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Nixon, Rockefeller discuss Attica in new tapes

AP News
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Posted: Sep 13, 2011 1:09 AM
Nixon, Rockefeller discuss Attica in new tapes

Former President Richard Nixon and former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller are heard discussing the Attica prison uprising in newly published audiotapes.

The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/qiMazJ) says a researcher discovered the tapes at the National Archives in Washington. The paper has published the tapes on its website.

The revolt took place 40 years ago this week in a western New York prison. It left 29 inmates and 10 of their hostages dead after state police stormed the prison on Rockefeller's orders.

In the calls, Nixon praises Rockefeller's leadership while discussing the response. They also mention the race of the inmates, with Rockefeller telling the president "the whole thing was led by the blacks" after Nixon asked if the inmates were primarily black.

Nixon knew the call was being recorded but Rockefeller apparently did not.

In later years, Rockefeller, who had run against Nixon for the Republican nomination for president in 1968 and became vice president after his resignation, expressed regret about the way the situation at Attica unfolded.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com