John Mitchell* (on commies, subversives, birdwatchers)

* Look, there’s no law that says all quotes must be inspiring, wise, profound or witty. And no doubt, Mr. Mitchell was loved, and possessed many good qualities. Besides which, NINETEEN SEVENTY! And Communist bird watchers!

“The conservation movement is a breeding ground of Communists and other subversives. We intend to clean them out, even if it means rounding up every bird watcher in the country.”

John N. Mitchell (1913-1988) was most famous as Attorney General in Richard Nixon’s first term as President, as a central figure in the Watergate scandal that engulfed American political life, and, as the Washington Post pointed out in the first sentence of its obituary, “the only United States attorney general to serve a prison sentence”.

Perhaps, as delicious as this snippet is on its own, a little context is in order. My father-in-law is an avid birder,

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