The Best Of The Nixon Years

About 20,000 pages of memoranda and transcripts of telephone conversations conducted by Henry Kissinger as secretary of State and national-security adviser were released Wednesday by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The documents are remarkable in that--much like a series of recently released White House tapes secretly recorded by the president himself--they provide a snapshot of the inner workings of the Oval Office, of the president's complex relationship with Kissinger and of Nixon's xenophobic view of the world. NEWSWEEK has compiled some of the more revealing quotes by and about the 37th president and his aides from the new and previously released transcripts. Excerpts:

"Can we tell them 'no?' When I talked to the president, he was loaded."

--Henry Kissinger to his aide in October 1973 when British Prime Minister Edward Heath's office tried to set up a telephone call with Nixon about the Arab-Israeli war

Dobrynin: "I heard that you were sitting with a very nice girl ... and I guess I have her picture?"

Kissinger: "Oh, yes?"

Dobrynin: "In the calendar. I think she was on this Playboy calendar."

Kissinger: "Oh, you're a dirty old man."

Dobrynin: "... she's a real nice girl."

Kissinger: "... she's very attractive. I hope she isn't a nice girl."

Haig: "I was told to get the football."

Kissinger: "What do you mean?"

Haig: "His black nuclear bag ... He is going to drop it on the Hill."

Colson: People are beginning to sense that we're doing pretty damn well, that American casualties are down, which they are ... 19 Americans killed last week. They're used to hearing about 25 killed on automobiles in a weekend ...

Nixon: ... We want to decimate that god----ed place ... North Vietnam is going to get reordered ... It's about time. It's what should have been done years ago.

"The writers are predominantly Jewish in all ... They wrote this show for the purpose of making the hard hat look like a boob."

"I want to be sure he is a ruthless son of a bitch, that he will do what he's told, that every income tax return I want to see I see, that he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends."

"You know what happened to the Greeks? Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo, we all know that, so was Socrates. [...] Do you know what happened to the Romans? The last six Roman emperors were fags. [...] You know what happened to the popes? It's all right that popes were laying the nuns. That's been going on for years--centuries."

"I can't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco." --Nixon in May 1971 declaring the Northern Californian city "is the most faggy god----ed thing you could ever imagine"

"We're going to [put] more of these little Negro bastards on the welfare rolls at $2,400 a family--let people like [New York Sen.] Pat Moynihan ... believe in all that crap. But I don't believe in it. Work, work--throw 'em off the rolls. That's the key ... I have the greatest affection for [blacks], but I know they're not going to make it for 500 years. They aren't. You know it, too. The Mexicans are a different cup of tea. They have a heritage. At the present time they steal, they're dishonest, but they do have some concept of family life. They don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like."

"You see: homosexuality, dope, immorality in general--these are the enemies of strong societies. That's why the communists and the left-wingers are pushing the stuff; they're trying to destroy us."

"You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."

"I'd rather use the nuclear bomb."

"You're so goddamned concerned about the civilians, and I don't give a d--n. I don't care."

"He's just an uncomfortable man to be around. Strange."

"Look, people get drunk ... People chase girls. And the point is, it's a hell of a lot better for them to get drunk than to take drugs. It's better to chase girls than boys."

The Best Of The Nixon Years | News