1970 July 14

President Nixon Approves Huston Plan for Violations of Americans’ Rights


Following the massive anti-war demonstrations in May 1970, which were marked by the fatal shooting of four demonstrators at Kent State University by Ohio National Guard troops on May 4, 1970, President Richard Nixon and his top aides believed that law and order was about to collapse in the U.S. Consequently, on June 5, 1970, he established a special Interdepartmental Committee on Intelligence, directed by White House aide Tom Charles Huston, to develop a plan to disrupt radical activities.

The Huston Plan, as it became known, called for illegal activities such as wiretapping, burglaries, and the kidnapping and secret deporting of radicals. After initially approving the plan on this day, Nixon abruptly rescinded it on July 27, 1974.

Although it was officially cancelled, the Huston Plan provided a model for subsequent abuses by the Nixon administration, including the so-called “Plumbers” unit in the White House (see September 9, 1971 for its notorious burglary in the Pentagon Papers case),and the Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972, which touched off the Watergate Scandal and led to President Nixon’s resignation on August 9, 1974.

Read the Church Committee report on the Huston Plan (pp. 921–93)http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book3/html/ChurchB3_0479a.htm

Learn more about Watergate: Fred Emery, Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon (1994)

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