Austin, Texas--The library is reporting that these are the very last tapes, covering the final months of the President Lyndon Baines Johnson from May 1968 to January 1969.
What's revelatory is his discussion with Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen and the person-in-question, Richard M. Nixon. During the Watergate hearings Dirksen was the Republican congressman who stated that Richard M. Nixon would "split the party."
"This is treason," Johnson said, referring to people close to Nixon, during a conversation with Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen. The Democratic president never accused the Republican who would succeed him of treason, but said, "If Nixon keeps the South Vietnamese away from the (peace) conference table, that's going to be his responsibility." ("New tapes show LBJ worried about Vietnam, Nixon," AP, 12.04.2008)So, he's stated that Nixon's operatives were committing "treason," yet never "accused" Nixon of them in the tapes directly. The problem is, he was telling Dirksen just those very words. Isn't it great to have the press tell us our history, even when evidence suggests otherwise, right before our eyes?
Nixon's operatives were in South Vietnam doing their best to scuttle peace negotiations until the elections were over in the United States, namely, after November 1968. Their approach was to keep South Vietnamese leaders away from the negotiating tables to hurt the chances of Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey. This is an attempt at prolonging a war, which is treason.
In our timeworn American political tradition, this was brought-up during the Watergate hearings and quickly swept under the rug like the allegations of CIA drug smuggling in Southeast Asia during the war and in the Iran-Contra pipeline.
Special counsel John Dohr's investigators discovered corroboration into these stories and LBJ sounds absolutely certain that this was occurring in Vietnam. He had intelligence and media reports to suggest this was so, and he went so far as to contact Richard Nixon--then running for the White House--and confronted him over it. LBJ continued to harangue the President-elect after the elections for several days. Nixon being Nixon, he lied and did his best to dissuade LBJ that this was not the case.
But never mind LBJ--he didn't know what treason or abuse of office was, he had no experience there...excepting in the Gulf of Tonkin incident, when he authorized wiretaps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (with the aid of Bill Moyers) and many civil rights era leaders, strong-armed everyone who got in his way, and so on. A wolf knows a wolf.
Do a search on John Dohr and his role in the Watergate investigations and hearings, and while you're at it, try finding much of anything on the Watergate probe's findings in any detail. You're not going to find much. Why is that? Unsurprisingly, CBS neglected even one mention of this--the most important revelation--from their broadcasts, instead focusing on LBJ's reactions to the riots at the Democratic Convention and other errata. Big surprise.
The LBJ Library and Museum: http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu