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The Almost Scoop on Nixon's "Treason"

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"In my memoirs that are now at the copyeditor ... I had pieced together much of what happened," she said in the e-mail. "My piecing was based on [former Ambassador] Bui Diem's book, In the Jaws of History; Larry Berman's No Peace, No Honor and The Palace File by [Thieu's adviser Nguyen Tien] Hung and [Jerrold L.] Schecter."

But Deepe/Keever said she was unaware that her story had gone directly to President Johnson until she read my article about "The X Envelope." [See's "LBJ's "X' File on Nixon's "Treason.'"]

"This was the news bulletin that I learned from your story based on your investigative reporting and so I really appreciate your digging and writing," she said. "I had no such idea about my lead being discussed by LBJ and others."

As for her thoughts about what might have happened if history had taken a different fork in the road -- if Johnson had overruled his advisers and confirmed her story, Deepe/Keever wrote:

"If Johnson had confirmed my story or the Monitor had run it as filed, it's hard for me to say what the impact would have been on the election. ... However, given how narrow Nixon's margin of victory was, certainly Johnson's confirmation might have swayed enough votes to be decisive.

"Hard for me to say without doing my own legwork, but polls I've come across indicate that might have been the case. Bui Diem quotes William Safire saying that Thieu made Nixon president. ...

"Tho[ugh] I can't judge the impact of pre-election news about the Nixon camp's liaison with Thieu, I think the more interesting question for me is: What would the U.S. and Vietnam be like if Humphrey had won?

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"I think the final outcome would ultimately be the same for Vietnam, with the Communists seizing control of the South, perhaps via a coalition government to permit the U.S. to save face.

"And the war would have been shorter and less bloody without the incursions and bombing in Laos and Cambodia. Far fewer casualties and less cost to the treasuries on all sides."

That, however, was the road not taken.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

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quiet for the good of the country seems to have st... by Lois Gagnon on Friday, Jun 8, 2012 at 6:54:56 AM