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Why the CIA targeted Nixon for removal from office in 1972


Douglas Caddy
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From: The Second Term

What would Obama do if reëlected?

by Ryan Lizza June 18, 2012

The New Yorker

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/06/18/120618fa_fact_lizza#ixzz1yHzlHKEX

Nixon and his aides were obsessed with using a second term to take command of a federal government that they believed was hostile to the President and his agenda. “Faced with a bureaucracy we did not control, was not staffed with our people, and with which we did not know how to communicate, we created our own bureaucracy,” White House aides wrote in a 1972 memo found in the files of H. R. Haldeman, who later went to prison for covering up Watergate crimes.

Nixon gave his aides detailed directions about how to flush unsympathetic bureaucrats from the government after he won reëlection. Early in the 1972 campaign, he wrote his aides with instructions for a “housecleaning” at the C.I.A.:

I want a study made immediately as to how many people in CIA could be removed by presidential action. . . . Of course, the reduction in force should be accomplished solely on the ground of its being necessary for budget reasons, but you will both know the real reason. . . . I want you to quit recruiting from any of the Ivy League schools or any other universities where either the university president or the university faculties have taken action condemning our efforts to bring the war in Vietnam to an end.

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What evidence is there:

-Nixon was serious?

- the CIA knew what he wanted to do?

Was the Agency behind Tricky Dick's various misdeeds?

Nixon was serious. On Nov. 8, 1972, right after his re-election, he asked for the resignations of key governmental officials, including the heads of agencies.

http://millercenter.org/president/keyevents/nixon

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The problem with some of the Nixon tapes as one of his aides described years later was that Nixon was just blowing off steam after a day's of work. I don't think you can claim all his quotes to this, but sometimes I wonder if this guy seriously thought these type of things or was really just blowing off steam. I wasn't around on Earth when Nixon was POTUS, but it's hard for me to believe a guy could have been so out there in modern times and actually existed. But when I talk to old timers, they all tell me he was pretty much pure evil.

Few questions here, I'd like to get your responses -

1.Nathaniel H posted about two detentes? Can you please explain that? Did you mean JFk trying to reach peace with USSR and Nixon actually doing so per co-existence?

2.When I was in college, I had the opportunity to intern one summer in a government agency which I will not mention (no no not the CIA or anything like that). During this time, ,most of my superiors were either Vietnam Vets or soon to be retirees who were in their 30s and 40s in the 1960s and 1970s. So of course, being the naive young buck which I was, I always liked to know about what they thought of historical figures from their era. Of course I always mentioned JFK, RFK, MLK, Nixon, etc..

Anyway, I was surprised that maybe 1/3 of these guys told me that yes, Nixon was dirty, but the Kennedys were just as much or EVEN MORE dirty that Nixon! I was somewhat shocked to hear this and it's sort of stuck with me all these years. Basically they were saying, back when JFK was president, the media loved him and would always protect him. But when it came to Nixon and the early 70s, things had changed and they all hated Nixon and everything was out in the open. If they were the same way with JFK, the world would be shocked to learn of JFK/RFK's dirty tricks.

What do you all think about that? True? Somewhat True? Or maybe these guys had an axe to grind?

Edited by Rodney Rivers
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I've read at least two dozen books on Nixon and Watergate, many of them written by Nixon's closest aides. And Nixon was paranoid as heck, convinced, and not without reason, that the east coast establishment was out to undermine his presidency. He, like Johnson, felt the east coast establishment considered him an unworthy successor to Kennedy.

Unlike, Johnson, however, he decided to fight back. While many would like to believe Nixon was set-up to take a fall, no one honestly looking at the situation, IMO, can come to any conclusion other than that he brought about his own downfall, through his reckless abuse of power.

I mean, just think about it.

1. He set up a secret outfit to perform dirty tricks against his enemies. Among these dirty tricks was the creation of fake documents designed to directly implicate JFK in the murder of Diem, and fudge up his legacy, and remove some of the stain from Cabot Lodge, Nixon's running-mate in 1960.

2. He pressured the IRS to investigate his political enemies, and leave his supporters, like Billy Graham, alone.

3. He cut the legs off the SEC, in exchange for contributions from ITT and Howard Hughes, etc. The Hughes money, moreover, ended up in a personal safe.

4. He engaged in a secret war in Cambodia, and bombed Vietnamese civilians on Christmas Eve, in order to pressure the North Vietnamese to the conference table. He did this, moreover, while constantly pitting the branches of the Defense Department and Intelligence Community against each other.

5. And he planned on expanding his grip on government, and his use of it for personal purposes, in his second term.

Now, do I think he was set up? NO. But if he was, I think it was more than justified.

The President is not a King, and he cannot pardon himself, no matter what Nixon believed.

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What evidence is there:

-Nixon was serious?

- the CIA knew what he wanted to do?

Was the Agency behind Tricky Dick's various misdeeds?

Nixon was serious. On Nov. 8, 1972, right after his re-election, he asked for the resignations of key governmental officials, including the heads of agencies.

http://millercenter....keyevents/nixon

This was after the election and well after the break-in

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What evidence is there:

-Nixon was serious?

- the CIA knew what he wanted to do?

Was the Agency behind Tricky Dick's various misdeeds?

Nixon was serious. On Nov. 8, 1972, right after his re-election, he asked for the resignations of key governmental officials, including the heads of agencies.

http://millercenter....keyevents/nixon

This was after the election and well after the break-in

Sure it was after the election and the break-in. Do you think he would announce it before then and provoke an adverse reaction? Obviously it was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. It was a policy decision that had been crafted well in advance of the time it would be publicly announced. I remember reading about it in the Washington Post when he proclaimed it and I said to myself, "This is a major strategic mistake." Why? Because the Watergate scandal was festering and he would need the support of key persons if he were to survive it. When the key people in government read the announcement that he wanted their resignations, a chill went down their backs and their interest in his survival was greatly diminished. In fact, they probably thought his departure and replacement as president would be the best way for their careers not to be terminated by a whim of Nixon.

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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  • 4 weeks later...

I've read at least two dozen books on Nixon and Watergate, many of them written by Nixon's closest aides. And Nixon was paranoid as heck, convinced, and not without reason, that the east coast establishment was out to undermine his presidency. He, like Johnson, felt the east coast establishment considered him an unworthy successor to Kennedy.

Unlike, Johnson, however, he decided to fight back. While many would like to believe Nixon was set-up to take a fall, no one honestly looking at the situation, IMO, can come to any conclusion other than that he brought about his own downfall, through his reckless abuse of power.

I mean, just think about it.

1. He set up a secret outfit to perform dirty tricks against his enemies. Among these dirty tricks was the creation of fake documents designed to directly implicate JFK in the murder of Diem, and fudge up his legacy, and remove some of the stain from Cabot Lodge, Nixon's running-mate in 1960.

2. He pressured the IRS to investigate his political enemies, and leave his supporters, like Billy Graham, alone.

3. He cut the legs off the SEC, in exchange for contributions from ITT and Howard Hughes, etc. The Hughes money, moreover, ended up in a personal safe.

4. He engaged in a secret war in Cambodia, and bombed Vietnamese civilians on Christmas Eve, in order to pressure the North Vietnamese to the conference table. He did this, moreover, while constantly pitting the branches of the Defense Department and Intelligence Community against each other.

5. And he planned on expanding his grip on government, and his use of it for personal purposes, in his second term.

Now, do I think he was set up? NO. But if he was, I think it was more than justified.

The President is not a King, and he cannot pardon himself, no matter what Nixon believed.

I've read at least two dozen books on Nixon and Watergate, many of them written by Nixon's closest aides. And Nixon was paranoid as heck, convinced, and not without reason, that the east coast establishment was out to undermine his presidency. He, like Johnson, felt the east coast establishment considered him an unworthy successor to Kennedy.

Unlike, Johnson, however, he decided to fight back. While many would like to believe Nixon was set-up to take a fall, no one honestly looking at the situation, IMO, can come to any conclusion other than that he brought about his own downfall, through his reckless abuse of power.

I mean, just think about it.

1. He set up a secret outfit to perform dirty tricks against his enemies. Among these dirty tricks was the creation of fake documents designed to directly implicate JFK in the murder of Diem, and fudge up his legacy, and remove some of the stain from Cabot Lodge, Nixon's running-mate in 1960.

2. He pressured the IRS to investigate his political enemies, and leave his supporters, like Billy Graham, alone.

3. He cut the legs off the SEC, in exchange for contributions from ITT and Howard Hughes, etc. The Hughes money, moreover, ended up in a personal safe.

4. He engaged in a secret war in Cambodia, and bombed Vietnamese civilians on Christmas Eve, in order to pressure the North Vietnamese to the conference table. He did this, moreover, while constantly pitting the branches of the Defense Department and Intelligence Community against each other.

5. And he planned on expanding his grip on government, and his use of it for personal purposes, in his second term.

Now, do I think he was set up? NO. But if he was, I think it was more than justified.

The President is not a King, and he cannot pardon himself, no matter what Nixon believed.

Excellent points Pat. While I believe now that Nixon was aware of the Watergate break-in before it happened, I also believe that McCord had a hand in making sure they got caught the second time around. Why? because even though Chuck Colson "hired" this team of plumbers, both Hunt & McCord were very close to Richard Helms. As Don Fulsom points out in his new book, I believe Helms never trusted Nixon, and if the eastern establishment wanted a way to do Nixon in, Helms had the means and the back channel to do so. I also believe Butterfield was another CIA plant that gave up the goods about Nixon having a secret taping system.

Once he was setup, Nixon's own paranoia and obsession for secrecy set in and became his own undoing. When the leaks about Hunt and his past started leaking in the press, I believe both Helms and Nixon had reason to fear what Hunt would say, but only Nixon caved first and started sending "hush" money. JMHO...FWIW

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I agree that Nixon's planned purge of the CIA was the main motivation for the CIA instigating the Watergate scandal and removing Nixon from office. Since 1963, the number one job of the CIA was to cover up their role in the assassination of JFK. And they did a fantastically good job at this. You do not cover up the crime of the century for 50 years by being lazy and taking chances. One of the keys to the cover up was having conspirators occupying nearly all the top jobs within the CIA. These guys all risked being hung for treason if they lost this control. Johnson was more than happy to help them with this, and first term Nixon did not feel free to take on these powerful forces, but second term Nixon was a guy without much to prove. He felt free to act, and he did not have any idea how badly penetrated his administration was.

The CIA had been watching Nixon and infiltrating his inner circles since before he was a candidate for president in 1968. As early as 1966, CIA operative Eugenio Martinez was facilitating shady real estate dealings for Nixon, and his campaign and administration was filled with CIA guys. They bugged Nixon and kept tabs on him, and as soon as he showed signs of doing the right thing, they sprung their trap.

I am still a bit surprised that a large number of people who understand that the CIA at a very high level was involved in the killing of JFK have not seen that the conspirators (by 1968 basically, the entire leadership of the CIA) would do absolutely anything to to maintain the cover up. These guys were extremely smart and well financed. They could very well have had a cover up the JFK assassination budget of $100M a year. This number is just a guess, but I think it is reasonable to think that thousands of people were employed in the cover up. Not that most of these people understood what they are doing, but I think that most the the CIA's domestic operations can be attributed to the cover up. The whole spying of anti-war protesters, etc. was just cover for putting in place the mechanisms necessary to maintain the cover up.

This apparatus included:

- the ability to control the domestic press (Operation Mockingbird)

- the ability to control local police investigations of various murders and other crimes (The office of security under Paul Gaynor, see Secret Agenda for stuff on this)

- a significant effort to control the presidency (and they did a bang up job)

You can include the killing of RFK, the shooting of George Wallace, Watergate, the fomenting of riots at the 68 democratic convention in Chicago, the deposing of Spiro Agnew, the scaring of Ross Perot out of the presidential race, and (perhaps a bunch of the dirty tricks in the 1972 election)?? (If anybody has any info on this, please let me know.) all on the list of things done to maintain the cover up. Plus at least 40 other murders, etc., etc.

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