January 2, 2017 11:30 am -

No, it wasn’t Watergate. And in retrospect it looks even worse than the bombing of Cambodia. It turns out the evil Trickster intentionally sabotaged a 1968 deal that may have ended the Vietnam War four years earlier:

Newly revealed documents confirm what many people had long suspected: U.S. President Richard Nixon intentionally sabotaged negotiations that could have ended the Vietnam War in 1968.

Writing in the New York Times, author John A. Farrell reveals that newly unearthed notes held by top Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman show that Nixon in October 1968 had given orders to throw a “monkey wrench” into a deal that was being negotiated by the Johnson administration that might have brought an end to the bloody conflict in Vietnam.

Farrell details his findings:

Amid the reappraisals, we must now weigh apparently criminal behavior that, given the human lives at stake and the decade of carnage that followed in Southeast Asia, may be more reprehensible than anything Nixon did in Watergate.

Nixon had entered the fall campaign with a lead over Humphrey, but the gap was closing that October. Henry A. Kissinger, then an outside Republican adviser, had called, alerting Nixon that a deal was in the works: If Johnson would halt all bombing of North Vietnam, the Soviets pledged to have Hanoi engage in constructive talks to end a war that had already claimed 30,000 American lives.

But Nixon had a pipeline to Saigon, where the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, feared that Johnson would sell him out. If Thieu would stall the talks, Nixon could portray Johnson’s actions as a cheap political trick. The conduit was Anna Chennault, a Republican doyenne and Nixon fund-raiser, and a member of the pro-nationalist China lobby, with connections across Asia.

“! Keep Anna Chennault working on” South Vietnam, Haldeman scrawled, recording Nixon’s orders. “Any other way to monkey wrench it? Anything RN can do.”

Nixon told Haldeman to have Rose Mary Woods, the candidate’s personal secretary, contact another nationalist Chinese figure — the businessman Louis Kung — and have him press Thieu as well. “Tell him hold firm,” Nixon said.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.