The reason the history books don’t talk much about John Surratt is because his story sheds light on the real Lincoln assassination conspiracy. Surratt was John Wilkes Booth’s closest confident in a plot to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln and spirit him to Richmond to be held for ransom. This plan was supported and probably fomented by The Grey Ghost (Col. John Mosby), who controlled Northern Virgina and parts of Maryland during the Civil War. Large military operations like the kidnapping of a head-of-state run through chains-of-command, and captains like Booth report to colonels like Mosby who report to Supreme Commanders. The kidnap plan involved dozens of secret accomplices, as well as a large cavalry unit, which was massed near the border on the eve of its execution. But since Booth and Surratt were surrounded by double agents, the kidnapping was easily thwarted through a shift in the president’s itinerary. Yet instead of arresting the plotters as one might have expected, the War Department left them all in place.
Surratt fled the country when he learned the kidnap had suddenly turned to murder as he wanted no part of it. He hid first in Canada, then Ireland, then Italy, then Egypt, often seeking refuge inside Catholic churches. Initially, a large award had been issued for his capture and return dead-or-alive, but strangely, as soon as his trail was uncovered in Europe, Stanton rescinded the reward offer. Suddenly, the War Department seemed uninterested in Surratt, although his mother had been swiftly hanged. Eventually, Surratt was captured and brought back to Washington, where he was visited in jail by Charles Dunham posing as Sandford Conover, who offered him immunity if he committed perjury. Surratt declined the offer, went to trial, and the case ended with a hung jury.
Surratt never denied involvement in the kidnap plot, but despite employing every possible trick to convict him, the government was unable to connect Surratt with the murder. This was a civil trial, and not a military tribunal like the one his mother had faced and not so easily manipulated. After Surratt walked free, it opened some minds to the possibility of a cover-up, and some became angry learning that the first woman executed in American history might have been a patsy.
Russ Baker wrote a great blog about some famous seeding-the-rabbit-hole incidents. Did you know Lee Harvey Oswald’s wallet was conveniently found dropped right near the spot where police officer J.D. Tippet was found murdered shortly after JFK’s assassination? This wallet was, in fact, the evidence used by police to declare Oswald’s complicity in the JFK assassination.
Simultaneously, a bullet was found on the stretcher used to move JFK, and although virtually undamaged, it became responsible for a half dozen wounds on two people. Naturally, the bullet matched a rifle Oswald had recently mail-ordered.
Next, consider the bundle found on the sidewalk near Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, all of which pointed towards James Earl Ray as the culprit, a bundle that included some of Ray’s laundry as well as the alleged murder weapon and a newspaper clipping giving the name of the motel King was scheduled to be at.
But most amazing of all these tall tales was the appearance of the undamaged visa for alleged hijacker Satam al-Suqami just a few blocks from twin towers after they fell. Those steel towers and aluminum planes had turned to dust in a matter of seconds, but this incriminating scrap of paper that helped break the case wide open floated out of the apocalypse in mint condition.
Most recently, there is Said Kouachi’s ID left in his abandoned stolen vehicle following his attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices. Without that ID, it would have taken weeks to break the case. Why does it seem like the same template is being used in all these cases? Maybe because it works so well.
One of my favorite episodes along these lines was the amazing testimony given by Fox radio host Mark Walsh just seconds after the twin towers fell, seeding the absurd cover story on how steel-framed buildings could suffer a complete collapse from fire for the first time in history, delivered on live national TV. Does it not appear he’s reciting a script?
This same technique was used after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, when the finger was instantly pointed towards Col. John Mosby (aka The Grey Ghost). In fact, Mosby had been planning an elaborate presidential kidnapping plot, and Booth was his key agent in that conspiracy. But as the conspiracy grew, it eventually included a number of double agents secretly reporting back to the Union War Department.
We know this because of the original confession given by George Atzerodt. This confession was strangely not admitted into the trial as evidence and ordered destroyed, although 117 years later a photostat was found in the archives of one of the stenographers. Atzerodt had listed over a dozen additional names in the kidnap conspiracy, people who were never charged nor investigated. Soon, however, his story changed considerably. But that only happened after he’d lost his mind wearing a suffocating canvas-and-leather hood 24 hours a day that cut off all sight and sound. This torture device, which he was forced to endure for weeks until hanged, had been invented to keep him from revealing information to anyone while the government fabricated a case with paid perjuries.
The only justification for these machinations is if the War Department was complicit in the crime of killing Lincoln, pretty much the same situation we have now with the lies of the Pentagon regarding 9/11.
According to Atzerodt, Booth had been informed that the “New York crowd” who’d been assisting the kidnap plot had decided to put a hit on Lincoln. Booth accepted their mission, and was obviously paid to carry it out (and reportedly had a large amount of cash on him that disappeared). Booth was told to act fast or someone else might get the glory of killing the tyrant as multiple hit teams were assembling.
It was only afterwards, when every newspaper in the land denounced Booth that he realized he’d been played and wrote in his diary that he desired to return to Washington to “clear his name.”
How could Booth clear his name, unless, of course, he planned to name some traitors inside the War Department who’d aided the mission and left Lincoln unguarded so he could waltz in and do the evil deed with a one-shot derringer.
But Booth never made it back to Washington. Instead, he was found locked inside a tobacco barn, and while inside that barn someone put a bullet in back of his skull at close range and blamed it on the brain-damaged Boston Corbett (who’d self-castrated himself so feeble was his brain from mercury poisoning).
And for 150 years, the country has swallowed this fable that Booth was the mastermind of the assassination, and all the conspirators were caught and punished.
You can read Baker’s blog here: http://whowhatwhy.org/2015/02/01/lost-found-id-oddity-terror-cases-stupid-sinister/