Monday, September 20, 2010

The Right to Offend: Nixon's Take

President Richard Nixon was not an enthusiastic supporter of free speech, particularly when it came to speech by those who sought to undermine his objectives. In this clip from June 29, 1971
on the White House Telephone system, he talks with legal adviser Charles Colson about the leaked secret government documents about the Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers. They discuss the leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, and Nixon hopes that Ellsberg can be tied in with subversives. The president complains about "intellectual types who have no loyalty" and who weren't elected who think they are the ones to determine what's best for the country.

Nixon refers to Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers in his Speech to Former POWs, May 24, 1973

From Oct. 26, 1973 Press Conference, six days after the Saturday Night Massacre. The Saturday Night Massacre was the term given by political commentators to President Richard Nixon's executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus on October 20, 1973 during the Watergate scandal.

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