G. Gordon Liddy

American lawyer in Watergate scandal

George Gordon Battle Liddy (born 30 November 1930 — March 30, 2021) was an American lawyer, FBI agent, talk show host, actor, and figure in the Watergate scandal as the chief operative in the White House Plumbers unit during the Nixon administration. Liddy was convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and illegal wiretapping for his role in the scandal.

Obviously, crime pays, or there'd be no crime.


If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight.
  • Obviously, crime pays, or there'd be no crime.
    • As quoted in "Does Crime Pay" in The Scandal Annual (1987) by the Paragon Project, p. 7
  • Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests. … They've got a big target on there, ATF. Don't shoot at that, because they've got a vest on underneath that. Head shots, head shots.... Kill the sons of bitches.
  • If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they're wearing flak jackets and you're better off shooting for the head.
    • Statements on his radio program (15 September 1994), as quoted in "Did MSNBC Know Liddy's History?" at FAIR (29 April 2005)
  • What I did was restate the law. I was talking about a situation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes smashing into a house, doesn't say who they are, and their guns are out, they're shooting, and they're in the wrong place. This has happened time and time again. The ATF has gone in and gotten the wrong guy in the wrong place. The law is that if somebody is shooting at you, using deadly force, the mere fact that they are a law enforcement officer, if they are in the wrong, does not mean you are obliged to allow yourself to be killed so your kinfolk can have a wrongful death action. You are legally entitled to defend yourself and I was speaking of exactly those kind of situations. If you're going to do that, you should know that they're wearing body armor so you should use a head shot. Now all I'm doing is stating the law, but all the nuances in there got left out when the story got repeated.
    • On his 1994 comments on taking head shots at ATF agents, as quoted in a 2003 interview at Right Wing News
  • Suffering. That was the key.
    • Liddy, G. Gordon, Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy (St. Martin's Press 1980), pg. 12, describing his epiphany about how to conquer fear.
    • Compare the fictional reply, attributed to Liddy in All the President's Men (1976), when asked how he could keep his hand over a lit candle until his flesh seared: "The trick is not minding."

Quotes about LiddyEdit

  • He's basically a romantic comedian. …. He was a government agent entering our bedroom at midnight. We had every right to shoot him. But I've never owned a weapon in my life, and I have no intention of owning a weapon, although I was a master sharpshooter at West Point on both the Garand, the Springfield rifle and the machine-gun.
    • Timothy Leary, commenting on Liddy's 1994 remarks about shooting ATF agents, and a 1966 raid by Liddy in which Leary had been arrested, in "Timothy Leary Revisited" a 1995 interview, in Paul Krassner's Impolite Interviews (1999) by Paul Krassner, p. 304
  • Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts. I mean he just isn’t well screwed on is he? Isn’t that the problem?

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about:
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: