The first reports came out in the seventies, but now it seems that the original October surprise has been finally nailed down 44 years after the news could do any good.
What would have changed if the US and the North had come to terms in 1968? Vietnam would have been unified more quickly and with less overall violence. Hundreds of thousands of lives would have been saved. No saturation bombing or ground incursions into Laos and Cambodia, and hence probably no Pol Pot. No Nixon, if the news had been allowed to get out in time, and hence no Watergate. And what would have happened to the whole Republican hegemony thing if its original architect had been revealed to be something close to a traitor?
Two characteristic Tricky Dick-isms here: in the first, Humphrey decides not to attack Nixon with the information because he's surging in the polls andthinks he's going to win anyway. Maybe he also has that centrist idea that he doesn't want to discredit the wider political establishment. So Nixon fends him off by saying that the failure of the talks he sabotaged proved that the Democrats couldn't run the war or bring it to a successful conclusion. He then narrowly wins. And in the second, his liaison to the Vietnamese was through Anna Chennault, an 'unleash Chiang' China Lobby figure. He rewards her by going to see Mao and dumping Taiwan. And of course, that raises the question of whether a Democrat could indeed have gone to China.