Blood of Isaac
an e-book by Charles A. Thomas
Chapter Ten: The Defeated; The President.
On the evening of Friday May 8th, just as Dellinger was walking out of the Mobe’s last-minute bickering over the next day’s program, President Nixon choppered back in to his besieged White House from Camp David, Maryland. He appeared to be extremely nervous, and as if he had gotten even less sleep than usual. He had given every sign of dreading the scheduled press conference. “Had said absolutely no phone calls after (because he was really concerned and unsure about this one.”
He had plenty of time to eat dinner and dress. He and his media handlers had arrived at the tactic of holding the press conferences late in the evening. This left the reporters with only minutes to file their stories before their papers had to go to press. Some of them were thus reducing to composing their articles in their heads while the question-and-answer was in progress. This particular press conference was set back even later, from nine until ten, so that it would not have to compete with a basketball game on ABC (proving yet again that Haldeman knew the priorities of the American viewer/citizen). “The network volunteered to squeeze the President in at half-time, but he refused.”
As the press conference opened, the President remained “visibly nervous.” But he relaxed quickly when it was obvious that – to put it very mildly -- he was not going to get any tough questions.
Q. Do you believe that you can open up meaningful communications with this college-age generation, and how?
A. I would like to try as best I can to do that. It is not easy. Sometimes they, as you know, talk so loudly that it is difficult to be heard…
Q. Mr. President, what do you think the students are trying to say in this demonstration?
A. …I think I understand what they want. I would hope they would understand what I want…
I have been working 18 or 20 hours a day, mostly on
Q. Mr. President, do you believe that the use of the word ‘bums’ to categorize some of those who are engaged in dissent – and I know you meant it to apply to those who have been destructive, but it has been used in a broader context – do you believe that is in keeping with your suggestion that the rhetoric be kept cool?
A. …when students on university campuses burn buildings, when they engaged in violence, when they break up furniture, when they terrorize their fellow students and terrorize the faculty, then I think ‘bums’ is perhaps too kind a word to apply to that kind of person…
Q. …what, in your judgement, is the proper action and conduct for a police force or a National Guard force when ordered to clear the campus area and faced with a crowd throwing rocks?
A. …when you have a situation of a crowd
throwing rocks, and the National Guard is called
in, that there is always the chance that it will escalate into the kind of
thing that happened at
If there is one thing I am personally committed to, it is this: I saw the pictures of those four youngsters in the Evening Star the day after the tragedy, and I vowed that we were going to find methods that would be more effective to deal with these problems of violence, that would deal with these problems of violence, that would deal with those who use force and violence, endanger others, but, at the same time, would not take the lives of innocent people.
the president admitting that some of the four killed on Monday were innocent
bystanders? The FBI knew as much by
now. There were no followup
questions. No one asked him about the
mass attacks by hardhats on protestors and bystanders in
[R]arely has a news conference been as pallid or synthetic a ritual… a pale shadow of the passion and trauma of the nation. It was as real-life as a minuet, as illuminating as a multiplication table… More a fusillade of spitballs at 50 paces than a searching examination of the President’s mood and motives at a moment of national crisis… Mr. Nixon [was] as smooth as a cueball, and about as communicative.
Nixon himself could not believe it. He had faced his second most dreaded enemy and toyed with them. As when he learned the Apollo XIII astronauts were safe, his mood swung extravagantly to the other extreme. He immediately rescinded the order about taking no telephone calls afterward. “Then he stayed up ‘til after on the calls -- & we ran a batch through. He was very tired and rambled on a lot.” Actually, he stayed on the phone after Haldeman and the others finally were allowed to go home for the night. (“In trying to leave we were jammed in by the troop trucks unloading the 3rd Army into the EOB.”) Even after Haldeman had dragged himself home, Nixon called him there. He also called just about everyone else he knew – at least of his supporters – fifty phone calls in all, many of them redials (he talked with Kissinger eight times). In the midst of the manic telephone marathon, he found time to lie down for an hour in a vain attempt to sleep and to roam the darkened executive mansion, trying to soothe himself with Rachmaninoff on the stereo. Finally, in his loneliest hour, he sought out the one person he knew would still be there, like a faithful dog lying on his doorstep.
‘Haig’s always down there,’ the president once said,
motioning to the West Basement in a
bitter remark to aides in the spring of 1970, ‘while Kissinger is off having
And so Nixon finally appeared at the door of what Haig referred to as his “basement cell” or “cubbyhole”, “somewhat disheveled – tie a little askew, coat unbuttoned, hair slightly tousled.” He smiled at his personal general and said, “We’ve had a rough day, Al. Things are bad out there. But we’ve got to stick to our guns. We’ve done the right thing and we have to go on.”
The next thing anyone in the White House was aware of, it was the dark hour just before dawn. Ehrlichman’s young aide Egil Krogh had the duty as security officer. The Secret Service jolted him awake with a warning that Searchlight was out on the lawn. Searchlight was the S.S. code name for the president. The agent told Krogh that Nixon had ordered no one be told he was going outside by himself. Krogh called Ehrlichman for instructions, and Ehrlichman told him to get the president back inside immediately. But when Krogh went out onto the lawn, Searchlight was gone.
It was indeed Richard Nixon, who had escaped from the White House with only his Filipino valet Manolo Sanchez by his side and sallied out into the engulfing blackness to meet the Enemy single-handed. Krogh had caught up with him there, “in a kind of surrealistic scene,” talking with eight “obviously tried and obviously disheveled young people.” He was standing too far back (with some very nervous Secret Service agents) to hear what was said, so the only source for most of the dialogue’s content would always be Nixon himself – principally in an account of the conversation he would give to Garnett D. Horner of the Star several hours later. With no contradicting source, it is amazing that the president could not come up with a more flattering version of his own discourse, which rambled over an hour from the importance of traveling and seeing sights while still young, through Neville Chamberlain at Munich, through to good surfing beaches in California and the millions of people in China.
Finally the president began to run down and Krogh and the Secret Service let themselves think about extricating him. But then as he was leaving the Memorial, he saw the three young women coming up the steps and decided to talk to them. They were appalled enough by what he said – perhaps even more by the obvious condition of the man who said it – to remember it vividly.
LYNN SCHATZKIN: His hands were in his pockets; he didn’t look at anyone in the eyes; he was mumbling; when people asked him to speak up he would boom one word out and no more. As far as sentence structure there was none.
JOAN PELLETIER: He’d been talking about 20 minutes when we got there, we were told, and we couldn’t even hear what he was saying from a few feet away. He was talking to the floor, not looking up.
stunned, because it was so freaky. He
was talking about his world trip. The
girl next to me said someone had asked about
RONNIE KEMPER: Somebody would ask him to speak up, he was mumbling at his feet. And that would jolt him out of wherever he was and he’d kind of look up and shake his head around, but then he’d go back to looking at his feet and he was gone again. He had makeup all over, it was in his eyelashes.
There was no train
of thought. Like he asked if anyone
there was from
JOAN PELLETIER: [I was] really sick to see him walking down the stairs; he was very overcautious, like he could hardly walk down them. At first I felt awe, and then that changed right away to respect. Then as he kept talking, it went to disappointment and disillusionment. Then I felt pity because he was so pathetic, and then just plain fear to think that he’s running the country…
I wanted afterwards to think it was an actor, that it wasn’t really the President, but some actor who thought he’d make himself up like Nixon and go freak us all out as a joke.
Krogh finally got him away from the three women and into a
limousine. As it pulled away, a bearded
youth darted through the Secret Service agents to one of its rear windows and
gave Nixon the finger. Nixon responded
with the same gesture. The hostile
exchange snapped him out of his quasi-trance.
“The son of a bitch,” he told his valet, “will go through the rest of
his life telling everybody that the President of the
The scene is hallucinogenic. How could these students and that president occupy the same historical moment? Students who had traveled through the night to protest the policies of a murderous president; the president himself, avuncular, welcoming them to the capital, hoping they’d take in a few of the sights before they left.
The president before dawn in earnest dialogue with the students is a vision not so much of the banality of evil as of the evil of banality.
And yet Nixon would not let it end. He insisted on being driven to the deserted, floodlit Capitol. The only people there at that hour were three black cleaning women. One of them, Carrie Moore, held out her Bible and asked him to autograph it, adding, “I read it every day.” “You know, my mother was a saint,” Nixon replied, taking her hand, “She died two years ago. She was a saint. You be a saint, too.”
“I’ll try, Mr. President,” Ms. Moore replied.
By now Haldeman had joined the growing entourage of aides trying to get the president back to the White House. But now Nixon insisted that, for the first time since he had been president, he have breakfast out. They wound up at the Rib Room in the Mayflower Hotel. “Very weird. P. completely beat & just rambling on – but obviously too tired to go to sleep.” When they emerged from the hotel and Nixon decided that he wanted to walk back to the White House – even as demonstrators were moving along the same sidewalks toward the Ellipse – the chief of staff decided to take charge. He gave Krogh a signal and together they hustled the president into a limousine.
Back at the White House, Haldeman “finally got him to go to bed, but he couldn’t sleep, so tossed around, made phone calls, was back up again… I am concerned about his condition… He has had very little sleep for a long time & his judgment, temper & mood suffer badly as a result… there’s a long way to go and he’s in no condition to weather it.” He had a sudden inspiration: he asked the president if he would like to walk over to the EOB and visit the soldiers bivouacked there. It was the right move. Dwight Chapin, tagging along, noted that “The President looked great while he was talking to the men… the men ‘turned him on’ and you could tell that he felt good about seeing the young soldiers.”
he kind of put his head down and had his fists kind of clinched in a manner that exuded all kinds of confidence and leadership. As he turned, he said in a very, almost emotional voice, ‘It’s a good country.’ Bob Haldeman will have to fill in on the rest of the conversation, but the President was making reference to the young men whom he had just met and comparing them to the hard-corps [sic] type demonstrators who were out knocking the country, etc.
It is unfortunate that Haldeman never did “fill in” on this incident, for – especially with regard to the last phrase in Chapin’s memo – it indicates that Nixon, despite the national agony of the week beginning at on the 4th, had learned nothing. He was still locked into the dichotomy from which had viewed the world on May Day: his good, loyal soldiers versus the slovenly, vicious “bums.”
all this was going on, the president’s family was flying to his side. Ordered to stay at
I had a sick, hollow feeling in my stomach when I saw that the White House was solidly ringed by military [sic] buses parked fender to fender…
When we walked up the steps of the North Portico and entered the White House, it was like entering a tomb. All the window shades were drawn; no lights were burning.
The First Family spent the 9th of May barricaded in the White House. The President remained in the Oval Office; the women and David Eisenhower watched some of the demonstration on television, and twice went upstairs to the closet of Tricia’s bedroom to peep “through the sheer lace curtains… out on the crowd… We inside the White House felt the numbness that comes after an intense assault on the senses.” Apparently the distance from the closet window was too great, and the television close-ups of the crowd too infrequent, for them to realize that the great antiwar protest was falling apart in ideological fugue, empty bombast, and the soporific effect of too much warm sunshine.
perhaps the president was too busy pursuing those who had betrayed him –
chiefly, Wally Hickel. Klein relates in his memoirs that he was
given the job of calling Hickel and telling him that
he would not be welcome at the White House church service the following morning
– the ultimate form of ostracism within this publicly pious
pleaded that his wife was counting on the service and had invited two close
The next morning, anyone looking out the White House windows would find the protest army vanished. All that moved on the Ellipse that Sunday morning were Park Service employees picking up trash and a few stragglers from the rally, wandering around like the dazed survivors of a military rout. But the president did not pause to celebrate his victory, and only reluctantly took time off for church from a new manic round of phone calls. Still inflamed by Hickel’s treachery, he was still looking for traitors in his own ranks.
Has done a lot of thinking – I’m not sure how clearly – re probs. With Cabinet, etc… Delighted to lern [sic] Abrams has already fired two of his Div. commanders cause they didn’t move fast enuf – feels we have to do the same thing. Someone has to be made an example – this is K’s line.
have got to get the fear of God into our people…
we’re in a war now
when people don’t shape up they’ve got to go
our people have no fear
someone must be made an example
Nixon had not slowed down or rested much if at all before he hosted the nation’s governors on Monday. Forty-five of the fifty attended, a remarkable showing on such instant notice. No transcript, notes, or minutes of this meeting has yet been released by the National Archives, which is unfortunate since there is some dispute about what was said. It is generally agreed that the president spent two to three hours defending the invasion of Cambodia, making use of the “domino theory” regarded in some circles as an embarrassing anachronism from the “Who lost China?” debate of the late 1940s and early 1950s.
country by country…
ask the dominoes if the domino theory works
Then to Japan…
you’re back to fortress
He did a darn good job – but went on & on – frequently irrelevant. Still made his points – but would have done better in half as much time…
from the meeting, Republican governor John Love of
Without access to a credible primary source document from the meeting, it is impossible to get the other side of the reported exchange.
Ehrlichman took the occasion to suggest to the president that maybe he should slow down, citing his performance at the Memorial as proof that his chronic fatigue and tension were impairing his performance: “E. told him he was tired & not very effective – this made him mad – and it came up several times later in day. Real trouble is – he’s just totally pooped & is not up to his usual performance.” Nixon refused to accept any such idea, fumed about it for a few days, and then dictated a long memorandum to prove Ehrlichman was wrong:
I can understand why John Ehrlichman got the idea from news reports that I was tired and all I talked about was surfing and nonsensical things… even when I am tired I do not talk about nonsensical things….
Perhaps the major contribution I could make to them [the students] was to try to lift them a bit out of the miserable intellectual wasteland in which they now wander aimlessly around.
The memo then persuades to
reconstruct the “dialogue” with the students, depicting it as every bit as
rambling and dissociative as the press reports had
indicated. It does not mention the
three young women from
Nixon could “understand” Ehrlichman’s “mistaken” impression as arising from the hostile distortions of the press. He followed the first memo with one transmitting the latest orders in his war with American journalism:
With regard to the New York Times, no one from the White House staff under any circumstances is to answer any call or see anybody from the New York Times except for Semple. Try also in a quiet way to get this word carried out wherever you can in the departments without getting in a position where someone is going to report it back to the Times…
Ziegler under no circumstances is to see anybody from the Washington Post and no one on the staff is to see anybody from the Washington Post or return any calls to them.
Tuesday morning he was striking out in all directions. “Has new idea re cutting off all defense
money to Univs that closed down – or caved in to
demonstrators.” He wanted reprisals
against State Department employees who had signed a circular letter condemning
the Cambodian invasion. “P. wants to
have all of them – or at least the senior advisors – fired.” He now wanted a rally of his own to eclipse
the one that had just taken place: “B Graham – bring ½ mill to D.C. for
Thursday, Haldeman finally got what he wanted; the
president and his inner circle took a plane to
This whole period of two weeks of tension & crisis preceded by two weeks of very tough decision making has taken its toll. P. won’t admit it – but he is really tired, and is, as some have observed, letting himself slip back to the old ways. He’s driving way too hard on unnecessary things – and because of this not getting enough sleep – is up tight, etc. All of this OK if he can unwind this weekend – and if nothing big come[s] up in the interim. But could be rough if a new crisis arises – cause he’s not ready to handle it.
president was finally headed south, where he had wanted to go for two weeks –
may be recalled that Nixon had decided he could not make the
was one of the most unheralded members of the White House team and, in terms of
the plan to completely restructure the nation’s political power base, the most
important. His hold over Nixon went
back – as did much of the corrupt connective tissue of the administration – to
the 1968 Republican National Convention.
It had nearly ended for Nixon as soon as it began, as the nomination he
thought he had sewn up was suddenly jeopardized by an emotional swing of
Southern delegates to Ronald Reagan.
Senator Strom Thurmond of
After the inauguration, Dent moved into the White House as, according to one moderate Southern senator, the agent “of the die-hard segregationists, the white-sheet boys.” Dent was to keep a “wide-open Southern eye” on Nixon, lest he turn out to be “anti-South and liberal like LBJ.” “Dent and Chotiner were then the two top political aides in the White House” tasked along with newcomer Charles Colson in doing whatever the law didn’t allow to attack the president’s Enemies. But Dent’s special area of responsibility was what one chronicler labeled “Dixification.” After Nixon began his effort to pack the Supreme Court with southern reactionaries with the ill-fated Clement Haynesworth, he told Dent, “Harry, I want you to go out this time and find a good federal judge further south and further to the right.” (This led to the equally doomed nomination of Harold Carswell.) Dent touted this second defeat to Nixon as a victory, because it made him more of a hero in the south than ever. And the support of the South remained indispensable to the president’s program, even as it embodied his natural proclivities:
The repressive use of force is, like racism, interwoven into the history of the Southern Rim. More than any other region, this area has been marked by violence, usually sanctioned violence, carving out its territory by force and coercion, building its economy on compulsion and servitude.
Should Nixon show signs of veering into moderate or even liberal heresy, Dent was there in the White House to bring him back to himself. In fact when the shock of Kent State caused the president to falter in that direction, Dent sent him the major policy memo warning him to stop “heading left” in an effort to allay the national outrage. In it he reminded Nixon that he “does not believe in integration” and warned that if he flagged in his commitment to Thurmnd to end it as a federal mandate, George Wallace could charge him with destroying public education in the South.
so the president stayed on the phone with Dent all night May 5th – 6th,
until just before dawn. While the
content of their conversation remains one of the secrets of the National
Archives, it is doubtful whether they discussed milk price supports in
is no need to belabor the importance of
cannot explain why this naked height of bare rock, the largest exposed mass of
granite in the world, erupted out of the Georgia piedmont, thirty miles from
the nearest neighboring mountain. The
earliest white travelers found atop it an enclosure of “huge boulders… somewhat
reminiscent of Druid places of worship in
the 19th century,
Widespread approval of their acts encouraged them to apply for a charter from the state, which they received. On Thanksgiving, anticipating the triumphal opening in Atlanta of D.W. Griffith’s racist cinematic epic Birth of a Nation, they burned another cross on the mountain. This time they were announcing their own group’s birth as the modern Ku Klux Klan. The cross burnings became a regular attraction of the site thereafter. As late as V-J Day in 1945, the Klansmen poured fuel oil mixed with sand into niches in the mountain’s face to form a cross 300 feet long and burned it “just to let the niggers know that the war is over and the Klan is back on the march.”
In case the crossing burnings were too subtle an indication of the mountain’s reborn significance, the Daughters of the Confederacy, after ceaseless agitating, finally marshaled enough support for a major project: turning the stone flank of the mountain into a huge statuary carving of the leaders of their lost nation. The scale of the bas-relief sculpture of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and president Jefferson Davis -- was so vast that it was not completed until May 1970. Life magazine commented by running a cartoon depicting it as it would look with Nixon, Agnew, and Mitchell as the Confederate leaders.
that was the problem: it was all just that obvious. And that was why, after the blood had been
spilled in the name of the new order at
The night before Agnew flew in for the speech – that same tortured night of May 8th – 9th – Nixon found time amidst his fifty phone calls to make one to William Safire, who had flown ahead to prepare the speech itself. The president said in part
That’s a good speech Agnew is giving down there. I wrote it myself. [Chuckle]. You helped… In this speech I was trying to show how we are one people. I’m the goddamdest desegregationist there is, but it has to be done the right way. We mustn’t ever give any indication that we don’t care about the South, about their feelings. We’ve got to care.
landed amid precautions appropriate for a banana republic dictator, not at the
The speech itself was as lackluster as the rest of the occasion. “The South that will make its greatest contribution to the American Dream is the New South,” Agnew read to the crowd, “Just as the South cannot afford to discriminate against any of its people, the rest of the nation cannot afford to discriminate against the South.” But the content of the speech was nothing; the occasion, everything. The second-ranking official of the administration, Nixon’s key surrogate, was speaking at the dedication of a shrine to the Klan and the South’s lost war to preserve slavery. In case black Americans wondered what it meant to them, they only had a little over twenty-four hours before their curiosity would be satisfied.
interviewed by Times reporter Thomas Johnson a few days after
MRS. MATTIE EVANS (DOMESTIC): They’re starting to treat their own children like they treat us, aren’t they? My goodness, I never thought I’d see the day they’d treat their own children like they treat us.
MRS. SHEILA TUCKER (ADMINISTRATIVE AIDE): If they’re turning on their own children, then Lord help us. I suppose this means we blacks had better look out for gas ovens… they are angry now at their children because white kids are doing things that make the older people ashamed.
(MAYOR): …this is only the beginning of
what will continue in
STUDENT): We’re striking at
JUDGE WILLIAM BOOTH: Whites always considered narcotics a black problem until it reached into their own homes. Now they must see that the National Guard can kill whites as well as blacks.
JAMES BARNES (COMPUTER ANALYST): [This is] only more evidence of the importance to this country’s power structure to perpetuate their affluent society no matter what the cost in human lives.
MRS. VIVIAN JONES (LEGAL SECRETARY): I’m a mother and I know how any mother would feel losing a child. It’s one thing when your child goes into the service – you kind of expect the danger and you fear sudden heartbreak. But you don’t expect it when he goes to college. It was horrible and it was shocking – I know how those four mothers felt.
The day after Agnew’s speech, Mrs. Carrie Mays – co-operator of a “mom and pop”
funeral parlor in
When county medical examiner Dr. Irvine Phinizy learned of the condition of the boy’s 104-lb. body, he did an autopsy over the strenuous objections of the local authorities. He concluded that Oatman had died of “pulmonary edema, bilateral; and subdural hemorrhage, moderate, due to severe beatings.” He also noted that the corpse was covered with “contusions, abrasions, scratches,, and minor lacerations,” as well as “roughly circular lesions that were healing burns that could have been caused by a cigarette pressed against the skin… All the skin lesions were of varying age.”
Ms. Mays’ less scientific description of the corpse had been circulating
through the black community. That even,
about two hundred blacks gathered in the city park and walked over to the jail
to confront the police. Sheriff E. F.
Atkins informed them that Oatman had died as a result
of falling off his cot and hitting his head on the floor. The sheriff retreated on this the next day,
announcing that two of the dead boy’s cellmates were being charged with
murder. It came too late. Black leaders marched on the city-county
building to protest while around five hundred of their followers demonstrated
outside. They pulled down the American
and Georgia flags, and handed the American flag to a black policeman. They burned the
Backed by twenty of his men with rifles leveled at the crowd, police captain Jim Beck – widely detested in the black community, faced them down. The crowd fragmented and started drifting downtown. Some of its members begin throwing things into storefront windows and at passing cars. Black leaders, pleading with police that they be allowed to restore calm, hastened to the scene. But before they could arrive, the police fired tear gas into the crowd. It re-fragmented into smaller packs that lobbed firebombs into and looted white- and Chinese-owned stores, and pulled whites from their cars and beat them. Then the sun went down.
It rose again over a burned-out ghetto “business district.” Six people lay dead in the ashes, all of them black males, all of them shot in the back with the standard police load of 00-buckshot. Three had been bystanders. Two were killed in stores that were being looted. No one has established why the sixth was shot.
It was announced that the FBI would investigate. On the 18th, Director Hoover advised his assistants that he had been called by Vice President Agnew.
The Vice President
said he saw a picture about
The window from which the alleged sniper had fired was the only one on that side of the building not shattered by gunfire. Gregory Antoine, standing a few yards from the police, did not hear the sniper shot that allegedly triggered the volley. As the firing subsided and the police began picking up their casings, he did hear a highway patrol officer say, “You better send some ambulances, we killed some niggers.”
FBI announced that it would investigate. At on the 24th, Jerris Leonard flew down to head off a confrontation at
[T]he FBI was shopping around for a law enforcement unit that was willing to conduct a raid that it, the Bureau, wanted to see carried out, but had no legal pretext for staging on its own… the Bureau might have tacitly encouraged the unprovoked killing of two Black Panthers at a time when there was no legal way of pursuing them otherwise.
day by day was the text of
After a long discussion decided he has to sign voting rights. Feels veto would be better politics, but runs real danger of exploding the blacks. Doesn’t feel we’ll gain any votes with blacks or young, but will hurt with our basic constituency, but still have to do it, against the will of our leaders.
Like his FBI Director, the
president believed that the blacks were inherently inferior and that nothing
could be done with or for them. Soon
after taking office, he “pointed out that there has never in history been an
adequate black nation, and they are the only race of which this is true.” After
if news of
All uptight re UPI failure to give fair crowd estimate at the airport last nite – claims he knows it was intentional at desk. (It wasn’t – it was reporter error by [illegible]. Wants our lawyers mobilized to counteract the huge group from NYC that will come to DC Weds.
And the next day,
More of the same. He just keeps grinding away call after call after call. He is sleeping late in the mornings – which helps a little – but he sure has not gotten his mind off business.
persuaded him to stay over until Monday.
But on the plane back to D.C., the president reviewed sweeping new plans
for a purge of his own administration: “Say Mitchell has to go unless he can
solve the Martha problem. Kennedy has
to go, Hickel.
Helms out of CIA & we’ll have Rush replace him.” That same evening, he invited his inner
circle out for dinner on the Sequoia, ostensibly to celebrate the
possibility of a trip to
The President’s finger circled the top of his wineglass slowly. ‘One day we will get them – we’ll get them – we’ll get them on the ground where we want them. And we’ll stick our heels in, step on them hard and twist – right, Chuck, right?’ Then his eyes darted to Kissinger. ‘Henry knows what I mean – just like you do it in the negotiations, Henry – get them on the floor and step on them, crush them, show them no mercy.’
“The seeds of destruction were by now already sown,” “Chuck” Colson added to this account, “ – not in them but in us.”
Disloyalty next reared its head in the last place he had expected it: “his” F.B.I. First, the Bureau found, and reported to Leonard, that the Guardsmen had not been in danger when they fired and that they had fabricated the self-defense alibi after the fact. Then, they failed to tie any of the slain students in to any radical group – or any political group – or to the ROTC fire. In fact, they finally despaired of pinning the fire on anyone and turned their investigative findings over to the local authorities in hopes that they could prosecute someone. All this was bad enough, but then someone leaked these non-results to the Akron Beacon-Journal, which stood the nation on its head by publishing them, thus winning for itself the Pulitzer Prize and the furious hatred of its Middle American readers.
J. Edgar Hoover promised to have the Beacon-Journal story “knocked down” for the president. But then he too seemed to have turned on him. By the beginning of June, Nixon’s sense of the threat of subversion had grown to the point that a heroic effort was needed to combat it. Accordingly he summoned the heads of the mega-intelligence services – the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency – to the White House. Warning them that, “Certainly hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans – mostly under 30 – are determined to destroy our society,” he ordered them to set any remaining reservations about traditional American liberties and right to privacy aside, and undertake a sweeping new program of domestic surveillance.
was a farce on two levels, not the lesser of which was that the chiefs of these
immense black empires were supposed to report to Thomas Charles Huston, Nixon’s
29-year-old in-house master counterspy, whose sole qualifications were a stint
in Army counterintelligence and his work on the Nixon campaign while a chapter
head of the Young Americans for Freedom.
day after this meeting, Cartha M. DeLoach
(“Deke”), the FBI’s number two man, unexpectedly told
working sessions, in which the spy chiefs were supposed to finalize
instrumentalities for the “Huston Plan,”
But as spring turned into summer, it must have seemed like every hand was against the president. Those traditional pillars of a Republican administration, the business and financial leaders of the country, were driven by a stock market mini-crash on May 25th to demand a summit with Nixon, to force him to turn away from his military adventures and police state initiatives and pay some attention to the economy.
Then treachery appeared in his own retinue. John Ehrlichman had succeeded in persuading
the President to empanel a
presidential commission to look into the crisis on the American campus,
particularly what had happened at
generals in blamed him for “overselling” the Cambodian invasion and then, for
not letting them invade
the professional politicians in his own party began to desert him. He had by the bloody example in
The “help” he gave the local aspirants turned the elections into a disaster for the Republicans. But he decided that his tactics hadn’t been wrong; he just hadn’t applied them ruthlessly enough. So he redoubled his efforts in 1972, with effects, detailed at great length elsewhere, that would in the end drive him from office.
the final disaster began to unfold, he refused to blame himself. He sacrificed his two most loyal hatchetmen instead.
Spiro Agnew was dumped when he ran afoul of the Internal Revenue
Service. Then Nixon turned on the man
who had raised him from nothing to the highest office in the land. He decided Murray Chotiner
was getting too old to be of service, and was too soft on his Enemies because
he was a Jew. His decision might have been helped by the
fact that Chotiner was going through a messy divorce,
with his wife threatening to write a “tell all” book about her husband’s career
as Nixon’s hit man. “She said the book
would detail the President’s ‘secret maneuvers in national and
Nixon? Did he ever blame himself for the havoc he had wrought on
people have never repudiated the covenant this anti-Abraham made with the
forces of darkness. When he died, the
corporate media he had viewed as his bitterest enemies vied with each other to
bathe Richard Nixon in adulation. In
all those hours of sycophantic coverage, the words “
 Haldeman (J),
 David Spear, Presidents and the Press: The Nixon Legacy. (Cambridge; Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1984), p. 87.
 “The President’s News Conference,
 Hedrick Smith, “Viewpoint: When the
President Meets the Press,”
 Haldeman (J),
 Roger Morris, Haig: The General’s Progress. (New York; Playboy Press, 1982), p. 125.
 Haig, p. 239.
 Krogh interview in Parmet, Richard Nixon and His America, p. 9.
 Ibid., p. 10.
 Boston Globe,
 John Morthland, “Nixon in Public: He Was Mumbling At His Feet,” Rolling Stone, June 11, 1970; reprinted in The Age of Paranoia, by the editors of Rolling Stone (New York; Pocket Books, 1972), pp. 306-309. EMPHASIS ADDED. Like many of the most important books of the period, this survives only in crumbling paperback copies.
 Michel Raoul-Duval, in the UPA oral history publication, The Nixon Presidency; quoted by Tom Wicker in One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream. (New York; Random House, 1991), p. 635.
 Marilyn B. Young, The
 Krogh interview in Parmet, p. 13.
 Haldeman (J),
 National Archives/Nixon Materials; Dwight
Chapin, for the President’s File, re
“Impromtu Meeting with Federal Troops (EOB Halls),
 Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Pat Nixon: The Untold Story. (New York; Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 290. Little of this book really concerns the former First Lady; the text is mostly a wildly revisionist construction of Nixon’s presidency.
 Ibid., p. 290.
 Klein, p. 304.
 Hickel, p. 254.
 Haldeman (J),
 Haldeman (N), May 10, 1970.
 Haldeman (N),
 Haldeman (J),
 Hugh Sidey, “The
Presidency: Shaking Down the Crisis,” Life,
 Robert B. Semple,
 Haldeman (J),
 Bruce Oudes (ed.) From the Desk of the President: Richard Nixon’s Secret Files. (New York; Harper & Row, 1989), pp. 127 et. seq.
 Ibid., p. 125.
 Haldeman (J),
 Haldeman (N), May 12, 1970, “0945”
 Haldeman (J),
 Reg Murphy and Hal Gulliver, The Southern Strategy. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1971), p. 2 (“desegregation”) and 3 (“injustice”). EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.
 James Boyd, “I gave Thurmond 100% loyalty and now I give Mr. Nixon 100% loyalty,” New York Times magazine, February 1, 1970, pp. 12 and 13, 46-48, 63.
 Evans and Novak, Nixon in the White House, p. 145.
 Parmet, p. 510.
 Jeb Stuart Magruder, An American Life: One Man’s Road to Watergate. (New York; Atheneum, 1974), p. 122.
 Oudes (ed.), memorandum, Charles Colson to Harry Dent, p. 139.
 Stephen D. Cummings, The Dixification of
 Wicker, One of Us, p. 497.
 Kirkpatrick Sale, Power Shift: The Rise of the Southern Rim and Its Challenge to the Eastern Establishment. (New York; Random House, 1975), p. 171.
 Nixon, Memoirs, p. 442.
 Haldeman (P), July 22 and 23, 1970, pp. 183-184.
 Ambrose, Nixon: Triumph of a Politician, p. 365. EMPHASIS ADDED.
 Elizabeth Austin Ford,
 David B. Freeman, Carved in Stone: The
 Wyn Craig Wade, The
Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in
 “Parting Shots: Will the Southern Strategy
Rise Again?” Life,
 “Agnew to Land at Dobbins Before Speech,”
 Jon Nordheimer, “Agnew
Mellow in Talk Hailing Confederate Heroes,” New York Times,
 Safire, Before the Fall, p. 203 EMPHASIS ADDED.
 “Agnew to Land at Dobbins Before Speech,”
 Don Winter and Peter Scott, “End Sectional
Slavery, Agnew Pleads,”
 Nordheimer, p. 69.
 Thomas A. Johnson, “Blacks Liken
 Thomas Johnson, Martin Waldron, and James T.
Wooten, “Witnesses to Augusta Riot Say 3 of 6 Killed Were Bystanders,” New
 Coroner’s report reprinted in Bill Winn, “They Had Orders to Shoot to Kill,” Rolling Stone/Age of Paranoia, pp. 318-319.
 Johnson et. al., pp. 1 and 66.
 Athan Theoharis, From the SECRET Files of J. Edgar Hoover. (Chicago; Ivan R. Dee, 1991), pp. 251-25. EMMPHASIS ADDED.
 Roy Reed, “Blacks Start Wide Protest on Police
Killings in South,” New York Times,
 Jon Nordheimer, “Mitchell
Aide Flies to
 John Kifner, “
 Evans and Novak, pp. 291-292.
 Haldeman (P),
 Haldeman (P),
 Haldeman (J),
 Ibid., May 16, also on p. 57. EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.
 Ibid., isolated note on p. 58.
 Colson, Born Again, p. 38.
 For a full discussion of the FBI investigation
 Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover (New York; W.W. Norton and Sons, 1991), pp. 652-653.
 Ibid., p. 654.
 Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover. (New York; G.P. Putnam’s, 1993), p. 388.
 Mark Riebling, Wedge: The Secret War Between the FBI and the CIA. (New York; Knopf, 1994), p. 284.
 Sullivan interview in
 See above. There is an extended discussion of the economic crisis leading up to the “dinner at the White House summit” in netbook The Scales Overturned (http://www.library.kent.edu/exhibits/4 may70/scales.htm.)
 See netbook, Mission
Betrayed: Richard Nixon and the
 David Halberstam, The Powers That Be (New York; Alfred Knopf, 1979), p. 605.
Estranged Wife Sues for Divorce on Coast,” New York Times,
 Monica Crowley, Nixon in Winter (New York: Random House, 1998), pp. 255, 256, 249, 169. Emphasis in original.