Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Linchpin to Conspiracy

An Extract from John Dean's 1970's best-seller, Blind Ambition, Page 109:

(Both the White House faction and the Justice Department faction had earlier held a meeting to discuss the ongoing investigations into the break in that had been recently exposed by the news media. The author, then counsel to the President, John Dean was on the way to the Justice Department with the Assistant Attorney General, Richard G. Kleindienst.)

"This thing is so goddam stupid I can't believe it!" Kleindienst exploded when when we reached his office. "Breaking in and bugging the damn Democratic National Committee. There's nothing in there but a lot of crap, anyway. Anybody knows that. Dumbest damn thing I ever heard."

Kleindienst walked over to his desk and sat down. He waved his arms to emphasize his dismay. "This fella Liddy (Liddy G. Gordon, former FBI agent, general counsel of the Committee to Re-elect the President) must be crazy! He tracked me down at the Burning Tree Country Club on Saturday after my golf game. He said 'John Mitchell wants you to get the men arrested at the DNC out of jail.' Can you believe it? I told Liddy to get his ass packing. If I'd ever seen a guilty man, it was Liddy. He was rattled and nervous and I wasn't about to talk to him."

So that's the little encounter Dick had with Watergate over the weekend, I thought. Liddy's name had not yet surfaced in the investigation, and I assumed Kleindienst had not reported the incident for fear of implicating both Liddy and (Attorney General) Mitchell. Kleindienst was instinctively on the inside of the problem, too. This strengthened my impulse to confide in him.

I watched him change moods as he stared silently at his desk. "If John Mitchell is in trouble," he stared gravely, "I'll resign before I'd ever prosecute him." He knew where this was heading as well as I did. I decided to trade worries with him.

"Dick I don't have all the facts, but I'm worried. I'm afraid this thing could lead to the President. I don't know if the President is involved, but-"

"God, I hope the President is not involved in this, and that you're not involved."


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