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Bridging the Political Gap
63 minutes | Jul 5, 2022
Episode 119: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 19) OCTOBER 1973 (Part B) All at Once, Getting to Know Spiro T. Agnew
Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States of America. Today the average person knows almost nothing about him. His only real vague claim to fame is that he was forced to resign the Vice Presidency in a long forgotten, unrelated to Watergate, scandal in 1973. Only recently was he attacked by MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow in her book " Bag Man, the Wild Crimes, audacious cover up and Spectacular downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House" Well anyone who is familiar with our podcast knows we don't think much of Miss Maddow, nor her far left opinions and predilection for exaggeration and sharing of nonfactual material. Not that we believe that Vice President Agnew was anywhere near as innocent as we believe President Nixon was of the smears against him. Because we don't. However, there is some level of unfairness in the way his case was portrayed from the very start, and we believe it is fair to say that he fell victim to the age old bug of having risen to far to fast at his given profession. In just 11 years, Spiro Agnew rose from being an attorney for a Union and serving on the Zoning Board of Appeals, to being elected Baltimore County Executive, and after taking advantage of a feud with in the Democratic Party, finding himself elected Governor of the State of Maryland. Richard Nixon in need of a running mate that did not drag down his poll numbers, turned to the unknown Agnew to be his running mate in 1968 for Vice President of the United States. An amazing rise for anyone to have come so far so fast. The State of Maryland had a very unusual way of doing business that apparently everyone was aware of and no one really talked about. It involved people looking to do work with various local governments subsidizing the decision making office holders income. Now today that would be considered illegal, and it is rather shocking to me that it was not considered illegal then, but the truth is it wasn't. That basic fact is a part of the story rarely if ever discussed and it is about the only defense available for not only a Vice President forced to give up his office but for the rather large list of other public figures this scandal involved in the state of Maryland. Over the next two episodes we are going to introduce you to the man, Spiro T. Agnew, who had risen so quickly from obscurity, the intricacies of the scandal that brought him down, and the story of his fall. A fall that was only made possible not because he had continued to take as Governor and Vice President what appears to be kickbacks involving projects he oversaw as a County Executive, but because he, like the gangster Al Capone, had not reported any of it on his Federal Income Tax.
62 minutes | Jul 4, 2022
Mark Shields, A Tribute to a political commentator and The Capital Gang Too (Special Edition)
From the very start of my keeping archival copies of political and news events on video tape, political commentator Mark Shields has been a constant presence on any number of the materials I have saved. He was a pundit I really enjoyed, and in whose thoughts I always wanted to hear whether he was at CNN or PBS. Ironically, he had opinions I rarely shared when it came to the issues of the day but his analysis and his understanding of history were always where he shined when he was covering live events like major party conventions or election night coverage. Mark Shields just seemed to be a joyful person, with a great sense of humor, that never took himself to seriously, and, like me, a person who shared an admiration for the art of politics and the people who practice it regardless of political party or philosophy. In a political era where those opposing your side are looked upon as the enemy he was , like me, a throw back to the era when the combatants were often referred to as happy warriors. Mark Shields seemed always to be a happy warrior. That trait was on full display often as he clashed with analyst Robert Novak on CNN's "The Capital Gang" , along with the rest of the regulars who sat around the table and discussed all the various issues of the day. Several of those figures are gone now and in this look back at Mark Shields we have also attempted to remember that classic program and its regular participants and guests too. It is now a bygone era in politics and media, where after an hour of clashing the regulars would leave each week with "an outrage of the week" but they could still be laughing on camera after they delivered it. So enjoy this hour in honor of a true American original, a happy warrior, a man who will be missed by all who have enjoyed his contribution's to the coverage of American politics. Here is our tribute to CNN and PBS Analyst Mark Shields, with a hat tip too, to one of our favorite shows of yesteryear, Mark Shield's show, "The Capital Gang" with its cast of regulars like Al Hunt, Robert Novak, Margaret Carlson, and Kato Bourne, with Gary Bauer and Bob Dole making an appearance too.
8 minutes | Jul 3, 2022
Strom Thurmond : A Life in Full , Preview of our Special 3 part Series
Senator Strom Thurmond was a symbol of the Old South and an icon of the New South. Coming at the end of this month, on July 25, 28, and 31st, is a three part special look back at Strom Thurmond's life in full. A giant of South Carolina history his impact through out the southern United States cannot be overstated, especially in South Carolina. His legacy, however, is dominated by his early career and his two decade stance fighting civil rights. But he served from 1928 until his retirement in January 2003 at age 100. In our three part series we look over his entire life, from the first rally he attended for a Governor's race in 1912, to his time as war hero in World War 2, to his extraordinary, hidden relationship with his daughter, to his courageous support of our Nation's military, to his tenure as President Pro-Tem of the United States Senate, and finally to the news coverage of his passing in June of 2003. In the final episode we look back at his final campaign in 1996. A campaign, our host Randal Wallace, was lucky enough to get to play a tiny role in, as a volunteer in both Greenwood and Myrtle Beach , South Carolina. Here is a preview of our look at this giant figure of South Carolina History, a man who had the courage to change and as symbol of his beloved Old South he helped usher in the modern era of a New South as he set the example for his region.
34 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Our Host Randal Wallace's 2017 appearance on "City Council Chronicles with Michael Karlik" (Special Edition)
In this special edition of Bridging the Political Gap we travel back in time to our host's time as a city councilman in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Prior to his last election in 2017, Mr. Wallace did an interview for the podcast City Council Chronicles. It was the first and only experience at that point Mr. Wallace had had with podcasting and he enjoyed the show a lot. So now that he hosts our podcast on American History and learning ways to bring the country together from studying the World War 2 Generation we thought we might look at how his ideas worked on a small scale when he was still on the city council of Myrtle Beach. This episode is also a special treat for Mr. Wallace because it features a fun story about his Mother Gloria Bulmer, who moved to Myrtle Beach when she semi retired in 2004. That was a little over midway through Councilman Wallace's first term. Now Mrs. Bulmer was not as used to the rough and tumble of politics but she always tuned in to the council meetings and it provided for some funny moments almost as soon as the cameras turned off, and on a few occasions when they were still running too. Mrs, Bulmer passed away in March of 2021, so this interview has a special place in our host's heart. Enjoy!!
51 minutes | Jun 29, 2022
Episode 118: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 18) OCTOBER 1973 (Part A) ALL AT ONCE : The Man Who Saved Israel
Did you know that one man in World History bares the distinction of not only saving one nation but actually saving two!! That man, was Richard Nixon. Like his 19th century predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon would save our Union from self destruction. Then Richard Nixon would step up, in October of 1973, with the coalition of Arab Nations poised to wipe out the nation of Israel in retaliation for their humiliating defeat in 1967 . The Arab States, led by Egypt and Syria, had Israel with its back to the wall and forced them to call out for help, it was then that Richard Nixon saved them as well. The coalition of Arab Nations attempted to invade Israel on two sides with the goal of gaining control of the East Bank of the Suez Canal. They stunned the Israeli forces and started backing them off the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. The Israeli's were clearly being outgunned. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was desperate and her cries were falling on deaf ears within the American Government. President Nixon was under siege here at home as the Democrats marched on with the aid of their media elite allies and the rabid staff of the Special Prosecutor's office, trying to over step constitutional authority and the division of government by extending the Legislative and Judicial Branches' power and interfere with the running of the Executive Branch of Government by the overwhelmingly elected President . President Nixon was doing all he could do just to keep his administration from coming off track. It was at exactly this moment that Golda Meir took matters into her own hands and called Richard Nixon, in the middle of the night, for help . It could only be described in the history of the nation of Israel, as a Yom Kippur miracle.Richard Nixon let his recalcitrant government and Defense Department know, in no uncertain terms, that the time of letting Israel bleed was over. His exact order was "You will send them everything we have, everything that will fly" and It would do far more than change everything for Israel it would save the nation of Israel from certain destruction ..
33 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Episode 117: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 17) Salvador Allende, Coup in Chile
Another of the unfair accusations often heralded against President Richard Nixon and his assistant Dr. Henry Kissinger is that they overthrew the government of Salvador Allende in Chile and allowed him to be murdered on September 11, 1973. Literally, every bit of that accusation is a total falsehood. The facts are that Salvador Allende , the world's only elected Marxist-socialist leader, was a devout communist. His government confiscated industry, land, and shut down freedom of the press over its brief three year run. His Communist policies led to massive inflation and total unrest so bad in the nation of Chile that its own Parliament passed a resolution asking the military to seize power and topple the Allende regime. Which it did on September 11, 1973. The Chilean leader was given countless opportunities to flee his country before holding himself up inside the Presidential Palace. As the Army was starting its final assault on the Palace Salvador Allende took to the airwaves in a final defiant address to his nation and then shot himself, rather than be captured as the coup entered its final stage. None of this was a good way for the regime to fall, but none of it was Richard Nixon or Henry Kissinger's fault either. President Nixon did pull American investment out of the country. Nixon did work against the Allende Government. But Richard Nixon did not OK the military coup that toppled Allende and he certainly had nothing to do with the death of Allende. Which after a nearly three decade mystery was finally proven to have been self inflicted. Here again, is the amazing double standard of the liberal left in the United States, when a coup was given approval personally in South Vietnam by John F. Kennedy , it led to the violent overthrow of our ally President Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam and his death , by assassins as he waited in the backseat of his car to flee the country. Not a word has been spoken about it in the mainstream media all the while President Nixon has been trashed as trampling human rights and disregarding a democratically elected regime for three decades. Occasionally whataboutism does matter!!
65 minutes | Jun 26, 2022
Episode 116: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 16) Disclosure of the Taping System
BOMBSHELL!!!Assistant to the President for Special Files, Alexander Porter Butterfield would be questioned by lawyers for the Ervin Committee and while being asked questions he was directly asked if there were recording devices in the White House. His answer to that question changed everything about the Watergate Scandal. It laid the groundwork for the downfall of the Nixon Administration. Years later, when asked if he should have burned the White House tapes Richard Nixon would answer " Yes, I should have because they were open to misinterpretation as we have seen." He was very correct. To this day people think that the tapes proved Nixon's guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. But in reality they don't. They do prove he cursed a lot, said the word "God Damn" a lot, made anti-semetic remarks , racist remarks, and he would fly off the handle saying things in anger that he should not have said, and he was a President who thought out loud, mulling over every angle of an issue, legal and illegal, moral an immoral, until a workable solution was determined. For an American people who had never heard a President talk in private before it was a shocking thing to hear. But what you did not hear, was a President committing an actual impeachable offense. But as in all situations in life it is often far more complicated than can be explained in a simple sentence and a lie, as the old saying goes, can be half way around the world before the truth can get out of bed. This series is dedicated to the truth, the ugly, complicated truth. The truth is Richard Nixon is no angel, but he faced some sinister forces in American Government determined to bring him down during the second most divided era in all of our history. This podcast documentary series is dedicated to showing you the facts about the scandal that derailed a presidency. We don't delve into conspiracy theories or guesswork as to the involvement of CIA connections, or secret plotters with innuendos. As this Podcast moves forward we will document everything we talk about and give you source material where you can read and look it up for yourself. Is there more to the story than what we will cover from this point on? Most likely. But what we will show you we can provide a paper or electronic trail for and it is not a pretty sight. What we can also show you is that Richard Nixon's claim about the misinterpretation of conversations made to fit a certain narrative is in fact very real. We hope you will listen for yourself and be able to differentiate between things said in private, in different contexts, and actual criminal intent. Then you may come away with a totally different viewpoint of the events that brought down the President of the United States.But that is the story we will tell as we travel down the road of Watergate. This episode is the story of how the tapes came to light in the first place and the beginning of the fight that would become the final act of the Nixon Administration.
66 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
Episode 115: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 15) Two Roads, the Special Prosecutors and the Ervin Committee
In this episode we look at the start of the Ervin Committee Hearings as the Congress begins bringing the various players of Watergate out in front of the American people on national television. We listen to the members of the press as they look back at a different era when the news of the day could grab an enormous audience because there were only three networks. Then we learn all about the make up of the committee and how it would structure the hearings. Basically, as a legislative show trial in which the accused had no rights and in which what they said would be used against them later. Then we move on to the early stages of the hearing itself and listen in to various moments from the testimony of the burglars themselves, the officers that made the arrest, and finally to those in charge of the campaign. Jeb Magruder, Hugh Sloan, Maurice Stans and finally the former Attorney General himself John Mitchell. He will face a barrage of questions from several Senators and he holds his ground fairly well.Then we turn to the big moment of the Ervin Hearings, the testimony of former White House Counsel John Dean. This is where you will see the extreme partisanship that had begun to grip the investigative process. John Dean is protected by the Democratic staffers by being allowed to keep his testimony and written statement private until literally he walked out in front of the cameras forcing the Republicans to study all of the written material as they listened to the testimony as it was televised. They literally had no time to plan out or even think about questions to ask. It does not get any better over at Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox's office as he begins to staff up for his investigation. He is hiring nothing but the most partisan and most determined lawyers he can find, all alumni of the Kennedy - Johnson Justice Department and Administration. The very failed Administrations Richard Nixon had swept from power.
50 minutes | Jun 22, 2022
Episode 114: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 14) The Summit in America
In June of 1973, The leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev arrived in the United States and for ten days even the Watergate investigation stopped as Richard Nixon finished an agreement that called for the prevention of Nuclear War. It read: “The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, hereinafter referred to as the Parties… Guided by the objectives of strengthening world peace and international security; conscious that nuclear war would have devastating consequences for mankind; proceeding from the desire to bring about conditions in which the danger of an outbreak of nuclear war anywhere in the world would be reduced and ultimately eliminated; Proceeding from their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations regarding the maintenance of peace, refraining from the threat or use of force and the avoidance of war, and in conformity with the agreements to which either Party has subscribed… Reaffirming that the development of relations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is not directed against other countries and their interests… have agreed as follows: Article I. The United States and the Soviet Union agree that an objective of their policies is to remove the danger of nuclear war and of the use of nuclear weapons. Accordingly, the Parties agree that they will act in such a manner as to prevent the development of situations capable of causing a dangerous exacerbation of their relations, as to avoid military confrontations, and as to exclude the outbreak of nuclear war between them and between either of the Parties and other countries. Article II. The Parties agree, in accordance with Article I… to proceed from the premise that each Party will refrain from the threat or use of force against the other Party, against the allies of the other Party and against other countries, in circumstances which may endanger international peace and security. The Parties agree that they will be guided by these considerations in the formulation of their foreign policies and in their actions in the field of international relations. Article III. The Parties undertake to develop their relations with each other and with other countries in a way consistent with the purposes of this Agreement. Article IV. If at any time relations between the Parties or between either Party and other countries appear to involve the risk of a nuclear conflict, or if relations between countries not parties to this Agreement appear to involve the risk of nuclear war between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or between either Party and other countries, the United States and the Soviet Union, acting in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, shall immediately enter into urgent consultations with each other and make every effort to avert this risk. Article V. Each Party shall be free to inform the Security Council of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Governments of allied or other countries of the progress and outcome of consultations initiated in accordance with Article IV of this Agreement…” (Courtesy of the website Alpha History)In this episode we follow the two leaders as they work together to create a much safer World, and we see the developing personal friendship between the two men. A friendship that paid dividends for every living thing on planet Earth. This show will leave you wondering just what might have been if the Democrats and the media elites plot to remove the greatest strategist of the age from office had not succeeded. Btw... The guys in the submarine trapped off the Florida Keys were rescued. Just so you know
32 minutes | Jun 20, 2022
Episode 113: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 13) Price Controls, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Leonid Brezhnev
Even as Watergate begins to dominate the news coverage of the Administration there are still other very important things going on for President Nixon to attend to for the country. Ironically, even though his second term is considered a failure he still was able to accomplish a lot of things that would be listed among the greatest accomplishments of some of our lesser Presidents. In this episode we will listen in to coverage of his attempt to deal with growing economic problems, leftover issues brewing in South East Asia and as he prepares for yet another historic meeting with the leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev. It is a testament to just what an extraordinarily great leader we were actually blessed to have in the White House at that moment that he was still able to perform his duties with such expertise even as a conglomeration of his enemies were preparing , as Hugh Hewitt once referred to it as, "A D-Day style Landing" with the goal of robbing the American People of a great leader it had overwhelmingly re-elected to the Presidency of the United States.
51 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
Episode 112: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 12) THE SINISTER FORCE EMERGES (John Dean and the Watergate Special Prosecution Force)
"The White House counsel is a senior staff appointee of the president of the United States whose role is to advise the president on all legal issues concerning the president and their administration.The Office of Counsel to the President and Vice President was created in 1943, and is responsible for advising on all legal aspects of policy questions; legal issues arising in connection with the President's decision to sign or veto legislation, ethical questions, financial disclosures; and conflicts of interest during employment and post employment. The Counsel's office also helps define the line between official and political activities, oversees executive appointments and judicial selection, handles presidential pardons, reviews legislation and presidential statements, and handles lawsuits against the president in his role as president, as well as serving as the White House contact for the Department of Justice."(This is the definition provided by the website Wikipedia)If ever anyone in the history of employment ever failed anymore totally at the job description provided in the hand book than John W. Dean, I would like to know who it was. His entire job description can be summed up in shorthand like this"Sit there and when you hear something that sounds illegal, say Mr. President, you can't do that" That is all you have to do, I mean really how hard can it be? John Dean not only did not do that, he actively made himself the "desk officer of the cover up" , and when he goes up to Camp David to write the report the President has asked him to write, he suddenly realizes all roads filter into one that leads from the Committee to Re-elect the President to the White House Staff itself, like the middle of an hourglass, through one "poison line".....HIM. So what does he do, he shops a deal, at first to the career prosecutors who want nothing to do with it, and then to the Ervin Committee. That committee totally controlled by the Democratic Party, leap at the chance to embrace "The Chief Desk Officer of the Cover up" All of this occurs while another force emerges and enters the battlefield. This force more sinister than anything Richard Nixon has had to face since the North Vietnamese gave up in Paris. A force determined that they would destroy Richard Nixon using any tool, distortion, lie, or sleight of hand they could engineer; they were the partisan lawyers who made up the staff of the Watergate Special Prosecutors Task Force and it is their sinister rise that begins in this episode.
85 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
Episode 111 : RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 11 ) A Night at the White House honoring our Prisoners of War ( A Very Special Edition)
If our last episode was one of the saddest we will ever cover on our podcast, this was one of the happiest.On May 24, 1973, underneath an enormous tent on the grounds of the White House, the largest state dinner and event ever held occured in honor of the Vietnam Prisoners of War. It was a star-studded event. Bob Hope hosted with guests the New Christy Minstrels, Phyllis Diller, Joey Harrington, Vic Damone, Edgar Bergman, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Stewart, Roy Acuff and the Smokey Mountain Boys, Irving Berlin and the Legendary Actor John Wayne. All of whom played tribute to the soldiers of Vietnam.The event was the visionary idea of one famous entertainer, Sammy Davis Jr. , and he will come on and sing a few songs including an incredibly moving moment with Irving Berlin singing his song " God Bless America". It was a night like no other and when it was over we listen in on a call between President Richard Nixon and his new Chief of Staff, a former General and assistant National Security Advisor during the Vietnam War, Alexander Haig. In it they talk about the power of this night and how no matter what was to come, this night and the honoring of our now free, former POW's had made it all worth it. The call ends with a very powerful moment between the two men as Al Haig ends the call with some powerful words for a discouraged President as Nixon steals himself for the horrible days he knows are sure to be coming at the hands of a rabid conglomeration of enemies. On a side note, this is so far my favorite episode because it brings so many legendary figures into one episode honoring some of our greatest Americans and we get to see Richard Nixon at his best, in one of his finest hours, as one of our greatest American Leaders.
41 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
Have we created Frankenstein's Monster? (Special Commentary)
“I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein"Man," I cried, "how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein Have we created Frankenstein's Monster?FOX News Founder Roger Ailes started with a noble idea. To give conservatives a level playing field in the form of a news network that presented the conservative viewpoint in its editorializing and a fair and balanced network in its reporting. As an advisor to President Richard Nixon he saw the unfairness the President was subject to every day he got up out of bed to fight for the American People. He was also witness to the nullification of Richard Nixon's 49 state win and his forced resignation from the Presidency. Now you may not agree with that assessment but millions of people through out the land did agree with it and were angry about what they had seen happen to Richard Nixon. Then they sat on the sidelines and watched the Democratic smear machine destroy a nominee for the United States Supreme Court in Robert Bork and later watched the blueprint for taking out a Presidency put to use again and again in an attempt to undermine both President Ronald Reagan and later George H.W. Bush. This included a very convenient October surprise just as President Bush was surging in the polls in 1992. Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh indicted Casper Weinberger and several others and included notes Weinberger had made that made Bush out to have lied about his knowledge of the Iran-Contra Affair. All just 4 days from the Presidential election. IT was then that a fed up Roger Ailes decided we had to do something to protect conservatives from a media and Democratic Party willing to do and say anything to weaponize government and bring down Republicans. He founded FOX News and in retaliation the Liberal Left founded MSNBC. From there came the rise of Social Media and the ability to spread misinformation all over the society. This all occurring while these cheerleader news networks fanned the flames instead of telling the news. We have ended up with a very divided society with extremists at the wheel stirring up the masses, all while the news networks make billions turning news into entertainment. It ought to scare everyone in America and I think I speak for millions when I say we are all tired of it. This episode shows you a brief history of how a noble effort to protect future Presidents from the injustice that took out President Nixon has morphed into a society on the brink. And how we need to return to the worthy ideals espoused by the very President whose demise led to our current situation. I would also remind people of an easy rule of thumb I have followed when evaluating the things I hear on the news and in the rumor mills of politics. "If it sounds stupid, crazy or complicated it usually is" if we would all learn to follow that simple formula a lot of what we see today could be avoided. What happens to the monster at the end of Frankenstein? At the end of the novel, Victor dies on Robert Walton's ship in the Arctic Circle. The boat captain finds his body and the monster who mourns Victor's death in the room. The Creature disappears from the boat to kill himself. Victor and the monster die in the end.
66 minutes | Jun 13, 2022
Episode 110: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 10) The Resignations of Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Kleindienst and the Firing of John Dean
In this episode we get to listen in on what was probably the most agonizing and personally painful decisions that President Nixon had to make, save decisions involving the war in Vietnam. It was during these days that Nixon had to finally step up and force the resignations of two of his closest aids and confidantes, H.R. "Bob" Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Two men who had been by his side through all the triumphs and tragedies of his entire administration and even stretching back to his wilderness years. They had been known as "The Berlin Wall" and they had protected the President from friend and foe alike. Now in the chaos of the Watergate Scandal they had been sucked into the events and were going to have to be forced out. Richard Nixon trusted these men, he tried very hard to protect them, and now he was left with no choice but to cut them loose. He would also fire John Dean, a man who had betrayed him to the Prosecutors in his attempts to secure immunity for his own crimes. This is a painful episode to listen to because you see the emotional toll it takes on the President. Who by all accounts was a man who did not like to have confrontations, or make decisions of this kind. It would be as though he had cut off his arms for him to lose so trusted a pair of assistants. The toll is even more evident as we listen to the only actual calls that sound as though President Nixon has been drinking in order to emotionally handle the day. (Charges of his drinking being one of the more scurrilous and false of the many targeting the President through the years) We close with his conversations with Bob Haldeman and California Governor Ronald Reagan late in the night after he addresses the nation. It was a sad day in the life of this truly great American Leader.
20 minutes | Jun 9, 2022
Episode 109: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 9 Special Edition) Phone call between President Nixon and Assistant Attorney General Henry Petersen who was over the Criminal Division
In this episode we hear the President on the phone with the Deputy Attorney General, Henry Petersen. Petersen is a man whose name we have heard a lot as the early events unfold. He would come under fire for simply doing his job and informing the President of the United States of events occuring in the scandal as they unfolded. This is one of the calls he made to let President Nixon know what was happening. We thought it would give you some feel for the relationship between the President and this highest career official at the Justice Department. As the head of the Criminal Division he oversaw both the Watergate investigation, early on, and the investigation into Vice President Spiro Agnew which we will be covering in detail in later episodes. So who was Henry Petersen? Here is his Justice Department Bio:Henry E. Petersen (1972-1974) Early History: Henry E. Petersen was born in 1921 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He grew up in Washington, D.C., and served as a U.S. Marine in the South Pacific Theater during World War II. In 1947, while a student at Georgetown University, Mr. Petersen began his 27-year career in federal service as a clerk for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He subsequently received his law degree from Catholic University and joined the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Petersen started in the Antitrust Division and then moved to the Criminal Division. He held a variety of posts including serving as Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section during the 1960’s, where he created the Division’s Organized Crime Strike Force, which enhanced interagency law enforcement coordination. Tenure: In 1972, Mr. Petersen was the first career staffer directly appointed to the role of Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. As Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Petersen supervised investigations involving allegations of vote rigging and fraud, and oversaw the investigation of the burglary at the Democratic National Convention’s Watergate complex in 1972, which he led until the appointment of a special prosecutor by Congress in 1973. Mr. Petersen also supervised an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore that eventually led to the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew. In 1974, he retired. Later Career: Mr. Petersen passed away in 1991 in Sunderland, Maryland. In his honor, the Henry E. Petersen Memorial Award is bestowed on those who have made a lasting contribution to the Criminal Division and exemplify character, diligence, courage, professionalism, and talent. Past recipients include former Attorney General Eric Holder, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jack Keeney of the Criminal Division.
74 minutes | Jun 8, 2022
Episode 108: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 8) Unraveling and Switching Sides
After the pandamonium of the James McCord letter dies down inside the courtroom it becomes very clear that Watergate is now an entirely new ballgame. In this episode we see events move swiftly as the White House Counsel , John Dean, starts making his overtures to the prosecutors trying to cut a deal that will get him immunity. You can also see how off guard the other players are with in the White House. All of this while President Nixon is busy trying to prepare for the many goals he has set for the country in his second term. We will hear President Nixon address the nation about all of the things he wants to begin as he has finally been able to free the nation from the divisive war in Vietnam. But even as he speaks it is becoming clearer that the events unfolding over the Watergate scandal are now starting to consume his time, and his focus, as the story of the cover up moves closer and closer up the chain of command and begins to put the spotlight on several of his key advisors.
65 minutes | Jun 5, 2022
Episode 107: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 7) The Week in Question March 13 - 23, 1973
This is arguably the most important episode of the series and these events we will be revisiting through out the scandal of Watergate. Up to this week, Richard Nixon had never been dealt with completely by anyone who was intimately involved in the Watergate debacle now on the verge of consuming his Presidency. That includes his Counsel to the President, John Dean. It is in the events of this week that a storyline would later develop implicating the President of the United States in a criminal act, which was the payment of hush money to E. Howard Hunt. The problem as we will learn as we go along is there is a gaping hole in the timeline of events and everything that could be done, would be done, to obscure that fact from the public, the President, the Grand Jury and House Judiciary Committee. Here we will listen in on the taped conversations themselves as compiled by Historian Luke Nichter for his website Nixontapes.org. The article used was written 12 years ago and we read it verbatim and then play the tape for you. We would like to note that the tapes of conversations that are not on the phone are often hard to hear, especially President Nixon who was often sitting away from the microphone. We chose to follow the historians article script and play the corresponding tape so that everything is as clear as we can keep it for this podcasting format. We did not change any of his script. We begin at the March 13 dated conversation from http://nixontapes.org/passport.html In the script Mr. Nichter uses the word "Falsified Document" and we read it in as written. Our understanding is that word choice was due to the impression from the tapes that Dean was being asked to write something comprehensive at Camp David. The President planned to take the report he asked his White House Counsel to write and then call on another review or investigation as to what had occurred. The President does ask that the report be vague as to protect the staff who have already been named or testified. But he states that he would be waiving executive privilege later. It is important to remember that this is , after all, the first time Richard Nixon had had as full a picture of what had happened since the break in, some 9 months earlier, in June of 1972. John Dean while working on the report seems to have realized at Camp David there was no way he could be fully truthful, and that all roads would lead to him, as he says "I was all over this thing like a blanket" , John Dean seems to have seen this request as being asked to write a falsified report. But that doesn’t at all mean the others were asking Dean to write something untruthful. The point being that whatever Dean would have written could not have been the whole truth, if for no other reason because it would have been damaging to Dean. In the end, and after about five days of trying, he was recalled by Haldeman without producing a report at all – and decided instead to retain criminal defense counsel, who sought out the career prosecutors, offering testimony against his colleagues in pursuit of personal immunity (which they declined due to his leadership role throughout the scandal) and that is what our next episode will be about.
50 minutes | May 30, 2022
Episode 106; RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE, 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 6) Judge Sirica and The Ervin Committee
Now we move back to February 1973. Judge Sirica, always trying to insure his place in the sun, asks the Congress to investigate. The Senate happily complies, originally under the guidance of an enthusiastic Senator, named Ted Kennedy. There would be a fight about how the investigation would be handled, and what they would be looking into, and a partisan nearly straight party 77 - 0 vote. (Republicans decided not to vote) and a committee is formed.That committee would only look into the campaign shenanigans of the 1972 election. The Democrats had thwarted an attempt to include investigations that would have effected their former Presidents and the actions they took in 1968, 1964 and 1960. I am guessing they already knew the games they had played and wanted to insure nobody else would find out, while they worked to expose the Nixon campaign. Here we will go through the actual debates, from a well written article by former CNN analyst Jeffrey Lord, and we will hear from Geoff Shepard about the actions that led to the committee formation. It was also decided because of the blatant partisanship so far shown, that Ted Kennedy needed not be front and center and so a North Carolina Senator was chosen to lead the effort. Sam Ervin, one of the authors of the famous Southern Manifesto , an ardent supporter of segregation and foe to every Civil Rights Bill that had been offered up for the previous decade, but now , because of his role in Watergate, has had that part of his long and colorful history erased, as the left has canonized him as "The Senate's Greatest Constitutional Authority" and as the man who saved the nation from Richard Nixon. that Senator, Sam Ervin , would take over the committee and yet he would keep most of the Kennedy team in place to control the narrative they would develop over a ratings bonanza summer. You will see that narrative no longer holds water. Then we will hear President Nixon on the phone with his White House Counsel John Dean, as they discuss dealing with the Grand Jury and the Senate and as March rolls through Nixon will ask Dean to come to see him to discuss the matters brewing on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
47 minutes | May 27, 2022
Henry Kissinger, America's National Living Treasure ( A Special HAPPY 99th Birthday Edition)
On May 27, 1922, in Furth, Germany, a child was born who would grow up to be one of, if not the most important diplomats in the history of the planet. Heinz Alfred Kissinger, who today turns 99 years old, an immigrant who would grow up to be an American citizen, who would get America, his adopted land, out of one of the most protracted, divisive, wars in our history, who would also open Communist China from diplomatic Isolation, who would broker peace in the Middle East that would lead to the successes of Jimmy Carter in the late 1970's, who would also begin a process that would thaw the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and who after leaving office would provide guidance that would help direct American Foreign Policy for the next half century and counting. It can be said without hesitation that Dr. Henry Kissinger has led a truly amazing an inspirational life. If Richard Nixon should be considered one of the greatest leaders our country has ever produced their is no question that Dr. Henry Kissinger deserves an enormous amount of credit for skillfully carrying out the policy that made it all possible. Kissinger's impact on the world is incalculable. We here at "Bridging the Political Gap" think its high time that someone recognizes both men for their roles in making a safer world and we are thankful that Henry Kissinger is still living to see us say thank you. In this special edition of our show we celebrate the life, the impact, and the wisdom of Dr. Henry Kissinger, America's National Living Treasure and we wish Dr. Kissinger a happy birthday and many, many more moments in which we can share his wise, and thoughtful advice.
47 minutes | May 26, 2022
Episode 105: RICHARD NIXON and WATERGATE, 1973 Enemies at the Gate (Part 5) Busted!! The story of the break in
In this episode we step back to the events in question. The actual burglary on June 17, 1972. You will get to hear oral histories from G. Gordon Liddy, John Dean and several other players in the events of that night and days afterword. We will also use footage from a nearly 30 year old BBC documentary that has interviews with all the major players as they discuss the events in a sequence that will bring you right inside the operation. It will include the Cubans in the room when the lights came on and a very excited, somewhat frightened, set of policeman busted the burglars, all dressed in suits and ties, inside the Democratic National Headquarters. One of the burglars described the scene perfectly; " You could see the excited looks on their faces as, one by one, we came out from behind the desk, all dressed up, you could see that they did not know what they had but it was clear we did not look like the average burglar."And so we begin an ordeal that would dominate the World news for the remaining 18 months of the Nixon Administration.
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