Re: [sixties-l] Watergate - redux

From: John Andrew (
Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 16:51:16 CUT

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    >INSIGHT MAGAZINE: Who ordered the Watergate break-ins and what were the
    >burglars hoping to find? Most historians thought these questions were
    >answered a long time ago, but for convicted Watergate conspirators John Dean
    >and G. Gordon Liddy the issue is far from resolved. The two have been
    >fighting an eight-year legal battle - rife with incendiary charges of sex,
    >lies and cover-ups - hoping to prove their versions of what happened. It's a
    >fight that seemed to end in June when a federal district court dismissed the
    >lawsuit by mutual agreement, leaving Dean and Liddy to battle it out in the
    >court of public opinion. The dispute centers on comments Liddy made in
    >speeches and on his nationally syndicated radio program in which he accused
    >Dean of masterminding the Watergate break-ins and of lying under oath when
    >he testified about the affair. Also at issue are Liddy's claims that Dean's
    >alleged lies sent innocent people to jail, as well as his claim that Dean's
    >wife, Maureen, was linked to a call-girl ring. The charges led the Deans to
    >file a defamation lawsuit against Liddy, whose comments they claim were
    >false and malicious and which they say hurt Maureen Dean's book sales and
    >caused her intense emotional suffering. Liddy isn't the first to make
    >sensational claims about the Deans. Many of his accusations are part of a
    >broader look at the 1972 Watergate break-ins advanced by Len Colodny and
    >Robert Gettlin in Silent Coup, a best-selling book on Watergate. The Deans
    >also sued Colodny but dropped the case when Colodny's libel insurance
    >company paid both Colodny and Dean to walk away from the case. Silent Coup
    >attacks the conventional understanding of Watergate, based on the work of
    >Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, in which Attorney
    >General John R. Mitchell, manager of Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-elect
    >the President, ordered the break-ins. Instead, the book claims, it was John
    >Dean who ordered the burglary, allegedly because he knew of a call-girl ring
    >operating out of the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, headquarters and
    >hoped the break-ins would uncover dirt on the Democrats.

    Interesting, but this seems doubtful on both counts. I'm currently deep
    into Watergate materials for a book on politics and the IRS from JFK thru
    Nixon, and the most compelling stuff I've seen thus far involves Nixon,
    Howard Hughes, Larry O'Brien, Donald Nixon, and several mobsters and
    John Andrew

    John Andrew email: J_ANDREW@ACAD.FANDM.EDU
    Department of History fax 717-399-4518
    Franklin and Marshall College
    Lancaster, PA. 17604-3003

    "Fantasy Will Set You Free" - Steppenwolf

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