Again, Prouty is clear in his boook the CIA ran black operations against North Vietnam where unmarked U.S. aircraft and ships made unprovoked attacks. When fired upon, the CIA falsely claimed the communists fired first.<quoted text>
Undone by the Vietnam War
Despite Johnson's success in promoting his domestic reform policies, however, his presidency was equally defined by the failure of his policies toward Vietnam. Like the three presidents before him, Johnson was determined to prevent North Vietnamese Communists from taking over the U.S.-supported government of South Vietnam. He believed that America's national security depended on containing the spread of communism around the world.
As part of this effort, Johnson steadily escalated U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. The number of American troops in Vietnam soared from 16,000 when he first took office in 1963 to more than 500,000 in 1968, yet the conflict remained a bloody stalemate. As the war dragged on and American and Vietnamese casualties mounted, anti-war protests rocked college campuses and cities across the U.S.
Johnson's popularity within his own party plummeted as well. When it appeared that he might face a stiff challenge for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, Johnson announced his decision not to run for re-election. "I shall not seek, nor will I accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president," he said in a nationally televised speech on March 31, 1968. Johnson explained that he wanted to focus on the peace process and pressing domestic issues without the distraction of a political campaign. The conflict in Vietnam, though, brought him nothing but pain and frustration during his last months in office, and U.S. military involvement in Vietnam continued for four years after his departure from Washington in January 1969.
History should always REMIND.
Bring the troops Home-NOT relocate them to "Libya" or anywhere else.
The CIA is hardly a liberal organization, and especially during the Cold War era.
Even if Johnson knew and approved, I don't see this as black mark against the mainstream Democrat Party. For the simple reason that it goes against the grain of Democrat philosophy to launch these kinds of wars. You never saw this kind of thing under Roosevelt or Truman.
I believe Johnson likely knew the Gulf of Tonkin was a set-up and likely knew the South Vietnamese government was not the democracy he and the CIA made it out to be.
Which makes him a rightist and a renegade within the Democrat ranks.
For all of which he was kicked out of the party in 1968.
I might add, LBJ was a close friend of J. Edgar Hoover, oil tycoons H.L. Hunt and Clint Murchison, and the Root Brothers of the Construction Giant, H.L. Root, which later received a lucrative contract in Vietnam. There was nothing liberal about Johnson. And his relationship with the Northeast wing of the Democrat party, especially the Kennedys, was strained to put it mildly.