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Richard Nixon


  • Originally published 05/21/2014

    Who Owns Richard Nixon?

    At the Nixon Library the long war of ideological office politics goes on.

  • Originally published 05/15/2014

    There's New Trouble in Nixonville

    Should we really let Nixon loyalists write the script for the library's story of Vietnam, which thousands of Americans will view?

  • Originally published 03/25/2014

    The My Lai Massacre Just Got Worse

    CBS News has an article that shows that President Richard Nixon sought to cover up the My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War.

  • Originally published 12/30/2013

    Dick Cheney in Nixonland

    Dick Cheney came to the Nixon Library this week to talk about his new book, but in the end the conversation turned to Obamacare.

  • Originally published 08/23/2013

    Stephen Mihm: The Secret Bromance of Nixon and Brezhnev

    On Aug. 21, the Nixon Presidential Library released the final installment of the 37th president's secret tape recordings in the Oval Office. There’s much of interest in the approximately 3,000 hours of recordings, and the accompanying 140,000 pages of documents, but perhaps the most fascinating find is a conversation that took place between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev on June 18, 1973.

  • Originally published 08/22/2013

    Legacy Of Nixon tapes: Skepticism, distrust endure

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a good thing Richard Nixon was such a klutz.The president's ineptness at all things mechanical is what prompted his aides to install a voice-activated recording system that didn't require Nixon to push an on-off button, ensuring that every word he spoke in the Oval Office and other key locations was caught on tape.With the secret taping system on autopilot — seven microphones planted in wall sconces and the president's desk — Nixon largely forgot about it, and let loose with the raw, gossipy, conniving and too-clever words that ultimately toppled his presidency and forever changed the way Americans think about their presidents and their government.The tapes — the last installment of them released Wednesday — are like the black box in an increasingly out-of-control airplane, recording right up to the crash.In the tapes, Americans began to see their presidents as "less glorious, less heroic, less romantic — either more like us, or more like people we don't like," says presidential historian Julian Zelizer of Princeton University....

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    Conrad Black: Tears and Nixon

    Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, A Matter of Principle, and the recently published Flight of the Eagle: The Grand Strategies That Brought America from Colonial Dependence to World Leadership. He can be reached at cbletters@gmail.com.

  • Originally published 08/05/2013

    Nixon slams "All in the Family," ancient Roman rulers for being gay in White House tape

    An audio recording of former U.S. President Richard Nixon spouting off an anti-gay rant has surfaced.CNN published an excerpt from the tape, which was apparently recorded sometime during Nixon's time in the Oval Office from 1969-1974. In the clip, Nixon accuses the popular TV series "All in the Family" (which he initially mistakes for a movie) of "glorifying homosexuality,""The point that I make is that...I do not think that you glorify, on public television, homosexuality," Nixon proclaims. And the president doesn't stop there -- claiming that homosexuality "destroyed the Greeks," he notes, "Aristotle was a homo, we all know that. So was Socrates ... Homosexuality, immorality in general...these are the enemies of strong societies."...

  • Originally published 06/13/2013

    Nixon's White House – caught on Super 8

    An administration under fire over covert wiretapping, whistleblowers hailed as heroes and lambasted as traitors, a president's reputation on the line … You could be excused for detecting a whiff of Nixon-era sulphur in the US political atmosphere these days. With the trial of Bradley Manning, the Department of Justice's pursuit of journalists who use national-security sources and, of course, Edward Snowden's revelations of NSA data harvesting filling the headlines, state-sanctioned subterfuge and divisive whistleblowing dominate US politics more than at any time since the days of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.

  • Originally published 05/23/2013

    Elizabeth Drew: Why Obama Is Not Nixon

    Elizabeth Drew is a regular contributor to The New York Review and the former Washington correspondent of The Atlantic and The New Yorker. She is the author of fourteen books.
 (March 2013)References to Watergate, impeachment, even Richard Nixon, are being tossed around these days as if they were analogous to the current so-called scandals. But the furors over the IRS, Benghazi, and the Justice Department’s sweeping investigation of the Associated Press, don’t begin to rise—or sink—to that level. The wise and pithy Matt Dowd, a former Republican operative, said recently, “We rush to scandal before we settle on stupidity.” Washington just loves scandals; they’re ever so much more exciting than the daily grind of legislation—if there is any—and the tit-for-tat between the president and the congressional Republicans over the budget was becoming tedious. Faux outrage is a specialty here.

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    Obama dismisses Nixon comparisons

    During a joint press conference this afternoon at the White House, President Obama dismissed his critics’ charges that this weeks scandals are of a similar nature to those that tarnished and shortened the tenure of President Richard Nixon during the early 1970s. Shrugging off the accusations, the president indicated the comparisons don’t bother him and that his critics can draw their own conclusions....

  • Originally published 05/17/2013

    Victor Davis Hanson: Obama’s Second-Term Embarrassments

    Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His new book, The Savior Generals, will appear later this month from Bloomsbury Press....As the congressional hearings on Benghazi were taking place last week, we also learned that the IRS, administered by the Department of the Treasury, has been going after conservative groups in a politicized manner that we have not seen since Richard Nixon’s White House. There was no evidence that any of these conservative associations had taken thousands of dollars in improper tax deductions — in the manner of former Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, the one-time overseer of the IRS.Instead, groups with suspiciously American names like “Patriot” or “Tea Party” prompted IRS partisans to scrutinize their tax information in a way that they would not have for the tax-exempt MoveOn.org or the Obama-affiliated Organizing for Action.

  • Originally published 03/28/2013

    Conrad Black: The Truth about Bob Woodward

    Conrad Black is the author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom, Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, and the recently published A Matter of Principle. He can be reached at cbletters@gmail.com.Gradually, inexorably, the great Watergate fraud is unraveling. The Knights of Revelation, 40 years onward, are being exposed, in the light of analysis unclouded by cant and emotionalism, as the myth-makers they always were. Bob Woodward, unable to resist the temptation to try again and again to be at the forefront of investigative journalism, is being steadily exposed as a chronically dishonest myth-maker. Carl Bernstein, his Watergate partner, is at least cautious enough not to tempt the fates with a regime of endless returns to the well of public gratitude for spurious and destructive exposés. Though there is no sign that he is conscious of the proportions of their original Mt. Rushmore–sized canard, he has been relatively uncontroversial these intervening decades, sheltering in the greasy slick Vanity Fair.

  • Originally published 03/22/2013

    Mary L. Dudziak: Obama’s Nixonian Precedent

    Mary L. Dudziak, a professor of law and director of the Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society at Emory University, is the author of “War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences.”ON March 17, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon began a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia, sending B-52 bombers over the border from South Vietnam. This episode, largely buried in history, resurfaced recently in an unexpected place: the Obama administration’s “white paper” justifying targeted killings of Americans suspected of involvement in terrorism.President Obama is reportedly considering moving control of the drone program from the Central Intelligence Agency to the Defense Department, as questions about the program’s legality continue to be asked. But this shift would do nothing to confer legitimacy to the drone strikes. The legitimacy problem comes from the secrecy itself — not which entity secretly does the killing. Secrecy has been used to hide presidential overreach — as the Cambodia example shows.

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Nixon mocked Democrats for calling Jerusalem Israel’s capital; now both parties agree on that

    WASHINGTON — Last year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked the Democratic convention platform for its “shameful” decision to omit a reference to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But in a sign of how U.S. politics have changed in 40 years, President Richard Nixon complained in 1972 of the Democrats’ ”dishonest” platform language declaring the city Israel’s capital.Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, agreed with his condemnation during a previously unreported taped conversation from June 29, 1972. “To make Jerusalem the capital of Israel is not the platform of a major American national party,” Henry Kissinger told Nixon. “That is what I find so revolting here.” The tape is one of a collection housed at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.On Wednesday, Barack Obama arrived in Israel for his first visit there as president — about six months after telling Democratic Party officials to reinstate language from previous convention platforms stating Jerusalem is the Israeli capital....

  • Originally published 03/16/2013

    LBJ: Nixon guilty of treason

    By the time of the election in November 1968, LBJ had evidence Nixon had sabotaged the Vietnam war peace talks - or, as he put it, that Nixon was guilty of treason and had "blood on his hands".The BBC's former Washington correspondent Charles Wheeler learned of this in 1994 and conducted a series of interviews with key Johnson staff, such as defence secretary Clark Clifford, and national security adviser Walt Rostow.But by the time the tapes were declassified in 2008 all the main protagonists had died, including Wheeler.Now, for the first time, the whole story can be told.It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign….

  • Originally published 03/14/2013

    Can American Conservatism Be Salvaged?

    Credit: DonkeyHotey.The greatest threat to the United States today is the Republican Party. The once-magnificent organization of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower has degenerated into a coalition of religious fanatics, gun lunatics, shills for the rich, and libertarian simpletons who hover at the brink of anarchism and would probably like nothing better than to see the United States unable to play the role of a superpower any longer.

  • Originally published 03/10/2013

    When It Comes to Transparency, Obama's Channelling His Inner Nixon

    Cross-posted from Balkinization.The Boston Globe reported that the president withheld a widely sought white paper “fearing it would only intensify congressional criticism, government sources say.”*This story appeared on April 4, 1973, and it referred to a white paper laying out the legal basis for President Richard Nixon’s decision to bomb Cambodia after U.S. troops were removed from Vietnam. Barack Obama obviously isn’t Richard Nixon, but his reluctance to disclose the legal basis for targeted killings attempts to do something that Nixon also attempted: to cloak decisions about war in government secrecy, undermining political checks on the use of military force.

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    The Paris "Peace" Accords Were a Deadly Deception

    Richard Nixon addressing troops in South Vietnam. Via The New Nixon."The Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam," signed January 27, 1973, never looked like it would live up to its name. Four decades later it stands exposed as a deliberate fraud.

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Evan Thomas writing Nixon bio for Jon Meacham

    “Random House is announcing that Evan Thomas will be writing a new life of Richard Nixon for editor Jon Meacham. ‘Evan is the best,’ said Meacham. ‘He writes with sensitivity and honesty, two indispensable qualities in capturing Richard Nixon.’ The deal was brokered by ICM's Amanda Urban....

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    Jeffrey Frank: The Secret Story of Richard Nixon’s First Scandal

    Excerpted from “Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage” by Jeffrey Frank. Copyright © 2013 by Jeffrey Frank. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Richard Nixon’s Checkers speech — delivered just five days after the New York Post reported wealthy backers had set up a fund for his day-to-day expenses — was seen by some 58 million people, or about a third of the population of the United States. It lasted thirty minutes and was to be forever identified by its reference to a cocker spaniel named Checkers. It was like nothing ever seen in American politics, set apart by its intimacy, its pathos, the apparent revelation of a private life from a public man, and its use of television. Its structure was a trial lawyer’s closing (or, perhaps, opening) argument, which ranged from the explanatory to the exculpatory to the defiant; buried within it was not only Nixon’s defense of himself, but occasional jabs at his opponents and probably at General Dwight Eisenhower, his running mate. It is still a remarkable document....

  • Originally published 11/14/2010

    Who Really Won the 1960 Election?

    November 8, 2010 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the presidential election of 1960, which still very much interests those who care about disputed elections.

  • Originally published 07/27/2014

    The History of Paul Krugman’s own Alarmist “Inflation Addiction”

    Frequenters of the Krug-o-sphere will recognize a familiar theme of lambasting what he sees as inflationary alarmism. Krugman usually employs this critique to dismiss criticisms of either deficit finance or expansionary monetary policies, both of which comport well with his Keynesian economic outlook and his own political preferences on matters such as federal spending.  From a historical perspective however, Krugman’s position derives from an unusual source.