Nixon tapes released: Include shocking comments about abortion, anti-Semitism, and Thieu
White House tapes released Tuesday capture Richard Nixon as a pugnacious second-term president who talks of hammering out an end to the Vietnam War even if he has to" cut off the head" of the South Vietnamese leader, remarks that an abortion might be necessary if a pregnancy involved an interracial couple and appears preoccupied with savaging his political foes.
As Nixon was negotiating an end to U.S. military involvement in Vietnam in January 1973, he faced a South Vietnamese president who was reluctant to sign a proposed peace treaty that he feared would doom his government to a communist takeover.
Nixon's response was to threaten President Nguyen Van Thieu with a halt to the U.S. aid on which South Vietnam depended."Is that going too far?" Nixon asked Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Jan. 20, 1973."In other words, I don't know whether the threat goes too far or not, but I'd do any damn thing, that is, or to cut off his head if necessary."
The conversation between Nixon and Kissinger is part of 154 hours of Nixon tapes released Tuesday by the Richard Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, along with thousands of archival documents. Nixon's voice in the tapes is often a mumble, punctuated by deep sighs and audible bursts of profanity.
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