Yes. Gordon Liddy, a cloak-and-dagger lawyer who mastered dirty tricks for the White House and carried out the heist theft, which led to the Watergate scandal in 1974 and President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation died on Tuesday in Mount Vernon. Va. He Was 90.
His death was confirmed at the home of his daughter Alexandra Liddy Bourne, his son Thomas P.W. Liddy, who stated that her father had Parkinson’s disease and was in declining health.
After entering the lexicon of Watergate, Mr. Liddy was still an enigma in the cast of grace-plagued characters with the 37th president – some patriots who quietly went to prison for refusing to cheat their peers in prison, For others who was a cash on fake celebrity to become a writer and syndicated talk show host.
The White House was set up to plug information leaks as the leader of the “plumber” unit, and then as a strategist for the presidential election campaign, with Mr. Liddy defaming the Nixon “enemies” and the 1972 Helped the plots to disrupt the Democratic National. Convention. Most were far-flung – bizarre kidnappings, sabotage, traps using prostitutes, even a murder – and never committed.
But Mr. Liddy, a former FBI agent, and E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA agent, built two break-ins at the Democratic National Committee’s offices on the Watergate campus in Washington. On May 28, 1972, Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt were six Cuban immigrants and a Nixon expedition security officer, James W. McCord was standing with Jr., went in, planted bugs, took pictures of documents and got away with cleaning.
A few weeks later, on June 17, four Cubans and Mr. McCord returned to the scene wearing surgical gloves and walkie-talkies and were apprehended by police. Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt were operating from a Watergate hotel room, but were soon arrested and arrested on charges of theft, wiretapping and conspiracy.
In the context of 1972, Mr. Nixon’s triumphant visit to China and a steam-rolled presidential campaign, which soon led to the Democrat, Senator George S. Crushed McGovern, the Watergate case seemed inconsistent at first. Mr. Nixon’s press secretary, Ron Ziegler, called it “third-degree theft”.
But it deepened a White House cover up, which began in 1971, when Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt broke into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, which leaked Pentagon papers to the New York Times, revealing damaging information. Was looking for Him. Over the next two years, the cover-up settled under the pressure of investigations, trials, hearings and headlines into the worst political scandal – and the first resignation by a sitting president in the nation’s history.
Unlike other Watergate defendants, Mr. Liddy refused to testify about his activities for the White House or committee to re-elect the president, and attracted the longest tenure among those going to prison. He Judge John J. Sirca was sentenced to 6 to 20 years, but only served 52 months. President Jimmy Carter began his term in 1977.
“I lived as I believed I should have lived,” Mr. Liddy, a short-nappy man with a ponytail and a brushy mustache, told reporters after his release. He He said he has no regrets and will do it again. “When the prince turns to his lieutenant, the lieutenant’s proper response to the prince is, ‘Fiat swantus tua,'” he said, “the Latin of the Lord’s Prayer for thy will be used.”
Disappointed by the law and $ 300,000 in debt, mostly for legal fees, Mr. Liddy began a new career as a writer. His first book, “Out of Control” (1979) was a spy thriller. He Later wrote another novel, “The Monkey Handler” (1990); Nonfiction book, “When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country” (2002); Wrote a guide to fighting terrorism, “Fight back! Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style ”(2006), and numerous articles on politics, taxes, health and other matters.
In 1980, he broke his silence at Watergate with his autobiography “Will”. The reviews were mixed, but became a best seller. After years of revelations by Watergate’s other conspirators, there was nothing new about it in the scandal, but critics said their account of prison life was graphic. A television film based on the book was aired in 1982 by NBC.
Mr. Liddy found himself in demand on the college-lecture circuit. In 1982 he debated the campus with Timothy Leary, a 1960s LSD guru who was edited into a documentary film, “Return Engagement”. The title referred to the encounter in 1966, when Mr. Liddy, as a prosecutor in Duchess County, NY, was involved in a raid on a drug cult in which Mr. Leary was arrested.
In the 1980s, Mr. Liddy starred in “Miami Vice” and other television and film roles. But later he was known as a syndicated talk-radio host with a right-wing agenda. The “G Gordon Liddy Show,” began in 1992, with satellite hookups and Internet streaming on hundreds of Viacom and later Radio America stations. This lasted until his retirement in 2012. He Lived in Fort Washington, Md.
Mr. Liddy, who promoted nutritional supplements and exercised, was still in his 70s trim. He Jumped parachutes, made motorcycle trips, collected guns, played a piano and lied. His website showed him raised head-on, with an American flag and a zigzag with a capitol dome in the background.
George Gordon Battle Liddy was born on November 30, 1930, in Brooklyn, to Sylvester J. and Maria (Abeticchio) Liddy. He Hojokane grew up in NJ, a frightened boy with respiratory problems who learned to steel himself with tests of willpower. He Weighed, ran and, as he recalled, laid his hands on a flame as an act of self-discipline. He He said that once he ate a rat to overcome a retaliation, and cut the chickens for a neighbor until he could kill like a soldier, “efficiently and without emotion or consideration” . “
Like his father, a lawyer, Gordon attended All-Mail St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark and Fordham University in the Bronx. After graduating from Fordham in 1952, he took an army commission with the hope of fighting in Korea, but was assigned to an Antiacraft radar unit in Brooklyn. In 1954, he returned to Fordham and three years later earned a law degree.
In 1957, she married Francis Ann Purcell. The couple had five children. Along with her son Thomas and daughter Alexandra, she is survived by another daughter, Grace Liddy; Two other sons, James Liddy and Raymond J. Liddy; A sister, Margaret McDermott; 12 grandchildren and two great-children. Liddy’s wife died in 2010.
From 1957 to 1962, Mr. Liddy was an FBI field agent in Indianapolis, Gary, Ind. And Denver, and an observer of crime records in Washington. He Then worked in patent law for his father’s firm in New York for four years. He Joined the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office in 1966 as an assistant prosecutor.
In 1968, he began a three-year increase in pornography at the White House in Poughkeepsie. Challenging Hamilton Fish Jr. in a primary for the Republican nomination for Congress in New York’s 28th district, he fell short, but his consolation prize was to command Nixon’s campaign in the mid-Hudson Valley, which the president Had won by hand.
His reward was work in the Treasury Department in Washington as a special assistant for narcotics and gun control. He He helped develop the Akash Marshal program to counter the hijackers. Impressed, Egil Crowgh, deputy assistant to the president, recommended him in 1971 to Attorney General John N. Mitchell, who gave him John D., the president’s domestic policy advisor. Erlichman recommended.
Mr. Nixon, furious at the revelations of the Pentagon Papers, had instructed Mr. Ehrlichman to set up “plumber” to deflect and punish opponents. In other campaigns, Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt, who were in charge of the unit, broke into the Beverly Hills office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis Fielding, for material to discredit the military analyst. They did not find any.
When the group was dissolved in 1971, Mr. Liddy went to work for the Nixon campaign. He was titled General Counsel, but his role was to plot more dirty tricks under a code name, “Ratna”. They included radical kidnappers who could disrupt the Republican convention, sabotage air-conditioning at the Democratic convention in Miami, hire prostitutes to trap Democrats with hidden cameras, and syndicated The columnist could kill Jack Anderson, whom Mr. Liddy saw as a national security risk. .
But only Watergate was stolen. It was a piece of tape above the lock on a garage-level door that entangled the thieves. A security guard called the police, and a speedy walkie-talkie in Mr. Liddy’s hotel room told the story:
“Looks like… guns!” A thief whispered. “They’ve got guns.” This is trouble. “
The team’s search for an apartment across the street broke down: “Now I can see my people. They have put their hands up. There should be police. More police now. Uniform… “
“They found us!”
it was all over. Mr. Liddy and Mr. Hunt went home. Mr. When Liddy woke up at 3am and his wife woke up. “Something wrong?” He asked.
“There was trouble there,” he said. “Some people got caught. I will probably go to jail. “
Neil Vigdor contributed reporting and Jack Baig contributed research.