The Miami Motorcade Dec 11, 2019 23:17:21 GMT -5
Post by John Duncan on Dec 11, 2019 23:17:21 GMT -5
This was written by Gil Jesus in February 2003.
Since it was the George Smathers’ papers that "revealed" that a motorcade route was never scheduled for Miami, I feel a need to "reveal" the relationship of Senator Smathers to JFK. Smathers was a friend of JFK's while the two were senators, but once he was running for President and after he was elected, Kennedy could not rely on the support of his "good friend" Smathers. It may have been political, with the influence of the Cuban community in Smathers' home state of Florida guiding how he voted. But as an attorney cross-examines a witness in a criminal case, I am going to examine George Smathers as a witness, since his papers have been introduced as "evidence" that a motorcade was never planned for Kennedy's Miami trip of November 18th, 1963. Some contend that this "proves" that no threat existed to JFK in Miami and that the Milteer threat was never taken seriously, despite the fact that it was tape recorded and the tapes were given to the FBI and Secret Service. Apparently the Miami Police thought the threat to be real or they would have destroyed the tapes without passing them on. But that's another story.
What this story is about is the credibility of the man who said that NO motorcade was ever scheduled for Miami. I intend to show that, when it comes to the JFK assassination and the events leading up to it, Smathers credibility is questionable.
It is questionable because of his political views, it is questionable because of his political actions and it is questionable because of his political associations and loyalties. For those of you who choose to believe the Smathers’ papers that no motorcade was ever planned for Miami, you probably shouldn't read the following.
The shock may be similar to that of realizing as a child that there is no Santa Claus.
For those in search of the truth, it has been my pleasure to compile this information to quench your thirst for knowledge.
It is interesting to note that George Smathers ran for President as a favorite-son candidate, and got all of Florida's 29 delegates in the 1960 Democratic Primary. He could have supported the candidacy of his good friend JFK, but instead decided to run himself. (Kennedy, Sorenson, p.159) This decision, to run as a "favorite-son" candidate was an option exercised by both Senators and Governors of several states in an attempt to stop JFK from getting the nomination on the first ballot.
Some friend, huh?
As Senator, George Smathers did not always support his good friend President Kennedy. In fact, he didn't support him before he was elected. In a special session of Congress that took place while Kennedy was running against Richard Nixon, Smathers had voted against EVERY one of JFK's pet projects. (The Man and the Myth, Victor Lasky, pg. 434) In 1961, for example, he only supported the President's bills 47 percent of the time. (The Man and the Myth, Pg. 102) A close personal friend and usher at Senator Kennedy's wedding, Smathers did not support JFK's attempts to pass Medicaid. Theodore Sorenson writes that Smathers "was aware of the influence of the AMA in Florida". And he goes on to relate that a White House colleague commented that, "Smathers hasn't stood up for Jack Kennedy since the wedding". (Kennedy, P.344) In addition, Sorenson tells of a conversation he had with JFK himself, in which the President commented that he had received a series of poor recommendations from Smathers in regard to the Dominican Republic, adding, "And now he's trying to tell me what to do about Cuba." (P. 391n)
Those poor recommendations may have been as a result of Smathers visit, at JFK's request, to the Dominican Republic in the spring of 1961 to convince the dictator Rafael Trujillo to "relinquish power and move out", as Smathers testified to the Church Committee in 1975. It was an effort in which Smathers failed and resulted in Trujillo's assassination in May 1961. The fact that Kennedy tried to intervene indicates his reluctance to support assassination as a tool of state.
Michael Beschloss writes in The Crisis Years, that Smathers lobbied Kennedy hard against Castro. Smathers himself admitted that, "Kennedy always identified me with pushing, pushing, pushing.(p.101) It was probably because he was. According to Gus Russo, (Live by the Sword, pg. 233) Smathers was one of those Democrats who broke party ranks and demanded military action during the Missile Crisis. The other was the right-wing Democrat, Strom Thurmond (S.C.) In addition, Smathers was a great hater of Fidel Castro (High Treason, Groden and Livingstone, Pg.325) Smathers was friendly with Richard Nixon and was a member of Clint Murchison's "DelCharro Set", which included J. Edgar Hoover. (Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pg. 208)
Richard Nixon was told by John McCone, Kennedy's CIA director, that Kennedy knew about the secret training of the Cuban exiles BEFORE the election of 1960, despite Allen Dulles' assurances that he did not tell JFK and Kennedy's denial that he knew. The man who confirmed for McCone that JFK knew about it before the election was George Smathers. (Crisis Years, Pg. 29n)
It was Smathers who told Nixon and Dwight Eisenhower that Kennedy was considering recognizing "Red China" and maintaining a "two-China" policy, something that both Republicans advised against in their meetings with JFK before his inauguration. (The Man and the Myth, pg. 19)
Besides the fact that he was leaking information on JFK to Nixon through McCone, Smathers was forced to concede that his own conservative politics and those politics of JFK differed: "Sometimes we argue and he gives me hell. But we understand each other.", he said.
Smathers was good friends with Nixon, having introduced Nixon to his future friend Bebe Rebozo in 1951. Nixon's house in Key Biscayne, Florida was purchased from Smathers in December 1968. Smathers had purchased it the year before. (High Treason, Pg. 322) Victor Lasky tells of a speech given by Smathers in 1950 burning Senator Claude Pepper, who was then under bitter attack as "Stalin's mouthpiece in the Senate". Smathers right-wing colors showed through as he hit hard on Pepper's affinity to Left-wing causes including his friendship with Stalin, who he visited at the end of the Second World War. (The Man and the Myth pg. 102) Lasky describes Smathers as being
"popular with the chieftains of darkest Dixie". (Pg. 184)
Lasky comments that Smathers spoke highly of Kennedy's "leadership", even when disregarding it. (pg. 434) In addition, Gus Russo tells us of a connection between Smathers and Michael McLaney, the man whose brother's summer cottage (which he rented) full of explosives were raided by the FBI near Lake Ponchartrain in July, 1963. McLaney told investigators that he had discussed his operational ideas to bomb Cuban refineries with Smathers. (Live by the Sword, pg. 67) This would have been the same camp that Lee Harvey Oswald had visited on July 24th in the company of David Ferrie and was raided seven days later by the FBI.
McLaney wasn't the only one of these people whose names crop up in the assassination story and are connected with Smathers. Frank Fiorini, alias Frank Sturgis, got his U.S. citizenship thanks to the efforts of Senator George Smathers. (High Treason, Pg. 323)
On JFK's trip to Florida on November 18th, Kennedy and Smathers argued some, with the President complaining to the senator about Smathers regular votes against administration bills. "Goddamnit George," the President said, "you're just knocking my jock off on civil rights. Can't you take it a little easy?" (President Kennedy-Profile of Power, Richard Reeves, pgs. 658-659) During the flight back to Washington from Florida, on which Smathers was a passenger, JFK said to him, "God, I wish you could think of some way to get me out of going to Texas....couldn't we have an emergency?" But instead, Smathers lobbied for the trip, telling the President how much Lyndon Johnson looked forward to entertaining the Kennedys at the LBJ Ranch. "Even if you declared war", he said, "Johnson would never forgive you if you didn't go." (The Crisis Years, pg. 666)
JFK went and we all know what happened.