Sunday :: Jul 8, 2007

Nixon Lies Disenthroned

by Mary

Nixon's Presidential Library is undergoing a big change: from the keeper of Nixon's lies that Watergate was really a coup by his enemies to bring him down to a library that contains the legitimate record of what happened in those days to cause the President to resign in disgrace.

visitors learned that Watergate, which provoked a constitutional crisis and became an enduring byword for abuses of executive power, was really a "coup" engineered by Nixon enemies. The exhibit accused Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein — without evidence — of "offering bribes" to further their famous coverage.

Most conspicuous was a heavily edited, innocent-seeming version of the "smoking gun" tape of June 23, 1972, the resignation-clinching piece of evidence in which Nixon and his top aide are heard conspiring to thwart the FBI probe of Watergate.

Richard Nixon in his decades-long campaign to restore his name approved the Disney-fied version of history, but for most historians, the hagiography was simply risable and the Library was the only Presidential Library that was not part of the official presidencial library system.

Nixon's library consisted of his pre- and post-Presidential papers, but did not have any of the White House documents because those had been seized after Nixon's resignation because people thought they would be destroyed if given to Nixon. Now, the library, under contol of the nation's archivists, not Nixon apologists, will contain the full record of Nixon's long years in politics.

One indication of the change is the gift shop finally offers visitors the chance to buy All the President's Men as well as the other kisch that Nixon fans so love. Evidently the book isn't selling so well in Nixon country.

Dick Cheney must be losing sleep, worrying about what will happen when he no longer has control of his records. And I suspect that the Bush administration has been just as concerned with keeping records as other bureaucratic police states even if the VP stamps his records with "Treated as Secret" so there will be a lot of records that will be available to tell the real story of this administration someday.

Mary :: 9:31 AM :: Comments (11) :: Digg It!