Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Republicans Know How To Win

Through tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's phone calls, declassifed in 2013, we learned of Lyndon Johnson's chicanery, Richard Nixon's utter disregard for his country, and Hubert Humphrey's extraordinary integrity.  More significantly- at this moment- the 2013 article from BBC News throws some light onto the upcoming presidential election. David Taylor wrote

It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign.

He therefore set up a clandestine back-channel involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser.

At a July meeting in Nixon's New York apartment, the South Vietnamese ambassador was told Chennault represented Nixon and spoke for the campaign. If any message needed to be passed to the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, it would come via Chennault.

In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris - concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared.

Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: 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.

So on the eve of his planned announcement of a halt to the bombing, Johnson learned the South Vietnamese were pulling out.

He was also told why. The FBI had bugged the ambassador's phone and a transcripts of Anna Chennault's calls were sent to the White House. In one conversation she tells the ambassador to "just hang on through election."

(President Johnson found out but divulged the information only to Democratic nominee Humphrey because the information had been gleaned solely from the FBI wiretap of the South Vietnamese ambassador. Humphrey, having been told he would win the election, withheld the information because it would disrupt the country. Nixon won by less than 1% and as President expanded the war.)

Fast-forward 12 years to the events of 1980, which investigator Robert Parry wrote about five days ago under the headline "The Modern History of 'Rigged' US Elections."  He explained

President Jimmy Carter was seeking reelection and trying to negotiate release of 52 American hostages then held in revolutionary Iran. Ronald Reagan’s campaign feared that Carter might pull off an “October Surprise” by bringing home the hostages just before the election. So, this historical mystery has been: Did Reagan’s team take action to block Carter’s October Surprise?

The testimonial and documentary evidence that Reagan’s team did engage in a secret operation to prevent Carter’s October Surprise is now almost as overwhelming as the proof of the 1968 affair regarding Nixon’s Paris peace talk maneuver.

That evidence indicates that Reagan’s campaign director William Casey organized a clandestine effort to prevent the hostages’ release before Election Day, after apparently consulting with Nixon and Kissinger and aided by former CIA Director George H.W. Bush, who was Reagan’s vice presidential running mate.

By early November 1980, the public’s obsession with Iran’s humiliation of the United States and Carter’s inability to free the hostages helped turn a narrow race into a Reagan landslide. When the hostages were finally let go immediately after Reagan’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981, his supporters cited the timing to claim that the Iranians had finally relented out of fear of Reagan.

Bolstered by his image as a tough guy, Reagan enacted much of his right-wing agenda, including passing massive tax cuts benefiting the wealthy, weakening unions and creating the circumstances for the rapid erosion of the Great American Middle Class.

Behind the scenes, the Reagan administration signed off on secret arms shipments to Iran, mostly through Israel, what a variety of witnesses described as the payoff for Iran’s cooperation in getting Reagan elected and then giving him the extra benefit of timing the hostage release to immediately follow his inauguration.

We know that Trump operative and career dirty trickster Roger Stone contended on August 8, 2016 that he has "actually communicated" with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has leaked DNC e-mails which the intelligence community has strongly suggested were hacked by force(s) associated witht the Russian government.  But even five days ago Parry himself did not make the connection that, according to Michael Crowley, Senator Harry

Reid himself has led the charge since late August, when he sent Comey an open letter imploring the FBI to investigate what he called “evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.” That letter cited a Trump campaign adviser who traveled to Moscow in July and who, according to Reid, “met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals” there. That was almost surely a reference to Carter Page, an investment banker who has worked in Moscow and whom Trump has publicly named as a foreign adviser. Page has denied meeting with sanctioned Kremlin officials in Moscow, where he delivered economic remarks at a think tank. The Trump campaign says Carter plays a minimal advisory role.

History, it is claimed, repeats itself. Still, neither Taylor, Parry, or Politico's Crowley even mentioned the Brooks Brothers' riot which stopped vote counting in Miami-Dade County, Florida in 2000 nor in 2004 vote switching, pre-punched ballots, voter suppression, and hacking of the touchscreen voting machines in Ohio by controllers of the SmarTech computers.

Donald Trump whines about the election being "rigged" and diverts attention from GOP voter suppression. But through the decades, the Republican Party has practiced in close elections a a subtler, more sophisticated, and more realistic effort to subvert the election process than he imagines.

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