WO Interview w/ Roger Stone author of The Man Who Killed Kennedy … The Case Against LBJ

William O’Shaughnessy

President & Editorial Director

WVOX and WVIP 

Interview with 

Roger Stone

author of

 The Man Who Killed Kennedy …

 The Case Against LBJ

Also Reflections on President Obama … Nelson Rockefeller …

Mario Cuomo … Andrew Cuomo … Chris Christie … Richard Nixon

 

December 10, 2013

 

William O’Shaughnessy:

As the snow falls here in the heart of the Eastern Establishment, our first snowstorm of the year … we have with us this morning, for the next several minutes while we’re in your care and keeping, a man of politics and he’s also a man of letters.  You’ve see him on cable television. many, many times.  He’s been an advisor to presidents of the United States.  His name is Roger Stone.  His new book is controversial, for sure.  That’s no surprise.  Roger Stone, your book is called The Man Who Killed Kennedy, The Case Against LBJ.  Do you really believe in your heart of hearts that Lyndon Johnson whacked Jack Kennedy?

Roger Stone:

I really do.  Not only do I believe it, but my book goes far beyond theory or conjecture.  I make the kind of case you could take to court.  I make the kind of case that uses fingerprint evidence, eyewitness evidence to tie a man – Malcolm Wallace – who I demonstrate is a hit man for Lyndon Baines Johnson – I take him right to the sixth floor of the Texas Schoolbook Depository building.  I don’t argue that Johnson did it alone, I do think there was a – I hate this word – “conspiracy” to kill JFK.  I do think the Central Intelligence Agency, organized crime and big Texas oil was in it.  Indeed, I just named all the key allies of Lyndon Baines Johnson.  Johnson is the missing piece of the puzzle that’s been sitting in plain sight for 50 years.

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger Stone … you even suggest Jack Ruby was an LBJ guy. 

Roger Stone:

Yes … the Warren Commission tells us Jack Ruby has no known connection to organized crime.  That’s an absurdity.  He’s a soldier for Carlos Marcello.  Carlos Marcello is the mobster who runs the mob in both Texas and Louisiana.  Marcello’s ties to Johnson are indelible.  Indeed, Marcello paid Johnson $55,000.00 month in a bribe to protect his illegal gambling operations in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.  In fact, within days of Lyndon Johnson becoming president, the wire taps that Attorney General Robert Kennedy put on organized crime figures are immediately terminated.  So yes, I argue that Ruby had a long relationship with Marcello, and Marcello has a long relationship with LBJ. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

You counseled presidents, among them Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.  You have some fabulous quotes from Nixon.  Do you think Nixon really believed LBJ was the bad guy?

Roger Stone:

I don’t think he believed it initially.  I think he originally believed the story that the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told him, which was that Lee Harvey Oswald committed this crime … that he was a Communist … and that he acted alone.  Once Nixon saw Ruby blow Oswald away on national TV as millions of others did … Bill, I’m sure you remember that horrible day … he immediately recognized Ruby as a man who had been introduced to him in 1947 as a protégée of Lyndon Johnson.  And, indeed, Richard Nixon had put Jack Ruby – then known as “Jacob Rubenstein” – on the House Un-American Activities Committee payroll as a part-time informant at the behest of his colleague Congressman Lyndon Johnson.  The most telling quote though is Nixon … when I finally asked him, point-blank and he said: “That was the thing about Lyndon and me … we both wanted to be president … but I wasn’t willing to kill for it.” 

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger Stone …  JFK … television has been awash with reminiscences of that awful day. The problem with all of them is they all end with a caisson and a riderless horse going down Pennsylvania Avenue.  Does it really matter who pulled the damn trigger … who shot him?  Does it matter?

Roger Stone:

Sure it does.  The American people have been falsely led to believe that, firstly, it was Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone and then that fell apart.  There are so many questions about the Warren Commission’s conclusions.  I don’t see how any person with any objectivity or intelligence can believe them.  Well then, the government falls back to the idea that it was an “international conspiracy” and that JFK was somehow killed by the Russians or Cubans of which there is not one iota of evidence.  John Kennedy was killed by a domestic conspiracy.  He was killed because he was trying to lead this country toward the exits in Viet Nam.  He was killed because he refused to invade Cuba again.  He was killed because he refused to assassinate Castro.  He was killed because he was making certain monetary changes in our money policy.  He was killed because he repealed the oil depletion allowance … the sweetheart tax breaks oil millionaires get.  I don’t think there is any question he was removed in a coup d’état.  And as the Latins say: the person who derives the greatest benefit from the crime is the person who committed it.  That would be … Lyndon Baines Johnson.

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger Stone, tell us about this so-called LBJ hit man. What’s the story on this cat? 

Roger Stone:

Malcolm “Mac” Wallace is a person who worked for Lyndon Johnson throughout his whole life in a series of political patronage job.  He is an “expert marksman,” the highest honor the US Marine Corps awards.  Whereas  Oswald was merely a “marksman” which is the lowest rating they provide.  I tie Wallace and LBJ in my book to a series of eight murders in Texas.  Murders to cover up corruption.  Murders to cover up embezzlement.  Murders to cover up vote stealing.  Lyndon Johnson could order up a murder they way you and I could order up a ham sandwich.  Wallace is indelibly tied to Johnson again and again.  When he gets indicted for one of these murders – for first degree murder – he is bailed out by two of Johnson’s biggest fundraising fellows and he is defended at trial by Johnson’s personal attorney John Cofer.  He actually gets convicted – Wallace this is – of first degree murder, but he gets a five-year suspended sentence.  And I trace him to murders involving the Billy Sol Estes case where government informants who were squealing on Johnson’s corruption were murdered – at least three of them.  Henry Marshall, an Agriculture agent who was looking into Johnson’s relationship with Billy Sol Estes, the flamboyant Texas wheeler-dealer, was found murdered.  That’s another of Mac Wallace’s victims.  So I think this is the absolute key point people forget. In November of 1963, John Kennedy was not just going to dump LBJ from the ticket, Johnson was a man staring into the abyss.  He was facing Federal prosecution in two gigantic scandals of the time.  The Bobby Baker Scandal – Baker was the secretary of the Senate and essentially had accepted millions in bribes for Johnson.  But more importantly: the Billy Sol Estes Scandal where Robert Kennedy and the Justice Department are aggressively pursuing Johnson and they had leaked a package to Life magazine.  Life magazine has nine full-time reporters on the ground in Texas digging into Johnson’s corruption for a December 1st cover issue.  That’s the end for LBJ.  He’s not just facing political oblivion … he’s facing federal prosecution and the penitentiary.   And in November of 1963 it makes him a very, very desperate man. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

The book is called The Man Who Killed Kennedy … The Case Against LBJ.  We’re speaking to the author Roger Stone.  Roger, we want to ask you about some presidents you’ve known.  But I’ve also got to ask you … LBJ has some relatives around.  Have you heard from any of them?  

Roger Stone:

I understand that the Johnson Library Board, where two of his daughters serve, is not very happy.  I was booked by CNN to be on with Erin Burnett on their Crossfire program until Tom Johnson, the former chairman of CNN, who also happens to be a member of the LBJ Library Board, spiked the segment.  I find that disappointing because that’s Soviet style censorship.  I don’t ask you to believe my book.  I just ask you to consider it.  Read it and see what you think for yourself.  But for CNN or the Huffington Post, for that matter, or the Washington Post or the New York Times to come along and say: don’t read that … you shouldn’t read that … that’s censorship.  And it’s really very sad.  I’m happy to say that thanks to the interest of programs like this one, Bill, and talk radio and the Internet … and thank God for Fox Television in this case … my book has gotten more than enough exposure.  It is a New York Times bestseller.  It was number 19 last week in the nation out of the top 100.  It’s a USA Today bestseller.  It reads like a crime novel.  It a story of ambition and greed and politics and power and intrigue and  murder and cover-up.  It’s kind of a fast-moving thriller in a way.  And the political connections, I think, will astound people. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

It is a fast-moving thriller, all right.  Who the hell knew you could write!  You’ve counseled presidents … you’re a man of politics.  You’ve got a lot of pretty good research in here …

Roger Stone:

I’ve got a great research partner … Mike Colapietro.  But the truth is: I’ve always been able to read.  The problem is to write.  I’ve always been spending my time writing advertising copy for the various clients and causes I work for.  And, of course as you know, it’s a lot easier to write a book without limitation than it is to write, say a 30-second radio ad.  Or a 60 second radio ad.  It’s tough to get it into 60 seconds sometimes.  I have a book coming out in September which is really the sequel.  It’s called Nixon’s Secret.  It will explain the connection between the Bay of Pigs and the Kennedy assassination and Watergate.  They all are interrelated.  More importantly, it will explain the Nixon pardon by Ford and it will also explain the 18 1/2 minute gap.  So I think history has often wanted to know why were these guys breaking into the Watergate.  Nixon was 25 points ahead of his opponent.  Why did he need to do that.  Why in the world did Ford sacrifice his reelection and pardon Nixon?  That’s the next topic I intend to tackle. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger … I hope this doesn’t sound like a silly question, but are you looking over your shoulder?  Are you concerned someone is going to whack you

Roger Stone:

That was a concern of my wife and my family when the book was finished.  But in all honesty, what I generally found when I went to Texas is that LBJ was a man who ruled by fear rather than by affection.  Now it’s very easy to find people who love Jack and Bobby Kennedy.  It’s very hard to find anybody who loved Lyndon Johnson.  People were for him because they feared him.  They feared his retribution.  Indeed one was with Billy Sol Estes, one of his closest associates who went to prison and kept his mouth shut. Sol Estes went to a Texas grand jury … and he laid out the details of eight murders before the grand jury including the murder of John F. Kennedy.  Billy Sol Estes writes to the Justice Department in detail accusing Johnson of the murder of John Kennedy.  Why?  Because Johnson was dead and there was no more retribution to be let out.

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger we’ve followed you for years … how old are you?

Roger Stone:

61.  A spry … 61.

William O’Shaughnessy:

You’ve counseled presidents.  You shuttle between Washington, New York, Miami.  Give us your read on Barack Hussein Obama.

Roger Stone:

Well, I think he’s the worst president in my lifetime.  I am not surprised because his record in the US Senate did not indicate great achievement.  No great legislative achievements.  No great accomplishments.  He wrote two biographies.  But he didn’t write any major legislation.  I frankly think now we’re into a lame duck situation where he’s got three whole years, but his public credibility is destroyed.  These are the lowest unfavorable ratings since Richard Nixon and that was at the height of a national scandal.  So I don’t have the highest regard for him, and as you know, many, many times the most able men do not become president.  I always thought Nelson Rockefeller would have been one of our greatest presidents. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

Agreed!

Roger Stone:

He had the talent.  He had the capability.  He had the “big picture” knowledge.  But he could never get there.  I think that’s tragic that a country would elect somebody like Barack Obama.  But a man like Nelson Rockefeller – for example – would never become president.  I think Robert Kennedy would have been a great president.

William O’Shaughnessy:

Speaking of which … what about Mario Cuomo?

Roger Stone:

Mario Cuomo would have been a great president!  These are big men.  Big men who think big thoughts.  Mario had the “size” for the office.  Nelson Rockefeller had the “size” for the office.  Instead we’ve elected some men who I believe to be midgets when it comes to stature and kind of a “big picture” instinct when it comes to where they want to take the country.

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger Stone … is there anyone abroad in the land today, 2013, that you admire who is fighting the good fight?  A good politician? 

Roger Stone:

I’ll tell you a guy who is very, very underrated is Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin.  Not only did he implement some serious, serious reforms to government and brought the government back into surplus from having enormous deficits, but he’s got a job boom going on.  He’s made really serious changes in the state’s public employee pension system to make it more affordable for the taxpayers.  He’s the one guy I think might be able to hold together the moderate wing and the tea party wing of his party or I should say the regular wing and the tea party wing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I like Chris Christie.  I like his “in your face Jersey style.”  I know it works in New York.  I know it works in Jersey.  I don’t know if it will work in Iowa.  I don’t know if it will work in New Hampshire.  I think it may be a regional thing.  He’s a very able man but it remains to be seen whether he can put it together.  I like Rand Paul from the point of view I like the things he stands for.  I don’t think he’s very attractive as a candidate.  He looks like he slept in his clothes.  He needs a haircut.  Ted Cruz.  No thanks … no thank you!

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger … I can’t let you got without asking you point blank who is going to be the next president after Obama? 

Roger Stone:

You know I’ve been in this business long enough to know that in politics a year is a lifetime.  Never mind three years.  This is wide open.  Unlike previous presidential elections where there was a front-runner based on the fact they had run before.  So McCain runs and loses and then four years later he comes back and wins the nomination.  Romney runs and loses then four years later he comes back and wins the nomination.  It’s almost like you have to have a warm-up run before you can get there.  It helps you become well known enough in the country and helps you build a core of supporters around the country to help you get there.  There is no such candidate this time.  Everyone being talked about on the Republican side certainly is a first-time candidate.  It is not apparent to me that Hillary Clinton is going to run.  I don’t think she’s made up her mind.  Should she run, she’ll be very, very formidable.  But those who say, oh, she’ll walk right in, there’ll be no contest.  That’s what they said about her the last time.  It doesn’t work that way.

William O’Shaughnessy:

How about the son of Mario Cuomo, Andrew, the governor?  I’ve watched him grow in wisdom and age …

Roger Stone:

I have very high regard for Andrew Cuomo.  I think Andrew Cuomo has tried to take New York in a different and more moderate direction.  I am glad to see that the Moreland Commission is beginning to take on the Legislature on full disclosure.  If Hillary Clinton does not run, then the only giant left in the Democratic Primary is Andrew Cuomo.  I don’t see anybody else in that field.  I think that Andrew Cuomo has grown as a politician so dramatically since his losing race for governor … he’s a man who understands power and authority and how to use it.  He’s a man who understands politics.  He avoids overexposure.  He speaks when he has something to say, but he’s not out “hot-dogging” for the media every day just to get his name in print.  I had many fundamental disagreements with him besides the fact that he’s a friend of mine.  But he’s a tremendously able man. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger Stone … we’re roamed far and wide.  You remain a fascinating character after 61 years. Are you still doing the best dressed list for Esquire?

Roger Stone:

Yes … this year’s Best and Worst dressed.  I try to compile the 10 best and worst dressed in the world.  It comes out on New Year’s Day.  And it’s retrospective.  So in other words, I will have to produce the list of the best and worst dressed people in the world for the year 2013.  And if you have any suggestions on either side of that … please shoot me an email.

William O’Shaughnessy:

Do you still wear a tie, Roger Stone?

Roger Stone:

You know, I’m the last guy in the entire State of Florida who actually still wears a necktie.  And I wear one every day as I have every day since I was in the first grade.  I think I was born in a suit!

William O’Shaughnessy:

When you go out for supper, do you wear a jacket?  A sport coat?

Roger Stone:

Sure, I wouldn’t go out for supper without wearing one. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

You don’t do Dress Down Fridays in Florida … ?

Roger Stone:

That whole philosophy to me is a mistake. There’s an appropriate way to dress in the workplace.  And I think dress good, look good, feel good is one of my basic rules.  I can go the Bermuda Look once in a while when it gets really hot.  I will wear a blue blazer and Bermuda shorts and knee shorts.  But by and large I’m not a very informal guy.  I didn’t own a pair of blue jeans until I was in my forties and my first wife bought them for me. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

So you’re still a spiff at 61.  And a hell of a writer.  It’s called  The Man Who Killed Kennedy.  The Case Against LBJ.  And, as I mercifully yield, you’re absolutely certain he was behind it …?

Roger Stone:

I think anyone who reads the book will put it down and say Guilty.  Guilty as hell.  There’s no doubt in my mind that he plays a significant role.  Let’s take the final piece of evidence.  When his car goes into Dealey Plaza, three car lanes behind the president of the United States as it makes the 120 degree turn, Lyndon Johnson before the first bullet has been fired – and that’s the key – hits the deck.  He’s on the floor.  How do we know this?  Photographic evidence.  We’ve got the exact time the photograph was taken because it’s a news photograph.  And therefore we’ve got the time of the first shot.  It’s clear Johnson hits the deck before the first shot.  There’s also the memoir of Senator Ralph Yarborough, he was in the car with Johnson.  He notes that Johnson abruptly hits the ground before the first shot.  And then there is Secret Service member Rufus Youngblood, who tells the Warren Commission that he heard the first shot and pushed Johnson to the floor.  But then after Johnson’s death, he recanted and said … well … having been shown the news photograph that contradicts that … I really only said that because the president told me to.  So Johnson is on the floor fiddling with a walkie-talkie in the middle of a motorcade where both sides of the street are filled with friendly people.  What does he know that we don’t know?  Why is he hitting the deck? 

William O’Shaughnessy:

Questions … they’re all in the new book called The Man Who Killed Kennedy.  The Case Against LBJ.  We’ll look forward to your new book coming out all about Richard Nixon and the Cubans.  What’s the name of that?

Roger Stone:

Nixon’s Secret.  It is the secret that not only allowed him to make the greatest comeback of all time in American history but also brought him low in Watergate.  And at the same time allowed him to avoid prison through a full presidential pardon.

William O’Shaughnessy:

I want to let you in on a little secret … you may know this.  But late in life Richard Nixon and Mario Cuomo became pen pals.  Did you know they had a mutual admiration society?

Roger Stone:

I did know that because Nixon always said there were politicians of poetry and there were politicians of prose.  Mario was a politician of poetry.  He was an orator.  Nixon admired his capability as a speaker and as an orator.  And I think Mario Cuomo admired Richard Nixon’s intellect, big picture intellect about China and Russia and international affairs.  I find that men who are enormously talented in politics are always attracted to each other despite the fact that they might be in different parties. 

William O’Shaughnessy:

Roger Stone … thank you.  What a tour you’ve taken us on …

 

 

# # #

 

William O’Shaughnessy, a former president of the New York State Broadcasters Association, was chairman of Public Affairs for the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington.  He has been a point man and advocate for the broadcasters of America on First Amendment and Free Speech issues, and is presently chairman of the Guardian Fund of the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  He operates two of the last independent stations in the New York area: WVOX and WVIP.

 

He is the author of “AirWAVES” (1999) … “It All Comes Back to Me Now” (2001) … “More Riffs, Rants and Raves” (2004) … “VOX POPULI: The O’Shaughnessy Files” was released in January, 2011.  He is currently working on his fifth book for Fordham University Press, an anthology which will include this interview with Roger Stone.

Contact:

William O’Shaughnessy
914-980-7003
wfo@wvox.com

Cindy Gallagher
Whitney Media
914-235-3279
cindy@wvox.com

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