The Nation: What Reelly Happened

When the White House disclosed that two of nine Watergate tapes had in fact never existed, Mrs. Diane Kincaid's political science and American government students at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville greeted the announcement with a mixture of astonishment and dismay. "It struck the students as rather comical and extremely hard to believe," said Mrs. Kincaid. So on an exam she challenged them to provide their own explanations for the missing tapes, offering an extra point or two for answers "demonstrating exceptional insight and/or imagination."

One student felt the disappearance was owing to the energy crisis: "Nixon is burning the tapes...

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