[JPL] John McCain and John Lennon

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Wed Sep 17 12:09:05 EDT 2008

The man John McCain appointed to head his transition team, William E. 
Timmons, played a central role in the Nixon Administration's campaign to 
deport John Lennon in 1972.

Timmons is known today mostly as a lobbyist for the oil companies, but 
in 1972 he worked in the Nixon White House as Assistant to the President 
for Legislative Affairs. Strom Thurmond, the segregationist senator from 
South Carolina, sent a letter 
<http://www.thenation.com/images/special/Lennon3.jpg> to Timmons in 
February, 1972, as the Nixon White House was gearing up for the 
President's re-election campaign. The letter informed Timmons that 
Lennon and his friends were "strong advocates" of a program to "dump 
Nixon," and that Lennon was planning "to hold rock concerts in various 
primary election states." The purpose of the concerts was political: "to 
stimulate 18-year-old registration" and to urge people to demonstrate 
against Nixon at the Republican National Convention. Thurmond's memo to 
Timmons concluded, "if Lennon's visa is terminated it would be a 
strategy counter-measure."

At the time--spring of 1972--the war in Vietnam was going strong, Lennon 
was living in New York City and had become a prominent antiwar voice, 
singing /Give Peace a Chance/ 
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OnWAOqZj58> and /Imagine/ at antiwar 
rallies and concerts.

Timmons wrote back <http://www.thenation.com/images/special/Lennon1.jpg> 
to Thurmond a few weeks later. The "Dear Strom" letter reported that 
"the Immigration and Naturalization Service has served notice" on Lennon 
"that he is to leave this country no later than March 15." It was signed 
by Timmons "with warm regards."

The information <http://www.thenation.com/images/special/Lennon2.jpg> 
Thurmond sent to Timmons was correct--it came from the staff of the 
Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, of which Thurmond was a member. 
Lennon and his new friends Jerry Rubin and Rennie Davis, who four years 
earlier had organized the 1968 antiwar protests at the Democratic 
National Convention in Chicago, were planning a concert tour to mobilize 
young people to vote in the upcoming election. Of course registering 
young people to vote was not a crime--but the Republicans were concerned 
about the "youth vote," since 1972 was going to be the first election in 
which 18-year-olds had the right to vote, and it was widely assumed 
young people were mostly antiwar and thus anti-Nixon.

Nixon's effort to deport Lennon never succeeded. In the end, Lennon 
stayed in the United States while Nixon left the White House, resigning 
in the Watergate affair. But Lennon did curtail his antiwar organizing 
during the 1972 campaign, on the advice of his immigration lawyer, Leon 
Wildes, who told him not to do anything to further antagonize the Nixon 

Timmons left the White House shortly after Nixon's resignation and 
founded his own lobbying firm. In 2008 he was registered to represent 
the American Petroleum Institute, Visa USA, Anheuser-Busch and Freddie 
Mac. He's also worked with virtually every Republican presidential 
campaign, starting with Bob Dole.

McCain's selection of Timmons ties the candidate to Nixon's dirty tricks 
and enemies list. Nixon's campaign to deport John Lennon was an example 
of White House abuse of power--the use of the power of the president to 
punish those who criticized him or opposed his policies.

The Thurmond-Timmons documents were first published in /Rolling Stone/, 
July 31, 1975.

The story of Nixon's effort to deport Lennon was told in the 2006 
documentary /The US vs. John Lennon/ and in the book /Gimme Some Truth: 
The John Lennon FBI Files


Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
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SKYPE:  drjazz99

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