Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Some interesting comments by the Wizard, concerning James Bookhout, LBJ, and others. 


I have wondered if Bookhout knew Johnson personally. It's not a huge stretch. Johnson obviously knew Elmer Boyd personally, as Boyd (possibly with Sims) 'worked (police) security' for Johnson in 1960. Bookhout was close to these people and worked sitting on Fritz's lap much of the time. He was essentially an FBI agent/Dallas cop.

There are a couple of photographs of Elmer Boyd in the crowd in the glare of the TV lights during the 1960 visit. It would be extremely interesting to see the full NYA/WPA records for Johnson's time as Director of the Texas branch. I suspect that a lot of familiar names would surface on the list of people given jobs or financial aid to go to college. This was government New Deal money and must have been recorded and audited at the time. Sadly, some records of these were 'lost in a fire' at the LBJ Library.

It's on my wish list to look into the surviving documents on this. I hope that Phil Nelson has the same perspective.

I chanced upon a university dissertation (see attached pdf) by a woman called Deborah Lynn Self, who, tragically, died in 2013. This is a very good summary of Johnson's NYA days.  

Note that, in an oral history project, Nat Pinkston hinted at government aid for his law studies at SMU, where Bookhout attended at the same time. There is a table in the dissertation which shows that Southern Methodist University received substantial funds for its NYA projects (see attached pdf and snapshots of tables showing monthly allotments and 'quota').

Note also Roger Stone's comment that the Head of the Secret Service had been a Johnson NYA protege, and that when Air Force One landed, Rowley ran on board and gave Johnson a bear hug! I would love to hear Stone elaborate on that.

The context of the above is, not just that Johnson created a small army of followers: he also had an inherent psychological ability, fine-tuned by Wirtz, to determine a person's weaknesses at once, and thus to select people who would be loyal and subservient, doing anything he wanted when called upon, as described in Caro's first LBJ book, before he began to lose his nerve. That was the evil magician's trick in this part of the story. I think that Bookhout was a Hoover/LBJ contact, long in Johnson's cadre, possibly an NYA/WPA veteran and was directing the operation. When it came to the garage performance, as the local chief, as it were, he took the attack on Oswald as his responsibility. 

The Wizard 

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