Senator Jackson only said what we trust most Americans feel when he deplored any secret taping of him by President Kennedy. No president or indeed anyone else ought to record private conversations without the knowledge of the participants. The best thing to come out of the renewed headlines over White House taping is the assurance from President Reagan that he does not do it and from Presidents Carter and Ford that they never did.
The existence of Kennedy tapes had been disclosed years ago. But the publication of logs, if not contents, has dramatized the extent of them. Whatever the content, the covertness of the taping is just as outrageous by Kennedy or the other presidents who did it as by Nixon whose tapes contained such damaging contents. Unless the Kennedy and other presidential tapes are responsibly transcribed for public scrutiny, suspicions about their substance, too, will remain.