The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 23, 1989, Page 5, Image 5

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Dean: Watergate conspirators may get pardon 1
(Mar. 10,1975)
By Randy Gordon
A soft-spoken John Dean said
Friday night that there is a chance
President Gerald Ford will pardon
those men recently convicted in
the Watergate cover-up trial.
“You have to remember that
these are still very powerful men,”
he told an audience of nearly 1,000
at the Omaha Civic Auditorium
Music Hall.
As to whether Ford should par
don former Nixon officials H.R.
Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John
Mitchell and Robert Mardian,
Dean said he ‘ ‘does not wish jail on
any man, but I don’t think this (the
pardon) would be a just solution.
“I would prefer to see them
come forward and explain what
went on” before any pardon or
sentence reduction is given, he
Dean also urged former Presi
dent Richard Nixon to escape the
“prison of his own conscience’ ’ by
revealing what he knows about
Watergate, an incident in U.S. his
tory that he said will not “quickly
pass from the minds of the Ameri -
can people.”
“He (Nixon) is not what you
would call a ‘free’ man,” Dean
said. ‘ ‘ He has to be very concerned
about what people did in his be
half, but he has not done so much
as come forward and straighten the
record out one way or the other
with regard to that activity. ’ ’
Dean Said he does not think
Nixon would have been im
peached had he admitted wrong
doing in the Watergate affair.
“But for some reason Richard
Nixon could never trust the Amcri
can people, ne aaueu.
Dean said it is impossible to
judge the Nixon presidency
through what he called the lens of
Watergate, and that Nixon won’t
be judged fairly until he “comes
forward and tells the American
people what he did and why he did
“In a sense it’s a shame that any
good he has done has been lost in
Watergate. Hopefully some day he
will dispel all that by laying it out
for what it is,’’ he said.
I He said the pardon also “did
not extract so much as an ounce of
truth in exchange, and I fell that
was wrong.’’ Dean also said there
was no distinction made between
official wrongdoing and private
crimes, such as tax fraud.
Dean said Nixon was a kind
man to his staff. “He always went
out of his way to do those little
things,’’ he said.
Nixon was also a leader who
was “in total control as presi
dent,” Dean said. He said people
who worked with Nixon saw a man
who was a fast study, very able and
was very disciplined in the alloca
tion of his time each day.
First shock
Dean’s first shock in the Water
gate affair, he said, was when for
mer-president Nixon, in an August
29, 1972 press conference from
San Clemente, Calif., “announced
to the world” that Dean had inves
tigated the Watergate affair and
found no White Hottse involve
ment. Dean added that there was
no such investigation.
“Nobody was more surprised
to hear about it than I was,’ ’ Dean
said. But he said he “somehow
justified in my mind the upcom
ing cover-up then.
“Maybe it was not wanting to
think about what I was doing, or
because of the company I was
keeping” at the White House,
Dean said.
He said he wanted out of the
expanding coverup in January and
February of 1973, but found he was
too deeply involved by then.
One of the “triggering” events
that eventually led him to expose
the coverup occurred March 19,
1973, when he learned Howard
Hunt, a former CIA agent who was
involved in the break-in of Na
tional Democratic headquarters in
the Watergate Complex, was
“blackmailing the White House,”
Dean said.
Last Straw
“That, to me, was the last
straw,” he said. “I was just not
going to be involved in answering
any demands of Hunt, and I didn’t
think anybody in the While House
The next morning, he said he
told Nixon of the ‘ ‘cancer growing
on the presidency” - the extent of
the coverup.
Dean qualified convicted Wa
tergate conspirator G. Gordon
Liddy’s statement that Dean coop
erated with the Special Prosecu
tor’s Office “only to save my own
___ ♦»
Self-preservation was in
volved, he said, adding that he
would be less than candid if he did
not admit it.
But Dean stated that after
Nixon sent him to Camp David,
Va., for a rest during late March, he
returned with the conviction that
‘‘I would never lie for them. I
know that and I never have.”
Dean, who called Watergate a
‘‘corrupt use of power by govern
ment officials for political pur
poses,” said it was both one of the
worst and best moments of his life.
He said it was the worst mo
ment because of the grief it caused
him and his family; his four month
jail sentence, which he said was
not a ‘‘country club”; and the
‘‘fact that I’ll always wear the
scarlet letter of Watergate for the
rest of my life.”
Results: Carter is President-elect
Nov. 3,1976
Democrat Jimmy Carter has
tallied enough electoral votes to
win the presidency. But, as late as
3 a.m. today, some news sources
were still saying the election was
too close to call.
Shortly after 2 a.m., United
Press International projected Car
ter the victor in Hawaii and Missis
sippi, giving him more than the
270 electoral votes needed for the
ABC projected him the victor in
Hawaii and the nation at 2:32 a.m.
Nebraska voted solidly for
As late as 2 a.m. Wednesday,
Carter was within three electoral
votes of victory, with the outcome
in 15 states still undetermined. As
one commentator put it, it was
Carter’s ball, first and goal on the
Ford one-year line.
New York’s electoral votes pul
Carter within eight votes of the 270
needed for election.
However because of the nar
rowness of the Carter margin and
suspected tampering, the New
York State Supreme Court at 1:45
See CARTER on 7
However, he said the episode I
was a maturing experience.
‘‘I was ambitious. 1 got blinded
by my ambition. I did my damned
est to please my superiors,” Dean
said. ”S forgot that each man’s
integrity belongs to him, and that’s
where his loyalty to his integrity
He told the crowd that ambition
is not a bad trait. “It’s the way
things get done. I just wish all
those who arc ambitious ‘good
luck’ and I hope you keep your
head better than I did.”
Referring to the lectures he has
been conducting on college cam
puses, Dean said he viewed the
chance to talk with students as a
‘‘golden opportunity to share my
past mistaken judgements, hoping
that it might be of some meaning to
you because every person is ca
pable of having his own Water
He said he has been surprised by
the number of campuses asking
him to continue the lecture series,
which ends next week, and the
amount of fees they have offered.
Some, which he said he will not
accept, reached S6.000 to 57,000.
“I so think there is a point
where it would become commer
cializing on Watergate, and that
was not my inlcnt,,rhc said.
The UNO Student Program
ming Organization paid Dean
S3,500 for his appearance in
Andy Manhart/Daily Nebraskan
Editor’s Note: In conjunction
with Arts and Entertainment’s
celebration of the 1970s, Diver
sions is re-running stories that
ran in the Daily Nebraskan from
1975 to 1979. Some of the stories
deal with issues still contempo
rary in 1989; others deal with
issues reflective of the 1970s. A
lot happened at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln and in the
world, but space only allowed a
brief sampling of the decade.