About this website
In 2008, listings of Nixon's Enemies List on the Web always had errors and were always incomplete. There were 22 web pages with the first list based on a Google Search--all with OCR (optical character recognition) errors. The list may have originated with a Facts on File list and was simply copied from one web page to another without proofreading or attribution. The list became so ubiquitous that people apparently thought it was authoritative. The erroneous list may have first been on the web at www.artsci.wustl.edu/~polisci/calvert/PolSci3103/watergate/enemy.htm in February 2002 based on a search at www.archive.org. Wikipedia had the list with OCR errors for several years.
The clearest indication of this OCR error is N.Y. Post columnist Harriet Van Horne. Every full listing on the web had her as "Van Home." For at least least three years, there was also a Wikipedia entry for the non-existent Harriet Van HOME (as well as the real Harriet Van HORNE).
The common propagated errors are:
|Russell Hemingway (or Hemingwav)
|Harriet Van Home
|Harriet Van Horne
|Thomas I. Watson, Jr.
|Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
I carefully proofed the first list against several published sources and transcribed the second list from the PDF of the Congressional Testimony available (in 2009) at: http://www.archive.org/details/statementofinfor08unit. Corrections are always welcome.
Before 2008, Nixon's Second Enemies List was not available on the web. In September 2008, the Internet Archive (archive.org) posted the following document on the web:
STATEMENT OF INFORMATION
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H. Res. 803
A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE
ON THE JUDICIARY TO INVESTIGATE WHETHER SUFFICIENT
GROUNDS EXIST FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO
EXERCISE ITS CONSTITUTIONAL POWER TO IMPEACH
RICHARD M. NIXON
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
This had the complete list of McGovern supporters that comprised the Second Enemies List that was disclosed on December 20, 1973. That hearing also mentions some other names from the "Opponents List and Political Enemies Project" who probably should get bragging rights, too. I later found out that the Washington Post also had the entire Second List available in their paid archives, but I had never known that this list had ever been printed in any newspaper.
My motivation for this website is mostly to document that my parents, John P. and Julia G. Axtell, were on the Second List. I also hope to get some first-hand comments posted on this website to give some perspective to this odd moment in American history.
Oh, about the screw. The most famous line from the Enemies List dustup was from John Dean in a confidential memorandum dated August 16, 1971 (exhibit 48 on page 99 in the Congressional testimony):
This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration. Stated a bit more bluntly -- how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.
It was addressed to no one with the subject "Dealing with our political enemies." The text of this memorandum was printed in newspapers on June 28, 1973. William Safire, language maven and Nixon speechwriter, explains the "screw" usage (and his feelings about Mr. Dean) in his weekly column of March 29, 2009 (--in last section, not the first, intentionally-related section. The title refers to the first section and I don't include it here to avoid likely misinterpretation by bots of the purpose of this site).
Daniel G. Axtell
contact (temporary email for initial contact):