Forgotten History - Tuesday, February 13, 2001
"Little known facts and overlooked history"
Gordon Liddy had been hired by the White House to run their
intelligence squad. At first, they were called the "Plumbers"
and one of their first actions was to break into the office
of psychiatrist Daniel Ellsberg. Now, as Gordon Liddy walked
through the Justice Department building, he was about to
submit his plan to Attorney General John Mitchell. The plan,
which was unquestionably criminal, was known as "Operation
Gemstone outlined the methods to be used on demonstrators at
the Republican National Convention in Miami. These demonstrators
were to be captured, drugged and held hostage in Mexico. Those
people carrying out the plan included professional killers who
had accounted for maybe twenty-two deaths between them so far.
They came from the ranks of organized crime and could be
trusted to do the job. Gordon Liddy presented this plan to the
chief law enforcement officer of the United States.
Other plans included bugging airplanes and the leasing of a
large barge which would serve as headquarters for the President's
lawbreakers. One of the bedrooms on the barge would
be used to house local prostitutes whose job it would be "to
go out and to seduce into the barge high campaign officials."
Liddy said they were searching for high class women who would
be seduced by the power of the Democratic staffers. Liddy also
spoke of agent provocateur tactics that would discredit the
Liddy's tactics included destroying property, such as wrecking
air-conditioning units in the hotels that Democrats were
staying, which would in turn make conditions for the Democrats
difficult. Amazingly John Mitchell, who was the Attorney
General at the time, didn't fire Liddy but told him to come up
with something more feasible. While Liddy went back to the
drawing board, John Dean, who was present at the meeting,
suggested to White House chief of staff H.R. Halderman that
the administration have nothing to due with the lawless Liddy.
Liddy now started up on his plans to break into the Democratic
headquarters. What were they looking for? They were looking
for the financial records of Lawrence O'Brien. O'Brien had
been kept on a retainer by Howard Hughes and Nixon wanted to
find out the information and thereby discredit O'Brien. To do
this, and other illegal activities, Liddy and former CIA
operative E. Howard Hunt hired several anti-Castro Cubans to
be their muscle.
The Cubans prowled the convention and tried to disrupt the
activities of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Nixon
held veterans in contempt. Veterans hospitals often made it
difficult for returning GI's to get the type of care they
needed. When Watergate finally exploded, those anti-war
veterans remembered the Cubans from the convention.
The Cubans were next sent to Washington where they were shown
a picture of Daniel Ellsberg and were told: "Our mission is
to hit him, call him a traitor, and punch him in the nose.
Hit him and run." What this meant in legal terms was to go
and commit assault. The men were arrested but then released
when Nixon operatives spoke with the police.
Things looked good for Nixon. Polls were showing him ahead of
front runner Senator George McGovern and with George Wallace
out of the race due to an assassin's bullet. The President
seemed on his way to an easy victory. However, Nixon still
craved an even greater victory. Preparations were being made to
break into the office of George McGovern and the offices of
the Democratic Party. Gordon Liddy said to E. Howard Hunt,
"that's our next job."
---- Sources: The Arrogance of Power, Anthony Summers The Wars of Watergate, Stanley I. Kutler Interview with Vietnam veteran Barry Romo
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