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Toward a definition: Lbj as jfk hit "mastermind" -- why stop at jfk?
Those who would argue, out of malice, ignorance or both, that Lyndon Baines Johnson was the "mastermind" of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, first must define "mastermind."

As noted elsewhere on this forum by Phil Dragoo (noo relation), Merriam-Webster does so thusly: "a person who supplies the directing or creative intelligence for a project."

Phillip F. Nelson, author of LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination, unmistakably confirms his acceptance of this definition as it applies to LBJ when he writes:

"But it was all according to the grand play -- a masterpiece of design and execution -- which had been developed over a period of nearly four years by the most brilliant, and evil, political force the country had ever seen: Lyndon Baines ('Bull') Johnson[.]" [emphasis in original] [p. 576]

Then there's this:

"More than any other person, [LBJ] had the means, motive, and opportunity to have been the singular key conspirator-inistigator and the mastermind of the operation." [emphasis added] [p. 668]

These clear, unambiguous, wholly-at-variance-with-the-facts statements by Nelson render inoperative the frantic efforts by his champion, Jim Fetzer, and others to replace "mastermind" with what they beg us to believe is the synonymous "pivotal player."

MW defines "pivotal" as "vitally important."

I submit that anyone who accepts "mastermind" and "pivotal" as being synonymous within the larger context of JFK assassination roles attributed to LBJ is cognitively impaired and/or complicit in the crime.

Further, those who seek to ameliorate Nelson's perfidy by endorsing this notion are evincing nothing other than panic in the face of the exposure of Nelson as a ham-handed disinformationalist.

Let us put aside for a moment Nelson's embarrassing "most brilliant, and evil" characterization of LBJ -- language more closely associated with the creator of the film character "Dr. Evil" than with a serious academic. Instead, let us ask Jim Fetzer to enlighten us with his list of those JFK assassination plot elements in which LBJ played a "pivotal" role.

If his list includes the "coverup," we may have found common ground. The titular leader of the American over-state -- commonly referred to as the president of the United States -- was then in a position to manipulate both government-originating investigations and mainstream media and opinion. I am convinced that, in directing investigations toward the Lone Nute conclusion and coercing media to support it, LBJ so acted as an accessory-after-the-fact in the murder of JFK.

In Mastermind, Nelson regurgitates long-established, valid arguments to support this position.

Yet nowhere in 729 pages of otherwise thoughtless, cherry-picked, addled "argument" can Nelson rationally and convincingly make the leap from LBJ, Pivotal Conspiracy Coverup Facilitator to LBJ, Conspiracy "Mastermind."


Elsewhere on DPF you likely have read Jim Fetzer's desperate, and in the final analysis really quite sad, defenses of the indefensible. Most disturbing: Jim's embrace of the master disinformationalist E. Howard Hunt's final "confession" -- a deathbed masterpiece of propaganda that belongs on the same shelf with Nelson's far less erudite, more-is-less drainage.

Count on my friend Jim to appear on this thread very soon. So for the sake of efficient use of bandwidth, perhaps I can encourage Jim to address the following:

1. Do you ascribe to LBJ "mastermind" status in the assassinations of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Francis Kennedy?

2. Was LBJ the "mastermind" who manipulated James Earl Ray through his complex acquisition and utilization of multiple identities and still unexplained world travels? Did LBJ, as he allegedly would have done in Dallas, order and facilitate the stripped security from the Lorraine Motel? Did LBJ design and execute Ray's guilty plea?

3. Was LBJ the "mastermind" who, ostensibly fully conversant with CIA (and other) mind control programs -- some of the deepest, blackest programs in the history of covert operations -- brilliantly conceived and executed the patsying of Sirhan Sirhan? Did LBJ create and run roughshod over Special Unit Senator? Did LBJ take a hands-on posture and order the destruction of conspiracy-supporting evidence?

While you're at it, Jim, would you travel back to the pre-JFK hit period and answer this question for me:

How does an under-siege, about-to-be-dropped from the ticket and indicted for heinous crimes, eminently blackmailable and controllable, and all-but-emasculated LBJ exert authority over the likes of Alan Dulles, James Jesus Angleton, Richard Helms, and a host of additional deep political "princes" to the degree that he commanded and directed their participation in the JFK hit?

Beyond this question: How did the neutered LBJ control the deep political state and its true powers?

And there's more.

Jim, are you familiar with Peter Dale Scott's model for the JFK plot? If so, when and where did you buy the books in which it is detailed?

Just kidding, Jimbo.

Seriously, do you know Professor Scott's model? Do you find merit in it? If not, why not? If so, then was it "mastermind" LBJ who conceived and executed the model? I'm particularly interested in your take on the Castro-did-it gambit. Thrill me with your acumen, Agent Starling.

Not done yet.

Nelson tells us early on that:

"Johnson knew that there were hundreds or thousands of essential details that he needed to anticipate." [emhasis added] [p. 356]

Then later, he teaches:

"Signs of grandiosity and paranoia were present before LBJ became President ... [D. Jablow Hershman in Power Beyond Reason: The Mental Collapse of Lyndon Johnson notes, 'LBJ's manic furies and incapacitating depressions, his pathological ego, megalomania, and paranoia were products of his manic depression.'" [emphasis added] [p. 676]

Where oh were, dear Jim, did the paranoid, frequently incapacitated "mastermind" LBJ find the clarity to deal with the "hundreds or thousands" (hows that for academic rigor?) of details to which the "mastermind" of the JFK assassination would have to attend?

My hair is beginning to hurt.

Nelson's book is DOA. His titular thesis does not pass the laugh test. And no amount of Howard Hunts, Madeline Browns, and Billy Sol Estes's can save it.

If you combine what you just noted from the book with what Joseph Green also quoted, then it is really sad to see Fetzer backpedaling on what Nelson has written. Clearly, when Nelson uses the word "mastermind" he means it in the normal usage of the term, that is the guy who was responsible for the plan and controlled its elements.

The problem as I noted elsewhere, is that there is no evidence, let alone proof for this in the lead up to 11/22/63. And I was very specific about this in my post.

I would even argue CD with LBJ's prominence in the cover up.

IF you have not read Don GIbson's wonderful essay on the subject in The Assassinations, or Probe, he proved that the Warren Commission was not LBJ's idea, nor was it the concept of anyone who worked for him. Rather it was foisted on him--against his wishes--by Gene Rostow and Joe Alsop.

From there, LBJ intimidated Warren, actually neutered him and made him a titular leader. THerefore, Dulles, McCLoy and FOrd then controlled the cover up. So the choice of the troika can be attributed to LBJ.

But not Hoover, since he needed no urging to go along with it. Because now he was finally free of RFK's dominion over him. Which he was overjoyed about.

I just feel that the thesis behind the book is terribly misguided in light of what we know today. And I really don't like the recycling of discredited tomes like Hersh's and McClellan's.
Jim DiEugenio Wrote:I would even argue CD with LBJ's prominence in the cover up.

Duly noted, Jim.

I'm erring on the side of caution while playing a mind game or two, but your arguments are sound.

Alright. That is understandable.

BTW, I should add this: I am not closing off LBJ's further involvement in either the conspiracy or the cover up.

All I am saying is that there would have to be new evidence in that regard.

Maybe Ed Tatro has some new stuff in his upcoming book.
I have immense respect for Ed.

Can you tell us anything about a publication date for his book and other, related details.
Jim Fetzer,

Will you address the questions posed in the first post on this thread?

Actually I do not have any info on Ed's book.

Except that he has been writing it almost as long as Lifton has been writing his book on Oswald.

I actually did read once something Ed had written that was going to be an introduction to a book by Brown.

It only dealt with LBJ's role in the cover up. It was pretty good I thought.
Sidetracking the discussion by judging the entire book (which I have not read)
on the basis of a single word is judging a forest by a single tree.

From the discussion, I take it that the book agrees with my long time thesis
that LBJ was the MOST ESSENTIAL participant in the plot. He was not running
the show, but eager to play his part.

However, had he not gone along, Dealey Plaza had enough guns to target
LBJ as well as JFK and JBC. He was expendable had he not agreed to play
the leading man. He was no Hamlet, soliloquizing with his conscience. He
was the King, and the play was the thing.


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