Monday, February 20, 2012

Who Is John Dean?

For most Americans of a certain age, John Dean needs little introduction as the Watergate whistle blower who helped bring down the Nixon White House. Unfortunately the characterization of him in the press is deceitful at best and a lie at worst. John Dean is, in the words of a New York Times reviewer J. Anthony Luca, ‘”one of the sleaziest White House operatives.”’ We present his sleazy story below.

Dean, a son of an affluent Ohio family, attended Staunton Military Academy in Virginia where he roomed with Barry Goldwater, Jr, a relationship which blossomed into a friendship with the Goldwater family, who were also very friendly with the Bushes.

Following graduation from the academy, Dean attended college in the Midwest, after which he graduated from Georgetown law school. He was dismissed from his first job at a Washington law firm for violating company policy against conflict of interest pursuant to negotiating a private broadcast deal while doing so for a client.

Dean then managed to get a job as chief minority counsel for the House Judiciary Committee working for Ohio representative William McCulloch. After a couple of other stints, he got a job working for Richard Kleindienst, a Goldwater protégé and Nixon Deputy Attorney General. In time, in July 1970, he managed to take John Ehrlichman’s position, through the agency of Egil Krogh, as chief White House counsel when Ehrlichman became Nixon's chief domestic adviser.

Egil Krogh is the man who ordered the break-in to Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office and who had been trying months before July 1970 to get Dean into the White House. Krogh was also the money man liaison for the CIA who paid off the Southeast Asian drug lords. Krogh also worked with Kennedy murder co-conspirator E Howard Hunt during the Nixon years. And to round out his villainy, Krogh also had associations with University of Washington law professor Roy Prosterman whose Vietnamese pacification program had close associations with the CIA’s Operation Phoenix, a program designed to murder Vietnamese civilians of which 20,000 – 60,000 were murdered in cold blood.

Dean was soon heading up his own intelligence operations in the White House, ostensibly to help re-elect the president. However, his true goal was to implicate the president in a crime resulting in his removal from power. In November 1971, Dean ordered two private investigators to do a walk-through of the Watergate Hotel where the Democratic National Convention maintained its headquarters.

In January 1972, Dean instructed G Gordon Liddy, another Krogh appointment, to set up an intelligence operation, on an unprecedented scale, which spawned Operation Gemstone, a clandestine operation to infiltrate Democrat campaigns. This operation morphed into the Watergate break-in which Dean, in April 1972, ordered Jeb Magruder to order Liddy to initiate.

When the FBI became involved in the purposefully botched break-in and its subsequent trace of the money found on the burglars, Dean attempted to coerce director Patrick Gray to drop or curtail his investigations. When he refused to do so, Dean sat in all of the witness interviews in order to control the way the story developed and to stanch any information which might tie him to the break-in and its cover-up.

Dean was quite active in the cover-up, one action of which was ordering Hunt out of the country, obviously in an effort to silence potentially loose lips, which precaution he sweetened with an offer of hush money. Dean also covered-up the fact that Gordon Strachan, a mid-level White House staffer, had pre break-in knowledge and direct ties with Dean.

Dean was finally convicted of Watergate crimes but plea bargained for a 4 month prison sentence. He wrote his autobiography and Watergate tale, Blind Ambition, to turn his intelligence espionage in the White House into big money. Bigger money awaited him when he moved to California to work as an investment banker, proving once again that crime pays.

Unfortunately, and quite curiously, though not in the least bit surprising, John Dean disavowed his book as a bit of fantasy in a 1989 interview with author Len Colodny, in which he admitted that he could not rely upon Blind Ambition, deferring instead to his sworn testimony. He also accused his publisher, Simon & Schuster of introducing fictional material into the book to make it more interesting. Alice Mayhew, an editor of the firm, completely denied that the publisher was responsible for any of the book’s content.

In addition to investment banking, Dean has an avocational interest in suing people who publish unflattering material about him. Examples include his lawsuits against Len Colodny, author of Silent Coup, and G Gordon Liddy who suggested that Dean authorized Watergate to obtain information about his call girl wife Maureen. We dismiss that allegation as a distraction from the larger story about US intelligence engaged in another executive action operation.

Dean, far from being the earnest but ambitious legal counsel for the corrupt president as he and the press portray, was one of the prime movers behind the Watergate debacle. However, we must acknowledge that higher powers than Dean were plotting the political assassination of a president.

Family of Secrets, Russ Baker

Copyright 2010-12 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

There is no evidence that Maureen (Mo) Biner, who at the time of the Watergate break-in was John Dean's girlfriend and later became his wife, was a call girl. However, her friend and occasional roommate, Cathy Dieter, did run a call-girl operation in the Columbia Apartments across from DNC headquarters at the Watergate building for the benefit of politicians, foreign dignitaries, and other DC big shots. There is a theory that John Dean orchestrated the second Watergate break-in to steal a client list from the desk of Ida Wells, a secretary at the DNC, that would have exposed Cathy Dieter's operation and connected Mo Biner and John Dean to it.

Tony Bonn said...

I agree that the mo ho story is bogus; one which i believe originated with g gordon liddy. likewise, i don't believe that dean's involvement in the break-in had anything to do with a call girl operation.

When you consider the caliber of burglars involved in the break-in, it seems incongruous to think that they would be engaged in cleaning dean's dirty laundry.

dean couldn't even get l patrick gray to call off the hound dogs, so i certainly doubt that he could persuade a group of hardened murderers (cia) to help him out of a personal jam.

i am afraid that watergate was about so much more.

Anonymous said...

Liddy and several others involved in the burglary have said they always had assumed (wrongly, in retrospect) that the target was O'Brien's office. However, the electronic surveillance equipment across the street was directed at the area near Ida Wells' desk and the usually vacant Governors' conference room where phone calls were made to match Dieter's call girls with politicians and others. Also, one of the Cubans (Martinez, I recall) had on his possession when he was arrested a key to Wells' desk.

Breaking into the DNC to obtain political intelligence never made any sense to the higher-ups in the WH, including Nixon and Mitchell. It was a most likely a rogue operation, orchestrated by John Dean who then lied about its proximate purpose in his Congressional testimony and in his published memoirs.

There is, of course, the theory that the burglary was a set-up that was rigged to fail and thus discredit the Nixon White House (and especially Henry Kissinger, who had enemies in the JCS). There are also theories about the CIA connections to the burglary in which Dean's personal interest in the DNC-based call-girl list was exploited by the Agency to set up a doomed break-in attempt.

Tony Bonn said...

nixon and mitchell had no prior knowledge of the break-in. they had absolutely nothing to fear from mcgovern or anything to gain by burglarizing the dnc in re the 1972 election.

the ida wells angle is a red herring - it provides no insight into the operation.

watergate was an operation to remove nixon from power. one of the novo brothers, who was one of the kennedy snipers, also broke into the ellsburg psychiatrist office for the acknowledged purpose of discrediting nixon. he stated that he had done 100s of these types of operations for political dirty tricks.

john dean was a tool of the cia. egil krogh, gordon strachey, and the plumbers were the cia associated elements of the plot. but you have to remember that this was subterranean cia.

dean cased the watergate in november 1971, the type of lead times needed for sophisticated cia operations.

but there is an even greater point, namely that watergate was not a pure cia operation. it was a bush crime syndicate enterprise which included a coalition of the willing. see russ baker's family of secrets.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Nixon and Mitchell had no prior knowledge of the plan to break in to the Watergate. That was my point in describing it as a "rogue operation," at least from the standpoint of the WH (minus John Dean, of course). And I also agree that Dean was a convenient tool in a larger plan to discredit Nixon. This larger plan most likely emanated from the JCS and the CIA. But the evidence is almost overwhelming that the proximate purpose of the break in was to steal the call-girl list. It was, indeed, a "red herring" (as was the storyline that the purpose of the break in was to obtain political intelligence) to divert attention away from the people behind the scenes who were manipulating the front-line people.

Tony Bonn said...

i could possibly be persuaded that watergate was a jcs / cia joint operation - a thesis resting upon the moorer spy ring episode (about which i have published with much debt to len colodny). but someone would have to overcome a vast amount of prejudice on my part regarding the central involvement of the bush crime syndicate.

we will certainly disagree in part about the call girl list. i would classify it as plausible denial for the larger scheme. if that is indeed your interpretation then i stand corrected about our potential divergence.