Did LBJ Kill Kennedy? (And Why It Matters): Q/A with Roger Stone


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"I think he's an amoral psychopath," says Roger Stone of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. "I think he's crude, evil, vicious, vindictive, drunk." 

And there's this: "I think Lyndon Johnson had unique motive, means, and opportunity to kill John Kennedy and I think he participated in a plot to do so."

Stone, a well-known political operative and Richard Nixon loyalist, lays out his case in The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, written with Mike Colapietro.

As Gillespie notes in the interview (and in this essay about the nation's JFK fixation), Stone's book is "fully enjoyable" even if you don't buy his central argument that LBJ was a cold-blooded killer. Among the dozens of books published in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, Stone's book is memorable for its meticulous cataloguing of the personal and political foibles of JFK, LBJ, and Tricky Dick.

"My book achieves nothing," says Stone, if it doesn't persuade people "that what the government tells you cannot be believed. Anything the government tells you needs to be regarded with a heavy dose of skepticism."

Stone sat down with Nick Gillespie to discuss LBJ's shady past and Texas-sized ambition, the role of the Mafia in mid-century presidential politics, his belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was a "patsy," and his next project (a book about Hillary Clinton).

About 6 minutes.

For more about Stone, check out his website.

In 2007, Stone has talked with Reason TV about why "negativity is in the grand tradition of American politics," why then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.) was a "psycho," and why the Libertarian Party should pack it in (Stone has since changed his mind and helped the 2012 presidential campaign of the LP's Gary Johnson). Watch that here.

And in 2008, Stone spoke about "new media and old campaign tricks" with a class that Gillespie taught in Miami University of Ohio's Interactive Media Studies program. Watch that here.

For more Reason on Roger Stone, go here.