LBJ & THE TFX SCANDAL
Henry Crown became the largest shareholder of Texas-based General Dynamics when he merged his sand and gravel (and cement) company, Material Service Corp., with the nearly bankrupt defense contractor in 1959. Crown’s new company was in dire straits financially until 1962 when it was rescued by a $7 billion contract to produce a new fighter jet for the military. This became known as the TFX/F-111 scandal. In 1963 General Dynamics came under congressional investigation to determine exactly how Henry Crown had finagled this huge Texas deal.
Peter Dale Scott, the author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK(1993), explains how Lyndon Johnson was tied into this crooked deal:
According to President Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, Bobby Kennedy was also investigating Bobby Baker for tax evasion and fraud. This had reached the point where the President himself discussed the Baker investigation with his secretary, and allegedly told her that his running mate in 1964 would not be Lyndon Johnson. The date of this discussion was November 19, 1963, the day before the President left for Texas.
A Senate Rules Committee investigation into the Bobby Baker scandal was indeed moving rapidly to implicate Lyndon Johnson, and on a matter concerning a concurrent scandal and investigation. This was the award of a $7-billion contract for a fighter plane, the TFX, to a General Dynamics plant in Fort Worth. Navy Secretary Fred Korth, a former bank president and a Johnson man, had been forced to resign in October 1963, after reporters discovered that his bank, the Continental National Bank of Fort Worth, was the principal money source for the General Dynamics plant.
On November 22, 1963, the day of the assassination, a closed session of the Senate Rules Committee heard sworn testimony from a Baker business associate, Don Reynolds. Reynolds was telling the committee of a big lobbyists’ sex party in New York, and also of a suitcase he had seen, full of money which Baker described as a $100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the Fort Worth TFX contract. His testimony was broken off by the news that the President had been shot.
This bit of history indicates that Vice President Lyndon Johnson was involved in a criminal way in the crooked TFX deal that gave Henry Crown’s new company the largest military aircraft contract in U.S. history. As the recipient of a $100,000 payoff, Johnson would have been in a position in which he could be blackmailed by Henry Crown.
Henry Crown’s personal lawyer, Albert E. Jenner, who also served as a director of General Dynamics, was appointed by Lyndon Johnson to the Warren Commission where he was tasked with investigating the evidence of a conspiracy behind Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. He found none.
J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the FBI, personally directed the FBI investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The House Select Committee on Assassinations issued a report in 1979 critical of the FBI investigation and the Warren Commission. The report criticized the FBI’s reluctance to thoroughly investigate the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President.
The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Committee’s final report concluded that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.
J. Edgar Hoover, however, was in a compromised position, as Deep Politics reveals:
All of these anti-Communist politicians, but J. Edgar Hoover above all, exposed themselves to political blackmail by visiting the Del Charro in the company of mobsters. Hoover even had a special detail of FBI agents to ensure that mobsters would not come up to him in public at the racetrack. But his love of horse racing and gambling meant that his holidays recurringly exposed him to the milieu of organized crime, whether at the Del Charro or (his other annual freeloading holiday) the Gulf Stream Hotel owned by the family of the McCarthy staffer G. David Schine.
J. EDGAR HOOVER enjoyed free annual holidays at the Gulf Stream Hotel Apartments and Cottages on Miami Beach which was owned by Myer Schine. Hoover and Clyde Tolson, seen here, had adjacent cottages.
In 1986, when the Ambassador Hotel was put up for sale, the Los Angeles Times reported on the Crown connection:
Chicago businessman Lester Crown is making no promises that the hotel will be spared the wrecker’s ball. “I think that will be the determination of the purchaser,” said Crown, who is supervising the sale for the Schine family, which has owned the hotel since 1946.
Crown is overseeing the sale as part of the gradual liquidation of the theater and hotel empire of J. Myer Schine, who died in 1971. Crown, 60, is married to one of Schine’s children and himself runs a family empire that, according to a recent Business Week magazine estimate, is probably worth at least $1.5 billion.
In keeping with the Ambassador’s unorthodox history, announcement of the sale was made not by the hotel or the Schines but by Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro. The councilman is pushing hard, with the support of historical groups, to keep the hotel alive. His district includes the mid-Wilshire area, where the hotel is located. The hotel, set well back from Wilshire Boulevard, is surrounded by spacious gardens that are a throwback to more leisurely days.
As the Times notes, it was odd that the sale of the hotel was not announced by Lester Crown or the Schine family, but by a city councilman. Did Lester Crown want to hide the fact that he was the person selling the hotel? The Wikipedia article about theAmbassador Hotel does not even mention that the hotel had been owned since 1946 by Myer Schine. In fact, it doesn’t mention any owner at all. What a telling omission.
Knowing who owned the hotel where Bobby Kennedy was killed is important, because it was the place, the stage, where a very significant political assassination was carried out. The owner of the hotel where the crime occurred would have been in the position to manage the whole operation and control the most important factors that contributed to the murder. This is the same relationship that Larry Silverstein, the lease-holder of the World Trade Center, has to the events of 9-11. He owned and controlled the place where the crime was committed. How can the fact that the Ambassador Hotel was owned by a family closely tied to organized crime not be relevant to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy?
“Ambassador Hotel Struggling to Survive” by Tom Furlong, Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1986
“Ambassador Hotel,” Wikipedia.com, November 21, 2013
“Incomplete Justice – Part One: At the Ambassador Hotel” by Larry Hancock, May 19, 2008
“Mickey Cohen,” Biography.com, November 21, 2013
Newton, Michael, Mr. Mob: The Life and Crimes of Moe Dalitz, McFarland, 2009
Scott, Peter Dale, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, University of California Press, 1993
“The Ugly Fall of the Schine Empire” by Judy Marcoux, April 22, 2012
From Christopher Bollyn