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Declassified LBJ Tapes Accuse Richard Nixon of Treason

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the we-don't-have-Nixon-to-kick-around-anymore dept.

Government 536

Hugh Pickens writes writes "After the Watergate scandal taught Richard Nixon the consequences of recording White House conversations, none of his successors has dared to do it. But Nixon wasn't the first. He got the idea from his predecessor Lyndon Johnson, who felt there was an obligation to allow historians to eventually eavesdrop on his presidency. Now David Taylor reports on BBC that the latest set of declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls show that by the time of the Presidential election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence that Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks — or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had 'blood on his hands'. It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war that he knew would derail his campaign. Nixon therefore set up a clandestine back-channel to the South Vietnamese involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser. In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris. This was exactly what Nixon feared. Chennault was dispatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal. Meanwhile the FBI had bugged the ambassador's phone and transcripts of Chennault's calls were sent to the White House. Johnson was told by Defense Secretary Clark Clifford that the interference was illegal and threatened the chance for peace. The president gave Humphrey enough information to sink his opponent but by then, a few days from the election, Humphrey had been told he had closed the gap with Nixon and would win the presidency so Humphrey decided it would be too disruptive to the country to accuse the Republicans of treason, if the Democrats were going to win anyway. In the end Nixon won by less than 1% of the popular vote, escalated the war into Laos and Cambodia with the loss of an additional 22,000 American lives, and finally settled for a peace agreement in 1973 that was within grasp in 1968."

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The Only Surprising portion of the revelation... (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232991)

Seems to me, Humphrey actually put the good of his Country ahead of personal and party gain. This is a far cry from what we've become as a Nation.

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233095)

Seems to me, Humphrey actually put the good of his Country ahead of personal and party gain.

By not exposing treason that ultimately led to the genocide in Cambodia? I can't agree with this "national interests über alles" attitude you're espousing.

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (5, Informative)

thue (121682) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233121)

But was it for the better? The country might be better off if the criminals are exposed, and the battles fought, instead of festering as conspiracy theories.

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233133)

But was it for the better? The country might be better off if the criminals are exposed, and the battles fought, instead of festering as conspiracy facts.

ftfy

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233169)

I disagree the way it is worded it sounds to me like he was confident about winning and did not want a a major snafu like Nixon totally derail his future foreign agenda. Going public would have been nasty. Hurt the polical system. But personally I'm tired of people not being held accountable for thier actions because the outcome would be bad. Examples need to be made. Otherwise you set pressidence. Yes I'm looking also throwing big banks into this wonderful group of assholes.

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (3, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233429)

Sadly Nixon isn't around to answer for this but perhaps a few of his cohorts are. Personally anyone who's still around who knew about this and had access to the evidence but didn't act about it either from complicity or because they thought they could use it as a bargaining chip should be stuck up against a wall and shot!

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233183)

Why not expose it after the election?

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (5, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233483)

This is a far cry from what we've become as a Nation.

That is, a nation full of people who are willing to give away all of their freedoms to the government so they can feel safe, and who accuse anyone of opposing these measures of being on the Bad Guy Team.

Re:The Only Surprising portion of the revelation.. (5, Interesting)

sehryan (412731) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233509)

How is not exposing a presidential candidate's treason putting country ahead of personal and party gain? Just because he would gain politically does not automatically mean that he shouldn't do it "for the good of the country." Those things are not exclusive.

Very interesting article, thanks! (5, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232997)

I'm reminded that Clinton's administration created a fairly good email archiving system. Bush's people dismantled it upon taking office because they knew they were there to commit fraud even before 9/11.

Re:Very interesting article, thanks! (2, Informative)

Looker_Device (2857489) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233151)

Dick Cheney dismantled it upon taking office

FTFY. Let's not kid ourselves about who was REALLY President during the Bush years. And it sure as shit wasn't a dumb himbo pretending to be from Texas.

Re:Very interesting article, thanks! (5, Informative)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233347)

Cheney was on Nixon's staff. Something many people do not realize.

The First October Surprise (2)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233003)

Thank goodness someone in the US is picking up on this. This has been news [dailymail.co.uk] in the UK all week.

Re:The First October Surprise (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233029)

It has been news in the US for over a week as well. Slashdot is just behind on this one.

Re:The First October Surprise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233053)

Oh, only just this week? Knowing Slashdot's record I would have thought this news was already over a year or two old....

And it would still be new news to me.

Re:The First October Surprise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233203)

It's in the U.S. news? funny, I've been looking at CNN's main page all week and I haven't seen mention of it. Their massive coverage of it must have happened during some period where I wasn't looking. But then, they seem to miss a lot of stories...like that time when CIA agents [wikipedia.org] started bombing Cuban hotels [wikipedia.org] back in 1997 to discourage Cuban tourism. I seem to recall them missing that story too.

Re:The First October Surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233385)

It's in the U.S. news? funny, I've been looking at CNN's main page all week and I haven't seen mention of it.

They're too busy covering rape trials in Ohio.

Re:The First October Surprise (4, Informative)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233139)

Thom Hartmann has been talking about this for several years already. [youtube.com] I'm not sure why this is suddenly in the news again, but I'm glad it is.

Re:The First October Surprise (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233361)

What's new is the LBJ tapes showing that he knew about it, and why he did (or didn't) do various things as a result. But yes, the idea that Nixon sabotaged the peace talks has been known for some time. This additional evidence is useful and informative though.

I also thinks it's good that this is in the news (well, in some places) because a lot of people aren't familiar with this. It sounds like a wild-eyed conspiracy theory but unfortunately it's not.

Re:The First October Surprise (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233213)

We 've been too busy polishing our freedom sticks, reading our bibbles and wrenching as much power from the evil government so as to return it to the churches where it belongs - they say they want less government - but they don 't tell you the rest of the plan - kill public schools and the social programs - social security - medicaid - so that people have to turn to the Lord and his church for those needs. There is no deed too dirty, there is no lie too big as long as it is in service to the god of their religion.

Re:The First October Surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233227)

This is not the first October surprise. Chicago's Mayor Daley had his voter roles flooded with dead people that all voted for Kennedy. That was a closer election than '68

Re:The First October Surprise (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233421)

That may be true, and I'm sure that wasn't the first October Surprise either.

Now, as to your false equivalence of "they all do it", as reprehensible as vote rigging is, ask yourself whether it's worse to rig some polls or to subvert peace talks which then leads to the death of 22,000 Americans and I don't know how many of our South Vietnamese allies.

Fuck Republicans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233005)

Those neo-cons have been ruining this country from Nixon to Reagan to Bush. When does the Iran-Contra Scandal [wikipedia.org] or Iraq War [wikipedia.org] implicate the other two?

Re:Fuck Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233045)

I'm too young to remember Nixon, but I think Bush should be brought up on treason charges as well. He came within a hairs breadth of destroying the entire country. I'll never vote for another Republican again. Ever.

Re:Fuck Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233251)

Probably be best if you never voted again. Period.

Re:Fuck Republicans (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233287)

Now if we could also convince you to never vote for a democrat either, we might be getting somewhere.

Re:Fuck Republicans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233325)

Abraham Lincoln a Republican President freed the Black Slaves of America along with the rest of the Republicans that fought for the North. The Democrats were for continuing the blacks as slaves even the Democrats that lived in the Northern states. It was the Confederacy that susceeded from the Union and started the Civil War when Lincoln won the election because they knew Lincoln would push Congress to abolish Slavery in the USA. Lincoln was the first Republican President. The Republicans have always been against slavery and for human rights for all races and still are.

Theodore Roosevelt a Republican bought the Panama Canal zone from the French and built the Panama Canal. Teddy also started the National Park system of the USA and the first National Park in the whole world, was Yellow Stone National Park. Teddy gave Yellow Stone Park to all citizens of the USA. Now many countries all over the world have started National Parks. Republicans were the first party for the environment starting with Teddy. Teddy also delivered the "Square Deal and regulation of industry". Which helped the working classes. BTW it was crazy and stupid Jimmy Carter a Democrat President that gave away the Panama Canal zone for nothing.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson a Democrat President led America into WWI. Warren G. Harding a Republican President led us from WWI into "nomalcy". President Harding led the country away from Wilsons socialistic views and returned it to the Capitalistic systems and freedom we all love, with the greatest landslide Presidential election victory in USA history.

Franklin D. Roosevelt a Democrat President led the USA into WWII. Dwight D. Eisenhower a Republican President as General and Commander of all the Armed forces of the USA led the USA to victory over Germany and Japan so America could keep the freedom we now have. Roosevelt died before WWII ended but Eisenhower won the war anyways.

Harry S. Truman a Democrat President was vice-President under FDR and took over the Presidency when FDR died in office. Truman gave away most of Eastern Europe to Russia at the end of WWII. The USA won the war but Truman was too soft and inexperienced (sounds like Obama doesn't it, that's what happens facing Communist countries like Russia with soft Presidents), so Truman faced an international crisis at the end of WWII, he couldn't handle it and he lost most of Eastern Europe to Russia in negotiations, which started the cold war with Russia. Then just a few years later Truman led the USA into the Korean War. "The war remained a frustrating stalemate for two years, with over 30,000 Americans killed, until a peace agreement restored borders and ended the conflict.[127] In the interim, the difficulties in Korea and the popular outcry against Truman's sacking of MacArthur helped to make the president so unpopular that Democrats started turning to other candidates." wikipedia.org

Lyndon B. Johnson a Democrat President led the USA into the Vietnam War. Richard Nixon a Republican President led the USA out of Vietnam and ended the Draft. Nixon also opened the doors to trading with China.

Reagan and George Bush both Republican Presidents won the cold war against Russia and freed Eastern Europe, that truman gave away to Russia, without firing a shot. They built the "big stick" which included the Military Machine we have today including the Stealth Bombers and fighters, again so we Americans can all be free instead of bowing to a Communist Dictator like Castro or Stalin. Reagan and George Bush also improved the economy to great and new heights that was totally destroyed under Jimmy Carter's, a Democrat President,with Carter's extremely high taxes and the running of the printing presses that caused run away inflation. (This is why many see Barack Hussein Obama as another Jimmy Carter, it has already been tried in the USA and failed miserably. This is not change nor nothing new. It is just a return to the failed policies of Jimmy Carter)

George Bush also won the Gulf war against Iraq and Sadam Hussein. Freeing Kuwait. But did not enter Iraq.

George W. Bush a Republican President has won the war over Sadam Hussein, toppled his radical dictatorship, stopped the terrorism that Sadam's Regime trained and financed with Al Queda in Iraq. George W Bush has won that war with the "Surge" and has placed a new Iraq Democracy in the Middle East with hopes to grow that democracy in other countries, thereby ending the Radical Muslim strongholds of Al Queda and others, and bring freedom to the good Muslims that live there. The Economy was great under George W Bush for his first six years with only 6% unemployed (BTW it's only about 6% unemployed even now amongst all this market melt down), but then the Democrats took over Congress and the Senate the last two years, and the economy has gone into the tank under the Democrats leadership with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried along with Barny Frank that have destroyed it. The market melt down all started with subprime loans that Obama and Acorn and Bill Clinton all democrats thought were a good idea. So Bill Clinton, a Democrat President deregulated the banking system so they would make loans to people who couldn't qualify nor pay the payments. And Obama with Acorn pressured those banks to make those subprime loans that caused this market melt down.

In summary: Did you noticed that it was the Democrats: Wilson that led us into WWI, FDR that led us into WWII, Truman that led us into the Korean War, and LBJ that led us into Vietnam, and all those wars were fought with huge losses of drafted American Soldiers lives. It was the Republicans that led us out of and won the wars the Democrats put us into and also ended the draft. The two Bushes won both of their wars with almost no human losses in comparison.

Re: Fuck Republicans (3, Insightful)

tolkienfan (892463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233529)

You are so horribly misinformed it's not funny. You probably got most of this from Fox.
One question: do you really think we shouldn't gave entered WWI or WWII?
Note that the US was already in Korea at the end of WWII and war was inevitable.
The Vietnam war was just plain wrong.

Re: Fuck Republicans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233559)

Making an assertion does not equal proof.

Please point to any inaccuracy you like, with references please. And note, ranting "you heard that of fox" also does not equal proof of anything.

Facts are sometimes inconvenient when you are trying to stick to the manufactured script aren't they?

Re:Fuck Republicans (2, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233389)

Cheney, Rove, and Rumsfeld should be in prison for crimes against humanity.

Re:Fuck Republicans (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233145)

Ah, so Barry's been fixing it (more like you'd fix a dog, mind...)?

If you think that the Dems haven't done as bad or worse, you're deluded.

If this is true... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233017)

Then it is one of the worst crimes of treason ever.

Anything that remains of Nixon's estate (should be traceable still) should be immediately frozen to be used to compensate those affected by this - the families of those who died as a result of this act of treason that continued the war for a further 5 years, and those injured as well.

His entire period of presidency should be blackened (even further?!), his name should be dirt, any offspring should want to change their name to distance themselves from this evil man.

Re:If this is true... (5, Interesting)

muecksteiner (102093) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233035)

Where are mod points when you need them. "Damnatio memoriae", the ancient Romans called this sort of procedure. With all we know about him by now, it would actually be most appropriate for someone like Nixon.

Re:If this is true... (5, Interesting)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233439)

Yes. Lets forget all about:

-Opening relations with China ("Only a Nixon could have gone to China")...which led directly to....
-The Anit-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the ensuing state of "detente" with Russia (since it was no longer 2 against 1, with China liking us all of a sudden) that lasted until the fall of Communism
-The New Federalism that gave back much power to the states that previously had been the Feds
-The first presidential initative to fight/research cancer
-Establishing the EPA and staffing it with people with the guts to stand up to his own administration
-Enforcing/protecting desegregation before it could be killed by opposition groups and reverted
-Prominent supporter of the NEPA, OSHA, and the Clean Air Act
-Supported the Equal Rights Ammendment, even though it was killed in Congress
-Created the first affirmative action program in the federal govermnment

Even in his time he was considered a moderate, the last of the of the Rockefeller republicans. today he would be dismissed by the party as a liberal.

Key thing to remember: all we have here is an article claiming proof. That IS NOT in itself proof of anything. It's "a friend of a friend", it's hearsay. And all historical measures of the war previous to this, there is zero indication that any of this happened, no indication that they were ever close to a settlement in that time. and this is the sort of thing that would NOT stay secret, that someone would have come forward with years ago.

But no, you're right. We should forget he ever existed and curse his name for years to come, and ignore everything else he did, of which that is only a partial list.

Re:If this is true... (0)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233453)

in short: you're both bloody fing morons with absolutely no knowledge of anything, except your own hate.

Re:If this is true... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233069)

Don't point just to the visible head. Probably were more people involved in that decision/actions and that are still active (or even still profitting from other, more recent, conflicts).

Re:If this is true... (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233193)

Don't point just to the visible head. Probably were more people involved in that decision/actions and that are still active (or even still profitting from other, more recent, conflicts).

Most of those people showed up again in prominent roles during the Reagan administration.

Re:If this is true... (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233359)

Most of those people showed up again in prominent roles during the Reagan administration.

Which would mean that Iran-Contra was the repeat of the same crime: There's evidence that Reagan's campaign undermined Jimmy Carter's efforts to negotiate a settlement in 1980, because as soon as Reagan was inaugurated the US hostages were released, and shortly afterwords the Iranians got a sweet sweet (illegal) deal for buying weapons from the US.

Re:If this is true... (3, Informative)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233403)

Cheney was involved in the Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II administrations.

Re:If this is true... (0)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233497)

Most of those people showed up again in prominent roles during the Reagan administration.

They have names? Googling around, I see that both Nixon and his running mate Spiro Agnew were allegedly involved. Both resigned from office and weren't members of the Reagan Administration. Reading through some of the actual transcripts of LBJ phone calls, I see a number of people [hnn.us] named off hand as possible collaborators, none of which had political careers after Watergate.

âPresident Johnson: Well, I donâ(TM)t know who it is thatâ(TM)s with Nixon. It may be Laird. It may be [Bryce] Harlow. It may be [John] Mitchell. I donâ(TM)t know who it is.

âI know this: that theyâ(TM)re contacting a foreign power in the middle of a war.

That's three people named so far that little, if anything to do with the Reagan administration. Toss in Nixon, Agnew, and Chennault, and you have six people who might have or were involved and had no career in the Reagan administration. So who are "most of these people" and what are their names?

Re:If this is true... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233127)

What families are you talking about here? I hope the Vietnamese

Re:If this is true... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233163)

Treason is EXPLICITLY defined in the Constitution and you should use that term when you use the word "Treason".

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court. The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted." - Article III, Section 3 of the United States Constitution.

Did he conspire with the enemy or declare war on the Nation? No? It's not Treason.

Re:If this is true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233293)

Did he conspire with the enemy

Yes, undermining your own nation's peace is conspiring with the enemy.

Re:If this is true... (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233525)

It very likely lead to the fall of South Vietnam as well. At the time of those peace talks, the VC and the NVA were at a low point. The Tet Offensive earlier in 1968 was a tactical disaster. The VC were largely destroyed and the NVA wasn't in great shape either. Giap was relieved of command of the NVA because it was such a mess. A peace accord would likely have meant an end to any serious help from the USSR, just as it did after the Korean ceasefire. Without Soviet weapons and supplies the NVA would have been nothing. I assure you they couldn't manufacture their own SAM's.

Re:If this is true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233411)

The article is quite clear that there was conspiracy with the enemy.

And the result - 22,000 soldiers dead from your own nation - that is akin to waging war upon your own people.

I don't think you would find many people who would argue that this wasn't treason.

Re:If this is true... (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233415)

He also adhered to enemied of the US.

Re:If this is true... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233517)

Did he conspire with the enemy or declare war on the Nation? No? It's not Treason.

I think you mean levying war. And making efforts to ensure that Americans are killed in war rises to that level.

He took explicit actions to ensure that more Americans were killed and to intentionally cause the US military to be attacked. That's not levying war against the US?

Re:If this is true... (0)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233323)

If this is true, then it proves once again these truisms of a military-based capitalist economy:

= Politicians serve their economic masters.

= When the rich declare war, poor kids are sent to die.

= The betrayal of the credulous happens every day.

Re:If this is true... (4, Insightful)

Stan92057 (737634) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233353)

Its seems to me that Lyndon Johnson is just as if not more guilty. He says he had proof But didn't tell anyone so he got just as much blood on his hands if not more so.

Re:If this is true... (4, Informative)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233383)

Oh JFC! What a ludicrous statement and you obviously have no concept of history. Let's not forget that Johnson through the trumped, made up events that led to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was used to begin offensive operations in Vietnam in the first place? You seem to think that only one party is capable of lying and committing these acts? Please what a lame and retarded viewpoint.

The Gulf of Tonkin resolution and the Johnson administration's push and omissions and stupidity were no different than the Bush administration officials saying "There's WMDs in Iraq!"

In 1965, President Johnson commented privately: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."

Humm, so you think only GW Bush was an idiot huh?

So, Johnson's administration escalated the war in Vietnam based on errors, omissions and Johnson's own stupidity. [wikipedia.org] and lies. [fair.org]

In 1965, President Johnson commented privately: "For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there."

He also got a lot of people killed because of his micro-managing style. Battlefield commanders had to wait for permission from DC to take out targets of opportunity. Because of that we lost a lot of planes and a lot of operations were compromised because people's hands were tied up because

“They can't bomb an outhouse without my say-so.” - Lyndon Johnson

So, he produces trumped up events to commit our troops to war, then micro manages how they operate which gets more of them killed. It sounds like the one who should be brought up on Treason charges should be LBJ!

Oh and let's not forget that it was the Kennedy Administration who ramped up involvement in Vietnam to begin with. Including looking the other way when the South Vietnamese President was ousted in a coup. [jfklibrary.org]

So, before you start making big remarks, especially while hiding you should consult your history books a bit more or shit at least Wikipedia.

Re:If this is true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233387)

I neither support/defend Nixon.
Johnson had some really disturbing ideas as well and you have to consider the times as well.
Johnson publicly stated that young men had an obligation to die for their country as opposed
to defend their country. Very akin to how the Russians viewed their soldiers during WW2.
There's very credible evidence (you still might be able to find it on u-tube I believe from his mistress)
that Johnson had non-spectator involvement with the assassination of then President Kennedy.
People (in power) really thought differently back then; but Johnson was responsible for many civil rights'
changes and improvements, but he's also the U.S. president who raided Social Security.
It's a national embarrassment that Clinton was indicted for what amounted to a blow-job, while Bush/Cheny
are completely unaccountable for their actions which the U.S. will probably pay for in many years to come.

I'm told that the Spartans had a rule for a leader that left office - they would immediately be tried and have to
justify their actions while they were in power - they could be while they were in power to prevent political
interference from them doing their job, but they did have to account for their actions.

I suspect Bush/Cheny would not have fared well under such a system...

Re:If this is true... (1)

Danathar (267989) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233451)

He's dead. His presidency is already considered a colossal failure.

If you want to dig up his bones, stomp on them and laugh...go for it. But HE will not care one way or another.

Re:If this is true... (0)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233519)

What kind of bloody idiot are you, and what history books have you been reading?
His presidency is considered anything but a failure.
He may have won by a narrow margin in '68, but he won reelection by a landslide. that doesnt happen to "bad presidents".
His presidency oversaw many watershed moments int eh nations history.

-Opening relations with China ("Only a Nixon could have gone to China")...which led directly to....
-The Anit-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the ensuing state of "detente" with Russia (since it was no longer 2 against 1, with China liking us all of a sudden) that lasted until the fall of Communism (regardless of Reagon's rhetoric)
-The New Federalism that gave back much power to the states that previously had been the Feds
-The first presidential initative to fight/research cancer
-Establishing the EPA and staffing it with people with the guts to stand up to his own administration
-Enforcing/protecting desegregation before it could be killed by opposition groups and reverted
-Prominent supporter of the NEPA, OSHA, and the Clean Air Act
-Supported the Equal Rights Ammendment, even though it was killed in Congress
-Created the first affirmative action program in the federal govermnment

Failure? You need to reexamine your dictionary.

Re:If this is true... (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233541)

Anything that remains of Nixon's estate (should be traceable still) should be immediately frozen to be used to compensate those affected by this

US law in general pretty much forbids such posthumous conviction and seizure (there are some exceptions, but they are narrow), and in the case of treason forbids it specifically ("no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted"). The Founding Fathers knew well of the abuses of such things for political and dynastic reasons in the Old World, and sought to prevent those abuses in the New.

Futurama? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233031)

If this isn't the plot of a Futurama episode already, I hope they make it one in the next season. It's the only reliable source I use for information on Nixon.

Time Machine time?? (5, Informative)

will_die (586523) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233039)

What am I missing these items came out years ago. See http://hnn.us/articles/60446.html [hnn.us] for a better indication on what happened then this poor summary.

Damn Republicans! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233043)

Let me bang my chest while ignoring the fact that the Democrats do the same thing!!! RAWR!!!!!!
 
Keep feeding us the two party system, boys. It's done nothing for the man on the street but further enslave us to the will of the one party system. And all the while you can keep acting like corporations and governments are seperate entities and if not for those dasterdly Republicans we'd be living in a land of milk and honey with gold paved roads leading up to a cotton candy mountain.

Re:Damn Republicans! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233067)

Let me bang my chest while ignoring the fact that the Democrats do the same thing!!! RAWR!!!!!!

Are you fucking serious? Name the Democrat that did this same thing. Go ahead. One is bad, the other is evil incarnate. Apples to oranges and history will show it.

Re:Damn Republicans! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233211)

Barry Soetero, aka Barak Obama. He's still at this sort of stuff. He's still at vastly worse- things defined by Article III, Section 3 worse...

But, by all means, give the members of your team a pass on all of it...Dems and other Liberals ALWAYS do.

Re:Damn Republicans! (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233423)

Proof please

[citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233447)

Hmm, no citations to back up your claim, versus this solid evidence about Nixon's treasonous collusion with the Vietnamese during a period of war.

Yeah, most politicians are scum, but some of them are truly vile abhorrent scum.

Re:Damn Republicans! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233103)

This is a completely false equivalency, and you know it. Democrats are terrible, but the republicans are by far the greater of two evils and you should be ashamed of yourself for even half-assedly defending this.

I still can't deal with framing like this... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233077)

escalated the war into Laos and Cambodia with the loss of an additional 22,000 American lives

.

It's a sad symptom of the state of discourse when it's formulated like this. As if the only responsibility of a US president in a war was to not waste American lives.

The bombing set the stage for millennialist national-communist dictatorships in both those states, and one of the worst genocides in the 20th century (and that's saying something).

In light of what could have been avoided, maybe future presidents should take a lesson, and not always "look forward, not backward".

WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233093)

Gawd you leftists are a scream. Did you run out of contemporary Republicans to vilify? Johnson LIED about the Gulf of Tonkin which resulted in the US committing the military to fighting in that hell hole. There would have been no need for a peace settlement if that DEMOCRAT hadn't accelerated the war in the first place. Oh, the guy who started it was John F Kennedy, another DEMOCRAT.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233141)

Did you run out of contemporary Republicans to vilify?

Who needs to bother doing that? They get the job done quite well all by themselves.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

gsslay (807818) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233179)

You are totally correct. Two wrongs make a right and Nixon was a swell fella because he wasn't any of those other guys.

If we reduce the argument to tribal squabbles and liberal Democrats vs neo-conservative Republicans, we can happily ignore the real issues of right vs wrong, moral vs immoral and honest vs dishonest. And we don't want to be dealing with those, do we?

Re:WTF? (1)

Howitzer86 (964585) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233381)

There is so much to fix, that we ignore it all in the hopes that it goes away - but only if we are liberal or conservative enough in our ideology...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233315)

Yes, yes, and if you lobotomize yourself hard enough you won't even be able to hear all the liberals complaining about how obama reneged on all his election promises and can whine about how none of the liberals complain about what obama does.

We ran out of free passes years ago, nobody is handing them out anymore.

Watch 'Dark Legacy' on Netflix (2)

starannihilator (752908) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233105)

This story only tells part of Nixon's story. Learn how the Bush family is connected to Nazis, how Nixon kept a lid on the "whole Bay of Pigs thing" and more about the United States' sordid past 50 years. Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with this documentary besides wanting to share the insight into this.

Systematic problem with democracy (2)

Arthur B. (806360) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233111)

What are the odds of a sociopath like him being elected president? Quite good, because being a sociopath *helps you* win elections. In fact it gives you a tremendous advantage. Given how competitive elections are, it would be astonishing if presidents weren't sociopaths.

Re:Systematic problem with democracy (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233507)

You sparked a memory I had of reading something about this last fall. [huffingtonpost.com] It is about a study covering psychopathic tendencies of the Presidents.

Out of all the former presidents tested in the Emory study, Theodore Roosevelt ranked the highest for fearless dominance, according to the researchers. He was followed by John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Rutherford Hayes, Zachary Taylor, Bill Clinton, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson and George W. Bush.

You also forgot to include racist in those qualities that make for a good, or potential leader as well. http://www.freestaterevolution.com/?p=553 [freestaterevolution.com]

It was progressive hero and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt who gained the majority of black votes due to his “New Deal”, but he banned black American newspapers (feared they were communist). FDR also rejected anti-lynching laws pushed by Republicans.

"I'll have those n*ggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years."

-- Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One according Ronald Kessler's Book, "Inside The White House"

"You f*cking Jew b@stard." -- Hillary Clinton to political operative Paul Fray. This was revealed in "State of a Union: Inside the Complex Marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton" and has been verified by Paul Fray and three witnesses.

So futurama was right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233117)

Good news everyone! We're back for another season!

as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233119)

So many bad decisions and just wrong type of policy can be traced to Nixon.

Give me a break (4, Insightful)

Lucas123 (935744) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233135)

Peace talks. LBJ escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War, from 16,000 American advisors/soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 combat troops by early 1968. And Johnson wants to blame someone else for sabotaging peace talks. Go sell the Brooklyn Bridge to someone else.

Re:Give me a break (3, Insightful)

fredrated (639554) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233223)

You are so right. I am old enough (sigh) to remember the Johnson-Goldwater election campaign of 1964, and in that campaign Goldwater talked escalating the war while Johnson said he would wind it down. Then that bastard turned around and essentially did everything Goldwater had threatened to do, the lying scum.
On the other hand, this hardly makes Noxin's treason any less despicable.
Conclusion: mostly all politicians are trash.

Re:Give me a break (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233377)

Holy shit, you mean Obama is Johnson reincarnated?

Re:Give me a break (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233241)

This is from the same playbook as the Carter-era Democrats blaming Reagan for sabotaging the hostage deal with the Iranians. Come to think of it, the current pResident has the same "blame anybody but me" mentality. Must be a thing with Democrats.

Re:Give me a break (0)

thoth (7907) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233331)

Must be a thing with Democrats.

Even if that's true, it leaves the Republicans as law evaders and war criminals.

And as for the current President and blame, please, he's had to shovel out a world's worth of crap the bush/cheney war crimes administration dumped on the world. All while they still claim the wars were a good idea, not a mistake, etc.

Re:Give me a break (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233413)

Yep, it's definitely a thing with Democrats all right. Blame Bush. Riiiight.

Re:Give me a break (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233307)

Peace talks. LBJ escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War, from 16,000 American advisors/soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 combat troops by early 1968. And Johnson wants to blame someone else for sabotaging peace talks. Go sell the Brooklyn Bridge to someone else.

wow you can tell when a conservative reads something he/she doesn't like

Re:Give me a break (2)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233367)

You can tell when a coward ignores history.
Please read a book, not one by chomsky.

Re:Give me a break (2)

Spottywot (1910658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233341)

Escalating the conflict over a five year period is one thing, and sabotaging peace talks to win an election is another. Neither is a good thing certainly, but one being true does not make the other untrue.

Long-term chess game move against communism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233197)

There are a number of books which put forth the Vietnam War as an effort to halt the spread of communism and to drain the Soviet Union of capital, Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail for one. The theory being that the U.S. was better able to afford the drain on their economy than the U.S.S.R. was, and that it was the on-going losses of materiel which pushed the Soviet economy so far down that eventually Glasnost was perceived as better than a total collapse.

Viewed with that as a motivation for dragging out the war, regardless of what the South Vietnamese were told, things aren't nearly so clear.

Does anyone know of any books which objectively examine the global economic interactions of this time-frame over the long-term?

Re:Long-term chess game move against communism? (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233479)

By long term do you mean 1945 when Ho Chi Mihn approached the US to peacefully get independence from the French? To 1919 when Ho Chi Mihn approached the Versaille convention to peacably get independence for Vietname? Or do you mean going to back to the time the Vietnamese kicked the Mongols asses? Or, like most Americans, do you mean 1965?

More Proof Republicans are truly evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233207)

Had the US pulled out much sooner the impact would have been far less severe. However the GOP nothing more than a group of greedy, warmongering, Xenophobic racists so naturally they did would do whatever it took to extend the war. Had the Watergate investigation never taken place the war would have continued for at least another decade. The Watergate Scandal has already proved the evils of the GOP and history has proved that since the GOP's use of the Southern strategy the corruption had moved from the DNC to the GOP. Between this, the lies by Dubya about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, obvious racism, the calls for constitutional amendments to block gay marriage, the constant block to President Obama's plans to help America progress, and the aid to corporate corruption that has nearly destroyed the economy in the US the US Justice department should launch a thorough investigation into the GOP and their brethren organization, the Libertarian Party. Once sufficient evidence is found arrest all involved with high treason. Those that are found guilty by their peers should receive the maximum penalty, death. After all, isn't it capital punishment the punishment the GOP absolutely adores? After which shut down and confiscate all assets in all organizations that are involved.

Not exactly treason (5, Interesting)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233235)

While Nixon's actions certainly border on treason, he was dealing with South Vietnam, an ally. On the other hand, prior to the 1980 election Reagan bargained with Iran, an enemy, to keep Americans imprisoned and subvert the election. It's hard to see that as anything less than treason.

Re:Not exactly treason (0)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233469)

Stop spreading lies. The supposed October Surprise conspiracy has only ever been disproven. But the quacks still insist on it, just like they still insist Apollo 11 only happened inside a movie studio.

Re:Not exactly treason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233543)

Repeat your lie enough times and eventually it will be "true", eh dywolf?

Reagan's conspiracy with Iran is a documented historical fact.

not surprised its History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233277)

Nixon's Administration had young and up-coming republicans in it who would shape our future beyond that war and consequently, Nixon was just a wedge to get them filing through the door. The young Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time in the early 70's worked as a lawyer and business man representing pharmaceutical/bio companies would later help lobby a product into our collective food industries because of his connections to politics. That product ladies and gentlemen was and is aspartame. I know you recognize that little gem. The young Bush senior, Dick Cheney, Patrick J Buchanan....ETC. With the exception of the last man I mention, The slime seems to have oozed its political waste well. Bush Sr. effectively became head of the CIA...intern we had Iran-Contra under Carter which effectively I might add sabotaged his governance..because he didn't want to capitulate to lobbyists and the powers of Washington. Jimmy wanted to stay within is moral center and his superior intellectual mind. So in his reelection they held the captive conveniently until Regan Was sworn in.....The actual inaugural day before letting the men free, even though Jimmy himself had secured their release months before the Election. Not to mention Pearl Harbor the missive sent by Australia to our Theodore Roosevelt telling him the Japanese were going to attack the United States Island in the Pacific....there was only Hawaii at the time in 1941 we did not acquire Guam yet. The missive was sent 3 days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor....and yet on the morning of Dec. 7 41, @ 7 in the morning a whole bunch of men woke up to bombs in their beds.......So our government has a pattern of doing shady S%$# not surprised at all and they use Presidents to be their harbingers all the time. sir_wolfie@yahoo.com

The "secret plan" to end the war (1)

yanagasawa (120791) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233283)

Few who lived through this era will be completely surprised by these revelations. Nixon was elected in part on his assertion that he had "a secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam. Now we know what his plan was.

Al Capone went to jail for tax evasion. Nixon was brought down by the cover-up of the Watergate break-ins. In both cases, the most trivial of their offenses was the cause of their downfalls.

Cue Fox News (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233327)

To accuse Nixon of being a Liberal Democrat in 3.... 2.... 1.....

Wikipedia paints a slightly different picture. (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233379)

Bryce Harlow, former Eisenhower White House staff member, claimed to have "a double agent working in the White House....I kept Nixon informed." Harlow and Henry Kissinger (who was friendly with both campaigns and guaranteed a job in either a Humphrey or Nixon administration) separately predicted Johnson's "bombing halt": "The word is out that we are making an effort to throw the election to Humphrey. Nixon has been told of it," Democratic senator George Smathers informed Johnson. According to Robert Dallek, Kissinger's advice "rested not on special knowledge of decision making at the White House but on an astute analyst's insight into what was happening." William Bundy stated that Kissinger obtained "no useful inside information" from his trip to Paris, and "almost any experienced Hanoi watcher might have come to the same conclusion". While Kissinger may have "hinted that his advice was based on contacts with the Paris delegation," this sort of "self-promotion....is at worst a minor and not uncommon practice, quite different from getting and reporting real secrets."[2] Nixon asked Anna Chennault to be his "channel to Mr. Thieu"; Chennault agreed and periodically reported to John Mitchell that Thieu had no intention of attending a peace conference. On November 2, Chennault informed the South Vietnamese ambassador: "I have just heard from my boss in Albuquerque who says his boss [Nixon] is going to win. And you tell your boss [Thieu] to hold on a while longer."[3] In response, Johnson ordered wire-tapping members of the Nixon campaign.[4] Dallek wrote that Nixon's efforts "probably made no difference" because Thieu was unwilling to attend the talks and there was little chance of an agreement being reached before the election; however, his use of information provided by Harlow and Kissinger was morally questionable, and Humphrey's decision not to make Nixon's actions public was "an uncommon act of political decency."[5] Conrad Black agreed that there is "no evidence" connecting Kissinger, who was "playing a fairly innocuous double game of self-promotion", with attempts to undermine the peace talks. Black further commented that "the Democrats were outraged at Nixon, but what Johnson was doing was equally questionable", and there is "no evidence" that Thieu "needed much prompting to discern which side he favored in the U.S. election."[6] [edit]

Wikipedia is also not... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233547)

the bloody recordings of a conversation between then president LBJ and NSA operatives. I love the wiki, but I'm gonna side with the tapes on this one.

Think Globally.. (5, Insightful)

way2trivial (601132) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233409)

22,000 american lives.

How many lives, total.

they all count

October Surprise Suppression (0)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233515)

Basically the same kind of deal that Reagan later offered to the Iranian religious leaders who'd taken the US embassy staff hostage, to make sure Carter didn't get reelected in 1980.

Reminds me of the phrase... (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233523)

"Don't be a Dick!"

Hunter S. Thompson (1)

Geeky (90998) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233531)

It's just a shame Hunter S. Thompson isn't around to read and comment on this.

I didn't think It was so much an accusation (4, Informative)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233535)

as it's pretty much iron clad evidence. Maybe I misunderstood, but these are tapes of LBJ discussing the topic without the slightest question of whether it happened. It's all pretty well documented from what I can tell.

Also, happy to see this story on slashdot. Yeah, it's not tech news and I know that bugs people, but Christ. The way I heard about this was the Mother-lovin' BBC. This is the biggest news since Watergate and the news media is just pretending it didn't happen. Part of me wants to say 'Oh well, that's America' but screw that. I'm sick of saying things could be worse when they could be so much better.
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