tv The Presidency President Nixons Drug Abuse Initiatives CSPAN July 16, 2018 12:00am-1:31am EDT
fabric. steve: lisbeth haas, she is a professor at uc santa cruz. and the author of the book saint and citizens. thank you for your time. >> our nine week series, america in turmoil, is available as a podcast. website,ind it on our c-span.org/history. this is american history tv, only on c-span3. announcer: next, a panel of next and era officials revisit the administration's drug abuse initiatives in the early 1970's. they discussed treatment approaches, law-enforcement strategies, and even president nixon's famous meeting with elvis presley. offered his own assistance on the drug fight. the national archives and the richard nixon foundation cohosted this event. it is one hour and a half.
>> good morning. i am david of the archivist of the united states. it's a pleasure to welcome you here for another of the nixon legacy forums that we co-sponsor with the richard nixon foundation. welcome to those of you who are attending in person at the national archives building in washington, d.c. and also those of you who are joining us on our youtube channel. a special welcome to our c-span viewers this is morning. we started doing these in 2010 and have now put on over three dozen such programs which feature in-depth discussion of various public policy initiatives undertaken by the nixon administration. welcome the gospel choir.
[singing] documents are housed in the archives kept in the nixon library in california. but these are the discussions and debates behind those documents by the very people who created them which can provide unique insight on the implementation process utilized by president nixon. what we are adding today is the ability to electronically retrieve the documents from the archives which will be posted on our website at the same time as the video of today's presentation. we will be working with the nixon foundation to make these documents available to future researchers and scholars. today's presentation is entitled no final victories, lessons from president nixon's drug abuse initiatives. and we're going to hear from several people from both the treatment and law enforcement side who were involved in responses of the nixon administration to the spread of heroin addiction in our inner cities in the late 1960's. the essence of the issue heroin has been a scorch to society ever since it was first developed as a treatment for morphine addiction by bayer in 1948.
-- 1898. they had heroin addiction on the run when we lost focus for our opioids are a continuing threat that can never be eliminated. please let me introduce our moderator, geoff shepard. he joined the nixon administration as a fellow in 1969 and joined for five years as nixon's domestic council. geoff: good to be here. welcome to all of you. as david said this is probably our 38th nixon legacy forum. and it provides a wonderful opportunity, wonderful partnership between the national archives and the richard nixon foundation and it provides to scholars into looking at the papers in yorba linda.
so you get the ability to actually get new insight into what happened. our favorite analogy is to the civil war, the archives has extensive record to what happened in the civil war. but nobody sat down with general grant and said why did you do this? what was your thinking? and what we're able to do with support from the nixon foundation and from the national archives is to go behind the documents and talk about the why workforce of what we did. today's program is on president nixon's drug abuse initiative. and those of us that worked in that area believe that we made dramatic progress against a particular sort of heroin
addiction which was crippling the inner city. we're going to talk about how that came about and what we did and how that may have been lost when the focus moved on to other things. so what i'm going to do is sit and have our panelists introduce themselves and tell you where they were when president nixon was inaugurated and how they became involved in the drug abuse issue. and we'll start with jeff donfeld. jeff: i graduated law school from berkley in 1968. but during the summer of 1967, i -- 1967, i was a clerk at the nixon law firm in new york. and that's openly what led to my -- that is what ultimately led me to being hired at the white
house. i joined the white house staff in early 1969 and worked for bud wilkinson, famous oklahoma football coach. bud had a vast portfolio of obligations, one which was drug abuse. when i came into his staff, he said what would you like to do. and i felt that drug abuse was an area in which i knew nothing about but i felt i could make a contribution to the well-being of america if i could figure out what the issues were and how it might be approached. it turned out that as a result of research, which i was able to do primarily by traveling around the country including visiting dr. dupont's program in washington, d.c., dr. vinny prim in new york, dr. doles in nice wonder, new york and primarily dr. jerome jaffe. he was the head of the illinois drug abuse program.
i visited therapeutic communities, methadone communities. and the only folks who had data on recidivism were the folks who were dealing with methadone. geoff: you're getting way ahead of us. you are going to give our whole program away. we are just introducing ourselves. so i'm going to stop you. jeff and i are very good friends. he can't spell his name but we're very good friends. he's the policy guy at the white house on drug treatment. and then we go to bob dupont. bob, where were you when nixon was elected and how did you become involved in this? bob: my life changed when richard nixon was inaugurated in a dramatic way. and let me go back before that how i got to that point where my life changed so dramatically.
i graduated from emory college in atlanta in 1958 and from harvard medical school in 1963. i did my psychiatric training at harvard and came to n.i.h. for research training. when i finished that in 1932, it was time for me to find my first job. up until that time i had been in training. one day a week during his -- my residency, i worked for the state prison which was distinguished as the place where malcolm x served six years and i really fell in love with the prisoners and the prisons as a career thought. and i thought i really care about these people. i want to help them. i want to make a career in this area and find some way to use my medical knowledge to do something about that. so come my time, i finished my
training july 1st of 1968, which is very important time for what we're talking about, i went to work for the district of columbia department of corrections. now, understand what happened next. you have to understand that at the time washington, d.c. was a federal city. the mayor had just been appointed by lyndon johnson, walter washington and the city was run by the federal government. and the president was in charge of what was going on here. so in that context, i am a lifelong democrat. i was then. i am now. and when richard nixon was elected, i thought my life was coming to an end. i had lots of ideas for reforms and corrections. mostly having to do with alternatives to incarceration and use of medical treatments. i thought well, this is over. and everybody expected richard nixon was not going to reappoint walter washington as the mayor. and when nixon came in and re-appointed walter washington, it changed the whole climate the
-- in the district of columbia in terms of opening up possibilities. what i found was, once nixon was there was all of my reform ideas that i had in mind which was languished under lyndon johnson was suddenly interesting and by may of 1969, my first correctional reform programs were funded. you can't imagine how fast the federal government moved under those circumstances and that changed my life. what really changed -- >> we're going to stop you right there. >> that gets you started. >> life has changed. >> we're very eager to tell our stories. these are good idealistic people, young people coming to washington. and then we get to john coleman. >> thank you very much, jeff. i'm very honored to be here today and this panel. i graduated from college in new york. i went to college in 1964. a year later, i joined the federal bureau of narcotics in
new york. my boss found out that i took to post graduate courses in french literature. that qualified me to work on the french cases in new york at the time. in 1969, when an opening occurred in paris for a narcotics attache, i applied and was selected. in the fall of 1969 in september, i arrived in paris. i was stationed in france for over three and a half years. and that's where i was the day when president nixon was -- >> not to go on too long. otherwise he takes the whip. normally i just moderate and i don't get involved. but i was involved in drug abuse at the nixon white house -- >> on the law enforcement side. >> i joined the domestic council in 1970. and my public policy beat was law and order, crime and drugs. but what you have here is four
people, two of whom are young lawyers that are working on policy development and effectuation. and two people that are career experts. jeff and bob are on the treatment side. john and i are on the law enforcement side. but we come from different aspects. so what we're going to do is go through the development of president nixon's attitudes and initiatives in drug abuse. each of these people is going to add as we go through because the development may be everything in the story of nixon's drug abuse initiatives. so let me go to our first exhibit. these are all papers that you would find at the national archives. this is from the 1968 campaign.
and this is a booklet called "nixon on the issues" that was anna and marty anderson who did domestic affairs for president nixon during the campaign. and what they were asked to do was demonstrate that nixon had made substantive statements about different policy initiatives. and what we were able to find was he did speak to the drug abuse issue and we've highlighted the first and the fourth statements only to show that from the very outset nixon is talking about drug abuse as a law enforcement issue, always first. but treatment is always there. he doesn't lead with treatment. but treatment is always a part of nixon's approach to drug abuse. and just to remind you in case you weren't around in 1968, president nixon's campaign had
two principle themes. end the war with honor and restore law and order. the drug abuse comes over the latter. but the lead was law enforcement. and then we go to president nixon's special message to the congress and this is july 14th. he's been president for six months. and he submits a message to the congress divided into 10 principle areas where he wants initiatives and reforms. if you're looking for the origins of what he wanted to do on drug abuse or what his staff was helping him to do on drug abuse, this is the key document. so we will keep going. but from the very outset, he's talking and including drug abuse as an important situation. and then we came across this memo from daniel moynahan,
professor moynahan was the original assistant to the president for urban affairs. he dabbled in everything. that was an absolute delight. we came across the memo that he wrote to john mitchell and the highlighted part that said we could interdict the smuggling of heroin and make a huge difference. jeff, you have some memory of that. >> well, one of the comments that dr. moynahan makes is that if we attack the problem, we can solve the heroin addiction problem in the united states between 12 and 24 months. disrupt the supply change and go to the next problem. that would end it as we look back on history. that obviously was not a correct perception.
but the idea of going and trying to disrupt the supply chain at its source or the french part is not an irrational approach. it was just the timing. >> it was two-prong. i'll let john coleman talk about this more specifically. it was turkey, the source of the open and then france for the laboratories. >> we should have john go into this. john had enough sense not to go into it in his introduction so he wouldn't get cut off. but this is his moment because he was heavily involved in the french connection. >> dr. moynahan went to a number of bndd officers throughout the middle east and europe and visited turkey. and saw firsthand the growing of the opium poppies in turkey. and then visited france and talked with the agencies and the agents about some of the
diplomatic initiatives that might be under taken because at the time we're talking about 1969, 1970. 85% of the heroin available in the united states being consumed in the united states 85% was made in laboratories, clandestine laboratories in southern france. and it was made from opium produced in turkey or morphine based which is an intermediate area stage between opium and heroin but it has a one to one consistency with heroin so it's easier to smuggle. he realized the importance of controlling this national traffic if you're going to stop the importation of heroin to the united states. and so that was key to the recommendations to the attorney general. his recommendations was to
increase diplomatic efforts, our efforts overseas and increase the global pressure on the producing nations particularly turkey in the opium business. >> this wasn't a bolt out of the blue that nobody had thought of before. what's different is this is the assistant to the president saying to the newly installed attorney general, let's put some muscle behind this? >> exactly. i think we benefit, john, just describing for the audience the trek of poppies are growing in turkey. they ooze gum. that you score the pod. the gum oozes out over night. you scrape the gum off, very labor intensive and that becomes gum opium. and how does that get to france to where we are? >> about 10% of the raw materials consistent of raw
-- consisted of raw opium. but that was very jeff because -- that was very cheap because it was produced by the opium pod, scraped off the pod at night or whatever. and solidified into some sort of a ball like half a kilo or kilo package. and then shipped off to france with the laboratories. but they found out early in the game that it would be a lot easier and they could make more money if they could convert it to morphine base. turkish opium or persian opium has a morphine content of about 10%. but if you turn that into morphine base by chemical process, the morphine base has a morphine content sometimes exceeding 90%. when that's turned into heroin, the heroin will have a final percentage purity of between
90%, 95%, sometimes reaching over 95%. by being able to smuggle morphine base, there's a 10-1 volume ratio. so for every 10 kilos of opium they could make one kilo of morphine base. >> so when they have heroin in south of the france, how does it show up over here? >> well, that was a very complex and difficult challenge for the bndd at the time because we knew french heroin was reaching new york because new york was the hub for the entire united states, not just the east coast but as far west as california in some cases. and so the mystery was how was the heroin getting from the laboratories and southern france into new york city where it would be controlled by the mafia mostly at the first turnover from the french connections? there was a group of french ex-patriots.
these are criminals. people wanted for crimes in french as far as the french-indo-china war. some of these people were living in southern brazil. the brazilian authorities wanted them out of the country because they were creating problems in brazil. they worked closely with the united states. they were deported to france, in one case, to italy because he was italian. but there were no direct flights between brazil at the time and europe. they had to come through the united states. and when they came through the united states, they were captured and in most cases rather than go back to france where several of them were sentenced in absentia -- although the death penalty had been cancelled since he was sentenced to death, they would basically be facing life in
prison. they agreed to corporate. so they turned over everything they knew about the investigations and it turned out that they were the conduit, they were the link between the sources in southern france and the italian mafia groups in new york that were importing the heroin. >> and in the movie called "the french connection." it's in the floor plates, the doorjamb of jaguars as i recall. >> exactly. >> but typical smuggling, it just happened to be heroin. it could have been diamonds. >> exactly. by the way "the french connection" movie was a wonderful movie based on the book by robin moore. but it was a compilation of different vignettes from different cases. there wasn't a single french connection case per se. and all of the vignettes in the production in the movie occurred, but they occurred in different cases. and yes, cars were very popular
smuggling instruments from the french because back in those days we had a number of trans atlantic vessels between traveling between new york and europe. they were italian vessels, french, swedish, scandinavian, british, etc. and these vessels were ideal places to place things like personal cargo, automobiles, but the problem was that even though we were able to at times get the drugs by seizing the automobiles, the people who accompanied them were what we call mules. they really didn't know much about the organization other than they were hired to simply accompany a car. so even if they cooperated, they weren't able to tell us very much. it wasn't until we got the people out of brazil that we were able to put the pieces together and link up the italian mafia people in new york with the french connection. >> just to remind the audience,
you got started because you were in new york working for the federal bureau of narcotics. you started working on french connection cases. you did such a good job, they sent you to france. >> well, thank you very much for the compliment. i had a very good familiarity with the cases. and that helped -- >> super. well, we'll go on. this is president nixon in a meeting in the cabinet room with the bipartisan congressional leadership, and they're talking about a drug abuse control and treatment issues. and again, this is in the first year of his administration. so he sent the message to congress. and then he invites the leadership up to the cabinet room to talk about the sponsors -- talk about the importance. these people in a nice way are being lobbied to pass legs. it takes a little over a year and a half to actually get the
legislation. but they're working very hard. nixon is devoting personal time and attention to moving this along. now, we were able to spot bud krogh in the picture. bud's not able to be with us today. but jeff and i both worked for bud. and in the minds of people who look for the origins of the staffing of president nixon on the drug abuse issue that that's bud's job. and we were mere helpers at the time. talented mere helpers. this is an interesting shot because none of us are in the shot. this is president nixon saying hi to the president of france welcoming him in the rose garden with secretary of state bill rogers looking on. and john has a story about that. >> yeah, this is a very interesting meeting because at
the time there was a lot of growing pressure in the united states on france to do something about the heroin traffic. there were several french restaurants including one in washington, d.c. that were refusing to serve french wine until they did something about the heroin problem. they were running a tally much like they had done during the vietnam war. there was a good deal of pressure on france to do something. when their president came to visit president nixon, he was not prepared to to have the president place upon him this tremendous responsibility of getting his country out of the heroin business that was damaging the united states so much. again, i was in paris at the time but was working with the police.
i recall very clearly that when the french president returned from his visit to the white house, the message came to the ministry of the interior that they had to step up their operations and get serious about the heroin labs in southern france. my colleagues, the police officers that i worked with on a daily basis, they said we don't know what your president said to our president, but whatever it was he's lit a fire on under us so we've got to close these places down. and that precipitated a lot of initiatives between the french and the americans and then, of course, mr. krogh from the white house came over. and that was the beginning of a project that was called the franco-american committee. i believe it was known as the franco-american commission. but it was started as committee, and it was a bilateral connection between france and
the united states to share information and to allow the french police to open an office in new york, which they did. and to allow the bndd officers such as myself and in paris to work jointly with the french police doing things that were let us say a little bit out of the normal course of events in french policing. for example, in the united states we in bndd used techniques like undercover bys. the nature of the narcotics crime is where you don't have a complainant. so you have to have a way of getting into these organizations. the very effective way was using informants to give you the information about what was going on. and wire taps and things like
this. in france like -- under the napoleonic code law which actually was in most of europe informants were not allowed to participate in the cases like they were in the u.s. they couldn't pay them for their information. and undercover bies were completely out of the picture because that would be a crime in itself to actually precipitate a by. these techniques that were very common in the united states and effective were unknown in france. but the french police had a great interest in this. this franco-american committee that was set up by mr. krogh and his assistants was very effective in creating an atmosphere in which there could be cross training. for example, rather than we americans telling the french you don't know what you're doing or the french saying you don't know what you're doing in our
country, we could have formal training sessions at the police academy in which we would explain the legal basis for how we work and how best to work. they learned a great deal from us and they learned a great deal from all of this. >> we're almost exporting our law enforcement approach to a completely different culture. >> right. >> who they have a common interest in stopping this but they don't use our ways. >> precisely. and this committee that i talk about had two levels. one was an executive committee level which was made of the principles, minister for the interior for france who spoke flawless english and really liked our country, our president and our people. and of course, john mitchell who was mr. nixon -- president nixon's attorney general. so they got along very, very well. they signed the agreements.
and the formal group would meet once or twice a year once in france and once in the united states. back in france and back in the united states. they would meet to discuss bi-lateral issues. we were part of the working group because we were the police. we knew, for example, if there are any obstacles in our relationships, they would be communicated up to the principles and neither one of us -- neither one of the working groups whether it was a french police or the bndd that they -- wanted to give our bosses a problem that they would have to resolve at the executive level. so we made sure that we worked together very well so that everything was looking well from the top. it was a brilliant plan and project. >> so what you have, i think fairly, is in the first year of the nixon administration you have more direct involvement and photographic evidence of law enforcement.
he alludes to treatment. but treatment is not leading in the first year. but watch as we go through this panel. watch how this changes. this is why we do these panels because this stuff is fascinating. >> i want to talk about that first year. >> sure. >> you're going past that. i want to go back to this and what happened. president nixon or richard nixon ran on a campaign of law and order. drugs was part of that in terms of the social disruption that was going on in 1968. but drugs during that campaign meant l.s.d. and marijuana. it did not mean heroin. it had to do with the social chaos that was associated with the drug problem during that campaign. then when nixon ran against the crime -- he called washington the crime capital of the nation, and he focused on crime in washington, d.c. as an example of disorder in the country that he was going to take care of.
when he came in he had an agenda, lots of things on his mind. washington, d.c. was not the highest of his priority. but a group of business people including katharine graham and eric bennett williams met with nixon and said you ran about this being the crime capital of the country. you are accountable for crime in this city starting january 20th, 1969. and we are going to hold a press conference every single month about crime in washington and it is now your problem to do something about that. that refocused nixon on washington, d.c. and what could be done about the crime problem. he then -- and just to talk -- to get the sequence of this clear about what happened, that started an interest in things like what i was doing in corrections. but the question was what is causing crime in washington? why is it going up? lyndon johnson had established
the d.c. crime commission. he had a national crime commission. it wasn't invented by nixon. it was real. it was serious but what was causing it? why was it going up? the economy was going very well. the unemployment was down in the district of columbia at that time. and that's where i got into the picture. because in the summer of 1969 working in the department of corrections, i did drug testing of everybody coming into the d.c. jail. and i identified of 44% of the people coming in were heroin addicts. and then i asked the question what year did you first start using heroin? and i put a graph together of when that was and with the d.c. crime rate and that tracked perfectly. that was the moment -- that was widely reported right away. and what it did was refocus the attention on the drug but this
time on heroin, not on l.s.d. and marijuana and on crime. and that became an entirely different way of thinking about it. and this was nixon's priority. he had started with a major increase in the police force. but then the question is what do you do about the heroin problem? that's when i got interested in drug treatment and did like jeff did, went around and met people who were doing things including jaffe in chicago. we have to have a drug treatment in washington, d.c. and on september 15, 1969, the first methadone program started in the department of corrections with me as the leader of that. one more step. on february 17th, 1970, walter washington building on that beginning created the narcotics freeman administration in washington, a massive methadone program in the next year we did
15,000 heroin addicts in the city. that was unprecedented that went on. and every month there was a report on crime rates and consistently those crime rates came down as long as the overdose death rates. but i want to get the timing of that, very important in that switching of the focus and suddenly the emergence of treatment as a very important part of not just reducing overdose deaths which is very clear was the purpose but also reducing crime. >> i want to make the point that this is going on below the surface of national coverage and what we would say white house concern. here's bob du pont, idealistic young doctor out of harvard medical school who is beginning to make the case that treatment of heroin addicts reduces crime.
but he's leading. and we don't even know who he is. he's dealing with a local problem -- i mean, it's important. it's in washington, d.c. but that kind of innovation isn't being driven by the white house -- >> no -- >> because we -- connect your work to the white house. >> oh, well -- well, first of all, walter washington reported to bud krogh. whatever was going on in washington was on bud krogh's agenda, absolutely from the beginning. i can't impress that to you enough how what we were doing was front page news in washington, d.c. day after day after day. there was incredible focus on the crime issue and the methadone program. by september of 1970, we had an expose on the cbs television station, an hour long talking
about how methadone was poisoning the city. it was an amazing -- young guy just started this thing. and now all of a sudden, i've got an hour long prime time documentary against me. >> enemy of the people. >> and racial issues were involved in this. it was very difficult. what happened at that point was very striking and that is "the washington post" and "the evening star" put their top people on this question of what was going on, this television report. and both of them came -- the editorial page of "the washington post" said he had to go to katharine graham because she owned to tell vision station -- the television station that was attacking me. and he was going to come out. so both papers came out with lead editorials, dupont is right. methadone is the answer. the television program is wrong. and that was an extremely important -- and i can't tell you how big it was in terms of
the controversy that was going on. not something going on under the radar. and early on, bud krogh wanted to talk to me. and my first visit to the west wing, it was very exciting. met people like you two guys, and it was very -- he was very interested in this. walter washington, the mayor was deeply involved in what we were doing. when i would get into trouble on racial issues for example on methadone, i would get discouraged and i would go of the mayor and i would say this is too hard for me. he said, no, the people of this city love you. you're doing the right thing. you're helping us. if you don't show up here often enough, i'm worried you're getting another job or you're sick. so keep going. again, that was very visible. >> jeff, do you have something to add? >> i want to clarify something that you said geoff. i think you said treatment -- heroin treatment had an effect on crime.
you have to be more specific. it was really methadone treatment that had an impact on crime reduction, not just crime reduction but the unemployment of people in methadone, it stayed up. the criminal recidivism was reduced. and that was my findings when i went around the country to compare the difference between methadone maintenance and the therapeutic communities. an important comment that bob is making, the country at least in i'll say the black community, a lot of the black community felt that the administrations' advocacy of methadone maintenance was an effort to subjugate the black community.
there was nothing further than the truth from that statement. as a result of methadone maintenance, we not only reduced the death rate among heroin addicts. but we gave them an opportunity to have productive lives. and so there was a perception especially in a therapeutic psychiatric community that we were pushing an alternative addiction which we were. methadone was certainly addictive. but it had beneficial effects, ok? i know what the next slide is. >> you do? >> i want to get to that slide where we can really dwell on methadone. >> and you're front running my slide. >> i apologize. >> you can catch up in a minute. this is just a campaign event in denver. they have the date and i can't read the date. 1970.
and this is -- these are law enforcement people. but this is the first time we see the words "methadone maintenance" appears from the president's remarks. we now and were -- i grant you bob is doing good work. and it's coming to the attention of the white house and jeff is devoting his attention to treatment. but this is percolating to the president himself. this is a law enforcement show. there's a white house conference. it's a sniffing dog. and you were talking earlier about what we were doing with these conferences. >> yes, we were trying to get the media, television, movie producers, radio disc jockeys to inject anti-drug abuse messages into their programming. and so one of the things we did was we brought these folks to washington. we had bureau of customs put on this kind of demonstration with the heroin sniffing dogs.
we had programs in the white house theater where we had ex-addicts act out what happens in the therapeutic community. we had a modality approach to try to infuse into the culture of america that drugs was not really cool. and this particular picture has general autry standing to the president's left. and this is on the south lawn. so then we get to an undated memo are the s council. it was created by president nixon to comment on government structure and how structure affected the efficiency of the government. unfortunately, this particular memo is undated. so we're not sure when it came in. but it's describing the difficulty that they uncovered with the spread of drug abuse
enforcement and treatment in all these different agencies. because drugs is a growingly recognized program. there's money available. so every agency says wow, we can get a bigger budget if we get involved in the drug abuse effort. and what you get is too big a spread of effort and authority. and that's all the s council recognized in this memo. then we have the narcotics treatment and control act of 1970. and this is president nixon signing the bill in -- at the department of justice within the office of john ingersoll who is the head of the bndd. he knew how to do giant press events.
this particular event he signed in front of the bndd officers. it's a different kind of leadership. it's not just the public leadership. it's encouraging the troops. and then, this is the statement that he made at that signing. and i highlighted at the bottom in yellow again, treatment is still there. he's saying that we can't abandon these people. we've got to do something on treatment. and the language is unique because he's going to come up with better treatment. i think you can say i'm looking for it. he's anticipating methadone as becoming the treatment of choice for heroin addiction. so we're going to go back to john here.
this president nixon in paris -- this is president nixon in paris attending charles degall's funeral. john, you were there. john: i was there. i remember that day very well because all the law enforcement officers assigned to the embassy in paris which will be the a.t.f., the f.b.i., the bndd, secret service and some of the army c.i.d. criminal investigation criminal officers. they were put on duty to supplement the protection detail for the president when he visited notre dame for the funeral service for president degall. i remember the president, he was very well received by the number of dignitaries that attended the service as well as the french president.
>> now i will tell you when we do these forums, we get the members of the panel with the president of the united states. that's the way these things work. one of the difficulties is when you're on the president's staff, one of your requirements is you stay out of the picture. you bring in the people the president wants to meet with or be seen with. and the staff is supposed to be off-camera. so with john who spent 33 years doing drug abuse law enforcement, we don't have a picture of john next to nixon but they were both at the event. so -- both at the same event. >> we go to church together. >> well done. well done. [laughter] ok. here we go. this is president nixon. and there are fun stories about this. when we told david ferrio, the archivist that the drug panel was there his first question, are you going to include the
picture with elvis pressley? this is the single most popular owned by the national archives. not the constitution or bill of rights. it's nixon and elvis pressley. i'll let jeff tell it first. jeff: one day sitting in my office in the old executive office building, i received a call from bud krogh whose office was literally across the haul -- hall from mine. and he said the king is here. i said what? the king is here. bud, i'm really busy. what do you want? elvis pressley is at the north gate of the white house and he wants to see the president. i said, you've got to be kidding me. no, i'm not kidding you. come over to my office. we've got to prepare talking points for the president.
before the staff would bring in someone to visit the president in the oval office, the staff would prepare talking points. here's what we suggest that you say. and the thrust of what we wanted president nixon to say to elvis is to try to get elvis involved in some anti-drug abuse comments. so i'm -- we prepare the remarks. elvis is invited into the oval office and he was bringing with him a silver plated .45 automatic that he wanted to give the president. >> commemorative pistol. beautiful box. >> the secret service immediately confiscated the weapon. i was sitting with elvis's two bodyguards in my office, while elvis went into the oval office. and the bodyguard said, don't we want to go into the oval office with elvis? i said you can't do that. he said there will be a call for
us to go over. when the call comes, i'll escort you over. meantime the phone rings. and it's bud krogh and he says, jeff, get a bndd badge. elvis wants a badge. i said what? yep. call over to jack ingersoll and get a badge. i called him and i said, jeff, i -- jack, i need a bndd badge. he said what for? the president wants to give one to elvis pressley. and the response was no can do. i said what do you mean no can do? well, elvis hasn't gone through the training program. i said, jack, you probably don't understand this, the leader of the western world wants to give elvis pressley the bndd badge. get me an expletive badge right away to the white house. yes, sir.
that is how that happened. elvis never got involved in helping us with any anti-drug abuse messages, very disappointing. and let me add this, you know, because we were six squares at the white house, we had no -- such squares at the white house, we had no understanding of elvis's involvement with drugs. >> right. right. nobody knew. a slightly different take because we were both there. >> elvis wants to come see the president to tell the president that he's really for law and order and that in his own way he's discouraging drug use. amongst his fan base. he can't come out and say look, kids, don't do drugs because that will detract from the sales of records. but he wants the president to know that he's trying in his own way. and he collects badges, you know? and that's why he wants a bndd badge.
this is -- this is toward the end. i mean, elvis had an interesting career. and when he wasn't on tour, he'd eat his favorite dish was fried bananas and honey, i think. and he would gain a lot of weight. and then he would have to shed the weight to go on tour. and then it got harder and harder. so he would use amphetamines and he would get dr. 's prescriptions. -- dr.'s prescriptions. and it was -- what comes to light later is it was drug abuse. but he wouldn't have described it that way. he would say he's trying to trim down. you can see, he's a little heavy. when he came -- this is elvis. nixon and elvis are not out of the same mold. and one of our jobs was to hold elvis for an hour to make sure things were calm enough to take him over to the oval office.
there was a big debate about whether this was an astute audience to grant -- elvis just showed up at the northwest gate, you know? i'd like to see the president. you don't do that. so bud, and jeff and i were making nice with elvis for an hour to -- before we gave the signal because we're in the old executive office building, the west wing is across the street. before we gave the signal that we thought it was ok. that he wasn't going to say something rabid. but elvis is dressed, you know, like the king. he's sweeping up and down the hallway of the old executive office building, going into offices an 'emd embracing the -- and embracing the secretaries. they are having an absolute ball. everything stopped. elvis is in the building. everything stopped.
and it was -- it was a glorious day. and it's -- you know, it's the most popular picture for a reason. about 15 years later, i took my son down to washington trying to convince him how great his father once was. and we were going to go and see a friend who was back as a member of the white house staff. so we're at the northwest gate to go in. my son is too young to have a driver's license. he doesn't have i.d. and i've been cleared and he's cleared with the wrong first name. so there's a kid who wants to come in with me to go into the west wing. and the guard wasn't quite sure what to do because it's the wrong name. and so he calls over his supervisor.
and his supervisor says, i think it will be ok. i remember mr. shepard when he was on the white house staff. i was there five years. i remember when mr. shepard was on the white house staff. in fact, he was here the day elvis came. and my kid's eyes light up. that was the most important thing to him, the whole trip. that elvis -- and to this day, if you were involved in the elvis visit, i mean, it's -- it's significant. >> historic. >> and he meant well. he's a great singer. he was -- he was an awe chucks kind of guy if he was off the stage. it was madam and sir. just an interesting guy in any event. this is what shut these people off. this is the key meeting if you're -- if you're looking for origins, if you're going back through the documents and you're looking for origins of a change in policy, something like seeking out the source of the
nile -- yeah, you keep going back up to the smallest creek. where does it start? this picture and what went on a little bit before and a little bit after is key to understanding the dramatic change in drug treatment and we let jeff go without my interruption here because he has a heck of a story to tell. >> as i mentioned earlier, i went around the country trying to identify the best that america had to offer in terms of treatment and people. and all fingers pointed in the direction of dr. jerome jaffe. within the therapeutic community there was always criticism pointing at deficiencies in either the individuals or the program of various treatment programs. however, no one criticized dr. jaffe. as a result of the respect in the treatment community, i asked dr. jaffe to form a group of
nongovernment folks to put together a paper of recommendations for what the federal government should do in the way of treatment, education, rehabilitation, epidemiology. at first, many of the folks were reluctant because peoplein the therapeutic community did not trust richard nixon. dr. jerome jaffe, a jewish democrat is appointed america's first drug czar. and jerry then elected paul garrido.
>> before you got the oval office, you faced down cabinet officers a little bit before this. >> ok. thank you. you said you weren't going to interrupt. [laughter] >> it's a good interruption. >> it is. i put together before this meeting, i had put together a paper -- a memo to bud krogh in chi analyzed the various treatment programs that i had -- in which i analyzed the various treatment programs that i had visited around the country and came with recommendations for the united states to adopt methadone treatment as a treatment modality. following that memo i was called into the office participating in that meeting was john mitchell, the attorney general, elliott richardson who was then secretary of h.e.w., health, education and wellness.
dr. richard brown, the director of the national institute of mental health. i was the only one advocating methadone maintenance. i had done the statistics. the other gentlemen were silent or opposed. dr. brown was opposed because that was a threat of funding and criticism of the psychiatric community. jack ingersoll. perhaps jack mitchell was opposed because it was introducing to america on a widespread basis if the program were implemented. it's an addictive drug. he sat in and listened and ultimately led to a recommendation to the president that the united states adopt methadone maintenance. >> let's pause for a second. let's go through with bob's help
what the alternative treatments were and how many methadone actually worked. ok. bob? >> yeah, the -- the -- there had been an earlier episode of heroin addiction that focused in california and new york. and in both of those states they had developed a substantial civil commitment program for heroin addicts. governor rockefeller embraced the civil commitment approach to the problem. separate from that growing out of it the program called synonon became across mississippi as daytop and odyssey house which was therapy to the communities in new york city was an alternative treatment program that involved a year or two or three years of residential care of heroin addicts.
. he would have deprived him of enough boats -- vote. going back to getting the nomination, bobby had a strong shot. one of the things they write in my book in 1964 one bobby first was deciding how he was going to pursue power he went to conventional route and said i should be vice president. he immediately looks at it to the way of the lens of the delegates and where the power is. he is doing things he has to do and one of the way the newspapers helped me is i could track who he was meeting with. he knew that he could rely on a great emotional appeal. so did lyndon johnson and he actually moved the kennedy
tribute to john f. kennedy later to after the balloting for vice president and president so the outpouring of emotion, the kind we saw the 1964 convention where bobby stood there for a dozen minutes being applauded by everyone, could not sweep the convention and lead to a puppy nomination of some kind. i feel that robert kennedy was very conscious of that situation with the delegates and how he was going to persuade the party bosses to come with them for the nomination. again, an uphill climb in the electrical -- electoral college. >> a phenomenal politician and a person able to bring together disparate groups who talked about unity. they did it in a way that other
politicians could not do. it was really a national tragedy. with that, i think we would like to give you a share in this discussion. if you have a question or a statement, if you would like to use one of the microphones in the front, we appreciate it. >> when martin luther king was assassinated, bobby was in indianapolis last night and i would love to hear your comments about that night. >> you are there warned you that night? >> yes. >> that was the most emotional speech i have ever heard. from a politician. he was assassinated in memphis and kennedy was running indiana.
when he was on the plane somewhere in indiana going back to indianapolis and the campaign people decided or he decided he wanted to go to a african-american community and talk to the people. they did not know. nobody in the crowd knew what happened. frank who was bobby's press secretary gave the news on the plane as they were going to indianapolis and kennedy asked him to shut -- jot down a few ideas. as we got into indianapolis, for one reason or another, they
were separated. kennedy went to the black community and frank arrived late. he wrote a few ideas but never got them by and kennedy made the most amazing remarks. the gist of which was, i have a member of my family killed by a white man. i know how you feel because that is how i feel. that's not the exact quote but i have to look here and he ended the remarks by quoting as
he called, my favorite poet. the remarks about how that kind of the loss affects people. he quoted it and he was astonished. and this speech, robert kennedy's off-the-cuff remarks were played this year. many places on television. those remarks telling the crowd about martin luther king. >> the quote that he recited was from a book after the assassination in 1964 by
hamilton called the greek way about pain on the heart.>> he was talking about acceptance through acts we cannot control. one of the interesting points i found was one journalist saw him walking up and his lips moving talking to himself. kenny o'donnell who was close with him said he realized later that when bobby was talking to himself he was talking to jack and his brother was on his mind as he went up and spoke at night. he asked people to go home and say a prayer for the country and the family. >> he was reciting the words. >> another question.
>> i am glad you brought that up. to me that was bobby's finest hour. i wanted to share with you the time i met bobby kennedy. we moved to washington when i was eight and my father worked on the equal employment effort -- office. we got a chance to go to the white house. jfk was out of the office and we were disappointed but we could meet the attorney general. here came bobby and he said, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and he walked over to me, the eight-year-old and the least among us and asked me my name and how old i was and what grade i was in. he obviously knew how to address an eight year old. i thought the warmth and the vulnerability was there.
>> pardon me. anyway, we all thought that bobby was ruthless. i saw that kindness because of the way he related to me. many years later i campaigned for him as a junior high school student and i celebrated those remarks when king was shot. i cut out the newspaper article . i read about it in books and 10 years ago on youtube i discovered you can actually see the film of that flat bread -- flatbed truck and you can see the hesitating grace of robert kennedy. what might've happened if he had been elected?
with great respect, i disagree with you. i think you would've overwhelmed humphrey and i think that he would have one the nomination. i can't back that up with facts but as a 15-year-old, i thought he would have supported him. he could reunite the blue- collar and intellectual. we got the trump of that error. this graceless sociopath of a man, nixon and the revolution was over, ladies and gentlemen. i turned against the government and protested the vietnam war and to me we left a lot of people in the field. you are going to say? >> robert kennedy understood vulnerability from the early age. his mother said he was born seven years after jack and joe and then another seven or eight years before teddy.
he did not have any boy playmates to roughhouse with. he went to more schools that he could remember as a child and he i think really understood being alone and feeling of loneliness. children he could relate to well.>> i was told to get that attention. he was my favorite kennedy after that i think he was considered the runt of the brothers. he wasn't physical like his older brothers, especially joseph, the older brother and he needed to prove something and he had that double personality of someone who needs to prove something.>> he was not built for but he was lettered at hard -- harvard. he willed himself to be stronger and work harder.>> another question or comment?
>> in 1968 i wrote a paper as a senior in college and i cited your book for sociology that i took at boston university. this may be a hard question and i want to thank you but a couple weeks ago it came out that rfk junior met with sirhan sirhan and convinced he was not the one who killed his fire and i read that one of his sisters believes it was somebody else. do you have any opinion about that? >> i have my own recollection of being in the room. i don't believe there was a second shooter. there could have been because it was bedlam but i covered the grand jury hearings and there is nothing that indicates that.
>> any other questions? >> you speak of bobby's loyalty to the president. does he have different views of the president's policies and would have changed any of the policies if he had won nomination. >> there was things that he viewed differently on. he was very careful about staying -- saying jfk would have done this. there was an invasion of the dominican republic from marines landing. peter was interviewed by a journalist for the new york newspaper in which he pushed him and pushed him.
is he saying jfk would have done this. if you hear that, ted, then you hear it. the headline was what he would've done differently. rfk went through the roof with peter saying how could we know what he would have wanted. he is not here. he did have to make decisions that his brother would not be faced with i'd -- and i don't think jfk would have done this or that. he thought of what was right and wrong and what they saw was the right way. i think people thought different things about what jfk would have done. in the book i have a photo of the cabinet room and they dedicated the bust of jfk. in the background he put all these decisions over vf -- vietnam and some people that
set the table with body looked at him and thought, we have to carry out the commitment in vietnam. we gave our word to the allies. bobby's salt jfk and thought we have to think differently as he thought during the cuban missile crisis. you have those sorts of conflicts but they were brothers and they saw things differently from time to time.>> the vietnam war. i have no doubt that if kennedy became president we would not be there much longer than we were. with jfk it never came to the point where we thought we could get out of there. >> also, you did mention latin america. bobby kennedy have a different policy on latin america and south africa. his visit to south africa was an enormous
event for that country. people are still talking about it 30 years later. it put him at odds with the administration and the thinking of the united states at that time. he was advanced with relations with other countries. not just vietnam. i think there was areas but in terms of the great society, the kennedy brothers were actually promoting the legislation and take kennedy was more of a legislator in that respect. it was not as if there was a huge chas him be queen -- between kennedy and johnson on those issues.>> we have two more questions. we have time for two more. >> i will make it quick.>> my name is jessica. thank you for the work you do.
i am a returned peace corps volunteer. i feel connected to the kennedys. i believe martin luther king jr. sensed there was a common assassination -- coming assassination and i am wondering if bobby kennedy had any inclination that he would be shot? thank you. >> well, kennedy was a fatalist. he knew what the situation was with the country but i don't think that was his way. he was determined to do what he was going to do. i don't know whether he was surprised or not surprised but he knew the temper of the country and he was aware that something like that could happen. >> i don't think he ever had a
death wish or was in that sense, i think he knew the dangers of what he was up for. you would say when you was running percent and -- senate, i could have gone home and run my flag up the flag pole and told everyone about how i saved the country that one time or i can continue to contribute. he felt strongly about public service and the need to continue in public life and you could not walk away from it.>> thank you. i wear black to this event in mourning that happened years ago. i wanted in sight on the week in which the brothers saved the world that we know. the cuban vessel crisis. i read about it and i know that
bobby started aligned with the military and got it and he and his brother did it all. >> it is controversial because there has been some scholarships saying robert kennedy was actually much more aggressive about taking on the cubans and right away with the military solution there. he would use that issue to think differently or try to perhaps maybe use a little bit more diplomacy, a softer touch or make a better solution. he talked about the moral choices that they faced. he revealed later how many cubans they had estimated would be killed if they had decided to take it out. there were dozens and thousands. it was something that he used to paint the responsibility of someone who would hold such
power as the president.>> the reporter at the pentagon during the cuban missile crisis and robert kennedy played a central role as a go-between to avoid the situation. i have no doubt however that he would have done whatever his brother had decided to do but he played a very critical will in averting nuclear war. >> he referred back to that often and help pivotal that was he was thinking about the world. two extraordinary authors that avert -- have wrote two books. really fascinating accounts of an important figure in american
history and i think it is appropriate that we are here to recognize him and thank you all for coming. [ applause ] the camera lens of the naval photographic unit. cover the activities of president lyndon b. johnson.>> senator robert kennedy in the midst of victory in the presidential primary was shot
and critically wounded by an assassin. the day of the senator's death president johnson sent letters which urgently implored congress to enact a meaningful and effective gun control law. in june, much of the attention was centered on the paris peace talks. early in the month negotiators returned to washington to report on an apparent impasse at the meetings . from vietnam the reports from far -- or far from optimistic instead of a slow down the communist launched a massive new wave of assaults throughout the south. averting resolve on the home front and heightened leverage. at a news conference hundred 26, the president announced that the supreme court chief justice was retiring. and making his third and fourth
appointments to the high court the president knew the choices would affect the destiny of the nation's after he himself left office.>> watch it real america this weekend on america history on c-span 3. we explore the literary scene and history. saturday at noon eastern on book tv. shawna cunningham with his book, american politics. conservative growth and a battleground region. billions of dollars of federal resources are being ported to the south and southwest to create this new, development defense oriented society that is both fighting communism on board and pursuing free-market dreams at home.
it creates this kind of thing in the southwest that reinforces a lot of the ideas of american ingenuity and hard work and a commitment to fighting.>> on sunday at 2 pm eastern. the buddy holly center to hear about the native and his legacy. >> the city is very proud of the fact that buddy was born and raised here and that the center is here to keep his story alive and keep his music alive.>> a visit to the vietnam center located at texas tech university. the center is him to the largest collection of vietnam related materials outside of the national archives.>> got a lot of -- we've got a lot of different equipment they veterans would carry.
the things they carried. the first aid kit. the radios and the helmet that the veterans would wear. the steel pot that would protect them from shrapnel. >> saturday at noon eastern on c-span's book tv and working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. robert f kennedy announced he was running for president march 16 1968. several members of congress marked the 50th anniversary of the announcement. we will hear from the house minority leader, nancy pelosi a, marco rubio, john lewis and joe kennedy. as well as his daughter, kerry kennedy.
>> ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you here this evening. joe kennedy is right now delayed voting on the floor of the house of representatives. i have been instructed to begin. i have always felt myself to be a subsidiary. his impeccable god -- judgment that i'm going to follow right now and i want to thank carrie, to thank tim shriver, to think riley kennedy, to think at the link kennedy townsend, kerry kennedy townsend, thank them for coming this evening and to all of you for participating in this historic moment. i have said many times in my
career that i was inspired by the kennedy brothers to be interested in politics. this evening on the 50th anniversary of robert f kennedy announcing the presidency in this room as did his brother jack as did his brother ted. it is an incredible moment in time to remember. it was for me and it was for anyone in this room who was alive at that time. they inspired a generation of americans. they helped to lift are gauged to the constellation of possibilities for ourselves and for the world. that inspiration continues to live on even today. that dawning of a bright better future lifted up the spirit of an entire nation and gave us
hope, it gave us reassurance and it gave one boy a dream. it turns out the same thing happened not just for irish boys in massachusetts but every nationality in our country and the planet. it helps to inspire them as well. i am honored to be here to kick off this incredible celebration because he was one of the greatest public servants this nation has ever known as a senator, attorney general and presidential. he was a true liberal because i'm -- before liberal became a bad word and one of the greatest for quality and freedom. it has been a half of the connection. in that time, we have idealism. we have missed this tenacity.
this time that has passed illuminates how much of a trailblazer that he was. i have no doubts that he would've looked out at the national mall today with the thousands of young people exercising their right to protest for a safer school and he would have marched with them. he would have spoken to them. he would have spoken to them about his support of a gun control and his belief that for too long we did -- dealt with these harmless weapons as if they were tours. he would have told them to embrace including everyone.