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Thirty five years after Nixon's resignation, Al Haig recalls the president's last days
The Palm Beach Post ^ | Andrew Abramson

Posted on 08/09/2009 10:22:50 PM PDT by robert561

Richard Nixon is long gone, buried with so many secrets detailing the chaotic end of a flawed presidency.

But in Palm Beach, an 85-year-old retired general has more knowledge of what transpired in Nixon's final days in office than any other man alive.

One of the nation's most unceremonious moments occurred 35 years ago Sunday, when - for the only time in U.S. history - a president relinquished his power.

No man had a better look at the unraveling of a president than Alexander Haig, the White House's chief of staff who helped orchestrate Nixon's removal from power.

Haig, who lives much of the year in a Palm Beach mansion, spoke in an interview last week with The Palm Beach Post, confirming many suspicions that he and others once denied, like trying to broker a pardon for the president in return for his resignation, and his fears that Nixon would commit suicide in office.

"It was very difficult to watch what happened to him," said Haig from his summer home in McLean, Va. "It was the saddest time of my life."

(Excerpt) Read more at palmbeachpost.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: anniversary; haig; nixon; presidents; resignation
I had no idea Haig was still alive
1 posted on 08/09/2009 10:22:50 PM PDT by robert561
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To: robert561
I had no idea Haig was still alive

Still alive...but no longer "in charge."

2 posted on 08/09/2009 10:25:11 PM PDT by sourcery (Obama Lied. The Economy Died!)
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To: robert561
I had no idea Haig was still alive

Not only is Al Haig alive, he's "in control, here". :-)

3 posted on 08/09/2009 10:26:13 PM PDT by Yossarian (DRAFT BARBOUR 2012!)
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To: sourcery

Grrr!

OK, you get points for speed, I get points for correctness....


4 posted on 08/09/2009 10:27:46 PM PDT by Yossarian (DRAFT BARBOUR 2012!)
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To: Yossarian
Actually, no. I saw that press conference live, as it happened. I remember perfectly well what he said. And Wikipedia concurs...
5 posted on 08/09/2009 10:32:03 PM PDT by sourcery (Obama Lied. The Economy Died!)
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To: sourcery
Hmm? I saw that one live as well. The Wiki page on him says the following:

In 1981, after the March 30 assassination attempt on Reagan, Haig asserted before reporters "I am in control here" as a result of Reagan's hospitalization.

This is, of course, such a minor matter it really isn't worth the typing. It's obvious we both have the same sense of humor, though.

6 posted on 08/09/2009 10:36:00 PM PDT by Yossarian (DRAFT BARBOUR 2012!)
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To: Yossarian
Young Tricia Nixon: Babe.

7 posted on 08/09/2009 10:41:11 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: robert561

News Flash: Nixon was a crook!


8 posted on 08/09/2009 10:41:43 PM PDT by Reagan Man ("In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.")
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To: I see my hands


9 posted on 08/09/2009 10:50:08 PM PDT by Bobalu (I AM JIM THOMPSON)
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To: Bobalu
Fine, fine, super fine. Mighty fine, blow your mind, any time!

10 posted on 08/09/2009 11:00:42 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: sourcery

I had a prof back in college who was of the opinion that Haig may have made that statement not with the American public in mind, but the Soviets. Reagan had just been shot, and H.W. Bush was on a plane and (IIRC)out of the country. Haig, according to my prof, was possibly telling Moscow not to try to capitalize on the situation.

Don’t know how valid that scenario is, but it is an interesting take on matters.


11 posted on 08/09/2009 11:48:54 PM PDT by DemforBush (Somebody wake me when sanity has returned to the nation.)
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To: DemforBush

The scumbag media used the occasion to take shots at Republicans. (bad pun) If Haig had been a Democrat, those charges would never have seen the light of day.


12 posted on 08/10/2009 12:02:04 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: DemforBush
Your college prof was quite correct. Not only was HW Bush out of town, but a couple of FBI agents had taken the nuclear football off to "safekeeping," and nobody knew where they had gone. They showed up with it later that day, after Bush got to DC.

Long story short: For a few hours there, we could not have retaliated against a Soviet (or any other) nuclear attack. Haig was of course a hawkish career cold warrior whom the Soviets knew well. He was the sensible choice to do what he did. Shame that he got so much ridicule for it. Took one for the team, you could say. Which I'm sure didn't bother him much at all, as he is as great a patriot as any who ever lived. He's one of those guys to whom the words duty and honor actually mean something.

13 posted on 08/10/2009 12:12:00 AM PDT by squidly
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To: squidly

Thanks for the info. My prof was very knowledgeable on these sorts of things - he was a military historian with 20 years in the Air Force to boot. I took every class I could get with him.


14 posted on 08/10/2009 12:30:22 AM PDT by DemforBush (Somebody wake me when sanity has returned to the nation.)
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To: robert561
Haig always had a dramatic flair. In one interview in the 1970’s he said as Nixon's last chief of staff he was in constant contact with the Pentagon in case Nixon flipped out and decided to do something irrational like calling in an air strike on Detroit. Nixon's wide-ranging accomplishment's dwarf most other presidents.
15 posted on 08/10/2009 1:29:09 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

I’m trying to recall what the book “Silent Coup” had to say about Haig. As I recall it was not good. I believe he was one of the ones in the running for being “Deep Throat”. Or, one of the sources that was compiled into one and named “Deep Throat”.

Lots of power struggles back then between Nixon and the Pentagon.


16 posted on 08/10/2009 1:38:15 AM PDT by 21twelve (Drive Reality out with a pitchfork if you want , it always comes back.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

“Nixon’s wide-ranging accomplishment’s dwarf most other presidents.”

oh, you mean like

The Gun Control Act of 1968..........


17 posted on 08/10/2009 1:42:22 AM PDT by sfvgto (Washington D.C. is a great place to live...........if you are a cockroach)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
decided to do something irrational like calling in an air strike on Detroit.

Whats so irrational about that?

18 posted on 08/10/2009 1:44:44 AM PDT by MARTIAL MONK
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To: robert561; potlatch; devolve; ntnychik; MeekOneGOP; Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER
I visited the Nixon library ten years ago.

A section of the Berlin Wall as a reminder Cook County graveyards and Landslide Lyndon stole the 1960 election.

The Berlin Wall with a President Nixon?

A failed Bay of Pigs invasion with a President Nixon?

So some fools spied on the hookers used by the DNC--

At least Nixon didn't give the ChiComs our missile guidance secrets--

Now that real outrages are performed daily out of the Oval Office where is the Woodward, where is the Bernstein?

They're having Obamagasms.

It's not quite 1933. . .yet.

19 posted on 08/10/2009 2:02:42 AM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: sfvgto
Like calling the Kremlin and getting them to turn around mid-flight Soviet transport planes carrying a regiment of paratroops headed for the 1973 Yon Kipper War.

Like executing the first—and maybe last—successful opium eradication program using crop substitution. This was in Turkey which at the time supplied about 70 percent of opium products (heroin) sold in the West.

He inherited a mess from LBJ and slowly turned it around. He bombed Hanoi to the peace table, ended the draft, founded the All-Volunteer Army, withdrew most troops from Vietnam and turned the war over to the Vietnamese. The South Vietnamese successfully beat back two major North Vietnamese invasion. When Nixon resigned a Democrat-led Congress cut off every dime of aid and military support. The North Vietnamese, backed by the Soviets, were able to overrun a weakened, friendless South Vietnam in 1975.

Nixon visited China and opened relations. Next he visited the Soviet Union and laid the groundwork for the Strategic Arms Limitation talks.

There's a lot more but I'm not looking it up. The guy wasn't perfect but compared to JFK who was a lightweight, Ivy League poet, and LBJ who was a bull in a china shop, Nixon was okay with me.

The Gun Control Act was a reaction by Congress to the deaths of JFK, Martin Luther King and “Bobby Socks” Kennedy.

20 posted on 08/10/2009 3:08:12 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: PhilDragoo; Fiddlstix; devolve; potlatch; y'all
"It was very difficult to watch what happened to him," said Haig from his summer home in McLean, Va. "It was the saddest time of my life."

Yep. I remember those days, too. From way afar of course. But it was a sad time for me to watch this.

Nixon was the first Prez candidate that I ever voted for (November '72).

Twenty-one months later, he's stepping down. :(

21 posted on 08/10/2009 9:17:45 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (2008: The year the Media died. --Sean Hannity, regarding Barack HUSSEIN ObaMao's treatment ...)
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To: robert561; PhilDragoo; Fiddlstix; devolve; potlatch; y'all

Good article. Thanks for posting.

I always remember this day in history.

BIG history, for one thing.

And my nephew was born on August 9th, too!
(Around 1980 I believe). :)


22 posted on 08/10/2009 9:20:17 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP (2008: The year the Media died. --Sean Hannity, regarding Barack HUSSEIN ObaMao's treatment ...)
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To: MARTIAL MONK

That would’ve been rather late to the party. Like nuking Hiroshima a second time in ‘45...


23 posted on 08/10/2009 10:43:58 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps !"~~)
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To: sfvgto

Uh, Nixon was elected in 1968, didn’t take office until 1969, at which point the the Gun Control Act of 1968 was already law.

Nixon was guilty of enough bad things without tarring him with that waste-of-skin Johnson’s sins.


24 posted on 08/10/2009 1:39:37 PM PDT by mywholebodyisaweapon
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To: squidly; DemforBush

I worked for General Haig during his short-lived campaign for president in 1987. You are both correct.


25 posted on 09/19/2009 12:33:41 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $1 million for Sarah Palin if she runs; What will you do?)
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To: DemforBush
The low cost option is to simply take it for granted that Haig meant nothing more than that within his range of sight and hearing he was the highest ranked commander ~ at that time.

Just checking on his military background ~ he appears to have been in a good number of bad things where exactly that habit would been called on.

One claim that needs checked on is his place in the chain of command regarding the time the 1/15 Infantry was honored to guard the withdrawal of the US Marines from Chisin reservoir.

I don't find Haig involved directly with the 1/15 but maybe he was around the area.

There doesn't appear to be another time in the history of the country where the Infantry protected the Marines!

26 posted on 02/19/2010 7:55:10 AM PST by muawiyah
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