In 1971, Egil "Bud" Krogh was summoned to a closed-door meeting by John Ehrlichman, his mentor and key confidant of President Richard Nixon, in a secluded office in the Western White House.
Krogh thought he was walking into a meeting to discuss the drug control program launched on his most recent trip to South Vietnam. Instead, he was handed a file and the responsibility for the SIU, Special Investigations Unit, later to become notorious as "The Plumbers." The unit was to investigate the leaks of top-secret government documents, particularly the Pentagon Papers, to the press. The president considered this task critical to national security. Nixon said he wanted the unit headed up by a "real son of a bitch." He got the studious, zealous, and loyal-to-a-fault Bud Krogh instead.
In that instant, Krogh was handed the job that would lead to one of the most famous conspiracies in presidential history and the demise of the Nixon administration. Integrity is Krogh's memoir of his experiences - of what really went on behind closed doors, of how a good man can lose his moral compass, of how exercising power without integrity can destroy a life. It also tells the moving story of how he turned his life back around. For anyone interested in the ethical challenges of leadership, or of professional life, Integrity is thought-provoking and inspiring to listen to.
This is an amazing, very personal look into events that I thought I knew and understood. This is a very human story that carries important lessons for anyone and everyone.
The strength of this book can be found in the honesty Mr. Krogh expresses with his own decisions to own up to his failures of judgement. I believe he takes too much on his shoulders in believing that if he had been honest with President Nixon early in the first term, Watergate could have been avoided. In hindsight no one can say if what he believes would have made any difference. Mr. Krogh's errors in judgement were just some of many made by others in the Nixon administration as well. Mr. Krogh, like Chuck Colson, took responsibility for his actions early on. Sadly, as he recounts, even President Nixon was defiant after his resignation, believing he did nothing wrong.