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March 01, 2004
Frank Discussions: G. Gordon Liddy
Here's something different for me: an actual interview. At the suggestion and help of Eric Scheie of Classical Values, I got fifteen minutes on the phone with G. Gordon Liddy, known for the G. Gordon Liddy Show and... well... other things (check out his site; it has his bio there if you really don't know who he is). As inane as I tried to make my questions, Mr. Liddy somehow came up with serious and thoughtful answers to all of them. That, combined with some bad research, I think made me come off as a bit more of an idiot than usual, but I still believe it's a good read.
Now, without further ado, here is my first ever transcription of a phone conversation:
Frank: Congratulations on twelve years of the G. Gordon Liddy Show. Is it hard to do two hours every weekday? Do you ever just make stuff up if the news has been slow?
Liddy: Actually I do four hours a day, five days a week, and there is such an enormous amount of news of serious import these days that I have more than enough material.
Frank: Anything to say about the recent controversy with radio show hosts? Like are you afraid youíre going to get taken off the air for indecency?
Liddy: No, this particular problem will not affect me, and it certainly wonít be any problem for my friend Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh. It is solely limited to the adolescent potty-talk people, and some of them it wonít harm either. For example, my friend Howard Stern is a very bright man, and I think that he could do a radio program on a number of different levels. He could do serious discourse on politics or anything else because he certainly has the intellect to do that. So, if he is prevented from using his usual M.O., he can switch to another. Someone like The Don and Mike Show here in Washington D.C., which is just one uneducated adolescent and another slightly more educated adolescent, both of whom are sort of Howard Stern wannabes. You take away their ability to speak obscenely and indecently and there is nothing left. They have nothing left with their act.
Frank: I see what you mean. Well, anyway, letís get to politics. In brief, how well do you think Bush has done at his job as president?
Liddy: Given that weíre at war, which is the most important factor, he is an excellent wartime president, and thatís what we need right now. I, for example, very much opposed the political policies Ė the domestic political policies Ė of Franklin Roosevelt Ė bear in mind I was 15 when World War II end, and I remember it very well Ė but he was an excellent wartime leader, and thatís what we needed in World War II: a good wartime leader. Thatís what we need now Ė a wartime leader Ė and we certainly have that in president Bush.
Frank: In brief, how well do you think the Democrats have been at undermining Bush at his job as president?
Liddy: Well, we wonít know until Election Day. All these polls that they keep taking are photographs Ė slices, sort of like an MRI of a period in time Ė and none of them count. The only one that counts is the poll taken on Election Day. Theyíve certainly started a lot of controversy, but President Bush has not really started to fire back yet. Heís stayed above the fray while the Democrats sort out whom shall be their candidate. Once that is determined, he will start is counter battery fire.
Frank: Been waiting for that myself. I guess he just started a little bit the other day with a shot at Kerry.
Liddy: Yeah, a little bit.
Frank: Anyway, John Kerry appears to be the frontrunner to challenge Bush. Do you think a haughty, French-looking liberal who served in Vietnam is just what the nation needs to fight terrorism?
Liddy: I think somebody who has been consistent no matter what his combat record in Vietnam was Ė someone who has since consistently voted against the actual defense of the United States is not what we need to fight a war.
Frank: So, what do you think are the root causes of terrorism, and how many explosives do you think it would take to eradicate them?
Liddy: The root causes of terrorism are radical fundamentalist Islamic beliefs which are completely intolerant even of brother Muslims who are not as radical in their beliefs as are they. As to how many explosives would be necessary to eradicate them, there is a mathematical formula. You count them all up, and then you measure the powder in one .45 ACP caliber cartridge and multiply that by the number of radical Islamic fundamentalists and you get the answer.
Frank: .45 ACP Ė I like that. Now, Iíve talked to some military men who have been to Iraq, and theyíve told me some areas now are as almost as dangerous as Chicago. Do you think itís time for America to finally pull out of the quagmire that is Chicago?
Liddy: Well, Iíll tell ya, Iíve been to Chicago, and every time Iíve been there I have enjoyed myself. Nobody has ever bothered me in Chicago, and Iíve been in South Chicago. Iíve operated in that area as a special agent of the FBI, and I would say that law enforcement has things pretty well in hand.
Frank: Thatís good to know. Who do you think we should have war with next?
Liddy: Well, it depends upon what our intel tells us about the capabilities and intentions of Syria, Iran, and North Korea. Whichever one appears to be the most dangerous in terms of close support for the terrorists who are targeting us I would say should be next on the list for regime change as promised by the President in his original State of the Union.
Frank: Now this is your tenth year of your Stacked and Packed Calendar?
Liddy: Yes, currently Ė right. Weíre starting the recruitment for the girls for the eleventh.
Frank: As everyone knows, men love firearms and attractive women; what gave you the idea to combine the two?
Liddy: When I was a boy, of course, you had girly calendars in every garage, factory, and everything else that you could think of. And, when I was a boy, you could walk right down the Main Street of town Ė you know, if you were 13-years-old or so Ė with your firearm on the way out to the woods to shoot squirrels and so forth. Then that became politically incorrect Ė both of those things became politically incorrect, and I wanted to make a statement against political correctness, so I combined the girly calendar and firearms.
Frank: Thatís a nice way to make a statement, but has your calendar ever drawn controversy from people who dislike women or are against the objectification of firearms?
Liddy: Certainly the calendar has drawn some controversy, but far more approval and support than controversy. Thus its success, and thus it is going into its eleventh year.
Frank: Itís good to hear that. Now, I always say you can tell a lot about a man from his choice in firearms. Whatís your favorite gun?
Liddy: Handgun or shoulder arm?
Frank: Letís say handgun.
Liddy: I would say the Smith & Wesson Model 17 in .44 caliber.
Frank: Nice gun. In 1998, you had an autobiographyÖ
Liddy: Did you say Model 17? I should have said 27.
Frank: Actually, I think itís 29.
Liddy: 29? Okay.
Frank: My dad has one. Itís a nice gun. I didnít want to correct you; thought you might know more. In 1998, you had an autobiography Will published. Now, according to my research, youíve yet to die since then and donít seem to plan on doing so anytime in the near future. Will you eventually have to do an addendum?
Liddy: Actually, it was published in 1980, and itís still in print, still selling thousands of copies a year. There are over a million copies in print. It ended in 1977.
Frank: I need better research.
Liddy: If I wanted to do a complete and up to date autobiography, I would certainly have to issue an addendum. If I were to want to get additional information that has been discovered about Watergate from that time to present, then I would have to have an addendum limited to that subject. To a certain extent I did that with my latest book which is called When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country. There is an appendix in there that brings up to date what has been learned since. There will probably be a reissue of a book by Len Colodny, Robert Gettlin called Silent Coup which will have a much greater volume of material.
Frank: Iíve heard about your book Ė Iíve yet to read it, though Ė When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country. So, when were you a kid, or do you have to read the book to find that out?
Liddy: Well, you do the math. I was born on November the 30th, 1930.
Frank: Sounds pretty nice back then how you talked about shooting squirrels Ė my Mom would have yelled at me for that. Have you ever considered doing an audio version of the book to try and win a Grammy?
Liddy: There was an audio version of the book done by a professional who read it so that it could be recorded for the use of the blind.
Frank: You also wrote a novel called The Monkey Handlers. It would be of great interest to the readers of my website to know what is your opinion of monkeys.
Liddy: Monkeys are primates. Theyíre genetic material is 98% the same as ours, and actually greater than some talk show hosts.
Frank: I think we know which ones you are referring to. I guess this is a common question for you: whatís with the mustache? Is there something on your upper lip you are trying to hide?
Liddy: No. Itís something that Iíve worn on and off since my youth. If you were to get a hold of one of the early additions of the book Will, youíll see photographs of me in there sometimes with one, sometimes without one. There is one when I was in the military when I had one circa about 1968 or so. I just decided to keep it.
Frank: Have you ever considered a soul patch instead?
Liddy: Iím sorry; considered what?
Frank: A soul patch.
Liddy: I donít know what youíre talking about.
Frank: Itís a little bit of hair under your lower lip.
Liddy: You mean a goatee?
Frank: No, itís just under your lower lip. A soul patch is a little hippy thing.
Liddy: Alright, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Frank: Okay. Forget it then. Now, Iím pretty young Ė Iím only 24 Ė so I donít know much about history before the early 90ís, but I heard something about how you once ran into some trouble at a hotel. Are you now more careful at hotels, or do you steal towels with impunity?
Liddy: I didnít run into any trouble at a hotel. I think you are referring to the Watergate Hotel, and the Watergate burglary took place not in the hotel, but the Watergate office building. I wasnít there.
Frank: Oh, okay. Wish I knew that. I saw that movie Nixon Ė that was a while ago Ė and all I remember is that Oliver Stone had some weird conspiracy theory that Nixon was an Englishman. Anyway, how do you think that the actor John Diehl did? Did he correctly get the essence of G. Gordon Liddy?
Liddy: I donít know. Iíve never saw the movie.
Frank: Never saw the movie? Had no interest in seeing that?
Liddy: Well, itís Oliver Stone. There is no point in anybody ever seeing an Oliver Stone movie because any resemblance between fact and whatever is contained in the movie is incidental.
Frank: I guess me, personally, Iíd be kind of curious how someone portrayed me.
Liddy: Okay, my producer is demonstrating with me that I have to go. Do you have any last question?
Frank: What do you think of the blogosphere? Are you threatened that it is going to encroach on more established media such as radio shows, or do you not even know what Iím talking about?
Liddy: I know what you are talking about. Itís a separate means of expression which is growing rapidly which means that it is filling a need.
Frank: And are there any blogs that you read regularly?
Liddy: I read our mutual friend Eric Scheie.
Frank: (whispering) Say, ďI also read IMAO.Ē
Liddy: Okay, well Iíve enjoyed our conversation. Thank you very much.
Frank: And thank you too.
Liddy: Youíre welcome. Bye bye.
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