Nixon papers shed light on political espionage





In newly released papers from his presidency, Richard Nixon directs a purge of Kennedy-era modern art — "these little uglies" — orders hostile journalists to be frozen out and fusses over White House guest lists to make sure political opponents don't make it in.

As his lieutenants built an ambitious political espionage operation that tapped scribes as spies, Nixon is shown preoccupying himself with the finest details of dividing friend and foe.

The Nixon Library, run by the National Archives, released some 280,000 pages of records Monday from his years in office, many touching on the early days of political spycraft and manipulation that would culminate in a presidency destroyed by the Watergate scandal.

The latest collection sheds more light on the long-familiar determination of Nixon's men to find dirt on Democrats however they could. Memos attempt to track amorous movements of Sen. Ted Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat whom Nixon's operatives apparently feared the most. Journalists secretly hired by Nixon's men reported on infighting among Democratic presidential contenders....


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