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Richard Nixon and George Wallace


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 03:09 PM

I have just read Dan T. Carter’s biography of George Wallace, The Politics of Rage. The book provides a detailed analysis of Nixon’s relationship with Wallace. Carter confirms that Nixon was petrified of the impact that Wallace could have on the next presidential election.

Nixon’s initial strategy was to destroy Wallace’s power base in Alabama. This included providing $400,000 to help Albert Brewer defeat Wallace as governor. This failed and Nixon had to change his strategy to one of blackmail. With the help of Murray Chotiner, Nixon discovered details of Wallace’s corrupt activities in Alabama.

In July 1969, Nixon pressurized the IRS into forming the Special Services Staff (SSS). The role of the SSS was to target Nixon’s political enemies. By 1970 the SSS had compiled a list of 4,000 individuals. Most of this list were on the left. However, Nixon now added George Wallace and several of his aides to this list. This included George’s brother, Gerald Wallace, who had indeed made a fortune on local projects. This included a $2.9 million contract for asphalt that went to Gerald's company even though he charged a $2.50 per ton over the going price. By August 1970, the SSS had 75 people working on what was known as the “Alabama Project”.

To show he meant business, one of Wallace’s closest aides, Seymore Trammell, was sent to prison for 4 years for corruption. Nixon then used Winston Blount, his Postmaster General, to begin negotiations with Wallace. A deal was eventually struck with Wallace. In return for calling off the SSS, Wallace would not become a third party candidate. On 12th January, 1972, Attorney General John Mitchell announced he was not going to prosecute Gerald Wallace. On 13th January, Wallace gave a press conference where he announced he would not be a third party candidate. The plan was that Wallace would create havoc in the Democratic Party but that eventually George McGovern would become the winner, a man that Nixon knew he could beat.

However, Wallace did much better than expected. Nixon now feared that Wallace would not keep his promise and would indeed become a third party candidate. Polls suggested that virtually all of Wallace’s votes would come from Nixon’s potential supporters. If Wallace stood, Nixon faced the prospect of being defeated by McGovern.

On 15th May, 1972, Bremer tried to assassinate George Wallace at a presidential campaign rally in Laurel, Maryland. Mark Felt immediately took charge of the case. According to Dan T. Carter, Felt had a trusted contact in the White House: Charles Colson. Felt gave Colson the news. Within 90 minutes of the shooting Nixon and Colson are recorded discussing the case. Already they are talking about finding a way to blame George McGovern for the shooting.

Meanwhile Colson phones E. Howard Hunt and suggests he breaks in to Bremer’s apartment. According to Hunt, he dislikes the idea but makes preparations for the trip. He claims that later Colson calls off the operation.

Colson also phones journalists at the Washington Post and Detroit News with the news that evidence had been found that Bremer was a left-winger and was connected to the campaign of George McGovern. The reporters are also told that Bremer is a “dues-paying member of the Young Democrats of Milwaukee”. The next day Bob Woodward (Washington Post) and Gerald terHost (Detroit News) publish this story.

Over the next few hours, Colson and Felt talk six times on the telephone. Felt gives Colson Bremer's address. At 5:00 p.m. Thomas Farrow, head of the Baltimore FBI, gives Bremer’s address to the FBI office in Milwaukee. Soon afterwards two FBI agents arrive at Bremer’s apartment block and begin interviewing neighbours. However, they do not have a search warrant and do not go into Bremer’s apartment.

At around the same time, James Rowley, head of the Secret Service, orders one of his Milwaukee agents to break into Bremer’s apartment. It has never been revealed why Rowley took this action. It is while this agent is searching the apartment that the FBI discover what is happening. According to John Ehrlichman, the Secret Service and the FBI nearly opened fire on each other.

The Secret Service took away documents from Bremer’s apartment. It is not known if they planted anything before they left. Anyway, the FBI discovered material published by the Black Panther Party and the American Civil Liberties Union in the apartment.

Both sets of agents now leave Bremer’s apartment unsealed. Over the next 80 minutes several reporters enter the apartment and take away documents. There is also the extra opportunity for material to be planted in Bremer’s apartment.

The following day that the FBI discover Bremer’s 137-page written diary in his blue Rambler car. The opening sentence was: "Now I start my diary of my personal plot to kill by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace." Nixon is now off the hook. He was initially suspected of being behind the assassination. Now the chief suspect is George McGovern.

Wallace survives the assassination attempt. Wallace believes that Nixon’s aides ordered the assassination. He now decides to become a third party candidate to gain his revenge on Nixon. Cornelia Wallace takes pleasure in telling Nixon when he arrives at the hospital that her husband will take him on in November. However, Wallace’s health has been severely damaged and reluctantly he has to pull out of the race.

In May, 1974, Martha Mitchell visited George Wallace in Montgomery. She told Wallace that her husband, John Mitchell, had confessed that Charles Colson had a meeting with Arthur Bremer just four days before the assassination attempt.

Wallace ordered his own investigation into Bremer. He told friends that he was convinced that Nixon’s aides had arranged the assassination. He quoted the case of Henry II and Thomas Becket. He believed that Nixon has said something similar to that of Henry II: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Wallace gave an interview to Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times. Wallace told Nelson that the man seen talking to Bremer on the Lake Michigan Ferry looked very much like G. Gordon Liddy.

On 13th December, 1992, Wallace's son, George Junior, gave an interview to the Montgomery Advertiser. He said that they had received information from several different sources that someone who worked directly for Richard Nixon was behind the shooting of his father.

#2 John Simkin

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 04:32 PM

Namebase entry for George Wallace;

http://www.namebase....ey-Wallace.html

Anderson,J. Peace, War, and Politics. 1999 (177)
Bradlee,B. A Good Life. 1995 (378)
Furgurson,E. Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms. 1986 (87)
Judis,J. William F. Buckley, Jr. 1988 (283-7)
Lewis,C. The Buying of the President 2000. 2000 (99-100)
Nikitin,V. The Ultras in the USA. 1981 (227-41, 271-3, 276-8)
Sale,K. Power Shift. 1976 (103-9, 180, 222)
Summers,A. The Arrogance of Power. 2000 (405-6, 473)
Sykes,C. The Hollow Men. 1990 (153)
Terrell,J. Disposable Patriot. 1992 (20)
Turner,W. Hoover's FBI. 1993 (200)
Washington Times 1992-12-07 (A2)

#3 Michael Hogan

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 05:03 AM

.....At around the same time, James Rowley, head of the Secret Service, orders one of his Milwaukee agents to break into Bremer’s apartment. It has never been revealed why Rowley took this action. It is while this agent is searching the apartment that the FBI discover what is happening. According to John Ehrlichman, the Secret Service and the FBI nearly opened fire on each other.

The Secret Service took away documents from Bremer’s apartment. It is not known if they planted anything before they left. Anyway, the FBI discovered material published by the Black Panther Party and the American Civil Liberties Union in the apartment.

Nixon on Rowley and the Secret Service:

After conflicting reports to the President from the Secret Service described the assailant as everything from a middle-aged man to three teenagers, either acting alone or with an accomplice, Nixon, wishing to avoid a what seemed to him like a potential government scandal on his watch, ordered Haldeman to instruct Ehrlichman to interfere and take control of the investigation. Nixon noted, “I’m not going to let them get away with this this time. They are to report to me directly. I don’t want to read it in the press, and I don’t want to hear it on the radio. I want a report, and I don’t want any cover up. You know, this could be like the Kennedy thing. This son of a bitch Rowley is a dumb bastard, you know. He is dumb as hell. We’ve got to get somebody over there right away. Get Ehrlichman on him! Get Ehrlichman over there right away, Bob, to work on it. Don’t you agree? Secret Service will fuck this up! They do everything!” Finally, on the basis that one of Wallace’s body guards—who included fifty Secret Service agents and a detail of the Alabama State Police—was injured in the shooting, Nixon ordered the FBI to take jurisdiction of the investigation away from the Secret Service: “Get the FBI. Order, at my direction, the FBI!”


Full story: http://hnn.us/articles/45104.html

#4 Tim Gratz

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 05:41 AM

The Nixon quotation that Michael posted sure sounds to me like it exculpates Nixon. His assessment of Rowley is certainly interesting.

John wrote:

Colson also phones journalists at the Washington Post and Detroit News with the news that evidence had been found that Bremer was a left-winger and was connected to the campaign of George McGovern. The reporters are also told that Bremer is a “dues-paying member of the Young Democrats of Milwaukee”. The next day Bob Woodward (Washington Post) and Gerald terHost (Detroit News) publish this story.

John, it surprises me that Woodward would author such a story without verification of what Colson said. (Even though this was before Watergate.) Are you certain of this?

John wrote:

The following day that the FBI discover Bremer’s 137-page written diary in his blue Rambler car. The opening sentence was: "Now I start my diary of my personal plot to kill by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace." Nixon is now off the hook. He was initially suspected of being behind the assassination. Now the chief suspect is George McGovern.

Certainly a non sequitur. Why would George McGovern be a suspect merely because Bremer wanted to kill Nixon and/or Wallace? The fact that IMO and those of most who read this LHO was NOT a lone nut does not mean that lone nuts do not exist. John, do you suggest that Jimmy Carter was behind the assassination attempts on Gerald Ford?

John wrote:

In May, 1974, Martha Mitchell visited George Wallace in Montgomery. She told Wallace that her husband, John Mitchell, had confessed that Charles Colson had a meeting with Arthur Bremer just four days before the assassination attempt.

John, even though MM was a notorious drunk, I would appreciate it if you could publish the source for that statement.

John wrote:

Wallace gave an interview to Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times. Wallace told Nelson that the man seen talking to Bremer on the Lake Michigan Ferry looked very much like G. Gordon Liddy.


John, this statement does not make much sense. Wallace was not on the ferry and thus in no position to make a personal observation. He was obviously relying on a published report. Presumably Nelson had also seen that report. Do you lknow who reported seeing Bremer on the ferry talking to someone and what the informant's description of the third party was?

Finally, do you know if Wallace's son is still alive? Did the Montgomery Advertiser in fact publish what the son said?




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