Richard Hertzberg


Watergate, ethics, a mirror to now

In "The Greek Connection," James H. Barron tells the tale of a little-known fighter for justice and the tricky thicket of political progress

The phrase “Watergate scandal” typically brings forth a host of associations:  Burglary – cover-up – lying  – Congressional investigation and hearings – Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward – Presidential Counsel John Dean – White House tape recordings – constitutional crisis – President Nixon – resignation.

How about adding Elias Demetracopoulos ?

Who is that, and what links him to the Watergate scandal ? 

James H. Barron’s meticulously researched new book The Greek Connection: The Life of Elias Demetracopoulos and the Untold Story of Watergate (the endnotes and bibliography run to 65 pages) presents in vivid detail the saga of Elias Demetracopoulos (born December 1, 1928, died February 16, 2016), Greek journalist and a fixture on the American and international political stages for decades, although often in the shadows rather than the limelight.  His presence spanned the administrations of eight Presidents – Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan – and moves among multiple roles beyond writing newspaper copy: operative, influencer, information broker, muckraker, partisan, and most importantly, unflinching advocate for democracy, especially in Greece. 

The Greek Connection: The Life of Elias Demetracopoulos and the Untold Story of Watergate
By James H. Barron
Melville House Publishing, 2020

The April 21, 1967 Greek military coup, when tanks rolled into Athens before daylight, drove Elias to America as the 1968 U.S. presidential election year approached.  Based on his extensive contacts in Greece and the U.S., and from investigative inquiries formal and informal, Elias uncovered an attempt to support Richard Nixon’s presidential bid through a circuitous money laundering scheme.