Worlds largest private collection of Watergate and Nixon era materials

Correcting the Historical Record

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017




Dean Rejects His Own Biography As Flawed

Dean/Colodny Interview Transcript and Tape - January 5, 1989


John Dean's autobiography, "Blind Ambition," has stirred controversy since its publication in 1976, including a 2009 revision that contains a fresh afterword and what Dean called new evidence that linked President Richard Nixon to the Watergate break-in. Dean said the new version exposed his critics as "fast buck" artists who conjured up a distorted image of the truth.

Unfortunately for Dean, he had wavered regarding the accuracy of his own work in a Jan. 5, 1989, interview conducted by author Len Colodny.

Colodny compared his testimony before the Senate and in federal court with "Blind Ambition," and Dean admitted that he could not vouch for the accuracy of his own book. He said he could only vouch for his sworn testimony, which often contradicted his book. Repeatedly, Dean admitted that "Blind Ambition version "1" may be flawed because of his imperfect memory of the events, and that editors interjected erroneous material to make the book "more intriguing."

In this interview, Dean disavowed his own memoirs, which he wrote in 1976 and 2009 that he had meticulously reviewed. The only truth regarrding his role in the Watergate affair could only be found where he had testified under oath.

Longtime respected Simon and Schuster editor Alice Mayhew rejected Dean's assertion that the editors were responsible for injecting erroneous portions of the book's content.


Listen to the Entire Dean Interview and Read the Transcript Below


COLODNY:

Hello.

DEAN:

How are ya?

COLODNY:

How ya doin', John?

DEAN:

Good.

COLODNY:

Uh, did ya get the little note I sent ya?

DEAN:

No, not, uh, yet.

COLODNY:

Didn't I,, didn't you get the, uh, stuff on the book being sold?

DEAN:

Oh, yes, I did. I'm sorry. I did get that.

COLODNY:

And the m- . . .

DEAN:

I apologize.

COLODNY:

And the Mitchell interviews?

DEAN:

Yes. Yes, I did. I did see that, this little clipping, Yes.

COLODNY:

Yeah. The one from Newsday.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

Yeah. The book was sold in October.

DEAN:

Good. So ya got some money in your pocket.

COLODNY:

Well, that's what I hear.

DEAN:

(Laughs]. [Tape unclear].

COLODNY:

You, well, you know what that's all about.

DEAN:

[Laughs].

COLODNY:

I have never seen a contract, like a book contract.

DEAN:

Isn't that a piece of work?

COLODNY:

[Laughs]. It i-

DEAN:

(Laughs].

COLODNY:

But, uh . . .

DEAN:

A whole other book could be written on the publishing industry alone, but nobody'd publish it, that's the problem.

COLODNY:

Well, every change I made made, they gr-, they bought. They wanted the book bad. St. Martin's and McMillan ended up in the auction being the last two to go at each other.

DEAN:

Good.

COLODNY:

And, uh, it . . . when it was all over, uh, St. Martin's won and they, they wanted it very badly. So, I guess when we asked for things that weren't outrageous . . .

DEAN:

They were going along with it.

COLODNY:

Yeah. I, I think so.

DEAN:

As you know, I've been out promoting your book for ya.

COLODNY:

[Laughs].

DEAN:

Did you get that word back from Bar-, from Barbara, uh, uh, what's her name?

COLODNY:

Howar.

DEAN:

Yeah, Howar.

COLODNY:

Yeah I hear- well, well on-, once Mitchell died, which came as a surp-, well I talked to Mitchell an hour before he died.

DEAN:

I was sad to hear that. It was really kind of sad. He's, he's awfully, uh, you know, fairly young. I mean he's just not that old a man.

COLODNY:

Apparently he wasn't taking care of his heart and he had had a heart attack in Europe and hadn't told hi-, even his, uh, companion, uh, Mary Dean.

DEAN:

Hmm.

COLODNY:

in fact I had a long talk with Marty Mitchell, his daughter, uh, just a couple weeks ago. And she knew he was not as well as he, he li- . . . I, I was up there on the way to New York when, when, uh, to see the publishers, when, uh, I met with him and had lunch with him on October 7th. And I, I talked to him on the day he died, we were kidding about the election. I had just said, you know, we had been kidding about, each other about who was gonna win and by how much. And I told him it would be Bush 53-47, he and, so he, when I talked him that day, he said, "You missed by a point.

DEAN:

[Laughs].

COLODNY:

And I said, "I know." He, he, and then he came back and he said to me somethin' like, well, you know, "Hey Len how did you do on the Electoral College?"

DEAN:

[Laughs].

COLODNY:

And I said, "You sound like a campaign manager again.

DEAN:

[Laughs].

COLODNY:

And he and Nixon had had a fight over this book two weeks earlier.

DEAN:

Interesting.

COLODNY:

He brag . . . in fact we did, uh . . .

DEAN:

What did he try to get Nixon to, to help you a little bit?

COLODNY:

Yeah, not only, well it wasn't just that. He, uh, he wanted Nixon to, to actively participate in the evidence phase of the book. And apparently they went to war over it and, uh, I, in the end, he breaks with Nixon and that's gonna be one of the news in the book. Uh, I haven't said a lot about it. Dan Schoor called me and asked me what's on the, in the, uh, interviews. Uh, there's 90 hours that he and I talked. And, uh, he breaks with Nixon and that came as . . .

DEAN:

That, that doesn't totally surprise me. I think everybody had excepting Bebe [Laughs].

COLODNY:

Well, yeah, well there's still a few (laughs], there's still a few hangin', uh, hanging in there. And, uh, he was very, very, particularly on, on I think Watergate, but also on moorer-Radford. He thought he was set up on Moorer-Radford, and he said it. He just, you know, it took him about two years to get to the point where he could say an unkind word about the man.

DEAN:

Well, you know, I got, I got the weirdest re-, response and reaction from Barbara Howar about your book or, or one of the staff people, I'm not sure which it was now. But it was kinds bizarre. She said, "Oh that's the book that says there was another Watergate incident that you knew all about and never, nobody has ever been told about." I said, "What?" Then I said "I'd never heard about that." (Laughs]. So I don't what, you know, there's a lot of confusion out there about what you're book's about.

COLODNY:

Well . . .

DEAN:

I just made it more titillating.

COLODNY:

Well, it was, uh, I, I don't know what she's, what they're talkin', about as far as another Watergate incident.

DEAN:

(Laughs], me neither.

COLODNY:

Huh? Well, uh, they could be that, you know I don't who saw the proposal. The proposal was 80 pages long and .

DEAN:

You sent me something of some girth that was earlier.

COLODNY:

Yeah, and I sent that to you. That was, you know, that was when, eh, in the end of '87.....

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

When we were looking at, uh, uh..... In fact, I was talking to you at the time about the Walter's memcons.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

And you referred me back to your testimony. And if you can imagine this, can you imagine John Mitchell reading "Blind Ambition?"

DEAN:

No.

COLODNY:

I convinced him to read it.

DEAN:

Did he read it?

COLODNY:

Yes, he did.

DEAN:

And what did he say?

COLODNY:

Well, [laughs), that's part of the interviews (laughs]. He also read your testimony.

DEAN:

Uh huh.

COLODNY:

Uh, I also interviewed, uh, Ulasewicz and Caulfield and a whole raft as a result of you're telling me, "Read my testimony," and, you know, see where we are on this.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

And as a result we decided, uh, based on their, their, uh, interviews and based on what you wrote and what, what you testified to d-, to, uh, do some chapters on it, which were not in the original plan.

DEAN:

Mm hmm.

COLODNY:

So I wanted to get back to you and set up a time where we can talk at some length, uh, about th-, what those chapters say. The, the only, the only are-, you may be referring to the Ulasewicz stuff. Where Ulasewicz indicated that he was in the DNC, uh, six weeks before the break-in. Now I don't know if that's what they're talking about.

DEAN:

I have no idea.

COLODNY:

But, um, there's a whole raft of material.

DEAN:

You know, I've got, I've got to be honest, Len. It is so hard for me to put my head back in all that. I mean, it really is and I've really given. (Laughs]. I really have given.

COLODNY:

No I unders-, you know I just want to be fair. Because a lot of it, certainly the stuff that Mitchell has to say, after reading your book and reading your testimony and, and certainly the other materials that we develop. I, I think it would be unfair at least not to give you the opportunity to say, "This is true," or "This isn't true," cause, as we did with them.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

I mean we weren't, we never held back. Uh . . .

DEAN:

I'd be surprised, you know, if any of those people would still take on my testimony. But, uh, you know, these are battles I'm not sure I want to fight anymore. I mean, I mean, uh, you know, my testimony is my testimony. It was my best recollection at the time. Ya know, I know I didn't intend to, to, to lie, distort or anything like that, and if they remember it differently, fine.

COLODNY:

Oh, I . . .

DEAN:

I don't know what to tell ya.

COLODNY:

I don't think that's the way it came out, uh, to be, to be honest with you. That wasn't the way I read it. uh, there were, there were various differences between what you wrote in your book and what you testified to. And I think that was where the problem came in. And that really doesn't mean that they're saying . . .

DEAN:

I'm gonna be very honest with you. I didn't even reread my testimony when I wrote my book.

COLODNY:

Well . . .

DEAN:

[Laughs]. I just wasn't trying to track this kind of literal, uh, record of history. I mean, I'm just telling you these are my best recollections at the time I wrote both those documents.

COLODNY:

Well, you know, it's a judgment that, that I leave to you. I'd, I'd, I'd be more than happy to read you, certainly the stuff that, uh, that Liddy has said, the stuff that, uh, Ulasewicz has said, Caulfield has said. Uh, because what they really . . . The picture they paint, is that when you became Counsel to the President, you in-, inherited a Nixon secret operation. That's, that's virtually the words that Ehrlichman uses. Uh, because the President had hired Ulasewicz apparently to do secret jobs for him. And I assumed you were aware of that.

DEAN:

I was not.

COLODNY:

That, that, this is what happened. In 1969, the President called Ehrlichman and said, "I need a private investigator. I need somebody that's gonna go out there and do jobs for me and I, I will pay him out of my personal fund. Kalmbach will pay him the money on a monthly retainer basis plus expenses." And that's how Ulasewicz got hired. And the fact of the matter is that he did a number of jobs beginning with Chappaquiddick. I think you would recall that.

DEAN:

I learned about most this stuff after the fact. I really did.

COLODNY:

You, you mean after . . .

DEAN:

You know, I did, it's one of these things that no one ever . . . I was never in the loop on any of that and, and Caulfield, ya know, was assigned to my staff, much to my mystery as to what the hell he was gonna do and why he was there. I mean, I scratched my head for a long time before I, and, it, it just kind of came out in dribs and drabs as to what he was doin'.

COLODNY:

Well, what he, what he says now, and what Caul-, what Ulasewicz says now, is that you inherited him. And . . .

DEAN:

I never, I'd never met Ulasewicz.

COLODNY:

No, well, this is, I'm just tellin, you what they said. And I, I think it's important because it goes back to uh, to a memo you got in January of 1971, which you wrote about in your book, to look into the Hughes-O'Brien matter.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

Y-, you got it from Ehrl-, from Haldeman, I'm sorry. And immediately therers, there's a job that, that's, uh, assigned to Tony Ulasewicz, to look into Hughes-O'Brien. It's that kind of material that I . . . Ya know, I'd be more, I'd, I'd like to share the material with you, because they're making a seri-, I mean they're saying essentially what you had goin, there was your own intelligence operation.

DEAN:

Well, that's crazy.

COLODNY:

Well it may be crazy . . .

DEAN:

I mean if they, they're welcome to do it today. It just means nothing. I mean if th-, if they get a lot of satisfaction out of just dumping this shit . . . Hold on just a second.

COLODNY:

Sure, John.

DEAN:

Len, I, i-, it's just an effort just to go back and dredge all this up.

COLODNY:

Well they, they've hit, I mean they've handed us, uh, l-, uh, I'm . . .

DEAN:

I mean it's not gonna change my life one h-, one second what these people say.

COLODNY:

No, but I want to be able to print the truth. And I, and it puts us in a hell of a position if the, the only thing we're left with is . . .

DEAN:

Well how can we do this so I don't have to spend hours upon hours upon hours goin, through all this, refreshing my recollection. when you sent me those memcons, Christ I just scanned them. I didn't read that stuff. I really don't. I mean, uh, ya know, it's a, it's a, uh, I don't even want to try to remember what the hell [idea?] was goin, on then. I mean that's history for me. I lived through it, you know, you know, there's, it was terribly unpleasant but maturing experience. Uh, and, and what C-, what Jack Caulfield or Gordon Liddy or any of those guys has to say means not a tinker damn to me because I don't think they're very credible, honorable people. And they're just not gonna affect my life at all. And that, and, and it's very clear that, ya know, they're, if they can dump on me, they'll love to. And that if they can re-write history, they'd love to.

COLODNY:

Well, why would, why would, see that's the problem. I don't understand why Ulasewicz would single you out? Because it doesn't make any sense in light of . . .

DEAN:

God knows what Caulfield told him. (Tape unclear].

COLODNY:

No I'm talking what he knew directly. I'm, I'm only telling you what he told me directly and that, the only thing that Caulf- . . .

DEAN:

Let me tell you. All those guys are pissed off that I stood up and blew the whistle.

COLODNY:

The, the argument that . . .

DEAN:

I fucked up all their lives.

COLODNY:

Well . . .

DEAN:

Which was good.

COLODNY:

It's, it's interes-

DEAN:

So think,about their motives.

COLODNY:

Well let me give you an example. Okay? In your testimony to the Committee, which I reviewed, let's just take two issues. one issue was the Larry O'Brien, to which you passed over as being a peripheral issue to your office. Literally you just said, "Ya know, we didn't have much to do with Larry O'Brien."

DEAN:

We didn't.

COLODNY:

But in your book, you say exactly the opposite.

DEAN:

I'll tell, let me tell what the st-, I can go through that process for you. What happened is, the editors got real excited, interesting wanted to make it more intriguing. That's why all that shit got in there.

COLODNY:

They . . .

DEAN:

My testimony's what I'm gonna stand on. Uh, and I'd have to, ya know, I'd have to . . . You're asking me to go through a lot of labor [chuckles] to, ya know, sort . . . I n-, I never actually went back and re-read my testimony when I was writing my book.

COLODNY:

All right, let me, let me take one that doesn't involve that, which is Mitchell, because since he's no longer here and, and obviously if he said what he said and, and, and we report it. Um, in your testimony you said that Mitchell had come up with the idea to use the CIA to block the FBI investigation. That, that's a clear statement in your testimony that Mardian, Mardian and he met with you. And they knew a lot more about the CIA and they decided that, that the idea was to, to tell Nixon to do that. Now Mitchell denies that that meeting ever took place. Just says absolutely flat out, "That never happened," and based on the, uh . . .

DEAN:

Why would I invent that?

COLODNY:

Well, here's the point and this is and this is what Mitchell says in the book and, and thi-, this is the kind of stuff I, I'd like you to deal with 'cause I think it's substantive. When you gave your testimony on, in June, late June of, uh, 1973, uh, the, the, the taping system hadn't been, uh, revealed. When the, when the smoking gun tape comes out, you say you met with Mitchell the afternoon of the 23rd, the morning of the 24th. Well, in fact, you did meet with Mitchell the morning of the 24th. I've been able to substantiate that without a problem, John. The problem is that on the tape, you say, or, or Haldeman says you said to him, "I met with Mitchell yesterday," which would have been the 22nd. After you met with Pat Gray to be briefed on the whole thing that evening. Mitchell's covered for that period of time. So how could Mi-, Mitchell says to me, "How the hell could we have met when we're talkin' 7:30 at night?" And he, he explains that way and, of course, the tape indicates that your memory's incorrect. That it, it couldn't have been the 23rd or 24th if in fact, it . . .

DEAN:

It could well be my memory is wrong. I don't know.

COLODNY:

No, but if . . .

DEAN:

But I don't want to go back and try and figure this out. It doesn't, it doesn't affect my life a second.

COLODNY:

All right, but in your book something that's as important as that. Something that's as important as s-, that's gonna end the presidency of Richard Nixon. You, and you, you don't even tell anybody about it. It's not in the book at all and . . .

DEAN:

I'm sure there are a lot of things that aren't in the book. I wasn't, I wasn't goin' . . . You've got to remember, I'm just comin' cold off of what I remember and I'm do-, when I testified to what I remembered, and I wrote the book the way I remembered it. Tryin' to tell a.....

COLODNY:

I'm just.....

DEAN:

I'm not trying to (tape unclear], I'm not trying to . . .

COLODNY:

No, and I'm not a . . .

DEAN:

. . . cover other people's tracks. I'm not tryin' to take them on. I'm not tryin' to say, "They're right, they're wrong." I'm sayin' this is my view of what happened, and why it happened. I'm tryin' to put together the pieces best of I can . . .

COLODNY:

And do you understand why it made a difference to Mitchell if it were the evening of the 22nd and not the afternoon of the 20- . . .

DEAN:

[Tape unclear), you know, see, let me tell you somethin', Len. You got your head down in there and all that. You're tryin' to figure out who the hell's doin' what, and what have you. I don't even want to take my head back there.

COLODNY:

Mm hmm.

DEAN:

I don't even want to try to remember the 22nd. You, you, you know, you gotta t-, you gotta remember, this is a real fuckin, unpleasant part of my life.

COLODNY:

I understand. But at th-

DEAN:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

I think did you understand, if I'm gonna write a story . . .

DEAN:

I'll tell you what, I'll tell you what we oughta do. What you oughta do is take the key points, the key issues, frame them as a question or if, you know, say, ya know, "Mitchell says this," or "Ulasewicz says that, you said this.,, "What do you, what do you say now?" And I'll go through if you've got those all marshaled out.

COLODNY:

Well, what I'd rather do than, than, than inundate you . . .

DEAN:

I go, see I . . .

COLODNY:

. . .'cause I, I . . .

DEAN:

. . . can't do, what I can't do . . . 'cause I can't sit here now, what 15 years later?

COLODNY:

Yeah, but here's the picture, John, that's bein, drawn. The picture's being drawn that the guy that had the motive, to break into the Watergate, in fact was, was John Dean.

DEAN:

[Tape inaudible].

COLODNY:

Because, no, hold on, hold on. Well, understand, I understand what you're, what, where you're comin, from.

DEAN:

Now do you b-, do you believe that?

COLODNY:

I, I'm only looking at the evidence that's been supplied to me, and I don't have anything to counter it. I would be remiss if I didn't come to you and say, "Look, this is what these guys have said and they've supplied us with corroborating evidence.,,

DEAN:

[Laughs].

COLODNY:

Well . . .

DEAN:

Well I, that is so out. Uh, you know, that's unbelie(tape unclear] . . .

COLODNY:

Hold, hold on a second. Hold on a second. I, I just painted you a broad picture, but . . .

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

. . . when I, when I used the, the example . . . 'Cause it, you don't know what it took for me to get Mitchell to read your book. I said, "I want you to read what John Dean has to say. I'm not interested in that you don't like John Dean or you're mad at John Dean." Do you understand what I'm sayin'? "Understand what the guy is saying. Read his testimony. Will the testimony stand up to, to corroborating evidence?" And when you have something as important as, as that charge. That Mitchell in fact suggested that you, that the CIA be used to block the FBI, that's a serious charge, and either can stand up to it or it can't stand up to it. And the fact is that's a difficult ballgame to be in. I don't want to inundate you with a whole graft of stories. All I can say is when Gordon Liddy says to me that you're his contact man in the White House, prior to the break-in, that's a serious charge. I don't know how you handle that

DEAN:

And Liddy says I directed him to go into the W-, into the Watergate?

COLODNY:

Li-, no what Liddy said was that prior to the . . . First of all, Liddy said that you were the guy that got him the job. I don't think anybody even questions that.

DEAN:

No, I don't question that.

COLODNY:

You don't question that.

DEAN:

No, what, well, you know what happened is Bud Krogh recommended him and then I carried the water for Bud.

COLODNY:

I know and I talked, ya know, I've talked to Bud. And, and the, but what Liddy says is, you're the guy who said to him about this, this intelligence plan and promised him a half million dollars as start- up money.

DEAN:

I know he's always said that and I just don't think he understood, you know, h-, he and I were on some different wave length.

COLODNY:

Well, w- . . .

DEAN:

I'll tell you that. (Chuckle].

COLODNY:

All right, all right. But then you get to they da. . . let's get to the Monday after the break-in. Where Liddy says you and he took a walk across the, the Ellipse . . .

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

Which, which Caulfield says he knows happened 'cause he saw you two walking across the Ellipse.

DEAN:

I don't deny that.

COLODNY:

And you don't deny that.

DEAN:

I testified it happened.

COLODNY:

Right. He says two things of major import happened. One, you ordered Hunt out of the country, and you agreed to pay the Watergate burglars upon his request. At a time when, according to Ehrlichman, he hadn't even talked to you yet. He was gonna talk to that, that around lunchtime.

DEAN:

I'll tell you one thing. First of all, I, I, ya know, I wasn't that big a deal at the White House. Gordon Liddy knew where I, I stood in the pecking order, I'm sure. I wouldn't have the abi-, I wouldn't have the guts or the presumption to take eit-, either of those, and make, you know, and make those decisions. And Liddy wouldn't know well enough, damn well enough good, ya know, that I couldn't make those decisions.

COLODNY:

Well Liddy, this is Liddy's . . .

DEAN:

Now, now it might be interesting to re-write history later and, and dump it all on old John, ya know, because they don't like me. Uh, ya know, it, it, it, that doesn't surprise me.

COLODNY:

Well I'm not sure that, that . . .

DEAN:

You know, I'm just, I'm not gonna, you know, I'm, I think it's bu-, ya know, it's not, on this kind of petty shit that, ya know, that kind of.....

COLODNY:

Well, wait a minute that's not.....

DEAN:

It's so ludicrous. It's so ludicrous that I won't buy it. You know, I'm not even gonna try to defend it. I don't want to fight it. It's just, it's ludicrous on its face. And, and, and, ya know, and I think you know well enough that it is. If it, if you're writing their view of what they say happened. Well, write it. Fine. I'm just gonna tell you it, it's, it's not true [laughs] and it doesn't work.

COLODNY:

You're saying that, that you didn't, that Liddy's wrong.

DEAN:

I'm saying Liddy's dead wrong, yes.

COLODNY:

Why, why would Liddy go after you?

DEAN:

Liddy's been, Liddy has been on my case ever since, ya know, the, uh, uh, the whole thing happened. Ever since I broke rank and testified.

COLODNY:

You're, no you're saying because you, because he, you didn't do what he did.

DEAN:

That's right.

COLODNY:

That, that whatever he says is gotta be, be looked at in that, in that frame work.

DEAN:

I think, ya know, I, ya know, I think it's very clear that, ya know, he, he thinks that I should have never testified. That, uh, that he thinks that . . . Uh, ya know, I, and Gordon seems to have impressions about what was said and, and interpretations. Uh, you know, I, I had some conversations with people like, like, uh, Krogh and, uh, uh, Magruder and both said, ya know, Liddy would take the ti-, the tiniest thread of a, of a, of a thought and turn it into a command. And it, it, it was just, ya know, Liddy was building and doing his own thing. And he would, very, he was very good at this, very clever at this and, and what have you. So I, you know, a lot of, a lot of this stuff was, was, was suigeneris. It was created by Liddy. Uh, you've gotta put these persona-, you know, you've gotta put the Liddy's, the, the Ulasewiczls, the Caulfield's in context.

COLODNY:

So is, is Mitchell in that same group?

DEAN:

No. But I, you know, I'll tell ya in all due respect, one of the things I, I realized about John Mitchell over the years is that he wasn't, you know, he wasn't sharp. He didn't remember a lot of details. He had very visceral reactions to things. Ya know, we'll do this or we'll do that. Uh, he wa-, he didn't, you know, he, I had to use to prep-, prepare Mitchell to testify, uh, to go up on the Hill. And he wasn't very good. He wasn't a very good witness. He couldn't hold facts. He couldn't hold information. Uh, and he's gett-, you know, he's now later, ya know, thinking about all this, reacting, "Oh shit, if Dean said it, you know, the assumption is wrong," or, or what have you.

COLODNY:

No, I'm just saying to you when he read your book and when he read your testimony, when he looked at, at, his role and, and, as it was described by you and he . . .

DEAN:

Let me tell you somethin, Len, it's the proc-, this . I went through this kind of detail on fact by fact by fact. Ya know, because all, a lot of this has come up through the, ya know, came up through the prosecutors, through the Grand Jury process, through the Senate hearings where they went over it. And we, we looked at all this and, you know, and we, we tried to compare it to, that's why that's, it's so unpleasant for me to go back and do this. 'Cause I spent a year plus of my life doing this. Everyday, day in, day out and, eh, eh, yes and there were areas clearly where my . . . uh, you know, the, the issue that you're raising now on the CIA and that meeting, I remember that coming up not specifically I can't tell you that, the, the time it came up, but it came up very clearly when we were, when they were trying the case. And we had, we looked at that and what have you. And I just said, "Guys , this is the way I remember it and, uh, you know, that's all I can tell ya." Uh, but I, I can't get my head back there now, Len. I just can't. It's, uh . . .

COLODNY:

Well . . .

DEAN:

It's not a thing I want to do.

COLODNY:

Yeah, and I, I don't blame you. I, I can understand, eh, the pain that's involved, and you can understand that if we're gonna write it with their versions and not your version other than, and I'm willing to go . . .

DEAN:

Well I think you gotta be real careful.

COLODNY:

Well we're go- . . .

DEAN:

You've got a, you've got a very credible interesting thing going. Uh, you gotta be real careful with the sources you're dealing with. When you're takin', the, these guys as the gospel.

COLODNY:

Well let me tell you, let's, let's talk about the, let's talk about Mitchell. Because I was shocked to learn on the day he died, or the day after he died, I read a story in the Post which said he never gave an interview. And he went to his grave with these secrets. well, that, ya know, I was stunned because I didn't know he, I was the only guy he was talking to. And, uh . . .

DEAN:

Let me tell you something. I, I remember when, when Dick Schneider, I think it was, uh, who I was talking to about this, tried to get Mitchell to write a book. And they, they . . .

COLODNY:

They did, they gave him money.

DEAN:

Yeah, they gave him money and then they, they trie-. What happened is, he couldn't remember. He couldn't remember.

COLODNY:

Well that's not, that, that . . .

DEAN:

He couldn't sort it all out. He c-, he had a, he had a monetary motive at that time to write it. And they had somebody who was tryin, to go through it and, and, uh . . .

COLODNY:

(Nick Timmish?]

DEAN:

Is that who it was?

COLODNY:

Mm hnun.

DEAN:

He was a very friendly, cooperative guy and they couldn't get it together.

COLODNY:

I didn't, you know, the thing that's interesting about this is when Mitchell agreed to, to help on our project, there was no discussion of you, no discussion of his role. It was strictly the book that it's always been. Uh, the, the looking at where this information came from. How Woodward got it. The motivation behind it. And so he had no idea that we were gonna walk in and I wouldn't have walked in with your testimony and your book if I said, "Wait a minute, I want to understand. Did you tell John Dean to use the CIA? And if you did, when did you tell him and, and is his testimony correct?" And he said, "Look, you'll get the tape recording." And the tape recording is clearly made the morning, at 8:15 in the morning, is what Haldeman, ya-, talks to you and Haldeman is, has attested to that. So, he, now Mitchell's saying, "See, there's no way that I could have met with him." And he hasn't, uh, for every hour between the time you could've met with him and the time that you talked to, he's covered. And it doesn't make sense because the tape doesn't lie. That's the one thing that doesn't lie.

DEAN:

The tape?

COLODNY:

And that's a pretty serious error. When you, if you're gonna ring Mitchell in to that. And I'm not saying that in the sense that I'm accusatory, I'm saying Mitchell's made his case, and corroborated the fact that it couldn't have been him between 7:30 that night and 8:15 the next morning.

DEAN:

Well, you know, Len, you know, I'm, ya know, I'm, I, I'm not even, I have, Len, don't rely on what I'm saying right now 'cause I am not . . .

COLODNY:

No, take my w-

DEAN:

(Tape unclear).

COLODNY:

I, I did not call you to have you talk on . . .

DEAN:

[Chuckles].

COLODNY:

Believe me, this is . . . if we weren't about to do, a, a, what I think is a serious chapter on you, I wouldn't be calling you and saying, "John, I want to talk to you in depth." And you're saying, "I don't want to go throu gh that." And I'm even willing to, to, to narrow it to a few things, so we can at least have a ballpark. I don't want to be in a position of saying something that's untrue. And I'm just not gonna do it. I, if I have to say that John Dean doesn't want to go back, fine. I, I'm willing to stand by your testimony and your book versus their words. I don't have a problem with that, if you don't have a problem with that?

DEAN:

Well, you, you know, I'm sure, I'm sure that, you know, all these years later, people can pick at it and . . .

COLODNY:

I'm only talk-, no, I'm talking, no I'm not, I don't see that as, I don't see the, the kind of things they're saying as picking at it. But what I am saying is you've told your version twice, three times: in court, in Blind Ambition and in, before the Watergate Committee. And I took . . . when you said to me, "Len, look at my testimony. I stand by it.,, I did, john. I didn't come back to you and say.....

DEAN:

I hear you.

COLODNY:

I didn't, I didn't.....

DEAN:

I, I, I'm, I'm telling you, I know what was in my heart at the time I testified. And I was determined, Len, to tell it the way I knew it. The best I could remember it. Uh, and what have you. If my memory was fucked up, if I, if I missed something, if I was off, it wasn't for any motive other than my, the fallacy of the human mind to be a recorder. And, uh, and because I just, ya know, my, my, I, I said this is important. This is vital. This is vital to . . .

COLODNY:

And this is gonna be the end of a President, in the end.

DEAN:

Well I didn't know that at the time. I had no idea where it would go. But I knew that I had to lay it down cautiously, carefully. Uh, as best I could and as best I . . . 'cause I had no documents to use to refresh my recollection. I couldn't get to my files. You know that whole (tape unclear]. I read somewhere about how I had, ya know, I went through old newspapers and tried to look at things and re-, remember what happened every day, (tape unclear].

COLODNY:

There's, look, eh, none of us, (laughs] and I think nobody more than Bob Gettlin and I have lived . . . we feel like we're in a time warp of 1972 to 1974, and we can't get out of it.

DEAN:

Huh.

COLODNY:

I think it, th-, but that's okay. obviously we're being paid well in that.

DEAN:

You're gonna get paid for it, yeah.

COLODNY:

Well, it's been paid for.

DEAN:

It's only agony for me to go back.

COLODNY:

I, and I understand that. And I, and believe me I'm gonna tell you the same thing I told others who told me the same thing. Herb Kalmbach is a man . . . I'm not talking about you now, but . . .

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

. . . 'cause he didn't have anything to say about you. But Herb Kalmbach said to me, "This is too painful for me. This was one of, this was to me the destruction of my life." And the only reason he talked to me is because Mitchell picked up the phone and said, "I want you to talk to, to Len." Caulfield didn't want to talk to me. I mean that, we had a whole bunch of people [chuckle] that just didn't want to go through this again.

DEAN:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

But the kind of, of what . . . What we're, what's being raised here, even in your own words, at least, I, if don't want to put words in your mouth. But, but there seems to be a feeling on your part as Counsel to the President, you wanted to be in the intelligence business. You say that.

DEAN:

No, no, no, let me tell you something. That was one of the assignments that was very clearly given to that office. I was, it was an assignment I was uncomfortable with from day one. I didn't know that then. I looked at that goddamned Tom Huston report and I said, "You got to be shittin' me.,,

COLODNY:

Mm hmm.

DEAN:

Uh, and this was, this stuff, I didn't know anything about. And didn't pretend to know anything about. And it was way r-, I went to Mitchell at one point. Did Mitchell ever tell you how I went over there about that thing? I said, I said, ya know, I don't have any idea what this is all about and I find it pretty spooky."

COLODNY:

Hmm. No, well here's, here's the point. I'm only, I, I'm only saying this is what we quote you saying in your book. I don't, I'm not quoting from them now. I mean we have in a, we have in our chapter proposal on this, which I think you ought to see, uh, I want to send you a copy of that chapter proposal. We have you saying that you felt you should handle all intelligence.

DEAN:

There's no, let me tell you something. There's no doubt that I was a, when, when I found out what they wanted me to do, I was a young guy on the make. When they gave me the signal whether I understood it or not . . .

COLODNY:

John . . .

DEAN:

[Tape unclear] something.

COLODNY:

John, I'm not arguing that point with you and I don't want to, I don't even want to argue with you. I'm just gonna read what John Dean wrote. "Haldeman's interested in campaign intelligence for 1972." You wrote quote, "I reflect on how I might take advantage of Haldeman's preoccupation. I was still building my law firm seeking new business and I knew the campaign would be a stepping stone to those who distinguished themselves. But as I looked ahead, I saw the Counsels' own office performing rather menial campaign tasks. Legal chores hardly important enough to be admitted to the inner circle. If the Counsels' office could play the same role at the Republican Convention we played on May Day, special White House tie lines, half hourly reports, I knew we'd be in the thicket . . .

DEAN:

That's different. Now, (tape unclear].....

COLODNY:

Now wait, now let me finish the quote.

DEAN:

Okay.

COLODNY:

"We had a jump on other White Houses offices in demonstration intelligence. Why not expand our role to all intelligence? That would be of interest to the President and the campaign." Now that's John Dean, qu-

DEAN:

I don't disagree with that. I, I . . .

COLODNY:

Well . . .

DEAN:

That's the way it was. But you gotta understand.

COLODNY:

No, but that's you wanting to do it.

DEAN:

But, but understand this. The perception of what I had at that time as to what intelligence was, and what I tried to do when I wrote that book is to get back and get my head to where it was so I could flush it out. And I could explain it with the innuendo and what have you. Now I, I'm not a, I'm still to this day, would not say I'm sophisticated in, in the, in the world of intelligence, uh, at all.

COLODNY:

No, but here's, here's the point. Every time we followed the path, every time we, we took a lead. All right? John Dean makes a proposal that summer, of 1971, to Bob Haldeman that he handle all intelligence for the White House. It'd be funneled through him, held make a report for eyes only for Haldeman, Ehrlichman and the President. That's again according to Haldeman, you, and he, he has the document saying that you initiated the - idea. You're saying he initiated the idea. I'm willing to say what each one of you said.

DEAN:

(Laughs].

COLODNY:

Do you understand?

DEAN:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And I'm willing to stand by your quote. I'll let that quote stand. We used it in the proposal, because it came from John Dean. It wasn't something we made up. Uh, I'm not making something up, am I?

DEAN:

No, no, no, no, no, but you, the other thing is you've got to get these things into, into the (tape unclear]

COLODNY:

All right, but then, but then when you have Ulasewicz coming in and saying, "I was sent into the DNC by John Dean, six weeks before the, the break-in." He says that, Caulfield backs him up. That's a corroborating witness.

DEAN:

I can absolutely flat out tell you that isn't true.

COLODNY:

Well, but what do I do with the two guys that say it was true?

DEAN:

Let lem say it. And I . . .

COLODNY:

Well

DEAN:

All I can do is tell you that it's absolutely not, unequivocally not true.

COLODNY:

That, that, that he did not go into the DNC?

DEAN:

I have no idea if he went into the DNC.

COLODNY:

Did you know that you were in any way controlling him?

DEAN:

No, I didn't, I, I wasn't, I, to this day . . .

COLODNY:

Now, now let's get away from you, now. Did you know the deal that Ehrlichman had made, the one I described to you earlier? Did you know that that was the . . . ?

DEAN:

No. I . . .

COLODNY:

In other words, when you came in, when you came into, to the Counsels' office, as far as you were concerned, Tony and, and, and, uh, Caulfield were a team, not the President.

DEAN:

That Tony and Caulfield were a team, uh . . .

COLODNY:

Not the, I'm reading from your book to at this point.

DEAN:

Exactly.

COLODNY:

You didn't know who paid him?

DEAN:

No.

COLODNY:

You didn't know Kalmbach paid him?

DEAN:

No I didn't. I learned it later.

COLODNY:

Yeah, but you didn't know it . . . When you say later, after the break-in?

DEAN:

Oh, God . . .

COLODNY:

Well, that's okay. I'm not gonna, I don't mean to do that. I . . .

DEAN:

(Tape unclear].

COLODNY:

That isn't what I called for. I really didn't call . . .

DEAN:

I can't . . .

COLODNY:

This is, this is not fair for me to . . .

DEAN:

I don't have my, I, eh, you know, that's why I don't, you know, that's why you're gonna, to, to, to fairly give you the answer, I've got to go back and, and read all that shit. I can't tell you now 15 years . . .

COLODNY:

No, and I . . .

DEAN:

. . . all these years . . .

COLODNY:

No, but do you understand what I'm saying. I don't think it's fair of me to, to have done what I just did.

DEAN:

Uh . . .

COLODNY:

No, that was unfair and I . . .

DEAN:

You know, I (tape unclear].

COLODNY:

I, I, I, I, I plead guilty on that one. Uh, because I didn't call for that purpose, John. You've been straightforward with me, and I expect to be straightforward with you. And you may not like what we write, and you may attack that part of it and I, I, ya know, that's . . .your privilege. But I want to be sure that I didn't . . . reach a conclusion.

DEAN:

No, I wa- . . .

COLODNY:

. . . without John Dean's input.

DEAN:

I won't do, I won't say anything because I'll let, ya know, the, I find out as soon as you start to get in and fighting about this, it just focuses on the issues and, and what have you. And, uh, you know, there, there have been two or three or four other books that have come along the line and just said stuff. It was so fucking ridiculous that I couldn't, uh, believe it. And reporters call huffing and puffing, "Well is this true, is that true? I-, and I said, "Guys I don't, I have no idea." And I just don't even get into it.

COLODNY:

Well I, ya know, again this is, you know, from our point of view, you really have spoken about as much on [laughs] this subject as any guy in the world has spoken on this subject.

DEAN:

And that's why I'm a target. Ya know, ya know, I m-, I am the target. Ya know, all these guys are can say whatever the hell they want to. Uh, and, and, ya know, what, what somebody said to me, you know, is r- . . .

COLODNY:

Let me give you, let me give you an example of, of how I questioned the other side. Ulasewicz comes up with this statement, "I was sent into the DNC by Dean in mid April of, of 1972.

DEAN:

That is a [tape unclear].

COLODNY:

All right . . .

DEAN:

I can tell you that. That is unequivocally untrue.

COLODNY:

And, and that's . . .

DEAN:

What, what does he mean "in"? I mean, did he break-in?

COLODNY:

No, he came, he went in the middle of the day. And he, he produced a report which he sent back to you, he said.

DEAN:

I, that is not true.

COLODNY:

All right. I, I'm not, I'm not arguing that point. I'm not arguing the truthfulness or not truthfulness of it. . I have a problem with, he said, "I told the, the Committee that and I told the prosecutors that and they didn't want to hear it.,, Okay? To which my response is," Fine, they didn't want to hear it." Dean was their witness. So what, Why didn't you tell Hundley?" You follow me?

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

We're now 15 years later. We're writing a book. In the book, we're gonna say this is what happened. And frankly, I wouldn't have said this is what happened if Caulfield hadn't corroborated it. I've got everyone of the jobs that . . .

DEAN:

What did he go into the DNC for?

COLODNY:

To, to determine whether it was a target or not.

DEAN:

A target of what?

COLODNY:

Uh, that's, ya know, that, obviously a target for, uh, for intelligence. I'm not, ya know, I don't know the specific thing that he had. I have got 80 of his jobs. A number of those jobs happening while you were Counsel to the President. The majority of them happening while you were Counsel to the President. The, the fact of the matter is, I don't know who did what to who in the sense of, uh, uh, each individual job. I, when I asked specifically about that, that . . .

DEAN:

I wrote about everything I knew about Ulasewicz in my book. I thought he was an interesting, strange little character and every- . . . I, I didn't even know the name Ulasewicz. All I knew is this character Tony.

COLODNY:

No, but you, you did send Liddy up there, according to Liddy. Liddy said you sent him up there to, to, to audit him. In January of 1972.

DEAN:

I think that's right, and that was because Caulfield wanted that or something.

COLODNY:

Yeah, Caulfield has told me that. That's, you know, he cal-, he said it was his idea, and that you and, you wanted Liddy to go along. 'Cause the, the question is, ya know, why, ya know, there's a whole lot of questions about, why you would want Liddy to go up, when Liddy was working at the campaign committee. Uh . . .

DEAN:

Well let me tell you, I, I gotta come back and tell you something that you've gotta, you got to get from other than me if I'm, ya know, if I'm the person you think is behind all this. Liddy, Caulfield, I've watched them both take, uh, uh, ya know, just a, a, the tiniest thing, ya know, a, ya know, when I'm off doing 400 other things. Or anybody else or Mitchell or, uh, Magruder, busy on other things and them coming by and, ya know, "Hey John, what do you think about this. Is that a good idea?" And, ya know, kind of a grunt. "Well, whatever you think, Jack.,' And then going off and doin, something, taking it like a damn command, and nobody ever ref- . . . I, I'm convinced to this day that Mitchell, when he approved whatever Magruder brought in there, was a grunt and a groan and a, and a, and a flip of a piece of a paper.

COLODNY:

You don't, you don't think he knew what he was . . . ?

DEAN:

I don't think he knew, no.

COLODNY:

You see, that . . .

DEAN:

. . . may have.

COLODNY:

That's one of the things I told Mitchell. 'Cause I, he had asked me about our conversations, yours and mine. And I said, "I think that there's a fondness for, for you from John Dean." Uh, I said, "I can't prove that." You've never said that but I said, ya know, just reading between the lines. Uh, John Mitchell is, is one story but the, the, these other stories are, are, are different stories. And you're saying, "Well they're really not credible stories." But they become credible in the, in the light of the fact that every job this guy carried out is backed up. I have the back up material on it. Uh, he says he was getting his orders out of there. Caulfield says, "I'm the umbilical cord that passed the orders on. And that particular order came from John Dean.,, I'm not saying, I don't, at this point, can't say, "What the hell." That, you know . . .

DEAN:

Yeah. I, I'm telling you this, Len.

COLODNY:

You're saying it, you're just . . .

DEAN:

You know, I donrt have any knowledge of ever sending Tony Ulasewicz in. Whether somebody came in to my of-,if Caulfield ever came into my office and said, "John, I think Tony should go into the office, and I'm in the middle of somethin' else and don't even reflect on it and I say, "Whatever you think, Jack," uh, you know, which I did a lot. Uh, you know, I just, "Go on and do it," or . . .

COLODNY:

Weren't you there, weren't, in a sense, Mitchell says that you were the entree for them to him.

DEAN:

To Caulfield?

COLODNY:

No, to Mitchell. That these guys on their own, Caulfie- . . . There's a meeting you have on November . . .

DEAN:

Oh, I know, I know what you're talking about there. Caulfield . . .

COLODNY:

I'm talkin' about November 24, 1971 when you take . . .

DEAN:

(Tape unclear].

COLODNY:

. . . both of them up there.

DEAN:

I just remembered something. Caulfield wanted that Operation "Sandwedge."

COLODNY:

Right.

DEAN:

Yeah, and, and that, yes he and Caulfield, I mean, he came in every god damn day to ask me to set up a meeting with Mitchell.

COLODNY:

And Mitchell killed it.

DEAN:

Exactly.

COLODNY:

And, and then you brought him to be an aide de camp. On November 24th, you were in Mitchell's office twice that, that day, in fact there con-, consecutive meetings. Once with Caulfield and once with Liddy.

DEAN:

I don't deny that. You know, I trust . . .

COLODNY:

No, you testified to that (laughs].

DEAN:

You, you think, you're try-, you're pullin' things out of my head.

COLODNY:

No, I, I, I'm only . . .

DEAN:

Len, it's not, it's not fair for me to try to go through this 'cause I, my head is not back there. And, and you're, you're bein' unfair with me 'cause I can't . . .

COLODNY:

Well, I'm not gonna, uh, no . . .

DEAN:

. . . (tape unclear] totally different than the facts. I don't know.

COLODNY:

I'm not gonna be unfai-, I'm not gonna through anymore with you [laughs). I,

DEAN:

[Laughs].

COLODNY:

No, seriously I'd like you to, to go through with me. I know it's pain- . . .

DEAN:

Tell me how we can, tell me how we can do this procedurally so I . . .

COLODNY:

Well, why don't we both think about it. I hope we'll keep our lines of communications wide open and, and come up with a way that sat- . . .

DEAN:

I find these calls incredibly unpleasant. Because you're makin' me go back and I'm busy with other things, my, my head, head's elsewhere. And, ya know, I don't like, I don't like the prospect of somebody's trying to still, ya know, spew the smear on me on this thing.

COLODNY:

Well, in this case, one of the guys that, that, that's, that's vehement on this issue is John Mitchell. And whether he, whether you think he was all there or wasn't all there, uh, that's a judgment that people have to make. The, the fact of the matter is that there's an awful lot of material now on the record that we've gathered from him and from Haldeman. Uh, which indicates that, that there was more to, to the role of the Counsells Office than just being Counsel to the President. That there appeared to be at least a semblance of an intelligence operation going on. I want to be fai- . . .

DEAN:

[Tape unclear].

COLODNY:

I want to be fair about that . . .

DEAN:

I don't know what the word semblance means but it wasn't very sophisticated, it wasn't very (tape unclear]. I was, you know, it just wasn't my ba-, something I didn't know how to do.

COLODNY:

Well I, you know, I understand and like I said when I, when you, ya know, I don't want to go into any more of what you said or didn't say. I'm willing to pick some issues, send them to you, let you look at the stuff. I know it's painful, John. And I'm not in any way, eh, saying to you, "Hey look fella, this is a great idea." I, I'm stuck with, with what I consider corroborated evidence.

DEAN:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And, and based on that we're prepared to write a, a chapter that essentially says that you had a much larger role in the early stages than, than has ever been acknowledged. And I want to be able to, to . . I'm not Bob Woodward and I'm not gonna talk to people in garages, and I'm not gonna play games . . .

DEAN:

What ever, what ever happened to the Woodward side of the book? You know, this is getting to sound more and more like it's a rehash of Watergate.

COLODNY:

Uh, not really, not really, it's, there, there are, there's one chapter on this and there may be a second chapter on this, but that's the, the limit. Uh, Wood-, when, when we made the deal with the agent, which was Nat Sobel, uh, up in, uh, New York, he felt this was not a book about Bob Woodward. And he was right. This is [laughs] really a book about Al Haig, and about the military, and about the forces that were, were there to get Richard Nixon. And that's what the book's about. That why we changed the title, title. If you notice we changed it to a A Silent Coup: The Removal Of Richard Nixon.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

That's hardly John

DEAN:

A Removal of Richard Nixon. So, you're hardly our star player. [Laughs].

COLODNY:

but Al Haig is. Admiral Moorer is. Uh, the book starts out that way. And what we essentially say is that Nixon's enemies fed off Watergate. I don't even think you figured out where all these leaks were comin, from to Woodward. But Woodward clearly is the cat's paw. And that's the, the role he plays in our book. He's not the guy calling the shots. He's the guy fulfilling what his friends, his former friends or maybe still his friends at the time, wanted. And I think . . .

DEAN:

I've al-, see, I've always been of the opinion that Water-, that, that the whole Watergate break-in was just, ya know, was just an accident. Ya know, that it, you know, as a, you know, it was Liddy doin' his thing. With, thinking this is what Magruder wants, Magruder thinking this is what the White House wants and, uh, it's a travesty.

COLODNY:

Well, you obviously, like I said, you, you were in the Philippines when this happened. The time you, by the time you got back Monday, uh, Jeb was on the phone to you. And that's your version from your book. [Laughs]. Nothing I got from Jeb Magruder, but frankly that's what you wrote.

DEAN:

That's right.

COLODNY:

I don't why the hell he's calling you. [Laughs]. I don't have the foggiest idea why he's calling you.

DEAN:

Well, I was over in that meeting in Mitchell's office.

COLODNY:

Well, I, I don't, ya know, Ed Gurney says to, to Magruder at one point, "I understand what you're doin, there, I understand what Liddy's doin' there. I even understand what Mitchell's doin, there. What the hell is Dean doin' there?" You, you . . .

DEAN:

Doin' where?

COLODNY:

At that meeting, in Mi-

DEAN:

I never understood that either.

COLODNY:

(Laughs].

DEAN:

I want to tell ya . . .

COLODNY:

And, and what was Magruder's answer? Magruder's answer is, under oath, "He was there 'cause he was part of it." That's Magruder's answer under oath.

DEAN:

okay.

COLODNY:

And I'm saying, "Part of what?" Mi-, Mitchell's sitting there, he's saying to me, "Len, I sat there," I, ya know, we're not talkin, about charts now, we're talkin' about the meeting, the, the first meeting with Liddy where both of you agree intelligence was never mentioned. But you agree to that, Mitchell agrees to that, Liddy agrees to that.

DEAN:

Right.

COLODNY:

Uh, the fact . . .

DEAN:

I was, I was, the only I could ever, I, to this day I couldn't figu-, I can't tell you why I wa-, you know, Magruder called me. I think Magruder had some perception that I was . . . Everybody seems to, you're, you're saying you think that John was in the middle of intelligence, and John was the last to learn this. (Laughs].

COLODNY:

Well, the, it, yeah, but the problem is every time you go to corroborate, you're able to corroborate by a second person. And you're answer to that is that the second person has an axe to grind just like the first person had an axe to grind. Even though they may have never talked to each other in 15 years. And that's, that's the kind of problem. Uh, some of it deals with the evidence you submitted. You submitted a, a McCloskey report on, on McCloskey campaign headquarters. I think you might remember it as an exhibit, that they had infiltrated it in one form or another. Do you recall that you submitted that as evidence?

DEAN:

No, I couldn't to this day.

COLODNY:

Well that's one of the things I'd like to send you. But in, in any event, there's, there's, there are corroboration for their side . . .

DEAN:

Don't send me a bunch of stuff, just send . . .

COLODNY:

Well, wait a, first list-, first you decide what you want. I'm not going to force feed John Dean. John Dean's a big boy. He doesn't need me to, ya know, I've been appreciative of the fact that you've taken time. That, that when this book, long before it was sold. And, and you've said kind things about this book, and I appreciate that. But I'm not gonna write a thing that I haven't at least made the offer as firmly as I know how to give you every opportunity to deal with anything we write.

DEAN:

You can tell me where, where there seems to be some real substantive points of, of difference.

COLODNY:

Well, obviously when I've got two people saying you sent they guy in, that's substantive. Now you've denied that and 1, I'm, I'm gonna say John Dean denies that happened. Uh, that, I mean that, what else can I do?

DEAN:

Yeah, yeah, I just have no recollection of it. I'm just telling ya.

COLODNY:

You know, the, the fact of the matter is that there, there's a pattern of you and intelligence . . .

COLODNY:

beginning with that, with the, the O'Brien idea. Uh, in fact you even say at one point, you said to, uh, to Haldeman in, uh, right after ITT which was what, the spring of 197-. . .?

DEAN:

Let me tell you something. What's interesting that, you know, 'cause it means nothing today. If, I could tell you, I have, I'm not even def-, I'm defendin-, I'm defending about this. I'm being defensive about something I don't really give a shit about . . . I wish I could tell you, "Yes, I was trying to put together the biggest god damn intelligence machine in the world 'cause I think that's what Richard Nixon wanted. He called me every night on the telephone and said, 'John, how's our intelligence operation doing"' . . .

COLODNY:

(Chuckle]. I doubt that he did and I doubt . . .

DEAN:

. . or, or that, you know, that I just, you know, that I was cookin' this up. I was gonna build my empire and by God I was gonna learn . . .

COLODNY:

No, but you were interested in O'Brien and you say it in your book. And one of the things that interested me is that one of the first people you talked to [tape skips ahead] . . . rather than, and I don't even want to com-

DEAN:

I will do that for specific instances. And I will, I will reflect on lem for ya and tell ya, and, and God knows I'm gonna tell ya if I'm dead wrong and, and, and, and, uh, right and I'm gonna tell ya if they're wrong.

COLODNY:

Yeah, well I-, . . .

DEAN:

And that's all I'll do, I mean, I've played it that way all the way along. What I can't do is just flip around to different things and try to get my head there. I c-, it doesn't, doesn't go there anymore.

COLODNY:

You, you could understand if I'm writing a book and, and it's only normal that someone sit down and read your book. I mean . . .

DEAN:

Certainly.

COLODNY:

I mean, I mean we're, what apparently we did that, that other people didn't do is we compared everything you said vis-a-vis the, each subject matter vis-a-, the . . .

DEAN:

I didn't even do that.

COLODNY:

I know you didn't and I, and I'm gonna, I think you're gonna be . . .

COLODNY:

. . . amazed at what you said in one form and what you said in your book cause

DEAN:

Very possibly.

COLODNY:

It's gonna be, it's gonna blow your mind.

DEAN:

(Laughs].

COLODNY:

I have people say to me, Mitchell said to me, "How could Dean be that stupid to write his, to, to tell the Committee this and, and in fact, uh, he was deeply involved in the O'Brien thing." And, and

DEAN:

Ho-, hold on just a second.

COLODNY:

Sure, John.

DEAN:

Well . . .

COLODNY:

Well, you, look, you g-, look do you want me?

DEAN:

I've got somebody holding on the line.

COLODNY:

Do you want, look, why don't c- . . .

DEAN:

Get something together and we'll talk about it later.

COLODNY:

All right, let me put some stuff together. I'll call ya and then I'll send you . . .

DEAN:

When's your book comin, out?

COLODNY:

It's due out in the fall of 1990.

DEAN:

Okay.

COLODNY:

Anyway, we have time and I'm not, I, I wanted to start early. So, I will call you when I get some stuff together and then I'll send it to ya.

DEAN:

Okay.

COLODNY:

Thank you, John for returning the call.

DEAN:

Mm hmm. Happy New Year.

COLODNY:

Same to you and your wife.

DEAN:

Bye-bye.

COLODNY:

Bye. [INTERVIEW ENDS]. COPYRIGHT LEN COLODNY, 1989

Website created by Bright Pixel Studio