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Under Haig, Larry Higby recalls, the day-to-day operation of the White House changed dramatically from what it had been under Higby's former boss, Haldeman. Higby told us that "The changes were fundamentally that Al controlled everything-everybody and everything." Whereas Haldeman had acted as a "general manager and coordinator as well as a personal adviser," Higby contends that Haldeman never blocked people from seeing the president, particularly Kissinger or Ehrlichman, and actually interceded to urge the president to see these men. "Bob [Haldeman] would often just glance at the stuff Henry was putting in or John was putting in or anybody else. Whereas Al tightly controlled each and every thing. I mean Al got much heavier involved in policy... Al was trying to manage the whole thing personally."
Haig's heavy hand meshed with the increasingly difficult times to heighten Nixon's isolation. Often the president would sit alone in his office, with a fire roaring and the air-conditioner running, a yellow tablet and pencil in hand, unwilling to see anyone. Stephen B. Bull, who served as a scheduler and later as a special assistant to Nixon during his entire presidency and also after his resignation, says that "The irony of Richard Nixon is that he had little trust in a lot of people, and he put too much trust in too few people.... When the world started closing in... it was quite convenient for [Nixon] to deal with Haig on a lot of matters and a lot of areas in which Haig really wasn't qualified." Bull remains angry at Haig, not because they were rivals, but because he viewed Haig as looking out for himself over Nixon.
The second Woodward and Bernstein book, The Final Days, paints a picture of a Haig who did not want to be everything to the president, and did not want to get Nixon into trouble. Bull saw precisely the opposite behavior on Haig's part during Bull's tenure as the day-to-day administrator of the president's office from February 197 3 through the August 1974 Nixon resignation. He watched with dismay as Haig "allowed the president to be isolated and indeed perhaps encouraged it." White House logs of the president's last fifteen months in office show Haig and Ziegler as the aides most often let into the inner sanctum with the president. To Bull, in those fifteen months, Haig seemed "duplicitous ... motivated by self-aggrandizement, rather than ideology or principle."
When Haig learned at a staff meeting of a decision that had been made without consulting him, Bull recalls that Haig "began pounding the table with his fist... and said two or three times, `I am the chief of staff. I make all the decisions in the White House.' We thought he was crazy." Such outbursts would characterize Haig's responses even to decisions made on nonpolicy matters such as the president's daily schedule. According to Bull, Haig at one point said, "If you think that this president can run the country without Al Haig... you are mistaken."
If a senator made a speech against the president's policies in regard to Vietnam, Nixon would issue an order to Haldeman: "Put a twenty-four-hour surveillance on that bastard."
Why a surveillance? To obtain deleterious information that could be used against the senator. Nixon liked that sort of secret, intrigue related intelligence, and fostered an environment within the White House that put a premium on it. The president believed that the domestic information-gathering arms of the government - the FBI and other federal policing agencies - could not be counted on to undertake confidential assignments of the sort he had in mind. J. Edgar Hoover, Nixon believed, had files on everybody, but even though Hoover often cooperated with Nixon, the FBI director was reluctant to release any of those files to Nixon even after he became president, just as reluctant as Director Richard Helms would be in 1971 to release the CIA's Bay of Pigs files when Nixon instructed him to do so.
And so, just weeks after Nixon's inauguration, the president directed White House counsel John Ehrlichman to hire a private eye. "He wanted somebody who could do chores for him that a federal employee could not do," Ehrlichman says. "Nixon was demanding information on certain things that I couldn't get through government channels because it would have been questionable." What sort of investigations? "Of the Kennedys, for example," Ehrlichman wrote in Witness to Power.
Ehrlichman quickly found a candidate, a well-decorated, forty year-old Irish New York City cop, John J. Caulfield. Caulfield had been a member of the NYPD and its undercover unit, the Bureau of Special Services and Investigations (BOSSI). He had made cases against dissident and terrorist organizations, and BOSSI as a whole was known for its ability to penetrate and keep track of left-wing and black groups. One of the unit's jobs was to work closely with the Secret Service and guard political dignitaries and world leaders who frequently moved through the city. During the 1960 election, Caulfield had been assigned to the security detail of candidate Richard Nixon. He had befriended Nixon's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, and her brother Joe, the sheriff of Cook County, Illinois. In 1968, after leaving the New York City Police Department, Caulfield had served as a security man for the Nixon campaign.
But when Ehrlichman approached him in early 1969 and asked Caulfield to set up a private security firm to provide services for the Nixon White House, Caulfield declined, and instead suggested that he join Ehrlichman's staff and then, as a White House employee, supervise another man who would be hired solely as a private eye. Ehrlichman agreed, and when Caulfield arrived at the White House to start work in April 1969, he said he had the ideal candidate for presidential gumshoe, a BOSSI colleague, Anthony Ulasewicz.
In May 1969, Ehrlichman and Caulfield flew to New York and met Ulasewicz in the American Airlines VIP lounge at LaGuardia Airport. Ulasewicz was ten years older than Caulfield, just as streetwise, and even saltier, with a thick accent picked up from his youth on the Lower East Side and twenty-six years of pounding the pavement on his beats. He was told in the VIP lounge that he would operate under a veil of tight secrecy. He would receive orders only from Caulfield though he could assume that those came from Ehrlichman, who would, in turn, be acting on instructions from the president. Ulasewicz would keep no files and submit no written reports; he later wrote in his memoirs that Ehrlichman said to him, "You'll be allowed no mistakes. There will be no support for you whatsoever from the White House if you're exposed." Ulasewicz refused an offer of six months' work, and insisted on a full year, with the understanding that there would be no written contract, just a verbal guarantee. It was also agreed that to keep everything away from the White House, Ulasewicz would work through an outside attorney. In late June 1969, Caulfield directed Ulasewicz to come to Washington and meet a man named Herbert W. Kalmbach at the Madison Hotel. Kalmbach was Nixon's personal attorney in California, and he told Tony that he would be paid $22,000 a year, plus expenses, and that the checks would come from Kalmbach to Tony's home in New York. To avoid putting the private eye on the government payroll, Kalmbach was to pay him out of a war chest of unspent Nixon campaign funds. Ulasewicz requested and was promised credit cards in his own name and in that of a nom de guerre, Edward T Stanley. Shortly, he started on his first job for the Nixon White House. One day after Senator Edward M. Kennedy's car plunged off a bridge, killing a young woman, Tony Ulasewicz was at Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, posing as a reporter, asking a lot of questions and taking photographs. He stayed a week, and phoned reports to Caulfield thrice daily.
Thereafter, he crisscrossed the country, investigating whatever the president or his subordinates thought proper targets for information such Democrats as George Wallace, Hubert Humphrey, Edmund Muskie, Vance Hartke, William Proxmire, and Carl Albert, Republican representatives John Ashbrook and Paul McCloskey, antiwar groups, entertainers, think tanks, reporters, even members of Nixon's own family.
Shortly after assuming his position, John Dean began thinking about expanding his domain, and hired former Army officer Fred F. Fielding as an assistant lawyer in the counsel's office. They became close friends. In Dean's 1976 memoir, Blind Ambition, he recounted how he explained to his new associate the way in which their careers could quickly rise: "Fred, I think we have to look at our office as a small law firm.... We have to build our practice like any other law firm. Our principal client, of course, is the president. But to convince the president we're not just the only law office in town, but the best, we've got to convince a lot of other people first." Especially Haldeman and Ehrlichman.
But how to convince them? As Dean tried to assess the situation at the White House, events soon showed him that intelligence gathering was the key to power in the Nixon White House. One of Dean's first assignments from Haldeman was to look over a startling proposal to revamp the government's domestic intelligence operations in order to neutralize radical groups such as the Black Panthers and the Weathermen.
The scheme had been the work of another of the White House's bright young stalwarts, Nixon aide Tom Charles Huston. The impetus was a meeting chaired by Nixon in the Oval Office on June 5, 1970, attended by J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Helms, and the chiefs of the NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The various agencies were almost at war with one another; just a few months earlier, for instance, Hoover had cut all FBI communication with the CIA. Nixon wanted the agencies to work together against the threat from the "New Left." In the aftermath of Nixon's decision in May 1970 to invade Cambodia, and the killings of several students at Kent State University, colleges all over the country were again being rocked by riots and demonstrations as they had been in the last year of Lyndon Johnson's presidency, and for the same reason-young people were objecting to the president's war policies. In Nixon's view, the threat was grave and must be attacked; therefore the agencies must find some way to bury their differences and concentrate on the true enemy. Huston was assigned to help Hoover and the intelligence chiefs clear obstacles to their working jointly on these matters.
In early July, Huston sent a long analysis to the president, endorsed by Hoover and the other intelligence agency directors, on how to enhance cooperation. To this memo Huston added his own secret one that became known as the "Huston Plan." It called for six activities, some of which were clearly illegal. They included electronic surveillance of persons and groups "who pose a major threat to internal security"; monitoring of American citizens by international communications facilities; the relaxation of restrictions on the covert opening of mail by federal agents; surreptitious entries and burglaries to gain information on the groups; the recruitment of more campus informants; and, to ensure that the objectives were carried out and that intelligence continued to be gathered, the formation of a new interagency group consisting of the agencies at the June 5 meeting and military counter-intelligence agencies. Nixon endorsed these measures in the Huston Plan on July 14, 1970, because, as he put it in his memoir, "I felt they were necessary and justified by the violence we faced."
The secret plan angered J. Edgar Hoover, not because he objected to coming down hard on dissidents, but, rather, because he felt that any new interagency group would encroach on the turf of the FBI and because he was concerned about the negative public reaction should any of the activities be exposed. On July 27, the day Dean began work at the White House, Hoover took the unusual step of venturing out of his own domain to visit his nominal superior, Attorney General John Mitchell. As Hoover learned, Mitchell did not know anything about the Huston Plan at the time. "I was kept in the dark until I found out about it from Hoover," Mitchell later told us. But as soon as he was apprised of the plan, Mitchell agreed with Hoover that it must be stopped-not for Hoover's reasons, but because it contained clearly unconstitutional elements-and immediately visited Nixon and told him it could not go forward. In testament to Mitchell's arguments and good sense, Nixon canceled the plan shortly thereafter and Huston was relieved of his responsibilities in the area of domestic intelligence.
Coordination of official domestic intelligence from various federal agencies concerning anti-war activists and other "radicals" was then handed to the new White House counsel, John Dean, along with a copy of the rejected Huston Plan. But it seemed that the president was still not satisfied with the quality of domestic intelligence, because in August and September Haldeman pushed Dean to try and find a way around the Hoover road-block. In pursuit of a solution, on September 17, 1970, Dean went to see his old boss, John Mitchell. Hours earlier, Mitchell had lunched with Director Helms and other senior CIA officials who had all agreed that the FBI wasn't doing a very good job of collecting domestic intelligence.
Dean and Mitchell spoke, and the next day Dean prepared a memo to Mitchell with several suggestions: "There should be a new committee set up, an interagency group to evaluate the government's domestic intelligence product, and it should have "operational" responsibilities as well. Both men, Dean's memo said, had agreed that "it would be inappropriate to have any blanket removal of restrictions" such as had been proposed in the Huston Plan; instead, Dean suggested that "The most appropriate procedure would be to decide on the type of intelligence we need, based on an assessment of the recommendations of this unit, and then to proceed to remove the restraints as necessary to obtain such intelligence."
Dean's plan languished and was never put into operation. Years later, in the spring of 1973, when Dean was talking to federal prosecutors and preparing to appear before the Senate committee investigating Watergate, he gave a copy of the Huston Plan to Federal Judge John J. Sirica, who turned it over to the Senate committee. Dean's action helped to establish his bona fides as the accuser of the president and was the cause of much alarm. In his testimony and writings thereafter, Dean suggested that he had always been nervous about the Huston Plan and that he had tried to get around it, and as a last resort had gotten John Mitchell to kill the revised version. In an interview, Dean told us, "I looked at that goddamn Tom Huston report," went to Mitchell and said, "General, I find it pretty spooky." But as the September 18, 1970, memo to Mitchell shows, Dean actually embraced rather than rejected the removal of "restraints as necessary to obtain" intelligence.
A small matter? A minor divergence between two versions of the same incident? As will become clear as this inquiry continues, Dean's attempt to gloss over the actual disposition of the Huston Plan was a first sign of the construction of a grand edifice of deceit.
The 10:00 a.m., June 20, meeting was held in Ehrlichman's office the one in which he'd produced Admiral Welander's confession six months earlier-and was attended by Haldeman, Mitchell, Kleindienst, and Dean. The first subject, as always, was leaks. How had the information about McCord and Hunt gotten out? Kleindienst assured the men that it had not come from justice, but from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Dean maintained a deep silence, and the other men were completely in the dark about the events, so there wasn't much to discuss. Haldeman and Ehrlichman harbored doubts about Mitchell's role in the break-in, but, according to Haldeman's memoir, though the meeting produced no new information he was glad to see that Mitchell "looked better than I had seen him in days. He puffed on his pipe with that humorous glint in his eye that we all knew so well. I felt that was a good sign because Mitchell was now the Chairman of CRP, and should have been worried if there was a major crisis impending. Instead, he said, `I don't know anything about that foolishness at the DNC. I do know I didn't approve the stupid thing.' We believed him-and that lightened our mood considerably."
Dean left that meeting in the company of Kleindienst, and returned to justice with the attorney general. Kleindienst was furious about the break-in and about Liddy's approach to him at Burning Tree. Dean said nothing about his role in those events. When they reached the Justice building and the two men were joined by Henry Petersen, the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, Dean's motive for making the trip became clear: He wanted the FBI 302s, the investigative reports prepared by the field agents. Dean invoked Nixon's name to get them.
"The representation that he (Dean) made to me and to Mr. Petersen throughout was that he was doing this for the President of the United States and that he was reporting directly to the President," Kleindienst later testified. Kleindienst and Petersen quite properly refused to give up the 302s, which were raw data, and said they would only supply summaries of the data. The attorney general added that if the president wanted to see the reports, he would take them to Nixon himself. Dean left, empty-handed.
Meanwhile, back at the White House, Haldeman was reporting to Nixon what had happened in the ten o'clock meeting - but the exact particulars of that conversation will never be known, because that's the tape in which there is the infamous eighteen-and-a-half-minute gap. A new notion on how that gap came into being will be offered in a later chapter, but at this point in the narrative we can suggest some of what was covered in the meeting, based on the memoirs of both participants. According to both men, Nixon's main interest was in the Hunt-Colson connection. He had learned from Colson that Hunt had been involved in the Bay of Pigs operation, and that gave him an idea. As he remembered in RN, Nixon told Haldeman that the way to play the break-in was to say it had been a Cuban operation, perhaps designed ' to learn how the Democrats were going to view Castro in the coming election; that would stir the anti-Castro community in Miami "to start - a public bail fund for their arrested countrymen and make a big media issue out of it." This would damage the Democrats and at the same time turn the Watergate affair into something favorable to the White House.
This reaction was vintage Richard Nixon. Watergate would become simply another battle in his lifelong war with the Democrats. Floundering in ignorance as to how the affair had begun, and instead of attempting to solve the crime, Nixon was busy calculating how he might use it to strike at his enemies. Among the hallmarks of Nixon's personality were a penchant for turning away from facts and continual attempts to transform problems for himself into problems for his opposition.
Haldeman's June 23 meeting with the president ended at 11:39 A.M., and he immediately arranged a meeting between Walters, Helms, himself, and Ehrlichman for 1:30 p.m. Moments before that meeting, Haldeman poked his head in again to the Oval Office, and Nixon reemphasized the way to get the CIA to cooperate. Tell the CIA officials, Nixon instructed, "it's going to make the ... CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing, which we think would be very unfortunate for the CIA and for the country at this time, and for American foreign policy... I don't want them to get any ideas we're doing it because our concern is political." Haldeman answered that he understood that instruction.
Haldeman was once again impressed, he writes, by Nixon's brilliant instincts. "Dean had suggested a blatant political move by calling in the CIA-now Nixon showed how much more astute he was by throwing a national security blanket over the same suggestion."
At 1:30, in Ehrlichman's office, the four men sat down. All the participants knew that Helms disliked Nixon and the feeling was mutual. But now Nixon had been maneuvered into believing he had a need to use Helms and his agency. The director began the conversatior by surprising Haldeman with the news that he had already spoken t( Gray at the FBI and had told him that there was no CIA involvement, in the break-in and none of the suspects had worked for the Agency ic the last two years. After Helms's surprise, Haldeman then played what he called "Nixon's trump card," telling the CIA men that the entire affair might be linked to the Bay of Pigs.
"Turmoil in the room," Haldeman reported later in his book "Helms gripping the arms of his chair, leaning forward and shouting `The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.' "
Haldeman understood that Nixon had been right about mentioning, the old disaster, for Helms immediately calmed down and voiced some further objections to having Walters tell Gray to back off. Ehrlichman' remembrance of the meeting closely parallels Haldeman's. Just a important is the fact that neither man mentioned in his memoir telling the CIA chiefs that the reason for asking them to block the FBI was political; following Nixon's rather precise instructions, that notion was specifically kept out of the conversation.
At 2:20 P.M. Haldeman went back to the Oval Office and informed Nixon that "Helms kind of got the picture" and had promised, "`We'll be happy to be helpful, to ah-you know-and we'll handle everything you want.' " Haldeman then added: "Walters is gonna make the call to Gray." The CIA men agreed to help, Helms would later testify, only because they figured the president was privy to a CIA operation in Mexico that even the CIA director did not know about. "This possibility always had to exist," Helms said. "Nobody knows everything about everything."
Dean apparently had an idea about what was going on, for at 1:35 that afternoon-before Haldeman actually had had a chance to brief the president on the Helms meeting - Pat Gray got a call from Dean apprising him that Walters would be phoning for an appointment, and that Gray should see him that afternoon. Waiters' secretary called Gray twenty minutes later and scheduled a 2:30 p.m. meeting. Dean phoned Gray again at 2:19 p.m. to see if it was on, learned that it was, and asked Gray to call him when he'd seen Walters.
Once again, John Dean's testimony on these events is strikingly at odds with that of others. In his testimony to the Senate Watergate committee, before the committee was to hear from Gray about the Gray-Dean telephone conversations of June 23, Dean would first avoid revealing any knowledge of the Helms-Walters meeting. Then, when pressed by Senator Inouye, Dean claimed that he had "had no idea that Mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman were going to meet with Mr. Helms and General Walters, that was unknown to me until I subsequently was so informed by Mr. Ehrlichman but not as to the substance of the meeting they had held."
Gray and Walters met at 2:34 p.m. at FBI headquarters, and, according to Gray's testimony before Congress, Walters "informed me that we were likely to uncover some CIA assets or sources if we continued our investigation into the Mexican money chain.... He also discussed with me the agency agreement under which the FBI and CIA have agreed not to uncover and expose each other's sources." Acting Director Gray had never read that agreement, but considered it logical, and told Walters that the matter would be handled "in a manner that would not hamper the CIA."
If Woodward wanted a meeting, says the book, he would signal Deep Throat by moving a flowerpot on his apartment balcony, and if Deep Throat wanted a meeting he would scribble a message inside the morning newspaper at Woodward's front door.
Bernstein had developed material about the dirty tricks activities of Donald Segretti that Woodward wanted to confirm. Barely stopping for drags on his cigarette, Deep Throat told Woodward in the garage more of what he had alluded to in September, the extent of the Nixon campaign's intelligence-gathering activities. Throat said that "fifty people worked for the White House and CRP to play games and spy and sabotage and gather intelligence," that the November Group which had handled campaign advertising was involved in the dirty tricks, and that the targets included Republican contributors as well as Democratic candidates. He also said that Mitchell was behind the Watergate break in and other illegal activities, and that for ten days after the break-in, Howard Hunt had been assigned to help Mitchell conduct an investigation of Watergate.
This information was wildly inaccurate in many particulars, for instance, the number of people in campaign intelligence, and Hunt's role in the cover-up. But Deep Throat's disclosures reflected White House thinking in the fall of 1972, insofar as it related to Mitchell's role in the break-in.
If Deep Throat was Haig, why would he release a flood of information-some of it clearly inaccurate-at this time? In the fall of 1972, Nixon was riding high as a result of major success in his foreign policy and arms control initiatives, including the antiballistic missile and SALT treaties with the Soviet Union and the China opening. These initiatives had been opposed by the military as giving too much away to the Russians and the Chinese. At the time of the October 10 Post article, Haig was scheduled to leave the White House to assume the position of vice chief of staff of the Army and Nixon was on his way to an unprecedented landslide reelection victory that would give him even more power in the foreign policy arena. Revelations of the dirty practices of the Nixon campaign as reported in the Post would have the effect of weakening Nixon's post election influence, a desirable outcome to someone seeking a greater role for the military and a dampening of Nixon's secret diplomacy. Whether or not Deep Throat knew that some of the information given to Woodward was inaccurate, the inaccuracies did serve to cover the trail that could identify him as Woodward's source. Most important to Deep Throat, however, was that his purpose had been served-tarring Nixon before the election.
Woodward had a great need for Deep Throat's information. Deep Throat's revelations were Woodward's way to vault to the forefront of investigative reporters by having a confidential source who divulged information to him and to him alone. For Woodward, Deep Throat was key to the realization of journalistic ambitions. If Deep Throat was Haig, he and Woodward were engaged in a high-stakes game in which confidentiality was essential-to Haig especially, for if Nixon knew that his trusted general was leaking damaging stories to a man who had briefed Haig in the basement of the White House in 1969-1970, even that fourth star would not be enough to protect the general from the president's well-known wrath....
Around 11:00 p.m. on May 16, according to All the President's Men, Woodward had another meeting with Deep Throat, an ultra dramatic one in the underground garage. When Woodward arrived, his source "was pacing around nervously. His lower jaw seemed to quiver. Deep Throat began talking, almost in a monologue. He had only a few minutes, he raced through a series of statements. Woodward listened obediently. It was clear a transformation had come over his friend." Deep Throat would answer no questions about his statements or anything else, but did add that Woodward should "be cautious."
In this rendering, Woodward called Bernstein, who arrived at Woodward's apartment to find his reportorial twin refusing to talk and masking the silence with classical music while he tapped out on his typewriter a warning that electronic surveillance was going on and that they had "better watch it." Who was doing the monitoring? "Woodward mouthed C-I-A." Both men then feared for their lives, and went around for some days looking for spooks behind every tree.
Later in the book, Woodward and Bernstein describe the doings of that night as "rather foolish and melodramatic." Actually, the dramatic elements of the scene draw the reader away from the material that Deep Throat presented to Woodward that night, which concerned the precise matters that Nixon had been discussing with Haig and Buzhard those incoming missiles, and Dean's allegations of a cover-up. Some of the leads that Deep Throat gave to Woodward that night were outlandishly wrong, such as the claim that some of the people involved in Watergate had been in it to make money, that Dean had regular talks with Senator Baker, and that the covert national and international schemes had been supervised by Mitchell. The matters about which Deep Throat spoke that were later proved correct-discussions of executive clemency, Hunt's demands for money, Dean's activities with both the White House and the CRP officials, Dean's talk with Liddy were the ones Nixon had earlier that evening discussed with Buzhardt and Haig.
After a five-day state trial Bremer was convicted and, in 1973, sentenced to 53 years in prison. A year later federal charges were dropped after Maryland appeals courts upheld Bremer's state conviction.
End of story? Not yet. During a months-long review, Insight obtained Bremer's parole records and the once highly secret 5,413-page FBI report known as the WalShot Files - a 26-volume package spanning eight years from the day of the shooting to 1980. Here too, for the first time, is not only a comprehensive review straight from the FBI archives but details from exclusive interviews with the lead prosecutor and defense attorney who, after 26 years, break their silence about the shooting of Wallace.
"I still have reservations about the case, and I'm not one for conspiracy theories," says former Prince George's County State's Attorney Arthur "Bud" Marshall, who prosecuted Bremer. "But it's worth taking a look at."
It is indeed. What follows is the story of how the FBI, led by Acting Director L. Patrick Gray, dug relentlessly into Bremer's background. And how Gray, who later admitted destroying Watergate records, prevented the Bremer case from being explored during the Watergate hearings. The most feasible rationale for this might be protection of the president from further wild rumor-mongering, but it also might be what Silent Coup author Len Colodny calls "Nixon's second operation."
"You know, of all the people who wanted Wallace dead, Nixon was on top of the list," says Colodny, who is working on a book about the Wallace/Nixon relationship. "But we have not found the smoking gun to support it. We're still looking."
What is known is that Nixon stepped in to control the Bremer investigation shortly after the shots were fired, according to Femia. At the hospital, an FBI agent hung up a hospital phone, turned to Femia and barked, "That was the president. We're taking over. The president says, `We're not going to have another Dallas here.'" Femia, who already had prepared an indictment, objected fiercely, but the agents pushed him aside and grabbed Bremer in the gurney.
Femia threatened to file assault charges against the FBI, but cooler heads prevailed. Bremer went to Baltimore with the FBI.
While the story of Nixon's crude seizure of the case remained buried for a quarter-century, it exemplifies his obsession with the Wallace shooting. Historian Dan T. Carter in The Politics of Rage traces this obsession to 1968 when Wallace captured 10 million votes on the American Party ticket. Pollsters Richard Scammon and Ben Wattenberg noted that four of five Wallace voters in the South would have voted for Nixon if Wallace had bowed out.
Using the Nixon papers, Carter showed how the president tried to forestall another Wallace presidential bid by pumping $400,000 from a secret slush fund into then Alabama Gov. Albert Brewer's unsuccessful attempt to defeat Wallace in 1970. Nixon's efforts continued with the "Alabama Project" which, according to Carter, consisted of more than 75 IRS officers digging "over the past tax returns of Wallace, his brothers and virtually every financial supporter who had done business with the state." The IRS probe found nothing, but the private war continued...
Angered by the prosecution's portrayal of him as an unemployed busboy living in his car, Bremer snapped at his arraignment, "Why would I be living in my car when I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel? The press is going to - up this case." He was right about the press. In what the Chicago Tribune called a "circus atmosphere," reporters stampeded Bremer's apartment after the FBI inexplicably failed to seal it. Bullets and a personal notebook were removed by journalists and curiosity seekers.
And Bremer's silence after his court appearance bothered prosecutor Marshall. "We had concern that someone else was involved," Marshall says. "The question I always had is how the Secret Service found out who he was as quick as they did. They were in his apartment within an hour."
Forty-five minutes after the shooting, the WalShot Files show, a Baltimore FBI agent called the Milwaukee FBI office identifying Bremer as the shooter based on personal identification found on Bremer. The Secret Service identified Bremer's address at 5:35 p.m., it claims, after tracing his .38-caliber handgun. But 25 minutes earlier, at 5:10 p.m., when two FBI agents entered Bremer's apartment, a Secret Service agent already was there. How the Secret Service managed that remains a mystery, inspiring conspiracy aficionados to speculate that the White House knew about Bremer before the shots were fired. The Secret Service agent told the FBI he was on an "intelligence-gathering mission."
All three agents left the apartment, but returned with another Secret Service agent after reports that the press had managed to get inside. At this point the Secret Service removed items from the apartment, setting off a turf war between the agencies that ignited when the Secret Service refused to turn over to the FBI the original of Bremer's "diary" manuscript, found in his car, until Nixon ordered them to do so...
In 1974 Wallace told United Press International that "he hoped the Watergate investigation would turn up the man who paid the money to have him shot." Wallace later said he mis-spoke but privately told reporters he believed the White House plumbers unit might have been involved.
The WalShot Files say Wallace had received a letter from Bernard Barker, one of the men caught in the Watergate break-in. The alleged letter is said to have claimed Bremer was paid by G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt for shooting Wallace. All deny the allegation. According to the WalShot Files, the FBI and Barker claim the letter is a fraud, and agents charged the ailing Wallace was after sympathy to support a third run at the presidency.
In 1975, Wallace's wife, Cornelia, told McCall's magazine that the FBI urged Wallace not to press the issue. The FBI briefed Wallace on Aug. 20, 1974, for the second time after denying his request to see the WalShot Files. But Cornelia says agents "didn't review any new developments. All they wanted to do was assure my husband that Bremer was not involved in a conspiracy."
When the New York Times reported Watergate hush-money operative Hunt testified in a Senate Watergate hearing that White House aide Charles Colson, upon hearing the news of the shooting, immediately ordered him to "bribe the janitor" or pick Bremer's lock to find out what type of literature Bremer read, the FBI faced public pressure to reopen the case. The G-men created a memo citing Hunt's story as unlikely because Colson called the Hunt statement "utterly preposterous." The FBI records state: "The allegation that the plumbers might be involved with Bremer appears to be far-fetched in that both Bremer's diary and our investigation indicate Bremer was actively stalking President Nixon up to a short time prior to his decision to shoot Governor Wallace."
In the midst of this a CBS News crew provided the FBI with a film clip depicting a man resembling Liddy whom CBS alleged "led Wallace into Bremer's line of fire." Could this mystery man be the same person who chased down a photographer and paid $10,000 for pictures unseen and undeveloped that were strictly of the crowd? FBI records show those pictures were never pursued because they weren't considered important.
Regardless, the FBI told CBS in 1973 that the mystery man was not Liddy. Although they admitted they had no idea who it was, they claimed the mystery man was just shaking Wallace's hand.
The file shows the FBI hauled both Hunt and Colson in for secret questioning in 1974. Both acknowledge that a conversation about Bremer's apartment took place but deny Liddy or the White House had any role in the assassination attempt. Hunt also told the FBI he never spoke to Liddy about Bremer -- although Hunt says in his Watergate book that he did talk to Liddy about it.
In 1974, the FBI concluded Colson's "explanation is directly opposite" Hunt's but recommended no further probe. The FBI chose not to interview Bremer about the story as "it would not appear logical to expose Bremer to such a weak theory." Likewise they did not try to interview Liddy, who tells Insight, "You got to remember, I wasn't talking to anyone at that time." Asked if he had any role in the Wallace assassination attempt, Liddy replies, "No." Told there were pages about the claim in the FBI's WalShot Files, he is dumfounded. "It sounds to me like these are wild allegations," he says.
Asked where he was when Wallace was shot, Liddy replies, "I don't remember. What's it say in my book?" His book, Will, says only that Liddy was reading the Miami Herald the next day. Two decades later Colson's story changes. He publicly has admitted to ordering the Bremer break-in but told Seymour Hersch in 1993 that he called it off.
Even as Nixon was publicly describing the shooting as "senseless and tragic," he was privately encouraging a Bremer break-in. "Is he a left-winger, right-winger?" Nixon asks about five hours after the shooting, according to a recently released Nixon "abuse of power" tape reviewed by Insight. Colson responds: "Well, he's going to be a left-winger by the time we get through, I think." Nixon laughs and says, "Good. Keep at that, keep at that"
"Yeah, I just wish that, God, that I'd thought sooner about planting a little literature out there. It may be a little late, although I've got one source that maybe ...," Colson says on the tape. "Good," Nixon responds. And Colson replies, "You could think about that. I mean, if they found it near his apartment. That would be helpful."
All of this may refer to just another third-rate burglary that never materialized. Or did it? A Black Panther publication was found in Bremer's apartment, according to the WalShot inventory record. But when in 1974 the Los Angeles Times asked if the FBI found a Black Panther publication, the FBI lied and said it had not.
Nixon might have laughed at that. But Wallace got the last laugh. The Watergate tapes show that on July 23, 1974, after learning he would lose all three Dixiecrats on the Judiciary Committee, Nixon asked Wallace to exert political pressure on his behalf. When Wallace refused, Nixon turned to White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig and said, "Well, Al, there goes the presidency."
On April 17, 1990, as I was interviewing John Ehrlichman for my book SILENT COUP (1991, St Martin's Press), the former top White House aide to President Richard M. Nixon told me an incredible story -- which current headlines now verify. He said that he had dinner the previous night with a former Justice Department Official who had worked in the U.S. Attorney's office for Washington, D.C. in the mid-1970s. This friend told Ehrlichman of an event that he had witnessed, and of a relationship between Mark Felt, formerly of the FBI, and reporter Bob Woodward.
According to Ehrlichman's friend, in the aftermath of the Church hearings, a senatorial inquiry into earlier activities of the FBI and the CIA involving illegal entries -- black bag jobs -- Mark Felt had been called to testify on this subject to a Grand Jury. (Felt would later be convicted of a crime related to such illegal entries, and in April of 1981 was pardoned by President Reagan.)
As the transcript of my Ehrlichman interview relates, his friend told the former presidential counselor:
"They had, had Felt for, I guess, an hour and a half, two hours [before the Grand Jury] and he was testifying rather evasively but somewhat responsively; and they turned to his contacts in the White House and said, 'Did you have much contact with the White House?' Well, he had some, and he was a little bit sort of bobbing and weaving about who he had contacts with, and so forth; and they asked him a question and he said, well, he didn't have intimate contact, and then, and smiled rather grandly and said, 'Well, the next thing I know you're gonna be accusing me of being Deep Throat.' And at that point the Grand Juror raisedhis hand and said, 'Are you?'" My friend said "Felt's face just collapsed, and he was obviously struggling with the quandary of how to answer that question under oath." The U.S. Attorney -- stopped the proceedings, and advised Felt that he didn't need to answer that, that the question was not germane to their inquiry, and then they took a recess. And Felt made a bee-line for a telephone booth.Ehrlichman continued "Later on, my friend ran into Bob Woodward at aparty, and Woodward said, 'I understand you've been giving my friend Felt a hard time,' and the U.S. Attorney's guy said, 'Well, those are secret proceedings. How do you know about that?' 'Well," he (Woodward) said, 'there's nothing in the law that prevents a witness from telling what went on.' And they talked a little more and it came out that the one that Felt had telephoned from the booth was Woodward."
Ehrlichman related that in his friend's conversation with Woodward at that party, Woodward had confirmed that Felt had been "a source" for him.
My conversations with John Ehrlichman took place over many years, from the late 1980s until near the time of his death in 1999. John had long been involved in trying to figure out the identity of Deep Throat. He suspected it was Mark Felt, but could not reconcile that idea with the one, put forth in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, that Deep Throat had been Woodward's source for information about the infamous "Deliberate Tape Erasure" that Throat told Woodward about in early November of 1973, since Ehrlichman knew that Felt had resigned from the FBI in April of 1973.
Moreover, Ehrlichman knew that only a small handful of people within the White House had known about that tape gap at the time it was discovered. Ehrlichman later came to believe, therefore, that Deep Throat was a name used to cover several different sources tapped by Woodward, Felt among them.
In June 2, 2005's Washington Post, Bob Woodward stated that his role with Navy in regards to the White House was merely that of a courier.
"In 1970, when I was serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and assigned to Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, the chief of naval operations, I sometimes acted as a courier, taking documents to the White House."
"One evening I was dispatched with a package to the lower level of the West Wing of the White House, where there was a little waiting area near the Situation Room. It could be a long wait for the right person to come out and sign for the material, sometimes an hour or more, and after I had been waiting for a while a tall man with perfectly combed gray hair came in and sat down near me. His suit was dark, his shirt white and his necktie subdued. He was probably 25 to 30 years older than I and was carrying what looked like a file case or briefcase. He was very distinguished-looking and had a studied air of confidence, the posture and calm of someone used to giving orders and having them obeyed instantly. ."
Moorer And Others Dispute Woodward's Report of His Trips to The White House as a "Courier."
With the publication of "Secret Man: Story Of Watergate's Deep Throat," Woodward still leaves us with the mystery of why he has lied about key facts about his military service and especially his relationship with Al Haig. Since Felt is unable to speak for himself, Woodward will be speaking for him (and making more millions off him) based on the evidence contained in this story and others to come, the question is why should we believe him? When Felt could talk and write he strongly denied being Woodward's source.
Bob Woodward has a big credibility gap as it applies to his missions to the White House when he was in the Navy in 1969. He says he was a "courier," doing no more than carrying packages for Admiral Moorer. When asked when he first met Colonel Alexander Haig, he says it was in 1973.
But that is not the truth.
Unlike Woodward, SILENT COUP uses on-the-record sources to show that Woodward acted as a briefer for Admiral Moorer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, going to the White House to brief then Colonel (later General) Alexander Haig of the National Security Council.
SILENT COUP has not one, but three on-the-record, named and taped sources who claim that briefing Haig is exactly what Woodward was doing on his details to the White House Situation room.
Haig was not a terribly important person in the national hierarchy in 1969 --70 he was the military's liaison to the NSC, and deputy to the National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.
So why does Woodward claim not to have met Haig until 1973? What is the reason for the lie? If Haig was unimportant in 1969, why can't Woodward admit that he met Haig then?
Listen for yourself to Admiral Moorer confirming that he sent Woodward to brief Haig in 1969-1970.
The matter is of some importance to the Washington Post, as well. At the time of the publication of SILENT COUP, the Post's media guru, Howard Kurtz, fibbed to readers that we had never interviewed Admiral Moorer -- at a time when the Post had in its possession a transcript of the Moorer interview that we had provided to them.
A day later, when Moorer admitted to the rival Washington Times that the interview was correct about Haig and Woodward, the Post did not retract its accusation, nor has it to this day ever corrected the record.
Listen as Woodward defied us to find one person to say that he briefed anyone in the White House. In addition to Admiral Moorer, you may listen to two additional sources that confirm Woodward's role: Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, and Pentagon spokesperson Jerry Friedheim.
At a moment when people are wondering why the major media are no longer trusted, and America has turned to the bloggers to get the truth, you will not see questions raised about Woodward's veracity in regard to his Navy background anywhere else but on the Internet. Yet it is key to understanding the entire Watergate story.
Finally unlike Mark Felt, Al Haig knew about Rosemary Woods accidentally erasing five minutes of the June 20th tape, in fact he is the last living member of the original group of five to learn of the erasure on October 1, 1973. The others were President Nixon, Rosemary Woods, Fred Buzhardt and General John Bennett, who was the keeper of the tapes. Haig also was one of those who had access to the tapes and may well know who added the extra 13 1/2 minutes of deliberate erasures to it.
A federal jury in Baltimore weighed in on history yesterday, rejecting claims that Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy hurt the reputation of a former Democratic National Committee secretary when he linked the infamous burglary to a call-girl ring.
The jury was not asked to decide whether it believed the alternate Watergate theory, which portrays the burglars as looking for photos of prostitutes and not just political dirt. But in their verdict, the jurors found that Liddy did not defame Ida "Maxie" Wells by repeating it.
Liddy, 71, who has parlayed his role in the history books as a Watergate villain into a successful career as a lecturer, talk radio host and actor, called the jury's decision a "great day for the First Amendment."
"I think it's very important that American citizens be able to have vigorous debate on the elements of history," said Liddy, who flashed a victory sign as he left U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Wells, the former DNC secretary who filed the $5.1 million defamation suit against Liddy in 1997, said the verdict amounted to a license for Liddy to continue spreading lies.
"It just kind of makes me feel like there is no justice," Wells said as she wiped away tears. "To me, what's so frustrating is somebody can just go around and tell lies about you and get away with it."
Profile: Leonard Colodny
Former White House counsel John Dean, who served prison time for his complicity in the Watergate conspiracy (see September 3, 1974), receives an early morning phone call from CBS reporter Mike Wallace. Dean has tried to keep a low public profile for over a decade, focusing on his career in mergers and acquisitions and staying out of politics. Wallace wants Dean’s reaction to a not-yet-published book by Leonard Colodny and Robert Gettlin, Silent Coup, which advances a very different theory about the Watergate affair than is generally accepted. According to Dean’s own writing and a Columbia Journalism Review article about the book, the book’s allegations are as follows:
Richard Nixon was guilty of nothing except being a dupe. Instead, Dean is the mastermind behind the Watergate conspiracy. Dean became involved both to find embarrassing sexual information on the Democrats and to protect his girlfriend, Maureen “Mo” Biner (later his wife), who is supposedly listed in a notebook linked to a prostitution ring operating out of the Watergate Hotel. This alleged prostitution ring was, the authors assert, patronized or even operated by officials of the Democratic Party. Dean never told Nixon about the prostitution ring, instead concocting an elaborate skein of lies to fool the president. According to the authors, Dean’s wife Maureen knew all about the call girl ring through her then-roommate, Heidi Rikan, whom the authors claim was actually a “madame” named Cathy Dieter. The address book belonged to a lawyer involved in the prostitution ring, Philip Macklin Bailey.
According to the book, the other schemer involved in Watergate was Nixon’s chief of staff Alexander Haig. Haig wanted to conceal his role as part of a military network spying on Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger (see December 1971). Haig orchestrated the titular “silent coup” to engineer Nixon’s removal from office.
Haig was the notorious “Deep Throat,” the inside source for Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward (see May 31, 2005). Far from being a crusading young reporter, Woodward is, the book alleges, a “sleazy journalist” trying to cover up his background in military intelligence. Woodward had a strong, if covert, working relationship with Haig. [Columbia Journalism Review, 11/1991 Dean, 2006, pp. xv-xvii]
During the phone call, Wallace tells Dean, “According to Silent Coup, you, sir, John Dean, are the real mastermind of the Watergate break-ins, and you ordered these break-ins because you were apparently seeking sexual dirt on the Democrats, which you learned about from your then girlfriend, now wife, Maureen.” Wallace says that the book alleges that Dean had a secretive relationship with E. Howard Hunt, one of the planners of the Watergate burglary. Dean replies that he had little contact with Hunt during their White House careers, and calls the entire set of allegations “pure bullsh_t.” He continues: “Mike, I’m astounded. This sounds like a sick joke.” Wallace says that the authors and publisher, St. Martin’s Press, claim Dean was interviewed for the book, but Dean says no one has approached him about anything related to this book until this phone call. Dean says he is willing to refute the book’s claims on Wallace’s 60 Minutes, but wants to read it first. CBS cannot give Dean a copy of the book due to a confidentiality agreement. [Dean, 2006, pp. xv-xvii] Dean will succeed in convincing Time’s publishers not to risk a lawsuit by excerpting the book (see May 7, 1991), and will learn that the book was co-authored behind the scenes by Watergate burglar and conservative gadfly G. Gordon Liddy (see May 9, 1991 and After). The book will be published weeks later, where it will briefly make the New York Times bestseller list (see May 1991) and garner largely negative reviews (see June 1991).
Silent Coup: The Removal of a President
A fascinating book that changed my understanding of Watergate, its instigation, its aftermath, and the journalism that produced All the President&aposs Men, The Final Days, and one of my favorite movies.
Obsessively researched and written like a legal brief (hence 4 stars instead of 5: it&aposs a challenge to read with attention), this revisionist history is both compelling and persuasive. Also fascinating is its publishing history, an important part of the story that is detailed in two afterwords to the A fascinating book that changed my understanding of Watergate, its instigation, its aftermath, and the journalism that produced All the President's Men, The Final Days, and one of my favorite movies.
Obsessively researched and written like a legal brief (hence 4 stars instead of 5: it's a challenge to read with attention), this revisionist history is both compelling and persuasive. Also fascinating is its publishing history, an important part of the story that is detailed in two afterwords to the 2016 edition (the edition you should read). Because it upended popular icons, the book was not well received on its 1991 first publication. But time and distance have a way of pulling back the curtains of concealing myth. Colodny and Gettlin's version of this tragic-comic episode of American history is an important corrective to what we've been taught to accept as "true."
Silent Coup: The Removal of a President is for readers who already know the orthodox history of Watergate--its plot and its players--and can measure what they've been taught against this different view. . more
It is surprising that anyone even remembers this book from 1991, which passed off the authors&apos fringe-conspiracy theory on Watergate as mainstream history. The authors endeavored to deflect any blame for Watergate away from Nixon or his top aides, and instead argued that White House counsel John Dean was the "mastermind" behind the 1972 break-in due to Dean&aposs own paranoia about possibly being implicated in some prostitution scandal brewing at the Democratic National HQ. As the kids say, "lol wut It is surprising that anyone even remembers this book from 1991, which passed off the authors' fringe-conspiracy theory on Watergate as mainstream history. The authors endeavored to deflect any blame for Watergate away from Nixon or his top aides, and instead argued that White House counsel John Dean was the "mastermind" behind the 1972 break-in due to Dean's own paranoia about possibly being implicated in some prostitution scandal brewing at the Democratic National HQ. As the kids say, "lol wut?"
Totally unsubstantiated at the time of its publication and totally debunked today, this book is a total waste of time and resources. . more
This book is very difficult to follow, but also very interesting. It sounds too fantastic to believe, yet I find myself believing it. I was only 8 years old when President Nixon resigned, so I don&apost have any real memories of what went on, but the Watergate scandal has always fascinated me and as strange as this account is, I find it the most believable of the books I have read about Watergate.
The main points of the book are as follows:
1. During the early part of Nixon&aposs first term, the military This book is very difficult to follow, but also very interesting. It sounds too fantastic to believe, yet I find myself believing it. I was only 8 years old when President Nixon resigned, so I don't have any real memories of what went on, but the Watergate scandal has always fascinated me and as strange as this account is, I find it the most believable of the books I have read about Watergate.
The main points of the book are as follows:
1. During the early part of Nixon's first term, the military started spying on the administration, especially Henry Kissinger, through a liaison between the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Administration. The military was not happy with some of Nixon's foreign policy and the administration was keeping a lot of information from them. General Al Haig was an assistant to Kissinger at the time and at least tacitly enabled the spying to go on. A sub-point to this is that Bob Woodward was a Naval officer based in the Pentagon and occasionally briefed Haig.
2. The President, his administration, and even the committee to re-elect really had nothing to do with the break in of Watergate. That was orchestrated by John Dean, not in order to spy on Democrats, but rather to prevent anyone from finding out that his girlfriend was somehow associated with a call-girl ring. John Dean managed to run the cover-up and deceived the President into going along with it. In fact, the book makes it sound as if the President really had no idea what was going on because Dean told him so many lies.
3. Haig was promoted to Nixon's chief of staff for his second term and apparently did everything in his power to mislead the president during the congressional Watergate hearings and the Special Prosecutors' tenures. It appears that Haig did his best, not to serve the best interests of the president, but to get him removed from office in order to protect himself from any consequences for the military spying.
While the authors may have wanted to make the case that Nixon shouldn't have been removed from office, I can't agree with that conclusion. If this book is to be believed, he continually accepted bad advice from untrustworthy men. A man who can be that easily manipulated into making tragically bad decisions does not deserve to be president. And he most certainly participated in a cover-up, thereby obstructing justice.
An interesting book, that perhaps assumes the reader is more conversant with the events leading up to Nixon&aposs resignation 45 years ago. Also a bit of a conspiracy theory romp, so should be taken with a grain of salt.
The book was fairly convincing that John Dean was the prime malefactor in the conspiracy and the coverup. If it wasn&apost him, it would have been someone else, because the Nixon administration was completely dysfunctional. For example, the JCS were actively spying on the NSC, so as not An interesting book, that perhaps assumes the reader is more conversant with the events leading up to Nixon's resignation 45 years ago. Also a bit of a conspiracy theory romp, so should be taken with a grain of salt.
The book was fairly convincing that John Dean was the prime malefactor in the conspiracy and the coverup. If it wasn't him, it would have been someone else, because the Nixon administration was completely dysfunctional. For example, the JCS were actively spying on the NSC, so as not to be blindsided by decisions regarding Vietnam. For another example, the administration used back channels instead of direct channels for *everything*. I learned a few Machievellian tricks. If you want to do plan A, tell person Y that person X wants to do A. Then tell person X that person Y wants to do A. If X or Y is the President, and X and Y don't speak to each other, you just synthesized a policy without leaving fingerprints. Another trick is to suggest your subordinate do something controversial. When they ask if your manager approves, say you will check. Get back to them in a week and tell them to proceed. The third trick is the old gaslighting standby of repeating a false thing until the person accepts it as true.
The books makes a compelling if unduly conspiratorial case for Al Haig being Deep Throat. Unfortunately for the book, we now "know" it was Mark Felt. Some of the book's evidence is still strong that Haig was a leaker. Certainly he was a world-class asshole. Did he engineer the downfall of his presidency in order to protect the JCS spying on the NSC? It's a stretch. But if not, the book makes it clear that Nixon was advised terribly. . more
Len Colodny vs. John Dean
We’ve been reviewing the Watergate scandal lately, due to the similarities with the Trump Crime Family’s current predicament. Our last review was the testimony of James McCord and this time we take a look at the strange role of John Dean. Dean is the sometimes-hero of contemporary progressives because he ratted some of the Nixon conspirators out. He is regularly interviewed on radio and t.v. news shows, but Dean proves out to be somewhat of a fraud.
First, let’s go to the testimony itself thanks to friends at “ourhiddenhistory.org“, there is a collection of hearings available, here is the link to Dean’s testimony:
Dean is a vehicle for all the old cliches’ to come out “A cancer on the Presidency, What did the President know and when did he know it“, and there is some revealing talk about “security measures”. Listen to him describe Gorden Liddy’s plans to conduct kidnapping of political opponents for example. It sounds shocking until we realize rendition and kidnappings are occurring today, and further mayhem is being proposed by Eric Prince of the mercenary outfit that was originally called “Blackwater”. Only one hour is available, I wonder what was said in later testimony.
Fast-forward to Len Colodny’s stunning research into Watergate, from first-hand experience. Colodny personally knew John Dean and was sued by Dean after publication of “Silent Coup” – a book I ordered today. Dean withdrew his lawsuit and was forced to pay Colodny a huge settlement.
In the excellent interview linked below, Len Colodny is interviewed by S.T. Patrick at “Midnight Writer News”, fast becoming one of my favorite podcasts. In the interview, Colodny shreds the official story of Watergate, as well as the false reputations of John Dean and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. If a man’s stature is measured by the power of his enemies, then Colodny is a King. He picks apart Dean and Woodward, the notion of “Deep Throat”, and reveals the power struggle that was waged by General Alexander Haig. Haig, it will be remembered went on to say “he was in charge” after Reagan was felled by a bullet in a very suspicious assassination attempt.
Please go to listen to S.T. Patrick interview Len Colodny about “Silent Coup” at the link below:
John Dean’s Watergate Testimony:
Len Colodny’s website watergate.com – with all the incriminating information on Dean and Woodward:
My friends at “Our Hidden History”
And finally, what is shaping up to be a blockbuster collection of interviews, S.T. Patrick at “Midnight Writer News”
This entry was posted on December 3, 2017 at 3:24 am and is filed under Hidden History, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
The Forty Years War
In this groundbreaking book, renowned investigative writers Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman chronicle the little-understood evolution of the neoconservative movement—from its birth as a rogue insurgency in the Nixon White House through its ascent to full and controversial control of America&aposs foreign policy
s/t: The Neocon Ascendancy from Nixon's Fall to the Invasion of Iraq
In this groundbreaking book, renowned investigative writers Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman chronicle the little-understood evolution of the neoconservative movement—from its birth as a rogue insurgency in the Nixon White House through its ascent to full and controversial control of America's foreign policy in the Bush years, to its repudiation with the election of Barack Obama in 2008. In eye-opening detail, The Forty Years War documents the neocons' four-decade campaign to seize the reins of American foreign policy: the undermining of Richard Nixon's outreach to the Communist bloc nations the success at halting dÉtente during the Ford and Carter years the uneasy but effectual alliance with Ronald Reagan and the determined, and ultimately successful, campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein—no matter the cost.
Drawing upon recently declassified documents, hundreds of hours of interviews, and long-obscured White House tapes, The Forty Years War delves into the political and intellectual development of some of the most fascinating political figures of the last four decades. It describes the complex, three-way relationship of Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and Alexander Haig, and unravels the actions of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz over the course of seven presidencies. And it reveals the role of the mysterious Pentagon official Fritz Kraemer, a monocle-wearing German expatriate whose unshakable faith in military power, distrust of diplomacy, moralistic faith in American goodness, and warnings against "provocative weakness" made him the hidden geopolitical godfather of the neocon movement. The authors' insights into Kraemer's influence on protÉgÉs such as Kissinger and Haig—and later on Rumsfeld and the neocons—will change the public understanding of the conduct of government in our time.
In 1992 John and Maureen Dean sued G. Gordon Liddy for libel. The case was dismissed without prejudice and was later refiled. In 2001 a federal judge declared a mistrial and dismissed the $5.1 million defamation lawsuit. Ώ]
The Deans also sued St. Martin's Press, publisher of Silent Coup. St. Martin's settled the case for an undisclosed sum. Ώ]
In 2001, former DNC secretary Ida Wells unsuccessfully sued Liddy in US District Court in Baltimore on the same basis as Dean had, the court declared a mistrial.
Silent Coup: The Removal of a President ( 1991 )
The thesis of this intriguing investigation of Watergate is that the break in was actually meant to cover up embarrassing information about John Dean's wife, that Dean and Haig ill served the President because of their own private cover ups (Haig was hiding a spy operation by the Joint Chiefs aimed at the White House) and that Haig was Deep Throat. The authors provide enough documentation and their scenario makes sufficient sense, that I, for one, am willing to believe that there is a substantial element of truth here. If nothing else, the reader will look at the Woodward/Bernstein version of Watergate with a much more jaundiced eye and will view Dean with the contempt he so richly deserves.
But, after all is said and done, Richard Nixon was still our worst president ever. Having decided to get out of Vietnam, he inexcusably dragged the war out for several more years. Detente with the Russians nearly lost the Cold War for us and his expansion of the Social Welfare State nearly bankrupted us and was a betrayal of Republican principles. Regardless of his level of personal involvement in the events surrounding Watergate, he created and tolerated an atmosphere of lawless paranoia in the White House, which virtually guaranteed that such incidents would occur. And the White House tapes reveal a man whose temperament was ill-suited to being the leader of the Western world--his easy anti-Semitism and contempt for virtually everyone had no place in the Oval Office. That he might have been victimized by disloyal staffers does not excuse his abysmal performance as President, nor his flagrant disregard for the civil liberties of his enemies, supposed or real.
This book is an enjoyably iconoclastic challenge to the received wisdom about Watergate, but even if every word in it is true, none of it matters that much the coup was a good thing.
Grade: (C+) Orrin C. Judd
THE FORTY YEARS WAR by Len Colodny and Tom Schactman
“The neocon movement coalesced around four core beliefs….First and foremost, they were moralists who despised not just Communists but also all tyrants and dictators….Second, neocons were ‘internationalists’ in the Churchillian sense….Third, neocons ‘trusted in the efficacy of military force’….Fourth, neocons believed in ‘democracy both home and abroad.’ ”
Review by Kirstin Merrihew (MAR 22, 2010)
Ask who the godfather of neoconservatism is and the typical answer is Leo Strauss, a German-born Jew who came to the U.S. in the 1930’s and taught political science first in New York and then at the University of Chicago. Among his notable students were Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind) and Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of state during the Iraq War.
Len Colodny and Tom Shachtman, the authors of The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons, from Nixon to Obama, acknowledge that “plenty of philosophers and strategists on the right, including Leo Strauss and Albert Wohlstetter, said and wrote similar things” concerning political theory. However, they shine some light on another, less acknowledged founding figure, Fritz G. A. Kraemer. He was also German-born, but a devout Lutheran, rather than Jewish. Peter Drucker, famed for his management books, once characterized him as an “old-fashioned Prussian conservative.” In Germany, Kraemer obtained a law degree in 1930, but when the the Nazis came to power, he opposed them. He left his family there and entered the United States seeking a university position. Drafted by the U.S., he eagerly served in the army, where he first met Henry A. Kissinger, a fellow soldier. After the war, Kraemer’s family joined him in America where he continued to serve in the military. At forty years old this senior officer became an advisor to the Army chief of staff. From 1951 on, as a civilian, he continued, under various titles, to work as a Pentagon strategist for another twenty-seven years. “Dr. Kraemer — who by now habitually also carried a swagger stick to complement his monocle” mentored a number of notable people too, including General Alexander Haig, and, for a time, Secretary of State Kissinger.
Kraemer’s views are described by Colodny and Shachtman in this way: “First, Kraemer contended that foreign policy must have primacy over domestic policy to assure a nation’s survival. Second, he insisted that the essence of foreign affairs was “political strength and ultimately military might.” He was a man who opposed totalitarianism first, of course, Nazism, and then Communism. During the years of the Cold War, he often counseled a hard line and warned against “provocative weakness.” When Donald Rumsfeld departed his post as Defense Secretary in 2006, he stated “It should be clear that not only is weakness provocative, but [that] the perception of weakness on our part can be provocative, as well.” This term, “provocative weakness,” had actually been coined by Kraemer, and Rumsfeld, whether consciously or not, was “drawing on the rhetoric, and the thinking, of a little-known, now-deceased civilian intellectual at the Pentagon.”
However, Kraemer in his last years (he died at age 95 in 2003) found himself increasingly as odds with certain actions of the neoconservatives in power in the George W. Bush administration. He supported the post-9/11 military moves against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but not the Iraq War. “To Kraemer, to engage in preemptive war was to abandon the high moral ground that had previously characterized and even ennobled American actions.” Kraemer insisted he was no warmonger, explaining that “anyone who has been a soldier in wartime, as I have, cherishes peace and knows what war means.” He thought also that those such as George Bush, Richard Cheney, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, who wanted to use the American military as the policeman of the world and to propagate democracy, were wrong. Kraemer did not believe it was realistic to embark on such missions. He wanted a foreign policy based on ideals, and he was a rational man who did not think every country could or should be transformed into an American vision of democracy.
Throughout the forty years covered in Colodny and Shachtman’s book — from Richard Nixon’s first inauguration in 1969 to Barack Obama’s oath of office in 2009 — Fritz Kraemer exerted, either personally or through his acoloytes (including his son, Sven Kraemer, who followed his father into government service), influence on American foreign affairs. He was a man who, unlike Kissinger or Haig, cared little for personal glory or even any kind of credit. He lived simply. He declined promotions that he felt would have hindered his ability to continue be an effective advisor. He had a few affectations (the stick and the eyepiece), but, according to the authors, he was, above all, a principled man. So much so that he placed those principles above friendship. Case in point: in 1975, when President Ford fired James Schlesinger as secretary of defense and substituted Donald Rumsfeld, Kraemer thought Kissinger had something to do with it. “Kraemer became convinced Kissinger had fatally overreached himself. In Kraemer’s view, Kissinger was no longer concerned with what was best for the country, only what was best for him — and that, Kraemer could not tolerate.” Kraemer cut his ties with Kissinger. Despite this rejection, Kissinger has maintained, “Fritz Kraemer was the greatest single influence of my formative years, and his inspiration remained with me even during the last thirty years when he would not speak to me.”
Kraemer is a recurring personage in this history and serves as its uniting influence. The authors want to introduce this obscure political and military analyst to a wider audience, and in their enthusiasm arguably overstate his actual importance, although obviously if Henry Kissinger considers Kraemer to be the “greatest single influence” of his “formative years,” one cannot dismiss that. However, verbiage about Kraemer actually doesn’t take up a great deal of the four hundred plus pages. The authors can’t or just don’t provide more than relatively meager biographical and professional information on Kraemer. Furthermore, their contention that he was a first-rank founder of neoconservatism isn’t as persuasive as they probably intended. He seems more of a dedicated bureaucrat/public servant than a man of great influence.
I had anticipated a broader examination of neocon roots and a more in-depth study of neocon motives and actions than are actually provided. The Forty Years War reads less like a comprehensive analysis of neoconservative history than a not-entirely convincing promotion of one founder…and a chronological survey of what happened during those forty years.
More than half the book deals with the Nixon administration and the Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy initiatives. It also rehashes many details of Watergate. Len Colodny co-authored Silent Coup (1992), a controversial Watergate history, and one gets the feeling much of the material in this new volume results from Colodny’s prior research, not from any new effort. Also, occasionally it seems as if neocon history takes a back seat to the simple recitation of Watergate ins-and-outs.
The remainder of The Forty Years War covers the succeeding administrations and their highlights with professional clarity that certainly would be educational for students taking their first dive into the facts and faces of these decades and for anyone interested in brushing up on details and timelines about which they may be somewhat rusty. At times, the authors refute widely repeated interpretations of history. For instance, the authors cite statistics and other historians to disprove the conservative contention that the Soviet Union collapsed because of overspending on defense. They side with those who contend the decline of the Soviet economy as a whole caused the collapse. The reader can decide, in each of these cases, whether the authors or the other side has a better argument.
During this chronology, the authors do remember their book’s title and outline what the neoconservatives were doing during each administration. Of course, it is in the Bush presidency that the neoconservatives reach unprecedented power. People will argue about the exact definition of “neoconservative” and about which members of the Bush cabinet and phalanx of advisers most adhered to its principles: Donald Rumsfeld, for example, was not ideologically considered a neoconservative, but often allied with them. Condoleezza Rice also wasn’t technically a neocon, although she chose Eliot Cohen, a neoconservative champion, as State Department Counselor and, of course, she backed the Iraq War, publicly repeating the administration’s line about WMD. However, Rice also gets blame from some diehard neocons for persuading President Bush to adopt a more pragmatic foreign policy toward the end of his second term.
The Forty Years War can perhaps be best be summarized as a recapitulation of the struggle between those who approach foreign policy with ideological rigidity and those who prefer a rubbery pragmatism. Nixon and Kissinger were pragmatists. Fritz Kraemer and Dick Cheney were ideologues (although these two would not entirely agree with one another). Ronald Reagan had an ideological core, but his actions and those of his lieutenants could be pragmatic. Colodny and Shachtman document how pragmatism and ideology face off and the consequences their respective applications stamped on the nation and the world we live in today. Their book is perhaps more valuable as a record of these conflicts than as a study of neoconservative progression or a revisionist attempt to position Fritz Kraemer as the mastermind behind the neocon movement.
The Forty Years War may not be conspicuously revelatory, but it is a valuable single-volume synthesis of recent political history. Being introduced to Fritz Kraemer and reading political opponents’ contradictory explanations for the unfurling of events further enhances that value.
What Colodny family records will you find?
There are 378 census records available for the last name Colodny. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Colodny census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.
There are 147 immigration records available for the last name Colodny. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.
There are 92 military records available for the last name Colodny. For the veterans among your Colodny ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.
There are 378 census records available for the last name Colodny. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Colodny census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.
There are 147 immigration records available for the last name Colodny. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.
There are 92 military records available for the last name Colodny. For the veterans among your Colodny ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.
The Watergate Transcript Controversy: The Story Behind the Story
Since the publication of Sunday's New York Timesstory accusing esteemed historian Stanley I. Kutler of making serious mistakes in the Watergate transcripts he published in a book in 1997, bloggers have been wondering how the Times came upon it. Speculation has been wild. Had Peter Klingman, the historian who leveled the main charge (in an article under consideration by the American Historical Review), tipped off the paper? Had someone at the American Historical Review (AHR) leaked the story? And what had been the motives of the leaker, if there was one? Was there a plot to destroy Kutler? Was this part of the ongoing effort by Nixon apologists to clear Nixon and put the blame for Watergate on John Dean?
An investigation by HNN shows that none of these surmises is accurate, though long-time critics of Kutler are involved, some of whom claimed in the past that Dean was the prime mover behind Watergate. The series of events that culminated in the Times's publication was less the result of design than of that ever-favorite explanation of the modern historian, contingency. While a small band of researchers have long been critical of the Kutler transcripts, none plotted to put the controversy on the Times's front-page--that was the work of a relative newcomer to Watergate research--but they were delighted when the article appeared. In fact, they had long ago given up hope of attracting the media's attention to the problems they had found in the transcripts. One of the reasons Peter Klingman had decided to go to the AHR with his article was because he and others had concluded that the media were indifferent to the story. A decade ago when the researchers had tried to get the media to take notice of errors that had cropped up in the transcripts they had succeeded in getting just one outlet, the somewhat obscure Tampa Tribune, to publish a single story. (Click here to read an excerpt.)
Ironically, both Dean and Kutler at key points may have inadvertently helped trigger the events that ultimately led to the Times's publication.
The story begins a long time ago.
Contingency #1: Dean sues Len Colodny, leading to the release of Watergate tapes. Colodny was the co-author of the controversial book, Silent Coup (St. Martins Press, 1991), which claimed that Dean, not Nixon, was behind the Watergate Affair. After the book's publication Dean sued Colodny and St. Martins Press. The suit was eventually settled, but as with everything involving Colodny and Dean, the suit's settlement became a matter of dispute. Colodny says his insurance company paid him some $400,000 to get out of it. John Dean says a confidentiality agreement prohibits him from saying what the settlement was but he was happy with it, noting that $15 million dollars was spent defending the book, which the publisher stopped selling. (The book can be read online at Colodny's website.)
The end of the lawsuit did not end what by now had become a small war between two dedicated camps, with Dean and his supporters on one side and Colodny and his supporters on the other. But things did quiet down. Then one day in 1998 while listening to the Watergate tapes he had subpoenaed in the course of the lawsuit, Colodny happened to realize that Stanley Kutler's transcripts (published in his 1997 book, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes) included some errors, which he believed were serious. This was Contingency #1.
It was at this point in time (sorry couldn't help myself) that Peter Klingman became involved. Working with Colodny, Klingman, a Ph.D. (University of Florida, 1972) who previously had focused on Florida history, assembled the tapes in an archive and started a website, The Nixon Era Center. In 1998 the Tampa Tribune published its story about the transcript errors and in 2002 Klingman published a long article analyzing them. He appended to the article a sharply-worded attack on Kutler's professional standards. No one paid the least attention. For six years that was pretty much the end of the debate involving the transcripts' accuracy.
Contingency #2: Kutler declines use of his transcripts. Then last summer from out of the blue Colodny heard from the author of a new book that quoted the Nixon tapes. The author (whom we'll call Mr. X) was concerned. When he was researching his book he had asked Kutler for permission to quote from the Abuse of Power transcripts. Kutler, with whom he had crossed paths before under unpleasant circumstances, had said no and Mr. X had hired someone to listen to the tapes at the National Archives to get the quotes that were needed. But Kutler, believing Mr. X had actually simply gone ahead and used his transcripts without permission, was now demanding a settlement of some kind, without specifying what he wanted. Stirred by this story, which smacked to him of a threat, Colodny thereupon decided to take a fresh look at the tapes. It was then that he realized, he told HNN, that Kutler had made more mistakes than either he or Klingman had previously identified. Colodny believed the errors seemed to fall into a pattern that minimized Dean's responsibility for the Watergate cover-up.
Kutler admits he made mistakes transcribing the tapes but denies he tried to minimize Dean's role. He concedes he did not give Mr. X permission to use his transcripts. "Not very fraternally of me, I will admit," Kutler told HNN in an email, "but why did he think he had license to incorrectly malign me, and then expect me to [do] him a favor?"
How the tapes should be interpreted is often a matter of subjective opinion. Colodny himself originally argued in Silent Coup that Dean, not Nixon, was mainly behind the Watergate cover-up. In 2002, after listening to the tapes he subpoenaed in the course of the lawsuit with Dean, he changed his conclusion and charged point blank that Nixon was guilty as hell. But he was certain now that Kutler's errors in transcribing were deliberate.
Once again Colodny called Klingman. This time Klingman decided that instead of going to the media he would make his case to academics. In August he began researching and writing the article that he eventually was to submit to the American Historical Review. In writing the piece he consulted experts who had long been involved in Watergate research: Herbert Parmet (author of a biography of Nixon), Joan Hoff (author of the revisionist Nixon Reconsidered), Irv Gellman (author of a biography of Nixon), and Fred Graboske (a tapes archivist at the National Archives). To a person, says Colodny, all were appalled at the errors in Kutler's transcripts. (Hoff, Gellman, and Graboske have confirmed to HNN that they were disconcerted by Kutler's errors. Parmet told HNN he believed the case Klingman made was overheated and not entirely convincing. "I could not go into court with this evidence," he wrote in an email. ) The article was finished in December and submitted to the AHR in January.
Contingency #3: A friendship leads to the New York Times. Last October, while Klingman was pulling together his article, a Mr. Y, new to Watergate research, asked Colodny to review the manuscript of a book he was writing. Mr. Y cited Kutler's transcripts in the book. Colodny warned him off, telling him the transcripts were not always reliable. This January Mr. Y, whose book had just been published, mentioned to Colodny that he knew a reporter at the New York Times who might be interested in the story about the transcripts. "I'd like to run this by" her Mr. Y said, according to Colodny. Colodny agreed to cooperate by providing the audio recordings of the transcripts in question. He is convinced that it was those audio recordings which persuaded the Times to publish its piece.
The end result of this series of events is that Stanley Kutler, a hero to historians for helping pry loose the Watergate tapes, has seen his scholarship called into question in a prominent forum by longtime critics. Because the criticism landed on the front-page of the New York Times suspicions once murmured only by a few in relative obscurity have inescapably become the subject of vigorous public debate.
We have now laid out the facts as best as can be established as to how this debate came about. Who's right and who's wrong? This is a question beyond the scope of this article.
Excerpt from the Tampa Tribune news story "Critics: Lapses flaw Kutler book on Nixon" (July 10, 1998)
Last November, after the publication of his edited compilation of 201 hours of unreleased Watergate tapes, historian Stanley Kutler touted it as the definitive record of President Richard Nixon's conversations.
"I am aware of my responsibility for accuracy, knowing I have compiled a historical record others will use," Kutler wrote.
But an examination of the tapes and the transcripts in Kutler 's book show the University of Wisconsin historian compressed taped conversations, took conversations that happened at night and put them at the beginning of those from the morning and cut out comments that may bolster other versions of the Watergate scandal that differ from those written by Kutler .
This, some historians and archivists say, compromises the book and its legitimacy as a historical source. .
Kutler acknowledges editing the tapes and leaving many out because they were unintelligible or irrelevant.
"I edited the conversations with an eye toward eliminating what I believe insignificant, trivial or repetitious," he wrote in an editorial note in the book.
One researcher critical of the book is Tampa author Len Colodny, whose 1991 book "Silent Coup" alleges Dean helped plan the Watergate break-in and the subsequent Nixon administration cover-up. Colodny sees motives behind Kutler 's edits.
This is not the first time the two have been at odds. Kutler trashed "Silent Coup" in book reviews. .