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'The Man Who Killed Kennedy': Roger Stone makes his case against LBJ (Q&A)

Roger Stone's 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy' is available now from Skyhorse Publishing.
Roger Stone's 'The Man Who Killed Kennedy' is available now from Skyhorse Publishing.www.stonezone.com

Today, Hartford Books Examiner welcomes Roger Stone.

A political consultant, strategist, and lobbyist, Stone is also the author of The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95). He has been involved in politics since his teenage years, worked for both the Nixon and Reagan administrations, and has played a key role in the elections of candidates in the Republican, Democrat, and Libertarian parties. Given this breadth of experience, Stone is regularly featured as a commentator on networks including Fox News, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC. Aside from politics, he is known for his personal style and writes that annual “Ten Best and Worst Dressed Men and Women in the World” column for the Huffington Post. Stone splits his time between New York City and Miami Beach.

The Man Who Killed Kennedy was published last November and has since reached New York Times bestseller status and elicited a strong reaction from critics. PolicyMic noted, “Roger Stone is likely the only person who both had access to higher levels of government and is willing to stake his reputation on this particular theory” while JFKfacts.org praised, “Stone’s indictment of Lyndon Johnson deserves to be taken more seriously than anyone else’s.” Further, Dick Morris, political author, commentator, and consultant, offered, “Stone’s evidence is compelling and fascinating” while historian Robert Morrow proclaimed, “Stone’s book will change American history forever!”

From the publisher:

Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of great ambition and enormous greed, both of which, in 1963, would threaten to destroy him. In the end, President Johnson would use power from his personal connections in Texas and from the underworld and from the government to escape an untimely end in politics and to seize even greater power. President Johnson, the thirty-sixth president of the United States, was the driving force behind a conspiracy to murder President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

In The Man Who Killed Kennedy, you will find out how and why he did it.

Political consultant, strategist, and Libertarian Roger Stone has gathered documents and used his firsthand knowledge to construct the ultimate tome to prove that LBJ was not only involved in JFK’s assassination, but was in fact the mastermind.

With 2013 being the fiftieth anniversary of JFK’s assassination, this is the perfect time for The Man Who Killed Kennedy to be available to readers. The research and information in this book is unprecedented, and as Roger Stone lived through it, he’s the perfect person to bring it to everyone’s attention.

Now, Roger Stone makes his case against LBJ …

1) What inspired you to write THE MAN WHO KILLED KENNEDY—and why at this particular moment in time?

Two Congressional Investigations have debunked the Warren Commission conclusions that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing John Kennedy. I have tried to use the classic measures of a criminal investigation in the Kennedy case: examining motive, means and opportunity. I have tied Lyndon Johnson's long time hit man to the crime through finger-print evidence and eye-witness testimony. I don't think LBJ killed JFK; I know LBJ killed JFK. The book became a New York Times Bestseller the week of the 50th Anniversary of the JFK assassination so I guess the timing was right.

2) While others have postulated that LBJ was responsible for JFK’s killing, your political background and connections provide a unique perspective to draw upon. How have these experiences influenced your telling of this story—and why do you believe that this book stands apart from the rest?

I am not putting forward a new theory. Indeed authors Barr McClellan and Philip Johnson have both written compelling books detailing Johnson's flawed personality and ties to at least eight political murders before JFK. Because of my long personal relationship with President Richard Nixon I had the opportunity to personally corroborate much about that fateful day in Dallas. As a political insider for thirty years I brought a wealth of information to my book. I am not engaged in speculation of theory—but facts.

3) For those who don’t understand the complexities of LBJ’s character, what do you believe drove him to complicity in the assassination—and how did Kennedy’s death ultimately lend itself to Johnson’s downfall, both politically and personally?

As I outline in my book, LBJ actually blackmailed his way onto JFK's 1960 ticket using a dossier on JFK's sexual escapades supplied by Johnson ally and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. By 1963 LBJ has become a political liability. Both the US Senate and Bobby Kennedy's Justice Department were investigating corruption by Johnson in the Bobby Baker and Bill Sol Estes scandals. LBJ knew Life magazine had nine full time investigative reporters on the ground in Texas digging into Johnson's vast holdings. The Life expose—which would have resulted in LBJ's indictment and being sent to prison—was slated for the December 1, 1963 cover. Additionally, national syndicated columnist Drew Pearson had a November 24th column exposing LBJ's involvement in a defense contracting scandal. LBJ was facing destruction, public humiliation and jail. His motive was immediate on November 22, 1963.

History has buried the real Lyndon Johnson. He was a coarse, crude, abusive loud-mouth bully. He was epically corrupt. He was also a sadist without any political principles beyond the acquisition of money and power. LBJ had an insatiable appetite for liquor, cigarettes and women. He fathered at least three illegitimate children while Senator, Vice President or President. In short, LBJ was an unbalanced short-tempered amoral psychopath who abused his family and his dogs. Despite his late conversion to civil rights and massive spending on social programs (his get-out-of-jail card with liberals after the Kennedy murder) liberals turned on him over the Vietnam War and he was destroyed

4) You are of the belief that Watergate was intimately connected to the Kennedy assassination. Can you briefly relate these crimes (and their subsequent cover-ups)—and Nixon’s knowledge of them?

As Vice-President, Richard Nixon approved a CIA reach-out to the Mob for assistance in assassinating Fidel Castro. Nixon knew many in the CIA who were involved in this plot would resurface in the JFK assassination. Nixon knew that Warren Commission member Congressman Gerald Ford had purposely altered the JFK autopsy records to accommodate the Government's cover-up in the "single-bullet theory". Nixon knew that Jack Ruby had a long association with mob boss Carlos Marcello ... and Lyndon Johnson. This is why Nixon can be heard in the Watergate tapes calling the Warren Commission "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people". The CIA would use the Watergate break-in to remove Nixon from office because he was demanding the Bay of Pigs and JFK Assassination records. I will explore this in my next book, Nixon's Secrets, to be published in September of 2014 by Skyhorse.

5) What would you recommend as essential reading for students of the assassination (other than your own book)—both in terms of the crime itself and its ultimate repercussions?

House Select Committee on Assassinations Investigator Gaeton Fonzi's 'The Final Investigation," Barr McClellan's "Blood, Money and Power," and Richard D. Mahoney's "The Kennedy Brothers" all come to mind. I read over 140 books in preparation for writing The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ". These three stand out.

6) In your opinion, how did the assassinations of the 1960s alter the course of history?

I do think JFK had figured out the folly of the Vietnam War. There is evidence JFK was planning our withdrawal from Vietnam. LBJ, who had huge stock holdings in Halliburton and Bell Helicopter, reversed JFK's course and personally made millions from the war. There is no certainty that JFK would have been re-elected in 1964 with or without LBJ on the ticket. History has too many variables to play "what if" but America would surely have been a better place had JFK lived.

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With thanks to Roger Stone for his generosity of time and thought and to Jen Hobbs for helping to facilitate this interview.