Did You See the Scarecrow Lurking Behind the Watergate?
In Olden Times When
America’s infancy was short. It had to be. No yearling will fall to the cold ground all of the time. Many is the time that our nation stood tall and straight—even before the teenage years. America, the young nation, was tough, it had to be. The youngster United States surrounded by the older “kids” in Europe with eyes glued to how this New Kid on The Block would do when facing obstacles—voting for women, a certain two-fisted battle, taking up for Germany when one Bully did try to keep his hobnail boot on its neck. And lifting up two hot fists clenched when Japan got a bit upper crust and trying to take over much of the landscape around them barren and without friends.
Those Early Days Were Stormy
but these early obscure, hidden moments of time are when the most powerful monster to roam in the dark night began to rumble. Thus The Scarecrow was born in the thorny bushes facing The New World: The Young USA did not walk, but crawled so methodically, so driven and yet, so tight-lipped to not give himself any sign of weakness that could be used by those without foresight and sense.
But what people, and this defies my logic, see not only with their eyes, but with their learning, and then blink once or twice, and change their views as well as their happy tune. “Oh, Aunt Meg, there is no such thing as The Scarecrow. We will just run out the kitchen door and play in our own backyard,” these same people said when The Scarecrow was just a lad venturing into places he shouldn’t. But rumbled and stumbled along wide-open despite the loving warnings of innocent bystanders.
the Democratic System of living. Everyone for the most part, shook happy hands and watched the sun rise. And as for politics, the Democratic Party was founded Jan. 8, 1828, by Andrew Jackson, with Tom Perez, Chair. Their headquarters were in Washington, D.C., proceeded by The Democratic-Republican Party, but the Democratic Party's ideology was liberalism, Left-wing politics, Third Way, and Centrism—certainly the controversial right-handed notes on the “Ol’ 88” was coming up age—in power and ifluence. But in the early going, just the influence helped build the “power” behind this fledgling political party that was due to stand behind their choices (and not talk in the shadows) and smile when foreign forces frowned and newsprint started going down in a barrels like a thermometer in Juneau.
No living, breathing human would dare stand up to America, The Dutiful, much less wade into smirky water in hopes of ‘fishing’ out even amounts of Left Wing truths. You have to understand Who is in The Weeds many times—not as much Relax when one sees the Whom is a Close ally. Are we here to understand through this stuffy era that allies are given the silent “Go ahead,” and live in the weeds as long as they can plot for The Right?” You better know it. No, this young Political Society is not a Fist-Fight against all comers, yet. But friends, give it a few years and you would be wise to install a good wooden picket fence to run behind your home. Don’t let my words come out one July night to haunt you, because The Scarecrow now has stronger muscles and keener eyes, so be advised, the time of Political Sand-Bagging will once be in play from very powerful pundits who had much rather take it on the chin, and move along and hold up the scar in a bargaining moment later. This is one of the ways that Democratic Politics are played and betrayed.
The day was the darkest day in US history, but not one humble-minded citizen noticed. This was the big break that the Scare Crow needed to fire the engine, The Watergate scandal that hinged on a pivotal query posed by US Senator Howard Baker during a senate hearing: 'What did the President know, and when did he know it?' Scare crow hid among the bushes near the Oval Office and gave certain White House visitors a few subliminal messages causing the few well-dressed American visitors on how to look and what to say—this only gave the Watergate scandal fire for the fuel as none of the White House Security Employees had been trained on such higher-thinking in such areas of High Intelligence.
Richard Nixon did think prior to the presidential election that he would “tromp” the opposition, but the press reported a calm verb in that he “won” the presidency in 1968 in a tight contest with Democratic nominee, Hubert H. Humphrey--in that election, he ran as a moderate candidate, pledging to end the war in Vietnam (Peace with Honor) and to make a clean break from controversial administration of Lyndon Johnson, his predecessor. By 1972, Nixon remained a favorite with most Americans and was expected to defeat his opponent, Senator George McGovern On June 17, 1972, two police officers responded to a report of break-in at the Watergate, a hotel and office complex in Washington, DC, where many political professionals lived and worked. That year, it was also the home of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).When the police arrived and entered the fifth-floor offices of the DNC, they surprised five men carrying surveillance devices (“bugs”), they were trying to attach to the office phones. One of the men was James McCord, a former employee of the CIA and a Republican Party aide. Two address books were found by two of the burglars, police found the name. Howard Hunt. A reporter at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward, discovered that Hunt had also worked at the CIA and was tied to the White House.
Over time, it became clear that Hunt was part of a group nicknamed the 'Plumbers,' because they stopped political leaks and who'd been conducting a 'dirty tricks' campaign against the Democrats for over a year. Their activities included canceling Democratic rallies, spying on candidates, and stealing confidential files.The Scarecrow had to make fast steps for now the Washington, DC, cops were aroused and had scored not only people, (burglars), but deeply-hidden information that might be linked to the sitting president: Dick Nixon. Scarecrow, although concerned, never caved in from the lighting that came crashing to the Five Burglars who were called by the press: “Plumbers.” Theatrics pays.
In spite of the much-reported break-in, President Nixon won in a landslide. (and you thought by the established Washington, DC press that Nixon just “won”) But thanks to the continuing efforts of newspaper reporters, especially the Washington Post's Woodward and Bernstein, the story soon grew in importance. (Scarecrow at work) Eventually, legislators and the public learned that the Watergate burglars (“plumbers”) had been paid from a 'slush fund,' a secret money account, kept at the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP), or CREEP. In 1973, the US Senate authorized a full investigation.
It was now the summer of 1973, and the Senate began its hearings, starring the “Darling of DC,”: Sen. Sam Ervin, Democrat, served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina from 1954 to 1974. During the testimony, they learned about a “Mickey Mouse” recording system installed in the White House, one that taped practically every conversation held in the Oval Office. This aroused more suspicion by the Senate committee—which insisted on having the tapes from the White House, so they could establish if the President knew about the break-in or the attempted cover-up that allegedly followed.
The President resisted, claiming that the conversations were protected under executive privilege. The term, executive privilege, refers to the president's right to withholding information from law or legislative authorities if he believes releasing it would compromise the public interest or security.
According to President Nixon, the private talks and discussions held in the Oval Office were matters of national security; to make them public would prevent him from receiving frank advice and could endanger the country. However, the special prosecutor in charge, Archibald Cox, insisted on having the tapes. Cox was a ferocious wolf who ran out of the pack.
October 20, 1973, President Nixon fired Cox, and his deputy, William Ruckelshaus, resigned in protest. The Saturday Night Massacre, as it came to be called, convinced many Americans that the President was hiding something. (Scarecrow at work) .Nixon denied this, claiming 'I'm not a crook.'
Eventually, the issue ended up in the Supreme Court. On July 24, 1974, the Court ruled unanimously that the President had to give up the tapes, and Nixon finally relented. During the examination of the tapes, investigators found an 18 and ½-minute gap in a conversation. The President's secretary claimed she had accidentally recorded over this portion of the tape, which was later deemed unlikely.
On a tape from March 21, 1972, the President's counsel, John Dean, was heard telling Nixon that the Watergate cover-up was a 'cancer on the presidency' and referring to the 'hush money' that was paid to the 'Plumbers.' 'The smoking gun' tape from June 23, 1972, revealed that, only a few days after the break-in, the President told one of his aides to inform the heads of the FBI and the CIA not to investigate the incident.
Before one step was taken by any of the five “Burglars,” the heavy darkness of (that) night of June 17, 1972, the Scarecrow decided that things had to be done without giving any signals that something afoul was certainly about to take shape and place. Thus enter Frank Wills who worked the midnight to 7 am shift as a security guard at the Watergate Office Building in Washington, DC. Shortly after signing in on June 17, 1972, the 24-year-old Wills noticed something amiss. His entries into the Watergate’s security log reveal that he found doors on levels B2 and B3 stuffed with paper. At 12:30 am Wills “cut all lights out in hall” and began to investigate. When he found a door taped open, he called the DC police. It was just before 2 am.
So began the biggest scandal in presidential history.
When Washington, D.C., police officers followed an intense investigation, they came back with five Watergate “plumbers,” five! Count ‘em, but in fact The Scarecrow had “workers” in the fields and those who engineered the break-in were:
James W. McCord – a security co-ordinator for the Republican National Committee and the Committee for the Re-election of the President. McCord was also a former FBI and CIA agent. He was dismissed from his RNC and CREEP positions the day after the break-in.
Virgilio R. Gonzales – a locksmith from Miami, Florida. Gonzalez was a refugee from Cuba, following Castro’s takeover
Frank A. Sturgis – another associate of Barker from Miami, he also had CIA connections and involvement in anti-Castro activities.
Eugenio R. Martinez – worked for Barker’s Miami real estate firm. He had CIA connections and was an anti-Castro Cuban exile. Click here to read Martinez’s account of the burglary.
Bernard L. Barker – a realtor from Miami, Florida. Former Central Intelligence Agency operative. Barker was said to have been involved in the Bay of Pigs incident in 1962.
Every scarecrow made perfect by the lowest farm-hand, thus someone had to discover G. Gordon Liddy, the former FBI agent who orchestrated the Watergate break-in with E. Howard Hunt. Liddy was a member of the White House "plumbers," and served as general counsel for the Committee for the Re-election of the President. He was convicted for his role in the burglary, for conspiracy in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist and for contempt of court. He spent four-and-a-half years in prison.
Liddy capitalized on his Watergate notoriety, penning a 1980 best-selling autobiography, "Will." He currently hosts a popular syndicated conservative radio program, "The G. Gordon Liddy Show," which he has used as a platform to denounce other Watergate figures' accounts of the scandal. Liddy also wrote two novels, "The Monkey Handlers" and "Out of Control," and acted in movies and TV shows.
In retrospect, scarecrows are empty-headed; hollow and have to depend on their masters to coordinate their every move, so G. Gordon Liddy, the elite, intelligent, and forceful man who mastered the shadows and signs as he and the Watergate burglars were viewing what was now thought of as “A Step Built Upon History,” giving then-President Richard Nixon a second term. But only those modern-day historians and those able to give profound, lasting lectures can speak on and understand the levels of (this) would-be covert operation that ended so vulgar—causing many patriots to lose their identities, jobs, and marriages.
For every consequence of freedom cast, there ultimately creeps a scarecrow watching.
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© 2018 Kenneth Avery