Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How Haldeman's Tribe Got Tennessee Cred

Chris Goffard at the LA Times has revealed that the secret campaign against Nixon library director Tim Naftali (left) waged by Bob Haldeman's out-of-office good old boys included an incumbent, Sen. Lamar Alexander (below), a former Nixon aide who served the people of Tennessee by placing a stop-Naftali hold on President Obama's 2009 nomination of David Ferriero as archivist of the United States. Alexander told Goffard that the Haldeman foundation didn't like Naftali's "attitude." In the summer of 2010, as the anti-Naftali campaign continued, the same operative who sicced the U.S. Senate on Tim complained about the Nixon library director and distinguished Cold War scholar's alleged and unspecified "coded actions" signaling that he was gay.

In getting a senator to tie up a presidential nomination, Haldeman's men insist that they weren't trying to get Naftali fired. It was just to give Alexander the opportunity to tell Ferriero, previously the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, that Nixon went to China and established the EPA. Whatever its goal, the Alexander gambit failed to block Naftali and the Watergate exhibit, as did the foundation's next moves -- the creation of a Watergate truth squad including perjurer Dwight Chapin and the apparent conversion of archives official Sharon Fawcett. Goffard writes:
There is no sign that the [Alexander-Ferrerio] meeting influenced Naftali's approach, and Naftali said the Watergate exhibit opened as he envisioned it, despite the foundation's panel-by-panel critique and a nine-month delay.
And this:
After former Nixon aide John Taylor left as head of the Nixon foundation in 2009 to serve as a full-time Episcopal priest, the foundation fell into the hands of "Haldeman's inner circle of political operatives," Naftali said.

"Sadly, they were using the same tactics, from the same playbook," Naftali said of the foundation's campaign against him. "It's a very special tribe that has never accepted the nation's verdict on Watergate."

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