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New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

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I don't believe this allegation by Rosen of Faux News Channel is historically accurate but since it may attract some public attention I am posting this article about his new book:

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New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

By Steve Holland

Reuters US Online Report Top News

May 19, 2008 01:03 EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new book on the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon alleges that White House counsel John Dean ordered the infamous Watergate break-in in 1972, a charge Dean strongly rejected.

James Rosen, a Fox News Channel correspondent in Washington, made the charge based on interviews and an exhaustive review of documents for "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate."

The biography is being released this week about Nixon's attorney general, a central Watergate figure.

Dean called Rosen's assertion "pathetic."

The Watergate scandal began with the bungled election-year break-in of Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington on June 17, 1972. The aim was to wiretap the telephones.

Initially dismissed by the White House as a "third-rate burglary," the scandal was slow in evolving and had no impact on the outcome of the 1972 election -- Nixon easily defeated Democratic Sen. George McGovern to win a second term.

But by 1974 investigators had traced Watergate and various other political scandals back to the White House and Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974.

Dean was most famous for telling Nixon in a taped Oval Office conversation in 1973 that Watergate was "a cancer growing on the presidency."

Though convicted of several Watergate-related felonies, he has been widely viewed as somewhat of a sympathetic figure in the case because he became a key witness for the prosecution, thus reducing his prison time.

Rosen quoted from a 1990 interview from another central Watergate figure, Jeb Magruder, that "the first plan that we got had been initiated by Dean."

To help build his case, Rosen quoted from a statement that Magruder made in a legal deposition in 1995 about "Gemstone," Watergate planner G. Gordon Liddy's code-name for the burglary:

"Question: 'Is it true that John Dean was one of the people in the White House that was pushing for the Gemstone plan?'

"Magruder: 'Yes.'

"Question: ... Is it, in fact, truthful that you and John Dean had prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in?'

"Magruder: 'Yes."'

Dean told Reuters, "I hope this book is being sold as fiction, for if it is not, readers are being defrauded."

"His conclusions are pathetic. Rosen has simply ignored all the sworn testimony to the contrary, including my own," he said.

Rosen notes that Dean has always denied ordering the break-in. "I wasn't even aware of the Watergate until after it happened," Rosen quotes Dean as saying in 1999.

Many previous accounts have alleged that Mitchell ordered the break-in.

Rosen's book also alleges that the doomed wiretapping was deliberately sabotaged by the CIA.

Rosen says he had a rich trove of previously undiscovered information to scour for his book, including 5,000 pages of executive session testimony by key witnesses before the Senate Watergate committee, including Dean, Magruder, James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and Alexander Haig.

Source: Reuters US Online Report Top News

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I don't believe this allegation by Rosen of Faux News Channel is historically accurate but since it may attract some public attention I am posting this article about his new book:

----------

New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

By Steve Holland

Reuters US Online Report Top News

May 19, 2008 01:03 EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new book on the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon alleges that White House counsel John Dean ordered the infamous Watergate break-in in 1972, a charge Dean strongly rejected.

James Rosen, a Fox News Channel correspondent in Washington, made the charge based on interviews and an exhaustive review of documents for "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate."

The biography is being released this week about Nixon's attorney general, a central Watergate figure.

Dean called Rosen's assertion "pathetic."

The Watergate scandal began with the bungled election-year break-in of Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Wasington on June 17, 1972. The aim was to wiretap the telephones.

Initially dismissed by the White House as a "third-rate burglary," the scandal was slow in evolving and had no impact on the outcome of the 1972 election -- Nixon easily defeated Democratic Sen. George McGovern to win a second term.

But by 1974 investigators had traced Watergate and various other political scandals back to the White House and Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974.

Dean was most famous for telling Nixon in a taped Oval Office conversation in 1973 that Watergate was "a cancer growing on the presidency."

Though convicted of several Watergate-related felonies, he has been widely viewed as somewhat of a sympathetic figure in the case because he became a key witness for the prosecution, thus reducing his prison time.

Rosen quoted from a 1990 interview from another central Watergate figure, Jeb Magruder, that "the first plan that we got had been initiated by Dean."

To help build his case, Rosen quoted from a statement that Magruder made in a legal deposition in 1995 about "Gemstone," Watergate planner G. Gordon Liddy's code-name for the burglary:

"Question: 'Is it true that John Dean was one of the people in the White House that was pushing for the Gemstone plan?'

"Magruder: 'Yes.'

"Question: ... Is it, in fact, truthful that you and John Dean had prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in?'

"Magruder: 'Yes."'

Dean told Reuters, "I hope this book is being sold as fiction, for if it is not, readers are being defrauded."

"His conclusions are pathetic. Rosen has simply ignored all the sworn testimony to the contrary, including my own," he said.

Rosen notes that Dean has always denied ordering the break-in. "I wasn't even aware of the Watergate until after it happened," Rosen quotes Dean as saying in 1999.

Many previous accounts have alleged that Mitchell ordered the break-in.

Rosen's book also alleges that the doomed wiretapping was deliberately sabotaged by the CIA.

Rosen says he had a rich trove of previously undiscovered information to scour for his book, including 5,000 pages of executive session testimony by key witnesses before the Senate Watergate committee, including Dean, Magruder, James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and Alexander Haig.

Source: Reuters US Online Report Top News

It seems clear that this Rosen is just another republican hatchet man, out to redeem poor John Mitchell, wrongly maligned all these years. That this book comes at a time when another Republican Attorney General, appropriately named A.G. has been exposed as a political hack and criminal, is just a coincidence, of course. Dean has written a few books bad-mouthing the Bushies for their crimes. It was just a matter of time before they fought back. I suspect this is it.

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Guest David Guyatt

Unless I am getting muddles (it happens these days) didn't Nixon delete his tapes to hide his knowledge and responsibility of this - amongst other things?

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I don't believe this allegation by Rosen of Faux News Channel is historically accurate but since it may attract some public attention I am posting this article about his new book:

----------

New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

By Steve Holland

Reuters US Online Report Top News

May 19, 2008 01:03 EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new book on the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon alleges that White House counsel John Dean ordered the infamous Watergate break-in in 1972, a charge Dean strongly rejected.

James Rosen, a Fox News Channel correspondent in Washington, made the charge based on interviews and an exhaustive review of documents for "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate."

The biography is being released this week about Nixon's attorney general, a central Watergate figure.

Dean called Rosen's assertion "pathetic."

The Watergate scandal began with the bungled election-year break-in of Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Wasington on June 17, 1972. The aim was to wiretap the telephones.

Initially dismissed by the White House as a "third-rate burglary," the scandal was slow in evolving and had no impact on the outcome of the 1972 election -- Nixon easily defeated Democratic Sen. George McGovern to win a second term.

But by 1974 investigators had traced Watergate and various other political scandals back to the White House and Nixon was forced to resign on August 9, 1974.

Dean was most famous for telling Nixon in a taped Oval Office conversation in 1973 that Watergate was "a cancer growing on the presidency."

Though convicted of several Watergate-related felonies, he has been widely viewed as somewhat of a sympathetic figure in the case because he became a key witness for the prosecution, thus reducing his prison time.

Rosen quoted from a 1990 interview from another central Watergate figure, Jeb Magruder, that "the first plan that we got had been initiated by Dean."

To help build his case, Rosen quoted from a statement that Magruder made in a legal deposition in 1995 about "Gemstone," Watergate planner G. Gordon Liddy's code-name for the burglary:

"Question: 'Is it true that John Dean was one of the people in the White House that was pushing for the Gemstone plan?'

"Magruder: 'Yes.'

"Question: ... Is it, in fact, truthful that you and John Dean had prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in?'

"Magruder: 'Yes."'

Dean told Reuters, "I hope this book is being sold as fiction, for if it is not, readers are being defrauded."

"His conclusions are pathetic. Rosen has simply ignored all the sworn testimony to the contrary, including my own," he said.

Rosen notes that Dean has always denied ordering the break-in. "I wasn't even aware of the Watergate until after it happened," Rosen quotes Dean as saying in 1999.

Many previous accounts have alleged that Mitchell ordered the break-in.

Rosen's book also alleges that the doomed wiretapping was deliberately sabotaged by the CIA.

Rosen says he had a rich trove of previously undiscovered information to scour for his book, including 5,000 pages of executive session testimony by key witnesses before the Senate Watergate committee, including Dean, Magruder, James McCord, E. Howard Hunt and Alexander Haig.

Source: Reuters US Online Report Top News

It seems clear that this Rosen is just another republican hatchet man, out to redeem poor John Mitchell, wrongly maligned all these years. That this book comes at a time when another Republican Attorney General, appropriately named A.G. has been exposed as a political hack and criminal, is just a coincidence, of course. Dean has written a few books bad-mouthing the Bushies for their crimes. It was just a matter of time before they fought back. I suspect this is it.

Note: I don't necessarily agree with all that Valentine writes below or with the tone of his writing but I think it deserves a reading.

_________________

Mission CREEP: From John Mitchell to John McCain

Strong Man, Straw Dog and the FoxNews Circus

By DOUGLAS VALENTINE

www.counterpunch.org

October 11-12, 2008

http://www.counterpunch.org/valentine10122008.html

A lot of people believe, as Joe Biden recently said, that Sarah Palin and her running mate John McCain are going “over the edge” in a desperate attempt to assassinate Barack Obama’s character. Biden and other critics specifically cite the frenzied calls at Palin-McCain rallies to “kill” the “terrorist” Obama – calls for violence that go unheard by the sleepy Secret Service.

In response, Palin and McCain cite Obama’s “attacks” on “hardworking middle class Americans,” code words that transform fascism, racism and religious fanaticism into righteousness. Their allies in government (like the Secret Service) tacitly turn a blind eye; they commit no overt acts to further the Palin-McCain conspiracy but advance it through sins of omission.

Indeed, as America sinks deeper in the morass of the Wall Street meltdown, the Republican Party finds invisibility a virtue. Look around their rabid rallies and nowhere will you see any sign of its amoral leader for the last eight years, the washed-up and universally despised George W Bush.

In the maelstrom of freewheeling capitalism and mass murder Bush engendered, mere mendacity, however, is a minor sin. Palin-McCain exhortations that Obama is untruthful about his associations with “domestic terrorists” are repeated every day as “news” by the mainstream media, while the frothing mouthpiece of the Republican Party, Fox News, broadcasts 24/7 the Big Lie that Barack “Hussein” (Palinesque wink and wiggle) Obama is really a Communist Muslim born in Africa who seeks to destroy America.

Soon Fox will certainly unearth documentary evidence of his membership in Al Qaeda.

It’s pathetic the way the mindless Republican hordes fall prey to Palin-McCain fear-mongering. But violence has its greatest appeal to “the silent majority” in hard times, and nothing is quite as American as visiting death and destruction upon the enemy within.

Back in the 1960s there will still signs that said, “n, Don't Let the Sun Set on You in,” say, “Arizona,” where McCain opposed a national holiday for Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, ostensibly because King called the US government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.”

King got his holiday, after being assassinated, and McCain remains “a great purveyor.”

The murder and mayhem incited by Palin-McCain at their lynch mob rallies even has mainstream hack David Gergen saying, “There is a free-floating sort of whipping-around anger that could really lead to some violence. And I think we’re not far from that.”

Duh.

David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, is “appalled” by Palin-McCain Black Shirt tactics and recently described Palin, a working class heroine in the minds of many deluded individuals, as a "fatal cancer to the Republican party.”

Maybe so. Then again, maybe Palin will incite some James Earl Ray wanna-be to kill Obama, thus solving all the Republican part’s current problems?

In any case, Brooks’ use of the word “cancer” is no accident, and harkens back to March 1973, when President Nixon’s erstwhile legal counsel, John Dean, famously said, in reference to the brewing Watergate scandal, that there was a “cancer” growing within the White House.

Unlike cancer, the meaning of Watergate is open to interpretation. For Dean, it means the June 1972 break-in and telephone bugging of Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel. In his 2004 book, Worse than Watergate, Dean claimed that when it comes to lies and cover-up, the Bush regime makes the Nixon administration look like amateurs. Lies and cover-ups are still the Republican strong suit, he admits, but they are worse today because Nixon’s was a petty crime which pales in comparison to the Bush Regime deceiving the world about 9/11 and using it to justify an unnecessary war in Iraq.

This seems a very limited interpretation and many of us consider the Watergate scandal more than a petty crime. We see it as a symbolic validation of the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements. We cannot separate Watergate from racism and the Vietnam War, just as we cannot separate Bush and Iraq.

Watergate, we know, led to the investigation and disgrace of the CIA, FBI and military, all of which conspired with the Nixon White House in an all-out right-wing assault (including murder) on the rights of all Americans. Nothing like that ever came from the Left.

Ultimately, for anyone involved in the Anti-War or Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s, Watergate was the culmination of a culture war that has been revived by Bush, advanced by Fox News, and taken to its logical extreme by Palin and McCain.

The Straw Man

Working for Fox News is a curse, if you wish others to take you seriously. To work for Fox is to condemn yourself to the sideshow in the carnival, along with Snake Boy, the Bearded Lady, Table Top Joe, and the famous mistakes of nature featured on Fox News: Bill “The Human Vibrator” O’Reilly, Sean “Hermaphrodite” Hannity, and Ann “Fly Trap” Coulter.

One such Fox freak, James Rosen, has written a book that purports to be a scholastic work about Watergate. Titled The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate, it is over 600 pages long – and reads like it were 10,000.

I crossed paths with Rosen a few years ago while researching my new book on the CIA’s usurpation of federal drug law enforcement during the Watergate era. Rosen and I were both speaking with E. Howard Hunt, the veteran CIA officer and pathological xxxx convicted of organizing the Watergate break-in. During this period I learned that Rosen, in the early 1990s, had gotten a grant from William F. Buckley to begin working on the Mitchell biography. Buckley, it should be noted, was Hunt’s CIA partner in Mexico in the early 1950s.

Although born and raised in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he apparently developed his fondness for sideshows and mutants, Rosen adopted Buckley’s class affectations and traded off his patron’s right wing contacts like Hunt. The result is that Rosen is now Fox’s premier “war on terror” correspondent and Playboy’s resident scholar on Watergate. Pretentious to a fault, like Buckley, Rosen even asserts that The Washington Post was “extraneous” to the outcome of Watergate, as were Woodward and Bernstein.

If that doesn’t give you a sense of Rosen’s scholasticism, consider that he makes his money at Fox by painting Bush regime war criminals like Condoleezza Rice in flattering colors. The geek has no shame at all, and in Strong Man he pours lipstick with a fire hose on Mitchell. The result is nauseating. Voted the funniest celebrity in Washington, Rosen had me holding my stomach and vomiting into a barf bag as he presented beady-eyed AG as a champion of civil rights and a super-hero fighting anti-war subversives.

Anyone who was alive and aware in the 1960’s knows that Mitchell was a Wall Street bond lawyer whom Nixon chose as his campaign manager in 1968. (Written before the recent financial calamity, Strong Man argues that the denizens of Wall Street are paragons of virtue.) Nixon was so grateful after stealing the election that he made Mitchell his first attorney general, a job Mitchell had no training or talent for. In 1972 Nixon put Mitchell in charge of his re-election committee (CREEP) and set Mitchell as a collision course with the Watergate scandal.

Nixon loved Mitchell so much that he let him take the fall in the cover-up, and Mitchell has the distinction of being the highest US government official to serve prison time.

Rosen, like Nixon, is infatuated with Mitchell, and for equally perverse and exploitive reasons. But Mitchell, a fat Wall Street lawyer, was too boring to rate a book to himself. So Rosen’s bloated book isn’t really about Mitchell at all. It’s about revising history.

As Rosen once boasted, “Wilde said that our lone duty to history is to continually rewrite it.” And Rosen does his re-writing by the shovel full.

Those of who were there know that Mitchell led the domestic war against civil rights demonstrators and anti-war protestors. Mitchell hated us with a vengeance and, according to Rosen, rightfully so! You can feel Rosen trembling with glee as he quotes Mitchell comparing us to “another group of civilians who roamed the streets of Germany in the 1920s bullying people, shouting down those who disagreed with them and denying other people their civil rights. They were called Hitler’s Brown Shirts.”

Talk about turning mortgage debt and junk bonds into gold! As we all knew back then, Mitchell and his felonious minions at Justice were the proudest bald headed fascists of the day. But Rosen is undeterred by fact and, by his account (hold your barf bag near) Mitchell also single-handedly desegregated the South’s public schools. Negro and Negro-loving white community organizers played no significant role whatsoever.

Think that’s bad? Well, it gets worse.

Revising Watergate for Modern Consumption

Although Rosen admits that Mitchell's role in the Watergate bugging and cover-up “is indisputable,” he claims that Mitchell was “framed” by a “wicked alliance” of co-conspirators “eager to tell lies." Which brings us to Rosen’s “call girl” conspiracy theory, in which John Dean ordered the Watergate burglary and the CIA, under Democrat Richard Helms, assisted.

What, inquiring people ask, is the “call girl” theory?

According to Rosen, it’s the fact that employees at the Democratic National Committee “were assisting in getting the Democrats connected with the prostitutes at the Columbia Plaza.” And John Dean bugged the Watergate because his wife Maureen was one of the calls girls!

According to Rosen, “Dean’s unique knowledge of all the players and their complex interconnections…makes him the only logical answer in the three-decades-old mystery of …who among the president’s men pressured Jeb Magruder [Mitchell’s deputy at CREEP] to send [Howard Hunt’s partner, G. Gordon] Liddy and his team back into the DNC.”

“This is not your father’s Watergate,” Rosen quips.

No, it definitely is not. It’s The X-Files meets Desperate Housewives. Or, as John Dean says about Rosen, “I will probably deal with him in court. His material, to put it mildly, is bullxxxx.”

History as It Was

Rosen the Straw Man really hates John Dean and anything that smacks of civil rights or anti-war liberalism. Then again, what else would one expect from a Fox News geek?

Rosen’s hatred of Dean and love of Mitchell is steadfast in the face of the awful truth. The major fact being that Mitchell approved G. Gordon Liddy's Gemstone Plan to subvert George McGovern’s 1972 campaign through black bag jobs, assassination, kidnapping, rumor mongering and any other means necessary. Liddy, who enjoyed eating the heads off of living rats (not to prove his strength, but because he liked the taste), presented Mitchell with his plan in January 1972. As the top law enforcement officer in America, Mitchell had the legal imperative to Just Say No. If he had been half the circus Strong Man Rosen pretends, fat flabby Mitchell would have kicked Liddy out of his office.

But Nixon’s moral compass showed his true colors and agreed to Liddy’s crazy plan, thus giving the world Watergate and Rosen something to re-write about.

The other sad fact is that Mitchell was unscrupulous and corrupt, and narrowly dodged a charge that he and Nixon’s Commerce Secretary helped Robert Vesco (a drug smuggler fugitive living under the DEA’s nose in Costa Rica) with the Securities and Exchange Commission, after Vesco made a secret $200,000 cash contribution to Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign. The SEC, notably, was then chaired by former OSS spy William Casey, later Reagan’s DCI. (People rarely realize that the CIA is more closely allied with Wall Street than the it is to The White House.) Vesco was acquainted with Nixon's brothers, Edward and Donald, and the latter's son worked as Vesco’s bagman to CREEP. After the payoff, Mitchell immediately connected Vesco’s emissary to Casey.

Rosen also fails to mention that Mitchell approved the CIA’s infiltration of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. BNDD Director John Ingersoll told me that someone asked him to participate in the Watergate cover-up. Ingersoll had two friends in the Nixon Administration – Mitchell and Dean – but he wouldn’t say which one it was.

Mitchell has also been linked to mobster Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters, wing nut Howard Hughes, and mob activities at the same Vegas casinos where McCain feels compelled to play craps.

Truth be told, Mitchell got off easy when in the fall in 1974 he was indicted on charges of conspiracy, perjury and obstruction of justice. He was convicted of suborning his CREEP deputy’s perjured testimony before the Watergate grand jury.

Mitchell went to prison without complaining that he was framed. He never corrected the false notion that he commanded John F. Kennedy during World War II, or the “bogus suggestion that he played hockey for the New York Rangers.”

It was as if he knew that a false Messiah like Rosen would one day come along and pretend that all the charges against him were Lies! Damned Lies!

Like Nixon would say, “And Bush is not a war criminal.”

Rosen spent 17 years sifting through the evidence and carefully discarding anything that pointed at Mitchell. What remains in Strong Man is as credible as the barrage of partisan distortions one hears daily, hourly, minute-by-endless minute on Fox News. And by mutating John Mitchell from a villain into a victim, James Rosen has proven himself a carnival act worthy of inclusion in the right wing-nut hall of shame.

Douglas Valentine is the author of four books which are available at his websites http://www.members.authorsguild.net/valentine/ and http://www.douglasvalentine.com/index.html His fifth book, The Strength of the Pack: The Politics, Personalities and Espionage Intrigues That Shaped The DEA, will be published in September 2009 by Trine Day.

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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

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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).

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.

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I think there's a difference between corruption and delusion. I believe Nixon was more corrupt than Reagan or Bush 41, in that he would unblinkingly discuss hush money and such in the oval office. I think it's also likely he knowingly got kickbacks from Meyer Lansky et al via Rebozo.

Reagan and Bush 41, however, were quite possibly more deluded. All the evidence is that Reagan honestly divided the world into good people and bad people and felt that commies were the bad people and that as President it was his job to fight bad people. Once he got to know Gorbachev, however, he melted a bit, and thought it would be just peachy to get rid of all the nukes. Bush 41, on the other hand, was a soldier of the MIC, and would never countenance such a thing. He saw that a strong U.S. military was a necessary component of the "new world order" he envisioned. Bush revealed his corruption, however, after leaving office, when he cashed in on his "public service" via the Carlisle Group, and traveled round the country speaking to those who'd most benefited from his policies, for a million bucks a speech. (They were tipping the help.)

The current President, IMO, is the worst of them all. He swallowed whole-heartedly the culture war engineered by Nixon, and bled those he considered enemies of the righteous (liberals, the poor, the uneducated, those suckered into fighting his dirty war) for the benefit of his "base". He threw out the Geneva convention when inconvenient, threw out the Constitution when inconvenient, reserved the right to interpret laws as HE felt they should be interpreted, and not as written, and re-organized the Justice Department as a wing of the GOP. He stole an election, possibly two, and drained every penny from the future of this country into the pockets of a select few.

If the populace hadn't been distracted by reality TV and the hope that next time we'll do better, they'd have risen up and lynched him a long time ago.

Edited by Pat Speer

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... "Strong Man" is a massively well-documented biography, packed with new information, that moves the Watergate story forward by leaps and bounds.

... 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."

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 ...)

Edited by William Ney

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So let's get this straight... After years of speculation about who ordered the break-in, Magruder says Mitchell talked to Nixon in his presence, and he heard Nixon tell Mitchell "You need to do that." Result: no one wants to believe him. Similarly, after years of speculation about the identity of Deep Throat, Bob Woodward says it was Mark Felt. Result: people who previously thought it was someone else convince themselves it was who they originally thought it was, and that Woodward is part of some conspiracy to hide the real identity of Deep Throat. Never mind that everyone else who'd been told Deep Throat's identity confirms that the name they'd been told back in the day was Felt. Never mind that Nixon himself knew Felt was leaking. Never mind that of all the "suspects" of being Deep Throat, Felt is actually the suspect one would least have wanted to make a "patsy", as he was pretty much running the FBI, and engaging in illegal wire-tapping and break-ins with no-one's approval but his own.

While Nixon and Mitchell's simply being corrupt may not seem sexy or interesting to some hoping for something a little spicier, it is actually the worst scenario one can reasonably imagine. CIA chiefs can be fired, and the CIA can be re-organized. The Office of the President has only gained in power since Watergate. The Attorney General is STILL more likely to be a political hatchet-man than a conscientious protector of the American people even against its President. The challenge to the American people, then as now, is to find a way to keep Presidential corruption in check by assuring that the Justice Department is not twisted to the President's political advantage. Perhaps the long-overdue investigation of Gonzales' activities will shine some light on this problem, and lead to some sort of compromise whereby a special office of the congress keeps a constant eye on the Justice Department. But I wouldn't bet on it.

The President has too much power, and the weakness of his character is amplified by this power. We've seen this with Nixon, who was totally unqualified--personality-wise--to be President. And we've seen this with the current President. And we'll see it again.

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So let's get this straight... After years of speculation about who ordered the break-in, Magruder says Mitchell talked to Nixon in his presence, and he heard Nixon tell Mitchell "You need to do that." Result: no one wants to believe him. Similarly, after years of speculation about the identity of Deep Throat, Bob Woodward says it was Mark Felt. Result: people who previously thought it was someone else convince themselves it was who they originally thought it was, and that Woodward is part of some conspiracy to hide the real identity of Deep Throat. Never mind that everyone else who'd been told Deep Throat's identity confirms that the name they'd been told back in the day was Felt. Never mind that Nixon himself knew Felt was leaking. Never mind that of all the "suspects" of being Deep Throat, Felt is actually the suspect one would least have wanted to make a "patsy", as he was pretty much running the FBI, and engaging in illegal wire-tapping and break-ins with no-one's approval but his own.

While Nixon and Mitchell's simply being corrupt may not seem sexy or interesting to some hoping for something a little spicier, it is actually the worst scenario one can reasonably imagine. CIA chiefs can be fired, and the CIA can be re-organized. The Office of the President has only gained in power since Watergate. The Attorney General is STILL more likely to be a political hatchet-man than a conscientious protector of the American people even against its President. The challenge to the American people, then as now, is to find a way to keep Presidential corruption in check by assuring that the Justice Department is not twisted to the President's political advantage. Perhaps the long-overdue investigation of Gonzales' activities will shine some light on this problem, and lead to some sort of compromise whereby a special office of the congress keeps a constant eye on the Justice Department. But I wouldn't bet on it.

The President has too much power, and the weakness of his character is amplified by this power. We've seen this with Nixon, who was totally unqualified--personality-wise--to be President. And we've seen this with the current President. And we'll see it again.

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.

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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."

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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."

The Kennedy family seems to me to be Organized Crime in Government. At least the political machine that put JFK in office .

Members of the Kennedy Justice Department left government in the mid 1960's to take important roles with either "INTERTEL" or Louie Jacobs organized crime front "Emprise/Sportsystem" ( now called Delaware North Companies "DNC" headed by Max and Jeremy Jacobs).

William Hundley and Robert Peloquin joined Meyer Lansky's Intertel

Henry Peterson joined Max Jacobs Emprise

Stanley Mills, William O. Bittman, David Holloman, Thomas Kennedy, and Horace Webb all joined Emprise. While Thomas Mckeon joined Hundley and Peloquin at INTERTEL.

Meyer Lansky's Resorts Internation owned 86.1% of Intertel as late as the late 1970's. According to this document, they planned to buy the remaining outstanding shares making Intertel a wholly owned subsidary of Resorts (pg 291-292)

http://njlegallib.rutgers.edu/legallib/njar/v10/p0244.pdf

Edward M. Mullin, Intertel's director of intelligence operations, was with Division Five of the FBI and later with the CIA as an assistant deputy director in charge of clandestine services. Mullin's private security front in Washington, D.C., was in famous as the base of operations for E. Howard Hunt during the time of the Watergate break-in. Mullin is also directly tied into the Miami Double-Chek outfit that is implicated in several Permindex-run assassinations, including the JFK killing.

So a direct connection to both the JFK assassination and Watergate seems to run through Permindex, and later Resorts International and Intertel. This organized crime "Dope Inc". front operates as an assassination bureau along with black ops capabilities like we saw with Watergate. They operated through this nexus of former Kennedy Justice Department operatives, who among other things "burned" Jimmy Hoffa and the teamsters under RFK and Walter Sheridan.

But the Kennedy Political Machine is a dirty group, likely responsible for both the murder of President Kennedy and the operation that brought down Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair.

PS- speaking of Larry O'Brien wasnt he given the plum job as Commissioner of the NBA? Intertel was the suppossed security firm (keeping out organized crime :lol: ) with the National Football League and the NBA. And the Jacob's family Sportsystem (now Delaware North Company) has all the major concession contracts with most major league sports teams, be it MLB, NFL or NBA.

Professional sports is dominated by organized crime.

Edited by Terry Mauro

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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).

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

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So let's get this straight... After years of speculation about who ordered the break-in, Magruder says Mitchell talked to Nixon in his presence, and he heard Nixon tell Mitchell "You need to do that." Result: no one wants to believe him. Similarly, after years of speculation about the identity of Deep Throat, Bob Woodward says it was Mark Felt. Result: people who previously thought it was someone else convince themselves it was who they originally thought it was, and that Woodward is part of some conspiracy to hide the real identity of Deep Throat. Never mind that everyone else who'd been told Deep Throat's identity confirms that the name they'd been told back in the day was Felt. Never mind that Nixon himself knew Felt was leaking. Never mind that of all the "suspects" of being Deep Throat, Felt is actually the suspect one would least have wanted to make a "patsy", as he was pretty much running the FBI, and engaging in illegal wire-tapping and break-ins with no-one's approval but his own.

While Nixon and Mitchell's simply being corrupt may not seem sexy or interesting to some hoping for something a little spicier, it is actually the worst scenario one can reasonably imagine. CIA chiefs can be fired, and the CIA can be re-organized. The Office of the President has only gained in power since Watergate. The Attorney General is STILL more likely to be a political hatchet-man than a conscientious protector of the American people even against its President. The challenge to the American people, then as now, is to find a way to keep Presidential corruption in check by assuring that the Justice Department is not twisted to the President's political advantage. Perhaps the long-overdue investigation of Gonzales' activities will shine some light on this problem, and lead to some sort of compromise whereby a special office of the congress keeps a constant eye on the Justice Department. But I wouldn't bet on it.

The President has too much power, and the weakness of his character is amplified by this power. We've seen this with Nixon, who was totally unqualified--personality-wise--to be President. And we've seen this with the current President. And we'll see it again.

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.

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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."

Castle Bank & Trust in the 1970s was run by former CIA officer Paul Helliwell. Helliwell also established the American Bankers Insurance Company based in Galveston, Texas. This provided insurance cover for businessmen who cooperated with the CIA. Helliwell also ran Intercontinental Holding, a company in the Cayman Islands that owned the Lear jet used by Barry Seal for his drug running activities.

Helliwell also set-up a Miami office for the Sea Supply Corporation. According to Joseph Trento (Prelude to Terror): "The primary objective of Helliwell's operations in Florida was to cement the CIA's relationship with organized crime." This included Santos Trafficante, who had a common business interest in Asia, the "successful exportation of Chinese white heroin."

According to Daniel Hopsicker (Barry and the Boys), Helliwell ran Red Sunset Enterprises in Miami. Hopsicker claims it was a CIA front company set up to recruit frogmen and explosives experts for Operation Mongoose.

In 1973 the Internal Revenue Service began an investigation called Operation Trade Winds. During its investigation it discovered that some major organized crime figures such as Morris Dalitz, Morris Kleinman and Samuel A. Tucker were using the Castle Bank and Trust Company. It soon became clear that the bank was laundering CIA funds and drug profits. The IRS eventually announced that it was dropping its investigation of Castle Bank because of "legal problems". According to the Wall Street Journal, the reasons for this was "pressure from the Central Intelligence Agency".

Helliwell is an under-researched senior CIA figure. In 1960 Helliwell was providing business cover for the CIA’s Cuban operations. According to Peter Dale Scott (The Iran Contra Connection) Helliwell worked with E. Howard Hunt, Mitch WerBell and Lucien Conein on developing relationships with drug-dealing Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was during this period that Helliwell met Ted Shackley and Thomas Clines. Helliwell later became CIA paymaster for JM/WAVE. In this way, Shackley was able to finance unofficial CIA operations against Cuba.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhelliwell.htm

After the Castle Bank was exposed the CIA needed a new bank. Later that year, Frank Nugan, an Australian lawyer, and Michael Hand, a former CIA contract operative, established the Nugan Hand Bank. Another key figure in this venture was Bernie Houghton, who was closely connected to CIA officials, Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines.

Nugan ran operations in Sydney whereas Hand established a branch in Hong Kong. This enabled Australian depositors to access a money-laundering facility for illegal transfers of Australian money to Hong Kong. According to Alfred W. McCoy, the "Hand-Houghton partnership led the bank's international division into new fields - drug finance, arms trading, and support work for CIA covert operations." Hand told friends "it was his ambition that Nugan Hand became banker for the CIA."

On 27th January, 1980, Frank Nugan was found shot dead in his Mercedes Benz. With his body was a Bible that included a piece of paper. On it were written the names "Bob Wilson" and "Bill Colby". Robert Wilson was a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and William Colby was a former director of the CIA.

Bernie Houghton was in Switzerland at the time and he immediately rang his branch office in Saudi Arabia and ordered the staff to leave the country. Houghton also visited Edwin Wilson's office in Geneva and left a briefcase with bank documents for safekeeping. Soon afterwards, a witness saw Thomas G. Clines going through the briefcase at Wilson's office and remove papers that referred to him and General Richard Secord.

Two days after Nugan died, Michael Hand held a meeting of Nugan Hand Bank directors. He warned them that unless they did as they were told they could "finish up with concrete shoes" and would be "liable to find their wives being delivered to them in pieces".

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKnuganbank.htm

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