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Archive for the ‘treason’ Category

Nixon’s Treason

Posted by Charles II on March 3, 2012

Treason is very specifically defined in the Constitution:

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.

Robert Parry, The Consortium:

Relying on national security wiretaps of the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington and surveillance of right-wing China Lobby activist Anna Chennault, Johnson concluded that Nixon’s Republican presidential campaign was colluding with South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu to derail the Paris peace talks and thus deny a last-minute boost to Democratic presidential nominee, Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

At the time, Johnson thought a breakthrough was near, one that could have ended a war which had already claimed the lives of more than 30,000 American troops and countless Vietnamese. Nixon, like Humphrey, was receiving briefings on the progress as the negotiations gained momentum in October 1968.

The Johnson administration was encouraged when North Vietnam agreed on a framework for peace talks. However, America’s South Vietnamese allies began to balk over details about how the negotiations would be conducted, objecting to any equal status for the South Vietnamese Viet Cong insurgents.

“Top Secret” reports from the National Security Agency informed President Johnson that South Vietnam’s President Thieu was closely monitoring the political developments in the United States with an eye toward helping Nixon win the Nov. 5 election.

For instance, an Oct. 23, 1968, report – presumably based on NSA’s electronic eavesdropping – quotes Thieu as saying that the Johnson administration might halt the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam as part of a peace maneuver that would help Humphrey’s campaign but that South Vietnam might not go along. Thieu also appreciated the other side of the coin, that Johnson’s failure would help Nixon.

“The situation which would occur as the result of a bombing halt, without the agreement of the [South] Vietnamese government … would be to the advantage of candidate Nixon,” the NSA report on Thieu’s thinking read. “Accordingly, he [Thieu] said that the possibility of President Johnson enforcing a bombing halt without [South] Vietnam’s agreement appears to be weak.” [Click here and here.]

By Oct. 28, 1968, according to another NSA report, Thieu said “it appears that Mr. Nixon will be elected as the next president” and that any settlement with the Viet Cong should be put off until “the new president” was in place.

Nixon’s Go-Between

The next day, Oct. 29, national security adviser Walt Rostow received the first indication that Nixon might actually be coordinating with Thieu to sabotage the peace talks. Rostow’s brother, Eugene, who was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, wrote a memo about a tip from a source in New York who had spoken with “a member of the banking community” who was “very close to Nixon.”

The source said Wall Street bankers – at a working lunch to assess likely market trends and to decide where to invest – had been given inside information about the prospects for Vietnam peace and were told that Nixon was obstructing that outcome.

“The conversation was in the context of a professional discussion about the future of the financial markets in the near term,” Eugene Rostow wrote. “The speaker said he thought the prospects for a bombing halt or a cease-fire were dim, because Nixon was playing the problem … to block. …

“They would incite Saigon to be difficult, and Hanoi to wait. Part of his strategy was an expectation that an offensive would break out soon, that we would have to spend a great deal more (and incur more casualties) – a fact which would adversely affect the stock market and the bond market. NVN [North Vietnamese] offensive action was a definite element in their thinking about the future.”

In other words, Nixon’s friends on Wall Street were placing their financial bets based on the inside dope that Johnson’s peace initiative was doomed to fail. (In another document, Walt Rostow identified his brother’s source as Alexander Sachs, who was then on the board of Lehman Brothers.)

A separate memo from Eugene Rostow said the speaker had added that Nixon “was trying to frustrate the President, by inciting Saigon to step up its demands, and by letting Hanoi know that when he [Nixon] took office ‘he could accept anything and blame it on his predecessor.’” So, according to the source, Nixon was trying to convince both the South and North Vietnamese that they would get a better deal if they stalled Johnson.

In his later memo to the file, Walt Rostow recounted that he learned this news shortly before attending a morning meeting at which President Johnson was informed by U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam Ellsworth Bunker about “Thieu’s sudden intransigence.” Walt Rostow said “the diplomatic information previously received plus the information from New York took on new and serious significance.”

That same day, Johnson “instructed Bromley Smith, Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, to get in touch with the Deputy Director of the FBI, Deke DeLoach, and arrange that contacts by Americans with the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington be monitored,” Rostow wrote.

The White House soon learned that Anna Chennault, the fiercely anticommunist Chinese-born widow of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault and a member of Nixon’s campaign team, was holding curious meetings with South Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Bui Diem. On Oct. 30, an FBI intercept overheard Bui Diem telling Mrs. Chennault that something “is cooking” and asking her to come by the embassy.

Johnson Complains

On Oct. 31, at 4:09 p.m., Johnson – his voice thick from a cold – began working the phones, trying to counteract Nixon’s chicanery. The Democratic president called Republican Senate Leader Everett Dirksen and broached a concern about Nixon’s interference with the peace talks. Johnson said he considered Nixon’s behavior a betrayal because he had kept Nixon abreast of the peace progress, according to an audio recording of the conversation released by the LBJ Library in late 2008.

“I played it clean,” Johnson said. “I told Nixon every bit as much, if not more, as Humphrey knows. I’ve given Humphrey not one thing.”

Johnson added, “I really think it’s a little dirty pool for Dick’s people to be messing with the South Vietnamese ambassador and carrying messages around to both of them [North and South Vietnam]. And I don’t think people would approve of it if it were known.”

Dirksen: “Yeah.”

Referring to his political trouble with Democrats as well as Republicans, Johnson continued, “While they criticized my conduct of the war, they have never told the enemy that he’d get a better deal, but these last few days, Dick is just gotten a little shaky and he’s pissing on the fire a little.”

Johnson then told Dirksen, “We have a transcript where one of his partners says he’s going to frustrate the President by telling the South Vietnamese that, ‘just wait a few more days,’ … he can make a better peace for them, and by telling Hanoi that he didn’t run this war and didn’t get them into it, that he can be a lot more considerate of them than I can because I’m pretty inflexible. I’ve called them sons of bitches.”

Dirksen responded by expressing the Republican concern that Johnson might spring a breakthrough on the peace talks right before the election. “The fellas on our side get antsy-pantsy about it,” the Illinois Republican said. “They wonder what the impact would be if a cease-fire or a halt to the bombing will be proclaimed at any given hour, what its impact would be on the results next Tuesday,” Election Day.

Johnson denied he would play politics with the war and recalled Nixon’s pledges to support his handling of the war. Johnson said, “With Nixon saying ‘I want the war stopped, that I’m supporting Johnson, that I want him to get peace if he can, that I’m not going to pull the rug out [from under] him,’ I don’t know how it could be helped unless he goes to parting under the covers and gets his hand under somebody’s dress.”

Knowing Dirksen would report back to Nixon, Johnson also cited a few details to give his complaint more credibility. “He better keep Mrs. Chennault and all this crowd tied up for a few days,” Johnson said.

Bombing Halt

That night, Johnson announced a bombing halt of North Vietnam, a key step toward advancing the peace process. The next morning at 11:38, he discussed the state of play with Sen. Richard Russell, D-Georgia, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Johnson again mentioned Nixon’s secret maneuverings though expressing hope that his warning to Dirksen had worked.

Nixon has “had these people engaged in this stuff,” said Johnson, amid loud honking to clear his sinuses. “Folks messing around with both sides. … Hanoi thought they could benefit by waiting and South Vietnam’s now beginning to think they could benefit by waiting, by what people are doing. So he [Nixon] knows that I know what he’s doing. And this morning they’re kind of closing up some of their agents, not so active. I noticed that one of the embassies refused to answer their call.”

However, on Nov. 2, Johnson learned that his protests had not shut down the operation. The FBI intercepted the most incriminating evidence yet of Nixon’s interference when Anna Chennault contacted Ambassador Bui Diem to convey “a message from her boss (not further identified),” according to an FBI cable.

According to the intercept, Chennault said “her boss wanted her to give [the message] personally to the ambassador. She said the message was that the ambassador is to ‘hold on, we are going to win’ and that her boss also said, ‘hold on, he understands all of it.’ She repeated that this is the only message … ‘he said please tell your boss to hold on.’ She advised that her boss had just called from New Mexico.”

In quickly relaying the message to Johnson at his ranch in Texas, Rostow noted that the reference to New Mexico “may indicate [Republican vice presidential nominee Spiro] Agnew is acting,” since he had taken a campaign swing through the state.

That same day, Thieu recanted on his tentative agreement to meet with the Viet Cong in Paris, pushing the incipient peace talks toward failure. That night, at 9:18, an angry Johnson from his ranch in Texas telephoned Dirksen again, to provide more details about Nixon’s activities and to urge Dirksen to intervene more forcefully.

Posted in history, Nixon, treason | 1 Comment »

A Little Anniversary

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 19, 2010

Remember what happened as a result of right-wing media mouthpieces fanning hatred fifteen years ago today?

I do.

Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995. Never forget.

Posted in terrorism, treason | 3 Comments »

Aid and Comfort to America’s Enemies

Posted by MEC on October 14, 2008

While McCain’s surrogates have been portraying Barack Obama as a terrorist, McCain himself has more serious matters to attend to, like signalling that he hasn’t admitted defeat yet by hiring William Timmons to head his presidential transition team.

And who, I can hear you asking, is William Timmons?

He’s a lobbyist (oh, you guessed that part) who worked for Saddam Hussein.

Yes, that Saddam Hussein.

As a friend frequently says, if you want to know what the Republicans are up to, just listen to what they’re accusing the Democrats of doing.

Posted in hypocrites, John McCain, treason | 1 Comment »

Bush OKs Torture, Media Yawns

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 14, 2008

Digby speaks, you listen. ‘Nuff said.

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, eedjits, evil, GOP/Media Complex, Iraq war, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, terrorism, torture, totalitarianism, treason | Comments Off on Bush OKs Torture, Media Yawns

Telecom Immunity = Bush Immunity

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 2, 2008

dday has the goods. An excerpt:

So if the intelligence community doesn’t care about this, and the phone company executives don’t care about this, there’s only one constituency for which this legislation is designed. And that’s the Bush Administration itself. As Glenn Greenwald noted the other day, it’s not like this is even well hidden.

In his Press Conference yesterday, Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush candidly explained why he was so eager to have Congress grant amnesty to telecoms:

“Allowing the lawsuits to proceed could aid our enemies, because the litigation process could lead to the disclosure of information about how we conduct surveillance.” […]

Bush is finally being candid about the real reason the administration is so desperate to have these surveillance lawsuits dismissed. It’s because those lawsuits are the absolute last hope for ever learning what the administration did when they spied on Americans for years in violation of the law. Dismissal via amnesty would ensure that their spying behavior stays permanently concealed, buried forever, and as importantly, that no court ever rules on the legality of what they did. Isn’t it striking how that implication of telecom amnesty is never discussed, and how little interest it generates among journalists — whose role, theoretically, is to uncover secret government actions?

That’s all this is about. The telecoms don’t want the amnesty. The overriding goal is to shut down these lawsuits and, most important, eliminate the discovery phase so that the full extent of Administration lawbreaking is permanently hidden. This is about burying the evidence, as every single action by the White House since the Democratic takeover of Congress has been. Bush may have a soft spot in his heart for his corporate buddies, but he’s really not interested in indemnifying them. He’s interested in immunity for himself.

Posted in abuse of power, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, corruption, cronies, FBI, fearmongering, rights, terrorism, totalitarianism, treason | Comments Off on Telecom Immunity = Bush Immunity

Rove’s Alabama Gulag: Censoring The Truth

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 25, 2008

Attaturk alerted us to this last night:

Off the Air in Alabama

I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama—from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down—that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening.
The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee. This station was noteworthy for its hostility to Siegelman and support for his Republican adversary. The station ran a trailer stating “We apologize that you missed the first segment of 60 Minutes tonight featuring ‘The Prosecution of Don Siegelman.’ It was a techincal problem with CBS out of New York.” I contacted CBS News in New York and was told that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19, which had the signal and had functioning transmitters.” I was told that the decision to blacken screens across Northern Alabama “could only have been an editorial call.” Channel 19 is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners, who can be contacted through Rhonda Barnat, 212-371-5999 or Oak Hill Partners represents interests of the Bass family, which contribute heavily to the Republican Party.

The link to the 60 Minutes Siegelman segment is here, for those who missed it — or were kept from seeing it.

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, corruption, cronies, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, Justice Department, Karl Rove, political prisoners, renewable energy, Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, speaking truth to power, totalitarianism, treason, WTF? | 1 Comment »

Things That Sadly Do Not Surprise Me

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 23, 2008

Orwell was right: The UK is no longer a sovereign nation, but merely Airstrip One for us — which sucks when the people running the US are a bunch of torturing thugs:

A British territory in the Indian Ocean was used for American “torture” flights, despite categorical denials of Britain’s involvement from both Tony Blair and Jack Straw, the Government admitted yesterday.

The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, had to make a humiliating apology to the Commons after it emerged that the US failed to tell British officials that two CIA rendition flights carrying suspected terrorists landed on the island of Diego Garcia in 2002. Six years on, one of the suspects is still being held by the US at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The other has been released.

Mr Miliband denied there was a deliberate cover-up and said he believed the US had acted “in good faith”. However, Gordon Brown, attending an EU summit in Brussels, expressed his “disappointment” and said Washington’s failure to disclose the flights earlier was “a very serious issue”.

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, Bush, Busheviks, evil, liars, terrorism, Tony Blair, torture, totalitarianism, treason | Comments Off on Things That Sadly Do Not Surprise Me

Neiwert Speaks. You Listen.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 27, 2007

David Neiwert gets to the heart of things, quickly, authoritatively, and effectively:

How is any kind of normative political discourse possible in the environment created by right-wing eliminationist rhetoric? How is it possible to be civil to people who constantly are placing you under threat of assault, verbal and otherwise? How can there be dialogue when the normative rules of give and take and fair play have not only been flushed down the drain, but chopped into bits and swept out with the tide? Do the advocates of civility place any onus on the nonstop verbal abuse, and absolutely ruthless, win-at-all-costs politics emanating from the conservative quadrant? And do they really expect liberals to refuse to defend themselves, even realizing that doing so gets them accused of further incivility? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in conservativism, evil, Michelle Malkin, neo-Nazis, rightwing moral cripples, totalitarianism, treason | Comments Off on Neiwert Speaks. You Listen.

The other case of treason

Posted by Charles II on November 20, 2007

Adrian Levy on Democracy Now reports that the US cut a deal with Pakistan to cover up its Al Qaeda ties and role providing weapons technology to North Korea, Libya, and Iran in exchange for cooperation in the War on Terror. And then this bombshell:

AMY GOODMAN: Adrian Levy, what about the United States firing intelligence agents who were uncovering Washington’s complicity, purging government departments charged with tracking nuclear proliferation and tipping off the Pakistan government about probes into its illicit program?

ADRIAN LEVY: This is absolutely critical. I think that this thing that you picked up on resonates very much in methodology to what one in pre-Iraq and during Iraq. The politicization of intelligence the sidelining, monstering of intelligence officials who attempted to do their jobs. In the case of Pakistan, it was a fierce operation. One arm of government was contradicting what the other was doing. Publicly, the administrations were saying non-proliferation is a gold standard in government and privately, they were undermining us, collaborating. Elements of the CIA still believe that non-proliferation was the gold standard of government and within the bureau, looking at Pakistan, they still believed there agreement was to interdict the Pakistan nuclear program. We have the case of Richard Barlow, a young officer drafted in from the arms control and disarmament agency in the State Department. By the mid-1980s, he is working on the Pakistan desk within the CIA, becoming through many citations and awards and certificates. The pre-eminent researcher on WMD and Pakistan. And Barlow through his diligent research begins to uncover considerable evidence in the distribution cables, cables submitted by officials of the state department to their opposition to cohorts in Pakistan. He begins to undercover a level of complicity, something the state department would called “clientitis” but that the broader public would understand as collaboration, whereby the information appeared to be leaked on sensitive operations. He began to dig some more, and what he discovered was CIA operations to capture Pakistan military agents operating, buying, for the WMD program in America, those operations were being blown at the last minute to the Pakistan government. One operation in particular, involving U.S. Customs Service, was completely blown. He actually came up with the names of two presidential appointees in the state department, both at the Assistant Secretary of State level, who were passing information to the Pakistani government to compromise these operations. He reported this. He reported also the manipulation and the politicization of intelligence that betrayed Pakistan as much further back in the development of its program and his reward for this was to be cold-shouldered and very much to be forced out of the CIA.

AMY GOODMAN: Who were the top officials here reported on? Who did this? Who tipped Pakistan off?

ADRIAN LEVY: There’s only one name I can tell you officially, Bob Peck, who sadly, is no longer with us and was Assistant Secretary of State was one of the two. The second one I can tell you, is one of America’s leading – continues to be one of America’s leading diplomats. But for legal reasons, we are not allowed to name him. Although there is substantial evidence to point to him, but we’ve been asked by our legal team not to do that today. Now, I should just add one other thing before I move onto the second phase of the monstering of Barlow, the undermining of Barlow. I should say that there are other figures and characters who recur throughout this and the other one being General Inesoll, who became under Reagan the National Intelligence Officer for WMD. And Inesoll actually, in a closed session of Congress, was openly distorting and lying about information with Pakistan in order to support security relationship. And he would be supported by officials slightly below him within the state and political appointees and the CIA in a move that one long-term state officials described to me as making many of the people in the State Department deeply cynical about governments.

But if we pick up with Barlow, when Barlow goes to the Pentagon to go to work for Dick Cheney, then Defense Secretary. He is tasked almost immediately with writing an intelligence estimate for Cheney to go to the president in 1988, 1989, looking at the state of play with Pakistan. In his report to go to Cheney, he tells Cheney what I have told you. The entire chronology of events vis a vis the rise of the Pakistan program and U.S. collaboration in it. He also makes a specific point that Pakistan is till procuring for the program and it has adapted its American supplied F-16 fighter jets as its platform to drop a nuclear bomb. Next thing you know, literally pretty much overnight, Barlow’s security clearances evaporate; a vicious whispering campaign begins in the Pentagon, accusing Barlow of being potentially a spy, adulterer, a drunkard, and his wife Cindy who is also in the CIA is very much set against him. This may sound remarkably like another case, the Plame-Wilson case. And it’s the same cast of characters essentially, on the periphery. With Barlow case it involves once again Louis Scooter Libby, Stephen Hadley, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Eric Adelman, still in the Pentagon negotiating with Pakistan. All of these people revolving around the Barlow case, helping to spread the smear. And it really would take years until there is a triple inquiry by the Inspector-general for the CIA, for the State Department and for the Pentagon that rules pretty much unanimously that Barlow was monstrously smeared, and was never working against his country. And his lawyers discover his report to Cheney had been rewritten. Rewritten to say the exact opposite of what he had written: that Pakistan had no bomb, was not advancing its program, couldn’t use American F-16 jets to deploy its bomb. And the reason for that was that the Pentagon was considering a 1989, 1990 selling another several billions worth of F-16s to its client, Pakistan.

Posted in our tax dollars at work, Pakistan, terrorism, treason, Valerie Plame | 5 Comments »

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