Politicians, TLAs, and Assassinations
Observations on the greatest American Mystery
As we approach the 58th milestone, JFK's murder remains the most consequential mystery of history! Over the years, I have read many books on the world's most spectacular assassination. I have listened to interviews, watched videos, studied the evidence, and, in general, have wondered endlessly what exactly happened. In the end, I do not know any more than others who have done the same, but I do have a few opinions. This is not a debate; I am not here to convince you; I care not a whit what you believe on the topic!
First, the Warren Commission Report is full of flaws, pulled together by so many bad actors that it cannot possibly be ANYTHING but a work of fiction. Before the Commission even got its desks set up and the coffee pot brewing, the FBI report was leaked to the press. The conclusion it was boxed-in to reach was already established in the media. The Warren Commission was purposely constituted to avoid blaming the Soviet Union lest we risk a war, did not reflect on the CIA, and did not blame Cuba. It was never about finding the truth. It had the sole purpose of endorsing the FBI's narrative; facts and evidence be damned!
The Warren Commission was composed of seven people who did not want to be there, tried to avoid serving, hated each other, and the four Congressmen assigned to it promptly disappeared and participated almost not at all. Instead, all the work was delegated to young and inexperienced interns, first-year lawyers, and paralegals. Arlen Specter was one such Junior Counsel, and the originator of the "magic bullet" (CE-399) theory wherein one bullet was said responsible for no less than seven wounds.
What they were allowed to see and evaluate was tightly controlled by Earl Warren. For example, they were not allowed to see the autopsy photos. Warren had them and refused to share them with anyone else. The meetings were conducted in secret but somehow, in the political parlance, were "Not Secret Meetings." The carefully sanitized conclusions were shared with the public in an 888-page report plus supporting documents published in 26 volumes. The unpublished portions of the material were sealed for 75 years.
Earl Warren was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1953 to 1969. Warren was a nominal Republican, chosen for the commission by Lyndon Johnson to give illusory “non-partisan” imprimatur. The flaw therein was that Warren was what we today might call a RINO, Republican in Name Only, a left-leaning activist who left a lasting liberal imprint on the court, and a close friend of the Kennedys. Because he was so close to the deceased President’s family, he refused the appointment.
On learning that Warren had rejected his request, LBJ demanded Warren come to the White House immediately. One does NOT reject LBJ. Johnson then engaged his trademark psychopathic combination of Begging, Bullying, Bribery, and Blackmail until Warren relented and chaired the committee. Later, LBJ is recorded as bragging at how he had made the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court break down into tears.
The Watergate tapes record Richard Nixon as saying that the Warren Commission was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated. In addition, the recordings also reflect Nixon as saying that "Both Lyndon Johnson and I wanted to be President. The difference was that I was not willing to kill for it."
Warren seems to have tried to do a good job within the constraints he had been given, but however you look at it, the report bearing his name is a disgrace.
The second major player was Alan Dulles, who vociferously hated Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs incident; and had severe conflicts after being fired by Kennedy. Dulles and Warren were the only committee members to take a truly active role in the proceedings.
JFK publicly fired and humiliated Dulles in Nov. 1961 when his investigation caught Dulles lying to him about the Bay of Pigs operation. Beyond merely firing Dulles, Kennedy proposed cutting their budget by 20% and loudly vowed to entirely destroy the Agency, alienating the entire bureaucracy of the CIA. Many believe that is why he was assassinated.
Second, I do very much believe it was an organized conspiracy. There are many theories about who conspired and what their motives were, and in some ways, it is essentially a case of "ya pays your money and takes your choice!"
The attempts to blame Russia and Cuba fall flat, lack credibility. Khrushchev is well-reported to have wept when he heard the news, and Castro had a similar reaction, mindlessly repeating "This is very bad news" repeatedly. Despite hating him, neither they nor any other world leader is on record as in any way celebrating JFK's death.
Oswald, as depicted—as a loner, communist-sympathizing, nut-job out to kill JFK—has apparent evidence behind it. Oswald is indeed on record as saying he intended to kill JFK. He walked into the Cuban embassy in Mexico months before the assassination and loudly announced that intention.
Oswald's mother said that Lee learned Russian while in the Marines. He enlisted on his 17th birthday, and three days after discharge, he went straight to Russia. His mother believed the government taught him Russian and sent him for reasons unknown. There have been many theories floated about Oswald’s actual role, from simple patsy to CIA asset.
Announcing an intention is not the same as doing something. However, it does set one up as a perfect patsy for genuine conspirators.
Oswald had dyslexia; in school, he did poorly in reading and spelling. His recorded I.Q. was 103 at age 10. A 1953 evaluation by Irving Sokolow placed him at 118. Anecdotal evidence suggests both numbers may have been optimistic. The man lacked considerable of being a conspiratorial genius.
He lacked mechanical skills. He could not drive a car, for example, in a society where driving is a rite of passage.
He was a poor marksman. In his last qualification some four years before, he scored 191 in a Marine test. Had he scored two points lower, the Marines would have booted him out as unqualified. So stories that he was a highly skilled sniper are provably incorrect. However, Malcolm Wallace was an excellent and well-practiced marksman.
Between his final qualification in the Marines and the assassination nearly four years later, there is no record of marksmanship practice. Marksmanship is a fleeting skill; it atrophies rapidly without constant practice. So, believing that he rated a barely-passing score, had not practiced for four years, then pulled off the incredible assassination shots is challenging.
The weapon was disassembled, carried into the building in pieces, then reassembled in the 'snipers nest.' So then, this cheap, poorly made WW1 surplus mail-order weapon, freshly assembled and without sighting-in, is used to perform arguably the most extraordinary feat of marksmanship in recorded history?
Several tests by highly skilled marksmen have underscored the extreme difficulty of getting off three shots from a bolt-action rifle in under eight seconds, especially when hitting a target. Yet, Oswald reportedly did it in six, with significantly more time between the first two than the second and third.
Many witnesses claimed more than three shots were fired, and the most credible are the Kennedy top aides riding in the limousine behind the President. Both were WWII veterans and were familiar with the sounds of gunfire. They testified that there were indeed more shots and that the fatal shot came from the grassy knoll. However, one, Dave Powers, was pressured to change his testimony.
For Oswald to have done so seems implausible—and it feels simply not credible. Neither his character, his marksmanship, nor his weapon was up to the feat credited to them.
Larry King claimed to be close to Jim Garrison, the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana and says he was privy to Garrison's investigation. According to King, Garrison had information that never made it into the investigation or the trial. One key item was a taped interview with a pilot hired in New Orleans and paid $5000 to fly to Dallas and pick up a young man matching Oswald's description and fly him to Mexico. The passenger never showed. King claimed he heard the tape, and further, the pilot later died mysteriously.
Another item from the Garrison investigation was the leak of the Zapruder film. They took Dan Rather's radio narration and used it as the soundtrack, synchronizing his words "his head went forward with considerable violence." over the shot of Kennedy's head flying BACKWARD. This then made its way to college campuses, where it was shown to hundreds of thousands of students and played no small role in energizing the anti-war "Government lies" movement.
Officer Nick McDonald, who arrested Oswald in the movie theater, reported that Oswald said only one thing on the drive to the jail. He said, "I'm a patsy."
It seems far more likely that Oswald was, as he claimed, a patsy. Of course, that does not mean he was not involved, but it seems highly doubtful that he was the fabled "Lone Gunman."
Might it be that Oswald was involved, but not the shooter? Might it be that he set up the sniper's nest, planted his gun and fingerprints, and then intended to fly to Mexico? Might he have been a pigeon to deflect scrutiny from the real shooter? Might it be that his promised ride to the plane failed to show, and he panicked?
It seems likely that his role was to disappear, leaving law enforcement frustratedly searching for a fugitive who got away, never to look closely at the real perpetrators.
Ruby was a small-time Mafia affiliate who had no imaginable reason to sacrifice himself to kill Oswald. Yet, he did exactly that and went to jail for the rest of his life as a result. This only makes sense if you believe the Mafia, or powerful people aligned with the conspiracy, ordered him to silence Oswald. In the "Lone Gunman" scenario, Ruby's actions are inexplicable. They only make sense in light of a larger conspiracy.
In 1947, then-Congressman (Texas 10th District Representative) LBJ had sent Jack Ruby to Nixon, who hired him and put him on the House Unamerican Activities Staff as a paid informant, as a favor to LBJ. When Richard Nixon saw the TV coverage of Ruby killing Oswald, he turned white as a ghost and turned to Nick Ruwe and said, "I know that guy." Nixon recognized him and knew he was Johnson's man. Thus there was a relationship between LBJ and Jack Ruby, suggesting LBJ could have ordered Ruby to kill Oswald.
If Oswald missed his ride to the Mexico flight, then he had to be shut up. Oswald could not be trusted not to talk. Ruby stepped in to take the fall to protect the conspiracy. But why would he do so to protect some Mafia gunman? Was he protecting Johnson? Did he think that LBJ would pardon or otherwise protect him? Was this the secret that Dorothy Kilgalen learned in her interview with Ruby that got her killed?
The Zapruder Film, despite recording the events, arguably raises more questions than it answers. It shows, for example, too little time elapsed between two shots for a bolt-action rifle reload. Rather than consider the possibility of more than one shooter, the Warren Commission invented the "Magic Bullet" theory, a bullet that twisted and turned mid-flight to hit two different individuals. This is far from the only problem raised by the film. There are missing frames that seem to mask the limo's stopping momentarily, and the film appearss to show additional shots hitting the ground. Credible witnesses said a bullet hit the ground directly in front of the limo. His first missed shot is also unexplained, though the popular theory is that it hit the traffic light mast and was deflected far down the road, ultimately causing James Tague's scratched cheek.
The second bullet, CE399, the so-called "Magic Bullet," is flagged as hitting at between frame 190 (House Select Committee) and frames 210-225 (Warren Commission). The time span was too short for a bolt-action rifle to fire twice, thus necessitating the Magic Bullet theory rather than two bullets hitting two different targets. The dictaphone recording seems to show not one, but TWO shots close together, albeit magic bullet theorists have "debunked" the recording.
Perhaps the most fascinating artifact of the Zapruder film appears in frame 311, where we can clearly see what seems to be a bullet in flight, outlined against Jackie's pink sleeve, with a trajectory utterly wrong for a Sixth-floor window shot. Such a bullet could only have come from behind. This has been discounted as merely a button on her sleeve, but if so, that was one fast-moving button. The successive two frames show the impact.
That does not even address the movement of JFK's head nor the fact that the "magic bullet" (CE399) found at the hospital, ostensibly on Connoly's gurney, but in fact on the wrong gurney, was much too pristine to have done the damage credited to it.
With its detailed stories, photos, and explanations, Life Magazine was discounted by many, as the magazine was widely considered a CIA propaganda organ.
Endless "analyses" have been published to counter the apparent contradictions, and many reject these analyses and feel they are being lied to by officialdom.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht is a highly reputable forensic pathologist. He has been the president of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American College of Legal Medicine and headed the board of trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine. He is perhaps best known for his criticism of the Warren Commission's findings concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In 1965 Wecht presented a paper critiquing the Warren Commission to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences meeting. In 1972 Wecht was the first civilian ever permitted to examine the Kennedy assassination evidence. Wecht first discovered that Kennedy's brain, and all related data in the killing, had gone missing.
In 1978, he testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations as the lone dissenter on a nine-member forensic pathology panel re-examining the assassination of John F. Kennedy, who had concurred with the Warren Commission conclusions and single bullet theory. Thus, out of the four official examinations into the Kennedy Assassination, Wecht is the only forensic pathologist who has disagreed with the conclusion that both the single bullet theory and Kennedy's head wounds are mutually consistent.
He was a consultant to Oliver Stone for the film JFK. In 2017, he presented at the sixth-floor museum and destroyed the single-bullet theory and the Warren Commission conclusions. It is available on YouTube as "A Case for Conspiracy with Dr. Cyril H. Wecht." His passion, competence, and conviction are compelling.
There is a dictaphone audio recording from a motorcycle cop whose radio mic was open. It has been analyzed many times, and reports show FOUR shots, not three or two, and further, the four shots occur in an interval of time far too short for Oswald to have managed with a bolt action rifle. Nonetheless, Lone Gunman theorists insist the tape has been debunked.
Sound Designer Leo Chaloukian's report seems compelling and, a recreation of the Dictaphone sounds using a Carcano rifle and analyzed by BB&N reportedly matches a second shooter on the grassy knoll.
Unfortunately, the quality of the tape is very poor, and like the Zapruder film, it raises as many questions as it answers.
Mary Ann Moorman was a bystander that day, very near the motorcade with her Polaroid camera with which she took several photos. She snapped a photo just as JFK's hair was lifting from the impact, captured between Zapruder film frames 315 and 316, less than one-sixth of a second after the fatal shot. If hit from behind, it does not seem as if his hair would be lifting the way it appears. The photo shows the infamous "Grassy Knoll," with the wooden fence in the background. The image has been studied intently, hoping to discern a possible shooter from that direction, but the results are inconclusive. The Warren Report did not include her photos in their evidence.
The Grassy Knoll
If there was a gunman in that location, as many believe, Ms. Moorman's camera did not capture him. Even so, multiple witnesses from the train yard behind the fence reported witnessing gunmen, hearing the sound, and seeing the flash and smoke from their shots. Unfortunately, they were all ignored by the Warren Commission, and all of those who tried to tell their story seems to have died mysteriously.
There is also the mystery of the fake Secret Service man behind the fence. Within moments of the shooting, Dallas Police Office Joe Marshall Smith ran up to the fence and pulled his pistol when he spotted a man behind the fence. This man, wearing a coat and tie, looking into Smith's revolver, said, "Hey, I'm Secret Service" and produced credentials. Additionally, Deputy Seymour Weitzman and bystander Malcolm Summers found "Brigade 2506" member Bernard Barker behind the fence, likewise displaying Secret Service credentials. Another Secret Service man, with a 'machine gun under his coat,' was stopped by a Dallas cop leaving the area behind the Grassy Knoll.
Years later, James Earl Files claimed he was one of the shooters from behind the fence, along with Charles Nicoletti and Johnny Roselli (the mobster who tried to assassinate Castro). Files claimed he fired the fatal shot. But, of course, the story has been debunked by the FBI. Nicoletti and Roselli were murdered in '77 and '79, respectively, when they were called to testify before the HSCA.
The Secret Service had no one in the area other than those riding in the motorcade. Brigade 2506 was a CIA-Sponsored group of Cuban exiles devoted to overthrowing Castro. Bernard Barker was a Watergate Burglar recruited by E. Howard Hunt into the "White House Plumbers." That he was behind the fence shortly after the shooting casts deep suspicion on the CIA.
Dallas PD Officer BW "Bobby" Hargis was riding his police motorcycle behind and to the left of the limousine and was splattered with JFK's blood and brain ejecta. He stopped his bike and ran toward where he was sure the shot originated, up the "grassy knoll." He was the one who coined the term "grassy knoll" to describe the location in his report.
The Train Yard
Lee Bowers, Tower Operator for the Union Terminal Company, had an unobstructed view of the backside of the wooden fence behind the Grassy Knoll. After the assassination, he tried to tell the Warren Commission what he saw but was cut off and ignored.
In a 1966 interview with Mark Lane, he was finally able to tell his story. He said he saw a flash of light and smoke from the area and that he saw a man in the parking lot throw what appeared to be a rifle into a car. He also was responsible for preventing the rail car where the mysterious "three hobos" were hiding until they were arrested. CBS news anchor, Walter Cronkite, proclaimed on live T.V. that the "3 Hobos" were the assassins who killed Kennedy as the T.V. cameras showed the Dallas Police escorting the "3 Hobos" across Dealey Plaza to the Dallas jail. However, the Dallas Police shortly released them and claimed they did not question or identify them before doing so. The reason given was that the FBI ordered their release.
Several train workers on a nearby railroad overpass confirmed his story, reporting a "puff of smoke that came from underneath the trees." These testimonies apparently indicate that someone fired from the exact location where the Dallas cops encountered the fake Secret Service agents.
Bowers tragically died in a single-car accident on a clear road in 1966 shortly after his interview with Mark Lane.
The FBI has a deeply troubling history of corruption and abuse, staging false-flag events, instigating riots, and other appalling activities. The legendary domestic surveillance and blackmail activities under Hoover would be dismissed as unbelievable if written as fiction. The FBI was an utterly corrupt rogue agency under Hoover and has not visibly reformed since. Every American politician lived in abject fear of Hoover. They operated that way and did so for a good reason. He was an ugly blackmailer, a man with no morals who waged an extraordinary, byzantine war of political power and control.
LBJ's close friendship with J. Edgar Hoover gained him access to this influence and the means with which he blackmailed his way into power. His tap into the Hoover blackmail file played a role in numerous key events, such as persuading Warren to chair the commission and many others.
J. Edgar Hoover said in a memo two days after John F. Kennedy's assassination that the public must be led to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The fact that he would take such a strong position before completing any investigation has fueled the imaginations of those who distrust the official narrative. Believers in the official story explain it by the very real diplomatic concerns. Hoover feared serious international complications if the public suspected Oswald was part of a larger plot. War with Russia was an overwhelming concern.
The Mob and the CIA
The CIA has a sordid history of coups and assassinations worldwide — the agency was ostensibly forced to cut back on such killings after a US Senate investigation in the 1970s exposed the scale of its operations. In 1976, President Gerald Ford signed an executive order stating: “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.” Despite this, there is little evidence that things have materially changed. The CIA and the FBI have vied for the title of most corrupt of organizations since they were founded.
The mob had formed an uneasy trinity with the intelligence communities. Castro had ousted them from Cuba, shutting down their highly profitable casinos. They wanted them back. The Intelligence agencies wanted Castro gone. One hand washes the other.
The CIA tried six times to assassinate Castro between 1961 and 1963, all of which failed spectacularly. According to CIA documents declassified in 2007, one assassination attempt on Fidel Castro prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion involved noted American mobsters Johnny Roselli, Salvatore Giancana, and Santo Trafficante.
An interesting side-note: Deputy Director of the CIA, Charles P. Cabell, was the designer of the Bay of Pigs fiasco which caused so much blowback when Kennedy "Cleaned house" and threatened to abolish the CIA. His brother was Earl Cabell, the Mayor of Dallas at the time. Coincidence?
Actor Gianni Russo started a career as errand boy for Frank Costello, carrying envelopes of cash for the mob. He had 23 related federal indictments, and eventually left the mob for an acting career. In an interview with Patrick Bet-David he tells how he was involved in the mob during Kennedy's election, how they delivered vote, and recruited LBJ to the Kennedy ticket. He claimed that the mob promised LBJ that before the first term was out, he would be President. He said there were three shooters. and Marcello hired Oswald. He also said 73 people died as a result of the assassination.
There are indications that this relationship between Mob, the FBI. and the CIA was much stronger and deeper than the declassified papers admit. That this group would conspire together to remove a sitting President they all hated is not difficult to believe. However, this highly skilled collective of international assassins had tried to remove one corrupt third-world dictator over a dozen times and had failed! That this "gang who couldn't shoot straight" would succeed so spectacularly in Dallas does strain credulity.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations, in 1976, concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that at least two gunmen fired at the President.
The HSCA report denies any involvement by the CIA or FBI. However, Robert Blakey, the Chief Counsel of the committee, later changed his views that the CIA was cooperative and forthcoming with the investigation when he learned that the CIA's special liaison to the Committee researchers, George Joannides, was actually involved with some of the organizations that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved with during the months leading up to the assassination.
Blakey said, in a 2003 interview, "...I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the [Central Intelligence] Agency and its relationship to Oswald.... We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA–Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. Instead, the Agency unilaterally deprived the commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known. Significantly, the Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of the government co-operated with it is, in retrospect, not the truth. We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in 1976–79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency. Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp."
Despite a fawning media, Kennedy was not the universally popular President of Camelot. Those who saw through his polished charm and disarming smile knew a very different man. He was an amoral womanizer, generating enmity among the husbands of his many conquests, and utterly ruthless, as seen by his role in the assassination of Vietnamese President Diem. This ruthlessness led to a penchant for humiliating his enemies, never a smart move for any politician.
JFK's early moves on the world stage communicated weakness and incompetence, emboldening the Soviet Union. His disastrous June 1961 meeting with Khrushchev was an unmitigated catastrophe. Even Kennedy himself said, “He just beat the hell out of me. I’ve got a terrible problem if he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts. Until we remove those ideas, we won’t get anywhere with him.”
That meeting emboldened Khrushchev to immediately build the Berlin Wall and to move missiles into Cuba. Many give Kennedy credit for pushing Khrushchev's missiles out of Cuba, but his secret European missile concessions to the Soviets deeply angered those who knew what he had given away. Khrushchev played JFK like a fiddle for a second time. Of course these events did not happen in a vacuum. There had been a long prehistory, from the previous administration, of provocations. The secret missiles in Turkey dated from 1959 agreements.
An honest appraisal would credit Kennedy as a moderately successful President despite deep character flaws that engendered what some describe as criminal irresponsibility. Despite a propensity for prostitutes and risqué sexual encounters, or perhaps partly because of it, he has attained an iconic status far beyond the merits of his accomplishments.
He fell short of the diplomatic accolades awarded him posthumously, but he was a patriot for all his flaws and believed in American exceptionalism while rejecting American imperialism. His battles against what we today call the "Deep State" are indeed noteworthy, but, as a patriot, he was revulsed when he learned of the extent of the CIA and FBI's nefarious activities. In recent years, things we have learned about the intelligence community cause one to look at JFK's battles through new lenses.
Kennedy utterly failed to absorb a crucial lesson from his classical education. As Hamlet learned when he set upon Claudius, you must be careful not to divulge your intention—or, as Emerson put it, "when you strike at a king, you must kill him." Instead, JFK announced he intended to destroy the CIA and scatter it to the wind. Seemingly credible claims of CIA involvement in his killing reflect Kennedy's failure to heed Hamlet.
The JFK Haters
Contrary to the fawning Camelot media imagery, many groups and individuals vehemently hated JFK:
Hard-core corporatist oil men hated Kennedy! He was cutting the Oil Depletion Allowance.
The CIA hated Kennedy! JFK reciprocated the feelings.
Alan Dulles, the Director of Central Intelligence thru Nov. 1961 especially hated JFK over the Bay of Pigs incident!
Author/Historian James DiEugenio names Dulles as the likely "CEO of the Assassination."
George H.W. Bush is also considered a candidate for this role by some. He was an oilman with close connections to the CIA. J. Edgar Hoover famously noted, "George Bush, of the CIA, had been briefed on Nov. 23, 1963..." The CIA later claimed that was another George Bush, a man named George William Bush, but when George William Bush was located and asked, he denied it. Bush's oil company was named Zapata. The Bay of Pigs invasion was named Operation Zapata. One of the ships used was from the CIA's "Ghost Fleet" and was named The Barbara. All coincidences, of course.
CIA Officer Cord Meyer's wife Mary was having an affair with JFK, which had sparked intense hatred of JFK on the part of Meyer. There are credible claims that Mary Meyer influenced JFK in his opposition to the CIA. The CIA confiscated her diary, and three weeks after the release of the Warren Report in 1964, she was mysteriously murdered, one of many mysterious deaths of women close to JFK.
Speaking of Kennedy’s affairs, he was widely known as a voracious womanizer, claiming that without frequent sex he would get a headache. A never-ending string of headach-therapists—including a great many prostitutes—passed through the White House’s hallowed halls. Cord Meyer was far from the only irate husband who despised JFK.
E. Howard Hunt named CIA Officer Bill Harvey as extraordinarily corrupt and a sadistic psycho and claimed the man had formed a "Thieves Compact" with LBJ. They were two peas-in-a-pod.
Organized Crime hated Kennedy!
Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, the former head of the Genovese crime family in New York, claimed that Carlos Marcello, working with the CIA and Lyndon Johnson, killed JFK.
This is plausible. JFK’s father was deeply embedded in organized crime and indisputably used his connections to steal the election for his son in what was arguably the most fraudulent election in American history at the time.
RFK was named Attorney General to groom him to become the next President in eight years. However, after the assassination, he stepped down in 1964 to become Senator instead, as he could not function in the LBJ administration. They profoundly hated each other!
RFK turned on Marcello and went after organized crime in a big way.
Marcello wanted to kill RFK but knew that if he did, JFK would come after him, but if they killed JFK first, RFK would be powerless, and they could kill him at their leisure. But, perhaps the most surprising aspect is that they waited another five years.
It seems likely that had Marcello been the driver behind the JFK assassination, RFK would have been assassinated much sooner. He hated RFK too much to allow him to remain untouched for long. That he was not assassinated until it was clear he intended to run for President argues he was not killed because of a grudge. He was powerless as Attorney General under Johnson and as Senator, but he was a threat as POTUS. Several entities considered him a threat in addition to Marcello, not the least of which was the CIA.
Marcello may or may not have been involved in the JFK assassination, but the way RFK was assassinated argues for CIA involvement in both operations.
RFK had just won the California Primary, and was a shoe-in for the Democratic nomination.
RFK had announced an intention to investigate his brother's murder once elected.
The official autopsy says that RFK was shot in the right rear of his head from a distance of 1 to 2 inches. His purported assassin was several feet in front of him.
The autopsy was not presented in Sirhan Sirhan's trial. His defense only presented a psychologist who attested in favor of his insanity defense.
Big Labor hated Kennedy!
Military contractors hated Kennedy!
Madame Nhu (South Vietnam) Hated Kennedy! She blamed JFK for her husband’s death.
The Soviets hated Kennedy!
Cuban exiles hated Kennedy!
Despite weeping at the news of his death, Castro hated Kennedy!
Aristotle Onassis hated JFK! JFK had severely damaged his shipping business. Shortly before the assassination, Jackie took a vacation with Onassis on his private island. He and Jackie had an intense affair, and he wanted to marry her, although some believe Onassis wanted her mainly because of his hatred for JFK.
We note that Jackie's two marriages were sadly marked by infidelity and sadistic mistreatment, but what we overlook is that she was nearly as promiscuous as JFK himself. Jackie had many lovers both while married to JFK and while married to Onassis.
Once JFK was dead and he married Jackie, he treated her badly and had numerous affairs. He paid the paparazzi to humiliate her by taking and circulating nude pictures, published in European tabloids and still widely available on the Internet. Perhaps this was a response to her affairs, but we really don't know who started cheating first. Both were amoral and promiscuous.
Marlon Brando once stated, “Jackie Kennedy was the most prim & proper woman I ever knew until she took her clothes off.”
Jackie’s close friend Gore Vidal said, "She was very interested in sex the same way that Jack was very interested in sex.’
Her known lovers included brothers RFK and Teddy, Warren Beatty, Peter Lawford, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, William Holden, and Marlon Brando.
Southern Democrats hated Kennedy; LBJ was hardly alone.
J. Edgar Hoover hated Kennedy for a long list of reasons. He viscerally hated the entire Kennedy family. Ever since JFK's 1942 affair with Washington Post columnist, Nazi Sympathizer, and suspected spy Inga Arvad, he had been wiretapping JFK—the first of a long list of JFK's illicit liaisons Hoover documented. Despite being a Democrat and close friend of LBJ, Hoover sabotaged JFK and supported Nixon in the 1960 election. Their relationship did NOT improve after JFK won anyway, and JFK subtly humiliated Hoover at every opportunity. Hoover's blackmail cache on Kennedy kept him in power despite JFK's desire to remove him.
The FBI and the Mafia had an uneasy truce. There is karma in this, as he used his blackmail cache to hold power but was under constant blackmail threat from the Mob, as they had dirt on him and his sexual proclivities. He was desperately afraid of them and famously said, "There is no Mob."
Mobster Sonny Franzese was dating Marilyn Monroe while married. RFK was in love with her, and their fight over her was, according to Sonny, responsible for RFK turning on the mob. If one believes the Mafia killed JFK, it is not a stretch to suggest that the killings of Marilyn, JFK, RFK, and Dorothy Kilgallen all stemmed from Sonny and RFK fighting over Marilyn.
LBJ Hated Kennedy! LBJ hated Kennedy with an intensely visceral fire, hated him more than everyone else combined.
Conspiracy theories waft around all these players, and perhaps a few more besides. That there was a conspiracy is, I think, indisputable. But which group? Or was it a combination of two or more? Who stood to benefit? Who was motivated?
Who stood out as hating JFK the most? Who had the temperament to commit murder? Who had the motive?
Johnson seems to have been the head of the snake, but LBJ could not have simply dispatched his gunsel, Mac Wallace, as he had been used to doing. Whatever Johnson's involvement, this was bigger than even his power could manifest. Whether he was the instigator, merely a willing accomplice aiding and abetting the conspirators for personal benefit, or simply an incredibly lucky bystander when the conspiracy arose and resolved his corruption crisis remains unclear.
LBJ's ascent to political power is a Shakespearian tale of violence and murder. That is not to say he did not do great things for his constitutes. Many of the ends he attained were noble, despite the means by which he attained them. His role in the rural electrification of the Texas Hill Country, for example, earned him legions of devoted acolytes, and his role in the Civil Rights battle is well known. He was a complicated man who, in the words of biographer Robert Carro, was a “man with a bottomless capacity for deceit, deception, and betrayal.” His Presidency was one of divisiveness, and the term credibility gap defined his Presidency.
As Senator, then as VP, then finally as President, LBJ was a man of biblical corruption and sadistic tactics—a power-hungry psychopath with unlimited ambition. Further, his womanizing was the stuff of legend, with a string of affairs equal to JFK himself.
During his tenure, no law passed, and no defense contract was awarded without a bribe to LBJ. He was a sadistic bully, given to exposing himself to intimidate underlings, male and female, taking out his penis in meetings and waving it around. He was famous for holding staff meetings in the toilet while he was defecating and for stripping off all of his clothes in mixed company, often on Air Force One. He employed crass, inappropriate nudity as an intimidation tactic. Absent political power, he would likely have been in a mental institution.
By 1963, having been on the public payroll his entire life, he was worth more than $205M in today's dollars. He is believed complicit in no less than EIGHT murders, plus innumerable acts of violent intimidation to cover corruption, vote-stealing, and murder, all carried out by his "personal hitman" Malcolm 'Mac' Wallace.
LBJ was close to J. Edgar Hoover, arguably the evilest man to ever hold high office in the US government, and relied upon Hoover's amassed ill-gotten private information to influence political opponents. As a result, many a political opponent caved to his whims under threat of blackmail from Hoover's files.
Armed with salacious information on both JFK and RFK from Hoover's files, LBJ blackmailed his way onto the 1960 ticket. However, RFK hated him and was determined to oust him from the ticket in 1964.
As is true of most bullies, LBJ was an abject coward on a personal level when faced with true opposition. The stories of his cowardice are legion, and every time things seemed to go against him, he reacted by quitting, to be talked out of leaving by his handlers. He could order a murder without qualm and direct a psychopath like Mac Wallace to do unspeakable things but lacked the intestinal fortitude to directly confront adversity himself. For example, after the 1968 New Hampshire Democratic primary went against him, he responded by quitting. No one came to talk him out of leaving this time.
LBJ was corrupt, ruthless, opportunistic, and sadistic. He was also an amoral drunk. He was doubtlessly aware of and encouraged the conspiracy. It seems probable that LBJ's gunsel Mac Wallace was the shooter from the Book Depository, but there were likely other shooters involved as well.
Consider these points:
LBJ was caught in the General Dynamics scandal just before the assassination because he took a $5B contract from Boeing and bribed someone to push it to General Dynamics in Fort Worth. JFK told LBJ he intended to throw him off the ticket in 1964, and further, RFK would ensure that LBJ would face prosecution. He faced career-ending disgrace, humiliation, and jail time.
Malcolm Wallace left a 34-point match fingerprint on a cardboard box in the sniper's nest in the book depository!
This was confirmed by Nathan Darby, a prominent fingerprint expert (CLPE), in a 1998 investigation. He compared the print to Wallace's print card from the 1951 Doug Kinser murder investigation.
Fingerprints on cardboard fade away quickly. That the after-assassination investigation collected his print there during means Wallace had been in the "snipers nest" at or about the time of the shooting.
Six different witnesses place a man matching Wallace's description in the window of the depository. No witness places Oswald there. Witnesses are unreliable, but Oswald and Wallace looked nothing alike.
James Worrell identified a "running man in the dark sport jacket" who matched Wallace's description exiting the rear entrance of the Book Depository three minutes after the shots.
Madeleine Duncan Brown, LBJ's mistress of 21 years and mother of his illegitimate son, says that LBJ told her on the eve of the assassination that 'After tomorrow I won't have to deal with those Kennedy S.O.B.s no more.' LBJ loathed the Kennedys, that is undisputed, but Lone Gunman proponents claim Ms. Brown was a dingbat whose statements have been thoroughly debunked.
LBJ reportedly ducked to the floor of his limo two cars behind JFK before the first shot. This is also reportedly debunked.
LBJ reportedly ordered the plastic roof removed from the limo despite the cool weather. This is also reportedly debunked.
LBJ called Dr. Crenshaw after Oswald was shot and demanded a faked 'deathbed confession' from Oswald. Dr. Crenshaw himself stated this in an interview that is available on YouTube.
I think the most credible comments on the conspiracy idea came from the deathbed "confession" of E. Howard Hunt, and what he called "The Big Event." I give it credibility for four reasons:
Hunt was dying and had no reason to lie. Deathbed tales are generally given credence in our legal system.
Jackie Kennedy, being of French descent, was on close terms with the French. So she asked French Intelligence to look into the matter, which they did, and their reports are now declassified and available.
When the Soviet Union fell, KGB files became available. Thus, both the KGB and the French analysis agree.
Who benefited the most from JFK's death?
Billy Sol Estes, a close friend of LBJ, alleged in the 1980s that he had inside knowledge that Johnson was involved in the assassination. He co-wrote a book with a French writer in 2003, for publication only in France, wherein he reiterated this claim and gave more details.
Evidence tying LBJ to the JFK killing is circumstantial, but compelling, although hard evidence falls short of making the case. However, involved or not, LBJ was not likely to have been the mastermind. He had the motivation and temperament, but he was not a meticulous planner and, as a personal coward, lacked the sheer guts such a mastermind would need. His mistress also believed he did not mastermind the killing, but he was closely involved with those who did.
Whether others recruited Johnson for executive cover, or Johnson recruited the other conspirators is unclear. Either way, more capable conspirators relied on LBJ to provide Executive Office cover, which he was eager to do. Thus, LBJ was not just aware, but was deeply involved, provided cover, and stood to profoundly benefit. Whether he instigated the conspiracy or was merely drawn into it is anyone's guess.
LBJ was not a conspiratorial planner. However, George H.W. Bush was precisely such a planner. Further, there are many links between Bush, LBJ, and the Assassination.
For example, a CIA Contractor named Robert Morrow, in a Reuters interview with Dan Cox, claimed he bought four identical Manlicker-Carcano rifles for CIA and Mafia shooters. He had been told they were for a mission in Central America, and he said that George H. W. Bush was fully aware. He believed they were used in the JFK assassination. His testimony is thoroughly debunked by the CIA, who reported he was never employed by the CIA.
CIA Officer Bill Harvey is another such capable planner, and so was Dulles. Beyond these, the field of possible candidates becomes diffuse and hazy, although there are additional possibilities.
Third, there are many related conspiracies that swirl around JFK and scream cover-up. What about Marilyn Monroe, who committed suicide after threatening the Kennedys with exposure? What were RFK and Peter Lawford (RFK's brother-in-law) doing in LA at Marilyn's home, and why did RFK lie and claim to be in San Francisco?
And what about Dorothy Kilgallen? The world-famous reporter was aggressively pursuing the JFK conspiracy, writing a book for Random House on the topic, and had been the only reporter to interview Jack Ruby. She told friends that "If the wrong people knew what I know, I would be dead," and shortly she was. All her notes and manuscript disappeared the night she died.
Why was Mary Meyer killed and her diary confiscated?
Why was RFK killed? Was his killing a part of a conspiracy?
Fourth, there are many excellent books on the topic. More than two thousand books have been written on the topic. I recommend two conspiracy books: "Who Really Killed Kennedy?" by Jerome Corsi and "The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ" by Roger Stone. More recently, Mark Shaw's excellent book "Collateral Damage" sheds light on the complicated relationship between JFK, RFK, Marilyn Monroe, and Dorothy Kilgallen, and all four deaths. This interrelationship is a puzzle with many moving pieces, and Shaw does a marvelous job of linking the elements.
I also recommend "Texas In The Morning" by long-time LBJ mistress and baby-mama Madeline Duncan Brown. There is also much insight to be gained by reading the massive four-volume biography set by LBJ biographer Robert Carro.
Also, there is a revealing UK production, "The Men Who Killed Kennedy," that was never allowed to air in this country but is now on Youtube. Oliver Stone's movie JFK is seriously flawed, but worth a look anyway. His sequel,
'JFK Revisited' is intriguing; I hope to watch it soon.
Finally, an often overlooked player in the assassination drama was Billy Sol Estes. Roger Stone investigates his claims in his book, and I believe his claims deserve more attention.
In the end, we may not definitively know who killed Kennedy. We may never know. However, if one carefully studies the materials referenced above, you will at least understand the complexity of the drama and be entitled to express an informed opinion.
Having pontificated on the topic, for now, I hope not to think about politicians with TLAs instead of names again until the 60th comes round. See you again in 2023.