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Joe Bauer

Was E. Howard Hunt's "Big Event" Confession A Hoax?

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Posted (edited)

Kirk, as I said, in my book I explain how I think the plot worked.  I will match what I write there with any other author in the field as to precision and length. If you do not want to read my book, then fine.  But don't blame me for that.

If I do not mention a person, then its because I could not find any good information at the time I wrote that book to place him in the mosaic.  That does not mean anyone else was not involved. Other people have different views of what happened.  

Now, you give Hunt an out by saying well maybe the whole Cord Meyer/LBJ thing was some kind of cover. But that is simply an assumption on your part based on one version of the story..Because St John Hunt told the LA Times on March 20, 2007 that the so called Big Event was originally scheduled for Miami, but it was LBJ, through Cord Meyer who transferred it to Dallas so he could coordinate "the security scene".  (That detail is also in the Rolling Stone version of the story.)

There are also two other players who have been left out: Antonio Veciana and a French marksman. To me these are also giveaways.  First of all, the idea that Phillips would bring in Veciana has now been punctured by the work of John Newman.  It looks today like Veciana was not being honest about his association with Phillips or the CIA.  At Gary Aguilar's last seminar, Newman revealed that Veciana did not want to work with CIA, he only wanted to work with Army G-2.  Also in the Rolling Stone version, Phillips also allegedly meets with Oswald in Mexico City according to Hunt.  Again, this is highly unlikely for two reasons.  Dan Hardway found out that Phillips was not in MC while Oswald was there.  Secondly, at Gary's seminar, David Josephs showed that LHO in all probability was not in MC. As per the French gunman, whiz is apparently owed to the 1991 Men Who Killed Kennedy special.  Or Henry Hurt's book.

And this is what I mean, Hunt essentially grabbed and pulled at some  popular strands in the literature.  Not knowing that they were inaccurate.  He then attached other hard to fathom tangents like Meyer and LBJ, who Kirk wants to write off, but St John says are integral.

And let us not forget, this version is not the same as the very first one.  

So what is it worth?  To me, at worst its a chimera.  At best, its a gift to his son before Howard passed on.  But as far as having any forensic value in solving the JFK case, to me it simply has none. 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Kirk, that description would be a little over the top for me " Hunt is a big mouthed,  bungling, CIA hack".   Hunt did have some value; at least one senior CIA officer was impressed by his spy novels and felt they were good PR for the Agency.  He was able to establish some solid personal relationships, primarily with devoutly anti-Communist surrogates like Artime. He was also viewed as being extremely loyal to the Agency above virtually anything else....someone who to use an Angleton term was part of the "cadre".  His social contacts within the Agency at the highest levels were largely due to his long career and his loyalty.

I will leave this discussion of Watergate to others such as Jim D,  personally I think Hunt may well have been maneuvered into a position to essentially infiltrate Nixon's advisors and that Nixon was perceived as a potential threat to the Agency. I'm certainly open to the idea that Hunt might have actually sabotaged the White House at Watergate, then again his security procedures and tradecraft had been questionable on other occasions.  Better minds than mine will have to settle that question.

 

 

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An interesting aside to note.  From a footnote I read today.  Number 267, page 198, A Lie Too Big To Fail, Lisa Pease.  

"John Dean has never fully explained his comment captured on the Watergate  tapes... about... Chappaquiddick... If Kennedy knew the bear trap he was walking into."  "Questioned years later Dean said "Tony U". … "E Howard Hunt, …. was also on the island after the incident as well, although as with Tony U. some suspected he had been on the island in advance."

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E. H. Hunt involved with Chappaquiddick?

Sounds like something right up his alley.

 

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49 minutes ago, Joe Bauer said:

E. H. Hunt involved with Chappaquiddick?

Sounds like something right up his alley.

 

Caught me by surprise given the book is about the RFK assassination.   But then again page 170 did too.  I'd never read David Ferrie's CIA alias was Hugh Pharris.  As long suspected, it's looking more like events were connected.

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15 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

E. H. Hunt involved with Chappaquiddick?

Sounds like something right up his alley.

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

An interesting aside to note.  From a footnote I read today.  Number 267, page 198, A Lie Too Big To Fail, Lisa Pease.  

"John Dean has never fully explained his comment captured on the Watergate  tapes... about... Chappaquiddick... If Kennedy knew the bear trap he was walking into."  "Questioned years later Dean said "Tony U". … "E Howard Hunt, …. was also on the island after the incident as well, although as with Tony U. some suspected he had been on the island in advance."

Tony U. is Anthony Ulasewicz:

 

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More on Anthony Ulasewics from my autobiography, Being There: Eyewitness to History:

     As disclosed in the tapes, President Nixon did not think there was a “problem” for the White House in my testifying because my being the attorney for Colson’s secretary in her divorce action was as “close as it comes to the White House.” Actually there were two very big problems for the White House.

     First, Dean had withheld informing Nixon that I had been working as a volunteer lawyer under Dean’s direction from April 25, when George Webster and I met with him in his White House office, until the Watergate case broke on June 17. It doesn’t get much closer to the White House than that.

      Second, beginning about two weeks after the case broke, I started to receive mysterious phone calls from someone I never met who called himself Mr. Rivers. The purpose of the calls, if I was to believe the caller, was to arrange for me to pass “hush” money to the five arrested burglars and to Hunt and Liddy. When I comprehended what Mr. Rivers was apparently talking about, I consulted with Jerome Powell, the managing partner of the law firm where I worked and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney. Powell said that while the precise intentions of Mr. Rivers remained unclear as well as who he was and whom he actually represented, if I accepted any money for any purpose from him, subsequently I could be blackmailed to do anything Mr. Rivers and those associated with him wanted done. I would no longer be a free man. When Mr. Rivers called back on July 6, a partner of the law firm was in my office. I told Mr. Rivers I wasn’t at all certain what his intentions were and what he wanted me to do, but I wanted no further contact with him. As I hung up I heard Mr. Rivers give a big exasperated “aaugh.” 

     Later, I learned that Mr. Rivers was actually Anthony Ulasewicz, a former New York City detective, who before Watergate had carried out numerous assignments for the White House primarily but not exclusively from Dean. Ulasewicz disclosed that one assignment in April 1972, two months before the June 17 break-in, was to visit and case the layout of the Democratic National Committee headquarters using the guise of a casual visitor.

     Here is the testimony of Herbert Kalmbach, President Nixon’s personal attorney, before the Senate Watergate Committee as he was being questioned by Samuel Dash, the Committee’s Chief Counsel on July 16, 1973:

Mr. Dash: Now, what was the first instruction you received to give the money?

Mr. Kalmbach: Again, as I have tried to reconstruct this, Mr. Dash, the first instruction that I received, which I passed to Mr. Ulasewicz, was to have Mr. Ulasewicz give $25,000 to Mr. Caddy. I don’t know much of Mr. Caddy. I understand he is an attorney here in Washington. And as I recall it, this was probably from approximately July 1 through July 6 or 7. There were a number of calls. I would either talk to Mr. Dean or Mr. [Fred] LaRue [a presidential aide.] I would then call Mr. Ulasewicz who, in turn, would call Mr. Caddy. He would have some response from Mr. Caddy, and I would call back up to Mr. Dean or Mr. LaRue.

Mr. Dash: What was the response from Mr. Caddy?

Mr. Kalmbach: Well, the sum and gist of it was that Mr. Caddy refused to accept the funds.

Mr. Dash: In that manner?

Mr. Kalmbach: That is correct. That was the end-all. There were several telephone calls, but the final wrap-up on it was that he refused to receive the funds.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

More on Anthony Ulasewics from my autobiography, Being There: Eyewitness to History:

     As disclosed in the tapes, President Nixon did not think there was a “problem” for the White House in my testifying because my being the attorney for Colson’s secretary in her divorce action was as “close as it comes to the White House.” Actually there were two very big problems for the White House.

     First, Dean had withheld informing Nixon that I had been working as a volunteer lawyer under Dean’s direction from April 25, when George Webster and I met with him in his White House office, until the Watergate case broke on June 17. It doesn’t get much closer to the White House than that.

      Second, beginning about two weeks after the case broke, I started to receive mysterious phone calls from someone I never met who called himself Mr. Rivers. The purpose of the calls, if I was to believe the caller, was to arrange for me to pass “hush” money to the five arrested burglars and to Hunt and Liddy. When I comprehended what Mr. Rivers was apparently talking about, I consulted with Jerome Powell, the managing partner of the law firm where I worked and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney. Powell said that while the precise intentions of Mr. Rivers remained unclear as well as who he was and whom he actually represented, if I accepted any money for any purpose from him, subsequently I could be blackmailed to do anything Mr. Rivers and those associated with him wanted done. I would no longer be a free man. When Mr. Rivers called back on July 6, a partner of the law firm was in my office. I told Mr. Rivers I wasn’t at all certain what his intentions were and what he wanted me to do, but I wanted no further contact with him. As I hung up I heard Mr. Rivers give a big exasperated “aaugh.” 

     Later, I learned that Mr. Rivers was actually Anthony Ulasewicz, a former New York City detective, who before Watergate had carried out numerous assignments for the White House primarily but not exclusively from Dean. Ulasewicz disclosed that one assignment in April 1972, two months before the June 17 break-in, was to visit and case the layout of the Democratic National Committee headquarters using the guise of a casual visitor.

     Here is the testimony of Herbert Kalmbach, President Nixon’s personal attorney, before the Senate Watergate Committee as he was being questioned by Samuel Dash, the Committee’s Chief Counsel on July 16, 1973:

Mr. Dash: Now, what was the first instruction you received to give the money?

Mr. Kalmbach: Again, as I have tried to reconstruct this, Mr. Dash, the first instruction that I received, which I passed to Mr. Ulasewicz, was to have Mr. Ulasewicz give $25,000 to Mr. Caddy. I don’t know much of Mr. Caddy. I understand he is an attorney here in Washington. And as I recall it, this was probably from approximately July 1 through July 6 or 7. There were a number of calls. I would either talk to Mr. Dean or Mr. [Fred] LaRue [a presidential aide.] I would then call Mr. Ulasewicz who, in turn, would call Mr. Caddy. He would have some response from Mr. Caddy, and I would call back up to Mr. Dean or Mr. LaRue.

Mr. Dash: What was the response from Mr. Caddy?

Mr. Kalmbach: Well, the sum and gist of it was that Mr. Caddy refused to accept the funds.

Mr. Dash: In that manner?

Mr. Kalmbach: That is correct. That was the end-all. There were several telephone calls, but the final wrap-up on it was that he refused to receive the funds.

 

 

 

Fascinating.

Doug, you certainly were right there in the mix  ( truly "Being There" ) with the main characters in one of the most important abuse of power events in American Executive Branch history.

The fact that you are here in the forum and have shared ( for years now ) so many personal "insider" eyewitness accounts and thoughts about this super important part of our history is a gift in my opinion.

The information you have shared has added valuable background context to the story that only enhances our understanding of it's larger picture.

Yet, I am sure there is still much more about the larger picture that we will never know.

Doug, I sometimes ponder how most of voting America, average citizens back in 1972-1974 and to this day, never seriously grasped the significance of Watergate and all that it exposed and even their own culpability in it's creation.

Think about the reality of Watergate and Nixon's downfall.

A sitting President and his "entire staff" were exposed ( and imprisoned!) as hugely corrupted ( much more than the single Watergate break-in ) including organizing their own team of highly trained perps at their beck and call ( dangerous dudes such as G. Gordon Liddy ) who were blindly ready and willing to carry out their nefarious deeds now matter how dirty and law breaking and constitution violating they were. Truly scary stuff!

And the head of this criminal gang was OUR PRESIDENT! 

A hugely lying man who along with his powerful false propaganda election machine convinced tens of millions of Americans in 1972 to view him as " THE LAW AND ORDER CANDIDATE ... HA! " over a man who "truly was" the more honest and law abiding candidate ... George McGovern!

What a massively perverse and consequentially damaging deception ...and it worked!

The landslide presidential election of 1972  proved in spades how naive, easily manipulated and totally wrong the majority of our adult voting citizens were in their awareness, grasp and assessment of the true reality character of the candidates ( Nixon versus McGovern ) and those powerful groups and individuals behind and funding them. 

This deception on the majority of the American electorate was so successful it was and still is seriously scary to contemplate how easy it was to implement.

I believe that most of the voters who backed Nixon back then, never really took responsible stock of "their own serious mistake" in handing someone so corrupt the highest office in our land over another who wasn't. They never took any personal blame for their being so easily duped like that.

And they didn't really learn their presidential office election lesson , especially since they have committed this same mistake many times again since Nixon imo.

I think of Nixon putting his hand on the bible at his inauguration and "swearing" to faithfully uphold the Constitution of the United States in his governance as President ( twice!) and knowing full well he was really going to do whatever it took to exercise and keep his new power aside from that sacred oath to the American people, and it makes me sick and angry to this day.

And I will always be worried still that the American electorate can again be manipulated like they were in 1968 and 1972. Especially by that old trick of falsely and scarily portraying one candidate over the other as more law and order abiding, more national security providing and more patriotic and troop supporting. It seems to work most of the time.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer

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As a fellow Brown University alum, I have always been curious about the strange, multi-faceted career of E. Howard Hunt.

After JFK canned Allen Dulles in 1961, Hunt was, apparently, appointed Director of the CIA's  special Domestic Ops Division-- a position that he held until 1965.  Many of the Operation Mongoose team were, allegedly, shunted to Hunt's DOD, after JFK and his brother shut down Mongoose.

Under the circumstances, it's hard to imagine that Hunt would NOT have been involved with Harvey, Morales, Sturgis, et.al., on 11/22/63.

As for Hunt's role in Watergate, any thoughts about WHY Helms and the CIA might have wanted Nixon over a barrel?

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I have often thought that Chappaquiddick was Ted Kennedy's "assassination," the big play that kept him out of the White House. [I never said Ted would ever have been as popular as JFK or Bobby.] My personal supposition was that Ted wasn't driving the car; instead, he was lying dead drunk somewhere and only learned of Miss Kopechne's death after the fact. But since the evidence was overwhelmingly incriminating, Ted had to concoct a story that made it look as though he tried to be heroic but failed, rather than tell the truth that he was so blitzed he never really knew what truly happened. That's simply a theory...and from what was reported later out of the Nixon White House, it wouldn't surprise me if it was true.

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3 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

As a fellow Brown University alum, I have always been curious about the strange, multi-faceted career of E. Howard Hunt.

After JFK canned Allen Dulles in 1961, Hunt was, apparently, appointed Director of the CIA's  special Domestic Ops Division-- a position that he held until 1965.  Many of the Operation Mongoose team were, allegedly, shunted to Hunt's DOD, after JFK and his brother shut down Mongoose.

Under the circumstances, it's hard to imagine that Hunt would NOT have been involved with Harvey, Morales, Sturgis, et.al., on 11/22/63.

As for Hunt's role in Watergate, any thoughts about WHY Helms and the CIA might have wanted Nixon over a barrel?

I can speak as to Howard Hunt's alleged desire to have Nixon over a barrel. The arrests of the Watergate burglars took place between 1 and 2 a.m. on June 17, 1972. Hunt called me from his White House office at 3:05 a.m. and asked if he could come to my residence because an important matter had arisen. I readily agreed. I lived less than a mile from the White House and a desk clerk was on duty at my apartment house and admitted Hunt upon his arrival at 3:35 a.m. Howard was in a distraught state to say the least. Shortly after he arrived he asked for a glass of milk to quiet his stomach. I can state without contradiction that his demeanor, while cool and controlled, was of a person in total shock. This was not a man who harbored ill feelings toward Nixon. Hunt departed my residence at 4:45 a.m. and went directly home to Potomac, Maryland where he enlisted his son, St. John, age 17, to help in disposing of incriminating materials by tossing them in a remote location of the Chesapeake Canal.

Angleton is another matter and I do believe that he played a clever role in creating the scandal that brought Nixon down.

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/oct/19/angleton-return/

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Posted (edited)

Is it accurate to sum up that Helms put Hunt in the White House to spy on Nixon, plus run ops for Colson that could be used to embarrass Nixon. Then McCord blew the burglary, dumping Hunt and crew to take down Nixon for Helms and Helms' extra-governmental backers?

Also, what should we make of Hunt's actions in the ITT scandal follies?

Edited by David Andrews

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My new book Dirty Tricks: Nixon, Watergate and the CIA discusses the Hunt-Helms relationship in great detail, with a lot of new material, and has more on McCord and his motivations than any book since Jim Hougan's Secret Agenda 35 years ago. It should help answer some of these questions. See attached letter from Helms to Hunt from January 1969 for an indication of how close they were.  

Hunt-Helms.png

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WN:

Hunt did not run the DOD at that time, Tracy Barnes did.

 

Sean:

Thanks for that and again, I had no idea the two were that close until I started reading your book.  

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