Presidential Treason: Nixon and the War in Vietnam

When one considers the risk/benefit of a free press and becomes concerned that a fully unrestricted press poses a danger to the safety and security of the country, I would suggest reading this article about the length some will go to get elected, and how a free press is critical to protecting America’s integrity.

When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election

During the run-up to the 1968 election, Richard Nixon, in a foreshadowing of Watergate, did something in secret that is so horrendous as to defy credulity.

In what became known as the Chennault Affair—“named for Anna Chennault, the Republican doyenne and fundraiser who became Nixon’s back channel to the South Vietnamese government and lingered as a diplomatic and political whodunit for decades afterward.” (taken from the above article)—Nixon used this surrogate to persuade the South Vietnamese to delay reaching any agreement on ending the war on the promise that Nixon, if elected, would give them better terms.

This matter did not become public knowledge until 2007 with the release of previously restricted documents in Nixon’s Presidential Library.

Perhaps, if someone had the integrity and sense of honor to leak this information to the press, a quicker, less costly end to the war might have been achieved.

By 1967, the war had taken more than 20,000 American lives, wounded hundreds of thousands, and torn American society apart. But for the sake of winning an election—by preventing Johnson’s feverish efforts to negotiate an end to the war and extract American troops giving the Democrats a boost in their election prospects—Nixon sabotaged the negotiations.

The end result?

Six more years of war. More than 38000 additional combat deaths and hundred of thousands more wounded. American lives shattered, POWs languishing for five more years, and a country torn apart by anti-war violence.

This same President willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of an election victory would further sully the office with the Watergate scandal in securing another election.

Another episode which may have never come to light but for the sake of a deputy director of the FBI, a man of integrity known as Deep Throat, some enterprising reporters, and the Washington Post, a newspaper willing to fulfill its obligation as a free and independent press.

Sadly, at the cost of America’s most precious resource, the men and women willing to serve their country, this other Nixon episode never saw the light of day in time to do anything. Perhaps now it can serve as a reminder of the need to protect a free press.

Like the Pentagon Papers published by the New York Times detailing the American military consensus that the Vietnam war was unwinnable, which turned even more against the war by unveiling the truth, perhaps an exposé of Nixon’s treasonous behavior by an enterprising publisher might have saved thousands of American lives.

It is those drawn to the power of the Presidency that need bear the most scrutiny of a free press. Secrets sometimes save lives, more often they needlessly waste them.

That alone is a strong enough reason to ensure the preservation and sanctity of a free press.

And if you haven’t yet….GO VOTE!

Vote 2020 | Auburn Examiner
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Ennui will Destroy America

I checked the calendar today, twice, to make sure it really was the year 2020. Turns out, it is. No matter how hard that is to believe.

This is the most modern age in America so far. But despite all our technology, all our vast capabilities, all these attempts at either recovering or finding American greatness, we still cannot run an election. We fail at the most fundamental aspect of self-government; wherein the people determine the course of government.

This should happen without lengthy delays in counting votes, serious doubts over integrity, or an embarrassing level of non-participation.

We have little faith in our fellow Americans—seeing them all (or at least the ones who hold different beliefs or political philosophies) as willing to commit voter fraud—and we have no faith in our government. A government installed by VOTERS. We don’t trust the system and we see little benefit in making the effort to vote.

We are trapped between an irresistible force and an immovable object. Our own intransigence and inertia will be our demise.

A country that once challenged the greatest military power in the world on the sheer courage of our citizen-soldiers runs elections like a kindergarten class in North Korea.

A country that once put a man on the moon cannot guarantee every citizen the opportunity to vote and instill in them the obligation to exercise that right as a sacred duty.

We should be a country certain that the outcome of elections represents the will of the people. All the people.

But, alas, as the latest debacle out of Kentucky demonstrates, we may be a world leader in some things, yet we are barely competent in the most critical—supporting and fostering our Democracy.

Kentucky, in a preview of the coming national elections, reduced polling locations. One location covered almost 800,000 voters. This was ostensibly to manage exposure to COVID-19. It defies logic.  Wouldn’t MORE sites reduce numbers and the risk of exposure?  They also either failed to anticipate or exhibited just plain ‘ole stupidity in their plan for dealing with mail-in ballots.

I know the pressures on poll workers is enormous. They have to spend an entire DAY at the polls. Would it be too much to ask if we made them work, for the sake of argument, an entire week to increase opportunities for voting?  These elections only happen every two years. I would think one week of work and two years off, even if they have to add two extra days to prepare, isn’t an unreasonable request.

Perhaps working at polling sites should be akin to jury duty. Everybody required to participate. Now I know some of you are rolling your eyes. Jury duty! How awful a comparison. But jury duty, no matter how inconvenient, is the foundation of the justice system. As is staffing election operations to allow all to vote.

Perhaps we should demand that the position of Secretary of State be more than just a launch pad for the politically ambitious. As Draconian as this may sound, we should insist they actually deal with making voting accessible for all.

Of all the ills facing this country, sometimes we need to triage the most critical and put aside the others.  And I can think of nothing more important than making sure every eligible American votes. It is something we should instill as part of our education system. Not only do you have the Right to Vote, but you have a civic obligation to do so.

A truly representative government, populated with responsible individuals elected by open voter participation, is the best way to address all the other issues facing America.

Here’s another incentive for those of you who distrust government, incumbents fear large voter turnout. They understand if circumstances can drive the normally oblivious to the polls, change is in the air.

If you are serious about Making America Great Again, then vote. And demand those who manage our elections work to support that goal.

If you don’t think it matters, you have only to look at what happened in 2016. The time for Americans to reclaim our destiny, self-respect, and standing as a beacon of Democracy is upon us.


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