The Jaws of Hell is a simple phrase to suggest that what the the New Testament calls principalities and powers are always operating in the mix of human history. This note will be a series of annotated links to Texas-related items of possible interest regarding the themes of my original Jaws of Hell post.
Update, 14 January 2007. I am moving in two directions.
First I believe Oswald was clearly involved. There are many pieces to that puzzle but I want to concede that one common theory, that he did not kill officer Tippit, is moat probably wrong. I currently accept this line of thinking.
Secondly, I am reasonably certain that Jack Ruby, though he may have been urged to kill Oswald, did did not perform a planned killing when he shot Oswald. The timing of the event and other factors seem to me to argue that his appearance at the police station was spontaneous. He may have been urged to kill Oswald but it does not follow that he did so on the basis of a careful plan.
Two further observations.
1. I believe the best psychological imagining of a climate in which conspiracy was likely has been done in the books of James Ellroy — American Tabloid and The Cold $6000.
2. I believe that the most promising avenue that has not been seriously followed and has in fact been widely, if not deeply, challenged is one that involves Texas origins and in particular the possible presence of Malcolm Wallace in the School Book Depository on the day of the assassination. Here is a comment on that line of thinking that debunks it but concedes some points.
Update. 27 December 2007: Most recently Texas has been in the headlines as the state which has outstripped all others in executions. But my reason for updating now is to call attention to what will be seen as preposterous charges by a convicted con man named Billie Sol Estes. READ MORE HERE Needless to say people have not leaped to affirm the sensational allegations. But we could be entering a time when more and more examination will take place, making evaluation of the Texas connection a matter of increasing interest.
An Interview With LBJ’s Alleged Mistress Madeleine Brown which alleges connections between the Texas financial elite, high political figures including Johnson, and others. One of the most interesting and possibly telling allegations is Brown’s statement that Jack Ruby was a part of the group and was known to all the principals. She also claims that Carlos Marcello was present at the meeting the night before the JFK assassination to which this video refers. Exception: An investigation seeks to prove that these allegations are a complete fabrication.
The involvement of Carlos Marcello and his connection to Texas and the events of Nov. 22, 1963 is alleged by a number of theorists and forms the central theory operative on Ellroy’s novels of the 60’s American Tabloid and The Cold 6000. What seems convincing is not any particular, detailed theory of the JFK assassination, but the weight of evidence that points to an environment in Texas and related to Texas (as we see here) that makes the notion of what might be called a layered conspiracy possible. Meaning that once the essential ingredients for simplification of the event (Hoover > FBI Report > Warren Commission) were in place, a combination of obfuscation and strong arming was sufficient to keep the lid on. This would make it sensible to see now, rather than closer to the event, as a likely time for surviving memory to provide not a blueprint, but a field of likely connections and possibilities. This is not garden-variety conspiracy theory that says THIS happened THIS way. It is more probably a growing web of circumstantial evidence that over time becomes persuasive. The payoff in this is the cautionary truths of the danger to our democracy of corrupt and venal officials, elected and otherwise, and the gullibility and malleability of witnesses and media in accepting dubious official explanations.
Malcolm Wallace is alleged to have engaged in lethal activities to protect his mentor Lyndon Johnson. A brief but incisive account of Wallace’s violent life has copious links to all others who intersected with Wallace. He was married to LBJ’s sister.
The need for digging further than has yet been done is obvious, but I do not believe we can discount the hints we get here and in Barr McClellan’s “Blood, Money and Power” despite its reliance on the off-putting technique of “faction” by which he essentially imagines how his allegations played out.
It is obvious that no one can possibly reconstruct what was actually spoken if there is no record of it. However,I believe it is plausible to pursue the LBJ connection to the JFK assassination, for the following reasons:
1. McClellan’s reconstruction explains a three or four bullet hypothesis that accords with at least some reliable suppositions.
2. McClellan’s reconstruction assumes the participation and presence of Oswald and lends plausibility to how he can be perceived as a patsy while participating willingly in the intended assassination.
3. McClellan’s material on the late Malcolm Wallace as a homicidal gofer for the LBJ-Clark interests is convincing, including the probability that fingerprint evidence places him at the Schoolbook Depository at the time of the assassination.
What is not convincing is how there could be so much conspiracy theory that assumes mob, Cuban exile, CIA and other elements removed from the specific Texas scene. (The line that assumes there were efforts prior to Dallas.) If McClellan’s Texas declension is entertained, then the relationships would have been Hoover’s to both mob and Texas people like Murchison and Hunt who made little secret of their hatred for JFK and Hoover’s to LBJ, which would have facilitated the one gunman coverup and creation of a neutral or malleable Warren Commission.
I can remember in the fifties when I interned for the New Republic the prominence of Texas oil interests and the need to protect the depletion allowance. A JFK threat to that alone would have been enough to provide motivation to people who were accustomed to taking the law into their own hands. If it is also the case that LBJ himself was close to going to prison for his own crimes, then the need for the lethal actions taken in Dallas would have been reasonably obvious.
As well as considerable past experience in operating outside the law and covering it up.
Here is the Google Barr McLellan (sic) page which gives rise to these considerations.