News that Gets My Goat
I’ve just read a story by BBC reporter David Taylor about candidate Richard Nixon sabotaging the Paris Peace Talks in 1968. Seems that in 1968, Nixon sent campaign advisor Anna Chenault to the South Vietnamese embassy to ask them to withdraw from the peace talks, saying that they would get a better deal under a president Nixon. At that time North Vietnam was making concessions such that President Johnson was preparing to cease bombing of the north.
And Johnson knew what Nixon was doing. White House tapes record Johnson speaking to Senators Richard Russell and Everett Dirkson about Nixon’s treacherous actions. But Johnson couldn’t go public with the story, which surely would have ensured the election of Vice President Hubert Humphrey, because the information came through FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s illegal wiretaps of South Vietnamese Embassy phones, and Johnson himself was complicit neck-deep in Hoover’s decades-long reliance on illegal break-ins and wiretaps.
These revelations move this story from the conspiracy theory to the solid history column, and will no doubt change the way the history is written and taught; finally driving a stake through the heart of Nixon’s rehabilitation. Makes me wish we could bring Nixon back again for violating the Logan Act and the Espionage Act, if not for treason. At least I can hope we’ve seen the end of Republicans praising him before friendly audiences, or love-fests such as the centennial of Nixon’s birthday this year at the Nixon Library.