BTS 9/11/06: Secrecy and Lies from Nixon to Bush; The US vs. John Lennon; Exploiting 9/11

Listen: John Dean - Jon Wiener - David Simpson

On tonight’s Beneath The Surface we look at secrecy and lies from Nixon to Bush – and commemorate 9/11 by looking at how a tragic and horrific event became a pretext for everything that followed. We begin with John Dean, former White House Counsel to Nixon, who exposed the secrecy and shenanigans of the Nixon White House, but writes now that conservatives have lost their conscious – that compassion is missing in their politics and has been replaced with an authoritarian streak. Dean also argues that Bush’s lies and secrecy are worse than Nixon’s and are grounds for impeachment.

Then our own Jon Wiener joins us in studio to continue the discussion about secrecy and lies, this time the FBI’s obsession with John Lennon – which you can see in the new film “The US vs. John Lennon.” Since the Bush administration is even more secretive than Nixon’s was, more unclassified documents have been re-classified and access to information is even more restricted. Jon will fill us in.

And finally on tonight’s Beneath The Surface, we talk to David Simpson, whose book 9/11 explores the exploitation of everything about 9/11 – grieving the dead, summarizing their lives in obituaries, and erecting monuments in their memory – and argues they have been co-opted for political advantage, using 9/11 as a defense of torture and war.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. John Dean was White House Counsel to U.S. President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973. As White House Counsel, he became deeply involved in events leading to the Watergate first break-in and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover up, even referred to as "master manipulator of the cover up" by the FBI, and went on to become the star witness of the Watergate prosecution. He is the author of several books, including Conservatives without Conscience (Viking) and Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush (Warner Books).

2. Jon Wiener is professor of history at the University of California Irvine, contributing editor to The Nation magazine, and host of the "4 O'Clock Report" on KPFK. He is the author of Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files, and worked as a historical consultant on the film The U.S. vs. John Lennon, in which he appears onscreen as a talking head.

3. David Simpson is the author of 9/11: The Culture of Commemoration. He teaches English at the University of California, Davis.