LBJ is no civil rights hero

Roger Stone Political Consultant
Font Size:

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.

“Civil rights” thus became LBJ’s “keep out of jail” ticket from the JFK assassination. It was Johnson’s necessary and diabolical way of preventing the liberals, blacks, Northerners and Kennedy people from pursuing their natural suspicions of the hated LBJ in the Kennedy assassination. The JFK assassination rescued LBJ from imminent destruction at the hands of the Kennedys; it cleared his buddy Hoover to be FBI director for life; it preserved Texas oil’s investment in LBJ, and saved the most valuable oil depreciation allowance. It also gave the war hawks in the military and CIA a war in Vietnam, even if they could not get the war with Cuba that they wanted.

It would have been unthinkable for LBJ not to come out vigorously for civil rights in the wake of the JFK assassination. Not only would Johnson have suddenly been the number one suspect, it would have gravely imperiled his chances of being the 1964 Democratic nominee.  LBJ intuitively and cleverly figured out if he was leading the civil rights parade, his old enemies of liberals and Kennedys could not afford to take him down. White House tapes of LBJ’s telephone calls show he embraced civil rights as a way of blunting a challenge from Robert Kennedy at the 1964 Democratic convention. Even when Lyndon Johnson did the right thing, he did it for the wrong reasons. ” I’ll have these n****rs voting Democratic for 100 years” he would chortle to a Southern governor.

Obama, Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush will be in Austin this week justly praising civil rights. But they will be disgracing themselves if the participate in the glorification of a serial murderer Lyndon Johnson who is the poster child of opposition to civil rights. Murderers are the greatest civil rights violators of all.

There is one prominent First Family who will not be in Austin this week. That is the first family of civil rights: the Kings, who will never under any circumstances praise and glorify the murderer Lyndon Johnson. That is because the King family has been on the public record since 1997 stating that they think Lyndon Johnson murdered Dr. Martin Luther King.

On June 20, 1997 the New York Times’ report on the King family’s beliefs regarding LBJ read:

Three months ago, Dexter Scott King declared that he and his family believed that James Earl Ray was not guilty of the murder of his father, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tonight, in a televised interview, Mr. King asserted that President Lyndon B. Johnson must have been part of a military and governmental conspiracy to kill Dr. King.

“Based on the evidence that I’ve been shown, I would think that it would be very difficult for something of that magnitude to occur on his watch and he not be privy to it,” Mr. King said on the ABC News program “Turning Point.”

Mr. King, who heads the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, suggested that the Army and Federal intelligence agencies were involved in his father’s assassination, in Memphis on April 4, 1968. I am told that it was part and parcel Army intelligence, C.I.A., F.B.I.,” he said in the interview. “I think we knew it all along.”