Skip to comments.Release of Wallace shooter rekindles conspiracy talk [Nixon did it]
Posted on 09/03/2007 5:36:49 PM PDT by SJackson
In these days of 24-hour news cycles churning out forgettable headlines about interchangeable celebrities of no importance, it's nostalgic to be reminded of a time when sensational news spawned complicated conspiracy theories that could be followed for years.
Arthur Bremer, an emotionally troubled young busboy from Milwaukee convicted 35 years ago of attempting to assassinate segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace, will be released from prison this year.
Today's reporters probably only dimly remember Bremer or the serious speculation that he could have been a patsy at the center of a criminal conspiracy masterminded by former CIA operatives working for the president of the United States.
Before you dismiss the idea as preposterous, remember that the president of the United States in 1972 was Richard Nixon. We now know the Nixon White House was a criminal headquarters employing former CIA operatives to carry out burglaries and plot kidnappings.
When Bremer was arrested as the lone gunman in the shooting of Wallace and three others at a Laurel, Md., shopping center, Wallace was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Nixon's re-election.
That was the election Nixon and his top aides were so paranoid about losing they commissioned the Watergate crimes that eventually drove Nixon from office.
Before the final election against Sen. George McGovern, there was another serious threat to Nixon's re-election strategy. It was Gov. George Wallace.
Wallace was a threat to Nixon's Southern strategy, a cynical appeal to racism that continues to poison Republican politics to this day.
During the years when racist Southern Democratic senators filibustered against civil rights legislation, Republicans, the party of Lincoln, supported civil rights.
The Republican Party actually had a healthy liberal wing led by New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, whose family fortune helped support historically black colleges in the South and the civil rights activities of the Rev. Martin Luther King.
That all changed after Texas Sen. Lyndon Johnson, who aspired to the presidency, engineered his party's conversion in support of civil rights.
Nixon saw the alienation of racist Southern whites from the Democratic Party as an opportunity. Turning his back on his own party's proud history, Nixon openly courted the opponents of civil rights.
Wallace was a direct threat to Nixon's Southern strategy. If Wallace, a segregationist Democrat, got on the national ticket or even attracted enough votes to soften Democratic support for civil rights, it could stop Southern whites from turning to the Republicans.
The political threat to Nixon ended when the assassination attempt cut short Wallace's campaign and put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
But was Bremer a troubled loner who just happened to serve Nixon's interest, or -- as conspiracy theorists suspected of Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray in the '60s -- was he a convenient fall guy set up as part of a wider plot?
Some curious evidence in Milwaukee helped fuel such speculation.
As soon as Bremer was ide.jpgied as the shooter, local reporters went to his apartment. They were amazed that, in the case of a man accused of shooting a presidential candidate and three others including a Secret Service agent, they were able to walk right in.
One reporter later said he had never been in a crime-related scene where evidence appeared to be so carefully laid out for the press.
Almost immediately, reporters found a diary, supposedly written by Bremer, in which he described stalking not only Wallace, but also Nixon himself.
Later the diary was published. One particular part caught my attention because I was covering City Hall at the time. That was a section in which Bremer purportedly said he'd originally considered assassinating the mayor of Milwaukee.
In the diary, he said he decided the mayor wasn't important enough. But that's not exactly how he put it. In the diary, Bremer said he concluded the mayor was "just a fat, little noise."
I covered Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier at the time. He was a man of average height and not noticeably overweight. It seemed like an odd description to be used by anyone from Milwaukee who was familiar with its mayor.
I thought about that later when all those wild Watergate stories started coming out. One of the shadowy figures behind the Watergate burglary was a former CIA agent named E. Howard Hunt. Hunt made money on the side by writing pulp fiction spy thrillers.
Hunt seemed like the perfect guy to write a fictional assassin's diary. During Watergate, it was revealed that Nixon used Hunt and others to forge Kennedy administration memos to discredit the man Nixon hated most, John F. Kennedy, who had defeated him in 1960.
Oh, yeah. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists also claim witnesses saw Hunt in the vicinity of the grassy knoll on Nov. 22, 1963.
It's a good thing nobody believes any of those crazy conspiracy theories.
How old was GWB then and just what was he doing?
Like........................9-11? Iraq? The "Stolen" 2000 and 2004 elections?
What an incredibly stupid sentence to begin an article with.
Is there some writing of E. Howard Hunt in which he used the phrase "fat, little noise"? That's where this article seemed headed. But it never got there. How disappointing :)
I think I’ll go out on a limb and say that Joel McNally is an idiot.
“...there was another serious threat to Nixon’s re-election strategy. It was Gov. George Wallace.”
Hahahahaha... you must be kidding me...
Those Chicago election "results" will ALWAYS stink to high heaven in the political world that rehashes the results of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
Maybe he’s just a red diaper doper baby.
yankees did it...!!!!
Yup, no bias there. Last time I checked, buggings started with FDR, but the public isn't supposed to know that little fact. As Nixon himself implied, they just changed the rules in the middle of the game.
Actually Jeb Magruder and some other operatives did consider a pamphlet drop of McGovern literature in Bremer’s Milwaukee apartment right after the events in Laurel.
Which is priceless, when you really get right down to it.
"Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever!" - Gov. George Wallace (D) 1963.
So Nixon was a bigot and he wanted to protect the party of the bigots but Wallace was going to receive the support of black voters even though he was a staunch segregationist. Right.
“Oh, yeah. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists also claim witnesses saw Hunt in the vicinity of the grassy knoll on Nov. 22, 1963.’
I love this kind of crap. If Hunt was such a devious character, WWII Vet, trained by the CIA, determined to assassinate the Pres., would he have allowed himself to be seen at the grassy knoll, where the “other shooter” fired from?
LOL! I’m really thankful that President Reagan survived the assassination attempt on him. First and foremost, I loved the man and think he was the greatest president of the twentieth century. But second, if he had died, the likes of Oliver Stone and Michael Moore (and Joel McNally) would by now have devised a conspiracy theory about the murder. We’d be told that Reagan, upon taking office, realized that we needed to appease the Soviet Union, and had privately told members of the “military-industrial complex” that he was cancelling his planned military buildup. In response, the “right-wing cabal” had him murdered, using a brainwashed psycho with a fixation on Jodie Foster as cover.
Wallace was an unusual candidate. As a third party candidate in 1968 he won ten million votes and carried five states. In 1972 he was running for the 'rat nomination against a set of antiwar dickheads. He was a threat, definitely, and had to be taken seriously. That said, the conspiracy theory about Bremer was never taken seriously even by the media Nixon haters at the time.
WHO CARES,,, maim your own,
No disrespect intended but, bull$hit. Wallace was never going to be the Democrat nominee. He might have carried some states after Johnson bailed, but do you honestly believe the Rats would have voted for him? Please...
Bremer is a leftist goober. Who really believes he would work for Nixon, or anyone associated with Nixon. This is just another example of the Left lying about historic events, something they do all the time.
As I recall Hinkley’s parents were having dinner with Neil Bush while he was stalking Reagan.
The man who tried to shoot FDR in Feb. 1933 (a couple of weeks before he was due to be inaugurated) ended up killing a mayor instead--Anton Cermak of Chicago.