Biographer Roger Stone: Nixon Also a Victim of Dirty Tricks

Monday, 11 Aug 2014 11:07 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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President Richard Nixon, forever associated with the Watergate break-in that led to his resigning in disgrace, was himself a target of dirty politics — wiretapping, burglary and worse — throughout his career, former Nixon aide and biographer Roger Stone told Newsmax TV on Monday.

Stone, a Republican political strategist and author of the new book "Nixon's Secrets," told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner that Nixon was ultimately brought down by his enemies in the national security state, who piggybacked on the Watergate break-in to make sure it would be traced back to a president whose peace initiatives they opposed.

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"The mainstream media story of Watergate is a grotesque and fantastic distortion of historical truth," said Stone. "The truth is, from the beginning, the CIA, the Joint Chiefs, and the Pentagon were opposed to detente [with the Soviet Union], opposed to withdrawal from Vietnam, opposed to the China initiative, opposed to the SALT agreement with the Soviets," Stone said.

The national defense and intelligence communities were not only "spying on Nixon," said Stone, "they actually plotted his assassination twice in Miami."

Ultimately, he said, "they infiltrated and sabotaged the Watergate break-in in order to get [the burglars] caught, which of course ultimately brought Richard Nixon down — hopefully, in their view, to end his detente policies."

Stone didn't dispute Nixon's role in having operatives break into the Washington headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, situated inside the Watergate hotel and office complex.

He said his book, subtitled, "The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon," places Nixon's willingness to resort to burgling his opponents in the context of dirty politics at the time.

Stone said the 1960 presidential election — which Nixon lost to John F. Kennedy amid allegations of voter fraud in Democratic areas such as Gov. Lyndon Johnson's Texas and Mayor Richard Daley's Chicago — taught Nixon how the game was played.

"The truth is the Kennedys broke into Nixon's doctor's office to steal his medical records. They broke into his accountant's office in L.A., to steal his financial records," said Stone.

"They bugged the Republican National Committee — or I should say eavesdropped with these big-ear listening devices from across the street. And they also wiretapped his hotel suite at the Sheraton Ward Park on the eve of the second Nixon-Kennedy debate.

"The Kennedys played rough — rougher than Nixon," said Stone. "I would argue that the defeat of 1960 — where I believe that the election was actually stolen from Richard Nixon by the mob in Chicago, by the Daley machine in Chicago, and by Lyndon Johnson, and other tactics used on Nixon — bred the so-called paranoia that led us into Watergate."

Stone described Nixon the man as an accomplished musician — better on saxophone than President Bill Clinton, he said — a fastidious eater and exercise fanatic who also had an enormous retentive memory for names and dates.

He said that Nixon, who stumbled and came back repeatedly as a public figure, was a "brilliant politician, but he was still an introvert in an extrovert's business. He was a very uncomfortable guy in his own skin in a certain sense. He wasn't the natural performer that, say, Ronald Reagan was."

He also said Nixon's use of extralegal power pales in comparison to that of the current White House occupant, President Barack Obama.

"Nixon lost 18 1/2 minutes of [Watergate] tape. The Obama administration is missing hundreds of thousands of records regarding Obamacare and getting away with it," said Stone.

"The Nixon administration talked about using the IRS to harass their political enemies," he said. "Obama has done so, and is missing the records to prove it."

Stone said that "by any measure whatsoever, Obama is a less successful president than Nixon, and he certainly acts more illegally than Nixon ever dreamed of."

Stone's book, "Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon," was released on Tuesday.

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