Ford attacks claim LBJ plotted to kill Kennedy

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The Independent US

Three months after the History Channel in the United States aired a documentary making the case that Lyndon B Johnson was involved in the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963, the accusations of foul journalistic play are starting to surface, and not from just ordinary viewers.

Two former presidents, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, have joined with President Johnson's widow, Lady Bird Johnson, in complaining directly to the cable channel and its corporate owners. All three have written letters demanding an investigation into the programme, which was broadcast in November last year. The former first lady, who is 91, said that no accusation against her husband "has hurt as painfully" as those made in the film The Guilty Men .

A representative of the Johnson family together with Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, will meet executives of the History Channel today. Most outspoken was Mr Ford, 90, the only surviving member of the Warren Commission, which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy.

The film's premise amounted to "the greatest, most damaging accusation ever made against a former vice-president and president in American history," he complained.

The History Channel, which is owned jointly by the Walt Disney Company, NBC and the Hearst Corporation, said that the documentary was "meticulously researched". It said: "By presenting different viewpoints we enable our viewers to decide to agree or disagree with them and to arrive at their own conclusions."