Memorandum from Charles Colson to H.R. Haldeman, July 2, 1971

This memorandum discusses a conversation between Howard Hunt and Charles Colson. The conversation, transcribed in the pages following the memorandum, displays the inhumane and degrading language used in discussing Ellsberg. Their willingness to throw away their morals to protect the reputation of the President reveals their selfish motivations: protecting the privileges and power they had gained through the administration. This conversation is a microcosm of the larger issues of the time. The desperate need to save the administration’s face and the hostile language used in discussing how to do that – referred to as “the language of torturers” by Patricia Ellsberg – was central to US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Grace Simmons