Friday, January 30, 2009

Nixon Archives and Enemies List

Nixon archives shed light on his campaign to investigate enemies
Meghan Lee, archivist at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace, holds some of the Jeb Stuart Magruder papers recently added to the library's holdings. The library also released about 198 hours of tapes from the Nixon White House dating to November and December 1972 and consisting of nearly 1,400 conversations.

In a recent LA Times article, Christopher Goffard writes about the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum's holdings, some of which involve the creation of the president's infamous enemies list.

As part of a release of archival tapes and documents Monday, the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum revealed fresh records that reflect the 37th president's heated campaign to investigate, intimidate and smear political rivals and opponents of the Vietnam War.

Among the documents is a handwritten note from Nixon's top aide, H.R. Haldeman, on June 23, 1971, which may shed light on the origins of Nixon's infamous "enemies list." In the note, Haldeman records Nixon's order to bring the weight of the IRS down on attorney and former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, who had been critical of Nixon's Vietnam policy, and on the antiwar movement.

"Pull Clark Clifford & top supporters of doves," Haldeman writes. "Full list . . . full field audit."

In the next paragraph, Haldeman reminds himself to take action against "TK," believed to be Sen. Ted Kennedy. Haldeman writes: "Get him -- compromising situation . . . Get evidence -- use another Dem as front."


Read Nixon archives shed light on his campaign to investigate enemies

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