Truth is often the first casualty in the aftermath of conflict. The creation of mythological stories about real-life historical figures has become entrenched in every facet of American culture for a very long time.
Welcome Seekers of Truth about LBJ’s REAL Legacy
This blog, “LBJ The Master of Deceit” is dedicated to finding, reporting and curating the actual truths of the life and times of the 36th POTUS, and the factual records — as nearly as they can be reconstructed given the massive, multiple cover-ups and still-sealed records* — of the Johnson presidency.
Needless to say — but important, nonetheless, in setting the context — Lyndon Johnson did not invent, nor did he have any sort of exclusive ownership of, such politician’s traits as treachery or deceitfulness. His imprint had more to do with the audacity, brazenness and levels of corruption and deceit and treachery that he introduced into the political arena during his reign of power.
More than any others of his contemporary era — even those who were instrumental in his ascension to the presidency and the brutal exercise of his near dictatorial wrath during the tumultuous 1960s — it was his lifetime pursuit of crimes and their cover-ups that put him into the all-powerful position he maintained throughout that decade.
Beyond his earlier crimes, the measures taken in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli attack on his own ship, the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 — to completely erase the actual events of that failed mission when the ship didn’t sink, and replace the record with a massively fictional account — illustrated his puissant ability, under extreme exigencies, to instantly create a cover-up of presidential treasons. He had pressed Israeli leadership to conduct it, over many months of planning, but their curious “jump-starting” of the long-planned start of the Six Day War ten days too early (It had been scheduled for June 15, 1967) and then the even stranger inability of the motor-torpedo boats to hit the defenseless ship, caused it to become clear that there was no unanimity among them to comply.
The “last straw” — which proved that the desperate Johnson was the instigator of that attack — was his order, according to credible witnesses, to one of his own submarines to fire the torpedo that did finally hit it. It was the horrid culmination of a lifetime of cunning deceits, in this case, caused by his deluded belief that he would be able to use another “false flag” pretext — of putting the blame on Egypt for the attack — despite the fact that their air force had been virtually destroyed by Israel in their sneak attack on the first day of the war: Israeli leaders knew it would be impossible to support the assertion that Egypt was the attacker. Thus, he forced them to assert that the two and one-half hour sustained assault was due to “accidental mistaken identification” and, to this day, as absurd as it is — for numerous reasons, as explained in Remember the Liberty! — that remains the official position.
At that point in time, he was 58 years old, two months short of his 59th year; according to his most prominent biographer, Robert Caro, he had practiced his deceits in small ways well before he turned ten years old, each one portending greater steps across the boundaries of ethical, moral and/or legal precepts. As an adult, the intrusions grew greater, into such things as campaign fund fraud, stolen elections, collusion with numerous criminal associates including organized crime figures and murders of people who either crossed him directly or represented the potential to do great political harm to him personally.
It was no coincidence that the following year — 1968, his last year in the Oval Office — became a year of murders and mayhem: It began with his decision on March 31 to not run for reelection, followed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. four days later and Robert F. Kennedy two months after that, then his immediate turnabout, albeit unsuccessful, decision to reenter the presidential race as a “White Knight” savior. It was as if he had voluntarily stepped aside — though temporarily — to remove himself from suspicion during those nefarious operations, and the on-going primaries that he clearly wanted to avoid, but leave himself an opening to return to the campaign just in time to run again for the presidency he had always thought was his destiny.
Neither was it a coincidence that the December, 1968 murder of pacifist monk Thomas Merton, another man in his ascendency whom Johnson feared might eventually expose presidential treasons, was similarly done in his last months in office.
In the aftermath of the disastrous 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, the sitting president, Lyndon Johnson, who had been dis-invited to his own convention — and whom was not even mentioned by the speakers there, had this to say:*
“I’ve never felt lower in my life . . . How do you think it feels to be completely rejected by the party you’ve spent your life with, knowing that your name cannot be mentioned without choruses of boos and obscenities?”
It is interesting that the so-called “historians” who consistently vote Johnson into the “top ten” list of presidents never mention what his own party thought of him at the end of his reign of terror.
*(The quote of LBJ above came from Joel Achenbach, “A Party That has Lost Its Mind: In 1968 Democrats held one of the the country’s most disastrous conventions” Washington Post, August 24, 2018)