THE BEHIND THE MONEY GAMES NIXON PARDON NATIONS PLAY

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April 7 1979 The Nation 363, to which the D S O C gained admittance last year As a result of thesevariousconversatlons Vice. It is the absenceof self righteous sectarian rhetoric President Ford called Haig and read him a written. from the D S O C s internal debates that is so stiik statement I want you to understand that I have no. ing toa member of the Veteransof Sectarian Wars at intention of recommending whatthe. his first look For the sizable numberof 20 year olds should do about Eesigning or not resigning and that. who came to Houston the D S O C may be the first nothing we talked about yesterday afternoon should. national left organization to have flourished during be given any consideration in whatever decision the. their political lifetimes but for the survivors of so President may wish to make. manyburnt outmovements who werepresent in DespitewhatHaighad told him about. Houston in far greater numbers theD S O C has be smokinggun tapes Fordtold a Jackson Mich. come a kind of unexpected last chance theyare deter luncheon audience laterin the day that the President. mined not to throw away least of all in a moment of was not guilty of an impeachable offense Had I said. unyieldingpurity Inthewords of Detroitauto otherwise at that moment hewrites the whole. worker Roger Robinson one of its founding members house of cards might have collapsed. the D S O C is an organizationof people schooled in In justifying the pardon Ford goes outof his wayt o. defeat Theirknowledge of historycomplements assure the reader that compassion for Nixon as an. their sense of decency and this is one final reason individualhadn tpromptedmy decision at all. why socialism has regained a place however precar Rather he did it because he had to get the monkey. ious American,on the 0 off my back one way or the other. The precipitating factorin his decision was a series. of secret meetings his general counsel Phil Buchen. Continued From Front Cover,held withWatergateSpecialProsecutor Leon Ja. worski in the Jefferson Hotel where they were both. staying at the time Ford attributes Jaworski with, tion Overthe past several months Nixon had repeat providing some crucial information i e that Nixon. edly assured me that he was not involved in Water wasunderinvestigation in ten separate areas and. gate that the evidence would prove his innocence that the court processcould take years Ford cites a. that the matterwould fade fromview Ford had be memorandumfromJaworski sassistant Henry S. lieved him but he let Haig explain the President s Ruth Jr as being especially persuasive Ruth had. alternatives written, He could ride it out or he could resign Haig said If you decide to recommend indictment I think it is.
He then listed the different ways Nixon might resign fair and proper to notlfy Jack Miller and the White. and concluded by pointing out that Nixon could agree House sufficiently in advance so that pardon action. to leave in return for an agreement that the new Pres could be taken before the indlctment He went on to. ident Ford would pardon him Although Ford said it say One can make a strong argument for leniency. would be improper for him to make any recommen and if President Ford IS so Inclined I thmk he ought. dation he basically agreed with Haig s assessment to do it early rather than late. and adds Because of his references to the pardon au Ford decided that court proceedmgs againstNixon. thority I did ask Haig about the extent of a Presi might take six years that Nixon would not spend. dent s pardon power time quietlyin San Clemente and it would be virtu. It s my understanding from a White House law ally impossible for me to direct public attention on. yer Haig replied that a President does have au anything else. thority to grant a pardon even before criminal action Buchen HaigandHenryKlssingeragreedwith. has been taken against an individual him Hartmann was not so sure. ButbecauseFordhadneglectedto tell Haig he Buchen wanted to condition the pardon on Nixon. thought the idea of a resignation conditioned on a par agreeing to settle the question of who would retain. don was improper his press aide Bob Hartmann sug custody and control over the tapes and Presidential. gested that Haig might well have returned to the papers that might be relevant to various Watergate. White House and told President Nixbn that he had proceedings but Ford was reluctaut to do that. mentioned theideaandFord seemedcomfortable At one point a plan was considered whereby the. with it Silence implies assent Presidential materials would be kept in a vault at a. FordthenconsultedwithWhiteHousespecial FederalfacilitynearSanClemente butthevault. counsel James St Clair who had no advice one way or would require two keys to open it One would be re. the other on the matter more than pointing out that tained by the General Servlces Administration the. he wasnot the lawyerwho had given Haig theopinion other by Richard Nixon. on the pardon Ford also discussed the matter with TheWhite House did however wantNixon to. Jack Marsh who felt that the mention of a pardon in make a full confession on the occaslon of his pardon. this context was a time bomb and with Bryce Har or at a minimum express true contrition Ford tells. low who had served six Presidents and who agreed of the negotiation with Jack Miller Nixon s lawyer. that the mere mention of a pardon could cause a lot over the wording of Nixon s statement Rut as Ford. of trouble reportsMiller sresponse Nixon was not likely to. 364 The Nation April 7 1979, yield His few meetings with his client had shown Later Ford did make the change andrelieved Kis. him that the former President s ability to discuss Wa singer of his responsibilitiesas National SecurityAd. tergate objectively was almost nonexistent viser at the same time that he fired James Schlesin. The statement they really wanted was never forth ger as Secretary of Defense Shortly thereafter he. coming As soon as Ford s emissary arrived in San reports Kissinger presented him with a draft letter. Clemente he was confronted with an ultimatum by of resignation which he said Ford could call upon at. Ron Zeigler Nixon s former press secretary Let s will if he felt he needed it to quiet dissent from con. get one thing straight immediately Zeigler said servatives who objected to Kissinger s role in the fir. President Nixon is not issuing any statement what ing of Schlesinger. soever regardingWatergate whetherJerryFord On John Connally When Ford was informed that. pardons him ornot Zeigler proposed a draft which Nixonwantedhim to replaceAgnew he told the. was turned down on the ground that no statement President he had no ambition to hold office after. would be better than that They went through three January 1977 Nixonreplied that that was good. moredraftsbeforetheyagreed on thestatement since his own choice for his running mate in 1976 was. Nixon finally made which stoppedfar short of a full John Connally He d be excellent observed Nixon. confession Ford says he had no problem with that, When Ford aide Benton Becker tried to explain to On the Decision to Run Again Ford was he tells us. Nixon that acceptance of a pardon was an admission so sincere in his intention not to run again that he. of guilt he felt the Presidentwasn t really listening thought he would announce it and enhance his credi. Instead Nixon wanted to talk about the Washington bility in the country and the Congress as well as keep. Redskins And when Becker left Nixon pressed on the promise he had made to his wife Betty. him some cuff links and a tiepin out of my own jew Kissinger talked him outof it You can t do that It. elry box would be disastrous from a foreign policy point of. Ultimately Ford sums up thephilosophy underly view For the next two and a half years foreign gov. ing his decision as one he picked up as a student at ernments would know that they were dealing witha. Yale Law School many years before I learned that lame duck President All our initiatives would be. public policy often took precedence overa rule of law dead in the water and I wouldn t be able to imple. Although I respected the tenet that no man should be ment your foreignpolicy It would probably have the. above the law public policy demanded that I put same consequences in dealing with the Congress on. Nixon and Watergate behindus as quickly as domestic issues You can t reassert the authority of. possible the Presidency if you leave yourself hanging outon a. Later when Ford learned that Nixon s phlebitis dead limb You ve got to be an affirmative President. had acted up and his health was seriously impaired On David Kennerly the White House photographer. he debated whether to pay the ailing former Presi Schlesinger was arguing with Kissinger and Ford. dent a visit If I made the trip itwould remind ev over the appropriate response to the seizure of the. erybody of Watergate and the pardon If I didn t Mayaguez At issue was whether airstrikes against. people would say I lacked compassion Ford went the Cambodians were desirable Schlesinger wasop. He was stretched out flat on his back There were posed to bombings Following a lull in the conversa. tubes in his nose and mouth and wires led from his tion Ford reports up spoke the 30 year old White. arms chest and legs to machines with orange lights House photographer David Kennerly who had been. that blinked on and off Hisfacewasashen and I taking pictures for the last hour. thought I had never seen anyone closer to death Hasanyoneconsidered Kennerlyasked that. The manuscript made available to The N a t i o n In this might be the act of a local Cambodiancom. cludes many referencesto Henry Kissinger and other mander who has just taken it into his own hands to. personalities who played a majorroleduringthe stop any ship that comes by Nobody apparently. Ford years had considered it but following several seconds of si. On Kissinger Immediately after being informed by lence Ford tells us the view carried the day Mas. Nixon of his intention to resign Ford returnedto the sive airstrikes would constitute overkill. Executive Office Building and phoned Henry Kissin decided It would be far better to have Navy jets. ger to let him know how he felt Henry he said I from theCoral Sea make surgical strikes against spe. need you The country needs you I want you to stay cific targets. I ll do everything I can to work with you On Nixon Character Nixon s flaw according to. Sir Kissinger replied it is my job to get along Ford was pridc A terribly proud man writes. with you and not yours to get along with me Ford he detested weakness in other people I d often. We ll getalong Fordsaid I know we ll get heard him speak disparaginglyof those whom he felt. along Referring to Kissinger s joint jobs as Secre to be softand expedient Curiously he didn t feelthat. tary of State and National Security Adviser to the the press was weak Reporters he sensed were his. President Fordsaid I don t want to makeany adversaries He knew they didn t like him andre he. change I think it s worked out well so let s keep it sponded with reciprocal disdain. that way Nixon felt disdain for the Democratic leadership of. April 7 1979 The Nlltion I 365, the House whom he also regarded as weak Accord and political Dluralism cause for concern The Unifi. ing to Ford His pride and personal contempt for cation Church represents nothing less than a direct. weakness had overcome his ability to tell the differ assault on the notion that there are organizational. ence between right and wrong all of which leads limits to religious practice is It further a rejection of. Ford to wonderwhether Nixonhadknown in ad the rightsof individuals to resist evangelization cam. vance about Watergate paigns or similar incursions into their private lives. On hearing Nixon s resignation speech which Ford TheUnificationChurchand i t s statedquestfor. felt lacked an adequate plea for forgiveness he was universal values of harmony unity and tranquillity. persuaded that Nixon was outof touch with reality a r e little else than the transliteration of the discred. ited notion of world order through world morality, In February of last year when The Washington writ large Indeed it is no coincidence that some of. Post obtainedandprintedadvanceexcerptsfrom the people associated with such earlier cosmic politi. H R Haldeman s memoir The End8 bf Power on the cal efforts have found it easy todrift into the Moon or. eve of i t s publication by Times Books The New York ganization The Unification Church not only repre. Times called The Post s feat a second rate burglary sents an integration of the political and religious but. The Post disagreed claiming that its coup repre a long range ambitious integration of non Commu. sented first rate enterprise and arguing that it had nist nations against Communist nations This politica. burglarized nothing that publication of the Halde framework is subsumed under generalized rhetoric. man memoir came under the Fair Comment doctrine calling for a moral struggle of good against evil. long recognized by the courts and that There is a however thatmaybedefined by theUnification. fundamentaljournalisticprinciple here a First Church at any time Despite its minuscule size in the. Amendment principle that was central to the Pen United States the Unification Church is an interna. tagon Papers case tionalpoliticalorganization andmust be so per. In the issue of The Nation dated May 5 1979 our ceived Its worldwide networks and linkages make it. THE FORD MEMOIRS BEHIND THE NIXON PARDON In his memoirs A Time to Heal which Harper amp Row will publish in Me May or early June former President Gerald R Ford says that the idea of giving a blanket pardon to Richard M Nixon was raised be fore Nixon resigned from the Presidency

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