Skip to comments.New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in
Posted on 05/19/2008 8:05:22 AM PDT by tlb
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new book on the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon alleges that White House counsel John Dean ordered the infamous Watergate break-in in 1972, a charge Dean strongly rejected.
James Rosen, a Fox News Channel correspondent in Washington, made the charge based on interviews and an exhaustive review of documents for "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate."
Dean called Rosen's assertion "pathetic."
Rosen quoted from a 1990 interview from another central Watergate figure, Jeb Magruder, that "the first plan that we got had been initiated by Dean."
To help build his case, Rosen quoted from a statement that Magruder made in a legal deposition in 1995 about "Gemstone," Watergate planner G. Gordon Liddy's code-name for the burglary:
"Question: 'Is it true that John Dean was one of the people in the White House that was pushing for the Gemstone plan?'
"Question: ... Is it, in fact, truthful that you and John Dean had prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in?'
Dean told Reuters, "I hope this book is being sold as fiction, for if it is not, readers are being defrauded."
"His conclusions are pathetic. Rosen has simply ignored all the sworn testimony to the contrary, including my own," he said.
Rosen's book also alleges that the doomed wiretapping was deliberately sabotaged by the CIA.
Rosen says he had a rich trove of previously undiscovered information to scour for his book, including 5,000 pages of executive session testimony by key witnesses before the Senate Watergate committee, including Dean, Magruder, James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and Alexander Haig.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
John Dean is not one of my favorite people to put it mildly. He would sell his soul to save his hide.
One of the best non-fiction books I ever read in my life was ‘Silent Coup’.
I am looking forward to this book.
“There is nothing lower than the Agent Provocotuer.” - Churchill
He makes good sausages.
Correct. By the time “history” is done with him, Dean will be portrayed as just another victim. He was forced to be involved by some super-secret arm of the CIA that only helps Republican presidents do their dastardly deeds. In fact, I believe it was Karl Rove himself who held the gun to his head.
"1964: U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War officially begins.
Daniel Ellsberg begins work at The Pentagon.
Ellsberg acquires the Pentagon Papers.
Ellsberg gives copies to Neil Sheehan.
June 13, 1971: The New York Times begins to publish them.
The Washington Post soon follows. Richard Nixon reacts with outrage."
Yes, that book was VERY informative and quite helpful in sorting out what actually happened. Dean, of course, blasted the book.
But I’ve always thought Rosen was a careful journalist. I’d give him more credibility over Dean, at least enough to consider his charges.
My theory is that it had something to with Dean’s wife, who before they got married was rooming with a hooker who may or may not have been one of the hookers the Dems were running to reward donors and political allies.
What kind of woman rooms with a hooker?
Who freakin’ cares?
"I got the idea from my hot motorcycle-driving girlfriend."
Dean is a spineless, wimpy coward.
G. Gordon Liddy has been claiming this for years.
The first book that fingered Dean.
Agreed. John Dean was not only as slimy as some of Bill Clinton's more noxious associates, but he also put on an air of moral superiority during the Watergate hearings, with his ex-hooker spouse dressed up like a respectable middle class lady. At least Clinton's creeps made little pretense about being anything other than political operatives.
If I remember correctly, Liddy interviewed the authors of that book who claimed that Dean’s wife was a hooker and that the breakin was ordered BY DEAN to investigate her and who ‘knew’ her
remember anything like that?
John Dean is a little wiener, that's true.
Yeah, but they couldn't do that without offending the muslims.
You know... the thing that still eludes me about Watergate remains: Why?
Nixon certainly didn’t need anything from that office. He was winning easily. But somebody thought there was something to gain. Though who, and what was it?
That’s never made any sense to me.
Someone on a TV talk show years ago (over 10, I think) said that Dean had masterminded the break-in to recover materials that might have exposed his wife for, uh, sexual irregularities. Wish I could remember the details . . .
The wife of John Dean, Elizabeth Beiner Dean, was a prostitute before she married the President’s Chief Counsel, G. Gordon Liddy has said. Apparently, the future Mrs. Dean willingly participated in an FBI undercover operation whose goal was to bust the very call girl ring that she was involved in. Apparently, the woman had a special relationship with the Counsel to President Nixon...she would eventually become his wife.
According to Liddy, who was one of President Nixon’s Watergate “plumbers,” the Madame of the whore house in which Mrs. Dean worked could be seen in the Dean wedding photos!
Mrs. Dean’s superior in the FBI investigation, which was occurring across from the Watergate hotel: W. Mark Felt.
Hmmm... now I see a couple of intriguing answers. If that’s all it took, and Dean wouldn’t cop to it, he’s even more of a weasel than I thought he was.
Uh, interesting, but if the bride was the agent that busted the call girl ring, why would the Madame be at the wedding?
Feb 10, 1997
New allegations have emerged in hundreds of papers filed recently in United States District Court in Washington that allegedly link Dean’s wife Maureen to a Capitol Hill sex ring. If true, the allegations could force the Deans to back out of the $150 million libel suit they filed five years ago against St. Martin’s Press Inc., publishers of Silent Coup, and its authors Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin.
The new charges, hotly denied by Dean, are intended to support what Liddy and others have been saying: The Watergate break-in had nothing to do with President Nixon but was a personal enterprise by Dean to protect his then-girlfriend Maureen by removing information that linked her to a call-girl ring run out of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate.
But Dean’s Los Angeles attorney, John Garrick, insists Maureen was never a prostitute or friend of the mob. “There was no call-girl ring running out of the DNC,” Garrick tells Insight. “They have nothing to support it. Their whole story breaks down.” The Deans declined comment.
Sources familiar with the suit say the Dean team spent at least three days in early January trying to settle the suit. The one-time Nixon legal counsel, who implicated his superiors in the Watergate scandal and served four months in prison, took exception to the 1991 books assertion that it was he who masterminded the Watergate break-in and cover-up to get information on the escort service. The book claims escorts were provided from the Columbia Plaza Hotel, near the Watergate, to out-of-town Democrats. The book also asserts that the madam was tied to the mob and a close friend of Mo Dean.
The Deans naturally did not like Liddy’s suggestions that Maureen was more than just a friend to the madam or his labeling John a “serial perjurer.” Nor did the Deans take kindly to the madam’s lawyer and convicted pimp Phillip Mackin Bailley being a source for Silent Coup. Bailley’s address book linked Maureen to the call-girl operation, and spurred Johns interest in the break-in, according to the Colodny and Gettlin book, but Garrick denies Maureen was in the address book. The Deans responded by suing both Liddy and Bailley.
In December, Colodny’s attorneys dumped a 4,200-page summary-judgment motion into Dean’s lap, asking U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay to dismiss the case. Dean immediately requested a continuance to respond to the motion. It was a briar patch. The motion itself stands 2 feet high with 774 separate exhibits, including a section dedicated to outing Maureen as an alleged prostitute, which the book never directly stated. The allegations, if true, could bolster one of the theories from Silent Coup that John learned about the call-girl connection to DNC from his then-girlfriend Maureen and tried to protect her.
I happened to catch James Rosen on C-SPAN last night - he hinted that the reason for the burglary was related to Dean’s wife and a call girl ring that catered to Democrats.
I recall GL saying that as well.
At the time, Mitchell admitted that he, along with White House counsel John Dean and CRP deputy head Jeb Magruder, listened to various illegal schemes G. Gordon Liddy proposed without doing much to derail them. But Mitchell denied that he had ever given any positive authorization for the break-ins. He also denied that he tried to spring burglar James McCord from jail, by all accounts the very first act in the cover-up.
Mitchell’s denials fell on deaf ears. But now, as Watergate aficionados start their twentieth-anniversary celebration, a new trial lumbers toward its day in court, reopening the questions that have haunted historians for two decades: Who ordered the Watergate burglaries, and why?
Historian Stanley Kutler asked Mitchell nine months before his death, ‘What would you want to see, if there were an account of Watergate, that hasn’t been said?”
MITCHELL: I don’t know how you are going to get at it, but I would like to know how the whole damned thing started.
KUTLER: You are talking about the break-in?
MITCHELL: Yes . . . That to me has been a question all along. Who in the hell did start this thing, and how did it get moving and rolling to the point it did?
Last year, St. Martin’s Press published a book that claimed to have the answers to John Mitchell’s questions. Silent Coup appeared after seven years of research by political consultant and businessman Len Colodny and Newhouse reporter Robert Gettlin. Silent Coup offers new spins on every plot twist in the scandal. To attempt such sweeping revisionism, Colodny and Gettlin tape-recorded 160 interviews (all but ten on the record), and pored over tape transcripts, court transcripts, memoranda, evidentiary exhibits, raw FBI reports, complete Oval Office logs, memoirs, and on and on.
Silent Coup attributes to Dean and Magruder many acts that these two men in court and elsewhere—had attributed to John Mitchell. G. Gordon Liddy, heretofore recognized as the “mastermind” of the break-ins, was, we are told, a dupe, unaware of even the true target of the missions. Instead, the book claims that the break-ins were undertaken at the behest of John Dean, who allegedly sought to retrieve evidence linking his attractive soon-tobe wife Maureen to a Washington callgirl outfit.
How amazing given that Dean has long been the darling of the liberal MSM (and had turned on all the REPUBS he could).
Then it would have to be called Sausagegate.
You know, that kind of revisionist history is the kind I could handle.
Dean turned on his fellow conspirators in exchange for leniency. He was a key player in the break-in, and his protestations are laughable and pathetic.
He is, after all, a lawyer who took large amounts of cash to the Watergate defendants to buy their silence.
Dean had a prostitute girl friend
the ring she was affiliated with had someone sitting at a desk in the DNC
Dean personally got this confirmed from friends in the FBI
he wanted them to get the address book (containing his name and number) from the desk of his girlfriend’s contact then working as a ‘secretary’ in the DNC
his FBI friends didn’t want to ‘break in’
Dean found another way
he was then and remains one of the most self-serving rogues in American political history
So now there may be some truth to the "Silent Coup" argument after all!
Dean chronicled his White House experiences, with a focus on Watergate, in the memoirs Blind Ambition and Lost Honor. Blind Ambition would become the point of controversy many years after its publication.Says something about Olbermann, more or less.
In 1992, he hired famed attorney Neil Papiano and brought the first in a series of defamation suits against G. Gordon Liddy for claims in his book Will and St. Martin's Press for its publication of the book Silent Coup by Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin. Silent Coup alleged that Dean was the mastermind of the Watergate burglaries, and the true target of the burglaries was to seize information implicating Dean and Maureen Biner (his then-fiancée) in a prostitution ring. After hearing of Colodny's work, Liddy issued a revised paperback version of Will supporting Colodny's theory. This theory was subsequently the subject of an A&E Network Investigative Reports series program entitled The Key to Watergate in 1992. Liddy's defense team focused on allegations that Blind Ambition was ghost written by Taylor Branch, a charge that Dean denies to this day.
In the preface to his 2006 book, Conservatives Without Conscience, Dean strongly denied Colodny's theory, pointing out that the Colodny's chief source (Phillip Mackin Bailley) had been in and out of mental institutions. Dean settled the defamation suit against Colodny and his publisher, St. Martin's Press, on terms which Dean stated in the book's preface he could not divulge under the terms of the settlement, other than stating that "the Deans were satisfied." In the footnote to this portion of the preface, Dean stated that the federal judge handling the case forced a settlement with Liddy.
... Dean frequently serves as a guest on the MSNBC show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann ...
See my comments on this book, above.
This has been something GG Liddy has discussed for many years on his radio show. Hasn’t he been pointing the finger at Dean?
In 1991, Silent Coup was published (Colodny and Getlin, St. Martin's Press). It exposed the Washington Post/Woodward/Bernstein version of Watergate as deeply flawed. Sixty Minutes was to feature the book, but canceled the segment at the request of their buddies over at the Post.
Silent Coup laid out the facts showing that John Dean was a sniveling, ambitious, corrupt little worm who was eager to exploit the paranoia of the Nixon Administration by using his position as White House Counsel to become a conduit for secret intelligence and dirty tricks to curry favor with the higher-ups. When the deal blew up in his face, he was able to adroitly convince Halderman /Erlichman that John Mitchell was the one pushing the scheme while allowing Mitchell to assume Halderman/Erlichman were behind the operation. He then secured a sweetheart deal from the prosecutors and the Dems by helping them nail Nixon. He has become a darling of the Left since then.
This new book will undoubtedly be discredited by the MSM as a right-wing hack job and will probably not be able to overcome such attacks simply because Watergate is now such ancient news, but it will be of great interest to those of us who have continued to be interested in how this story was played in the late 1970's, including how easy it was for John Dean to dupe the public with the help of very willing accomplices in the media.
See my post, above, on my experience with this.
Yep. That's in part what led Dean to sue Liddy. G said he actually learned a lot of things he never knew before that were documented in 'Silent Coup'.
I was in college at the time and followed the Watergate news very closely. During the summer I would come home from my job and immediately plant myself in front of the TV to watch the hearings (yeah, I was a politics nerd even back then).
One thing that always nagged at me was how quickly Dean flipped. I mean, it was a mind-boggling complete 180. One day the Democrats were calling him a sleazy, lying bastard and the next day the Republicans were calling him a sleazy, lying bastard.
(Ironically, I believe both sides were correct.)
Dean’s fingerprints are all over the break-in. As another poster pointed out, the break-in made no sense on the face of it. It never did. The only question about the ‘72 election was how big of a landslide Nixon would get. Mo Dean is the link.
didn’t GGL make this assertion a decade ago?...Mo Dean was on a call girl list in DNC HQ so Dean got the perfect patsy in attack dog (GGL) to do a black bag job...
Wasn’t there an earlier book suggesting the same thing? I believe it suggested Dean was concerned that his then girl friend had a room mate who was linked to a possible prostitution ring operating out of the Democrats headquarters.
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