What? LBJ A Criminal? How Shocking!

I have no idea if Lyndon B. Johnson had a hand in the public execution of John F. Kennedy. The list of suspects is so long I don’t see how anyone would figure it out. I am pleasantly surprised that Fox News gave TV coverage to a book fingering LBJ as the main perpetrator. Even if the thesis is wrong, it will at least provide readers with more reason to doubt the official lone gunman theory—which richly deserves doubt.

But what I do find grotesque is the response the Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy gives to Roger Stone at the idea that LBJ being a skuzzy, organized-crime-enmeshed, corruptocrat and ruthless killer. Doocy didn’t do anything wrong, but it shows how much information is missing from American public discourse.

Stone tells the host that LBJ had a track record before the Kennedy Assassination. “In my book I tie him to at least eight political murders…” At which point Doocy interrupts in a shocked voice, “LBJ?!”

I wasn’t aware that the corruption rose to the level of actual killings. I’ll have to read the book to learn more. But it bothers me that the average American response to learning of the criminal entanglements of any dead president is always one of incredulity. Schools teach children (or they did when I was a student) a brief lesson about Tammany Hall and about Huey Long as if those were anomalies in American history. They were only anomalies in that they got exposed.

LBJ was involved in the Bobby Baker scandal (that conveniently went away once he was installed as President) and Billie Sol Estes allegations and was probably facing not only being dropped from the ticket, but as Stone mentions, criminal prosecution. Anyone reading about the “suicide” of Henry Marshall can see that there is plenty of reason for suspicion.

One of our sibling blogs is called Godfather Politics. That isn’t just a joke. And it shouldn’t be taken as a metaphor. Our government officials need funds to win at politics and also lots of votes, especially in urban centers. Criminal networks, especially as enmeshed in unions, are there to help. Furthermore, despite all the sensational news about organized crime and violence, the key to their business model is bribery. They exist because of government corruption.

This relationship has existed all through American history and is mostly ignored. For example, anyone who reads The Money & The Power: The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America, 1947-2000 by Sally Denton and Roger Morris, will learn that a history of Las Vegas is a history of the country and of virtually every American President during that time period.

We need to stop being shocked.

But what I do find grotesque is the response the Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy gives to Roger Stone at the idea that LBJ being a skuzzy, organized-crime-enmeshed, corruptocrat and ruthless killer. Doocy didn’t do anything wrong, but it shows how much information is missing from American public discourse.

Stone tells the host that LBJ had a track record before the Kennedy Assassination. “In my book I tie him to at least eight political murders…” At which point Doocy interrupts in a shocked voice, “LBJ?!”

I wasn’t aware that the corruption rose to the level of actual killings. I’ll have to read the book to learn more. But it bothers me that the average American response to learning of the criminal entanglements of any dead president is always one of incredulity. Schools teach children (or they did when I was a student) a brief lesson about Tammany Hall and about Huey Long as if those were anomalies in American history. They were only anomalies in that they got exposed.

LBJ was involved in the Bobby Baker scandal (that conveniently went away once he was installed as President) and Billie Sol Estes allegations and was probably facing not only being dropped from the ticket, but as Stone mentions, criminal prosecution. Anyone reading about the “suicide” of Henry Marshall can see that there is plenty of reason for suspicion.

One of our sibling blogs is called Godfather Politics. That isn’t just a joke. And it shouldn’t be taken as a metaphor. Our government officials need funds to win at politics and also lots of votes, especially in urban centers. Criminal networks, especially as enmeshed in unions, are there to help. Furthermore, despite all the sensational news about organized crime and violence, the key to their business model is bribery. They exist because of government corruption.

This relationship has existed all through American history and is mostly ignored. For example, anyone who reads The Money & The Power: The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America, 1947-2000 by Sally Denton and Roger Morris, will learn that a history of Las Vegas is a history of the country and of virtually every American President during that time period.

We need to stop being shocked._I have no idea if Lyndon B. Johnson had a hand in the public execution of John F. Kennedy. The list of suspects is so long I don’t see how anyone would figure it out. I am pleasantly surprised that Fox News gave TV coverage to a book fingering LBJ as the main perpetrator. Even if the thesis is wrong, it will at least provide readers with more reason to doubt the official lone gunman theory—which richly deserves doubt.

But what I do find grotesque is the response the Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy gives to Roger Stone at the idea that LBJ being a skuzzy, organized-crime-enmeshed, corruptocrat and ruthless killer. Doocy didn’t do anything wrong, but it shows how much information is missing from American public discourse.

Stone tells the host that LBJ had a track record before the Kennedy Assassination. “In my book I tie him to at least eight political murders…” At which point Doocy interrupts in a shocked voice, “LBJ?!”

I wasn’t aware that the corruption rose to the level of actual killings. I’ll have to read the book to learn more. But it bothers me that the average American response to learning of the criminal entanglements of any dead president is always one of incredulity. Schools teach children (or they did when I was a student) a brief lesson about Tammany Hall and about Huey Long as if those were anomalies in American history. They were only anomalies in that they got exposed.

LBJ was involved in the Bobby Baker scandal (that conveniently went away once he was installed as President) and Billie Sol Estes allegations and was probably facing not only being dropped from the ticket, but as Stone mentions, criminal prosecution. Anyone reading about the “suicide” of Henry Marshall can see that there is plenty of reason for suspicion.

One of our sibling blogs is called Godfather Politics. That isn’t just a joke. And it shouldn’t be taken as a metaphor. Our government officials need funds to win at politics and also lots of votes, especially in urban centers. Criminal networks, especially as enmeshed in unions, are there to help. Furthermore, despite all the sensational news about organized crime and violence, the key to their business model is bribery. They exist because of government corruption.

This relationship has existed all through American history and is mostly ignored. For example, anyone who reads The Money & The Power: The Making of Las Vegas and its Hold on America, 1947-2000 by Sally Denton and Roger Morris, will learn that a history of Las Vegas is a history of the country and of virtually every American President during that time period.

We need to stop being shocked._