LBJ Nixon Treason: Recently declassified recordings of White House phone calls from 1968 show that former President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) knew Richard Nixon sabotaged a peace deal in Vietnam to boost his presidential campaign, which he felt rested on the war.
Former President Lyndon B. Johnson recorded all his White House telephone conversations, believing a president’s actions should be left to posterity and judged in the full light of day. A batch of tapes were released in 2008, but the final batch of tapes covering 1968 conversations have now been released, adding new evidence on Richard Nixon’s alleged treason.
South Vietnam mysteriously pulled out of a peace agreement just before Johnson announced it in early November 1968, days before the presidential election. Nixon expressed as much dismay and ignorance as anyone publicly. Nixon’s senior campaign adviser Anna Chennault, however, had told the Vietnamese ambassador to hold out on an agreement until after the elections, at which time Nixon would make a better deal, according to the BBC.
In a soundbite of the recordings on the BBC’s website, Johnson says: “We have found that our friend, the Republican nominee, our California friend, has been playing on the outskirts with our enemies and our friends both, he has been doing it through rather subterranean sources … Mrs. Chennault is warning the South Vietnamese not to get pulled into this Johnson move [toward peace].”
The treason has been recounted in Chennault’s memoirs, accounts published by a senior adviser of former South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu, and in former South Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Bui Diem’s memoirs, according to Consortiumnews.com. The treason has, nonetheless, remained in doubt.
Johnson had the FBI investigate, but did not publicly uncover the ploy, because it would require revealing that the FBI and the National Security Agency were bugging the ambassador’s phone.
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