G. Gordon Liddy and son, Cmdr. James G. Liddy, arrived at Huntington’s Book Revue Thursday night looking fit and very Secret Service-like, both in tailored black suits, perfect military-like posture, polite and yet firm and direct. Responding to his introduction, the elder Liddy joked, “It’s a far removal from ‘Will the defendant please rise!’”
It was the next stop on a book tour that included Howard Stern on Sirius Satellite Thursday morning to Sean Hannity on WABC in the afternoon; they were there to promote their new book, “Fight Back: Tackling Terrorism, Liddy Style” – utilizing G. Gordon’s celebrity and his Navy SEAL son’s expertise on terrorism – a kind of handbook, “how to” guide to help yourself in the event of a terrorist attack.
Learn the Liddy Way to combat personal, professional, and workplace threats to your security — and come out on top.
The “G-Man,” as he is known, wasted no time and jumped right into the basics – the mission of the book that was obviously a labor of love between father and son, between former FBI agent / Army artillery officer and Navy SEAL / Chief Advisor for Counter-Terrorism.
Citing an Omni article he’d penned years ago, the elder Liddy stated quite bluntly that he’d predicted we’d be hit; “unfortunately [my article] was a roadmap for the terrorists,” he chuckled. And then he spelled out in no uncertain terms just how uncomplicated it is for (the terrorists) to cut off our communications and hit us where it hurts the most. “These people are dedicated to our destruction. They want to kill you and disrupt your community… they don’t care if you’re a liberal or a conservative.”
Liddy beamed proudly, standing tall next to his son, Cmdr. James G. Liddy (ret.). It was easy to see how close they were, how they inspired each other, and how they were clearly on a mission: “to contribute to the national security of our homeland.” Cmdr. Liddy, young and handsome, was a U.S. Navy SEAL and at the time of his retirement, served as Chief Advisor for Counter-Terrorism for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. As co-writer of “Fight Back,” he’s an expert on the subject, though most of his accomplishments remain classified. He stated, “Since ’83 terrorism has been growing,” and he simplified his role by saying he was asked to tell the government how to protect its citizens.
G. Gordon’s confidence in his son was self-evident. “He volunteered for the SEALs! They were all volunteers!” He went on to convey to the audience that it is no small accomplishment to have survived Navy SEALs training.
But Gordon is no less a hero himself. A former FBI special agent, having run the presidential campaign for Nixon, in the Nixon administration, Mr. Liddy served first as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, was then appointed Enforcement Legislative Counsel, and, in 1971, was sent to the White House as Staff Assistant to the President of the United States. For his role in Watergate, and for refusing steadfastly to implicate others, Mr. Liddy was sentenced to over twenty years in prison. He served nearly five years, many in maximum security, including 106 days of solitary confinement, before his release by President Carter “in the interests of justice.” AND he served two years as an Army artillery officer during the Korean War. But all this was just the tip of the iceberg in the colorful, complicated life of G. Gordon Liddy.
G. Gordon enjoyed telling the story of what motivated the two to write the book. When he was invited to his son’s retirement ceremony, he was very impressed. He himself had been in the Army many years before, but admitted that for most of his son’s childhood, he was “away” and then his son went away for twenty years. “I’d get a call from him and he couldn’t tell us where he was, so I’d try to trick him and ask him what time it was just to figure out where he was.” At the retirement ceremony, it dawned on him: “I have a son who is retired and I’m still working my butt off! What’s wrong with this picture!?” So the idea for “Fight Back” was sparked.
They knew they wanted to teach people to not just stand by and tremble in fear, but rather to “Know Your Enemy!” and to learn how to secure themselves on every level. “We literally teach you how to fight back, to survive.”
But they realized they alone didn’t have all the answers. They knew they had to find medical experts, PhDs, engineers and law enforcement to consult. One such consultant was chief advisor to the government, Dr. Joel Selanikio, director of Emergency Response Coordination for the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and chief of operations for the secretary’s Emergency Command Center in the aftermath of the September 11 and anthrax attacks of 2001.
And J. Michael Barrett, senior analyst for the Global War on Terrorism in the Special Operations Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he helped coordinate multiagency efforts to identify domestic and international terrorist cells.
The audience had many questions about America’s safety and security. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you!” Gordon laughed as he stated emphatically just how smart and sophisticated the terrorists are and that they are not to be underestimated. “A lot is going on that you don’t see because you’re not supposed to see it,” he assured us all, but admitted that of thousands of containers coming into our ports daily, a mere 20 percent are screened.
“Fight Back” is not a book just about problems; it’s a guide that offers solutions. They tell you the problems and vulnerability, and give you solutions – practical ways to protect yourself. “The more free you are, the stronger you are… and we all know the best defense is a good offense,” said Liddy.
He believes the Patriot Act is very helpful, but admits there is a serious problem with the borders – that half a million illegal aliens are coming over every year, “and not just people named Pancho.” He emphasized that the government is doing terribly in this matter and that neither political party wants to do anything about it because they both have their own reasons for wanting the illegals in America.
Asked how safe it is to fly, Cmdr. Liddy was very informative: “Terrorists don’t like to repeat their modus operandi,” but, he said, screening is still not good and packages can get through. We are still very vulnerable. They both laughed when declaring that the safest airline today is El Al. Gordon told about interviewing the CEO of El Al, who told him, “In the U.S., you’re looking for nail clippers; in Israel we’re looking for terrorists.”
“They believe in profiling!” And that’s the key. Liddy’s no-nonsense approach is more than familiar to many of us. He has hosted his nationally syndicated radio program for 14 years, and has been a TV and movie actor. His radio show is broadcast in more than 150 markets and is heard on Radio America, Sirius and XM satellite radio and around the world via Internet streaming. Fast approaching 80, Liddy is a modern man in a modern world, utilizing technology and information along with his son and partner, on a mission to arm America with knowledge as its best defense.