Sunday, August 01, 2004

Nixon and G.

Recently, Michael Kinsley wrote:

These themes have reverberated around Democratic conventions since the first post-McGovernite election year of 1976. By now the word "McGovernite," never exactly filled with schismatic drama and romance, must be about as meaningful to the average voter as "Shachtmanite" or "Albigensian." George McGovern, children, was a senator from South Dakota (a region of the upper west side of Manhattan in the geographical mythology of Democratic Party critics) and the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972. He was, and is, a left-liberal. The Republican offering that year was Richard Nixon (with Spiro Agnew for dessert), but it is the Democrats who have been apologizing for their choice ever since.

From yesterday's weekend All Things Considered, about journalist Jack Anderson:

Mr. FELDSTEIN: Well, it's pretty wild, but it's true. The CIA started spying on Anderson under Nixon which was illegal, and Anderson found out about it and he sicced his nine kids--he's a devote Mormon and has nine children--on the CIA agents and they waved and let the air out of the tires of the agents and made sport of it all. So everything Nixon tried, you know, didn't seem to work and finally he turned to smearing him sexually and an assassination plot.

NAYLOR: Now what did the assassination plot involve? I mean, was this something that Nixon was directly involved with?

Mr. FELDSTEIN: We don't know. Here's what we do know--and it's been really interesting. I've been going through the National Archives documents on this and the White House tapes. We do know that E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, two names that would become famous a few weeks later during the Watergate break-in when they were arrested as part of that, secretly met at The Hay-Adams Hotel in March of 1972, a block from the White House, and they discussed rubbing out Jack Anderson, and they discussed various ways they were going to kill him. First, they talked about putting LSD in his drink. The trouble was as Mormon and a teetotaler, he didn't drink alcohol. So that was out. So then they talked about making him crash in an automobile accident, but they would have to go to the CIA and use a special car for that. So finally G. Gordon Liddy volunteered to kill Anderson himself personally by knifing him, slitting his throat, and staging it as a mugging that would look like a Washington street crime. At the last minute, this assassination plot was aborted, and a few weeks later, the men were arrested in the Watergate break-in and never had a chance to put their plan into operation.