Robert Parry has published a very troubling article about events leading up to the Watergate burglary.
In the case of Watergate – the foiled Republican break-in at the Democratic National Committee in June 1972 and Richard Nixon’s botched cover-up leading to his resignation in August 1974 – the evidence is now clear that Nixon created the Watergate burglars out of his panic that the Democrats might possess a file on his sabotage of Vietnam peace talks in 1968.A shocking prequel to one of the shabbiest chapters in American history. More below.
Parry argues that the real reason behind the Watergate break in was the fear that Democrats had unearthed evidence of Nixon's earlier dirty tricks from 1968.
Shortly after Nixon took office in 1969, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed him of the existence of the file containing national security wiretaps documenting how Nixon’s emissaries had gone behind President Lyndon Johnson’s back to convince the South Vietnamese government to boycott the Paris Peace Talks, which were close to ending the Vietnam War in fall 1968.This crime would be far more serious than the Watergate break in and its subsequent coverup. Parry suggests that the documents had been removed from the White House by Johnson before Nixon took office. Finding and retrieving the incriminating documents was the motivation behind the break in.
President Johnson, who privately had called Nixon’s Vietnam actions “treason,” had ordered the file removed from the White House by his national security aide Walt Rostow.The article makes for compelling and appalling reading.
Rostow labeled the file “The ‘X’ Envelope” and kept it in his possession, although having left government, he had no legal right to hold onto the highly classified documents, many of which were stamped “Top Secret.” Johnson had instructed Rostow to retain the papers as long as he, Johnson, was alive and then afterwards to decide what to do with them.
Nixon, however, had no idea that Johnson and Rostow had taken the missing file or, indeed, who might possess it.