Ignoring the facts
Thursday, August 21, 2014 11:00 AM
To the editor:
Colin Meyer's recent letter that Richard Nixon campaigned on the promise to get the U.S. out of Vietnam conveniently ignores the now known facts published in many places including an article by Colin Schultz in the Smithsonian magazine last year.
Schultz states that according to a BBC report, "In 1968, the Paris Peace talks, intended to put an end to the 13-year-long Vietnam War, were derailed because an aide working for then-presidential candidate Richard Nixon persuaded the South Vietnamese to walk away from the dealings." I quote further: "Nixon needed the war to continue and feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war would derail his campaign."
Schultz points out that during the presidential campaign in 1968 Nixon's aide Anna Chennault was sent to the South Vietnamese embassy by Nixon with the clear message that "the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal." This act of conspiracy to interfere with and derail executive interactions of the President of the United States with a foreign government to end a war were committed by civilian Richard Nixon - by any measure, treason.
President Johnson was informed of Nixon's activities and was furious. He let Nixon know that he knew what Nixon was up to. Nixon pretended he had no idea why the Paris Peace talks failed. But Johnson never went public because he was sure Nixon would lose the election to Hubert Humphrey and also did not want to reveal that he had ordered the FBI to bug the South Vietnamese embassy which is how he found out.
As for Mr. Meyer's blaming JFK and LBJ for the deaths of all 58,000 American soldiers and half a million Vietnamese, he further conveniently ignores the facts that the Vietnam War went on another four years while Nixon was President during which 22,000 (of the 58,000) American soldiers died in Vietnam and hundreds of thousands Vietnamese and Cambodian citizens were killed (Nixon illegally attacked a neutral country - Cambodia - with a massive bombing campaign). So much for the "peace" candidate who committed treasonable acts in order to be elected President of the United States.
This is all so much water under the bridge now, but facts are facts especially worth citing to those rewriting history.