LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination (Skyhorse Publishers, 2011, 2013)
The premise of the book, and the term “Mastermind”, is that there had to have been one key person who was the single most important catalyst behind the JFK assassination who would have provided the “critical mass” required to bring all other elements together and held them together throughout the planning and execution of the 1963 coup d’etat. That person would have necessarily been someone who had the power to assure the others that they would succeed and be protected from discovery and prosecution afterwards; he would have to be someone who recruited and marshaled all the others and he would had to have influence across the federal government bureaucracy as well as the Texas state and local judicial and law enforcement agencies. Lyndon Johnson was uniquely positioned to fulfill all of these requirements and be able to provide the unifying “driving force” required to pull off “The Crime of the 20th Century.”
It is an axiom in human relationships and group dynamics that such an audacious, potentially devastating trauma for the country (and the world), — which would have meant death sentences for the culprits, had they been caught — would have required a powerful person behind it, one who championed the cause from the start and led trusted others to participate. A fundamentally important requirement was that a singular person — of necessity, one who was both manic and obsessive — fill the role of the “driving force” behind it. Axiomatically, that driving force would have had to be a person who was both bi-polar and sociopathic / narcissistic / paranoid, all traits associated with Lyndon B. Johnson, as affirmed by psychiatrists and psychologists named within this book. Moreover, to ensure the mission was successful, the key person would have had to be in a position to guarantee protection for everyone else involved (except, of course, the “patsy”). For all of these reasons, the plot could have only succeeded with such a “Mastermind” in command.
The notion that such a force could have emanated from a number of men working together as a “committee” of sorts to effect the murder of the president hinges on its being born and championed forcefully by multiple plotters at comparable levels of power. All of the men (or women) involved would have had to have been equally obsessed, similarly depraved and consistently sociopathic. Yet such a plot is not something that could have even been openly discussed among officials, certainly not deliberated at committee meetings in boardrooms on Wall Street in New York, or K Street in Washington, with votes taken according to Robert’s Rules of Order, by equally responsible individuals. Such a notion is demonstrably improbable, at best — or laughably absurd, at worst.
LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, details the complete story of how Lyndon B. Johnson manipulated people throughout his life to perform the most vile and heinous acts — including multiple murders of people who represented a threat to him — leading up to the murder of John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014)
The second book, a “sequel” of sorts, published in 2014, reveals even more of Lyndon Johnson’s treasonous actions during the period of his presidency. The first chapter, however, revisits the 1961-63 period leading up to the assassination of JFK, and examines the story of the Texas Ranger, Clint Peoples, who conducted a three-decade investigation of Johnson’s criminal past. It focuses on the 1961 murder of Henry Marshall, an extension agent for the Department of Agriculture, who had conducted his own investigation of the frauds which Johnson committed through his associate Billie Sol Estes. This chapter examines the secret files of Ranger Peoples (who later became a U.S. Marshal) which were not released to the public until 2012, after the deaths of Peoples, his wife and his daughter. Peoples kept those files closed for that long because he feared that Johnson’s life-long defenders (Federal Judge Barefoot Sanders specifically) would destroy those records if given a chance.
The remainder of this book begins where LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination left off. It reconnects the previous themes and stories begun in the earlier book and reviews how he created a false image of himself as a great leader. The book examines Johnson’s actual historical imprint which he then attempted to mitigate through pushing Congress to enact long-dormant legislation, bills that he had previously impeded, always insisting that “the timing wasn’t right.” Moreover, it shows that the passage of his “Great Society” legislation was designed to take the focus of the nation off the assassination of his predecessor as well as laying the groundwork for building his own legacy.
The book also examines his planning to redirect U.S. foreign policy within days of his becoming President, as he maneuvered to insert the U.S. military into the civil war being fought in Vietnam so that he could be a wartime president; that, he thought, would provide another means to achieve his goal of becoming a “great” president.
Finally, the mysterious Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 is reviewed, and evidence is presented to show that the attack was facilitated – even planned and directed – by him against his own ship and the 294 sailors on board as a means to insert the U.S. military into the Six Day War; it only failed because the Liberty refused to sink. This was not merely another “high crime and misdemeanor,” it was unspeakably treasonous, of the highest order. After this book was published, even more evidence of Johnson’s instigation and additional treasonous activity during the attack was discovered, leading to the publishing of another book, Remember the Liberty! In 2017 (see below).
By ignoring all of these linkages, the entire “darker side” of Lyndon B. Johnson is virtually disregarded by other authors, those who profess to be historically accurate yet are merely extensions of Johnson’s carefully laid plans to ensure a faux legacy as a “great president.” His meticulous planning ability, except for Vietnam and the Liberty attack, was clearly a success, when it came time to weigh his presidency: Those same “historians” and academicians generally consider him as one of the top ten presidents because of his “Great Society” achievements, including passage of a Civil Rights Bill that he had resisted when he was the Vice President, telling JFK repeatedly “the time isn’t right.” Having fought meaningful civil rights laws for over a quarter of a century, he knew that the time would only be right after he became President.
Remember the Liberty! (TrineDay Publishing, 2017)
In the annals of US military history, there are no doubt many unsolved and perplexing mysteries, but few could compare to the fate of the US Navy spy ship that was mercilessly attacked by one of its closest allies intentionally and without warning. One of the reasons it is still a mystery is because it is also the only peacetime attack on a US naval vessel that, to this day, has never been investigated by the Congress of the United States.
An excellent primer for the basic story is the BBC video Dead in the Water (produced in 2002, well before LBJ’s malevolent involvement in the planning and execution of the operation was known), which can be seen here:
The Best Video (Docu-series) Ever Produced: “Sacrificing Liberty” (Sept. 2020)
This four-part documentary closely parallels the narrative of my book, Remember the Liberty!, in all of the most critically-pertinent points, including the role of President Johnson in recalling fighter jets sent from the Sixth Fleet to protect the ship, in setting up the cover-up — and most importantly — its examination of how and why the attack was planned and executed. My September 2020 blog (HERE) contains more details on this video.
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Unlike other previous films done on this subject, this video delves into the “backstory” thoroughly, which brings coherence to the narrative of the attack itself and how the failure to sink the Liberty with “all hands aboard” required by the original plan (viz placing the blame for an attack by Israel upon Lyndon Johnson’s arch-enemy Egyptian President Abdel Gamal Nasser as a pretext to attack Egypt) to be jettisoned. Caught without a realistic alternative explanation, it was then decided to declare everything about the attack to be state secrets — for both the U.S. and Israel — with threats of prison “or worse” to any offender of that decree.
The Rusty Bucket which the IDF confused with the USS Liberty
Summary Background of the Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty June 8, 1967
The USS Liberty was a 455-foot, 10,150-ton electronic intercept spy ship, originally a standard-design Victory Ship—a more evolved version of the World War II Liberty Ships—which were built as supply ships, not intended for direct fighting. The Liberty had been converted to an Auxiliary Technical Research Ship (AGTR), known colloquially as a “spy ship,” first deployed in 1965; its top speed was only 18 knots. Rather than speeding along at over 30 knots, as portrayed in the dubious, arguably absurd, explanation offered by Israel, at the time of the attack the Liberty was sailing along at five knots in international waters, seventeen to thirty miles off the coast of Egypt, even farther from the coast of Israel. Anyone who had ever been on a boat of any size more than a day, should have known by just looking at it that the estimated speed stated by Israel was patently ridiculous.
Yet the Liberty’s fate, one of the most enigmatic, unresolved military mysteries of all time, is, paradoxically at its core, quite clear-cut and undisputed. The basic facts generally accepted by all are that, on the fourth day of the Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors (Egypt, Syria and Jordan), June 8, 1967, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) savagely attacked the U.S. spy ship, the USS Liberty.
On the warm, sunny-bright day of June 8, 1967, starting at about 6:00 a.m., at least twelve, possibly thirteen Israeli aircraft of different types began surveilling the Liberty, some of which were only 1,000 feet or less in altitude, apparently to photograph and “map” her for later targeting purposes. The precision of the later attack could only have been accomplished through such preplanning, specifically identifying the priority targets, starting with the gun mounts to render the ship defenseless, followed by all of the forty-five different radio antennae and related transmitting equipment. . Beginning just before 2:00 p.m., three unmarked French-built Mirage III-C swept-wing fighter jets, without warning, settled into a triangular formation, aimed straight at the Liberty and proceeded to bore down on the ship in a fast low-level attack that began with rockets targeted at the four gun mounts and heat-seeking missiles aimed at the communications gear, with their warmed transmitters. The first attack consisted of fighter jets shooting gunfire and missiles, followed by other, slower jets dropping packets of napalm, followed immediately by Israeli torpedo / gunboats that, combined, left the Liberty’s entire upper deck on fire, fueled by napalm and gasoline, 841 cannon holes in its hull, antennae mounts, gunwales, bridge, cabins and all other equipment, as well as a 22×40 foot torpedo hole in its starboard side, mostly below the water line, which ordinarily would have sunk the ship within minutes. When the attack was over, thirty-four men were dead and one hundred seventy-four were injured to varying degrees, some near death.
Unlike all other books ever written about the tragic attack – none of which provide a satisfactory explanation of what really caused it – Remember the Liberty! examines it in complete context of how it was positioned there by Johnson himself, for the very purpose of being attacked, and sunk, with every one of the 294 men on board going to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. His purpose was to use that event – while blaming Egyptian President Gamal Nasser for the attack – as a pretext for joining Israel in the war, even at the risk of igniting World War III with the Soviet Union. This book provides the only realistic explanation for why Lyndon Johnson did what he did, and why, in the heat of battle, he intervened with his Navy officers who were determined to rescue the Liberty and ordered them to recall the squadrons of fighter jets they had already dispatched – twice, 90 minutes apart – for that purpose.
The key to solving this fifty year “cold case” that remains unresolved despite the government’s best efforts to cover it up – for the first time by any book ever written on the subject – was to examine Lyndon Johnson’s psychotic state of mind, an issue that many of his confidants knew about and had witnessed first-hand. They attempted to cover it up then, and still do, but as Shakespeare once stated, eventually, and inevitably, “the truth will out.”
When the heroic crew saved the ship from sinking, it stopped Johnson’s plan to join Israel in the war and thereby saved the world from certain nuclear conflagration. It also prevented his strategy of entering what he felt would be a “popular war” (unlike his other one in Vietnam) in order to give him a better chance to be reelected president the following year. When that failed to materialize, so did his reelection campaign; ten months later he was forced to announce his decision to not re-run for the office that he had always considered his destiny.
Who REALLY Killed Martin Luther King Jr.? (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018)
Who Really Killed Martin Luther King Jr., proves that the FBI not only shadowed Martin Luther King Jr. for several years—as most reasonably-informed people are already aware—but, far worse than that, they actually “stalked” him for over four years, from January 1964 until his murder on April 4, 1968. The stronger term “stalk” correctly conveys what the FBI was secretly doing in the background, as its plot to assassinate Dr. King progressed throughout those fifty-one months.
It was supreme irony that the meme the FBI invented specially for James Earl Ray, as being a “violent racist, hater and stalker/murderer of Martin Luther King Jr.,” was completely incorrect as regards Ray—who was never any of those terms—but quite accurate in reference to King’s real chief stalker and murderer: J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI.
Through a number of paid informers, the highest-level FBI officials—led by Hoover, his Associate Director / henchman Clyde Tolson, and Assistant Directors Cartha “Deke” DeLoach and William Sullivan, among others—tracked Dr. King around the country, racing ahead of him to install “bugs” into his hotel and conference rooms as they simultaneously plotted his assassination and the frame-up of his purported assassin, James Earl Ray. The complete account, as summarized within the Prologue of the book…
“…is an extremely troubling story of government gone awry, plotting deadly retribution to a charismatic leader it viewed as a threat and then mounting a massive cover-up in order to protect the guilty. As we examine the details of the plot … it will become clear that the misuse of governmental power by a relatively few powerful key men was sufficient to accomplish high crimes and treasons. The crimes—committed, paradoxically, by the governmental entity originally created to investigate and bring law-breakers to justice during the nearly half-century tenure of J. Edgar Hoover—are legend, having been kept secret for as long as he was alive before the truths were slowly exposed. Many of them are now finally known to most reasonably informed citizens. Yet the exposed crimes are only those closest to the surface. Many others were buried much deeper, and were kept hidden, but are now finally unraveled.”
The story of how James Earl Ray was framed as the alleged murderer of Dr. King was comprised of multiple paradoxes and ironies, including the following:
- The primary motivating force—racial hatred of Dr. King and fear that he would eventually become a powerful political force, perhaps even president of the U. S. eventually—drove the high-level plotters, J. Edgar Hoover and Lyndon B. Johnson, yet they ensured that this motive would be erased by history as it pertained to them. Instead, it was imputed to be that of the purported assassin, James Earl Ray, who was not a racist at all, as determined by none other than the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and Dr. King’s own family, confirmed by his son Dexter King, who visited James Earl Ray in prison and found him to be a non-racist.
- The “patsy” Ray was backward by nature, a non-violent, small-time thief whose persona was reinvented by the FBI and, through their recruitment of novelists (so-called “journalists” but writers of fiction, William Bradford Huie, Gerold Frank and George McMillan), made out to be a vicious, hateful Southern racist. Yet he was none of those adjectives, he wasn’t even “Southern,” having grown up in and around Quincy, Illinois—farther north than Springfield, Illinois, or Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Furthermore, James Earl Ray was portrayed by the FBI as a “sharpshooter” yet the salesman who sold him the alleged murder weapon, a Remington 30.06 GameMaster rifle (with a misaligned telescopic sight) stated to the FBI and the HSCA investigators that Ray was someone who knew “nothing” about rifles, “I mean nothing!” according to his HSCA testimony.
- This accused sniper, who “knew nothing” about rifles, or anything about the development of the skill of sharpshooting, was alleged to have been so confident in his shooting ability that even the police, FBI and prosecutors said that he loaded one bullet, and only one bullet—not five, which he could have—to fire his purportedly deadly shot at Dr. King.
- The earliest detailed, factual and scholarly accounts by such researchers as Clay Blair Jr., Harold Weisberg, and Mark Lane were all ignored by the Memphis police, the FBI, the prosecutors and, a decade later, the investigators for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Even as all of these “investigations” ignored the truth-seeking accounts, they all incorporated the skewed findings of the fiction-writers (Huie, Frank, and McMillan, who used provably false stories, the same ones planted originally by the FBI), as conclusively demonstrated within the book. It becomes clear within the narrative that this was not by happenstance, that it was a story that had originated within the executive offices of the FBI and set in motion by those same fiction writers, under the direction of Clyde Tolson and Cartha DeLoach.
- The original congressmen, whose doubts about the government’s findings regarding the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King inspired them to create a new investigation that became known as the HSCA; however, those efforts were undermined by other congressmen whose interests were focused on protecting the FBI and CIA from scrutiny. The fact that the original staff, committed to an aggressive investigation, was totally replaced by a staff having no interest in that kind of examination, led to the nearly-complete breakdown of both investigations. The most that can be said about that effort, in regard to the King assassination, was that it did conclude that James Earl Ray was not a racist. Unfortunately, that point was not given sufficient emphasis; ergo, numerous subsequent books would ignore that point as they continued repeating that myth.
The themes of the book are centered upon an intense review of all of these summary points. Combined, they will lead the reader to understand how deeply the secrets were hidden. But it is the last two points on that list—how ten years later, the HSCA investigators based their “investigation” on those works of fiction—that will inexorably lead to an epiphany as the long eluded truth is revealed: It was how a long series of provable lies were put into the “official story” by the first fiction writers (Huie, Frank and McMillan) that were used to buttress the official “findings” of the HSCA, despite their simultaneous, seemingly reluctant admission that James Earl Ray was not the racist which was the basis for all of his alleged “motives” to kill Dr. King: his “hatred” of King [sic], that led to his “stalking” [sic] and thus his “murder” [sic] of King.
© 2018 Phillip F. Nelson. All Rights Reserved.