The Silent Coup and 40 Years of Neocon, Neoliberal War by John Stanton
“The [Washington] Post lied to its readers by printing stories it knew were false, and they allowed Woodward to lie with impunity. That included printing stories that claimed that Moorer or others had never talked to us for Silent Coup, when in fact the Post’s reporters not only knew they had been interviewed, but they had done so on tape. Their editors and allies waged a campaign of disinformation and intimidation against other media organizations that considered printing parts of Silent Coup or airing stories about the book.” (Len Colodny, Silent Coup)
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda, Nazi Germany)
A typical United States history text used by American public and private high school (grades 9-12) has this to say about President Richard Nixon’s resignation: “Main Idea: President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal forced him to resign from office. The Watergate scandal raised questions of public trust that still affect how the public and media skeptically view politicians.” The Americans (McDougal and Littell, 2005).
There is reference to the usual cast of characters involved with the Committee to Reelect the President and the members of the US Congress who conducted the Watergate hearings. The Wikipedia entry on Nixon and his downfall pushes the same sanitized narrative.
There are deep craters in these presentations of Nixon. They have been filled with cheery accounts of the effectiveness of the systems of checks and balances in which the US Congress rose to the challenge of the imperial presidency and set the country back on track to a free and open democracy.
Nixon remains the face of political evil for many Americans. And young high school and college Americans are taught that Nixon’s paranoia, insecurity, racism and disdain for all but his closest staff members were the preeminent causes for his resignation on August 9, 1974. The narratives have been sanctioned by America’s political, military, academic and business elite because they are simplistic and an easy “sell” to, as Jim Morrison of the Doors once sang, a “fragile eggshell mind”, which is to say, the American public.
Nixon’s presidency is defined by his shortcomings and Watergate. But it really is a messy crime scene with many unsolved and unresolved matters. In this sense it remains a sort of Cold Case, desperately in need of revision to include the role of the US military Joint Chiefs of Staff and its spy operation within the National Security Council, an expose of the man who orchestrated the Watergate break-in, and the devious actions of General Alexander Haig, USA (ret.) in the National Security Council, and the dicey reporting of Bob Woodward and the Washington Post.
Fortunately Len Colodny has exposed the gaps in the story. Silent Coup: The Removal of a President (1992, re-release 2015) and The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons, from Nixon to Obama (2010) severely damage the narrative. It is easy to dismiss his works as conspiracy theory if one is a disciple of the Mr. Clean theory of Watergate: All inconvenient facts are bleached from the crime scene.
But both works are impeccably written in a smooth fashion and are supported by an oil tanker’s worth of interviews and references. Colodny’s collected works on Nixon and Watergate are housed at Texas A&M University. They contain “approximately 800 hours of taped interviews, with more than 100 people who were affiliated with the Nixon Administration, and those that followed. Historians, who go to Texas A&M and the online portal the University is developing, will find Colodny’s extensive interviews with Nixon’s closest aides and associates, including H.R. Haldeman, his Chief of Staff; Attorney General John Mitchell; and Domestic Policy Chief John Ehrlichman. It also includes exclusive interviews with “Washington Post” reporter Bob Woodward and White House Counsel John Dean, whose testimony during the 1973 Watergate Hearings helped detail Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up.
Listed below (quoting directly) are some of Colodny’s key findings. They can be located at Watergate.Com: Correcting the Historical Record.
Along with showing the ties between Woodward and Haig, we also showed how Dean ordered the Watergate break-in mostly to cover his involvement with a prostitution ring run by a madam, Heidi Rikan, who was a close friend of Dean’s girlfriend and wife, Maureen Biner Dean. At the time, the Deans hid behind the smoke screen that Rikan’s alias, Kathie Dieter, was not Rikan. We knew that Rikan and Dieter were the same person, and we proved it. Together, the revelations provided a dramatically different version of the events that drove Nixon from office. Dean, Haig and Woodward reacted as expected; he attacked us but never landed any substantive criticisms of the book’s findings.
Woodward and Haig
Bob Woodward lied to conceal his early ties to General Alexander Haig. In 1969 and 1970, Navy Lt. Bob Woodward manned the Pentagon’s secret communications room, which transmitted messages around the world, including the back channel communications for Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. In that duty, Woodward often delivered messages from the world’s top leaders to Gen. Alexander Haig, Kissinger’s deputy at the National Security Council…This relationship is critical to the Watergate scandal as Haig was the key source for Woodward on his most important story, that there were “deliberate erasures” on a critical Nixon White House tape.
Woodward, by using “Throat”, is concealing the person that actually erased the tape or at the very least witnessed it being erased. Colodny tells Woodward in the interview transcript below: “the word that jumps out at you is deliberate. Because if somebody is deliberately erasing tapes that are before Judge Sirica, we’re talking about a crime.”
It is significant because, if for “Throat” to know it was deliberate, he either erased the tape or witnessed its destruction. It is clear that both the process of elimination and Woodward’s changing story about “Throat” as a source, that Alexander Haig is the source that told him that there were deliberate erasures on the White House tapes.
US Military Spy Operation on Nixon-Kissinger
During the next seven days, White House and Pentagon investigation teams sprang into action, and soon found the immediate culprit, Charles E. Radford. Radford was a career US Navy Yeoman who worked in the National Security Council offices and frequently copied classified documents and even admitted to rifling through Kissinger’s briefcase. His confession and that of his superior, Admiral Robert O. Welander, began to unravel the trail of espionage that stretched back thirteen months to November 1970. According to this historical perspective, it began when the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Thomas H. Moorer became suspicious of the foreign policy decisions of Nixon and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. These policies included how Nixon was running the war in Vietnam, his pursuit of détente with the Soviets and his plans to open up trade with China. In short, the military feared that Nixon was selling out the United States to our greatest enemies: the Communists. For this reason, a spy ring was organized inside the White House’s National Security Council office for the purpose of stealing the President’s most important secrets and to undermine his policies. This led to the dramatic events of December 21, 1971 — the seventh day.
On that day, Nixon learned of the spy operations in all its minute details, and made a fateful decision, one that would deeply affect the course of his administration and be a factor in its demise in 1974. When told of the spy operation, Nixon initially declared it a “federal offense of the highest order.” But he did not demand that anyone be prosecuted. Rather, he covered up what he learned that day, and would later re-appoint Moorer as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
The spy ring and his lack of reaction and retaliation would remain the deepest and most closely guarded secret of his Administration. The President even managed to conceal the presence of the spy ring during the Watergate scandal, when revealing it might well have saved his presidency. In later years he refused to acknowledge the truth about it even when confronted with the strongest available evidence — taking the secret to his grave.
Colodny’s Forty Years War: Why is the USA in Such a Mess?
In 2012 I had this to say about Colodny’s epic work, The Forty Year’s War: He has written an exceptionally documented and scintillating yarn of American politics dating from the World War II years to the first days of President Obama’s administration. The marquee events, names and organizations common in today’s political/histor
But the real power of the book comes from Colodny’s digging beneath the standard American historical narrative of the panoply of events, issues and personalities of 1945-2009 to adroitly reveal the many stories of personal power grabs; political infighting between the White House/CIA, State and Defense Departments and Congress; ideological constitutional warfare; and, arguably, petty criminal activity bordering on treason. All of this is sourced with 432 “notes” to the text and a fine bibliography.
In a recent update to Silent Coup, Colodny had this to say of the findings in The Forty Years War published in 2009:
“At the time, the war in Iraq was a deadly stalemate that produced daily comparisons with Vietnam. We began investigating how the United States could become stuck in another land war without end – this time in the Middle East. Alexander Haig, the general who became Nixon’s chief of staff in 1973, was the focus of some of our original research. We asked how did Haig end up working at the National Security Council for Henry Kissinger? We learned Haig had been recommended by two colleagues at the Pentagon -former Army counsel Joseph Califano and Haig’s mentor Fritz G.A. Kraemer, a German-born political analyst who had also discovered Kissinger as a young Army private during World War IL Our research showed the extent of Kraemer’s influence in the military and federal government. Kraemer’s hardline views shaped those of Haig, who often bridled at the policies pushed by Kissinger and Nixon. It was Haig who supplied information to the Pentagon that Nixon and Kissinger wanted to hide from the military.
Kraemer’s influence continued past Nixon into the Ford administration, where he worked with President Ford’s chief of staff Donald Rumsfeld and his successor, Dick Cheney. Those two would become the Defense secretary and vice president who helped guide President George W. Bush into the disastrous invasion of Iraq. The Republican ‘Peace through Strength’ mantra from Ronald Reagan until this very day is based totally on Kraemer’s ‘Provocative Weakness Theory’ The Forty Years War was published in December 2009. The book reinforced the discoveries of Silent Coup and incorporated the advances made by those influenced by Silent Coup. The findings of The Forty Years War have not been challenged…”
The American ruling class is telling Big Lies about its direct support of Nazi sympathizers instrumental in the Ukraine Coup; its attempt to dismantle Russia through sanctions, currency manipulation, and tampering with the world’s oil production; its wayward children of ISIS; its military encirclement of China; and its drive to cull the population of the USA through austerity programs and the creation of class and foreign wars. It is all so easy to see.
Over at Fabius Maximus the results of a recent YouGov poll on a military takeover of the USA were discussed: “Then comes the worse news. The YouGov poll shows that 29% of Americans can imagine a situation in which they would support the military seizing control of the federal government… It’s an old story…the unwillingness of Rome’s people to bear the burdens of self-government. Strong men contended for the throne, as seems increasingly likely to happen to America, when we turn to the police or military for succor during bad times. The people of Rome reacted to the fall of the Republic and rise of the Empire with resignation, such as Stoicism, Epicureanism, Hedonism, and Christianity. What philosophies or religions will we create to numb our sense of responsibility? The Founders modeled the United States after Rome, and worried that we would follow the same course. Their writings, such as the Federalist Papers, describe our love of liberty as the foundation of the Republic. The next generation or two might prove that we deserve their confidence. Or not.”
John Stanton writes on national security and political matters. Reach him at captainkong22@gm