JFK Murder Part 7
Sat Jan 27, 2007 17:57

(1) Richard Russell, public letter to Eugene Talmadge (9th December, 1935)

As one who was born and reared in the atmosphere of the Old South, with six generations of my forebears now resting beneath Southern soil, I am willing to go as far and make as great a sacrifice to preserve and insure white supremacy in the social, economic, and political life of our state as any man who lives within her borders.

(2) St Louis Post-Dispatch (December 1994)

Congressional leaders privately urged President John F. Kennedy to invade Cuba at the outset of the Cuban missile crisis, newly released White House tapes show.

"We've got to take a chance somewhere, sometime, if we're going to retain our position as a great world power," Sen. Richard Russell, D-Ga., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, advised Kennedy as the world came to the brink of nuclear war in 1962.

Kennedy deflected Russell by reassuring him that troops were being massed for an invasion but would not be ready for at least a week.

Minutes later, the president went on television to announce a different tactic: a blockade against ships bound for Cuba with offensive weapons.

The president had learned only hours earlier that a U.S. airstrike would be less than 100 percent effective against the missiles and that a ground invasion could take months.

Four days later, on Oct. 26 - after the United States secretly had pledged to remove NATO missiles in Turkey - the Soviets agreed to remove any offensive weapons in Cuba, and the crisis was defused.

The tapes, released after being kept secret for more than 32 years, cover two meetings held Oct. 22, 1962, about a week after aerial reconnaissance photos first revealed a Soviet medium-range missile site under construction in Cuba.

More than 500 tactical fighter planes already were massed in Florida by Oct. 22.

Kennedy had learned in a separate meeting with his National Security Council earlier the same day that some Cuban missiles could survive a US airstrike and be used against American targets.

Kennedy shared this news with Russell and other congressional committee chairmen hours later. They insisted it was time to fight.

"Seems to me, we're either a first-class power or we're not," Russell said.

But Kennedy argued that the Soviets would not stand by as an American invasion force was built up with designs on Cuba. "We can't invade Cuba," Kennedy said. "It takes us some while to assemble our force to invade Cuba. That's one of the problems we've got."

(3) Telephone conversation between Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Russell (4.05 pm, 29th November, 1963)

Lyndon B. Johnson: I talked to the leadership on trying to have... about a seven-man board to evaluate Hoover's report... I think it would be better than.. having four or five going in the opposite direction.

Richard Russell: I agree with that, but I don't think that Hoover ought to make his report too soon.

Lyndon B. Johnson: He's ready with it now and he wants to get it off just as quick as he can.

Richard Russell: Oh-oh.

Lyndon B. Johnson: And he'll probably have it out today. At most, on Monday.

Richard Russell: Well, but he ain't going to publish the damned thing, is he?

Lyndon B. Johnson: He's going to turn it over to this group and there's some things about it I can't talk about.

Richard Russell: Yeah, I understand that, but I think it be mighty well if that thing was kept quiet another week or ten days. I just do.

Lyndon B. Johnson: They're taking this Court of Inquiry in Texas and I think the results of that Court of Inquiry, Hoover's report, and all of them would go to this group.... Now here's who I'm going to try to get on it... I don't think I can get any member of the Court. I'm going to try to get Allen Dulles. I'm going to try Senator Russell and Senator Cooper from the Senate...

Richard Russell: Oh no, no, no, get somebody else now.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Now wait a minute, now I want to try to get...

Richard Russell: I haven't got time.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Jerry Ford. It is not going to take much time but we've got to get a states' rights man in there1 and somebody that the country has confidence in. And I'm going to have Boggs in... I think that Ford and Boggs would be pretty good. They're both pretty young men.

Richard Russell: They're both solid citizens.

Lyndon B. Johnson: And I think that Cooper as a Republican and you're a good states rights' man. I think we might get John McCloy . . . and maybe somebody from the Court.... Who would be the best then if I didn't get the Chief?

Richard Russell: I know you wouldn't want Clark hardly.

Lyndon B. Johnson: No, I can't have a Texan.

Richard Russell: Really, Mr. President, unless you really think it would be of some benefit, it would really save my life. I declare I don't want to serve.

Lyndon B. Johnson: I know you don't want to do anything, but I want you to. And I think that this is important enough and you'll see why. Now, the next thing: I know how you feel about this CIA, but they're worried about having to go into a lot of this stuff with the Foreign Relations Committee. How much of a problem would it give you to just quietly let Fulbright and Hickenlooper come into your CIA committee?

Richard Russell: As long as it is confined to those two, it wouldn't present any problem at all. (Gap in the transcript.)

Richard Russell: Now you're going to let the Attorney General nominate someone, aren't you?

Lyndon B. Johnson: No. Uh-uh.

Richard Russell: Well, you going to have Hoover on there?

Lyndon B. Johnson: No, it is his report.

Richard Russell: Oh, that's right, that's right. It wouldn't do. ... Let me see, if I think of a judge in the next thirty or forty minutes...

Lyndon B. Johnson: What do you think about a Justice sitting on it? You don't have a President assassinated but every fifty years.

Richard Russell: They put them on the Pearl Harbor inquiry, you know.

Lyndon B. Johnson: I know. That's why he's against it now.

Richard Russell: Afraid it might get into the courts?

Lyndon B. Johnson: I guess so, I don't know.

Richard Russell: That's probably the theory of it....

Lyndon B. Johnson: Give me the arguments why they ought to.

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