The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions

By Eugene J. McCarthy | Go to book overview

33
The Enemies List

On Wednesday, June 27, 1973, John W. Dean III, by then a former White House aide, presented to the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (generally known as the Ervin Committee) documents from a file called "Opponents List and Political Enemies Project." According to Dean, the list was first compiled in the office of Mr. Charles Colson while the latter was Special Counsel to President Nixon. The list was sent to Dean in the summer of 1971. Other White House staff members added many names to the list, which eventually included over two hundred people. It has become known as the Enemies List and is made up of the names of persons and organizations judged by Mr. Colson and others to be unfriendly, if not dangerous, to the Nixon administration and, therefore, to be given special attention. A Dean memorandum suggested how to deal with the enemies.

Response has been mixed. Some of the persons on the list thought it a great joke. Others saw it as an alarming threat to individual liberty. The response of political columnists and commentators ranged from those who dismissed it as irresponsible to those who described it, as Hans J. Morgenthau did, as a part of "The Aborted Nixon Revolution". William F. Buckley, Jr., wrote:

Dean's memorandum was an act of proto-fascism. It is altogether ruthless in its dismissal of human rights. It is fascist in its reliance on the state as the instrument of harassment. It is fascist in its automatic assumption that the state in all matters comes before the right of the individual. And it is fascist in tone: The stealth, the brutality, the self-righteousness. It is far and away the most hideous document to have come out of the Watergate investigation.

-173-

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The Hard Years: A Look at Contemporary America and American Institutions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction by Tom Wicker vii
  • Preface xix
  • Part I - Institutions 1
  • 1 - Toward a More Responsible Presidency 3
  • 2 - The Vice President as Crown Prince 15
  • 3 - Changes in the Congress 19
  • 4 - The Courts, the Last Appeal 28
  • 5 - Court of Ideas 32
  • 6 - A Kind Word for the Bureaucrats 35
  • 7 - A Kind Word for the Military 45
  • 8 - A Warning About the Military Establishment 49
  • 9 - The Cia and the Inner Ring 58
  • 10 - The Corporations 61
  • 11 - The Universities 68
  • 12 - The Democratic and Republican Parties 75
  • 13 - Alternatives to the Major Parties 80
  • Part II - Operations 87
  • 14 - A Hard Look at the Primaries 89
  • 15 - Personality Cults 96
  • 16 - The Cult of the Expert 97
  • 17 - A Good and Becoming Exit 100
  • 18 - Listen to Mr. Parkinson 104
  • 19 - The Sst: Object Lesson in Dynamics of Opposition 106
  • 20 - The Lobbyists 109
  • 21 - Grant Park, Chicago 116
  • 22 - Marching on Washington 118
  • 23 - Changing America 122
  • Part III - Principles 125
  • 24 - Innocence in Politics 127
  • 25 - Language and Politics 130
  • 26 - Poetry and War 135
  • 27 - Ares 144
  • 28 - Intellectuals and Politics 148
  • 29 - Out of Phase 155
  • 30 - Trouble in the Economics Community 158
  • 31 - Constitutional Amendments 165
  • 32 - Five Systems of Justice 170
  • 33 - The Enemies List 173
  • 34 - Censorship 182
  • Part IV - A Good Person is Not So Hard to Find 185
  • 35 - John Bennett 187
  • 36 - Emerson Hynes 189
  • 37 - John Kennedy 190
  • 38 - Dan and Doris Kimball 193
  • 39 - Robert Lowell 196
  • 40 - Wayne Morse 197
  • 41 - Lewis Mumford 203
  • 42 - Eleanor Roosevelt 205
  • 43 - Frank Rosenblatt 207
  • 44 - Adlai Stevenson 208
  • Notes 215
  • Index 223
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