Did you know this? I didn’t, and I always wondered about it, since it made no sense. Nixon was going to win the election, and he knew it, so why would he order his people to burgle the Democrat Party offices? Why take the risk when it wasn’t necessary?
This is from a new book by John O’Connor, as reported in FRONTPAGE MAG.
It seems the Woodward and Bernstein were paid off not to report the true story – that Watergate was a CIA operation, and the Washington Post went along with it to protect the CIA and the Democrat Party (which was running a prostitution ring out of the Watergate office.)
Where to start? Perhaps with Howard Hunt, the White House operative whose name was found in address books belonging to two of the Watergate burglars. If you saw All the President’s Men, you may remember Woodward’s discovery that Hunt was also at the CIA and that he worked part-time at a PR firm called Mullen. Mullen never comes up again in the movie. In fact, as Woodstein soon found out, it was a CIA front.
But that little detail never made it way into any of their Post articles. Because on July 10, 1972, according to CIA records to which O’Connor gained access, Mullen’s president, Robert F. Bennett made a deal with Woodward – O’Connor calls it “a conspiracy of obstruction” – to feed him Watergate stories in exchange for a promise to omit from Post reporting any mention of Mullen’s role as a CIA front. It was a highly curious arrangement, given that, as O’Connor notes, “Bennett had no stories to feed Woodward, who, with Deep Throat’s help, hardly needed Bennett. So if Woodward kept quiet, and intentionally so, about Mullen, it was for the Post’s purposes, not the CIA’s.”
And what were the Post’s purposes? Well, it soon became clear to Woodstein that the Watergate break-in had been a CIA operation for which Hunt, because he was a White House official, had been able to claim presidential authorization. Yet the Post – which, as O’Connor notes, was founded in 1877 as “the official organ of the Democratic Party” and which in the 1970s, believe it or not, shared a general counsel (Joseph Califano) with the DNC – didn’t want to bring down the CIA. It wanted to bring down Nixon. And after learning that the CIA’s motive for the break-in had to do not with political secrets but with a prostitution referral service that was operating out of DNC headquarters, the Post wanted to protect Democrats.
Why, then, did Nixon pursue the ultimately self-destructive cover-up? Because John Dean – the White House counsel who, unbeknownst to Nixon, had had his own personal reasons for wanting the DNC’s prostitution records – urged Nixon to do so, never informing him that what he was covering up was, in fact, a CIA project. As O’Connor observes, if Nixon hadn’t pursued the cover-up, the truth about the break-in might actually have come out, and Nixon would’ve been seen not as its mastermind but as an innocent fall guy.