Well hello there welcome back to a
people’s historian I’m Jason Kishineff each episode will read about 30 minutes
of history book we are reading chapter 20 of people’s history of the United
States by Howard Zinn chapter 20 is called the 70s under control with the
question mark if you like remember if you like what you hear please hit that
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been known to unsubscribe people let’s dig in shall we
in the early 70s the system seemed out of control it could not hold the loyalty
of the public as early as 1970 according to the University of Michigan Survey
Research Center trust in government was low in every section of the population
and there was a significant difference by class of professional people 40 40 %
had low political trust in the government of unskilled blue-collar
workers 66% had low trust public opinion surveys in 1971 after seven years of
intervention in Vietnam showed an unwillingness to come to the aid of
other countries assuming they were attacked by communists back forces even
for cadres countries allied to the United States in the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization or Mexico right on our southern border there was no
majority opinion for intervening with American troops as for Thailand as if it
were under communist attack as for Thailand if it were under communist
attack only 12% of White’s interrogated would send troops four percent of
non-whites would do so wonder why uses the word interrogated right there in the
summer of 1972 anti-war people in the Boston area were picketing Honeywell
Corporation literature they distributed pointed out that honey
was producing anti-personnel weapons used in Vietnam like the deadly cluster
bomb that had riddled thousands of Vietnamese civilians with painful hard
to extricate pellets almost 600 ballots were given to the Honeywell employees
asking if they thought that Honeywell should discontinue making these weapons
at the 231 persons who returned the ballots 131 said Honeywell should stop
88 said it should not respond they were invited to make comments a typical no
comment Honeywell is not responsible for what the Department of Defense does with
the goods it buys a typical yes comment how many we have pride in our work when
the entire basis of this work is immoral the Survey Research Center of the
University of Michigan had been posing the question is the government run by a
few big interests looking out for themselves you think the answer in 1964
had been yes from 26% of those polled by 1972 the answer was yes from 53% of
those polled I bet if they did that poll right now we’d have like 70 percent an
article in the American Political Science Review by Arthur H Miller
reporting on the extensive polling done by the Survey Research Center said that
the polls showed widespread basic discontent and political alienation he
added political scientists often took on the worries of the establishment what is
startling and somewhat alarming is the rapid degree of change in this basic
attitude over a period of only six years more voters than ever refused to
identify themselves as either Democrats or Republicans back in 1940 20% of those
poll caused themselves independence in 1974
34% called themselves independence okay just for reference I can tell you right
now it’s about forty five percent somewhere around there so don’t really
go up that much in the last 145 years the courts the juries and even judges
were not behaving as usual juries were acquitting radicals Angela Davis an
acknowledged communist was acquitted by an all-white jury on the West Coast
Black Panthers whom the government had tried in every way to malign and destroy
were freed by juries in several trials a judge in Western Massachusetts
threw out a case against a young activist Sam Lovejoy who had toppled us
a 500-foot tower erected by a utility company trying to set up a nuclear power
plant a nuclear plant nuclear power plant in Washington DC in August 1973
a Superior Court judge refused to sentence six men charged with unlawful
entry who had stepped oh excuse me who had stepped from a White House Tour line
to protest a bombing of Cambodia undoubtedly much of this national mood
of hostility to government and business came out of the Vietnam War it’s fifty
five thousand fifty five thousand casualties its moral shame its exposure
of government lies and atrocities on top of this came the political disgrace of
the Nixon administration in the scandals that came to be known by the one-word
label you guessed it Watergate and which led to the historic resignation from the
presidency the first in American history of Richard Nixon in August 1974 it began
during the presidential campaign in June of 1972 when five burglars carrying
wiretapping and photo equipment were in the act of breaking into the offices
of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment complex of
Washington DC one of the five James McCord jr. worked for the Nixon campaign
he was security officer for the committee to re-elect the president or
creep another of the five had an address book in which was listed – name of he
Howard hunt and hunts address was listed as the White House he was assistant to
Charles Colson who was special counsel to President Nixon both McCord and hunt
had worked for many years for the CIA Hunt had been the CIA man in charge of
the invasion of Cuba in 1961 and three of the Watergate burglars were veterans
of the invasion McCord has creeped security man worked for the chief of
creep John Mitchell the Attorney General of the United States I have a time I
hear read this stuff or hear the stuff I always went why would you name your
committee to reelect creep that’s just a weird why would you name it that thus
due to an unforeseen arrest by police unaware of the high-level connections of
the burglars information was out to the public before anyone could stop it
linking the burglars to important officials in the Nixon campaign
committee to the CIA and to Nixon’s Attorney General Mitchell denied any
connection with the burglary and Nixon in a press conference five days after
the event said the White House has had no involvement whatever in this
particular incident what followed the next year after a grand jury in
September indicted the Watergate burglars
plus Howard hunt and G gordon Liddy was it
one after another lesser officials of the Nixon administration fearing
prosecution began to talk they gave information in judicial
proceedings to a Senate investigating committee
to the press they implicated not only John Mitchell but Robert Haldeman and
John Ehrlichman Nixon’s highest white hat White House aides and finally
Richard Nixon himself and not only the Watergate burglaries but a whole series
of illegal actions against political opponents and anti-war activists Nixon
and his aides lied again and again as they tried to cover up their involvement
these facts came out in the various testimonies number one Attorney General
John Mitchell controlled the secret fund of three hundred and fifty thousand
dollars to $700,000 to be used against the Democratic Party for forging letters
leaking false news items to the press stealing campaign files the two Gulf Oil
Corporation ITT International telephone and telegraph American Airlines and
other huge American corporations have made illegal contributions running it to
millions of dollars to the Nixon campaign in September of 1971 shortly
after the New York Times printed Daniel Ellsberg’s copies of the top-secret
Pentagon Papers the administration planned and carried out Howard hunt and
G gordon Liddy themselves doing it the burglary of the office of Ellsberg’s
psychiatrists looking for Ellsberg’s records for after the Watergate burglars
were caught Nixon secretly pledged to give them
executive clemency if they were imprisoned excuse me and suggested that
up to a million dollars be given them to keep them quiet in fact four hundred and
fifty thousand dollars was given to them on ehrlichman’s orders number five
Nixon’s nominee for head of the FBI j.edgar hoover had recently died L
Patrick gray revealed that he had turned over the FBI
records on its investigation of the Watergate burglary to Nixon’s legal
assistant John Dean and then Attorney General Richard Kleindienst Mitchell
adjustments I’m saying he wanted to pursue his private life Kleindienst had
ordered him not to discuss water game with the Senate judicial committee
Judiciary Committee number six two former members of Nixon’s cabinet John
Mitchell and Maurice Stan’s were charged with taking 250 grand from
a financier named Robert Vesco in return for their help with the Securities and
Exchange Commission investigation of esko’s activities number seven it turned
out that certain material had disappeared from FBI files material from
a series of illegal wiretaps ordered by Henry Kissinger placed on the telephones
of for journalists and three thirty evening 13 government officials and was
in the White House safe of Nixon’s advisor John Ehrlichman one of the one
who number eight one of the Watergate burglars Bernard Barker told the Senate
committee that he had also been involved in a plan to physically attacked on
Daniel Ellsberg while Ellsberg spoke at an anti-war rally in Washington number
nine a deputy director of the CIA testified that Haldeman and Ehrlichman
told him it was Nixon’s wish that the CIA tell the FBI not to pursue its
investigation beyond the Watergate burglary number 10 and sorry it’s almost
done I know this is a little bit long number 10 almost by accident a witness
told the Senate committee that President Nixon had tapes of all personal
conversations and phone conversations at the White House Nixon at first refused
to turn over the tapes and when he finally did they had been tampered with
18 and a half minutes of one tape had been erased and the wording is funny
I think that that’s not the only tape that was tampered with number 11 in the
midst of all this Nixon’s vice president Spiro Agnew was indicted in Maryland for
receiving bribes from Maryland’s contract Maryland contractors in return
for political favors and resigned from the white from the vice presidency in
October 1973 Nixon appointed congressman Gerald Ford to take Agnew’s place nowadays taking money for political
favors is legal huh there was a time huh number 12 over 10
million dollars in government money had been used by Nixon on his private homes
in San Clemente and Key Biscayne on grounds of security and he had illegally
taken with the aid of a bit of forgery five hundred and seventy-six thousand
dollar tax deduction from some of his papers number thirteen and this is the
last one it was disclosed that for over a year in
1969 270 the US had engaged in a secret massive bombing of Cambodia which had
kept from the American public and even from Congress it was a swift in sudden
fall in the November 1972 presidential elections Nixon and Agnew had won 60
percent of the popular vote and carried every state except Massachusetts
defeating an anti-war candidate Senator George McGovern by June of 1973 a Gallup
poll showed 67% of those polled thought Nixon was involved in the Watergate
breaking or lied to cover up by the fall of 1973 eight different resolutions had
been introduced in the House of Representatives for the impeachment of
President Nixon the following year a House committee drew up a bill of
impeachment to present it to the full house to a full house
Nixon’s advisers told would pass the House by the required
majority and then the Senate would vote the necessary to necessary two-thirds
majority to remove him from office on August 8 1974 Nixon resigned six months
before Nixon resigned the business magazine Dunn’s review reported a poll
of 300 corporation executives almost all had voted for Nixon in 1972 but now a
majority said he should resign right now 90% of Wall Street would cheer if Nixon
resigns said the vice president of Merrill Lynch government serving
securities when he did there was a relief in all the sectors of the
establishment Gerald Ford taking Nixon’s office said our long national nightmare
is over newspapers whether they had been for or against Nixon liberal or
conservative celebrated the successful peaceful culmination of the Watergate
crisis the system is working sent a longtime strong critic of the Vietnam
War New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis the two journalists who had much
to do with investigating and exposing Nixon Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of
the Washington Post wrote that with Nixon’s departure there might be
restoration all of this was in a mood of relief of gratitude no respectable
American newspaper said what was said by Claude giulia editor of the Mon
diplomatique in September 1974 and I won’t use that won’t try the French
accent because I want to make sure that you understand what I’m saying the
elimination of mr. Richard Nixon leaves intact all the mechanisms and all the
false values which permitted the Watergate scandal Union noted that
since Secretary of State Henry Kissinger would remain in his post in other words
that Nixon’s foreign policy would continue
that is to say Jr wrote that Washington will continue to support General
Pinochet and Chile General Geisel in Brazil General Stroessner in Paraguay
etc months after Julia wrote this it was disclosed that top Democratic and
Republican leaders in the House of Representatives had given secret
assurance to Nixon that if he resigned they would not support criminal
proceedings against him one of them the ranking Republican of the Judiciary
Committee said we had all been shuttering about what two weeks of
televised floor debates on impeachment would do how it would tear the country
apart and effect foreign policy the New York
Times articles that reported on wall street hope for Nixon’s resignation
quoted one Wall Street financier as saying that if Nixon resigned what we
will have is the same play with different players when Gerald Ford a
conservative Republican who had supported all of Nixon’s policies was
nominated for president a liberal senator from California Alan Cranston
spoke for him on the floor saying he had pulled many people Republicans and
Democrats and found an almost startling consensus of conciliation that in
developing around him when Nixon resigned and Ford became president the
New York Times said out of the despair of Watergate has come an inspiring new
demonstration of the uniqueness and strength of the American democracy a few
days later The Times wrote happily that the peaceful transfer of power brought a
cleansing sense of relief to the American people and the charges brought
by the House Committee of MP Cheeseman against Nixon it seemed clear
that the committee did not want to emphasize those elements in his behavior
which were found in other presidents and which might be repeated in the future it
stayed clear of Nixon’s dealings with powerful corporations it did not mention
the bombing of Cambodia it concentrated on things peculiar to Nixon not on
fundamental policies continuous among American presidents at home or abroad
the word was out get rid of Nixon Makita system D Lamar Sorensen who had been an
advisor to President Kennedy wrote at the time of Watergate the underlying
causes of the gross misconduct in our law enforcement system now being
revealed are largely personal not institutional some structural changes
are needed all the rotten apples should be thrown out but save the barrel my
throat is very dry I’m sorry indeed the barrel was saved Nixon’s
foreign policy remained the government’s connection to corporate interests
remained wards closest friends in Washington’s were corporate lobbyists
surprise surprise Alexander Haig who had been one of Nixon’s closest advisers who
had helped him processing the tapes before turning them over to the public
and who gave the public misinformation about the taste was appointed by the
president by President Ford to be the head of the Armed Forces of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization one of Ford’s first acts was to pardon Nixon
thus saving him from possible criminal proceedings and allowing him to retire
with a huge pension in California the establishment had cleansed itself of
members of the club who had broken the rules drained the swamps of the SEC so
to speak but it took some pains not to treat them too harshly those few who
received jail sentences got short terms were sent to the most easygoing federal
institutions available and were given special privileges not given to ordinary
prisoners Richard Kleindienst pleaded guilty he got a $100 fine in a month in
jail which was suspended that Nixon would go but that the power of the
President to do anything he wanted in the name of national security would stay
this was underscored by a Supreme Court decision in 1974 the court said Nixon
had to turn over in White House tapes to the special Watergate prosecutor but at
the same time it affirmed the confidentiality of presidential
communications which it could not uphold in Nixon’s case but which remained as a
general principle when the president made
blame of need to protect military diplomatic or sensitive national
security secrets the televised Senate committee hearings on Watergate stopped
suddenly before the subject of corporate connections was reached it was typical
of the selective coverage of important events by the television industry
bizarre shenanigans like the Watergate burglary were given full treatment while
instances of ongoing practice the me lie Massacre the secret bombing of Cambodia
the work of the FBI and the CIA were given the most fleeting attention dirty
tricks against the Socialist Workers Party the Black Panthers other radical
groups had to be searched for in a few newspapers the whole nation heard the
details of the quick break-in at the Watergate apartment there was never a
similar television hearing on the long term break-in in Vietnam in the trial of
John Mitchell and Maurice stands for obstruction of justice in impeding US
Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Robert Vesco a
contributor to Nixon George Bradford cook former general counsel of the SEC
testified that on November 13th 1972 he crouched in a Texas rice field while on
a goose hunt with Maurice Stan’s and told him he wanted to be chairman of the
SEC for this he would cut out a critical paragraph in the SEC charges against
Vesco that referred to vest goes $200,000 secret contribution to the
Nixon campaign corporate influence on the White House is a permanent fact of
the American system most of it is wise enough to stay within the law under
Nixon they took chances an executive in the meat packing
industry said during the Watergate events that he had been approached by a
Nixon campaign official and told that while the $25,000 contribution would be
appreciated for $50,000 you get to talk to the president some things never
change huh many of these corporations gave money to both sides so that
whichever one they they would have friends in the administration Chrysler
Corporation urged its executives to support the party and candidate of their
choice Chrysler Corporation urged its executives to support the party and
candidate of their choice and then collected the checks from them and
delivered the checks to Republic Republican or Democratic campaign
committees international telephone and telegraph was an old hand at giving
money on both sides in 1960 and had made illegal contributions to Bobby Baker but
worked with Democratic senators including Lyndon Johnson a senior vice
president of ITT was quoted by one of his assistants as saying the Board of
Directors have it set up to butter both sides so we’ll be in good position
whoever wins and in 1970 and ITT director John McCone who also had been
head of the CIA told Henry Kissinger Secretary of State and Richard Helms CIA
director that ITT was willing to give 1 million dollars to help the US
government in its plans to overthrow the IND government in Chile which was a
popularly elected government in 1971 ITT planned to take over the one and a half
billion dollar Hartford fire insurance company the largest merger in corporate
history the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department moved
prosecute ITT for violating the antitrust laws antitrust laws antitrust
laws however the prosecution did not take place in ITT was allowed to merge
with Hartford it was also that of court in a secret arrangement in which ITT
agreed to donate four hundred thousand dollars to the Republican Party it
seemed to that Richard Kleindienst Deputy Attorney General had six meetings
with an ITT director named Felix ro Haughton and then brought in the head of
the Antitrust Division Richard McClaren who was persuaded by Rohinton that to
stop the merger would cause a hardship for eikichi stockholders McClaren agreed
he was later appointed a federal judge one of the items not mentioned in the
impeachment charges and never televised in the Senate hearings was the way the
government cooperated with the milk industry you heard me the milk industry
in Italy in 1971 the Secretary of Agriculture announced to the government
would not increase its price supports for milk the regular subsidy to the big
milk producers then the Associated milk producers began giving money to the
Nixon campaign met in the White House with Nixon and the Secretary of
Agriculture gave more money and the secretary announced that new analysis
made it necessary to raise milk price supports from four dollars and sixty
cents four dollars and sixty six cents to four dollars and ninety three cents a
hundredweight more contributions were made and the total exceeded 400,000
dollars the price increases added five hundred million dollars to the profits
of dairy farmers mostly big corporations of course at the expense of consumed whether Nixon or Ford or any Republican
or Democrat was president the system would work pretty much the same a Senate
subcommittee investigating multinational corporations revealed the document given
passing attempt mentioned in a few newspapers in which oil company
economists discussed holding back production of oil to keep prices up
Aramco the Arabian American Oil Corporation 75% of whose stock was held
by American oil companies and 25% by Saudi Arabia had made $1 profit on a
barrel oil a barrel of oil in 1973 in 1974 it was making four dollars and 50
cents on a barrel none of this would be affected by who was president even in
the most diligent of investigations in the Watergate affair that of Archibald
Cox a special prosecutor later fired by Nixon the corporations got off easy
American Airlines which admitted making illegal contributions to the Nixon
campaign was fined $5,000 Goodyear was fined $5,000 the 3m
corporation which makes scotch tape was fined $3,000 a Goodyear official was
fined $1000 a 3m official was fined $500 the New York Times October 20th 1973
reported mr. Cox charged them with only the misdemeanor of making illegal
contributions the misdemeanor under the law involved non-willful contributions
the felony count involving willful contributions is punishable by a fine of
$10,000 and/or a two year jail term the misdemeanor by a $1,000 fine and/or a
one year jail term asked at the courthouse here how the two executives
who had admitted making the payments could be charged with making non willing
contributions mr. MacBride Cox’s staff replied that’s a legal question which
frankly baffles me as well and I think maybe we should call that a
wrap we’ll pick it up next time thanks for joining me
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Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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