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Liddy, McCord, and the Phantom Watergate "Bugs"

Ashton Gray

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You probably believe that electronic "bugs" (wiretaps, listening devices) were planted inside DNC headquarters at the Watergate building on the night of Sunday, 28 May 1972, by CIA veteran James McCord, purportedly acting on orders from G. Gordon Liddy. You may believe there were two phone taps, or you may believe there was one phone tap and a "room monitoring device," or you may be a little hazy on the exact details: you just believe, with conviction, that one or more such bugs had been planted that night, and that that's ultimately the reason a president of the United States was chased from office.

But there were no such "bugs" planted inside the Watergate building at all.

Excerpted below, from an exceptional article on the so-called Watergate First Break-In, is the relevant section on the purported electronic "bugs":

  • The first break-in bugs
    G. Gordon Liddy had recruited James McCord as an electronics expert because McCord had "a background as a tech in the Central Intelligence Agency" and also had a background "in the FBI."
    McCord testified in congressional hearings that all instructions and priorities for the first break-in came to him from Liddy, and that in the first break-in the "priorities of the installation were first of all, Mr. O'Brien's offices... ."
    Liddy later testified in a sworn deposition that during the first break-in, McCord had been instructed to place only two electronic bugs: "to place a tap on the telephone in the office of Lawrence O'Brien and to place a room monitoring device in the office of Lawrence O'Brien. ...There were two things they were to do. One was the telephone of Larry O'Brien, wiretap, and the other was a room monitoring device of Larry O'Brien's office."
    McCord stated under oath in congressional hearings that during the first break-in, acting on Liddy's instructions, he had placed one bug in a phone extension "that was identified as Mr. O'Brien's," and a second phone bug on "a telephone that belonged to Mr. Spencer Oliver" (Chairman of the Association of Democratic State Chairmen).
    Liddy said in his autobiography that on 5 June 1972 he and McCord discussed problems with a "room monitoring device" that McCord had planted. According to Liddy, this conversation between him and McCord about how to fix problems with a "room monitoring" bug is what led to a second break-in.
    McCord said in congressional testimony that the reason a second break-in was planned was that Liddy wanted a problem with one of the phone bugs fixed, and also wanted "another device installed...a room bug as opposed to a device on a telephone installed in Mr. O'Brien's office... ."
    According to Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin in their book Silent Coup, just a day or two before the break-in on the night of 16–17 June 1972—where the burglars actually were caught with bugging devices in their possession—the telephone company swept the DNC phones for bugs and found none at all.
    Shortly after the burglars were caught on the morning of 17 June 1972, the police and the FBI also made sweeps of the DNC headquarters and also found no bugs at all.
    The only independent evidence regarding bugs allegedly planted during a purported first break-in on 28 May 1972 is actually strong evidence that no bugs ever had been planted at all.

Perhaps you're now thinking: "There had to be at least one bug, because there were logs that Alfred C. Baldwin made... ."

If I may interrupt the early stages of denial, allow me to direct your attention to another article in this forum: Liddy, Baldwin, and the Phantom Phone Logs.

The purported wiretap "logs" were dictated by G. Gordon Liddy to his secretary, Sally Harmony. There were no actual logs of any electronic bugs.

There were no bugs.

And as you'll know for yourself after a full reading of the Watergate First Break-In article, there was no "Watergate first break-in" at all.

It is the biggest, most vicious, most costly, most disastrous hoax ever perpetrated on the world.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray
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SO what were the boys actually doing that weekend? What was the bogus first break- in a cover for?

Ironically, this is 6/17- the anniversary of the real Watergate breakin.

Do you have a theory as to why the breakin occurred? Some tings are obvious:

McCord was NOT working for Nixon, but was clearly a double agent.

I don't put much wieght in the Dean's- fiancee- the- hooker story either.

Watergate was a CIA plot to get Nixon, but why and what else was going on.?

Do you think Nixon was blackmailing them, threatening to reveal information re

the assassination of JFK?

Looking forward to more of your information on this still unsolved mystery.


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Hi Dawn.

You've asked some very pregnant questions that deserve the best and most thorough answers I can give, and although I know this is a little unorthodox, I'd like to answer them in a different thread, here: There was no "first break-in" at the Watergate.

I hope you don't object. I feel that your questions are important, and directly germane to that summarizing article about the CIA hoax. If you'll be kind enough to indulge me on this, I'd like my response to be there, where anybody coming across it will have the overview of the fraud, and also will have available (in the first article of that thread) the links to all the foundational articles.

So with your good graces, I respectfully ask if you will click on this link:

There was no "first break-in" at the Watergate

I'll meet you there and vow to give it my best.

Ashton Gray

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Ashton, in your zeal to prove some BIG LIE occurred, you're being quite misleading yourself. Were not two bugs found in the DNC ofice? If I remember correctly, one was found (the Oliver tap?) right away but the other wasn't found till months later. McCord writes about this in his book;(as a security expert himself) he was quite appalled that it took the Feds so long to find the bug. Other Watergate-hasn't-been-solved proponents have written abut this and concluded that there was a conspiracy to keep the bug in place, now you say there was a conspiracy to pretend the bug even existed.

Based upon my research into the Kennedy assassination, I've found that the single-most under-rated aspect of the case is INCOMPETENCE. What role did incompetence play in the break-in, and its aftermath? Or were Hunt, Liddy, and McCord all super-smart, super-clever guys willing to spend months in jail and in court in order to possibly bring down Nixon, who could have been brought down after all by one phone call from the CIA-connected Robert Maheu, and one or two phone calls from Hunt? If Hunt had let the Ellsberg break-in out of the bag it would have been extremely damaging to Nixon...if Hunt had told Jack Anderson that he'd been creating fake cables re the Diem assassination, in order to pin Diem's murder directly on JFK, and that this was under Colson's and Nixon's instructions, it would have meant bye-bye Tricky Dick. You seem to be under the impression that Hunt and Liddy were more loyal to the CIA than to Nixon. While this was true for McCord, the evidence regarding Hunt and Liddy's loyalties indicates otherwise. If Hunt's role was to damage Nixon and save the CIA, why would he have continually sought, and mostly received, CIA assistance? He could have bought a disguise at a costume shop. Why drag the CIA into the mix, and make them a party to the actions designed to damage Nixon? And what about Vernon Walters and McCord? Both men were outspoken about their desire to protect the CIA from White House shenanigans. What kind of clever CIA plan to bring down Nixon and hide the CIA's involvement in bringing down Nixon includes two of the prinicpals admitting that they helped bring down Nixon in order to protect the CIA? Was the CIA so naive that they thought the public would rally behind them? Weren't these "Night Watchmen" smart enough to know that their slightest involvement in the plan would make many suspect there was a secret plan to get Nixon? Or was this part of their plan as well--that they WANTED us to suspect their involvement, in order to make us fear them all the more? And who was this "they?" Helms, who was shipped off to Iran? Walters, who was basically a diplomat? Colby, who was so fortncoming about CIA shenanigans that he would later be forced to resign? Phillips? Well, what did Phillips have against Nixon, outside of Nixon's pressuring him to help bring down Allende? Are you of the belief that Nixon was brought down due to his right-wing actions, or his moderate actions? If the CIA brought Nixon down because they were appalled by his mis-use of the agency and by his forcing them to assist in the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Chile, I'm not so sure it was a bad thing.

As far as the room monitor versus phone tap argument...the state-of-the-art room monitors of the time were in fact placed inside phones. By hooking them up to the phone the monitors had an ongoing source of power, and could be used for months if not longer. Thus, confusion over which bugs were phone taps and which were room monitors is understandable and not at all mysterious.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Were not two bugs found in the DNC ofice?


If I remember correctly

You don't. If you've got a cite for any bug being found "right away," bring it. Otherwise, you seem to be attempting to keep the fictions going strong, long, and as confusedly and unattestedly as possible. That's just from where I sit.

There were no bugs found in sweeps just before and immediately after the June 17, 1972 break-in.

the other wasn't found till months later

"The" other? Assumes any "other" not in evidence. I'll tell anybody who asks where they can plant any bugs found "months later" as far as I'm concerned. Were you asking me?

As far as the room monitor versus phone tap argument...the state-of-the-art room monitors of the time were in fact placed inside phones.

Hey, Pat, I'm happy to have informed discussions, but I don't have time to waste on additional fictions being made up and put into the record. Bring a claim from any source that a "room monitor" was "placed inside a phone," and I'll gladly turn it to confetti for you here in front of everybody with contradictory claims from the record. And none of the conflicting claims have any validity whatsoever, because there were no bugs planted over Memorial Day weekend. And that's where I stand. If you think you're going to move me off of that position with "If I recall correctly" (when you don't), months-late "bugs," and whole-cloth "new" fictionalized apologies and "explanations" for the already existing malicious fictions, I hope you packed a lunch.

Ashton Gray

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  • 10 years later...

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