None Dare Call it Treason

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

220px-Richard_NixonIn 1964, during Barry Goldwater’s race for the White House, a book became a runaway best seller and it was titled “None Dare Call It Treason”. Its’ premise, typical of the thinking of many of that time, was that the United States was being sold out to Communism by its “liberal elites” who were pro-communist and thus wanted the USSR to win the “Cold War”. As the title clearly illustrates the book’s author, John A. Stormer, believed that the “elite” were traitors, liberal of course, who were so powerful that their “treasonous actions” couldn’t be challenged. I remember the popularity of the book at that time and how many who supported Barry Goldwater were believers in the books veracity. Goldwater himself seemed to be echoing Stormer’s theme of rooting out pro Communists in his Convention speech which produced the memorable phrase: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” It is thus a meme that in many different ways has been played and re-played through our Country’s history by those of a more Conservative persuasion. That meme is that the true American patriots are those who are of Right Wing political persuasion.

An article I came across about a month ago made me think of that 1964 book and how if one is to play the “treason” card, the finger might point to those who mantle themselves in the cloak of conservatism just as well, if not more so than those of liberal persuasion. This article details turning points in American history where the “treason” label might well be pointed at those who deem themselves to be “conservative protectors of the American Way”. I write this not as a liberal flogging my perspective, but as someone whose view of American politics has become so jaundiced through the years that I’m fully aware that liberals have contributed equally, through a combination of compliance, cowardice and inaction, to what is becoming the destruction of the United States Constitution and the ideals of our Founding Fathers. The incidents I am writing about represent the failure and corruption of our political system, the blame for which falls upon those that let it happen, either through the sin of active participation, or via the sin of inaction.

The article that provided the germ for this guest blog is titled: “Shocking New Evidence Reveals Depths of ‘Treason’ and ‘Treachery’ of Watergate and Iran-Contra” by Robert Parry, of Consortium News and published at Alternet.com. http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/shocking-new-evidence-reveals-depths-treason-and-treachery-watergate-and-iran?paging=off

The author presents new evidence about two landmark disturbances of the American political fabric and puts them into context of what is already known. In both the instances described, I’ve long been aware of the fact that while their result has momentous consequences for the political fabric of this country, their eventual “resolutions” left much to be desired and many unanswered questions. Using material from this article and using many years of my own thought and research, I will try to weave together a narrative of the effect of those incidents and why the obvious truths about them have been smothered from the public consciousness.

The Senate Watergate hearings coincided with the first extended cross country trip that I made. My inspiration for this trip was my favorite book: Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and indeed I was on the road from New York to California and back for eight weeks. In my 1973 Gremlin I discovered just how wide this country is for motor travel and spent at times up to ten hours a day driving through vast tracts of farm country, with few sights to see. I was thus obsessed with the radio broadcasts of the Watergate Hearings and their recaps in the evening that I watched in a variety of  cheap motel rooms. As much as I absorbed the information it seemed to me that there were many aspects of the story that trailed off out of the consciousness of the Senate Committee and thus out of the spotlight of American History.

One of those aspects was just what were these “burglars” looking for at Nixon’s behest? Considering the risk/reward of the situation, it made little sense that such a chance was being taken in a general hunt for intelligence on Democratic Party strategy. Did they really need Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatric records in order to discredit him and then too what was the fascination with Dita Beard and IT&T? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dita_Beard . As the hearings went on there was also some perplexity about these “burglars”, who were not some ragtag clowns, but CIA operatives of long term status dating back to at least “The Bay of Pigs” invasion. Yet their behavior in their burglary at the Watergate was unprofessional and ludicrous in its execution. From my outsider’s perspective somehow, even though I despised Nixon, the whole affair, at least the official story, didn’t make sense. I’ve come to believe as you will see developed in a link to one of my previous blogs at the end of this piece, that Watergate was more than Nixon’s aberration, but that he too was being set up by the CIA, perhaps as payback by LBJ supporters. While through the years I’d developed some similar suspicions regarding Watergate from various items that were made public, only to disappear with media non-interest, the article by Mr. Parry somehow “clicked” it all into place.

“A favorite saying of Official Washington is that “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” But that presupposes you accurately understand what the crime was. And, in the case of the two major U.S. government scandals of the last third of the Twentieth Century – Watergate and Iran-Contra – that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Indeed, newly disclosed documents have put old evidence into a sharply different light and suggest that history has substantially miswritten the two scandals by failing to understand that they actually were sequels to earlier scandals that were far worse. Watergate and Iran-Contra were, in part at least, extensions of the original crimes, which involved dirty dealings to secure the immense power of the presidency.

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. 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.

The disruption of Johnson’s peace talks then enabled Nixon to hang on for a narrow victory over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. However, as the new President was taking steps in 1969 to extend the war another four-plus years, he sensed the threat from the wiretap file and ordered two of his top aides, chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, to locate it. But they couldn’t find the file.”

Think about the idea that a Presidential candidate would sabotage peace talks to end a devastating war in order to gain the Presidency. Add to that the fact that Nixon actually escalated the war he had promised to end, causing death and maiming in the hundreds of thousands and to me at least we have a picture of treason. Mr. Parry presents evidence in the article that Lyndon Johnson became aware of Nixon’s sabotaging the Viet Nam Peace Talks, but kept it quiet in the interest of national unity. However, it also must be understood that LBJ and Nixon we in truth quite friendly to each other and both had knowledge of the other’s involvement in scandalous peccadillo’s, via their mutual ally J.Edgar Hoover. “The Bay of Pigs Invasion” for instance was an example of their mutual dirty work. Perhaps LBJ thus felt constrained to blow the whistle fearing mutually destructive payback.  It seems to me that the sabotage of the Viet Nam Paris Peace Talks, beyond treason, could also rank as a war crime considering the slaughter that followed.

We move along in history only a brief seven years. We find Jimmy Carter a beleaguered President dealing with the captivity of 52 American Embassy hostages. for 444 days, by the Iran revolutionaries. The coverage of this crisis, particularly on ABC’s Nightline gave a picture of President Carter as being too weak to stand up for our country. Ex Actor and former California Governor Ronald Reagan ran this perception to an overwhelming victory in the Electoral College, even though he only receives 50.7% of the popular vote. Without the “hostage crisis” Reagan’s victory would have been far more problematic since he was perceived at the time by almost 50% of Americans as too Right Wing and not experienced. For me the most disturbing aspect of his victory was that the 52 hostages were released exactly at the end of Reagan’s inaugural speech. Coincidences bother me.

The Parry article contains two interesting quotes which I’ll let speak for themselves..

“There is something I want to tell you,” [Yassir] Arafat said, addressing [Jimmy] Carter in the presence of historian Douglas Brinkley. “You should know that in 1980 the Republicans approached me with an arms deal [for the PLO] if I could arrange to keep the hostages in Iran until after the [U.S. presidential] election,” Arafat said, according to Brinkley’s article in the fall 1996 issue of Diplomatic Quarterly.”

Also from the article:

“As recently as this past week, former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr reiterated his account of Republican overtures to Iran during the 1980 hostage crisis and how that secret initiative prevented release of the hostages.”

We know that later in the Reagan Administration the “Iran-Contra Scandal” arose and the nation was temporarily shocked that the U.S. has sold weaponry to our Iranian enemies, using Israel to transship them and converting the money received into aid for the Contra rebellion in Nicaragua. Those hearing were the cause of much “sturm und drang”, but in the end came to nothing due to the media’s love affair with and protection of the mentally faltering Ronald Reagan.

There are many facts and much information to be read in the source story which I’ll link again here:

“Shocking New Evidence Reveals Depths of ‘Treason’ and ‘Treachery’ of Watergate and Iran-Contra” by Robert Parry, of Consortium News and published at Alternet.com. http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/shocking-new-evidence-reveals-depths-treason-and-treachery-watergate-and-iran?paging=off . To get the full picture I urge the reader to take the time to pore through it.

For my purpose here though I’ll just state that I find the evidence convincing and that the points I wish to make are being proposed in the light of my finding the full story believable. I want to look not at the full factual evidence, but at the implication for us if that evidence is true. To me I see evidence that people have achieved the Presidency of the United States through fraud that has delayed the end of disastrous national situations, for personal gain. To be fair, there certainly is more than a whiff of evidence that JFK’s election in 1960 was tainted by votes paid for by Joe Kennedy. We also know that George W. Bush’s election in 2000 also seems to have involved a great deal of skullduggery. By a loose definition one might deem fraud in our electoral process “treason” and though I disdain that fraud I wouldn’t go as far as to call it treason.. However, in the two instances I discussed I believe that there truly was treason committed by people seeking power and that the results of those treasonous acts have harmed our country. There is nothing that we can do that will undo these treasonous acts except to bring them into the realm of knowledge.

I must note that the branding of people as being traitors is an old tradition in this country that has mostly been the tactic of demagogues, as in the McCarthy Era. Perhaps it is time to focus on the actual treason that has been committed by those entrusted with governmental power. While the 2000 Election certainly had whiffs of fraud all over it, many on all parts of the political spectrum might cynically chalk it up to the way politics is done here. Perhaps though, with the knowledge of hindsight, we might see a purposeless war in Iraq, foisted upon us with specious evidence, as treasonous behavior? I’ve included two links below where I’ve expounded on this general theme and perhaps you might be interested in them for further insight to my thinking.

We are a Country made ignorant by the actions of a Corporate Media and complicit politicians that have re-written the history many of us have lived through. They have used propaganda techniques to foster the mythology of a fair political system that exists only in theory and certainly not in fact. I believe we are in a time where via the information age; people are beginning to see through these false myths. When things such as this occur, despite the political source, I believe we must dare to call it treason.

http://jonathanturley.org/2012/03/17/a-real-history-of-the-last-sixty-two-years/

http://jonathanturley.org/2012/11/17/democracy-in-america-what-does-it-mean/

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

60 thoughts on “None Dare Call it Treason

  1. Great job Mike. I agree that treason might be the correct label, but what concerns me just as much is that fact that the media has yawned when this evidence has been brought to light. The idea that a presidential candidate could go behind the government’s back and negotiate directly with the South Vietnamese is both astounding and disturbing.

  2. Glorifying Fascism. We are seeing this more and more in the media and tv shows. Making heroes of fascist thugs

  3. When things such as this occur, despite the political source, I believe we must dare to call it treason.”

    Indeed.

    A well constructed post.

    What Nixon did by sabotaging the peace talks, and what Reagan did to sabotage the hostage release is treasonous.

    The media coverup also smacks of treason.

    We may also find that the Petraeus thingy was less about sex than it was about treason.

    Thirty years from now.

  4. Excellent Mike,

    The way I see things today…. If you call someone out for it….. You are the one in the wrong….. Look at the whistleblowers….. How many have been prosecuted for telling the truth….. Just like the Yoo saga…. If you say it often enough or deny it with dignity…. You can not be blamed….

  5. Great article.

    “…as someone whose view of American politics has become so jaundiced through the years that I’m fully aware that liberals have contributed equally, through a combination of compliance, cowardice and inaction, to what is becoming the destruction of the United States Constitution and the ideals of our Founding Fathers.”

    My view exactly.

  6. Mike Spindell:

    The media has distorted many things for a very long time and all for political reasons.

    But the media is basically left of center. If we consider left as being for state/corporate control and right being for individual liberty/free markets.

    Or we could say left being for individual liberty/free markets [a Jeffersonian, 18th century liberal] and right being for state/corporate control [a 20th century communist/fascist].

    or we could just say the media is collectivist/statist vs. individual liberty/free markets.

    I do agree the people are starting to see that individual liberty and all that that implies is a good thing. But it is a long road back to Locke and Jefferson.

  7. I believe I watched every minute of Watergate and read every book. The end result, the resignation of Nixon, his hasty flight from the White House with the Fords waving goodbye, never made any sense. It was as if a very messy thing was quickly boxed up, wrapped with shiny paper and held aloft to the American people as a gift to be admired but never opened. He’s gone now, back to business as usual.

    As I look back in history I find dirty politics from the time of Jefferson (let’s remember Martha Washington refused to tolerate his presence at General Washington’s funeral and denied his request to attend) has been part of our fabric as has been bought-and-paid-for media hype but something very different entered our political arena after WW II … the clandestine entity within the Executive branch known as the CIA (originally chartered in 1947as part of the National Security Act).

    Very early on they went outside their original instructions of providing the President and Congress with integrated information from all sources thus drawing judgments that are not colored by departmental biases (“correlate and evaluate intelligence relating to the national security, and provide for the appropriate dissemination of such intelligence within the Government.”) when they created the covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination, led by Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. That same year the CIA corrupts democratic elections in Italy, where Italian communists threaten to win the elections. In 1953 in Iran the CIA overthrows the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil.

    There is a line in the movie, The Good Shepherd:

    Joseph Palmi (mob boss): Let me ask you something… we Italians, we got our families, and we got the church; the Irish, they have the homeland, Jews their tradition; even the niggers, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you have?

    Edward Wilson (CIA’s counterintelligence operations head): The United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.

    Yes, it’s a fictional line from a movie script but from everything we’ve seen since 1947, and the CIA tinges around our own political assassinations, Watergate, Iran-Contra, torture programs, etc … that line hits the nail on the head.

    The myth to which you refer in your article, Mike, has been professionally constructed by a bunch of pervs who know what they’re doing. The President and the Congress lost whatever control they had over the CIA during George Bush’s reign whose father, George 41, was a former CIA Director under Gerald Ford. (circle completed)

  8. Treason has been with us since the beginnig if we recall Aaron Burr. Gen Wilkerson at the same time was an actual PAID agent of Spain. Then there is an excellent book called Trading With the Enemy which details the way corporate interests helped the Nazis during WWII. Then we have the case of Gen Smedley Butler USMC who was approached by conservatives after FDRs election to see if he would lead a military coup to prevent FDR remaining in office. In short, the whole world view of most conservatives is that the USA can go to hell, and can be betrayed as long as they can profit from it. So it is FAR more likely for conservatives to actually engage in treason, than liberals in our history. It is thus quite funny and typical that those who are most guilty are the loudest in denouncing the very crimes that they are committing.

  9. One other observation about Gen Butler. I find it interesting that the USMC has relegated him to the memory hole since one would think that the only Marine who won the Medal of Honor TWICE would be one that they would love to name a Camp after or have remembered in some meaningful way. Of course his real crime is that he was a real American patriot and told the truth. Even now the USMC and the US miltary cannot stomach that kind of patriotism. They prefer the PAYtriotism that most conservatives engage in.

  10. Both your knowledge of history and your perspective about the national security state are impressive Blouise. Your ideas seem to be based in reality and not on some far flung conspiracy theories.

  11. Bron 1, April 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    … the media is basically left of center. If we consider left as being for state/corporate control and right being for individual liberty/free markets.
    ============================================
    That is a big if.

    Another big if in that regard is “the media is left if you consider Robert Murdock to be a leftie.”

    The liberal media meme was constructed by Nixonians:

    After the Goldwater defeat of 1964, conservatism was a dirty word and most Americans wanted to be liberals, especially working people, who were highly unionized. Lee Atwater and colleagues, working for the 1968 Nixon campaign … created the concept of … the liberal media …

    (Origin Of The “Liberal Media” Meme). Nixon and Reagan still live today in the memes they fostered, and so treason continues.

  12. Our problem as a nation is we keep excusing Fascism as a partisan issue. We cannot pick and choose to attack fascism at only 50% of the population, all based on what party is in the White House.

    We must defend our nation against fascism no matter who is in the White House. The party should be irrelevant but we have been divided into partisan politics to keep us afraid to attack our own parties for fear of empowering the other guys. This is a fallacy.

  13. Thanks, Mike!

    *****

    Blouise,

    I, too, remember watching the Watergate Hearings on television–and reading books on the subject.

    I first read about Nixon’s “treason” on Charlie Pierce’s blog:

    History’s Yard Waste Explored, Continued
    By Charles P. Pierce
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Nixon_Still_Pretty_Much_Sucks

    Excerpt:
    The biggest story in American political history that has broken in many years pretty much died of loneliness over the weekend. As near as I can tell, nobody in the elite political media picked it up, and it certainly didn’t hit any of The Sunday Showz. And these, of course, are the mightly gatekeepers of the First Amendment who, when Richard Nixon shuffled off his plague-ish coil and climbed up on his personalized spit in Hell back in 1994, went wall-to-wall with coverage of his funeral. People like Tom Wicker and — alas — the great Murray Kempton insisted that there was something worthwhile to be found in this wandering heap of vicious neuroses, that there was something of legitimate value at the bottom of this vast bag of rancid old sins. Bill Clinton delivered the eulogy.

    Oh, yes, he knew great controversy amid defeat as well as victory. He made mistakes, and they, like his accomplishments, are a part of his life and record. But the enduring lesson of Richard Nixon is that he never gave up being part of the action and passion of his times. He said many times that unless a person has a goal, a new mountain to climb, his spirit will die. Well, based on our last phone conversation and the letter he wrote me just a month ago, I can say that his spirit was very much alive to the very end.

    Clinton should be ashamed today for having said that. We should be ashamed as a nation that we didn’t just drop the corpse unceremoniously into the sea. The elite political media, past and present, living and dead, should atone in Purgatory for centuries over trying to redeem this vat of squalid poison. Because, over this weekend, we discovered, once again, that the irredeemable barrel that was Richard Nixon had no bottom to scrape.

    *****

    Pierce’s post linked to this BBC article:

    The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon’s ‘treason’
    By David Taylor
    3/22/13
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21768668

  14. “Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.”

    ~Sir John Harington

  15. The AlterNet article barely touches on the drug running network Oliver North assembled. This is significant because the network is still in operation.

    George Washington University has a list of documents detailing parts of Oliver North’s involvement in drug running:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/nsaebb2.htm

    What’s even more shocking is that you can make some pretty direct connections between these activities, and the circumstances surrounding the US brokered immunity deal (on pretense of state secrets) in the recent trial of drug trafficker Vicente Zambada Niebla.

    They also don’t go into the Israeli connection with the related Inslaw PROMIS affair.

  16. @blouise

    > I believe I watched every minute of Watergate and read every book

    Perhaps then you’re familiar with Cheney and Rumsfeld’s role in covering up the very government malfeasance that led to the passage of FISA?

  17. Speaking of Demagogues and McCarthyism — mention of any of these
    will result in being labeled antisemite, “truther”, conspiracy theorist etc.

    * Bush family involvement in plotting to overthrow the U.S. Government
    * Bush family patriarch acting as Hitler’s banker
    * FDR’s foreknowldge of implending Pearl Harbor
    * Coup de’tat on 11/22/63
    * Hiring Hitler’s head of rocket research to head NASA
    * Coverup of Israeli attack on U.S.S. Liberty
    * Fake Moon landing (Apollo hoaxes)
    * GHW Bush’s bailing out of plane in WW2, leaving his crew to perish
    * Wars for Israel (Iraq, Afghanistan)
    * 9/11 false flag operation

    The list is endless, as is the ignorance of most Americans.

  18. I employ variations of the phrase (None Dare Call It Treason) in my comments on this blog. I had forgotten the name of the author of the book and had attributed it to Goldwater. RepubliCons are especially good at twisting words around. I happened to be visiting Washington DC on August 9, 1974 the day Nixon resigned. A bunch of us were celebrating over at a conference held by Howard University for the Reggie Conference. We were a bit loaded when a caravan of us found our way to the White House. Tricky Dick came out and gave a wave from the portico. We were yelling: Jail To The Chief. Years later Nixon’s memoir came out and he claimed we were yelling Hail To the Chief. None would dare call that treasonous but it was like a lot of things with Nixon and his gang. They would twist the truth, like the twist in a rope, until it unbraided.

    Years later in my present life incarnation as a dog I see the pernicious Goldwater tactics followed to the extreme. The other day the President made the comment that a female prosecutor looked good (or some such phrase) and was subsequently reviled for being a male pig. These comments were ramped up on the networks last night. None dare call it reasonable.

  19. SwM,

    I don’t believe it’s so much a conspiracy as it is a continuous grouping of “true believers” who honestly think that without their invisible hand on the wheel the country would fall apart … super patriots who are true sociopaths when it comes to taking action. The fact that they have developed into a paramilitary organization was inevitable. They are quite good at creating a vacuum then rushing in to fill it.

    A friend of mine used to say … when the President invites national security people to the Oval Office everyone is offered a chair except the CIA … they are offered a curtain.

  20. Elaine,

    Can you imagine the emails we would have been firing back and forth to each other at the time if the technology had been what it is today. What a blog subject Watergate would have made!

  21. Bill McWilliams,
    The moon landing happened. 43 years ago. Try to get over it.
    All the magical thinking you can do, doesn’t alter outside reality.
    Yes, the conspiracy theories are truly endless. It’s a full-time religion. Facts don’t get in the way of faith.
    Since many of these conspiracies would involve the cooperation of millions of people, you end up being the only person on earth who isn’t conspiring against you.
    Cold comfort, that.

  22. “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye upon , a rottenness begins in his conduct.” — Thomas Jefferson (quoted by Barbara Tuchman in The March of Folly)

    For example (from Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: a History):

    Kissinger had met Nixon only briefly, at a cocktail party at Clare Boothe Luce’s elegant Manhattan apartment late in 1967. … On the eve of the Republican convention in July 1968, he described Nixon as “the most dangerous, of all the men running, to have as president.” Nixon’s nomination drove him to despondency. The country, he feared, was about to be taken over by an anti-Communist fanatic. Over the next few weeks, however, ambition spurred him to reconsider. He began to ingratiate himself with the Nixon camp while keeping in contact with the Democrats.

    [President Lyndon] Johnson was then considering a halt in the bombing of North Vietnam — a step that might swing the anti-war liberals back into supporting Humphrey. As Humphrey’s fortunes rose, Kissinger maintained his ties with the Democrats. But through one of Nixon’s foreign policy aides, Richard Allen, he got in touch with the Republicans, offering to furnish them with covert information on Johnson’s moves. A clandestine channel was set up through Nixon’s campaign manager, John Mitchell, and Kissinger guided the Republicans secretly on the Vietnam issue for nearly two months — thus supplying Nixon with the ammunition to blast Humphrey for “playing politics with the war.” Kissinger glosses over the episode in his memoirs, recalling that “only one question was ever put to me by the Nixon organization.” Nixon, by contrast, says in his memoirs, that he received three substantial messages from Kissinger. Whatever the truth, Kissinger’s subterfuge earned him Nixon’s admiration and gratitude. Kissinger was soon to acquire his most important patron.

    Other intrigues were going on — among them one involving Anna Chennault, the Chinese-born widow of General Claire Chennault, commander of the Flying Tigers during World War II. A Republican activist, she recommended to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu that he object to the last-minute halt in the bombing of North Vietnam, a maneuver which she hoped would foil the Democrats and help Nixon. She also urged Thieu to procrastinate on the matter of participation in the Paris talks, explaining that firmer American support for his cause would be forthcoming after Nixon entered the White House. Her conduit to Thieu was Bui Diem, his ambassador to the United States. But Johnson was tracking her every move. Both the FBI and the CIA were tapping her telephone conversations with Bui Diem, intercepting the cable traffic to and from the South Vietnamese embassy in Washington, and spying on Thieu through an electronic device installed in his Saigon office. Nixon believed that he was being bugged as well — especially after Johnson bluntly warned him against relying on Madame Chennault’s machinations.

    Some very rotten conduct by Nixon and Kissinger, indeed, but nothing that President Johnson didn’t know about. Yet given Johnson’s own patently illegal wiretapping activities ( a quaint notion today, I realize) he could say nothing publicly. Nonetheless, let no one ever forget that Lyndon Johnson won an overwhelming election in 1964 by promising on national television: “I will not send American boys to fight in a war in Asia that should be fought by Asian boys.” Unknown to the American electorate, Johnson had already betrayed the national mandate against war in Vietnam even as he promised the peace he had no intention of delivering. Again, from Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: a History:

    “]President Lyndon] Johnson subscribed to the adage that “wars are too serious to be entrusted to generals.” He knew, as he once put it, that armed forces “need battles and bombs and bullets in order to be heroic,” and that they would drag him into a military conflict if they could. But he also knew that Pentagon lobbyists, among the best in the business, could persuade conservatives in Congress to sabotage his social legislation unless he satisfied their demands. As he girded himself for the 1964 presidential campaign, he was especially sensitive to the jingoists who might brand him “soft on communism” were he to back away from the challenge in Vietnam. So, politician that he was, he assuaged the brass and the braid with promises he may never have intended to keep. At a White House reception on Christmas Eve 1963, for example, he told the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “Just let me get elected, and you can have your war.”

    Not all traitors wear civilian clothes, but among those that do, Johnson, Nixon, and Kissinger deserved each other. Unfortunately for our nation and the world — especially my generation — we got the cumulative disaster of all three plus the ticket-punching military caste, as well. And Henry Kissinger still hasn’t finished with his Machiavellian intrigues.

  23. Birds of a feather, flock together. Right wing folks in America in the fifties able to look over at the Nazi example. The 1933 Parallels are something that this dog mentions once in a while. Herr Goering went from his office through a tunnel across to the Reichstag Building (German Parliament) and burned it. The right wing blamed the Communists. President von Hindenburg fell for it and issued The Reichstage Decree. The threat of communism fueled the Nazi takeover. The Decree ended civil liberty protections in Germany. Nixon and his cronies, Joe McCarthy being one, saw the value politically of calling people Commies. It is true that there were real commies in America and some were in government.

    The McCarthy movement morphed to the Lee Atwater Southern Strategy. Instead of throwing rocks at Communists they went off on the race card. They devised a strategy to use code words to throw rocks at minorities in order to get the vote of the bigots who lived and voted both North and South. Welfare cheats, forced busing, and such things have become the mantra of the RepubliCon Party. Ronnie Raygun may have been senile but he knew how to appeal to the bigots of America. Bushies were good, Mittster was better in a way. The appeal to the 47 percenters worked. Except 47 percent is not a majority.

  24. Excellent article. And how about today? Why did we not only let bankers keep the money they gained through fraud, we also gave them $ trillions more. What exactly is Benghazi about?

    Thank God we have a mostly free internet. Keep vigilant and we all need to tell our friends and neighbors about items of concern, even when the news media would rather talk about Lindsey Lohan.

  25. SwM,

    From that same NYTimes article:

    ” … that Pakistani forces had fired at the compound.

    That was a lie.

    Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by the C.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a “targeted killing.” The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.

    That back-room bargain, described in detail for the first time in interviews with more than a dozen officials in Pakistan and the United States, is critical to understanding the origins of a covert drone war that began under the Bush administration, was embraced and expanded by President Obama, and is now the subject of fierce debate. The deal, a month after a blistering internal report about abuses in the C.I.A.’s network of secret prisons, paved the way for the C.I.A. to change its focus from capturing terrorists to killing them, and helped transform an agency that began as a cold war espionage service into a paramilitary organization.

  26. Blouise,

    I read an article the other day about a grenade attack in Pakistan and the victims were described simply as “paramilitary”. No contractor was mentioned. Their roles were not mentioned. My immediate thought was CIA. Good to have a little “sidereal confirmation” of that supposition.

  27. Since the WWII days of “Wild” Bill Donovan, there has always existed a tension in the CIA between the “Cowboys” and those dedicated to intelligence operations. The “Cowboys” seemingly the most glamorous and certainly the most corporate responsive, have mainly held the upper hand. Even assuming a well-meaning President, when briefed on this “intelligence” daily it is hard to not to fall under its’ spell. With 9/11, despite repeated CIA failures in judgment, it seems the “Cowboys” have prevailed and we have an Agency that has become a law unto itself.

  28. Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam: a History:

    “]President Lyndon] Johnson subscribed to the adage that “wars are too serious to be entrusted to generals.” He knew, as he once put it, that armed forces “need battles and bombs and bullets in order to be heroic,” and that they would drag him into a military conflict if they could. But he also knew that Pentagon lobbyists, among the best in the business, could persuade conservatives in Congress to sabotage his social legislation unless he satisfied their demands. As he girded himself for the 1964 presidential campaign, he was especially sensitive to the jingoists who might brand him “soft on communism” were he to back away from the challenge in Vietnam. So, politician that he was, he assuaged the brass and the braid with promises he may never have intended to keep. At a White House reception on Christmas Eve 1963, for example, he told the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “Just let me get elected, and you can have your war.”

    ****************************

    I think Karnow got it right, but I disagree that Johnson was a traitor. Take him out of the presidency and you have millions of African-Americans in poverty and disenfranchised. Like so many pragmatists, Johnson had the burden of choosing to tolerate an evil to beget a good. It’s easy now to question his judgment, but awfully simplistic to condemn him unremittingly in the face of the social progress he so clearly accomplished.

  29. mespo, well said.
    No president is one dimensional. One of the things I was trained for in graduate school was to look for the healthy core in even the sickest patient, and try to work with that.

  30. “I think Karnow got it right, but I disagree that Johnson was a traitor.”

    Mespo,

    I don’t think LBJ was a traitor either. His keeping quiet about the peace talk sabotage could have come from many reasons, some quite plausible.

    1. Being accused of sour grapes.
    2. Undercutting the position of a newly inaugurated President.
    3. National unity needed in time of war.
    4. etc.

    Just as in 2000 when Gore refused to carry the fight to the Senate many of our political caste confuse the best interests of the country, with the need to keep the public in the dark as to how things are really run in Washington, D.C.

    Nixon on the other hand clearly was a traitor.

  31. Gene,

    Re your post today @ 9:58 am … there’s something Un-American about a secret standing army run out of the Oval Office and allowed to do murder for hire such as the quid pro quo against Pakistan’s enemy, Mr. Muhammad.

    It’s hard to imagine that the Founders ever intended such powers be given to the Executive.

    “A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. ” (Madison)

    Admittedly that was Madison before he got us involved in the War of 1812. ;)

  32. I think the likeliest explanation for LBJ’s keeping quiet about Nixon’s sabotage of the peace talks – and we have tapes of LBJ conversations discussing this, he knew about it on the weekend before the election – is that someone (J Edgar Hoover, likely) had learned about it through illegal wiretaps, leaving LBJ’s hands tied. He could reveal Nixon’s sabotage only by ratting out Hoover and ratting out Hoover would be a death blow for almost anyone in DC at that time.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave….

  33. Mike S:

    I agree Nixon had a lot to answer for. Traitor might have been the kindest possible word for it.

  34. Mike,

    Mainly I believe Johnson decided not to say anything because by October it looked like Humphrey had a good chance of winning due to Wallace’s failing campaign … he decided not to rock the boat by possibly alienating voters sitting on the fence. (Don’t forget that was the year MLK Jr and RFK were assassinated and George Wallace ran as a strong third party candidate.)

    As it turned out Nixon only won the popular vote by a little less than 1% (I remember having to wait till the next morning before the win was called.) Three states gave Nixon the Electoral College but there again by less than 3% in each state. I can’t remember the third one but California and Ohio were two of the three that eventually went for Nixon. Humphrey was close indeed. Had he won two of those states or just California Wallace would have accomplished his goal of throwing the House of Representatives.

    Had Johnson told the country what he knew about Nixon … who knows what the result would have been.

  35. “of throwing the House of Representatives.” should be … of throwing the decision to the House of Representatives.

  36. mespo:

    “Take him out of the presidency and you have millions of African-Americans in poverty and disenfranchised.”

    I respectfully disagree. There is more than enough evidence to say the experience of Americans of African decent was made worse by the war on poverty.

    I refer you to Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams for starters.

  37. “Had Johnson told the country what he knew about Nixon … who knows what the result would have been.”

    Blouise,

    It’s true because as you and I both remember from that time most Americans,
    save for the “silent majority” had very mixed feelings towards any claims coming from Washington. I too was up through the night waiting out that election. I was a devoted RFK supporter (tremendous emotional attachment) and had despised Nixon since my early childhood. Also though HHH had lost luster as Veep, he still had had a courageous career. I must admit I never liked not trusted Gene McCarthy. Then too this exposes the emotional bid my growing cynicism about the America system has put me in. As much as I know almost all politicians are corporate tools not to be trusted, the emotional idealism of my youth still is there and sometimes my feelings override my good sense.

  38. Mike Spindell:

    Sowell is a corporate tool?

    Like Alinsky is a Leninist tool or Bill Ayers is a Stalinist tool?

    I guess the tool is in the eye of the user. :)

  39. Mike,

    I wish he would have told what he knew as I think it would have influenced enough voters to give Humphrey the election as many were looking for an excuse to not vote for Nixon. But that’s speculative hindsight and maybe just plain ol’ wishful thinking on my part as I supported RFK and then Humphrey.

    It was, never the less, an incredibly dangerous and sad year for all Americans.

  40. “It was, never the less, an incredibly dangerous and sad year for all Americans.”

    Blouise,

    Well I remember the night of the California Primary where the exultation of Bobby’s victory led to utter despair in a few short minutes. Couldn’t sleep that whole night, despite the pot and the booze, the desolation was unbearable.

  41. I dared to call what Barack Obama did treason To the press secretary’s twitter line when he signed into law enabling the president to indefinitely detain American citizens without charges. I was extremely manic at the time and kept tweeting, so they finally shut the line down. Both he and any member of Congress who voted for that act deserves to be impeached. Can you impeach a member of Congress? Then there was that umpteen trillion dollars loans to the banks at infinitesimal interest rates rewarding them for their bad behavior. I really had to hold my nose when I voted for Barack Obama and I did. There’s more but why should I even bother. You Read the book if you didn’t already help write it.

    And what the GOP is been up to is even worse! South Carolina Alabama Arkansas Michigan & The list of GOP controlled statehouses goes on. If they want the government to control less I’m the Easter Bunny. Not only are they in my vagina telling me what to do with it & when. They want to establish a state religion in South Carolina? And they claim the Constitution is okay with that. And if students want to vote their parents have to pay a poll tax. Now each party in their own ways are rendering the very fiber of our Constitution apart.

    Too many judges on the Supreme Court are completely GOP oriented not just conservative leaning.

    I am NOT going to proof this because I’m too disgusted to care. I am glad there are people like you at Jonathan Turley blog who are thinking conscientious people. Unfortunately, after having looked high and low, there are far too few of you.

    On Apr 6, 2013 8:15 AM, “JONATHAN TURLEY” wrote: > > jonathanturley posted: “Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger In 1964, during Barry Goldwaters race for the White House, a book became a runaway best seller and it was titled None Dare Call It Treason. Its premise, typical of the thinking of many of that time, was th” >

  42. The peculiar ting about these treasonous acts is that most of the information about them is actually known at the time they happen. Over and over again, we see things portrayed in a knowingly “whitewashed” light and we are denied access to the information — which is not terribly difficult to find or analyze — that would reveal just how corrupt and traitorous our govt. officials behave. It is NOT a big inaccessible secret most of the time.

    We are practiced in the art of unknowing.

  43. Let others wallow in Watergate. The poor schmuck did do some constructive things while in office such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet forty years later we are wallowing in Watergate. We used to call it WaterGoat back in the days when Tricky was still around being the Trickster. Of course, I recall some constructive things that Ike did such as the Interstate Highway system. But no one talks about Ike. He does not have a foundation like the Kennedys do to yak him up 24/7. Truman was a great President but he will always be referred to as the “failed haberdasher” by the esteemed historians of Harvard and Yale. FDR was sainted by the same group of esteemed historians. Hoover is forgotten. Hoovervilles still exist but he does not get credit. Hoover critics are still out there yelling about President Obama trying to extend credit to the unworthy. Some things do not change in politics. Coolidge was some Calvinist. Woodrow Wilson got us into a War we did not need to get into and started a trend of the 20th Century. Woodrow was a true bigot who resegregated all aspects of Washington DC life and the military. Virginia boy ya know, who hailed from New Jersey. Never the Twain should meet. Before that we had Theodore who was a bright light. I will take Teddy, Truman and Obama as the best of the past hundred plus years. Dogs dont wallow in Watergate or goat.

  44. Lets not forget the other book too, None Dare Call It Conspiracy. In the 80s I joined the John Birch Society. They had a lot of good info, most of it accurate. They went overboard on thinking that getting the USA out of the UN would do a lot of good. They lost me on that one as our own government was at least as corrupt as the UN. Contrary to popular belief by those who subscribe to obvious conspiracy facts, I still believe in keeping the UN in place but moving it in a more positive direction. Besides, violent revolution begets a worse regime to what you had. The American revolution was somewhat an exception but never complete enough ( they stuck with the Illuminati didn’t they?) & so short lived! So you don’t peg me left or right in those silly elephant & donkey boxes, I tried to run a bit of an “Anybody But Bush!” campaign 2004 (illegally jailed & charged for that one) & my current T shirt says on the front:
    Is OBAMA O
    More Dangerous
    Than ADOLF H? The back has three of his most heinous & treasonous crimes. I have the silkscreen if anyone is interested. One thing we all need to thank the JBS for is their Con Con rallies; if not for them the Constitution would not just be ignored but rewritten, in 1984 newspeak by now.

  45. WikiLeaks publishes 1.7m US diplomatic records

    Julian Assange says 1973-76 reports, including many by Henry Kissinger, show vast range and scope of US activity

    Monday 8 April 2013 04.30 EDT

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/apr/08/wikileaks-publishes-us-diplomatic-records

    Excerpt:

    WikiLeaks has published more than 1.7m US records covering diplomatic or intelligence reports on every country in the world.

    The data, which has not been leaked, comprises diplomatic records from the beginning of 1973 to the end of 1976, covering a variety of diplomatic traffic including cables, intelligence reports and congressional correspondence.

    Julian Assange said WikiLeaks had been working for the past year to analyse and assess a vast amount of data held at the US national archives before releasing it in a searchable form.

    WikiLeaks has called the collection the Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD), describing it as the world’s largest searchable collection of US confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications.

    Assange told Press Association the information showed the vast range and scope of US diplomatic and intelligence activity around the world.

    Henry Kissinger was US secretary of state and national security adviser during the period covered by the collection, and many of the reports were written by him or were sent to him. Thousands of the documents are marked NODIS (no distribution) or Eyes Only, as well as cables originally classed as secret or confidential.

    Assange said WikiLeaks had undertaken a detailed analysis of the communications, adding that the information eclipsed Cablegate, a set of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks from November 2010 and over the following year. He said WikiLeaks had developed sophisticated technical systems to deal with complex and voluminous data.

    Top secret documents were not available, while some others were lost or irreversibly corrupted for periods including December 1975 and March and June 1976, said Assange.

    End of excerpt

  46. Bill McWilliams missing off your list from the beginning is..

    1. the titanic like the towers was a insurance scam.
    2. we havent had a president of american breed since eisenhower.
    3.jfk was actually killed by his cia driver. and yes there is witnesses and a video to prove it
    4. votes don’t count either person who makes it to a high office is already bought,owned, or blackmailed into their positions whether is a demorat or a repubke
    5. any po lie trickster who refuses to do as told is first publicly destroyed, then either suicided or killed. during the public destruction they are given a chance to redeem themselves to their masters if they still refuse say goodbye to them. many pols have tried to warn the people of what was and is going on during speeches mainly as their time is beginning or ending. all have said many times there is a government behind the government whose reach is beyond anything we have or will ever see face to face. but they are the ones who run the government. all you have to do is look all of them are billionaires and think its their right to own the world.
    every war that was fought was for their benefit either to steal a countries resources or to force a country to bend to their will. how is it that there is no money for education, youth or senior centers, food pantries or housing but they have plenty of money to spend buying specialized military weapons. i read a story yesterday about a bus stop in arlington va that cost the tax payers 1million. and the riders arent even protected from the elements.
    during the recession many triple digit numbers of people lost their jobs, homes, and some their lives but not one banker or stock broker went to jail, they were and still are being rewarded with double digit high numbers of bonuses while the rest of us try to squeeze out a living. the mta just received a 193 million grant for a couple of buses and trains that wasn’t working long before the man made sandy storm. yet the insurance companies are still refusing to give the people BACK their money to rebuild their homes and lives. the list is long. oh and last but not least the cia/mossad is but one of the hundreds of 3 letter agencies but they are the main ones involved in any and all false flag attacks, drug deals, and much more. i would suggest if you really want to know the truth from those who were involved and somehow found their conscious along with the strength to break free. begin by researching

    1. brice taylor Thanks for the memories
    2. Phil Schneider
    3. Al Bielek
    4. Ted Gunderson
    5. James Casbolt
    6. and Don Nicholson

    there are many others and you will soon learn more then you ever thought you wanted to know about the corporation formerly known as the government. and the reason behind everything happening as for the msm they were bought back in the 50’s all of them hence the bs. the lies, and the reason they have all been turned into gossip papers there is nothing about NEWS in them at least the news we need to know about.

    Mr Spindell i have learned much from you and many others here on the blogs and i Thank you very much for the education you provide me and many like me and as always this is a educating blog from you

  47. Robin H, It seems you might have some good things to say if you didn’t lose focus & ramble on in lower case. Its not clear whose comment you are replying too; no Bill Mc on my screen. But the Titanic insurance is interesting; never seen the thread on that; for 9/11 I’m sure the insurance was a big deal, but not the biggest or only reason that’s for sure. Keep it up; shorter, clearer to the point; you never know, someone may be paying attention! CIA driver makes more sense than anything else I’ve seen, but they sure got that JFK assassination story convoluted & mixed up! We have enough going on right now though. Know any American political assassination that was not an inside job from one side or another? I can’t think of any. Hinkley was set up, psychiatric drugs for certain & CIA style mind control likely. (that’s why these guys lie about Dianetics & Scientology; it can undo this stuff in minutes, though it might take a week or so to get off the drugs & undo it right) Spindell, whose blog this is, will rant & rave about that last sentence, as will others, but no blogger has any right to trash real solutions, not if he gives a tinker’s cuss about his country & where its going.

  48. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/4/9/headlines#499

    Julian Assange Hails WikiLeaks’ Release of “Kissinger Cables” in Video

    Julian Assange: “Orwell once said that ‘He who controls the present controls the past. And he who controls the past controls the future.’ Our analysis shows that the U.S. administration cannot be trusted with its control of the past. We have pulled together two million documents, 250,000 documents from our previous release Cablegate, 1.7 million documents pulled from the National Archives, and put them together into an integrated format, a search system that we are very proud of.”

  49. ap,
    I would guess that there will be some “interesting” finds in that trove of information on Kissinger.

  50. Anyone read SILENT COUP

    the “Cowboys” VS the intelligence operatives. SC says Woodward was an intelligence asset who helped basically frame Nixon, along with Dean. Why? Because Nixon’s overtures to peace w/ USSR & China were done with too much secrecy…. & deemed a threat to those wanting total war

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