President Nixon kept an "enemies list" of those who criticized him. He had these enemies targeted for tax audits or trailed by private detectives, and hired the "plumbers" to stop leaks.
Narrator: A sense of being under siege pervaded the White House, fueled by the leaks, the constant anti-war demonstrations and intensifying criticism in the press. In this atmosphere of "us versus them," Colson's office began an ever-expanding list of Nixon's critics, the "enemies list."
Its object was to "screw our political enemies." Reporters and politicians, educators and entertainers were barred from the White House. Some were targeted for tax audits, others were trailed by private detectives.
Charles Colson, Special Counsel to the President: And it was very shortly thereafter that Nixon authorized the "plumbers" and the creation of a special group to stop leaks and they began to take extra-legal steps and put into motion the mechanism which ultimately resulted in the downfall of the Administration.
Narrator: In a White House memo regarding the "neutralization" of Daniel Ellsberg, the plumbers discussed how they might "destroy his public image and credibility." In search of damaging information about Ellsberg's private life, they arranged a break-in at the office of his psychiatrist.
Egil Krogh, Jr., White House Aide: They apparently broke a window on the way in and, realizing that it could no longer be viewed as a covert operation, changed courses and decided to make it look as if it had been entered by a burglar looking for drugs or some other substances. Basically, they smashed up the office, took pictures of the damage. I was shocked at these pictures, went to see John Ehrlichman and he was, if anything, more shocked than I was and said, "Shut it down as of now."
Narrator: The plumbers were eventually disbanded, but some of the agents were reassigned to work behind the scenes for the newly-formed Committee to Re-Elect the President.
From letters of the second U.S. president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail, this film explores their tumultuous times.
As the star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Annie Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her shooting feats. Part of the Wild West collection.
A president who rose from a broken childhood to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage.
Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit was the long shot that captured America's heart during the Depression.
Harry Truman was responsible for finding America's place at the start of the Cold War. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
Before he became the first U.S. president, service to the colonies would profoundly change George Washington.
America's first First Lady defined the role of the President's wife and in the process changed the face of the American presidency.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America's least understood presidents. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.