Home The Past American Century Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: The Blackmailing of the President...

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: The Blackmailing of the President – Mike Swanson (07/16/2018)

On May 10, 1974 Watergate burglar Howard Hunt appeared on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line to discuss why he blackmailed Richard Nixon.  Hunt was a CIA veteran involved in the failed Bay of Pigs Operation and other anti-castro activities.

By 1974 though he was infamous for blackmailing Richard Nixon and forcing Nixon to engage in cover-up and payment activities to protect secrets revealed in the “smoking gun” tape. Nixon claimed the secrets had nothing to do with him, but instead had to do with “national security.”  If true those secrets have never been revealed.

William F. Buckley and Hunt were close friends.  Hunt’s wife died in the aftermath of the Watergate burglary when she carried a bag with over $10,000 worth of $100 bills in it on to an airplane that subsequently crashed.  Some claim she had over one million in travelers checks with her.  Two months after this firing line episode Nixon White House staffer Chuck Colson claimed the CIA crashed the plane, but when he made these claims he was close to having a mental breakdown.

When Colson came out of it he decided that he would never speak about Nixon or Watergate for the rest of his life.

There are still unknowns when it comes to Waterage.