Politics will always have its share of power abuse and corruption, but there are some scandals and controversies that are so significant that they are permanently recorded in the nation’s history books, where future generations are just as shocked by the audacity of the perpetrators as the people who actually saw them. White House Plumbers, directed by David Mandel, is based on actual events and tells the tale of one of the worst scandals to rock the American branch of the United Nations. The Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux-directed HBO original is based on the writings of activist and novelist Mathew Krogg and Egil Krogh, the Nixon administration’s undersecretary of transportation policy and a participant in the Watergate investigation. Nixon’s administration in 1972 committed a blatant breach of trust that can only be described as treason. Had they not made mistakes during the burglary that alerted the law enforcement authorities, they would have gotten away with it and the people of the country would have never learned what took place behind the closed doors of the Oval Office. They had plans to rig the entire election process and make a mockery of democracy.
After watching the teaser for White House Plumbers, it appears that the filmmakers have chosen a more sarcastic and humorous approach, but it will be interesting to see how many historical facts they have accurately captured and how many have been changed to give the story a dramatic flair.
What Happened In The Watergate Scandal?
On June 17, 1972, five people broke into the Democratic National Committee’s offices. It was later discovered that they were attempting to wiretap the Watergate building and take crucial papers that could aid President Richard M. Nixon in winning reelection. All of these criminals belonged to a group called the Committee for the Re-elections of the President (CRP), whose main objective was to generate money for Richard Nixon’s campaign while also engaging in a variety of shady operations behind the scenes. The Nixon government attempted to cover up the burglars’ capture once they were apprehended, and when they saw that the story had gained national attention, they began to deny any connection to the burglars. The recording device that had been inserted covertly during the first break-in wasn’t functioning properly, so the burglars broke into the Watergate building again. The building’s security personnel observed some activity and alerted the police, who arrived on the site right away and apprehended them.
The information was released to the public by a whistleblower going by the alias Deep Throat. As a result, the Nixon administration began to fall apart and government employees began testifying against him. William Mark Felt, the former deputy director of the FBI, revealed in 2005 that he was the whistleblower who had provided top-secret information to the reporters from the Washington Post back in the day, over 33 years after the incident became widely known. If not for two young journalists named Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, history as we know it would have been nothing more than a collection of lies. There is a reason why journalism is referred to be the first rough draft of history. These two journalists helped the public learn the truth about the Watergate affair after the White House did everything it could to obstruct the probe. Nixon used to record every discussion that took place in his office, but after the investigating committee was established, he made a concerted effort to keep the tapes away from them for as long as possible.
But as the White House came under increasing pressure, Nixon realized that his only real option was to turn over the tapes. After turning over the tapes, Nixon eventually announced his resignation as president on August 8, 1974, after realizing that the situation had grown out of control and the harm was irreparable.
Who Were Howard Hunt And Gordon Liddy?
The name White House Plumbers was given to a tiny group of former FBI and CIA operatives whose main goal was to prevent the leak of top-secret material and defend Richard M. Nixon’s presidency at all costs. The Pentagon Papers, which exposed government corruption and informed the public that their trust had been betrayed and that what they had taken to be fact was actually just state-sponsored lies, were the catalyst for the creation of this group. On June 17, 1972, the public learned that the White House Plumbers, a top-secret unit, had been responsible for the Watergate incident and had engaged in a number of unlawful acts.
One of the senior members of the White House Plumbers organization and a former CIA employee, Howard Hunt was portrayed by the mysterious Woody Harrelson in the HBO series. Richard Nixon was involved in the entire process because a secret mission of this magnitude couldn’t have been carried out without keeping him in the loop, and the burglars who broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters had his phone number and contact information on them. After being found guilty of wiretapping the DNC headquarters, collaborating with Liddy and others, and participating in a burglary, Howard Hunt received a 33-month prison term.
An ex-FBI agent and one of the White House plumbers, Gordon Liddy was portrayed by Justin Theroux in the HBO series. Liddy is credited with coming up with the idea to deploy burglars to the Democratic National Committee’s offices. Liddy, who hails from a legal family, collaborated with Howard Hunt to steal top-secret material so that Nixon could undermine his rivals and win reelection. In addition to being found guilty of crimes like burglary and conspiracy, Liddy spent more than 4 years in prison for refusing to speak to the committee investigating the Watergate crisis.
Although we are unsure of the extent of the creative license David Mandel and his team have exercised in the five-part HBO series, we are confident that it will be a gripping drama that will take us inside one of the darkest periods in American history.