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Liddy in Carlisle talks Watergate, politics and speed - abc27 WHTM

Liddy in Carlisle talks Watergate, politics and speed

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CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

"Most people, when they meet me say, 'Gee, I thought you were a lot taller,' " he said with a chuckle.

But G. Gordon Liddy is still larger than life. He's 82. The trademark dark mustache is now all gray. The spring in his step is now more of a shuffle.

But he still has a need for speed. He is in Carlisle to auction off two motorcycles he designed at the Carlisle Spring Auto Show. We caught up with him as he checked out at garage full of Corvettes. He says he owns one.

"I like speed. I'm a licensed pilot and I like to fly fast and ride my motorcycle fast. Out West I can really open it up," he said.

Liddy, of course, has spent much of his life in the fast lane. He was one of President Richard Nixon's men and went to prison for his role in the Watergate break-in. He was sentenced to 20 years but spent 4-and-a-half behind bars after President Jimmy Carter commuted the sentence.

Liddy says the public perception is that the break-in was to find the Democrat's secret strategy in the 1972 election. He says public perception is wrong. Liddy, who was convicted of organizing the burglars, says the break-in hoped to find evidence linking Democrats to a prostitution ring.

One thing that is correct, according to Liddy, is the famous scene in his autobiography where he holds his hand over a flame to show he couldn't be cracked.

"What you have to realize about burns is that once you get through the first layer it kills the nerves and it just feels like pressure after that," he said.

After prison, Liddy wrote several books and hosted a conservative radio talk show.He's retired from that now, but still has opinions.Strong ones.

Liddy blames the U.S. for last week's Boston bombings, which he calls a failure by American intelligence agencies.

"When you're specifically warned by a friendly (Russian) intelligence service 'hey this guy's (Tsarnaev) come over, he speaks Russian and we think he's radical, keep an eye on him,' and then you don't, shame on you," he said.

Liddy says the biggest threat to America is a nuclear-armed Iran. But he also points to a war we're already fighting that Liddy says President Barack Obama won't acknowledge.

"The fact is, radical Islam is at war with us, whether we want to be at war with them or not they are at war with us," he said. "The President will not say in the same paragraph Islam and terrorism."

Liddy is a widower who lives in Maryland. He has five kids, 12 grandkids, and one great-grandchild.

This is not his first trip to Carlisle. One of his sons graduated from the Army War College.

He says he's currently working on a new book.

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