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Jim Hougan

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  1. Jim Hougan

    LA Times reporter Jack Nelson dies

    The newspaper article is in error on a key point. That is, when it asserts that tape-recordings were sealed and delivered to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP). In fact, no tape-recordings were made of the conversations that AlfredBaldwin overheard in May and June, 1972. This was so, Baldwin tells us, because his boss, James McCord, insisted that he did not have, and could not find, the speaker-wire that was needed to connect the radio-receiver to a tape-recorder. (Baldwin was incredulous of this, inasmuch as McCord had recently served as chief of the Technical Services section of the CIA's Office of Security - and speaker-wire was, in any case, in abundant supply at a nearby Radio Shack.) It was for this reason that Baldwin acted as a stenographer while listening to intercepted conversations. The notes that he took were then given to McCord, who bowdlerized (or edited) them for Gordon Liddy's consumption. For his part, Liddy was incredulous that tape-recordings were not being made, and furious that McCord should have edited the "transcripts" that Baldwin provided.
  2. Like you, I'm very interested in "the Jack Martin film." The Collectors Archive seems to have vanished, so I wonder if anyone has documentary evidence of the film or its provenance. My understanding is that it was provided to the FBI by "a tourist" named or called "Jack Martin," but I am not sure that the Warren Commission received it.
  3. Jim, I'm very interested in the General Walker connection and the Dallas connection in general. For one thing, General Walker had one of the strongest motives for revenge against the Kennedys of anybody in America, IMHO, including Carlos Marcello (who was deported to Guatemala without a suitcase by the Kennedys in 1961). General Walker was one of the organizers of the Ole Miss anti-integration march of 1962 that ended in a riot. The Kennedys had him arrested, and failing to detain him, held him on charges of insanity! This was a profound disgrace to a decorated General of WW2. (I perceive the seeds of vast hatred here.) After resigning from the Army, Walker enjoyed a career as rightist lecturer across the USA, and obtained a loyal following. He also retained many of his US Army contacts, and was an officer in the Texas Minutemen (who made the JBS look like store clerks). Guy Banister was also an officer in the Texas Minutemen. As I recall, David Ferrie also served under General Walker at one point. Also, Jack Martin, who worked for Guy Banister, may have served under General Walker. A 1963 home film, allegedly by a random tourist named Jack Martin, may be of interest to this thread. (It was once available from Collector's Archive in Canada, which seems to have moved or gone bust.) In this short film, a man is visiting General Walker in Dallas, and filming the bullet holes left in his home by some shooter on April 10, 1963. Later, the same man is in a park in New Orleans, when he hears a commotion on Canal Street. He hurries over to see Lee Harvey Oswald handing out FPCC leaflets, and fighting with Carlos Bringuier, and being arrested by police. This home movie ends with a long shot of the Canal Street buildings, pans down to the street, and ends with a close-up of one of the FPCC flyers lying in the gutter. This doesn't sound like a random home movie by a random tourist randomly named Jack Martin, to me. It makes a direct connection between the General Edwin Walker shooting and Lee Harvey Oswald, in a material form. This was months before the connection between Oswald and General Walker was announced by Marina Oswald after the murders. The only other person who knew (or suspected) about this shooting was George De Mohrenschildt, as he admitted to the Warren Commission in 1964. If George DM spread the word about Oswald's "pot-shot" at General Walker (either to the CIA or to other para-military groups in Texas) then we would perceive a solid, materal motive to make Oswald into Walker's patsy, IMHO. If these suspicions are warranted, then we would also have a material connection that links the New Orleans plotters with perhaps the most central of the Dallas plotters. I'm very interested in finding more information about any contacts between General Walker and: (i) Guy Banister; (ii) David Ferrie; and (iii) Jack Martin. Thanks for the thread, --Paul P.S. I've already scoured Bruce Adamson's material about George De Mohrenschildt for social contacts with General Walker, but came up empty-handed. Their only possible social connection would have been at the Dallas Petroleum Club. But as George DM wrote to the HSCA, he and Oswald used to joke about General Walker, calling him General Fokker. The scorn that George DM possibly had for General Walker may have influenced Oswald's behavior. Anyway, my theory doesn't rely on any contact between George DM and General Walker - a CIA go-between would be enough. I am very interested in any contact between General Walker and 544 Camp Street in New Orleans in 1963.
  4. Jim Hougan

    Robert Aime Maheu (1916-2008)

    The most thorough investigation of the Galindez case was probably the one that Alan Fitzgibbon undertook. Sadly, he died before it could be completed. That said, Alan was positive that Galindez was grabbed off the street and flown to the Dominican Republic from a private airport in Amityville. Once in the Dominican Republic, the kidnapped professor was tortured and interrogated. He was then thrown into the sea at a location that was routinely used for the disposal of garbage - which, of course, meant that it was infested by sharks. It's a tragedy that Fitzgibbon didn't live to finish his book. His extensive files on the case were, I believe, obtained by Bud Fensterwald's Committee to Investigate Assassinations - but their current whereabouts would seem to be unknown.
  5. Actually, the confrontation was between Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal. It happened on a television talk-show and did not involve Buckley.
  6. Jim Hougan

    The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate

    Rosen's biography of John Mitchell is a tour de force of investigative reporting, at once insightful and meticulously well-documented. His account of the Watergate affair - including the sinister role played by James McCord, the involvement of the CIA, and the importance of the Democrats' link to the call-girl operation at the Columbia Plaza Apartments - is much the same as my own. (See Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA). Even so, Rosen adds enormously to the story, mining a previously unavailable trove of materials generated by litigation inspired by John Dean in what turns out to have been the juridical equivalent of an own goal. (See Dean vs. St. Martin's Press and Wells vs. Liddy). That Rosen exonerates Mitchell from the accusation that it was he who ordered the Watergate break-in(s) is true. And it's also just. Whatever sins Mitchell may have committed - and Mitchell himself would have been the first to admit that there were many - authorizing the Watergate break-in(s) was not one of them. Simply put, he was railroaded. If I were pressed to disagree with any aspect of Rosen's analysis, it would probably be with his take on the Washington police officer who was most responsible for the Watergate arrests - Carl Shoffler. I knew Shoffler well (or thought I did) and am convinced that he was tipped off to the June 17 break-in. It's an issue I raised in the book that I wrote, and which Shoffler's undercover informant, Robert Merritt, has recently corroborated (with the help of the burglars' attorney, Douglas Caddy).
  7. Jim Hougan

    New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

    Mr Hougan, Very interesting to hear that you find Rosen's conclusions on target and well supported. I had ignored his book, under the impression that it was rehash of Silent Coup -- which I'd always seen as COUNTER to your own views. That is: Secret Agenda's prime thesis (if memory serves) was that the Wgate team, unbeknownst to its masters and (goofy pawn?) Gordon Liddy, was actually a CIA team employed (opportunistically, it seems, perhaps by Helms himself) to assist Nixon to early retirement. Then along came Silent Coup to protect the Company's honor -- by pointing fingers at the Pentagon (the Radford business) and John Dean instead. Perhaps memory ISN'T serving me perfectly well here. But let me ask: 1. Have your views changed much on Watergate since you wrote Secret Agenda -- in particular re institutional CIA involvement & manipulation? 2. Do you see important differences between Rosen's book and Silent Coup? 3. Even if John Dean pushed the button on the Wgate break-ins -- what of import follows? For myself: -- The Radford business seems important to understanding the Nixon White House's siege mentality: to an extent, the famous Enemies that fed their paranoia were on the Right, pissed off for being cut out of the China and North Vietnam talks and determined to protect turf (to put it kindly). -- The Wgate team is indeed best thought of as a CIA team. And the particular history of Nixon and Helms -- which Prouty (re Indonesia 1958), Ehrlichman (in his roman a clef The Company) and Haldeman (memoir and posthumous diaries) throw light on -- is relevant. So I guess I carry around large chunks of Secret Agenda and select bits of Silent Coup. But I no longer think it very important (nay, possible) to understand how precisely the Wgate burglaries got authorized. To a good extent the money has to talk there, and doesn't that mean Mitchell? Beyond that, winks and nods (and nodding-offs misconstrued as such) go a long way with eager beavers like Liddy. I guess the "level of organization" at which the Dean question resides doesn't trigger my own (rather robust) paranoia. So maybe the guy was trying to find his wife ... (Disclosure: I've found a lot of Dean's topical writing at FindLaw valuable over the years. If he's Guilty as Rosen apparently charges, I reckon he's Paid His Debt to Society ...) I don't think Rosen's book is a "rehash" of anything, though I'm certain he's read everything on the subject - and then gone out to do his own work. Which is why he's been able to move the story forward. The biggest obstacle to understanding "Watergate" is unquestionably getting past the myth in which the story is embedded. We are told that a couple of hard-working journalists, abetted by their self-effacing secret source and intrepid editors, saved the republic by exposing the misdeeds of a quintessentially evil president. It's a grand story in the David & Goliath tradition, and anyone who would revise it is likely to find himself reviled as a conspiracy-theorist and/or as a "revisionist" (you know, like those guys who deny the reality of the Holocast). At a minimum, any investigative reporter who would dare to suggest that there is more to the Watergate story than the Post has revealed or, worse, that the Post's coverage was inaccurate, incomplete or (Zooks!) manipulated, will likely be dismissed as an apologist for Nixon (Mitchell, Ehrlichman, etc.). Which is upsetting. But make no mistake about it: the stakes are huge, as are the equities of people like Woodward and Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and Katherine Graham, John Dean and the Democratic Party - not to mention the many reporters, pols and lawyers who have built successful careers on the basis of some slim connection to the story. Watergate is an industry. (There I go again...but I think you had some questions about a book I'd written.) "Have (my) views changed much on Watergate since (I) wrote Secret Agenda?" Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that the Watergate mythos has begun to fray over the years. John Dean's role in the affair has become much clearer. For this, we may thank the authors of Silent Coup and The Strong Man - as well as Dean himself. The litigation that he's initiated or encouraged, first against Len Colodney and then against Gordon Liddy, has been the political equivalent of an own-goal - for which he should be thanked. In addition to the wealth of new information generated in the aftermath of my own book, I have come to understand that the affair was even more complex than I realized when I was writing Secret Agenda. It now seems to me that John Dean's manipulation of Gordon Liddy and his client, Richard Nixon, not to mention the Ervin Committee's staff had a profound effect on the way in which the affair unwound in the courts and the Congress, and on the world stage. This was not apparent to me when I wrote Secret Agenda, or if it was apparent, it did not interest me. It should have. That said, I would add that my views of Watergate have not changed - not, at least, in the sense that I would retract anything that I have written about the affair. The book is correct in all details, and in its central thrust: Watergate was a set-up. The CIA and the Pentagon were spying on the White House (through Howard Hunt and Adm. Thomas Moorer's minions) - and James McCord sabotaged the break-in. He did this - apparently in an effort to protect an extremely important CIA operation involving DNC Chairman Larry O'Brien - with the help of a man named Lou Russell, a former FBI agent who was also, and in particular, the former chief investigator of the House Committee on Un-American Activities ("HUAC"). The point being that Secret Agenda ought to have recognized the fact that there were several agendas at work - not one. To understand Watergate, we need to consider not only the CIA's "agenda," but John Dean's, as well. And we need, also, to recognize that the intelligence community is not a monolith. The Pentagon had its agenda, as the Moorer-Radford affair proved, but so also did the CIA's counterintelligence staff, particularly where it intersected with the interests of the Security Research Staff (under Gen. Paul Gaynor) and the private-sector American Security Council. These are people who see themselves as an Elect, charged with the sacred mission of saving the Republic not only from its foreign enemies, but from its own citizenry and elected officials. I would suggest that the agenda of the Security Research Staff, with which James McCord was intimately connected, was far more radical than any "institutional agenda" that the CIA may have had. Your second question: "Do (I) see important differences between Rosen's book and Silent Coup?" Well, yeah. "The Strong Man" benefits massively from the litigation that Dean and his attorneys instigated against Colodney, Gettlin and Liddy. Depositions and other evidence in those cases did much to focus and bolster Rosen's argument(s). It seems to me, as well, that Rosen's book is unusually well-written. And, of course, it's a biography - which Silent Coup is not. But as for any substantive differences between the two books, with respect to the actual meaning of Watergate, I don't know of any. There may be some. Your third question: "Even if John Dean pushed the button on the Wgate break-ins -- what of import follows?" Well, our perception of Watergate would certainly be different if it were shown that the affair was initiated by a minion in the White House, acting without authority, rather than by a government official acting with the presumed, if tacit, approval of the President and/or his immediate subordinates. So, too, "if John Dean pushed the button on the Wgate break-ins," a great injustice has been done to a string of people, including Dean's client (Nixon) and his boss, Mitchell (who was left to take a very hard fall). In your post, you make the point that "The Radford business seems important..." Indeed, it is/was. One of the best things about Secret Agenda is that it was the first book to relate the Moorer-Radford affair to Watergate - this, because while the Moorer-Radford affair preceded Watergate, it was not made public until after Watergate unfolded. You write that "The Wgate team is indeed best thought of as a CIA team." Actually, it was more of a conglomerate than a team. Hunt and McCord had an agenda that was very different than Liddy's. Hunt and McCord were carrying water for one of the darkest corners of the CIA, while Liddy was simply "following orders" - orders that he mistakenly thought had come from John Mitchell. Regards, Hougan
  8. Jim Hougan

    Deep Throat: The Candidates

    John's analysis is as good as any I've seen. The problem, however, isn't so much a question of ascertaining the identity of "Deep Throat," as it is of identifying Woodward's most important source. that Deep Throat was a composite and, as Adrian Havill has suggested, a "literary device," we may take for granted. (As I recall, Throat figured only incidentally in the first draft of *All the President's Men*. This changed when Woodward's editor, Alice Mayhew, realized the book needed a bit more excitement, and so urged Woodward to play up the role of man he met in the garage, the one with the sexy name. And so he did. In the end, however, "Deep Throat" is whoever Woodward says he is, so long as it's someone with whom Woodward actually spoke. And if Woodward says Felt is Throat, then I guess Felt will have to carry that tag into the grave. But the really important questions - who was Woodward's most important source and why has he kept that person's identity secret for so long - are swept under the rug by Woodward's designation of Felt as Throat. Indeed, I think it's fair to say that Woodward is using Mark Felt ( the Deep Throat persona) in the same way that a magician uses misdirection to conceal what's actually going on. The truth is, Woodward had many sources. Felt was one. Bobby Inman was another. And so on and on. His most important source, however, was undoubtedly the man identified in a CIA document entitled "Memorandum for the Record by Martin Lukoskie." At the time it was written, Mr. Lukoskie was an employee of the CIA's Central Cover Staff. The subject-line of his memo reads: "Meeting with Robert Foster Bennett and his Comments Concerning E. Howard Hunt, Douglas Caddy and the 'Watergate Five' Incident." Lukoskie notes that the meeting with Bennett took place on July 10, 1972 in the Hot Shop (sic) Cafeteria in Washington. Lukoskie was the CIA's liaison to the Robert R. Mullen Company, which had for years provided commercial cover for CIA officers around the world. (The firm's most important client was the Howard Hughes organization - which DNC Chairman Larry O'Brien had represented prior to Robert Maheu's ouster.) Bennett was the Mullen Company's president, and Howard Hunt was one of its key employees. Lukoskie, then, was Bennett's case officer. And in his memo, the CIA officer reports Bennett's assertion that "when E. Howard Hunt was connected with the (Watergate) incident, reporters from the Washington Post and he (Bennett) thought the Washington Star tried to establish a 'Seven Days in May' scenario with the Agency attempting to establish control over both the Republican and Democratic Parties so as to be able to take over the country. Mr. Bennett said he was able to convince them that course (sic) was nonsense." That the reporters were Woodward and Bernstein seems likely, since Lukoskie goes on to report that "Mr. Bennett...has now established a 'back door entry' to the Edward Bennett Williams law firm which is representing the Democratic Party in its suit for damages resulting from the Watergate incident;. Mr. Bennett is prepared to go this route to kill off any revelation by Ed Williams of Agency association with the Mullen firm if such a development seems likely." (The Lukoskie memo is reprinted in the Appendix to *Secret Agenda*.) Nine months after this memo was written, Lukoskie's boss at the CIA, Eric Eisenstadt, wrote a memo of his own. Entitled "Memorandum for the Deputy Director for Plans," the memo reported that "Bennett said...that he has been feeding stories to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post with the understanding that there be no attribution... Woodward is suitably grateful for the fine stories and by-lines which he gets and protects Bennett (and the Mullen Company)." In the same memo, Eisenstadt reports that Bennett spent hours persuading a *Newsweek* reporter that the Mullen Company "was not involved with the Watergate Affair." The memo goes on to report that Bennett helped to convince reporters for the *Washington Star*, the *Washington Post* and the *Los Angeles Times* tht the CIA had not "instigated the Watergate affair." If I may quote myself and *Secret Agenda*: "As an example of Bennett's 'achievements,' Eisenstadt cited Bennett's inspiration of a *Newsweek* article entitle 'Whispers about Colson' and a *Washington Post* story about Hunt's investigation of Senator Edward Kennedy." Clearly, Robert Bennett was a key source - and, quite possibly, Woodward's most important source. Whether he was Deep Throat or not is, in the end, for Woodward to say. But it seems to me that if Woodward's most important source was, in fact, shilling for the CIA - was, in fact, a CIA agent hell-bent on manipulating the Watergate story - then the Washington Post reporter had good reason to keep the identity of that source secret for as long as he could.. Because, of course, if this was indeed the case, then Woodward was less a hero of investigative journalism than a stooge for Langley. And if I am right about that, then pinning the Deep Throat label on the addled Mark Felt was no more than a cynical attempt to end the on-going speculation about Deep Throat's identity - which threatened to bring Woodward's reputation crashing down around him. Postscript: After Watergate, Robert Bennett left the Mullen Company to become one of the wealthiest men in the United States Senate. A Mormon elder, he represents Utah.
  9. Jim Hougan

    New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

    I suggest you take a look at this thread that fully discusses this issue: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4001 For example, I wrote this when Mark Felt was originally exposed as Deep Throat: On 19th June, Bob Woodward 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 Woodward as long as he was never named as a source. Later, Howard Simons, the managing editor of the newspaper, gave him the nickname "Deep Throat". During their first telephone conversation with Bob Woodward Deep Throat insisted on certain conditions. According to All the President's Men: "His identity was unknown to anyone else. He could be contacted only on very important occasions. Woodward had promised he would never identify him or his position to anyone. Woodward had also agreed never to quote the man, even as an anonymous source. Their discussions would be only to confirm information that had been obtained elsewhere and to add some perspective." The first information that Deep Throat gave Woodward on 19th June was that the Federal Bureau of Investigation considered that E. Howard Hunt, a former member of the Central Intelligence Agency, was a major suspect in the case. At first Woodward and Deep Throat communicated via telephone. However, by October, 1973, Deep Throat had become very worried that he would be identified as Woodward's main source and insisted that they had their meetings at about 2:00 am. in a pre-designated underground parking garage. Deep Throat even refused to use the phone to set up the meetings. It was agreed that if Woodward wanted a meeting he would place a flower pot with the red flag on the balcony of his apartment. On one occasion (25th February, 1973) the men met in a Washington bar. As Bob Woodward, and Carl Bernstein explained in All the President's Men: "If Deep Throat wanted a meeting-which was rare-there was a different procedure. Each morning, Woodward would check page 20 of his New York Times, delivered to his apartment house before 7:00 am. If a meeting was requested, the page number would be circled and the hands of a clock indicating the time of the rendezvous would appear in a lower corner of the page." According to Woodward's book, All the President's Men, he had at least fifteen conversations with Deep Throat while investigating the Watergate scandal. This included communications on 19th June (2 phone calls); 16th September, 1972 (phone call); 8th October, 1972 (phone call); 9th October, 1972 (garage meeting); 21st October, 1972 (garage meeting), 27th October, 1972 (garage meeting), late December, 1972 (undisclosed), 25th January, 1973 (garage meeting); 25th February, 1973 (meeting in bar); 16th April, 1973 (phone call); 16th May, 1973 (garage meeting) and a meeting during the first week of November, 1973. In his book, Lost Honor, John Dean made a list of 30 possible candidates: White House Staff (Stephen Bull, Alexander P. Butterfield, Kenneth Clawson, Charles Colson, Leonard Garment, David Gergen, Alexander Haig, Richard Moore and Jonathan Rose); FBI (Thomas E. Bishop, Charles Bowles, Mark Felt, L. Patrick Gray and David Kinley), Justice Department (Carl Belcher, Richard Burke, John Keeney, Laurence McWhorter, Henry Peterson and Harold Shapiro); Secret Service (Lilburn Boggs, Charles Bretz, Roger Schwalm, Alfred Wong and Raymond Zumwalt). In his memoirs, The Ends of Power, H. R. Haldeman, came to the conclusion that Deep Throat was John Dean's assistant, Fred F. Fielding. This view is supported by William Gaines, head of the Department of Journalism at the University of Illinois. As he points out "my students over 12 semesters poured over FBI reports, congressional testimony, White House documents in the National Archives and autobiographies of Watergate figures". Eventually, like Haldeman, they became convinced that Fielding was Deep Throat. The authors of Silent Coup: The Removal of a President, claimed that the culprit was Alexander Haig, the man who replaced Haldeman as chief of staff in the Nixon administration. Jim Hougan (Secret Agenda) and John Dean (Lost Honor) also argued that Haig was probably Deep Throat. However, Haig was not in Washington during Woodward's meeting with Deep Throat on 9th October, 1972. The other problem with Haig concerns motivation. Was it really in his interests to bring down Richard Nixon? According to Leon Jaworski, Haig did everything he could, including lying about what was on the tapes, in order to protect Nixon from impeachment. Mark Riebling, the author of Wedge: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 points out that Bob Woodward described Deep Throat as having an aggregate of information flowing in and out of many stations" and "perhaps the only person in the government in a position to possibly understand the whole scheme, and not be a potential conspirator himself". Riebling goes on to argue that this indicates that Deep Throat was a senior official in the Central Intelligence Agency. He points out that Woodward virtually confirmed that his source was from the CIA: "As you know, I'm not going to discuss the identity of Deep Throat or any other of my confidential sources who are still alive. But let me just say that the suggestion that we were being used by the intelligence community was of concern to us at the time and afterward." Riebling suggests three possible CIA suspects: William Colby, Cord Meyer and Richard Helms. He finally opts for Meyer arguing that like Deep Throat he was a chain-smoker and heavy drinker. Riebling also suggests that Meyer met Woodward while working as a Washington briefer in naval intelligence. The problem with this theory is that Meyer was transferred to London during the summer of 1973 and could not have made the meeting with Woodward in November of that year. Deborah Davis, the author of Katharine the Great, also believes that Deep Throat was a senior official of the CIA. Her candidate is Richard Ober, the head of Operation Chaos. Ober was given an office in the White House and worked closely with Richard Nixon, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman during this period. Davis later told me that her source was a senior figure at the CIA (I had suggested to her that the source might have been Carl Bernstein). Leonard Garment, Nixon's special counsel, later wrote the book, In Search of Deep Throat (2002). Garment came to the conclusion that Deep Throat was fellow presidential lawyer John Sears. James Mann, a former colleague of Woodward's at the Washington Post, argued in an article in the Atlantic Monthly that was published in 1992 that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. This view was supported by Ronald Kessler (The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI). Nora Ephron, the former wife of Carl Bernstein, has been claiming for several years that Felt was Deep Throat. Bob Woodward promised Deep Throat that he would never reveal the man's position with the government, nor would he ever quote him, even anonymously, in his articles. Woodward also promised not to tell anyone else the identity of his source. Woodward did not keep these promises. He gave the name of Deep Throat to both Ben Bradlee and Carl Bernstein. He also quoted him in his book, All the President's Men. The best way to identify Deep Throat is to take a close look at what he told Bob Woodward. The initial information suggested that his source was someone involved in the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in. However, Jim Hougan (Secret Agenda) argues that Deep Throat was unlikely to have been a member of the agency. He points out that Deep Throat did not tell Woodward about the role played by Alfred Baldwin in the Watergate break-in. This was first revealed by a press conference held by the Democratic Party in September. Hougan suggests that the only reason Deep Throat did not pass this important information to Woodward was that he did not know about it. If that is the case Deep Throat was not from the FBI (L. Patrick Gray or Mark Felt). Nor could he have been one of Nixon's aides who all knew about Baldwin's key role in the break-in (John Dean, H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, John N. Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, Egil Krogh and Frederick LaRue). Another clue to the identity of Deep Throat comes from Barry Sussman, Woodward's editor at Washington Post. In his book, The Great Cover-Up, Sussman claims that Woodward first made use of Deep Throat when writing about how Arthur Bremer attempted to kill George Wallace on 15th May, 1972. This suggests that his informant was working in a senior position in the FBI. In April, 1982, John Dean met Bob Woodward at a conference being held at the University of Massachusetts. Although Woodward refused to identify Deep Throat it was possible for Dean to work out that he was someone working in the White House. According to Woodward it was Deep Throat who first suggested that Alexander P. Butterfield could be an important figure in the investigation. In May, 1973, Woodward told a member of the Senate Watergate Committee (undoubtedly his friend, Scott Armstrong) that Butterfield should be interviewed. On 25th June, 1973, John Dean testified that at a meeting with Richard Nixon on 15th April, the president had remarked that he had probably been foolish to have discussed his attempts to get clemency for E. Howard Hunt with Charles Colson. Dean concluded from this that Nixon's office might be bugged. On Friday, 13th July, Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. Butterfield reluctantly admitted details of the tape system which monitored Nixon's conversations. In Lost Honor John Dean concludes that it was Deep Throat had told Woodward about Nixon's taping system that had been installed by Alexander P. Butterfield. This was the best-kept secret in the White House with only a few people knowing about its existence. In the first week of November, 1973, Deep Throat told Woodward that there were "gaps" in Nixon's tapes. He hinted that these gaps were the result of deliberate erasures. On 8th November, Woodward and Bernstein published an article in the Washington Post that said that according to their source the "conservation on some of the tapes appears to have been erased". It was later claimed by Jim Hougan (Secret Agenda) and John Dean (Lost Honor) that only a very small group of people could have known about these gaps at this time. According to Fred Emery (Watergate: The Corruption and Fall of Richard Nixon), the only Richard Nixon, Rose Mary Woods, Alexander Haig and Stephen Bull knew about this erased tape before it was made public on 20th November. In his book Deep Truth: The Lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (1993) Adrian Havill argues that Deep Throat was a dramatic devise used by Woodward. Havill visited the place where Woodward lived during the Watergate investigation. He discovered that the balcony where he placed the flower pot with a red flag faced an interior courtyard. Havill argues in his book that the only way Deep Throat could see the flag was "to walk into the center of the complex, with eighty units viewing you, crane your neck and look up to the sixth floor". Havill argues that Deep Throat would have been highly unlikely to have exposed himself if this way. Nor was Havill impressed with the way Deep Throat communicated to Woodward when he wanted a meeting with the journalist. According to “All the President's Men” Deep Throat drew a clock on page 20 of his New York Times. Havill discovered that the papers were not delivered to each door, but left stacked and unmarked in a common reception area. Havill argues that there is no way Deep Throat could have known which paper Woodward would end up with each morning. In May, 2005, John O'Connor, a lawyer working for Mark Felt, told Vanity Fair magazine that his client was Deep Throat. Shortly afterwards Bob Woodward confirmed that Felt had provided him with important information during the Watergate investigation. However, Carl Bernstein was quick to add that Felt was only one of several important sources. However, there are serious problems with the idea that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. In his autobiography, The FBI Pyramid: Inside the FBI, Felt denied being Deep Throat and said he met with Woodward only once. Felt's last word on the subject came in 1999, on the 25th anniversary of Nixon's resignation, when he told a reporter that it would be "terrible" if someone in his position had been Deep Throat. "This would completely undermine the reputation that you might have as a loyal employee of the FBI," he said. "It just wouldn't fit at all." Felt had not made the confession himself. In 2001 Felt suffered a stroke that robbed him of his memory. Before this happened Felt had told his daughter Joan that he was Deep Throat. She admits that the family have gone public in an attempt to obtain money. Joan Felt told journalists: "My son Nick is in law school and he'll owe $100,000 by the time he graduates. I am still a single mom, still supporting them (her children) to one degree or another." Vanity Fair only paid the Felt family $10,000 (£5,500) but the whole project is linked to a $1m book deal. It is rumoured the book will be written by Bob Woodward. However, on 4th June, 2005, the publisher Judith Regan (HarperCollins) revealed that negotiations over a possible book deal had collapsed because of serious concerns that Felt was no longer of sound mind. There are several major problems with Mark Felt being Deep Throat. Felt resigned from the FBI in June, 1973 and no longer had to worry about his career. Why did he not come forward with his information at this stage of the Watergate investigation? He would have been seen as a national hero and would no doubt have made a fortune from his memoirs. In November, 1980, Felt was convicted of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of Americans by authorising illegal break-ins and wire taps of people connected to suspected domestic bombers. Why did Felt not attempt to rebuild his public image by disclosing that he was Deep Throat? If Felt had been Deep Throat why did he not tell Woodward about the role played by Alfred Baldwin in the Watergate break-in? The FBI knew about this within days of the break-in. Yet Woodward did not mention it in his articles until the story was revealed by a press conference held by the Democratic Party in September, 1972. According to Woodward it was Deep Throat who first suggested that Alexander P. Butterfield could be an important figure in the investigation. In May, 1973, Woodward told a member of the Senate Watergate Committee that Butterfield should be interviewed. On Friday, 13th July, Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Richard Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. This was the best-kept secret in the White House with only a few people knowing about its existence. How could Felt have known about this system? Felt left the FBI in June 1973. Yet according to “All the President's Men” Woodward continued to meet Deep Throat after this date. The most important of these meetings took place in the first week of November, 1973. At this meeting Deep Throat told Woodward that there were "gaps" in Nixon's tapes. He hinted that these gaps were the result of deliberate erasures. On 8th November, Woodward and Bernstein published an article in the Washington Post that said that according to their source the "conversation on some of the tapes appears to have been erased". It has been claimed by several writers that only a very small group of people could have known about these gaps at this time. How could Felt had known about this? Maybe he did have meetings with Woodward in underground garages. However, if Felt was Deep Throat, he was getting information from someone working in the White House. He also had to get information from someone senior in the CIA. The most sensible explanation is that Deep Throat was more than one man. That is he represented several of Woodward's sources. If that is the case, I think Deep Throat was Mark Felt, William Sullivan, Richard Ober and Stephen Bull.
  10. Jim Hougan

    New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

    You are right that the fact that James Rosen works for Fox should be irrelevant. Unfortunately, very few researchers can be that objective. This problem has plagued all attempts to understand political conspiracies such as Watergate and the assassination of JFK. The traditional account of Watergate has been accepted because of its portrayal of Nixon as a corrupt politician. This appeals to Democrats and it has been used to bash the Republicans. Nixon was impossible to defend and the Republicans understandably have attempted to distance themselves from the man as a “one off”. In reality, Nixon was no more corrupt than Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush. The story that Nixon was a corrupt politician who was finally exposed as a result of Watergate is unconvincing. If you look at all the available evidence, Nixon was set-up, most probably by the CIA. The fact that this theory might be supported by right-wing Republicans does not make it wrong. Doug Valentine asked me to post the following (inasmuch as he does not have posting privileges: "Jim Hougan is partially right when he says my review of Rosen's book was 'really no more than an ad hominem attack.' "He's right, it is an ad hominem attack, but that's not all it is. "Regarding the ad hominem part: when I go to my gym, I have to sit on a stationary bike in front of TV set on Fox News. The barrage of propaganda masquerading as news is no more than an ad hominem attack on the left, mostly Obama. So my review was intended to give Fox News a taste of its own medicine. Strong Man served as the perfect medium. "James Rosen represents everything unbalanced and devious about Fox. To wit, his book tries to transform John Mitchell, a bald headed fascist if there ever was one, into a hero who among other things de-segregated the South. In this respect, Rosen is disingenuous in the extreme. "In reviewing Rosen's book, one has to separate his secret political agenda - to glorify Mitchell and thus rehabilitate the right - from his 'call girl' theory of Watergate, which, after all, is a wild theory blaming John Dean, not a criminal investigation that proves anything. Like the Fox News theories that Obama is a socialist Muslim born in Africa, or that McCain is a war hero. "Don't forget that right-wing fanatics staged the Watergate break-in, and did dozens of other illegal deeds as part of a right-wing plan to steal the 1972 elections. In these plots the CIA helped Hunt with disguises etc. In the aftermath of Watergate, the criminal excesses of the right wing and its component parts in the intelligence, military and law enforcement branches of our government were exposed. "Having said that, and understanding that Watergate was a crime by the right against the left, Jim is correct that we have to transcend partisan politics to arrive at a true understanding of Watergate. Which only supports my argument, made satirically in my review of Strong Man, that Rosen sank himself by stiring right wing political revisionism into a theory of Watergate." Signed/ Doug Valentine
  11. Jim Hougan

    New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

    Pat Speer is right when he suggests that Dubbya is a menace. Indeed, I think it's fair to say that George has done more damage to the U.S. than Khalid Sheik Mohammed could ever have dreamed of doing. Richard Nixon, on the other hand, is something else. In Arrogance of Power, Tony Summers quotes Mobologist Ralph Salerno to the effect that "Organized crime will put a man in the White House someday, and he won't even know it until they hand him the bill." Summers then proceeds to connect the dots that link Nixon, via Murray Chotiner and others, to organized crime figures such as Meyer Lansky and Mickey Cohen. The Kennedy family's in-house spook, Walter Sheridan, is then summoned to pose a rhetorical question: "...who would you invest your money in? Some politician named Clams Linguini? Or a nice Protestant boy from Whittier, California?" It's a good point. (Though I would add that an even better investment might be a nice Catholic boy from Hyannis Port - especially someone whose father had made the right contacts during Prohibition.) But that's just me. In reality, of course, Nixon was on several payrolls. Indeed, he'd only agreed to run for Congress in 1946 on the condition that those who backed him would supplement his congressional salary to make it commensurate with what he might have earned as a lawyer in private practice. So, even from the beginning, he was on the pad (or pads). In a long ago interview with John Mitchell, I suggested (rather tentatively) that the disgraced president might have been, well, just a bit corrupt. Mitchell bristled at the suggestion, fulminating that Nixon was "a Boy Scout" who would never take a dime improperly - then pausesd and added, unless, you count "the money from the Paradise Island Bridge" linking Nassau to the Resorts International casino. I gaped. Mitchell chuckled. I started to press him on the issue, but he shook his head with a Cheshire grin, and changed the subject. To this day, I don't know if he was being serious or if he was just winding me up. (He was like that.) But I do know that in the early 1970s a private investigator named Norman Casper (a/k/a "the Friendly Ghost") obtained a print-out of secret accounts at the offshore Castle Bank & Trust in the Bahamas and Cayman Islands. He did this as a sort of bounty hunter for the IRS, collecting "a moiety in law" - i.e., a percentage of the monies retrieved - from the Revenooers. The Castle Bank & Trust print-out sparked a red-hot IRS investigation that was shut down soon after it started when a sensitive investigative dossier was released through "a bureaucratic mistake." Or so it was said. According to Casper, however, the investigation was shuttered for a different reason. Among the names on the print-out of Castle's clients was a man named "Richard M. Nixon."
  12. Jim Hougan

    New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

    Jeez... Doug Valentine is a friend of mine. So is James Rosen. And, like Valentine, who authored the brilliant "Strength of the Wolf," Rosen has written one of the best works of investigative journalism to have been published in the past ten years. That he works for Fox is irrelevant, except in the sense that it makes it easy for liberals to dismiss his book without having read it or considered his arguments. Sadly, Doug's criticism of the book is really no more than an ad hominem attack. In fact, "Strong Man" is a massively well-documented biography, packed with new information, that moves the Watergate story forward by leaps and bounds. While the book has been attacked by the likes of John Dean, I know of no factual errors in its pages - and its thesis is in no way refuted by Dean's name-calling (or Doug's). My own interest in the matter is well-known. "Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA" was the first book to discuss the Columbia Plaza call-girl operation and its links to the DNC, and to suggest that the break-in itself had been sabotaged by James McCord. Who ordered the break-in is, of course, an essential question and one, moreover, that has never been satisfactorily answered - until the appearance of Rosen's "Strong Man." That said, let me suggest that until we're able to put aside our political biases and think outside the Fox News/Post News box, we will never understand what Watergate was really all about (and, trust me, it was about a lot more than DNC Chairman Larry O'Brien's strategy for winning New Hampshire). Jim Hougan
  13. Jim Hougan

    Andrew St. George

    Andrew and I were great pals throughout the years that I was writing *Spooks*. We hung out together in Washington. We went down to Mitch WerBell's place (a/k/a "The Farm") in Powder Springs. And it was grand. Everything was hunky-dory between us - until *Spooks* came out. Andrew rushed came over to my office, flushed and out of breath, as soon as he heard that it had been published and asked for a copy. I gave him one and...that was it. I never saw him again. Which was odd, because 1) I thought we were friends; and 2) we were both working for *Harper's*. It was like he did a duck-dive, or something. Later, someone told me that Andrew was writing under a nom de plume for Willis Carto's *Spotlight*. I thought that was bizarre, because I'd always assumed that he was a liberal. When I mentioned that, the person I was talking to laughed. Hysterically. "Andrew? A liberal?! You're kidding, right?" To this day, I'm unsure why he disappeared the way he did. In my more paranoid moments, it occurs to me that maybe his "assignment" ended when the book was published. Or maybe he was unhappy that I'd written as much as I had about Mitch (on whom Andrew cast a proprietary eye). Or it might have been that he was upset about my account of his role in "Project Nassau," a CBS documentary (starring Mitch WerBell, plotting a coup d'etat in Haiti). The documentary was so flawed it became the subject of congressional hearings. But, yeah. I miss him, too. Jim Hougan