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James DiEugenio

The Mysterious Life and Death of James McCord

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15 hours ago, David Andrews said:

Odd that McCord did not speak of a VVAW assassination threat at the time the entire nation wanted to know the purpose of the Watergate break-in.

If Sam Ervin refused to ask questions about the VVAW, despite McCord's memoranda to him, why didn't McCord shout about it when called before the committee?  A contempt charge would have minor compared to the sentence later McCord received.  And, where are these memoranda now?

Odd that the FBI did not approach Larry O'Brien and demand personnel records, or otherwise ascertain who the VVAW mole was among the DNC volunteers.  With "Terrorism" at issue, it took a break-in, and not a subpoena and some stern looks, to find the mole?

McCord had a PowerPoint presentation.  Howard Hunt had videotaped interviews.  What do we feel stopped McCord from pulling the concept of "Terrorism" out of the thin air of modern anxieties, just as Hunt pulled the names of LBJ and Cord Meyer from the suspect pool on the internet? 

Is this a pattern?  Using your family bonds and some noble pocket litter (in modern media formats) to alibi you after you're gone?

Hunt: I refused Harvey and Morales, and was merely a bench-warmer in Dallas.

McCord: I acted from the best humane motives while not working for the CIA, even though I insinuated my self into the West Wing on a CIA assignment to train the Secret Service. 

McCord may have gotten FBI reports on Scott Camil and the Gainesville 8, but they were coincidental to the purpose of the break-in and the engineered police capture.  He kept those reports in his back pocket for apologia.

WMPD Detective Carl Shoffler told his Confidential Informant Robert Merritt that there were a few topics that Senator Sam Ervin could not explore through the Senate Watergate Committee because there had been death threats against his family members if he proceeded to do so.

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Death threats against Ervin's family? 

Just for going into the wrong area of questioning?

If true ... by whom?

If true, that would suggest we had non-elected forces in this country who were more powerful than our highest government body elected ones and who could control them with threats taken completely seriously.

I also recall Ross Perot saying he quit campaigning well before and not up to the 1992 election because of death threats to his family that he took very seriously.

You wonder how many other times major political figures in our recent history have been threatened like this and did as they were warned and never publicly acknowledged these threats?

 

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That was a really interesting press conference Shane.

 Twenty years later and McCord was still denying any CIA involvement in Watergate and accusing Dean of trying to trash the CIA.  Which I don't recall him doing.

Then when someone quotes Sturgis as saying it was such an operation, McCord then says Sturgis is a pathological xxxx just like Oliver Stone, Jim Garrison and Fletcher Prouty.

Do not forget in reflecting on those outbursts that when McCord was in his nineties, a few months before he died, he was still denying the CIA had any kind of anti FPCC program and that he was a part of it. And he told Baldwin he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination. 

How could anyone believe this guy on anything?

 

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4 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

That was a really interesting press conference Shane.

 Twenty years later and McCord was still denying any CIA involvement in Watergate and accusing Dean of trying to trash the CIA.  Which I don't recall him doing.

Then when someone quotes Sturgis as saying it was such an operation, McCord then says Sturgis is a pathological xxxx just like Oliver Stone, Jim Garrison and Fletcher Prouty.

Do not forget in reflecting on those outbursts that when McCord was in his nineties, a few months before he died, he was still denying the CIA had any kind of anti FPCC program and that he was a part of it. And he told Baldwin he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination. 

How could anyone believe this guy on anything?

 

Jim,

I agree. To me, the bottom line is that McCord was silent on Watergate until it seemed the Nixon legal strategy might be to blame the break in on the CIA (something that Nixon himself told Haldeman on the infamous "smoking gun" tape of June 23, 1972.)

To guys like McCord, anything was OK as long as the finger was not pointed at the CIA. Now the bigger question is why? Was McCord's anger at the Nixon strategy solely motivated by loyalty to the CIA, or was there fire in the smoke of Nixon's veiled threat - that an open-ended FBI investigation would take a look at E. Howard Hunt, and: "Of course, this is a, this is a Hunt, you will-that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there’s a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. "?

I am sure that guys like Hunt and McCord were CIA loyalists right to their deaths, misleading the public - and their own families - with their final statements.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Death threats against Ervin's family? 

Just for going into the wrong area of questioning?

If true ... by whom?

If true, that would suggest we had non-elected forces in this country who were more powerful than our highest government body elected ones and who could control them with threats taken completely seriously.

I also recall Ross Perot saying he quit campaigning well before and not up to the 1992 election because of death threats to his family that he took very seriously.

You wonder how many other times major political figures in our recent history have been threatened like this and did as they were warned and never publicly acknowledged these threats?

 

Robert Merritt under a  subpoena was called to testify before the Senate Watergate Committee in executive session. He was told to report to a location on Capitol Hill from which he would be escorted to the room where the executive session was being held. His escort was Wayne Bishop who told him en route to the room that he should be careful in what he revealed or else he would end up in the jail in the basement of the Capitol. It was a direct threat. When the executive session began the first thing that occurred was that the  woman who was assigned to write his testimony for the record was told to the leave the room. Senator Ervin then asked Merritt a generic a question and Merritt responded that he would not answer because of the threat he had received from Bishop. This shocked the committee members. Senator Ervin and Senator Baker then conferred among themselves and Ervin announced that Merritt would be excused and his testimony would be taken on another day.

Weeks later Ervin asked Merritt to come to his office. Upon arrival Senator Baker was there as was Rep. Barbara Jordan. The three listened to what Merritt had to say but his statement was not recorded. Remember that Merritt was the sole employee of the Huston Plan.

The Senate Watergate Committee printed hearings show that he was a witness but other than that the record is bare.

It was after all this occurred that Officer Shoffler told Merritt that Ervin had received death threats against his family members should a few topics be explored and become formal part of the Committee's record.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think there was CIA involvement in Watergate.  And I think that is what McCord did not want to come out.

Look, from what I wrote above, McCord was a dyed in the wool CIA stooge which is why Helms liked him so much. 

But if you read Hougan's book, there is a chapter called Summer Fires.  This is when Lee Penington and McCord's wife burned files from McCord's office while the Watergate matter was ongoing in a legal way, a few days after the arrest.  What Hougan writes about Penington is worth a short essay in itself.  And, by the way, McCord had an excuse for burning all that stuff. See there was a terrorist bomb threat and it would have....and oh my aching back. Please stop it Jim.

As Hougan notes, Penington was a CIA asset and the CIA knew about the fire because he reported it.  The info went up to Gaynor, who McCord had worked for, and Howard Osborne, chief of security. One of the officers at security said that "Lee Penington had entered Mr. McCord's office at home, destroying any indications of connections between the Agency and Mr. McCord."  When the IG asked for all materials on Watergate, the office of security ordered materials on Penington to be removed in advance. When it was, two officers made notes about this since they thought it was unethical.  Those notes did not surface until 1974.  Hougan concludes that Penington was McCord's cut out to SRS re Watergate.(p. 234)

And at the end of Shane's book, he adds some interesting stuff about a notebook left in Martinez' car after the arrest.  Which no one wanted to be discovered.  Including McCord.  That request went up to Jake Esterline, who, of course, was CIA.

Edited by James DiEugenio

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7 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

When WMPD Detective Carl Shoffler died in 1996 at age 51,  the U.S. Government required his family members to sign a non-disclosure agreement that forbid public comment. Shoffler, of course, was the Detective who arrested the Watergate burglars after having been given a tip weeks before the burglary that the crime was being planned.

Perhaps McCord's family was required to sign a similar NDA.

 

 

This was new information to me, but I'm not surprised.  Shoffler's role in the event was always iffy IMO.  

Here's my problem with the new version of the McCord events. I have not yet read Shane's book.  But McCord wasn't like most of us.  He wasn't John Q. Ordinary-Citizen.  He was a man with a CIA past.  He was a man with CONTACTS, for Pete's sake.  If he'd had this information, he would have had people - serious law-enforcement types - with whom he could share it.  And he could have blown this one up at the time in order to save lives.  In fact, he could have worked to bug/infiltrate the suspected person's HOME and personal contacts in order to save lives.

Without more information (for which I do not have to pay to access), I can't quite buy this one yet.  And heaven knows I buy a lot of books on far less information.

 

 

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Doug:

Who gave Schoffler the tip off that you speak of?

 

BTW, this whole thing about the VV, isn't that kind of an old story?  I thought i read somewhere that one of the Cubans used it as an excuse for them to be in Washington during the Hoover funeral.

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5 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Doug:

Who gave Schoffler the tip off that you speak of?

 

I think it originated with a (Watergate?) telephone operator. A transvestite who overheard a conversation while working the switchboard. The tip went to Schoffler, possibly via Robert Merritt. Rose was never seen again.

Hopefully Doug will reply. I am just testing my memory here.

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5 hours ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

I agree. To me, the bottom line is that McCord was silent on Watergate until it seemed the Nixon legal strategy might be to blame the break in on the CIA

Hi Paul. Respectfully, that just doesn’t make sense to me. Nuclear clearance holding, patent holding, CIA officer McCord (and Hunt) would not be involved in such a petty political operation. Their good sense, loyalty and the CIA would never allow it. Getting caught had to be part of the plan.

The best answer (I have 2) as to why they did it, is to do what it probably succeeded in doing. It would have forced the WH and the CIA get rid of any information regarding these guys and their prior operations (the JFKA). The second best answer is to force an invasion of Cuba, which Nixon did not end-up doing, and he shut Hunt down by killing his wife.

I just can’t believe they were there to spy or rob. They just too big of fish to be doing that sort of stuff.

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5 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

And he (McCord) told Baldwin he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination. 

I would love to see the Corroboration of that. Someone should try to talk to EF member @Alfred C. Baldwin ..

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4 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

The three listened to what Merritt had to say but his statement was not recorded. Remember that Merritt was the sole employee of the Huston Plan.

For those who do not know, @Robert Merritt is a member of this forum.

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Out of curiosity: What is the known history of communications between Howard Hunt and James McCord after the twp were (separately) arrested?

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Doug:

Who gave Schoffler the tip off that you speak of?

 

BTW, this whole thing about the VV, isn't that kind of an old story?  I thought i read somewhere that one of the Cubans used it as an excuse for them to be in Washington during the Hoover funeral.

Jim: 

 

Hougan writes on pages 121-22 of Secret Agenda:

 

“Adding to the suspicions surrounding Shoffler is the fact that he is no ordinary cop. Prior to joining the police department in Washington, he had served for years at theVint Hill Farm Station in Virginia. This is one of NSA’s most important domestic “listening posts.”….

 

“Shoffler’s work at Vint Hill Farm was mentioned in passing in the staff interviews of the Ervin Committee. This occurred as the result of an allegation against Shoffler that was made by his former commandeering officer at Vint Hill Farm, Captain Edmund Chung. According to Captain Chung he had occasion to dine with Shoffler in the aftermath of the Watergate arrests. Chung claimed that Shoffler told him the arrests were the result of a tip-off , that [Alfred] Baldwin and Shoffler had been in contact with each other prior to the last break-in, and that if Shoffler ever made the whole story public, ‘his life wouldn’t be worth a nickel.’….

 

“And, really, in spite of all appearances, Shoffler would indeed seem to be innocent of everything but making the Watergate arrests.”

 

 

--------------------------------------

 

The real truth is that Robert Merritt informed Shoffler on June 2, 1972, of the plan to break into the DNC. Rita Reed, Merritt’s closest friend, had heard of the planned break-in in a telephone conversation that he/she had overheard while operating the telephone switchboard at the Columbia Plaza Apartments on May31, which was where the prostitution ring operating out of the DNC was located. Rita told Merritt on June 1 of what she had overheard and Merritt told Shoffler the next day.

 

Shoffler did know Baldwin because before Watergate both had worked on monitoring the Anti-War groups in Washington. But Baldwin was not his source.

 

Shoffler could never reveal that Merritt was his source because they were gay lovers. Shoffler was married and had two children but he spent most nights at Merritt’s apartment in Washington that was centrally located. Shoffler’s family  resided in Maryland. Shoffler was a closeted bi-sexual gay. For this to come out publicly in the wake of the Watergate arrests that crowned him with “hero” status would have been disastrous to him.

 

All the above is covered in the book “Watergate Exposed” that I co-authored with Merritt which was published in 2010.

Edited by Douglas Caddy

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2 hours ago, Michael Clark said:

I would love to see the Corroboration of that. Someone should try to talk to EF member @Alfred C. Baldwin ..

Alfred Baldwin resigned from the forum many years ago after he was relentlessly attacked and smeared by member Ashton Gray who also targeted me again and again with his venomous criticism. John Simkin stood by and did nothing to stop Gray. Only when Gray started attacking other members was the decision reached that Gray had to go from the forum. By then Baldwin was long gone. Baldwin could have shed a lot of light on what Watergate was all about but he undoubtedly concluded that contributing his knowledge was not appreciated in any way.

Robert Merritt is also no longer a member of the forum but for other reasons.

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