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What Did Nixon Know and When Did He Know It?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What did President Nixon know and when did he know it? Former White House Counsel John W. Dean, one of the last major surviving figures of Watergate, draws on his own transcripts of almost a thousand conversations, a wealth of Nixon’s secretly recorded information, and more than 150,000 pages of documents in the National Archives and the Nixon Library to provide the definitive answer to that question. In his book The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It, Dean reveals why and how the Watergate break-in happened, what was on the mysterious 18 1/2 minute gap in Nixon’s recordings, and looks at how Watergate forever changed American politics.

Guests:

John W. Dean

Comments [16]

tom LI

Haha, the GOP is cheapening the impeachment process...what havent they cheapened the last 16 years? They and the tea party cronies can take credit for making our Govt a farce.

Jul. 30 2014 12:55 PM
Sarah from Cobble Hill

oscar from ny -- "This presidents mouth got em in trouble for insulting the zionist Jews that were working along with him..that's basically it."

Ironically, Nixon himself said it was the Jews who were out to get him. You and him appear to have a lot in common.

Jul. 30 2014 12:47 PM
Coogan from NYC

Jersey Jim, to me, yes Nixon has a history of self-sabotage and surrounded himself with yes men, sycophants, and bullies (like Chris Christie, Bush sr & Hr, etc). Another primary hallmark of a sociopath.

Hilarious when you think how many tough guy big shots are never their own men, never have a real, honest opinion built on personal experience. They have no inner soul to reflect on so often go asking others for input, but because they can't handle criticism, have poor judgement, they have lousy "friends" and confidants which only agree with them and harp on the positive angle. A recipe for disaster.

Haven't heard Dean talk about Dick Cheney yet, who as a younger man played a role in the Nixon admin. Curious how quiet everyone always is on that fact.

Jul. 30 2014 12:45 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Hunter S. Thompson had a theory that the Watergate break-in wasn't about bugging the Democratic National Committee, but to bug the SEC (which had offices either on the floor above or below) to procure insider trading information.

I've never heard of any evidence for this theory, but it wouldn't at all surprise me if it was true. Ol' Dick was capable of anything to fill his purse.

Jul. 30 2014 12:45 PM
oscar from ny

This presidents mouth got em in trouble for insulting the zionist Jews that were working along with him..that's basically it.

Jul. 30 2014 12:35 PM
Tony from Canarsie

george andersen -- FYI the notorious tape gap was 18 1/2 minutes not 22 minutes. Or is there something your friends knows that we don't? ;-)

Jul. 30 2014 12:35 PM
Coogan from NYC


This is all so unbelievably complicated, convoluted and pathetic. That administration was a nest of sociopaths.

Rather than run a government efficiently and honestly this Nixon era showed on every level how NOT to run one.
That anyone tries to defend Nixon and anyone related to the administration means they're a naive apologist.

The hallmark of a sociopath is lying, god complex, paranoia, aggression, hostility, anger, duplicity, disdain for good/kind/honest people, desperate need to be liked, and the one no one understands is when they're nice it too is a type of ploy... being extremely nice to those they "love" (whether a pet, spouse, family member, best friend) is more like protecting their personal asset not coming from a place if real compassion or empathy.

Once the loved one, or 'idolized' figure chastises or criticizes them they reject them, often to never allow in their life again. They never explain personality changes, their logic, dilute real feelings or say their sorry either.

Jul. 30 2014 12:33 PM

Just before his graduation, Nixon broke into offices to find out if he clinched the valedictorian grade, almost jeopardizing his graduation. Was Nixon self-sabotaging, and/or did he surround himself with personalities who were like him and likely to act in his manner, as Gov. Christie's staff is deemed to be with regard to "Bridgegate"?

Jul. 30 2014 12:32 PM

Any truth to the premise that Nixon was on a hunt for the tapes of LBJ's illegal wiretap that PROVED that Nixon colluded with the South Vietnamese to scuttle the 1968 Peace talks?

Jul. 30 2014 12:28 PM
george a from new jersey

A college friend (from the 70's) spoke to one of the audio engineers who examined the 22-minute gap. He told my friend that they might have been able to recover the audio, but were not asked or allowed to try.

Any comments?

Jul. 30 2014 12:28 PM
george andersen

A college friend (from the 70's) spoke to one of the audio engineers who examined the 22-minute gap. He told my friend that they might have been able to recover the audio, but were not asked or allowed to try.

Any comments?

Jul. 30 2014 12:27 PM
wayne Johnson Ph.D. from BK

As his counsel and conscience, did Mr. Dean ever say to the President. Sir, the Vietnam war is not only immoral, but it is illegal.

Jul. 30 2014 12:25 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

In your opinion, do all Presidents commit 'impeachable offenses'?

And it is, therefore, the degree to which the House disapproves that keeps them from being impeached? Thus a Republican House impeaches Clinton for lying about an extramarital relationship, a Democratic House fails to impeach Reagan because he is so well-regarded, a Republicans House threatens to impeach Obama, etc.

Jul. 30 2014 12:23 PM
Mike from Tribeca

A blast from the past: Illustrator Jack Davis' classic April 1973 Time magazine cover:

http://img.timeinc.net/time/magazine/archive/covers/1973/1101730430_400.jpg

Jul. 30 2014 12:17 PM
Tony from Canarsie

I watched Oliver Stones' "Nixon" the other night. What did Mr. Dean think of the way he was portrayed in that film?

(Actually, I didn't watch the entire movie because Hopkins' Welsh accent really got on my nerves.)

Jul. 30 2014 12:15 PM
GloriaR from New York


FUNNY POLITICAL SONG: "Politicians' Polka", on YouTube-
Some politician’s “..dance around the issue..”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY4rllpwiVQ.

Jul. 30 2014 06:17 AM

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