Gordo Declares WarOk, so I'm now to the midpoint of Gordon Liddy's Will. Liddy is by now working for CREEP, he and Howard Hunt have cooked up all kinds of dirty tricks to use on THE ENEMY, so all that's left (now that he's had CIA help in making his paper diagrams look professional) is to run them by John Mitchell and the whole Hee Haw gang. He relates his sense of purpose on the eve of his proposal to the bigwigs:
I'd been working day and night because the legal work that was supposed to be nominal, just enough to serve as convincing cover [Liddy's title was General Counsel; actually he was in charge of dirty tricks], had turned out to be substantial; but my sense of purpose as I realized the opportunity I'd been handed pumped me so full of adrenaline I never felt tired.
I knew exactly what had to be done and why, and I was under no illusion about its legality. Although spies in the enemy camp and electronic surveillance were nothing new in American presidential politics, we were going to go far beyond that.
I think I'll stop here to note that this nicely obliterates the self-pitying claims made by Nixon and his apologists that Tricky Dick had done nothing not done before by others (FDR, JFK, LBJ being the usual names dropped), so why was everyone picking on poor old Richard Nixon...? Liddy's admission proves there was no double standard. Nixon's crimes were treated as singular because they were singular (and they remained so until nearly equaled by Reagan and then of course dwarfed by Bush II).
As far as I was concerned, anything went if it were merely malum prohibitum (about which more later). There was a law of physics that every action has an equal and opposite reaction; I was ready to break that one, too, in reaction to the radical left and the whole drug-besotted 1960s "movement" that was attacking my country from within.
In other words, the reactionary is vowing a reaction of greater magnitude than the action inspiring him. So much for Liddy's -- previously, and so many others' since -- claim that they were merely fighting fire with fire. Their aim, shared by many a sociopath, was overkill.
The experience of the last ten years left no doubt in my mind that the United States was at war internally as well as externally. In August 1970 the Army Math Center of the University of Wisconsin was added to the list of bombings. A father of two had died in the blast and three others were injured. Two years before Daniel Moynihan had warned of the "onset of urban terror" -- a bit late, I thought, in view of the thousands of bombings, burnings, riots, and lootings of the '60s, to say nothing of the murders of police just because they were the police, the killing of judges, and the general disintegration of the social order.
Moreover the antiwar movement threatened to prove the vehicle for these radical elements to gain enough acceptance to achieve political power (six years later it was Senator George McGovern's son-in-law who was to get the bail of one of the Math Center bombers reduced so he could be freed). The events of the 1960s offended me gravely. To permit the thought, spirit, life-style, and ideas of the '60s movement to achieve power and become the official way of life of the United States was a thought as offensive to me as was the thought of surrender to a career Japanese soldier in 1945. It was unthinkable, an unspeakable betrayal.
I remembered the rioting, burning cities, the bombings and killings, and the attempts to close down the nation's capital by mob violence; the American actress in the capital of our enemy broadcasting appeals to our combat troops to commit treason; the cooperation and approval of great newspapers in the theft and compromise of masses of classified documents. I remembered the crew-served automatic weapons in the halls of the Department of Justice, and I knew that what had happened to Richard Nixon in 1960 and to Lyndon Johnson in 1968 could not be permitted to happen again. With an ice-cold, deliberate certainty I knew exactly what I was going to be doing in 1972 and it was damn well about time: we were going to throw the Battle Override [switch].