Did he order the break-in ?
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Thread: Did he order the break-in ?

  1. #1
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    Did he order the break-in ?

    a little bit of history here ...

    WASHINGTON (July 27) - Coming forward three decades after Watergate, a former top aide to President Nixon now contends that Nixon ordered the break-in that would lead to his resignation.

    Jeb Stuart Magruder previously had gone no further than saying that John Mitchell, the former attorney general who was running the Nixon re-election campaign in 1972, approved the plan to break into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office building near the White House and bug the telephone of the party chairman, Larry O'Brien.

    Magruder, in a PBS documentary airing Wednesday and in an Associated Press interview last week, says he was meeting with Mitchell on March 30, 1972, when he heard Nixon tell Mitchell over the phone to go ahead with the plan.

    The break-in occurred 2 1/2 months later, on June 17, 1972.

    Whether Nixon had advance knowledge has gone unanswered for three decades since former Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee first asked, at hearings of the Senate Watergate Committee, ``What did the president know, and when did he know it?''

    Magruder, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and perjury charges stemming from the break-in and spent seven months in prison, explained his three decades of silence on Nixon's culpability by telling the AP on Friday: ``Nobody ever asked me a question about that.''

    Some historians doubt the allegation by Magruder, who was Nixon's deputy campaign director, an aide to Nixon's chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, and deputy communications director at the White House. Stanley Kutler, an expert on Nixon's White House tapes, called it ``the dubious word of a dubious character.''

    Magruder made the assertion on a PBS documentary, ``Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History.'' He elaborated in the AP interview.

    The way Magruder tells the story, Nixon knew everything from the beginning.

    Magruder says that on March 30, 1972, he met with Mitchell and discussed a plan by G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent, to break into the Democratic Party headquarters to bug O'Brien's phone.

    Magruder said Mitchell asked him to call Haldeman to see ``if this is really necessary.'' Haldeman told him ``yes,'' Magruder said, and then asked to speak to Mitchell. Mitchell and Haldeman talked, and then ``the president gets on the line,'' Magruder said.

    Magruder told the AP he knew it was Nixon ``because his voice is very distinct, and you couldn't miss who was on the phone.''

    Magruder said he could hear Nixon tell Mitchell, ``John, ... we need to get the information on Larry O'Brien, and the only way we can do that is through Liddy's plan. And you need to do that.''

    Mitchell got off the phone, Magruder said, and told him: ``Jeb, tell Maury Stans to give Liddy $250,000 and let's see what happens.'' Maurice Stans was Nixon's commerce secretary and later was chief fund-raiser for the re-election campaign as head of the finance committee.

    Magruder concedes that he did not hear every single word while Nixon was on the phone with Mitchell, but ``I heard the import,'' he said.

    Mitchell, Haldeman, Stans and Nixon are all dead.

    Magruder insisted in the AP interview that he was not asked previously whether Nixon personally authorized the break-in.

    Referring to the Senate Watergate hearings, he said, ``If you look at the testimony, you won't find anything.'' Magruder said he testified truthfully, and had he been specifically asked if the president had been involved, ``I would have told the truth.''

    Former White House counsel John Dean said he was surprised when Magruder recently told him that Nixon gave advance encouragement to the break-in.

    ``I have no reason to doubt that it happened as he describes it, but I have never seen a scintilla of evidence that Nixon knew about the plans for the Watergate break-in or that the likes of Gordon Liddy were operating at the re-election committee,'' Dean said.

    Historian Kutler, author of ``The Wars of Watergate'' and several other books, said he is skeptical. He is an expert on Nixon's White House tapes, crucial evidence in the 1974 vote by the House Judiciary Committee to recommend Nixon's impeachment. Nixon resigned within days of that vote.

    ``You've got the dubious word of a dubious character,'' Kutler said.

    If there had been such a phone conversation between Nixon and Mitchell, Kutler said, there should be a White House tape recording of it.

    ``There are any number of tapes in which Nixon is pounding the table and imploring his aides, `I want more. I want more. I want more intelligence.' We have never found a tape where he says, `Go into the Watergate and get it.'''

    John Taylor, executive director of the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation, said there is no evidence that Nixon ever gave such an order.

    ``Indeed, all existing evidence demonstrates that he was shocked and surprised that it had occurred and spent weeks, if not months, attempting to find out why,'' Taylor said.

    After Magruder's prison time, he became a Presbyterian minister. Dean went to prison for four months for his role in the scandal. Haldeman and Mitchell also served prison terms.

    Liddy served more than four years, then became a radio talk-show host and made speeches fingering Dean as the project's mastermind. Dean has called the allegation ``baloney.''

    In all, 25 people went to jail for their roles in the break-in or the attempt to cover it up.

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  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    I think most people naturally assumed that Nixon explicitly ordered the break-in,
    and then denied knowing about it, for obvious reasons, not wanting to get caught
    and go to jail.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone would do something as extreme as burglarizing
    the opposition party's headquarters without authorization from the man at the
    top of the chain of command.

    All of the underlings were loyal and willing to go to prison to protect Nixon, but
    Nixon was disloyal to them, allowing them to take the blame. He should have
    set the record straight before he died, but he was that type of guy, a dirtbag.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    After reading G. Gordon Liddy's book I have a different take.

    Nixon did not order the break in, Liddy claimed the deed in the book.

    Nixon was loyal to his underlings and hampered the investigation hoping to cover for them. The underlings didn't work together and the house of cards fell in.

    Frankly I wouldn't believe John Dean. In Liddy's book, Dean was covering for his wife and a number of women that were escorts for the Democrats.
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

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    You wound't beleive Dean over the word of a convicted felon, who has shown that he would do any thing to advance the cause of the neocons? wow perhaps you should evaluate your trust?

    Here are too things I want t oknow, why was a CIA agent on the Nixon tapes heard saying that they needed to end the water gate consperice soon or it would reopen "that whole bay of pigs thing". Not trying to push a conspericy or anything but Nixon later admited that they used the phrase "That whole bay of pigs thing" to talk about the Kennady assasination. Why would a water gate investigation reopen the JFK assassination?
    Who is more trustworthy then all of the gurus or Buddha’s?

  5. #5
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    Given that everyone involved (almost) is dead now, whats the point? Aren't we (pardon the pun) beating a dead horse here? I mean come on...honest politicians are as rare as 40 year old virgins (nuns excluded) and we all know it. As for the Kennedy thing, I fail to see where Nixon profited from the assasination in any way....LBJ however, is a different story.
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

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    The LBJ thing I would agree with. But remember Nixon was the darling of the conservatives, who at the time controlled the CIA. They did profit from his death.
    Who is more trustworthy then all of the gurus or Buddha’s?

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    bballad,

    The felony that Liddy was convicted of was the Watergate incident which he claimed credit for so I guess since he admitted the crime and took responsibility for it, why wouldn't I believe him about his role in the crime.
    In Dean's case everything was point the finger at someone else.

    Granted I wouldn't agree politically with everything Mr Liddy stood for.
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  8. #8
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    Mr. Liddy was one of Nixons "plumbers", they did far more then just break into water gate, in fact a number of them have said they would go to any lengths to further the conservative agenda. Now if you have a man that will break into the opostions office and bug it, and then lie to the public on doing this, would it be to far of a streach to think he would continue lieing to the public in a ook he relised?
    Who is more trustworthy then all of the gurus or Buddha’s?

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    bballad,

    The guy did time for his crime, Dean passed the buck. I also think that Liddy's timing on his "tell all" book was evident of his sincerity, he waited until the statute of limitations was up rather than cash in right away.

    One thing that Liddy did that impressed me was when he was standing before Judge Sirica on trial and was asked if he would promise to tell the truth......(the rest of the oath). Liddy looked at the judge and said "No", he took a sentence for contempt of court for that one.

    I remember watching all of the testimonies. Liddy impressed me then. I'm not a fan of his now. Dean was a weasel. The only guy with any character was the Attorney General, Richardson, who quit rather than fire the special prosecuter.
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

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