Sunday, October 11, 2015

Still More About Richard Nixon

Hard as it may be to believe after all this time, there is still more to the story of President Richard Nixon and Watergate. And hard as it may also be to believe, it is one of the men who was closest to Nixon, Alexander Butterfield, who's letting the secrets out.
A president who on a Christmas Eve tour of the old Executive Office Building next to the White House made a discovery that sparked a witch hunt: "Some of the staff people -- bureaucrats, the civil servants -- had pictures of John F. Kennedy on their desks or on the wall," said Woodward. "Nixon said, 'We have to get rid of that infestation,' as if it was some sort of disease that somebody would have a picture of JFK in their office."

Butterfield was told by Nixon to get pictures of other presidents taken down from the walls. "He made that express order," he said.

In particular, White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman told Butterfield, "The President would like you ... to find out who the woman is ... who has the two Kennedy pictures," adding, "He asks about it once a week -- at least." Butterfield reported back that the CIA, Secret Service and FBI -- even the House Committee on Un-American Activities -- all found the woman, a civil servant named Edna Rosenberg, was a "completely loyal American."

"What's surprising as you go through all of this is the amount of energy that was devoted to these kinds of maneuvers," said Woodward. "This was a subversion of what the job of the presidency is."
Nixon was a strange and petty man.

I wonder what we don't know about the presidents who have succeeded him.

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