Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna • John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland


U.S. Presidency: The magic bullet and how far it spun
John Heathcote

Backfire: The CIA's Secret War in Laos and Its Link to the War in Vietnam

War on Drugs: Counterinsurgency Operations in Colombia

Nixon "Smoking Gun" Tapes Released

Pat Buchanan's Skeleton Closet

October Surprise

The CIA, Rockefeller, and the Boys in the Club

Hoover and the Mafia



U.S. terror bombing in Vietnam with napalm and herbicides. Both Nixon and Kissinger should have been indicted as war criminals - instead Kissinger recieved the Nobel peace prize and Nixon had written on his tombstone: "Blessed are the peacemakers". Pic from

We will conclude this extended editorial on the US election with some information concerning Richard Nixon's first election victory. Based on an article recently published in Vanity Fair, by writers Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swann, newly released files reveal that Richard Nixon swung his 1968 Presidential victory over the Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, by engaging in an act of treason.

The results of his actions, in derailling the peace talks between North and South Vietnam , was a less than one point margin to win the Presidency; and the deaths of hundreds of thousands Americans, and millions in South-East Asia.

As a publication dedicated to the secret histories, it is assumed that we believe that history is merely a result of infinite webs of conspiracy. The truth is not quite as simple as that, especially for for the great movements of history. But there are times when a small action can be the catalyst for a series of events which in turn can build up a dynamic, or momentum. This dynamic can be steered or manipulated by a few to influence the movement of the many. In the technological era, not only has power been centralised, but its control and communication with those even at the periphery of its influence are effected almost instantaneously.

In such a society as this - as ours - it is no suprise that politics is no longer the craft of leadership, public debate and negotiation; but has become the art of intrigue and Media manipulation.

The starting point for most modern day conspiracy theorists is that day in 1963 on Dealey Plaza, when the charismatic, liberal son of an Irish bootlegger was blown away by hitmen, in front of the people who had elected him. Three years later, his brother Bobby - probably a more able and socially conscious politician - was removed from the race to the White House, in a similarly professional 'hit'.

It is fairly clear that even if JFK had not pulled the troops out of Vietnam, who numbered about 12,000 by the end of 1962; he would not have proceeded with the massive deployment undertaken by LBJ, the man who slipped quietly onto the throne whilst the US wept for a lost Camelot. By 1967, the US had more than half a million active servicemen in Vietnam.

It is probably more certain that if Robert Kennedy had won the !968 presidency, that the carpet-bombing and deforestation of Vietnam, and also Laos and Cambodia, would not have taken place.

Both President Nixon, and his sidekick Kissinger illegally waged war on the populations of three countries. They not only ordered the bombing of the these places "back to the Stone Age", but sealed the contract by which the military - industrial complex became the sole arbiters of American foreign policy, and through the agencies set up to secure this interest, the holders of the keys to power within their own society.

Carnival of fools

The inheritors of the Presidency after the Magic Bullet struck, were in order-

LBJ - mob-backed successor to the murdered kennedy, a 'professional politician' if ever there was one, from the Old South. Resigned after one term.

Nixon - mob-backed, corrupt, warmonger, Watergate, didn't know when to stop.

Left office after the disgrace of (being found out for) Watergate (and those tapes - American public didn't go for the bad language) - but not before having fixed two election victories for himself .

Succeeded by the "straight guy", his Vice President (the one everyone trusts because he was too stupid to chew gum and walk straight) Gerald Ford - he of the whitewash Warren Commission cover up, rewarded for keeping his mouth shut (Thats what the gum was for . . .)

Jimmy Carter - peanut farmer, plantation owner, an anamoly - probably allowed in for one term to give the image of clean, unsophisticated, rural good nature after the digust at how the human lizard nixon had so easily tricked them.

Reagan - mob-backed buffoon, useless 3rd rate actor rated as 1st class president by US (see how low their expectations have sunk?) Read Kitty Kelly for the inside story. Actually the "straight man" for that sinister oilman spook (Vice President Bush), who had obviously learnt the lessons of Watergate, and was content to run things from the shadows whist the old ham shook hands and remembered his days as a cowboy, a baseball champ, a war hero. . . . CUT!

George Bush Snr succeeded him, having slid out of explaining any involvement in the subversions of democracy uncovered in the Iran-Contra scandal, and proceeded to set up the Iraq - Kuwait Desert storm massacre, which proved a bonus for anyone involved in the oil business.

Clinton - got there by being genuinely intelligent, remarkable for this job; and with a thirst for power rather than riches. There has been a nasty rumour going round for years that whilst Clinton was Governor of Arkansas he allowed an airstrip there to be used for secret flights organised by the CIA that sent out arms to the Nicaraguan contra terrorists in planes that came back loaded with cocaine. Hugely disappointing for anyone left of conservative though, if you thought getting a 'liberal' President meant any substantial radical change in the nature of American society. Maybe ultimate proof that the politics of the president only change the way that the boot is delivered.

Treachery For The Golden Prize

What the Nixon people did was perhaps even a violation of the law. They massively, directly and covertly interfered in a major diplomatic negotiation, probably one of the most important negotiayions in American diplomatic history. US diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, attache to the US delegation to 1968 Paris Vietnam Peace talks.

"When Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize, satire died." Tom Lehrer, American satirical songwriter , silent for 30 years.

The Vanity Fair article (by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swann) was reported in the UK in only one of the broadsheet newspapers, and we doubt it got much more coverage elsewhere. Yet what it reported was the treason against the people of the US by a man who became President, and resulted directly in the deaths of millions of people.

The claim is made that during the 1968 US Presidential election, Richard Nixon persuaded the South Vietnamese delegation to withdraw from peacetalks with the Vietcong. It is based on declassified files that have just been released by the US Government, which clearly show that their own security agencies reported the treachery to President Johnson at the time

President Lyndon Johnson had suspended the US bombing of North Vietnam on October 31st, 1968, which was a vital pre-condition of the Vietcong's willingness to enter negotiations.

With an election in full swing, there would have course been benefit for the Democratic campaign if the talks had succeeded. But it would have also saved the US the death toll of a generation, and the loss of faith in their government which ensued over the next decade. Success would also have forestalled the resulting destabilisation of South-East Asia, the impoverishment of the people and destruction of ancient cultures. The eventual rise of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge can be said to have been a direct result of Nixons election.

Having already lost to JFK, Nixon knew that he would have no third chance. In a move similar to the October Suprise, he used a Chinese- born woman in the Republican hierarchy to deliver a message to the South Vietnamese regime.

Anna Chenault, the vice-chairman of the Republican election finance committee was often used as a go-between for rightwing American-Asian lobbying. Ironically, in light of later events, she was a resident in the newly constructed Watergate complex.

John Mitchell, Nixon's campaign manager, and later the attorney general convicted for his involvement in Watergate, used the promise of a better deal for the South, delivered by US pressure, if the talks were suspended until Nixon won the election.

As the Vanity Fair article brutally summarises the result of this offer:

On October 31, Johnson ordered a total halt to the bombing of North Vietnam . . . Two days later, under intense urgings from Nixon and his lieutenants, Thieu announced his government would not take part. Less than a week later, Nixon was elected president with less than a one-point margin in the popular vote over Humphrey.

 The article reports that:

Intelligence reports told him (President Johnson that) Nixon and his running mate , Spiro Agnew, were playing politics with soldiers lives . .

However, as the Guardian article then points out , Nixon's relationship with Hoover 's FBI , was infinitely better than that enjoyed by President Johnson.

The President's main source of information was from embassy wiretaps, and presumably the external intelligence sevice (the CIA).

Summers and Swann quote one message shown to Johnson. Sent from the South Vietnamese Ambassador Bui Dem to his boss in Saigon, President Thieu, it said:

Johnson and Humphrey will be replaced and then Nixon could change the US position

The most chilling aspect of this message is the assumption that the decision had already been made by the US establishment to exchange the Democratic regime for Nixon's Republican Presidency.

According to the Guardian's report of the Summers/Swann article, Mitchell was in contact with Chennault, who then contacted President Thieu again.

An FBI report said that she:

"contacted [the] Vietnamese Ambassador and advised him that she had recieved a message from her boss (not further identified) which her boss wanted her to give personally to the ambassador. She said that the message was ' hold on, we are gonna win' and that her boss also said "Hold on, he understands all of it".'

Three days after the bombing was halted and three days before thethe 1968 US election. South Vietnam withdrew from the talks.

The weekend before the election, by which time Johnson was fully aware of Nixon's treachery, he rung him in an attempt to forestall the breakdown in the talks.

Nixon denied Chennault was working for him, and after the phone call was over:

. . . . .it was later reported "Nixon and his friends collapsed with laughter.

Johnson reported his suspicions to Humphrey, who was at the time flying between stops on his campaign, already doomed, to become President.

According to reports from people who were with him at the time, he flew into a rage, shouting

"By God, when we land I'm going to denounce Thieu, I'll denounce Nixon".

But, as The Guardian adds drily, he never did.

One can only speculate as to what kept him quiet, and lost him the greatest prize of temporal power in the modern world. Maybe someone took him aside and whispered the words "Grassy Knoll'. . .

One cannot summarise the results of Richard Nixon's treachery better than with the facts recited at the end of the Guardian's article.

In the five weeks leading up to the election of 1968, 960 Americans were killed in Vietnam. In the years to come, under Nixon, 20,763 more US soldiers would die. Other casualties included massive civilian losses in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and a legacy of unexploded ordnance that is still killing adults and children today.

Information taken from The Guardian, report by Martin Kettle on Anthony Summers / Robbyn Swan article in latest issue of Vanity Fair

The real Kurtz - CIA agent in Laos

Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? Thats not my department, says Wernher Von Braun. Tom Lehrer

Further to this article were another report in the Weekend Guardian of 2nd September 2000 by the same authors concerning Nixon's psychological health; and also a fascinating programme on the UK terrestial TV channel, C4. First shown on the 3rd September, 2000, and called The Real Kurtz, it tracked down a Colonel Poe, now in his eighties and living anonymously as possible in San Fransisco. Conrad himself would not have been suprised that the truly frightening, real life characters who were traced in the search for Poe, were the Agency men who had controlled and financed his reign of terror.

Colonel Poe was installed as a king in his own mountain top fortress in the hills of Laos by American Special forces.

He had to be removed by them a few years later, when in true Heart of Darkness style, his activities became too abhorrent - and potentially embarrassing - to tolerate any longer. Or, as he was told by his superiors, he had become an anomaly.

By that time, the US had dropped an estimated 2 tons of bombs on Laos for every man, woman and child that lived there; more ordinance than the US dropped in WW2, in an undeclared and illegal war.