The Definitive, Somewhat Short Guide To Who Killed JFK By An Arguably Non-Crazy Person

The JFK files have been released, thus far yielding no smoking guns, nothing to rouse public opinion from the state of complacent acceptance that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone gunman, into the level of skepticism that was always appropriate for a story of such magnitude.

My friends all know that I’m on board with the notion that the assassination was the result of a conspiracy (I have made that fact abundantly, annoyingly clear). So a few of them have asked me what I thought about the new file dump. I told them I was cynical as to whether it would make any difference. Because, in my opinion, all the evidence needed to determine that Oswald did not act alone–even to determine who probably worked in concert to murder John F. Kennedy–was already out there.

BUT, I haven’t yet seen a good, comprehensive consolidation of that information on the Internet in a form shorter than an entire book. I have attempted to do that for you.

This is, my  Definitive, Somewhat Short Guide To Who Killed JFK By An Arguably Non-Crazy Person.

It won’t have everything. As ardent a believer as I am–you might even say a “zealot”–I am not an expert. This guy is, sort of, which doesn’t exactly lend credibility to the rest of we theorizers.

lmao I’m serious. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FVsS2sDkpE

So I’m going to miss some stuff. And much of it will seem conjectural, or circumstantial–but I ask that you consider the alternative throughout–that being the illogical yarn spun by the Warren Commission–which claims that a lone nut in Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. And consider what you know about the official story of how things went down. I assume, not all that much. And yet you are more inclined to believe it – why? Simply because it has been canonized by the powers that be as inviolable truth? I’m asking you to open your mind as you read, and think to yourself: perhaps I just don’t know.

I’ve done my best in consolidating and curating the information I find most important and compelling. It’s not the most authoritative, nor the most organized, I would guess. But I would argue that this is gonna be your best, semi-coherent, semi-short article from a semi-non-crazy person you can find on the Internet. So here we go.

We’re going to begin with the figure who I believe played the most integral role in coalescing the interests of the parties who wanted John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, out of the picture in 1963. Lyndon Baines Johnson. Like a detective, we start with motive.

What is LBJ’s motive for killing JFK?

LIFE Article

Well, lets start with the fact that LBJ was about to go down, big time. In 1963, James Wagenvoord was the editorial business manager and assistant to LIFE magazine’s Executive Editor. Wagenvoord says that the magazine was working with Robert Kennedy, John’s brother and then Attorney General, on an explosive investigation into LBJ’s history of corruption. Not only was Lyndon Johnson in danger of taking political injury, but he was actually in danger of facing prison time.

This starts with Johnson’s relationship with fellow crooked politician, the secretary to the Senate majority in 1963, Bobby Baker. Wagenvoord says: “Beginning in late summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker.  On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the ’64 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time.  At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the U.S.  The top management of Time, Inc. was closely allied with the USA’s various intelligence agencies and we were used…by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public…The LBJ/Baker piece was in the final editing stages and was scheduled to break in the issue of the magazine due out the week of November 24 (the magazine would have made it to the newsstands on Nov. 26th or 27th).  It had been prepared in relative secrecy by a small special editorial team.  On Kennedy’s death research files and all numbered copies of the nearly print-ready draft were gathered up by my boss (he had been the top editor on the team) and shredded.  The issue that was to expose LBJ instead featured the Zapruder film.  Based upon our success in syndicating the Zapruder film I became Chief of Time/LIFE editorial services and remained in that job until 1968.”  (From Wagenvoord’s personal blog)

Bobby Baker

Who was Bobby Baker?

The book ”A Texan Looks at Lyndon” by J. Evetts Haley was published in 1964. The book details the relationships between Lyndon Johnson, Bobby Baker and Billy Sol Estes–three verifiably crooked men from Texas. Another important claim made in the book was that Johnson was culpable in the deaths of Henry Marshall and John Douglas Kinser. Known Johnson crony Malcolm “Mac” Wallace was convicted of killing Kinser in 1951, and for his crime was given a 5-year suspended sentence (which we will return to momentarily). Wallace had been working for Johnson since 1950.

Back to Baker. Bobby Baker was LBJ’s closest associate, and had the nickname “Little Lyndon.” Baker, LBJ’s confidante, was the subject of a senate investigation beginning in 1962. In his 1968 book The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson, investigative journalist Joachim Joesten wrote: “The Baker scandal then is truly the hidden key to the assassination, or more exact, the timing of the Baker affair crystallized the more or less vague plans to eliminate Kennedy which had already been in existence the threat of complete exposure which faced Johnson in the Baker scandal provided that final impulse he was forced to give the go-ahead signal to the plotters who had long been waiting for the right opportunity.” Pretty straightforward stuff (though a bit of a run-on sentence). Johnson knew the investigation could potentially lead back to him and his many skeletons – including the murders of Kinser and Henry Marshall.

Henry Marshall and Douglas Kinser

In 1960, Henry Marshall held a senior post at the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) in Texas. That year, he had started to investigate Billy Sol Estes, LBJ’s other right hand man. I guess he was his left hand man, if Baker was the right hand one. Nobody has two right hands, after all. Except this guy. 

In his investigations, Marshall discovered that Sol Estes had purchased 3,200 acres of cotton allotments from 116 different farmers (source). Marshall wrote to his superiors in D.C.: “The regulations should be strengthened to support our disapproval of every case (of allotment transfers).”

When he found out that Marshall was meddling with this plot (no pun intended) to illegally buy up land en masse, Sol Estes sent his lawyer to meet with Marshall, who told him that he was aware that Sol Estes was involved in a “scheme or device to buy allotments, and will not be approved, and prosecution will follow if this operation is ever used.”

A. B. Foster, manager of Billie Sol Enterprises, then wrote to Lyndon Johnson aide Clifton Carter that they would “would sincerely appreciate your investigating this and seeing if anything can be done.”

On June 3, 1961, Marshall was found dead lying beside his truck. He had been shot 5 times. A doctor performing an autopsy found a 15 percent carbon monoxide concentration in Marshall’s body and determined that it may have been as high as 30 percent when Marshall died. It was deemed by the Roberson County Sheriff a SUICIDE.

Nolan Griffin, a gas station attendant in Robertson County says he was asked by an out-of-towner for directions to Henry Marshall’s farm. Griffin was later able to identify the stranger as this man:

Malcolm “Mac” Wallace.

Malcolm Wallace was an accomplished henchman on LBJ’s payroll, as well as Edward Clark’s, who we will return to later (I’m getting my yarn all tangled). Wallace, along with being likely responsible for the murder of Henry Marshall, was previously convicted of killing a man by the name of Douglas Kinser.

Barr McClellan, author of Blood, Money & Power and a former member of LBJ’s legal team, alleges in his book that both Wallace and a man by the name of Douglas Kinser were having affairs with Lyndon Johnson’s sister Josefa Johnson in 1951. McCellan states that Kinser,  the proprietor of a mini-golf course, asked Josefa to approach her brother for financial help. When Johnson refused, McLellan alleges that Kinser sought to blackmail him.

On October 22, 1951, Mac Wallace went to Kinser’s golf course and shot him to death. A customer wrote down the license plate number of the car Wallace fled in, and he was later arrested. Wallace was convicted by a jury of his peers for the crime of “murder with malice afore-thought.” Eleven of twelve jurors recommended the death penalty, and the twelfth recommended a life sentence. Instead, Judge Charles O. Betts decided that justice was a five year prison sentence, which he promptly suspended. Wallace walked out scot free.

What the fuck?

How is that allowed? Well, that was apparently the state of the state of Texas at the time. A boys club, and if you were a member, you were utterly unassailable. You could literally be convicted of murder and let walk. And if you’ll keep reading, you’ll see that this was–and perhaps is still–the state of the country at-large.

Hopefully this has given some insight into what might have been the personal motivation for LBJ to want the president dead – so that he could assume his role and do away with these pesky senate investigations and magazine exposés. Whereas we are clamoring for anything and everything to come to light regarding our political leaders today, the ethos of the day for journalism was: you do NOT publish information detrimental to the president’s image. Recall that FDR asked reporters not to photograph him in a wheelchair as it could dampen national morale. Actually as I fact checked this I learned that it’s not really true lol; from TIME magazine’s Matthew Pressman: “As for incriminating images, it took far more than a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ for the FDR administration to discourage photos and newsreel film of the president in his wheelchair. Rather, the Secret Service used force…they would seize the camera and tear out the film.” But I’m leaving it to show that something analogous may have been the case, because the evidence is there that the exposé was in the works before the assassination. Yet afterward? Poof. Gone.

Along with a desire to avoid his own ruin, Johnson simply hated John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby. So did his friends, the men who had made Johnson’s political career in Texas–and that’s the key part. Johnson was in the pocket of the Texas oligarchy, the oil men, and unlike JFK, he was morally flexible. Johnson was concerned first and foremost with his own political status, and therefore able to be bought. The perfect guy for the office of “most powerful man in the country” (according to those with the power to put him there).

Big Oil

Edward Clark and Clint Murchison were two oil tycoons whose names recur in the works of JFK theorists as being the ones who funded and helped orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

What was their motive in wanting Kennedy dead? JFK wanted to abolish or reduce the ultra-high tax allowance–called the oil depletion allowance–of 27.5%, which would have lost the oil industry millions–even hundreds of millions. From the New York Times December 15, 1963: “Nowhere is oil a bigger political force than Texas, producer of 35 per cent of the nation’s oil and possessor of half of its obtainable oil reserves. As a Texan in Congress, Lyndon B. Johnson was a strong advocate of oil industry causes – low import quotas and the 27.5 % per cent tax allowance for depletion of oil reserves.” While campaigning, John F. Kennedy had previously stated his intentions to preserve the oil depletion allowance, writing to Gerald C. Mann, the director of the Democratic campaign for Kennedy in Texas: “I have consistently, throughout this campaign, made clear my recognition of the value and importance of the oil-depletion allowance. I realize its purpose and value…” Philip F. Nelson, author of LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, wrote that this allowance paved the way for the oil industry to save up to $280-$300 million a year.

Jim Marrs reiterates the importance of the depletion allowance to the oil industry in Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy: “Under this allowance, an oilman with a good deal of venture capital could become rich with virtually no risk. For example, a speculator could drill ten wells. If nine were dry holes and only the tenth struck oil, he would still make money because of tax breaks and the depletion allowance.”

While he had campaigned with the promise of keeping the oil depletion allowance, Kennedy changed his mind three years later. In January of 1963, Kennedy presented his proposal for tax reform, writing that the oil depletion allowance would be removed.

The oligarchs of Texas did not want that. Kennedy had also poked the bear in 1962, with The Kennedy Act of 1962 which had also enraged these millionaires. Joe Siracusa, author of The Kennedy Years and  Encyclopedia of the Kennedys: The People and Events That Shaped America believes that these men contracted the assassination.”The motive?” Siracusa writes, “JFK had infuriated big oil with the Kennedy Act of 1962, slapping taxes on US oil firms that would have cost them hundreds of millions of dollars a year.”

In Age of Inquiry, by Robert Clayton Buick just what the Kennedy Act did: “In October, 1962, Kennedy was able to persuade Congress to pass an act that removed the distinction between repatriated profits and profits reinvested abroad. While this law applied to industry as a whole, it especially affected the oil companies. It was estimated that as a result of this legislation, wealthy oilmen saw a fall in their earnings on foreign investment from 30 per cent to 15 per cent.” 

These guys also had been grooming J. Edgar Hoover, the famous director of the FBI, to be their man on the inside. From Anthony Summers’ The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover: “Recognizing Edgar’s influence as a national figure, the oilmen had started cultivating him in the late forties-inviting him to Texas as a houseguest, taking him on hunting expeditions. Edgar’s relations with them were to go far beyond what was proper for a Director of the FBI.”

People would stay at Clint Murchison’s Del Charro Hotel in La Jolla, California frequently. BIG people. J. Edgar Hoover was one. From Anthony Summers book Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover: “Allan Witwer, the manager of the hotel at the time said: ‘It came to the end of the summer and Hoover had made no attempt to pay his bill. So I went to Murchison and asked him what he wanted me to do.’ Murchison told him to put it on his bill. Witwer estimates that over the next 18 summers Murchison’s hospitality was worth nearly $300,000.” Other guests at the hotel over the years included Texas Governor John Connally and Lyndon Johnson; mafiosos Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana and Carlos Marcello were others.

On the night of November 21, 1963 – one day before the assassination in Dallas – there was a meeting alleged to have taken place at Clint Murchison’s house in Dallas. This allegation comes from Madeleine Brown, who also claims to have been LBJ’s mistress. Watch this video to hear the story.

From a separate interview: “Tension filled the room upon his arrival. The group immediately went behind closed doors. A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared. I knew how secretly Lyndon operated. Therefore I said nothing… not even that I was happy to see him. Squeezing my hand so hard, it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper, a quiet growl, into my ear, not a love message, but one I’ll always remember: ‘After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again – that’s no threat – that’s a promise.'”

Madeleine Brown’s story has been disputed by Gary Mack, co-producer of the Emmy award winning JFK: The Dallas TapesMack writes in 1997:

“Madeleine has claimed over the years that she attended a party at Clint Murchison’s house the night before the assassination and LBJ, Hoover and Nixon were there. The party story, without LBJ, first came from Penn Jones in Forgive My Grief. In that version, the un-credited source was a black chauffeur whom Jones didn’t identify, and the explanation Jones gave was that it was the last chance to decide whether or not to kill JFK. Of course, Hoover used only top FBI agents for transportation and in the FBI of 1963, none were black.”

However, this is contrary to an anecdote from C. David Heymann’s RFK: A Candid Biography of Robert F. Kennedy, in which Robert Kennedy is purported to have sent out a memo to the FBI saying that the Bureau needed to hire more black employees.

“The only person who didn’t respond to the memo was J. Edgar Hoover,” said John Seigenthaler, Robert Kennedy’s administrative assistant. “I sent a second memo, after which he wrote me saying it was a violation of federal regulations to inquire into the race of government employees.” When Hoover claimed that besides that, there were already two black employees directly under him, Seigenthaler says: “We went back I showed the memo to Sal Andretta, chief administrator of the department, who’d been there for years, and he said, ‘Hell, they’re Hoover’s drivers.’”

But Mack continues: “Actually, there is no confirmation for a party at Murchison’s. I asked Peter O’Donnell because Madeleine claimed he was there, too. Peter said there was no party…

“Could LBJ have been at a Murchison party? No. LBJ was seen and photographed in the Houston Coliseum with JFK at a dinner and speech. They flew out around 10pm and arrived at Carswell (Air Force Base in northwest Fort Worth) at 11:07 Thursday night. Their motorcade to the Hotel Texas arrived about 11:50 and LBJ was again photographed. He stayed in the Will Rogers suite on the 13th floor and Manchester (William Manchester – author of The Death of a President) says he was up late.”

Madeleine Brown’s son, Steven Mark Brown, filed suit against  Lady Bird Johnson and the Johnson estate in 1989, claiming that Johnson was his father, but the suit was dismissed.

Make of Madeleine Brown’s account what you will. This fact remains: John F. Kennedy was threatening to cost the oil industry nearly $300 million, and when Lyndon Johnson became president, the oil depletion tax allowance did stay at 27.5%. Big oil men from Texas did not like the yankee New Englander in the oval office. He had double-crossed them, and now was threatening their livelihood–or at least the magnitude of their opulent lifestyles. Certainly, they would prefer a homegrown boy of their own in that office – one they knew they could trust.

Organized Crime

In order, Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana and Carlos Marcello

Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana and Carlos Marcello were previously mentioned as having stayed at Murchison’s luxury hotel in La Jolla. All three men have been tied to the Kennedy assassination by various sources.

Marcello and the other elites of organized crime did not have a problem with John Kennedy as much as his brother, Robert (or Bobby). In 1961, the younger Kennedy as the Attorney General launched a war on organized crime, calling America’s attention to a “private government of organized crime with an annual income of billions, resting on a base of human suffering and moral corrosion.” From The Kennedy Half-Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy by University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato: “The Mafia detested the administration of John F. Kennedy as Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy raised the number of mob convictions from 35 in 1960 to 288 in 1963.”

This was also seen as a double-cross, after the Kennedy patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy had used his mafia connections to encourage voters to elect his son for the presidency.

Sam Giancana

Sam Giancana was the leader of the Chicago crime family from 1957–1966. From a National Geographic article by Patrick Kiger from October 23, 2013 entitled WAS KENNEDY TIED TO THE MOB?: “Giancana had longtime ties to the Kennedy clan, going back to JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, who was involved with Giancana in the bootlegging business during Prohibition. Additionally, Gianciana was an associate of singer Frank Sinatra, a close Kennedy friend, and allegedly was a donor to JFK’s 1960 Presidential campaign, at a time when politicians weren’t required to disclose their deep-pockets contributors.” Many have alleged that Giancana helped Kennedy win the crucial 1960 West Virginia primary. In 2009, Frank Sinatra’s daughter Tina Sinatra told 60 minutes that her father was a friend of both Giancana and the Kennedy’s, and that he served as an intermediary for Giancana and Joe Kennedy in soliciting Giancana’s connections to help Kennedy secure the primary over Sen. Hubert Humphrey. In The Dark Side of Camelot, Seymour Hersh also alleges that Joe Kennedy met with Giananca regarding the same. According to Professor Larry Sabato, Joe offered “the president’s ear” in return for their aide.

But in 1961, Joe Kennedy suffered a stroke that rendered him immobile and, according to the JFK library, “barely able to communicate.”

From J. Randy Taraborrelli’s book Sinatra: Behind the Legend, Taraborrelli claims that Sinatra remarked once, after President Kennedy cancelled plans to sleep at Sinatra’s house, “You know, if Joe Kennedy hadn’t had that stroke, none of this would be happening. Bobby would never do this if Joe was around to stop him.” Attorney General Robert Kennedy wrote in a Justice Department report: “Sinatra has had a long and wide association with hoodlums and racketeers, which seems to be continuing.” Names of associates included Sam Giancana.

In fact, it is widely alleged that Sinatra was held responsible for the Kennedys’ betrayal, but they couldn’t off him, because, you know – he was Frank Sinatra. From Sabato’s Half-Century: “When the Kennedys turned on Giancana once they were in the White House, Sinatra had to work hard to deflect the mobster’s wrath at Sinatra on account of the Kennedys’ unfaithfulness. In atonement, the singer played at Giancana’s club, the Villa Venice, with his ‘Rat Pack’ of fellow entertainers, for eight nights in a row.” He goes on to say:  “Sinatra worked his way back into Giancana’s good graces, but the Kennedys never did.”

Evidently.

Though the mafia particularly despised Robert Kennedy, I think it’s important to note that JFK was on board with his brother’s directives. Here’s a reminder of why this assassination and cover-up is still important – because John Kennedy was murdered for being an idealist, rather than an opportunist. Being a president who wanted to make the country better, help people, clean up corruption – and he was murdered for it. Now look at the white house. This is what they’ve allowed.

Carlos Marcello

When asked by historian and author of Robert Kennedy And His Times Arthur Schlesinger who he thought was principally responsible for the death of his brother,  Bobby Kennedy allegedly responded: “that guy in New Orleans.”

That meant Carlos Marcello. Marcello was the Sicilian-American boss of the New Orleans crime family for 30 years.

In 1962, Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Ed Reid published an anecdote about Marcello in a study of organized crime called The Grim Reapers, in which a friend says Marcello made a rather surprising remark about the President and his younger brother. Friend of Marcello Edward Becker told the House Committee on Assassinations that he said something to the effect of “Bobby Kennedy is really giving you a rough time,” and Marcello reportedly responded by suggesting that he and the President were to be taken care of shortly: “You know what they say in Sicily: if you want to kill a dog, you don’t cut off the tail, you cut off the head.” Robert Kennedy had authorized the extralegal deportation of Marcello to Guatemala using a fake birth certificate that stated he was born there. From the House Committee on Assassinations document: “Marcello ‘clearly indicated’ that his own lieutenants must not be identified as the assassins, and that there would thus necessity to have them use or manipulate someone else to carry out the actual crime.”

Someone like James Files, who confessed to shooting John F. Kennedy under instruction from Johnny Roselli and Charles Nicoletti, who were both lieutenants in the Chicago crime family, under Sam Giancana–alleged to be working in conjunction with Marcello’s New Orleans men.

Roselli is alleged by mobster-turned-author Bill Bonnanno (who was a fellow inmate in prison at the time and a member of the La Cosa Nostra crime family) to have said that he fired at Kennedy from a storm drain on Elm Street. This is reiterated in M. Wesley Swearingen’s 2008 book To Kill A President: “Roselli bragged to the source, who was a made man in La Cosa Nostra, that Roselli had shot at and may have killed John Kennedy…Roselli and his men then finished the job from the sewer drain and the grassy knoll while the police and witnesses were running around like chickens with their heads cut off.’”

Before the House Committee on Assassinations was fully formed in 1976, though, Rosselli died. He didn’t exactly pass gently in his sleep. His body was recovered in 55-gallon steel fuel drum floating in Dumfoundling Bay near Miami, reportedly strangled, stabbed and dismembered. Sam Giancana was shot in the back of the head in 1975 as he was grilling sausage and peppers. Charles Nicoletti was shot three times in the back of the head while sitting in his car in March 1977. All were due to testify at the Committee at the times of their deaths. Here’s a video about it.

More from Reid’s book, regarding a separate conversation between Marcello and three other men at his 3,000 acre plantation in New Orleans:

It was then that Carlos’ voice lost its softness, and his words were bitten off and spit out when mention was made of U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who was still on the trail of Marcello. “Livarsi na petra di la scarpa!” Carlos shrilled the cry of revenge: “Take the stone out of my shoe!” “Don’t worry about that little Bobby, son of a bitch,” he shouted. “He’s going to be taken care of!” Ever since Robert Kennedy had arranged for his deportation to Guatemala, Carlos had wanted revenge. But as the subsequent conversation, which was reported to two top Government investigators by one of the participants and later to this author, showed, he knew that to rid himself of Robert Kennedy he would first have to remove the President. Any killer of the Attorney General would be hunted down by his brother; the death of the President would seed the fate of his Attorney General.

No one at the meeting had any doubt about Marcello’s intentions when he abruptly arose from the table. Marcello did not joke about such things. In any case, the matter had gone beyond mere “business”; it had become an affair of honor, a Sicilian vendetta. Moreover, the conversation at Churchill Farms also made clear that Marcello had begun to move. He had, for example, already thought of using a “nut” to do the job. Roughly 1 year later President Kennedy was shot Dallas–2 months after Attorney General Robert Kennedy had announced to the McClellan committee that he was going to expand his war on organized crime. And it is perhaps significant that privately Robert Kennedy had singled out James Hoffa, Sam Giancana, and Carlos Marcello as being among his chief targets. (168)

The House Committee on Assassinations determined in regard to Marcello: “The committee found that Marcello had the motive, means and opportunity to have President John F. Kennedy assassinated, though it was unable to establish direct evidence of Marcello’s complicity.” The House Committee on Assassinations also concluded that Marcello had connections to one Jack Ruby (the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, widely-accepted to be the lone shooter). Edward Becker, friend of Marcello’s stated to the House Committee on Assassinations that “it was generally thought in mob circles that Ruby was a tool of some mob group.”

Marcello has also been recorded by the FBI confessing to the killing of John F. Kennedy from a prison cell in Texarkana, Texas, stating that he hired two men to carry out the assassination. From Lamar Waldron’s The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination—“Yeah, I had the little son of a bitch killed. I’m sorry I couldn’t have done it myself.”

Other players include Santo Trafficante, a Tampa-based crime boss. Anti-Castro exile Jose Aleman told the HSCA that Trafficante told him in 1962 that JFK would not be re-elected, because “he is going to be hit.” Aleman stated that he believes that Jimmy Hoffa was also involved. Frank Ragano writes in his book Mob Lawyer that he carried a message from Hoffa to Trafficante and Carlos Marcello that instructed them to go-ahead with the assassination of Kennedy. Ragano states that Trafficante later told him, when he was on his death bed, “I think Carlos f**ked up in getting rid of Giovanni (John) — maybe it should have been Bobby.” Trafficante told the HSCA that he had previously worked with the CIA in plots in 1960 and ’61 to assassinate Fidel Castro.

FBI 

The House Committee on Assassinations also concluded in 1979 that the FBI had failed to appropriately investigate the mafia and Marcello’s involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy, and had actively sought to discredit Edward Becker, who reported the threat made by Marcello to FBI agents BEFORE the assassination in 1962.

As I said before, J. Edgar Hoover was known to pal around with the Texas oil tycoons, and was present at the party Madeleine Brown alleges took place on November 21, 1963 at Clint Murchison’s house. It is alleged by Evelyn Lincoln, JFK’s secretary in Anthony Summers book Official and Confidential: The Secret Life Of J. Edgar Hoover that Hoover essentially blackmailed John Kennedy into putting Lyndon Johnson on his ticket.

“During the 1960 campaign, according to Mrs. Lincoln, Kennedy discovered how vulnerable his womanizing had made him. Sexual blackmail, she said, had long been part of Lyndon Johnson’s modus operandi abetted by Edgar. ‘J. Edgar Hoover gave Johnson the information about various congressmen and senators so that Johnson could go to X senator and say, “How about this little deal you have with this woman?” and so forth. That’s how he kept them in line. He used his IOUs with them as what he hoped was his road to the presidency. He had this trivia to use because he had Hoover in his corner. And he thought that the members of Congress would go out there and put him over at the Convention. But then Kennedy beat him at the Convention. And well, after that Hoover and Johnson and their group were able to push Johnson on Kennedy. LBJ,’ said Lincoln, ‘had been using all the information that Hoover could find on Kennedy during the campaign and even before the Convention. And Hoover was in on the pressure on Kennedy at the Convention.’”

And, like the mob, Hoover HATED Robert Kennedy. Hoover outright denied the existence of a nationwide crime syndicate, and preferred to focus on beatniks and commies than the problem of organized crime in America.

Sam Giancana, the nephew of the aforementioned chicago mob boss of the same name, wrote in his 2007 book Mafia: The Government’s Secret File on Organized Crime: “Under FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s watch, the criminal organizations that would become known as La Cosa Nostra, the Mafia, and the Outfit were allowed to operate unimpeded for decades,” Sam Giancana, nephew of the famed Chicago mob boss, wrote. “Bureau resources focused instead on high-profile cases like the Lindbergh kidnapping and the apprehension of notorious bank robber John Dillinger—cases that were intended to elevate Hoover’s stature, undeservedly, to that of America’s quintessential crime buster.”

But RFK changed all that. He diverted from the old way of doing business, and as AG took the reins of the FBI from the long-tenured Hoover. He resented him, resented that he refused to follow dress codes. In Curt Gentry’s book Hoover: The Man and His Secrets, Gentry says that Hoover had instructed FBI tour guides to mention that Hoover was named director of the FBI in 1924, the year before the current Attorney general was born. In Burton Hersh’s book Bobby and Edgar, Hersh makes the claim that Bobby had a direct line to the FBI director’s office, and even had a buzzer that would summon Hoover when rung.

It is alleged that Hoover believed he was slated to be relieved of his position, soon, to make way for someone more suited for the new direction the Kennedy’s were paving for American government.

In a memo that was part of the newly released JFK File dump, Hoover dictates in the weeks after the assassination:  “The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr.  [Deputy Attorney General Nicholas] Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.” In another memo from November 25, he states or writes: “the public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”

All this is circumstantial, but it paints a broader picture of the widespread discomfort and agitation that the Kennedy’s were causing the “old guard” of American government.

CIA

E. Howard Hunt (left), and Frank Sturgis (right)

John F. Kennedy famously (famously in small circles of conspiracy theorists, perhaps) was quoted in the New York Times as saying that he intended to “to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” The massive failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion was a terrible embarrassment and source of frustration for Kennedy, and the perceived lack of support that the CIA got from the Executive branch was seen as a betrayal by the President.

In these days (maybe still, I don’t have a clue) it has been said that the CIA was more or less of a community with impunity, rather than an organization balanced by power-checks and protocols. James W. Douglass writes in JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters that Harry Truman’s approval of National Security Council allowed for the Agency to engage in: “propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action including sabotage, anti-sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrillas, and refugee liberation groups.” The act made it so CIA operations could now be “so planned and executed that any US government responsibility for them is not evident to unauthorized persons, and that if uncovered, the US government can plausibly deny any responsibility for them” (Ibid). In Peter Janney’s book Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace, Janney quotes Eisenhower speaking to then-CIA director Allen Dulles, telling him: “The structure of our intelligence organization is faulty,” he said to Dulles. “I have suffered an eight-year defeat on this. Nothing has changed since Pearl Harbor. I leave a ‘legacy of ashes’ to my successor.”

Eisenhower famously warned America of the military industrial complex, part and parcel of the “secret societies” that John F. Kennedy spoke of in his speech. Eisenhower had approved the plan for the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1959, so that JFK inherited it upon his arrival in the oval office. It was a wholesale failure, and was quashed by the Cubans in two days. The failure ruined the relationship between Kennedy and the CIA. Kennedy saw them as dangerous, volatile warmongerers, and they basically saw JFK as a pussy-foot, indecisive, and probably cowardly.  Historian Arthur Schlesinger says that Kennedy planned to cut the CIA by 20% by 1966. He fired CIA director Allen Dulles. Dulles would later be the second in command to Earl Warren in the Lyndon Johnson-formed Warren Commission, which determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

The CIA had previously worked with many of the Mob people I mentioned before; Sam Giancana and Santo Trafficante as well as Johnny Rosselli were all involved in the 1960-61 plots to assassinate Castro. Working alongside them were major CIA agents E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis. These two agents would later be pinned as Watergate conspirators. But they have also been alleged to have been directly involved in the assassination of Kennedy. Both testified to the HSCA that they were not involved in the assassination (though James Files, the seemingly discreditable pony-tailed inmate in the above video–actually very lucid and believable if you listen–says he saw Sturgis in the crowd at Dealey Plaza). More interestingly, E. Howard Hunt confessed on his deathbed to being involved in a CIA plot to kill Kennedy, and implicates Lyndon Johnson as being the head of the chain-of-command that allowed the plot to come to fruition.

Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby was a known affiliate of the mafia. Ruby assassinated lone assassin Lee Harvey Oswald 48 hours after he was arrested in a movie theatre.

When he was incarcerated, Ruby stated the following to the press:

“Everything pertaining to what’s happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts, of what occurred, my motives. The people had, that had so much to gain and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I’m in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world”

When asked if these people are in high places, Ruby replied, “Yes.” Here is the footage of that.

Then, as he walks down the hall, he says something to the effect of: “I want to correct what I stated before about the vice president. When I mentioned about Adlai Stevenson, if he was vice president there never would have been an assassination of our beloved president Kennedy…the answer is the man in office now.” Here is that footage.

Ruby said he would testify if he was moved from Dallas to Washington D.C. He told this to Earl Warren, the leader of the Warren Commission, formed by Lyndon Johnson to investigate the Kennedy assassination. But he was never moved, and died in Dallas in 1967, just four years later.

Malcolm Wallace Fingerprint

In 1998, Walt Brown, a longtime investigator of the assassination and author of The People V. Lee Harvey Oswald (1992), Treachery in Dallas(1995), Referenced Index Guide to the Warren Commission (1995), JFK Assassination Quizbook (1995) and The Warren Omission(1996) stated that a previously unidentified fingerprint in the sniper’s nest of the school book depository from which Lee Harvey is alleged to have fired the two shots that killed President Kennedy, had finally been identified, and attributed to one Malcolm “Mac” Wallace. However, the FBI has denied that the fingerprints match. Watch this video.

Glen Sample, author of The Men On The Sixth Floor–a book with Malcolm Wallace’s picture on the cover–does not believe the fingerprint holds up to scrutiny. He claims to have had two police fingerprint identifiers examine the print, and say that they did not match the print of Malcolm Wallace.. “Both of our experts are working police I.D. officers,” Sample wrote. “They go to court on a regular basis, testifying as expert witnesses. They said that the print was clearly not a match. But what about the 14 points? They said that it is not uncommon to have a set of prints that have many matching points, but when they find points that do not match, these negate the matching points.” Walt Brown, author of Treachery in Dallas  and the first investigator to introduce the fingerprint to the public eye as evidence, responded by saying that the two fingerprint examiners used by Sample “were local I.D. bureau guys from San Bernadino, and not in the category of either Nathan Darby or the people that it was hoped would examine the originals within the law enforcement communities charged with the proper investigation.”

Billy Sol Estes

The Texas fraudster Billy Sol Estes, who was so close to Lyndon Johnson in the early 1950’s and ’60s before going to jail in 1965, agreed to testify before a grand jury in 1984.  From Sol Estes obituary in The Guardian: “In 1984, Estes testified under immunity before a Texas grand jury. He claimed that Johnson had ordered Marshall’s killing, which was done by an aide named Mac Wallace.”

From Billy Sol Estes Lawyer Douglas Caddy in 1984:

My client, Mr. Estes, has authorized me to make this reply to your letter of May 29, 1984. Mr. Estes was a member of a four-member group, headed by Lyndon Johnson, which committed criminal acts in Texas in the 1960’s. The other two, besides Mr. Estes and LBJ, were Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace. Mr. Estes is willing to disclose his knowledge concerning the following criminal offenses:

I. Murders

1. The killing of Henry Marshall
2. The killing of George Krutilek
3. The killing of Ike Rogers and his secretary
4. The killing of Harold Orr
5. The killing of Coleman Wade
6. The killing of Josefa Johnson
7. The killing of John Kinser
8. The killing of President J. F. Kennedy.

Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders. In the cases of murders nos. 1-7, Mr. Estes’ knowledge of the precise details concerning the way the murders were executed stems from conversations he had shortly after each event with Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace.

That includes Josefa Johnson, Lyndon Johnson’s own sister. She died in 1961 of a cerebral hemorrhage, and anecdotally she is alleged to have been “wild,” and a potential liability to her brother’s political career. She would have been able to tie her brother to the murder of Douglas Kinser, too.

It also, notably, includes “President J.F. Kennedy” among Johnson’s murder victims.

Later, the letter states: “Mr. Estes, states that Mac Wallace, whom he describes as a “stone killer” with a communist background, recruited Jack Ruby, who in turn recruited Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Estes says that Cliff Carter told him that Mac Wallace fired a shot from the grassy knoll in Dallas, which hit JFK from the front during the assassination.”

No charges were possible, since the three men in question–Cliff Carter, Mac Wallace and Lyndon Baines Johnson were already dead. The only result from this Grand Jury testimony–which was only for Texas and not federal–was that Marshall’s death certificate was changed to read: “Cause of death – murder by gunshot.”

Lee Harvey Oswald

So where does Lee Harvey Oswald fit into this? Lee Harvey Oswald died in ignominy, from a bullet fired by Jack Ruby. The “nut” that J. Edgar Hoover had championed as the lone assassin shouted “I’m a patsy!” as he was being taken from FBI questioning to jail (patsy means “fall guy,” or scapegoat).

Obviously, if a criminal’s declaration of innocence meant anything, then there would be very few in jail. Still, it seems less likely that a lone, left-wing zealot was the one who killed Kennedy as he drove through the very heart of right-wing, anti-Kennedy sentiments, sentiments that had been particularly roiled in the last year following the affronts to the oil industry. Hours before he was killed, “Wanted” posters of Jack Kennedy were being distributed in Dallas that looked like this.

In the above video, Oswald says that the reason he is being taken in is because he had previously lived in the Soviet Union. After being discharged from the marines, he moved to the Soviet Union and attempted to become a citizen, but was rejected. In 1963, he was living in New Orleans. He then moved to Dallas in October, and found a job at the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald was seen at the School Book Depository–the location of the sniper’s nest–just before the shooting at 11:55, and just after, at 12:35, leaving. He arrived at his home at 1, according to his landlady, Earlene Roberts, who told the Warren commission that a police car drove by the home, stopped, and honked twice, before leaving. Roberts said: “Right direct in front of that door-there was a police car stopped and honked. I had worked for some policemen and sometimes they come by and tell me something that maybe their wives would want me to know, and I thought it was them, and I just glanced out and saw the number, and I said, ‘Oh, that’s not their car,’ for I knew their car.” At this point, Oswald left his home. Shortly after, he was involved in a confrontation with Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippett, and Oswald reportedly shot and killed the officer.

Fellow employee Charles D. Givens testified to the Warren Commission that he saw Oswald sitting on the sixth floor at 11:55. Another employee, Howard L. Brennan, testified that he saw a man fire a rifle from the sixth floor, but he did not name Oswald. He had difficulties with identifying the man, and said he did resemble Oswald, but could not be sure. Brennan told the commission: “After Oswald was killed, I was relieved quite a bit that as far as pressure on myself of somebody not wanting me to identify anybody, there was no longer that immediate danger.”

Dallas Police Officer Marion L. Baker and the Superintendent of the Book Depository, Roy Truly, told the Warren Commission that they encountered Lee Harvey Oswald immediately after the shooting sitting in the building’s lunchroom, drinking a coke. From the Warren Commission report reiterated in Mark North’s book Act of Treason: The Role of J. Edgar Hoover in the Assassination of President Kennedy:

REP. BOGGS : Were you suspicious of this man?

BAKER : No, sir, I wasn’t.

REP. BOGGS : Was he out of breath? Did he appear to be running or what?

BAKER : It didn’t appear that to me. He appeared normal, you know.

REP. BOGGS : Was he calm and collected?

BAKER : Yes, sir. He never did say a word or nothing. In fact, he didn’t change his expression one bit.

TRULY : The officer turned this way and said, ‘This man work here?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ . . . [Oswald] didn’t seem to be excited or overly afraid or anything. He might have been startled, like I might have been if somebody confronted me. But I cannot recall any change in expression of any kind on his face. . . . Then we left . . . Oswald immediately and continued to run up the stairways .

Oswald was not arrested. He turned and headed home, figuring that there would be no work done that day, amidst the confusion and chaos.

From Pamela Ray’s book, To Kill A Country, this is Lee Harvey Oswald’s recorded testimony made to FBI agents after he was arrested, also printed in “The Last Words of Lee Harvey Oswald, compiled by Mae Brussell.”

2:25 – 4:04 P.M.   Interrogation of Oswald, Office of Capt Will Fritz

          “My name is Lee Harvey Oswald. . . . I work at the Texas School Book Depository Building. . . . I lived in Minsk and in Moscow. . . . I worked in a factory. . . . I liked everything over there except the weather. . . . I have a wife and some children. . . . My residence is 1026 North Beckley, Dallas, Tex.” Oswald recognized FBI agent James Hosty and said, “You have been at my home two or three times talking to my wife. I don’t appreciate your coming out there when I was not there. . . . I was never in Mexico City. I have been in Tijuana. . . . Please take the handcuffs from behind me, behind my back. . . . I observed a rifle in the Texas School Book Depository where I work, on Nov. 20, 1963. . . . Mr. Roy Truly, the supervisor, displayed the rifle to individuals in his office on the first floor. . . . I never owned a rifle myself. . . . I resided in the Soviet Union for three years, where I have many friends and relatives of my wife. . . . I was secretary of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans a few months ago. . . . While in the Marines, I received an award for marksmanship as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps. . . . While living on Beckley Street, I used the name 0. H. Lee. . . . I was present in the Texas School Book Depository Building, I have been employed there since Oct. 15, 1963. . . . As a laborer, I have access to the entire building. . . . My usual place of work is on the first floor. However, I frequently use the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh floors to get books. I was on all floors this morning. . . . Because of all the confusion, I figured there would be no work performed that afternoon so I decided to go home. . . . I changed my clothing and went to a movie. . . . I carried a pistol with me to the movie because I felt like it, for no other reason. . . . I fought the Dallas Police who arrested me in the movie theater where I received a cut and a bump. . . . I didn’t shoot Pres. John F. Kennedy or Officer J. D. Tippit. . . . An officer struck me, causing the marks on my left eye, after I had struck him. . . . I just had them in there,” when asked why he had bullets in his pocket.

When Oswald states “I have never been in Mexico City,” that information can be corroborated by J. Edgar Hoover himself. There was an imposter of Oswald in Mexico city in the weeks before the assassination. From Larry Sabato’s book The Kennedy Half Century, in a taped conversation between J. Edgar Hoover and LBJ the day after the assassination, Hoover says the following:

“We have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet Embassy using Oswald’s name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there. We do have a copy of a letter which was written by Oswald to the Soviet embassy here in Washington, inquiring as well as complaining about the harassment of his wife and the questioning of his wife by the FBI. Now of course, that letter information—we process all mail that goes to the Soviet embassy. It’s a very secret operation. No mail is delivered to the embassy without being examined and opened by us, so that we know what they receive. . . . The case, as it stands now, isn’t strong enough to be able to get a conviction. . . . Now, if we can identify this man who was at the . . . Soviet embassy in Mexico City. . . . This man Oswald has still denied everything.”

The FBI had known about Lee Harvey Oswald, US marine turned Communist and wannabe defector, since the 1950s. From Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship by John Newman : “‘A file concerning Oswald was opened,” Hoover wrote to the Warren Commission, “at the time, newspapers reported his defection to Russia in 1959, for the purpose of correlating information inasmuch as he was considered a possible security risk in the event he returned to this country.” Now, someone had pretended to be him, and applied for a visa to Cuba from Mexico City, a thread that was not pursued by Hoover or Johnson, but was simply noted on a recorded phone call. Newman also writes that Hoover had previously written to the State Department in 1960 regarding the possibility that someone else was using Oswald’s identity.

But it’s all buried by a single act of what is alleged to be “patriot fever,” by Jack Ruby. Just 48 hours after John F. Kennedy was shot and killed, his alleged assassin was dead. There was no trial. The American public never got to hear Oswald defend himself. His testimony would have been watched by millions of Americans. That was a liability that somebody could not countenance.

Eduardo Galeano writes in Memory of Fire, Vol. III: Century of the Wind :

“Oswald strenuously denies it. But no one knows, no one will ever know what he has to say. Two days later he collapses before the television cameras, the whole world witness to the spectacle, his mouth shut by Jack Ruby, a two-bit gangster and minor trafficker in women and drugs. Ruby says he has avenged Kennedy out of patriotism and pity for the poor widow.”

What do you think? Was Oswald the marksman that Warren Commission claims? Or was he in the lunchroom, sipping a coke, without a bead of sweat or a trace of guilt on his patsy face? Was Jack Ruby overcome by passion? Or was his life bought by powers in “high places,” as Ruby himself alleges?

Conclusion

The connotation of the word “conspiracy” has ruined any suggestion that there is something more than what the government has told us, regarding not just this assassination, but anything mediated by an authority figure. To categorize the untold story of what happened to our 35th President alongside the Loch Ness monster, Alien-pyramid building and others is to rely on the notion that an institution such as the United States government is incapable of an act of evil. But that’s just the sort of source from which evil in pure form generally comes–a conglomeration, a coalescence of more than one man to form a force, encouraged by mutual desire and the indistinct ownership of guilt, dispersed across an area too wide. Just like any evil created from a corporation. The stars and stripes may blind with an inculcated association of benevolent patriotisim–but its just another logo.

It was a coup d’etat. Is that so farfetched? I mean, there’s already a term for it. That means that it has happened before–again, and again. They have sprinkled the history books all across the world–but is that “things like that don’t happen in America.” The country of slavery? The country that raped the Native Americans? The country that committed genocide for the corporate interests of a fruit company? What about this is so hard to believe–and what’s the other option? That a “lone nut” in Lee Harvey Oswald, who shouts “I’m a patsy!”–who shows no desire to own up to his act, despite the consensus of his motive being a desire for fame, possibly as a hero to Communists?
Do you believe what you are told because the government says so, in a 900 page document that you have never laid your eyes on? Is it not possible that you. just. don’t. know?
Most of this stuff, I suppose you would call circumstantial. But I argue that everything mediated by an authority figure, the literal distance between you and the TV screen on which you watch the news, is circumstantial, and must always be treated with an appropriate level of skepticism and scrutiny.
A conspiracy is simply the covert planning of something done by parties whose interests have coalesced. For me, the writing is on the wall.
Obviously this is something I’m passionate about. And–it does bug me a little that people can’t see the relevance of investigating the JFK assassination–a cover-up that perfectly emblematizes the impunity of rich men and men in positions of authority–to our country today. Clearly it has carried over. Clearly it has set a precedent which we are seeing be manifested to an inane, near-farcical degree in our government today. It just so happens that the knuckleheads at the top aren’t quite intelligent enough to be as discrete. To deny the past as inconsequential will forever keep us from understanding the root cause which belies the ugliness. There IS a deeper reason for everything. Don’t be so dismissive. Dismissing it as a “conspiracy theory” is to suggest that things are simple, that there are not grander, intangible forces underneath the ugliness–and that is to suggest that fixing the problems is simple too, and yet, lo and behold, it’s not. Let’s all put on pink hats and make clever signs and go march around! Oh look, apparently that does fuck all! I’m not saying I’m better than that, but I am saying that closing your mind to the possibility of deep rooted evil present in the American government is short-sighted. Why the hell would it be farfetched to think that there was a conspiracy to kill a president? There literally already was a conspiracy to kill another president, Abraham Lincoln. Another idealist. An actual human being, trying to do actual things for the country, instead of using the powers of his office to perpetuate his own power, and the powers of his country club buddies. 
John F. Kennedy was riding in a convertible on November 22, 1963 through Dealey Plaza when he was shot to death. The motorcade had been en route to the Trade Mart in Dallas Texas. He was carrying with him a speech at the time of his murder, a speech that he never got to read. This is what he would have said:
” I want to discuss with you today the status of our strength and our security cause this question clearly calls for the most responsible qualities of leadership and the most enlightened products of scholarship. For this Nation’s strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained, nor are they quickly and simply explained. There are many kinds of strength and no one kind will suffice. Overwhelming nuclear strength cannot stop a guerrilla war. Formal pacts of alliance cannot stop internal subversion. Displays of material wealth cannot stop the disillusionment of diplomats subjected to discrimination.

Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.

My friends and fellow citizens: I cite these facts and figures to make it clear that America today is stronger than ever before. Our adversaries have not abandoned their ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed. But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom.

That strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions–it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations–it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes.

We in this country, in this generation, are–by destiny rather than choice–the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of “peace on earth, good will toward men.” That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

On November 26, 1963, just one day after former President John F. Kennedy’s funeral, four days after the assassination, National Security Action Memorandum 273 (NSAM-273) was approved by new United States President Lyndon Johnson . It expanded US forces in Vietnam, negating Kennedy’s agenda.

Francis Bator, who had been President Johnson’s Deputy National Security Adviser wrote in the New York Review Of Books:

Professor Galbraith is correct [Letters, NYR, December 6, 2007] that “there was a plan to withdraw US forces from Vietnam, beginning with the first thousand by December 1963, and almost all of the rest by the end of 1965…. President Kennedy had approved that plan. It was the actual policy of the United States on the day Kennedy died.

Professor James K. Gailbraith writes in an article for “The Nation” in 2013:

Had Kennedy lived, the withdrawal plan would have remained policy, and the numbers of US troops in Vietnam would have declined, unless and until policy changed. Might Kennedy still have “reversed the decision” at some point? Of course he might have. But there is no evidence that he intended to do so. 

Now, imagine what could have been. Then tell me it’s not important.

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