Thursday, March 29, 2012

Winter 1971-1972 Continued Again

So G. Gordon Liddy revamped his Gemstone proposal, and presented a slimmer and somewhat less outrageous version to the group on February 4, although the buggings (and some of the more radical ideas) survived.

As Fred Emery tells it, there's plenty of dispute among the conspirators about exactly what happened in the meeting...and, in the aftermath, what if anything the upper echelon at the White House knew about it, including whether White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman knew about it at this point.

After that second meeting, Liddy and Hunt waited for a decision, and received none (although they were plenty busy with other dirty tricks and potentially criminal schemes, including a possible plan to kill muckraking columnist Jack Anderson). Eventually, Liddy asked Hunt to introduce him to Chuck Colson at the White House. The product of that meeting was a call from Colson to Jeb Magruder at the campaign, although whether Magruder was asked to approve the plan or just make a decision one way or another, and whether Colson knew what was in the plan, is disputed. Either way, it started the ball rolling again.

Meanwhile....well, once you start down the "meanwhile" road, it just goes on forever. But among other things, at this point they're dealing with the ITT/Dita Beard affair. Oh, and they're also trying to run the country.

I do have one tidbit worth including, from Haldeman's diary on March 20:

We got into some political follow-up....Also, [Nixon] got to thinking that we should move all the political operations, primarily Colson, out of the White House, and into Mitchell's operation [that is, the Committee to Re-Elect]. The White House has the aspect of appearing to use the super power of government, and that we've got to get Colson less visible because he offends people and rides too hard.

A nice idea.

But Colson is in the White House, and Liddy pushes, and finally things start moving forward.

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