Saturday, May 25, 2013

50 Years Since JFK Assassination Retrospective: LBJ's Memo To General Cabell

Prior to being fired by JFK following the CIA's 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco, former Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell's brother--then-CIA Deputy Director (Gen.) Charles Cabell--apparently was warned by then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson that JFK intended to decrease the CIA's power in Washington, D.C. As former CIA operative Robert Morrow revealed in his early 1990s book First Hand Knowledge: How I Participated In The CIA-Mafia Murder of President Kennedy:

"On Sunday, April 24, 1961, one week after the fiasco on the beaches, I received a call from [former CIA official] Tracy Barnes...He requested that I meet him at the Golden Parrot in Washington for lunch on Monday...I agreed to see General Charles Cabell and was in his office one hour after leaving the Golden Parrot...A third man was with Cabell when Barnes and I entered his office. He was introduced as the Deputy Director of Plans for the Agency, Richard Bissell.

"The General did not waste time with further amenities and chatter...

"`Well, young man, I assume Tracy has told you about the Agency's problems with the White House.'...

"He then reached into his top desk drawer, removed a large file folder and handed it to me.

"The first item I removed from the folder was a memorandum, handwritten on the official stationery created exclusively for the vice-president of the United States. Beneath the stationery's engraved: `Office of the Vice President of the United States,' the salutation read: `My dear Charles':

"...After a number of critical, self-serving comments abaout the intention of the president and his brother to build a Kennedy dynasty in the White House, Lyndon Johnson proceeded forthrightly to the crux of his message.

"The vice-president had learned, `strictly by accident' of the secret directives issued to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara by President Kennedy...McNamara was ordered to employ any and all means at his disposal, which would result in the revocation of the CIA's power...McNamara was further authorized to establish an alternative intelligence agency...

"Immediately beneath the last-written line were the vice-president's initials, `LBJ'."

Morrow also recalled that, after being shown LBJ's memo to the soon-to-be-axed CIA deputy director, he was allowed to "read through numerous reports dealing with everything from unsavory campaign tactics authorized by Kennedy to surveillance reports which explicitly detailed the manner in which he [JFK] occupied many of his nights," during the next half-hour.

Coincidentally, prior to former CIA Deputy Director [Gen.] Cabell's 1971 death, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was apparently preparing to accuse the former deputy CIA director of "conspiring to assassinate" JFK.

(Downtown 1/18/95)

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