We've been hearing for some months how Russia may or may not have interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Supposedly, this was done through attempted computer hacking, although other ways have been suggested as well. Some in the media and entertainment industry -- as well as many within the Democrat Party -- have described this as "the worst attack on our country since September 11, 2001."
Wow! Are we forgetting who we are? When it comes to "putting your guy in charge," America is no slouch. And we don't Mickey Mouse around with computers when we do it.
Once upon a time in a faraway land (that Americans got to know real well) called Vietnam, there was this President named Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem was an ally of the United States... until he wasn't.
The U.S. government didn't like the political turmoil that resulted when Diem's Roman Catholic party ruled Vietnam at the expense of the Buddhist parties. There was government-sponsored sectarian violence -- Vietnam's version of "The Troubles" visited upon Northern Ireland or the Waco incident on a grander scale. So the American government made the decision to involve itself in the politics of another country. We'll let Wikipedia take over from here:
"DEPTEL 243, also known as Telegram 243, the August 24 cable or most commonly Cable 243, was a high-profile message sent on August 24, 1963, by the United States Department of State to Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the US ambassador to South Vietnam. The cable came in the wake of the midnight raids on August 21 by the regime of Ngo Dinh Diem against Buddhist pagodas across the country, in which hundreds were believed to have been killed. The raids were orchestrated by Diem's brother Ngo Dình Nhu and precipitated a change in US policy. The cable declared that Washington would no longer tolerate Nhu remaining in a position of power and ordered Lodge to pressure Diem to remove his brother. It said that if Diem refused, the Americans would explore the possibility for alternative leadership in South Vietnam. In effect, the cable authorized Lodge to give the green light to Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) officers to launch a coup against Diem if he did not willingly remove Nhu from power."
"The coup d'état was designed by a military revolutionary council including ARVN generals led by General Duong Van Minh. Lucien Conein, a CIA operative, had become a liaison between the US Embassy and the generals, who were led by Tran Van Don. They met each other for the first time on 2 October 1963 at Tan Son Nhat airport. Three days later, Conein met with General Duong Van Minh to discuss the coup and the stance of the US towards it. Conein then delivered the White House's message of American non-intervention, which was reiterated by Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. the US ambassador, who gave secret assurances to the generals that the United States would not interfere... On 1 November 1963, Minh and his co-conspirators overthrew the government in a swift coup. With only the palace guard remaining to defend Diem and his younger brother Nhu, the generals called the palace offering Diem exile if he surrendered. That evening, however, Diem and his entourage escaped via an underground passage to Cha Tam Catholic Church in Cholon, where they were captured the following morning, 2 November. The brothers were assassinated together in the back of an M113 armored personnel carrier with a bayonet and revolver by Captain Nguyen Van Nhung, under orders from Minh given while en route to the Vietnamese Joint General Staff headquarters. Diem was buried in an unmarked grave in a cemetery next to the house of the US Ambassador."
Yep, when America interferes in someone else's politics it doesn't do its hacking with a computer... we use a bayonet.
But the story doesn't end here. In 2003, the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, released some newly archived tapes that included a telephone conversation from February 1, 1966, between President Johnson and Senator Eugene McCarthy. Harvard historian and author Monique Brinson Demery came across it and cited it in her 2013 book on the Vietnam of that period. Here is what the President of the United States, a liberal Democrat icon, had to say about the way in which America interferes in the politics of other nations:
"We killed him (Diem). We all got together and got a goddamn bunch of thugs and we went in and assassinated him. Now, we've really had no political stability since then."
That's how we roll.
If you want to hear the President's voice on tape, it's on YouTube:
And that is how we roll...