I have long-possessed a VHS copy of of the video as well as a bound, inch-thick copy (#151 of 200 copies printed) of the documents, photos, correspondence and news articles used in the production of the film, now over 20 years old. Due to copyright rules, I never considered putting any of it on the website/blog. However I recently became aware that the video is available for viewing on You-tube at the link below.
This is a thorough and comprehensive production, especially considering that Lyle Sardie — a single researcher, with help from his family and friends — produced it 23 years ago, in 1998. It was a “first time” and historic effort, clearly demonstrating Lyndon B. Johnson’s absolute criminality and therefore worthy of the time spent in viewing it [This paragraph was re-edited 2/11/2021 for added context].
The video is presented in 12 segments of 8-9 minutes each. The link above combines them all together, or they can be viewed separately.
I do have a few “caveats and quibbles” that you should be aware of:
- While I believe that at least 95% of it is accurate, there are certain assertions made which make it seem that the producers believed Lyndon Johnson and his aides Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace were in virtually complete control (with help apparently only coming from Wallace’s girlfriend and an old Indian sharpshooter named Loy Factor) of the entire plot to assassinate JFK. I have never subscribed to that premise. Though I did use the term “Mastermind” it was always in the context of his being the catalyst and driving force behind a much wider plot, leading and delegating responsibility to the military, intelligence, investigative and “law enforcement” agencies for its planning and execution. Specifically, I do not agree that “Mac Wallace recruited Jack Ruby or Lee Harvey Oswald,” for example.
- The content itself is generally well put together considering it was not done by professionals using “state of the art” techniques, but there are unfortunate distractions such as the over-use of rather abstruse and annoying background sounds that one might expect to hear in a Jamaican voodoo ceremony rather than a serious documentary of what was the single greatest set of outrageous criminal acts in U.S. history [Reedited 2/11/2021].
- Segment #4, supposedly 10:47 minutes in length, is actually only about three-quarters of that, the remaining portion of that video segment is blank. When the screen goes black at 8:03 minutes, push the fast forward button or click the end of the timeline to proceed on to segment #5.
- The final segment partially repeats itself. After finishing at 4:45 the screen goes black, but at 4:54 it comes back and repeats the last 3 or 4 minutes of the closing. Unless you need to see that part again, for emotional recovery purposes, you should just close the video at 4:45.
One of the facets of this video that makes it particularly valuable is that it reveals the intrinsic character traits of certain people, through their illegal, treacherous and/or murderous acts, that have been well-hidden by the major (and minor) LBJ biographers. Practically all of them have been entirely hidden, except Johnson’s highest level aide in charge of managing those actions, Cliff Carter. His most covert operations — including managing Mac Wallace’s murder assignments — have of course been hidden by those biographers. Robert Caro acknowledged only the “non-wet” jobs such as his being one of the several “bagmen” used for moving tens of thousands of dollars of cash contributions enclosed in envelops tucked inside their coat pockets as they flew in airliners back to Washington.
At least Carter managed to have a few rare photographs of himself with “the Boss” — unlike others, such as Mac Wallace or Billie Sol Estes, among his associates or employees who were never known to be photographed together with Johnson.
LBJ must have thought he had kept Carter’s name sufficiently protected, so he later promoted him to be executive director of the Democratic National Committee. Unfortunately for Carter’s sense of loyalty to Johnson, it was a short-lived arrangement that had grown out of his bagman function. In 1966 Johnson relieved him of that duty and appointed Arthur Krim to that position, in recognition of his better campaign funding skills.
As examined in my December 16th blog (here) — the first of three blogs on Billie Sol’s vindication — it appears a certainty that Lyndon Johnson decided in 1971 that both Mac Wallace and Cliff Carter “had to go”. He died within 36 hours of having his intensive ruminations, on September 20th of that year, with Billie Sol Estes.
6 thoughts on “LBJ: A Closer Look: A (Mostly) Brilliant Classic Video”
It is impossible to assert that this video is 95% accurate since there is almost no understandable content in this video. The audio levels are so out of balance that one channel is non existent and the other is a mass of intermittent noise from bad audio dubbing. The visuals are VHS quality but are poorly transferred and the stills are from the usual set seen in other films and books. I don’t know what pearls of wisdom might have been on the original soundtrack because it is unintelligible in this version. This final quality is far too bad to have been ever part of a intentional production. It looks as if what we see here is some kind of an amateur dub gone horribly wrong but posted anyway. The poster should take this down before it becomes a laughing stock version of bad JFK video.
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I concede your points about the amateurish dubs and overall horrible quality of the audio. I did try to qualify my assessment in the “caveats and quibbles” comment but probably didn’t adequately explain the context of it in terms of its historic merits of when it was made approximately 23 years ago — five years before The Guilty Men segment of The Men Who Killed Kennedy, when no one else had gone to the lengths that Sardie had in building a case against Johnson. The segments containing interviews — especially those showing Doug Caddy’s testimony — had never been published before. Sardie had spent a lot of time and energy putting all of that together and it had only a very limited viewership when he produced the video. My opinions related to the fact that I viewed it in that historical context. After it was published, I believe that he was threatened by the same people who came back out of the woodwork to threaten Nigel Turner and The History Channel with recriminations if they didn’t suppress their production, because Sardie also disappeared from the scene in much the same way as Turner did: In both cases they’ve become virtual recluses, driven into submission. If I erred in anything, it was that I did not explain that point well enough.
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I was astounded to learn that Sam Raeburn had contributed substantial finances to the Manhattan Project …
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Do you know what Sardie has done with his original footage? In this day and age there is technology that can probably clean it up and make it into a much more effective piece. He could have someone else do the work and take the heat while he stays at arms length, if that would help him rest easier. There are places where such footage can be posted where pressure from the usual suspects can’t get to it. I think, like you, that these original comments are valuable and that we should try to preserve them anyway we can.
I talked to Sardie a couple of times . . . he said that he was trying to figure out how to convert the tapes to digital, and that he knew those services are available but he was trying to figure out how to do it himself. He seemed intent to do it that way. I’ll send (separately) four photos he sent to me of the tape cartridges, which I cannot figure out what type they are, but they don’t look like VHS tapes to me.
I’ll definitely visit this blog again, thank you 🙂
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