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Was the Pentagon Spying on the White House?

Declassified Nixon documents.

1:10 PM, Jul 2, 2010 • By GABRIEL SCHOENFELD
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The answer, of course, is yes. But it happened a long time ago, in the Nixon years. During Nixon’s first term in office, Charles Radford, a young enlisted Navy man detailed as an admiral’s assistant and posted in the Old Executive Office Building, assiduously collected White House documents from refuse baskets, burn bags, and directly off of officials' desks and passed them along to his superiors. Thousands of pages of materials, including top-secret minutes of White House meetings, ended up in the hands of Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Some of the most sensitive matters involving the American role in the conflict between India and Pakistan also ended up getting published by the columnist Jack Anderson. 

The Anderson columns prompted a leak investigation, in which Radford was polygraphed. During this examination, Radford related that

he had on various occasions removed classified documents from Dr. Kissinger's and General Haig's briefcases and personal files. In some instances he passed the extra copy he purloined to Admiral Welander and in some instances he reproduced a copy of that which he had purloined and furnished same to Admiral Welander. He also provided the same service to Admiral Welander's predecessor (Rear Admiral Robinson). He stated neither gave him any orders to do this. He reportedly was never reprimanded for doing this. The copies he purloined reportedly were furnished by the above Admirals to the Chairman, JCS, (Admiral Moorer).

The Nixon Library has declassified the top-secret record of the leak investigation. The picture that emerges is of a breach in civil-military relations far more astonishing and dangerous than the ludicrous disparaging comments made about President Obama and Vice President Biden that were revealed in our own era’s Rolling Stone-McChrystal affair.

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