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Shane O'Sullivan

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About Shane O'Sullivan

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    http://www.rfkmustdie.com www.killingoswald.com www.nixondirtytricks.com
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    London, UK
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    Author of Dirty Tricks: Nixon, Watergate and the CIA (2018) and Who Killed Bobby? (2008). Director of RFK Must Die (2007) and Killing Oswald (2013).

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  1. I can't say for sure who gave Martinez the key, and Martinez won't say. Baldwin was best placed to take a copy during his tour of DNC headquarters. The missing notebook in Martinez' car and the September bug belatedly found on Spencer Oliver's phone three months after the arrests were two of the key mysteries in Secret Agenda. I managed to unearth a lot of new detail on both, so I document that in two appendices at the end of the book. The notebook belonged to Martinez. It was allegedly an operational diary and Howard Baker's staff tried in vain to find it. It took the CIA two days to report the location of Martinez' car to the FBI in Miami. In the meantime, it seems the car was sanitized by friends of Martinez. If there was an operational diary in the car, it had disappeared by the time the FBI searched it.
  2. Yes. Dean gave Gray two envelopes of “politically sensitive” material from Hunt's safe which were "political dynamite in an election year and thus should never be made public.” The implication Gray took from this was that he should destroy the material, which he did in the fireplace of his Connecticut home in December 1972. Four months later, this came out after Dean started to talk and Gray resigned. There were two keys to the desk and when the FBI asked to see them, Maxie Wells had them both. She left Baldwin sitting in her office during his tour of the DNC on June 12th, so he was best-placed to make an imprint of it but he denies it. Baldwin claimed he saw McCord in the DNC on May 26th, the night before the first attempted break-in, but it turned out Baldwin was getting his car fixed in Connecticut that evening and only returned to DC the next day, so like Earl Silbert, I think he was mistaken. McCord wasn't alone, which suggests what Baldwin saw was the first successful break-in. Lou Russell's role in the whole affair and McCord's desire to protect him is fascinating. Russell was reputedly an anti-Nixon Democrat who during the Watergate period managed to freelance for McCord, Jack Anderson and the McGovern campaign.
  3. Thanks, S.T., well said but if you read the transcripts of Len Colodny's calls with Hunt, he seems genuinely bemused by talk of a call girl ring and the evidence of Magruder's involvement is very thin. For me, the critical person is Baldwin. In later years, he became a prosecutor in Connecticut and dealt with prostitution cases all the time. He knew what calls to a call girl ring sounded like, so when he insisted that wasn't what he heard at the DNC, that swung it for me. I'm still deeply skeptical of Dean in terms of the cover-up and how he put his self-preservation before anything else, burning Hunt's notebooks and not admitting it until November 1973 after he secured a plea deal etc.
  4. Thanks, S.T. At this point, I don't believe Dean ordered the second break-in. Magruder wasn't happy with the photographic take from the first break-in, one of McCord's bugs wasn't working and he'd put it on the wrong phone, and Liddy was under pressure to fix these problems and come up with the goods to pay back the $250,000 invested in Gemstone. There were already plenty of reasons to go into DNC headquarters a second time. The timing of the Bailley indictment and John Rudy's trip to see Dean at the White House on June 9th is interesting but even if there was a call girl operating out of DNC headquarters (which I doubt), I still don't see how Dean could have bypassed Liddy and directed Hunt to get the key to Maxie Wells' drawer to Martinez. Like Baldwin, in later years, Hunt said he never heard anything about a call girl ring, so if the main players were never aware of one, where does that leave the call girl theory? I devoted a whole chapter of my book to the call girl theory, so I did explore it thoroughly but I came away unconvinced and after two long conversations with Spencer Oliver, I think the intimate calls heard on his phone by Baldwin are explained by gossiping secretaries, as I wrote above.
  5. Thanks for your kind words about my book, S.T. I also admire Jim Hougan for his lack of political bias and agree with Jim that the Rosen and Shepard books are too politically biased and constructed to exonerate Mitchell and Nixon respectively. They're both skilled researchers but a lot of the good research James Rosen did on the call girl theory didn't make it into his Mitchell biography and appears for the first time in my book. Exhibit A is his 1995 interview of Alfred Baldwin, in which Baldwin emphatically dismisses the call girl theory and reveals McCord told him he was in Dallas on the day of the JFK assassination. As Baldwin was the only person to hear the 200 telephone calls intercepted on Spencer Oliver's phone, I found his denial in this interview and a court deposition the following year persuasive. Baldwin discussed the content of the calls with Earl Silbert and the FBI in July 1972 but they didn't include a call girl ring, more likely DNC secretaries gossiping about their sex lives. You can read the lengthy report of Baldwin's FBI interview and his detailed statements to DNC attorney Alan Galbraith and the LA Times on my website: https://nixondirtytricks.com/alfred-baldwin Many of the 200 calls were sexual in nature because Oliver wasn't in his office half the time. It had a refrigerator and kitchenette, so secretaries ate lunch there and used his phone. Maxie Wells dated five guys during this period and gossiped about them on Oliver's phone with Marty Sampson, who worked in the Young Democrats office on the first floor. After the bug was found, Wells admitted to Oliver their risqué conversations were probably the "extremely personal, intimate and potentially embarrassing" calls Baldwin had told Earl Silbert about. Oliver's office also had a WATS line, so Wells and others could make long distance calls to boyfriends at night. On top of this, Oliver was attending marriage counselling and the first call Baldwin heard was the Olivers talking about their marital difficulties. I'd love to find a plausible explanation for the key but I don't think the call girl theory fits. There is no evidence of John Dean directing any of the burglars to target Maxie Wells' desk. Dean claimed he met Hunt only once (with Charles Colson) before Watergate, Liddy knew nothing about the key and the other burglars had no contact with Dean. So I disagree with S.T.'s statement that "to dismiss the Rikan ring is also to try to exonerate Dean." I'm deeply skeptical of Dean but the call girl theory, as it stands, is tantalising but unproven.
  6. Thanks, Jim. I read Postgate, the new book by Mark Felt's lawyer John O'Connor but found nothing new in it.
  7. Secret Agenda inspired my recent book Dirty Tricks: Nixon, Watergate and the CIA, which contains a lot of new information on areas first covered by Jim Hougan 35 years ago. Some of these are included in my new piece for the Washington Post today on what Watergate whistleblowers like Alfred Baldwin and Rob Roy Ratliff tell us about the Trump impeachment hearings: The real threat to Trump from the impeachment hearings The article draws on my book and includes links to Baldwin's testimony and interviews; and Ratliff's unredacted affidavit concerning secret envelopes passed from Howard Hunt to the CIA before Watergate, which I've just published on my website: https://nixondirtytricks.com/rob-roy-ratliff
  8. Cheers, Michaleen, very pleased to hear this! I'm glad the film still stands up six years after its release.
  9. Glad you found it, Stephanie. If anyone else has issues accessing it, you can also find it here: https://www.scribd.com/document/412494211/A-Lie-Too-Big-to-Fail I think adding two more shooters in the pantry - one on the steam table ensuring he fired in the same direction as Sirhan, and another in a busboy outfit, right next to Cesar - makes the operation even more complex and risky, with two more shooters who need to escape undetected. It's best to discuss the operational risks of the two-shooter scenario with a professional, who's been involved in such operations but as far as I know, Lisa hasn't done that.
  10. Ron, I'm not sure you read my piece. I agree there were two shooters but I don't think there were four, or that Sirhan was firing blanks.
  11. 51 years after the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, we continue to seek justice for Kennedy and the unfairly-convicted Sirhan. I'm writing a new piece on why we need to reopen the case but in the meantime, I'm sharing a new essay on some of the theories presented in Lisa Pease's recent book A Lie Too Big to Fail. While it's well-researched and digs up plenty of interesting new leads, I don't believe Sirhan was firing blanks or that there were more than two shooters in the pantry. Here, I explain why: http://www.whokilledbobby.net/a-lie-too-big-to-fail
  12. She said his children were very private people and didn't want an obituary. McCord's wife died before him and I guess his children just want to get on with their lives and didn't even want to add a comment for the Washington Post obituary. There is a great exchange between McCord and John Dean on C-SPAN here during a press conference to promote the BBC Watergate series in 1994.
  13. Just as my book went to press last September, I got in contact with his niece (who does not live in that little town in PA) and she confirmed his death and shared an email from McCord, including the presentation, which he had sent to his family in 2015. She told me the rest of the family did not want to talk either to me or the Washington Post, when the Post obituary writers asked me to put them in touch with the family.
  14. Interesting questions, David. McCord did discuss the alleged VVAW mole in his Senate Watergate testimony but not the assassination threat. You can find one of his memos on Scott Camil and the VVAW threat at the Republican convention at the link I posted. McCord's Secret Service connections and his revelation in the presentation that he headed up the team that brought Nosenko out of Switzerland are very interesting in relation to his claim to Alfred Baldwin that he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination.
  15. I have just written a new piece for the Washington Post on James McCord and the revealing PowerPoint presentation he shared with his family two years before he died, which his family shared with me. It includes a link to the PowerPoint presentation and another key McCord memo, which can find here.
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