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We have found that our friend, the Republican nominee [Richard Nixon], our California friend, has been playing on the outskirts with our enemies and our friends both, he has been doing it through rather subterranean sources. Mrs. Chennault is warning the South Vietnamese not to get pulled into this Johnson move.
Former President Lyndon Johnson • In newly released tapes recorded inside the Oval Office, in the days leading up to the 1968 presidential election. Johnson’s administration was on the verge of orchestrating an end to the Vietnam War as the election between Nixon and Vice President Hubert Humphrey crept closer (which would have been a major boon to Humphrey, no doubt), but in October the South Vietnamese dropped out of the Paris peace talks. Thanks to the wiretapping and monitoring of then phones of a number of ambassadors by the NSA, the President learned the likely cause of the collapsed talks, just days prior to Nixon’s Election Day victory. He had, through a Republican activist named Anna Chennault, convinced the South Vietnamese to walk away from negotiations, insisting they would get a better deal out of a Nixon presidency (the war would ultimately continue for four more years). Johnson never revealed this to the public, despite the obvious import of Nixon derailing American diplomacy for his own ends, as doing so would have likely revealed the nature of the wiretaps. In his private anaylsis of Nixon, however, Johnson was characteristically blunt, denouncing his actions as “treason,” and saying he had “blood on his hands.” source
March 19, 2013 // 19:00 // 1 year ago
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