyhorse Publishing, an independent publisher in Manhattan. Also in the pipeline are a memoir-advice book for would-be political operatives and what Stone says is a look at Ronald Reagan’s plans to run for president in 1968. Ever the showman, the colorful Stone is planning a book tour that will include a stop in front of the Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, and a possible demonstration in front of the Manhattan home of former Johnson aide and public television broadcaster Bill Moyers.
For much of the past year, Stone, who once took a New Yorker writer to his favorite swingers’ club in Miami, has been toying with the idea of a libertarian run for governor in Florida on a platform that calls for legalizing same-sex marriage and liberalizing marijuana laws.
But Stone told The Daily Beast that he probably won’t run, focusing instead on getting a medicinal marijuana ballot measure passed and, of course, on his newfound publishing career.
“I have tossed around the idea, but it is unlikely I will do it in the end,” he said. “I am not really candidate material anyway.”
David Freedlander is senior political correspondent with Newsweek & The Daily Beast.
Much of which isbacked up by LBJ's mistress in this September 2000 interview:
Last edited by SnarkyOracle!; 05-16-2013 at 04:39 PM.