Nation: Damaging Tales

G.O.P. fears of Nixon's tapes

In the National Archives in Washington is a windowless chamber that can be entered only by a handful of Government officials with top-secret clearance. Inside Room 2W-2 is a locked steel-wire cage that safeguards a political Pandora's box: 4,000 hours of still secret tape recordings from the darkest days of Richard Nixon's presidency.

Every morning, five archivists walk into the room, clamp on earphones and spend eight hours listening to tapes. They are cataloguing the conversations, according to a 1974 law that gave the Government possession of the secret...

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