Nelson also examines Johnson’s plan to redirect US foreign policy within days of becoming president, as he maneuvered to insert the US military into the civil war being fought in Vietnam. This, he thought, would provide another means to achieve his goal of becoming a great wartime president. In addition, Nelson presents evidence to show that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 was arguably directed by Johnson against his own ship and the 294 sailors on board as a way to insert the US military into the Six-Day War. It only failed because the Liberty refused to sink.
Finally, Nelson presents newly discovered documents from the files of Texas Ranger Clint Peoples that prove Johnson was closely involved with Billie Sol Estes and had made millions from Estes’s frauds against taxpayers. These papers show linkages to Johnson’s criminal behavior, the very point that his other biographers ignore.
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THE (REAL) "LONE RANGER": A LIFELONG QUEST FOR JUSTICE
Before I die, there will be one of the most jarring international scandals that has ever been as a result of this investigation. A lot of people take the position, oh well, he's already dead, or well they are already out of the office. The hell with that. Those people that got by with that need to be ... if they're dead now, they still need to be exposed as a deterrent against future things like this.
— US MARSHALL CLINT PEOPLES, NOVEMBER 1984
The Original, Most Important "JFK Researcher," Whose Investigation of LBJ Started Even Before JFK Was Assassinated: Texas Ranger Clint Peoples
Most of Lyndon Johnson's biographers have chosen to disregard the charges originally made by Billie Sol Estes and Madeleine Brown, apparently based on their tainted pasts, with scarcely a footnote about Johnson's own inglorious history. But Billie Sol's and Madeleine's veracity was vindicated by many other credible people who knew them personally, including especially Texas Ranger Clint Peoples, whose impeccable credentials and long history of law enforcement eventually made him a Texas legend. Captain Peoples was later made a US Marshal, and was a man who received multiple awards over an unblemished lifetime of law enforcement (eventually appearing on Johnny Carson's Tonight show as a consequence). Captain Peoples had worked on his case against Malcolm Wallace, and his direct ties to Cliff Carter and Lyndon Johnson, for over three decades. It wasn't until the director of the Texas Rangers assigned him to examine the death of Henry Marshall in 1962 that Captain Peoples formally began his investigation, but he had an earlier, peripheral involvement in the 1951 investigation of the murder, by Malcolm Wallace, of Doug Kinser. He had also been aware of the many anomalies in the judicial handling of that case, and the resulting "sentence" of five years for first-degree murder (with "malice aforethought"), that was then suspended. Mac Wallace was immediately set free and only put on probation, which required him to keep out of trouble for the next five (5) years. This "justice" for Kinser was directly due to Johnson's, and his attorney's, ability to either blackmail, bribe, or threaten the prosecutor and judge (and at least one juror) to let a convicted murderer (Wallace) be set free, under five years probation, after which his record would be wiped clean.
The sordid history of Lyndon Johnson's involvement with Billie Sol Estes in defrauding the US government, and thereby every taxpayer in the country, of tens of millions of dollars in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as detailed in LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, can be reduced to the following summary of events as compiled by John Simkin in his UK website Spartacus Educational:
In 1960 a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) agent named Henry Marshall was asked to investigate the activities of Billie Sol Estes, who had purchased 3,200 acres of cotton allotments from 116 different farmers. Marshall wrote a report on August, 31, 1960, stating that: "The regulations should be strengthened to support our disapproval of every case (of allotment transfers)." Upon hearing this news, Estes sent his lawyer, John P. Dennison, to meet Marshall in Robertson County. Just days before the new Kennedy-Johnson administration was inaugurated, on January 17, 1961, Marshall told Dennison that Estes was clearly involved in a "scheme or device to buy allotments, and will not be approved, and prosecution will follow if this operation is ever used." Marshall was disturbed that as a result of his investigation, he was then bribed with an offer of a promotion to a high position in the USDA in Washington and that this was a result of Billie Sol Estes's ties to Lyndon B. Johnson. He refused the offer.
Shortly after Marshall refused that offer, Estes's manager A. B. Foster wrote to Clifton C. Carter, a close aide to Lyndon B. Johnson, complaining about Marshall's zealousness and how he was impeding the continuing frauds that were so lucrative to the swindler Estes and his facilitator, Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. Foster wrote that "we would sincerely appreciate your investigating this and seeing if anything can be done."
On January 17, 1961, Estes took this problem personally to Washington to discuss it with Lyndon Johnson on the evening before the inauguration, with LBJ's aide Cliff Carter and a man who had become the vice president's official hit man, the aforementioned Mac Wallace. On that snowy night as they stood on Johnson's back patio, his code words for what would happen to Mr. Marshall if he didn't accept one last chance to look the other way and allow the frauds to continue, were succinct, deadly, and shrouded in euphemism: "Get rid of him." And so it was that on June 3, 1961, Henry Marshall was beaten so fiercely that one of his eyes hung out of its socket and his blood was found on both sides of the dented truck. He was then forced to breath carbon monoxide from his own truck and finally shot five times by a long barrel rifle within a four-inch circle on his left chest. Sheriff Howard Stegall, a long-time friend of Cliff Carter, pronounced it "death by suicide" as he had apparently been instructed to do by Carter, or possibly his cousin Glynn Stegall, who also worked in the Executive Office Building within Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson's suite of offices, next door to the White House.
For three decades, Ranger Clint Peoples worked the Marshall case as hard as he possibly could. His investigation lasted from 1962 until his mysterious one car "accident" in 1992, an incident that will be examined in detail shortly. His knowledge of Lyndon Johnson's deep tentacles into, and corruption of, the Texas judicial system was even longer, having spanned forty-one years: 1951–1992. His knowledge of the crime spree he watched unfold before his eyes, knowing that the vice president of the United States was behind it, must have been immensely frustrating for him.
It is Clint Peoples's unquestioned professionalism that imbues truth to his belief in Billie Sol Estes's and Madeleine Brown's accounts and injects both with the essential credibility that now demands our attention: Clint Peoples's career ambition and his fight against the political machine of Lyndon B. Johnson cannot — must not — be ignored. It is the voice of this man, still resonating from his grave as you read his words next, that must be heard now, a man who had investigated many of the other crimes that constituted the case against Johnson. It was his unimpeachable forty-year record that must be factored into this metric; to ignore it is to reject arguably the most credible and important witnesses to the crime of the century. The same point applies to the hundreds of others who either never gave testimony or whose testimonies were ignored by the authorities for fear of getting too close to the truth. To suggest that these assertions are "speculative" in nature and not factual because they were never heard in a court of law (which is the very reason most other authors use in deciding to avoid the subject) is specious reasoning and indeed, untruthful. Clint Peoples finally succeeded in convincing a 1984 grand jury that Marshall had been murdered at the hands of Lyndon Johnson, Cliff Carter, and Mac Wallace. The only thing missing were the guilty parties, because they were already officially dead. It was probably not coincidental that they would all die before Johnson, given their knowledge of the worst of his criminal activities.
The biography of Clint Peoples, Captain Clint Peoples, Texas Ranger, by James M. Day chronicles his fifty years in law enforcement, first as a Texas Ranger and later as a US Marshal, and the numerous accolades, awards, "Ambassador of Goodwill" certificates, and so forth that he collected over those years. He eventually chaired the Texas Ranger Commemorative Foundation, which built an addition to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame. Historical monuments were built for his memorial, one at Fort Fisher and another, a wax life like statue of Captain Peoples on his horse, was installed at the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum in Grand Prairie, Texas (which, unfortunately, mysteriously burned to the ground in 1987). For the Sesquicentennial Celebration of Texas, and to provide funding for the "Sheriff's Association of Texas Clint and Donna Peoples Scholarship Foundation," artist Cary Clawson was commissioned to cast 150 copies of a 16 -inch × 131/2-inch bronze sculpture of Clint on his horse "Chico." Senator John Tower, on October 8, 1984 — clearly in response to the fuss Peoples had created with his victory in getting the grand jury to agree that the cause of death (COD) of Henry Marshall should be changed to "homicide" just before that — honored him in a Senate speech stating, "his professional ethics and personal integrity are unquestioned, indeed a legend in his own time."
This distinguished lawman — one of the most honored law enforcement officers in Texas history — had long suspected Lyndon Johnson's involvement in multiple murders but could never muster the power to find the evidence while Johnson was still alive. His attempt to do that in 1962, after calling a grand jury to hear the results of an autopsy done on Marshall's body that had been disinterred for an examination, which should have been done the year before, was viciously sabotaged by Johnson, as we will demonstrate shortly. It wasn't until Johnson was dead that Captain Peoples was able to prove it because the many murders he was attempting to investigate had all been ruled "suicides" or "accidents" by people owing Lyndon Johnson a favor. But he finally did manage, in 1984 — eleven years after Johnson died — to persuade a second Texas grand jury of that essential truth.
Twenty-two years earlier, as Estes left that first grand jury hearing, Clint Peoples approached him and said: "Billie Sol, I know most of the real story and so do you. Some day you will tell me the whole truth." In 1979, Peoples personally escorted Billie Sol from Dallas to the federal prison in Big Springs, Texas, so he could discuss the Henry Marshall murder with him, asking him to "set the record straight," for the sake of the Marshall family's peace of mind. Peoples continued visiting Estes in prison; Estes grew to like and respect Peoples, and trusted him implicitly to treat him fairly. Estes made a promise to Peoples to tell the truth about his experiences but not until he was released from prison; that would not occur until 1983. Had Peoples not spent so much time with Estes pursuing this case, it would have truly "died on the vine;" but he did just that, and it was enough to keep these "cold cases" open for investigation.
Only by focusing on these events through the eyes of Ranger Captain Clint Peoples can we understand the arc of Johnson's crime spree that he witnessed in real time, beginning in 1951. He saw how Johnson had applied his "Treatment" and manipulated — through a combination of threats, intimidation, blackmail, or bribery — the judge, at least one and probably more members of the jury, the defense attorney and the prosecutor into getting his hit man Mac Wallace freed from jail and merely put on probation for five years after having been convicted of first- degree murder. If the general population of Austin, Texas, was shocked — as newspaper accounts at the time showed was true — one can only imagine how the politicos and news reporters of the day must have reacted. Captain Peoples, within whose jurisdiction the crime had occurred, had assisted in the investigation of the 1951 murder of Doug Kinser, the 1952 murder of Sam Smithwick (whom Johnson was accused of having had killed by then Texas governor Allan Shivers in 1956) the 1961 murders of Henry Marshall and Johnson's own sister Josefa, and the subsequent murders in 1962 of George Krutilek, Harold Orr and his secretary, then Howard Pratt and Coleman Wade.
The 1961–62 series of murders (except Johnson's sister Josefa's) were all done to keep the lid on Johnson's involvement with Billie Sol Estes, who was then under investigation for fraud by state and federal authorities, including Robert F. Kennedy. It was a growing scandal during that period, reported on almost daily by many newspapers throughout the country at the time. The story took a long time to make the news, but once it did, it was practically ubiquitous in newspapers all over the United States through the spring and summer of 1962, before Johnson's friend Morris D. Jaffe,*** stepped up to buy the Estes assets for pennies on the dollar. That took the story off the front pages and left it open for future historians to note in detail if they chose, yet practically all of them ignored the details of those news stories as if they carried a plague of some sort. But before the story was swept away into the dustbin of history, in September 1962, the trial of Billie Sol Estes commenced, after a change of venue from Reeves County to Smith County, five hundred miles to the east. The move was intended to dampen the publicity and ensure a fair trial for the defendant. That was woefully ineffective, as the Supreme Court found three years later, when it threw out Estes's original conviction due to the circus atmosphere of the courtroom, which included live newscasts by both radio and television as well as throngs of reporters and photographers in attendance representing national newspapers. Indeed the Supreme Court, in its review of the case, noted the fact of "Massive pretrial publicity totaling eleven volumes of press clippings ... had given it national notoriety. All available seats in the courtroom were taken, and some thirty persons stood in the aisles." [Emphasis added.] It is stunning how practically every major biographer of Lyndon Johnson was able to ignore all of that, and his ties to Billie Sol Estes, or brush them away with a perfunctory wave of the hand and the comment that Estes wasn't "credible."
The excuse, of course, was that Johnson was never actually charged and found guilty in a court of law of being involved with Estes in the performance of his crimes. Yet that was merely due to his expert manipulative skills of secretiveness, his rules to everyone involved to never commit anything to writing about any of it, handling such matters through one or more layers of aides to do the "dirty work," and allowing only untraceable cash in the transfers, transported and delivered by his most trusted aides. Johnson's well practiced techniques protected him exquisitely, and the only books to include these mentions of a "darker side" are those that refrain from participating in the Orwellian remake of the real persona of the Svengali-like**** thirty-sixth president into a respectable, honorable, and trustworthy man, which was essentially the opposite of the person he really was. Yet that is the "official image" as sanctioned by the mythmakers that one is supposed to have of Johnson. The lesson to be learned is that if one truly masters the art of criminality, and becomes so good at it that they're never caught, that is as good as being completely innocent.
Ranger Clint Peoples knew how the Senator, and subsequently, Vice President Johnson had kept himself above the fray, through his wide-ranging political influence into the law enforcement and judicial systems — and other state and federal agencies — of nearly the entire state of Texas in addition to Washington, DC. That influence was demonstrated again a year after Doug Kinser's murder and Wallace's sentence of probation, when Sam Smithwick — a former employee of "The Duke of Duvall," George Parr, who was preparing to "spill the beans" on the fraudulent US Senate 1948 election that Johnson won — was killed while a prisoner inside his jail cell by well- compensated guards, thanks to the connections directly into the state prison bureaucracy of Ed Clark, Johnson's lawyer who had been so helpful in many other criminal activities. Johnson's clout with even the most sensitive of government agencies was proved again when he had his hit-man Wallace, a convicted murderer, approved for employment in highly classified positions in the defense industry. This story was picked up by the Dallas Morning News, on May 14, 1984, in an article about Wallace's background (coincident with the second grand jury proceedings initiated by Clint Peoples). The article noted that Peoples was "furious" that they would give Wallace clearance to work in a classified job in the defense industry and that Peoples stated that the navy intelligence officer who investigated Wallace had told him that Lyndon Johnson was behind getting him those jobs:
"I asked him [the intelligence officer] how in the world Wallace could get the security clearance and he said 'politics,'" Peoples said. "I asked who could be so strong and powerful in politics that he could get a clearance for a man like this, and he said 'the vice president.'"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "LBJ: From Mastermind To The "Colossus""
Copyright © 2014 Phillip F. Nelson.
Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The (Real) "Lone Ranger": A Lifelong Quest for Justice,
Chapter 2: LBJ: Master of Manipulation,
Chapter 3: LBJ's Template: Keeping Secrets and Planting Lies to Replace Truths,
Chapter 4: LBJ's Use of America's Wealthiest and Most Influential Men — and How It Led to Presidential Treason,
Chapter 5: Endless Investigations, More Murders,
Chapter 6: The Demise of Robert F. Kennedy,
Chapter 7: Lyndon Johnson's War,
Chapter 8: The Six-Day War and the Attack on the USS Liberty,
Chapter 9: A Hypothesis of Presidential Treason,
Chapter 10: The Legacy of the "Colossus" (a.k.a. the "King of the World"),