Dick Goodwin: ‘We know the CIA was involved, and the Mafia. We all know that.’

“We know the CIA was involved, and the Mafia. We all know that.”

— Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Richard Goodwin, quoted in David Talbot’s “Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years,” p. 303.

30 comments

  1. Richard Goodwin has been married a long time to LBJ biographer (and very close friend) Doris Kearns Goodwin. Funny how Doris Kearns Goodwin never talks about the CIA or the mafia or LBJ being involved in the JFK assassination or the critical role that her former very close friend Lyndon Johnson played in the cover up of the JFK murder.

    I think Doris is holding back out of respect to the Johnson family.

    Sally Quinn had said some rather provocative things about Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s relationship with LBJ in those “final years.” I suggest reading Quinn’s Wash Post article (“A Tale of Hearts and Minds, 8/24/75). LBJ actually asked Doris to marry him.

    Quinn: “Johnson was terribly possessive of her time, more and more as he came closer to death. She was seeing many men at this point in her life but had no real attachments until she met Richard Goodwin six months before Johnson’s death.”

    One time Doris Kearns gave a lecture and said that Lyndon Johnson had compared her to his mother. [LBJ's mother was quite the enabler of him; as was Lady Bird. LBJ would use this line on numerous women when he wanted to have sex with them.] When Kearns comments became public and appeared in print, LBJ said:

    “So I’ll just take the knife out of my heart and close up the wound, and we’ll have you back here and we won’t look back in pride or shame. We’ll just start from here and we’ll go on with your book without Parade. We’re both still alive and that’s what counts.”

    Quinn: “She Doris) told them that the essence of their relationship was that LBJ was in love with her, the he “pressed me very hard sexually the first year,” that he courted her aggressively, the he asked her to marry him, that he was jealous of other men in her life.”

    Doris Kearns Goodwin: “I got to know this crazy character [Lyndon B. Johnson] when I was only 23 years old…. He’s still the most formidable, fascinating, frustrating, irritating individual I think I’ve ever known in my entire life.” [Academy of Achievement June 1996 interview, p.1]

    Just remember that the next time you see Doris on TV gushing about LBJ and all his Great Society programs.

  2. JSA says:

    I agree that D.K. Goodwin seems to be “holding back” on any talk of LBJ having anything to do with the assassination and cover-up of JFK, and quite possibly his brother Robert, and maybe also Martin Luther King. It’s like these historians, who sift through massive amounts of data (or who have researchers doing much of the sifting for them) feel they must not bring up anything that risks opening up a festering wound involving state-sponsored murders, domestic coups, corruption on a scale (involving FBI and CIA, among other bodies) that would shock and upset most Americans, if they learned what was going on. Of course the big publishing houses are not interested in rocking the boat, nor are the major networks, so you have a nation in denial, thinking only “happy thoughts.”

    I was watching the NewsHour a few years ago and they had their presidential historians trotted out to discuss JFK’s legacy in some context. Michael Bechloss actually smiled (but said nothing) when the subject of the JFK assassination came up, and someone actually mentioned that there were some unanswered questions about Oswald. He looked (to me) like the cat that ate the canary! It must be so strange to be a historian, but have “off limits” areas where you have to keep your mouth shut and pretend you don’t know anything.

    • Darwin says:

      The answers to your comments are very well known.
      LBJ knew he was not in the crossfire but ducked anyway. Because like most bullies he was a physical coward.
      More importantly than being President he was trying to get out from under massive corruption and fraud indictments which he knew were imminent.
      Finally he “quit” because he was widely hated and knew he had no chance of being re-elected.
      All common knowledge.

  3. Marcus Hanson says:

    How did Mr.Goodwin “know”? And who is “We”?

  4. Mark Groubert says:

    Mr. Morrow is correct. Doris Kearns Goodwin told a mutual friend of ours that she had sex with Lyndon Baines Johnson. Her husband Richard Goodwin was in the throws of his own self-admitted alcoholism at the time.
    Two good books on LBJ’s dysfunction and his alcoholism: Power Beyond Reason: The Mental Collapse of Lyndon Johnson by D. Jablow Hershman and Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir by George Reedy.

    • Both of those are excellent books into the shaky mental condition and depravity of LBJ. Here is the link to the George Reedy book. Check out my review of it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lyndon-B-Johnson-A-Memoir/dp/0836266102/ref=cm_rdp_product

      Reedy worked for LBJ for 15 years and said he wrote this frank account to “exorcise” himself of LBJ.

      • Shane McBryde says:

        Robert,

        I respect your writings on the subject of our mutual passion. But, with respect to your firm belief that LBJ masterminded the assassination, what troubles me is why would LBJ have placed himself in the crossfire? Given what we know about Johnson’s aversion to physical risk as described in Robert Caro’s 1st & 2nd volumes, I can’t believe Johnson would have put himself at such mortal risk. Obviously, it would have defeated the whole purpose, wouldn’t it?

        Gov. Connally was struck and could have himself been killed. Why would Johnson have risked the life of his best friend, partner in crime (Box 13) and closest confidant? It suggests that LBJ was willing to sacrifice everyone in the motorcade including himself. How would that had served Johnson’s purpose?

        • What crossfire was LBJ in? He was not in any crossfire. He knew he was not being shot at.

          As for John Connally – why would LBJ care about the life of John Connally? There is absolutely no evidence that LBJ cared about anybody but himself his whole life. Connally & LBJ were not on great terms at that time anyhow – Connally’s star was rising & LBJ was about to be dropped from the 1964 as many of the political insiders knew – and as Nixon was predicting in headlines in the Dallas Morning News.

          LBJ had been murdering people in Texas for years, why would he worry about a little collateral damage (or even to death to Connally) when LBJ himself was facing political execution and personal destruction at the hands of the Kennedys. An execution that would have occurred within a week at the latest with an expose of LBJ by LIFE Magazine set to be printed on 11/29/63.

          LBJ did however, try to get Jackie to ride in his limosine; that is such an absurd request that it almost is an indictment of Lyndon Johnson. JFK told George Smathers that LBJ wanted Jackie to ride in his car.

          • Michael Rush says:

            When did JFK tell Smathers that?

          • Shane McBryde says:

            So, LBJ’s motive was to be president, correct? And, thus he orchestrated the murder of his primary obstacle to achieving that goal, correct? Then, after all that, in 1968 he just quits!

            To paraphrase Salandria & Fonzi, ‘the facts don’t fit.’

  5. JFK told Smathers that on the plane ride back from Florida, just a few days before the Texas trip. LBJ was sending out mixed messages, but I think he was trying to get Jackie in his car.

    George Smathers:

    I came back to Washington with the President. He was lying down. They had a bed in the Air Force One for him to lie on. So he said, “Gee, I really hate to go to Texas. I got to go to Texas next week and it’s just a pain in the rear end and I just don’t want to go. I wish I could get out of it.” And I said, “Well, what’s the problem?” He said, “Well, you know how Lyndon is.” Lyndon was Vice President. “Lyndon wants to ride with me, but John Connally is the governor and he wants to ride and I think that protocol says that he’s supposed to ride and Johnson wants Jackie to ride with him.” And Connally was, at that time, a little bit jealous of Lyndon and Lyndon was a little jealous of him, so it’s all these fights were going on. He said, “I just don’t want to go down in that mess. I hate to go. I wish I could think of a way to get out of it.”

  6. Transcript from PBS “American Experience – The Kennedys Part II – The Sons” available on line here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/transcript/kennedys-transcript/

    Smathers comments areabout 1/2 way down the page on the transcript.

  7. “So, LBJ’s motive was to be president, correct? And, thus he orchestrated the murder of his primary obstacle to achieving that goal, correct? Then, after all that, in 1968 he just quits!”

    Shane, send me an email to Morrow321@aol.com and I will send you everything I have on LBJ and the JFK assassination. Lyndon Johnson was at the epicenter of the JFK assassination. Yes, he had a lot of help. Are you aware that in fall, 1963, the Kennedys were on the verge of politically executing and personally destroying Lyndon Johnson? Do you think LBJ would have twiddled his thumbs while the Kennedys were slitting his throat?

    On March 31, 1968, Lyndon Johnson withdrew from the presidential race because his approval rating was at 38%. Anything under 50% and the incumbent is traditionally in big trouble. LBJ was on the verge of a humiliating election defeat, certainly in the general election and very possibly to RFK in the Democratic primary. LBJ wat toast and he knew it.

    LBJ’s biggest fears for decades were exposure (of his crimes) and public humiliation. He was literally murdering people for years to prevent that. Dallas, TX 11-22-63 was just another stop on the bus line for LBJ.

    • JSA says:

      I’ve read quite a few books about the JFK assassination, including “Blood, Money and Power”; “Brothers”; “JFK & The Unspeakable”; and a few other books that shed some additional light on LBJ: “A Texan Looks At Lyndon” and ALL of the Robert Caro books (up through ‘Master of the Senate’–I have the latest book but believe it is critically flawed and have skimmed it). For the record, I wasted my time and read “Killing Kennedy” and found all sorts of flaws in that fiction.

      So I think LBJ was behind the assassination of President Kennedy, and I suspect his involvement in the Martin Luther King hit and in the Robert Kennedy hit too. I think LBJ and his compatriots were running some sort of “Assassination Inc.” during the sixties.

      What I find odd about 1968 is that, after Robert Kennedy was dealt with, Eugene McCarthy didn’t go anywhere, we were left with Hubert Humphrey, LBJ’s lackey, as our only bulwark to stop Richard Nixon from taking power. And the election, despite the horrible Democratic convention, was extremely close. Also, despite Henry Kissinger’s last minute give away of the secrets of the Paris Peace Accords (on Vietnam) and his going over to the Nixon camp as a defector, Humphrey still almost won the election. But oddest of all (perhaps not so odd knowing what I now know about Lyndon), President Johnson did almost no campaigning for his understudy, HHH, in the ’68 campaign. It was almost as if LBJ didn’t care who won! Or maybe he made a deal with Tricky Dick? I wonder…

      • LBJ was definitely running a “Murder Inc” (it is called “projection” as he tried to pin that charge on the Kennedys). I plead ignorance in the RFK/MLK assassinations but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind – no whatsoever – that LBJ had the depravity to be involved in both of those, esp RFK’s.

        And I have no doubt that LBJ, CIA, Hoover were very happy that Robert Kennedy was murdered.

        William Sullivan, the #4 man at the FBI, describes a high level FBI meeting in spring, 1968:

        “Hoover was not present, and Clyde Tolson [FBI #2 and Hoover's boyfriend] was presiding in his absence. I was one of eight men who heard Tolson respond to the mention of [RFK's] name by saying, ‘I hope someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch.’ This was five or six weeks before the California primary.”

        [William Sullivan, "The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI]

        • JSA says:

          The reason why I include MLK in my suspicion regarding LBJ and his helpers, CIA/FBI is because a) Hoover HATED King, and because b) King made a big speech in 1967 denouncing the Vietnam War. With many blacks a high percentage of the draft at that time, his speech probably worried the war planners, who knew how revered King was among blacks. I think they (and LBJ) saw him as a threat to the success of the draft and as a possible charismatic person leading Americans away from support of the war, which by early 1968 (after Tet) was crumbling fast.

          Here is the speech King made on Vietnam:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b80Bsw0UG-U

          • George Simmons says:

            This is a great, great speech.
            When MLK says the following, it makes me think of the military/industrial complex that JFK appeared to be grappling with :

            “The role our nation has taken…The role of those who have made peaceful revolutions impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investment”

  8. John Kirsch says:

    I have just read this thread and it causes me to hope that someday the true history of the united states, esp. the last 60 years will be written.

  9. Photon says:

    The above comments are probably the most disgusting ever posted on this site. From the claims of sexual contact between a President and a noted historian to the claim that LBJ ran a Murder, Inc. to the claim that LBJ had been murdering people in Texas for years the level of depravity here has become absolutely appalling .

    • James Holland says:

      I completely agree. The posts that claim LBJ had been murdering people in Texas have not backed up there accusations. Please, lets be responsible.

      • Jonathan says:

        James and Photon,

        I agree. The allegations leveled at LBJ are, well, alarming. He was a man of such sterling character, as you both know. Let’s have proof!

        Poor Henry Wallace. Shot himself in the back with a bolt-action-rifle. For investigating LBJ’s doings in Texas.
        Suicide until the middle 1970s.

  10. leslie sharp says:

    Goodwin is a fascinating character. I believe he is still living, so with all respects, I would point out that it was he who issued a controversial statement from the Kennedy camp regarding Cuba during the crucial campaign against Nixon; it was the first time a statement had not been signed off on by JFK (Kennedy had gone to bed, the legend goes). I think the record shows that Goodwin worked within Adolf Berle’s State Department during a volatile period of Latin American politics, including Berle’s US State Department-sanctioned machinations in Brazil in 1964. Goodwin befriended Norman Mailer and, through him, an interesting character in the drug world of the 1970′s operating out of Texas. It would be interesting to hear more from Mr. Goodwin.

  11. Darwin says:

    This is why the coverup of JFKs assassination must continue at all costs. If the truth came out the truth of so many other past and current events would become clear including who really runs this country. They can’t let that happen.

  12. The Renegade says:

    As many JFK books pointed out, Charles Voyde Harrelson is supposed to be one of the shooters on the grassy knoll.This makes sense since he was a contract killer. My question is, does anyone know if there is any family ties to Lee Harvey Oswald and Woody Harrelson’s mother since her maiden name was Diane Lou Oswald? Woody and Lee Harvey Oswald look like brothers.

  13. Michael Hogan says:

    In 2013 NBC aired the documentary Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination. Richard Goodwin told Tom Brokaw:

    After Kennedy was killed, I thought there was a possible conspiracy there. There was a lot of hatred running around the country at the time, especially given his sympathy for blacks and civil rights, but in all the years that followed we’ve never come up with anything. Bobby
    Kennedy thought there might be something else there, and I think he said he would pursue it if he got to be president. I’ve read all the books and heard all the arguments. We’re unwilling to believe that a lone, crazed individual could have done this to our country, but the evidence is that’s what it was. I’ll have to go with that.

    As an aside, in 1975 Time Magazine reported:

    “Always worried about Kennedy supporters in his midst, Johnson kept asking Hoover to investigate White House personnel. TIME has learned that Presidential Speechwriter Richard Goodwin resigned as the result of one such probe.”

  14. JSA says:

    Regarding Rocky, he was chosen to succeed Ford (by Gerald Ford) for the Veep seat, after Nixon’s resignation, in 1974. Rockefeller also had ties to J. Edgar Hoover, and provided the FBI with help in their American Hemisphere (Latin America) ties, at a time before CIA had been fully established, in the 1940s. CIA and FBI for a time competed with each other for dominance in Latin America, and Nelson Rockefeller helped FBI whenever he could. I sense some sort of pay back by promoting him to the Vice Presidency in the seventies by Ford, a Warren Commission/FBI stooge.

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