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Posts Tagged ‘LBJ’

Congrats Poverty, for winning the war on poverty

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2021

Another war lost. Poverty and inflation won.

But the fundamental premise is flawed. Government can’t eradicate poverty anymore than it can eradicate a virus.

For starters, poverty in the US was already in decline, dropping from 18.5% in 1959, to 13.9% in 1965 (according to US Census Bureau data).

Yet in 1974, a decade into LBJ’s ‘all-out war’, poverty started rising again. Go figure— the 1970s saw the beginning of hardcore economic stagnation and debilitating inflation.

No amount of government support could counteract the destruction they were causing.

And by 1993, the poverty rate in the US was roughly the same as it had been in 1965.

So essentially the United States government had declared War on Poverty… and Poverty won. It was a stalemate at best.

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One of the FBI’s Most Illegal Hoover-Era Operations: COINTELPRO — Put on Steroids by LBJ and Hoover – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2019

She was falsely accused of being impregnated by one of the Panthers (the white baby, whose father was Jean’s husband, diplomat Romain Gary, was stillborn); her friends said she never recovered from that experience, and continued to be harassed by the FBI until, at age 40, Jean Seberg committed suicide in Paris, in 1979


LBJ: Master of Deceit

~ Hat’s Off to William Auth, (1942-2014)
Editorial Cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer ~


Unbeknownst to the public – or, initially in the 1950s, even the higher-level officials of the Department of Justice – the FBI’s home-grown COINTELPRO (Code for “Counterintelligence Program”) created an official policy to use illegal forms of surveillance such as bugging devices and wiretapping.  By the mid-1960s, it was subsequently expanded to allow the use of other illegal tactics, solely on the whims of J. Edgar Hoover.  As will be demonstrated below, it would soon adopt the most horrid, inhumane types of torture normally associated with Hitler’s Gestapo or Stalin’s Gulag Archipelago, though these operations were mostly “sub-contracted” to local thugs for execution, as we will shortly describe.  That these highly illegal and unconstitutional acts took place under Lyndon B. Johnson’s regime should not go unnoticed, as it should be clear that his well-known propensity for micromanaging all such activities means that the order more than likely came from him, just as his calls to “Kill More Cong” ultimately resulted in Operation Phoenix and the series of atrocities against innocent Vietnamese civilians that produced the 1968 My Lai 4 Massacre that killed 504 women, children and old men.

The use of these devices under such loose methods went well beyond “legal” constraints – they even vaulted over the higher threshold of the Fourth Amendment[1] of the Constitution – and continued, essentially unnoticed and/or uncontrolled by all of Hoover’s superiors, at least until Robert F. Kennedy finally attempted to establish control, with limited success.  Hoover, it seems, had conferred unto himself, rather than the judicial system, the authority to issue “warrants” under the amendment, where it delineates the conditions under which they may be properly issued. Perhaps it was under that leap-of-logic that he had taken the liberty of renaming his office as the “Seat of Government” (S.O.G.) as a means of justifying, to himself, the arrogated gravitas of his rarified position of paramount authority.

The FBI’s secret COINTELPRO had begun in 1956, just as Martin Luther King Jr. had become a national figure as the most famed civil rights activist.  It continued to secretly grow – propelled to a Gestapo-like leviathan during the 1960s Johnson administration – until it was exposed in March, 1971 when the FBI’s field office in Media, Pennsylvania was burglarized. It was merely one of the many secrets discovered in that break-in and passed to the news media.  The burglars belonged to an activist group called the “Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI.” The burglary occurred on a night when a large part of the population was distracted due to a boxing match called “The Fight of the Century” between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali (Ali himself was one of the thousands of people targeted by the program because of his support for the anti-war movement).

Among other celebrities caught up in Hoover’s net were ex-Beatles singer John Lennon,[2] other early rock stars such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.  The early deaths of many of the rock musicians of the period, including Jim Morrison, were long-suspected to be related to the general paranoia suffered by many political leaders in those days. Mae Brussell had begun tracking the litany of such names in the late 60s and continued through the 1970s, stating what is now generally accepted by all: “the United States is secretly run by powerful groups that will stop at nothing to maintain control,” a statement she made which was published by the Monterey (California) Herald, Oct. 4, 1988.[3]

Still another entangled star, the child-actress Jean Seberg — “discovered” by Otto Preminger at age 17 in 1956 – was also targeted by the FBI in 1968 for her financial support of the Black Panthers. She spent a decade in turmoil over the harassment – including being repeatedly characterized as “the alleged promiscuous and sex-perverted white actress.” She was falsely accused of being impregnated by one of the Panthers (the white baby, whose father was Jean’s husband, diplomat Romain Gary, was stillborn); her friends said she never recovered from that experience, and continued to be harassed by the FBI until, at age 40, Jean Seberg committed suicide in Paris, in 1979.[4]

The FBI Sets up a Nationwide Targeting Program Aimed at Student Protestors and “The New Left” Generally, And Thomas Cahill Specifically

Among the many thousands of lesser-known people around the country who were similarly targeted was a San Antonio writer, photographer, magazine editor and anti-war protestor named Thomas Cahill. Cahill wrote the following passages to a friend, explaining his early life:[5]

  • I grew up in New Jersey where I was born in 1937. While in the Air Force in 1955, I fell in love with Texas where I was stationed awhile.  Upon discharge from the service, I studied journalism at the University of Texas in Austin and afterward got a job on a statewide magazine during which time I was assigned to photograph Pres. & Mrs. Kennedy at a Democratic Party Fundraiser in Austin the night of Nov. 22, 1963.  I had a White House press pass and a friend of Vice-Pres. Johnson was going to set-up a photo op for me.  To say this 26-year-old was “excited,” is an understatement.
  • Of course the Kennedy’s never made it to the Party-party.  And this was the second or third major trauma of my life, the first having grown up in a dysfunctional family, and the second my service time in Germany for which in January 2013 I received a 100 percent, service-connected disability pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  This is how I’m now able to live abroad.

In the first few years after President Kennedy was murdered on Elm Street in Dallas, Cahill watched as the country became divided by the new president’s manipulations to put it on a warpath that made no sense to him, and millions of others who were also aghast at the horrors his policies portended.  By 1967-68, most people paying minimal attention to the growing numbers of American boys killed or wounded began realizing that they had been lied to by President Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and the generals running the war, about how “successfully” his war was going.

As did so many others watching it unfold, America stumbled into a particularly senseless war and Tom Cahill’s name, as a disillusioned veteran who had begun participating in anti-war demonstrations, thus appeared in underground newspapers.  That caused his life to be abruptly turned upside down because he had unwittingly become caught up in a “perfect storm” of events colliding around him.

It was in January, 1968 when the Tet Offensive by North Vietnam taught the nation that “the light at the end of the tunnel” was, metaphorically, an out-of-control runaway train with loose cannons on the flatbeds, driven by a drunken engineer called “LBJ”.  By February, a sea-change in American attitudes toward the war began which triggered reactions throughout Washington and the nation as both sides – the “Doves and the Hawks” in the parlance of the times – solidified their positions; even CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, generally considered to be “the most trusted man in America,” finally decided the misbegotten war was doomed to fail.  But not the President, who continued his quest to defeat the Communists, at one point telling one of his military briefers, Colonel John Downie, who had urged him to get out of Vietnam, “I cannot get out of Vietnam, John, my friends are making too much money.”[6]

The elements of the perfect storm gathering in early 1968, which would change Tom Cahill’s life forever, included these subparts:

  • During mid-1967, President Lyndon Johnson had ordered Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Richard Helms to begin spying on the anti-war movement. The exact date of the meeting is not known, but August 15, 1967 was the date of the first official CIA memo on the program. Although Helms told LBJ that such a program would be illegal, LBJ ordered him to do it anyway, and he complied, apparently in fear of losing his prestigious and well-paid job.[7]
  • The CIA delivered four reports on the anti-war movement, none of which reported any evidence of foreign involvement.  LBJ rejected the conclusions of all four of them and remained convinced that the anti-war movement was influenced or controlled by foreign governments, either China, “Hanoi” or the Soviet Union. The reports were delivered on November 15, 1967, December 22, 1967, January 5, 1968, and September 4, 1968.[8]
  • In May, 1968, clearly in an act directly related to the actions noted above, the FBI’s “intelligence” gathering program COINTELPRO – previously used by the FBI to track Martin Luther King Jr. and assorted other targeted civil rights activists and suspected communists – was extended widely, to track anti-war and civil rights protestors under a comprehensive, country-wide and highly illegal program that had already been growing in breadth and depth throughout the turbulent 1960s.  All field offices were sent a memorandum describing their responsibilities under the program, including identifying potential subjects and reporting results of their surveillance activities on a three-month interval.  The FBI memorandum describes the program thusly: General instructions are being furnished to all offices relating to the purpose and administration of this new program.  Briefly, these instructions require all offices to submit an analysis of possible counterintelligence operations on the New Left and on the Key Activists on or before 6/1/68, including any specific recommendations for action.  Thereafter, all offices will submit a 90-day status letter setting forth a summary of their accomplishments and future plans . . . “
  • In the meantime, Tom Cahill had become the publisher of Inferno, a San Antonio, Texas underground newspaper, printed in English and Spanish.  His use of this medium to express his dissenting views of the war would have made him an easy target, even for lazy FBI agents acting from their desk chairs, who were then being enlisted by FBI HQ officials to search for “new left” candidates to add to their lists of designated malcontents protesting LBJ’s war.  FBI files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), presented below, show that Cahill had been targeted by that agency’s field personnel (apparently after merely reading his reports in the Inferno) following instructions from “S.O.G.” – Hoover’s term for the “Seat of Government.”  Cahill’s reportage, unfortunately for him, appeared concurrently with that new COINTEL program, and the following additional developments occurring in the CIA and FBI.

Memorandum to William C. Sullivan 5/9/1968 Read the rest of this entry »

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The Truth of Why LBJ Wanted the USS Liberty To Sink – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2019

It’s Israel First.


LBJ: Master of Deceit

A Look Behind the Scenes, showing how LBJ Moved his Pawns – including the men aboard the USS Liberty – on a Global Chessboard as he Schemed to Win Reelection in 1968. And the Four Faces of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas – Simultaneously counseling LBJ, liaising with Israel, and member pro tempore of the National Security Council.

(Excerpted / reedited for context, from Remember the Liberty!)

LBJ Proclaims Himself “King of the World”

One instance of how Lyndon B. Johnson’s delusions surfaced occurred in 1965, while flying high on Air Force One, when he proclaimed to several reporters on board that he had become the most powerful man in the world, as he announced to them that he was basically now the “King of the World.” Johnson had invited four reporters from the press pool into his suite to share cocktails with him in his quarters. They were flying high above his domain, which was now the entire world. He was in an ebullient mood, and this phase of his mania was strengthened with each drink from his glass of Cutty Sark scotch.

As he sat in his huge, elevated, custom-designed leather chair (the crew called it “The Throne,”) with the reporters arrayed around him in their smaller cloth seats, he decided to remind this select group of reporters about how fortune had smiled on them that day, to be in the presence of the single most important person in the world. Suddenly, Johnson declared, “Look around the world: Khrushchev’s gone. Macmillan’s gone. Adenauer’s gone. Segni’s gone. Nehru’s gone. Who’s left – de Gaulle?’’ AP reporter Frank Cormier said that Johnson sneered as he uttered the French president’s name:

“Then, leaning back in his massive ‘throne chair,’ LBJ thumped his chest in Tarzan fashion and loudly bellowed, ‘I am the King!”[1]

Lyndon Johnson was known, arguably more so than any other president, as one who moved his subordinates — like a King moved pawns — into other positions as it suited his future needs. This was illustrated by such examples as Arthur Goldberg, who in 1965 had been happy to have a safe and secure position on the Supreme Court, until LBJ decided he needed to have him become the ambassador to the U.N. That was because of Johnson’s awareness of Goldberg’s strong attachment to Israel, and its Zionist leadership, which would become a great need when an operation — that would become known as the 1967 “Six Day War” — was then being planned, and would suddenly materialize two years later.

Questions Posed by Nicholas deB. Katzenbach 40 Years After-the-Fact

Nicholas Katzenbach, who was moved by President Johnson from the Justice Department and appointed as an assistant secretary of state a few months before the Liberty attack, may have inadvertently exposed revealing clues as to what was really going on behind the scenes during the Six Day War and the USS Liberty attack on June 8, 1967.  Within his 2008 memoir, Some of It Was Fun: Working with RFK and LBJ, he cited a number of points that still concerned him, over forty years later, which had never made sense to him.

There is no indication that Katzenbach had any foreknowledge of the attack, in fact, there are numerous indications that he was nowhere near being “in the loop.”  He stated that most administration officials, including Navy personnel, did not believe the Israeli explanation that it was “a case of mistaken identity.” And he acknowledged that Johnson accepted the apology for political reasons, but felt that Israel should have offered the families “generous compensation,” with an implicit understanding that they would be reimbursed. Moreover, Katzenbach admitted that the State Department had angered many in the Jewish community through its issuance of a statement of neutrality, which was considered in retrospect as unwise.[2]

That “neutrality statement” began during a State Department briefing when some of the officials became giddy over Israel’s successes. As described by Grace Halsell in her article, “How LBJ’s Vietnam War Paralyzed His Mideast Policymakers”: “With a wide smile, Eugene Rostow said, ‘Gentlemen, gentlemen, do not forget that we are neutral in word, thought and deed’.”[3]

Shortly thereafter, press spokesman Robert J. McCloskey repeated those words for reporters. This statement caused much consternation among the Israeli leadership and within the White House. According to the memoirs of Joseph Califano, the reason it was such a “political problem [that] reached white heat” was because it could be interpreted as an invocation of the Neutrality Act, which meant that Israelis would be constrained from raising money in the United States and that might prevent the United States from shipping supplies to Israel. Califano said that Abe Fortas was among those who expressed concern to him about that issue, however it was in the context of his having “deep reservations” that it applied.[4]

Behind the Scenes at the “303 Committee” – April, 1967

Abe Fortas, a sitting Supreme Court justice, was also simultaneously serving in three other unofficial positions: as one of Johnson’s primary advisers, as a liaison between Johnson and Israeli leaders, and attending meetings of the National Security Council, thereby becoming directly involved in the planning of the Six-Day War. The paradox created by Justice Fortas, in facilitating President Johnson’s efforts to subvert constitutional, legal, moral and ethical rules of conduct, and assisting the president to commit U.S. military might to support a war of aggression by a U.S. ally on its neighbors, should not go unnoticed, as it has inherently proven to have been the case for some five decades.

Even as he played these multiple roles, he seemed oblivious to the innate conflict of interests they invoked. Fortas had previously been Johnson’s personal lawyer for over twenty years, including having played a primary role in Johnson’s theft of the 1948 senatorial election and being his chief collaborator in the months after JFK’s assassination – to squelch the multiple Senate investigations into Johnson’s criminal past. Throughout all of it, he was a personal witness to Johnson’s long history of criminal activity, clearly becoming one of Johnson’s primary enablers/sycophants.

The Nascent Plot to Sink the USS Liberty

As detailed in my book Remember the Liberty, preparations for the attack on the USS Liberty were delegated by Johnson to the “303 Committee,” – a sub-group of the National Security Council named for the elegant corner office of the Executive Office Building where it met. It was located physically next door to the White House, but figuratively an extension of it, reserved as a second office assigned to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff [JCS]. According to Richard Helms, that committee was “… simply a device for examining covert operations of any kind, and making a judgment on behalf of the president, so he wouldn’t be ‘nailed’ with the thing if it failed.”[5]  But under Johnson, the function of the group was much more proactive in creating plans than merely reviewing the products of others.

In 1967, the “303 committee” was composed of the under secretary of state for political affairs (Foy D. Kohler, formerly the ambassador to the Soviet Union), the deputy secretary of defense (Cyrus Vance), the CIA director (Richard Helms), the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (General Earle Wheeler) and the President’s national security adviser (Walt Rostow). This committee controlled all covert CIA operations.[6]

Regardless of its name, or the president, the committee was always directly under the control of the president to whom it served, and was, therefore, as James Reston, the New York Times columnist observed, “above even the Joint Chiefs of Staff … charged with approving intelligence missions all over the world.”[7] Clearly, and implicitly it should be noted as well, it was also above the CIA and its director, who also served on it as merely one of its members.

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Forced Retirement: LBJ, Nixon, and Hillary

Posted by M. C. on January 2, 2017

Means of Ascent, one of three or four volumes on LBJ by Robert Caro, is quite good.  Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tananbaum is excellent also.

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Progressivism-Know Thine Enemy

Posted by M. C. on January 3, 2016

Progressivism stands for the proposition that freedom , liberty, voluntary cooperation, and the free market are not enough. To best improve life, the state must intervene with men and women carrying guns and willing to use them against resistance and break up those voluntary relations and impose its will by brute force to achieve different and presumably better results. At the bottom of progressivism is a quasi-religious belief in state action (force) over individual choice.

This is the definition of Progressivism as defined in James Ostrowski’s book on the greatest threat to liberty this country has seen. Progressivism -A Primer on the Idea Destroying America.

Ostrowski defines and describes Progressvisim, its failures and how neoconservatives have grown to employ its precepts.

“Progressivism -A Primer on the Idea Destroying America” is a great starting point for anyone new to and wanting to learn about Progressive philosophy. Read the rest of this entry »

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