Political Intelligence Gathering Can be Justified, says G-Man of Watergate
(The Obama administration has been besieged by controversies regarding Watergate style intelligence gathering. First, the public learned about the Justice Department obtaining phone records and e-mails of journalists. Then, Americans learned that the NSA obtained phone records for Verizon customers. In this excerpt from The Right Frequency, an Amazon Best Seller, long time talk radio host G. Gordon Liddy explains why Watergate wasn’t so bad.)
While Liddy’s critics suggest his felon status impedes his credibility, the former general counsel for the Committee to Re-Elect the President during Watergate, argues its one part of his broader life experience as a former FBI special agent, a Treasury Department official, an Army artillery officer, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, trained in martial arts, actor and prisoner who knows virtually everything about guns. So the man with numerous life experiences was carried by almost 200 stations a year after its summer 1993 launch.
Liddy was not repentant about Watergate, asserting he did not believe it was a crime against the constitution. “It depends on what you include under the rubric Watergate. If you limit it to the breaking at the Watergate Hotel and subsequent cover-up, that had nothing to do with (subverting) the Constitution. I was not an officer of the government at that time; nor was I bound by an oath to defend the Constitution. This was a political intelligence-gathering operation,” Liddy said.
But he added, “I can see an argument if one includes the break-in of Dr. Fielding’s office (Daniel Ellsberg’s therapist) out in Beverly Hills because then I was a government agent. However, I would point out to you that it was a matter of national security. Here was a man (Ellsberg) who had access to the entire topsecret holdings of the Rand Corp. He said himself that he took them, including the so-called Pentagon Papers, which were highly classified. We did not know whether he was operating with the KGB. “I did not consider that to be a violation of the Constitution any more than I considered it a violation of the Constitution (to spy) against the East Bloc countries. I was serving my country.”
He always maintained the Clinton was a bigger crook than Nixon. “He’s corrupt and venal. There’s a hell of a lot more dirt to be found in the background of Bill Clinton than there ever was in Richard Nixon’s.”