Sunday, January 29, 2017

Silent Coup

Don't get the impression that you arouse my anger. You see, one can only be angry with those he respects. - Richard Nixon

Some astute observers think Nixon's real crime was not the Watergate cover up but was for being an outsider who sought peace against the shadow government's wishes. There are now rumblings that this same complex is gunning for Trump since he has come out against their everlasting war in the Middle East. This makes it ever more important to study what happened to the last great silent majority leader, Nixon:

Len Colodny is a native Washingtonian.

He graduated from McKinley Technical High School in Washington D.C. in 1956. The school was integrated in 1954. He was president of the first integrated class. The class had to hold their prom at a a small hotel on a Wednesday night as nicer establishment refused to host an integrated event.

He was interested in journalism but never went into it. He went to Montgomery Junior College and is three credits short of an A.A..

He met his wife also a native Washingtonian and has been married for over 50 year.

He got into the private label liquor business for over twenty years selling products like Iron City Beer and wines.

He got appointed to the Human Relations Commission for Prince Georges County and for five years he oversaw the 850 man police department that was under Federal orders to stop the brutality.

From there, he had a contract with Montgomery County Maryland where they have a Liquor Control Board.  According to Colodny, it is the only county to control liquor sales. There are states that do this but this is the only individual county that does it. He did a report for the liquor administration that got him fired but also brought him into conflict with Bob Woodward, the ever famous Washington Post reporter.

Liquor Gate

Colodny was a local Democrat Activist who lost a state senate race to an incumbent in 1978. After the race he worked the Montgomery Count Government looking at the the county liquor administration. He found trouble with their accounting and favoritism involving liquor wholesalers.

A county official, Gerald Evans acting under Charles Gilchrist, the County Administrator, offered him a job with the liquor administration to keep him quiet. Colodny illegally taped the bribe offer since there were laws against taping without both parties consent.

Colodny cooperated with the Washington Post on the story under the condition that they keep the tape confidential. Woodward renegaed on the agreement. Here is a link to the details. - Bob Woodward Lied To Me, To His Readers, To Our History

Interestingly, Gerald Evans was indicted by the Feds in 1999 in matters unrelated to the Colodny story:

Washington Post, December 1999 - Hard-Earned Contacts Helped Evans to the Top

Apparently, he got off as he is still running his own lobbying firm:

GERARD E. EVANS - Advocacy and Governmental Relations


Len Colodny's involvement in Liquor Gate made him unemployable in Montgomery County so he ended up moving to Tampa Florida and becoming involved with Robert Gettlin a reporter at the Washington Star and later the Hartford Courant. Before writing Silent Coup the were working on a book: "Bob Woodward was Watergate."

They worked for four or five years just following a trail. During this time, Jim Hougan wrote a book called Spooks where he mentioned that Bob Woodward, before he became a reporter, served in the Navy as an intelligence briefer As part of this job, he was going to the Nixon Whitehouse in 1969 - 70 and briefing Alexander Haig. - Spooks: The Haunting of America : The Private Use of Secret Agents by Jim Hougan

This new insight led them to drop the Woodward book and start writing Silent Coup. In 1988, they signed with St Martins Press to write the book and in 1991 it was published and became a best seller for six months.

Silent Coup

Here is an excellent overview of the book from C-Span:

C-Span Booknotes - Silent Coup

Colodny considers himself to be a liberal democrat and did not support Nixon politically. He did not like Nixon's stands against forced busing during school integration. He wanted Nixon to get out of Vietnam, He contends that Nixon was using Vietnam as a bargaining chip against the Chinese and Russian and that this was a much worse scandal than Watergate.

NSDM 2 - The Closed Loop Presidency

Silent Coup begins on the day Nixon was sworn into office, January 20, 1969. Once inauguration ceremonies concluded, Nixon went to the White House and signed NSDM 2.

NSDM 2 took powers that resided with the State Department, Department of Defense and the CIA and centralized them in the White House under the National Security Council. About the only people who realized what was going on were the now neutered cabinet heads and the military who had been put outside the loop. It was a closed circle without congressional oversight creating little understood policies.

Colodny interview John Mitchell, Nixon's Attorney General, who called it a secret government and defended it as something needed to get things done like the Nixon's normalization of relations with China. They took the power away from the cabinet heads that had to answer to congress and put it in the hands of the NSC that only had to report to the president in order to get things done that could not be accomplished with congressional knowledge. - Nixon Administration (1969–1974), United States National Security Policy - National Security Memoranda - nsdm 002

The Moorer-Radford Affair

Nixon's war with the military started on day one of his administration. The military did not know what Nixon was doing in Vietnam and it caused great tension. Nixon was taking US troops out of Vietnam and making South Vietnam more responsible for their own defense, a process called Vietnamization. The military did not know what the troop plans were nor did they know what he was bargaining for in the Paris Peace talks.

The military felt that they needed to penetrate this secret government. Led by Admiral Thomas Moorer and Admiral Rembrandt Robinson, who was the senior liaison in the White House for the military with the Joint Chief. The military used this liaison office in the White House to launch their spy ring.

Nixon did not understand that Kissinger had made his deputy Alexander Haig, a Colonel in the US Army. According to Colodny, Haig did not agree with Nixon's policies so he became the middle man in military's attempt to spy on the White House. He told the military which "Burn Bags" (top secret document disposal bags) to steal.

The spy ring went on for about a year and half until it was eventually discovered due to a column publish by columnist Jack Anderson that contained a spy ring leak. Initially, Nixon accused Haig of knowing about it and wanted to fully prosecute the members of the joint chiefs responsible but his Attorney General, John Mitchell, advised him to paper over the affair. Nixon even reappointed the head of the Joint Chief, who headed up the spy ring, Admiral Moorer, several months later.

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