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Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:17 PM

Watergate: The Hidden History

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?
-- Neil Young


My wife and I spent four days in Boston last week. The highpoint for her was the wedding we attended, closely followed by the hours we spent on the beach. I primarily enjoyed the book stores. And one book in particular stands out.

If other friends on DU have reviewed “Watergate: The Hidden History (Nixon, the Mafia, and the CIA)” by Lamar Waldren, please excuse this OP. But I was unaware that the book was even published this year.

Two of the author’s previous books (with Thom Hartmann) are, in my opinion, essential reading: “Ultimate Sacrifice” (2005), and “Legacy of Secrecy” (2009). This new book is closely related to both of those.

Richard Nixon was a crook. Everyone I knew realized that when he was President. And everyone but Patrick Buchanan knew it by the time he resigned. But the full extent of his criminality -- he was a “mobster” in every sense of the word -- is extremely well-documented in this important book.

It’s important because the disease of Nixon infected so much of what went wrong in America in the 1960s; because it documents how the social and political atmosphere that allowed Nixon to come to power started well before he became vice president; and because it documents how that “cancer on the presidency” mutated and spread throughout our former constitutional democracy. It reads like a forensic autopsy of America.

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Watergate: The Hidden History (Original post)
H2O Man Aug 2012 OP
1monster Aug 2012 #1
H2O Man Aug 2012 #6
Kurovski Aug 2012 #2
Jackpine Radical Aug 2012 #3
spanone Aug 2012 #4
calimary Aug 2012 #9
lonestarnot Aug 2012 #5
CK_John Aug 2012 #7
pnwmom Aug 2012 #8
lovemydog Aug 2012 #10
H2O Man Aug 2012 #19
lovemydog Aug 2012 #23
Major Hogwash Aug 2012 #11
H2O Man Aug 2012 #18
Major Hogwash Aug 2012 #22
MinM Aug 2012 #12
H2O Man Aug 2012 #17
Octafish Aug 2012 #13
H2O Man Aug 2012 #15
Octafish Aug 2012 #20
tk2kewl Aug 2012 #14
H2O Man Aug 2012 #16
tk2kewl Aug 2012 #21

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:23 PM

1. I think it started long before Nixon... Joe McCarthy was a big indicator of that.

Most in Washington closed their eyes to what was going on or jumped on board. And there were plenty of others full of poison too. The post war years were not pretty in many of our government agencies.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:52 PM

6. Joe McCarthy

couldn't have been what he was, without the assistance of the young Nixon. That's documented quite well in this book.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:41 PM

2. K&R nt

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:44 PM

3. Glad to give ou a rec, Patrick.

And I'll have to look that book up if I ever get time for discretionary reading again.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:48 PM

4. nixon, haldeman, mitchell, weinberger, liddy...criminals

too many to name.

recommended....

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Response to spanone (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 01:17 AM

9. The only good thing about Watergate was - many of the bad guys actually got what they deserved.

nixon was driven from office, mid-term. So many of his henchmen actually wound up going to prison. There really was some justice. Not like most recently when kkkarl rove was given several chances to change his story and skated away free as a bird, cheney never testified, nobody ever laid a hand on dubya, and all we got was scooter libby - who - well, has he spent a single night in jail yet?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:51 PM

5. Wonder why they believed evidence back then and not now? The damage was worse this time around.

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:57 PM

7. It started during the war and the deal with the mob for labor peace on the docks. Nixon's

navy job put him in contact with the movers and shakers of the docks.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 12:53 AM

8. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 01:19 AM

10. I'm half way through it

Great reading. Dense with historical footnotes & references.

Some other books I'd recommend about the Nixon era include Richard Reeves' Alone in the White House, Stanley Kutler's Abuse of Power and John Dean's Blind Ambition. I've read dozens of books on Nixon, and these are among some of the best. It's a fascinating period in American history.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #10)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:25 PM

19. Thanks!

I haven't read the Kutler book -- but now, I will be sure to. One of my favorite things about DU is having friends recommend good books. I dare say that I've gotten at least fifty that others here have suggested to me.

Dean's book is outstanding. It has great value. I say that, even though I do not think Dean is entirely honest about his background, including much of his role in Watergate. Still, I really enjoy his writing; a couple of his more recent books are definite "must reads," in my opinion.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 07:17 AM

23. Agree with you about Dean

though he did go to jail and pay a pretty heavy price. He was the first to turn - so that he could receive immunity on lots of stuff, and receive a lighter sentence. Fortunately he was generally accurate in his testimony at the Senate hearings, as compared to Nixon and the rest who were by that time calling him a self-serving liar. Perhaps the most fascinating part of Blind Ambition is when Dean describes how he began to sense he was being set up when Nixon asked him to go to Camp David and write a full report. Set up to be the fall guy who put it all in writing. That kind of deception creeps up on you and I think that's when Dean decided to cut his losses, not write the report, and negotiate a plea deal in return for his testimony. His book Worse Than Watergate, as you know, describes how current republicans have grown more brazen, and leave less of a tape or paper trail, in their complicity with corruption. Cheers to Dean for that book. I read his columns on the Justicia web site, and while I don't agree with every word, do find them well written on legal and policy matters.

You'll enjoy Kutler's book. It's mainly transcripts, which I find riveting, along with excellent brief summaries of the setting and background of each conversation. Great conversing with you H20Man.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:50 AM

11. Great thread, H20 Man!!

Watergate became a huge turning point in American history.
It was not just rumors and tabloid sensationalistic newspaper headlines that brought Nixon down, it was his own crazy, wild-eyed rants talking about breaking the law caught on audio tape!

So many millions of young Americans were affected by it that it literally turned this country upside down, with "the establishment" members of the day clearly in denial about just how big of a crook Nixon really was during his entire political career.

My grandfather was not very surprised by the news, though.
I talked to him about it in 1974, just after Nixon resigned from the White House.
Having lived through the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations, each rife with their own scandals, he said that the Republican party was the party of the rich . . and always has been!

Mitt Romney MUST release his income tax returns.

Or face going back to oblivion.

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Response to Major Hogwash (Reply #11)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:21 PM

18. My father thought

that Nixon was a crook. He often asked the then-common question: "Would you buy a used car from this man?" But I remember when the case was unfolding, how much it shocked him. He had difficulty believing that any man could so damage the Office of the President. After Watergate and the series of Congressional investigations that followed, he had lost faith in the system he had idealized.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:19 PM

22. Wow, the same thing happened with my dad.

He also said that Nixon was so crooked that he couldn't sell him a used car.
But, after Watergate, my dad was disillusioned about what this country stood for.
He was a World War II veteran, and he started questioning what the hell he fought for.
He questioned everything the federal government was doing more often as time went on.
He hated Ford with a passion for pardoning Nixon, and said he was just "a party man", but that he was as stupid as a doorstop.
He said that the only reason they replaced Agnew with Ford was because they saw Nixon's impeachment coming down the road the year before and nobody could stand the thought of Agnew becoming President.
He said that the only reason they chose Ford was because he had a clean background and would do what he was told to do.
He was a figurehead.

And he thought Reagan was also a figurehead, just a placeholder for photo ops.
To a certain extent, so was George H. W. Bush.
And his son, George W. Bush, was definitely just a figurehead.
That dumb S.O.B. couldn't find his way out of a public restroom without a green electric "EXIT" sign over the door.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 09:22 AM

12. Re: Watergate: The Hidden History

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Response to MinM (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:18 PM

17. Thanks!

Much appreciated!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:23 AM

13. The Smoking Gun Tape

Son of Orange County

And in your dreams
you can see yourself
as a Prophet
saving the world.

The words from your lips
"I am not a crook."

I just can't believe
you are such
a fool.
I just can't believe
you are such
a fool.

I just can't believe
you are such
a fool.
I just can't believe
you are such
a fool.

(Scream)

-- Frank Zappa





The Smoking Gun Tape

June 23, 1972

This is the transcript of the recording of a meeting between President Nixon and H.R. Haldeman in the Oval Office on June 23, 1972 from 10.04am to 11.39am.

Listen to the Audio of the Smoking Gun tape (LINK at site)

Haldeman: okay -that's fine. Now, on the investigation, you know, the Democratic break-in thing, we're back to the-in the, the problem area because the FBI is not under control, because Gray doesn't exactly know how to control them, and they have, their investigation is now leading into some productive areas, because they've been able to trace the money, not through the money itself, but through the bank, you know, sources - the banker himself. And, and it goes in some directions we don't want it to go. Ah, also there have been some things, like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami, who was a photographer or has a friend who is a photographer who developed some films through this guy, Barker, and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letter head documents and things. So I guess, so it's things like that that are gonna, that are filtering in. Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes, concurs now with Mitchell's recommendation that the only way to solve this, and we're set up beautifully to do it, ah, in that and that...the only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC...they did a massive story on the Cuban...

Nixon: That's right.

Haldeman: thing.

Nixon: Right.

Haldeman: That the way to handle this now is for us to have Walters call Pat Gray and just say, "Stay the hell out of this...this is ah, business here we don't want you to go any further on it." That's not an unusual development,...

Nixon: Um huh.

Haldeman: ...and, uh, that would take care of it.

Nixon: What about Pat Gray, ah, you mean he doesn't want to?

Haldeman: Pat does want to. He doesn't know how to, and he doesn't have, he doesn't have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He'll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them ...and Mark Felt wants to cooperate because...

Nixon: Yeah.

Haldeman: he's ambitious...

Nixon: Yeah.

Haldeman: Ah, he'll call him in and say, "We've got the signal from across the river to, to put the hold on this." And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that's what it is. This is CIA.

Nixon: But they've traced the money to 'em.

Haldeman: Well they have, they've traced to a name, but they haven't gotten to the guy yet.

Nixon: Would it be somebody here?

Haldeman: Ken Dahlberg.

Nixon: Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?

Haldeman: He's ah, he gave $25,000 in Minnesota and ah, the check went directly in to this, to this guy Barker.

Nixon: Maybe he's a ...bum.

Nixon: He didn't get this from the committee though, from Stans.

Haldeman: Yeah. It is. It is. It's directly traceable and there's some more through some Texas people in--that went to the Mexican bank which they can also trace to the Mexican bank...they'll get their names today. And pause)

Nixon: Well, I mean, ah, there's no way... I'm just thinking if they don't cooperate, what do they say? They they, they were approached by the Cubans. That's what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too. Is that the idea?

Haldeman: Well, if they will. But then we're relying on more and more people all the time. That's the problem. And ah, they'll stop if we could, if we take this other step.

Nixon: All right. Fine.

Haldeman: And, and they seem to feel the thing to do is get them to stop?

Nixon: Right, fine.

Haldeman: They say the only way to do that is from White House instructions. And it's got to be to Helms and, ah, what's his name...? Walters.

Nixon: Walters.

Haldeman: And the proposal would be that Ehrlichman (coughs) and I call them in

Nixon: All right, fine.

Haldeman: and say, ah...

Nixon: How do you call him in, I mean you just, well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things.

Haldeman: That's what Ehrlichman says.

Nixon: Of course, this is a, this is a Hunt, you will-that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. Well what the hell, did Mitchell know about this thing to any much of a degree?

Haldeman: I think so. I don 't think he knew the details, but I think he knew.

Nixon: He didn't know how it was going to be handled though, with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well who was the asshole that did? (Unintelligible) Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts.

Haldeman: He is.

Nixon: I mean he just isn't well screwed on is he? Isn't that the problem?

Haldeman: No, but he was under pressure, apparently, to get more information, and as he got more pressure, he pushed the people harder to move harder on...

Nixon: Pressure from Mitchell?

Haldeman: Apparently.

Nixon: Oh, Mitchell, Mitchell was at the point that you made on this, that exactly what I need from you is on the--

Haldeman: Gemstone, yeah.

Nixon: All right, fine, I understand it all. We won't second-guess Mitchell and the rest. Thank God it wasn't Colson.

Haldeman: The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do.

Nixon: Um hum.

Haldeman: Ah, to have him take a...

Nixon: Um hum.

Haldeman: An interrogation, which he did, and that, the FBI guys working the case had concluded that there were one or two possibilities, one, that this was a White House, they don't think that there is anything at the Election Committee, they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it, non political,...

Nixon: Uh huh.

Haldeman: or it was a...

Nixon: Cuban thing-

Haldeman: Cubans and the CIA. And after their interrogation of, of...

Nixon: Colson.

Haldeman: Colson, yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it is a CIA thing, so the CIA turn off would...

Nixon: Well, not sure of their analysis, I'm not going to get that involved. I'm (unintelligible).

Haldeman: No, sir. We don't want you to.

Nixon: You call them in.

Nixon: Good. Good deal! Play it tough. That's the way they play it and that's the way we are going to play it.

Haldeman: O.K. We'll do it.

Nixon: Yeah, when I saw that news summary item, I of course knew it was a bunch of crap, but I thought ah, well it's good to have them off on this wild hair thing because when they start bugging us, which they have, we'll know our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though. You never know. Maybe, you think about it. Good!

**********

Nixon: When you get in these people when you...get these people in, say: "Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that" ah, without going into the details... don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it, "the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah because these people are plugging for, for keeps and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case", period!

Haldeman: OK

Nixon: That's the way to put it, do it straight (Unintelligible)

Haldeman: Get more done for our cause by the opposition than by us at this point.

Nixon: You think so?

Haldeman: I think so, yeah.

SOURCE: http://www.watergate.info/tapes/72-06-23_smoking-gun.shtml



IMO, Tricky was a Crook working for Traitors.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #13)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:13 PM

15. !!!!!

Thank you. I so wish that I could "recommend" individual responses.

One of my father's younger brothers was the law enforcement officer for all of Nelson Rockefeller's travels outside of NYS for the most significant years of NR's political career. As you know, Rockefeller held Nixon in utter contempt. When the (large) law enforcement/intelligence republican wing of our extended family gathered, I heard how strongly they opposed Nixon, too. So you can guess where the democratic/left wing of the clan thought about "Tricky Dick."

(Hey, on a side note, I was interviewed earlier today on a national radio show, on hydrofracking. I was pleased at the quality of the questions, which allowed me to give serious, accurate answers.)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:40 PM

20. Nixon the Mob's President

He earned his button with the scariest outfit around.





The Mob's President: Richard Nixon's Secret Ties to the Mafia

By the time he became president in 1969, Richard Nixon had been on the giving and receiving end of major underworld favors for more than two decades. Watergate was just the tip of the iceberg.

by Don Fulsom
Crime Magazine
February 5, 2006

During the height of the Watergate scandal, Atty. Gen. John Mitchell's wife, Martha, sounded one of the first alarms, telling a reporter, ''Nixon is involved with the Mafia. The Mafia was involved in his election.''

White House officials privately urged other reporters to treat any anti-Nixon comments by Martha as the ravings of a drunken crackpot.

Time, however, has proved Mrs. Mitchell right.

Richard Nixon's earliest campaign manager and political advisor was Murray Chotiner, a chubby lawyer who specialized in defending members of the Mafia and who enjoyed dressing like them too, in a wardrobe highlighted by monogrammed white-on-white dress shirts and silk ties with jeweled stickpins. The monograms said MMC, because – perhaps to seem more impressive – he billed himself as Murray M. Chotiner, though, in reality, he lacked a middle name.

In this cigar chomping, wheeler-dealer, Nixon had found what future Nixon aide Len Garment called ''his Machiavelli – a hardheaded exponent of the campaign philosophy that politics is war.''

When Nixon went on to the White House, both as vice president, and later as president, he took Chotiner with him as a key behind-the-scenes advisor – and for good reason. By the time he became president in 1969, thanks in large part to Murray Chotiner's contacts with such shady figures as Mafia-connected labor leader Jimmy Hoffa, New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, and Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, Richard Nixon had been on the giving and receiving end of major underworld favors for more than two decades.

CONTINUED ...

http://web.archive.org/web/20100103073230/http://crimemagazine.com/mobs-president-richard-nixons-secret-ties-mafia



It is an Associative Universe: I learned something important listening to radio today and thought of you and all historians. The subject of the corporate-minded Civil War era Gen. George McClellan and his railroad chums came up, big time DEMs of their day, interested in maintaining their privileged positions more than living in a constitutional democracy.

'Antietam' Dissects Strategies Of North And South

http://www.npr.org/2012/08/07/156989194/antietam-dissects-strategies-of-north-and-south

Most importantly: You are most welcome, H20 Man. I'll GOOGLE until I find your radio report. It is an honor to be your friend. You and yours put the "good" into the good fight.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 10:23 AM

14. And now if we end up with Don RobMe

 

we'll all be "swimin' with the fishes."

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #14)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:18 PM

16. On one hand,

I think the recent mass-murders provides the most accurate measure of just how sick our society is today. Or maybe the rates of incarceration of non-violent offenders. But then I think of the fact that there is a fair chance Willard will "win" in November. And that tops all. Only in a seriously disturbed culture could a person like him even be considered for president.

The Romney economic "plan" is not merely unfair to a criminal extent: it is extremely violent. And his ilk should be incarcerated.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 06:04 PM

21. I keep looking at how ridiculous things have become...

 

And thinking about the physicists who postulate that reality is some sort of computer simulation. I can't fathom how nearly every aspect of society could ppossibly become so polorized - It's like binary data.

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