By Roger Stone
According to the New York Times, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, surviving LBJ staff members, and the Johnson family has launched a campaign to improve Johnson's image as an ex-President. This effort includes batshit crazy first daughter Luci Bird Johnson, who will host a "Civil Rights Conference" at the LBJ Library in April. Ms. Johnson will also headline a Texas Bar Association Meeting in June. LBJ's greatness has been subsumed by Vietnam, they contend.
Perhaps their timing is also affected by the portrayal of amoral, schemingand intrinsically evil Vice President Frank Underwood on Season Two of Netfix's House of Cards. Can there be any doubt that Frank Underwood as played by Kevin Spacey is modeled after LBJ?
The folks at the taxpayer-subsided LBJ Presidential Library and the surviving members of the Johnson family must feel besieged from right and left. First came my New York Times bestselling book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy - the Case Against LBJ, in which I established that LBJ was a corrupt psychopath and serial murderer. I also used fingerprint and eyewitness evidence to show how a long-time LBJ hit man shot from the Texas Schoolbook Depository to kill John F. Kennedy. I make a compelling case that LBJ had unique motive, means and opportunity to kill Kennedy and did so to avoid criminal prosecution for corruption at the hand of Attorney General Robert Kennedy the exposure of which was imminent. RFK was within days of destroying LBJ with a LIFE Magazine expose into Johnson's corruption as well as an RFK-fed Senate Rules Committee investigation into Johnson on the Bobby Baker scandal.
I also tied LBJ to at least ten murders prior to John Kennedy. LBJ crony Billie Sol Estes testified to a Texas State Grand Jury and informed the Justice Department that he, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and LBJ's top political aide Cliff Carter used LBJ's personal hit man Malcolm Wallace to murder US Agricultural Dept. official Henry Marshall on June 3, 1961, as well several government witnesses in the Estes scandal. Estes testified that Carter said LBJ had ordered 17 murders to cover up corruption, bribery and voter fraud. Additionally, I established that Johnson's corruption was of Biblical proportions. Johnson lawyer Ed Clark told LBJ biographer Robert Caro that LBJ's net worth by 1964 was an astounding $25 million.
In The Man who killed Kennedy - The case Against LBJ, I also establish that LBJ was a vile, vulgar, sadistic, psychopath who as a boy blew up a stray dog with a stick of dynamite to see him die and beat a mule to death after depriving it of water. LBJ was a coarse, crude, loud mouthed bully and pathological liar. LBJ was also a vicious, cruel, vain, venal, abusive man with an unlimited appetite for alcohol, cigarettes and women. His White House Secretarial Pool was a harem with LBJ having "relations" with as many as eight women. He fathered three illegitimate children while in public office.
My book did not sit well with the thinned ranks of Johnson acolytes, the Johnson Legacy crowd. Former LBJ Son-in-law and Senator Chuck Robb and his wife Lynda Bird Johnson are unhappy. Former Texas Lt. Governor Ben Barnes, when not dating Teddy Kennedy's widow, is very angry about my book. CNN Chairman Emeritus Tom Johnson, a former president of CNN and a former publisher of The Los Angeles Times, who served for 40 years as chairman of the L.B.J. Foundation, called a high ranking official at FOX to argue that a segment scheduled at that network to talk about my book be canceled.
Then the Johnson acolytes had a stunning blow from the left when Clay Risen of the New Republic wrote a stunning piece pointing out that LBJ played little real role in pushing through the 1964 Civil Rights Act and in fact the arm twisting he did do back-fired in the House and the Senate.
This explains why the Johnson Library and those dedicated to burnishing the LBJ image have lauched a PR offensive breathlessly reported by the New York Times Adam Nagourney. Take for example this quote from the Times story;
"Luci Baines Johnson leaned forward in her father's private suite at the L.B.J. Presidential Library, her voice breaking as she recounted the "agony of Vietnam" that engulfed Lyndon Baines Johnson and the pain she feels to this day of witnessing his presidency judged through the prism of a failed war.
"Nobody wanted that war less than Lyndon Johnson," said Ms. Johnson, 66, who is the president's younger daughter. "No matter how hard he tried, he didn't seem to be able to get out of that quagmire. Not only did he not get out of it in his lifetime, but his legacy indeed has that weight of the world on it."
Please spare me the crocodile tears. How can Luci Bird not mention the millions LBJ and Lady Bird made from the Vietnam war through her trust's ownership of stock in defense contractors like Bell Helicopter, Halliburton, Brown and Root and General Dynamics. The Johnson's profited handsomely from war the while 60,000 Americans died. Is Ms. Johnson unaware that LBJ based his massive escalation on the Tonkin Gulf incident, an attack on American interests that most historians now believe didn't really happen?
Maureen Dowd, also writing for the New York Times, said, "Maybe ratcheting up the war with more than 500,000 troops and sending so many young Americans to their deaths halfway around the world based on chest-thumping advice and a naïve theory of democratic dominoes was a deterrent to getting out." Indeed.
Indeed Luci Bird continues to lead with her chin; from the Times-
"Asked how her father would ultimately be judged, she responded: "I think that's something the historians will look at. But can you think of where we would be without Lyndon Johnson? If we had not passed a civil rights bill? Think of what we would be like if Daddy hadn't signed that bill."
In fact LBJ was an arch-segregationist who as leader of the southern block in the US Sente killed every significant civil rights or anti-lynching bill until 1957 when he passed a weak Civil rights bill to soften opposition to him from party liberals as he prepared for the 1960 Presidential race. LBJ dropped a poison pill into the final act that required those charged with violating the law be tried before state (all white) not federal juries.
Johnson embraced civil rights as a sop to the left because he murdered John Kennedy and because he wanted to avert a 1964 challenge from his left from Robert F. Kennedy. In his own White House tapes he can be heard wailing, "The Catlics and Nigrahs gonna git me," he wails. LBJ told a Democrat Governor, "I'll have these n_____s voting Democratic for a hundred years.
Luci Byrd may not be the best messenger for the campaign spin on Civil Rights. "Where is my n____r" she wailed at a 1964 campaign stop in Florida when her manservant didn't respond to her demands, according to an interview conducted with a Air Force One Steward by veteran Journalist and Author Ronald Kessler.
Veteran Texas Journalist Robert Parry joins the LBJ Legacy crowd in claiming that Richard Nixon sabotaged the Vietnamese peace talks and that prevented LBJ from ending the war. In fact LBJ called for a bombing halt only days before the 1964 election with no significant concession from the North Vietnamese and no real prospect for a negotiated settlement. It was a ploy to elect his Vice President Humbert Humphrey. LBJ fumed it was "treason." LBJ, on the other hand, ordered a false flag attack on the USS Liberty by Israel in which 34 Americans died and 171 were wounded as a provocation for a war with Egypt as well as falsifying the Tonkin Gulf attack to justify send 500,000 troops to Vietnam. Treason, anyone?
The efforts by the Johnson acolytes to rewrite history are part of the effort. The Times quoted Larry Temple, a former Johnson aide who is the chairman of the LBJ Foundation. Mr. Temple said he had, "encountered people who believed that Johnson did not leave voluntarily but rather was forced out while still in office." LBJ was, of course, forced from the 1968 race after a dismal showing in the New Hampshire Primary where Senator Eugene McCarthy running on an anti-war platform would get 42% to Johnson's 47%. LBJ would even ponder jumping back into the race with a dramatic landing by helicopter at the tumultuous 1968 Democratic Convention. LBJ would abandon this idea only when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley would tell the President he and the Chicago police could nor guarantee the President safety.
Mark Updegrove the director of the L.B.J. Presidential Library and the author of a Johnson biography is quoted in last weeks Times saying "There's no question he should be judged on the entirety of his policy." Those policies include murder, corruption, racism, bribery, war profiteering and lying. Indeed it is time for Lyndon Johnson to be judged by the entirety of his record.
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