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Thread: Noam Chomsky Needs an Intervention

  1. Default LBJ and what he called his "assassination" by the Wise Men

    A point that gets lost in the discussions around the March-April 1968
    period: Why Johnson abdicated: from my book INTO THE NIGHTMARE: MY SEARCH FOR THE KILLERS
    OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY AND OFFICER J. D. TIPPIT:


    My journey back to my original understanding of the Kennedy assassination coverup began in earnest in the early 1970s. Studying the Vietnam War as it unfolded and with the help of the revealing Pentagon Papers made me fully aware of how pervasive the level of deceitfulness involved in the assassination was in our governmental system. But it was the Watergate scandal that served as the decisive catalyst for my reexamination of postwar American history. This demonstrable conspiracy -- one of those rare political conspiracies everyone accepted as such -- and the many other crimes surrounding the Nixon presidency gave me a fresh awareness of the role of what Peter Dale Scott has since described as “deep politics” in American history. Scott, who has written perceptively on Watergate as well as the Kennedy assassination, is one of the writers who has drawn connections between those two events, which the mainstream media have regarded as distinct, even though some of the same high-level and lower-level players were involved. Scott writes in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, “In each case an incumbent President was removed from office, after a build-up of suspicion and resentment inside his administration because of his announced plans and/or negotiations for disengagement from Vietnam.”

    In fact, as I was beginning to recognize at the time of Nixon’s resignation in 1974, three presidents in a row -- Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon -- had been removed from office. It was becoming hard not to notice how the political system had changed with the Coup of ’63 and the coverup that followed. The calamitous turn in the Vietnam War when the Vietcong mounted the Tet Offensive in January 1968 led to President Johnson’s forced withdrawal from that year’s presidential race at the behest of his senior advisers, “The Wise Men.” That group was largely drawn from the leadership of the eastern establishment and including Clark Clifford, Dean Acheson, Averell Harriman, Henry Cabot Lodge, Douglas Dillon, and George Ball. Their decisive meeting with Johnson came on March 25, six days before he stunned the nation by announcing at the end of a televised speech about Vietnam, "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”


    Henry Brandon, the chief American correspondent of the Sunday Times of London, reports in his autobiography, Special Relationships: A Foreign Correspondent’s Memoirs from Roosevelt to Reagan (1988), about a conversation he had with President Johnson in 1968, after that decision was made: “LBJ, aware by then of his public repudiation, seemed to drag a burden of anguish in his wake when he spoke his own epitaph during a flight to visit President Truman in Independence, Missouri, aboard Air Force One: ‘The only difference between Kennedy’s assassination and mine is that mine was a live one, which makes it all a little more torturing.’” (Johnson visited Truman in Independence on May 3 and October 11 of that year.) Former Secretary of State Acheson summed up the March decision by the Wise Men by saying that “we can no longer do the job we set out to do [in Vietnam] in the time we have left, and we must begin to take steps to disengage.” Carl Oglesby in The Yankee and Cowboy War interprets what he calls Johnson’s forced “abdication” as a Yankee power play by the Wise Men to “break off [from the Cowboys] a war believed to be unwinnable except through an internal police state, both sides fighting for control of the levers of military and state-police power through control of the presidency. Johnson’s Ides of March was a less bloody Dallas, but it was a Dallas just the same: it came of a concerted effort of conspirators to install a new national policy by clandestine means. Its main difference from Dallas is that it finally did not succeed.”


  2. Default

    But Joe, in keeping with your historical parallels, it did not succeed because Nixon pulled the first October Surprise on Johnson.

    And the Democrats chose not to call RMN on it either before or after the election.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DiEugenio View Post
    But Joe, in keeping with your historical parallels, it did not succeed because Nixon pulled the first October Surprise on Johnson.

    And the Democrats chose not to call RMN on it either before or after the election.
    ****

    It did succeed in getting rid of Johnson but not in ending the war.
    Nixon of course expanded the war after promising otherwise.

    I covered a speech in 1972 at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) by William Sullivan,
    Kissinger's deputy at the time and later the US ambassador to Iran.
    Someone asked him why we were still in Vietnam. He said we were
    there to get control of the oil in the South China Sea. I printed that
    in my article for The Wisconsin State Journal, and the AP picked it up, and it caused a stir, though
    what caused an even bigger stir was Sullivan revealing that the peace
    talks about the war would be soon underway.

    Sullivan and his people tried to claim
    the speech was off the record, but I produced a letter from the
    group sponsoring it inviting my newspaper to cover it. Ironically, the only book on Vietnam I've read
    that mentions the oil in the South China Sea as a major motive
    for the Vietnam War is Chomsky's otherwise reprehensible hit
    job on JFK and Oliver Stone.

    As we know, natural resources
    are often the causes of war. That's why we are still in Afghanistan,
    to control the minerals and the opium. We are not there to "win,"
    especially since Afghanistan is a place that can't be conquered
    in any traditional sense (the last one to do so was Alexander the Great).
    To borrow a line from THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, we are
    fighting that longest war in our history "to loot the place six ways from sundown."
    The New York Times a few years ago actually ran an article admitting
    we are there for the minerals. It reads like a shopping list
    for the military-industrial complex: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/w...4minerals.html

  4. Default

    Well, there's another irony for you.

    In more than one source, I have read that Sullivan was a member of the secret committee that LBJ put together in 1964 to begin planning for his expansion of the Vietnam War.

    Did Kissinger hold him over for that reason? And is that how he knew about the oil?

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DiEugenio View Post
    Well, there's another irony for you.

    In more than one source, I have read that Sullivan was a member of the secret committee that LBJ put together in 1964 to begin planning for his expansion of the Vietnam War.

    Did Kissinger hold him over for that reason? And is that how he knew about the oil?
    ***

    Good questions. He had a long history in Southeast Asia and was LBJ's ambassador to Laos.

    William H. Sullivan's name comes up less often in deep politics discussions than the FBI's William C. Sullivan, who made Penn Jones's list after
    supposedly being mistaken for a deer during hunting season. William H. died quietly a day before his ninety-first birthday and
    is best known for being ambassador to Iran during the hostage crisis there.

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