1970 June 5

President Nixon Demands Action on Anti-War Protests: Abuses Follow

 

President Richard Nixon convened a meeting on this day with the heads of all the intelligence agencies and demanded new measures against anti-Vietnam war protests and what he saw as other threats to an orderly society.

The meeting was prompted by the massive anti-war demonstrations that swept the country on May 1, 1960, following the invasion of Cambodia by U.S troops, which represented a significant expansion of the Vietnam War. The demonstrations included the fatal shooting of four people by Ohio National Guard troops at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, 1970. The attendees at the meeting became the Interdepartmental Committee on Intelligence, directed by White House aide Tom Charles Huston. The committee produced the notorious Huston Plan, which called for a range of illegal actions against the anti-war movement. Nixon initially approved the plan on July 14, 1970, but then canceled it on July 27, 1970, on the advice of Attorney General John Mitchell.

The Huston Plan, however, lived on in spirit, providing the basis for subsequent abuses by the Nixon Administration, including primarily the infamous Plumbers Unit, created on July 24, 1971. The Plumbers burglarized the offices of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist on September 9, 1971, looking for incriminating evidence against Ellsberg. Ellsberg had leaked the Pentagon Papers the New York Times, which published excerpts about the origins of American involvement in the Vietnam War.

The Plumbers’ burglary set the model for the Watergate burglary on June 17, 1972, which touched off a national scandal and eventually resulted in the resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974.

Read the Church Committee report on the Huston Plan (pp. 921–973)http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/church/reports/book3/html/ChurchB3_0479a.htm

Learn more about the anti-Vietnam War movement: Thomas Powers, The War at Home: Vietnam and the American People, 1964–1968 (1973)

Learn more: Terry H. Anderson, The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee (1995)

Learn what happened to Tom Charles Huston: http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2011/08/why-nobody-should-be-surprised-carmel.html

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