Jump to content
The Education Forum
John Simkin

Tim Gratz and Donald Segretti

Recommended Posts

Donald Segretti was born in San Marino, California on 17th September, 1941. He studied law at the University of Southern California. Fellow students included Dwight L. Chapin, Ron Ziegler, Herbert Porter and Gordon Strachan. They became members of a group called "Trojans for Representative Government".

After leaving university Segretti became a lawyer in California. His friend Dwight L. Chapin found employment at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in Los Angeles. A senior figure at the agency was was H. R. Haldeman. In 1968 Haldeman went to work for Richard Nixon as the president's chief of staff. Dwight L. Chapin was appointed as Special Assistant to the President. Chapin had special responsibility for acts of political sabotage and espionage against the Democratic Party. Chapin recruited Segretti as part of this "dirty tricks" campaign.

During their investigation of the Watergate Scandal the journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein discovered that Segretti had attempted to smear leading politicians such as George McGovern, Edward Kennedy, Edmund Muskie and Henry Jackson. This included a faked letter on Muskie's letterhead falsely alleging that Jackson had had an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old.

On 27th October, 1972, Time Magazine published an article claiming that it had obtained information from FBI files that Dwight Chaplin had hired Segretti to disrupt the Democratic campaign. The following month Carl Bernstein interviewed Segretti who admitted that E. Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy were behind the dirty tricks campaign against the Democratic Party.

In 1974 Segretti pleading guilty to three misdemeanor counts of distributing illegal campaign literature and producing faked documents. He only served four months in prison but he lost his California license to work as a lawyer.

In his book, The Taking of America, Richard E. Sprague argued that Segretti, along with Dennis Cassini, supplied money to Arthur Bremer before he attempted to assassinate George Wallace.

Segretti eventually returned to work as a lawyer. In 1995 he became a candidate as Superior Court judge in Orange County, California. However, he was forced to withdraw when local newspapers pointed out his connections to the Watergate Scandal.

In 2000 Segretti served as co-chair of John McCain's campaign in Orange County.

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've looking into the Wallace assassination attempt for some time and I think I have some answers to some of these questions:

From the opposite side, is there any evidence that the premise of any of the above questions is false?

5. That Dennis Cossini was a journalism student at Marquette University in 1971 or 1972?

No. I've logged some hours at the Marquette U. archives and there's no Dennis Cossini or Cassini on record as a student. There's a Denis Kuzma who was a journalism student and involved in some left-wing campus publications, sometimes writing as Rasputin Kuzma. I have a yearbook picture of him; this is not the same person who appears in the group photo on page 15 of the October 1972 Alan Stang article in American Opinion: "The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace".

7. That Arthur Bremer's brother worked with Sirhan Sirhan at a Santa Anita racing stable?

I've seen a document on the Internet listing a Thomas Mark Bremer as working at the same stable as Sirhan Sirhan. Arthur has three brothers: Roger Dean Bremer, William Bremer Jr., and Theodore Bremer. A cousin maybe, but not a brother.

9. How exactly did John J. McCleary of Sacramento "drown in the Pacific Ocean" and who was he?

10. What was the nature of the friendship between Arthur Bremer and Dennis Cossini?

I think the better question here is if these things really have anything to do with Bremer. I think the original source of this information is the above listed Alan Stang article, which is also the origin of Dennis Cossini, whose address book McCleary's name supposedly appears. As one of the earlier posters has, I've combed the Toronto newspapers and there's no mention of Cossini or anyone else's body being found dead of an overdose. It also doesn't seem to have occurred in Milwaukee. Although there's no non-John Birch trace of this man in life or death whatsoever (besides the Earl Nunnery-C&O Car Ferry office story, which has it's own problems), are we to believe that his address book, chock full of sinister connections, happened to fall into the hands of Stang? I simply don't buy it.

After looking at this for a number of years, I come to think Dennis Cossini or Cushmann or Cassini or Kushman is smoke-screen invented by Stang and the Birchers as a way to tap into the Wallace vote for 1972 American Party candidate and staunch Bircher John G. Schmitz (and graduate of Marquette U). Notice how the Cossini story places the blame on both the Communists and Nixon's government for supposedly covering it up? Schmitz's stump speeches included a brief bit about the Wallace assassination, the "grey figure" supposedly in cahoots with Bremer, and the government's reluctance to investigate fully. He ended up getting a million votes in 1972...

There's a lot going on in that initial Stang article, too much to get into here (Heinan, Cullen, Milwaukee's notorious Red Squad, etc)

There are a couple of unanswered questions revolving around the Wallace assassination I'd like to throw out there:

1. The trip to Madison. On page 27 of the second part of his diary - the part published as An Assassin's Diary - Bremer compares his New York hotel room's price to one he had previously stayed at in Madison. When was this? Particularly interesting in light of all of that Segretti business explored on another post...

2. The post-assassination scene at Bremer's apartment. I've interviewed Rick Jenka, a Milwaukee Sentinel reporter at the time, and he has some interesting things to say about what happened here. Not to mention the conflicting stories of Hunt and Colson.

3. The November 1971 arrest in Fox Point. What exactly was he doing? I have a theory about him wanting to kill a co-worker named Ceal Myers (he talks about this in the first, unpublished diary), but all of the pieces aren't there yet.

4. Various travel details. The Earl Nunnery story doesn't seem to mesh with his timeline, Bremer's supposed appearance at Holiday Inn the night of Wisconsin primary, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob, can you fill me in on the Earl Nunnery story?

Back in Wisconsin during that period of time there was a very prominent black Republican named Nunnery. I did not know him well and years have gone by but I thought his first name was Earl.

So I'd be intererested in the story and whether you know if Nunnery was black.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a little Internet research. The man I know, who was prominent in the administration of GOP Governor Lee Dreyfus, was Willie Nunnery.

No idea if he was (is) related to Earl Nunnery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for adding this information on Dennis Cassini.

(1) Have you looked into the possibility that Cassini died in Toronto?

(2) According to David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace (The People's Almanac, 1985) Cassini was "constantly in the company of several individuals just prior to the assassination attempt". The authors argue that one of these men was identified as Cossini. Interestingly, the authors also claimed that "Roger Gordon, a former member of the Secret Army Organization (SAO), a government intelligence agency, identified Bremer's ferry contact as a Mr. Anthony Ulasewicz, a White House operative who would become well-known in the Watergate hearings." Ulasewicz was also Tim Gratz contact.

(3) In an article published in Probe Magazine (May-June 1999) Lisa Pease argues:

Is there evidence of CIA involvement in the Wallace shooting? According to newspaperwoman Sybil Leek and lawyer-turned-investigative-reporter Bert Sugar, the answer is yes. According to Leek and Sugar, while Bremer was at the Lord Elgin hotel in Ottawa, he met with a Dennis Cassini. Famed conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell and Alan Stang identified Cassini as a CIA operative. Cassini was found dead from a massive heroin overdose in July, 1972, just two months after the Wallace shooting. Cassini had no history of drug use.

Cassini’s address book contained the phone number of a John J. McCleary. McCleary lived in Sacramento, California, and was employed by V & T International, an import-export firm. McCleary drowned in the Pacific ocean in the fall of 1972. His father, amazingly, drowned around the same time in Reno, Nevada.

If the CIA was somehow involved, that could explain both E. Howard Hunt’s immediate interest in the case, as well as the role of CBS in filming Bremer in the act of shooting. CBS and the CIA shared a particularly close relationship. CIA involvement might go far in explaining the following connections as well.

Bremer’s brother, William Bremer, was arrested shortly after the Wallace shooting for having bilked over 2,000 Miami matrons out of over $80,000 by signing them up for non-existant weight-loss sessions. Curiously, Bremer’s lawyer was none other than Ellis Rubin, the man who had defended many anti-Castro activists and who defended the CIA men who participated in the Watergate break-in.

Even more curious is Bremer’s half-sister Gail’s relationship with the Reverend Jerry Owen (ne Oliver Brindley Owen), who figures prominently in the RFK case. Owen’s bible-thumping show was cancelled from KCOP in Los Angeles when evidence surfaced showing he had a possibly sinister relationship with Sirhan Sirhan just prior to the assassination of Robert Kennedy. After the assassination, Owen had gone to the police with a strange tale of having picked Sirhan up as a hitchhiker. But other witnesses claimed Owen had given Sirhan cash, and had more of a relationship with Sirhan that he had admitted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John wrote:

Ulasewicz was also Tim Gratz contact.

What do you mean by this?

As you know full well, John, when I complained to CREEP about the activities of Donald Segretti, CREEP sent Ulasewicz to Wisconsin to try to record Segretti's next call to me (he was using the alias "Simmons").

According to Ulasewicz's memoirs, which I believe you now have, it was while Ulasewicz was in Wisconsin investigating my complaint (and probably as a result thereof) CREEP found out that Segretti was being run out of the White House by an aide to H. R. Haldeman, and Ulasewicz was ordered to get out of Wisconsin.

I met Segretti and Ulasewicz exactly once.

There is a thing to be said for "instinct" as a part of judgment. Instinctively, I knew Segretti would spell trouble for Nixon. But my political naivete at the time prevented me from thinking that the Nixon forces would be stupid enough to authorize Segretti's bizarre and illegal activities. (So I was right and wrong, at the same time!)

Edited by Tim Gratz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John wrote:

Ulasewicz was also Tim Gratz contact.

What do you mean by this?

As you know full well, John, when I complained to CREEP about the activities of Donald Segretti, CREEP sent Ulasewicz to Wisconsin to try to record Segretti's next call to me (he was using the alias "Simmons").

According to Ulasewicz's memoirs, which I believe you now have, it was while Ulasewicz was in Wisconsin investigating my complaint (and probably as a result thereof) CREEP found out that Segretti was being run out of the White House by an aide to H. R. Haldeman, and Ulasewicz was ordered to get out of Wisconsin.

I would like to keep this thread for Dennis Cassini and have therefore started a new thread on Tony Ulasewicz.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4323

However, I will explain what I meant by my posting. According to his autobiography (The President’s Private Eye) Ulasewicz made contact with you on 18th December, 1971. Apparently, he was responding to a request from the White House concerning information received from Karl Rove (yes, that Karl Rove) to check out a story about a Don Simmons recruiting a Timothy Gratz to take part in a Nixon dirty tricks campaign in Wisconsin.

In a statement you gave Ulasewicz you agreed to take part in this dirty tricks campaign. As you said in your statement: “most of the ideas he suggested seemed like they were worth doing”. Simmons (Donald Segretti) gave you $50.00 in advance payment. In his book Ulasewicz tries to give the impression that the White House was upset about this dirty tricks campaign and his role was to bring it to an end. However, the truth is very different.

This was revealed by Jack Caulfield in his testimony before the Senate Watergate Committee. Soon after being elected as president, Nixon decided that the White House should establish an in-house investigative capability that could be used to obtain sensitive political information on its opponents. Caulfield, a former member of the New York City Police Department, was hired by H. R. Haldeman in May 1968.

In March, 1969, John Ehrlichman had a meeting with Caulfield and asked him to set up a private security entity in Washington to provide investigative support for the White House. Soon afterwards Caulfield employed Ulasewicz to carry out this work. Ulasewicz met Ehrlichman at the VIP lounge at the American Airlines Terminal of New York's La Guardia Airport. Ehrlichman agreed to pay Ulasewicz $22,000 a year plus expenses in return for "discreet investigations done on certain political figures.

Ulasewicz then had a meeting with Herbert W. Kalmbach who paid him out of surplus funds from the 1968 presidential election campaign. All told, Kalmbach paid more than $130,000 for the Caulfield-Ulasewicz operation. In an attempt to hide his activities Ulasewicz was told to apply for an American Express card in the name of Edward T. Stanley.

Over the next three years Ulasewicz travelled to 23 states gathering information about Nixon's political opponents. This included Edward Kennedy, Edmund Muskie, Larry O'Brien and Jack Anderson.

One of Ulasewicz's first tasks was to investigate the role played by Edward Kennedy in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Ulasewicz was told about the incident by Ehrlichman and as a result was one of the first to arrive in Chappaquiddick. Ulasewicz spent most of the next few months investigating the case.

Ulasewicz worked under the direction of John Ehrlichman, H. R. Haldeman and Charles Colson. Ulasewicz also worked closely with Rose Mary Woods and her brother, Joseph Woods. In December 1971 appointed former New York City police detective, Anthony LaRocco, to help Ulasewicz in his work.

On 17th September, 1971, John Dean and Jeb Magruder arranged with Caulfield to establish a new private security firm. Caulfield was told that Ulasewicz and his associates would be required to carry out "surveillance of Democratic primaries, convention, meetings, etc," and collecting "derogatory information, investigative capability, worldwide." Ulasewicz was told that this was an "extreme clandestine" operation. Given the name Operation Sandwedge, its main purpose was to carry out illegal electronic surveillance on the political opponents of Richard Nixon.

Ulasewicz was given $50,000 by Herbert W. Kalmbach to carry out this work during the 1972 presidential election campaign. Charles Colson suggested to Jack Caulfield that his men fire-bomb the Brookings Institute (a left-wing public policy group involved in studying government policy in Vietnam). Caulfield sent Ulasewicz to investigate the location of offices, security provisions, etc. According to Calfield the fire-bomb plan was eventually "squelched" by John Dean.

Rather than being involved in the cover-up, Ulasewicz played a central role in the dirty tricks campaign. As Caulfield pointed out, Operation Sandwedge replace Operation Gemstone. If that is the case, Ulasewicz was probably involved in the dirty tricks campaign against George Wallace (he in fact posed a far more serious threat than Ed Muskie or George McGovern).

As I have pointed out before, Richard E. Sprague (The Taking of America, 1985) has argued that you did in fact take part in this dirty tricks campaign:

George Wallace was another matter. At the time he was shot, he was drawing 18% of the vote according to the polls, and most of that was in Nixon territory. The conservative states such as Indiana were going for Wallace. He was eating into Nixon's southern strength. In April the polls showed McGovern pulling a 41%, Nixon 41% and Wallace 18%. It was going to be too close for comfort, and it might be thrown into the House - in which case Nixon would surely lose. There was the option available of eliminating George McGovern, but then the Democrats might come up with Hubert Humphrey or someone else even more dangerous than McGovern. Nixon's best chance was a head-on contest with McGovern. Wallace had to go. Once the group made that decision, the Liddy team seemed to be the obvious group to carry it out. But how could it be done this time and still fool the people? Another patsy this time? O.K., but how about having him actually kill the Governor? The answer to that was an even deeper programming job than that done on Sirhan. This time they selected a man with a lower I.Q. level who could be hypnotized to really shoot someone, realize it later, and not know that he had been programmed. He would have to be a little wacky, unlike Oswald, Ruby or Ray.

Arthur Bremer was selected. The first contacts were made by people who knew both Bremer and Segretti in Milwaukee. They were members of a leftist organization planted there as provocateurs by the intelligence forces within the Power Control Group. One of them was a man named Dennis Cossini.

Bremer was programmed over a period of months. He was first set to track Nixon and then Wallace. When his hand held the gun in Laurel, Maryland, it might just as well have been in the hand of Donald Segretti, E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, Richard Helms, or Richard Nixon.

With Wallace's elimination from the race and McGovern's increasing popularity in the primaries, the only question remaining for the Power Control Group was whether McGovern had any real chance of winning. The polls all showed Wallace's vote going to Nixon and a resultant landslide victory. That, of course, is exactly what happened. It was never close enough to worry the Group very much. McGovern, on the other hand, was worried. By the time of the California primary he and his staff had learned enough about the conspiracies in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King that they asked for increased Secret Service protection in Los Angeles.

If the Power Control Group had decided to kill Mr. McGovern the Secret Service would not have been able to stop it. However, they did not, because the election was a sure thing. They did try one more dirty trick. They revealed Thomas Eagleton's psychiatric problems, which reduced McGovern's odds considerably.

What evidence is there that Bremer's attempt on Wallace was a directed attempt by a conspiratorial group? Bremer himself has told his brother that others were involved and that he was paid by them. Researcher William Turner has turned up evidence in Milwaukee and surrounding towns in Wisconsin that Bremer received money from a group associated with Dennis Cassini, Donald Segretti and J. Timothy Gratz.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim: Ya got a LOT of "splanin" to do it would seem.

Re: Dirty tricks against McGovern: In addition to breaking the Eagleton/psychiatrist story, there was a second dirty drick that ws a lie: that Eagleton had been convicted of drunk driving. Those two revelations made McGovern look like a bumbling idiot for selecting Eagleton. This lie stood for weeks during the summer of 72. As the revelations of Watergate raged on as well. Come Novemeber Criminal Nixon won in a landslide and thoroughly good man George McGovern was almost never heard of again.

I am reading David Brock's "Blinded By the Right" and I highly recommend it. Dirty tricks and "the right" are synonymous.

Dawn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did a little Internet research.  The man I know, who was prominent in the administration of GOP Governor Lee Dreyfus, was Willie Nunnery.

No idea if he was (is) related to Earl Nunnery.

Tim--

A quick gloss of the Earl Nunnery story. He worked at the Milwaukee Chesapeake & Ohio car ferry terminal and immediately after the Wallace shooting, he reported seeing Bremer and another older man at the car ferry asking about taking a large group of people across the lake, working on a campaign, etc. He wasn't sure of the exact date, but it was around April 3-4, 1972 - at the time of the Wisconsin primary - and when Bremer, according to his diary and hotel receipts, in New York. Nunnery's story is very detailed, right down to the stick pin on the older man's lapel, and comes so soon after the shooting (first newspaper report this is published May 18 or 19 - three or four days after the shooting) that it's hard to dismiss out of hand. I think the Cossini/Cassini story has its origins here, with Stang and others taking this genuinely odd and unexplained event and embelishing it. Notice how all of the Cossini stuff appears after the Bremer's trial is over and after it's clear that he isn't going to be talking to the press...

I'm not sure of Nunnery's race or family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Bob!

I cannot remember where Mr. Nunnery was from or his background. I believe both he and his wife were in the cabinet of Lee Dreyfus, a very moderate to liberal GOP governor who had been the chancellor of UW-Stevens Point.

Possible further research would show if Willie was related to Earl. If Earl was black, it is highly likely they were related (and the converse, of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks, Bob!

I cannot remember where Mr. Nunnery was from or his background.  I believe both he and his wife were in the cabinet of Lee Dreyfus, a very moderate to liberal GOP governor who had been the chancellor of UW-Stevens Point.

Possible further research would show if Willie was related to Earl.  If Earl was black, it is highly likely they were related (and the converse, of course).

Jeez Louise, Tim. You sure got around alot back then, didn't ya?

Aren't you ever going to take a picture of Boca Chica Naval Air Station for me?

I only want it for nostalgic reasons, really. Just to compare it with my memories of how I remembered it when I lived on Stock Island in 1963-64. I lived just a little ways down the road from Turner Electric, Bob Turner's place. Just wondering if it was still there, as well.

Those Conchs make great Key Lime Pie down there, don't they?

Take care.

Ter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Terry. Will do. Sorry I am late in replying.

Last year Mark Howell, his stepson and my daughter saw a great performance of the Blue Angels at Boca Chica. It was a great show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dawn wrote:

Tim: Ya got a LOT of "splanin" to do it would seem.

About what, for heaven's sake?

Remember, I was trying to STOP Segretti and his dirty tricks.

And I can assure you had Christians been in command of the CIA, there would have been no murder plots! I think you know that!

Edited by Tim Gratz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dawn wrote:

Tim: Ya got a LOT of "splanin" to do it would seem.

About what, for heaven's sake?

Remember, I was trying to STOP Segretti and his dirty tricks.

In a statement you gave Ulasewicz you agreed to take part in this dirty tricks campaign. As you said in your statement: “most of the ideas he suggested seemed like they were worth doing”. Simmons (Donald Segretti) gave you $50.00 in advance payment. What ideas of Segretti did you think "worth doing"? What did you do in return for your $50.00?

As I pointed out Ulasewicz, the man who the White House sent to talk to you, had been employed since 1969 to organize dirty tricks for Nixon. Operation Sandwedge was a replacement for Operation Gemstone.

Did you complain to the police when you were approached by Segretti? No, you contacted Karl Rove, the master of dirty tricks. Segretti had to be closed down because he had become careless. However, the dirty tricks continued. And it was Ulasewicz who continued to organize them.

Are you still involved in a dirty tricks campaign on behalf of the Republican Party? Does this explain your strange behaviour on the Forum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×