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- President Johnson said: “The South Vietnamese . . . certainly, . . . have corruption just like we have in Boston, in New York, in Washington, and in Johnson City. There is somebody stealing something in Beaumont right now.
The U.S. Embassy called it an “acceptable levels of peculation,” like many third world nations. Most of us were unhappy about that, but there was no guidance from above. North Viet Nam apparently did not exhibit these traits or they were not made known to outside observers. Draconian punishments were probably a good deterrent, but the lack of anything to steal was probably the real reason. After the war ended, the Communist regime proved themselves very worthy of the mantle of corruption associated with their former enemies. They are considered to be one of the most corrupt nations in the world today.
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- LBJ 109. Remarks at a testimonial dinner for Representative Jack Brooks, March 1, 1968 http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=28704