LBJ: "They're going to get us all. It's a plot. It's a plot. It's going to get us all.'"
Steven M. Gillon
Resident historian of the History Channel
Posted: October 30, 2009 10:25 AM

This month will mark the 46th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A recently declassified oral history by Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh, President Kennedy's military aide on the Dallas trip, sheds new light on the critical hours after the shooting. McHugh makes startling claims about Lyndon Johnson's behavior in the wake of the assassination.

The interview with McHugh, originally conducted for the John F. Kennedy Library in 1978, remained closed for 31 years. It was finally declassified in the spring of 2009. I just happened to be working at the Kennedy Library on the day the interview was opened to the public and have used it for the first time in my new book, The Kennedy Assassination -- 24 Hours After.

After being informed at Parkland Hospital that Kennedy was dead, Johnson raced back to Air Force One, where he waited for Mrs. Kennedy and the body of the slain president, and made preparations to take the Oath of Office. Back at the hospital, the Kennedy group loaded the body into a coffin, forced their way past a local justice of the peace, and hurried back to Love Field for the long ride back to Washington.

It was standard practice for the plane to take off as soon as the commander-in-chief was onboard. Even after McHugh had ordered the pilot to take off, however, "nothing happened." According to the newly declassified transcript, Mrs. Kennedy was becoming desperate to leave. "Mrs. Kennedy was getting very warm, she had blood all over her hat, her coat...his brains were sticking on her hat. It was dreadful," McHugh said. She pleaded with him to get the plane off the ground. "Please, let's leave," she said. McHugh jumped up and used the phone near the rear compartment to call Captain James Swindal. "Let's leave," he said. Swindal responded: "I can't do it. I have orders to wait." Not wanting to make a scene in front of Mrs. Kennedy, McHugh rushed to the front of the plane. "Swindal, what on earth is going on?" The pilot told him that "the President wants to remain in this area."

McHugh, like most members of the Kennedy entourage, did not know that Johnson was onboard. They believed that the new president was on his own plane flying back to Washington. If LBJ was on the plane, McHugh wanted to see for himself. Since he had not seen Johnson in the aisle -- and at 6'4" Johnson would be tough to miss -- McHugh assumed that he must then be in the bedroom. When he checked there Johnson was nowhere to be seen. The only place on the plane he had not inspected was the bathroom in the presidential bedroom.

What McHugh claimed to have witnessed next was shocking. "I walked in the toilet, in the powder room, and there he was hiding, with the curtain closed," McHugh recalled. He claimed that LBJ was crying, "They're going to get us all. It's a plot. It's a plot. It's going to get us all.'" According to the General, Johnson "was hysterical, sitting down on the john there alone in this thing."

I soon discovered that McHugh had told a similar story when he spoke by phone with Mark Flanagan, an investigator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Ironically, McHugh gave the interview to the HSCA a week before he sat down with the Kennedy Library in May 1978. "McHugh had encountered difficulty in locating Johnson but finally discovered him alone," Flanagan wrote in his summary to the Committee. Quoting McHugh, the investigator noted that the General found Johnson "hiding in the toilet in the bedroom compartment and muttering, 'Conspiracy, conspiracy, they're after all of us.'"

Author Christopher Anderson claimed that McHugh shared a similar, although slightly more dramatic, version of this story when he interviewed the General for his book Jackie after Jack, published in 1998.

If true, the story is explosive and reveals a completely different side of Johnson than the collected, calm presence he otherwise managed to convey throughout the hours and days following Kennedy's death.

But how credible is McHugh's account?

It is, of course, impossible to confirm or deny whether a private encounter took place between the two men, both of whom are now dead. There are a number of reasons to doubt McHugh's claim. The General intensely disliked Johnson and was fiercely loyal to JFK, and therefore had some reason to invent such a story. Most glaring, McHugh made no mention of what was surely a very memorable encounter in his long interview with William Manchester in 1964. It also stands to reason that if McHugh had witnessed Johnson in a state of utter breakdown, he would have told the story to others within the Kennedy camp. Surely, given how potentially damaging the story would be to LBJ, Kennedy partisans would have leaked it to the media at some point.

Although it is impossible to prove, my gut reaction is that McHugh is telling the truth. We know that Johnson was a man capable of dramatic mood swings, and occasional fits of hysteria were not unusual. McHugh's account of LBJ's behavior is similar to RFK's description of a trembling and tearful Johnson at the 1960 Democratic Convention when it appeared that JFK might renege on his promise to include him on the ticket. It was not surprising behavior to those who knew him best.

We also know from some eyewitnesses that LBJ's secret service agent, Rufus Youngblood, stood outside the door to the bedroom and controlled the traffic into the room. Aides went in and out, but it is possible that McHugh could have found LBJ alone in the bedroom suite.

If true, though, why did McHugh wait until 1978 to tell this story? When Manchester interviewed him in May 1964, McHugh was still in the military, although only a few months away from retirement. Is it possible that he worried the story would be too damaging to his commander-in-chief?

We will never know for sure, but McHugh's account is sure to add to the controversy surrounding that tragic November day in Dallas.

This Tells a Totaly Different Story

The "Missing" Final Three Episodes of The History Channel's "The Men Who Killed Kennedy"

Here is the 9th and final episope of TMWKK
in five parts on youtube:







Yeah, that's odd

If he was involved in the assassination, it seems very strange that he would be cowering and hiding like it is described...

The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry


... does that mean he (Johnson) wasn't 'in on it' then?

The History Channel had to remove (bury) the final three episode

The History Channel had to remove (bury) the final three episodes of TMWKK
because it pointed to LBJs involvement. The story is that this was because of pressure from the Johnson family.

Now Steven M. Gillon Resident historian of the History Channel comes out with this to make LBJ appear fearful. I ain't buying it
"The ninth documentary in the series, titled "The Guilty Men", directly implicating former U. S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, created an outcry among Johnson's surviving associates, Johnson's widow, Lady Bird Johnson, journalist Bill Moyers, ex-President Jimmy Carter, Jack Valenti (longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America), and the last-living (at the time of the outcry) Warren Commission commissioner and ex-President Gerald R. Ford, who lodged complaints of libel with the History Channel. They subsequently threatened legal action against Arts & Entertainment Company, owner of the History Channel.

The History Channel responded by assembling a panel of three historians, Robert Dallek, Stanley Kutler, and Thomas Sugrue. On a program aired April 7, 2004 called "The Guilty Man: A Historical Review", the panel agreed that the documentary was not credible and should not have aired. The History Channel issued a statement saying, in part, "The History Channel recognizes that 'The Guilty Men' failed to offer viewers context and perspective, and fell short of the high standards that the network sets for itself. The History Channel apologizes to its viewers and to Mrs. Johnson and her family for airing the show." Conspiracy author Barr McClellan, interviewed in the documentary, complained that while the historians examined the evidence, they did not interview him or Turner.[4]

All three new documentaries by Turner ("The Guilty Men," "The Smoking Gun" and "The Love Affair") were then permanently withdrawn by the History Channel, though they were originally slated to be viewed at least annually on the History Channel until the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination (November, 2013).[citation needed]

The Guilty Men.

Barr McClellan who is mentioned above is also the father of former Bush White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. I think this documentary is great and the fact that it was on the History Channel just lends it all the more credibility just like that documentary "The Franklin Cover-Up" that was set to air on the Discovery Channel in 1994.

Steve Gillon, the author of the original article above, was also the narrator on the banned History Channel documentary posted above by Joe.

I agree Joe. The LBJ Toilet Story is for the toilet. -Disinfo.

LBJ's Texas history is full of corrupt powerful connections as he bullied his way up. There is even a photograph somewhere of he and others holding a ballot box in south Texas (an area where they stole the vote). Brown and Root was his pet during the war we have Haliburton.

Allow me to play Devil's Advocate

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the story above is true. Isn't it still a condemnation of the Warren Commission, because it suggests the existence of a "they" and a "plot," or at least LBJ's suspicion of such?

I'm not saying that's what I believe, but it could be interpreted as material for skeptics not the official story.

My gut feeling is in the other direction

Edit: I changed this comment because I initially assumed these were simuvac's comments and addressed them to him. Sorry, my bad.

"Although it is impossible to prove, my gut reaction is that McHugh is telling the truth."

My own gut reaction is that this story is nonsense and I am wondering how the writer at HuffPo could get it so wrong.

If anything, LBJ's behavior and body language is suggestive of guilt. So much so, that it would not surprise me one whit if it was judged necessary to create a pretense to counter it. A pretense such as a story about LBJ crying in the toilet like a hopeless wimp. Otherwise more people might have become more suspicious a lot sooner. Perhaps they even staged a little drama just for Mr McHugh's naive eyes to take in. LBJ is a pretty good actor!

Oh come on! Look at the photos of him taking the oath on Air Force One beside Jackie. She's balling her eyes out, he looks like the cat that got the cream. What about the wink?

I realize this is not really evidence, but the author brought up his gut feeling so I've brought up mine. Johnson? In my estimation, one of the most devious politicians ever to have disgraced America. And that's saying something.

Love Alison


That's the impression I got, why would he be cowering like a shivering mutt, then look totally composed and confident immediately after? Something is amiss here...

40+ years and we are still scratching our heads - hope we figure out 9-11 a lot sooner than that

The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry


Yes, it is possible (and seems to be the general view thus far in this thread) that McHugh--wittingly or not--is being used to help shield LBJ and his role in the plot. As such, the account is tailored to appeal to those who are already skeptical of the government's Oswald story.

However, I don't see it as necessarily a contradiction for one to be part of a cabal and, at the same time, fearful of it--fearful of what they might do next, or some time in the future. Different people had motives for wanting Kennedy dead, LBJ was one of them, and he was useful to the others. But he might have also wondered about what they might have discussed in meetings he wasn't privy to .

(Not that he looks worried at all in those images from Air Force One!)

"The wink" photo is at the bottom of this post.

“On the altar of God, I swear eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man."--Thomas Jefferson

'I was just strolling along and...'

' I just happened to be working at the Kennedy Library on the day the interview was opened to the public and have used it for the first time in my new book....'

How convenient!

Evidence of Revision (3 of 5):LBJ, Hoover and others.What so few

Evidence of Revision (3 of 5):LBJ, Hoover and others.What so few know even today


... facinating stuff.... thanx for post

a different interpretation ...

could explain LBJ's toilet catharsis - guilt and fear of the truth being discovered ...

"our plot, our conspiracy, it's gonna be found out, they're gonna get us, we're doomed ... "

cf. the reactions of Cheney and Rumsfeld immediately after the 9/11 attacks occurred. According to Richard Clarke, in his book Against All Enemies, Cheney appeared terror stricken and unable to respond in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the WTC. Video footage of Rumsfeld taken shortly after the Pentagon explosions shows the man looking scared and vulnerable, struggling for words, not at all the Rummy we're used too.

These reactions, in the immediate aftermath of such unprecedented crimes, could conceivably be induced by fear of the possibility of being discovered or implicated as potential culprits. The first few minutes after the crime, before the cover-up has had a chance to be fully implemented, would be the most vulnerable and uncertain moments for the actual perpetrators.

my thoughts exactly,

I was thinking about what it must be like to be that high up in the pyramid that you find yourself involved in a plot to murder the president. What dark forces must have been hanging over LBJ's head...knowing he was in on something so huge and history-changing, but also knowing that there were major players way, way, wayyy above him...geeez. What a swirling brain that must have been. It truly is no wonder he found himself freaking out in a toilet. I can also see some of that behavior in some of the suspected 9/11 players. To me, it is written all over their faces.

The story reads real to me. "It's a plot. It's a plot." He knew it was. "It's going to get us all." He was scared sh*tless.


So, Air Force One can't take off while anyone's in the bathroom, not even the President.


And LBJ told the pilot to "...remain in this area?"

Oh, so the plane could taxi around Love Field but they just couldn't take off?


Why even give an order to wait? So someone would wonder what was happening, go looking for him, and find him crying like a baby in the bathroom area because the door was UNlocked??

I don't think so.

And when exactly was LBJ's smile and winking thing caught on camera just after he was sworn in?

He wanted to take the oath before leaving

The reason the pilot was told not to leave is that LBJ was waiting for the judge so he could take the oath on the plane before leaving.

Given his history, I find it very hard to believe that Johnson was fearful of anything but getting caught, and that if this incident actually occurred it is likely that it was staged to point away from him. There is not a chance that Johnson was not involved in the crime, as he needed to be a prime coordinator of the cover-up along with his buddy J. Edgar Hoover.

What BS

LBJ knew what was happening. So did Nixon. I think Tarpley is right when he says that Bush and the CIA were behind the whole thing. They all hated Kennedy. He wouldn't play the game. Alex Jones says he was the last real president. I sure agree with AJ.


I'd say this is minor news, when compared to something like this:

Gary L. Aguilar, MD
San Francisco, California, August, 1994

Establishing that Kennedy was shot from the front, with a grapefruit sized exit wound out the back of his head completely destroys the cover-up.

The cover-up falls apart when they get this basic fact: the mechanism of the actual murder, so outrageously wrong.



The headshot and resulting back and to the left motion along with the large right rear head wound prove conclusively that JFK was shot from the right front. The entrance wound in the back shows he was also shot from the rear. Hence a conspiracy existed.

The fact that the Zapruder film, which shows the head motion, was suppressed, and the Parkland doctor's depictions of the back of the head wound were not shown in the Warren Commission Report, tells one all they need to know to allow them to come to the conclusion that there was a major cover-up.

In a talk on the 911 NYC building collapses, that I am giving at the convention of the American Society of Criminology this week, I intend to use these points about the Kennedy assassination at the end, to show there is historical precedent for some major national investigations not explaining observation.

I consider the NIST cartoons of the collapse of WTC 7 to be like the Warren Commission drawings of the right rear head wound. They do not remotely match observation. The difference is that we did not see the Zapruder film for many years and only then because Jim Garrison surprised the perpetrators by bringing somebody to trial for the assassination and subpoenaing it from LIFE magazine's vault. Many of us also weren't aware of the large right rear head wound described by the Parkland doctors.

Good luck

' a talk on the 911 NYC building collapses, that I am giving at the convention of the American Society of Criminology this week'

Good luck with that talk!

It should be interesting

Just to give the audience here a little information.

There were several of us who submitted papers about six months ago to the American Society of Criminology, at the suggestion of someone whose name is probably fairly well known to the audience here. I submitted my paper which is published on the Journal of 911 Studies and titled "The Sustainability of the Controlled Demolition Hypothesis for the destruction of the Twin Towers", and then did not give it much more thought as I wasn't sure that the convention organizers would be willing to allow controversial material like this to be discussed. To my surprise, several months later we learned that the papers and their topics were accepted for us to give talks on them. To my further surpirise, was that the talks were originally scheduled to be given in a smaller meeting room, but apparently due to the number of individuals who expressed interest in hearing them, the talks on this subject were moved to the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott hotel in downtown Philadelphia were the convention is being held. This room can seat a large number of people, which you can see for yourself here

Do I understand you correctly?...

...that you and others will be addressing the ASC in that convention setting shortly? If so, that's fabulous!

Yes, this upcoming week

Dearth, yes several of us will be giving talks at the 2009 annual meeting of the ASC in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 4th and 5th.

Wow! That's just so damn good!

It will be one more really interesting news item that the US lamestream media will have no choice but to ignore in its increasingly obvious censorial way. I hope you mention something to that effect in your talk.

And thank you!

Excellent, Tony

Strength to you.

“On the altar of God, I swear eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man."--Thomas Jefferson

Good news

Thanks, Tony, for making this important breakthrough. We're psyched!

I liked the take that Poppy Bush was in on it as well

Jack Blood had a 'JFKii-The Bush Connection' documentary on his site (also here: ) that pointed a lot of fingers at Bush Senior as being involved with JFK's death

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
- Dale Carnegie

LBJ Did All Three

Thanks for this. I didn't know about the History Channel series and I watched the first episode with great interest.
So far I've seen nothing to disprove my theory -- which I arrived at on MLK day a year or two ago that LBJ was responsible for all 3 big assassinations: JFK, MLK, and RFK on the simple theory that he who is responsible for the investigation/cover-up is responsible for the assassination.
I was struck with this idea while listening to an documentary on the radio of the MLK story and I was struck by the fact that MLK was killed a year to the day that he came out against the Vietnam War, thereby apparently throwing LBJ into a rage.
The Barr McClellan book helped in giving some important background about who LBJ was and convincing me that he was certainly ruthless enough for the job. However, McClellan's book is a great disappointment when it comes to the details of the assassination. It's as if he didn't bother to research the evidence and ignorantly concludes that Oswald did it -- partly because it fits with elements of his story.


Damn Huffington Post and their conspiracy theories.