He’s in Dallas today, wearing a bullet-proof vest, asking you to hear him out
By Michael Ames, for Esquire
Roger Stone is a sneaky operative, a man typically described as a “political hit man” and a master of the darkest arts of campaign politics. But in recent years, the man who famously tattooed Richard Nixon’s face on his own back has zigged in unpredictable directions. Last year, he defected from the party that had been his home for decades, claiming that the GOP “had left him” by adopting big government policies at home and abroad during George W. Bush’s two terms in office. He advised Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and even flirted with his own independent run for governor of Florida. This week, Stone has been zagging towards another trick: selling his new book: “The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ.”
Esquire caught up with him by phone in Dallas, where he will be signing books today in a bullet-proof vest:
Q: Stone, you are a career trickster, why should we believe your story now?
A: Because the truth has no agenda. If you read my book, it is not a partisan screed. I am critical of Lyndon Johnson, but I am also critical of Richard Nixon, of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, and of Arlen Specter. None of our leaders are perfect. They are all flawed. They are human.
Q: So then why demonize LBJ?
A: The case of Lyndon Johnson is different. He was a coarse, crude, loudmouth bully. He was corrupt, he was ruthless, he was vindictive and he loved nothing more than to mock and embarrass those who worked for him. In short, he was a sadist. As a boy he tied dynamite to a dog and blew it up. He beat a mule to death. The guy shouldn’t have been in the White House; he should have been in the nut house. How many presidents have we had conduct White House staff meetings while on the toilet defecating?
Q: What’s your best piece of evidence that he was behind JFK’s murder?
A: Lyndon Johnson’s personal hit man, Malcom “Mac” Wallace is the shooter from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. He left a perfect match fingerprint on a box in the sniper nest, a place he had no reason to be.Six eyewitnesses see a man on the 6th floor who meets the description of Mac Wallace. Mac Wallace was an ex-Marines marksman and a convicted murderer, and I can tie him irrevocably to Johnson, who arranged for a series of political patronage jobs for Wallace from the time he graduated college. The Dallas Police Department conducted a paraffin test of Oswald’s skin that showed that he didn’t fire a rifle that day. I’m not speculating or putting forward a theory; I’m putting forward hard evidence, fingerprints and witnesses. I’m providing evidence that would stand up in Federal Court. I’m establishing motive, access and opportunity.
Q: Where are you right now?
A: In Dallas. We had a press conference yesterday with a very large turnout of international press. To the international press, the idea of a coup d’etat is not foreign, it happens around the world all the time. Americans resist the concept of a coup d’etat, even though that’s exactly what we had on November 22, 1963.
Q: Do you view this as an anniversary of a coup?
A: It can be described as a coup d’etat or a hostile takeover of the US presidency. Either way, we had not only a change of government, but an enormous change in policy.
Q: What’s your plan for the day in Dallas?
A: I’m doing a book signing this evening at Barnes & Noble. I will be wearing a bullet-proof vest. I have received a handful of death threats. Some of them appear to be demented, your usual garden variety nuts. Beyond that I will hopefully be sleeping. The city of Dallas has closed this all down and exerted a Nazi-like control over the area of the assassination.
Q: If your story is so, um, bullet-proof, why are you being treated like one of those garden variety nuts?
A: You won’t see my book reviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, or CNN, where I was supposed to be on last week. I was booked on Crossfire and the Erin Burnett show but was cancelled under pressure. I have friends at CNN who told me. It’s un-American, Soviet-style censorship.
Q: You spent most of your life as a Republican operative. You have a tattoo of Richard Nixon on your back. But in your book, you express what seems like great reverence for John F. Kennedy. Whats your feeling for the man?
John Kennedy was our first modern president in terms of understanding how to utilize the media to inspire the American people. I admire that. I think he was anti-Communist. I think he was not a liberal. He was not a conservative either, but he was not a liberal. He used the bully pulpit to inspire us to democracy and to freedom.
My very first so called dirty trick was when I was in elementary school, and I told all the kids that Nixon was for school on Saturdays. Kennedy won our class election by a landslide. I liked him because he was a Catholic and I’m Catholic and he had better hair than Nixon. You’re a kid, you don’t really see the bigger issues.
Q: What is the lesson from the murder of John F. Kennedy?
A: Government lies. The government that lies to you about the JFK assassination will lie to you about Benghazi today. It will lie to you about healthcare today. Citizens need to be skeptical about what the government says. Prior to 1963, most people thought the government was trying to help them and tell them the truth. If young people read my book and say that they need to take what the government tells them with a healthy dose of skepticism, then I would have achieved something.