Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21 1973

Rose Mary Woods, Nixon's Loyal Little Gatekeeper:

the iconic "Rose Mary Stretch"

"The Watergate tapes, a subset of the Nixon tapes, are a collection of recordings of conversations between Richard Nixon and his fellow conspirators plotting a break in to the Watergate Hotel. U.S. President Richard Nixon and various White House staff started communicating on February 1971 and lasted all the way until July 18, 1973. In addition to the line-taps placed on the telephones, small lavalier microphones were installed at various locations around the rooms. The recordings were produced on as many as nine Sony TC-800B open-reel tape recorders."

"Later that month, she testified she had made "a terrible mistake" during transcription. On October 1, 1973 while playing the tape on the Uher 5000, she answered a phone call. Reaching for the Uher 5000 stop button, she testified that she mistakenly hit the button next to it, the record button. For the duration of the phone call, about 5 minutes, she kept her foot on the device's pedal, causing a five-minute portion of the tape to be re-recorded. She insisted that she was not responsible for the remaining 13 minutes of buzz.

Woods was asked to replicate the position she took to cause that accident: seated at a desk, reaching far back over her left shoulder for a telephone as her foot applies constant pressure to the pedal controlling the transcription machine.

Her extremely awkward posture during the demonstration, dubbed the "Rose Mary Stretch," resulted in many political commentators questioning the validity of the explanation."

There's actually an annual Rosemary Award for Worst Open Government Performance.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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