H.R. Haldeman encourages Nixon to ward off FBI

H.R. Haldeman encourages Nixon to ward off FBI

On June 23, 1972, President Richard Nixon’s advisor, H.R. Haldeman, tells the president to put pressure on the head of the FBI to “stay the hell out of this [Watergate burglary investigation] business.” In essence, Haldeman was telling Nixon to obstruct justice, which is one of the articles Congress threatened to impeach Nixon for in 1974.

In audio tapes of that day’s conversation in the Oval Office, Haldeman tells Nixon that the press and FBI investigators have come close to linking the men who burglarized the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972, housed in the Watergate building, to the White House. They specifically mention funds diverted to the burglars, many of whom were Cuban, by members of Nixon’s re-election committee.

Nixon tells Haldeman to tell the FBI that the funds in question were intended for the CIA and concocted a story about covert plans regarding communist Cuba. “Don t lie to them,” said Nixon, “to the extent to say there’s no involvement [on the part of the president] but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it.”

The tapes of the hour-and-a-half conversation between Nixon and Haldeman eventually brought down the Nixon administration and led to his resignation in August 1974. They were considered the “smoking gun” which proved Nixon’s role in obstructing justice during the Watergate investigation.

READ MORE: 7 Revealing Nixon Quotes From His Secret Tapes

E. Howard Hunt

Everette Howard Hunt Jr. (October 9, 1918 – January 23, 2007) was an American intelligence officer and author. From 1949 to 1970, Hunt served as an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), particularly in the United States involvement in regime change in Latin America including the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état and the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. Along with G. Gordon Liddy, Frank Sturgis, and others, Hunt was one of the Nixon administration "plumbers", a team of operatives charged with identifying government sources of national security information "leaks" to outside parties. Hunt and Liddy plotted the Watergate burglaries and other clandestine operations for the Nixon administration. In the ensuing Watergate scandal, Hunt was convicted of burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping, eventually serving 33 months in prison. After release, Hunt lived in Mexico and then Florida until his death.

  • Robert Dietrich
  • Gordon Davis
  • David St. John
  • Edward Warren
  • Edward J Hamilton
  • Hugh W. Newstead
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Haldeman Dies Nixon’s Top Aide, Key Watergate Figure

H. R. Haldeman, the White House chief of staff under President Richard Nixon who went to prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, died at his home in Santa Barbara early Friday. He was 67.

His death was attributed to abdominal cancer.

A square-jawed, crew-cut disciplinarian in his Washington heyday, Haldeman was foremost among a group of Californians Nixon brought to the White House. He had lived quietly in retirement since the early 1980s, lecturing occasionally, advising small new business enterprises, gardening and riding horseback with his wife, Joann.

Although he was forced to resign as the Watergate scandal approached its climax and later spent 18 months in federal prison for trying to conceal the scandal that cost Nixon his presidency, Haldeman remained on cordial terms with his old boss.

From his home in New Jersey, Nixon released a statement Friday: “The Nixon family will always remember Bob and Jo Haldeman as cherished members of our official family.

“Ever since he joined my vice presidential staff as a young advance man in the 1956 election, I have known Bob Haldeman to be a man of rare intelligence, strength, integrity and courage,” the former President said. “As my White House chief of staff, he played an indispensable role in turbulent times as our Administration undertook a broad range of initiatives at home and abroad.”

Ten months after his resignation as ramrod of the White House staff, Haldeman was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

On New Year’s Day, 1975, he was convicted, along with John N. Mitchell, former attorney general and Nixon campaign chief, and John D. Ehrlichman, former White House domestic policy chief. Haldeman served his prison time at Lompoc, Calif.

From Nixon’s inauguration in January, 1969, until April 30, 1973, Haldeman was not only head of the White House staff but Nixon’s closest confidant. He was said to have been the first official with whom Nixon spoke in the morning and the last to see him at night.

It was Haldeman who controlled access to the Oval Office, often angering Nixon’s allies as much as the Administration’s critics. Until Watergate, he seemed to relish his role.

“Every President needs a son of a bitch,” he was quoted as saying, “and I’m Nixon’s.”

“I tried to run a tight ship,” he told Senate investigators who grilled him in 1973 about the unfolding Watergate scandal, “and I think I was successful most of the time.”

As the scandal unfolded, it was disclosed that Haldeman was the only ranking White House official who knew that Nixon had secretly tape-recorded conversations in his office.

The tapes, which Nixon was forced to relinquish after a fight that went to the Supreme Court, produced the evidence that forced Nixon from office. It was proof that Nixon had known of his lieutenants’ efforts to conceal Administration involvement in a burglary of Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex on June 17, 1972.

In “The Ends of Power,” a memoir published in 1978, Haldeman said that he believed the bungled burglary was triggered by Nixon’s desire to obtain evidence that Democratic Chairman Lawrence F. O’Brien was on the payroll of the late Howard Hughes, the reclusive billionaire industrialist.

He acknowledged that Nixon had been a part of the cover-up from the beginning and documents released nearly 10 years later seemed to support that widely held theory.

A January, 1971, memo from Nixon to Haldeman said: “It would appear that the time is approaching when Larry O’Brien is held accountable for his retainer with Hughes.”

It went on to suggest that White House aide Charles W. Colson, later implicated in a host of White House “dirty tricks,” pursue the matter.

Haldeman himself took part in the incriminating conversation that proved to be the “smoking gun” sought by investigators. It was a discussion in which Nixon instructed Haldeman to have the CIA intercede with the FBI to get it to call off its effort to trace the financing of the burglary.

With its discovery, Nixon, facing nearly certain impeachment, accepted the advice of staunch congressional supporters and resigned.

Haldeman later accepted blame for the fateful disclosure and for others that destroyed Nixon’s presidency.

In an interview on CBS, he said that he had committed a “failure in judgment in advising Nixon not to destroy the tapes after their existence became known.”

“I never--stupidly--did really think the thing through. . . . Nor did I think through the enormous damage that would be done to me and to Richard Nixon and to all the other participants,” he said. “I thought it was a good idea to keep them for the historical value. And beyond that, because at that time Watergate was developing, I thought they would be valuable to the President in knowing what had actually been said at various meetings in his office.”

The son of an upper class businessman, Haldeman grew up in Los Angeles, attended the University of Redlands and USC before a stint in the Navy and further study at UCLA.

As a young man, he was a staunch anti-communist who was fascinated by the sensational trial of Alger Hiss, the State Department official accused of lying about his association with communists.

During a trip to Washington in 1951, he visited the office of then-Sen. Richard Nixon. Taken with the senator’s anti-communist fervor, he became an ardent supporter, working in Nixon campaigns through the 1950s and 1960s. He managed Nixon’s unsuccessful race for governor of California in 1962, as well as his run for the presidency.

By the time Nixon reached the White House, Haldeman was an executive in the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency.

With the encouragement of former California Lt. Gov. Robert Finch, he resigned that job to become White House chief of staff.

Although his role was to coordinate the operation of the President’s staff, he became a personal confidant and a participant in the Administration’s major policy decisions. He remained a Nixon fan, as well, traveling the world with the President and accumulating a massive personal film record of Nixon’s journeys.

Until he began his alliance with Nixon, he later said, he had no interest in politics. And though he made his reputation as the consummate Nixon loyalist, he insisted in his memoir that he was interested in Nixon only as a political leader.

But while they went on their separate ways after the Watergate debacle, Haldeman said that he retained his respect for the former President, once calling Nixon “probably one of the least understood, most complex, most confusing men who has ever sat in the White House.”

Haldeman was himself an enigmatic figure, for he had assiduously avoided the Washington social scene during his years in the capital.

“He was probably one of the more extraordinary public servants of the last 20 years,” said Lawrence M. Higby, his White House aide who is now executive vice president for marketing of The Times.

“Before he ever went to the White House, he had a career in public service exceeding what most people accomplish in a lifetime,” Higby said.

Before he was 40, he had been a director of the state college system, president of the UCLA Alumni Assn. and the first chairman of the California Institute of the Arts.

In the White House, Haldeman helped shape the Nixon Administration from the day he arrived and was largely responsible for bringing in his college friend, Ehrlichman, as domestic policy chief and Ronald Ziegler as press secretary.

Alexander M. Haig Jr., who became chief of staff when Haldeman was forced out, called Haldeman’s service to the President “impeccably selfless.”

“He was a fine man and he will be missed by those who really knew him,” Haig said.

After his release from prison, Haldeman generally avoided politics. While he did not show the bitterness later displayed by Ehrlichman and some of the others involved in Watergate, he would later caution students learning about it for the first time: “Don’t believe what you read in the history books (just) because of the fact that those words are printed.”

Speaking to students at the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace last year, he called the work of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the most energetic of Watergate journalist-investigators, “grossly inaccurate” and an effort at “self-glorification.”

But once back in California, Haldeman was generally a more mellow figure than he had been in Washington. His appearance changed markedly with the disappearance of his bristling crew cut and the adoption of a fashionably long hairstyle.

After his release from Lompoc, he became associated with Los Angeles developer and businessman David Murdock, gaining an interest in hotels and steakhouses, among other investments.

Haldeman was a Christian Scientist.

The family said that no funeral service is planned.

In addition to his widow, he is survived by four children, Hank and Peter Haldeman of Los Angeles and Susan Haldeman and Ann Coppe of San Francisco.

October 19, 1972: Haldeman Discovers Identity of ‘Deep Throat’

President Nixon meets in his hideaway office in the Executive Office Building with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman. Their conversation is captured on Nixon’s secret taping system (see July 13-16, 1973). Haldeman reports that he has learned from his own secret source that there is a leak in the highest echelons of the FBI, a source apparently funnelling information to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: “Mark Felt.” Felt, the deputy director of the bureau, is Woodward’s clandestine background source “Deep Throat” (see May 31, 2005). Haldeman warns Nixon not to say anything because it would reveal Haldeman’s source, apparently some “legal guy” at the Post. Besides, “[I]f we move on [Felt], he’ll go out and unload everything. He knows everything that’s to be known in the FBI.” According to White House counsel John Dean, there are no legal sanctions that can be taken against Felt, because Felt has broken no laws. Dean is worried that if the White House takes any action, Felt will “go out and get himself on network television.” Nixon snarls: “You know what I’ll do with him, the little b_stard. Well, that’s all I want to hear about it.” Haldeman tells Nixon that Felt wants to be director of the FBI. Nixon’s first question: “Is he Catholic?” “No sir, he’s Jewish,” Haldeman replies. “Christ, put a Jew in there?” Nixon asks. “Well, that could explain it too,” Haldeman observes. [Woodward, 2005, pp. 85-86] Acting director L. Patrick Gray will inform Felt of the White House’s suspicions in early 1973, leading Felt to strenuously deny the charge, but Gray will refuse White House demands to fire Felt. [Woodward, 2005, pp. 139]

Opinion Newsletter

This autumn, a federal appeals court is expected to hear arguments about disclosing the document written in 1981 by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer, who retired in 1984 and died in 1997. The National Security Archive, a private research institution and library, is arguing that no important government interest is served by the continuing suppression of a 32-year-old report about a 52-year-old event.

The CIA admits that the volume contains only a small amount of still-classified information. It argues, however, that it should be covered by the "deliberative process privilege" that makes it exempt from release under the Freedom of Information Act. The argument is that, for some unclear reason, release of this volume, unlike the release of the first four volumes, would threaten the process by which the CIA's histories are written. Supposedly candid histories will not be written if the writers know that, decades later, their work will become public.

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Dan Schultz Joins War Room to Discuss the Need to Get Involved with Elections on a Local Level

You can scroll to the 8:25 mark when I am introduced to speak for about four minutes. But that's all it takes to explain The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy. It's simple. The hard part is getting conservatives to DO it.

I want. no, need. you guys to pay very particular interest in what's going on behind the scenes right in your own backyard.

You have seen the radical terrorism that has become Portland, and many wonder why the authorities have just let it happen, why didn't Trump do anything about it. Two words: "Posse Comitatus." The Federal Government cannot intervene in local matters without the authority of the local leaders. The radicals in Portland used the Precinct Committeeman strategy in order to take control of the local government, and the local authorities refuse to deal with those terrorists, and they refuse to allow the Federal Government to deal with them either. That is why no one has the power to stop these radicals. You can see just how much power local governments wield.

It does not stop there. Look to see what is happening in the rural area of Ashtabula County, Ohio. You will learn of a man called Eli Kalil. He won the Democrat County chair position in Ashtabula, and he's been a very busy man. There is one very important paragraph from this article from NPR:

But in 2020, that could change. Eli Kalil is the 23-year-old Ashtabula County chairman of the Democratic Party. When he assumed the role in early June of 2020, there were 56 vacant Democratic precinct chair positions in the county. Now there are none. Kalil was able to fill the positions mostly with people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

He got all of the empty chair positions filled in Ashtabula. Kalil now owns the Democrat Party in Ohio. Then he used his influence and built even further from there:

In Ohio, it is common practice to have the county party chair be a member of the Board of Elections, Kalil said. Ashtabula County Republican Party Chair Charlie Frye (pay very particular attention to this name) is currently the director of the Board of Elections. On Sept. 2, the Ashtabula County Democratic Party submitted paperwork to the Secretary of State's office to appoint Kalil to the Board of Elections. The vote was unanimous, Kalil said.

Fortunately, for now, the Board of Elections in Ohio has put a halt on Kalil's plans for total domination of the political landscape, but there is no telling how long that will last.

In a letter dated Oct. 9, the appointment was rejected, citing allegations of voter fraud that were leveled against Kalil in 2016.

Now, Frye, we said to remember his name, right? He has been under tremendous attack to step down. Notice the very first page from the Ashtabula County GOP:

I'll give you one guess who is behind these attacks, because one guess is all you need. The other question to ask yourself is, what exactly will Kalil do if he really does get elected to the Board of Elections in Ohio. If this is happening in rural Ashtabula, your neighborhood is next. Time to get involved. Become a Precinct Committeeman.

Mesa, AZ - Barton Thorne wanted his students to be aware of the prospect of losing their right to speak and be heard in the era of “cancel culture”, and his high school immediately illustrated his point—by canceling him.

Thorne is the principal of Cordova High School in Shelby County, TN, and when he delivered his weekly video address to staff and students in January, just days after the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, his message was clear: Beware the suppression of online speech and expression that does not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy of the moment.

It was a message not well-received by district administrators, who placed Thorne on paid leave after receiving complaints about the video’s contents. The district’s message was, in turn, not well-received by Citizens for Free Speech (CFFS).

“Here you have a high school principal,” stated CFFS founder and director Patrick Wood, “who is trying to advise his students of the importance of listening to all voices and viewpoints, who then has his own voice silenced by the school district for saying so. It’s unconscionable.”

The video message recorded by Principal Thorne warned that actions taken by the Big Tech social media platforms in limiting or banning online commentary today could have far-reaching implications for young students in their not-too-distant future.

“I’m only getting into this because as a young person, this is your future. You have a future ahead of you, and you will be developing your ideas and your values and the ways that you want to express yourself. But because these entities—Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Apple—are so powerful, and they have unilaterally made a decision of what you can and cannot see on their platforms, that’s a major issue and I want you to understand that.

“I want you to understand the problem that’s going to face you and your generation if there is no longer a marketplace, a free exchange of ideas.”

Thorne’s video address also referenced past cases of First Amendment suppression gone very wrong, including the Branch Davidian disaster in Waco, TX in 1993.

“What happens if one day a different group of people thinks that my religion is different, or funny, or should be brought into control, or should be filtered?” Thorne pondered. “Take that into speech. Maybe right now I’m in the norm, maybe right now my speech is not too outlandish, or too crazy…but what if a different group comes into power that no longer likes what I have to say, or how I think, or if they begin to think that I’m extreme?”

That question, according to Wood, is the most important one.

“There has been a sizable shift in the political winds in recent months, if not years,” explained the CFFS director, “and what was once considered acceptable speech then, is not considered acceptable now. If we allow a small monopoly of people to control what people can say and what they can hear, who’s to say it won’t be our own speech that is not acceptable six months from now? Or six years from now? It’s a dangerous game they’re playing.”

After serving a six-week suspension, ended only by a federal lawsuit filed on his behalf for violating his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, Thorne was finally reinstated as principal. Despite returning to his position, Thorne’s lawsuit goes on, in part to help restore his tarnished reputation, and in part to demonstrate to his students the importance of defending one’s constitutional rights—which was the precise topic of his video address to begin with.

Primary Sources

(1) E. Howard Hunt, Undercover (1974)

Dorothy told me that upon her return from Europe she had called Douglas Caddy on several occasions and received what she considered were unsatisfactory responses. She had been unable to reach Liddy. Confronted with this situation, and not knowing where I was or what faced me, she went to CREP headquarters and demanded to see the general counsel, an attorney named Paul O'Brien. Dorothy went on to say that O'Brien had blanched when she told him of my involvement with Gordon Liddy, and he said he would look into the circumstances at once. Mr. Rivers' call, she theorized, was in response to her enlightenment of Paul O'Brien.

Presently Bittman reported that during a conversation with CREP's attorneys - in connection with the DNC civil suits against us - he had been assured that Mr. Rivers was an appropriate person for him or Dorothy to deal with.

On the following day Dorothy received a phone call from a man identifying himself as Mr. Rivers. He said he did not want to hold any discussions with her over our home telephone line, but if she would be at a particular phone booth in Potomac Village, he would call her half an hour later.

When my wife returned, she told me that Mr. Rivers had instructed her to obtain from the arrested men, Liddy and myself an estimate of monthly living costs and attorneys' fees. This she was to do by the following day, when she was to be at a different phone booth to receive a call from Mr. Rivers. Accordingly, she telephoned James McCord, then Bernard Barker, asking the latter for a combined estimate covering all four Miami men. These figures she delivered to Mr. Rivers during their subsequent telephone contact, after which he said, "Well, let's multiply that by five to cut down on the number of deliveries."

Dorothy asked him why he was using a multiple of five - aware that five months represented the interval to the national Presidential election - and was told by Rivers that five was a convenient figure for him to multiply by.

Within a day or so Dorothy was instructed by Rivers to drive to National Airport, go to a particular wall telephone in the American Airlines section and reach under it for a locker key taped to the underside. This she did and opened a nearby locker to find in it a blue plastic airlines bag, which she brought home.

Later she told me that the contents had been considerably less than the figure agreed upon by Mr. Rivers. In fact, she told me, the monthly budget had been multiplied by three rather than five, so on that basis she set about distributing the funds. Liddy, she told me, was to receive his support funds and attorneys' fees directly through a separate channel.

The transaction represented verification of what Liddy had told me during his dramatic appearance at Jackson's home in Beverly Hills - that everyone would be taken care of, Company-style - and so I faced the future with renewed confidence that all obligations would be kept.

I was at Bittman's law offices on the evening of October 20 when Bittman answered the telephone and told me a messenger was on his way - theoretically with money. In due course a package was delivered to the then vacant reception desk, and after Bittman handed it to me, I opened it and turned over its contents to him and Austin Mittler. The precise sum I have no way of recalling, but I remember that it was far less than what was owed my attorney. And of course there was nothing in the package for family support for myself or for Liddy, McCord or the Miami men.

Dorothy now expressed to me her great dissatisfaction at the role she had been asked to undertake by Mr. Rivers. It was he who had solicited budget figures from her they had been agreed to, yet the payments had never been fully met. Now Dorothy was dealing with "a friend of Mr. Rivers," and she felt that with the election won, the White House would be less inclined to live up to its assurances. Moreover, she had the lingering feeling that because she was a woman, her representations were given less weight than those of a man - myself, for example. For these reasons she suggested that I call Colson and attempt to explain the situation to him. On instructions of Mr. Rivers, she had given specific financial assurances to the Miami defendants, but the money had been only partially forthcoming. And their lawyer was making disquieting sounds.

So I phoned Colson's office on November 13, speaking with his secretary, Holly Holm. After checking with her boss, she told me I could call Colson the following day from a phone booth - not my home phone. The hour was, I believe, twelve o'clock, and after salutations I congratulated Colson on the electoral victory and suggested that with the election out of the way, people in the White House ought to be able to get together and concentrate on the fate of us seven defendants. I informed him that despite all previous assurances - some of which had been met - financial support was greatly in arrears, particularly payment of legal fees for the defendants. I believed the seven of us had behaved manfully and remarked that this was "a two-way street." I told him that, in the language of clandestine service, money was the cheapest commodity there was. By that I meant that men - the Watergate defendants - were not expendable, but money was. And money was badly needed for legal defense and the support of our families.

(2) Taped conversation between Richard Nixon and John Dean (28th February, 1973)

John Dean: Kalmbach raised some cash.

Richard Nixon: They put that under the cover of a Cuban committee, I suppose?

John Dean: Well, they had a Cuban committee and they. some of it was given to Hunt's lawyer, who in turn passed it out. You know, when Hunt's wife was flying to Chicago with $10,000 she was actually, I understand after the fact now, was going to pass that money to one of the Cubans - to meet him in Chicago and pass it to, somebody there. You've got then, an awful lot of the principals involved who know. Some people's wives know. Mrs. Hunt was the savviest woman in the world. She had the whole picture together.

Richard Nixon: Did she?

John Dean: Yes. Apparently, she was the pillar of strength in that family before the death.

Richard Nixon: Great sadness. As a matter of fact there was discussion with somebody about Hunt's problem on account of his wife and I said, of course commutation could be considered on the basis of his wife's death, and that is the only conversation I ever had in that light.

(3) (3)Anthony Ulasewicz, The President's Private Eye (1990)

At first, she (Dorothy Hunt) told me that she had lost her job over the Watergate scandal including her medical benefits. She said somebody had to take care of those. She started calculating everybody's needs and came up with a minimum figure of $3,000 a month, but as she didn't want to worry about a monthly delivery from the post man, it was better, she said, to get a big chunk up front to relieve the pressure on everybody. "So let's start with $10,000 or $15,000 apiece to get this thing off the ground," she said. She wanted the advance to cover five months of living expenses. She said Barker, Sturgis, Gonzales, and Martinez needed at least $14,000 apiece and that Barker needed another $10,000 for bail, $10,000 more under the table, and $3,000 for "other expenses." Twenty-five grand apiece were needed for Sturgis, Gonzales, and Martinez's attorneys. I told Mrs. Hunt to slow down. Now she was talking about $400,000 or maybe $450,000. That wasn't even close to the amount Dean had told Kalmbach to raise when they met in Lafayette Park.

When I told Mrs. Hunt that I had no room to negotiate and that it was pointless to present me with a shopping list of who needed what, she said people were starting to get desperate. They felt they were being abandoned. She added a new name when she told me that one of those who needed money was a guy named Liddy. He was involved in the break-in along with the "writer" but hadn't yet been charged with anything. That was news. Hunt's name had been found in an address book kept by one of the Watergate burglars. So had the name Colson. Now Mrs. Hunt was adding another name to the stew. I was a stranger to Mrs. Hunt, and yet she was telling me something that proved Hunt's connection to Colson in the White House. With Liddy in the picture the ring of involvement was widening, and I was learning more than I wanted to know. That was the first time I heard the name Liddy. The way she spoke about him, however, made me feel that she was looking for a way to deal him out of the game as quickly as she could. Liddy had to get some of the money, but just one payment and that was it, she said. Others had to be covered, lots of others whom she said were more important than Liddy. Living expenses were high for all these other people. Money was needed over and under the table. (I doubted many people in Washington really knew the difference.) She said that her husband and the other defendants wouldn't have to go to jail for very long because meetings were going on about that and about pardons and immunity.

The pressure that was building behind the scenes for the payment of increasingly large sums of money to those connected directly and indirectly to the Watergate break-in was turning this "one-shot deal" into a multiheaded tapeworm. It had some appetite, and to feed it, I had to meet Kalmbach on four different occasions to pick up additional sums of money. The first installment was the $75,000 I took out of the Statler Hilton in a laundry bag. The next dump in my lap was at the Regency Hotel in New York where I walked out with $40,000. The third course of the burglars' meal, $28,900, was again given to me at the Statler Hilton in Washington. Kalmbach gave me the last amount off the menu as we sat in a car outside the Airporter Motel at the Orange County Airport in California. It consisted of $75,000 in cash.

I delivered a total of $154,000 to Dorothy Hunt in four separate installments: $40,000, $43,000, $18,000 and $53,000. She was never satisfied with the amount of money I gave her. She never believed that 1 didn't have (and didn't want) the power to determine the breadth of financial support she said was necessary to keep things afloat. Neither Kalmbach nor I knew whether she was delivering what those involved were supposed to receive. She kept telling me about Barker's problems down south that he needed a lot of cash to keep the lid on things in Miami. Again, she talked about Liddy as if she was trying to give him the shaft. She told me she was worried that Liddy's wife might crack under the strain. Mrs. Liddy was a school teacher and was frightened that she might lose her job if it was discovered that her husband was involved. Dorothy Hunt seemed to want to help Liddy's wife and yet get rid of her at the same time.

(4) Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993)

Of the more than a dozen suspicious deaths in the case of Watergate. perhaps the most significant death was that of Dorothy Hunt in the crash of United Air Lines in December 1972. The crash was investigated for possible sabotage by both the FBI and a congressional committee, but sabotage was never proven. Nevertheless, some people assumed that Dorothy Hunt was murdered (along with the dozens of others in the plane). One of these was Howard Hunt, who dropped all further demands on the White House and agreed to plead guilty (to the Watergate burglary in January 1973).

(5) Alan J. Weberman, Coup D'Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1975)

After the plane carrying Hunt's wife Dorothy crashed under mysterious circumstances in December 1973, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board told the House Government Activities Subcommittee that he had sent a letter to the FBI which stated that over fifty agents came into the crash zone. The FBI denied everything until William Ruckleshaus became temporary Director, at which time they admitted that their agents were on the scene. The independent researcher Sherman Skolnick believes that Dorothy Hunt was carrying documents that linked Nixon to the Kennedy assassination. According to Skolnick these papers, which were being used to blackmail Nixon, were seized by the FBI. Skolnick's theory is corroborated by a conversation that allegedly took place between Charles Colson and Jack Caufield.

According to Caufield, Colson told him that there were many important papers the Administration needed in the Brookings Institution and that the FBI had recently adopted a policy of coming to the scene of any suspicious fires in Washington D.C. Caufield believed that Colson was subtly telling him to start a fire at Brookings and the FBI would then steal the desired documents.

Note at this point that one day after the plane crash, White House aide Egil Krogh was appointed Undersecretary of Transportation. This gave him direct control over the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration-the two agencies that would be in charge of investigating the crash. Soon Dwight Chapin, Nixon's Appointment Secretary, became a top executive at United Airlines. Dorothy Hunt was on a United carrier when she made her ill-fated journey.

(6) E. Howard Hunt, Undercover (1974)

In the morning available information was inconclusive. Few of the dead had been identified, and not all of the injured. At midday an attorney who was a partner of Hal's in the motelmanagement firm joined us to use his good offices with the Chicago police and coroner. I told him that Dorothy was travelling with $10,000 in cash for the investment and had perhaps $700 in her purse besides. He suggested I sketch some of the jewelry she was wearing, and I did: wedding ring, family signet ring, engagement ring and finally a large solitaire diamond that had been my mother's.

A party had been planned for Dorothy, and Phyllis telephoned the invited guests to cancel the affair. Since the day before I had eaten nothing and slept little from time to time I began crying uncontrollably.

Kevan telephoned me from our home but I was unable to tell her whether her mother was alive or dead. I spoke with the other children, all in highly emotional states, which increased my own. The United Airlines passenger agent who had given us his card seemed to be unavailable and we could get no information from other United offices.

Toward midafternoon the attorney returned to the Carlstead house and suggested that we go to the Cook County morgue, taking the sketches I had made of Dorothy's jewelry.

It was a long ride through gathering dusk to the ugly and solitary old building, and when our party had identified itself, we sat down for a long wait. Finally a functionary returned with a plastic bag containing scorched jewelry. This he emptied onto a table and I stared at it unbelievingly. Everything I had sketched was there - except my mother's diamond solitaire. The wedding ring.

I picked it up and held it in my hand ashes dropped from it, smudging my palm. The charm bracelet, half melted by the heat. Her signet ring had not been harmed.

The man said, "Can you identify these, Mr. Hunt?"

I nodded wordlessly. To another functionary he said, "That takes care of body eighteen," and gave me a form to sign.

(7) Letter from John Reed, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board to FBI Director William Ruckelshaus (5th June, 1973)

As you may know, the National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the aircraft accident of the United Air Lines Boeing 737, at Midway Airport, Chicago, on December 8, 1972. Our investigative team assigned to this accident discovered on the day following the accident that several FBI agents had taken a number of non-typical actions relating to this accident within the first few hours following the accident.

Included were: for the first time in the memory of our staff, an FBI agent went to the control tower and listened to the tower tapes before our investigators had done so and for the-first time to our knowledge, in connection with an aircraft accident, an FBI agent interviewed witnesses to the crash, including flight attendants on the aircraft prior to the NTSB interviews. As I am sure you can understand, these actions, particularly with respect to this flight on which Mrs. E. Howard Hunt was killed, have raised innumerable questions in the minds of those with legitimate interests in ascertaining the cause of this accident. Included among those who have asked questions, for example, is the Government Activities Subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee. On the basis of informal discussions with the staff of the Committee, it is likely that questions as to what specific actions were taken by the FBI in connection with this aircraft accident, and why such actions were taken, will come up in a public oversight hearing at which the NTSB will appear and which is now scheduled for June 13, 1973.

In order to be fully responsive to the Committee, as well as to be fully informed ourselves about all aspects of this accident so as to assure the complete accuracy of our determination of the probable cause, we would appreciate, being advised of all details with respect to the FBI activities in connection with this accident. We would like to have, for example, the following information: the purpose of the FBI investigation, the reasons for the early response and unusual FBI actions in this case, the number of FBI personnel involved, all investigative actions taken by the agents and the times they took such actions (including the time the first FBI agents arrived on the scene), and copies of all reports and records made by the agents in connection with their investigations (we already have copies of 26 FBI interview reports any other documents should be provided, therefore).

While we have initiated action at the staff level between our agency and yours to effect better liaison and avoid engaging in efforts which may be in conflict in the future, we have determined that some more formal arrangement in the nature of an interagency memorandum of agreement of understanding, for instance would seem appropriate. It would clearly delineate our respective statutory responsibilities and set forth procedures to eliminate any future conflicts. We would therefore appreciate it if you would designate, at your earliest convenience, an official with whom we may discuss this matter and with the authority to negotiate such a formal agreement with the Safety Board.

In the interim, however we would like to receive, in advance of the scheduled June 13, 1973, public oversight hearing, the specific information concerning the actions of the FBI in connection with the Midway - accident and the reasons therefore, in order to enable us to be as fully responsive as possible to the House Subcommittee.

(8) Letter from FBI Director William Ruckelshaus to John Reed, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (11th June, 1973)

Your letter dated June 5, 1973, concerning the FBI's investigation into the crash of a United Air Lines Boeing 737 at Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois, on December 8, 1972, has been received.

The FBI has primary investigative jurisdiction in connection with the Destruction of Aircraft or Motor Vehicles (DAMV) Statute, Title 18, Section 32, U.S. Code, which pertains to the willful damaging, destroying or disabling of any civil aircraft in interstate, overseas or foreign air commerce. In addition, Congress specifically designated the FBI to handle investigations under the Crime Aboard Aircraft (CAA) Statute, Title 49, Section 1472, US Code, pertaining, among other things, to aircraft piracy, interference with flight crew members and certain specified crimes aboard aircraft in flight, including assault, murder, manslaughter and attempts to Commit murder or manslaughter.

FBI investigation of the December 8, 1972 United Air Lines crash was instituted to determine if a violation of the DAMV or CAA Statutes had occurred and for no other reason. The fact that Mrs. E. Howard Hunt was aboard the plane was unknown to the FBI at the time our investigation was instituted.

It has been longstanding FBI policy to immediately proceed to the scene of an airplane crash for the purpose of developing any information indicating a possible Federal violation within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI. In all such instances liaison is immediately, established with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) personnel upon their arrival at the scene.

Approximately 50 FBI Agents responded to the crash scene, the first ones arriving within 45 minutes of the crash. FBI Agents did interview witnesses to the crash, including flight attendants. Special Agent (SA) Robert E. Hartz proceeded to the Midway Airport tower shortly after the crash to determine if tower personnel could shed any light as to the reason for the crash. On arriving at the tower, SA Hartz identified himself as an FBI Agent and explained the reason for his presence. He was invited by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel at the tower to listen to the recording made at the tower of the conversation between the tower and United Air Lines Flight 553. At no time did SA Hartz request to be allowed to listen to the tapes. After listening to the tapes, SA Hartz identified a sound as being that of the stall indicator on the aircraft. The FAA agreed that SA Hartz was right and immediately notified FAA Headquarters at Washington, D.C.

The FBI's investigation in this matter was terminated within 20 hours of the accident and on December 11, 1972, Mr. William L. Lamb, NTSB, was furnished with copies of the complete FBI investigation pertaining to this crash after it was determined there was apparently no violation of the DAM or CAA Statutes.

In order to avoid the possibility of any misunderstanding concerning our respective agencies' responsibilities and to insure continued effective liaison between the NTSB and the FBI, I have designated SA Richard F. Bates, Section Chief, Criminal Section, General Investigative Division, FBI Headquarters, Washington, DC, telephone number 324-2281, to represent the FBI concerning any matters of mutual interest.

(9) Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War (1976)

Based on the facts agreed upon by both sides, it is at least apparent from these letters (see above) that the FBI was all over Dorothy Hunt at the time of the crash, despite Ruckelshaus's, protest that Dorothy Hunt's presence on 553 was "unknown to the FBI at that time." There is no obvious way such a large response as fifty agents within the hour could have been generated from a standing start as of the moment of the crash itself. The closest FBI office is forty minutes from the crash site and there are never fifty agents available at once without warning. It is tradition that FBI agents do not gather in offices waiting for calls but stay in the field. When a really obvious intelligence agent, Hungarian Freedom Fighter Lazlo Hadek, died in a crash the next summer at Boston's Logan Airport, leaving a trail of secret NATO nuclear documents strewn down the center of the runway, the FBI was barely able to get a solitary agent to the scene on the same day as the wreck. That this same FBI could get fifty agents to the scene of the Chicago crash within an hour is to my mind an arresting piece of information. How could the FBI have done this if it had not had Dorothy Hunt's airplane, for whatever reason, under full company-scale surveillance before the crash ever happened? And why might the FBI have been doing that?

Note in this connection that it was specifically the airplane itself that was being followed and not the person of Dorothy Hunt. That is, no FBI agent was aboard the plane. If the FBI was tailing Dorothy Hunt, why was she not being followed on the plane? Was it that her flight was too sudden? But it was delayed on the ground for fifteen minutes. Michelle Clark of CBS, who was on the same flight, knew she was going to be on it and may have been her companion in the first-class cabin. The Hunts took enough time at the airport to buy $250,000 worth of flight insurance.

Ruckelshaus does not meet Reed's main questions. He reads the book with a straight face as though Reed had asked him what were the statutory grounds of the FBI intervention instead of why, suddenly, this time and no other time, and so massively, and hence with such a semblance of advance contrivance, were these grounds taken up and acted upon. One understands that the FBI will always be able to - demonstrate a rudimentary legal basis for whatever it takes it its head to do. What we want to know is where these whims arid fancies bubble up from.

We wonder finally what in the world made the FBI think S53's crash might have been a case of "willful disabling of a Civil aircraft," or of "crimes aboard aircraft , in flight including assault, murder, and manslaughter"? Not that any of this necessarily happened or did not, but the FBI does not usually behave as if it might have. Does it? How does Ruckelshaus account for this, especially in view of his assertion that the FBI acted with no knowledge of Dorothy Hunt's presence? What was the chain-of-command activity and what were the reasons that had so many FBI agents waiting to move when that plane came down?

(10) Lalo J. Gastriani, Fair Play Magazine, The Strange Death of Dorothy Hunt (November, 1994)

It was at 2:29 PM on Friday, December 8, 1972, during the height of the Watergate scandal that United Airlines flight 553 crashed just outside of Chicago during a landing approach to Midway Airport. Initial reports indicated that the plane had some sort of engine trouble when it descended from the clouds. But the odd thing about this crash is what happened after the plane went down. Witnesses living in the working-class neighborhood in which the plane crashed said that moments after impact, a battalion of plainclothes operatives in unmarked cars parked on side streets pounced on the crash-site. These so-called 'FBI types' took control of the scene and immediately began sifting through the wreckage looking for something. At least one survivor recognized a "rescue worker"--clad in overalls sifting through wreckage - as an operative of the CIA.

One day after the crash, the Whitehouse head of Nixon's "plumber's" outfit - Egil Krogh, Jr. - was made undersecretary of transportation, a position that put him in a direct position to oversee the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency which are both authorized by law to investigate airline crashes. Krogh would later be convicted of complicity in the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's Psychiatrist's office along with Hunt, Liddy and a small cast of CIA-trained and retained Cuban black-bag specialists.

About a month after Krogh's new assignment, Nixon's appointments secretary, Dwight Chapin, was made an executive in the Chicago office of United Airlines, where he threatened the media to steer clear of speculation about sabotage in the crash. On December 19th - eleven days after the crash - Nixon appointed ex-CIA officer, Alexander Butterfield, as head of the FAA. Students of Watergate will remember Butterfield as the Whitehouse official who supervised Nixon's secret taping system and who exposed the existence of the infamous tapes that ultimately would force Nixon to resign.

Ostensibly traveling with Mrs. Hunt on flight 553 was CBS news corespondent Michelle Clark who, rumor had it, had learned from her sources that the Hunts were about to spill the proverbial beans regarding the Nixon whitehouse and its involvement in the Watergate burglary Clark also died in the crash.

A large sum of money (between $10,000 and $100,000) was found amid the wreckage in the possession of Mrs. Hunt. It was during this time that Dorothy Hunt was traveling around the country paying off operatives and witnesses in the Watergate operation with money her husband had extorted from Nixon via his counsel, John Dean. Hunt had threatened Nixon and Dean with exposing the nature of all the sordid deeds he had done.

Could it be that the fuel for Hunt's blackmail of the president had little to do with the so-called "third-rate burglary" of the Democratic headquarters? Could it have had more to do with the fate of John F. Kennedy and of Nixon's awareness of who was really behind the planning and deployment of his demise? In the Watergate tapes, Nixon displays a malignant paranoia to his chief-of-staff, H. R. Haldeman, concerning E. Howard Hunt and the Bay of Pigs operation.

After reading in the spring of 1991 James Hougan's amazing Watergate book, Secret Agenda, I began a Freedom of Information Act search on certain FBI documents related to the death of Dorothy Hunt. I was especially intrigued by the report by Hougan, that amongst the cash Mrs. Hunt had in her possession, was a $100 bill with the inscription, "Good Luck FS". I immediately suspected that FS could stand for Howard's Watergate co-conspirator and fellow CIA affiliate, Frank Sturgis, and began searching for other crash-material ascribed to Mrs. Hunt from the ill-fated flight.

In Secret Agenda, Hougan describes an engineer, Michael Stevens, proprietor of the Chicago-based Stevens Research Laboratories, as being visited in early May, 1972 by Watergate wireman James McCord who had come to place orders for ten highly-sophisticated eavesdropping devices - much more sophisticated units than the cheap, commercial-grade bugs supposedly found in the DNC the next month in June.

Stevens claims that Dorothy Hunt was traveling to see him in Chicago when her plane went down and that the $10,000 or more she possessed was intended for him as an installment for his silence. Stevens says he told the FBI that his own life had been threatened anonymously and that Hunt's death was a homicide.

(11) The Spotlight, is a nightly radio call-in talk forum on Radio Free America. On 14th February, 1994, host Tom Valentine interviewed independent investigator Sherman Skolnick.

Tom Valentine: The Watergate plane crash is the first investigation you and I worked on together.

Sherman Skolnick: This subject is one of the great forbidden subjects of this country. You are not supposed to talk publicly about airplanes that have been sabotaged. If sabotage is ever brought up, it’s always in some foreign country where a bomb blows up the airplane.

Tom Valentine: Then the loss of the United Airlines flight 553 was not just fog or pilot error or something like that.

Sherman Skolnick: In the history of aviation there have been a number of situations where there was actual sabotage - not necessarily a bomb - and that sabotage put the plane down and killed people for political reasons.

I started writing a book about airplane sabotage right after the plane crash. I called it “The Watergate Plane Crash.” The reason why was because on this one plane were 12 people connected with the Watergate affair.

The disaster happened exactly one month after Richard Nixon had been re-elected. The Watergate affair had started, but it was not widely known at the time.

Former CIA man (and Watergate burglar) E. Howard Hunt, part of the so-called White House Plumbers, was under arrest. It later came out that Hunt was threatening to blow the lid off the White House if Nixon didn’t take care of him. Hunt wanted $2 million.

What Hunt reportedly had was information tending to show that Nixon, who was in Dallas at the time John F. Kennedy was murdered, was complicit in the assassination. Hunt’s wife Dorothy was carrying around “hush” money to various witnesses in an effort to silence them about the Watergate affair.

She was on flight 553, and this time she was traveling under her own name. She was so concerned about the baggage (which contained $2 million worth of cashier’s checks and money orders, which some astute people could have traced back to the Nixon White House) that she bought an extra first class seat for her baggage (and the valuables therein).

The press later said there was only $10,000 in her possession, but that was false. We know about this because of records of the National Transportation Safety Board which had the manifest of the airplane.

Spartacus Blog

G. Gordon Liddy died a few days ago (30 March, 2021). He was 90 years old and was the last of those involved in the Watergate break-in to leave us - Frank Sturgis (1993), E. Howard Hunt (2007), Bernard L. Barker (2009), Virgilio Gonzalez (2014), James W. McCord (2017) and Eugenio Martinez (2021).

Richard Nixon believed that Watergate was a conspiracy organized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to remove him from power. It is one of the few things that I think Nixon was right about. It is not a coincidence that all those involved in Watergate were either officers or assets of the intelligence services . McCord originally worked as a FBI agent before joining the CIA in 1951 and in the early 1960s worked with anti-Castro Cubans on a possible future invasion. of the island. Hunt had worked for the CIA for over 20 years before joining Nixon's Special Investigations Group in July 1971. Liddy was a FBI agent (1957-1962) and Barker was a FBI informant before joining the CIA in the run-up to the Bay of Pigs. Sturgis, Gonzalez and Martinez had taken part in several CIA covert operations. It was later discovered that Martinez was still on the CIA payroll at the time of the Watergate break-in." (1)

Nixon, before he became president, received information from a source within the intelligence services that both the CIA and the FBI were involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and later in its cover-up. Nixon told his key aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman about this as early as 1969. Nixon told them he would use this information to exert pressure on these organizations over the next few years. (2)

President Richard Nixon (seated right) meets with H. R. Haldeman,
Dwight L. Chapin and John Ehrlichman (13 March, 1970)

Nixon also decided to create his own intelligence agency. After his election he appointed Jack Caulfield, as Staff Assistant to the President. In March 1969, Caulfield met with Anthony Ulasewicz, a former member of the NYPD's Bureau of Special Service and Investigation. "Caulfield outlined the big secret. He said the White House wanted to set up its own investigative resource which would be quite separate from the FBI, CIA, or Secret Service. The new administration, Caulfield said, was finding government intelligence methods to be deficient. Caulfield claimed that Ehrlichman, Nixon's Counsel at the White House, had assigned him to check out what it would cost to set up an off the books, secret intelligence operation." (3)

Nixon had been told the Bay of Pigs operation held the key to understanding the assassination of Kennedy. Haldeman claims in his book The Ends of Power (1978): "Ehrlichman had found himself in the middle of this feud as far back as 1969, immediately after Nixon assumed office. Nixon had called Ehrlichman into his office and said he wanted all the facts and documents the CIA had on the Bay of Pigs, a complete report on the whole project. About six months after that 1969 conversations, Ehrlichman had stopped in my office. 'Those bastards in Langley are holding back something. They just dig in their heels and say the President can't have it. Period. Imagine that! The Commander-in-Chief wants to see a document relating to a military operation, and the spooks say he can't have it.' " (4) This was confirmed by John Ehrlichman in his book Witness to Power: The Nixon Years that was published in 1982. (5)

In his memoirs Richard Nixon has very little to say about the assassination. He admits he was in Dallas on 20th November 1963 at a meeting of the Pepsi-Cola board). Nixon said he contacted J. Edgar Hoover as soon as he heard the news: "He came right on the line and without wasting words I asked, 'What happened? Was it one of those right-wing nuts?' Hoover replied: 'No', he replied, 'it was a Communist.' it was a Communist.' Months later Hoover told me that Oswald's wife had disclosed that Oswald had been planning to kill me when I visited Dallas and that only with great difficulty had she managed to keep him in the house to prevent him from doing so." (6)

Haldeman says that he had always been interested in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and asked Nixon to reopen the case soon after he entered the White House "but Nixon turned me down". Haldeman says that "after Kennedy was killed, the CIA, launched a fantastic cover-up. Many of the facts about Oswald unavoidably pointed to a Cuban connection." Haldeman suggested that this included: "(i) Oswald had been arrested in New Orleans in August, 1963, while distributing pro-Castro pamphlets. (ii) On a New Orleans radio programme he extolled Cuba and defended Castro. (iii) Less than two months before the assassination Oswald visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City and tried to obtain a visa." Haldeman says that when Nixon mentions the "Bay of Pigs" he might have "been reminding Helms" of the "CIA operation that may have triggered the Kennedy tragedy and which Helms desperately wanted to hide." (7)

Haldeman suggested that Nixon was given information about the CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination by William C. Sullivan, "Nixon's highest-ranking loyal friend at the FBI". Sullivan was put in charge of the bureau's in-house investigation of the assassination. Sullivan was expected to work closely with John M. Whitten, who was running the CIA investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald. Whitten and his staff of 30 officers, were sent a large amount of information from the FBI. According to Gerald D. McKnight "the FBI deluged his branch with thousands of reports containing bits and fragments of witness testimony that required laborious and time-consuming name checks." Whitten later described most of this FBI material as "weirdo stuff". As a result of this initial investigation, Whitten told Richard Helms that he believed that Oswald had acted alone in the assassination of Kennedy. However, on 6th December, Nicholas Katzenbach invited John M. Whitten and Birch O'Neal, Angleton's trusted deputy and senior Special Investigative Group (SIG) officer to read Commission Document 1 (CD1), the report that the FBI had written on Oswald. Whitten now realized that the FBI had been withholding important information on Oswald from him. He also discovered that Richard Helms had not been providing him all of the agency's available files on Oswald. This included Oswald's political activities in the months preceding the assassination. (8)

Richard Helms responded by taking Whitten off the case. James Jesus Angleton, chief of the CIA's Counterintelligence Branch, was now put in charge of the investigation. The reports written by Sullivan and Angleton became the basis for the Warren Commission. However, it only emerged in his posthumous published autobiography that Sullivan had doubts about the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald: "Oswald didn't have a record of being an outstanding marksman and yet he hit the president with two shots while his car was moving slowly down the road. His third shot hit Governor Connally. I went to the book depository from which Oswald fired at the president and I looked out the window where he was positioned. I've been around guns all my life and I'm a reasonably good shot, but I must say that that would be quite a task for me. It was, tragically, damn good shooting." (9)

William Sullivan was shot dead near his home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, on 9th November, 1977. An inquest decided that he had been shot accidentally by fellow hunter, Robert Daniels, who was fined $500 and lost his hunting license for 10 years. (10) Sullivan had been scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Sullivan was one of six top FBI officials who died in a six month period in 1977. Others who were due to appear before the committee who died included Louis Nicholas, special assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's liaison with the Warren Commission Alan H. Belmont, special assistant to Hoover James Cadigan, document expert with access to documents that related to death of John F. Kennedy J. M. English, former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory where Oswald's rifle and pistol were tested Donald Kaylor, FBI fingerprint chemist who examined prints found at the assassination scene. (11)

Although he had his own secret intelligence operation (Operation Sandwedge) Nixon still wanted to get more control over the intelligence services. In 1970 Nixon commissioned one of his aide's Tom Charles Huston, one of the former leaders of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom, to write a report on how the different agencies could work together against the threat from the "New Left". Huston's 43-page document called for six activities, some of which were clearly illegal. They included electronic surveillance of persons and groups "who pose a major threat to internal security" monitoring of American citizens by international communications facilities the relaxation of restrictions on the covert opening of mail by federal agents surreptitious entries and burglaries to gain information on the groups and the recruitment of more campus informants. The most controversial aspect of the recommendations was the creation of a new interagency intelligence command responsible for internal security. (12)

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The Huston Plan was presented at a meeting with J. Edgar Hoover (FBI), Richard Helms (CIA), Lieutenant General Donald V. Bennett (Defense Intelligence Agency) and Noel Gayler (National Security Agency) in early 1970. Hoover and Helms saw this as an attempt by Nixon to gain more control over their agencies. In his memoirs Nixon argued that "Hoover's dissent. was primarily a case of his inability to overcome his natural resistance to cooperating with the CIA or the other intelligence agencies. I knew that if Hoover had decided not to cooperate, it would matter little what I decided or approved. On July 28 (1970), five days later, before the plan could be implemented, I withdrew my approval." (13)

On 17th June, 1972 , Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker and James W. McCord were arrested at 2.30 am during a break-in at the Watergate Office Building. Later, E. Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy were also arrested. John Dean, counsel to the president, reported to H. R. Haldeman that the FBI believed that the Watergate break-in was a CIA operation: "The FBI is convinced its the CIA. McCord and the Cubans are all ex-CIA people. Practically everyone who went in there was connected to the agency. And now the FBI finds a Mexican bank involved which also sounds like the CIA." Dean added that L. Patrick Gray (acting FBI director) was "looking for a way out of this mess" and suggested that he should ask Vernon Walters (Deputy Director of CIA) to "turn off" the investigation in Mexico. (14)

Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, James W. McCord, Bernard L. Barker and Frank Sturgis

John Dean contacted Jack Caulfield to discover what had happened. He confirmed that G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt had been involved in the operation. Jeb Magruder, special assistant to the president, then rang Dean on behalf of John N. Mitchell, the Attorney General. "Listen, John, this is all that dumb. Liddy's fault. He blew it. The stupid bastard. He should have never used McCord. He never told us he was using McCord. It was stupid. The mess is all his fault." When Dean contacted Liddy he admitted organizing the break-in but claimed that E. Howard Hunt "was the guy who got me the Cubans." (15)

Dean managed to persuade Gray, the acting FBI director, to take part in the cover up by destroying documents in Hunt's White House safe. This included notebooks that Hunt had used as an operational diary during his CIA years. "These reportedly contained the names of CIA agents and officers, their telephone numbers, code words and operational details that collectively amounted to a diary of E. Howard Hunt's clandestine career" and details of CIA's illegal activities during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. (16)

Nixon told H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, before their meeting with Richard Helms, the director of CIA, on 23rd June 1972, that they should insist on talking about the involvement of Hunt and the Bay of Pigs operation as a lever to get the CIA to help in the cover-up. "Hunt. will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things. tell them we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. Tell them it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs which we think would be very unfortunate for the CIA." (17)

In his account of the meeting, The Ends of Power (1978) Haldeman claimed that after Helms refused to help with the cover-up he "played Nixon's trump card". Haldeman said: "The President asked me to tell you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it opens up, the Bay of Pigs may be blown." In response to this: "Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.' Silence. I just sat there, I was absolutely shocked by Helm's violent reaction. Again I wondered, what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?" (18)

This account, published in 1978, proved to be very embarrassing for Helms. When he wrote his own interpretation of the meeting in 2003. He admitted that Haldeman raised the issue of the Bay of Pigs, but denied that he got angry with him and said "I did not shout in the White House, and cannot even remember ever having shouted in my own office." Helms claims all he said was "The Bay of Pigs hasn't got a damned thing to do with this. And, what's more, there's nothing about the Bay of Pigs that's not already in the public domain." (19)

The best person to know the connection between the Bay of Pigs and Watergate Scandal was E. Howard Hunt as he was involved in both events. Hunt also took control of the negotiations of "hush money". Dean told Nixon that Hunt wanted "by the close of business yesterday" a payment of $122,000 in cash. Otherwise he would tell all about the Ellsberg break-in and other "seamy things" that he had done for the White House. Dean admitted that it would be a continual blackmail operation by Hunt and Liddy and the Cubans". He added: "These people are going to cost a million dollars over the next two years." (20)

Hunt remained silent although his wife Dorothy Hunt threatened to reveal details of who paid him to organize the Watergate break-in. On 8th December, 1972, Dorothy Hunt had a meeting with Michelle Clark, a journalist working for CBS. According to Sherman Skolnick, Clark was working on a story on the Watergate case: "Ms Clark had lots of insight into the bugging and cover-up through her boyfriend, a CIA operative." (21)

As Peter Dale Scott pointed out: "Of the more than a dozen suspicious deaths in the case of Watergate. perhaps the most significant death was that of Dorothy Hunt in the crash of United Air Lines in December 1972. The crash was investigated for possible sabotage by both the FBI and a congressional committee, but sabotage was never proven. Nevertheless, some people assumed that Dorothy Hunt was murdered (along with the dozens of others in the plane). Howard Hunt, who dropped all further demands on the White House and agreed to plead guilty (to the Watergate burglary in January 1973)." Also on the plane was Michelle Clark. (22)

Hunt died of pneumonia on 23rd January, 2007. His memoir American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate, and Beyond was published a few months later. In the book he admitted being paid "hush money" to keep quiet about what he knew about the background details of Watergate. He also felt guilty that he received $250,000 as a result of his wife's death: "She waved, I waved back, and she entered the doors of the airline ticket office. Once inside, she did her shopping, and, apparently as an afterthought, she bought $250,000 in accident insurance from an airport vending machine." However, he did not believe his wife had been murdered. (23)

Despite attempts to hide the connections between the Nixon administration and Watergate break-in, most of the details reached the public domain and Nixon was forced to resign and several of his close associates were sent to prison. This was mainly due to articles written by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Woodward later revealed that on 19th June, 1972 he telephoned a man who he called "an old friend" for information about the burglars. This man, who Woodward claims was a high-ranking federal employee, was willing to help him as long as he was never named as a source. Instead he became known as Deep Throat. (24)

Most of the information that brought down Nixon came from Deep Throat. Woodward and Bernstein refused to identify their source but in May, 2005 a lawyer working for Mark Felt, the former Associate Director of the FBI, told Vanity Fair magazine that his client was Deep Throat. On 3rd June, 2005, Bob Woodward wrote an article in The Guardian confirming that Felt was Deep Throat and that he had provided him with important information during the Watergate investigation. (25)

Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post at the time, also said that Felt was Deep Throat. However, Carl Bernstein was quick to add that Felt was only one of several important sources. David Obst, the former literary agent for Woodward and Bernstein, has long contended that Deep Throat was actually a composite of several anonymous sources. "Mark Felt was an invaluable source to The Washington Post and to Woodward and Bernstein, but he was not Deep Throat -- there was no Deep Throat." Obst said it defied credibility to suggest that such a high-ranking FB official would take the time and energy required to discuss information to Woodward in the ways the book described, like marking up a newspaper on Mr. Woodward's doorstep to signal his desire for a meeting. (26)

Bernstein is clearly right about this. Some of the information leaked to the journalists could only have come from someone in the higher echelons of the CIA. Deborah Davis, the author of Katharine the Great (1979) also believes that Deep Throat was a former senior official of the CIA. Her candidate is Richard Ober, who worked under James Jesus Angleton at the CIA. Ober as head of Operation CHAOS (domestic espionage project targeting the American people from 1967 to 1974 whose mission was to uncover possible foreign influence on domestic race, anti-war and other protest movements) was given an office in the White House and worked closely with Richard Nixon, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman during this period. (27)

The claims that Davis became even more convincing when the book was originally published in 1979, Katharine Graham (probably under instructions from the CIA) persuaded the publishers William Jovanovich, to pulp the 20,000 printed copies of the book. It was not only revealing Ober as one of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein sources that got her into trouble. It was also the fact that she exposed Ben Bradlee as a CIA asset as far back as 1952 when he was serving as a press attaché in the American embassy in Paris. (28) Bradlee was also a childhood friend of Richard Helms and was at Harvard with Ober. Both men left in 1944 to serve in the war: Ober (Office of Strategic Services) and Bradlee (Office of Naval Intelligence). (29)

In their autobiographies both Richard Helms and E. Howard Hunt say they are puzzled by Nixon's belief that the CIA, the Bay of Pigs Operation and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy were in some way connected. It has to be remembered that Nixon first made this claim in 1969, three years before Watergate. It was a time when few JFK researchers were making this link. This only became mainstream conspiracy thinking after the publication of The Last Investigation in 1993. The book's author, Gaeton Fonzi, the staff investigator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, pointed out, this was not just about recruiting angry Cubans from the failed operation, but the way Kennedy reacted to the disaster by threatening to "splinter" the CIA into "a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds". (30)

Richard Helms and Richard Nixon (1973)

Several authors have suggested that Watergate was a "setup" with the intention to remove Richard Nixon from office. If this was the case it was an elaborate operation. Russ Baker has argued: "If, as it appears, Watergate was indeed a setup, it was a fairly elaborate covert operation, with three parts: 1) creating the crime, 2) implicating Nixon by making him appear to be knowledgeable and complicit in a cover-up, and 3) ensuring that an aggressive effort would be mounted to use the 'facts' of the case to prosecute Nixon and force him from office." Baker claims that all those who played an important role in the downfall of Nixon had CIA connections - John Dean, E. Howard Hunt, James W. McCord, Bernard L. Barker, Eugenio Martinez, Frank Sturgis, Alexander P. Butterfield, Jeb Magruder and Leon Jaworski. (31)

There are two important questions that need to be asked about the Watergate break-in. The first is what were the motives behind the break-in. As Richard Helms later pointed out in his autobiography: "Press reports soon indicated that Hunt and McCord and their confederates were attempting to photograph files, bug the telephones, and arrange electronic monitoring of the Democratic Committee. I could not understand why anyone would think there was anything to be gained from such a half-baked and technically difficult operation that would possibly warrant the risks involved." (32)

Richard Nixon had similar thoughts when he first read about the Watergate burglary in the Miami Herald while vacationing in Florida, from the morning newspaper: "It sounded preposterous. Cubans in surgical gloves bugging the DNC! I dismissed it as some sort of prank. The whole thing made so little sense. Why, I wondered. Why then? Why in such a blundering way. Anyone who knew anything about politics would know that a national committee headquarters was a useless place to go for inside information on a presidential campaign. The whole thing was so senseless and bungled that it almost looked like some kind of a set-up." (33)

Helms and Nixon are right, the operation does not make any sense at all. The second question is even more important. Why was it done so badly? The operation involved several people who had successfully carried out other intelligence operations. It was also in direct contrast to other Nixon dirty tricks campaigns. Why did the burglars leave so many clues behind that made it inevitable that they would be caught and at the same time provide links to the Nixon administration? Why did James W. McCord at the preliminary hearing confess to being a former member of the CIA. Bob Woodward admits that this is the reason why he decided this was an important story. (34)

Here is a list of some of the mistakes they made in the Watergate operation that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon:

(1) The money to pay for the Watergate operation came from CREEP. It would have been possible to have found a way of transferring this money to the Watergate burglars without it being traceable back to CREEP. For example, see how Anthony Ulasewicz got his money from Nixon. As counsel for the Finance Committee to Re-Elect the President, G. Gordon Liddy, acquired two cheques that amounted to $114,000. This money came from an illegal U.S. corporate contribution laundered in Mexico and Dwayne Andreas, a Democrat who was a secret Nixon supporter. Liddy handed these cheques to E. Howard Hunt. He then gave these cheques to Bernard L. Barker who paid them into his own bank account. In this way it was possible to link Nixon with a Watergate burglar.

(2) On 22nd May, 1972, James W. McCord booked Alfred C. Baldwin and himself into the Howard Johnson Motor Inn opposite the Watergate building (room 419). The room was booked in the name of McCord’s company. During his stay in this room Baldwin made several long-distance phone calls to his parents. This information was later used during the trial of the Watergate burglars.

(3) On the eve of the first Watergate break-in the team had a meeting in the Howard Johnson Motor Inn’s Continental Room. The booking was made on the stationary of a Miami firm that included Bernard L. Barker among its directors. Again, this was easily traceable.

(4) In the first Watergate break-in the target was Larry O'Brien’s office. In fact, they actually entered the office of R. Spencer Oliver, the chairman of the association of Democratic state chairman. Two bugs were placed in two phones in order to record the telephone conversations of O’Brien. In fact, O’Brien never used this office telephone.

(5) E. Howard Hunt was in charge of photographing documents found in the DNC offices. The two rolls of film were supposed to be developed by a friend of James McCord. This did not happen and eventually Hunt took the film to Miami for Bernard Barker to deal with. Barker had them developed by Rich’s Camera Shop. Once again the conspirators were providing evidence of being involved in the Watergate break-in.

(6) The developed prints showed gloved hands holding them down and a shag rug in the background. There was no shag rug in the DNC offices. Therefore it seems the Democratic Party documents must have been taken away from the office to be photographed. McCord later claimed that he cannot remember details of the photographing of the documents. Liddy and Jeb Magruder saw them before being put in John Mitchell’s desk (they were shredded during the cover-up operation).

(7) After the first break-in Alfred Baldwin and James McCord moved to room 723 of the Howard Johnson Motor Inn in order to get a better view of the DNC offices. It became Baldwin’s job to eavesdrop the phone calls. Over the next 20 days Baldwin listened to over 200 phone calls. These were not recorded. Baldwin made notes and typed up summaries. Nor did Baldwin listen to all phone calls coming in. For example, he took his meals outside his room. Any phone calls taking place at this time would have been missed.

(8) It soon became clear that the bug on one of the phones installed by McCord was not working. As a result of the defective bug, McCord decided that they would have to break-in to the Watergate office for a second time. He also heard that a representative of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War had a desk at the DNC. McCord argued that it was worth going in to see what they could discover about the anti-war activists. Liddy later claimed that the real reason for the second break-in was “to find out what O’Brien had of a derogatory nature about us, not for us to get something on him.”

(9) Liddy drove his distinctive Buick-powered green Jeep into Washington on the night of the second Watergate break-in. He was stopped by a policeman after jumping a yellow light. He was let off with a warning. He parked his car right outside the Watergate building.

(10) The burglars then met up in room 214 before the break-in. Liddy gave each man between $200 and $800 in $100 bills with serial numbers close in sequence. McCord gave out six walkie-talkies. Two of these did not work (dead batteries).

(11) McCord taped the 6th, 8th and 9th floor stairwell doors and the garage level door. Later it was reported that the tape on the garage - level lock was gone. Hunt argued that a guard must have done this and suggested the operation should be aborted. Liddy and McCord argued that the operation must continue. McCord then went back an re-taped the garage-level door. Later the police pointed out that there was no need to tape the door as it opened from that side without a key. The tape served only as a sign to the police that there had been a break-in.

(12) McCord later claimed that after the break-in he removed the tape on all the doors. This was not true and soon after midnight the security guard, Frank Wills, discovered that several doors had been taped to stay unlocked. He told his superior about this but it was not until 1.47 a.m. that he notified the police.

(13) The burglars heard footsteps coming up the stairwell. Bernard Barker turned off the walkie-talkie (it was making a slight noise). Alfred Baldwin was watching events from his hotel room. When he saw the police walking up the stairwell steps he radioed a warning. However, as the walkie-talkie was turned off, the burglars remained unaware of the arrival of the police.

(14) When arrested Bernard Barker had his hotel key in his pocket (314). This enabled the police to find traceable material in Barker’s hotel room.

(15) When Hunt and Liddy realized that the burglars had been arrested, they attempted to remove traceable material from their hotel room (214). However, they left a briefcase containing $4,600. The money was in hundred dollar bills in sequential serial numbers that linked to the money found on the Watergate burglars.

(16) Hunt told Baldwin to load McCord’s van with the listening post equipment and the Gemstone file and drive it to McCord’s house in Rockville. Surprisingly, the FBI did not order a search of McCord’s home and so they did not discover the contents of the van.

(17) Hunt went to his White House office where he placed a collection of incriminating materials (McCord’s electronic gear, address books, notebooks, etc.) in his safe. The safe also contained a revolver and documents on Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Kennedy and State Department memos.

(18) Liddy eventually contacts Magruder via the White House switchboard. This was later used to link Liddy and Magruder to the break-in.

(19) Later that day Jeb Magruder told Hugh Sloan, the FCRP treasurer, that: “Our boys got caught last night. It was my mistake and I used someone from here, something I told them I’d never do.”

(20) Police took an address book from Bernard Barker. It contained the notation “WH HH” and Howard Hunt’s telephone number.

(21) Police took an address book from Eugenio Martinez. It contained the notation “H. Hunt WH” and Howard Hunt’s telephone number. He also had cheque for $6.36 signed by E. Howard Hunt.

(22) Alfred Baldwin told his story to a lawyer called John Cassidento, a strong supporter of the Democratic Party. He did not tell the authorities but did pass this information onto Larry O’Brien. The Democrats now knew that people like E. Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy were involved in the Watergate break-in.

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He’s a real American hero. Like Bruce Willis, or Kunta Kinte, or Superman, or Malcolm X.

Wanna know more about him?:

One of my Top 5 pieces of literature ever by one of my Top 5 writers

Imagine if Quentin Tarantino had made Dogma.

I really want anyone/everyone to check this book out so here it is for download. This is the entire 9 Volume series:

This is where you can get WinRAR to extract the books:

This is where you can get the reader:

I hope you guys enjoy this at least half as much as I did.

Oh yeah, Big ups to Reg for recommending this to me years ago and to PI for providing me with this link.

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At the National Conference for Media Reform 2008. Fox personality Bill O’Reilly producer, Porter Barry ambushes PBS Bill Moyers to pepper him with questions regarding his political affiliations and his “refusal” to appear on O’Reily’s show. Moyers disputes Fox’s “facts.”

Uptake Political Correspondent Noah Kunin was nearby and obtained this raw video.

Today I have been very busy reading.  I was reading from my NY Times Reader.  I am a subscriber of that newspaper through a software called the NY Times Reader.  I can also look up on the website www.nytimes.com for older than 7 days of articles all the way to the beginning, 1851.  I also have been reading from my Geography book.  Got done reading chapter 1.  There was a lot to read in that chapter.  Now I will need to read chapters 2,3, and 5.  I will need to know the locations of countries on a European map.

I subscribed to the NY Times Rader because I love to read their newspaper.  My college, through the student fees, allows us to read the each paper (Monday – Friday) for free.  The problem with that is it is bulky to read, the newspaper can accumulate, and I do not get Saturdays and Sundays issues.  If I bought them it would cost me $32/month.  This reader cost $20/month, and I get all seven days.

  Not only do I get read all of what is in the paper (except a few minor things that I do not really care to read in the first place), but I get to search the archives of all the articles that have ever been written.  The reason for liking this paper to begin with it is more than a newspaper.  To me, it is like reading from the National Geographic Magazine.  Each article is full of information.  Most newspaper is a few paragraphs.  Most articles from the NY Times are a few pages. 

Due to reading about globalization in my geography book, I have printed 3 articles already from this reader (actually one is from the website), and put them in a 3-ring notebook.  The wonder of knowledge.  I have the Complete National Geographic Magazine on DVD, I have access to all the articles from the NY Times, and I have 24/7 access to a lot more online.  With all the books I have at my disposal, I have a great deal of reference materials.  How exciting.

  I have commented on several articles today throw Twitter and Facebook using Yoono, an addon for the Firefox browser.  I also post an article on one of my blog post also.  I cannot wait till morning to start reading on what is in the NY Times.  Might not have the time to write much, but I do have 7 days back log on these papers.  I can have up to five install of this reader, so my parents have their copy to read (I live with them due to the economy).

The New Times is a very good professional newspaper.  I have not yet read anything bias news.  Even the opinion section is mild and respectable.  That is very refreshing from all spin that most news reporters report on.  I am sure the more I read, there will be something off key to what I have been use to, and that is fine.  Everyone has the right to their own opinion.  When I want to learn about the current events of life around me, I want it to be factual and let me to make my own opinion based on my understandings.