Nixon's Vietnam Treachery
January 1, 2017 10:37 AM   Subscribe

 
LBJ knew and could do nothing. This is awful.
posted by domo at 10:39 AM on January 1, 2017 [9 favorites]


So Nixon was a war criminal on top of being a regular criminal. Neat.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:41 AM on January 1, 2017 [53 favorites]


Kind of makes you wonder how the Republicans ever allowed any Democrats to win the White House since then.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:42 AM on January 1, 2017 [14 favorites]


Nixon's vehicle for doing this was of course, Kissinger.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:43 AM on January 1, 2017 [44 favorites]


Nixon: I was wondering—
The Doctor: I should warn you, I don’t answer a lot of questions.
Nixon: I’m the President at the beginning of his time. Dare I ask, will I be remembered?
The Doctor: Oh Dicky. Tricky Dicky. They’re never going to forget you. Say hi to David Frost for me.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:50 AM on January 1, 2017 [19 favorites]


And he threatened the CIA director too, according to TFA!
posted by Krazor at 10:59 AM on January 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


Wow. From not going public without absolute proof, to going public with nothing at all-- how far we've come in 48 years.
posted by notsnot at 11:03 AM on January 1, 2017 [9 favorites]


Nixon: Even Worse Than You Knew.

It would feel a lot more anodyne if I didn't have a sort of dread that _____: Even Worse Than You Knew is going to be the theme for 2017.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:08 AM on January 1, 2017 [22 favorites]


Apparently Dick was indeed a fitting nickname...
posted by jim in austin at 11:10 AM on January 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


There is an excellent book that discusses how US Presidents interact with each other after leaving office, The Presidents' Club. It discusses this in some detail.

Nixon could play the game like no one else. It was both his greatest strength and his downfall.

In 1972, the McGovern and the Democrats could hardly find their own ass with two hands and a flashlight. Nixon still sent CREEP to Watergate.

What a putz.
posted by dfm500 at 11:13 AM on January 1, 2017 [5 favorites]


So Watergate really was nailing a gangster on tax evasion. And Johnson didn't even get to see him resign.

I guess I'll be the one to post Hunter S. Thompson's Nixon obit (The Atlantic), which summary of his affect on our nation and politics seems in this case correct:
Nixon's spirit will be with us for the rest of our lives -- whether you're me or Bill Clinton or you or Kurt Cobain or Bishop Tutu or Keith Richards or Amy Fisher or Boris Yeltsin's daughter or your fiancee's 16-year-old beer-drunk brother with his braided goatee and his whole life like a thundercloud out in front of him. This is not a generational thing. You don't even have to know who Richard Nixon was to be a victim of his ugly, Nazi spirit.
posted by postcommunism at 11:20 AM on January 1, 2017 [80 favorites]


A Republican presidential candidate secretly collaborating with an Asian government to get elected? No way!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:24 AM on January 1, 2017 [40 favorites]


Kind of makes you wonder how the Republicans ever allowed any Democrats to win the White House since then.

Well '76 was kind of unavoidable but in 1980 Reagan made a deal with the Iranians to keep the hostages until after the election.
posted by Talez at 11:26 AM on January 1, 2017 [73 favorites]


“I’m reading their hand, Everett,” Johnson told his old friend. “This is treason.”

A consistent legacy to the present.
posted by homerica at 11:34 AM on January 1, 2017 [8 favorites]


Every modern Republican administration has been actively criminal.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:34 AM on January 1, 2017 [75 favorites]


Nixon and his succesors confused winning the political process with being good leaders. And it's been normalized.
posted by fshgrl at 11:42 AM on January 1, 2017 [35 favorites]


...on a Nov. 4 conference call, they concluded that they could not go public because, among other factors, they lacked the “absolute proof,” as Defense Secretary Clark Clifford put it, of Nixon’s direct involvement.

Nixon was elected president the next day.


Either party today would have just gone ahead with indictments, or Grand Juries, or tweets, or however you get that ball rolling, because either a) the weak evidence wouldn't be reckoned until the hearings started after the election, or b) they wouldn't be in office anymore anyway.

I do wonder why Johnson wouldn't go that route.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:44 AM on January 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


Ending the war in 1968 could have saved as many as 30,000 American, and 500,000 others.

58,220 US soldiers were killed, in total.
1968 was the peak year for US soldiers killed in Vietnam, about 16,900.
37% of the US dead were drafted.
35,000 of the dead were 21 or younger.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:56 AM on January 1, 2017 [28 favorites]


More from Hunter S. Thompson's Nixon obit:

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
posted by blob at 11:59 AM on January 1, 2017 [39 favorites]


Apparently Dick was indeed a fitting nickname...

That's always sort of been the backstory with Nixon. Even back in the 50's and early 60's, he was pretty well-known throughout his own party as being an asshole with few scruples.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:01 PM on January 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


I often re-read HST's obituary of Nixon. It's a towering work of human spirit.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 12:07 PM on January 1, 2017 [15 favorites]


This horrible fact is a gift of useful perspective on the present, and I will use it as such.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:09 PM on January 1, 2017 [12 favorites]


Given that an ex-Nixon staffer is on record saying that he concocted the War On Drugs to hammer the hippies and black people, I suspect his rationale for keeping the Vietnam War going was partly domestic as well.
posted by acb at 12:23 PM on January 1, 2017 [22 favorites]


I kind of wish Hunter Thompson had hung around, though even he might be reduced to incoherently foaming at the mouth by present circumstances.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:23 PM on January 1, 2017 [9 favorites]


In 1972, the McGovern and the Democrats could hardly find their own ass with two hands and a flashlight. Nixon still sent CREEP to Watergate.

One of the main reasons McGovern got the nomination was that Nixon had sabotaged the campaigns of people like Muskie that he thought could beat him.
posted by kersplunk at 12:28 PM on January 1, 2017 [6 favorites]


I guess Trump IS far more presidential than we thought.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:38 PM on January 1, 2017 [20 favorites]


This makes me recall a book I once picked up while stuck somewhere remote on travel

The story may not be new now, but in the '60s, it was as fresh and startling as a creation myth. In 1960, John Kennedy beat Richard Nixon for president, by a very slim margin. Partly because of the Kennedy machine. But mostly due to Nixon's infamous debate on television with Kennedy, during which Nixon sweated like a man being interrogated and smiled like he had a blind horse he was trying to sell you. Nobody wanted to vote for a guy who looked like he would come to your house for a party and leave with his pockets full of your silver. Nixon was dead. Television killed him.

Cut to 1968.

With the help of adman Roger Ailes (yes, the same man who birthed Fox News), Nixon was able to repackage himself as a stolid, honest guy, who would restore Law and Honor to this nation riddled with dope-smoking hippies, like a beautiful house crawling with termites. And somehow, liberal journalist Joe McGuinness, all of 25, managed to talk Ailes into letting him cover Nixon's campaign. Which this time would morph Nixon's mortal enemy, TV, into the very machine that would get him elected in the fall of 1968. Mostly due to packaging. No live audience. No sweating. But by carefully constructed commercials.

posted by infini at 12:45 PM on January 1, 2017 [18 favorites]


I've heard it said that Nixon was evil but not ignorant, and W was ignorant but not evil. Nixon's paranoia is what eventually brought him to ignominy. Trump appears to have all three, and it remains to be seen whether he's stupid enough to make his venality less effective, and paranoid enough to alienate people with the wherewithal to bring him down.
posted by tclark at 12:47 PM on January 1, 2017 [23 favorites]


I've been rereading The Haldeman Diaries lately. They're well worth the read. You can also read several entries online at the Nixon Library website.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:50 PM on January 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


There must a be a term for a traitor who is so convinced that their personal views are reflective of a country's interest that they act in conspiracy with foreign interests to damage the interests of their own country.
posted by ethansr at 12:55 PM on January 1, 2017 [24 favorites]


I kind of wish Hunter Thompson had hung around, though even he might be reduced to incoherently foaming at the mouth by present circumstances

For me it's Bill Hicks.
posted by davebush at 12:56 PM on January 1, 2017 [9 favorites]


There must a be a term for a traitor who is so convinced that their personal views are reflective of a country's interest that they act in conspiracy with foreign interests to damage the interests of their own country.

It rhymes with "shmonservative."
posted by delfin at 1:25 PM on January 1, 2017 [36 favorites]


I was going to say "Republican" but that doesn't pull in Tories who want to dismantle everything that is good about Britain and thought nothing of calling a Brexit referendum, or the likes of Stephen Harper and what he did to Canada, or xenophobic Israelis bent on de facto genocide.

It's just that American conservatives are _particularly_ good at it.
posted by delfin at 1:32 PM on January 1, 2017 [4 favorites]


At the end of the last century, I would never have thought that my country would elect someone more despicable than Nixon. Then we did it twice. I hang my head in shame at not having done more to avoid that happening either time. But I swear now, before you all, that I won't carry that kind of shame away from future encounters. As the new year dawns, and the inauguration looms, let us all resolve to do whatever it takes to make sure our children and grandchildren live in an actual democracy. Trump, and the republicans, are much weaker than they appear. We're the majority: let's join together and be the un-silent majority that the racists and right wingers so fear. The worm turns, and the pendulum swings back. We know that they'll overplay their hand, so let's make certain that they pay the price politically.

Joe Hill told those crushed by his imminent death not to mourn, but to organize. Let it be so for this moment. Do the small things that foment solidarity among those of us who are disgusted that a lying, bellicose vulgarian will be president. Remember that the future is ours, but only if we take it. The millionaires and billionaires are spending great amounts of money to turn the country to the right because they know this is true, and they are terrified that demography and cultural awakening will make them irrelevant.

I urge all of you to make a study in how to effectively lobby legislators, and to spread this knowledge among like-minded citizens. This isn't the first time the forces of regression have been ascendant, and won't be the last. This is our moment: let's rise to the challenge. I, for one, will be shamed unto death to have to admit that my country fell to the nihilists and fascists because I and my contemporaries were to lazy or intimidated to undertake the hard work necessary to preserve the republic.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 1:51 PM on January 1, 2017 [61 favorites]


There must a be a term for a traitor who is so convinced that their personal views are reflective of a country's interest

Most of these alpha-quislings are narcissists who delude themselves into thinking that their selfishness is patriotism. They have no real ideals so can't betray them.
posted by benzenedream at 2:12 PM on January 1, 2017 [10 favorites]


I've mentioned before how my Republican Activist mother 'volunteered' me for campaign work in '72, a year before I was old enough to vote, and the GOP guys there saw a teenager with a car and tried to recruit me to 'help' nursing home residents fill out their absentee ballots (the 'right' way). Yep, Voter Fraud 44 years ago, which is why "Trump's Mirror" is nothing new to me - everything awful the Republicans have accused Democrats of doing is something that they ALWAYS do. The Democratic Party is just a corrupt political party; the Republican Party is a criminal enterprise that should have been shut down by the RICO laws decades ago. And 'a President Like Donald Trump' has always been inevitable, avoided by the party apparatus trying to avoid looking so awful, but the other party actions the last 8 years made it unavoidable, and The Donald was simply the Evil Troll who was in position to take advantage of it first. His over-the-top 'supervillain' style and general incompetence may ultimately do his party more harm than good - we can only hope so.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:40 PM on January 1, 2017 [32 favorites]


"So Nixon was a war criminal on top of being a regular criminal. Neat."

Duke Law's proudest graduate!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:48 PM on January 1, 2017 [3 favorites]


... everything awful the Republicans have accused Democrats of doing is something that they ALWAYS do.

I find this is very common. If you see somebody throwing an outsized not-evidence-based fit about someone doing something wrong, it is very often the case that they are doing that thing themselves. Sometimes it's to draw attention away from their own actions, but sometimes I think it is simply motivated by a weird combination of guilt and paranoia.
posted by IAmUnaware at 3:10 PM on January 1, 2017 [26 favorites]


I think that Nixon's downfall was giving The Committee for the Re-Election of the President arm's length powers, and CREEP really screwed up by allowing egomaniac G.G. Liddy to play some incompetent amateur black ops style games.

There are worse things than death...

Oliver Stone tends to mythologize history, but his interpretation of Nixon is really worth viewing. In this film, Nixon's Enemies List is kinda like a personal response to Hoover's FBI blackmail file.

posted by ovvl at 3:12 PM on January 1, 2017 [2 favorites]


Trump appears to have all three, and it remains to be seen whether he's stupid enough to make his venality less effective, and paranoid enough to alienate people with the wherewithal to bring him down.

Which reminds me, Woodward and Bernstein's Deep Throat source, Mark Felt, leaked out of a personal vendetta after Nixon passed him over for promotion to FBI Director.
posted by indubitable at 3:16 PM on January 1, 2017 [12 favorites]


Surely this...

...would mean we can disinter Nixon and drive a wooden stake through his heart. Just to make sure.
posted by the sobsister at 3:23 PM on January 1, 2017 [6 favorites]




As somebody who lived under the despicable Nixon Presidency in the late 1960s and early 1970s, this proof of the ugly, top level government conspiracy to undermine the Vietnam War peace talks is painfully satisfying to see.

When there has been cunning, malicious betrayal, with decades of deceitful cover-up, it's a relief to have proof of the treachery.

One of the additional things that Nixon did in his obsession to be a winner at all costs, resembling the President elect, was to initiate what he called "The War on Cancer". He didn't win Vietnam so he attempted to have some other kind of winning the war prestige.

This resulted in half a century of people referring to those who die as a result of enduring cancer as "losing the battle". Other people die of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, accidents without being losers but people who die of cancer "lost the battle". As a cancer survivor myself, that really pisses me off. It's bad enough having the damned cancers but then to be a loser at death, to hell with that!

The ‘war on cancer’ arose from a toxic combination. A socialite with powerful friends and a misguided belief that cancer could be ‘conquered’ within 7 years recruited a flawed US President to lead an ‘all-out assault [against] one of mankind's deadliest and most elusive enemies’. Mary Lasker and her Citizens’ Committee for the Conquest of Cancer ran a skilful campaign during 1969–1971, comparing the number of cancer deaths with American troop losses in the unpopular Vietnam war. Richard Nixon preferred to compare US cancer mortality with American troop losses in World War II.

‘Waging war’ against a disease that is so intrinsic to our cellular biology is even more quixotic than declaring a war on terror, drugs or religion. ‘War’ is more than just a metaphor. It distorts political thinking about cancer with the illusory clarity of victory and defeat. Therapeutic attacks on the ‘enemy’ are prioritised over strategies to prevent the disease occurring, and where there is ‘war’, there goes the medical-industrial complex.


One may, perhaps, imagine a world where an outbreak of sanity has removed injustice and the roots of terrorism. I cannot imagine a human race without DNA, which occasionally makes mistakes that our cells cannot repair. The language of war, victory and defeat is misplaced and outdated. All cancer patients, everywhere, deserve prompt and equitable access to optimal treatment and pain relief. But we should drop the lazy, simplistic jargon and the distorted priorities of ‘war’, and focus on prevention to make long-term progress against cancer.
posted by nickyskye at 3:35 PM on January 1, 2017 [42 favorites]


I find this is very common. If you see somebody throwing an outsized not-evidence-based fit about someone doing something wrong, it is very often the case that they are doing that thing themselves. Sometimes it's to draw attention away from their own actions, but sometimes I think it is simply motivated by a weird combination of guilt and paranoia.


I've read that one of the ways rapists justify what they do, particularly the sort of "serially assaulting drunken women" rapist, is they just assume everyone else is doing it and they're just lying about it. Likewise, a lot of the cynicism on the right is assuming the left can't possibly be sincere because they aren't sincere and the worst thing you can do is care sincerely rather than striking an ironic pose or just saying whatever to get elected.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:55 PM on January 1, 2017 [44 favorites]


I find this is very common. If you see somebody throwing an outsized not-evidence-based fit about someone doing something wrong, it is very often the case that they are doing that thing themselves.

A chance to link my favorite Subnormality, yay!
posted by Literaryhero at 5:30 PM on January 1, 2017 [11 favorites]


...we can disinter Nixon and drive a wooden stake through his heart.

What might be slightly more meaningful would be to finally impeach the rat. Yeah, I know about the Ford pardon, but not impeaching Nixon was a huge missed opportunity, and it flashed a big ANYTHING GOES sign for all future ethically-challenged Presidents. The Republicans have been pushing the envelope since then, and there apparently is nothing that is too far.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:41 PM on January 1, 2017 [12 favorites]


"What might be slightly more meaningful would be to finally impeach the rat. Yeah, I know about the Ford pardon"

Yeah but more importantly HE'S DEAD and you can't try a dead man, this isn't 897!

I'm pretty sure you can't impeach them once they're out of office, period. You definitely can't Constitutionally impeach a dead man, big due process violation.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:49 PM on January 1, 2017 [7 favorites]


a lot of the cynicism on the right is assuming the left can't possibly be sincere because they aren't sincere

Something you should think of every time you hear a conservative snarking about so-called "virtue signalling."
posted by praemunire at 5:52 PM on January 1, 2017 [8 favorites]


Still mad that 2016 took Bowie, Prince, Leia, Ali, Phife, and *failed* to take Kissinger.
posted by gusandrews at 6:38 PM on January 1, 2017 [12 favorites]


Yeah but more importantly HE'S DEAD and you can't try a dead man, this isn't 897!

So - you're going to just let him off on a technicality.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:40 PM on January 1, 2017 [14 favorites]


There are some interesting parallels between the Nixon election and the 2016 election. From Nixonland:

"George Wallace sent a congratulatory telegram. Nixon never acknowledged it. It spoke to the agony of victory. For it was barely a victory. 301 electoral votes for Nixon and 191 for Humphrey, 46 for George Wallace -- and, in the popular vote, 43.42 percent, 42.72 percent, and 13.53 percent.  [Nixon had received] only five or so points more than Barry Goldwater's humiliating share in 1964. With George Wallace claiming that symbolically the victory belonged as much to him as to Nixon: 'Mr. Nixon said the same thing we said,' he declared. If he hadn't, was Wallace's point, Nixon wouldn't have won. And indeed, a few thousand more votes for Wallace in North Carolina and Tennessee, a shift of 1 percent of the vote in New Jersey or Ohio from Nixon to Humphrey, and the election would have been thrown into the House of Representatives, because Nixon wouldn't have won an electoral college majority."
posted by mecran01 at 6:54 PM on January 1, 2017 [5 favorites]


Still mad that 2016 took Bowie, Prince, Leia, Ali, Phife, and *failed* to take Kissinger.

Even Hell has its limits. They're still recovering from Thatcher arriving and demanding that they SHUT THOSE SULFUR PITS DOWN IMMEDIATELY!
posted by delfin at 7:00 PM on January 1, 2017 [6 favorites]


If It’s Not Treason, What Do We Call It?
Republican Politics.

Still mad that 2016 took Bowie, Prince, Leia, Ali, Phife, and *failed* to take Kissinger.

It did take Antonin Scalia, Nancy Reagan, Phyllis Schlafly and Jack Chick. Still, totally not enough, I know.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:13 PM on January 1, 2017 [9 favorites]


davebush: "For me it's Bill Hicks."

Me George Carlin. I mean it would have been hours of ranting but it would have been entertaining.
posted by Mitheral at 7:46 PM on January 1, 2017


Nixon was pardoned of all crimes he may have committed, he is in heaven these days.
posted by hortense at 8:14 PM on January 1, 2017 [1 favorite]


gusandrews: 2016 took Bowie, Prince, Fisher, Ali, and Phife. That was quite a slip there - all the men get to be people, but the woman gets reduced to frankly her least interesting (and oh-so-coincidentally sexy) bit?
posted by adrienneleigh at 11:40 PM on January 1, 2017 [8 favorites]


Pretty shocked we "get" to know this. I've previously understood that the JFK assassination papers are classified until 75 years after Jackie's death.
posted by riverlife at 11:47 PM on January 1, 2017


The sad thing is that so many journalists at places like NPR News and CNN and the NYT imagine themselves to be like Woodward and Bernstein. But nowadays, they'd feel the need to balance Watergate with many months of "questions asked about McGovern campaign after McGovern allegedly robbed several lemonade stands" (when it was alleged to have happened when he was 5, and didn't actually happen, and you get both of these details halfway through the article). Then the pundits would sit back and complain about the "tone of the election" and how the (white, male, natch) working class doesn't have its interests addressed because all the "infighting."

And Watergate as a result wouldn't have been a thing. Also, today's GOP will allow a serial killer to stay in office so long as he cuts benefits for the poor so that taxes can be cut for the rich. They'd never pressure Nixon to resign.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:45 AM on January 2, 2017 [13 favorites]


You're 100% right about 'balance', but a few things about Watergate:
  • Newspapers (not just the WP) had published a whole bunch of articles about Watergate before the election that had linked the burglaries to the Nixon campaign, and for the most part nobody cared - Nixon still won by a landslide. Here's the WP story a month before the election naming a ton of names including the Attorney General, reporting that the Canuck Letter that brought down Muskie was a forgery, Segretti saying Nixon had knowledge of sabotage operations, etc.
  • Woodward and Bernstein really get an outsized place in the Watergate myth. The truth is they were mostly following a step behind the official investigations - the initial arrests, the grand jury, Dardis' investigations in Miami, the FBI investigation, the Senate committee. The truth is the law took its time but the system worked and eventually got to the bottom of everything, and Nixon's own party as you rightly point out eventually got him out. Contrast that with now when for example Comey is happy to use the FBI for partisan ends. The chances of a current Trump scandal not being adequately followed up by law enforcement seems higher.
    posted by kersplunk at 5:10 AM on January 2, 2017 [14 favorites]


    The sad thing is that so many journalists at places like NPR News and CNN and the NYT imagine themselves to be like Woodward and Bernstein.

    My high school journalism teacher told us that if your source lies to you, that's your story. Why did they lie? What are they hiding? (The latter point also makes it an act of nearly criminal ineptitude to let Trump get away with not releasing his tax returns -- he's obviously hiding something!)

    NPR would do its listeners a service if it simply refused to air soundbites of Republicans saying false things, but they don't.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:30 AM on January 2, 2017 [6 favorites]


    I disagree that the system worked.

    None of key players (Chennault, Nixon, Kissinger, ... ) have ever paid a price for the deaths (Half a million? 2 million?) that they caused.

    The Republican party has learned that they can commit crimes and badness with impunity because they will control the power structure after the election.

    We just now found out about this "October Surprise". There is a similar amount of evidence that Reagan played the same game with the hostages. The Conservatives on the Supreme Court gave Bush his first term. Comey and the FBI subverted the 2016 election for Trump.

    As far as I can tell, H.W. Bush has been the only legitimate Republican president in my lifetime. The take-away for me is that despite rhetoric to the contrary we do not live under a democratic system and we will probably never do so because subverting elections is effective and consequence free.
    posted by pdoege at 10:47 AM on January 2, 2017 [10 favorites]


    >If It’s Not Treason, What Do We Call It?.

    I believe this article is going light on Trump.

    Nixon did not explicitly refuse to say he would accept the result of the presidential election. Nixon did not falsely claim the election was rigged against him.

    I had someone tell me that because of the rigging talk, he considering joining a friend in taking up arms against the government in the event of a Clinton win. He was talking as if he did not even realize that anyone could have a problem with him talking about killing thousands of "the enemy." And trust me this guy did not have the guile for this to be random bragging or an exaggerated threat, this was an honest expression of what he was considering at the time...

    Now I may be a white guy, but I'm a queer nerd who isn't massively social. And honestly if I've heard something like this, I expect there is a snowball's chance in hell that this wasn't widespread.

    I did not contact the authorities because, given the FBI's support for Trump, I believed that whoever I got in touch with would be more likely to aid these people than investigate them. How many people, deep down, really think that was an unreasonable call?

    When I take a step back from mass media and social media and restrict myself things I or people I know have experienced personally, my impression is that things are bad. The current political situation is much, much worse than anyone's really publicly admitting. That has to change. It's too easy for people to lie to themselves right now and pretend everything is fine. It is not.
    posted by Zalzidrax at 11:01 AM on January 2, 2017 [7 favorites]


    So to recap:

    1. Nixon: treasonous deal with Vietnam
    2. Reagan: treasonous deal with Iran
    3. Trump: treasonous deal with Russia

    Clearly, the Republicans are the party of treason.
    posted by BentFranklin at 12:49 PM on January 2, 2017 [13 favorites]


    Does anyone have a transcript of Haldeman's notes? I find his handwriting kind of illegible, and I’m not actually seeing the words “monkey wrench” in them. The implication is certainly clear, especially the bit about Anna Chenault, but it’d be nice to know what they actually say without squinting up my eyes.
    posted by Going To Maine at 1:43 PM on January 2, 2017


    Going to Maine, at the top of Page 2 of Haldeman's notes, 6th line from the top, it says, “Any other way to monkey wrench it? Anything RN can do.”
    posted by nickyskye at 3:18 PM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]




    I disagree that the system worked.

    To clarify, I mean strictly in the case of Watergate - once the burglars were arrested, numerous investigations proceeded slowly but surely up the chain and when the trail led to a sitting US president they kept going, even in the face of all the desperate obstructionism, like the Saturday Night Massacre, that Nixon could manage.

    Slightly related but I just remembered about the Ellsberg case too - if that happened today it's likely he would have rotted in prison.
    posted by kersplunk at 5:18 PM on January 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


    I consider every Republican I meet to be a member of a terrorist organization. I can't understand how any person with the slightest affinity for democracy can see them as anything but. What good has the Republican party EVER done for this country? Every generation they get worse. Abhorrent people.
    posted by any major dude at 6:08 PM on January 2, 2017 [5 favorites]


    I consider every Republican I meet to be a member of a terrorist organization. I can't understand how any person with the slightest affinity for democracy can see them as anything but.

    Hopefully you don't lead with that…
    posted by Going To Maine at 7:10 PM on January 2, 2017


    (Paraphrasing) We need a word for this activity, which is not quite treason.

    Modus operandi
    posted by BentFranklin at 9:00 PM on January 2, 2017


    The language of war, victory and defeat is misplaced and outdated.

    nickyskye, thank you for that history. It helps makes sense of current day use of highly militarized language being used for poverty alleviation, climate change, maternal mortality, even drought and famine.
    posted by infini at 11:48 PM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


    That's always sort of been the backstory with Nixon.

    According to my grandmother, she went to elementary school with Nixon for a year, second grade iirc. She used to tell a story about a fairly elaborate prank that the other boys played on him. And wow, she disliked him intensely! From her childhood experiences, even.
    posted by epersonae at 8:05 AM on January 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


    She used to tell a story about a fairly elaborate prank that the other boys played on him. And wow, she disliked him intensely! From her childhood experiences, even.

    Holy crap, now we know the full story, the poor guy was tormented and bullied as a child, no wonder he developed into an evil sunovabitch. Not even the Quakers could save that guy.
    posted by e1c at 9:33 AM on January 3, 2017 [1 favorite]




    Yeah but more importantly HE'S DEAD and you can't try a dead man, this isn't 897!

    so you're saying there's precedent
    posted by um at 4:32 PM on January 3, 2017 [6 favorites]


    « Older I miss "meh"   |   Dead Ant Dead Ant Dead Ant Dead Ant Dead Ant Newer »


    This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments