October 27, 2017

"The Soviet Union theorized that President Lyndon B. Johnson could have been behind JFK’s assassination..."

"... and also feared Moscow could be blamed and attacked, according to documents in a major release of files related to Kennedy’s slaying on Thursday," The NY Post reports.
The Dec. 1, 1966 FBI memo, which relayed unconfirmed speculation, noted that sources said the KGB “was in possession of data purporting to indicate President Johnson was responsible for the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy.”...

“KGB headquarters indicated that in view of this information, it was necessary for the Soviet Government to know the existing personal relationship between President Johnson and the Kennedy family, particularly that between President Johnson and Robert and ‘Ted’ Kennedy.”...

Soviets feared dark US forces were “interested in utilizing the assassination and playing on anticommunist sentiments in the United States,” according to the FBI. “Our source further stated that Soviet officials were fearful that without leadership, some irresponsible general in the United States might launch a missile attack on the Soviet Union.”
ADDED: I must say that when I read "The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. IV" by Robert A. Caro, I kept wanting to hear more about how LBJ managed to avoid being the target of suspicion. There's so much material in that book that makes you think he had the motivation.

74 comments:

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Another time, another Russian dossier.

Patrick said...

Nothing in these, or any documents will convince a committed conspiracy theorist that he's wrong.

Johnson andRFK despised each other.

cubanbob said...

What embarrassing information can there be after fifty four years that the CIA wants some of the documents redacted or not disclosed?

Hagar said...

Goes to show that our enemies' leaders are just as foolish as our own.

Ron said...

They say Kubrick did the moon landing....but maybe he also planned the nuke attack the Russians feared...and, purloined letter style, put it right on screen in Dr. strangelove! with an additional easter egg about how they should also fear then actor Reagan! "Attack Plan 'R'"

diabolical....

traditionalguy said...

If you are a lawyer, just read Blood,Money and Power by Barr McClellan. He tells the real inside Texas story.

It is settled that LBJ was in on the plot and cooperated with CIA hit teams.

Henry said...

Unconfirmed speculation! It never gets old.

Crimso said...

It is difficult to read Bugliosi's book. It is also difficult to read it and not conclude that the official account is correct. "Thorough" is an extreme understatement.

Bill Peschel said...

Paranoia or confirmation bias? Why not both.

Assassination would certainly be something they'd do in the ole' Soviet Union, where leaders hung on until they were wheeled out.

As for the U.S., I'd rather rely on a higher standard of proof. Considering what we know about the plots against Castro that failed, and our intelligence community's record of ineptness, I doubt they could pull off an assassination and keep the lid on it all this time. They're just not that good.

George M. Spencer said...

Oswald visited Mexico City in September 1963 and also visited the Cuban embassy there. What happened inside its walls is unknown...at least to the public. If our government had it under surveillance, who knows what information exists.

Let's say the Cuban officials thought he was a nut and sent him on his way. Nonetheless, they might have informed Castro that an American nut visited them, expressing a desire to kill Kennedy. Take it a step further and imagine if that raw intelligence data went to the Russians. Again, imagine if they did nothing with the information, thinking that it chaff, something about a lunatic.

Imagine their reaction when Oswald did kill Kennedy. They would have been terrified that the US might declare war on them. Of course, if the Cubans did provide Oswald with something--money, who knows what. Then....?

Oso Negro said...

@Cuban Bob - I agree Bob. Anything of interest to the Russians would have been known by the Russians LONG AGO. Ditto any other foreign entities. MUCH more likely would be information embarrassing to the CIA.

narciso said...

They also have the intercepted call to kostikov. The division 13 operative, then there is what the later Charles Thomas found out from octavio paz's wife about oswalds relationship with a Cuban embassy employee, in addition to fiorentino aspillaga'ds intercepted message re Dallas, abrantes and escalante both trained in minsk in 1961, they rose to the top of the security services

Michael Boulos said...

very nice post
Famous Positive Quotes
Make New Friends

John Christopher said...

The Kennedy assassination is almost glossed over in the Caro book. (We read them at about the same time). It's obvious by then how much Caro came to despise LBJ, so he must not have considered there to be anything bad to say.

Bay Area Guy said...

Yes, RFK and LBJ hated each other. Two scorpions in a bottle -fighting to become heir to JFK.

But Cui Bono?

Well, if you apply Occam's Razor; we lost a President, Bobby lost his older brother, and LBJ gained the Presdency.

LBJ benefitted the most from JFK's murder.

Just sayin'

Stan Smith said...

The "joke" going around West Texas and New Mexico at the time was: "What was LBJ doing ten seconds before the assassination?" Answer: "Holding his hands over his ears."

Mike Sylwester said...

I spent at least five years of my life studying the JFK assassination. I read dozens of books.

The best book -- the book that put my mind at peace about the assassination -- was Gus Russo's Live by the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK.

Russo is an excellent investigative reporter who was funded by Frontline to travel around the world to interview people for a Frontline documentary series about the assassination.

Russo's main thesis is that Oswald alone assassinated JFK, but that top people in the FBI and CIA suspected that Oswald did so on behalf of Castro, because the CIA had been trying to assassinate Castro. If that suspicion turned out to be true, then the public might learn about the US Government's various assassination plots.

Therefore, the FBI and CIA tried to cover up indications that Oswald was involved in a conspiracy. That effort backfired, because the cover-up caused people to suspect that the FBI and CIA had conspired to assassinate President Kennedy.

Mike Sylwester said...

Here is the Amazon page about Russo's book.

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Sword-Secret-Against-Castro/dp/1890862010

Mike Sylwester said...

After the JFK assassination, the reputations of the FBI and CIA were ruined for many years.

Now the FBI and CIA are trashing their own reputations again with their disgraceful antics in their RussiaGate "investigations".

The repair of their reputations will take many years.

narciso said...

Yes the last parts I gleaned from Russ, who was previously in the company did OT school, but some of the other revelations came from that times reporter, now with politico,

Ralph L said...

Jackie was upset that it was just a dirty little commie, which apparently didn't make her husband's martyrdom heroic enough for her.

How did we avoid another Red Scare?

Drago said...

Left Bank of the Charles: "Another time, another Russian dossier."Nope. The Kennedy item is still the only one. The other one was a piece of fiction created out of while cloth by the Dem/left/LLR side to cover up their corruption and political failure.

Amexpat said...

There's so much material in that book that makes you think he had the motivation.

Having read all 4 published volumes of Caro's LBJ opus, it would not surprise me if LBJ had some involvement in JFK's assignation. Caro doesn't speculate or hint that LBJ was involved, but he thoroughly documents how ruthless LBJ was in attaining power.

I'm skeptical of conspiracy theories, but I've never heard a reasonable explanation of why the mob-connected Jack Ruby killed Oswald. For me, that's a red flag indicating that we don't know the whole truth.

narciso said...

The dezinforma was what the Russian began almost immediately with joesten and Thomas bychanan which mark lane took up, later they seeded the foreign press, namely paesa De sierra and let humanity which Jim garrison bit on

Steve M. Galbraith said...

During the Jim Garrison investigation (which was a complete farce: Garrison was mentally deranged), then Attorney General Ramsey Clark told LBJ that he, LBJ, was reportedly going to be linked to the assassination. Here's how the historian Max Holland described the exchange:

"Clark was especially discomfited by one "nutty" aspect of the story—a rumor that Garrison was linking Johnson to the conspiracy. As fantastic as it sounded, the rumor seemed to have a credible source: the Democratic representative Hale Boggs, whose district encompassed much of New Orleans, and who had served on the Warren Commission.

Perhaps to Clark's surprise, Johnson responded to the story with equanimity, without swearing or even muttering to himself when he heard what Garrison was reported to be saying."

LBJ tape recorded many of the calls he had on this matter including the revelations - frmo the journalist Drew Pearson - about the assassination plots against Castro. LBJ acts surprised - he comes across as first learning about them from Pearson - but my suspicion is that he knew of them at the time.

The rest of this is here: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/holland_atlantic.htm

Amexpat said...

Russo's main thesis is that Oswald alone assassinated JFK, but that top people in the FBI and CIA suspected that Oswald did so on behalf of Castro, because the CIA had been trying to assassinate Castro. If that suspicion turned out to be true, then the public might learn about the US Government's various assassination plots.

I have two problems with that. The CIA and the US establishment wanted to get rid of Castro. If there were hard proof that that Castro was behind JFK's assassination that would provide legitimate grounds for invading Cuba with the full backing of the American public.

The second is I don't see how an open invasion of Cuba would bring to light the CIA's clandestine attempts to assassinate Castro. Who would provide the proof? Castro could claim it, but who would believe him at that time?

CJinPA said...

Soviets feared dark US forces were “interested in utilizing the assassination and playing on anticommunist sentiments in the United States,” according to the FBI.

Boy, were they wrong. Almost from the start the American Left shifted blame from the left-wing extremist responsible to a vague right-wing conspiracy. And Marxism itself gained new popularity on the American Left in the wake of the assassination.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

I'm skeptical of conspiracy theories, but I've never heard a reasonable explanation of why the mob-connected Jack Ruby killed Oswald.

Ruby explained why he did it. And Ruby's mob connections were nearly non-existent. He was a small time player with a huge anger problem - he would be smiling one moment and in the next he would be enraged - that was always in debt.

Oswald had two days to reveal who framed him or who he was involved with. He never mentioned anyone else; in fact he didn't even hint at having help.

About ten days before the assassination Oswald went to the FBI headquarters in Dallas and left a rather threatening note. It seems obvious that if he was part of a conspiracy to kill JFK that he wouldn't be essentially waving a giant red flag over his head.

CJinPA said...

Ruby explained why he did it. And Ruby's mob connections were nearly non-existent. He was a small time player with a huge anger problem - he would be smiling one moment and in the next he would be enraged - that was always in debt.

If I recall he was on his way to pay one of his strippers when happened to be passing the Dally Police HQ at the time of the prison transfer.

And Ruby was well known to hang out in the same building where the presidential assassin was killed. The JFK assassination will never be as compelling as people wish it to be. The president was killed by a loser, who was killed by another loser. Not satisfying, but the truth.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

In February of 1963, Oswald had a conversation on politics with a German geologist who was in Dallas working on a business project. That German, Volkmar Schmidt, described the exchange:

VOLKMAR SCHMIDT : Lee Harvey Oswald brought up in the conversation with me the fact that he really felt very angry about the support which the Kennedy administration gave to the Bay of Pigs invasion. It turned out that Lee Harvey Oswald really idealized socialism of Cuba, while he was critical of the socialism in the Soviet Union. And he was just obsessed with his anger towards Kennedy.

Schmidt said Oswald was incensed about the Bay of Pigs and the missile crisis and blamed JFK for the acts.

Ralph L said...

The strange part is why did LBJ accept the offer to be the VP nominee, possibly giving up being leader of the Senate for a bucket of warm piss.
IIRC, JFK thought he'd turn it down, and RFK was furious it was even offered.

Amexpat said...

Ruby explained why he did it.

Yes, I think it was something along the lines of he wanted to spare Jackie the pain of coming to the trial. Hardly a motivation for spending the rest of your life in jail. Unless, as suggested here, he was an unbalanced nutcase.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

If I recall he was on his way to pay one of his strippers when happened to be passing the Dally Police HQ at the time of the prison transfer.

Yes, Oswald was originally scheduled to be transferred earlier that Sunday morning but the schedule changed. Ruby was asleep during the scheduled transfer. He got up later to wire one of his strippers $20 and then saw the commotion outside the headquarters and sneaked in just as Oswald was being brought out. Oswald was actually going to be brought out about 3-5 minutes earlier but said he wanted to put on his other shirt first. So they took him back to his cell where he got the shirt. If he hadn't changed shirts Ruby wouldn't have been there to shoot him.

When history changes significantly people have a need to have a significant explanation as to why it happened. Accepting the fact that a nobody like Oswald with a cheap rifle was able to change history is tough to do. It doesn't add up. How could this nothing do it? It's easier to believe in a "bigger" explanation, one that adds up the two sides of the scale: JFK on one hand, Oswald on the other.

rcocean said...

"How did we avoid another Red Scare?"

IMO, that's the real reason Jack Ruby killed him. People label Ruby as "Connected to the Mob" and forget he was very liberal. Imagine Oswald's trial where he gets up and starts talking about all the Pro-communist, pro-Castro groups that radicalized him.

It would've hard to make remarks about a "Witch hunt for commies" if the the Oswald trial lasts 2 months & is all about Oswald spouting Commie propaganda and killing JFK for being an anti-Communist.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Unless, as suggested here, he was an unbalanced nutcase.

Ruby believed that Jews were literally being killed in the prison cells around him. He said he could hear their screams as they were being murdered.

He was terrified that he - a Jew - would be blamed for the assassination and that, in turn, Jewish Americans would be targeted. Some far right individuals - Edwin Walker and the Birchers - were promoting that idea - that Jews were behind it - and that idea terrified him. That's why he wanted to go to Washington to tell the truth: that he killed Oswald by himself, he wasn't part of a conspiracy.

Yes, he was insane.

Mike Sylwester said...

Amexpat at 9:47 AM

I've never heard a reasonable explanation of why the mob-connected Jack Ruby killed Oswald

Ruby said he killed Oswald because he thought the assassination would be blamed on the Jews. If Ruby, a Jew, killed Oswald, then the Jews would not be blamed for the assassination of Kennedy.

You might not consider Ruby's explanation to be reasonable, but that was his explanation.

When he was seized by the police immediately after he shot Oswald, Ruby said something like (as I recall), "This will show the world that the Jews have guts!"

CJinPA said...

The strange part is why did LBJ accept the offer to be the VP nominee, possibly giving up being leader of the Senate for a bucket of warm piss.

Keep in mind he just watched Richard Nixon become his party's nominee for president after eight years as VP. The "warm piss" line came decades earlier from another VP.

Mike Sylwester said...

Amexpat at 9:47 AM

I've never heard a reasonable explanation of why the mob-connected Jack Ruby killed Oswald

Ruby had no special relationship to the Mafia.

His major illegal activity was that he was a smuggler. He smuggled weapons, narcotics and pornography. While smuggling, he occasionally was "connected" with the "mob" -- and occasionally also with the CIA, police, etc.

Ruby might have thought that his own smuggling activities crossed paths with Oswald's acquisition of weapons. If that association was revealed to be true, then Ruby himself might become the Jew who would be blamed.

In general, Ruby was suffering a mental breakdown during the weeks before the JFK assassination. He was becoming irrational and delusional. If you ever come across Gerald Posner's book Case Closed, take a few minutes to read the chapter about Ruby. There, Ruby's mental breakdown is described well.

When Ruby was tried for killing Oswald, the mental breakdown was the legal defense argued by Ruby's lawyers.

Mike Sylwester said...

Amexpat at 10:00 AM

The CIA and the US establishment wanted to get rid of Castro. If there were hard proof that that Castro was behind JFK's assassination that would provide legitimate grounds for invading Cuba with the full backing of the American public.

Yes, Lyndon Johnson and heads of the FBI and CIA feared that proof of Cuba's complicity in the assassination would cause the US public to press for an invasion of Cuba.

That is why the FBI and CIA tried to cover up any indications that Oswald was in any conspiracy -- especially in a conspiracy with Cuba.

The FBI and CIA were not sure that Oswald acted in a conspiracy -- rather, they suspected it was likely he had done so. If it turned out that the suspicion was correct,then they would avenge the assassination secretly and later.

If it turned out that Cuba was involved in the JFK assassination, then the CIA's efforts to assassinate Castro eventually would be revealed. That was the can of worms that the CIA and FBI were trying to keep shut.

By the way, the CIA plots to assassinate Castro were orchestrated by Robert Kennedy. Russo's book Live by the Sword describes those plots and RFK's own participation superbly.

Mike Sylwester said...

Amexpat at 10:00 AM

I don't see how an open invasion of Cuba would bring to light the CIA's clandestine attempts to assassinate Castro. Who would provide the proof?

Some people knew that the US Government was trying to assassinate Fidel Castro. They might reveal what they knew if the US Government was going to invade Cuba on the justification that Castro had assassinated Kennedy.

There was a big can of worms that needed to be kept shut for as long as possible.

mockturtle said...

I've always thought it was much too convenient that Oswald was shot before he could be properly interrogated and tried and I have always believed there was more to the story than has been reported.

Johnson? Certainly he was ambitious and ruthless enough.

The Mafia? The Kennedys came down hard on their mob rivals after their inauguration so the motive was there.

Cuba? Possible. As is being said about Stephen Paddock, 'We may never know'. ;-)

Steve M. Galbraith said...

That is why the FBI and CIA tried to cover up any indications that Oswald was in any conspiracy -- especially in a conspiracy with Cuba.

Well, that's painting with a broad brush. James Angleton, head of counter intelligence, suspected that the Soviets were somehow involved, that Oswald had been turned into a KGB agent or asset when he was in the Soviet Union. This is outlined in Edward Jay Epstein's book "Legend."

Other elements in the CIA thought perhaps Castro was involved. But another part knocked down stories about Oswald meeting with DGI agents or receiving money. The head of the CIA station in Mexico City, Win Scott, believed in Soviet involvement and he was instrumental in refuting claims of Cuban involvement (Oswald with Duran, the so-called "twist" party where Oswald reportedly was seen with Cuban officials, et cetera).

Hoover believed that Oswald acted alone and I don't think there's evidence that he believed - other than perhaps the first days afterward - that there was a conspiracy.

So, when we say "the CIA" or "the FBI" we're talking about a lot of different departments and people with different views.

Amexpat said...

Some people knew that the US Government was trying to assassinate Fidel Castro. They might reveal what they knew if the US Government was going to invade Cuba on the justification that Castro had assassinated Kennedy.

The people that knew about the attempts on Castro's life would have no motivation in revealing what they knew as they would be in favor of an invasion of Cuba.

If it turned out that the suspicion was correct,then they[CIA] would avenge the assassination secretly and later.

The CIA had tried and were unable to assassinate Castro a number of times. Why would they believe they could do it later? An open military action premised on Castro's culpability in JFK's assignation would accomplish what could not be done clandestinely.

Ralph L said...

If Kennedy hadn't been shot, would the liberals have gotten enough Senators to pass the civil rights acts of 64&65 and then Medicare/Medicaid/Great Social after the 64 election?

Would the birth dearth and crime boom have begun in 65?

Roughcoat said...

Posner convinced me: One man, acting alone, and his name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

If Kennedy hadn't been shot, would the liberals have gotten enough Senators to pass the civil rights acts of 64&65 and then Medicare/Medicaid/Great Social after the 64 election?

There's an interesting phone call that LBJ made with King shortly after the assassination where he points out to King that the civil rights legislation and other initiatives by JFK were stalled in the House. It was still stuck in committee. LBJ asks King to support him, that he was going to call for Congress to stay in session and pass the legislation.

When LBJ met with his advisers to discuss his speech before Congress and the public right after the assassination, his advisers told him to play it safe and just give a "rally around the flag" speech. But he told them no, that he was going to press for civil rights and the other initiatives and that it wasn't worth being president if he wasn't going to do great things with the power.

The conversation with King can be read here: LBJ calls King.

Amexpat said...

Regarding LBJ, according to Caro there was an article in the works (I believe Life) about the financial misdeeds of Bobby Baker, who was a top aide to LBJ. The article would have been very damaging to LBJ, perhaps causing him to be dropped from 1964 ticket. After the assignation, it was deemed that it would be too damaging to the nation to publish the article.

Most likely just another coincidence, but I wouldn't rule it out as being further motivation for LBJ to have JFK assassinated.

Mike Sylwester said...

Steven M. Galbraith at 11:54 AM

Well, that's painting with a broad brush. ... when we say "the CIA" or "the FBI" we're talking about a lot of different departments and people with different views.

I agree with everything you wrote in your comment.

Yes, I have been painting with a broad brush, so I will refine my explanation.

Especially some of the CIA's top officials worried that Oswald had conspired with Castroites during a period preceding the JFK assassination. Those CIA officials kept such indications secret, and one important reason was that they worried that a public conclusion that Cuba was complicit might lead to huge consequences.

In regard to the FBI, Hoover thought early that Oswald acted alone, but Hoover also knew about RFK's and the CIA's plots to assassinate Castro. Also, Hoover wanted to cover up some FBI links, such as Guy Banister.

So, at some point and to some extent, Hoover went along with the CIA in covering up some of the investigation's findings. For Hoover too, some of his reason was that he wanted to prevent the investigation from leading to public demands to attack Cuba or even the Soviet Union.

The official investigation concluded that Oswald acted alone, and generally the CIA and FBI did agree sincerely with that conclusion.

Along the way, however, the CIA and FBI had covered up some elements, and those cover-ups eventually back-fired on those two institutions and on other people. In particular, the FBI's cover-up of Guy Banister's involvement with Oswald led a few years later to Jim Garrison's investigation and trial of Clay Shaw.

One important reason why the CIA and also the FBI covered up some findings was that those two institutions' leaders knew about the US Government's plots to assassinate Castro. This situation is important for a historical understanding the JFK assassination.

George M. Spencer said...

Amexpat--

It was a two-part article in LIFE. The first part was published the week JFK was killed (or the week before). LFE had the second part ready to go, but when JFK was assassinated they killed the story...because the nation was traumatized, and LBJ had become president.

During the week or two before JFK died a Senate subcommittee (or working group) was meeting privately to discuss investigating LBJ. That investigation came to a halt with the assassination.

Kennedy loathed LBJ, and LBJ knew he likely wasn't going to be on the 1964 ticket. Kennedy came to Dallas partly to meet with Connally who was very popular in Texas and who could help JFK carry the South.

All in the Caro biography...

johns said...

An interesting alternative account of Oswald's motivation is given in spy chief Ion Pacepa's book "Disinformation", which is a history of Soviet disinformation operations. He says that Oswald was trained to assassinate Kennedy while living in the USSR because Krushchev was insanely furious over his humiliation from the missile crisis. However, there was some development which i can't remember that threatened to expose the USSR's involvement, so they called it off. but Oswald acted on his own and went through with it anyway.

johns said...

Amexpat
How would LBJ have hired Oswald to kill Kennedy?

TestTube said...

The trigger (sorry) for JFK's assassination was his announcement of the moon landing program. Before that, all the Cold War BS was just standard Earth politics -- nothing more than entertainment from the viewpoint of Greys OR Reptilians. But landing on the Moon? THAT is a big can of worms to open. Even the Cetians aren't going to have our back on that one.

Of course, LBJ knew how many beans made five, unlike the idealistic JFK and RFK, plus he had an eye for detail, so he was a much better bet to go along with faking the moon landings.

Did he know what was up before the actual hit, or was he shoved into a room and briefed quick-like by the Men In Black? Who knows. LBJ was a quick study and thought quickly on his feet, so it wouldn't have made much difference. Plus, most likely Nixon was the preferred candidate of the Cetians, so probably LBJ was kept in the dark. Unless the Greys and/or the Reptilians wanted their own ace in the hole.

Wake up sheeple. Or on second hand, stay asleep. It really doesn't matter.

Mike Sylwester said...

In regard to Ruby and Oswald, I will offer this comment that is based on my memory of books I read years ago. I would prefer to confirm some details, but this is good enough for a blog comment.

Ruby was involved in smuggling weapons and people to Cuba. He was not involved for ideological reasons. For him, it was just his business of smuggling. This business was very stressful and deceitful and was a major factor in Ruby's mental breakdown.

In the days before the JFK assassination, he was involved in a particular smuggling operation in which weapons were smuggled from a National Guard warehouse to some Cubans. Probably this was a CIA operation. The Cubans could have been anti-Castro or pro-Castro Cubans. It's very murky and probably never will be clarified.

In the course of that particular operation, Ruby crossed paths with Oswald. A couple days before the assassination, they were together briefly in a hotel room. Something about this has become known because of a 1996 book titled Oswald Talked.

https://www.amazon.com/Oswald-Talked-New-Evidence-Assassination/dp/1565540298

If their paths indeed did cross, then that would be a major reason why Ruby feared that he, a Jew, might be implicated in the assassination, which would lead to blame being placed on all Jews.

The CIA and the FBI made sure to cover up this smuggling operation, which involved Ruby and Oswald, and which involved US military weapons being smuggled to Cubans. This operation was a small part of a much larger effort to overthrow and even assassinate Castro.

Even so, Ruby and Oswald did not really have anything to do with each other directly. However, their being together briefly in a hotel room a couple days before the assassination would help explain why Ruby killed Oswald.

Oswald was in the hotel room because he was an amateur spy trying to collect information about anti-Castro Cubans, which would earn him the ability to immigrate to Cuba and then to work as a spy for the Castro regime. That intention of his seems to be his major motivation for assassinating President Kennedy.

Bay Area Guy said...

While in the Marine Corps, Oswald: (1) worked on the CIA's most famous and successful project - the U-2 spy plane at the Atsugi Air base in Japan and (2) learned to speak fluent Russian.

Both of these by age 20.

Doesn't fit the "Lone Nut" narrative.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

LBJ is one of the most perplexing people one can read about. Caro documents his absolute cruelty - he would call Ladybird a "stupid cunt" in front of others - and serial dishonesty. Crude, vulgar, selfish...just a horrible man.

Yet he did more to fight racism and poverty and injustice then any other president in history. And I think he was absolutely sincere in wanting to do so - he had a deep sympathy for the plight of black and poor Americans.

How to reconcile the two men: the cruel man and the compassionate one?

TestTube said...

I'm loving all you idiots yammering about the "motivations" of Oswald and Ruby, when everything is well explained by extraterrestrial mind control.

Both Ruby and Oswald were pretty low-level. Yes, Ruby was nominally Jewish, but certainly not high enough status to have any involvement in the New World Order.

Oswald, being nuttier than a squirrel fart was probably hard to predict -- thus he had to be eliminated. Ruby was so unreliable that he was late to the first attempt, requiring Oswald to have to find some lame excuse to delay until Ruby could be bothered to show up (Yeah, "Gotta change my shirt". Go with that)

That's the problem with mind control -- the need to balance controllability with reliability. Not nutty enough, and it is easy to tell the subject is being controlled, as well as the subject has enough neural strength to defy manipulation. Too nutty, and you can't predict what the heck they are going to do next.

Sometimes I wonder why the Aliens even bother messing with us.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

While in the Marine Corps, Oswald: (1) worked on the CIA's most famous and successful project - the U-2 spy plane at the Atsugi Air base in Japan and (2) learned to speak fluent Russian.

Sorry, that's not true. He was a radar operator - like many Marines - at Atsugi Naval Air Station. He simply monitored U-2 flights on his radar screen that took off from a secret facility nearby. He had the lowest security clearance that was offered.

Second, he learned to speak passable Russian while in the Soviet Union. The KGB assigned co-workers at the factory he worked at to teach him the language. One of them was Stanislav Shushkevich who would later become the first president of Belarussia when it gained independence in 1994. The KGB actively followed the instructions to see if Oswald was faking his poor proficiency. When Oswald arrived in the Soviet Union he knew a few phrases and that was it. When he was in the Marines he took a test on Russian scored poorly on it.

Ann Althouse said...

"The strange part is why did LBJ accept the offer to be the VP nominee, possibly giving up being leader of the Senate for a bucket of warm piss."

It's perfectly explained by Caro in that book I linked to:

"Almost no one in the political world even suspected that the Majority Leader of the Senate would seriously consider trading that position for the vice presidency.... Should Kennedy win... Johnson’s position in relation to the world outside the Senate would be diminished both symbolically (he would no longer be the highest elected Democratic official in the country) and in a very concrete way as well: to the extent that there had been a Democratic legislative agenda during the past six years, he had had a major role, perhaps the major role, in setting it; now that agenda would be set by the White House... His chance to win his party’s nomination in 1960 was gone now, and... he might not get another chance until 1968.... Eight years would probably be how long Lyndon Johnson would have to wait. And in eight years Lyndon Johnson would be sixty... All during his boyhood, he had heard relatives repeating a piece of family lore: that all Johnson men had weak hearts and died young... [T]he South, the southern supporters he could not afford to alienate in the Senate, would demand the weakening, or death, of any civil rights bill... And of course if the scent of magnolias remained, it would taint him not only in the convention, but, should he by some long chance win the nomination, in the country as a whole.... Lyndon Johnson’s path to the presidency— that route he had mapped out for himself so long before— had always been narrow, twisting. He had navigated so many treacherous turns— had come much farther along the path than might have been thought possible. But he could go no farther. That route was closed. But there was another route— and he had reconnoitered it. Sometime early in 1960, he had had his staff look up the answer to a question: How many Vice Presidents of the United States had succeeded to the presidency? The answer was ten: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Harry Truman... As Vice President, [the ties to the South] would be cut, to a considerable extent... [A] Vice President was the logical candidate to succeed the President when his four or eight years in office ended, the natural heir to the presidency. And of course a Vice President might not have to wait that long. The alternative route had an abbreviated version— and Lyndon Johnson had reconnoitered that, too. He had his staff look up a second figure: How many Presidents of the United States had died in office? The answer was seven. Since thirty-three men had been President, 2 that was seven out of thirty-three: The chances of a Vice President succeeding to the presidency due to a President’s death were about one out of five. And when that question was asked about Presidents in modern times, the odds against such an occurrence got shorter— better. During the last hundred years before 1960, five Presidents had died in office— Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, Warren Harding in 1923 and of course Franklin Roosevelt in 1945. During that time span, in other words, a President had died in office approximately every twenty years. There had been eighteen Presidents during that time, and five out of eighteen were odds of less than one out of four. Furthermore, those odds seemed even shorter— much shorter— when compared with the odds of a Senate Majority Leader, or, indeed, any senator, being elected President..."

khematite said...

Did LBJ truly avoid suspicion? More than a few people took Barbara Garson's 1967 play "MacBird" pretty seriously.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/04/AR2006090400993.html

Michael K said...

It is settled that LBJ was in on the plot and cooperated with CIA hit teams.

Nope, others have pointed out that Caro's biography showed how weak Johnson was until the moment of the assassination.

Life magazine had a huge expose story set to go the week after November 23, 1963 which would have ended Johnson's career,

It had a ll the details about Bobby Baker and the story of his vote stealing. Kennedy told Evelyn Lincoln that Johnson would be dropped for the 1964 election.

Why did he take the VP nomination ?

He had two options. One was to stay in the Senate and maybe be overshadowed by the Kennedy admin.

Or Kennedy would probably have lost the 1960 election and Johnson would be blamed for the loss.

Secondly, he calculated that seven VPs had become president without being elected.

He was convinced a southerner could not be elected in that era of Civil Rights. He had been allied with the south since going to the Senate.

I don't think he could have had anything to do with it because he was powerless.

I do think Oswald had connections with the KGB and that was what was being kept secret . The FBI had botched the whole thing and the FBI, then as now, is more interested in its reputation for competence than in the law.

Amexpat said...

How would LBJ have hired Oswald to kill Kennedy?

If there was anyone of getting the truth, I'd bet even money that LBJ was not involved.

However, I don't think it's so far fetched that LBJ could have been involved. If he were involved he would not have hired Oswald personally or done anything that could be linked back to him. It most likely would have been some sort of quid quo pro for someone that would benefit if he were president.

TestTube said...

Althouse, you put too much faith in Caro's analysis. Some say that Caro was part of the coverup, knew about the Alien Overlords/NWO, and wrote the whole thing as a cover-up.

Not me.

Occam's razor, you know. Give an ambitious writer a larger-than-life figure to either idolize or smear or both, and said scrivener will come up with their own narrative to fit the bill.

Michael K -- LBJ "weak"? That is a good one. The only two creatures ornery and nasty enough to hold their own against Greys/Reptilians are a Texas Longhorn and a hardscrabble Texas Hill Country farmer.

Yeah, I guess I could throw Nixon in there as well, but I'm still not sure he wasn't at least partly Cetian.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

The late Norman Mailer went to Russia shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union and interviewed about 20 KGB agents assigned to Oswald. They all said - and the records he examined indicate it - that they wanted nothing to do with Oswald, that they viewed him as too erratic and not worthy of use. When he first arrived they viewed him as Trotsky returned; he was watched 24/7 and specifically sent to Minsk to isolate him. But after a very close examination they concluded he was worthless. In fact they were glad that he wanted to leave since they weren't sure he wouldn't try to kill himself again. The one thing Soviet bureaucrats feared most was attention; they had lived through the Stalin era and learned to keep quiet and don't draw attention. That's how you'll survive.

Mailer detailed this in his book "Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery." It's a deeply flawed work but he has some interesting details on Oswald's life in Minsk.

Bay Area Guy said...

You guys are missing, "Operation Mongoose," -- where after the Bay of Pigs failure, JFK ordered the CIA to assassinate Castro and destabilize Cuba, with "hit and run" jobs by armed mercenaries in motor boats.

Sounds crazy, but it's well-documented.

Even today's disclosures touch on it.

Quote: "A 1975 document from the Rockefeller Commission detailing the CIA’s role in foreign assassinations said plans to assassinate Castro were undertaken in the early days of the Kennedy administration.

The report said Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the President’s brother, told the FBI he learned the CIA hired an intermediary “to approach Sam Giancana with a proposition of paying $150,000 to hire some gunman to go into Cuba and kill Castro.”

The attorney general said that made it hard to prosecute Giancana, a Sicilian American mobster.

“Attorney General Kennedy stated that the CIA should never undertake the use of mafia people again without first checking with the Department of Justice because it would be difficult to prosecute such people in the future,” the report reads.

The report also said the CIA was later interested in using mobsters to deliver a poison pill to Castro in order to kill him."

Gus Russo gets it, and then extrapolates how Castro and Che Guevara responded to this.



Ralph L said...

Did Johnson know about JFK's Addison's in 1960?
That might have tipped the scale.

My father never forgave NC Gov Sanford for switching the delegation from LBJ to Kennedy at the convention.

There was the PR nationalists' assassination attempt on Truman in 1952. I've never heard about one against Ike, but Nixon's car was attacked in Venezuela or Colombia or somewhere down there.

LBJ's chief of staff was arrested giving (or getting) blow jobs at the DC YMCA in 1964 before the election. Was that still unspeakable at the time?

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullMoon said...

Assisted suicide. Onassis was involved. Kennedy was in constant paina nd addicted to prescription drugs. Had delusions and night terrors. Wanted relief but did not want to appear a quitter, so conspired with Johnson,Jackie, Onassis, Hitomi Tanaka and Secret Service to put an end to his suffering and go out a hero.
Everybody knows it.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bay Area Guy said...

@Steven M. Gailbrath,

I don't think I'm wrong on this:

From the International Business Times (2013)

1) The United States Navy Base at Atsugi, Japan, to which U. S. Marine Corps member Oswald was assigned from September 1957 to November 1958, was not just a run-of-the-mill U.S. Navy-operated defense base. It was and is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) base. Among other intelligence operations, the Atsugi base was one of two bases from which the CIA operated the top secret U-2 spy plane, which flew reconnaissance and surveillance missions over the Soviet Union and China. Why was the low-achieving, nondescript Oswald assigned to such a top secret and important base?

As for Oswald's learning to speak Russian, see Warren Commission Testimony from Lt. Colonel
Allison G. Folsom, USMC on May 1, 1964, discussing Oswald's military records:

Mr. ELY - All right. Now, moving further down page 7, we have the record of a Russian examination taken by Oswald on February 25, 1959. Could you explain to us what sort of test this was, and what the scores achieved by Oswald mean?
Colonel FOLSOM - The test form was Department of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, PRT-157. This is merely the test series designation.


Why the heck is a 20-year, buck private in the Marines, a high-school drop-out, taking a Russian examination in the military? This is obviously before he defected to the Soviet Union.

I served at the Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, about 30 miles from Atsugi -- also as a young, dumbass 20 year old. Learning Russian in the military is a very unusual and specialized duty.

From Wiki:

The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) traces its roots to the eve of America’s entry into World War II, when the U.S. Army established a secret school at the Presidio of San Francisco to teach the Japanese language. Classes began 1 November 1941, with four instructors and 60 students in an abandoned airplane hangar at Crissy Field.

During the war, the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS), as it came to be called, grew dramatically. When Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were moved into internment camps in 1942, the school moved to temporary quarters at Camp Savage, Minnesota. By 1944 the school had outgrown these facilities and moved to nearby Fort Snelling. More than 6,000 graduates served throughout the Pacific Theater during the war and the subsequent occupation of Japan.

In 1946 the school moved to the Presidio of Monterey, the renamed Army Language School expanded rapidly in 1947–48 during the Cold War. Instructors, including native speakers of more than thirty languages and dialects, were recruited from all over the world. Russian became the largest language program, followed by Chinese, Korean, and German.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

1) The United States Navy Base at Atsugi, Japan, to which U. S. Marine Corps member Oswald was assigned from September 1957 to November 1958,

Atsugi was a major naval air base that the US took over after WWII and then used during the Korean War. There was nothing secret about it. The Air Force and CIA used a facility on the base where U-2 flights operated out of. Oswald had nothing to do with that operation. He would watch/monitor/plot on his radar as the U-2 flights took off and landed. As would the other Marine radar operators. There was nothing secret about it.

As for the dates: Oswald was at Atsugi from September 1957 to November of 1957 not 1958. In November of 1957 he left Atsugi and went on numerous maneuvers with his unit. So he was at Atsugi for about three months. In March of 1958 his unit returned to Atsugi where he was no longer a radar operator. In September of 1958 his unit was sent to the South China Sea (he was on a ship) during the crisis over Quemoy and Matsui.

In October of 1957, while at Atsugi, he accidentally shot himself with a derringer that he had among his possessions (that was not allowed). He was then hospitalized for several weeks as he recovered. Then he was court martialed.

So, he was a radar operator at Atsugi - a Naval Air Base - for about three months with part of that time in the hospital recovering from his wound.

Oswald was given the test after his own request to do so. He scored poorly after teaching himself the language. If he was taught the language at the Monterrey school then why would he ask the Marines to take a test on his proficiency? Wouldn't he know it from attending the school? The language school, from what I've read, is a very intensive 9-12 month long series of classes where a student/attendee is immersed in the language being taught. There is no evidence that Oswald was away from the Marines for that length of time.

Norman Mailer went to Minsk and interviewed numerous Russians who met and knew Oswald. They all said he couldn't speak much of the language at all and they had trouble communicating with him. Obviously he could have been faking it, pretending not to know much of the language.

There's a lot of misinformation about Oswald that the conspiracy crowd has circulated. This is some of it.

Bay Area Guy said...

Atsugi was a major naval air base that the US took over after WWII and then used during the Korean War. There was nothing secret about it.

Strawman. Nobody said "Atsugi" was a secret. The U-2 program at Atsugi was the secret.


The Air Force and CIA used a facility on the base where U-2 flights operated out of. Oswald had nothing to do with that operation.

Wrong. Oswald was a radarman. He wasn't in charge of anything, but he certainly had something to do with the operation.

He would watch/monitor/plot on his radar as the U-2 flights took off and landed. As would the other Marine radar operators. There was nothing secret about it.

Are you drunk? The entire U-2 program was secret until Gary Powers was shot down over Russia.

Oswald was given the test after his own request to do so. He scored poorly after teaching himself the language. If he was taught the language at the Monterrey school then why would he ask the Marines to take a test on his proficiency?

Missing the point. 20-year old fuck-ups in the Marines, don't work on the U-2 project in Japan, and don't take Russian language exams. They get sent to 29 Palms to be ordinary grunts.






rcocean said...

Secret LBJ recording - ordering a Hit on JFK:

Bill Moyers: Hiya boss
LBJ: Did you see what the DoJ is up to? I want JFK Hit. Now.
Moyers: But boss, if you want to take out JFK, why not leak about his sex life, he's fucking gangster molls & cocktail waitresses - two at time!
LBJ: Goddammit, I want him hit, and hit now.
Moyers: OK but how?
LBJ: I got it taken care of. There's this guy Oswald.
Moyers: Oswald? How do you know him?
LBJ: Never mind. He's a commie who's itching to kill JFK.
Moyers: How do you know him?
LBJ: Never mind. He'll working at the Dallas book depository & Kill JFK
Moyers; How do you know that?
LBJ: Never mind. I know - got it all planned out.
Moyers: But even if he kills JFK, won't he squeal?
LBJ: Never mind about that. I got a guy named Ruby lined up. Its foolproof.
Moyers: But won't Ruby squeal?
LBJ: Never mind about that. Its all taken care of. The Warren Commission is paid off.
Moyers: The Warren who?
LBJ: Never mind about that. Just never breath a word of this - or you're a dead man.
Moyers: Sure boss. I'll never say a word. Even when its 2017 and you've been dead for 45 years.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Wrong. Oswald was a radarman. He wasn't in charge of anything, but he certainly had something to do with the operation

Wrong. Other Marines in his unit operated the radar facilities. They monitored planes flying in and out of Atsugi. Oswald worked in the "bubble" - the radar facility - for about 6 weeks and then was replaced. He had the lowest security clearance available.

If you think watching planes on a radar screen is being involved in the operation then you and I have a different definition of involvement.

The U-2 program was not secret in the sense of nobody who was not authorized otherwise knowing about it. The Soviets knew about the flights. And people who lived near the base could see the planes take off and land.

Once again: Oswald didn't work on the U-2 project anymore than the hundreds of other Marines who worked on the radar at Atsugi did. Read Epstein's book "Legend." He interviewed dozens of Marines who served with Oswald, including those who served at Atsugi. Everyone there knew about the flights and it was openly discussed among the Marines. It was not a secret to them.

Oswald requested on his own to take the test. No one in the Marines ordered him to do so. He took the test and did poorly.






Bad Lieutenant said...

Whatever do you mean?