Katie Couric aired an interview this week in which the grown daughters of President Lyndon claimed that if LBJ was alive today he would oppose the ban on gay marriage as a “civil rights issue.” This is pure hokum, part of a misguided PR effort to burnish Johnson’s public image. If fact, documents reveal that LBJ had his aide Bill Moyers order the FBI to investigate whether his other top aide Jack Valenti was gay, and have the FBI seek to identify gays on the staff of his 1964 Republican opponent Barry Goldwater.
The Couric interview yet another attempt by the LBJ legacy crowd to rehabilitate the much maligned image of a president who presided over the death of 50,000 Americans in Vietnam. The centerpiece of this PR effort is a “Civil Rights Summit” at the LBJ Library in Austin and it is designed to burnish the legacy of a man who was once the most unpopular man in America, Lyndon Johnson.
Even stranger, the Civil Rights Summit scheduled at the LBJ Library today made it clear that they would allow no dissent, posting this very intimidating sign:
Lyndon Johnson, a cruel and sadistic man, spent much of his congressional career ruthlessly killing one civil rights and anti-lynching bill after another with an efficiency very similar to the way he murdered witnesses to his epic corruption. It was only in 1957 when Lyndon Johnson was pointedly told by Washington Post publisher Phil Graham and aide Jim Rowe that he, LBJ, had better pass some sort of civil rights bill if he was going to have even a shot at being acceptable to northern liberals as the Democratic nominee for president in 1960, something that LBJ had been lusting after for decades.
He passed a watered down bill that would be rendered unenforceable by an LBJ amendment that required violations to be tried by all-white juries in the South. Eleanor Roosevelt denounced the bill as “toothless fakery.”
They said that it was “Armageddon for LBJ:” either pass a civil rights bill or you will never be palatable to the Democratic nominating base. LBJ in 1957 was not acting out of a Mother Theresa-like concern for the well-being of black citizens.
As I point out in my blockbuster New York Times-bestselling book The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, Lyndon Johnson used blackmail to force his way onto the 1960 Democratic ticket. LBJ and his mentor House Speaker Sam Rayburn used Hoover’s sexual blackmail information on John Kennedy to force JFK to put LBJ on the 1960 ticket. They told him they would continue to talk about his Addison’s Disease and that they would sink JFK in the general election. For good measure they made it clear they, the Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, could and would kill any and all legislation that JFK would put forth if elected.
In other words, “civil rights activist” Lyndon Johnson gave John Kennedy and offer he could not refuse: put me on the Demo ticket as VP — or else. Or else I, Rayburn and Hoover will kill your campaign. Robert Kennedy had made a solemn pledge to the blacks, the liberals, and the union men that the one person who JFK would never pick as VP was Lyndon Johnson. After JFK, in an absolutely fatal mistake, picked Johnson for vice president, all hell broke loose with the civil rights activists and liberals at the 1960 Democratic convention. Lyndon Johnson, looking like he had been in a car wreck after Robert Kennedy’s pleas that he quit, somehow stayed on the ticket as a most unwelcome usurper of the nomination. Johnson would tour the south attacking GOP nominee Richard Nixon for being a member of the NAACP and for supporting Eisenhower’s bayonet-point integration of the schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Fast forward to five days after the JFK assassination, which LBJ engineered, and to LBJ’s address to a joint session of Congress on November 27, 1963, and we see strange words from a lifelong segregationist.
Lyndon Johnson, out of the blue, comes out strong for civil rights as he calls the man he had just murdered and who he despised “the greatest leader of our time.” Everyone in Washington DC in the fall of 1963 was fully aware of the mutual hatred of the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson. And everyone in DC knew that Lyndon Johnson for his entire career had been an enemy of civil rights except for one symbolic but non-enforceable token bill that he passed in 1957 (updated in 1960) as he tried to make himself acceptable to the national Democratic base.
In my book I make the compelling case that Lyndon Johnson was complicit in the murder of John F. Kennedy as well in 17 other politically motivated murders, in including to cover up corruption, voter theft and electoral fraud. I use both fingerprint evidence and eye-witness testimony to tie a long-time hit man for LBJ to the Kennedy murder.