"I want to know exact details, hard information about everything!" J.G. Ballard told an interviewer, in the pre-Internet year of 1982.
A newly discovered collection of notes written by Nixon aide HR Haldeman reveals that during Nixon's 68 presidential campaign, he illegally conspired to convince the South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, to scuttle the peace talks run by Nixon's political rival, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. Read the rest
In Dan Baum's excellent article in Harper's about the devastating consequences of the US government's war on drugs, there's a revealing quote from John Ehrlichman, Nixon's Watergate co-conspirator:
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I’d tracked Ehrlichman, who had been Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser, to an engineering firm in Atlanta, where he was working on minority recruitment. I barely recognized him. He was much heavier than he’d been at the time of the Watergate scandal two decades earlier, and he wore a mountain-man beard that extended to the middle of his chest.
At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. “You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
I must have looked shocked.
[Video Link] Here's a trailer for the upcoming book, White House Call Girl: The Real Watergate Story, by Phil Stanford. It's published by our friends at Feral House.
Heidi Rikan was a stripper, working for the mob in Washington D.C. White House Call Girl tells how a call girl operation she was running at the time led to the Watergate break-in, which brought down Tricky Dick Nixon himself.
Needless to say, this is not part of the Watergate story that has come down to us over the decades. It is also only fair to point out that this version of the story might be dismissed out of hand as being dangerous “revisionist” history. If you’re not careful, you might end up being called a “conspiracy theorist.”
You can also be called crazy – which is what happened to a young lawyer named Phillip Bailley, one of the principal witnesses to this ignored bit of American history. When he was foolish enough to blow the whistle on Heidi and her call girl ring, he was locked up at St. Elizabeth’s, the District of Columbia’s mental hospital, in the ward for the criminally insane.
For forty years we’ve only heard the Woodward and Bernstein perspective on Watergate. Now we’ve got the photos. What’s more, we’ve got Heidi’s little black book.