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Friday, November 03, 2017

WRITING STORIES

I doubt you could have missed the pair, seated in the Swan tavern on Fleet Street in London, that 28 March,  1716.  Last to arrive was the infamous publisher, pornographer and plagiarist Edmund Curll, a scarecrow of a man, very tall and thin, splayfooted, and with gray goggle eyes that threatened to burst from his pale face like a cartoon character.
 Waiting for him like a spider on his web was one the greatest poets in history, the oft quoted and revered deformed genius Alexander Pope (above), with a Roman nose and a spine so twisted he stood barely four feet six inches tall from his stylish shoes to the top of the hump on his back. 
Curll thought he had been invited to settle their disagreements. Pope intended upon doing just that, by poisoning his guest's beer.  Later Pope joyfully wrote a mocking obituary of his victim, “A Full and True Account of a Horrid and Barbarous Revenge by Poison on the Body of Mr. Edmund Curll, bookseller...To be published weekly”. Curll was not killed, but he did projectile vomit until he wished his was dead. It was like a scene from Animal House. Ah, good times among the 18th century London literati.
Publishing was in its youth, as young as the internet is today, and just as chaotic, dishonest, unregulated, and unencumbered with a functional business model. In 1688 there were only 68 printing presses in London, all controlled by members of the Stationer's Company or guild.  But in 1695 Parliament refused to renew the company's monopoly, setting off a decade of pure anarchy. Daniel Defoe of "Robinson Crusoe" fame, noted, “One man studies seven year(s), to bring a finished piece into the world, and a pirate printer....sells it for a quarter of the price ... these things call for an Act of Parliament".  So in 1710 Parliament obliged with The Statue of Anne - she was queen at the time - which created a 14 year copyright for authors. Still, six years later one author felt required to strike at a pirate printer – by making him vomit for 24 straight hours, and then attacking him again in print with his obituary in ryme .
“Next o'er his books his eyes begin to roll,
In pleasing memory of all he stole;
How here he sipp'd, how there he plunder'd snug,
And suck'd all o'er like an industrious bug.”
Alexander Pope (above)  The Dunciad (1728)
Pope's justification for the poisoning of  Edmund Curl was as revenge for embarrassing the smart and lovely Lady Mary Montagu. The morally pompous poet, so famous for his version of Shakespeare and translations of Homer that he was nicknamed “the Bard”, was smitten with the lady. They even maintained a correspondence.  Pope privately published one of her poems. Copies were discretely passed about the English court. But soon, of course.  Curll was selling copies on the streets. Cultured nobility were not supposed to engage in publication – it smacked of stooping to actually earning a living. So Pope saw himself as a knight protecting Lady Montagu's honor when he poisoned   Curll and attacked him (among others) in his poem, “Dunciad”.  Curll responded by pirating the poem about his own attempted murder, even publishing an annotated version, also called a “key”. Mocked Curll, “How easily two wits agree, one writes the poem, one writes the key”.
Edmund Curll was not quite the “shameless Curll” Pope portrayed – not quite. He was infamous for keeping a revolving stable of struggling quill drivers “three in a bed” in the “low-rent flophouses, brothels, and coffeehouses” jammed into Grub Street (above). Originally “grub” referred to the roots and insect larval uncovered when the street was originally scrapped out. Eventually it was adopted as a badge of honor by the poverty stricken occupants, like the eventual great biographer Samuel Johnson, or Ned Ward, who considered his profession as “scandalous...as whoring....”.
These grubs were hack writers, named after the ubiquitous horse drawn Hackney cabs that plied London's streets, going where ever their paying passengers demanded. 
Which usually meant, obscenity, which as today, always sold well, as did insults and attacks on the pompous and well to do - like Pope (above). The occasional advance paid to a hungry writer was a “grub stake”, and the pitiful meals they could afford were “grub”. Jonathan Swift, eventual creator of “Gulliver's Travels”, grandiosely referred to this literary sub-culture as "the Republica Grubstreet-aria. But like Johnson, Swift was clever enough and lucky enough to eventually escape the life as a mere grub.
In fact, Curll employed no more Grub Street warriors than any other Fleet Street baron. But he was particularly adept at supplying what the public wanted - licentious sex, and manufactured controversy. Curll paid grubs to engage in a “pamphlet war” - much like the Fox News war on Christmas - over the 1712 trial of Jane Wehham for witchcraft. (She was convicted).
Curll also printed cheap pirated books that sold for a mere shilling, thus undercutting the actual author's authorized editions. His growing empire made Edmund Curll one of the most successful barons on Fleet Street. Acknowledged one critic, “He had no scruples either in business or private life, but he published and sold many good books.”  All paid for by the dirty and stolen books he published.
With Pope's urging, Curll was convicted of obscenity in 1716, and twice more in 1725. In 1726, Curll struck back by befriending the mistress of a Pope confident. She passed him several letters in which the arrogantly moral Pope admitting to lusting after the Blount Sisters, Terresa and Martha. “How gladly would I give all that I am worth,” Pope wrote in one purloined missive, “for one of their maidenheads.” Embarrassed, Pope helped engineer yet another Curll conviction in February of 1727. 
This time a frustrated and exasperated court fined Curll and ordered him pilloried for an hour. At the mercy of the mob, Curll was spared the usual assault of rotted food and manure when a pamphlet was read to the well armed crowd, claiming Curll was being punished for defending the departed Queen Anne. Thus misinformed, the mob carried him home on their shoulders. Pope was infuriated and determined to even the score.
One of Edmund Curll's most profitable ventures was what came to be called “Curlicisms”. When a well known figure died, Curll would advertise a forthcoming biography, and ask the public for any anecdotes about or letters from the deceased. Then, without validating the submissions Curll would hire a Grub street hack to string them together into an instant and usually inaccurate biography, creating what one potential subject described as “one of the new terrors of death.”
Curll had done this when the Duke of Buckingham died in 1721. But Buckingham was a peer, a member of the House of Lords, and that body summoned Curll for interrogation. Curll was unrepentant, since it was not a crime to publish writings of a peer without their permission. So the Lords made it illegal, and in this Pope saw a new opportunity to injure Curll.
In 1731 Curll announced a upcoming “Curlicism” of Alexander Pope, himself; “Nothing shall be wanting,” Curll assured his potential readers, “but his (universally desired) death.” Again Curll called for submissions and a mysterious figured identified only as “P.T.” offered letters written by Pope to the Lord of Oxford.  In 1734 Curll published the letters in a vicious biography of Pope. The next year Pope published his own “Literary Correspondence for Thirty Years”, including the same letters to Oxford.  But the details in Pope's version did not match those published by Curll, as Pope pointed out when he alleged Curll had violated the privilege of a member of the House of Lords and worse, slandered the Lord while doing it. The trap was sprung.
The only problem was, Curll again refused to repent. Called again before the Lords, Curll quipped, "Pope has a knack of versifying, but in prose I think myself a match for him.” And in fact as well. The Duke of Oxford still had the original letters in his files. So, asked Curll, where had P.T.'s inaccurate versions come from? Curll produced P.T.'s letters so the Lords could judge for themselves who was implicated by the handwriting. 
For a few days, the city of London, or that section that cared about such things, held its breath. And then an ad appeared in a small newspaper offering 20 guineas if P.T. would come forward to admit he had “acted by the direction of any other person.”  P.T., of course did not appear. And the ploy fooled no one – Pope had written the originals and the fakes and even the ad, and everybody knew it. The House found a political solution; since the published letters were fakes, the law had not been broken. Case closed, except Pope now had even more egg on his face.
Wrote Curll, “Crying came our bard into the world, but lying, it is to be feared, he will go out of it.”.
And so he did.  Pope died on 30 May, 1744, and Edmund Curll followed him in December of 1747.
Thus, Curll earned the last word. He described his relationship with Pope this way, “A fitter couple was never hatched, Some married are, indeed, but we are matched”.
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Thursday, November 02, 2017

PERVERSION FOR PROFIT

“If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?”
Will Rogers
I find it curious that Charlie Humphrey Keating Jr (above) spent his adult life crusading against pornography, which he called a “Perversion for Profit”. At the same time he saw no perversion in profiting from duping naive investors, even telling his sales agents, “...the weak, meek and ignorant are always good targets.” Charlie did not invent hypocrisy, nor the investment scam, nor even political graft. But when asked if he had bought five U.S. Senators, Charlie responded forcefully, “I certainly hope so.” It was Charlie's sociopathic self-serving arrogance which made him famously wealthy and infamously despised. And then Charlie got his hands on a bank.
A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.”
Will Rogers
Once upon a time in America there were two kinds of banks, commercial banks, with few restrictions on their investments, and “Savings and Loans”. Federal regulations kept S&L's the dull, cautious bedrock of private home ownership. But even real estate suffers the boom and bust of capitalism, better known as the “business cycle”. So politicians, following an ideology of greed, created the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980, which among other things, lifted the limit S&L's were allowed to invest in things other than homes. In the decade after, S&L's went from 53% of their money being in home loans, to less than 30%. Seeking profit Savings and Loan bankers then invented the Certificate of Deposit, or CD's, which allowed them to pay higher interest rates and compete with commercial banks for investors. But paying higher interest rates meant each new customer also cost more. In the world of academic economics this is known as an “asset-liability mismatch”. In Charlie Keating's world this was known as a business opportunity.
“Don't gamble. Take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it.”
Will Rogers
Charlie had arrived in Phoenix, Arizona  (above) in 1976, having been chased out of Cincinnati, Ohio by the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Once in town he proceeded to duplicate the behavior which had gotten him into trouble in Ohio, metamorphosing a faltering home construction company into American Continental Corporation, a holding company with maze of 54 divisions (and a few secret overseas operations), $6 billion in assets, 2,500 employees and a couple of corporate jets. When federal regulators started sniffing around Charlie even got economics guru Alan Greenspan to write him a letter of recommendation. Forbes Magazine, although impressed with Charlie's explosive growth, noted, “It seems almost impossible to find anyone who actually likes Charlie Keating.” His own brother admitted that Charlie was impatient and aggressive - but he left out, greedy. And then in 1980, Ronald Reagan won the White House, and geed became “good”, and deregulation, such as DIDMCA, became the mantra of the day. In 1984, Charlie used American Continental to buy Lincoln Savings Bank of California, for $51 million. He fired the management wholesale, and converted it into his personal bank.
“Big business don’t go broke any more. The minute it looks bad for them, they combine with something else and issue more stock.”
Will Rogers
Three years later an audit by three investigators for the San Francisco office of the Federal Home Loan Banks Board found that Lincoln had unreported losses of $135 million, and had exceeded the new looser limit on risky investments by $600 million. But what Charlie had learned from his first run-in with financial regulators back in Ohio was that it paid to have friends in high places. He had made over $1 million in political contributions to five U.S. Senators – Alan Cranston (D-Ca), Dennis DeConcini (D-Az), John McCain (R-Az), John Glenn (D-Ohio) and Donald Riegle (D-Michigan). Charlie now insisted that his “Keating Five” have a joint sit down with the three investigators from the FHLBB.
“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate. Now, what's going to happen to us, with both a House and a Senate?”
Will Rogers
On Thursday, 19 April, 1987, the investigators were flown to Washington to be intimidated by the five senators in person. DeConcini explained that “Our friend at Lincoln...is a big employer and important to the local economy.” Former Astronaut and former Marine, Senator John Glenn, had little patience for such niceties. “To be blunt”, he told the bureaucrats,. “You should charge them (Lincoln Savings) or get off their backs.” The regulators worked up the courage to explain that it appeared money was being siphoned out of Lincoln to fuel false profits at American Continental. That converted their audit into a criminal investigation. The Senators backed off and rushed to tell Charlie.
“There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators.”
Will Rogers
Charlie was not happy "his" senators had not shut down the investigation. . He even called Senator John McCain a “whimp” to his face, and went looking for politicians more willing to do his bidding. When the San Francisco regulators persisted in recommending that Lincoln Savings be seized, the Reagan administration appointed a new head of the FHLBB, who forgave Lincoln for any past violations and started a brand new audit, this time run from Washington, D.C., where it could be controlled.  Charlie always said if they just relaxed the rules, the Savings and Loan industry could be “the biggest moneymaker in the world.”
“A lobbyist is a person that is supposed to help a politician make up his mind—not only help him but pay him.”
Will Rogers
It was at this point that the tellers at Lincoln Savings were ordered to begin pushing their customers to switch their savings from insured CD's to the uninsured American Continental bonds. Twenty -three thousand eventually fell for this sales pitch. Thanks to the delay in moving against him, Charlie had now bypassed the bank entirely. He was siphoning cash directly out of the customers' pockets into his. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman Seidman would later call this “one of the most heartless and cruel frauds in modern memory.”
“The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.”
Will Rogers
By December of 1988, even the bought politicians had become convinced Charlie was a fraudster. In January they finally ordered him to stop transferring money out of Lincoln savings. Three months later, both American Continental and Lincoln Savings and Loan went bankrupt, and those 23,000 dupes, who on the advice of the tellers and managers at their neighborhood bank, had invested $288 million in uninsured Lincoln bonds, lost it all. Every penny. Among the many suicides this crime produced, was that of Anthony Elliott, who slit his wrists after losing his life savings - $200,000 – to feed Charlie's ego. Anthony's Thanksgiving Day 1990 note asked, “My government is supposed to serve and protect, but who?" He then answered himself, writing, "Those who can gather the most savings from retired people. . . . It takes billions to fill the pockets of spend-o-crats”.
“I tell you folks, all politics is applesauce.”
Will Rogers
The FDIC had to shell out 3.4 billion in tax payer dollars to cover the insured part of Charlie's looting of Lincoln Savings. Finally, in December of 1991, the state of California convicted Charlie of 17 counts of fraud, racketeering, and conspiracy. In January 1993, the feds convicted him of 73 counts of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy.  In 1994 the Resolution Trust Corporation, which had been created to clean up the Reagan deregulation mess, won the largest judgement against a private person in American history - $4.3 billion, against Charlie Keating.  Still, somehow, after serving just 4 ½ years in jail, Charlie Keating was released, free and clear.  As the authors of the 1993 book wondered, "He did not simply rob a bank, he broke it with his dreams... If he (was) such a devout communicant of his faith, why did he peddle hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of junk bonds to old people when he knew his empire was in serious jeaopardy?"  After living with his daughter in Phoenix, Arizona for a few years, Charlie went back into businss. Successfully. He died in March of 2014, still convinced that if the government had just left him alone, all his investors, even Anthony Elliot, would have been rich.
“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
Will Rogers
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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

SINS OF THE FATHER

I have a theory about politics, and it goes like this: each generation fights its father's battles. The prime example of this turns out to be conspiracy’s step-child, Richard Milhouse Nixon. After his two brothers died of tuberculosis, “Tricky Dick” became an over achiever riddled by survivor's guilt who inherited his father's inferiority complex and explosive temper along with his mother's stoic martyrdom in the face of her husband's violence. I shall now pause for a round of applause from all amateur psychologists reading this blog. But to go a step further - this oversimplification explains how the only President forced to resign could still insist, long after the Watergate scandal brought him down, that “when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal”. But does that also apply to what you do to win the office? 
In 1968 there were half a million Americans draftees fighting in South Vietnam. The 12 year war had already killed 30,000 Americans, almost as many as died in the Korean War. Three hundred more Americans were dying every week.  And every week the Pentagon was spending $1.5 billion on a war President Lyndon Johnson was belatedly trying to get out of  The complication was that 1968 was also a Presidential election year. The war had grown so unpopular that in March, Johnson had withdrawn from the election, removing himself as an issue. And despite the blood and treasure spent in Vietnam by their party, the Democratic candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, still held a slim lead in the polls over the likely Republican challenger, one time Vice-President Richard Nixon.
On Friday, 10 May, 1968 North Vietnam and the United States began secret talks in a Paris hotel on the Avenue Kleber (pronounced clay-bear). The first difficult issue to be decided was the shape of the table, because it really should have been three party talks. South Vietnamese President, Nguyen Van Thieu (above), had gambled his life, and the lives of everyone he loved, on defeating the communist Viet Minh guerrillas, controlled by North Vietnam. That struggle had so far cost South Vietnam over 100,000 military, and close to 200,000 civilian deaths. Thieu and his supporters had earned a place at the table in Paris. President Johnson wanted them there. But North Vietnam stubbornly refused to recognize Thieu's government, or even sit down at any shaped negotiating table with them. And Thieu agreed. He was worried the Americans might compromise him into a corner, allowing the communists to easily take power once the Americans left.
On Sunday, 12 July, 1968 another secret meeting took place, this one in Richard Nixon's 39th floor suite at the Pierre Hotel, just off Fifth Avenue on East 61st Street, in Manhattan. Nixon's co-hosts were his closest adviser John Mitchell, and Republican activist and unofficial leader of the Taiwan anti-communist lobby, Anna Chennault . The single guest, brought there by Mrs. Chennault, was the South Vietnamese ambassador to the United States, Bui Diem.  Both Chennault and Diem have left accounts of the meeting, at which Nixon assured Diem the South Vietnamese would get “better treatment from me than under the Democrats,” and that “his staff would be in touch with (Diem) through...Anna Chennault.”
Anna was the widow of American Lieutenant General Claire Chennault, commander of the “volunteer” Flying Tigers, American flyers who battled Japanese bombers over China before Pearl Harbor. After the war the general had set up the Flying Tiger Line, an air transport service based in Taiwan, and bankrolled by the CIA. When the 65 year old general died of lung cancer in 1958, he left his 33 year old widow a multimillionaire. She was brilliant in her own right, and a constant supporter of the man who had actually “lost” China to the communists, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. Under Eisenhower, “The Dragon Lady” had become a powerful Republican fundraiser. Her sole drawback, in Nixon's own words,  was that, “she's a chatterbox.”
After the secret meeting in the Pierre, Diem became a regular at parties Anna hosted in her Penthouse in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. And she became a regular in Saigon, capital of South Vietnam. There she talked directly with President Thieu. What they talked about is not recorded, but Thieu began to take a harder line regarding the now weekly secret Paris talks. Nixon was aware of the lack of progress in Paris, thanks to Bryce Harklow, an Eisenhower aide and self described “double agent”, who had stayed on through the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. And as the election approached. Harlow told Nixon, that Johnson was planning an “October Surprise” and a “Halloween Peace”, to help make Humphrey  President. Nixon had no doubt it was true, thanks to his other mole, Professor Henry Kissinger.
Since he was very smart, as far back as 1966 Harvard Professor Henry Kissinger (right, above) had become convinced any military victory in South Vietnam would prove useless, unless it also produced “a political reality that could survive our ultimate withdrawal”.  Because of this he helped start the two party Paris talks.  But he was also intensely ambitious, and in August, when the North Vietnamese ordered their troops in the two northern provinces of South Vietnam to stand down, Kissinger warned Nixon (left, above) that the war might be coming to an abrupt end, thus invalidating Nixon's twin campaign ads of “Peace With Honor”, and “Nixon's The One” - meaning the ONE who would end the war. John Mitchel immediately called Anna Channault (center, above).
Anna said latter that Mitchell called her “almost every day” that summer,, always with the same message – don't let Thieu go to or approve of any deal made in Paris.  In her autobiography Anna explained, “My job was to hold him back..”  Negotiations with North Vietnam might be part of Kissinger's “political reality”, but Anna assured the “Little Dictator” (above), that Nixon would secure a better peace for South Vietnam. She later wrote “Throughout October 1968 Thieu tried to delay... as long as possible to buy time for Nixon.”  Thieu would later tell Ambassador Diem that “a Humphrey victory would mean a coalition government in six months.” And, of course, an end to the war.
But Johnson (above) had heard hints of Nixon's back channel, from Florida conservative Democratic Senator George Smathers, who was friends with both Johnson and Nixon. And the President was also warned about a stock tip being offered by Wall Street money man and Nixon supporter, Alexander Sachs. Sachs was quoted by Walt Rostow as saying a quick peace was unlikely because Nixon would,
“incite Saigon to be difficult and Hanoi to wait.”  In response Johnson ordered the National Security Agency and legendary director of the F.B.I,  J. Edgar Hoover, to bug his own government, including the U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam, Ellsworth Bunker, and the Nixon campaign's leadership. Hoover won the race for the dirt, quickly producing a call on Bunker's private phone from Anna Channault, who urged the ambassador to tell Thieu to “Just hang on through the election.”
Finally, on 31 October, 1968, Johnson announced on national television that because of recent conciliatory moves by North Vietnam (the stand down in the northern provinces), he was halting American bombing.  Johnson also went public about the Paris peace talks, next to be held the day after the American election. But he was able to announce only that South Vietnam was “free to participate” in the talks as well. Two days earlier, President Thieu had informed Johnson that he would absolutely not be attending the Paris talks, relying instead on Nixon's promise of a better deal after his victory in November.
Two days later, on 2 November, Johnson called the Republican Senate Minority Leader, gravel voiced Everett Dirkson. The recording of that call is in the L.B.J. Presidential Library. On the tape Johnson quoted from Anna Channault's call to Bunker, so Dirkson would have no doubt he had the evidence. He then told the Republican, “They oughtn’t be doing this. This is treason.” Dirkson replied, “I know,.” and promised to call Nixon. Johnson then brutally drove his point home. “They’re contacting a foreign power in the middle of a war...and if they don’t want it on the front pages, they better quit it.”
A day later, Nixon called Johnson and smoothly lied. He assured Johnson, concerning sabotage of the Paris peace talks,  “There’s absolutely no credibility as far as I’m concerned.”  But unknown to Nixon it was caught on tape by the National Security Agency. The NSA also had a recording of a phone call between Republican Vice Presidential candidate Spiro Agnew and Ann Channaut discussing her lobbying of Thieu. With still 2 days before the election, Johnson might have released some or all of those recordings. After conversations with his staff he decided not to do so, because it would taint the credibility of whoever won the election.  For the good of the nation, Johnson kept his mouth shut.
Nixon won the Tuesday, 5 November, 1968 popular vote by just over 500,000 – about 0.7%,, but he took the electoral college decisively, with 31 votes to spare, 301 to 191 for Humphrey,  During November and December, despite pleadings from Johnson to push Thieu to come to Paris, Anna Channaut kept up reassuring The South Vietnamese President to hold out until Nixon took the oath of office in January.  Once elected, President Richard Nixon did begin withdrawing American troops, but he also funded an increase in the South Vietnamese Army, from 800,000 in 1968, to a high of 110,000 in 1973 – just before their collapse in the face of a North Vietnamese offensive. What happened in 1973 was Watergate, a scandal which increasingly consumed Nixon's time and political power. And that started with the failed Watergate break in on 17 June, 1971
On that day the White House recording system heard President Richard Nixon ask his chief-of-staff “Bob” Halderman a simple question:”Do we have it?”  He had ordered the break in of the Democratic headquarters, searching for Lyndon Johnson's copy of Anna Channault and Spiro Agnew's phone calls from the fall of 1968. He was worried it might be released to defeat  his re-election in  November of 1972.   And when Halderman hinted there might be a copy at the Brookings Institute on Long Island, Nixon ordered, “Goddammit, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.” Two weeks later, still demanding action from his wary staff, Nixon told Halderman, “Talk to Hunt. I want the break-in.” And thus began a two year search, largely conducted by ex-CIA agent E. Howard Hunt and his “Plumbers” unit, to find the record of Richard Nixon's duplicity on the Vietnam War, and failing that, to collect dirt on anyone who might have the file, such as Daniel Ellsberg, the source of the “Pentagon Papers”, and a logical repository for that tape . But the tape and Johnson's files were no longer in any of the places Nixon was looking.
Just before he left the White House, Lyndon Johnson had entrusted the file to Walt Rostow, who kept it with his personal papers. Rostow knew what was in the file. And when the Watergate scandal took flame over the summer of 1973, he wrote a memorandum (above) to be included in the file, and then wrote on the cover, “Top Secret. To be opened by the Director, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, not earlier than fifty (50) years from this date, June 26, 1973.”  But the library waited only twenty years, and then began the protracted process of declassifying the contents. That took another twenty years, before the great question of the Watergate scandal was finally answered  - why did Nixon send a collection of ex-CIA Cuban-Americans into the DNC headquarters on 17 June, 1972?  And the answer was; the 27,257 Americans who died in Vietnam, the tens of thousands of wounded who suffered during the 5 years Richard Nixon kept the war going for his personal benefit.
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