Sunday, May 9

Richard Nixon: G. Gordon Liddy, Former FBI Agent Convicted by Watergate, Dies | International


G. Gordon Liddy, in Washington, in a 1973 photo.
G. Gordon Liddy, in Washington, in a 1973 photo.William A. Smith / AP

He never regretted what he did and even once released he even said that he would have done it again. This Tuesday, G. Gordon Liddy, the undercover agent behind the spy operation of the Democratic Party’s electoral headquarters, which ended up costing Richard Nixon the presidency in 1974, has died at his daughter’s home in Fairfax County, Virginia. . His son, Thomas Liddy, confirmed his death to the newspaper The Washington Post without disclosing the causes, although he added that it was not related to covid-19. He was 90 years old.

A former FBI agent, Liddy was a character who refused to testify at hearings on the Watergate case while all of his colleagues in the scandal did. For this he was sentenced to a sentence greater than that of all the others: 20 years in prison. “My father did not raise a snitch or a rat,” he explained in 2001 in an interview with Los Angeles Times. His sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter, who ordered his release after serving just over four years of his sentence. Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, robbery and wiretapping for the Watergate raids.

After his release from prison, Liddy played as many roles as you would expect in an almost theatrical personality: from presenter of a radio show to author of best sellers, through candidate for Congress, promoter of investments in gold and, of course, actor.

Along with a former CIA agent, Howard Hunt, Liddy took on the role of doing the “dirty jobs” that were needed on the Nixon Committee for the president’s reelection. Some of his plans were so outlandish and illegal that his superiors rejected them. Among them were, for example, a plot to kill investigative columnist Jack Anderson, a fervent critic of Nixon; suggest that antiwar protesters protesting at the Republican National Committee in San Diego in 1972 be kidnapped and taken across the border into Mexico; and luring Democratic Party officials to a party with prostitutes.

However, in 1971 one of his conspiracies was accepted. Months before the Watergate robbery, Liddy was part of a raid on the offices of a psychiatrist who was seeing Daniel Ellsberg, a former US military analyst who leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers, highly secret dossiers, on the US war. in Vietnam, which exposed how the White House had lied to the American people about the good progress of the contest.

Finally the lace that sent him to jail came from the robbery at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, in the office complex of the Watergate Hotel in Washington, when Nixon was seeking reelection in 1972.

Born George Gordon Liddy in Brooklyn (New York) on November 30, 1930, he grew up, however, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Liddy spoke of an overwhelming sense of fear and dread as a child: the huge airships that flew silently over his house, the rats that glided over the power lines, the nuns that hugged him at school. He claimed that the first reassuring voice he heard was Hitler’s. “Hitler’s sheer animal confidence and willpower fascinated me,” he recalled in a 2004 interview.

In his autobiography of 1980 WillHe said he was inspired by the speeches of Adolf Hitler that his family’s German maid listened to on the radio and was determined to make a man of himself. Liddy called himself a coward and was determined to do something about it: What he did was grill and eat a rat and tie himself to a tree during a thunderstorm to overcome his fears.

He joined the Marine Corps, but never fulfilled his dream of fighting in the Korean War. Instead, he went to law school, became an FBI agent, and then a prosecutor. When he ran for a New York congressional seat, one of his favorite campaign tactics was taking off his jacket before speaking, revealing the holster he liked to wear. He lost the campaign and joined the Treasury Department, where he was remembered as a troublesome employee and eventually left the position.

That led Liddy to the White House and to a clandestine unit known as the plumbers, whose first task was to discredit former defense analyst Ellsberg, who had leaked the Pentagon Papers, leaving President Nixon touched and resentful. Genius and figure, always upright and with his characteristic brushed black mustache, Liddy strolled through the streets of Washington with his black Volvo whose license plate was personalized: H20-GATE (the formula for water (H20) + GATE = Watergate).

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