The Senator who Suspected a JFK Conspiracy
Ralph Yarborough was a Texas Democratic politician who served in the United States Senate (1957 until 1971) and was a leader of the progressive or liberal wing of the Democratic Party in Texas. Yarborough was a very different kind of Southern senator. He refused to sign the Southern Manifesto opposing integration and supported national Democratic goals of more funding for healthcare, education, and the environment. In a state now famous for closeness between business interests and politicians (LBJ, George W. Bush), Yarborough combated the dominant industries of oil and gas, always pushing for these industries to assume their fair share of the tax burden.
In 1963, on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Ralph Yarborough rode in the motorcade only two cars
back from the presidential limousine.
Yarborough was in the same convertible as Vice President Lyndon Johnson,
Lady Bird Johnson, and secret service agent Rufus Youngblood.
In several interviews, Yarborough voiced suspicions of a JFK conspiracy.
Yarborough's Suspicion of "The Military-Industrial Complex"
"As we approached the city and then finally turned
down Main Street toward the Trinity River, the crowd increased as we got
to the heart of Dallas ... and one of the most enthusiastic crowds we saw in
any city we ran into in Texas on that tour ... that's on the
sidewalks. Now if you looked up, in the upper stories, I never saw a
single smile in any window I looked at. Some looked down ... it
looked like ... with dislike on their faces."
"Had Kennedy lived, I think we would have had no
Vietnam war, with all of its traumatic and divisive influences in
America. I think we would have escaped that. I think the world would
have escaped the 50,000 odd Americans dead and 300,000 more wounded and
over half a million more hooked on dangerous drugs ... tropical diseases
... the divisiveness of that war that so many of the people thought
unjustified and unnecessary ... and that we shouldn't have been there ...
that split this country. Sadly, many of those things have lingered
Yarborough's Suspicion of Lyndon Johnson
"There is the well-publicized story of Agent Rufus Youngblood, who reportedly threw himself on top of Vice President Johnson after the shooting began in Dealey Plaza.... Johnson, in a statement to the Warren Commission, mentioned the incident:
However, former Texas senator Ralph Yarborough, who was
sitting beside Johnson that day, told this author: 'It just
didn't happen.... It was a small car, Johnson was a big man,
tall. His knees were up against his chin as it was. There was
no room for that to happen.' Yarborough recalled that both
Johnson and Youngblood ducked down as the shooting began and that
Youngblood never left the front seat. Yarborough said Youngblood
held a small walkie-talkie over the back of the car's seat and that he and
Johnson both put their ears to the device. He added: 'They had it turned down real low. I couldn't hear what they
were listening to.'"
Yarborough's Suspicion of the Warren Commission Investigators
"A couple of fellows [from the Warren Commission] came to see me. They walked
in like they were a couple of deputy sheriffs and I was a bank
robber. I didn't like their attitude. As a senator I felt
insulted. They went off and wrote up something and brought it back
for me to sign. But I refused. I threw it in a drawer and let
it lay there for weeks. And they had on there the last sentence which
stated: 'This is all I know about the assassination.' They
wanted me to sign this thing, then say this is all I know. Of
course, I would never have signed it. Finally, after some weeks,
they began to bug me. 'You're holding this up, you're holding this
up' they said,
demanding that I sign the report. So I typed one up myself and put
basically what I told you about how the cars all stopped. I put in
there, 'I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but for the protection
of future presidents, they should be trained to take off when a shot is
fired.' I sent that over. That's dated July 10, 1964,
after the assassination. To my surprise, when the volumes were
finally printed and came out, I was surprised at how many people down at
the White House didn't file their affidavits until after the date, after
mine the 10th of July, waiting to see what I was going to say before they
filed theirs. I began to lose confidence then in their investigation
and that's further eroded with time."
"Real patriots ask questions." --Carl Sagan