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Who betrayed the Watergate burglars?


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 04:25 PM

One of the things that has always intrigued me is the large number of mistakes that were made during the Watergate operation. This is in direct contrast to other Nixon dirty tricks campaigns. Some people have speculated that there were individuals inside the operation who wanted to do harm to Nixon. I thought it might be a good idea to list these 24 “mistakes” to see if we can identify these individuals.

(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 Tony Ulasewicz got his money from Nixon. As counsel for the Finance Committee to Re-Elect the President, 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 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 McCord booked Alfred 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 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 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 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. 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 realised 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) When Hunt arrived at Baldwin’s hotel room he made a phone call to Douglas Caddy, a lawyer who had worked with him at Mullen Company (a CIA front organization). Baldwin heard him discussing money, bail and bonds.

(17) 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.

(18) It was vitally important to get McCord’s release from prison before it was discovered his links with the CIA. However, Hunt or Liddy made no attempt to contact people like Mitchell who could have organized this via Robert Mardian or Richard Kleindienst. Hunt later blamed Liddy for this as he assumed he would have phoned the White House or the Justice Department who would in turn have contacted the D.C. police chief in order to get the men released.

(19) 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. Hunt once again phoned Caddy from his office.

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

(21) 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.”

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

(23) 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.

(24) 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.

Several individuals seem to have made a lot of mistakes. The biggest offenders were Hunt (8), McCord (7), Liddy (6), Barker (6) and Baldwin (3). McCord’s mistakes were the most serious. He was also the one who first confessed to what had taken place at Watergate.

#2 Ashton Gray

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 08:35 AM

One of the things that has always intrigued me is the large number of mistakes that were made during the Watergate operation. This is in direct contrast to other Nixon dirty tricks campaigns. Some people have speculated that there were individuals inside the operation who wanted to do harm to Nixon.


Although I clearly recall reasonable and rational people speculating along those very lines (and further) when the Watergate events were unfolding, and although even the people closest to the investigation at the time believed it was a CIA operation in the first few days (which the public only really found out years later), the Washington Post somehow was anointed very quickly as the bellwether to lead everyone to "the truth." (Even if by the nose. And I won't bring up Woodward's intelligence background at the moment. Or did I just?)

I've seen new compilations of data gathered from a very wide range of sources recently that lead me to believe that there were no mistakes: that every connection to the White House was carefully planned with malice aforethought, that there was no "first break-in" at all, ever, and that on the night of 16-17 June 1972, the CIA "veteran" McCord did whatever he had to do to get the phone call placed about a burglary in progress.

One aspect of this that I have never seen very thoroughly explored at all is why these "burglars" (every one of them, without exception, having CIA connections) almost couldn't wait to implicate themselves and each other (and of course very soon thereafter Liddy, Hunt, and Baldwin) on additional criminal counts (for which there was absolutely zero physical evidence) by volunteering the "confessions" that they purportedly had broken in weeks before, on 28 May 1972. They practically fell all over each other to volunteer "admissions" of these other, earlier criminal acts, when no one had even accused them of any such earlier break-in, and when there was no way at all that any law enforcement authorities could have known or found out about it otherwise. I don't know of anything in all the annals of crime that compares. Yet this extremely curious behavior goes almost completely unremarked.

You've listed quite a thorough list of these presumed mistakes, and I won't attempt to address them individually right now, but am very interested in taking some of them up in relation to other data and events at a later time. Meanwhile, I've begun another thread on "The Problem of the First Break-In," and since it is utterly pivotal to everything the world knows as "Watergate," I'm interested in exploring that in searching detail, because I have come to believe that it is the key to every enduring mystery still surrounding this unhealing wound on history like a shroud.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray, 05 June 2006 - 08:38 AM.


#3 Guest_John Gillespie_*

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:10 PM

"You've listed quite a thorough list of these presumed mistakes, and I won't attempt to address them individually right now, but am very interested in taking some of them up in relation to other data and events at a later time. Meanwhile, I've begun another thread on "The Problem of the First Break-In," and since it is utterly pivotal to everything the world knows as "Watergate," I'm interested in exploring that in searching detail, because I have come to believe that it is the key to every enduring mystery still surrounding this unhealing wound on history like a shroud."

Ashton Gray
[/quote]


_________________________________

AG And Others,

Anyone out there who has read McCord's "A Piece Of Tape"? High (unintended) comedy, low dungeon, but some clues to be sure. AG, I am quite certain you wouldn't relish swimming through even more scattered bits of testimony but over half the book is a compilation of same. I suspect you know these ropes well now.

McCord's tales are to laugh. Truth to tell, I'm ready to give the book another go. It's in varius libraries and available through Barnes and Noble, far as I know. Recommended, obviously, because of its author...piece of tape, indeed. Would that we had even so much on audio; you know, from the bug(s) to the unit(s).

Regards,
JG

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 10:11 PM

"You've listed quite a thorough list of these presumed mistakes, and I won't attempt to address them individually right now, but am very interested in taking some of them up in relation to other data and events at a later time. Meanwhile, I've begun another thread on "The Problem of the First Break-In," and since it is utterly pivotal to everything the world knows as "Watergate," I'm interested in exploring that in searching detail, because I have come to believe that it is the key to every enduring mystery still surrounding this unhealing wound on history like a shroud."

Ashton Gray
[/quote]


_________________________________

AG And Others,

Anyone out there who has read McCord's "A Piece Of Tape"? High (unintended) comedy, low dungeon, but some clues to be sure. AG, I am quite certain you wouldn't relish swimming through even more scattered bits of testimony but over half the book is a compilation of same. I suspect you know these ropes well now.

McCord's tales are to laugh. Truth to tell, I'm ready to give the book another go. It's in various libraries and available through Barnes and Noble, far as I know. Recommended, obviously, because of its author...piece of tape, indeed. Would that we had even so much on audio; you know, from the bug(s) to the unit(s).

Regards,
JG

Edited by John Gillespie, 23 June 2006 - 08:40 PM.


#5 Ashton Gray

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 07:52 PM

AG, I am quite certain you wouldn't relish swimming through even more scattered bits of testimony but over half the book is a compilation of same. I suspect you know these ropes well now.


I don't claim to be any expert or final authority, and never have, and make plenty of mistakes like everybody else. But, yeah: I've done some homework. :lol:

As for McCord's book specifically, I've found that it follows the exact same pattern as every other book I've ever read on the subject, and as all the testimony: it all sounds like it's telling the same story, and it all has this sort of lulling plausibility to it, and it all has so many excrutiating (and often very, very irrelevant) gratuitous details thrown in to give it the ring of utter authenticity. And all that holds true throughout everything you can pick up anywhere on the entire subject—right up to the moment that you start closely comparing the anecdotes and all those details. And then it just crumbles to dust. Just dust.

This, in fact, is the most telling aspect of the entire thing, and is the absolute core of all these issues I've raised, and is something I'd be willing to bet that you know very well as a seasoned investigator: actual confessions ultimately make sense and align with fact; false alibis fall apart on scrutiny.

And all these very glib, smooth, "first break-in" anecdotal "confessions"—all of them so, so, so "convincing" by the very fact that they not only are self-incriminating, but mutually incriminating—suddenly just start going to hell in a handbasket when carefully compared.

It's the "self- and mutually-incriminating" part that I believe has turned belief in the Watergate co-conspirators' stories into the moral equivalent of a religion. I'm seeing this right here in this forum in response to debunking the phony, fraudulant, hoax of an alibi we've all bought into for so long. It's become a faith, and it's entirely faith-based, because there is NO physical evidence to support any of the "first break-in" stories. The co-conspirators just back each other up—or at least that's what it sounded like.

But they don't. They tear each other's stories to tattered shreds once you really, honestly, investigatively start comparing them.

Some people with obviously vested interests are attempting right now to discredit these completely valid and thorough comparisons by brushing the discrepancies off as "trivial." Pffffft! :lol:

A lot of the discrepancies, as I know you see, are big enough to shove a battleship through, and once you start counting them, the sheer number of irreconcilable discrepancies is just overwhelming.

Anybody who tries to dismiss it all, in my book, is trying desperately to hold onto their faith in proven and confessed liars and criminals (or is one of the disciples of the faith). That's a strange faith to have. It was my faith, too, for a very long time—I'm ashamed to admit. :offtopic

I very much appreciate your interest, and if you find anything in McCord's anecdotal accounts and recitations of testimony giving some version of "The Official Story" that in any way might alter my position that the "first break-in" was a hoax, and an alibi to cover up worse misdeeds, I will welcome it enthusiastically.

I don't think you're going to. But I'll be standing by...

Ashton Gray

#6 Guest_John Gillespie_*

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 08:48 PM

[quote name='Ashton Gray' date='Jun 23 2006, 07:52 PM' post='66299']
[quote name='John Gillespie' post='66132' date='Jun 21 2006, 10:11 PM']
AG, I am quite certain you wouldn't relish swimming through even more scattered bits of testimony but over half the book is a compilation of same. I suspect you know these ropes well now.
[/quote]

I don't claim to be any expert or final authority, and never have, and make plenty of mistakes like everybody else. But, yeah: I've done some homework. :)

As for McCord's book specifically, I've found that it follows the exact same pattern as every other book I've ever read on the subject, and as all the testimony: it all sounds like it's telling the same story, and it all has this sort of lulling plausibility to it, and it all has so many excrutiating (and often very, very irrelevant) gratuitous details thrown in to give it the ring of utter authenticity. And all that holds true throughout everything you can pick up anywhere on the entire subject—right up to the moment that you start closely comparing the anecdotes and all those details. And then it just crumbles to dust. Just dust.

____________________________

AG,

The great revelations often come not through what is purported but what is deducted. You can use that one. I may even lay it out in Latin, just to irk the competition.

Weberman is right about Watergate. It is the key to the JFK assassination 'mysteries.' Thus the wild scramble - like the cast of "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" - to cover it up.

JG




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