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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

New Nixon tape transcripts released on Web

February 25, 1999
Web posted at: 10:36 a.m. EST (1536 GMT)

YORBA LINDA, California (AllPolitics, February 25) -- Transcripts of 124 tape-recorded conversations from the Nixon White House -- the final installment of the so-called "abuse of power" tapes involving the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War -- were released on the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation Web site on Thursday.


There was a simultaneous release of the conversations on audiotape at the National Archives and Records Administration facility at College Park, Maryland.

The audiotapes are available only for listening and transcribing. Duplication and broadcast of the tapes is prohibited.

The archives released most of the tapes -- 201 hours of conversations -- in late 1996, but withheld the 124 segments, totaling 53 minutes, until sensitive material in them could be declassified.

In addition to transcripts, the Nixon Library said it would release a separate "historical commentary" on the Web site to put the material in context.

"The entire record of Watergate needs to be viewed through the prism of Vietnam," said John H. Taylor, executive director of the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation. "Richard Nixon was a war-time president. He will still be criticized for his actions," but the criticism will be fairer when viewed in that light, he said.

A total of more than 3,600 hours of tapes from the Nixon presidency will eventually be released.

By order of Congress in 1975, the so-called "abuse of power" tapes had to be released first.

These will be followed by the chronological release of tapes relating to other far-reaching international and domestic policy work of the Nixon presidency recorded between February 1971 and July 1973, when the White House taping system was removed.


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Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation

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Thursday, February 25, 1999

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