Airlines: Playing Politics

It was no secret that Lyndon Johnson played politics with airlines, especially when he used his presidential power to give or take away lucrative overseas routes. Last week Richard Nixon seemed to be doing the same.

One of Johnson's favorites was Continental Airlines, headed by Robert Six, a rangy, gregarious airline pioneer who happens to be a gung-ho Democrat and a Johnson pal. Continental was also the U.S.'s "spook" airline in Viet Nam, flying many CIA missions. It was only natural for Six to expect some rewards —and only natural for Johnson to grant them. He awarded Continental some rich...

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