[Paleopsych] Gary North: Inside Job: How Nixon Was Taken Down
checker at panix.com
Fri Jul 15 19:33:22 UTC 2005
Inside Job: How Nixon Was Taken Down
Gary North's REALITY CHECK
Issue 453, 5.7.5
[Part 2 appended.]
People can be misled by deliberately distracting them.
This fact is basic to all forms of "magic," meaning
prestidigitation. The performer seeks to persuade members
of the audience to focus their attention on something
peripheral, when the real action lies elsewhere. A skilled
performer can do this "as if by magic."
The mainstream media use a very similar strategy in
crucial events. The public is reminded of the official
version of what is a turning-point event. Nothing is said
of other aspects of the event. It is assumed that the
public will forget. Prior to the Internet, this was a safe
assumption. It no longer is.
Let me give you an example. We have all heard the
analogy of the elephant in the living room. Out of
politeness to the host, no guest says anything. If no one
says anything for a long enough period, people tend not to
notice the beast any more. It becomes background noise
(and odor). When they move on to another dinner party,
they tend to forget that the elephant was ever there.
I am now going to present three videos. They are
videos of the largest documented elephant in the largest
living room in human history. Nothing else matches it.
Some of you may have seen video #3: it was on national TV.
Yet after its broadcast, this elephant was dropped down the
memory hole. Memory holes are designed to accept
elephants. People have heard about this one, but they have
long forgotten it. Only by deliberately ignoring it can
those in charge of reminding people to think about certain
details be confident that the official version of the event
will be believed.
The event took place eight hours after a more famous
event. That event was 9/11. But this event was also part
of 9/11. It is the event, more than any other event, that
does not fit the official explanation. It fits a few of
the unofficial explanations.
Watch the video. On my computer, QuickTime is
"Name that event!" What event was it? Do you
remember? Can you identify it by name? Probably not.
Don't tell me Orwell was wrong in "Nineteen Eighty-
Four." The memory hole strategy works.
Now watch a different video of the same event. Think
about what you are watching. How can this be true? How
can the sequence have taken place? What's wrong with this
Then, for the capper, watch the third version. Listen
to the verbal comments. The commentator is Dan Rather.
Millions of people saw this video and heard what he said.
He never said it again. Neither did any other national
media commentator. Watch and listen. There is a movable
right-left button at the bottom of the image's screen if
you have QuickTime installed. You can rerun the video by
using your cursor to move the button to the left. Then
click the play button again: >.
All right, for those of you who are still confused at
what this is, I'll refresh your memory. This is the
collapse of Building 7 of the World Towers complex. It
took place at 5:20 p.m., over eight hours after the
previous collapses. This is the third largest building in
history to collapse, yet it is essentially forgotten by the
public. Building 7 was a block away from the first two.
As you have seen, the building collapsed from the
bottom. It fell straight down -- just as North and South
towers did. This caught Rather's attention. In a moment
of extreme indiscretion, he said this:
It's reminiscent of those pictures we've all seen
too much on television before, when a building
was deliberately destroyed by well-placed
dynamite to knock it down.
He only said it once. But, because of the Web, we can
hear him say it over and over.
Why did it collapse? Because it was deliberately
demolished. Despite all the chaos of that day, there was
time to "pull it." Evidence?
In the midst of that day's chaos,a team of highly
skilled professionals was assembled in less than eight
hours to demolish the building. How? This time frame in itself
is remarkable: hours, not days. How? There were fires on the
upper floors. The team clearly had the protection of the
authorities. They blew out the foundations of an insured
building. By common law, a fire department can legally
destroy property to keep a fire from spreading. I ask: "To
where?"For more details and an amazing video,click here:
[You will probably not be able to turn off the
first video if you watch the first five minutes.
If you're at work, you are now forewarned. The
report is from Alex Jones, or as he is known by
cognoscenti on the Left, "Rush Limbaugh's Rush
This is not the sort of thing that the American public
wants to hear. So, they do not hear it in the mainstream
Enough of this information was made public by
mainstream media sources so that it's not easy to call this
a systematic cover-up. But because people have very short
memories, it is not necessary to engineer a complete
blackout to cover up something very big --in this case, 47
stories. It is only necessary to ignore certain evidence
and refrain from asking certain questions. Like the dog
that Sherlock Holmes observed in retrospect -- the dog that
did not bark -- so is the question that never gets asked by
investigators. Why doesn't it get asked?
I am making a simple point. An event seen by millions
of people so recently can still be dropped down the memory
hole. Embarrassing questions are not aired before the
general public. No one asks: "What is that elephant doing
It is time to consider a far less visible elephant.
DEEP THROAT: THE SIDESHOW SOLVED!
The identity of Deep Throat is modern
journalism's greatest unsolved mystery. It has
been said that he may be the most famous
anonymous person in U.S. history.
This is the assessment of John O'Connor, author of the
July, 2005 "Vanity Fair" article, "I'm the Guy they Called
Deep Throat." If this really was modern journalism's
greatest unsolved mystery, then modern journalists have got
way too much time on their hands.
Deep Throat. For days after "Vanity Fair"'s story
appeared (May 31), the media were filled with Deep Throat
stories. "Washington's oldest mystery is solved!"
This shows that Washington is still as dumb as a post,
and has a newspaper to prove it: "The Washington Post."
Deep Throat was a sideshow in 1973, and still is.
Deep Throat never had what it took to unseat Richard Nixon.
Neither did Woodward and Bernstein. One man did. He
In the initial contacts with Woodward, Deep Throat
merely confirmed what W&B had dug up on their own. He was
not a supplier of new information until much later.
The real supplier of new information never talked with
Woodward or Bernstein. They never knew he was the reason
why all the President's men sank with the Good Ship R. M.
Nixon. He was buried so deeply in the bowels of the
government that I call him Deep Sphincter.
"FOLLOW THE MONEY"
W. Mark Felt was on target when he told Woodward to
follow the money. He did historians a great favor by
getting this phrase into the English language -- not that
most salaried historians are willing to do this. But
anyone who is trying to uncover the source of crucial
decisions ought to begin with the trail of digits in our
era that we call money.
Nevertheless, this is only one avenue from the here
and now back to square one. The other major trail is the
loyalty trail. This procedure is what I have called
"follow the oath." When we discover to whom or to what a
man has sworn allegiance, we learn a great deal about him.
We must also look carefully at the sanctions, both positive
and negative, that is imposed to maintain his allegiance.
When men keep their mouths shut about a really big
secret, there has to be fear in the picture. Men love to
brag about the big deals they have been a part of.
Eventually, they feel compelled to take credit. W. Mark
Felt held back for over three decades, but finally he went
public. "Yes, I did it. I'm the one!" It is the cry of
the four-year-old on the day care playground: "Look at me!"
Call it a Felt need.
The man who takes his biggest secret to the grave was
a serious player, or at least a serious observer.
He who exposes a damaging secret is hailed by the
enemies of his victim and is vilified by the victim's
supporters. Mr. Felt is now experiencing both traditional
responses, which come with the territory. His critics cry:
"Disloyalty!" Nixon's enemies cry: "Higher duty!"
Different strokes from different folks.
But the person who actually made the difference -- the
one who brought Nixon down -- says nothing. The press says
nothing. The greatest Watergate secret of all remains a
TRUNCATED CHAINS OF COMMAND
Woodward and Bernstein kept writing stories about the
Committee to Re-Elect the President. Nixon's team was not
very forward-looking when they chose this name for their
organization. Its acronym later became CREEP. (The other
possible acronym, CRP, also created PR problems.) I
challenge readers to come up with a real-world organization
with a negative acronym to match CREEP. CREEP crept on
behalf of a man universally regarded by his enemies as a
creep. CREEP was perfect for the newspapers.
Nevertheless, tracing money into CREEP and back out to
one of the burglars was not the same as tracing anything
illegal to Nixon. Nixon could always say that he had
nothing to do with the minions at CREEP. This is what
every senior decision-maker says whenever some unsavory
machination hits the headlines. It works most of the time.
The minions are either loyal or afraid. When
threatened with serious negative sanctions, they may reply:
"I was just following orders!" But these unwritten orders
always seem to have originated no higher than the rank of
staff sergeant or its organizational equivalent. Somehow,
with the exception of My Lai, such orders do not originate
at the commissioned officer level, and never at the field-
grade officer level. There is always a break in the chain
of command, usually quite low on the chain. The only
exception is when a nation loses a war. The Nuremburg
trials followed the orders all the way up. But these post-
World War II trials were unique in the history of
Nixon lost the Watergate war. Yet in the midst of
that war, he was in a safe position with respect to CREEP's
flow of funds. Here, he knew what he was doing. He was
out of the loop. The Democrats had almost succeeded in
scuttling him on the payola issue in the 1952 Presidential
campaign, and only his deservedly famous "Checkers" speech
saved him. Overnight, Checkers became the most famous dog
in American political history, the dog that saved Nixon's
career. Eisenhower had been prepared to drop Nixon from
the ticket, but that speech went to the hearts of
Republicans in the heartland. Nixon survived. Never again
would he let himself be implicated in wrongdoing by this
sign on his desk: "The bucks stop here."
Yet in August, 1974, Nixon resigned. How did this
THE SMOKING TAPES
Two events led to Nixon's removal: one public, one
The first event was the televised admission by
Alexander Butterfield, under questioning by a Republican
Senate staff lawyer, that Nixon had bugged the White House.
The Secret Service had tape recorded all of Nixon's
conversations, beginning in early 1971. By this public
admission, he became the most important of all the public
Butterfield had been Deputy Assistant to the
President. He had been recommended by Haldeman. He worked
with the Secret Service on security matters. He had been
in charge of secretly taping the Cabinet meetings.
In late 1972, he had been appointed the head of the
Federal Aviation Administration. He remained the head of
the FAA after Nixon resigned.
The recording system went on and off automatically
throughout the Executive Office Building (1) whenever it
detected a voice, if (2) the system previously detected
Nixon's electronic locator, which the Secret Service made
him wear. When he was in a room and someone started
speaking, a tape recorder came on. Again, this is
according to the official site. It is also what
Butterfield told a conference in 2003. A transcript is
posted on-line, and it is a fascinating document.
This automated system was not the recording system
used in the Cabinet Room. There, the system had to be
activated manually. Butterfield had been in charge of the
manual taping system until he went to the FAA.
On July 13, 1973, he told Senate staff committee
members about the tapes. He testified in public on July
16, 1973. He was of course asked about the tapes. He
Chief of Staff Alexander Haig ordered the Secret
Service to remove the system on July 18. Let me check my
calendar: testimony on July 16; removal on July 18 . . .
lighting-fast thinking by a retired 4-star general!
Think about this chronology:
The first bug was planted in the Democrats'
office on May 28, 1972.
The bungled break-in took place on June 17.
On August 1, the "Washington Post" reported a
$25,000 check, earmarked for the Nixon campaign,
that had been deposited in the bank account of
one of the burglars.
On October 10, the "Post" reported that the FBI
had determined that the break-in was part of a
campaign of spying conducted by the President's
The tape recording system was removed on July 18,
1973, at Haig's request, not Nixon's, according to the
government's official site for the tapes.
Somehow, it had not occurred to Nixon that the tapes
might be incriminating. "Let the good tapes roll!"
Men later went to jail because of what was on those
tapes. Some of them knew that the tape machine was running
when they spoke the words that sent them to jail. Haldeman
knew. Others may have known. Yet we are supposed to
believe that they never told Nixon, "Turn off the tape
I have my choice of conclusions: (1) Nixon and his
assistants simply forgot about the recorders; (2) they
thought that no one would gain access to the tapes before
the statute of limitations ran out for them, and they cared
nothing about future historians' assessments of their
personal integrity; (3) Nixon did not have control over the
Most commentators say #2 was the reason: Nixon's
desire for accurate records for writing his memoirs. It
turns out that recorders had been installed by Eisenhower,
Kennedy, and Johnson. (http://shurl.org/predecessors) We
have learned that Roosevelt had a primitive recording
system installed. Johnson had advised Nixon to start
recording his conversations. He told him that he was using
tapes to write his memoirs, which were published in 1971.
Nixon at first resisted the suggestion, but in early 1971,
he asked Butterfield install the system.
From the day he had the system installed, he lost
control over his Presidency. He was leaving a record of
everything he said.
Butterfield and others have pointed out that Nixon was
incapable of operating any mechanical device. This was why
Butterfield had to turn on the recorder in the Cabinet
room. This was also why Rose Mary Woods got blamed for the
missing 18« minutes. No one close to the President
believed that Nixon could have erased it by himself.
This means that Nixon from the beginning knew that he
would have to have the tapes transcribed by a third party.
Whatever was on them, a third party would know.
Also, he would have to listen to a staggering number
of tapes before getting any section transcribed. In less
than three years, there were 3,700 hours of tapes. There
would have been over three more years of taping on the day
Haig removed the system.
In his post-Presidency writing, how could he identify
the tape of a specific meeting? By coordinating his
appointments calendar with the dates on the tapes. If he
could do this, so could the person in charge of the tapes,
if he had access to the appointments calendar. The Secret
Service controlled the tapes, which were stored in a room
under the Oval office. Nixon did not personally control
the tapes. (http://shurl.org/predecessors)
There was one simple way that he could get away with
"I am not a crook": remove all the tape recorders and
destroy all the tapes -- assuming there was only one copy.
Haig finally pulled the plug. Too late. At that point,
destroying the tapes would have been obstruction of
justice. On June 18, 1972, it would not have been.
Someone was determined to keep those tapes rolling.
Nixon did not remove the system; Haig did, on his own
authority, the official version says. But, by then, it was
legally too late to destroy the tapes.
Beginning no later than Nixon's resignation, a
competent reporter would have followed more than the money.
He would have pursued these questions:
Who had something to gain from the tapes?
What did he have to gain?
Who had the power to leave the tapes running?
How did he gain this power?
To whom was he loyal? Why?
What sanctions were over him?
Why did the Nixon's senior staff talk on tape?
Why didn't they say: "The tapes go or I do"?
What sanctions did they face for quitting?
To whom were they loyal?
The tapes provided enormous leverage against Nixon.
The question is: For whom? And this: Starting when?
After Butterfield's testimony, Nixon's opponents had
far more leverage than before, but it was still
insufficient leverage. They had to get access to all of
the tapes, but the courts refused to grant this. Congress
was not allowed to go on a fishing expedition. In effect,
the prosecutors had to have a warrant issued by the court,
meaning Judge Sirica. They had to be able to identify
specific discussions related to suspected crimes, not
discussions in general.
Nixon soon invoked "executive privilege." The courts
were unwilling to give carte blanche to the two Watergate
committees to turn their staffs loose on those tapes -- not
unless the Supreme Court authorized this. The Supreme
Court did not do this until after the lower courts and
Congress had access to the crucial segments of the tapes.
FOLLOW THE NUMBERS
We come now to the second event, which was a connected
series of events: the heart of the Watergate investigation.
This is not the heart of Watergate as such. We still
do not know for sure why the Plumbers installed bugs in the
office of the Democratic National Committee. We do not
know why they came back weeks later.
But the most important thing we do not know is the
name of the inside man at the White House.
There was an inside man. On him, the outcome of the
investigation pivoted. Yet I know of only three people who
have ever raised this issue in print. I am one of them:
third in a row.
I first wrote about this in 1987. That was 14 years
after the event, or, more accurately, a related series of
events. A copy of my brief discussion is on-line. It is a
section from the bibliography of my book, "Conspiracy: A
Biblical View." (http://shurl.org/conspiracy)
I have never been contacted by any historian or any
journalist regarding what you are about to read. I sent it
to the professor whose journalism students did the famous
investigation of Deep Throat a few years ago. They jointly
concluded that he was Fred Fielding. The professor never
Here is the story that Woodward and Bernstein somehow
missed, though it was the central fact -- not Deep Throat's
revelations -- in Nixon's defeat and their subsequent fame.
Here is what I wrote in the 1996 revised edition of my 1987
* * * * * * * * *
The Watergate investigation became a media
extravaganza that seemed to elevate the reporter's calling
to national status. Yet some of the details of the
Watergate investigation raise questions that only hard-core
conspiracy buffs ever ask. For instance, we all know that
Nixon was brought down because of the White House
audiotapes. But he refused to give up these tapes in one
fell swoop. In fact, not until 1996 were scholars given
access to these tapes. Only under specific demands by
government prosecutors did Nixon turn over limited sections
of those tapes. Gary Allen in 1976 summarized the findings
of Susan Huck's February, 1975, article in "American
Opinion," the publication of the John Birch Society. Allen
wrote in "The Kissinger File" (p. 179):
Consider the fantastic detail involved in the
requests. On August 14th,  for example,
Judge Sirica demanded the "entire segment of tape
on the reel identified as 'White House telephone
start 5/25/72 (2:00 P.M.) (skipping 8 lines)
6/2:3/72 (2:50 P.M.) (832) complete.'" I don't
know what all the identifying numbers mean -- but
you have to agree that only somebody very
familiar with the tapes would know. These boys
knew precisely what to look for! Here is another
January 8, 1973 from 4:05 to 5:34 P.M.
a) at approximately 10 minutes and 15
seconds into the conversation, a
segment lasting 6 minutes and 31
b) at approximately 67 minutes into
the conversation, a segment
lasting 11 minutes;
c) at approximately 82 minutes and 15
seconds into the conversation, a
segment lasting 5 minutes and 31
Only Susan Huck asked the obvious question: How did
the prosecutors know precisely when these incriminating
discussions took place? There are only two possible
answers: (1) someone with access to the tapes inside the
White House was leaking the information; (2) there was a
secret back-up set of the tapes in the hands of someone who
was leaking the information. Leaked information would have
been illegal for prosecutors to use in court, yet this was
how they brought Nixon down.
To my knowledge, no reporter or professional historian
has ever bothered to follow up on this remarkable oddity,
or even mention it. Nobody ever asked: "What person was in
charge of storing those tapes?" It took one of the least
known and most diligent conspiracy historians (Ph.D. in
geography) even to mention the problem. Strange? Not at
all. Normal, in fact. Such is the nature of history and
the writing of history whenever the events in question
point to the operation of powerful people whose private
interests are advanced by what appear to be honorable
public activities that cost a lot of money.
* * * * * * * * *
This is the elephant in the West Wing. This is what
no one discussed at the time, let alone now.
In Part 2, on Friday, I will discuss this elephant in
Inside Job: How Nixon Was Taken Down Part 2 Gary North's REALITY CHECK
Issue 454, 5.7.10
IDENTIFYING THE MOLE
There was a mole in the White House. This is the
central fact of the Watergate investigation. Without him,
Nixon would not have been threatened with impeachment, let
alone conviction. This is the issue that no one mentions
and no one pursues. It is the elephant in the living room. It has been there
for over 30 years. The media's response
by now is universal: "What elephant? We don't see any
The Plumbers had broken into the Watergate complex to
bug one office. They were called Plumbers because their
original job was to plug leaks. Perhaps the greatest irony
in American political history is this: the most damaging of
all leakers in American history was inside the Nixon White
House, and the most significant bugs in history were
installed on Nixon's orders.
Notice that Judge Sirica's request came in on August
14, less than a month after the recording system was shut
down by Haig. Whoever was leaking the information
identified the incriminating passages very fast.
There were 3,700 hours of poorly recorded tapes. They
were recorded at 15/16 inches per second: the lowest of low
Think of the mole's task. Reviewing all of the tapes
by himself from scratch in time to tip off one of the two
committees or Sirica was impossible. He would have had to
spend months listening to tapes unless he knew exactly
where the passages were. If he did, then this was a long-
term spying operation. It did not begin on July 16, 1973.
If he had a photocopy of the President's appointments
calendar, he could have narrowed down the meetings with key
advisors. This would have helped speed up the operation,
but not enough to make possible the detailed
identifications in less than a month.
He would not have turned duplicates over to a
Congressional staffer. What could the staffer have done
with them, other than to parcel them out to low-level
staffers for review? For them to have reviewed all of the
tapes, it would have taken a team effort. This would have
been risky: too many people in on the deal. Secrets are
hard to keep personally, let alone in a group. Copies of
the tapes were stolen goods and therefore inadmissible in a
court, at least a court that was operating in full public
view. The secret had to be maintained.
How did he do it? I see only four possibilities:
1. He had been monitoring the conversations and
taking notes of what was being said,
correlating this information with the tapes.
He later reviewed his notes and retrieved
the key tapes, identifying the key passages
by using a stopwatch.
2. He had been making duplicate copies of all the
tapes for months, and then delivered them all at
once to someone who had access to a team of oath-
bound intelligence community reviewers.
3. He made copies on a high-speed duplicator and
delivered them to an outside team of oath-bound
intelligence community reviewers.
4. He knew approximately when the incriminating
discussions had taken place, and he went back to
the specific tapes to time exactly how far into
each tape each discussion began and ended. He
then turned these numbers over to a Congressional
staffer or other intermediary.
Option #1 makes this conclusion inescapable: the mole
was a Secret Service agent whose full-time job was to
record the tapes while listening to them.
Options #1 and #2 assume the existence of a long-term
strategy: use the tapes against Nixon when the opportunity
arose. But what kind of opportunity? How could the mole
have predicted Butterfield's testimony to the Senate
committee? Was there more to monitoring the tapes than a
plan to cooperate with as-yet unassembled authorities?
Options #2 and #3 assume the existence of outside
teams of reviewers.
As for option #4, who would have known which meetings
had been crucial? Butterfield left the White House for the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in late December,
1972. He had been in charge of taping Cabinet meetings,
but Cabinet meetings were not where the Watergate cover-up
was discussed. How could he have been the mole? Yet there
is no doubt that he knew the mole. He may not have known
that the mole had become a mole, but if he didn't suspect
what was happening after Sirica's request, 1973, he was
either remarkably unobservant or else completely out of the
No reporter today asks Butterfield about any of this. The elephant really
is invisible to this generation of
For anyone to have made duplicate copies of all the
tapes prior to Butterfield's testimony (option #2) would
have been an immense undertaking for one man working part-
time, i.e., not monitoring the discussions as they took
place (option #1). It would have taken months. After
Butterfield's testimony, it would have been impossible for
a mole to do this by himself.
THE GATEKEEPER ISSUE
It is possible that a second set of tapes had been
made from the very beginning, or at least after the break-
in. Whoever had such a set of tapes would have had
leverage over the President. But the Secret Service
controlled the machines. How did anyone gain access to the
tapes without Nixon's authorization? Why would Nixon have
Without a team to review the tapes, how could one man
have done this on short notice, i.e., after July 16? He
would have had to be one of the Secret Service agents who
sat in the room to monitor the tapes, assuming that someone
did this, even though the tape machines came on
automatically. He took notes. But this would mean that he
was self-consciously looking for ammunition to be used
against Nixon. Why?
The main problem with this theory is that other Secret
Service agents did not know what was going on in the room
where the machines were kept. If there was a full-time
agent in that room all day long, there would have been
In 2003, Butterfield attended a conference on the
tapes. He described where the tape machines were located.
There was a little thing -- they blasted a hole
in the brick wall down underneath the White House
and put all this machinery inside a brick wall
and then put a cabinet door over it. And I said
to [Secret Service security agent Alfred] Wong, I
-- this was in the locker room of the protective
security [unclear -- microphone problem] Secret
Service agents, so when they'd come to work, they
had little lockers in there, and they'd change
clothes and go home. They didn't stay long in
this little room, and I said, "Aren't they going
to think this great big panel -- what you call it
used to be a brick wall, they're going to
question that?" And he said, "No, they probably
won't, and if they do, I'll just say, 'We've got
something in there,' and they won't ask any
questions." And that's true. The Secret Service
wouldn't pry or probe at something like that. But
there was a hell of a big door in there, and we -
- [laughter] and it was a tiny little room
anyway, pretty little.
Here the equipment resided, and here boxes of tapes
were stored. Nobody noticed. "Don't ask. Don't tell."
So, there were only a few Secret Service technicians
who knew what was inside that little room. These men
served as the gatekeepers. Anyone wanting access to the
tapes had to get through at least one of these gatekeepers
. . unless one of them was the mole.
If the tape operator was the mole, he could not have
been in that room full-time without creating scuttlebutt
and suspicion. This does not rule out the possibility, but
it does impose a special burden of proof on the person who
chooses this option. This evidence would be difficult to
obtain: pay receipts that say "for taping and personally
monitoring Nixon's conversations." Alternatively,
Butterfield could affirm in writing that one agent was
always present in the taping room when Nixon was in the
That person was almost certainly the mole.
Is there any other possibility of a one-man operation? It is conceivable
that someone very high in Nixon's inner
circle had access to the tapes after Butterfield's
testimony. Haig is one candidate. This is the man Gary
Allen thought was the source of the leak. The hard
evidence is not there, as far as I can see. But it is not
A mole operating alone had to know approximately when
the incriminating discussions had taken place. Only a
highly placed person on Nixon's staff could have known
this, presumably a participant. He somehow gained private
access to these tapes, got out his stop watch, and listened
to each tape until he found various smoking guns. Then he
told a Congressional staffer what sections to ask for.
If this was done by someone on Nixon's staff, it would
have been someone who did not incriminate himself on a
tape. Some of the highest-placed staff members went to
jail or were exposed to the threat of jail. Haldeman knew,
yet he kept talking. He was the one senior staff member
identified by Butterfield as having known about the tapes. He went to jail. It
is unlikely that he was the mole.
Let us assume for the sake of argument that no
duplicate set of tapes existed prior to July 16. Someone
who had detailed knowledge of the tapes was able to review
the originals and then pass on this information within
weeks. How did he get by the Secret Service?
This is the central organizational issue of the
Watergate story. I doubt that anyone will pursue this at
this late date. But it needs to be pursued if we are ever
to get the story even remotely straight.
WHO GUARDS THE GUARDIANS?
This is one of the oldest questions in political
I see no alternative to this conclusion: someone who
had the cooperation of the Secret Service had access to the
tapes. The tapes were stored in a secret room under the
Oval Office. Here is Butterfield's account in 2003.
Carlin: Outside of you, who knew the system was
Butterfield: Well, yeah, it was a deep dark
secret, and I want to say no one knew, but the
people who actually knew are the president,
myself, Bob Haldeman and Larry Higby, Bob's staff
assistant -- one of three staff assistants to
Bob, Al Wong, who was the Technical Security
Division Chief, Al Wong, W-O-N-G, and three
technicians who, who put these tapes in: a fellow
named Ray Zumwalt, Roy Schwalm, S-C-H-W-A-L-M,
and Charles Bretts. They were the technicians,
and one of those three changed the tapes when
they had to be changed and that sort of thing.
He did not indicate that someone was in the taping
room full-time. If someone was, and if he was there every
day, then he becomes the most likely candidate for the
title of lone mole. Otherwise, this had to be a team
effort: the mole, plus a team of reviewers.
The shorter the time period between Butterfield's
testimony and Sirica's first request, the larger the team
had to be, or else the more sophisticated the tape-
reviewing technology had to be. The team had to find where
the key discussions were on the tapes. There were a lot of
Follow the money. Also, follow the oath. Look for a
motive. If it's not money, sex, or power, then start
looking for revenge.
Had I been a reporter, after Nixon's resignation I
would have gone looking for a motive -- a motive
acknowledged as legitimate by one or more of the tapes'
gatekeepers. I would have gone looking for someone with
(1) personal connections to the White House Secret Service
unit that oversaw the taping and (2) a motive for revenge
against Nixon and all the President's men.
No reporter did this. Now it is up to historians, who
tend to be even more risk-aversive and peer-sensitive than
reporters. Don't hold your breath.
Somebody got through the gates. He was working with a
team. There was insufficient time for one man to review
all of the tapes.
The question has to be raised: Why would any of the
technicians have cooperated with such a team? Why would he
have handed over duplicate tapes, plus handed over a
photocopy of the President's schedule, to enable the third
parties go snooping?
There had to be a jointly shared motive. The motive
presumably had to do with the oath: loyalty. There was a
higher shared loyalty involved, a loyalty to something
above Nixon. This could have been the Constitution. In
intelligence circles, I don't think this one is high on the
list. Loyalties are more personal than Constitutional law. So are sanctions
for violating the oath. The secret would
remain a secret.
There is loyalty owed to oath-bound brothers. There
is also loyalty to "cousins" operating under a different
but similar oath-bound structure. There is loyalty of
professionals against amateurs, of lifetime bureaucrats
against temporary politicians. "Loyalty to" always implies
"potential disloyalty to."
Where there is loyalty, there is always the
opportunity for disloyalty. This is why secrecy is so
powerful: it offers an opportunity to destroy. Where there
is oath-bound loyalty, the temptation for disloyalty
increases, especially against those bound by a rival oath. There must be
serious sanctions against betrayal. (You do
not have to read the century-old works of Georg Simmel to
understand these issues, but it helps.)
So, the question arises: What team supplied the
reviewers? Answer: a group that perceived it's corporate
connection with the victims. The victims are easy to
identify: the Plumbers. Their connection is easy to
identify: the CIA.
Who were they? G. Gordon Liddy (ex-FBI) ran the show. Then there were the
five burglars: Bernard Baker, Virgilio
Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, James McCord, and Frank
Sturgis. The name of E. Howard Hunt (ex-CIA) appeared in
address books carried by two Plumbers. By the time
Butterfield testified, all seven were in jail.
McCord had been a CIA agent until 1970. Hunt had been
a CIA agent until 1970. In March, 1973, McCord wrote to
judge Sirica from his jail cell to say that he and the
others had been pressured to plead guilty. He singled out
John Dean and the former Attorney General, John Mitchell. This set the
framework: Nixon vs. the brothers.
Nixon left them all to cool their heels in jail. Here
is how Hunt described it in a 2004 interview in "Slate."
Slate: I still don't understand how you get
involved in Watergate later. Through the CIA?
Hunt: I had been a consultant to the White House.
I greatly respected Nixon. When Chuck Colson
[special counsel to Nixon] asked me to work for
the administration, I said yes. Colson phoned one
day and said, "I have a job you might be
interested in." This was before Colson got
Slate: How long were you in prison for the
Hunt: All told, 33 months.
Slate: That's a lot of time.
Hunt: It's a lot of time. And I've often said,
what did I do?
Slate: Did you get a pardon?
Hunt: No. Never did. I'd applied for one, and
there was no action taken, and I thought I'd just
humiliate myself if I asked for a pardon.
Laura Hunt: He was sort of numb because all of
this happened to his wife and his family, his
children went into drugs while he was still in
Slate: Wasn't your first wife killed in a plane
Laura Hunt: She was killed when her plane
crash-landed at Chicago's Midway Airport. And
there was all this speculation from conspiracy
buffs that the FBI blew the plane up or something
-- so that she would never talk, all this
Ridiculous stuff? Strange stuff, yes, but in no way
was it ridiculous.
Dorothy Hunt had been an ex-CIA operative. She had
met her husband in the CIA. Her plane went down on
December 8, 1972: a United Airlines flight from Washington
to Chicago. It crashed at Chicago's Midway Airport. Most
of the passengers and all of the crewmembers died.
Within a few hours, a team of 50 FBI agents was at the
scene, investigating everything. This is no rumor. It was
confirmed in a June 11, 1973 letter from acting FBI
Director William Ruckelshaus to the Director of the
National Transportation Safety Board, who had sent a letter
of complaint (six months after the event) to Ruckelshaus
regarding the interference of the FBI.
Getting a team of 50 FBI agents to a supposed crime
scene within hours is so unheard of as to mark any such
event as historically unique. Legendary. This was not
done by the book.
Mrs. Hunt had been carrying a little over $10,000 in
cash -- the equivalent of $50,000 today.
In his book, "A Piece of Tape," McCord writes that he
heard Dorothy Hunt say that her husband had information
that would impeach the President.
(Note: I refer to this Web page to provide
transcripts of the letters sent by the two
Directors, plus the basic chronology of the
crash. I do not trust several of the sources
The Hunts had been "present at the creation," when the
CIA was known as the OSS. The condition of Hunt would not
have not escaped the notice of former colleagues. Nixon
had let a team of former national security operatives go to
jail for a burglary related to his re-election. It was
clear by late 1972 that they were not going to be pardoned.
The crash was followed by these peculiar events, which
were long forgotten until the Web revived them.
1. The day after the crash, Nixon nominated
Egil Krogh, the head of CREEP, as
Undersecretary of Transportation. The
Department of Transportation is the agency
that supervises the National Transportation
(He was confirmed in February, resigned
in May, and pleaded guilty to
supervising Hunt and Liddy in the
break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's
psychiatrist's office. He went to
2. Two weeks after Krogh's nomination, Nixon
nominated Butterfield as head of the FAA.
3. In January, 1973, Dwight Chapin, Nixon's
appointments secretary, resigned. He immediately
took a senior-level position with United Airlines
(Chapin was convicted in 1974 for lying
to the grand jury in 1973 and for
offering me a job at the White House in
1971 -- no, scratch that: he only said
he MIGHT offer me a job. He never did.
He did hire Bob Segretti, who later ran
the dirty tricks operation. As a
result, they both went to jail.)
To imagine that the intelligence community was unaware
of the rapid sequence of these aeronautical-related events
is to have a vivid imagination.
Members of an oath-bound fraternity who believe that
several of its members have been taken down by outsiders is
a force to be reckoned with. There is loyalty at stake. There is also the
matter of self-preservation. There is a
well-known strategy for dealing with such threats: tit for
Within the intelligence community, there is a degree
of cooperation by professionals: those inside vs. those
outsiders known as politicians.
LONE MOLE OR TEAM EFFORT?
The tapes were the Achilles heel of Nixon's attempt to
avoid public exposure. John Dean could talk, others could
talk, but it was their word against Nixon's . . . unless
the prosecutors could use Nixon's words against Nixon.
The prosecutors received information regarding the
precise location of these words. They received this
information because someone inside the White House leaked
to investigators working with or for Judge Sirica the IDs
of tapes that would condemn Nixon. But the mole could not
have obtained this information by himself, unless he had
been working on this project almost from the beginning:
taking notes and identifying tapes.
This raises a key question. If the project began
before July 16, how would he have known that Butterfield
would tell the Committee about the tapes? Monitoring the
information on the tapes made strategic sense if the courts
or the committees knew about the existence of the tapes. Otherwise, there was
nothing to subpoena.
If he did assemble this information over many months
while sitting in the taping room, pen in hand, taking
notes, then he had another agenda. He was monitoring what
was being said for purposes other than cooperating with
Sirica, who was not yet in the picture. This raises two
questions: (1) Who guards the guardians? (2) To whom do
Here is what we know for certain: the information was
made available to Sirica within weeks of Butterfield's
To get access to the tapes, someone had to get by the
Secret Service and into that room beneath the Oval office. Someone did.
The Secret Service is pledged to save the President's
life. It is not pledged to save his career. Its agents
live in every President's household until he dies, and then
they remain with his widow until she dies. We do not call
this arrangement what it obviously is: a lifetime
Had I been a Washington reporter in 1974, and had I
known of Sirica's specific tape requests, which were a
matter of public record, I would have gone looking for a
connection between one of the Plumbers and one of the
One analyst did: Mae Brussell. She was a legendary
left-wing conspiracy theorist who saw mysterious
connections everywhere. If ever there was a believer in a
vast right-wing conspiracy, it was Mae Brussell. She
immediately spotted a connection. She wrote in "The
Realist" (July, 1973) that the Ervin committee had called
the wrong witnesses. Her first example was Al Wong.
1. Wrong witnesses called. Last July, 1972, it
was obvious that Al Wong, the Secret Service man
who hired James McCord, should be a major
witness. When it was disclosed by Alexander
Butterfield that the White House was bugged, Al
Wong appeared to be holding the tapes. Wong and
McCord were close associates.
What was she referring to? What had Wong hired McCord to
do? The previous August, also in "The Realist," she had
reported on the assignment.
James McCord, Jr. held two important jobs at the
time of his arrest. He was Chief of Security for
the Committee to Re-elect Richard Nixon. With
that appointment, McCord was issued his own radio
frequency. And that employment was the smaller
assignment of the two.
The biggest contract a security agent could
receive went to McCord Associates, selected by
Secret Service agent Al Wong, to provide all
security for the republican Convention in Miami.
She offered no footnote to support this claim, but she
surely was on top of this issue from the beginning. Indeed, she was the first
journalist to suspect this
connection: Wong, McCord, and the tapes.
If I were going to write a book on Watergate, I would
begin looking for evidence to support her second paragraph. Given McCord's CIA
background and his CREEP position, the
connection sounds plausible.
This does not mean that CIA agents necessarily
constituted the reviewing team. It could have been a
select group of Secret Service agents, acting on behalf of
similarly oath-bound "cousins" or some other group.
There is a unique piece of information, reported by
Gary Allen in his book on Kissinger and also his book on
Nelson Rockefeller. He quotes from "Newsweek" (September
While former white House chief of staff H.R.
Haldeman awaits trial for his part in Watergate,
the Secret Service chief he ousted from the White
House last year has landed a plum job. Robert H.
Taylor, 49, who tangled with Haldeman over Nixon
security procedures, is now head of the private
security forces for all the far-flung Rockefeller
family enterprises. (http://shurl.org/taylor)
If the mole acted alone in note taking, then he began
early. He was alone in that room, but he was not alone
with respect to a hierarchy. Government bureaucrats on
salaries do not do "extra credit." They get paid to follow
Who gave the order? When? Why?
These are the kinds of questions that the mainstream
media steadfastly refuse to ask. They find it easier to
believe in the tape fairy.
Deep Throat confirmed to Woodward that CREEP was where
the money flowed into and out of. This was a smoking gun,
if modern gunpowder smoked. It was a .22 pistol: CREEP. The story would have
come out anyway because of the $25,000
check. Following that money was easy. It was not worth a
Pulitzer Prize and a movie.
To take Nixon down, there had to be evidence that
would stand up in court. This evidence had to have the
appearance of being admissible, i.e., not illegally
obtained. Yet it was unquestionably illegally obtained. The specificity of the
location of the smoking guns on the
tapes should have made it clear that the evidence was
inadmissible. Yet Judge Sirica -- "Maximum John" --
pretended that it was admissible. He pretended that the
tape fairy had delivered the IDs. Every reporter, then and
now, has gone along with him.
Once the statute of limitations ran out (1980), nobody
could prosecute the accused, had there been an accused. There never was. I do
not think there ever will be.
It was not until July 27, 1974 that the Supreme Court
ordered Nixon to turn over all of the tapes. He refused
and resigned on August 9. Until the Supreme Court ordered
him to deliver all of the tapes, he may have thought he
could successfully stonewall his prosecutors. He was
wrong. From the day he refused to hand over the specific
tapes demanded by Sirica, he was on the defensive. From
the day that Sirica started using stolen evidence to hound
Nixon, it was only a matter of time. Maximum John was
willing to break the law to get him. Congress was willing
to break the law to get him. Nixon was doomed. The
federal system's checks and balances by 1973 were managed
by tax-funded "crooks": law-breakers all.
Nixon's resignation under fire created an immediate
problem for Republican Congressman John Hammerschmidt of
Arkansas, who had recommended that Nixon not resign, and
said that Nixon's offense might not be impeachable. He had
stood almost alone. His opponent had gone for the jugular:
[There is] no question that an admission of
making false statements to government officials
and interfering with the FBI and the CIA is an
His opponent was Bill Clinton. (http://shurl.org/neverlie) Clinton lost in
November. Not many Democrats did, however.
Nixon never did turn over all of the tapes. He died
in 1994. Only then did the government get all the tapes. The government is
still waiting to release to the public
the final batch: November, 1972 through July, 1973.
But don't worry. They are on their way. They are
being administered by the same experts who took over the
administration of the Ark of the Covenant in the final
scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
It is now over three decades after these events. We
still do not know why the burglars broke in a second time
in June, 1972. We do not know how or why 50 FBI agents
showed up at the plane crash site where the ex-CIA wife of
the ex-CIA suspected Plumber died in December. We do not
know why Nixon left the tape recorders running. We do not
know for sure what Nixon did, or was planning to do, to
persuade the mole or his oath-bound associates to supply
the prosecutors with proof of the smoking guns. We do not
know the transmission belt by which the prosecutors were
able to identify the precise points on the tapes that sent
Nixon's senior staffers to prison and were about to get him
Richard Nixon, in his complete self-confidence, had
ordered the tape recorders installed. To use Haldeman's
phrase, he not only repeatedly let the toothpaste out of
the tube, he left a record of every squeeze. Why?
He installed the tape recorders when he did not need
them. He, like his presidential predecessors, believed he
was going to retain the upper hand, the final say, when it
came time for him to write his memoirs. He let famous men
speak in his presence, unaware of the tapes. They would
speak their minds, he thought, but he would remain clever. As the English say,
he was too clever by half. The
following exchange took place in 2003:
Carlin: Mr. Butterfield, why do you think
President Nixon sort of let the machine run? I
mean, do you think he sometimes even forgot about
the fact that he was taping?
Butterfield: Absolutely. Yes. Yeah. We, we
marveled at his ability to, uh, seemingly be
oblivious to the tapes. I mean, even I was
sitting there uncomfortably sometimes saying,
"He's not really going say this, is he?"
[laughter] But . . . but he did. . . .
Nixon was paranoid as no President ever was, either
before or after. He was convinced that "they" were out to
get him: the liberals, the Jews, the media, the Eastern
elite. And he was right. There was a widespread visceral
hatred of Nixon that has been matched only by hatred for
Hillary Clinton. But in circling the wagons against
enemies outside, he forgot Jesus' warning:
And a man's foes shall be they of his own
household (Matthew 10:36).
Nixon received a pardon for crimes never presented in
a court of law. He received it from the only President
ever chosen by his predecessor rather than by a vote, who
in turn appointed as his Vice President a man who had
publicly insisted, "I never wanted to be vice president of
anything" -- Nelson Rockefeller. This was man who had
hired Nixon after his California gubernatorial defeat in
1962, bringing him to New York City to live for free in a
condominium owned by Rockefeller, and putting him under the
authority of bond lawyer John Mitchell, who later went to
jail over Watergate. This was the man who had became Henry
Kissinger's patron, who in turn hired Col. Al Haig in 1969,
who was a 4-star general just four years later -- skipping
the third star altogether. He became Supreme Allied
Commander of NATO in 1974, soon after Nixon quit. There
were winners and losers in Rockefeller's orbit.
The pardon ended the legal issue for Nixon. But,
until the day he died, he refused to turn over all of the
tapes. His estate finally surrendered the last 201 hours
worth of tapes in November, 1996.
From the day that the first highly detailed request
came from Sirica, Nixon must have known the truth: he was
going to become the victim of the biggest leak in American
history. From that point on, Nixon knew he had been
betrayed from the inside. He knew he was trapped. He was
a lawyer. He had made his political career in 1948 based
on rolls of film that had been buried in a hollowed-out
pumpkin: evidence that Whittaker Chambers had actually
forgotten he had regarding Alger Hiss's spying.
What Nixon must have known, no salaried reporter has
figured out. Susan Huck did. Gary Allen did. I did. But
none of us was ever a full-time reporter.
The man who supplied the prosecutors with the
technically inadmissible evidence of Nixon's smoking guns
may still be alive. He has not broken silence. He has
maintained his loyalty. He has kept the oath. If he was
watching the evening news in the first week of June, 2005,
he must have had a good chuckle.
For over three decades, the press played hide-and-seek
with the shadow known as Deep Throat. Reporters and
authors expended time, energy, and money on tracking him
down. At long last, they have found him, senile and unable
to tell his story. "Mystery solved! Case closed!"
Meanwhile, I hear unerasable voices in my mind.
"Good night, David." "Good night, Chet."
"And that's the way it was."
More information about the paleopsych