Sam and Emma host Jefferson Morley, editor of the JFKFacts blog, to discuss his recent book Scorpions’ Dance: The President, the Spymaster, and Watergate. Sam and Emma begin by assessing the fundamentally bipartisan-and-nothing-else gun control bill, and cover the arrest of Idaho White Supremacists planning a riot at a pride event, Sarah Palin’s advancement in the Alaskan senate race, and walk through the 10 republicans in the Gun Control gang of 20, and the unsurprising fact that almost half are retiring. Then, Jefferson Morley joins as they dive right into what the Watergate conspiracy was, and how it was covered at the time, including the classic representation of the incident as an example of a crusading free press taking on a lawless president, and how this discourse completely obscures the hidden hand of the CIA and how their role in the conspiracy has crystalized over the last half-century. They then dive into what Nixon’s plan for this group of “Plumbers” was, originating from his paranoia around government leaks and the anti-war movement, and coming to fruition via recommendations from Richard Helms, director of the CIA, who helped provide 4 of the 7 members of the team. Next, they jump back to the actual developments of the Watergate investigation, with the slow release of tapes in the weeks following, despite Nixon’s constant pressuring of Helms to stop the FBI investigation, and how this led the public to focus not on the CIA’s role in Watergate, but their other abuses, from foreign assassinations to spying on Americans, as the Church Committee in charge of the senate investigation of the CIA wanted to keep it Bipartisan and away from the Nixon investigation. Morley then dives deep into Nixon’s relationship with his intelligence agencies, working as a lawless president alongside a lawless CIA, as he couldn’t convince Hoover to dig into domestic surveillance, making his relationship with Helms’ CIA central to his power, working closely in Nixon’s assassination attempts on Salvador Allende’s cabinet, and providing Nixon with a relationship that he could leverage – not with the knowledge of their foreign interventions but with a threat over hidden information with the Bay of Pigs. After an extensive conversation on what this “hidden information” likely entailed, that being the CIA’s role in the assassination of JFK, and the internal spy games being played against each other by the White House, CIA, FBI, and Joint Chiefs of Staff, Morley, Sam, and Emma wrap up the conversation by exploring the lasting lessons we can learn about the dangers of a lawless president that is supported by a lawless CIA.
And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma watch Dennis Prager signal out the true evil of our society: evil. Calvin from Montana calls in about Democrats’ chance in the upcoming midterm cycle as Biden explains, totally unrelatedly, why republicans are good, actually. Sam and Emma dive into the 1/6 hearings, from the attacks on Capitol Police to Giuliani’s drunken proclamation that Trump, with no evidence, should claim victory in the wake of the 2020 election. As Starbucks’ unionization trends continue, Schultz goes on a rampage against this “secondary party” (workers) invading the Starbucks family, and Patriot Front is detained in Idaho. JB from Cleveland gives updates on surveys helping trans visibility, plus, your calls and IMs!
Check out Jeff’s book here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250275837/scorpionsdance
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