Watergate Chapter 4
The History Channel (20160
In this episode, the History Channel replays video footage of John Dean testifying to the Senate Judiciary Committee. There is also a clear attempt to elicit sympathy for Dean as the inexperienced dupe of Nixon. I don’t buy it. Neither does Russ Baker in his 2009 Family of Secrets (see Was Nixon Set Up?).
In “Chapter 11 Downing Nixon Part II The Execution,” he reveals (based on range of resources, including unclassified documents, first hand accounts of White House staff and congressional records) that it was Dean who instigated and engineered both the Watergate break-in and cover-up (as Nixon claimed at the time):
- In November 1971, it was Dean who recruited two private eyes to do a “walk-through” of Watergate.
- It was Dean who ordered Jeb Magruder (deputy director of the Committee to Reelect the President) to ask CIA asset and Watergate burglar Gordon Liddy: “Do you think you can get into Watergate?”
- It was Dean who paid hush money to CIA assets and Watergate burglars as part of the coverup.
After Dean spends two days reading his 245-page testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Nixon issues a statement accusing Dean of orchestrating the coverup without the knowledge of his superiors. Although no one believed him at the time, he seems to have been telling the truth.
After Dean, Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs John Ehrlichman and White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman are summoned to testify, White House aide (and CIA asset, according to Baker) Alexander Butterfield reveals that Nixon records all Oval Office conversations. A week later, Judge Sirica (responsible for advising the grand jury, Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox and the Senate Judiciary Committee) orders the White House to turn over the tapes.
Nixon, following the precedent set by both Truman and Eisenhower, declines, citing executive privilege.
Meanwhile Vice President Spiro Agnew is charged with for accepting bribes as governor of Maryland, the Yum Kippur War breaks out in the Middle East and in October 1973 the oil-producing Arab countries declare an oil embargo against all western countries supplying military aid to Israel.
On October 30, 1973, the House begins impeachment hearings against Nixon.
The film can be viewed free on Kanopy