Nixon's dark shadow

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Some select excerpts have already hit the internet via The Daily Beast. Talking to adviser Henry Kissinger about a pending U.S.-Soviet summit and potential criticism by U.S. Jews, Nixon exclaimed: “Let me say, Henry, it’s gonna be the worst thing that happened to Jews in American history ... If they torpedo this summit — and it might go down for other reasons — I’m gonna put the blame on them, and I’m going to do it publicly at 9 o’clock at night before 80 million people.

“I won’t mind one goddamn bit to have a little anti-Semitism if it’s on that issue ... They put the Jewish interest above America’s interest."

He told later disgraced Vice President Spiro Agnew that Jews were holding foreign policy “hostage to Jewish immigration from the Soviet Union ... the American people are not going to let them destroy our foreign policy — never!” Nor did he want any Jews on the Supreme Court.

Talking to press aide Ron Zeigler, Nixon dumped on his cultural adviser (and his former law partner), and my former client, Leonard Garment: “Goddamn his Jewish soul!” In another revealing bigoted comment about appointees, Nixon ordered: “No Jews. We are adamant when I say no Jews ...”

Before we forget Nixon’s excesses and burnish his fading reputation in retrospect, these remarks should remind folks of this man’s dark character, revealed in the tapes. They show what lurked in his heart.

Ronald Goldfarb, a Washington, D.C., attorney and author was a former prosecutor of organized crime cases in the U.S. Department of Justice during the Kennedy administration.