Friday, May 25, 2018

The FBI Spied for LBJ’s Campaign

Lee Edwards, Wall Street Journal

On the president’s orders, the bureau wiretapped Barry Goldwater’s plane and headquarters.

image from
Every poll agreed that President Lyndon B. Johnson would easily win the election against the conservative Sen. Goldwater of Arizona. But LBJ wanted a landslide so he could implement his Great Society vision without resistance and go down in history as one of America’s greatest presidents. For Johnson, extremism in the pursuit of victory was no vice.

Thus was born Johnson’s “Anti-Campaign” to smear Goldwater’s candidacy. The operation was run from the second floor of the West Wing by veteran Washington-based Democrats like Leonard Marks, who would become director of the U.S. Information Agency [which handled US public diplomacy during the Cold War] ...
On Marks's Congressional exchange with Senator Fulbright (see)
"When [Fulbright] coldly queried [USIA Director Leonard] Marks on the meaning of propaganda, Marks replied respectfully, 'If I say you are chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, that's a fact; whereas if I say you are the finest chairman in the history of the Senate, that's propaganda.' Fulbright shot back: 'No, you're wrong—that's a fact!'"
--Cited in Fitzhugh Green, American Propaganda Abroad (New York, 1988), 54.

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