Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #253 Rewind — The Watergate Tapes Revisited

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)


MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

NB: Years after this pro­gram was record­ed, Gor­don Nov­el­’s actu­al rai­son d’e­tre for being on Gar­rison’s staff came to light:

The Dev­il’s Chess­board: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of Amer­i­ca’s Secret Gov­ern­ment by David Tal­bot; Harp­er [HC]; 2015; Copy­right 2015 by The Tal­bot Play­ers LLC; ISBN 978–0‑06–227616‑2; p. 597.

. . . . Even the pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor Gar­ri­son hired to sweep his office for elec­tron­ic bugs turned out to be a CIA oper­a­tive. After Dulles was sub­poe­naed by Gar­ri­son, the secu­ri­ty specialist–Gordon Novel–phoned the spy­mas­ter to slip him inside infor­ma­tion about the DA’s strat­e­gy. . . .

1. This broad­cast high­lights the con­tro­ver­sy sur­round­ing Richard Nixon’s White House tapes. These tape record­ings were, ulti­mate­ly, the vehi­cle for forc­ing his exit from the White House. That event was the cul­mi­na­tion of the Water­gate affair. There has been recent dis­cus­sion among elec­tron­ics experts con­cern­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of uti­liz­ing advanced, high-tech equip­ment to recov­er mate­r­i­al from a famous 18 ½ minute era­sure on one of the tapes.
(The San Fran­cis­co Exam­in­er; 9/22/2000; p. A2.)

2. The sub­ject of whether or not the era­sure had been delib­er­ate was a sig­nif­i­cant ele­ment of con­tro­ver­sy dur­ing the Water­gate affair. (Nixon’s sec­re­tary, Rose Mary Woods, claimed that she “acci­den­tal­ly” erased the tape. Most experts reject­ed her ver­sion of events. Inter­est­ing­ly, the tape that was erased was a record­ing of a con­ver­sa­tion between White House aide H.R. Halde­man and Nixon. In an auto­bi­og­ra­phy about the Water­gate affair, Halde­man wrote that “the whole Bay of Pigs thing” was a code word with­in the Nixon White House for the JFK assas­si­na­tion. Nixon refused to release the Water­gate tapes for fear that release would lead to expo­sure of “the whole Bay of Pigs thing.”

3. Much of the pro­gram con­sists of excerpts from oth­er broad­casts. In an excerpt from G‑3, the broad­cast high­lights a vet­er­an covert intel­li­gence oper­a­tive and pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor named Gor­don Nov­el. Among Novel’s many tal­ents is elec­tron­ic coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence. His name crops up in the con­text of both the JFK case and the Water­gate scan­dal. Nov­el was the source for an impor­tant piece of infor­ma­tion that fig­ured in the Jim Gar­ri­son inves­ti­ga­tion. That report con­cerned a raid on a muni­tions cache to obtain arms for anti-Cas­tro activ­i­ties, the CIA’s Bay of Pigs inva­sion, in par­tic­u­lar.
(Coin­ci­dence or Con­spir­a­cy?; Bernard Fen­ster­wald and the Com­mit­tee to Inves­ti­gate Assas­si­na­tions; copy­right 1976 by Zebra Books, a divi­sion of Kens­ing­ton Pub­lish­ers.)

4. This oper­a­tion alleged­ly involved David Fer­rie and Guy Ban­nis­ter, two of the key fig­ures in Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion. Nov­el was lat­er con­sult­ed by White House aide Charles Col­son con­cern­ing the fea­si­bil­i­ty of elec­tron­i­cal­ly eras­ing the tapes.
(Coin­ci­dence or Con­spir­a­cy?)

5. Novel’s tan­gen­tial involve­ment in the Water­gate inves­ti­ga­tion sur­faced in a mag­a­zine called Tech­nol­o­gy Illus­trat­ed. In 1983, the mag­a­zine ran an arti­cle about Novel’s pres­ence at a gath­er­ing of vet­er­an covert intel­li­gence oper­a­tives, includ­ing con­vict­ed Water­gate bur­glar G. Gor­don Lid­dy.
(Tech­nol­o­gy Illus­trat­ed; 4/83.)

6. In a let­ter to the edi­tor, Mr. Nov­el took issue to some of the com­ments about him in the April issue.
(Tech­nol­o­gy Illus­trat­ed; 7/83.)

7. In that let­ter, Nov­el made ref­er­ence to his ultra high tech­nol­o­gy role in Water­gate. (Idem.)

8. In 1984, Mr. Emory was a guest on a late-night com­mer­cial talk show and Mr. Nov­el phoned in, tak­ing issue with Mr. Emory’s descrip­tion of his posi­tion in Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion.
(The Express Way show with Lar­ry John­son on KOME-FM in San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia; 10/29/1984.)

9. Most of the sec­ond side of this pro­gram con­sists of an excerpt­ing of M‑3. In his con­ver­sa­tion with Mr. Emory, Nov­el denied any involve­ment in Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion and crit­i­cized Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion. (Idem.)

10. When the sub­ject of Water­gate came up, Mr. Emory asked Mr. Nov­el if he denied actu­al­ly hav­ing erased the Water­gate tapes. Nov­el replied “only because they didn’t pay me.” (Idem.)

11. When pressed fur­ther, Nov­el clar­i­fied his state­ment, say­ing he didn’t erase any por­tions of the Water­gate tapes. He did state that he was one of a pan­el of experts who ana­lyzed the 18 ½‑minute gap and stat­ed that it could have been made acci­den­tal­ly. (Idem.)


2 comments for “FTR #253 Rewind — The Watergate Tapes Revisited”

  1. Dave;
    I lis­tened to “The Express­way Show” about a year ago, it was some supris­ing and excel­lent radio.
    As you ques­tioned him and deter­mined that you had the real deal on line he seemed to become more frank and expres­sive. Unbe­liev­ably good radio.
    Reports are that Nov­el died in Octo­ber 2012.

    On a side note; is any­body else hav­ing trou­ble with the links to real audio on WFMU audio files?
    I am read­ing Tren­to’s book “Pre­lude to Ter­ror” and tried to get the “Safari Club” and oth­er WFMU shows up but they have not been work­ing for me.
    For instance, I clicked on the audio link for this show and got about a minute-thir­ty sec­onds of what sound­ed like stu­dio back­ground noise. Oth­ers have played music.
    Per­haps my inter­net con­nec­tion is too slow for the Real audio for­mat, but all the oth­er mp-3’s work great on the com­put­er or down­loaded to an I‑pod.

    Posted by Swamp | May 6, 2013, 7:56 am
  2. @SWAMP–All of the For The Record Shows have the MP3 files at the top of the descrip­tion.

    Also: At the top of the front page, there is an “Audio” cat­e­go­ry. All of the shows have MP3 files in there.

    Just do an end run around the Real Audio.

    WFMU’s RA files are air checks. They are off-the-air record­ings and fre­quent­ly include the end of the pre­ced­ing show and/or oth­er ambi­ent noise.

    Stick with the Spitfirelist.com page and its audio and you’ll be fine.



    Posted by Dave Emory | May 6, 2013, 3:58 pm

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