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Short Description: Richard Nixon and Vietnam War

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Why did Nixon scuttle Johnsons’ plan to end the War in Vietnam and who profited from that decision? Nixon feared that ending the war would hurt his chances for presidency, according to notes found by H.R. Haldeman. In Haldeman’s notes he states that Nixon asked him to “monkey wrench” the Vietnam peace talks in 1968. This benefited Nixon the most because it made the public turn to the Republicans to end the war. Nixon later gave instruction’s to Haldeman that an intermediary should keep “working on” South Vietnamese leaders to persuade them to not agree to a deal before the election. This gave him time to convince the electorate that only the Republicans could end the war.

While sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks and conspiring with a foreigner, Nixon was able to put public favor on his shoulders and win the election for presidency. Nixon had committed many scandals before sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks. Watergate has always been overshadowed by the peace talks. The Watergate scandal happened on June 17, 1972. Several burglars(later named Watergate seven) broke into the Democratic National Committee to wiretap office phones and steal top-secret documents for Nixon. When the wiretapped phones failed to work, five out of the seven burglars prepared to break into the building again. As they were trying to break in a security guard noticed that there was someone who taped over several of the building’s door locks. The security guard called the police and when they arrived, they were able to catch the burglars red handed. At first there was no evidence stating that the burglars were connected to the president. Suspicion raised when detectives found copies of the White House phone number on the burglar’s belongings. When Nixon found out that they were caught he took aggressive actions to cover up the scandal. These actions included giving the burglars hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep them quiet. Later in August Nixon gave a speech in which he stated that his White House staff was not involved in the break-ins.

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A large percent of voters believed him which lead him to be reelected in November 1972. As the investigation continued, a White House counsel testified about the crimes Nixon committed. It was also testified that Nixon secretly taped every conversation that was held in the oval office. Prosecutors believed if they were able to get the tapes, they would be able to prove Nixon’s crimes. Executive privilege allowed Nixon to keep the tapes to himself but, Archibald Cox was determined to obtain them. When the Watergate Scandal happened, it led to “The Saturday Night Massacre” which happened on October 20,1973. Cox had taken aggressive steps towards taking the tapes from Nixon. When Nixon realized that Cox would continue to pry him for the tapes, he ordered that he be fired. Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richard and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox, both of them refused which lead to them resigning in protests. The role to fire Cox fell to Solicitor General Robert Bork whom agreed to Nixon’s wishes. Later on, in the day the White House dispatched FBI agents to close off the offices to Elliot and William. With this great injustice that Nixon had done to his own Justice Departments it came with great consequences. These consequences introduced resolutions, this called for Nixon’s impeachment. Nixon’s days as the President of the United States had finally came to an end. An impeachment for Nixon had appeared after he had given up the tapes. The reasons for impeachment included; Obstruction of Justice, Abuse of power, and Contempt of Congress. With the embarrassment of impeachment crowded on his shoulders Nixon decided to announce that he was going to resign on August 9, 1974. He left office with only serving 2 ½ years of his second term remaining, he was the first president in American History to resign. Vice President Gerald R. Ford of Michigan took the oath as the new president to finish the other 2 ½ remaining terms.

A total of 25 officials from his administration, including four cabinet members, were eventually convicted and imprisoned for various crimes. Many years after the resignation of Richard Nixon other crimes he had committed finally came to the surface. A scandal that was released in the newspaper talked about the bombings in Cambodia. The Cambodia bombings happened on March 18, 1969 and lasted until May 26, 1970. Nixon authorized secret bombing raids in Cambodia, a move that escalated opposition to the Vietnam War in Ohio and across the United States. Nixon hoped that bombing Cambodia would weaken the United States enemies. A total of 3,630 flights over Cambodia dropped 110,000 tons of bombs during a 14-month period. It was estimated that 100,000 Cambodians died and an additional 2 million became homeless. When the American troops found out about this hideous crime, they rebelled with air strikes. This convinced Cambodians to overthrow the government, leading to the rise of the Khmer Rouge, a communist and despotic government. The bombings were illegal, only the American Constitution reserves the power to declare war.

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