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Why is the JFK assassination research community so easy on Nixon?


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When Nixon resigned in August 1974, I was glad. I was sick and tired of corrupt politicians, corrupt politics, the war, the whole of it.

As time went on, as the 1970s unfolded, I began to change my mind about Nixon. Sure, he had been an S.O.B., sure he had mishandled things, but he began to look to me like a much better president in some ways, ever much more honest president in some ways, than LBJ.

My change of mind firmed in reading Jim Hougan's "Secret Agenda" -- an inside look at Watergate that painted a far different, far darker, far more complex picture than either Woodward and Bernstein or Sam Erwin's committee had painted.

Nixon, I came to see, was no saint; but neither was he this evil person of no redeeming qualities the press had made out to be.

Nixon, like any other power player or seeker of the time period, is fair game for examination in connection with the JFK murder. My opinion, however, is that Nixon was politically assassinated just as JFK was physically assassinated.

Edited by Jon G. Tidd
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Guest Mark Valenti

I've studied Nixon for a long time. He was rotten to the core. He ran a criminal enterprise out of the White House, using his power to deny due process, sending thugs to burglarize private offices, steal secret documents, blackmail. He was a racist, a bigot and an anti-Semite.

Beginning with his shameful treatment of Helen Douglas, where he used smears and innuendo to win, to his threats against the press and PBS, he was intent on stifling dissent and using his office to feather the nests of his cronies. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers who did not have to die.

He was directly involved in hush money payments, theft, slander, money laundering, CIA dirty tricks and murder plots. At every turn, he tried to subvert democracy in favor of thug rule.

Other than that, he was a swell guy.

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Mark,

Most of what you say in the first two paragraphs applies to LBJ.

Your point about hush money: didn't JFK allegedly acquire cash to pay off (silence) his mistress, who he had shipped off to East Germany, Ellen what's-her-name.

My point is, in the context of his times, Nixon was a classic politician.

If you single him out, fine. But if so, I say that's selective sampling.

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Roger Stone again responds:

I appreciate the constructive dialog on the issues at hand.

Due to my having known Martha Mitchell personally, seeing her instability first hand and understanding her deep hatred for Charles Colson, who was both an internal political rival of her husband and the man she blamed for embroiling John Mitchell in Watergate, I take her claims with a huge grain of salt. Martha Mitchell would certainly have read about or heard the Watergate tapes in which Colson suggests scapegoating Mitchell for the entire Watergate affair. I don't ignore her claims but I do discount them. In this case they are self-serving.

As for the murder of RFK I find it interesting that both MLK and RFK were killed after a FBI wiretap picked up King telling an associate of his intention to endorse Robert Kennedy in the 1968 contest. RFK startled his own staff days before the California primary when he told a college audience that as president he would reopen the file on his brother's assassination. I interviewed the late Frank Mankiewicz, RFK's Press Secretary, on this point. Those who killed John Kennedy would without a doubt have been alarmed.

The man with access to the content of the FBI taps on King was LBJ, not Richard Nixon. In fact Nixon wanted to run against Robert Kennedy because by 1968 RFK, who was far more polarizing than his brother, would have been unable to carry any southern state. Recall that in 1960 the deep southern states went for JFK largely because of LBJ's presence on the ticket and Johnson's quiet assurances to southern Democrats that JFK would not really move any civil rights legislation. Only by winning the states in the Deep South did JFK narrowly beat Nixon in 1960.

Pat Buchanan, a Nixon aide at the time, writes in his most recent book that Nixon savored a faceoff with Bobby because of this changed dynamic. Nixon himself told me he preferred RFK as his opponent in 1968 although he did not tell me this until 1985. Nixon believed RFK's open opposition to the Vietnam War would have locked him out of the Deep South. I totally agree with Brian Schmidt that the forces that killed JFK also killed RFK (and MLK) and I intend to write a future book on both.

Henry Cabot Lodge was posted in Saigon where the CIA was running counter-insurgency operations. The Lodge brothers were also close to Allen Dulles. Cabot Lodge was clearly complicit in the murder of Diem in which he worked hand-in-glove with the Agency. It is conjecture on my part but I think Lodge learned of the plot to kill JFK from his CIA contacts.

I am grateful to my friend Doug Caddy for posting this dialog on the Education Forum.

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Bob Woodward’s Intelligence Credentials & Assassination Politics of the Nixon Era
By Alex Constantine / Covert War Against Rock May 22nd, 2013

http://www.constantinereport.com/bob-woodwards-intelligence-credentials-assassination-politics-of-the-nixon-era/

[Poster's note: Lyn Colodny posted this article on Facebook today and I thought it pertinent enough to reproduce here for informational purposes.]

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Guest Mark Valenti

Mark,

Most of what you say in the first two paragraphs applies to LBJ.

Your point about hush money: didn't JFK allegedly acquire cash to pay off (silence) his mistress, who he had shipped off to East Germany, Ellen what's-her-name.

My point is, in the context of his times, Nixon was a classic politician.

If you single him out, fine. But if so, I say that's selective sampling.

Your political myopia and historical revisionism is duly noted Jon. Your foolish attempt to equate JFK's personal failings with Nixon's epic political sabotage and treasonous perfidy is vile. It won't wash, and you are outing yourself politically in a rather stunning manner. I'll keep that in mind as you continue to post in this forum.

Nixon has no peer in terms of sheer criminality while in office. LBJ was corrupt, this we know. But Nixon was corrupt and dangerous and acted out of philosophical bankruptcy. While LBJ was greedy, Nixon was evil. That's not hyperbole. It's historical fact, backed up by his own words and actions.

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I echo Brian's sentiments in regards to appreciating Roger Stone's comments here, and Douglas' willingness to post them.

While researching Hidden History, one of most surprising things I discovered was just how much Nixon's corruption paled in comparison to LBJ's, Reagan's, both Bushes, Clinton and Obama. He actually looks good in comparison to most of our pathetic recent presidents. This is not to sound like a Nixon fan; he was a typical spineless, crass politician. But I could find no real body count tied to his administration, for example. In contrast, it was easy to count the bodies tied to those other administrations.

There was, of course, a slew of strange deaths tied in some way to Watergate. But I tend to view Watergate in a revisionist light now. Certainly, as a political crime, it was child's play in comparison to the Gulf of Tonkin lie, or the cover-ups of events like the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11, Waco, etc. Nixon didn't pass a Patriot Act, or support an NDAA. Not to say that he wouldn't have; he was a hack party politician at heart, and probably wouldn't have opposed any of the recent restrictions on our civil liberties.

The very word "Nixon" was anathema in our house when I was growing up, and I cheered with so many others when he resigned the presidency. But he simply wasn't tied to as much corruption as most other recent presidents have been. This is not due to his integrity, or the fact he was principled or noble in any way. It's just that all the presidents after him, with the exception of Carter, were simply even more corrupt, or had a greater negative impact on the country.

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Brian in his original posting wrote: "While there is a lot of evidence to suggest Nixon was not involved, I would argue that the research community as a whole has let Nixon off easy for being such an obvious suspect and his known propensity to do whatever was necessary for his political survival."

Roger Stone's response asserts the case that Nixon was not "an obvious suspect." I agree.

I concluded my memoir on Watergate posted Nov. 20, 2014, in this forum as follows:

“President Nixon’s cosmic downfall because of Watergate was, in my opinion, blowback or what goes around, comes around, or perhaps a morphed form of Karma. This was because the principal purposes of the burglars going into the Democratic headquarters, in addition to getting lists of the clients of both the female and male prostitution rings thought to be there and to plant a new wiretap bug, was also to copy secret Cuban government intelligence reports suspected to be there. The documents linked through a chain of events a decision by Vice President Nixon in 1960 to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy three years later. It was about that “Bay of Pigs” thing. Possible possession of the reports by the Democrats, which included additional intelligence as to persons involved in JFK’s assassination, if released publicly during the 1972 presidential campaign, posed a serious threat to Nixon’s reelection but an even far more serious one to the CIA for its role in the assassination.

“But that is a story for another time.”

In the next week or so, I plan to post in the forum an abbreviated rest of the story based on what Howard Hunt told me shortly before he entered prison in 1975 to serve the sentence that Judge Sirica had imposed on him for his role in Watergate.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=21500

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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I've studied Nixon for a long time. He was rotten to the core. He ran a criminal enterprise out of the White House, using his power to deny due process, sending thugs to burglarize private offices, steal secret documents, blackmail. He was a racist, a bigot and an anti-Semite.

Beginning with his shameful treatment of Helen Douglas, where he used smears and innuendo to win, to his threats against the press and PBS, he was intent on stifling dissent and using his office to feather the nests of his cronies. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of US soldiers who did not have to die.

He was directly involved in hush money payments, theft, slander, money laundering, CIA dirty tricks and murder plots. At every turn, he tried to subvert democracy in favor of thug rule.

Other than that, he was a swell guy.

Whatever his major faults, US President Richard Nixon divided China from the USSR, and thus cut the Communist Bloc in two. This was a world-historical accomplishment that will outlive his negative legacy.

Nixon was a gigantic intellect without family connections in US Politics -- our 2nd Harry Truman. He did have to scratch and claw his way to the top -- and he did make many mistakes in doing so. Yet his success with Mao was perhaps the most important turning point ever in the Cold War.

By 1990, the USSR just quit. China had become the "most favored trading partner" of the USA. That started with Nixon.

I'm a Democrat, and I hated Nixon when I was younger. But looking back, he was a world-historical figure who changed the course of human history.

That said, I find nothing whatever interesting in CT's about Nixon's involvement in the JFK murder. Such theories are merely "deep structures" of theories in clouds, without any Ground-Crew. Useless speculation.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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Guest Mark Valenti

Nixon spent the first decade of his political life ginning up Communist boogie men. He and a handful of other jingoistic alarmists created the Cold War all by themselves. Typical of Nixon, he created an enemy and then made a big show of detente. He was a firefighter who sets a building on fire and then revels in the heroics of dousing the flames.

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Douglas - I cant wait to read your next installment. The Bay of Pigs Thing clearly relates to the group of Cubans enlisted by the CIA beginning in 1960 and extending well into the 1980's. It was a Republican operation all the way from Ike and Nixon to Reagan and Bush. I do agree that LBJ was a corrupt politician, power hungry and probably murderous. But I tend to agree with Valenti that Nixon, while not himself an east coast blue blood, was in on the Cold War game from the beginning.

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Paul Brancato,

My take on the Cold War today is not what it was in 1963. In 1963, when "better dead than red" was opposed by "better red than dead," my view was better neither red nor dead. But that was just the contrarian view of a 15-year-old.

In 1963, the Cold War was viewed by most Americans as a political contest, a contest of ideologies. Today, with the advantages of hindsight, I view the Cold War as a contest between American capitalists and those who opposed the exploitation of local people for corporate profits. In my view today, the Cold War was a continuation on one side of rapacious capitalism but on the other side a break, a new opponent, nationalism -- which sought not to be aligned and which in fact was willing to take aid from either side. Nothing new here.

Nixon was not part of the (Eastern) capitalist Establishment, as you write. But also as you indicate, Nixon used the politics of the Cold War, phony as they were, to his own advantage -- at least up until the time he became president. After Nixon became president, his public approach toward the two major communist nations was one of seeking reconciliation. He was extraordinarily progressive in this respect, given the times. As Don Jeffries and Paul Trejo write here.

Some, most in fact, view Nixon with a polarized lens. A lens that allows only the bad things he did to come into view. I think such a lens provides a distorted view of the man. It's a view correct as far as it goes. But it's an incomplete view.

BTW, my political views sample from both the far Left and the Right.

Edited by Jon G. Tidd
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Jon - well put.

I am inclined to view the left right dichotomy as essentially false, a divide and conquer stratagem cleverly disguised as political reality, designed to distract from the very real division of in and out, of have and have not.

I am a 'red diaper baby' and still proud of it, idealist all the way.

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Jon - well put.

I am inclined to view the left right dichotomy as essentially false, a divide and conquer stratagem cleverly disguised as political reality, designed to distract from the very real division of in and out, of have and have not.

I am a 'red diaper baby' and still proud of it, idealist all the way.

Paul,

I don't see it like that. Way to "deep" and a bit paranoid, IMHO.

I'm a Hegelian.

Thesis Antithesis kind of stuff.

But recently there hasn't been much of the Synthesis (compromising) in Congress, "thanks" to the unyielding, iconoclastic Tea Party reactionaries....

IMHO,

--Tommy :sun

PS I'll never forget seeing Nixon in church (La Jolla Presbyterian) one Sunday during the 1968 Presidential campaign. It was in the summer, I so figure he must have been in town to visit his buddies Murtchison and Hoover at Murtchison's Hotel Del Charro...

Edited by Thomas Graves
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