Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1948260085
Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1948260085
As Earl Warren once let slip to a dogged reporter (there used to be such people in America), “You’ll not know the truth of the JFK assassination in your lifetime.” To the dismay of all democracy-loving people everywhere, Warren was right. Only dedicated researchers and writers, like David Lifton, Mark Lane, and James Douglas, largely ignored by the mainstream media, have dared to seriously investigate the murder of the century. Thanks to them we know much more now than we did 50 years ago. However, the truth of the conspiracy, which involved LBJ, the Joint Chiefs, Texas oil billionaires, and disaffected CIA rogues, has never been acknowledged by the establishment press or any government agency.
The best we can get from investigative “journalists” these days is admission of CIA lies, half-truths, and talk of indirect involvement. Such is this case with the latest revelation by a “name” journalist. Former New York Times reporter Philip Shenon, in an article for Politico Magazine, writes, “Even the CIA is now willing to raise these questions [about CIA involvement in JFK’s death]. Half a century after JFK’s death, in a once-secret report written in 2013 by the CIA’s top in-house historian and quietly declassified last fall, the spy agency acknowledges what others were convinced of long ago: that [John] McCone [CIA chief under JFK] and other senior CIA officials were ‘complicit’ in keeping ‘incendiary’ information from the Warren Commission.
“According to the report by CIA historian David Robarge, McCone, who died in 1991, was at the heart of a ‘benign cover-up’ at the spy agency, intended to keep the commission focused on ‘what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’—that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.’ The most important information that McCone withheld from the commission in its 1964 investigation, the report found, was the existence, for years, of CIA plots to assassinate Castro, some of which put the CIA in cahoots with the Mafia. Without this information, the commission never even knew to ask the question of whether Oswald had accomplices in Cuba or elsewhere who wanted Kennedy dead in retaliation for the Castro plots.
“The report offers no conclusion about McCone’s motivations, including the question of why he would go to lengths to cover up CIA activities that mostly predated his time at the agency. But it suggests that the Johnson White House might have directed McCone to hide the information. McCone ‘shared the administration’s interest in avoiding disclosures about covert actions that would circumstantially implicate [the] CIA in conspiracy theories and possibly lead to calls for a tough US response against the perpetrators of the assassination.'”
Shenon, knowingly or unknowingly, is the latest conduit of the CIA’s limited hang-out position, to wit: “Yes, we covered up the truth, but we did not set up Oswald to be the patsy, hire the real hitmen, use assets to alter the Zapruder film, issue a false autopsy, alter the President’s wounds, kill and intimidate witnesses, or collude with the new President, the Joint Chiefs, or Texas oil billionaires to remove the 35th President from office…even though we hated him and were secretly at war with him throughout the thousand days of his administration.”
In truth, Shenon and his like bore me. At best, they should be pitied for being duped by CIA disinformation; at worst, they should be scorned for helping covering up the truth under the guise of “uncovering bombshell information” which does nothing more than exonerate the CIA. If you want the real truth, read Jim Douglass’s JFK and the Unspeakable…or my book, The President’s Mortician. And don’t be fooled by pseudo-journalists.
Amid the childish squabbling and juvenile name calling of the recent Republican debates, there was little discussion of what ails us as a nation and how to fix it. God’s name was invoked repeatedly, illegal Mexicans were demonized as usual, and all the obligatory Obamacare denunciations were uttered. It was a predictable and boring charade. The same empty platitudes, constructed to draw huge applause from the red-faced, red-voting, white-haired haters, polluted the arena. Meanwhile, huge debt and massive wealth inequality plague us, and the bully Trump and his cowardly subjugates made no mention of possible solutions. Indeed, there was no mention that these things were problems.
These snake-oil peddlers know better than to open the vipers’ nest. While they rage against big government and indolent takers, they refuse to acknowledge that the biggest takers are the richest among us. And the richest among us buy and sell these same gutless politicians like they’re banal commodities (which they are). Fittingly, then, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and the rest of the jackals propose to lower taxes on the wealthy and further burden the middle class with our national debt. This policy will exacerbate income inequality, and they know it. But they couldn’t care less, because to be a Republican today means to do what benefits oneself and not the greater good. Rapacious sociopaths like Scott Walker will say and do anything to advance their own ends.
The rest of us are schmucks for letting them get away with it, but the American media are culpable too. Now fully owned and operated by multinational corporations, CBS, NBC, and ABC (I don’t even include the trash dump called FOX) are consistently silent on the source of inequality and debt. To wit, they do not tell us who pays taxes in this country and where that tax money goes. In short, since Bush and his cronies stole the White House in 2000, large corporations and super-wealthy individuals have paid less and less tax, while middle class tax rates have remained relatively level. Concomitantly, six of every ten tax dollars paid by all Americans goes to defense spending—to the Pentagon, to defense contractors, to war profiteers of all stripes. This pack of hawks includes the corporations who own major broadcast media. They, in turn, with their bloody profits, buy politicians who fund massive military spending projects like Iraq War II(at last count Halliburton made $39 billion on that one) and the F-35 fighter jet ($1 trillion and counting)…both of which were colossal wastes of treasure.
To justify this corrupt system, our leaders must invent and re-invent enemies. For 45 years it was the Soviet Union and the spread of godless communism around the globe. Before the dust had settled from the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the USSR was no more, our leaders decided the new boogeymen were oil-rich Mideastern Muslims. George Sr. invaded Iraq in 1991; George Jr. twelve years after. A decade on, radical Islam, to the great relief of the military-industrial complex, is still terrorizing the region.
We are in what writer Andrew Bacevich calls a permanent war state. In his book, Washington Rules, Bacevich writes of an “American credo” which he says calls upon the United States – and the United States alone – to “lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world…which requires America to: to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.”
Australian writer Greg Maybury argues that this American war-state monolith unleashed its hell-hounds in the run-up to Vietnam. In 1963 the American military-intelligence-security state (AMISS) came to a crossroads. Faced with a President who dared to propose a permanent peace state, which would turn the economic construct of the country on its head, AMISS decided it was best to remove its commander-in-chief.
Maybury writes in “Pox Amerikana,” “Although it may not have been widely recognised at the time, in June 1963, just a few months shy of the Big Event [JFK’s assassination], President Kennedy in his American University commencement address delivered what is arguably the most significant oration of his short-lived, ill-fated tenure as commander-in-chief.
“In fact, it may well have been the most pivotal in American foreign policy in that era. Forget the unforgettable ‘[the] torch has been passed to a new generation….ask not what your country can do for you’ schtick; disregard the indelible ‘we choose to go to the moon because it is hard’…spiel!
“In this address, it appeared Kennedy was attempting to re-define the accepted notion of Pax Americana, to articulate a more inclusive, collaborative version, one that would bring folk with them willingly rather than dragging them kicking and screaming to the position. In almost all respects this wasn’t just a redefinition; he was attempting to turn the notion on its head. ‘Peaceful co-existence’ was decidedly the sub-text of his message. It appeared the baptism of fire he experienced in his on-the-job training as president thus far had changed him significantly.
“But as James Douglass has observed, when Kennedy uttered these words, ‘the priests of our national security state saw him as a heretic.’…from the Brass Asses in the Pentagon bunkers to the winkle-pickered wolf-pack down on the Langley Farm to the righteous, pointy-headed foreign policy and national security wonks in the Beltway think-tanks and the hallowed halls of Ivy League academia and even a few within his own administration, [JFK’s peace state] came across as touchy-feely, appeasement-sounding – indeed naïve, unadulterated – nonsense. This was not in the brochure, and quite a few would’ve been spitting hollow points at the wall.
“Whereas Kennedy at least openly contemplated a path to presidential greatness via a Grand Peace, Bush like many presidents before him saw the only path to a glorious presidential legacy [was] through war, one he ‘knew’ the American people would support him in. As impaired as Bush’s vision may have been, one is tempted – at least with hindsight – to suggest that his was the more pragmatic and realistic, and the one most in sync with America’s true ‘manifest destiny’. Jack’s didn’t stand a ‘snowball’s’!”
Like many other American black plagues, the permanent war state can trace its origins to the streets of Dallas, November 22, 1963. Within three days of the brutal murder, LBJ reversed his predecessor’s National Security Action Memo 263 which laid out Kennedy’s bold plan to withdraw America completely from Vietnam in his second term. Even establishment-approved historians (read lying toadies), like Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro, and Robert Dallek, grudgingly admit that LBJ’s NSAM 273 wiped out JFK’s peace-state dream, opened the door to a decade of war in southeast Asia, and ushered in the permanent war state.
In the three-card monty game run by the American capitalist war state, we are the suckers. Despite what the traveling Republican clown show tells us, it is not social welfare programs that have busted the budget. It is not spending on education that needs to be cut. And it is not Planned Parenthood which is sucking the federal teat dry. It is the trillions we spend on needless, murderous war and its weaponry and its installations and its co-conspirators—the Pentagon and its blood-sucking contractors—that is holding us hostage at gunpoint. As right-wing blowhards try to convince us that welfare cheats and minority takers and do-gooders and public schools and infrastructure rebuilding are keeping us in debt, remember this: if we cut military spending and corporate welfare by just one-half, we could build all the new roads and bridges we need; provide free education to every student; feed the hungry; subsidize the jobless; fund Social Security and Medicare for good; and provide free health care for all citizens.
When someone in the Republican circus speaks to this truth, maybe I’ll sit up and listen.
It is a sad fact that Americans must often seek out foreign sources for the truth about world events. The corporate-owned US media just will not touch certain topics. For instance, rarely discussed is the immense wealth and power wielded by defense contractors, even though their vast empire controls out political system, our news outlets, our entertainment venues, our government agencies, oil prices, and…yes…even our history. In other words, the single most influential faction in our daily existence as a nation is ignored by the media. Why is this? Well, it’s a long story, and you have to read about your real history to find out. A good place to start is the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. For it is there that the Secret American Empire began consolidating its immense power.
That leads me to a shameless plug for my book The President’s Mortician. (Please note, there are many other fine works on the true history of the Kennedy assassination, but I’ll let those authors do their own shilling.) One must leave the realm of America’s fraudulent press to find a genuine review. British Journalist Garrick Alder had this to say about my book–“…it’s a compelling and intriguing narrative…it tantalised me so much that I want to pick up the phone and hammer the Internet until I have tracked down his primary sources. Researchers will find this book a thought-provoking and stimulating read…it deserves to be read by anyone interested in this aspect of the assassination controversy.”
Why are there no American mainstream journalists who will endorse the book? It’s too dangerous, and strikes too close of the dark heart of the American empire. Those who would have the power to promote the veracity of my book are also the very people who stand to have the most to lose from its wide acceptance.
I think the excerpt from The Presidents Mortician I have printed below will illuminate my meaning. It is a concise outline of who killed JFK and why:
“In the time that has passed since the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was murdered, the topic has been addressed by hundreds of books, countless documentaries, numerous investigations—both public and private, and even a courtroom battle. The evidence in the case has been hashed and re-hashed many times over, yet the years (nearly 50 now) and the analysis overkill have not dulled the world’s fascination with the subject. Nor has time diminished America’s conviction that a conspiracy was afoot to take Kennedy’s life on November 22, 1963. Since the early 1970s the numbers have remained consistent—three in every four citizens believe that either accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, or he did not act at all…rather, he was likely just the ‘fall guy’ or the patsy. Moreover, among people 27-39 years of age as of 1980, upwards of 85% were pro-conspiracy (1). In other words, all reasonable people with even a passing knowledge of the events and aftermath of JFK’s assassination suspect that an organized, far-reaching plot took the president’s life that day in Dallas.
“Who killed JFK? The easy answer is that rogue CIA operatives planned, orchestrated and covered up the murder. But this solution is too pat, too simplistic. For it does not take into account the other elements that played their parts in the drama—Texas oilmen, Mafia associates, future presidents and corrupt politicians, ambitious lawyers, Secret Service traitors, the military hierarchy, and wealthy defense contractors. Taken together, these elements form a Secret American Empire.
“Born of the anti-communist fervor which inflamed the nation in the 1940s and ‘50s; fed by the enormous wealth of oil and weapons makers; protected by ambitious, greedy public servants; and enforced by violent, pathological criminals, this Secret American Empire possesses what amounts to its own foreign policy, its own air force, its own militia, its own economy, and its own rules. It is not subject to the laws of the land. It is rich and powerful enough to operate outside the laws that restrict all the rest of us. As Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, one of its high ministers, once said, ‘I am the richest man in the world. I can do any damn thing I want to do.’ This empire existed before JFK’s murder, but it had never before pulled off anything so outrageous and brazen as the crime it committed on November 22, 1963. In fact, some of the participants feared for their own apprehension and left the country before and after the execution. Their fears were unfounded, however, because the fix was in. The new president, Lyndon Johnson, was the Empire’s boy, and soon he cut off all legitimate investigations and appointed his own fraudulent commission made up of the Empire’s most ardent protectors. Once the perpetrators knew they were safe, America became their playground. They were free to romp through the public trust, trample the Constitution, start an unnecessary and catastrophic war, have free reign over domestic and foreign policy, and invoke immunity from crimes committed. The JFK assassination taught the Empire that it could get away with anything, and in the years subsequent to 1963 it has coalesced its power and consolidated its reign over democracy. Its candidates have been elected, by hook or crook; its power base has expanded; its wealth has grown unchecked. It has smugly, almost defiantly, moved on to evermore audacious, outlandish covert operations—the removal of Richard Nixon from office, the subversion of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the narcotic trafficking necessary to fund covert operations, and the overthrow of foreign governments. In short, the Secret American Empire, while waving the flag in our faces and clamoring to high heaven about the land of the free and the home of democracy, has done everything it can to undo the processes and the restraints that would impede it under a true democratic system. We are living in, and have been since 1963, a neo-fascist oligarchic state, where only wealth and power matter, where the ways and means of a free press are stifled, where the people are propagandized by disinformation and half-truths, where our elected officials represent their own greedy interests and the interests of the Secret Empire, rather than the interests of those who elected them.
“Would it have been different if JFK had lived? Emphatically, yes! Kennedy, a conventional cold warrior when he took the oath of office, had transformed into a startling advocate of world peace by 1963. His landmark address at American University, in June 1963, laid out a revolutionary vision of America and its place in the world, one that made him a lot of deadly enemies. A world without endless war? An America free of what Eisenhower called ‘…the unwanted influence of the military-industrial complex? A pullback on the power of the intelligence community? JFK became a marked man. He wanted to eradicate our presence in Vietnam. He wanted to negotiate a settlement to the Cold War and live in peaceful co-existence with the communist world. The Secret Empire was not going to tolerate such a radical paradigm shift in domestic and foreign affairs. That was the entire point of the assassination.”
Hollywood often gets history wrong and, thus, adds to the confusion and misperceptions of an American populace already ignorant of their own history. But Selma, thankfully, is an exception. The film about civil rights movement of the 1960s protrays Lyndon Johnson as a major impediment to African Americans obtaining equality prior to his ascension to the Presidency on November 22,1963.
In fact, it can be reasonably argued that Johnson, more than any other person in the country, was responsible for maintaining the Jim Crow system in the South prior to 1964. As Senate majority leader, Johnson was the most powerful Democrat in Washington in the 1950s, and he regularly stripped any and all civil rights bills of their “legal teeth” when they came up for votes in Congress.
Phillip Nelson, author of “LBJ: From Mastermind To Colossus,” writes, “On at least twelve occasions during his time in Congress (1937-1960) he voted against acts that would have prohibited the use of literacy tests and poll taxes, the devices that had been designed for the very purpose of prohibiting blacks from voting. His history on this issue was such a sore subject by the time he became president that he took actions to hide it, by attempting to keep certain records of his public speeches ‘off the record.’”
Selma, though, stops short of accusing Johnson of being involved in the assassinations of the 1960s, but we now know that his suspicious behavior and nefarious connections surrounding the events of Dallas, Memphis and Los Angeles all but insure that he had prior knowledge of these political murders and worked hard to block any real investigations after the fact.
Any serious and honest examination of LBJ’s career reveals a long history of corruption, backstabbing, theft, and murder connected to his rise to power. In 1984 Billie Sol Estes, one of LBJ’s long-time bagman for payoffs and kickbacks, had his attorney file the letter below as a legal affidavit for prosecutors:
August 9, 1984
Mr. Stephen S. Trott
Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D. C. 20530
RE: Mr. Billie Sol Estes
Dear Mr. Trott:
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:
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.
This letter is never mentioned by mainstream LBJ historians like Robert Caro, who incredibly turn a blind eye to the worst of LBJ’s misdeeds. They are aided, of course, by the establishment media who are deeply invested in the myth of LBJ and the lone gunman lie in the murder of JFK.
Back to Selma though…it is a worthy film that dares to tell the truth about an important time in American history. Nelson sums up its treatment of LBJ this way:
“Selma shows the LBJ persona and his complete history, as he and it was, at first as the leading impediment to civil rights reform, then, on becoming president, his 180 degree flip-flop to become its leading proponent. In 1964-65, the arcs of the two of them coincided, but after that their orbits shifted again, and took completely different directions by 1966-67. Johnson’s dogged pursuit of a faraway, completely staged and unnecessary war, for which he exploited the patriotism of credulous young men — a war fought essentially for his own personal, political and pecuniary gain, in his deluded mind — caused a fundamental split between these men that festered until MLK’s assassination on April 4, 1968. Nearly thirty years later The New York Times, on June 20, 1997, reported that Dexter Scott King, MLK’s son speaking for the King family, announced their finding that LBJ and the FBI were behind the assassination, which was carried out by the military and intelligence apparatus of the United States government.”
If you watched, as I did, the glut of JFK assassination documentaries this past November, you must have wondered why none of them built the case for a conspiracy. Despite a mountain of evidence indicating that JFK was murdered by a secret cabal of intelligence/military operatives, facilitated by LBJ and his billionaire oilmen supporters. PBS, by and large a credible investigative source of investigative journalism, was out in front of this pack of broadcast liars with such blatant historical frauds as “Cold Case JFK” and “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?” Why was the truth squashed? For the answer, all you have to do is follow the money. Who paid for these disinformation pieces? David Koch, that’s who. That’s right, PBS sold its journalistic integrity down the river for a few shekels from one of the most vitriolic and extreme right-wing billionaires in America.
If you don’t know David Koch, let me give you some background. He is one of the richest men in America. He and his brother are right-wing fanatics committed to abolishing Social Security, taxation of the wealthy, Medicare, minimum wages, and voting rights for minorities. He has spent millions trying to prove that Obama is a socialist Muslim who was born in Kenya. He is a lying, tax-dodging, Kennedy-hating, fascist Oligarch. He can buy anything he wants, and the truth is for sale. And the family’s extremist politics did not start with the brothers. Their father, Fred Koch, an oil billionaire and member of the John Birch Society, paid for hateful posters which were passed out in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The posters had front and side views of JFK beneath the headline “Wanted For Treason.” So maybe there’s good reason not to trust the Oswald-did-alone documentary paid for by the Kochs. You think?
The Koch family history is not tied to just the John Birch Society; there is evidence that the German Kochs were Nazis. There are some who believe that Ilse Koch, the notorious “Bitch of Buchenwald” was related to the American Kochs. She was the wife of Karl-Otto Koch, commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp. After World War II, Ilse was tried for war crimes and imprisoned by a U.S. tribunal. Information connecting Ilse and Koch Industries is hard to find but is a string of fragments, pieces of information that connects the American and German Kochs and this connection gives us a clear image of the sentiment behind the Tea Party and conservative American politics since the 1950s. Where is the connection between the German Kochs and Fred Koch? Besides evidence the American Koch was related to Ilse’s family, Erich Koch (an important Nazi official in charge of Prussia) induced Fred Koch to sell his oil in Nazi Germany when Fred was banned from doing business in the US. After the fall of Nazi Germany, Erich Koch and Fred expanded their oil empire to the Soviet Union. A few years later the Soviets took Fred Koch’s oil and prosecuted Erich for war crimes – Fred Koch returned to the US, became anti-communist, and was allowed to do business in the States again.
The links between the American and Nazi Kochs are tenuous, but they certainly shared the same political ideologies. What we know for certain about the Kochs in America comes from this article in the summer 2014 issue of “The Progressive”:
“In 1961, at the age of twenty-six, Charles Koch moved home to Wichita, Kansas, to work for Rock Island Oil and Refining Company, which was led by his father, Fred Koch, who was on the national council of the John Birch Society. Charles subsequently opened a John Birch Society bookstore in Wichita with a friend of his father, Bob Love, the owner of the Love Box Company in Wichita, according to Dan Schulman’s Sons of Wichita. The John Birch Society’s ‘American Opinion Bookstores’ were stocked with material opposing the civil rights movement Birchers had put up billboards in Kansas and elsewhere calling for the impeachment of Earl Warren, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who had ordered the desegregation of the public schools in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. There’s no indication that Fred or Charles objected to the Birch campaign to impeach Warren. There are indications they paid for ads in Dallas in 1963 with President John F. Kennedy’s head depicted like two mug shot photos, with the word ‘Treason’ below, shortly before the assassination of the President … Or when [Birchers] opposed the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, based on the Bircher claim that the movement was created as a forty-year front for the communists. Or when [they] supported billboards calling Martin Luther King a communist.”
The Warren Commission’s investigation of the Kennedy assassination, shoddy at best and a blatant, cynical cover-up at worst, neglected to dig deeply into many malignant and menacing areas. Especially, and probably intentionally, overlooked were Lee Harvey Oswald’s ties to the CIA. More than any other deficiency, this “oversight” led the Commission to the wrong conclusion about what really happened in Dallas. De facto head of the Commission Allen Dulles, CIA chief fired by Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs, carefully steered his colleagues away from the evidence which would have indicted the Agency. So it is left to us to do the dirty work. And a good place to start is Oswald’s membership in the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol (LCAP), a pack of social misfits, loners, thugs, thieves, and merciless CIA killers.
Rummaging through Lee Harvey Oswald’s past can be a murky and sometimes frightening enterprise, but it is quite necessary if one wants to understand the residue of the tangled plot that took JFK’s life. Even casual perusal leaves no doubt that Oswald and his associates had deep-rooted intelligence ties. Some of Lee’s best friends were CIA operatives, from David Ferrie to the Dallas White Russian community, which included people like Oswald’s best friend in Dallas George DeMohrenschildt and his erstwhile Irving, Texas, landlady Ruth Paine. Obvious patterns of sheepdipping and shepherding emerge as one follows Oswald’s journey from Louisiana to Texas, and to Russia and back. He was a low-level agent on deep-background assignments for the Company. Just the kind of dupe who can be set up as the fall guy when the Agency needs a patsy. But how did Oswald get to that point? Who picked him out of the hordes of nickel-and-dime operatives the CIA was running in the 1950s and’60s? And why?
It began when Lee was just a teenager and he joined LCAP. On the surface this was a harmless group of post-pubescent wannabe fliers who signed up for air rescue techniques, campouts, and long speeches about duty and country. But in reality LCAP was much more. It was established by David Harold Byrd, a wealthy Dallas businessman and defense industry insider who fancied himself an Air Force Colonel. Indeed he was bestowed this title by none other than his great pal, General Curtis (Bombs Away) LeMay, virulent Kennedy hater and Air Force Chief of Staff under same. Byrd and LeMay made LCAP look like a unit of weekend flyboys to outsiders, just an excuse to make Byrd a colonel and to have an auxiliary pilot training presence in the South. This was merely the cover story, however. US military intelligence and the CIA wanted to train and recruit pilots to make surreptitious flights, into the Caribbean and elsewhere, involving weapons trading, support for paramilitary operations, and drug running (later Air America). Louisiana was a logical location for this (easy access to Cuba, Latin America and South America). Later, of course, Byrd, one of LBJ’s most ardent political and financial benefactors, owned the Texas School Book Depository. I have always been confounded by researchers who overlook this one incredible fact (which, in and of itself, screams conspiracy): Byrd, a Texas oil millionaire with nefarious connections to potential suspects, provided the first and last places of employment for Oswald. This is either the most incredible coincidence in history, or Byrd’s businesses were being used as fronts for intelligence operations. Think of it, JFK’s supposed assassin fires from a building owned by the same man to whose air patrol unit he was attached a decade earlier. And Byrd neither admits to nor is questioned about this suspicious happenstance. Of course, he had plausible deniability because he merely provided the facilities for intelligence assets to perform their operations while keeping a safe distance from the action.
Anyway, back to LCAP. The ideal candidates for CIA recruitment were young, impressionable, adventuresome cadets seeking daring and stealth and lacking morals or a social conscience; or, in the alternative, they were outcasts and misfits, willing to commit abnormal or questionable acts without resistance. Consequently, an unusually high number of Louisiana Civil Air Patrol cadets became psychopathic killers, CIA pilots, or gullible, low-level fall guys. Among them were John Liggett, Charles Rogers, Lee Harvey Oswald, Barry Seal, and James Bath, all of whom were either tangentially or directly connected to the JFK hit.
In order to facilitate its recruitment of LCAP cadets, the CIA needed mesmeric leaders who had sway over young men. It found one such leader in David Ferrie, a defrocked priest, a skilled pilot, a hypnotist, and a pedophile. Oswald was probably directed to Ferrie and LCAP by Dutz Murret, Oswald’s bookmaking uncle who worked for New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello. Rogers likewise had a bookmaker in the family, his father Fred, who also paid tribute to Marcello. Ferrie worked for Marcello as a pilot. When Marcello was deported by Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department in 1961, Ferrie flew a private plane to Guatemala, picked up the gangland boss and flew him back home. Ferrie fancied himself an expert pilot, and loved flying secret missions for the Mafia and the CIA. In LCAP he insisted on being called “Captain Ferrie,” and despite his weird appearance (he wore an orange wig and painted-on eyebrows), his trainees were apparently defenseless against his hypnotic powers. One of “Captain” Ferrie’s most unusual recruits was a future mortician/body reconstructionist/assassin named John Liggett. More on him later.
Ferrie taught his prized pupils the tricks of spycraft. And while most LCAP alums tried to maintain their covers after joining the CIA, Barry Seal was flamboyantly and unabashedly open about his occupation. His remarkable life is well-chronicled in Daniel Hopsicker’s stunning book, Barry and the Boys. Seal was entrusted by the CIA to fly drugs out of Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America; guns in and out of troubled nations across the globe; and operatives to secret CIA missions whenever it needed a democratic or socialist leader overthrown. Hopsicker writes, ‘[Seal] was a high-rolling mercenary, a rogue pilot, an infamous gun-runner, the chief Mena narcotics trafficker, a fast-talking, self-assured, 300-pound pilot and Special Forces veteran, a notorious drug smuggler, a mystery man, and the most valuable informant in DEA history.”
Seal’s abilities as a CIA pilot were so valued that he was protected by powerful interests. He had George H.W. Bush’s private phone number; it was found on Seal’s body after he was mysteriously gunned down in the mid-1980s. Hopsicker writes of a witness overhearing one of Seal’s conversations with Vice President Bush. Seal reportedly threatened to expose the Iran-Contra scheme if the IRS did not stop hounding him. One week after the phone conversation, Seal was dead. The witness goes on to say that the murderers were acting under orders from Oliver North. Seal, according to Hopsicker, was also involved in another monstrous operation—he was one of the getaway pilots flying out of Dallas after JFK was killed.
Facts uncovered by this author indicate that JFK’s body was surreptitiously flown out of Dallas via Red Bird Airport and not Love Field. Here’s where another LCAP grad enters the drama. John Liggett, a Dallas funeral home employee, was present at Parkland Hospital just minutes after the mortally wounded Kennedy arrived there. On November 22, 1963, Liggett was officiating the funeral of his wife’s aunt at Restland Funeral Home, when he was suddenly called away from the graveside. He returned after a few minutes to tell his wife that Kennedy had been shot and he had to go to Parkland Hospital. When his wife asked him if Restland was going to get the job, John replied that he did not know but that she should not try to contact him. This was quite unusual. Normally when Liggett was on a job or on call, his wife and kids visited him at the funeral home. Never before had he instructed them to stay away. His funeral home did not get the JFK job; no matter, Liggett had other intentions. Circumstantial evidence indicates that Liggett, with the assistance of treasonous Secret Service agents, switched JFK’s body for a fake wrapped in sheets in Emergency Room 1. The substitute body was placed in the expensive coffin which publicly left Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963. The genuine corpse was placed in a cheap shipping coffin and spirited away by John Liggett in a Restland Funeral Home hearse. It was then rushed to Red Bird where Seal or possibly some other CIA pilot flew the body to Washington, DC, for body alteration prior to the autopsy. And, according to Liggett’s peers, there was no one better in the business at altering dead bodies than John Liggett. He even referred to himself as a “reconstruction artist.”
As incredible as this scenario sounds, several people close to Liggett have come forward to verify this story. It dovetails with the official record in many regards. The Dallas doctors saw wounds on the dead President which were radically different from the ones the Bethesda autopsy doctors saw. The only reasonable explanation for this is that someone, somewhere between Dallas and Washington, got access to Kennedy’s corpse and altered it. This ploy, this diabolical deception, was the plotters’ ace in the hole. It is how they intended to forever cover up the truth of the manner of JFK’s death. For in any murder investigation where the victim dies by gunshot wounds, examination of the corpse reveals the direction and number of shots. The Dallas doctors saw evidence of frontal entry and rear exit, indicating Kennedy was shot from the grassy knoll area of Dealey Plaza, a place where Oswald definitely was not positioned. The Bethesda doctors saw evidence of rear entry and frontal exit, indicating Kennedy was shot from the TSBD, a place where Oswald definitely was positioned. At Bethesda Hospital several witnesses saw Kennedy’s body arrive in the cheap shipping casket and the not the expensive public coffin that flew back to Washington aboard Air Force One. One LCAP grad (Liggett) framed another LCAP grad (Oswald).
Liggett did not return home from Washington until the next day. When he arrived he seemed worn and disheveled, quite unlike his customarily cool comportment and dapper dress. He quickly ordered Lois and the kids to pack up; they were going to hit the road. The family traveled south, and along the way Liggett stopped for furtive meetings with unknown parties out of the earshot of his wife and kids. They finally settled on a motel for the evening, and on the morning of November 24, after witnessing Ruby shoot Oswald to death on TV, Liggett breathed a deep sigh of relief and told his family it was okay to return home now. At no time did he let on what he knew about the historic events which had taken place that weekend or that he even knew Oswald, Ferrie, or any other LCAP members.
After the assassination Liggett came into a good deal of money which he used to purchase a home for his family in an upscale Dallas neighborhood. There he was visited on several occasions by Ferrie, whose appearance was so bizarre and amusing that they could not forget him. It is likely that Ferrie was conveying “liquidation” assignments to Liggett, as he was connected to many of the mysterious deaths of assassination witnesses after the fact.
Certainly Liggett did not learn his morturarial talents in the LCAP; instead he joined the Air Force where he served as an attaché, a common euphemism for military intelligence work. At some point after his discharge he was encouraged by his benefactors (possibly Curtis LeMay, possibly D.H. Byrd himself) to enroll in a school for undertakers. Upon graduation, he went to work embalming and burying innocent people by day and underworld/intelligence victims by night. If the CIA or the local Mafia wanted a body disposed of, Liggett was called upon. He interred the poor saps in the “Field of Honor,” a Dallas joke for burial plots of the nefarious. If the unlucky stiff needed a transformation to disguise the manner of death, Liggett was equal to the task.
But Liggett was more than just a mortician; he was a killer, and, like Charles Rogers, he had a preference for bludgeoning his victims with a hammer. The Dallas police caught up to Liggett in 1974, when he was arrested for the attempted murder of Dorothy Peck, wife of Jay Bert Peck. Jay Bert Peck was Lyndon Johnson’s cousin, and he bore a stunning resemblance to LBJ. Liggett never divulged his reasons for viciously beating Peck and burning her home. But according to some researchers, Dorothy was about to talk about how her own husband had been murdered by Liggett. Jay Bert Peck had reportedly stood in for his cousin at the Fort Worth Hotel where the presidential party had stayed the night before the JFK assassination. This allowed LBJ to slip out the back door and attend a “Kill Kennedy” planning session at the home of local oil millionaire Clint Murchison. LBJ’s long-time mistress Madeleine Brown reported seeing many powerful JFK enemies at Murchison’s that night, including H.L. Hunt, J. Edgar Hoover, John McCloy (later a member of the Warren Commission), and George Brown (of Brown & Root, nee Halliburton). If this account is true it would explain the importance of silencing the Pecks. Lyndon Johnson, named by many as the prime mover behind the assassination, certainly had no qualms about killing those close to him if it suited his political purposes. He was once accused by his long-time associate and criminal co-conspirator, Billy Sol Estes, of ordering the executions of many LBJ political enemies. Estes’ lawyer wrote a letter to the U.S. Justice Department in 1984 which named these victims, one of whom was President Kennedy. But I digress.
The Dallas Police eventually caught up to Liggett when they arrested him in 1974. After his arrest, Liggett’s first wife Lois was warned by Liggett’s brother Malcolm to stay away from John and to avoid all contact with him. Malcolm was later appointed to a high-level presidential economic advisory commission by Gerald Ford. (As a side note, Ford was one of four future presidents closely tied to the events in Dallas. He served on the Warren Commission. Three future presidents—Johnson, Nixon and George H.W. Bush–were in Dallas the day of Kennedy’s murder. This was no coincidence. All played a role in the events of November 22, 1963. But that’s another story.)
Liggett’s death is just as fraught with subterfuge and deviousness as his life. In February 1975 the Dallas Times-Herald reported that “John Melvin Liggett died on a Parkland Hospital table about 30 minutes after he was shot by Dallas Police while trying to escape custody.” But Liggett left behind two widows who adamantly contradicted the official version of Liggett’s death. One saw a stranger with facial hair in Liggett’s coffin (Liggett was unable to grow facial hair); the other insisted she saw Liggett in a Las Vegas casino years later. It would be a relatively simple matter for the Agency which killed a sitting U.S. President to fake the death of a mortician, so the reports of Liggett’s death may well be exaggerated.
Another LCAP alumnus who became notorious was Texas native Charles Rogers, CIA pilot and murdering psychopath. Rogers was as brilliant as he was disturbed. A graduate of the University of Houston, Rogers worked as a seismologist for Shell Oil in the 1950s before joining the CIA. It is a seismologist’s job to determine if the underlying rock or substrata of any particular area is fertile ground to drill for oil or natural gas. This was and is vital information to oil companies; thus, seismologists and geologists are in great demand. But that kind of life was apparently not adventurous enough for Charles. So in 1956, he applied with the CIA and was interviewed in the offices of Shell Oil’s law firm, Fulbright-Jaworski (yes, the Leon Jaworski of Watergate fame).
Like other LCAP alums, Rogers graduated to the big-time when he was identified as having direct ties to the JFK murder. Many are convinced he is one of the three tramps who were photographed being escorted by Dallas cops away from the crime scene in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. The tramp photos have become part of assassination lore and have been the subject of much speculation and guesswork. What we know is the tramps bear a remarkable resemblance to killers Charles Rogers, Charles Harrelson, and the CIA’s E. Howard Hunt. Others claim they are real hobos whom the cops rousted from boxcars behind the grassy knoll. The matter ostensibly could be cleared up with some scientific analysis—comparison of height and weight, facial features, hairlines, arm length, and the like. Lois Gibson, a Houston Police Department forensics expert, performed such an analysis in 1991. Her meticulous study convinced her that Charles Rogers is the short tramp in the infamous photos. This begs the question, what was he doing there? Not likely he just happened to be boxcar-hopping just yards from the site of the murder of the century, at the exact time and day of its occurrence. There is no doubt that Rogers was a psychopath. He murdered his parents in June 1965, chopped them into pieces and stored them in a freezer before disappearing into the murky sub-world of CIA skullduggery.
It was most likely George DeMohrenschildt who recommended Rogers be hired by the CIA. A long-time CIA asset, and Lee Harvey Oswald’s handler in Dallas, DeMohrenschildt was also an expert in knowing where to drill for oil. He had an advanced degree in petroleum engineering, and he was associated with many Texas oil millionaires, including H.L. Hunt. LCAP founder D. H. Byrd once employed DeMohrenschildt at Three States Oil and Gas Company; DeMohrenschildt also was connected to Byrd through Byrd’s wife, whom DeMohrenschildt appointed to the board of his charitable organization in 1962. This would have provided cover for Byrd and DeMohrenschildt to have interaction during the time that Oswald was being shepherded to his tragic fate. DeMohrenschildt also had deep ties to the Bush family. George H.W. actually roomed with DeMohrenschildt’s uncle at Andover in the early 1940s. Later, when Bush was head of the CIA, DeMohrenschildt wrote a desperate letter to his old friend begging for help. DeMohrenschildt feared for his life because he was writing a factual book about his relationship with his old pal Lee Harvey Oswald. A few months later DeMohrenschildt was found shot to death in his home. The address and phone number of George H.W. Bush was on his person. Like Barry Seal, when DeMohrenschildt posed a threat of exposure of Bush secrets he met an untimely end.
Another Bush family intimate, one James R. Bath, turned out to be another “illustrious” grad of Byrd’s Civil Air Patrol. He served in his CAP unit in the mid-1950s, about the time Oswald, Ferrie, Seal and the other CIA recruits were active members. But it’s what he accomplished after his LCAP training that makes him notorious. Bath began a lucrative CIA career sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s, after leaving active duty with the Air Force. He joined the Texas Air National Guard in 1965 where he met his great pal, George W. Bush, just as the Vietnam War was escalating. The Air National Guard was a great hideout for those pilots who wanted to avoid combat. Bath was George W. Bush’s good buddy in the Texas Air National Guard. Like W, Bath refused a medical exam and went AWOL when he pleased. Bath eventually became the Bin Ladens’ money man in Texas; this included investments in W’s failed oil business–Arbusto. According to author Pete Brewton, Bush claimed that he and Bath never went into business together; however, “…records filed in a Houston lawsuit involving Bath contradict the [Bush’s] son: they show Bath was an investor in a Bush oil and gas enterprise.”
Brewton also claims that Bath became intertwined with some of the wealthiest and most powerful international players in global politics and finance. Among other things Bath became a trustee at a Saudi bank which provided financing for Adnan Khashoggi around the time that Khashoggi was involved in the arms-for-hostages transactions with the Iranians. The Khashoggis and the bin Ladens were intimately acquainted. Bath also went into business with Lan Bentsen, son of Texas politician Lloyd Bentsen. (Bath served in the 147th Fighter Group “Champagne Unit” Air National Guard with Lan Bentsen, George W. Bush, John Connally III—son of Texas governor John Connally, wounded in JFK’s death limo, Al Hill—grandson of H.L. Hunt, and several members of the Dallas Cowboys football team.) Bath formed a Cayman Islands company which moved money around for Oliver North in the Iran/Contra operation. And he worked for the du Pont family’s Atlantic Aviation corporation. Quite a success story for a guy who started out as a lowly cadet in David Ferrie’s LCAP.
Of all the sordid characters mentioned above, Byrd and Bath prospered the most. Byrd, rich beyond reason already, garnered million-dollar defense contracts for his Ling-Temco-Vought weapons company during Vietnam. His good friend LBJ apparently rewarded him for services rendered. Bath bilked American taxpayers for $12 million in Defense Department overcharges for one of his companies in 1990. Neither Byrd nor Bath was ever brought to account for anything. No investigative body—not the Dallas Police, not the Warren Commission, not the House Select Committee on Assassinations—interviewed Byrd. He answered no questions about the nature of his business, his associations, nor his weird connection to Oswald. Not a hint of suspicion was raised about who hired Oswald, nor who had access to the Texas School Book Depository building before, during and after the assassination. In his autobiography Byrd did not even mention the fact that he owned the TSBD, a tidbit he wanted to keep hidden for good reason. He does refer to his citation from General LeMay for starting up the Civil Air Patrol, but he excludes the names of all criminals therein bred. To remove himself as far from suspicion as possible, at the time of Kennedy’s assassination Byrd was on safari in Africa, his first-ever safari on foreign soil. He did not return to Dallas until the smoke had cleared.
Undeniable killers Charles Rogers and John Liggett were never convicted of any crime. Oswald, Ferrie, and Seal, all set up for murder by the covert forces which set their fates in motion, were the unluckiest of the lot.
In retrospect the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol was some sort of nexus of evil CIA recruitment and secrecy. Its founder and members went on to attain almost unfathomable notoriety. The truth of who LCAP members really were, the associations they made, and what they went on to do with their lives is quite provocative, and very dangerous information to the plotters of JFK’s murder. Their actions and connections speak to some sort of subterranean, for-profit enterprise that was dedicated to subverting democracy and creating what Jack Ruby called a “whole new form of government in the United States.” No wonder when the House Select Committee on Assassinations went to investigate the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol it found that all LCAP records prior to 1960 were missing.