John Hawkins: In your opinion, what would it take to solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict within let’s say a decade or so, if it’s solvable?
G. Gordon Liddy: I don’t think that it’s solvable peacefully because the other side has absolutely no intention of allowing an Israeli state in that part of the world. They are dead set against it. They were offered, I think, 97% of what they wanted and they turned that down because they wanted 100%.
So what I think is going to ultimately happen is going to be another war. At the end of that war, which I expect Israel to win handily, they in my view ought to incorporate Judea and Samaria into the state of Israel and move the Arab inhabitants over back into Jordan, Egypt, and Syria from whence they came.
John Hawkins: Now let me ask you this; when you say there will be another war, do you think it will involve the surrounding countries as well or do you think the Israelis will just get tired of all the attacks and go ahead and transfer the Palestinians?
G. Gordon Liddy: Prior to this current situation, there were Jordanians, Syrians, and Egyptians, there weren’t any Palestinians and there really aren’t any now. But at some point, they’re going to provoke Israel too far and Israel will or ought to declare war against the so called Palestinians and easily as possible, trying to minimalize casualties, just take over that land and put them back in Jordan, Syria, and Egypt.
John Hawkins: Let’s talk about terrorism a little closer to home. If the President came to you and said, “G. Gordon, what do you think my next steps in the war on terrorism should be?” What would you advise him to do?
G. Gordon Liddy: Increase the size of the United States armed forces, bring it up to about 2 million, all-volunteer, highly trained forces, the way they currently are. Emulate the Israelis, the way they handle guerilla warfare, the Israelis are very good at it. Then, one by one, effect the regime change you told the American people and the world that you would do after September 11, 2001. Nobody expects you to do it simultaneously. If there’s a question as to whether Iran will revolt on its own, you may want to leave it for last. Just keep picking them off, one by one.
John Hawkins: Under any circumstances do you think we should allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons…
G. Gordon Liddy: No, we should not allow it. We should do what the Israelis did to the Iraqi reactor, just take it out.
John Hawkins: Speaking of defending our country, do you think we’re making a mistake by leaving terrorists a way to get into our country through our unguarded borders? Our borders are essentially wide open…
G. Gordon Liddy: Our borders are wide open and it’s not only a mistake in terms of the terrorist threat, but were there no terrorist threat, it would still be a serious error. No country can claim to be sovereign unless it controls its own borders. We should control our own borders and we should in fact have a program to identify and locate the illegal aliens amongst us and they should be rounded up and sent back home. If they want to be here, they should apply in the normal way.
John Hawkins: Switching things up just a bit, do you think there are any parallels between how the Democratic Party has veered to the left today and how they did so during the Nixon years of the Vietnam war?
G. Gordon Liddy: Well, the Democratic party has been the party of the left since the ascendency to party control of the McGovernites. So, what so many of the Democratic candidates do, in order to win primaries and caucuses, is they go way to the left because it’s only that leftist base that votes in primaries. Oftentimes a conservative will go far to the right too. But, smart politicians know that to win the Presidency, you have to be near the center. You can be to the left of the center, to the right of center, but you can’t be very far from the center. So, I suspect that this is going to be the typical pattern. I think that Dr. Dean will probably get the nomination and then he will move to the right and it won’t be as hard as people think it will be. Because if you look at his past you’ll see that when he was governor he got good grades from the NRA for example, so I think he’ll be a more effective candidate than we think. I don’t think he’s going to win by any means, but I also don’t think that he’s as absurd a choice as people are making him out to be either.
John Hawkins: Do you think that now because of the internet, bloggers, & talk radio, that it’s going to be more difficult for Dean to move to the center? Because a lot of things that wouldn’t have been mentioned let’s say a decade ago, are now going to be brought back up because people are paying attention on the internet and cataloguing what he says.
G. Gordon Liddy: Well, you and I pay attention to the internet and bloggers, but the great mass of Americans don’t even register to vote and those that do don’t pay much attention to what’s on the internet. Then when they do, they get sucked into all kinds of bogus things. As you’re probably aware, there’s more misinformation floating around on the internet than anywhere else. So no, I wouldn’t say so.
John Hawkins: Now back in the mid-late seventies, the Republican Party was really on its heels, after Vietnam, after Nixon. But today, we control the Presidency, Congress, and have a majority of governorships. In your opinion, why has that happened?
G. Gordon Liddy: Because when the left ascended into power, the left failed and they left us all the with tab. The Republicans said, “Ok, we’re going to pay this bill, but we’re going to stop running up huge bills like this and we’re going to start doing things correctly” and I think they have been perceived by the majority of the electorate to have done just that.
John Hawkins: Why do you think the left hasn’t made it in talk radio yet, beyond NPR?
G. Gordon Liddy: The reason that talk radio has done so well with the right is because the left has everything else. They’ve got the television networks, CNN, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and so the poor citizen looking desperately for someplace that will reflect his thoughts and opinions turned to talk radio, found it there, and almost by default talk radio has been successful for the right. The left now has all kinds of plans to try to start new programs and syndicate things, but they forget that you’ve got to appeal to the majority of the people, you’ve got to get the ratings. The people are just bored out of their minds with the same old thing.
John Hawkins: A lot of people may not know this, but you wrote the memo that led to the creation of the DEA…
G. Gordon Liddy: Yes, I did.
John Hawkins: So now in 2003, how do you think the DEA and the rest of America is doing in the War on Drugs?
G. Gordon Liddy: You’ve got to look at the war on drugs in economic terms. You’ve got supply push and demand pull. In recent years, we’ve been focusing all our efforts on eliminating supply push and we have done virtually nothing to temper demand pull. There was a time when we had strict laws that made felonies out of possessing even for recreational use, small amounts of controlled, dangerous substances. We let those laws all be changed so that they’re just minor offenses now and thus, the demand pull is very strong and you can’t address half the problem and expect to solve it. The problems we have in the war on drugs are not the fault of the DEA, the DEA is doing its job. I think the court systems & the legislatures have not been doing their jobs.
John Hawkins: Now as a lawyer, do you think our legal system has gotten out of hand? Do we need tort reform and…
G. Gordon Liddy: We definitely need tort reform. When I studied tort law, back in the fifties, all you needed was the common sense and the ability to reason and you could do fine in tort law. That’s no longer the case. Tort law has been stood on its head. There’s a lot of problems with the legal system other than tort law.
For example, in the person of Sandra Day O’Connor, the Supreme Court of the United States recently in that Michigan case suspended the equal protection clause for 25 years. Furthermore, John McCain is a good, personal friend of mine, but I differ with him on this so-called campaign reform law. I don’t care about the money part of it, but saying that people cannot organize and commit political speech 30-60 days before an election, I mean that is what the First Amendment is principally all about. That’s backwards and the Supreme Court allowed that.
The Democrats have to defend at least 5 Senate seats in the South and John Breaux who was a shoe-in to win is not going to stand for reelection. This gives the Republicans a chance, if they work hard and organize, to get sufficient votes in the Senate to be able to break the Democratic filibuster (and put Conservative judges on the Supreme Court). That would be a godsend.
John Hawkins: Changing directions here, one of the things that people who try to discredit you often bring up is your comment back in 1994, “If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they’re wearing flak jackets and you’re better off shooting for the head.” What prompted that comment and other similar ones and do you regret giving a caller that advice?
G. Gordon Liddy: Well, no. Because as usual, people remember part of what I said, but not all of what I said. What I did was restate the law. I was talking about a situation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes smashing into a house, doesn’t say who they are, and their guns are out, they’re shooting, and they’re in the wrong place. This has happened time and time again. The ATF has gone in and gotten the wrong guy in the wrong place. The law is that if somebody is shooting at you, using deadly force, the mere fact that they are a law enforcement officer, if they are in the wrong, does not mean you are obliged to allow yourself to be killed so your kinfolk can have a wrongful death action. You are legally entitled to defend yourself and I was speaking of exactly those kind of situations. If you’re going to do that, you should know that they’re wearing body armor so you should use a head shot. Now all I’m doing is stating the law, but all the nuances in there got left out when the story got repeated.
John Hawkins: Yeah, that’s how it always seems to go. Now in your newest book, you say that Watergate was actually “not to repair a telephone tap but to collect dirt on an alleged call-girl ring at the DNC headquarters” and that the Watergate burglars were looking for photos of John Dean’s wife. Can you elaborate on that a bit?
G. Gordon Liddy: It’s a very long, detailed story and after I publicized it, I and a lot of other people were sued by John Dean and his wife. It took 8 years to get them to court and when we finally did, they dropped the charges.
John Dean thereafter procured a woman named Ida “Maxie” Wells and provided her with his lawyer. She did sue and we had a trial in which all of these issues were aired and I won.
Briefly, here’s what happened. Back in those days, the FBI was investigating 3 different call-girl rings that were operating at the time in Washington DC. One of them was operating out of the Columbia Plaza apartments which is across the street from the Watergate. According to the supervising assistant district attorney, whose name was John Rudy, he was told by the FBI that they had established a connection with the ring to a person in the Democratic National Committee headquarters. That person was described as either a secretary or as an administrative assistant and a female. When the Democrats themselves found the wiretap that everybody supposed was on Mr. O’Brien, there was never any wiretap on Mr. O’Brien, the wiretap was on the phone used by that woman. The burglars, when they were apprehended, were not anywhere near Mr. O’Brien’s office. They were clustered around the desk of that woman, they had set up the photographic equipment on the desk of that woman. The way the call-girl ring operated was by a photographic brochure with pictures of the girls (in it). John Dean knew that, this was a John Dean operation. The question then comes to mind; “Well how would John Dean, counsel to the President, know something like that”? Well, that’s because his then paramour, now his wife, Maureen, when she was not shacked up with John, was the roommate of the madame.
John Hawkins: (Chuckles)
G. Gordon Liddy: Of course, we knew the identity of the madame, her name was Heidi Rikan. She was a German national and she operated under the street name of Cathy Dieter. When Maureen Dean wrote her book, ‘Mo’: A Woman’s View of Watergate, which was sort of autobiographical, she included her wedding pictures to John. There, one of her attendants, in all her glory, was the madame. So, that’s how John found out. But, you can read all about it in the book!
John Hawkins: I look forward to doing that. You know one of the things that has always puzzled me about Watergate, was that as we now know, Nixon absolutely buried McGovern in 1972. So, I’ve always wondered why anyone in the Nixon White House thought it was necessary to do something like Watergate. Can you shed some light on that subject?
G. Gordon Liddy: Well sure. Now remember when all of this was; this was prior to the Democrats having selected their candidate. No one knew who the candidate was going to be. Before he broke down in front of the Union Leader Office, Mr. Muskie was thought to be very Lincolnian and to be a strong candidate. We never knew whether or not Ted Kennedy would make a try and despite his Chappaquiddick troubles, it was thought that he would be a potent foe. So the political intelligence apparatus was set into effect because no one knew who the candidate was going to be.
But, the plan that I drew up did not include going into the DNC because that’s not where you get political intelligence on an opposing Presidential candidate. Think about it. We had the committee to reelect the President. That’s what ran the Nixon campaign in 1972, not the RNC. The RNC & the DNC raised money, but there’s always a special organization that is designed to run the Presidential campaign. That is what one would spy on, not the DNC or RNC….
John Hawkins: On to another topic, you’ve fought in Korea, had great success in the FBI, been a prosecutor and a defense attorney, run for Congress, written best selling books, been in movies, had a movie made about your life, you have an incredibly successful radio show, etc, etc, you’ve done it all. Now, if someone asked, “why have you been able to accomplish so much in so many different fields, and what’s the secret to your success,” what would you tell them?
G. Gordon Liddy: A combination of two things. One, a great desire to achieve, a will to achieve. Secondly, I was the beneficiary of an extraordinarily good education beyond the doctoral level backs in the days when you could really get a good education. It’s very hard now because there are so many college courses that are nonsense. In my prep school, I was required to take all kinds of mathematics, all kinds of science, chemistry, physics, ancient history, medieval history, English history, American history, Latin, the whole nine yards and they don’t require it anymore. People are being born every day with very fine brains. In the last fifty years, the genetics of the human race have not changed, but they’re not being challenged. I was challenged, I never went to a public school in my life. It was private schools all the way. I had this tremendous education from Benedictine monks and Jesuit priests among others and I was willing to work hard.
John Hawkins: Can you tell us a little bit about your newest book, “When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country“?
G. Gordon Liddy: Yes, I wrote it for young people and when they read it, they’re astonished at the liberties we had when I was a boy. We would just think nothing of walking with our firearms right down the main street of town on the way out to the woods to shoot squirrels, crows, tin cans, or whatever. When the 4th of July came around, we’d go to little stands that would grow up on the side of the road and buy cannon crackers so powerful that you’d put ‘em under a number 10 can and blow it 60 feet up into the air. People weren’t suing everybody. A farmer who had swampy land and wanted to make it productive would drain it and fill it and nobody would tell him it was a navigable waterway under control of the Army of Engineers.
I just lay out all of these liberties that we had and people are just stunned, because they’re gone now. They weren’t taken away all at one time, they were salami sliced away. Each time it was in the need of some perceived good or the other, but the net result is that they’re gone. The lesson I’m trying to teach is that whatever freedoms you have left, you’d better be very, very, careful to guard or they will be gone and your children will not have them.
John Hawkins: Is there anything else you would like to say or promote before we finish up?
G. Gordon Liddy: Well, there’s the calender that has caused so much upset.
John Hawkins: The Stacked and Packed calender.
G. Gordon Liddy: The Stacked and Packed calender. There is actually a website that has been established called BoycottLiddyCalender.com and there’s a lot of hysterical stuff in there. I might give a plug to my own website which isLiddyShow.com. StackedandPacked.com is devoted to the calender and how you can get it there. You can also get it by calling 1-800-737-1808. The calender is in its 10th year. On the cover this year, I appear with my Harley Davidson that I rode to Sturgis this past summer, 1846 miles, and the lovely lady sitting behind me is the executive producer of the show and she happens to be naked as a jaybird.
John Hawkins: Mr. Liddy, it was an honor.