Emerging Consensus that LBJ Killed JFK?
By Jeff Lukens
More than a thousand books have been written on the John F. Kennedy
assassination, yet there remains much controversy as to what happened
that day in Dallas. To the casual observer, the Warren Commission’s
narrative of three shots in six seconds by a lone gunman may appear to
be plausible. Search a bit below the surface, however, and you find many
inconsistencies that call into question the entire story.
With the passage of time and the information explosion online and in
books, the scope of the conspiracy and the cover-up in the JFK
assassination comes more clearly into focus to anyone willing to wade
through it, and look at it with fresh eyes.
Three books published in the time leading up to the 50th anniversary of
the assassination present a common narrative that JFK was killed by a
conspiracy led politically by Lyndon Johnson, and operationally by the
CIA and J. Edger Hoover.
In their books,
The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against
LBJ, by Roger Stone;
LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination,
by Phillip F. Nelson; and
Who Really Killed Kennedy?,
by Jerome R. Corsi, the authors explain the psychology of LBJ, and how
he conspired to bring together the details of the plot, and the cover-up
In them, we
learn about a rush to advance the lone gunman narrative, about how
evidence was mishandled and destroyed by the cleaning and refurbishment
of the limousine, and how two mishandled autopsies on JFK’s body forever
buried evidence that could explain much of what happened. We also learn
how the plot was to unfold, how the CIA was to bring in the
sharpshooters and provide the patsy to take the blame. We learn how the
FBI, on authority by LBJ himself, would handle the cover-up, and how LBJ
would then appoint a blue-ribbon commission who would confirm the
cover-up of the prearranged narrative.
Lyndon Johnson was a psychopath willing to do anything to advance his
rise to power. His rise was fueled by graft, corruption, and murder.
Yes, murder. LBJ’s hitman,
had killed seven other people in Johnson’s rise to power, including
LBJ’s own sister,
LBJ’s high handed wheeling and dealing knew no bounds other than what he
could keep from public exposure. Johnson was a ruthless politician who
would go to any length to attain the presidency, including killing the
president in order to assume his job. It is not much of a stretch to see
a personality of his type behind the conspiracy.
The assassination of a president itself is shocking enough, but to think
the succeeding president was behind the killing was beyond outrageous.
It was unthinkable. Yet that is the truth we must face. Indeed, the
public never seriously considered that possibility, and gave LBJ a
benefit of the doubt he did not deserve.
That Day in Dealey Plaza
You do not have to be a forensic expert to know that more than one
individual was involved in the assassination.
A lone gunman would fire three shots in roughly equally spaced
intervals. Witnesses on the plaza heard a shot, a pause, and then two
more shots in rapid succession. This alone indicates more than one
gunman was involved.
Yes, there were shots from the rear of the motorcade, but there were no
eyewitnesses to Lee Harvey Oswald as the gunman.
Oswald's rifle had a misaligned scope and a malfunctioning magazine
receiver. Oswald was a mediocre shot at best. To accurately shoot three
shots in six seconds by an expert sharpshooter with a functioning sniper
rifle would be almost impossible. For Oswald and his malfunctioning
rifle, it surely was impossible.
Many believe the
has been doctored and is not a reliable
source of evidence. Yet in it, there is still sufficient reality to show
what truly happened in those critical seconds. One sees the kill shot to
JFK’s head with an exploding type of bullet. JFK’s head jerks left and
rearward indicating he was struck from the right-front. Jacqueline
Kennedy’s climbing onto the trunk of the car to recover a piece of skull
fragment confirms the kinetic force of the bullet spraying bone and
brain matter rearward. This shows that the shot was not possible from
the School Book Depository to the rear. It had to come from the grassy
In the seconds after the shooting, dozens of witnesses rushed to the
sound of the gunfire on the knoll to find the shooters. They could still
smell the gunsmoke in the air. Once there, some found official looking
men brandishing credentials claiming to be the Secret Service. These
agents were impostors. The Secret Service later said that they did not
have any agents in that area until at least an hour later.
Oswald was a CIA pawn, set up to be the fall guy. And in case you didn’t
know, he personally knew Jack Ruby. There were no fingerprints linking
him to the shooting. The paraffin test on his cheek came back negative,
indicating Oswald had not fired a rifle that day. Modern voice
technologies have also determined Oswald was speaking the truth about
The Troubled Kennedy Presidency
his presidency by botching the Bay of Pigs invasion. The failure was
squarely his. For those in the Pentagon and the CIA, his appearance was
weak at a time when America needed to show strength and resolve in the
face of the increasing Soviet threat. In the year to come, the Bay of
Pigs fiasco would lead directly to the Berlin crisis, and then to the
Cuban Missile Crisis. Perhaps the CIA is somewhat to blame as well, but
no matter. JFK fired CIA Director Allen Dulles and other CIA leaders
shortly afterwards personalizing the distrust between him and the
In the summer of 1963, JFK had an epiphany of sorts, and sought a more
peaceful dialogue with Castro and Khrushchev. Gone were his “go
anywhere, pay any price” inaugural ideals. His June
speech at American University
gave voice to his new attitude.
At the same time, Vietnam was spiraling out of control. Hardliners
wanted a strong response in Vietnam, and Kennedy was not to give it to
them. That fall, JFK decided to pull troops out of Vietnam by 1965. With
the hindsight of 50 years, this was the right decision, a true profile
in courage. But with his failure at the Bay of Pigs, Kennedy had no
credibility with military leaders, or with the CIA. To them, his
decision to go soft on the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Vietnam amounted to
treason, and it set events moving toward a fateful day in Dallas.
As the rift
between Kennedy and hardliners widened, into the void stepped Lyndon
Johnson. Never to let an opportunity go to waste, LBJ found the ultimate
solution to his
that was coming to a boil on Capitol Hill. LBJ’s days were numbered, and
he was facing possible prison time. Kennedy was already showing signs
that Johnson would be dumped from the 1964 ticket. With his ruthless
drive for power, and RFK as the likely successor to the JFK legacy, LBJ
would be out in the cold, except of course, if he could pull off the
crime of the century, kill JFK, and garner public support in the
Stone produced the movie,
based on Jim Marrs’ 1989 masterwork,
Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy.
In the book and in the movie, you get a scattershot of diverse motives
and factoids, but not the plausibility of it happening in concert. It
was the CIA, the FBI, the mob, Texas oilmen, Dallas Police, the Secret
Service, and so on. Too many people involved, too many loose ends, too
many ways for the secrets to come out.
Missing in both accounts was a central figure in the assassination plot.
If there was a conspiracy involving the mob, the FBI, the CIA, the
oilmen in Texas, Lyndon Johnson would have had to be involved. Anybody
he could not payoff, intimidate or bully into a corner, LBJ would just
have them put away. This was as true for JFK as it was for anyone else.
is the key to the Kennedy assassination. Johnson had the most to gain.
He had the means and the motive to bury the facts. There was nobody with
the leverage he had. He was the Vice President, and if he wanted to kill
the president, he had the ability to do so by corrupting a wide array of
people to do the deed and cover it up. LBJ was sufficiently ruthless to
do whatever it took.
For many years, Johnson was a neighbor and a close confidante to J.
Edger Hoover, Director of the FBI. Normally, people like him would be in
jail, but in LBJ’s case, he held much sway with Hoover and the justice
system. JFK, however, planned to force Hoover out in 1965 with the
mandatory retirement at 70 for all federal employees.
With LBJ in
the White House, the Bobby Baker Scandal investigation would be dropped.
LBJ correctly calculated a grieving nation would rally behind him as
JFK’s successor. Johnson would then have avoided political exile and
incarceration, Hoover would get a lifetime tenure in the FBI, the CIA
would have their war in Vietnam, big oil would have a politician office
to legislate in their favor, and the mob would have someone to call off
the dogs. It all hinged on the narrative of Kennedy being killed by a
crazed lone gunman.
the night before the assassination with the
Suite 8F Group
of co-conspirators at the Dallas home of
to finalize details of “The Big Event,” as it
was called. Johnson’s mistress,
told investigators years later that Johnson told her that evening,
“After tomorrow, those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again.
That is no threat. That is a promise.”
Not seen in the famous Ike Altgens photo was the 6’4” LBJ as he rode in
pale blue Lincoln, two cars back
in the motorcade, a second or so after JFK
had been shot in the throat. The much smaller Lady Bird can be clearly
seen, however. LBJ was ducking low in his car as it approached Elm
Street even before the shots were fired. He knew the shots were coming, and
he was trying to take cover.
Malcolm Wallace's fingerprint
was found on a box in the sniper’s nest of
the School Book Depository. Within minutes of the shooting, a general
description of the suspect fitting Oswald hit the newswires. So started
the Oswald frame-up on the lone gunman narrative, and woe to anyone who
might know too much and inadvertently tell the truth.
astonishing how many witnesses to the assassination met untimely and
abnormal deaths. In his book,
Richard Belzer estimated that in the 14 years that followed, of the 1400
witnesses involved, 70 had died by homicide, suicide, or by some other
unnatural way (an extremely improbable statistic). Most notable among
Mary Pinochot Meyer,
having been fired as Director of the CIA, loathed Kennedy. This attitude
was found throughout the agency. It would not be difficult to find
individuals to participate in the plot. Dulles, through his contacts may
have provided many of the resources. After the assassination, LBJ named
him to the Warren Commission, which would then overlook and cover-up
much of the evidence.
Johnson and Hoover’s involvement of the assassination begs the question
on whether they were also involved in the Robert Kennedy assassination.
They knew that if RFK became president in 1968, their cover-up would
likely be revealed. The JFK and RFK assassinations are likely linked
according to Roger Stone.
What the Assassination Means Today
perspective of time, and dedicated research by countless individuals, we
now know the central figure in the plot and the cover-up was Lyndon
Johnson, and with him, the narrative comes more clearly into focus.
However, the larger implications of our nation’s history, and what we
think of ourselves, are more muddled than ever.
Phillip Nelson poses some basic questions. Who had the most to gain and
the least to loose, who had the means to do it, and who had the
apparatus in place to subsequently cover it up? Who had the kind of
narcissistic sociopathic personality capable of rationalizing the action
as a greater good together with the resolve to carry it though? Only one
person had the wherewithal to do all this. Only LBJ was in a position to
control the pre and post assassination conspiracy. The totality of the
evidence points to him.
Johnson is revered by liberals for the legislation he rammed through
Congress in the years after his taking office. To Johnson, the ends
justify the means. But is this how Americans like to think of
themselves? Roger Stone writes:
Lyndon Johnson, as a psychopathic serial murderer, is not a pleasant
topic to think about for establishment liberals who like to think of him
as a belated champion of civil rights, voting rights, and a slew of
Great Society programs. In fact, acknowledging the JFK assassination for
what it was— a coup d’état— is discrediting to the narrative of the
United States as a beacon of democracy, freedom, and justice as well as
a place that is morally superior to banana republics and third-world
dictatorships. Establishment conservatives, just like the liberals,
choke on that bone in unison.
The JFK Assassination is, by far, the biggest cover-up in American
History, the consequences of which still reverberate loudly over the
American political and social landscape. For the public, the shock of
the assassination was terrible enough. But to even think that the Vice
President was behind a coup d’état was just unbelievable. Johnson used
this disbelief to his advantage, and covered up the truth until years
after his death in 1973.
More than fifty years later, what does revelation of a coup d’état in
the United States mean? That is a huge question. Who we are and who we
wish to be as a nation was severely damaged that day. Because of the
assassination, the trust in government by many citizens was lost,
perhaps forever. America lost its innocence in this horrendous event,
and the lessons learned have yet to be publicly discussed. With the
passage of decades not knowing the truth, and a now a majority of
Americans born after that fateful day, we stumble on as a lesser people.
It is time to set the record straight.