Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 3, 1972

From Haldeman's diary:


The P had E in this morning to discuss the basic problem of domestic intelligence, the need for our moving on IRS and Justice to get some action on tax and other matters involving people supporting the opposition.


Yeah, I guess he did. In the Oval Office:


President Nixon: Here we go. What in the name of God are we doing on this one? What are we doing about the financial contributors? Now, those lists there, are we looking over McGovern's financial contributors? Are we looking over the financial contributors to the Democratic National Committee? Are we running their income tax returns? Is the Justice Department checking to see whether or not there is any antitrust suits? Do we have anything going on any of these things?
President Nixon: We have all this power and we aren't using it. Now, what the Christ is the matter?
President Nixon: What is being done? Who is doing this full time? That's what I want to know. Who is running the IRS? Who is running over at Justice Department? What I meant is, with all the agencies of government, what in the name of God are we doing about the McGovern contributors?

Ehrlichman: The short answer to your question is nothing.

President Nixon: Well, they're doing it to us.
One more segment that I'll include, on what is overall a long, long rant, some of it about how George Shultz and other cabinet secretaries won't play along:

Ehrlichman: Well, we've got a file a foot thick on [McGovern contributor] Henry Kimelman, and this is over in the Department of Interior, where we have fewer problems. I do have some work on that.

President Nixon: Scare the shit out of them [that is, McGovern contributors]. Scare the shit out of them. Now, there are some Jews with the Mafia that are involved in this all, too.


Haldeman goes on to say that some of McGovern's supporters have "unpleasant affiliations." There's yet another conversation about the same stuff later in the day, with Nixon fantasizing about firing all the political appointees at IRS who are subverting them and then launching investigations of all his enemies.

And that's how they were governing the nation on August 3, 1972.


  1. Yes, I remember that Nixon put pressure on the IRS to get information about people on his blacklist. So why doesn't Obama just call the IRS and order copies of Romney's tax returns? LOL!


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