Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Source: New York Daily News (NY)
Copyright: 2016 Daily News, L.P.
Authors: Jason Silverstein and Rich Schapiro


PRESIDENT Richard Nixon's former White House counsel John Dean says 
he's shocked by the claim that his boss' motivation for declaring 
"War on Drugs" was to lock up hippies and black people but admitted 
"it's certainly possible."

Dean, 77, addressed the decades-old allegation by former Nixon 
domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman a day after it surfaced in a 
new magazine article.

"I was surprised by the statements," Dean told the Daily News Wednesday.

"If this was indeed true, it would have been the Nixon-Ehrlichman 
private agenda. I can't believe (Nixon administration official Egil) 
Bud Krogh would run the program with that agenda knowingly."

Dean said he never heard Nixon or Ehrlichman speak in such terms. But 
now that he's listened to the secretly recorded discussions between 
his former boss and aides, Dean isn't willing to discount that the 
administration's drug policy was built on sinister intentions.

"It's startling, but based on my listening of the tapes, it's 
certainly possible," he said.

Journalist Dan Baum referenced the damning Ehrlichman quotes from 
1994 in an article in the April issue of Harper's magazine.

At the time, Baum was interviewing the Nixon aide for a book project.

Asked about Nixon's harsh anti-drug policies, Ehrlichman revealed the 
administration had a secret agenda.

"You want to know what this was really all about," Ehrlichman 
allegedly told Baum.

"TheThe Nixon campaign in 1968,1968 and the Nixon White House after 
that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You 
understand what I'm saying," added Ehrlichman, who died in 1999.

"Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did," he said.

The FBI called Dean the "master manipulator of the coverup." He 
pleaded guilty to a single felony count, was a key witness against 
Nixon administration officials and served eight months in jail.

Ehrlichman also served more than a year behind bars for perjury and 
other crimes.
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