Jon Wiener: Another Watergate Gap

tags: Jon Wiener, Nixon Library, Nixon Foundation, NARA, Tim Naftali



The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened a new exhibit in Yorba Linda and online Feb. 15, "Patriot, President, Peacemaker." It covers Richard Nixon's entire life, like the permanent installation there, and claims to present "a fuller picture" than ever before.

But there's a gap, reminiscent of the 18 1/2-minute gap in the famous White House tapes. On one panel, it's October 1973 and the Yom Kippur War is underway. Nixon is telling Henry Kissinger, "Whatever it takes, save Israel." On the next panel, it's Aug. 9, 1974, and Nixon is landing in Orange County, telling a crowd that he promises "to continue to fight at home and abroad for the great causes of peace, freedom and opportunity." We go from "Peacemaker in his Time" to "Life after the White House."

What's missing is Watergate.

Forty years after Watergate, you might think the Nixon Library would have accepted its place in American history. You certainly would think the National Archives had; it operates the presidential libraries. But the new exhibit in Yorba Linda shows that the Nixon people are still working on a coverup. And the National Archives is not stopping them....



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