Jump to content
The Education Forum

Arthur Bremer and Richard Nixon


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

We do have evidence that links Nixon to the attempted murder of George Wallace. According to Colson: “Nixon expressed a fear that this guy (Bremer) might be a right-wing zealot or a Nixon supporter”. Nixon told Colson to get over to the FBI “to find out what they know”. Mark Felt (yes, the so-called Deep Throat) gave Colson details of where Bremer was living.

Colson returned to Nixon and told him the news. Nixon then said: “Wouldn’t it be great if they found left-wing propaganda in that apartment… Too bad we couldn’t get somebody there to plant it.”

Nixon later denied he said this and suggested Colson was lying. However, this conversation is captured on the tapes. It was Nixon who lied about this incident.

Immediately after this conversation Colson phoned Hunt. We have no tapes of this conversation. Both men claim that Colson asked Hunt to find out if there was any left-wing propaganda in Bremer’s apartment. Hunt claims that Colson said: “Every time there’s an assassination in this country the press blames the political Right. Weeks later the truth seeps out – like Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan, who were Lefties. Just once I’d like the truth to come out – if Bremer’s a Marxist himself.”

This does not make any sense at all. If there was any such propaganda the FBI would have found it. Why would they destroy it? According to Hunt's autobiography, Undercover, he accepted the assignment but it was called off soon afterwards.

It later emerged that Federal Bureau of Investigation officers found both left-wing and right-wing propaganda in Bremer's apartment. They also found a diary where Bremer wrote about his plans to kill George Wallace or Richard Nixon. The opening sentence was: "Now I start my diary of my personal plot to kill by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace."

This let Nixon off the hook as it suggested that Bremer was after killing him as well. However, was this diary planted in Bremer’s apartment? Local reporters later claimed that the FBI left Bremer’s home for around 90 minutes before coming back and sealing it. During this time reporters and other unidentified figures took away papers from Bremer’s apartment.

There is another interesting aspect to this story. Barry Sussman, Bob Woodward's editor at Washington Post, claims in his book, The Great Cover-Up, that Woodward first made use of Deep Throat when writing about the Arthur Bremer case. Woodward found out details about Bremer for another journalist working on the story. Sussman concludes in his book that Deep Throat must have been a senior official in the FBI.

A few days ago Woodward wrote an article for the Guardian about his relationship with Mark Felt. It included the following passage:

On May 15, less than two weeks after Hoover's death, a lone gunman shot Alabama Governor George C Wallace, then campaigning for president, at a shopping centre. The wounds were serious, but Wallace survived. Wallace had a strong following in the deep South, an increasing source of Nixon's support. Wallace's spoiler candidacy four years earlier in 1968 could have cost Nixon the election that year, and Nixon monitored Wallace's every move closely as the 1972 presidential contest continued.

That evening, Nixon called Felt - not Gray, who was out of town - at home for an update. It was the first time Felt had spoken directly with Nixon. Felt reported that Arthur H Bremer, the would-be assassin, was in custody but in the hospital because he had been roughed up and given a few bruises by those who subdued and captured him after he shot Wallace.

"Well, it's too bad they didn't really rough up the son of a bitch!" Nixon told Felt.

Felt was offended that the president would make such a remark. Nixon was so agitated, attaching such urgency to the shooting, that he said he wanted full updates every 30 minutes from Felt on any new information that was being discovered in the investigation of Bremer.

In the following days I called Felt several times and he very carefully gave me leads as we tried to find out more about Bremer. It turned out that he had stalked some of the other candidates, and I went to New York to pick up the trail. This led to several front-page stories about Bremer's travels, completing a portrait of a madman not singling out Wallace but rather looking for any presidential candidate to shoot. On May 18, I did a page - one article that said, "High federal officials who have reviewed investigative reports on the Wallace shooting said yesterday that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Bremer was a hired killer."

It was rather brazen of me. Though I was technically protecting my source and talked to others besides Felt, I did not do a good job of concealing where the information was coming from. Felt chastised me mildly. But the story that Bremer acted alone was a story that both the White House and the FBI wanted out.

In his book, The Taking of America, Richard E. Sprague argued that Donald Segretti and Dennis Cassini, supplied money to Bremer before he attempted to assassinate George Wallace. Others have claimed that Bernard L. Barker, one of the Watergate burglars, was used to pass this money to Bremer. Gore Vidal has also suggested that Bremer's diary was a forgery and had been written by E. Howard Hunt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, if Nixon expressed to his closest aides fear that Bremer might prove to be a right-wing zealot or Nixon supporter (which MIGHT make Nixon look bad since clearly Nixon was the political beneficiary of Wallace's incapacitation) is this not in fact uncontravertible PROOF that Nixon was innocent? Had he been witting of a plot he would not have expressed that concern.

And we have discussed before the clear error in Sprague's claim that money was passed to Bremer "by a group associated with Segretti and Cassini". As tou know, the statement Sprague made was a group "associated with Segretti, Cassini anf Gratz" (that is, me). But Sprague never identifies the group. I met Segretti but once and then went to rather great lengths to stop his dirty tricks; I'd never even heard of Cassini until I read Sprague's book. The only "group" with which both Segretti and I were jointly associated was the Committee to Re-Elect the President, and, possibly, the Young Republicans. Surely Sprague had no evidence that CREEP or the Young Republicans were giving Bremer money.

I should add that I have recently read more about Sprague's work in assassination research and from what I have read the man does indeed deserve credit for that work. But I find his book to be riddled with baseless charges and his strange claim about an unidentified group funding Bremer just exemplifies the errors in his book. There seems to be no reason he would not identify the "group" to which he refers (and, of course there is also the issue why if there was anything to that charge he did not report it to law enforcement).

Again, I think the Nixon remark you quote is clearly exculpatory rather than inculpatory, but he surely was (rightly) worried about the political damage to him if Bremer was a Nixon supporter. He might even have worried that a "rogue Nixon supporter" had arranged the shooting. But he clearly had no prior knowledge of it.

Did Nixon want false evidence planted that Bremer was a left-winger? Clearly, yes. Was planting that evidence a crime if it did not increase the evidence of Bremer's guilt or falsely point to another person? Probably it would have been a crime. And if the evidence might have tended to exonerate Bremer by indicating his insanity, it may have even rendered anyone involved an accessory after the fact to attempted murder, a rather serious crime indeed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Tim on this one. The fact that Nixon wanted to plant info in Bremer's apartment is incredibly damaging. It does point towards his innocence in the actual shooting, however. I say point but not prove because he may have included Colson and Hunt in his plans to plant the information to throw Colson, who was taping Nixon and later tried to blackmail him, and his pal Hunt off Nixon's trail. They didn't call him Tricky Dick for nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
Guest John Gillespie

John,

I selected this telling passage from the Woodward 'Guardian' article you cited on your posting today (incidentally, this is my maiden voyage on the Education Forum and I'm quite happy to be aboard): "On May 18, I did a page - one article that said, 'High federal officials who have reviewed investigative reports on the Wallace shooting said yesterday that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Bremer was a hired killer.'

It was rather brazen of me. Though I was technically protecting my source and talked to others besides Felt, I did not do a good job of concealing where the information was coming from. Felt chastised me mildly. But the story that Bremer acted alone was a story that both the White House and the FBI wanted out."

His reaction is all about him and his source, not of any concern for implying - on the front page - that the Nixonians hired Bremer. Yeah, MAYBE they did but where's the journalistic beef? Jim Hougan gave a whiff of allusion on this matter and handled it deftly in "Secret Agenda."

JohnG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest John Gillespie

Tim,

I regard Mr. Sprague as strictly minor league; indeed, after attempting to digest some of his speculation, he comes across as bush league (and we're not talking Dubya). I admire the work gone into research on his or anyone else's part. But it only hurts when so much of it is skewered to fit a premise and there's no there there.

I do, however, wish to point out that Nixon's not wanting an assassin's political leanings to reflect on him or his administration is not necessarily exculpatory, per se. After all, who would want to be downwind of that, especially in the absence of any attempt to conceal enmity on the part of the major media?

Enjoyed your comments.

Regards,

JohnG

(today marks the date of my initial offerings here)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, read your biography and it sounds like you have had a fascinating career.

I don't agree with all of Weberman's conclusions but his "nodules" are packed with information. I just wish they all had an index or search feature.

I look forward to your continued posts!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest John Gillespie

Tim,

Much appreciated! Yeah, I HAVE been lucky and I'd rather be lucky than good...a "career" that in one sense is interesting only to me, it seems at times, but if I dwell upon things a bit then it becomes rather impressive, if I do say so myself. After all, we're talking about trying to live in interesting times (as long as they're not arresting times, right?). Not only that but I've had two company cars!

I've been real good in the investigative business and real lucky, if I may reiterate, as well. For some reason I always seem to meet the "right" people. There is a friend of mine who I would love to have join us here. He was in M.I. and in the same unit in Korea as I, only it was five years before me. He told me that he was assigned to do a hush-hush Intelligence Summary report on none other than Lee Harvey Oswald in...September NINETEEN SIXTY TWO !! The kicker was that the officer who assigned this told my friend that "The White House has an interest in this." No one elaborated on that, he said, and he didn't ask. So, maybe that's something for another link, so to speak, and another time. Of course, he and I both believe Oswald acted alone (cue the muffled guffaws).

Regarding Bremer/Wallace Nixon, John's take on "evidence linking Nixon" is an unfortunate choice of phrasing. As I mentioned, who would want to be downwind of Bremer appearing to be an admirer or supporter in the aftermath of the Wallace assassination attempt? On the contrary, one would want to distance oneself ASAP. I do not doubt the Left Wing/Right Wing Legend was interchangeable, as it was with LHO; and, can't you almost tap dance on the disingenuousness in Nixon's voice as he is quoted saying to Felt that it was "too bad they really didn't rough up..." Bremer?

As one gets along in years the concept(s) of propaganda becomes truly breathtaking, along with its pervasiveness. I'm thinking of Watergate and the movie "All The President's Men." My God! I hate myself for having taken the bait when the film was released, even though I should have known better. I'm sadder but wiser now.

I'm going to open/reopen discussion on the JFK link regarding Judyth Vary Baker next week. There's one very interesting tidbit I have to offer which I am confident no one has mentioned. I know there has been a lot about her on the 'Net the last couple of years (she got into a beef on a blog with David Lifton) and maybe some people think she has little credibility. Frankly, I think she has LOTS of credibility and I'm surprised not to have seen her name among the threads of correspondence.

Well, time flies when you're having fun. Thanks for getting in touch, Tim. I look forward to much more. I'll try to enlist my MI buddy. What a great site. Ain't we got fun!?

Yours Truly, John Gillespie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John wrote:

I've been real good in the investigative business and real lucky, if I may reiterate, as well. For some reason I always seem to meet the "right" people.

I am sure it is more than luck, John. Now I am a very rational, non-superstitious person but I do believe in things such as instinct and hunches and they can, I think, be a part of intellectual judgment. I think for a person with years of experience in investigating you can "develop" an instinct about, for instance, things that do not seem "right".

You will be in a distinct minority asserting that Oswald acted alone, but perhaps as you participate in the forum you may change your mind.

Part of the issues raised in the the assassination research community is what is a coincidence and what is a conspiracy. I remember wondering in 1964 if there was a connection between the deposition of Khruschev and the assassination of Kennedy. It seemed rather co-incidental to me that the leaders of the world's two great super-powers would both be removed from office within a year. Then last year I read in Trento's "The Secret History of the CIA" that it was Angleton's scenario that a group of hard-liners within the Politburo orchestrated both the assassination of Kennedy and the deposition of Khruschev. Perhaps I found Angleton's scenario persuasive in part because it was consistent with what I felt intuitively in 1964. Another reason why I suspected a left-wing plot early on was because the Paines' connections were to the left, not the right. That is brought up in Manchester's book. It seems rather clear that if there was a conspiracy, the Paines were connected to it in some way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest John Gillespie

"Of course, he and I both believe Oswald acted alone (cue the muffled guffaws)."

Tim,

Tongue was firmly planted in cheek there. Thanks for responding. I don't have a home computer, so I'm limited to the occasional spaces I find while working and during lunch periods, etc. Right now I'm trying to digest the whole Harry Dean thread on the other link.

Regards and will post on JFK soon,

JAG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John wrote:

I've been real good in the investigative business and real lucky, if I may reiterate, as well. For some reason I always seem to meet the "right" people.

I am sure it is more than luck, John.  Now I am a very rational, non-superstitious person but I do believe in things such as instinct and hunches and they can, I think, be a part of intellectual judgment.  I think for a person with years of experience in investigating you can "develop" an instinct about, for instance, things that do not seem "right".

You will be in a distinct minority asserting that Oswald acted alone, but perhaps as you participate in the forum you may change your mind. 

Part of the issues raised in the the assassination research community is what is a coincidence and what is a conspiracy.  I remember wondering in 1964 if there was a connection between the deposition of Khruschev and the assassination of Kennedy.  It seemed rather co-incidental to me that the leaders of the world's two great super-powers would both be removed from office within a year.  Then last year I read in Trento's "The Secret History of the CIA" that it was Angleton's scenario that a group of hard-liners within the Politburo orchestrated both the assassination of Kennedy and the deposition of Khruschev.  Perhaps I found Angleton's scenario persuasive in part because it was consistent with what I felt intuitively in 1964.    Another reason why I suspected a left-wing plot early on was because the Paines' connections were to the left, not the right.  That is brought up in Manchester's book. It seems rather clear that if there was a conspiracy, the Paines were connected to it in some way.

:unsure::unsure::ph34r::ph34r::oB)B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The first of Operation Sandwedge’s objectives was very successful: Edward Kennedy was not a presidential candidate in 1972.

The second major objective, stopping George Wallace from becoming a third party candidate, took longer. Wallace’s campaign came to an end when he was shot four times by Arthur Bremer on 15th May, 1972.

Researchers have usually concentrated on the links between Operation Gemstone and this assassination attempt. For example, soon after Richard Nixon heard the news he told Charles Colson that he was concerned that Bremer “might have ties to the Republican Party or, even worse, the President’s re-election committee”. Colson now phoned E. Howard Hunt and asked him to break-in to Bremer's apartment to discover if he had any documents that linked him to Nixon or his main political opponent in the presidential election, George McGovern. According to Hunt's autobiography, Undercover, Colson later phoned him to cancel this order.

However, it was Sandwedge that was the most important of these two dirty tricks operations. It was more likely that John Ehrlichman or Bob Haldeman would have been dealing with John Caulfield or Tony Ulasewicz over this matter. This was a much more professional operation and left few clues of its involvement in Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign. Ulasewicz explains in his book, The President’s Private Eye, that he had little respect for those involved in Operation Gemstone. He also outlined how he managed to distance himself from the White House during this period. The interesting question is: “Had Ehrlichman or Haldeman given Caulfield and Ulasewicz any instructions concerning Bremer, before or after the shooting of Wallace?

In 1998 Insight Magazine obtained the 5,413-page FBI report known as the WalShot Files - a 26-volume package spanning eight years from the day of the shooting of Wallace to 1980. This includes an interview with Vincent Femia, who was the deputy state's attorney for Prince George's County at the time. Fernia explains that Nixon stepped in to control the Bremer investigation shortly after the shots were fired. At the hospital, an FBI agent hung up a hospital phone, turned to Femia and barked, "That was the president. We're taking over. The president says, “We're not going to have another Dallas here.”

Prosecutor Arthur Marshall was interviewed by Timothy W. Maier in 1998: Marshall admitted that: "We had concern that someone else was involved," Marshall says. "The question I always had is how the Secret Service found out who he was as quick as they did. They were in his apartment within an hour."

Forty-five minutes after the shooting, the WalShot Files show, a Baltimore FBI agent called the Milwaukee FBI office identifying Bremer as the shooter based on personal identification found on Bremer. The Secret Service identified Bremer's address at 5:35 p.m., it claims, after tracing his .38-caliber handgun. But 25 minutes earlier, at 5:10 p.m., when two FBI agents entered Bremer's apartment, a Secret Service agent already was there. The Secret Service agent told the FBI he was on an "intelligence-gathering mission."

When Colson asked E. Howard Hunt to go to Bremer’s apartment he understandably argued that it would be too late as by this time the police would have arrived. It was obviously important that someone got to Bremer’s apartment before the FBI did. They did. How did they manage that? Was that “Secret Service” agent involved in Operation Sandwedge?

In 1974 Wallace told United Press International that "he hoped the Watergate investigation would turn up the man who paid the money to have him shot." Wallace later said he believed the White House plumbers unit might have been involved.

The WalShot Files say Wallace had received a letter from Bernard Barker, one of the men caught in the Watergate break-in. The alleged letter is said to have claimed Bremer was paid by G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt for shooting Wallace. All deny the allegation. According to the WalShot Files, the FBI and Barker claim the letter is a fraud.

Ulasewicz does not of course mention George Wallace in his book. Nor was he cross-examined about his investigation of Wallace during his role in Operation Sandwedge by the Senate Watergate Committee. This is surprising as Jack Caulfield admitted when he testified that the investigation of Wallace was part of Operation Sandwedge. As Ulasewicz says in his book, he was relieved when the Senate Watergate Committee showed no interest in Operation Sandwedge. All they wanted to know about was his work with Operation Gemstone. This of course only involved the cover-up when he paid hush money to the Watergate burglars. In fact, without James McCord’s testimony, Caulfield and Ulasewicz would never have been forced to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee and Operation Sandwedge would have remained a secret.

Is there any evidence of any links between Operation Sandwedge and Arthur Bremer? There is only one. In Richard E. Sprague’s, The Taking of America, he has this to say about the attempted assassination of George Wallace:

In 1972 the Power Control Group was faced with another set of problems. Again the objective was to insure Nixon's election at all costs and to continue the cover-ups. Nixon might have made it on his own. We'll never know because the Group guaranteed his election by eliminating two strong candidates and completely swamping another with tainted leftist images and a psychiatric case for the vice presidential nominee. The impression that Nixon had in early 1972 was that he stood a good chance of losing. He imagined enemies everywhere and a press he was sure was out to get him.

The Power Control Group realized this too. They began laying out a strategy that would encourage the real nuts in the Nixon administration like E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy and Donald Segretti to eliminate any serious opposition. The dirty tricks campaign worked perfectly against the strongest early Democratic candidate, Edmund Muskie. He withdrew in tears, later to discover he had been sabotaged by Nixon, Liddy and company.

George Wallace was another matter. At the time he was shot, he was drawing 18% of the vote according to the polls, and most of that was in Nixon territory. The conservative states such as Indiana were going for Wallace. He was eating into Nixon's southern strength. In April the polls showed McGovern pulling a 41%, Nixon 41% and Wallace 18%. It was going to be too close for comfort, and it might be thrown into the House - in which case Nixon would surely lose. There was the option available of eliminating George McGovern, but then the Democrats might come up with Hubert Humphrey or someone else even more dangerous than McGovern. Nixon's best chance was a head-on contest with McGovern. Wallace had to go…

Arthur Bremer was selected. The first contacts were made by people who knew both Bremer and Segretti in Milwaukee. They were members of a leftist organization planted there as provocateurs by the intelligence forces within the Power Control Group. One of them was a man named Dennis Cossini…

What evidence is there that Bremer's attempt on Wallace was a directed attempt by a conspiratorial group? Bremer himself has told his brother that others were involved and that he was paid by them. Researcher William Turner has turned up evidence in Milwaukee and surrounding towns in Wisconsin that Bremer received money from a group associated with Dennis Cassini, Donald Segretti and J. Timothy Gratz.

According to William Turner he cannot remember discovering this information. Maybe, Sprague made a mistake. Was it another researcher who supplied him with this information? Or did Sprague make it up? That is of course possible, but if he did, why did he select Tim Gratz’s name? At this time, according to the public records, the only involvement Tim had in this matter was the statement he gave to Ulasewicz concerning Donald Segretti’s attempts to recruit him into Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign. If Sprague wanted to falsely implicate Nixon into the assassination attempt on Wallace, there were far better names to use. In fact, because of his public record of reporting Segretti, Tim was the last person anyone would have believed was involved in some sort of conspiracy against Arthur Bremer. Yet he decided to set up Tim Gratz. Why?

Then there is the question why Tony Ulasewicz was sent to interview Tim Gratz. It seems very strange that the chief field officer of Operation Sandwedge should be chosen for this task. What was Ulasewicz really doing when he interviewed Tim? Is it possible that this meeting was about something else? Is it possible that the meeting was also about providing Tim with a cover-story? Is it possible that information about Dennis Cassini and Tim Gratz being involved in some sort of Nixon conspiracy against Arthur Bremer had already leaked out. Is this the information that eventually found its way to Richard Sprague. Was Sprague’s task to give Tim a cover story? If so, Tim can consider himself lucky. Look what happened to Dennis Cassini?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Colson asked E. Howard Hunt to go to Bremer’s apartment he understandably argued that it would be too late as by this time the police would have arrived. It was obviously important that someone got to Bremer’s apartment before the FBI did. They did. How did they manage that? Was that “Secret Service” agent involved in Operation Sandwedge?

John, while I suspect Sprague's mention of Tim was just sloppy journalism, which my reading of conspiracy literature confirms is widespread, I do have something to add in regards to possible Secret Service involvement. I came across this just the other day.

Nixon: an Oral History of his Presidency by Gerald and Deborah Strober. Page 263 (paperback Edition)

"Alexander Butterfield I was privy to something that has never come out: that there was a guy on the White House staff--a sort of catch-all guy; a former Secret Service agent who had been on Nixon's detail when Nixon was vice-president. They used him when Teddy Kennedy started getting some popularity, and Nixon was worried. They put him back on duty, on Teddy's detail. Of course, they thought Teddy was fooling around; they were going to get some information on him; he must have had a lady someplace. So he made weekly reports to Haldeman. I was aware of that. It's abuse of power, technically, and I imagine LBJ did worse things."

I think you'll agree this raises all sorts of questions. Who was this man? Could it be Bob King, Maheu's former partner, who'd been with Nixon during his vice-presidency? Watergate records indicate Nixon talked to King the day Hoover died. Just a coincidence? While King was never with the Secret Service as far as I know, he had been former FBI. If not King, then who? Could this man have been someone who'd been on JFK's detail as well? I think we need to figure out who this man was. Does anyone have a list of Nixon's detail? Teddy's brief detail in 72? I believe this could be important.

I think it's also important to determine what Butterfield meant by "catch-all" guy. What does a former Secret Serviceman, now "catch-all" guy, do? Could this man have been working in co-ordination with Ulasewicz and Caulfield?

Butterfield's statements, as with his statements regarding the White House tapes, could lead to the discovery of much mischief.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...