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John Simkin

Alfred C. Baldwin

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Guest John Gillespie

Messrs. Baldwin/Hemming,

Could either of you please comment if you saw or heard anythng to corroborate the Sturgis quote, above? Also, If the reason for the "robbing" at Watergate was, as Sturgis stated, because of Nixon's concerns regarding fallout from the Dealey Plaza 'tramp' photos, then comments from either of you would be welcomed regarding the judiciousness and the likelihood of the use of some or all of the same operatives at Watergate.

5. Since Frank is now deceased I truly believe it is inappropriate for me to comment on anything Frank has said or done. I would state that I have been asked a similar question as to my personal knowledge of any connection between Watergate and the assassination of JFK. I can state without hesitation that I have no knowledge of any facts of any nature that would result in a connection between those two events.

Thank you, Mr. Baldwin. It is refreshing and enlightening to read your correspondence. It's noble of you to come here and volley a bit with us. Nice to have you along. I know that I and others hope you had a nice holiday season.

A couple of more questions: Were you ever approached by Mr. Woodward or Mr. Bernstein during the early to mid seventies to go on or off the record? Did you ever know either of them? Do you believe Mark Felt was Deep Throat? Why did you assent to an interview with the Los Angeles Times? Thanks again.

Regards,

John G

Edited by John Gillespie

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Thank you, Mr. Baldwin. It is refreshing and enlightening to read your correspondence. It's noble of you to come here and volley a bit with us. Nice to have you along. I know that I and others hope you had a nice holiday season.

A couple of more questions: Were you ever approached by Mr. Woodward or Mr. Bernstein during the early to mid seventies to go on or off the record? Did you ever know either of them? Do you believe Mark Felt was Deep Throat? Why did you assent to an interview with the Los Angeles Times? Thanks again.

John - I was never directly approached by either Woodward or Bernsten, however, I did learn at a latter date that they had contacted my lawyers who refused to have anything to do with them for reaons that were never disclosed to me. Thus I can say that I did not know either of them. As to whethern or not Mark Felt was Deep Throat I can honestly say that I have my doubts especially since I had been in contact with the FBI in July, 1972 yet there is no mention of me by either Bernstein or Woodward in he early (post July, 1972) days. So if Felt was reading all the FBI 302s (interview reports) why didn't he alert those writers to the act that John Mitchell had been named in my very first interview with the FBI, So in July 1972 the government had a "trail" to Mitchell, which would have been termendius news at that period of time. Lastly, believe it or not the interview was given to the Los Angeles Times reporters (two of them) for basically two reason. The first was that they were present on a daily basis at my lawyer's office in West Haven, Connecticut for weeks into months presenting themselves by saying that "if and when he (myself) decides to tell his story they would be present to take it". The second reason was they were perfect gentlemen and never pressed the issue and agreeded to print everything that I said with no exceptions, deletions, or comments. Their honsty and sincerity impressed me, and my lawyers knew that I had "been left out to hang in the wind with no support or backing from ANYONE in Washington, D.C.". Then add the fact that I had been told " you won't find a job anywhere, not even driving a truck" and you have the partial answer to that interview with those reporters.

I hope this answers your questions and thank you for your comments. - Al Baldwin

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Thank you, Mr. Baldwin. It is refreshing and enlightening to read your correspondence. It's noble of you to come here and volley a bit with us. Nice to have you along. I know that I and others hope you had a nice holiday season.

A couple of more questions: Were you ever approached by Mr. Woodward or Mr. Bernstein during the early to mid seventies to go on or off the record? Did you ever know either of them? Do you believe Mark Felt was Deep Throat? Why did you assent to an interview with the Los Angeles Times? Thanks again.

Regards,

John G

John--I was never directly approached by either Woodward or Bernsten, however, I did learn at a latter date that they had contacted my lawyers who refused to have aything to do with them for reaons that were never disxlosed to me. Thus I can say that I did not know either of them. As to whethern or not Mark Felt was Deep Throat I can honestly say that I have my doubts especially since I had been in cotact wit the FBI in July, 1972 yet there is no mention of me by either Bernstein or Woodwar in he early (post July, 1972) days. So if Felt was reading all the FBI 302s (interview reports) why didn/t he alert those writers to the act that John Mitchell had been named in my very first interview with the FBI, So in July 1972 the government had a "trail" to Mitchell, whichwould have been termendius news at that period of time. Lastly, believe it or not the interview was given to the Los Angeles Times reporters(two of them) for basically two reason. The first was that they were present on a daily basis at my lawyer's office in West Haven, Connecticut for weeks into months presenting themselves by saying that " if and when he (myself) decides to tell his story they would be present to take it". The second reason was they were perfect gentlemen and never pressed the issue and agreeded to print everything that I said with no exceptions, deletions, or comments. Their honsty and sincerity impressed me, and my lawyers knew that I had "been left out to hang in the wind with no support or backing from ANYONE in Washngto, D.C.". Then add the fact that I had been told " you wont find a job anywhere, not even driving a truck" and you have the partial answer to that interview with those reporters.

I hope this answers your questions and thank you for your comments. ---Al Baldwin

Jim Hougan in Secret Agenda dismisses Felt as a possible Deep Throat for much the same reason. Since Deep Throat failed to tell Woodward about Baldwin, and Felt knew about Baldwin, Felt can't be Deep Throat... I think what has been missed is that, according to Woodstein, Deep Throat rarely provided information; he mostly confirmed information that they'd already uncovered. And even this was done in vague terms, sometimes so vague he was misunderstood. Remember the screw-up regarding Haldeman's pre-knowledge? That almost got Woodstein pulled off the story.

Edited by Pat Speer

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Guest John Gillespie

"Their honsty and sincerity impressed me..."

Mr. Baldwin,

Thank you very much. Your apparent honesty and sincerity are equally impressive.

Yours Truly,

John Gillespie

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Thank you, Mr. Baldwin. It is refreshing and enlightening to read your correspondence. It's noble of you to come here and volley a bit with us. Nice to have you along. I know that I and others hope you had a nice holiday season.

A couple of more questions: Were you ever approached by Mr. Woodward or Mr. Bernstein during the early to mid seventies to go on or off the record? Did you ever know either of them? Do you believe Mark Felt was Deep Throat? Why did you assent to an interview with the Los Angeles Times? Thanks again.

Regards,

John G

John--I was never directly approached by either Woodward or Bernsten, however, I did learn at a latter date that they had contacted my lawyers who refused to have aything to do with them for reaons that were never disxlosed to me. Thus I can say that I did not know either of them. As to whethern or not Mark Felt was Deep Throat I can honestly say that I have my doubts especially since I had been in cotact wit the FBI in July, 1972 yet there is no mention of me by either Bernstein or Woodwar in he early (post July, 1972) days. So if Felt was reading all the FBI 302s (interview reports) why didn/t he alert those writers to the act that John Mitchell had been named in my very first interview with the FBI, So in July 1972 the government had a "trail" to Mitchell, whichwould have been termendius news at that period of time. Lastly, believe it or not the interview was given to the Los Angeles Times reporters(two of them) for basically two reason. The first was that they were present on a daily basis at my lawyer's office in West Haven, Connecticut for weeks into months presenting themselves by saying that " if and when he (myself) decides to tell his story they would be present to take it". The second reason was they were perfect gentlemen and never pressed the issue and agreeded to print everything that I said with no exceptions, deletions, or comments. Their honsty and sincerity impressed me, and my lawyers knew that I had "been left out to hang in the wind with no support or backing from ANYONE in Washngto, D.C.". Then add the fact that I had been told " you wont find a job anywhere, not even driving a truck" and you have the partial answer to that interview with those reporters.

I hope this answers your questions and thank you for your comments. ---Al Baldwin

Jim Hougan in Secret Agenda dismisses Felt as a possible Deep Throat for much the same reason. Since Deep Throat failed to tell Woodward about Baldwin, and Felt knew about Baldwin, Felt can't be Deep Throat... I think what has been missed is that, according to Woodstein, Deep Throat rarely provided information; he mostly confirmed information that they'd already uncovered. And even this was done in vague terms, sometimes so vague he was misunderstood. Remember the screw-up regarding Haldeman's pre-knowledge? That almost got Woodstein pulled off the case.

To whomever stated that Felt "rarely provided info",I'm glad the word "rarely" was used because he did in a round about way provide information on occassions. I believe naming John Mitchell in July,1972 and a "possible White House connection" was of such importance that if Felt was Deep Thoat some type on mention or innuendo would have been provided to either of the two.

Edited by Alfred C. Baldwin

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I am a great admirer of Secret Agenda. I have read virtually all the books available on Watergate and believe Jim Hougan gets the closest to explaining what really went on. There is still a lot more to be told. Especially concerning Operation Sandwedge.

As Ron points out, McCord clearly sabotaged the Watergate break-in. Who was he really working for? In my opinion, he was still working for the CIA. Deep Throat was a collection of different sources but was largely CIA (Richard Ober/ Robert F. Bennett).

Pat, I agree with most of what you post, but the two areas you have got wrong concerns the way that the CIA use the media (Watergate/Operation Mockingbird). You have also fallen for the Bob Woodward "Mark Felt" story.

The CIA got rid of Richard Nixon, not the Washington Post. If George Bush is eventually impeached, it will be the CIA and not the New York Times that will be behind his removal.

John: Or Mr Baldwin

What can you tell us about Operation Sandwedge. Ever since the George Wallace shooting I have believed that Nixon's dirty tricks people were behind it. This operation is a very underreported/ under studied event.

Thanx,

Dawn

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What can you tell us about Operation Sandwedge. Ever since the George Wallace shooting I have believed that Nixon's dirty tricks people were behind it. This operation is a very underreported/ under studied event.

Hi Dawn. I'm neither of the people you invoked, but a) I agree with you about the George Wallace shooting having been relatively lost in the intense compaction of events that happened in that pregnant month of May, 1972, and, b ) Sandwedge has also been of considerable interest to me, for related and for different reasons, and, c) I'd very much like to ask Mr. Baldwin about some of the events in early-mid May 1972--but he appears to have left the building.

I realize I'm responding to a message that is six months old, but since it's a discussion about one or more unsolved mysteries that are over 30 years old, I'll forge ahead.

On Sandwedge, I don't believe that it simply was a failed precursor to the various versions of the "Gemstone" plans. I've also found evidence that the Sandwedge proposal was completed in July 1971--considerably earlier than most sources claim.

On the Wallace shooting, there is an odd concatenation of events beginning 1 May 1972 culminating in the Wallace shooting on 15 May 1972, not the least of them involving McCord having issued a .38 revolver to Alfred Baldwin on 1 May 1972, which purportedly was turned back in by Baldwin to McCord on 12 May 1972--three days before Wallace was shot in Laurel, Maryland with a .38 revolver. Even more curious is that on 10 May 1972, McCord is on record as having been in Rockville, Maryland, which is only about 6 miles from Laurel, and on that date, Baldwin--still in possession of the McCord-issued .38--purportedly had traveled back to his home in Connecticut to "get more clothes." This extraordinary sequence of coincidences is part of what I'd like to gain more understanding of from Mr. Baldwin, particularly why he took the .38 with him on a trip home to "get more clothes."

There's more about this, and a very comprehensive timeline I've been referred to that has all of this information, including the Sandwedge documentation, laid out uniquely in very detailed and fully cited sequence. If you'd like to discuss this further, let me know. And if anyone can reach Mr. Baldwin and ask if he would return and help clarify some of these points, that would be very beneficial.

Edited by Ashton Gray

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I am a great admirer of Secret Agenda. I have read virtually all the books available on Watergate and believe Jim Hougan gets the closest to explaining what really went on. There is still a lot more to be told. Especially concerning Operation Sandwedge.

As Ron points out, McCord clearly sabotaged the Watergate break-in. Who was he really working for? In my opinion, he was still working for the CIA. Deep Throat was a collection of different sources but was largely CIA (Richard Ober/ Robert F. Bennett).

Pat, I agree with most of what you post, but the two areas you have got wrong concerns the way that the CIA use the media (Watergate/Operation Mockingbird). You have also fallen for the Bob Woodward "Mark Felt" story.

The CIA got rid of Richard Nixon, not the Washington Post. If George Bush is eventually impeached, it will be the CIA and not the New York Times that will be behind his removal.

John: Or Mr Baldwin

What can you tell us about Operation Sandwedge. Ever since the George Wallace shooting I have believed that Nixon's dirty tricks people were behind it. This operation is a very underreported/ under studied event.

Thanx,

Dawn

I am sorry I missed this question when it was originally asked by Dawn. Thank you Ashton Gray for bringing it to my attention.

There is evidence that Operation Sandwedge was the name given to Nixon’s really dirty tricks campaign. The two people at the head of this operation were Jack Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz. Both men had been recruited from the NYPD's Bureau of Special Service and Investigation (BOSSI).

According to Caulfield: "My multi-faceted, twelve-year BOSSI experience convinced me in late 1967 that Richard Nixon was going to run and likely win the Presidential election in 1968. I subsequently approached the Nixon people from the 1960 Presidential campaign (with whom I had worked as a BOSSI detective) and made it known I was available for candidate/staff security purposes during the 1968 campaign." After being interviewed by H. R. Haldeman and Rose Mary Woods he was appointed as Chief of Security for the Nixon Campaign Staff.

Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election and in April, 1969, Caulfield was appointed as Staff Assistant to the President. Soon afterwards Nixon decided that the White House should establish an in-house investigative capability that could be used to obtain sensitive political information. After consulting Ehrlichman and Haldeman the job was given to Caulfield.

Caulfield now appointed an old friend, Tony Ulasewicz, to carry out this investigative work. Over the next three years Ulasewicz traveled to 23 states gathering information about Nixon's political opponents.

Ulasewicz's first task was to investigate the links between Bobby Baker and leading Democratic Party politicians. He was also ordered by Caulfield to set up a round-the-clock surveillance of Edward Kennedy.

According to Ulasewicz, on 19th July, 1969, he received a phone call from Caulfield: "Get out to Martha's Vineyard as fast as you can, Tony. Kennedy's car ran off a bridge last night. There was a girl in it. She's dead." This phone call took place less than two hours after the body of Mary Jo Kopechne, the former secretary of Robert Kennedy, had been found in a car that Caulfield suspected Edward Kennedy had been driving.

It is my view that this story is not accurate. I believe Ulasewicz was in Chappaquiddick before Kopechne died. Whatever the truth of this is, we know that Ulasewicz was able to interview several key witnesses before the police got to them. This included Sylvia Malm who was staying in Dike House at the time. Dike House was only 150 yards from the scene of the accident. Malm told Ulasewicz that she was reading in bed on the night of the accident. She remained awake until midnight but no one knocked on her door.

Ulasewicz also discovered that the request for an autopsy by Edmund Dinis, the District Attorney of Suffolk County, had been denied. Dinis was told that the body had already been sent to Kopechne's family. This was untrue, the body was still in Edgartown. Ulasewicz also interviewed John Farrar, the scuba diver who pulled Mary Jo Kopechne out of Kennedy's car. Farrar told Ulasewicz that the evidence he saw suggested that she had been trapped alive for several hours inside Kennedy's car.

He also discovered that the "records of Edward Kennedy's telephone calls in the hours after the accident at Chappaquiddick were withheld by the telephone company from an inquest into the death of Mary Jo Kopechne without the knowledge of the Assistant District Attorney who asked for them". He leaked this information to various newspapers but it was only taken up by the Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire. It was not until 12th March, 1980, that the New York Times published the story.

I believe it is possible that Nixon was behind Edward Kennedy’s problems in Chappaquiddick. It was his most successful dirty trick as it made sure that Kennedy was not the Democratic candidate in 1972.

According to the Nixon camp, on 17th September, 1971, John Dean and Jeb Magruder asked Caulfield to establish a new private security firm. Caulfield was told that Tony Ulasewicz and his associates would be required to carry out "surveillance of Democratic primaries, convention, meetings, etc.," and collecting "derogatory information, investigative capability, worldwide." Caulfield 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.

I don’t believe this story. I believe that Sandwedge dates back to April 1969 and that it involved the removal of the two people who posed the main threat to Nixon’s reelection in 1972, Edward Kennedy and George Wallace.

On 15th May, 1972, Arthur Bremer tried to assassinate George Wallace at a presidential campaign rally in Laurel, Maryland. Wallace was hit four times and as a result had to pull out of the race to become president. The person who most benefited from this assassination attempt was Richard Nixon. If Wallace had gone on to become the third party candidate, the right-wing vote would have been split and Nixon would have lost in 1972.

The removal of Wallace from the campaign was part of Operation Sandwedge. If you remember, Tim Gratz was a normal member of this Forum until I posted this passage from Richard E. Sprague’s, The Taking of America (1985):

In 1972 the Power Control Group was faced with another set of problems. Again the objective was to insure Nixon's election at all costs and to continue the cover-ups. Nixon might have made it on his own. We'll never know because the Group guaranteed his election by eliminating two strong candidates and completely swamping another with tainted leftist images and a psychiatric case for the vice presidential nominee. The impression that Nixon had in early 1972 was that he stood a good chance of losing. He imagined enemies everywhere and a press he was sure was out to get him.

The Power Control Group realized this too. They began laying out a strategy that would encourage the real nuts in the Nixon administration like E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy and Donald Segretti to eliminate any serious opposition. The dirty tricks campaign worked perfectly against the strongest early Democratic candidate, Edmund Muskie. He withdrew in tears, later to discover he had been sabotaged by Nixon, Liddy and company.

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. Several other young "leftists" were seen with Bremer on several occasions in Milwaukee and on the ferry crossing at Lake Michigan.

J. Timothy Gratz was our own “Tim Gratz”. He immediately went into attack mode and threatened me with legal action. He also phoned William Turner and made such unpleasant threats to him that caused him to withdraw from the Forum (I was later able to reassure him that Gratz did not have the power to carry out his threats).

As I pointed out at the time, if Sprague had published lies about him in “The Taking of America”, why did he not take him to court when he made the accusations in 1985?

The record shows that Gratz was connected to Tony Ulasewicz via Donald Segretti. According to the Nixon camp’s story, Ulasewicz visited Gratz on 18th December, 1972, to talk about his relationship with Segretti. In his book, The President's Private Eye (1990), Ulasewicz claims he visited Gratz in order to stop the Segretti dirty tricks campaign. I have never found this account very convincing, especially as Ulasewicz was part of another, far more serious, dirty tricks campaigns, Operation Sandwedge.

Sam Ervin and the Senate Watergate Committee began on 17th May, 1973. One of the first witnesses to appear was Jack Caulfield who admitted the role that he and Tony Ulasewicz had played in Operation Sandwedge. Ulasewicz appeared before the committee on 23rd May, 1973. To his surprise (according to his autobiography), the senators did not ask any specific questions of his work for Richard Nixon. Instead they concentrated on how he delivered the money to the Watergate burglars.

If you read the transcripts of Ervin’s committee it becomes clear that Operation Sandwedge was not to be discussed. As a result, Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign against Edward Kennedy and George Wallace was never revealed. Instead the investigation concentrated on the minor case of Operation Gemstone.

In 1977 Ulasewicz had a meeting with Richard Nixon at his home at San Clemente. They had a "heart to heart" talk. Nixon asked him: "What was it, Tony? What did it? What do you think caused Watergate? Ulasewicz replied: "You had a lot of guys around you who were trying to protect their own future at your expense." He admitted in his autobiography, The President's Private Eye (1990) that he did not tell him the full truth.

What was the full truth? My view is that the CIA got rid of Richard Nixon by setting him up over Watergate. The main reason for this was Nixon was trying to create an intelligence agency that was under his own control. When he discovered what the CIA had done, he tried to blackmail Richard Helms with what he knew about Operation 40 and the assassination of JFK. Here is a passage from Haldeman’s The End of Power:

So we had failed in our one previous attempt to obtain CIA co-operation, and now in Ehrlichman's office on June 23, 1972, the C.I.A. was stonewalling me again: 'Not connected.' 'No way.' Then I played Nixon's trump card. 'The President asked me to tell you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it opens up, the Bay of Pigs may be blown....'

Turmoil in the room. Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.'

Silence. I just sat there. I was absolutely shocked by Helms' violent reaction. Again I wondered, what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story? Finally, I said, 'I'm just following my instructions, Dick. This is what the President told me to relay to you.'

Later, Haldeman reveals that “The Bay of Pigs” was code for the assassination of JFK.

Richard Helms continued to resist Nixon’s attempt at blackmail and as a result he was sacked as director of the CIA.

James Schlesinger now became the new director of the CIA. Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

On 9th May, 1973, James Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”.

There were several employees who had been trying to complain about the illegal CIA activities for some time. As Cord Meyer pointed out, this directive “was a hunting license for the resentful subordinate to dig back into the records of the past in order to come up with evidence that might destroy the career of a superior whom he long hated.”

The CIA was in serious trouble. They had to get rid of Nixon as soon as possible. They did this through Deep Throat (Richard Ober) and two key assets at the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward.

If this was the case, why did Nixon not reveal what he knew about the CIA and the assassination of JFK? The reason is that a deal was done. Nixon agreed not to tell about the CIA role in the assassination of JFK. The CIA agreed not to tell about Nixon’s role in destroying the political careers of Edward Kennedy and George Wallace. Can we really be surprised that Nixon accepted the deal and took the punishment for the Watergate break-in. The alternative was far, far, worse.

I am a great admirer of Secret Agenda. I have read virtually all the books available on Watergate and believe Jim Hougan gets the closest to explaining what really went on. There is still a lot more to be told. Especially concerning Operation Sandwedge.

As Ron points out, McCord clearly sabotaged the Watergate break-in. Who was he really working for? In my opinion, he was still working for the CIA. Deep Throat was a collection of different sources but was largely CIA (Richard Ober/ Robert F. Bennett).

Pat, I agree with most of what you post, but the two areas you have got wrong concerns the way that the CIA use the media (Watergate/Operation Mockingbird). You have also fallen for the Bob Woodward "Mark Felt" story.

The CIA got rid of Richard Nixon, not the Washington Post. If George Bush is eventually impeached, it will be the CIA and not the New York Times that will be behind his removal.

John: Or Mr Baldwin

What can you tell us about Operation Sandwedge. Ever since the George Wallace shooting I have believed that Nixon's dirty tricks people were behind it. This operation is a very underreported/ under studied event.

Thanx,

Dawn

I am sorry I missed this question when it was originally asked by Dawn. Thank you Ashton Gray for bringing it to my attention.

There is evidence that Operation Sandwedge was the name given to Nixon’s really dirty tricks campaign. The two people at the head of this operation were Jack Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz. Both men had been recruited from the NYPD's Bureau of Special Service and Investigation (BOSSI).

According to Caulfield: "My multi-faceted, twelve-year BOSSI experience convinced me in late 1967 that Richard Nixon was going to run and likely win the Presidential election in 1968. I subsequently approached the Nixon people from the 1960 Presidential campaign (with whom I had worked as a BOSSI detective) and made it known I was available for candidate/staff security purposes during the 1968 campaign." After being interviewed by H. R. Haldeman and Rose Mary Woods he was appointed as Chief of Security for the Nixon Campaign Staff.

Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election and in April, 1969, Caulfield was appointed as Staff Assistant to the President. Soon afterwards Nixon decided that the White House should establish an in-house investigative capability that could be used to obtain sensitive political information. After consulting Ehrlichman and Haldeman the job was given to Caulfield.

Caulfield now appointed an old friend, Tony Ulasewicz, to carry out this investigative work. Over the next three years Ulasewicz traveled to 23 states gathering information about Nixon's political opponents.

Ulasewicz's first task was to investigate the links between Bobby Baker and leading Democratic Party politicians. He was also ordered by Caulfield to set up a round-the-clock surveillance of Edward Kennedy.

According to Ulasewicz, on 19th July, 1969, he received a phone call from Caulfield: "Get out to Martha's Vineyard as fast as you can, Tony. Kennedy's car ran off a bridge last night. There was a girl in it. She's dead." This phone call took place less than two hours after the body of Mary Jo Kopechne, the former secretary of Robert Kennedy, had been found in a car that Caulfield suspected Edward Kennedy had been driving.

It is my view that this story is not accurate. I believe Ulasewicz was in Chappaquiddick before Kopechne died. Whatever the truth of this is, we know that Ulasewicz was able to interview several key witnesses before the police got to them. This included Sylvia Malm who was staying in Dike House at the time. Dike House was only 150 yards from the scene of the accident. Malm told Ulasewicz that she was reading in bed on the night of the accident. She remained awake until midnight but no one knocked on her door.

Ulasewicz also discovered that the request for an autopsy by Edmund Dinis, the District Attorney of Suffolk County, had been denied. Dinis was told that the body had already been sent to Kopechne's family. This was untrue, the body was still in Edgartown. Ulasewicz also interviewed John Farrar, the scuba diver who pulled Mary Jo Kopechne out of Kennedy's car. Farrar told Ulasewicz that the evidence he saw suggested that she had been trapped alive for several hours inside Kennedy's car.

He also discovered that the "records of Edward Kennedy's telephone calls in the hours after the accident at Chappaquiddick were withheld by the telephone company from an inquest into the death of Mary Jo Kopechne without the knowledge of the Assistant District Attorney who asked for them". He leaked this information to various newspapers but it was only taken up by the Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire. It was not until 12th March, 1980, that the New York Times published the story.

I believe it is possible that Nixon was behind Edward Kennedy’s problems in Chappaquiddick. It was his most successful dirty trick as it made sure that Kennedy was not the Democratic candidate in 1972.

According to the Nixon camp, on 17th September, 1971, John Dean and Jeb Magruder asked Caulfield to establish a new private security firm. Caulfield was told that Tony Ulasewicz and his associates would be required to carry out "surveillance of Democratic primaries, convention, meetings, etc.," and collecting "derogatory information, investigative capability, worldwide." Caulfield 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.

I don’t believe this story. I believe that Sandwedge dates back to April 1969 and that it involved the removal of the two people who posed the main threat to Nixon’s reelection in 1972, Edward Kennedy and George Wallace.

On 15th May, 1972, Arthur Bremer tried to assassinate George Wallace at a presidential campaign rally in Laurel, Maryland. Wallace was hit four times and as a result had to pull out of the race to become president. The person who most benefited from this assassination attempt was Richard Nixon. If Wallace had gone on to become the third party candidate, the right-wing vote would have been split and Nixon would have lost in 1972.

The removal of Wallace from the campaign was part of Operation Sandwedge. If you remember, Tim Gratz was a normal member of this Forum until I posted this passage from Richard E. Sprague’s, The Taking of America (1985):

In 1972 the Power Control Group was faced with another set of problems. Again the objective was to insure Nixon's election at all costs and to continue the cover-ups. Nixon might have made it on his own. We'll never know because the Group guaranteed his election by eliminating two strong candidates and completely swamping another with tainted leftist images and a psychiatric case for the vice presidential nominee. The impression that Nixon had in early 1972 was that he stood a good chance of losing. He imagined enemies everywhere and a press he was sure was out to get him.

The Power Control Group realized this too. They began laying out a strategy that would encourage the real nuts in the Nixon administration like E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy and Donald Segretti to eliminate any serious opposition. The dirty tricks campaign worked perfectly against the strongest early Democratic candidate, Edmund Muskie. He withdrew in tears, later to discover he had been sabotaged by Nixon, Liddy and company.

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. Several other young "leftists" were seen with Bremer on several occasions in Milwaukee and on the ferry crossing at Lake Michigan.

J. Timothy Gratz was our own “Tim Gratz”. He immediately went into attack mode and threatened me with legal action. He also phoned William Turner and made such unpleasant threats to him that caused him to withdraw from the Forum (I was later able to reassure him that Gratz did not have the power to carry out his threats).

As I pointed out at the time, if Sprague had published lies about him in “The Taking of America”, why did he not take him to court when he made the accusations in 1985?

The record shows that Gratz was connected to Tony Ulasewicz via Donald Segretti. According to the Nixon camp’s story, Ulasewicz visited Gratz on 18th December, 1972, to talk about his relationship with Segretti. In his book, The President's Private Eye (1990), Ulasewicz claims he visited Gratz in order to stop the Segretti dirty tricks campaign. I have never found this account very convincing, especially as Ulasewicz was part of another, far more serious, dirty tricks campaigns, Operation Sandwedge.

Sam Ervin and the Senate Watergate Committee began on 17th May, 1973. One of the first witnesses to appear was Jack Caulfield who admitted the role that he and Tony Ulasewicz had played in Operation Sandwedge. Ulasewicz appeared before the committee on 23rd May, 1973. To his surprise (according to his autobiography), the senators did not ask any specific questions of his work for Richard Nixon. Instead they concentrated on how he delivered the money to the Watergate burglars.

If you read the transcripts of Ervin’s committee it becomes clear that Operation Sandwedge was not to be discussed. As a result, Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign against Edward Kennedy and George Wallace was never revealed. Instead the investigation concentrated on the minor case of Operation Gemstone.

In 1977 Ulasewicz had a meeting with Richard Nixon at his home at San Clemente. They had a "heart to heart" talk. Nixon asked him: "What was it, Tony? What did it? What do you think caused Watergate? Ulasewicz replied: "You had a lot of guys around you who were trying to protect their own future at your expense." He admitted in his autobiography, The President's Private Eye (1990) that he did not tell him the full truth.

What was the full truth? My view is that the CIA got rid of Richard Nixon by setting him up over Watergate. The main reason for this was Nixon was trying to create an intelligence agency that was under his own control. When he discovered what the CIA had done, he tried to blackmail Richard Helms with what he knew about Operation 40 and the assassination of JFK. Here is a passage from Haldeman’s The End of Power:

So we had failed in our one previous attempt to obtain CIA co-operation, and now in Ehrlichman's office on June 23, 1972, the C.I.A. was stonewalling me again: 'Not connected.' 'No way.' Then I played Nixon's trump card. 'The President asked me to tell you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it opens up, the Bay of Pigs may be blown....'

Turmoil in the room. Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.'

Silence. I just sat there. I was absolutely shocked by Helms' violent reaction. Again I wondered, what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story? Finally, I said, 'I'm just following my instructions, Dick. This is what the President told me to relay to you.'

Later, Haldeman reveals that “The Bay of Pigs” was code for the assassination of JFK.

Richard Helms continued to resist Nixon’s attempt at blackmail and as a result he was sacked as director of the CIA.

James Schlesinger now became the new director of the CIA. Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

On 9th May, 1973, James Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”.

There were several employees who had been trying to complain about the illegal CIA activities for some time. As Cord Meyer pointed out, this directive “was a hunting license for the resentful subordinate to dig back into the records of the past in order to come up with evidence that might destroy the career of a superior whom he long hated.”

The CIA was in serious trouble. They had to get rid of Nixon as soon as possible. They did this through Deep Throat (Richard Ober) and two key assets at the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward.

If this was the case, why did Nixon not reveal what he knew about the CIA and the assassination of JFK? The reason is that a deal was done. Nixon agreed not to tell about the CIA role in the assassination of JFK. The CIA agreed not to tell about Nixon’s role in destroying the political careers of Edward Kennedy and George Wallace. Can we really be surprised that Nixon accepted the deal and took the punishment for the Watergate break-in. The alternative was far, far, worse.

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On 15th May, 1972, Arthur Bremer tried to assassinate George Wallace at a presidential campaign rally in Laurel, Maryland. Wallace was hit four times and as a result had to pull out of the race to become president. The person who most benefited from this assassination attempt was Richard Nixon. If Wallace had gone on to become the third party candidate, the right-wing vote would have been split and Nixon would have lost in 1972.

While it is true that Nixon benefitted from the Wallace shooting (on an awfully temporary basis), there was an entirely different set of very deep undercurrents throughout 1971-1972, but that had been developing for decades. These factors remained completely out of sight until 1995, and even then only the vaguest, and very dishonest hints were dropped by CIA. In the last 10 years a great deal more has been dug out of the mud and muck about it: it was a very secret program that the CIA started on Sunday, 1 October 1972--only two weeks after the "burglars" had been indicted and all the fingers were already pointing directly at the White House--to develop parapsychology for military intelligence purposes.

There is no indication that Nixon ever knew anything about it. When the CIA started the secret program, Nixon's White House was already under heavy fire, and Watergate absolutely riveted media attention.

From all indications, this program was, and had been, an extremely high priority and a major focus for CIA leading up to and throughout everything known as Watergate.

There is no doubt that Wallace could have become a very big impediment indeed to the CIA plans for this program in a variety of ways. So could Hoover (who was found dead 15 days before Wallace was shot), and L. Patrick Gray filled Hoover's vacated shoes just long enough to destroy evidence from the safe of CIA's golden boy, E. Howard Hunt.

The development of CIA's secret program precisely parallels Watergate in time, and it presents a massive amount of data--and motives--that have never been analyzed and evaluated against Watergate. I believe its omission--or, really, its cover-up--has completely crippled any chance of a complete investigation of Watergate, and that it is the reason why so many questions have gone unanswered to this day.

Ashton Gray

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On the Wallace shooting, there is an odd concatenation of events beginning 1 May 1972 culminating in the Wallace shooting on 15 May 1972, not the least of them involving McCord having issued a .38 revolver to Alfred Baldwin on 1 May 1972, which purportedly was turned back in by Baldwin to McCord on 12 May 1972--three days before Wallace was shot in Laurel, Maryland with a .38 revolver. Even more curious is that on 10 May 1972, McCord is on record as having been in Rockville, Maryland, which is only about 6 miles from Laurel, and on that date, Baldwin--still in possession of the McCord-issued .38--purportedly had traveled back to his home in Connecticut to "get more clothes." This extraordinary sequence of coincidences is part of what I'd like to gain more understanding of from Mr. Baldwin, particularly why he took the .38 with him on a trip home to "get more clothes."

There's more about this, and a very comprehensive timeline I've been referred to that has all of this information, including the Sandwedge documentation, laid out uniquely in very detailed and fully cited sequence. If you'd like to discuss this further, let me know. And if anyone can reach Mr. Baldwin and ask if he would return and help clarify some of these points, that would be very beneficial.

I have sent this question to Alfred Baldwin. Hopefully we will get a reply.

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On the Wallace shooting, there is an odd concatenation of events beginning 1 May 1972 culminating in the Wallace shooting on 15 May 1972, not the least of them involving McCord having issued a .38 revolver to Alfred Baldwin on 1 May 1972, which purportedly was turned back in by Baldwin to McCord on 12 May 1972--three days before Wallace was shot in Laurel, Maryland with a .38 revolver. Even more curious is that on 10 May 1972, McCord is on record as having been in Rockville, Maryland, which is only about 6 miles from Laurel, and on that date, Baldwin--still in possession of the McCord-issued .38--purportedly had traveled back to his home in Connecticut to "get more clothes." This extraordinary sequence of coincidences is part of what I'd like to gain more understanding of from Mr. Baldwin, particularly why he took the .38 with him on a trip home to "get more clothes."

At this point of time I would only state that the sequence of events as to the 38 and when it was obtained and turned back to McCord can ony be verified by the FBI interview as recorded on their 302 interview document. With the passage of years I am now relucant to state a fact from my memory when it comes to precise dates. There is nothing unusual with the fact that I travelled to Connecticut with the weapon. As an FBI agent one always carried one's weapon 24/7. Thus having been issued the weapon and with further possible deployment where the weapon could be used for personal defense it woul have been and was normal for the weapon to remain on my person at all times after it had been issued to me. It is a fact I went to Connecticut to obtain more personal items, such as clothing, and to meet with my personal friend and later attorney Robert Mirto. I did fly to Connecicut and back from Connecticut that weekend and remained there the entire weekend, which has been verified by the FBI.

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Hi, Mr. Baldwin. Thanks very much for your reply. I appreciate your citing the 302 document, but I don't know of any easy availibility.

I do, though, have access to your sworn congressional testimony, which I hope will be agreeable to you as a means of refreshing your memory, and which is reasonably contemporary with the events at issue. Referencing that source, perhaps I could be more specific than I was when I wasn't certain whether you could be reached.

According to that testimony, there were two incidents within about a month when you went back to your home in Connecticut, and just to obviate any possible confusion about the two separate incidents, the first occured on 9 May 1972, with your returning on 12 May 1972. That's the trip we've been discussing in which you carried the gun. In the second event, you left D.C. on 23 May 1972, and returned on 26 May 1972--the same day as the purported Ameritas "first attempt" at a "first break-in."

Focusing, with your indulgence, on the first event, I'm still a bit perplexed, and please allow me to explain why.

In your reply to me, above, you said you kept the .38 because: "with further possible deployment where the weapon could be used for personal defense it woul have been and was normal for the weapon to remain on my person at all times after it had been issued to me." The "further possible deployment" you are referring to, according to your congressional testimony, was a possible second assignment to travel in the capacity of a bodyguard with Martha Mitchell. You already had done so once according to your record, leaving on 2 May 1972, arriving back in D.C. on 9 May 1972--the same day you left for Connecticut.

I was a bit surprised to hear that you flew to Connecticut on your 9-12 May trip to collect some personal things (since you had driven to D.C. originally, and you drove yourself on the second trip), and learning that you flew also actually compounds, a bit, my confusion concerning this trip you took, and your carrying the gun with you, for these reasons:

1) In your sworn testimony you said that the trip that was scheduled for Martha Mitchell on which you might have a possible second assignment of traveling with her, leaving from D.C.--the supplied reason for keeping the gun with you--was scheduled for 11 May 1972. Yet you didn't return to D.C. until the day after her scheduled departure from D.C.: 12 May 1972. If you and the gun were in Connecticut on 11 May 1972, the day she was scheduled to leave on her trip, how could you (and the gun) have been factored in for a possible bodyguard assignment?

2) I'm sorry, but I still don't understand any rationale for having the gun in Connecticut, when the assignment for which it purportedly was issued would be departing from D.C. You didn't have Martha Mitchell with you in Connecticut. You took no gun with you on your second trip to Connecticut (23-26 May). Why, then, did you need one with you on the first trip there--especially when you didn't return at all until the day after Martha Mitchell already had left, on 11 May, with Fred LaRue instead of you? I can't make this make any sense to me.

3) If you flew, did you buy a round trip ticket with a return date a day later than your possible assignment?

4) Did you take the gun on the plane, and if so, did you have to report that to anyone?

5) Did you have a permit for carrying the gun?

I'm sorry to be a pest, but the details have been pestiferous for me, and I cannot easily express my gratitude for this opportunity to lay these nagging questions to rest.

Thank you again, and in advance, for your help.

Ashton Gray

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Guest John Gillespie

"I'm sorry to be a pest, but the details have been pestiferous for me, and I cannot easily express my gratitude for this opportunity to lay these nagging questions to rest."

______________________________________________

Mr. Gray,

I like your style. Nice work.

JG

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Hi, Mr. Baldwin. Thanks very much for your reply. I appreciate your citing the 302 document, but I don't know of any easy availibility.

I do, though, have access to your sworn congressional testimony, which I hope will be agreeable to you as a means of refreshing your memory, and which is reasonably contemporary with the events at issue. Referencing that source, perhaps I could be more specific than I was when I wasn't certain whether you could be reached.

According to that testimony, there were two incidents within about a month when you went back to your home in Connecticut, and just to obviate any possible confusion about the two separate incidents, the first occured on 9 May 1972, with your returning on 12 May 1972. That's the trip we've been discussing in which you carried the gun. In the second event, you left D.C. on 23 May 1972, and returned on 26 May 1972--the same day as the purported Ameritas "first attempt" at a "first break-in."

Focusing, with your indulgence, on the first event, I'm still a bit perplexed, and please allow me to explain why.

In your reply to me, above, you said you kept the .38 because: "with further possible deployment where the weapon could be used for personal defense it woul have been and was normal for the weapon to remain on my person at all times after it had been issued to me." The "further possible deployment" you are referring to, according to your congressional testimony, was a possible second assignment to travel in the capacity of a bodyguard with Martha Mitchell. You already had done so once according to your record, leaving on 2 May 1972, arriving back in D.C. on 9 May 1972--the same day you left for Connecticut.

I was a bit surprised to hear that you flew to Connecticut on your 9-12 May trip to collect some personal things (since you had driven to D.C. originally, and you drove yourself on the second trip), and learning that you flew also actually compounds, a bit, my confusion concerning this trip you took, and your carrying the gun with you, for these reasons:

1) In your sworn testimony you said that the trip that was scheduled for Martha Mitchell on which you might have a possible second assignment of traveling with her, leaving from D.C.--the supplied reason for keeping the gun with you--was scheduled for 11 May 1972. Yet you didn't return to D.C. until the day after her scheduled departure from D.C.: 12 May 1972. If you and the gun were in Connecticut on 11 May 1972, the day she was scheduled to leave on her trip, how could you (and the gun) have been factored in for a possible bodyguard assignment?

2) I'm sorry, but I still don't understand any rationale for having the gun in Connecticut, when the assignment for which it purportedly was issued would be departing from D.C. You didn't have Martha Mitchell with you in Connecticut. You took no gun with you on your second trip to Connecticut (23-26 May). Why, then, did you need one with you on the first trip there--especially when you didn't return at all until the day after Martha Mitchell already had left, on 11 May, with Fred LaRue instead of you? I can't make this make any sense to me.

3) If you flew, did you buy a round trip ticket with a return date a day later than your possible assignment?

4) Did you take the gun on the plane, and if so, did you have to report that to anyone?

5) Did you have a permit for carrying the gun?

I'm sorry to be a pest, but the details have been pestiferous for me, and I cannot easily express my gratitude for this opportunity to lay these nagging questions to rest.

Thank you again, and in advance, for your help.

Ashton Gray

1. Originally, for my interview with McCord for a job position, I did not drive I flew to D.C. and of course had no weapon on my person.

2. Yes, I had a round trip ticket and before I left I was told by McCord that a specific date fo the next Martha trip had not been finalized but it would be in the middle or later part of the week of my return. McCord had not been told or given any reason for my replacement on her next trip prior to my departure to Connecticut, and I had meet with John Mitchell himself prior to my leaving for Connecticut. He "de-briefed me" and thanked me, and left me with the impression there was further work to be done on my part.

3.Yes I had the weapon on the plane and had to report this fact at the ticket counter. Since I was not active in the law-enforcement field the ticket manger was called and I provided him with a phone number to call to verify the fact that I was working in a security position with the re-election committee. He called the number and then cleared me to board with the weapon. The number was for the Security Office of Jim McCord at the Committee and what he told the manger has never been explained or told to me. You must remember this was the early 70's prior to any of the threats that this nation faces today, but there was an air marshall program in effect at that time different I am sure to the programs in effect today.

4. No I did not have a permit for the weapon at any time and when I advised McCord of this fact and that I would not be acting in any official law enforcement capacity while carying the gun he furnished me a business card with his name and a telephone number, His exact words were "if you have any difficulty or if anyone questions your having this weapon have them call this number". I believe that on two occassions that I had to utilize that business card and in both instances I was allowed to proceed with the weapon on my person.

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1. Originally, for my interview with McCord for a job position, I did not drive I flew to D.C. and of course had no weapon on my person.

Of course that's correct, and I should have recalled the specific point you had made in your Senate testimony that you were flying Allegheny Airlines. I've gone into the vaults and pulled the whole transcript now instead of using just the excerpts I'd been referring to before, and I'll quote that part of your testimony in a moment, but I owe you a public apology up front for having let that slip by.

2. Yes, I had a round trip ticket and before I left I was told by McCord that a specific date for the next Martha trip had not been finalized but it would be in the middle or later part of the week of my return. McCord had not been told or given any reason for my replacement on her next trip prior to my departure to Connecticut, and I had meet with John Mitchell himself prior to my leaving for Connecticut. He "de-briefed me" and thanked me, and left me with the impression there was further work to be done on my part.

Thanks for that explanation. I don't quite know where to put it, though, because I can't fit all that anywhere onto the May 1972 calendar, particularly with the way you explained the same events in detail to Senator Weicker during your sworn testimony. Why don't I just get out of the way here for a moment and let you review the relevant sections of that testimony regarding your only trip with Martha (and I bet traveling with her was a trip), your return from that, and your subsequent trip to Connecticut--for which you had gotten the round-trip ticket after your meeting with John Mitchell. If you'll permit me, I'll put a few of my own brief annotations in italic, and a few phrases from the testimony in bold for clarity:

  • SENATOR WEICKER: ...Now: as your first assignment, did you make a trip to Detroit and Westchester County as a bodyguard for Mrs. Mitchell?
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct. The--
    SENATOR WEICKER: And did you return from that trip on May the 8th? [May 8th is Monday.]
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct. We did.
    SENATOR WEICKER: ...did you return to Connecticut after the 8th--
    ALFRED BALDWIN: I returned approximately the 9th to Connecticut-- [May 9th is Tuesday.]
    SENATOR WEICKER: --and come back to Washington on May the 12th? [May 12th is Friday.]
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct.
    SENATOR WEICKER: ...Now, can you tell me what eventually happened to that weapon?
    ALFRED BALDWIN: I retained possession of that weapon through the trip [with Martha Mitchell]. When I returned to Washington I had possession of that weapon. There was another trip scheduled on the Thursday of the week we returned. I believe we returned on May 8th, and I believe Mrs. Mitchell was scheduled to go out on another trip that Thursday. [May 11th is Thursday of that week.] I was told that the decision whether or not I would go with her hadn't been reached yet, but in all likelihood I would be going with her, to keep the weapon in my possession. I had to leave to go to-- [sic] back to Connecticut to get more clothing, so the weapon stayed with me back to Connecticut.

Well, I'll just say "Thanks for the Memories"--neither of us would want me to sing it--and I'll try to make some sense out of this.

You empathize with my difficulty here, don't you? You arrived back in D.C. with Martha Mitchell on Monday, May 8th, and met with John Mitchell according to the new information you've just supplied. (There's another interesting little side note here: on the day you arrived back in D.C., Liddy gave your boss, McCord, at least $4,000 in cash.)

Martha Mitchell was scheduled to leave D.C. again that Thursday, May 11th, on another trip. You "in all likelihood" would be going with her, and for that reason you say you had been instructed to keep the gun.

Then on Tuesday, May 9th--the day after your arrival back in D.C. with Martha--you went through a good deal of trouble and risk to board an Allegheny commercial plane on your way home to Connecticut, carrying a snub-nosed .38 revolver for which you had no permit, and you were traveling on a round-trip ticket that wouldn't put you back into D.C. until Friday, May 12th--the day after Martha was scheduled to leave D.C.

Is there any way at all to untangle this?

(If anybody can help me figure this out any better, I won't have to keep sitting here wondering, for instance, if this has anything to do with why Martha Mitchell wound up one night just a few months later thrown forcefully down on a bed in a California hotel with a butt full of drugs pumped into her after she was rash enough to call a reporter saying she knew "dirty things" and that she was a "political prisoner.")

I'll just move along and see if things clear up:

3.Yes I had the weapon on the plane and had to report this fact at the ticket counter. Since I was not active in the law-enforcement field the ticket manger was called and I provided him with a phone number to call to verify the fact that I was working in a security position with the re-election committee. He called the number and then cleared me to board with the weapon. The number was for the Security Office of Jim McCord at the Committee and what he told the manger has never been explained or told to me. You must remember this was the early 70's prior to any of the threats that this nation faces today, but there was an air marshall program in effect at that time different I am sure to the programs in effect today.

Allegheny must have been the most down-home, good-ol'-boy, howdy-neighbor airline in the skies at the time, then, to allow you to board one of their planes--on the strength of nothing a business card and a phone call--carrying a gun for which you had no permit. After eight airliners had been hijacked to Cuba in 1969, the FAA had created the Task Force on the Deterrence of Air Piracy. Metal detectors and profiling were being implemented, and by September 1970 Nixon had announced a comprehensive anti-hijacking program that included the Federal Marshal program you've alluded to. The first passenger death in a U.S. hijacking had occurred less than a year earlier than your trip to Connecticut, in June 1971. And not two months before you were getting onto a plane with a gun for which you had no permit, bombs had been discovered on three airliners. So you done good. You done real good getting that gun to Connecticut and back on a commercial plane.

I have to tell you, though, Mr. Baldwin, that I still can't think of a single justifiable reason why you'd bother. I'm sorry, but I have to ask you again: why would you go to all that trouble to carry that gun on a plane to Connecticut and back, since the one and only need you purportedly would have for a gun at all would be if and when you departed from D.C. again on a trip with Martha Mitchell?

According to your testimony, when you originally were issued the gun on Tuesday, May 2nd, it was no more formal than McCord taking it out of a drawer of a file cabinet at CREEP:

  • SENATOR WEICKER: Now, at the time that-- Or, after, rather, you were hired, on that particular day, were you given a weapon?
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct. I was issued a .38 snub-nosed revolver; Smith & Wesson.
    SENATOR WEICKER: Would you describe to the committee that particular incident? Was this on the same day, May the 2nd?
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct--after we left Mr. LaRue's office. This occurred in the Security Office adjacent to the main reception room on the third floor of the Republican headquarters there on Pennsylvania Avenue. Mr. McCord went over to a file cabinet and removed the weapon either from the first or second drawer of the weapon--[sic] uh, of the file cabinet--and stated: "You will need this while you are with Mrs. Mitchell. You know how to use one of these?"
    SENATOR WEICKER: So, in other words, it's your testimony to this committee that Mr. McCord gave you the .38.
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct; he did.

So the still-grawing question I have is why you didn't just drop the .38 back into the "first or second drawer" of the file cabinet on your return to the CREEP offices on Monday, May 8th, where you say you met with Mr. Mitchell. The gun would have been right there where you could have picked it back up before leaving on another trip with Martha Mitchell--if that even became necessary--and you wouldn't have been subjecting yourself (and CREEP) to possible severe liability that could arise from your carrying a gun for which you had no permit across state lines on a commercial carrier.

If you had left it, the gun also would have been available for Fred LaRue (or whoever) to carry with them if replacing you as a "bodyguard" for Mrs. Mitchell--and you've always assterted that there was some doubt about you going with her at all on the May 11th trip. So why didn't you just leave the gun there in D.C.?

I also have to express my sense of wonder that your fellow Connecticut resident, Lowell Weicker, didn't ask you these same rather obvious and pertinent questions--unless he had been reading from a script.

I'm also still trying to come to an understanding of why in your sworn testimony you made it sound as though you had taken that gun on a plane quite a few times. Let me flip back to the transcript and show you what I mean:

  • ALFRED BALDWIN: I had no authority to carry the weapon, so when I flew home to Connecticut I would declare the weapon, and I was flying Allegheny Airlines, so that every time I would fly I would have to declare the weapon. And they would verify the fact; they would call right in front of me. The ticket agent and the manager would come out, usually, of the office. They would make a call, and they would say, "No problem." They would hand the gun back to me.

Maybe that's why that Allegheny thing just went out of my head momentarily: I might have gone temporarily unconscious trying to figure out why, when talking about carrying the gun on a commercial plane, you said things like "every time I would fly I would have to declare the weapon" and "usually" and "they would."

According to your testimony, you only could have been carrying the gun on a plane--illegally, as I understand it--twice: once to Connecticut and once back.

I briefly tried to rationalize this by thinking, "Could he have gone through this rigamarole while traveling with Martha Mitchell?" Surely not. And then I thought, no: she more likely was being flown top drawer, in one of the fleet in the stables out at Andrews. (I'm going to make an educated guess here and say it was the Jetstar 61-2492--the one that had no government markings and was used for some clandestine missions. Let me know if I've missed the mark on that.)

Anyway, after all that trouble to lug that revolver all the way to Connecticut and back--for no reason I can fathom--you said in testimony that you handed it over to McCord in front of the barber shop in the Roger Smith hotel when you got back to D.C. (I sure hope nobody was getting a straight-razor shave when you did that. That could have resulted in a nasty nick.)

Here's your testimony on that:

  • ALFRED BALDWIN: When I returned from Connecticut [Friday, May 12th], Mr. McCord advised me that Mr. LaRue would be going with Mrs. Mitchell, and he, uh, had other work for me to do, and at that time he said, uh-- I believe it was, "You've still got the weapon?" I said yes. We went downstairs of the Roger Smith hotel. Outside the barber shop--he took it.
    SENATOR WEICKER: So the weapon was returned, then, to Mr. McCord.
    ALFRED BALDWIN: That's correct.

I won't even approach trying to figure out why you say McCord asked you if you still had the weapon, or the Moebius Time Strip where McCord told you Fred LaRue "would be going" on a trip that LaRue must have left on the day before.

But I will, with your kind indulgence, approach this: is there anybody besides you and CIA veteran McCord--standing there in that Copalla-esque moment in front of a barber shop--who could corroborate the fact that the gun ever got turned back in at all? Is there any kind of a paper trail for the gun? Is there any evidence anywhere on the face of the earth of what became of that weapon? It isn't a personal issue, Mr. Baldwin; it's an issue of evidence and verifiable fact about a loose-cannon .38 revolver, the last account of which we have from you as being slipped nonchalantly into James McCord's pocket in front of a hotel barber shop, just three days before Govenor George Wallace, a presidential candidate, was shot with a .38 revolver not many miles away. Surely as an ex-FBIer, you understand this completely.

4. No I did not have a permit for the weapon at any time and when I advised McCord of this fact and that I would not be acting in any official law enforcement capacity while carying the gun he furnished me a business card with his name and a telephone number, His exact words were "if you have any difficulty or if anyone questions your having this weapon have them call this number". I believe that on two occassions that I had to utilize that business card and in both instances I was allowed to proceed with the weapon on my person.

I sure wish my business cards had that kind of mojo. :rolleyes:

Okay, seriously: according to your testimony, McCords words were considerably more long-winded than your description of his "exact words" above, and using the business card was what you described in testimony as a "last resort." Here's your sworn testimony on that point:

  • ALFRED BALDWIN: Well, I was instructed that if any time I was stopped by any government agency or law enforcement body regarding the weapon, or regarding my presence in a particular area, that I was to do two things: number one, advise them that I worked for the Committee to Re-Elect the President, that I was in the security office at that-- of that department, and if that didn't work to go on and then say that I was working for the former Attorney General, John Mitchell, and then as a last resort I had Mr. McCord's business card that said "James McCord, Director of Security, Committee to Re-Elect the President," and a telephone number. I was to give the person that card, and that they would call and verify. So on at least three or four occasions, that process had to be followed, where I had to identify myself.

I've tried in good faith to take your current explanation of the facts concerning the gun and the various trips into fair and prudent account, and compare the current explanation fairly to the sworn record you made for the Senate--which came only after you had made the same record for the US Attorneys, according to your opening statement read into the record at the Senate hearings. (I'm going to post my transcript of your Senate testimony into this thread, because I believe it's crucial, and that everyone should have it available.)

But after a good deal of effort on my part, I have to speak frankly to you, Mr. Baldwin, and say that I still can't make any sense out of why you took the gun to Connecticut at all, or out of your supplied and contradictory timelines of events surrounding Martha Mitchell's trips.

I still can't conceive why Senator Weicker or the US Attorneys didn't raise these crucial issues with you concerning the gun and its disposition, but that's not all Senator Weicker seemed to give a lick-and-a-promise to after the other senators had deferred to him for your questioning. Some of the things he skirted completely in his questioning I find almost as troubling as this issue of the gun.

In an effort to keep this message from going far too long, I'm going to post the other questions arising from your testimony in a separate message, and will urge you to please continue to do all you can to help clarify, and to help everyone interested in healing this supperating wound on our nation's history to a better understanding of things for which no understanding, so far, has been possible. You, of all people, given your crucial role in important events, are in a unique position to do just that.

I respectfully thank you for the time you already have invested in such laudable effort, and if my tone at any point seems at all argumentative or adversarial, it arises not from disrespect toward you, but solely from the inability to resolve severely conflicting information.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray

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