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New book by Don Fulsom, Nixon's Darkest Secrets


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I have just gotten the Kindle version of Don Fulsom's New Book, Nixon's Darkest Secrets..It is absolutely a fascinating read. I had seen Lamar Waldron's Book about Nixon on Amazon and started reading some reviews as well as browsing pages of the book. I found Waldron's book another work of fiction, and read Don's review of it which lead me to his own book.

Don Fulsom was an investigative reporter during the Nixon presidency and has compiled an excellent book that is fully footnoted and documented. Not only am I finding this an explosive expose on Nixon, it delves deeply into the Nixon / Haldeman / Helms "Bay of Pigs thing" reference to the JFK assassination.

I suggest everyone get this book as it puts Nixon into a whole new historical perspective, and leaves the reader wondering if Nixon had any prior knowledge of the assassination.

I was wondering if John might be able to invite this author to the forum to discuss Nixon and any ties there may be to Nixon and the JFK assassination.

Here is a link to his book on Amazon;

http://www.amazon.com/Nixons-Darkest-Secrets-Americas-President/dp/0312662963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343074729&sr=8-1&keywords=nixon%27s+darkest+secrets

Greg

Edited by Greg Kooyman
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Guest Tom Scully

Greg, interesting. Have you read Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan and Silent Coup by Colodny? Was wondering if this one builds on their research , differs or what.

Research? Is that a reliable description of what "SIlent Coup" and Len Colodny are about?

........

The implications of Silent Coup are tremendously far reaching in terms of just how controlled and untrustworthy our push-button poodle leashed

press really is. It is possible that actions have been taken to prevent it from being read.

Nathaniel, "front page" news? Really? Oh, to be a fly on the wall privy to the "process" of how Len Colodny got this front

page placement in the NY Times. Does this prominentplacement and the machinations leading up to it, intrigue you also, Nathaniel? Patricia Cohen and Len Colodny sure as hell could not have placed it there, all on their own, could they?

(quote) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/opinion/22pubed.html

The Public Editor

They Still Have the Nixon Tapes to Kick Around

By CLARK HOYT

Published: February 21, 2009

....Patricia Cohen, the reporter, said that while the manuscript was the peg for her article, she expected it to be rejected and wrote a story only because a small group of historians had started talking again about the dispute, which dates to shortly after the 1997 publication of Kutler’s book of edited and annotated transcripts, “Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes.” Len Colodny, an author whose Watergate conspiracy theories are widely discounted by mainstream historians, takes credit for starting the talk.

He told me he got the ball rolling about six months ago, when he sent Nixon’s tapes and Kutler’s transcripts to five people, including Klingman, and asked for an assessment. Four of the five are mentioned in Cohen’s article. The source who made the most serious charge against Kutler, and appeared to be the most disinterested figure in the story, was one of them. Frederick J. Graboske, who was in charge of the Nixon tapes at the National Archives when Kutler was researching his book, accused Kutler of deliberately mixing up two tapes, but there was no evidence in the article to back that up....(/quote)

http://chronicle.com/blogPost/whats-news-in-the-new-york-times/6631

February 2, 2009, 12:13 PM ET

What's News in The New York Times?

By Stan Katz

Has The New York Times lost it completely? Yesterday morning I was flying back from the West Coast, alternately reading Hobbes’ Leviathan and the Sunday Times, in which I found on the first page, under the fold, an article by Patricia Cohen (a very competent reporter) entitled “John Dean’s Role at Issue in Nixon Tapes Feud.” I was puzzled, since I was unaware that any new information on John Dean and Watergate had appeared. So I read the article, with increasing puzzlement, since I still could not see that there was any news about Dean.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/washington/01kutler.html

John Dean’s Role at Issue in Nixon Tapes Feud

John Dean III being sworn in by the Watergate committee in 1973. His taped comments are the focus of a fight among scholars.

By PATRICIA COHEN

Published: January 31, 2009

....A handful of historians and authors maintain that the most authoritative transcripts of those recordings include significant omissions and misrepresentations that could influence interpretations of the cover-up. At the center of the quarrel is “Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes,” a 1997 collection of transcripts edited by Stanley I. Kutler, a pre-eminent historian of the Watergate era, that has become the standard reference. Mr. Kutler has been a hero to many people because of a lawsuit he brought with the nonprofit group Public Citizen that led to the release of 201 hours of recordings related to unethical or illegal activity in the Nixon White House. But longtime critics of his transcripts say Mr. Kutler deliberately edited the tapes in ways that painted a more benign portrait of a central figure in the drama, the conspirator-turned-star-witness, John W. Dean III, the White House counsel who told Nixon that Watergate had become a “cancer” on his presidency.... The conflict has flared again because an article detailing the charges against Mr. Kutler has been submitted to the American Historical Review, the profession’s premier journal.... Questions about Mr. Kutler’s transcripts have rattled around for a decade, and many people currently involved have previously battled over his editing as well as interpretations of Watergate. The lack of a complete or official and publicly available record of the tapes has helped keep the dispute simmering. Peter Klingman, the historian who submitted the article, has been trying to call attention to Mr. Kutler’s editing in recent months...

So why is our newspaper of record publishing a front page story about a nonevent? Beats me. So far as I can tell, someone named Peter Klingman (identified only as “an historian” — but not an historian I have ever heard of before) has submitted an article to the American Historical Review alleging that (my friend) Stanley Kutler deliberately manipulated his published transcriptions of the Nixon tapes (in his 1997 Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes) so as to exonerate John Dean from complicity in the Watergate cover-up. Somehow a copy of Klingman’s article (or a description of it) reached Cohen, and this unpublished, un-peer-reviewed material appears to be the source of her story. It is hard to imagine that Klingman is not the source of the story — or one of his friends, since he appears to be one of a group of Nixon apologists (including the well-known historian Joan Hoff) who are attacking the Kutler book of transcriptions. The only description of Klingman I could find on the Web says that he worked as an archivist for the authors of a recent book claiming that Nixon was a victim of the Watergate scandal. The issue Klingman apparently raises is whether Kutler deliberately omitted material from his published transcription of portions of the Nixon tapes in order to protect Dean — and thus to implicate Nixon.

I am not sure this would be front-page news even if it were demonstrably true. After all, we know a great deal about what happened during Watergate, and there does not seem to be any new affirmative evidence about Nixon. The tapes are, after all, available to researchers at the Archives, and Kutler’s book was only an attempt to make some of the material quickly available in print for the use of the public. Despite Joan Hoff’s quoted statement that Abuse of Power is “used authoritatively,” Kutler has never claimed to have published the full and official record, and any trained historian would know that his book is not authoritative in that sense. His subject was Nixon’s complicity, not Dean’s, and there is no evidence that he consciously manipulated his transcriptions.

The Nixon apologists are entitled to make their own case for his innocence, but they need to make it on the basis of the official record. If conspiracy theorists think Nixon has been maligned by history (this also beats me), let them produce the evidence from the record. We’ll see whether the AHR thinks Klingman’s essay worth printing. If so, then it will be worth reading and evaluating. Until then, Cohen’s story does not appear to merit the prominence her editors have given it. Back to Hobbes.

http://nixontapes.org/passport.html

Luke A. Nichter's Article in April edition of Passport

Following the recent discussions related to John Dean's role in the Watergate cover-up (see

February 1 and February 22 articles in the New York Times, a subject that was also featured on this website), I was asked to write an article summarizing the debate for Passport, the member magazine of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR). SHAFR recently made a digitized version of the April edition available, so I wanted to reproduce it here. Otherwise, only SHAFR members would have had ready access to the article. The full text appears below. The full April issue of Passport can also be downloaded here (pdf, 22.9 mb).

.....

....3. Finally, and this is where Kutler’s critics move from evidence to speculation, they argue that he deliberately omitted and conflated some conversations and that he harbors some motive for doing so. While this distortion does not change what we know about the break-in and only marginally affects our understanding of the president’s role in the cover-up, Kutler’s critics argue that Dean’s role on the path to “Cancer” has not received a proper exposition and that Kutler’s presentation of the critical week leading up to the “Cancer” conversation is skewed. As to allegations that he made Dean appear more benign on the path to “Cancer” than he really was, Kutler admits that he is friends with Dean but notes that the friendship blossomed only after Abuse of Power. Of course, this is the weakest part of the argument made by Kutler’s critics. Without evidence of any acts of commission or omission, Kutler must be taken at his word.

The article in the New York Times obviously piqued the interest of many scholars, but they have reserved judgment, pending further evidence. Most people, I believe, were as surprised as I was to see this article on the front page of the Times, and they simply want to know whether this issue is worth paying attention to and whether there is anything “new” in this long-standing feud. The real story, which has been missed up to this point, is that we now have the technology to create improved transcriptions of the tapes and disseminate them and the original audio recordings widely. It is therefore time for a complete reevaluation of Watergate, and it is to be hoped that the Times article will prompt such a reevaluation, focusing in particular on the week of March 13 and the path to “Cancer.” This reexamination should do what David Frost was unable to do in the 1970s and what Stanley Kutler was unable to do in the 1990s.

As someone with the necessary background in the Nixon tapes, I felt that I had a responsibility to try to explain the dispute to a wider audience, and when I was asked to do so, I agreed without reservation. I certainly do not seek to insert myself in a debate that began before I started graduate school. I happen to believe that Klingman’s fight against Kutler is misplaced and that the real story is not Kutler, although he plays a role in it. But readers should come to their own conclusions. To help them do that I have assembled all the uncut audio files and conversations from the six Nixon/Dean conversations now under scrutiny from the week of March 13. For reasons of space, I have condensed the hours of audio and hundreds of pages of transcripts here. Much of this material is being made readily available to the public for the first time.

March 13, 1973, 12:42–2:00 p.m.....

....These materials should help us see the Watergate cover-up in a new light. If this is “Watergate revisionism,” then so be it. Perhaps a little Watergate revisionism is needed, and technology, as is evident in this brief article, can be harnessed in ways that permit us to reconstruct these events and come to new interpretations. The president of the United States is barely moved when his counsel informed him in these conversations that most of the president’s top aides were involved in various illegalities. Dean told Nixon on March 13 that Haldeman deputy Strachan knew there was White House involvement in the Watergate break-in, even while Dean concluded in his falsified report for Senator Ervin and the public that the White House had no such knowledge. John Dean was not only involved in managing the cover-up, but by his own admission was part of the inner core of planners that set up CREEP’s “intelligence operation.” He stated that he and Haldeman initiated the planning that led to the Watergate break-in. Dean not only hired Gordon Liddy, but did so on the basis of his successful break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. Dean admitted that he began the cover-up shortly after the 1972 election by creating a falsified report that concluded that the White House had nothing to do with the break-in. He conceded that he was present with Mitchell when authorization was given to bribe witnesses. Dean recommended to the president that Mitchell handle the bribes, but that some “pros” should help him. Dean, in his own words, admitted to the president that he was involved in “an obstruction of justice.” Most of all, neither Dean nor Nixon did anything to stop this reckless and illegal behavior. Paraphrasing the president’s mea culpa during the David Frost interviews, Nixon may have “let the country down,” but it was the country that had to endure, paraphrasing again, a “long national nightmare.” The nightmare is not over yet, not as long as we have still more to learn.

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Greg, interesting. Have you read Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan and Silent Coup by Colodny? Was wondering if this one builds on their research , differs or what.

Nathaniel,

I read Secret Agenda a few years back, but haven't referenced it in respect to this new book by Don Fulsom.. All I can tell you is he pulls information and interviews from several sources including the tapes recently released in the last few years. AS for the the information he puts out about the JFK assassination, the only criticism I have for the book is he cites the Madeline Brown allegations about Johnson attending a party at Clint Murchison's place the night before and that Hooover also attended. I have been skeptical of that account because I don't believe that Hoover was anywhere but in Washington D.C. at the time. I also have a hard time believing that the "planners" had to have 1 last meeting the night before to discuss the plan. Other than that, I was impressed with the information Don lays out in his book.

One last thing, in case anyone thinks that this is some all encompassing bio on Richard Nixon's life and presidency, rest assured it is NOT. The title should be the dead giveaway. This is a narrow focus on the Secrets Nixon tried to keep from everyone and Don leaves no stone unturned in his expose. I highly suggest the Kindle book. It is an excellent read.

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Greg, interesting. Have you read Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan and Silent Coup by Colodny? Was wondering if this one builds on their research , differs or what.

Nathaniel,

I read Secret Agenda a few years back, but haven't referenced it in respect to this new book by Don Fulsom.. All I can tell you is he pulls information and interviews from several sources including the tapes recently released in the last few years. AS for the the information he puts out about the JFK assassination, the only criticism I have for the book is he cites the Madeline Brown allegations about Johnson attending a party at Clint Murchison's place the night before and that Hooover also attended. I have been skeptical of that account because I don't believe that Hoover was anywhere but in Washington D.C. at the time. I also have a hard time believing that the "planners" had to have 1 last meeting the night before to discuss the plan. Other than that, I was impressed with the information Don lays out in his book.

One last thing, in case anyone thinks that this is some all encompassing bio on Richard Nixon's life and presidency, rest assured it is NOT. The title should be the dead giveaway. This is a narrow focus on the Secrets Nixon tried to keep from everyone and Don leaves no stone unturned in his expose. I highly suggest the Kindle book. It is an excellent read.

Please disregard my last post wherein I erroneously attributed the Madeline Brown claim was in Don's book. It is NOT. After going back and re-reading several passages I cannot find where She was mentioned anywhere. I apologize for the posting both to the readers here and to the author, Don Fulsom. I must have read one of his footnotes somewhere where he references the History Channel program, but mistakenly took it for an endorsment. Again my apologies.

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Greg, interesting. Have you read Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan and Silent Coup by Colodny? Was wondering if this one builds on their research , differs or what.

Nathaniel,

I read Secret Agenda a few years back, but haven't referenced it in respect to this new book by Don Fulsom.. All I can tell you is he pulls information and interviews from several sources including the tapes recently released in the last few years.

One last thing, in case anyone thinks that this is some all encompassing bio on Richard Nixon's life and presidency, rest assured it is NOT. The title should be the dead giveaway. This is a narrow focus on the Secrets Nixon tried to keep from everyone and Don leaves no stone unturned in his expose. I highly suggest the Kindle book. It is an excellent read.

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