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View Diary: Nixon's treason still shapes the Republican Party (103 comments)

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  •  Totally agreed. But the "recent" confirmation... (16+ / 0-)

    ...is actually more than four years old. A week ago I wrote  What's new in BBC report on Nixon's treason on Vietnam? Not much:

    Missing from the BBC story is something long ago reported. This was that the Johnson administration itself actively suppressed a story the Christian Science Monitor was prepared to publish about the Nixon campaign's activities.

    When 42 hours of White House tapes from 1968 were declassified four decades later, The New York Times ran the headline In Tapes, Johnson Accused Nixon’s Associates of Treason on Dec. 4, 2008. The next day, a video of the ABC report on the matter was headlined on the network's website LBJ Tapes Implicate Nixon With Treason.

    To be sure, the reporting in the Big Old Media at the time the tapes were released was sparse. But a month later, in January 2009, Brooklyn College Professor Robert "KC" Johnson at the History News Network provided some details, including some transcripts and excerpts from the tapes themselves. What Prof. Johnson pointed out were four conversations, with Democratic Sen. Richard Russell, Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen, Democratic Sen. George Smathers, and with Richard Nixon himself, all caught on audiotape.

    Without saying so directly, LBJ makes it pretty clear in this late August 1968 conversation with Russell that he's having monitored the conversations of Anna Chennault, an ultra right-wing Republican senior adviser of the Nixon campaign team, and Bui Diem, the South Vietnamese ambassador to the United States ...

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 11:02:06 AM PDT

    •  It's typical that the Johnson administration (6+ / 0-)

      suppressed a news report about Republicans manipulating an election by means of committing treason. Democrats repeatedly do nothing about Republican criminality. The last example is Obama not prosecuting any members of Bush 2's administration for war crimes and treason. (Lying the country into war is a treasonous offense). The Obama administration could have dealt a worse blow to the Republicans than Watergate if it had wanted to.

      The reason Democrats continually enable the Republican Party when they could have destroyed it by now is that it is highly convenient for them to have a party marginally to the right of them. As they govern right-of-center, they can claim that they are forced to do so by the Republicans.

      American exceptionalism is America's road to perdition.

      by Alexandre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 12:34:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think so on this one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, RJDixon74135

        LBJ didn't go after Nixon because he found out what Nixon did using illegal methods, methods he did not want to disclose to the general public. Most of the time, the Democratic Party does not actually want to prosecute the criminals in the Republican Party because the Democratic Party has some very powerful criminals of its own.

        Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

        by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:39:00 PM PDT

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        •  Yes, I was imprecise (0+ / 0-)

          When I wrote "Democrats" in the second paragraph, I meant Democrats since Bill Clinton.

          As for LBJ , Meteor Blades' diary explained why he didn't go public on Nixon's treason:

          Johnson consulted with [Secretary of State Dean] Rusk, [National Security Adviser Walt] Rostow and Defense Secretary Clark Clifford in a Nov. 4 conference call. Those three pillars of the Washington Establishment were unanimous in advising Johnson against going public, mostly out of fear that the scandalous information might reflect badly on the U.S. government.
          So it was about protecting the U.S. government, as opposed to maintaining the rule of law. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

          Obama could easily have only prosecuted Republicans for war crimes when he came into office. Instead, he chose to follow Bush 2's example, and regularly commit war crimes himself.

          American exceptionalism is America's road to perdition.

          by Alexandre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:00:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But why would it reflect badly? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Alexandre

            The reason why it would reflect badly was because LBJ was deliberately having federal government officials break the law. That would definitely make the US government look bad, and would lead to a loss of faith among the (white) American public. Nixon, of course, took care of that.

            I do think the Democrats since LBJ are different, but that is because the Democratic Party has not been willing to truly face why so many white people who would usually be termed liberal are willing to vote for the Republican Party over the Democratic Party since 1968. Rather than openly trying to change the minds of white Americans, you get the idiotic triangulation of the late 1980s and 1990s, based on the idea that if you co-opt a lot of the language the Republican Party uses, language deliberately written to attract Southern whites, then you can form a political majority.

            In that situation, the best ammunition you have is a weak opposition party, which, as you wrote, is precisely why Democrats have been so unwilling to prosecute anyone. The last Democrats who were willing to actually investigate Republicans were the Southern Democrats, when they went after Nixon. Of course, nothing came of that, and those Southerners soon jumped ship to the Republican Party a few years later.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:23:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reason they thought it would look bad... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RJDixon74135

              ...was not because of the surveillance. It was 1968 and the amount of surveillance going on was immense. I don't have a 200+ page FBI file by accident. They thought it would look bad if Nixon won and it became known that he had been seeking to sabotage the peace talks. It did become known, but only in media the vast majority of people did not read.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:07:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's true as well (0+ / 0-)

                And, actually, I agree with that assessment, though not with the resulting non-action. However, I would wager that there was a heavy dose of self-preservation going on as well because I think most Americans did not realize that there was a ton of surveillance going on back then.

                Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:23:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Johnson ordered FBI wiretaps of Nixon's agent and (0+ / 0-)

          the South Vietnamese ambassador, only after he heard that Nixon was sabotaging his foreign policy initiative. It seems justified, and I think it would be legal.

          The Paragraph: “We dance round in a ring and suppose, But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.” - Robert Frost

          by hungeski on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:59:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But wiretapping was an old thing (0+ / 0-)

            The only reason we know that MLK cheated on his wife is because he was wiretapped. If Johnson actually said he knew about something because of wiretapping, it would have opened a whole can of worms since most of the time the federal government wiretapped someone they did it illegally.

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:25:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm wondering how I managed to miss this when it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungeski, RJDixon74135

      first came out, then is see that timeline date Dec 4, 2008.

      What was taking up all of the oxygen in the room right then?

      The Obama victory and the Wall Street Crash. Nothing else had any chance of being heard amongst all of the sturm und drung of those two massive-bandwidth stories.


      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

      by Angie in WA State on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:30:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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