Skip to comments.Thirty five years after Nixon's resignation, Al Haig recalls the president's last days
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 ...
Still alive...but no longer "in charge."
Not only is Al Haig alive, he's "in control, here". :-)
OK, you get points for speed, I get points for correctness....
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.
News Flash: Nixon was a crook!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Nixon’s wide-ranging accomplishment’s dwarf most other presidents.”
oh, you mean like
The Gun Control Act of 1968..........
Whats so irrational about that?
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.
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.
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. :(
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). :)
That would’ve been rather late to the party. Like nuking Hiroshima a second time in ‘45...
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.
I worked for General Haig during his short-lived campaign for president in 1987. You are both correct.
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!