“Watergate and “the Grave National Security Matter”
The World Turns’ Upside Down
In 1971 the New York Times published a detailed account of the Vietnam War which was mostly authored by Los Angeles based defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg. The publication was embarrassing to the US Government and was considered an unauthorized leak of classified information by President Nixon and his national security advisor Dr. Henry Kissinger. Both were outraged and Ellsberg was considered an “enemy of the state” and a “national traitor.”
To stop such leaks President Nixon formed the White House Special Investigations Unit, aka: the Plumbers, in June 1971. Recruited as Plumber operatives were G. Gordon Liddy, former FBI agent, and E. Howard Hunt, retired CIA agent/operative In their short history they performed a number of operations including being caught on a spy mission inside the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Complex, Washington, D.C. in what was described by the White House as a “third rate burglary.” Through aggressive press investigative reporting and actions by the courts other Watergate revelations disclosed the Plumbers has burglarized Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s LA office on Labor Day weekend 1971 in search of medical records to “neutralize” (discredit and destroy) him.
In August1971 the Plumbers did a covert interview of Jerry Rogers, author, at his Los Angeles home in belief he was a Soviet intelligence agent working in collaboration with Ellsberg, both considered “enemies of the state” and national traitors.” Rogers’ telephone was tapped and on Labor Day weekend 1971 his home was also surreptitiously searched, all without legal warrants. Other probable egregious criminal acts were involved. Rogers, an Air Force officer, was a doctoral student at the University of Southern California. As a promising, loyal Air Force officer student he dutifully reported per Air Force/DoD regulations a chance classroom contact with a foreign intelligence person in February 1971. Rogers was an seasoned criminal investigator and experienced counter-intelligence/counterespionage agent. The Plumbers detected criminal acts were intended to “neutralize” and destroy him personally and professionally.
The Plumbers’ illegal acts here are referred to as “the California Caper” in Watergate tapes and are likely to be the basis for Hunt’s later blackmail efforts against President Nixon and the basis for President Nixon to be cited as an “unindicted co-conspirator” by a Watergate Grand Jury. Rogers, being witting to the Plumbers’ crimes against him, suffered great emotional, psychic, and physical distress which resulted in health problems and a failed military career.
Rogers retired under honorable conditions in 1981, the last eleven years as a major and serving in sensitive strategic intelligence assignments with the Defense Intelligence Agency, US Forces Korea and with a SAC 52 Bomb Wing. With humiliation and embarrassemen, he was “kicked out” of the Air Force in 1981 after serving over twenty one years on active duty as a career, regular officer. The 1971 Plumbers acts were known to the Watergate Special Prosecutor as well as Watergate US Congressional and judicial authorities in 1973-4 and were never disclosed at the insistence of President Nixon declaring them a “grave national security matter.” It was feared that public knowledge of Plumbers acts would destroy the “command and control of the entire US military” and America as a democratic nation. At the time Senator Howard Baker R-Tn, Vice Chair of the Senate Watergate Committee called this matter the “missing link” of Watergate. Baker was unsuccessful in getting President Nixon to disclose the matter.
Here the author documents as much of the public record as can be found and that is still not disclosed on national security grounds and never released Grand Juries proceedings. The author fully details the trauma he experienced while the nation was also experiencing the trauma of Watergate. The trauma subsided when President Nixon resigned from office in disgrace in 1974 and to avoid impeachment based in part on formation and operations of the Plumbers. Rogers loving family was totally unwitting of the events and he attributes his Watergate survival to them and his strong Christian upbringing, deep and abiding faith, and associated actions (which contribute to the titling of this book.) The author believes that the American People have an absolute right and need to know what happened here and that such can be disclosed without disrupting the nation. They deserve to know the truth, as truth IS national security.