Monday, August 9, 2010

Today should be an American Holiday

Americans are unafraid to call for a holiday when they feel one is required. I feel that August 9, the anniversary of Dick Nixon's resignation, should be a national holiday. A day to celebrate honesty in government. If need be I'd toss out Columbus day to make room for it.

Old lefty and idealist that I am, I will go to my grave secure in the knowledge that Tricky Dick, was in fact, a crook. Thirty seven years after the fact, evidence of his cowardice are still coming to light, as evidenced by Maj General John Lavelle being exhonorated last week for obeying his Commander in Chief.

NPR reported "The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to posthumously restore Air Force Maj. Gen. John Lavelle to the rank of general more than three decades after allegations he ordered the unauthorized bombing of North Vietnam.

Lavelle, who was reduced in rank in 1972, denied those charges until the day he died in 1979. But only recently, tape recordings revealed that the strikes were authorized by the White House.

Lavelle was in charge of U.S. air operations in Vietnam in 1972. His pilots were increasingly getting hit by North Vietnamese fire, and he wanted to strike back harder.

Defense Secretary Melvin Laird visited Vietnam and gave Lavelle approval to go ahead. There was a follow-up written approval from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

But all that remained secret until three years ago, when researchers found tapes — maintained by the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum — of Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Their conversation from 1972 indicates Lavelle had White House approval for the stepped-up bombing."

I worked for the General, he was a much more honorable man than the President, or any of henchmen.



JMW said...

My dad was a newbie in the CIA, assigned to Lyndon Johnson's White House, so I'm always fascinated by stories of the White House during that era. I was born in '73 and Dad saved newspaper articles and clippings about Nixon for our scrapbook. A very interesting time in our country's history, indeed.

skorpeo said...

at the risk of getting too political, i find it interesting that those who claim to be "more pro-military than the other side" has no qualms about letting our service men and women twist in the wind when a personal agenda is at stake (the debacle of abu-gharab springs to mind).

DocP said...

Celebrating Nixon's resignation would be far better than celebrating the dropping of nuclear bombs on Japan, as we do today in RI.

SuSu said...

Thank you for the reminder. I was only 23 or 24 at the time but I cried when he resigned because he had shamed my beloved country. It was awful. The upcoming generations need to be reminded how easy it is for another Nixon (Bush II?) to slip into office - very scary. I have a friend who was an intern at the WH at that time and he tells the story that everyone in the building HAD TO come out to the grounds and applaud the action he recognizes as regrettable...but lucky to be present for such a historic moment.