Tapes reveal LBJ's Vietnam conversations





As American involvement in Vietnam deepened, President Lyndon Johnson railed against "bunch of commies" running The New York Times and complained about the newspaper's criticism of the war, according to taped phone conversations released Friday.

The recordings, released by the LBJ Library, covered August to December 1966. Johnson had many of his calls from the Oval Office and his Texas ranch recorded on Dictabelt equipment.

In one conversation, Johnson blasted the "commies" he said ran the Times.

"They want to get out of Vietnam and yield it to them, and I don't think I can quite do that," the president said.

At the time, as Defense Secretary Robert McNamara reported, there were 400,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam.


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