I was going to refer to this as an Addendum to the Addendum, because it is that. But this transcends it, as well.
So, as you'll recall -- unless you haven't read the postings yet, in which case they're s right below, the previous articles I posted -- I was discussing John Boehner's acknowledgment that there's no immediate budget crisis, which led to mention of a Huffington Post article I wrote two years ago about Republicans being on the "good side of treason"...and that led to an addendum about the Huffington Post not Featuring the article because it was much too harsh (-- only to have them have a banner headline with Republican Governor Rick Perry refer to "almost treasonous" actions related to the Obama White House). There's you're caught up, just like a recap to Downton Abbey.
As you'll also recall (okay, not fully caught up, I guess), that I wrote the following --
"Usually, it's been Republicans who leap to the forefront questioning the patriotism of liberals (something they've been doing for at least half a century, if not more, turning it into an art form during McCarthyism)"
I know that seems harsh, but I believe that history has shown it to be true. And as it happens, the History Gods have been hard at work, but just an hour after writing that -- with a History God as my witness -- I turned on The Rachel Maddow Show and her very first story was about a new BBC documentary that has uncovered remarkable audio tapes of President Lyndon Johnson. Along with tapes of other.
And on these tapes, we now discover the reason just two days after LBJ announced that "peace was at hand" in the Vietnam War -- days before the 1968 presidential election between Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon -- those peace talks fell apart. It was because Richard Nixon secretly used operatives to go behind the backs of U.S. diplomats and convinced the South Vietnamese to pull out of the negotiations. Mr. Nixon (R-CA) thought that If the peace talks had gone forward, it would lose him the election. And so, the war went on five more years, and 15,000 more Americans died. Not to mention the Vietnamese.
There are tapes between Johnson and others, including Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL), describing it all -- and LBJ talking about how "treasonous" this is. Repeating the charge of "treason" over and over. And although Sen. Dirksen was the GOP minority leader, he himself keeps repeating, "I know." And "I know."
Making this all the more remarkable is the reason Johnson couldn't use the tapes to destroy Nixon. It's because they were obtained by illegal wiretapes by J. Edgar Hoover, when the FBI illegally bugged the South Vietnamese ambassador.
None of this is conjecture or political posturing. It's all on tape. And the tapes were found. And have been played on air.
So, when I talk about "on the good side of treason" and Republicans disingenuously charging the other side of being anti-American for 50 years, it was not hyperbole. No, the two stories are not directly related. Absolutely not. But given that there's further history of operatives for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan negotiating with Iran about holding off the release of hostages until he was sworn into office, so that he could get the credit for something he had nothing to do with, it's not like there's no history connecting it all.
The History Gods made sure of that.
Here's a short article on the BBC website with one of the tapes and a link to the "whole programme."
Here's a much longer BBC article on the whole programme and more audio.
And here's the MSNBC news story, with the audio tapes you can listen to yourselves.
We report the whole freaking thing, so you can actually decide honestly for yourself.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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