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Timothy Naftali
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Tim Naftali is the director of the Nixon Presidential Materials Project and director-designate of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, which will officially open this summer in Yorba Linda, California. Before joining the National Archives and Records Administration in October 2006, Tim was at the University of Virginia's Miller Center where he wrote widely on foreign policy and presidential history. His latest books are Khrushchev's Cold War (co-authored with Aleksandr Fursenko) and Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism. His views on this blog are emphatically his own and do not represent the policies or positions of the US government.

Blog Entries by Timothy Naftali

Proposition 8 and Religious Freedom in Northern Orange County

0 Comments | Posted November 3, 2008 | 6:57 PM

Los Angelinos won't naturally see the corner of Imperial Highway and Yorba Linda Boulevard in Northern Orange County, if they can conceive of where it is, as a mirror of social change. But every night last week dozens of people were demonstrating on both sides of Proposition 8, the attempt...

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Congressional Democrats and a New Foreign Policy

0 Comments | Posted October 15, 2006 | 11:59 AM

If present trends hold, the GOP is about to lose its stranglehold on all of the branches of our government. Our system was not designed for one party rule (though there was only one party--the Federalist party-- at the start but that was unnatural and didn't last) and it works...

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What Are We Doing at the UN?

0 Comments | Posted August 7, 2006 | 7:45 PM

As part of its War on Terror the George W. Bush administration offered a new American strategy for the Middle East. Instead of being an honest broker between Arabs and Israelis, a position that to varying degrees all US administrations have tried to occupy since 1948, the Bush administration intended...

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Red State Falling?

0 Comments | Posted August 1, 2006 | 10:08 AM

Last night's news from Cuba that Fidel Castro has started his ninth and last life may have real consequences for US presidential politics. As we await the next deceptive medical bulletin (I remember how Franco and Tito lingered--must be something about dictators, they can't let go), we might consider what...

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Israel's Endgame?

0 Comments | Posted July 18, 2006 | 9:29 PM

Hezbollah is a nasty, unrepentant Islamicist organization that until 9/11 had more American blood on its hands than any terrorist group in the world. In April 1983, Hezbollah blew up the US embassy in Beirut, killing 17. In October of the same year, Hezbollah killed 241 Marines at the Beirut...

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Hopeful Signs

0 Comments | Posted December 30, 2005 | 11:02 PM

The holiday season always renews my optimism. Its spontaneous fellowship—catching up with more distant friends and family—just creates a warm glow.

So, I don't really want to spoil it for you or me by mentioning the Bush administration… much. But in looking over 2005, it is striking how this was...

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The President and Bin Laden's Satellite Phone

0 Comments | Posted December 19, 2005 | 3:40 PM

To justify his anger at the New York Times, President Bush at his press conference today told the story of the 1998 leak of intelligence from bin Laden's satellite phone. The president was right to point to that leak as an example of where irresponsible journalism can help...

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Bush and the NSA spying scandal

0 Comments | Posted December 19, 2005 | 12:13 PM

At today's news conference, President Bush restated his earlier acknowledgement that he had authorized a secret program to spy on Americans without any judicial review. Blind to history, Bush accepted the arguments of his alpha-male Justice Department that Article 2 of the Constitution allows presidents to violate civil liberties in...

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Bush and the NSA spying scandal

0 Comments | Posted December 19, 2005 | 12:00 PM

At today's news conference, President Bush restated his earlier acknowledgement that he had authorized a secret program to spy on Americans without any judicial review. Blind to history, Bush accepted the arguments of his alpha-male Justice Department that Article 2 of the Constitution allows presidents to violate civil...

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Virginia, A Republican Problem

0 Comments | Posted November 8, 2005 | 10:56 PM

Tim Kaine has just been elected Governor of Virginia and national Republicans should be concerned. All week in Charlottesville, Virginia, a Democratic echo chamber in the center of the state, there was serious pessimism that the Democratic candidate would win, despite the popularity of the current Democratic governor, Mark Warner....

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Cheney, Libby and the Detainees

0 Comments | Posted October 30, 2005 | 9:28 PM

The other day I wrote about what I hoped we would learn about the Iraq spin machine from an I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial, if he didn't plea bargain. The Office of the Vice President has been so weakened by Libby's indictment that we will be learning much more about...

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Libby Trial Will Reveal Iraq Spin Operation

0 Comments | Posted October 28, 2005 | 4:05 PM

Whether I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is found guilty or not, his trial will finally allow the public to see how the Office of the Vice President led the Bush Administration's domestic agitprop campaign to get us into Iraq. It is my understanding that besides the Valerie Plame matter, Libby was...

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Lack of Vision from Elected Democrats

0 Comments | Posted September 18, 2005 | 11:30 AM

The President's Jackson Square speech was one of those rare defining moments in the political life of a country and if the democrats are not careful they are likely to blow it. I don't know who has been giving advice to Congressional democrats since 2001 but whoever it is has...

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The Post-Katrina Presidency

0 Comments | Posted September 16, 2005 | 3:51 PM

By giving last night's speech, George Bush reinvented his presidency for a second time and in a way that has much deeper implications. The first time came on 9/11 when events compelled him to recognize that international terrorism was a greater foreign policy concern than ballistic missile defense or China....

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Katrina, Our Chernobyl?

0 Comments | Posted September 4, 2005 | 11:20 PM

Twenty-five years ago, Ronald Reagan was elected saying -- and I am paraphrasing -- that "government is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem" and then initiated a revolution in how Americans thought about government.

Not all of the questioning about the rapid growth in...

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Cindy Sheehan and James Madison

0 Comments | Posted August 12, 2005 | 6:23 PM

Cindy Sheehan's eloquent vigil on behalf of truth in Iraq is a reminder of how far we have fallen from the Founders' conception of good government. The doctrine of separation of powers was an ingenious means of not only placing restraints on government but also a way to ensure vibrant...

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Shifting Blame for the Iraq WMD Fiasco

0 Comments | Posted July 28, 2005 | 11:43 PM

In congressional testimony on Thursday, the Nation's number two intelligence chief, General Michael V. Hayden, provided so many fanciful explanations for the failures of the US intelligence community before and during the period he was director of the National Security Agency that one has to wonder about the quality of...

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Terrible Statistics

0 Comments | Posted July 7, 2005 | 1:56 AM

This week the National Counterterrorism Center issued a new accounting of terrorist incidents for 2004 as it unveiled its Worldwide Incidents Tracking System. This is the third time that the US government has tried to generate these statistics. By statute since 1985 the State Department has been required to prepare...

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Bush and LBJ

0 Comments | Posted June 29, 2005 | 1:46 AM

The Vietnam analogy, like all historical analogies, has its limits as a source of insight on the Iraq war. There are significant differences between the struggles, not least of which is that with the passage of 30 years military technology and advanced military medicine have reduced significantly the US death...

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The FBI and Counterterrorism

0 Comments | Posted June 28, 2005 | 2:47 AM

Consider five special sections in the Federal Bureau of Investigations: The International Terrorism Operations Section, Domestic Terrorism Operations Section, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the Strategic Information Operations Center, and the National Domestic Preparedness Office. These seem very impressive -- and central to the War on Terror-- until you learn...

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