Fact check: Did Richard Nixon say the Warren Commission report was a ‘hoax?’

No. Jean Davison sets the record straight on this Internet legend.

You’ll find the alleged cited occasionally in online JFK debates::  “It was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”  President Richard M. Nixon, supposedly said this wile discussing the Warren Commission on May 15, 1972, the day presidential candidate George Wallace was shot.

In fact Rex Bradford has noted, this “quote” was the result of a “grave error” on the part of BBC writer Kevin Anderson. According to a transcript on the CNN website, in describing “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetrated,” Nixon was referring to the idea that the JFK murder was attributable to the John Birch Society.

Even casual students of the assassination will note that the Warren Commission did not reach such a conclusion, instead declaring that Oswald acted alone. Bradford apologized on his site, History Matters, for passing along the BBC’s mistake. The CNN transcript is still online.

“Keep relying on secondary sources, folks, and you’ll learn lots of things that aren’t true,” Davision observes

114 thoughts on “Fact check: Did Richard Nixon say the Warren Commission report was a ‘hoax?’”

  1. Someone should confirm this. Years ago I watched the David Frost interviews of Nixon (on TV–I don’t have a copy). I recall that Nixon initially referred to JFK’s killers as “them” or in language that clearly implied multiple individuals, before he quickly caught himself and used the singular form (of just one assassin). Frost did not follow up on this.

  2. Ramon F Herrera

    I just made this important finding, Jeff:


    [JFK Fact folks: Listen to the clip above *carefully*. There is a test about it, at the end of this post.]


    My comment is in reference to my explanation of the rationale behind Nixon’s perplexing utterance. As you wisely said:

    “It is O’Reilly Debunking O’Really !!”

    … in the Tricky Dick case, it is Nixon against Nixon:


    Now the Quiz:

    After you heard Bill Maher above, how many of you caught the HINDENBURG comment?

    Come on, be honest….

    As in “Going Down in Flames”?? Gee, I wonder who was in the mind of the writer?

    The only question is whether Maher and/or his writers *detected* and were aware of the reason for choosing a big bag of air, out of all possible analogies. I’d say the chances are 50-50. Then again, those folks are pretty darn smart…

    As Freud would have said: “That is an interesting choice of words, Mr. Maher”.

  3. Fascinating points of view. Glad I came onto this discussion. For twelve years or so I was fortunate enough to be able to do some volunteering at the compound in Hyannis. One of my dearest friends, Tommy Roderick was one of the family’s top personal aides. He basically ran the events at the compound and was Ted’s personal assistant. I could go on an on about. My time visiting. And helping out but I won’t at this point. Suffice to say thatI asked Tom about the assassination of his friend President Kennedy and what the family though happened. He told me that those inthe inner circle of friends believed that Nixon and LBJ were involved. He said he thought the Kennedy family seemed to put it behind them because in the interest of national security what could they really accomplish by continuing to pursue the perpetrators?

    Now this is his interpretation. I never had the guts to ask any family members myself at the time (1988-2000) let alone Senator Kennedy. Can you imagine? He also gave me his feelings on Chappaquidick, the plane crash and RFKs assassination. Tom passed away a few years back from pancreatic cancer, God love him. I remember the horrible day John Jr. was killed. The family, Tom and all were horrified and immensely saddened. The family was pinning their hopes in him to ascend to the Presidency. After Rose passed and then JFK Jr. events at the compound all but vanished. The feeling of hope was never evident there again when I visited, which was only once or twice afterward…

    This site fascinates me as I have been interested in and have researched through books, online, speaking to people about the assassinations since I was a kid. I will return and keep an eye on this string..


    1. Very interesting comment Pbeck,

      I looked into the JFK Jr event when he was killed. I am convinced that he was murdered by the same cabal that murdered his father and uncle.
      Again the cover-up was successful enough to leave the whole thing in an ambiguous light in the popular mind.

  4. Otton Bexaron

    Remember the “International Trade Mart” in New Orleans as a mysterious element in the JFK assassination in 1963. In 1954 the Air Force of Guatemala helped the CIA to overthrow the elected government of President Jacobo Arbenz. One of the commanders of the Guatemala Air Force then became in 1955 the consul of Guatemala with office in the “International Trade Mart” in New Orleans (by 1963 however the “International Trade Mart” had moved to another building). Here is where it gets interesting: As in later decades (such as the “Contra” war against Nicaragua), the CIA always “paid” its collaborators, and in the case of the Air Force of Guatemala, and the “consul” in New Orleans, the “perk” was land on U.S. Air Force Fields, in this case probably Langley Air Force base in San Antonio “Texas airfields” were mentioned. Today San Antonio harbors a number of CIA centers – both for armed as wells as psy-ops commands). During this landings and departures – nobody inspected those planes of the Guatemalan Air Force. And going back to Guatemala they were transporting women’s cloth to sell in Guatemala – again without customs inspection. But in those pre-drug days, they were wondering what to bring up from Guatemala ? What about fruit juice concentrates? — Obviously later in the 1960’s ( and since then) the CIA used drugs to “pacify” the “counter-culture” of the hippies and to provide income for restless “activists” om the ghettos, as well as income for the “Contras”, and also to justify the “war on drugs” and intervention in Latin America. (See “History timeline Nicaragua” about the massive CIA involvement with drug traffic). Wait, don’t go away yet: Porfirio Rubirosa may also have cavorted in New Orleans in 1954. He was the ex-son-in-law of Dominican Dictator Trujillo , that leads to another long history of U.S. and CIA scelletons…including the dictators who then himself was axed by the CIA in 1961, Rubirosa died later in an “automobile” accident in Spain…

  5. Dear Leslie,

    FWIW…I had to ask what that meant.Getting this stuff out,as you said, is healing. And how many people can you discuss this with before they start measuring you for a tin foil hat. I believe your assessment of a “protective order” is accurate.

    I always believed that Nixon’s “greatest hoax” quote referred to the conclusion of the Warren Commission that LHO was the lone assassin. I re-read this entire thread and it seems to me “…it was done by a Communist…” is the great hoax in Nixon’s opinion. In other words the conclusion of the Warren Commission “was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.” That’s my take (FWIW) If you’re not sitting right there face to face with someone you lose a lot. It’s akin to the the difference of reading a deposition and sitting in on it. Plus what he said is filtered through a journalist and here, Leslie, I hate to destroy your faith in the fourth estate,but lots of them are not very reliable. More than a few of the reliable ones are dead or marginalized because they were reliable. Whoever said that the most “successful” of them are the most servile knew what he was talking about.

    That aside, if I wanted to get your opinion on a few aspects of the murder I’m not clear on, is there a protocol for that outside of this thread?


    1. I promise you a year’s supply of aluminum foil if you will participate here more frequently.

      Also, I meant to say that I humbly defer to your experience as a professional investigator; I suspect if more of you were involved in the debate, the wheat would have been separated from the chaff long ago.

      lesliemsharp63@gmail.com Knock 3 times so I’ll know it’s you!

      1. Dear Leslie,

        You think a years worth is enough? And don’t defer to me. I think you and the others on here are way more knowledgeable than I am. I have more questions than answers and I’d like to run a few by you. My PI work has taught me a couple of things; one is if an explanation makes no sense it means its nonsense. It doesn’t mean you’re not bright enough to understand it. Another is in trying to solve an incident you often push out in several directions. When you’re getting warm you meet evasion or resistance. This is not rocket science, its elemental.I’ll leave it up to you determine what investigative target has offered nothing but evasion and resistance for fifty years.

        As for people like me getting involved when the case was active and promoting an alternate narrative…well it wasn’t good for business. Just ask Jim Garrison.

        I’ll try the door lesliemsharp63


        1. wt,

          “if an explanation makes no sense it means its nonsense. It doesn’t mean you’re not bright enough to understand it. Another is in trying to solve an incident you often push out in several directions. When you’re getting warm you meet evasion or resistance. This is not rocket science, its elemental …”

          Mind if I quote you every now and then?

    2. I always believed that Nixon’s “greatest hoax” quote referred to the conclusion of the Warren Commission that LHO was the lone assassin. I re-read this entire thread and it seems to me “…it was done by a Communist…” is the great hoax in Nixon’s opinion. In other words the conclusion of the Warren Commission “was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”~wt

      I am glad to read that you agree with what is my own assessment on this matter. I waited out this conversation between Leslie and you to give you two space to finish up on it.

      You seem to have some fascinating connections and expertise. I agree that it would be very beneficial to have more of your commentary here on this forum.

      1. Dear Willy,
        I hope your agreeing with me doesn’t put you in a bad light on here.

        I don’t think I have the expertise that Johsia Thompson does but I have some. To even begin to understand what happened and why you need to have a deep understanding in several areas and that’s not an easy thing to accomplish. The understanding is more valuable than any “expertise” I might have. And the connections…yes it’s good to know a fed that worked with Latona so I can grind him about that print they ‘found” on the rifle.

        And I’m grateful that you let me have that conversation with Leslie uninterrupted. That was good of you and I owe you one.


        1. “I hope your agreeing with me doesn’t put you in a bad light on here.”~wt

          Don’t worry about that, I am the one who initiated the argument with Jean, which led to this separate thread to hash it out.

  6. a fascinating read wt. fwiw one of my dearest friends of the last decade was a former DEA fellow who grew up about 50 miles from my hometown. He showed up on our doorstep and it was “love at first sight” for no other reason than we could see the sadness on his face and the sorrow he carried. He has since died of cancer. My point is, getting this stuff cleared is healing regardless of when and how we process it and regardless of whether or not we have the full picture. We all know something went terrible wrong.

    And don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating the Birch Society per se had the power to authorize the assassination. I believe those who did, and those they assigned the planning and cover up relied on the esprit de corp within a power structure in this country – the American Security Council, US Chamber of Commerce, the National Manufacturer’s Association, the JBS and Minutemen (in that order) represented a pyramid of political ideology that Kennedy and his ilk threatened. Those willing to sign off on the conspiracy knew these entities would have their back and ask no questions, and some may have been willing to serve as foil. I continue to wonder why prominent Bircher H.L. Hunt fled to Washington DC rather than any number of private locations he had access to. Did he have reason to believe he would find solace among those in the nation’s capitol who were aligned with his politics, did he trust he would have massive security at his beck and call and or did he believe he was moving closer to the heartbeat of the presidency?

    Even if someone planted the JBS address on Ruby, does this not add fodder to Nixon’s claim?

  7. dear Leslie,

    “Perpetual luminosity”. That’s beautiful. Were those your words or the Crimson’s? No, I never saw that piece. When I was looking into the JBS was in the early 90’s when there was no internet to learn about stuff like that. What I did learn about was two investigations the State of California did into them in the 60’s I think it was. Very interesting reading. It should be much easier for you to get those now than it was for me then. About Hill, I could never find the guy in 90 to 92 but I didn’t have the resources I do now. If I had anything I would gladly give it to you. If I still had those California reports I’d give you those but I think they got tossed when I moved.
    What you say about the Dallas JBS and it’s influence is all true. Half the DPD were probably members. but I don’t think they had any operational role in the murder. My private detective’s opinion is that Tippit was supposed to pick up “Oswald” but he missed. The Agency guys,by way of the Chicago and Dallas Mob have Ruby go in to kill that poor bastard in the basement of the police station to shut him up. Someone, maybe Dave Phillips, had Ruby stuff that envelope in his pocket to throw sand in the eyes of the investigators and the public. I think it was a false lead. Plus, it was never established whose writing was on the envelope. I highly regard your opinions but I think you’re wrong here. There’s only one outfit that could pull off the public execution of a president,set up a patsy, murder witnesses, destroy and fabricate evidence,corrupt federal investigations into false conclusions and pressure the heavy media to all go along. But that’s just the speculation of a simple detective.

    That guy that was with me when I went to Weisberg’s little house, he was DEA with about thirty years on the job with the groups in New York City. I brought him with me because he was a true believer in the official story. We come out of the house and drive away and he doesn’t say anything for long time. Finally he says;”W…..if I wasn’t settin’ in front of that guy and heard it myself I wouldn’t have believed it.”


  8. wt, thanks. The Ruby find is fascinating. And meeting Weisberg must have been an event all its very own.

    You’ve probably seen this 1980 article that indicates the last address for JBS was 395 Concord (and mentions perpetual luminosity btw) but apparently they owned 3 buildings in Belmont.

    I’m not finding anything on Thomas Norton Hill; if you have a source for his bio would you mind sharing?

    I notice the general dismissal of the Birch Society on this site; I would hope your find might breathe new life into the discussion because in the early days following the assassination, at least in Texas, it was common knowledge that certain members of the JBS were prime suspects as instigators, not just fomenting hatred, but formulating a plan. If Ruby was walking around with JBS contact info. might not that indicate he knew what he was talking about? The persistent dismissal of political conditions in Dallas has slowed the investigation in the last decade. The scene of the crime should be viewed in holistic terms. If Kennedy had been murdered in Miami, let us speculate who might have been the first suspects – and not dismissed easily I would venture.

  9. Dear Leslie,

    Oh, it’s legitimate ok. When I did the FOIA I hand-wrote it out on a piece of their paper. I think I still have the inventory (I think it’s an FBI document) around here somewhere. And the address, I think, was 385 Concord Ave. Old man Welch lived up on Belmont Hill and I was in his house once (for non-political reasons). He was a history buff and the guy had hundreds of hardbound military history books on gray industrial metal shelving in a couple of big rooms. Now, Belmont and especially Belmont Hill was and is a swanky area (I lived there but believe me, Leslie, I was the skunk at the lawn party)so it was slightly unusual to see metal shelving in a Belmont home. Come to think of it, HE was slightly unusual. One thing about the Birch HQ was that the lights were always on. Always.

    When it’s appropriate I’d sometime like to pass on my recollections of a 5 hour conversation I and a DEA buddy of mine (who fully believed the govt. version) had with Harold Weisberg in the year 1999 at his house. I just cold-called him and he let us in.

    Always a pleasure to read you,

  10. Many years ago, when I was doing research on another matter I did a FOIA request in the old DC Archives Building for the inventory of Jack Ruby’s possessions when he was searched following his murder of “Oswald”. On an envelope found in his(Ruby’s)back pocket was written: Thomas Norton Hill 380 (might have been 480)Concord Ave., Belmont Massachusetts. I lived in Belmont so I knew right away that was the address of the John Birch Society and Hill was listed as their “Director of Field Operations”. Further research revealed that a WC lawyer wrote to Hoover asking that this be pursued and Hoover replied that “…we only investigate subversive groups.”

    Thanks to all

    1. wt: assuming this is legitimate information, it is very significant. JBS’ move from Welch’s original HQ in Indianapolis may well have been related to R. W. Stoddard, founder of defense contractor Wyman-Gordon located about 30 miles from Belmont MA. Stoddard sat on the board of First National Boston along with United Fruit executives to whom Allen Dulles was heavily indebted. Buried in this scenario is the National Manufacturers Association … rabid anti-
      trade union lobbyists.

  11. This must be repeated, again and again: the human language and communication is an extremely complex phenomenon. The book “The Society of the Mind” proposes a number of competitors in our psyche, all struggling to be heard.


    Somehow, beautiful, glorious truth manages to escape no matter the desperate attempts by the Posners, Bugliosis and McAdamses -plus their sycophants- of the world, to keep her chained in a dungeon.

    I just found an almost perfect equivalent to the Nixonian instance:

    “Congressman Steven King told constituents in Pocahontas, Iowa, that he’s owned lots of bird dogs over the years and advised, “You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest … not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”

    Like Tricky Dick’s, that statement has two, completely opposite interpretations.

    (1) In one, we are comparing different kinds of _newcomers_. That narrative certainly plays well to Congressman King’s back row audience and was his conscious intention. While those in his audience may not be the friskiest, they are endowed with outstanding whistle hearing.

    (2) Behind that, there is a deeper truth, hidden, one in which the newcomers are compared with the native and this cavalier caballero happens to be the friskiest dog:


    That is an almost perfect equivalent indeed: We have two far right individuals, motivated by low emotions such as hate, for it is safe to declare that there was no love lost between Nixon and Kennedy.

    In both cases Freud won -again- and the truth managed to slip out.

    But let’s go back to Nixon. There was a struggle inside his brain. Somehow, the words “the greatest ever” managed to escape and he lost right then and there. The truth betrayed him.

    At that point, unbeknownst to some -by choice- he was not talking about some silly John Birch anymore.

      1. While intelligence is a complex trait, experts agree that one of its most important components is the ability to create and recognize relationships.

        It is no coincidence that common IQ tests have the form: “A is to B, as C is to (some unknown)?”.

        Whatever you do, please don’t state publicly that you lack such ability… Those Jesuits would be unhappy.

      2. “What could this possibly have do with the assassination of JFK?”~Photon

        We are talking specifically about Richard Nixon’s revelation that; “It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”

        Have you forgotten the subject of this thread already? This is the reason we are trying to deconstruct the language used by Nixon. Put in plain terms, that even a Jesuit should understand; we are talking about the terms used in Nixon’s comments, not the vague category of “The Kennedy Assassination.”

        1. Willy: Please read my post, if you haven’t. Pay attention to the part about Congressman Steve King (a Far Right politician, leading anti-immigrant). Photon claims not to understand the reason I brought King into the debate. I hope you -and all other readers- can grasp the relationship between Nixon and King, and most importantly, their ambiguous, boomerang-like statements.

          1. Hi Ramon,

            Yes I understand why you brought Steve King up.

            There are coded messages among these racists, and they understand each other by winks and nods as well.

            When I was in Georgia even in the early 2000’s there was a code term used at the time, the blacks were referred to as “Democrats” rather than the old “N word”.
            When talk around the water cooler about the looting during Hurricane Katrina was going on I kept hearing, “did you see them thar democrats runnin wild stealing TV sets in the middle of all the commotion there”?

            Being “new” to the area, I was baffled. I asked my friend who was not part of the racist crowd there, being an import to the area as well, “what the hell is this ‘democrat’ business?” he told me “Oh that is a code word for black people for these jerks.”

            So yea, a lot will go over your head if you’re not “in with the in crowd” so to speak.

            That gets back to Nixon, “the Bay of Pigs thing” and the “hoax”__as we have gone over so extensively here. Nixon slipped from one context to another mid thought. He was most certainly saying that the Warren Commission was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetrated.

            I would add that I don’t think this is going over Photon’s head at all. We both know her game by now.

          2. Hi Willy

            Had a similar thing happen when we moved (temporarily) to Washington DC in 1992. The real estate agent kept referring to some areas as ‘neighbourhoods’ and some as ‘communities’. We had no idea what she was going on about and why all these great inner city suburbs were no-go ‘neighbourhoods’. Turned out it was code for black suburbs and white suburbs.

  12. In criminology the basic tenants of investigation are; “Motive” “Means” “Opportunity” and ‘Modus Operandi”.

    Who in this scenario has all four of these basic attributes?

    Oswald has no motive but those which are hoisted upon him by innuendo and defamation. His opportunity seems conclusively to have been provided by those who actually do have the motive and means, and MO.

    Lyndon Johnson had tremendously compelling motives, and these have been articulated too many times to reiterate. The CIA, and indeed the entire military industrial complex shared such motives, and certainly had the means and the MO.

    1. Lyndon Johnson was really trying on the deflection that the “others” who did it were Fidel Castro and his cohorts. And LBJ was pushing this deception theory from the beginning in the JFK assassination. LBJ kept pushing this line when he left office and was interviewed by CBS, when he made those remarks about the USA running “Murder Inc” in the Caribbean. Castro got JFK before JFK could kill Castro – the great cover up theory of the murderers of JFK. LBJ did tell Marvin Watson and Madeleine Brown both that the CIA or “intelligence bastards” killed JFK.

      Jack Ruby – well, he had a lot of ties to mafia and ultra-wealthy Dallas, TX oilmen (card games, girls) – those are 2 sets of groups he shared in a overlapping Venn diagram with LBJ. Jack Ruby called LBJ a “Nazi of the first order” which I think explains everything.

      I think LBJ was trying to kill Ruby with cancer injections before he died of a pulmonary embolism.

      1. I think the crux of the matter with Ruby is that it would have been so simple to take him into protective custody and let him spill the beans on everything he knew.

        When asked if the information he had led to those in high positions in government, he replied, “yes”. That is all they had to hear, they didn’t want those beans spilled. This is too obvious to deny.

        I too think they were trying to give him cancer, but simply locking him away where he could not tell his story was all it really took.

        I think the call between Hoover and Johnson is all the evidence needed to show that the Warren Commission was set up to frame Oswald.

        So yes, it was the Warren Report that was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetrated. It was as obvious to Nixon as it is to us today.

  13. H.P. Albarelli Jr.

    I value the comments, remarks and research that Jean places on this site. She is rarely, if ever, wrong about her posts. She is also always professional, polite, and thoughtful about things.It makes little difference to me that some folks disagree with her; what I find wrong is the manner with which some people do it.

      1. Ms. Davison:

        Polite pleasantries aside, would you reciprocate the comment by Mr. Albarelli? According to my notes he holds positions which are diametrically opposed to yours, not only in the JFK murder but in political ideology. You are a well known Liberal while he is situated to the right of the right (at the very least to the right of middle). His book is about CIA involvement in the plot, which is anathema to the orthodoxy revered by all of those who belong to the McAdams core group.

        Therefore, could you possibly state:

        “Albarelli is rarely, if ever, wrong about his writings.”?

        I join Mr./Mrs. Avinash in puzzlement and am sure I am not the only forum participant who is confused.

      1. H.P. Albarelli Jr.

        Regardless of what label you think to apply to me, Avinash, that does not preclude me from appreciating Jean’s postings.Quite honestly, given today’s climate, I’m not sure what a “conspiracy believer” is… Yes, I wrote the book but I didn’t advocate for any conspiracy. There are open, wide open, and fascinating questions and issues about the assassination, yet I prefer to not limit myself by any labels. Lastly, I use my actual name here as does Jean and some others. I’m skeptical, with cause, of anyone who oddly doesn’t use their given name herein.

      2. Avinash,

        H.P. Does seem to be pulling in his antenna here somewhat.

        From reviews of his book, it seems he is fully capable of connecting the dots based on evidence known, as the circumstantial evidence it provides.

  14. If I may, I would like to say more here, because I keep going over this short paragraph by Nixon, and something doesn’t add up.

    Let me explain.

    First, I think it obvious, and we all agree that Nixon is talking about the Kennedy assassination. That much is clear. But the vital sentence here doesn’t seem to add up. Let me try to illustrate what I mean.

    The vital sentence is: “It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”

    So what is the hoax? That it was done by a Communist? It seems to me that this is the most reasonable conclusion. He certainly thought that his opposition were intimating it was done by Birchers, so they wouldn’t be the reason that it was a hoax.

    Something is left out in the thought Nixon was speaking to, and I think the single word “that” would make the sentence structurally sound:

    ‘That it was done by a Communist was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.’

    Pardon me if I waffle, because as I say, there seems to be a sort of hedge in Nixon’s manner of speech here. As we know he knew he was being recorded, and often used code words with his closest advisers. And here we have something that doesn’t really make sense as the sentence reads.

    I would like everyone’s thoughts on this if you will.

    1. RICHARD NIXON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don’t we play the game a bit smarter for a change. They pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers. It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated. And I respectfully suggest, can’t we pin this on one of theirs?

      It’s plain as day, Willy. Nixon is saying that the “pinning” of the assassination on the right wing was the greatest hoax.

      When you read hundreds, er, thousands of pages of Nixon transcripts certain patterns became apparent, and one of them is that Nixon, as Hoover, felt the media was dominated by pro-Kennedy liberals and Jews, who distorted the news to hide the evils of communism and the left. This is in keeping with that pattern.

      1. Thank you for your input Pat, which I always respect. However I do think there is room for doubt, as I have expressed mine.

        I think that all told, Nixon was convinced that Johnson was in on it, and knew for certain that the CIA was; it was that “Bay of Pigs thing”. That may lie at the bottom of why Nixon was stabbed in the back by the Agency, Helms obviously took that message from Haldeman as a threat.

        As we know the entry into the Watergate was botched on purpose, the replacing of the tape on the door latch, and not retrieving it. That whole thing is laid out by Woodward and Bernstein. And it went deeper than what they thought at the time, as Bernstein later develops in his famous Rolling Stone story.

        Many doors open into many rooms in this mansion of intrigue.

        1. It’s very difficult to believe that a man as intelligent and well-connected as Nixon was could have believed Oswald was the assassin.

          1. [lysias:] “It’s very difficult to believe that a man as intelligent and well-connected as Nixon was could have believed Oswald was the assassin.”


            I wouldn’t base my argumentation on either intelligence or connectedness, lysias, specially when we have something that is so much better. We are talking about the most powerful man on earth.

            I am convinced that all presidents between JFK and Obama have said:

            “What is the Kennedy deal? Bring me the files right away”.

            The only exception would be a James Carter (nuclear engineer, very intelligent and well connected, who I used to admire). He likely remained ignorant by choice.

            Reportedly, the first order of Clinton was

            “I want to know about Kennedy and about space aliens”.

            This is conceivable, in January 2017:

            – “President, the first order of business by your predecessors has been the JFK files; in the interest of expediency, we have them ready for you.”

            – “Don’t bother. I know all about it. Remember that this is not my first time in the White House”.

    2. Hi Willy

      A very thoughtful insight, and not one I had considered. You are absolutely correct. If it was committed by a Communist (ie. Oswald), where is the hoax? If the story presented to us by the WC is correct, it is a fairly straightforward case: one crazy man with a rifle shoots the President.

      How could this be the greatest hoax ever perpetrated?

      1. I would tend to agree, but maybe in Nixon’s mind (as alluded to by Pat Speer in regards to the pattern of taped recorded messages, etc.), he meant it from his perspective on the political right.

        Interestingly enough, here’s an excerpt from William Manchester’s book, with plenty of references to the John Birch Society and its ilk, as being suspect if not blamed for the assassination.


        1. Gerry Simone,

          William Manchester’s book pointing to the John Birch Society and its ilk as being in the milieu of those who wanted Kennedy dead, is in my opinion just more indication that Nixon was referring to the Warren Commission Report as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated”. Nixon new full well that the far right, not some “Communist” killed Kennedy (Both Kennedy’s, John and Robert, as well as Martin Luther King.)

          When Nixon was asked who killed Kennedy and he answered, “Texas”, it is clear enough that he meant the Texas ruling elite at the time. And that ruling elite was headed by Lyndon B. Johnson and his coterie of oil barons in league with the underworld of organized crime.

          1. He probably did THINK what you just explained above, but I doubt that he admitted that in his tape here.

            If he meant the WCR, he would’ve said, “it was done by a communist and THAT was the greatest hoax ever perpetuated”.

            The context of the entire conversation suggests he was referring to Liberals that pinned the assassination on the right wing (DESPITE that it was done by a Communist).

            The gist of that conversation was not about the JFK assassination per se. Rather, it’s President Nixon giving an example of how his adversaries blamed the JFK assassination on right wingers, and then similarly suggesting to his underlings that they can make the Democrats look bad if not responsible for the Wallace shooting.

            Tricky Dick was manipulating his cohorts here.

    3. Nixon appeared to be waffling too. The first time I saw that quote by the 37th POTUS, I thought his second “it” pertained to the WC report, meaning he put two subjects in the same sentence(the assassination and the WC report).

      1. Nixon appeared to be waffling too. The first time I saw that quote by the 37th POTUS, I thought his second “it” pertained to the WC report, meaning he put two subjects in the same sentence(the assassination and the WC report).

        Admittedly, one can’t rule this (interpretation) out either, but I think the context suggests that he was trying to persuade (if not manipulate) his key subordinates, by way of that example, to pin the attempt on Wallace’s life on Liberals to undermine his adversaries.

        Don’t forget that Nixon usually talked in code about the JFK assassination, so I doubt he would render such an opinion. If he slipped up, then that could be the reason for those erasures.

    4. [Willy Whitten:]

      “I would like everyone’s thoughts on this if you will.”


      You are on the right track and very close, Willy.

  15. The original “whole Bay of Pigs thing” reference definitely came from Haldeman’s book The Ends of Power. As many know, he recounted observing how Nixon used that phrase to get the CIA to back off from things they were pushing him on. Haldeman said that he eventually figured out that it was Nixon’s code word for the JFK assassination. Now, that doesn’t prove that it really meant that–but Haldeman believed it. Interestingly enough, those sentences were removed from later editions of the book, but I used to have the original edition and read it for myself. I guess Haldeman was just another loony “buff,” based on what some here think. It’s very clear that the White House generations of leaders following Kennedy had the shadow of Dallas hanging over them, and it’s also clear that few if any of them believed the Warren Commission’s fairy tale.

    1. Two extracts from H. R. Haldeman’s, The Ends of Power (1978):


      I was puzzled when he (Nixon) told me, “Tell Ehrlichman this whole group of Cubans is tied to the Bay, of Pigs.”

      After a pause I said, “The Bay of Pigs? What does that have to do with this?”

      But Nixon merely said, “Ehrlichman will know what I mean,” and dropped the subject.

      After our staff meeting the next morning I accompanied Ehrlichman to his office and gave him the President’s message. Ehrlichman’s eyebrows arched, and he smiled. “Our brothers from Langley? He’s suggesting I twist or break a few arms?”

      ‘I don’t know. All he told me was “Tell Ehrlichman this whole group of Cubans is tied to the Bay of Pigs”.’

      Ehrlichman leaned back in his chair, tapping a pencil on the edge of his desk. “All right,” he said, “message accepted.”

      “What are you going to do about it?”

      “Zero,” said Ehrlichman. “I want to stay out of this one.”

    2. Sax,
      I still have Haldeman’s original hard bound book and that “bay of pigs thing” as a reference to the Kennedy assassination is in my edition. They are on pages 37 to 40. These deal with Nixon telling Haldeman to meet with Helms and deliver a personal message:

      “The President asked me to tell you this whole affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it opens up, the Bay of Pigs may be blown…”
      Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair and shouting, “The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.”

      Silence. I just sat there . I was absolutely shocked by Helms’ violent reaction. Again I wondered, what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story? Finally I said, “I’m just following my instructions, Dick. This is what the President told me to relay to you.”

      Helms was settling back. “all right,” he said.
      But the atmosphere had changed.

      1. H. R. Haldeman’s book “The Ends of Power” is even more specific on P. 68(1978 Dell Publishing) – Haldeman writes in reference to CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr’s book “Clearing the Air”, which focused on Schorr’s investigation of CIA activities: “It’s intriguing when I put Schorr’s facts together with mine. It seems that in all those references to the Bay of Pigs, that he(Nixon)was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination.”

  16. “RICHARD NIXON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don’t we play the game a bit smarter for a change. They pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers. It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated. And I respectfully suggest, can’t we pin this on one of theirs?”

    Too bad nobody asked president Nixon to elaborate and clarify, because that statement has two opposite logical interpretations.

    One of them is “Since it was the greatest hoax ever, and they could get away with blaming a patsy, why can’t we be smart and do something equivalent? Hey, it _has_ been done!”. Nixon was clearly skipping words, inferring, talking to people who did not need every one of them.

    Too bad Jeff follows the lead of Ms. Davidson.

    Too bad we don’t have a psychiatrist or expert on communication in the audience, one who could settle this.

    That is a general problem in this matter, THE most important vacuum: We need real, world-class experts in Physics and many other matters. The universities have been restrained from entering the investigation or have decided to abstain themselves.

    1. The key to that Nixon comment is this:


      Now, does anyone here think Nixon REALLY meant to say: “Oswald was innocent, and the Warren Commission FRAMED a Communist”?

      Nixon clearly was implying that he thought Oswald was GUILTY, not a patsy.

      1. The key to understanding Tricky Dick is how he came up through the ranks, how much of a serial liar he was, how similar in fact he was to LBJ, in the way he tried to manipulate people to hold onto political power. LBJ was more masterful than Nixon, but both were absolute crooks, and scummy ones at that, in the same category of crookedness as Dick Helms and Allen Dulles.

      2. Esteemed David:

        I have not posted THE most important part of my argument yet, in the hopes that the readers would complete it (“it will be left as an exercise to the reader”).

        I find almost unbelievable that nobody in JFKFacts (where we are accompanied by very well informed, wise people) has found THE main argument.

        There is a *devastating* argument.

        If nobody in the JFKFacts forum realizes it, I will post it, and will hopefully lay any doubts to rest.

      3. “Now, does anyone here think Nixon REALLY meant to say: “Oswald was innocent, and the Warren Commission FRAMED a Communist”?”
        ~David Von Pein

        In a word ‘Yes’ that is exactly what I think.

        It goes beyond even that David, the Warren Commission framed someone set-up to be a Communist, as a mole to infiltrate the anit-Castro Cuban exiles and the intelligence group organizing the exiles.

      4. Uh, no, Dave, that’s not what Nixon said at all.

        “It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”

        1. Beautiful, Bob P.

          Leave it to the JFK conspiracy theorists to mangle yet another topic.

          Only in a CTer’s mind could these plain-as-day words…..


          …..somehow indicate that Nixon REALLY meant that it WASN’T done by that Communist (with the “Communist” being Lee H. Oswald, of course).

          It couldn’t be more obvious that Nixon was saying in that “hoax” quote that he thought Oswald (the “Commuinist”) was guilty of assassinating President Kennedy.

          1. Well, Dave, I don’t know where you went to school but, where I went to school, using “it” twice in the same sentence usually means you are discussing one topic. So, “It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.” kinda makes me think ol’ Tricky Dick is referring to the assassination when he says “it”. Now, as no one I know has ever heard of the John Birch Society being blamed for JFK’s assassination, I would say THAT hardly qualifies as the “greatest hoax ever perpetuated”.

            Maybe, with you being so wise, you can explain to all of us just what this hoax was.

          2. Bob,

            The “hoax” Nixon is referring to in his 1972 quote is quite obvious, in my opinion. It’s this one….

            “They pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers.”

            So, Nixon apparently doesn’t agree with you at all, Bob. Nixon seems to feel that the unnamed “they” have “pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers”.

            Who the “they” is that Mr. Nixon was referring to, I have no idea. But he obviously was of the opinion that some “they” was attempting to blame the “Birchers” for JFK’s murder.

          3. @ Bob Prudhomme, Feb.22/15, 6:18pm

            If he really meant the Warren Commission or its Report, he would have said ‘that’ in place of the second ‘it’.

            You’d think that this message might have been erased if he really meant the WCR as the ‘greatest hoax’.

            Frank speech (as opposed to the written word) can be disjointed. The 1st ‘it’ can refer to the ‘assassination’, and in a different breath, the second ‘it’ can be referring to Nixon’s previous comment about those that pinned it on the Birchers.

            As I said elsewhere in this thread, the context suggests political games with a propaganda angle.

            The greatest left wing hoax against people like Nixon indeed could be the Birchers and their ilk (the link I posted refers to Oliver Stone choosing this view). We must view this tape recording in Nixon’s shoes.

            He may have been paranoid, but he wasn’t stupid enough to make an admission of conspiracy for the record.

      5. Puh-lease David. He admits later that ‘Texas’ murdered JFK.

        The phrase “It was done by a Communist’ is emphasizing metaphorically, that the assassination was blamed on a left-winger.

        Nixon did not specifically say that LHO killed JFK.

        This is in the context of his later comment about pinning it on them (Liberals).

        1. I disagree, Gerry. I think Nixon is clearly stating his belief that “IT WAS DONE BY A COMMUNIST [meaning: Oswald]”.

          If you disagree, fine. But that’s the way I interpret that quote.

          1. Hello David,

            It’s an afterthought, but what if Nixon is merely referring, as an exaggerated reference, to a left-winger or Liberal, who actually created that hoax he was referring to (i.e., pinning it on the Birchers)?

            Do we have more of that transcribed recording, or the tape itself? Perhaps it will provide more context?


          2. David, after reviewing this (and based on my reasoning found elsewhere in this thread), I would precisely say, that Nixon is NOT referring to the WC or the WCR but that his reference to Communist may not necessarily be an endorsement for Oswald’s guilt but merely an acknowledgement of the official version.

            After all, he might have erased this passage if it was truly an admission of a smoking gun (ha ha).

          3. Nixon also said “I am not a crook”, but he resigned the Presidency because it appeared that Congress was about to prove he WAS one. Therefore, we can’t be too sure he thought the JFK Assassination was done by a Communist.

          4. @ Paul Turner on Nixon being a ‘crook’.

            There are also examples of Nixon innuendos that suggests a conspiracy to assassinate the President. He might not have been an accessory but just heard things through the grapevine (IMHO, I think that’s the case with him and that tape erasures were to avoid unwarranted incrimination).

      6. Nate Burnham

        Allow me to clarify this raging controversy.
        Are we all agreed that Nixon did not intend to imply that the entire WC was “a hoax”? Good.
        But neither did he intend to imply that he “thought Oswald was GUILTY, not a patsy.”
        Nixon was a goofy, paranoid hireling who, as President, could spin whatever BS he pleased to a toady like Colson, in order to make his point: let’s do to them (the left) what they do to the right. He was speaking loosely, with some hyperbole for effect.
        Did he think Oswald was “GUILTY, not a patsy”? Heck no, he knew (in my opinion) that Oswald was innocent AND a patsy. But he’s not going to admit that to his dog, much less Colson. Tricky Dick was simply spinning a yarn to illustrate a Rahm Emanuelism: Let’s not let any problem or situation go unexploited. Bremer shot Wallace? Must be a Lefty, like that Oswald guy. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

        1. “Allow me to clarify this raging controversy.
          Are we all agreed that Nixon did not intend to imply that the entire WC was “a hoax”? Good.”~Nate Burnham

          Maybe Nixon didn’t “intend” to imply; however this “goofy, paranoid hireling” let the cat out of the bag even though he wouldn’t “admit that to his dog”…

          Freudian slips do happen beyond intent, after all.

    2. I’m just thinking out of the box here.

      What if ‘Communist’ is Nixon’s exaggerated reference to [i]a left-winger or Liberal who created the hoax[/i] about pinning the assassination on the Birchers?

      (I wish there was more content provided in that transcription to give more context).

    3. After reading the entire passage over and over again, the context would suggest what Pat Speer referred to as the Liberal media or Democrats.

      “Why don’t we play the game a little bit smarter for a change” and “They pinned it on the Birchers” suggests upping the ante in the propaganda war against Nixon’s adversaries.

      Nixon is talking about his political battle and suggesting a pre-emptive strike in his campaign.

      However, I tend to think he was being coy about his 3rd person reference to ‘done by a Communist’.

  17. And do you know why Nixon said that? That it was a hoax to blame the murder of JFK on the right wing aka “The John Birch Society”? Because Richard Nixon was convinced that LYNDON JOHNSON murdered JFK. And he also knew it was about the “whole Bay of Pigs thing,” meaning the CIA did it, too. Barry Goldwater, William Casey, KGB, Gen. Joseph J. Cappucci (head of Air Force Counterintelligence, close to Hoover) – all told trusted friends that Lyndon Johnson murdered JFK.

    But Richard Nixon Knew – as Don Hewett found out from Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker:

    Oral History Interview with DON HEWITT
    October 8, 2002, New York, NY, By Vicki Daitch
    For the John F. Kennedy Library

    . . .
    And then, I’ll tell you on tape, I was sitting in Howard Baker’s office. . . .

    He said to me–I think I told him that story. He said,
    “You know, I once said to Richard Nixon, “What do you know about the Kennedy assassination?”

    And he said to me, ‘You don’t want to know.’” That frosted me.

    I think about that a lot.

    I think about that, and I think about the fact that when the Warren Commission had its last meeting, Earl Warren said, publicly on the steps of the Congress where they were meeting–I’m pretty sure that’s where they were meeting. I don’t think it was the Supreme Court–he was coming out, and he said, “We may never know the truth in our lifetime.” And I keep thinking, what did he mean by that?

    Right. After just spending all that time searching for….

    That’s exactly right. I don’t…. I’m not a conspiracy buff. I’ve always believed that there was a rogue CIA operation somewhere in the Everglades who were going to get even for the fact that Jack Kennedy had denied their comrades air cover during the Bay of Pigs, and a lot of them were killed on those beaches. And I think a lot of those rogue CIA guys who were part of that were determined to get even.

    Roger Stone says Nixon “never flatly said who was responsible [for the murder of JFK]. But he would say, ‘Both Johnson and I wanted to be president, but the only difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.” When Stone would press Nixon on who killed Kennedy Nixon “would shiver and say Texas.”

    1. When you say that Lyndon Johnson murdered JFK, do you think he ordered the hit? Do you think he had any helpers, such as CIA? The reason I’m wondering is because if only LBJ did it, don’t you think the truth would have come out by now by the media? If CIA and/or the military were in on it (perhaps acting with LBJ?) then it’s an ugly can of worms that makes Iran-Contra look like a Sunday picnic.

      What’s your take on this Robert?

      1. “The reason I’m wondering is because if only LBJ did it, don’t you think the truth would have come out by now by the media?” – The truth has come out when Madeleine Brown had her press conference in 1982 and when Billie Sol Estes admitted in the 1980’s that he and LBJ were murdering people to cover up LBJ’s crimes. Read Roger Stone’s and Phil Nelson’s book.

        I keep hoping the media and academics and the government will get down on their knees and truly beg for penance in their shameful role in covering up the JFK assassination for 52 years, but it has not happened so far. Really, they have just been flat out lying about what happened for decades.

        Lyndon Johnson was the mastermind of the JFK assassination and I am 100% sure of it. It was not a matter of LBJ “ordering it,” but rather “organizing” it with the folks who hated the Kennedys and had a lot to lose: LBJ’s Dallas inner circle of oil mega-millionaires and military contractors, military intelligence (think Lansdale, LeMay), CIA. And his blood brother of 30 years J. Edgar Hoover who immediately covered up JFK’s murder in conjunction with LBJ.

        Send me an email to Morrow321@aol.com and I will give you all I have on the JFK assassination.

        1. Hello Robert, I too would like to email you for more information. I’m not convinced that LBJ was the mastermind, but I can see him being a facilitator or tacitly colluding.

          As for the hoax quote by Nixon, I also would not call it the greatest hoax ever perpetrated by Liberals or conspiracy theorists.

          It’s perhaps more disinformation than anything else IMHO, a diversionary tactic as Mr. Prudhomme herein has raised.

        2. I think this explains your theory, Robert:

          I have to say I kind of agree with it. It’s not paranoid to see a “vast right wing conspiracy” in this country as Hillary Clinton once said. The kind of people who I think were responsible for JFK’s murder were the same kind of rabid, conservative Southerners who wanted Lincoln dead 150 years ago, plus some Eastern Establishment gung-ho knee jerks from Yale-CIA and the military. LBJ was the perfect nutcase to drive the assassination to final fruition. Kennedy was up against a lethal power team that played for keeps and was willing to kill for their position of power.

          1. Sam, with all these groups in on the murder why in hell didn’t they buy their man Oswald a better rifle? With all these people if everyone pitched in just fifty cents Oswald could have had a custom rig from the famous shop of Holland & Holland.

          2. Maybe they didn’t think a stooge needed more than a simple prop? The planners may have been clever, but they weren’t geniuses. They made all kinds of errors, such as not bumping Oswald off at the theatre like they were supposed to do. But even with all the sloppy handling, the coup got done. All they had to do was get to the finish line with LBJ in complete control, make sure Oswald did die before he could go to trial, and keep the scare of a Soviet Union sponsorship alight in case anyone thought they wanted to dig deeper. Scaring eager beaver investigators with the threat of a nuclear war would seal the deal. Then with the body buried under an eternal flame, and Bobby silenced with threats of sexual scandals (which he was indeed guilty of) and you have a case closed.

          3. “Sam, with all these groups in on the murder why in hell didn’t they buy their man Oswald a better rifle?”~Bill Clarke

            Your comment is based on the assumption that “their man” was the shooter, that this piece of trash weapon was actually the murder weapon.
            All conjecture, leading to presumption in a circular manner.

    2. [Robert Morrow:]
      “and a lot of them were killed on those beaches.”


      The number of dead were not that many: 114 Cuban exiles.


      Fidel ordered to respect the lives of the prisoners who were later *sold* (see video) to their relatives in Miami. Robert Kennedy pressured several US companies asking them for money and equipment, to buy the prisoners back:


      [FF to 1:10’00”]

      The director of the Nixon Library is in that conference, too.

  18. MORTON: In 1972, Arthur Bremer, who had once thought of shooting Nixon, shoots presidential candidate George Wallace. Nixon wants to make sure the liberals are blamed.

    RICHARD NIXON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don’t we play the game a bit smarter for a change. They pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers. It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated. And I respectfully suggest, can’t we pin this on one of theirs?

    Well there it is. I accept this as what was said by Nixon now, I was mistaken as many others obviously were as well.

    1. Again, Willy,

      “RICHARD NIXON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don’t we play the game a bit smarter for a change. THEY pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers. It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated. And I respectfully suggest, can’t we pin this on one of THEIRS?”

      Who does Nixon mean when he says “they” and “theirs”?

      1. Nixon means the “liberals” as the “they” & “them” obviously.
        So Nixon wants the Wallace shooting to be blamed on the “liberals”.

        However that anyone, even Nixon could construe the liberals blaming the Right Wing as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated” is beyond hyperbole, and disconnected from the construction of the sentence. That “blame game” is a constant meme throughout politics, there is nothing extraordinary about it at all.

        In this context “it was done by a Communist” being “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated” is as stated.

      2. Still does not explain why it being done by a Communist and it being the greatest hoax ever perpetuated are in the same sentence, Jean.

        1. Yes Olle, The “They” of it all…

          Gov. Connally: I thought it was a rifle shot…I was trying to see if anything had happened in the automobile…it was a bit later when I said “Oh, no, no, no.” This was after I realized I had been hit, and then I said “My God, they are going to kill us all.”
          –Testimaony before House Assassinations Committee

  19. A similar screw-up recently occurred regarding Nixon and the Kennedy assassination. Comedian Harry Shearer re-enacted some of Nixon’s tapes, and put them up on youtube. At one point in one of Shearer’s re-enactments, Nixon is discussing CIA director Richard Helms with Ehrlichman and confirms that they are about to get “Helms’ stuff on the Kennedy assassination.” Well, this dropped my jaw, as Ehrlichman had long held they were trying to get Helms’ stuff on the Bay of Pigs. If accurate, this supported that the “Bay of Pigs thing” was in fact the Kennedy assassination. I started asking around about this, and no one seemed to know about this. I double-checked this against the official transcript, moreover, and found that the section in which Nixon mentioned the Kennedy assassination had been withheld for reasons of National Security! Holy moly, right?
    But then I listened to the tape on the Miller Center website. It turned out that after saying they were gonna get “Helms’ stuff on the Kennedy assassination”, Nixon added “the Kennedy assassination of Diem.” He and Ehrlichman, as well, talked about Diem’s assassination later that day.
    While not the blockbuster I’d anticipated–that Nixon ordered Ehrlichman to get Helms’ secret files on the Kennedy assassination–this was still an important find. Among the crimes of “Watergate”, perhaps the most heinous, from an historical viewpoint, is that Colson and Hunt conspired to create a false document trail proving President Kennedy ordered the death of Diem. The thinking, apparently, was that this info could be leaked to the media, and that it would hurt Ted Kennedy’s chances of getting the 72 nomination by re-casting his martyred brother as a murderer. (They showed the documents to Life Magazine but chickened out when Life asked if they could have the documents authenticated.)

    In any event, these phony documents became toxic. After the Watergate break-in, when Hunt was on the run, Nixon’s personal attorney John Dean removed the documents from Hunt’s White House safe and gave them to acting FBI Director L. Pat Gray. Gray, in an act that would lead to his own downfall, destroyed them.

    This makes the Watergate transcript, in which Nixon’s discussion of “Kennedy’s assassination of Diem” was withheld for reasons of national security, most interesting, IMO. This indicates either that those transcribing the tape didn’t understand the context of Nixon’s comments, and thought he was discussing Kennedy’s assassination (and that such discussion should be withheld from the public) or that they were deliberately concealing NIXON’S obsession with Kennedy being a murderer, from which the subsequent actions of Colson, Hunt, Ehrlichman, Dean, and Gray all flowed.

    1. Well I have only one caveat to add to my recantation of my former argument against Jean, and that would be that I am still not 100% certain I was wrong, and will not be unless I could hear the unedited tape itself.
      Until such an unlikely time comes to pass, I will accept Jeans argument.

    2. Pat Speer
      February 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Thank god Life Magazine had the integrity to request authentication of the documents. I’m not sure our news media today would be so concerned with the truth.

      While there is ample evidence that JFK approved the overthrow of Diem there is none, that I know of, approving the assassination of Diem. In fact I think Diem’s death was the last thing JFK wanted.

      It is reported that JFK was in a meeting when handed the message that Diem had been murdered. He appeared visibly shaken and immediately left the room. That doesn’t sound like someone that had ordered the murder.

      1. I don’t remember which book–A Death in November?–but one of the books on the Diem assassination quotes Kennedy’s ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, as saying Kennedy showed his inexperience in foreign policy by being shocked by the murder of Diem. Implicit in this comment was that Kennedy didn’t order the murder. Lodge, of course, was the real villain in the incident. Not only did he not do anything to help Diem when Diem asked for his help, but he pulled a “Well, duh” when asked about it later. (One should reflect, moreover, that Lodge’s family had been pushing for and pulling off coups for decades.) It’s important to note, furthermore, that Lodge was Kennedy’s opponent when Kennedy ran for Senator, and then again when Kennedy ran for President, as Nixon’s choice for VP. Kennedy then appointed him ambassador to Vietnam, in hopes it would diffuse Vietnam as a partisan issue.

        After Diem’s death, it seems apparent, Kennedy decided to dump Lodge. They had a meeting set for the 24th, if I recall. Only something came up…in Dallas.

        In any event, one of Colson’s memos notes that in dirtying up Kennedy with the murder of Diem, it was bound to splash back on Nixon’s old running mate, Lodge, as well. Colson’s memo, as I recall, goes on to state that he’d told this to Nixon and that Nixon had said “so be it,” or something similar. This, IMO, shows just how obsessed Nixon had become; he was so determined to pin the Diem assassination on Kennedy that he didn’t care what Lodge had to say, or even if his pinning the blame on Kennedy hurt Lodge.

        1. Pat Speer
          February 19, 2015 at 10:36 pm

          Oh dear! It seems that I have “misremembered” as we say now days. I was thinking Lodge had offered safe passage to Diem but he only reminded Diem that the plotters had offered safe passage if Diem resigned. Lodge did offer to help with the personal safety of Diem but offering and doing are two different things. Diem had survived a coup in 1960 and I believe he thought he could survive this one. It cost him his life.

          JFK was very poorly served by Lodge. I believe Kennedy would have recalled him much sooner if not for the politics of the appointment. Lodge didn’t like Diem and was hell bent on removing him from office. Lodge was hardly the man JFK needed in Vietnam at that time.

          See http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB101/#doc23 for the transcript of Diem’s last phone call to Lodge.

        2. Lodge was at the White House anyway on Nov. 24, 1963, where he met with LBJ, Rusk, McNamara, DCI McCone, and George Ball. http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/kennedy/LBJ%27s%20Diary/112463.htm . http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/kennedy/LBJ%27s%20Diary/112463-2.htm . I imagine this was the meeting where LBJ said he was not going to let Vietnam go the way China went.

          Lodge was at the preceding meeting on Vietnam in Honolulu on Nov. 20 with many cabinet officers. http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/viet17.htm . https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/ch4 . http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/kennedyjf/iv/12673.htm . https://books.google.com/books?id=RMktAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT395&lpg=PT395&dq=lodge+honolulu+%22november+22+1963%22&source=bl&ots=ZKacPdQWvr&sig=B-urSnJLCXSuNdceZtmqjZoipd8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=eKnnVIOTBsadgwTmwoCgCw&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=lodge%20honolulu%20%22november%2022%201963%22&f=false

    3. That’s funny Pat,

      You didn’t know Shearer from ‘The Credibility Gap’ days? That type of satire was his whole shtick. He did the same sorts of skits on Dick Cheney with dialogs from his “Undisclosed Location” during the Continuity of Government period after 9/11.

      Shearer’s stuff is “funny” in that it often is more true than what is supposed to be true. Like “the Bay of Pigs thing,” I think it is obvious that this was code for the Kennedy assassination, not just for Nixon but in his nexus with the CIA.

      In my estimation anyone who dismisses the fact that Nixon knew the truth about the CIA being the main perps in the JFK event is naïve.

  20. yes, Jean, words to live by. And notice that we, who know there was a conspiracy, never hesitate to admit when we are wrong; this is something I have NEVER heard from you, Von Pein, or McAdams. If I am wrong, give me one example.

      1. “I’d like to jump in here to say that for myself, I believe I’ve seen Jean admit errors here, but not Von Pein or McAdams.”

        I don’t recall seeing Von Pein or McAdams make any errors here. Maybe that’s why.

  21. “Nixon was referring to the idea that the JFK murder was attributable to the John Birch Society.”

    There are two highly charged themes in this incident yet you and Jean are shining a light on only one. Why did you delete the last sentence in Bradford’s “correction?”

    “As an interesting aside, among those who did allude to the involvement of the John Birch Society is none other than Jack Ruby, murderer of Lee Harvey Oswald., in his jail cell testimony to the Commission— see 5WH198.”

    1. Jack Ruby also said “LBJ Did It” … and that the JFK assassination would not have occurred if Adlai Stevenson were Vice President and that LBJ was a “Nazi of the first order.”

  22. I’ve looked in a lot of places, and can’t seem to find any reference to the John Birch Society being blamed for JFK’s murder. This sounds like another LN “explanation” designed to divert attention from the real story. If no such claim was ever made, why would Nixon refer to it as such a great hoax, Jean?

    1. Bob, there are a number of books that draw attention to the influence of the Birch Society in the lead up to the assassination including Dick Russell’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” Are you looking for references that JBS members were blamed for the shooting itself or for playing a role in the conspiracy?

      1. Bob, to clarify, a number of the books that address the JBS were published after Nixon left office (including TMWKTM) but the source material had been in the public domain for decades. Also, one cannot separate the early rumors that H.L. Hunt, the Dealey news dynasty et al might have had something to do with the assassination from their known membership and financial support of the John Birch Society. Nixon would have been privy to those allegations from the outset.

    2. [Bob Prudhomme:] “and can’t seem to find any reference to the John Birch Society being blamed for JFK’s murder.”


      Because it was mouth to mouth, i.e. rumors that the media couldn’t responsibly publish. If you go to the Sixth Floor Museum you will find it mentioned. The Minutemen and the JBS were immediately fingered.

      Which brings us to the crux of the erroneous, flawed interpretation by Ms. Davison and Mr. Von Pein who have been unskeptically joined by Mr. Morley and Mr. Bradford.

      How can something which is vox populi and fertilized by the imagination of the masses possibly be considered a hoax, let alone THE GREATEST HOAX ever!?

      The JBS rumor flowed from bottom to top, while hoaxes flow in the opposite direction, top to bottom. Hoaxes are planned, often meticulously, while the specious blame to the JBS was spontaneous.

      Even if we admit that liberals confabulated to spread that non-sense (a murderous social club), it would qualify as a run-of-the-mill, plain vanilla, pedestrian hoax, far from the ultimate distinction assigned by Nixon.

      I propose a simple test: what percentage of the American people were privy to this “earthshaking revelation” and actually bought it? It was minuscule and hence the thing would qualify as the crappiest hoax ever attempted.

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