Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Republicans Have A History Of Treason Going Back To Nixon

I keep hearing commentators saying this collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian spy agencies is an unprecedented act of duplicity, and possibly treason.


Is it unprecedented for an official from a presidential campaign to undermine the foreign policy of a president who is still in office?

No. It appears to be a Republican habit. There are now three instances where Republican presidential campaigns have committed treason in order to win an election. The first two they got away with. They won their election through treachery. This time they won the election (or partly won the election) but it's unclear how long their "winner" will remain in the White House. His campaign staff and White House staff already are deeply implicated in a pattern of collusion with Russia and the Russian spy agencies. It now appears the Trump campaign and Republican officials were working with the Russians all along.

Reporting from CNN

Reporting from TIME

In 1968 The Johnson administration was close to reaching a peace agreement in Vietnam, which would likely have swung the election to Hubert Humphrey. But Nixon's campaign sent Madame Anna Chennault, a Republican ally with close ties to the president of South Vietnam, to sabotage the peace effort. Chennault was successful. The peace process was set back by several years and thousands more American soldiers were wounded, maimed and killed. But Nixon was elected president.

Smithsonian Magazine published this summary of the Nixon treason

This was never disclosed to the American people, but President Johnson was aware of it and discussed what he called Nixon's treason with Republican Senator Everett Dirksen. Audio from the BBC

In 1980 American diplomatic personnel were being held hostage in Iran. President Cart was working hard to gain their release, and the campaign between Carter and Reagan was too close to call. Reagan's campaign feared what they called "An October Surprise" that would swing the election to Carter. Stories circulated at the time and have circulated ever since that Reagan sent William Casey to Iran to prevent Iran from releasing the hostages. Instead of Carter succeeding, which would likely have helped him win re-election, Reagan got Iran to hold the hostages months longer and release them as he was sworn into office. Which may help explain the easy complicity Reagan was able to achieve with Iran during the Iran Contra period, when he illegally traded arms for hostages and used the proceeds to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua. Bill Casey, who allegedly sabotaged the Iran hostage release in 1980 became Reagan's CIA director in 1981.

The Christian Science Monitor reported on this story in 1991.

The publication Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported on it in 1987.

Counterpunch's Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero wrote this summary of the Casey-Reagan-Iran treason in 2014.

(Few remember that it was Reagan's quick retreat after the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon that emboldened the various terrorist groups in the Middle East for years thereafter. The New Yorker's Jane Mayer called this episode Reagan's Benghazi, but it was far worse and had far more explosive and costly consequences than the attack in Benghazi that obsessed congressional Republicans for years.)

Treason, once it becomes useful, becomes a habit. And that habit has far-reaching consequences. American political history is well-known to our enemies abroad and this knowledge informs their strategy. They know who to approach. They know from history that the Republican Party will commit crimes against their own country to advance their political advantage. At every point that treachery causes great harm. At each point it surrenders pieces of American sovereignty and strength. Are we to the point now where our entire independence, our autonomy of action, has been surrendered by the Republican Party?

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