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James DiEugenio

The Mysterious Life and Death of James McCord

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Posted (edited)

I got one of the best complements I could on this article,  from the Watergate master, Jim Hougan.

When you google McCord's death, this comes up first, probably because we were the first to note it.  But Wikipedia has now updated their info based on this. Thanks to all here who helped me.

McCord was such a singular character. Such a fine operator who effortlessly draped himself in the robes of a technician just following orders.  I watched some of his testimony before the Ervin Committee last night. In retrospect its really something to see today.  Talk about a clever guy.  He redefines the term.  And what a bunch of idiots to buy into him.

Anyway, here is the first obituary you will see of the man who did so much to upend our political system.  And lied about it until the end.

 

https://kennedysandking.com/obituaries/the-mysterious-life-and-death-of-james-w-mccord

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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20 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

I got one of the best complements I could on this article,  from the Watergate master, Jim Hougan.

When you google McCord's death, this comes up first, probably because we were the first to note it.  But Wikipedia has now updated their info based on this. Thanks to all here who helped me.

McCord was such a singular character. Such a fine operator who effortlessly draped himself in there robes of a technician just following orders.  I watched some of his testimony before the Ervin Committee last night. In retrospect its really something to see today.  Talk about a clever guy.  He redefines the term.  And what a bunch of idiots to buy into him.

Anyway, here is the first obituary you will see of the man who did so much to upend our political system.  And lied about it until the end.

 

https://kennedysandking.com/obituaries/the-mysterious-life-and-death-of-james-w-mccord

 

 

Thanks Jim, looking forward to reading it!

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19 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

I got one of the best complements I could on this article,  from the Watergate master, Jim Hougan

Glad to hear it. I passed along a link to your piece to Tom Jackman at the Washington Post.

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19 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

I got one of the best complements I could on this article,  from the Watergate master, Jim Hougan.

When you google McCord's death, this comes up first, probably because we were the first to note it.  But Wikipedia has now updated their info based on this. Thanks to all here who helped me.

McCord was such a singular character. Such a fine operator who effortlessly draped himself in the robes of a technician just following orders.  I watched some of his testimony before the Ervin Committee last night. In retrospect its really something to see today.  Talk about a clever guy.  He redefines the term.  And what a bunch of idiots to buy into him.

Anyway, here is the first obituary you will see of the man who did so much to upend our political system.  And lied about it until the end.

 

https://kennedysandking.com/obituaries/the-mysterious-life-and-death-of-james-w-mccord

 

 

Jim,

I just read your article over at Kennedys and King.

Your work, as always, continues to fascinate and inform.

I must ask though:

I was under the impression that John Dean had a hand in the break-in - his girlfriend/fiance Mo Biner was the room mate of Heidi Rikan/Cathy Dieter, the leader of the hooker ring at the Colombia Plaza Apartments, just down the street from the Watergate. This view holds that Dean, aware of the Democrats use of these call girls to entertain out-of-town hotshots, wanted to bug the phones the Democrats used to make the "appointments" with the girls.

Further, says this view, the CIA was already using/running this ring for its own purposes, collecting information on all kinds of men in Washington who used this call girl ring. So, Dean's clumsy attempt to ingratiate himself with Nixon (who knew nothing of this at that moment) by getting the dirt on the Democrats would cross paths with a much more sophisticated CIA operation. Therefore, the CIA made sure the CREEP plan to bug that particular phone in the Democratic HQ was foiled, thanks to McCord and Hunt. (G. Gordon Liddy himself agreed with me when I posed that to him on the air in 1990.)

By presenting this alternate Watergate theory, I am not undermining your basic idea that the primary goal for the Deep State (of which Hunt/McCord team were a part) was to undermine and/or sabotage the Nixon presidency, particularly his foreign policies, which were an anathema to Nixon's Deep State enemies. The Military/Industrial/Intelligence Complex did not want an end to the Cold War, and Nixon's plans for easing tensions with both Brezhnev in the USSR and Mao in China threatened to do just that. That the Deep State could preserve an ongoing CIA operation and at the same time, damage the president, made the "failure" of the break-in a huge win for Nixon's enemies in Washington.

(An added bonus to this topic is that it gives me an excuse to post the cover from Phil Stanford's book "White House Call Girl: The Real Watergate Story"  :))

https://www.amazon.com/White-House-Call-Girl-Watergate/dp/1936239906

So yes, a whole host of Deep State forces were arrayed against the president, and Watergate removed him from office, ultimately. 

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20 minutes ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

Further, says this view, the CIA was already using/running this ring for its own purposes, collecting information on all kinds of men in Washington who used this call girl ring

I do recall that Hougan, who is cited in Jim's piece, also explores this angle in depth in his Watergate book. But I don't recall if he says that Dean had a hand in the break in.

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Quite a lot of new info for me on McCord.  Combined with what I had read about him, bits and pieces in other places, the bigger picture becomes clearer.  He took down Nixon with his letter to Judge Sirica.  On behalf of his fired mentor Helms and their beloved fraternity.  And the affiliations of them and a few more went way back before 1963.

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25 minutes ago, Ron Bulman said:

Quite a lot of new info for me on McCord.  Combined with what I had read about him, bits and pieces in other places, the bigger picture becomes clearer.  He took down Nixon with his letter to Judge Sirica.  On behalf of his fired mentor Helms and their beloved fraternity.  And the affiliations of them and a few more went way back before 1963.

In the Watergate burglary McCord mis-taped a door open so that it would be noticed -- twice.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Stephanie.  Also to Rob, for sending it to Jackman.

Charles, Hougan told me that if he was rewriting his book he would call it Secret Agendas.  So you might be right about that.  Personally, I never put much stock in Bailey, because he turned out to be such a bad witness.

 

I will reply about Dean separately.

 

BTW, when you Google James McCord, this article comes up on the first page now.  So finally people will get a Gestalt view of the Technician..

Edited by James DiEugenio

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To me it seems clear the main impetus in all this was Nixon's fear his relationship with Howard Hughes would be exposed by Lawrence O'Brien, who had recently become friendly with Maheu, who had long been friends with Edward Bennett Williams--the DNC's lawyer (and later Helms' lawyer, if I recall). If I recall, Magruder cleared this up some time ago and said he'd ordered Liddy to do the break on orders from Mitchell, and that Dean had nothing to do with it. 

All that stuff about Dean, Hunt, and McCord fingering poor Tricky Dick for various reasons was stuff drummed up by Nixon and his minions as a means of getting him off the hook for his blatant corruption. We see the same thing going on now with those trying to bail out Trump. "Oh my God, how unfair! They're trying to see his taxes! The horror!" 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pat Speer said:

To me it seems clear the main impetus in all this was Nixon's fear his relationship with Howard Hughes would be exposed by Lawrence O'Brien, who had recently become friendly with Maheu, who had long been friends with Edward Bennett Williams--the DNC's lawyer (and later Helms' lawyer, if I recall). If I recall, Magruder cleared this up some time ago and said he'd ordered Liddy to do the break on orders from Mitchell, and that Dean had nothing to do with it. 

All that stuff about Dean, Hunt, and McCord fingering poor Tricky Dick for various reasons was stuff drummed up by Nixon and his minions as a means of getting him off the hook for his blatant corruption. We see the same thing going on now with those trying to bail out Trump. "Oh my God, how unfair! They're trying to see his taxes! The horror!" 

After the case broke in June 1972 Liddy took the public position that he would remain silent. He did this even after the cover-up broke in March1973 with McCord's letter to Judge Sirica. Liddy by that time had entered prison or was about to do so. Had Liddy at some point in time disclosed who ordered him to do the break-in in June 1972, the mystery would have cleared up. Was it Dean or was it Magruder? His tough-guy persona certainly played into Dean's hands who was the "Mastermind" of the cover-up and later when he became the star witness against Nixon.

Edited by Douglas Caddy

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First of all, as I wrote in my review of Lamar Waldron's book about Watergate, Magruder told three different stories about who authorized the break in.  How can you trust a witness like that.

From my review of the book, Watergate The Hidden History:

But Waldron now uses an interview Magurder did in 2003 for PBS when Magruder then changed his story in a significant way. He said that during the meeting at Key Biscayne, he himself called Haldeman. Magruder told the Chief of Staff that he was not enthusiastic about the plan; but Haldmen said he was and so was Nixon.

Haldeman then asked for Mitchell. Magruder passed the phone as requested. He then said he overheard Nixon’s voice say, “John, we need to get the information on Larry O’Brien, the only way we can do that is through Liddy’s plan, and you need to do that.” After that, Mitchell approved the plan and the funding. (Waldron, p. 551)

This exchange, with Nixon saying the reason for the break-in was to wiretap O’Brien, contradicts Waldron’s thesis about the Cuban Dossier, but Waldron ignores that. He also ignores the fact that Magruder had published a book on Watergate in 1974. There he did not mention this conversation with Nixon. In fact, in that book, called An American Life, he actually stated that, to his knowledge, Nixon did not know about the Watergate break-in in advance.

Secondly, there was another witness in the room with Magruder and Mitchell, Fred La Rue, who denies Magruder’s 30-years-later-recovered memory. As with the Cuban Dossier angle, this belated story about a Nixon phone call at Key Biscayne lacks credibility. And the fact that it is single sourced, from a witness who has told conflicting stories in the past, makes it more so.

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Posted (edited)

Secondly, I do not see how anyone can read Hougan's micro analysis of the final break in and not conclude that McCord had his own agenda that night.

 When I first read that chapter it reminded me of reading the first exposes about the Single Bullet Fantasy. I mean not only that, but the failure to confiscate the hotel keys, and then sterilize the hotel rooms.  And paying the Cubans in sequentially numbered hundred dollar bills? This stuff is from ESPIONAGE 101 class.  And McCord was a security consultant at Langley!  

I mean everyone read what Angelo Lano said?  And he was the chief investigating officer for the FBI.  He even goes as far as to say either Hunt or McCord tipped off the police.   I should  add, today Hougan agrees with that.  He feels he was too mild on Carl Schoffler in his book.

Third one of the things that made the final break in necessary was that McCord had installed a faulty bug in O"Brien's room.

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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If there was a sword hanging over McCord, Hunt, Barker, Gonzales, Sturgis,  Liddy, Nixon, The CIA etc, and it was the JFKA, then the arrests would have forced a purge of much of that information. These guys knew that that information was there and there was going to be a purge of Castro or the information. I think Hunt and the Cubans wanted He former. Nixon and the CIA settled on the latter. 

Just like the JFKA, the facts could have been obscured by war over Cuba or a war over information, ie.: the truth.

Thats my take.

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If there was a sword hanging over McCord, Hunt, Barker, Gonzales, Sturgis,  Liddy, Nixon, The CIA etc, and it was the JFKA, then the arrests would have forced a purge of much of that information. These guys knew that that information was there and there was going to be a purge of Castro or the information. I think Hunt and the Cubans wanted He former. Nixon and the CIA settled on the latter. 

Just like the JFKA, the facts could have been obscured by war over Cuba or a war over information, ie.: the truth.

Thats my take.

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