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'Worse Than Watergate'

White House reporters ritualistically complain that every Oval Office occupant cloaks his presidency in secrecy. But different administrations manage information manipulation better than others. Bill Clinton's White House was known as a place with so many leaks a raincoat was needed indoors. Richard Nixon was known for his obsession with secrecy to the point of paranoia.

Reporters covering the White House of George W. Bush claim that the current administration is more pre-occupied with controlling information than any of his predecessors. John Dean is familiar with the desire to protect White House secrets. In 1973, Dean revealed the deepest secrets of the Nixon White House.

In his new book, Worse than Watergate, Dean examines how the Bush administration keeps its secrets. NPR's Liane Hansen spoke with Dean before the Bush White house released an Aug. 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing that warned Osama bin Laden was planning an attack inside the United States.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.