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» » Breaking Cover
Breaking Cover e-book


Ben Gulley






Politics & Government

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Warner Books; 1st edition (November 1, 1981)



Breaking Cover e-book

by Ben Gulley

by. Gulley, Bill; Reese, Mary Ellen, joint author.

by. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by AltheaB on September 7, 2011.

Published by Thriftbooks. com User, 19 years ago. It is very important that I get contact information; . Kathy Gulley 8/22/99.

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1772 downloads at 25 mb/s. Gulley, a former director of the White House Military Office, documents the abuse of power and resources in four different r Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter-underscoring the split between appearance and reality in the White House. Download Breaking Cover by Ben Gulley free. Breaking Cover by Ben Gulley fb2 DOWNLOAD FREE.

SAT 30 NOV 2019 :: We’re rolling out a brand new holiday production starring tenor Ben Gulley. With a mix of traditional and popular music of the season, this concert kicks off the Yuletide for you and your family. a startlingly gifted, award-winning tenor discovery, Ben Gulley. SAT 30 NOV 2019 :: We’re rolling out a brand new holiday production starring tenor Ben Gulley.

In 1980, Simon & Schuster published Gulley's book, Breaking Cover, which detailed "the questionable or illegal practices .

In 1980, Simon & Schuster published Gulley's book, Breaking Cover, which detailed "the questionable or illegal practices of his superiors" during his years at the White House.

Bill Gulley was in the White House Military Office from 1966-77, and in a strange collaborative format, he talks to Mary Ellen Reese-who records his words entirely in quotes with an occasional ""Gulley says.

Breaking Cover Hardcover – August 11, 1980. From the introduction of the book, Gulley makes it clear that he was an enabler and not a critic of the whims and wishes of the presidents. by. Bill Gulley (Author). Find all the books, read about the author, and more. As told to Mary Ellen Reese, who presumably pulled this book together, "In the White House," he says, "you never worry about the law. I never worried about the law, about breaking the law. This never entered my mind, and I doubt that it ever entered the minds of people who asked me to do things - maybe for a little bit after Nixon resigned, but it evaporated almost immediately.

Gulley, a former director of the White House Military Office, documents the abuse of power and resources in four different administrations--under Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter--underscoring the split between appearance and reality in the White House
This is an odd book, much of it actually in quotes, literally "as told to"! Yet of some value. I got it because it was often cited as the best discussion of the "nuclear football", by Gulley, a former director of the White House Military Office. If true -- and it certainly has the ring of truth -- it reveals the shocking dysfunction of U.S. counterstrike capability during the Cold War. Nuclear war was "unthinkable" -- therefore, one Administration after another refused to think about it! Apparently if America had been the target of a first strike, there would have been no way a retaliation could have been launched, even if the President was still alive (which seems to have been very unlikely) and the U.S. counterforce intact (actually very likely). We were not so much a paper tiger, as a real tiger with a paper neck and spinal cord, effectively paralyzed.
Oddly written almost entirely in quotes (to protect the author, I presume), a fascinating look into the VERY political White House, and during the Cold War. Great stuff.
I have been hunting for this book for over 10 years. My parents read it and wanted me to read it. Their copy couldn't be found so I was hunting for the book but had the incorrect author. I am so glad I found it.
Good reading
Delivered as promised
Best insight into the inner workings of the federal government I ever read.
It is important to note that this book came into print in 1980. LBJ had passed on in 1973. Nixon lived on till 1994. Ford lived to a very old age, passing in 2006. Carter is still alive and very aged. Most of the book covers the period that LBJ and Nixon had in the White House. I had not noticed the name Bill Gulley, though I now see that he shows up in passing in another Watergate book I had read. The name didn't register until I was recently reading a long interview that Tom Huston gave to Timothy Naftali in 2008. In that interview he mentions what Gulley had revealed in his book. What book? That is how I came to find and read this one. It is moderately interesting and most of the text, as I say focuses on two presidents.

Gulley's rise into power was anything than anticipated by him. It certainly put him into a very important, secret and almost totally unknown position of power and authority. I suppose that when you consider how the White House was run in those days someone like him probably was needed to help the President get his wishes executed and with the most minimal public footprint. In some ways Gulley was the ultimate "yes man" to the Presidents. They both knew that he had access to almost unlimited, I would say "off budget" resources and that they could basically do almost anything with the funds. Of course this would raise issues of conflict of interest and certainly abuse of powers. And that is essentially what constitutes Gulley's text. It is a moderately interesting "tell all". No dead bodies or any types of dirty tricks that Nixon's henchmen carried out. There are many other ways to abuse secret funds and Gulley relishes telling those stories. Along the way the reader gets a pretty good impression, a fairly accurate thumb nail sketch of the personalities of the presidents he served.

From the introduction of the book, Gulley makes it clear that he was an enabler and not a critic of the whims and wishes of the presidents. As told to Mary Ellen Reese, who presumably pulled this book together, "In the White House," he says, "you never worry about the law. I never worried about the law, about breaking the law. This never entered my mind, and I doubt that it ever entered the minds of people who asked me to do things - maybe for a little bit after Nixon resigned, but it evaporated almost immediately. My thinking was, If the President wants it done, it's right. I never questioned it. It never occurred to me that some sheriff might show up someday with a warrant." (Introduction, page 21).

One has to remember how close this thinking parallels Nixon's own ethics. He famously declared to David Frost that anything a president does is legitimate and authorized. Anything. One wants to tell Gulley that his thinking was wrong headed but we also have to know that if he refused to carry out an order of the President of the United States, he would have been re-assigned to a listening post in Antarctica. This they all knew. So, human nature being what it was, they said "yes sir".

Gulley provides charts of expenditures made on behalf of the presidents he served. These were funds pulled out of the secret military budget. While JFK used up about $300,000 in a few years in office, LBJ used an astounding 3.7 million. A great deal of JBJ's expenditures were for improvements or modifications to his large ranch compound in Texas. Under Nixon's term he used about 2.7 million.

Gulley's depiction of LBJ is both the most colorful and at the same time revolting of the whole bunch. There are multiple sources that corroborate how much of a rough beast he was. The following is rather typical of LBJ. "I'd been in the Military Office exactly five days [this is Gulley talking about himself] and this was the first I'd heard of a 'mess' or that I was supposed to do any cleaning up or replace anybody but one guy. I looked at Annie Webb, who was as bewildered as I was, and while we were staring at each other we heard Johnson talking to Cross in the next office. Even if the door had been closed we would have heard him halfway down the hall. "That a new secretary you've got, Cross?" "Cross said, 'Yes, sir.' "Then Johnson said, 'Will she shuck her britches?' "Annie Webb was a pretty little thing, no more than twenty-two or twenty-three, and newly married. She just kind of sank into her chair, very slowly. both of us were thinking the same thing: 'This is the President of the United States?"
(Page 46).

I presume that Johnson is asking whether the pretty young thing will hoist her skirt and make herself available on call for the lustful needs of either Cross or LBJ. Quite a guy.

Gulley did reveal something about LBJ that was a real shocker to me. "Johnson not only enjoyed secrecy and the power it gave him; he felt he had an absolute right to it, Gulley says. "Basically, Johnson felt he could do anything he wanted to that it was nobody's business but his, and that if you worked for him it was your job to protect his privacy - keep his secrets. It was understood, of course, that if you didn't you were a dead man. All the same, the size of some of his secrets was impressive. "Like the fact that he had 110,000 acres of land in Chihuahua, Mexico, and used to make clandestine trips to visit it while he was President." (Page 75). I can't quite imagine any post-Nixon president getting away with this, though the current boffin, Mr. Trump, might have many surprises in store for the nation.

What Johnson did on those trips is unknown though Gulley makes it clear that every aspect of the trips were illegal on many levels.
We learn about how paranoid and controlling LBJ was and how he set up an extensive conversation taping system in the Oval Office. He loathed the Kennedy family and of course they returned the gesture quite handily. A more extreme case of unsuitable partners one could not find outside of the JFK/LBJ White House. Some of JBJ's family were an embarrassment to him. He had a troublesome brother just like Nixon did. LBJ inserted himself into all corners of the White House and this included the personal relationships of his own family. His daughter Lynda had been dating the always tan and debonair Hollywood actor George Hamilton. LBJ was appalled. He did everything in his power and was successful in putting an end to their budding romance. The basic portrait of LBJ is that of an awfully disgusting political animal who was gross, controlling, suspicious, overbearing and given an insatiable appetite for power and recognition.

Gulley does not have a lot of good words to say about Nixon's inner circle or the clowns who pulled off Watergate. "Only the extreme arrogance and ineptitude of what Gulley calls "Haldeman and his dog robbers", he feels, led to the exposures of Watergate." (Page 22). Gulley makes the case for the big differences in the way Nixon and Johnson ran their inner office. "With LBJ it was clear-cut. He was so completely in charge of things, so on top of every little thing that happened, it would have been unthinkable for Marvin Watson to issue an order Johnson had not authorized personally. LBJ was never a delegator; he didn't know how to do it. He was a one-man band.
With Richard Nixon it was different. He delegated whole-sale. It was a different approach: Lyndon Johnson wanted to do it all; Richard Nixon wanted to concentrate on the big issues, especially foreign policy. The result for the Nixon Administration was that Haldeman, as chief of staff, had enormous power, and the right to speak for the President." (Pages 122-3). We all know how well that turned out.

Haldeman is depicted as someone greatly tainted by the levers of power that Nixon gave him. He does not come across as a nice guy and given that he was known around the White House as "Nixon's bastard", he accepted the title and acted it out in full. In many cases Haldeman had conflicts with the First Lady. She forced Haldeman to tear out costly renovations up at Camp David. He foolishly had not consulted her before ordering the changes.

The Henry Kissinger yarns are covered in even greater detail in Walter Isaacson's bio. The Kissinger histrionics and temper fits do nothing to endear him to anyone in the White House, least of all to Nixon and Haldeman. However, he was considered indispensable and so they coped as best they could with the brainy but constantly kvetching professor.

Gulley savages the petty infighting between agencies, whether they are the FBI and CIA or branches of the military. He has some very interesting things to say about the nuclear football that travels with the president wherever he goes, with no exception, always within a certain number of feet from him.

We don't learn any really important new insights into the Watergate affair other than he turned down advances made to him by Haldeman. "The whole question of who participated in Watergate and to what extent is bound to get muddy," Gulley says, "because Haldeman ran CREEP and Haldeman ran the White House. I made the Military Office position clear: we weren't doing anything for political people or political purposes. But then they'd just lie to us, or not tell us the real reason behind their request to us. There's no doubt that we were used, and there was no one to go to about it." (Page 206).

While Gulley has his try at the guessing game of who Deep Throat was, he too was wrong. He does however come up with perhaps the most interesting story about the 18 1/2 minute gap on a Nixon tape. This particular angle has not been examined as closely as it should. Here is what he says: "After I'd done all that, the operator told me the Army aide, Colonel Bill Golden, wanted very badly to talk to me. Golden was the duty aide at Camp David that weekend, so I told them to put me through to him up there, which they did. As soon as he got on the line he said, 'Bill, something's happened up here, and I'm not sure just what it was. But I may be in serious trouble. I went over to the cabin where Steve Bull and Rose Woods are using for an office, and not realizing Rose was there, I walked in without knocking. I thought Bull was alone. Steve and Rose were bent over a tape recorder, Golden said, 'doing something with the tapes, and when they realized I was there, they both acted startled. Steven immediately took my arm and walked me out of the cabin. He was obviously irritated with me; he was visibly upset. You know that's not the Steve Bull we're used to.' 'I said to Golden, 'Don't worry about it. If you're in trouble, I'll take care of it when I get back.' "I didn't hear any more about it until later, after the news broke about Nixon's tapes and the 18 1/2 minute gap. When the revelation was made, Golden says, he was convinced that without realizing it he'd been a witness to that famous erasure. There was the tape recorder, the fact that Bull had a lot of mechanical ability, and his reaction to Golden, which was out of character." (Pages 223-4). A very interesting story to contemplate.

When Nixon resigned and left the White House it was left to Gulley to arrange the delivery of the Nixon family and all their belongings from the White House to San Clemente, their California home. This brought Gulley into conflict with the new Ford crew who themselves did not know what if any of the Nixon tapes and papers Nixon was legally allowed to carry off. As it turns out Nixon managed to get most of his archives out and fought for the rest of his life to exclude them from public scrutiny.
It was left to Gulley to make many trips out to see Nixon on behalf of the Ford team. He helped negotiate the ongoing relationship that Nixon was to have with the Ford White House. He saw more of Nixon at that point than just about anyone else did, mostly because Nixon was in self imposed exile, as he awaited a possible pardon.

In conversations with Gulley, Nixon returned to a subject that is of interest to me because I have had direct contact with people who were impacted by this story. I refer to the criminal overthrow of the Chilean government of Salvador Allende. "We talked about Vietnam in the beginning, and he started to be preoccupied about South Africa very early in 1975. He talked a lot about the CIA and the overthrow of the Allende Government. "About that he said, "They aren't going to find anything there. Hell, what was done in Chile had to be done, and all we're going to do is lose status in the eyes of the world. What Ford should do is cut off all the speculation and hold this very closely. Because there are some things the CIA has to be free to do." (Page 239-40). Presumably Nixon feels that the CIA should always have the power to overthrow other countries democratically elected governments because the United States felt it was in the Americans best interest. I hold Nixon and Kissinger personally responsible for the horrific bloodshed in Chile. Just when you thought that Nixon and Kissinger had enough blood on their hands in South East Asia, it was only compounded by Chile.

A final Nixon story. He told Gulley that the story making its way around Washington that he had insisted the Henry join him on the floor, on their knees to pray to God for guidance, was all wrong. Nixon went on to completely contradict what he told Gulley. "I remembered what he'd said, of course, so i was surprised again when he sent me a copy of his memoirs. There in his own book he said he and Kissinger did get on their knees and pray. It wasn't what he'd said to me to my face, and it made me wonder." (Page 242). Wonder? The man spent his whole career, from Alger Hiss to the end of his life lying about so many things.

The remainder of the book is mostly about the Ford presidency. He portrays him as a really nice guy who stumbled about and was anything other than the power mad and paranoid Nixon. While not doing anything to put the nation at grave risk or the world teetering on war, Ford is a relief place holder that the nation was happy to see in the chair. His standing in the eyes of the public imploded as soon as he granted Nixon the pardon.

The last pages are about Jimmy Carter. Gulley didn't stay in his position throughout the entire Carter presidency. His depiction of him is not a pretty sight to read. Inept and foolish, incompetent and weak would be the colors and they don't paint a pretty picture.

In summary, this is an interesting book. The two solid stories that caught my attention was the huge amount of land that LBJ owned in Mexico and that he traveled to in a very clandestine way. The other story that really needs to be examined is the possible explanation of how the 18 1/2 minute gap came to be on the Watergate Oval Office tape. While not being a solid history book it still has much to offer, mostly because Gulley was at the center of the cyclone, given great ability to execute presidential whims and fancies, whether they were legal or not. He learned how to apply "classified" or "secret" over budgetary draws from the secret military fund. Today the public would be very much against this type of unwarranted use of the nations budgets towards projects that more often than not were for the personal edification of the president. It is most likely that something like this still goes on today; it is probably even further buried in the annals of dark, black budgets. In places that Congress will never find them. This is the way Presidential powers work, whether Congress likes it or not.
The genius of this book is not so much that it is an expose, which it is, but it is a study of the character and personalities of 4 very powerful and influential men of the 1960's and 70's. Johnson is revealed to be a huge, bear of a man. A true good ole boy from Texas who was overbearing and a micromanager. Nixon was more of a recluse and allowed his Chief of Staff, Bob Haldeman, run the White House, often abusing this power to feed his ego. This lead to Watergate and the mess that followed. Ford was a good man and easy-going which allowed some staff to take advantage to Ford's detriment. Carter was a flake all the way along with his brother and his mother. He was a hypocrite and quite incompetent.
The unifying theme throughout is that nearly all of the characters discussed were dysfunctional individuals seeking to enhance their images through White House perks, were power hungry, rarely knew what they were doing and were overall jerks.
These people were barely able to manage their own lives and it is mind boggling to know that these are the men and women who created foreign and domestic policy. It confirms my belief that America is great because of its citizens. Once the people cease to be good then America will cease to be great.
I highly recommend this book and am surprised that is not more well known.

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