Nixon's Vietnam Treachery

Now we know Nixon lied.

A newfound cache of notes left by H. R. Haldeman, his closest aide, shows that Nixon directed his campaign's efforts to scuttle the [Vietnam] peace talks, which he feared could give his opponent, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, an edge in the 1968 election. On Oct. 22, 1968, he ordered Haldeman to "monkey wrench" the initiative.

The 37th president has been enjoying a bit of a revival recently, as his achievements in foreign policy and the landmark domestic legislation he signed into law draw favorable comparisons to the presidents (and president-elect) that followed. [...] Haldeman's notes return us to the dark side. Amid the reappraisals, we must now weigh apparently criminal behavior that, given the human lives at stake and the decade of carnage that followed in Southeast Asia, may be more reprehensible than anything Nixon did in Watergate. [...]

In a conversation with the Republican senator Everett Dirksen, the minority leader, Johnson lashed out at Nixon. "I'm reading their hand, Everett," Johnson told his old friend. "This is treason."

"I know," Dirksen said mournfully.

Johnson's closest aides urged him to unmask Nixon's actions. But on a Nov. 4 conference call, they concluded that they could not go public because, among other factors, they lacked the "absolute proof," as Defense Secretary Clark Clifford put it, of Nixon's direct involvement.

Nixon was elected president the next day.

Maybe now's a good time to re-read Hunter S. Thompson obituary of this fine American:

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. [...] Let there be no mistake in the history books about that. Richard Nixon was an evil man -- evil in a way that only those who believe in the physical reality of the Devil can understand it. He was utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusted him -- except maybe the Stalinist Chinese, and honest historians will remember him mainly as a rat who kept scrambling to get back on the ship. [...]

Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective Journalism -- which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful. [...]

Nixon's spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives -- whether you're me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin's daughter or your fiancee's 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don't even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.

He has poisoned our water forever. Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream.

Previously, previously, previously.

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7 Responses:

  1. just b says:

    note: 2013 -->

    the propaganda channels don't consider this "newsworthy" :-/

    PS - THE FOG OF WAR is well worth your time. And if you have good taste in music, you'll have some Tackhead deja vu.

  2. dano says:

    Nixon or the Nixon campaign contacted and colluded with the president of South Vietnam (and with Anna Chennault who carried communications back and forth) to cause a breakdown in the peace talks. Nixon did this by promising that SVN would get a better deal with him than with his opponent.

    Note the date stamp in the link. This was reported by reputable journalists more than five years ago. Johnson was right - it was treason. But if LBJ had gone public that he was spying on his political opponents with NSA wiretaps and FBI blackbagging, there might have been blowback in his direction. Nixon went on to be directly responsible, with Henry the K, for the deaths of millions. Maybe LBJ should have taken the chance

  3. Rich says:

    Are you trying to suggest there needs to be a clickbait site which publishes a quiz entitled "Trump or Nixon?"

  4. There seems to be a pattern with these disclosures of presidential misconduct.

    Initially, there are people who suggest Nixon (or Reagan, or W., or ...) did bad things. They're dismissed as cranks, conspiracy theorists, or overzealous opponents.

    Then, some evidence appears, that shows that the evil deeds were in fact committed by the President. The response is "but there's no definitive proof, so we shouldn't make a big fuss".

    Eventually, enough proof surfaces that it would convince any jury, and it's dismissed with "everyone already knew that, it's not news".

    It's news yesterday, or news tomorrow, but it's never news today.

  5. Thomas Lord says:

    I remember in the early 1970s, in a poor, western Pennsylvania suburb seeing big "NiXon" graffiti with the "X" made a swastika.

    It was only many years later that I realized, given the local sensibilities in that part of the world, that this was pro-Nixon graffiti, probably in reaction to the fuss about the Watergate breakins. Dick was a local hero.

    Hunter Thompson missed something. What "American dream"? Nixon didn't break no American Dream. White trash didn't want postage stamp lawns behind white picket fences in front of some shit-box kit house complete with 1.5 gas appliances, two-car bedrooms, wall-to-wall aluminum siding, and a soul-crushing 30 years of debt slavery. They had 22s, cheap beer, underage sex, fistfights on saturday, used cars to keep running, big ass tvs, and a girlfriend who wouldn't call the cops.

    Nixon gave 'em a whole new vocabulary for hating black people urban criminals, a new excuse for being poor (the Jews the international money changers), the comic relief of watching middle class liberals suffer, and a vast pop-culture of absurd nihilism.

    The spectacle of naked hippies taunting the national guard and talking earnestly to the camera about their hopes for mankind was replaced with streaking, Evel Knievel breaking his bones for fun and profit, and a long series of brothers beating the crap out of each other for television ratings.

    For half the country, maybe more, Nixon rocked! The more he turned out to be a neurotic petty criminal who snuck into the Whitehouse and started peeing on all the carpets -- the clearer it was that the hicks were right along and that there just isn't any Point to all that false nationalism crap.

    When Carter finally arrived you can even see a desperate attempt by elites to revive the moribund false leftism of pop-hippiedom. Watch the old SNL clips that try to pass off Carter as some kind of Kindly Kaptain Trips helping you down from all that acid. Check out the earthy-crunchy "sweater talk" and earnest solar panels on the Whitehouse roof. Nobody really bought it, though. Everyone knew that underneath it, the peanut farmer was letting the same people run the show who had run it for a decade before.

    Billy, though, Billy Carter -- that was the nation's response to any attempt to repaint the supposed "American Dream". Fuck the Whitehouse. Let's get drunk and drive a souped-up tractor down the mall.

    Reagan, the original Nixon 2.0, did the one thing Nixon couldn't quite pull off so close to the backlash against Viet Nam: Reagan brought back the kind of fake, smiling jingoism that winkingly knows we puff out our chests and salute the flag because then we get to go kick ass and kill people. Not war for freedom - except the freedom to kick ass. Not war to liberate others. Not war to beat back communism or any ism. War for war's sake. War because Killing Is Fun(TM). Every hick knows that but it took Reagan to put it on the national agenda.

    "broke the heart of the American Dream.". Yeah, right. As if there weren't millions there cheering to see that fake-ass dream fall. Nixon didn't break the real American dream, he mainstreamed it. He made the hick America fully respectable by making the respectable fully absurd.

  6. Bill Whitehouse says:

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