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The secret key to the Watergate break-in


Douglas Caddy
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The secret key to the Watergate break-in

When Washington, D.C. Police Detective Carl Shoffler arrested the five Watergate burglars on June 17, 1972 at 2:30 AM, he claimed that he found one key on the person of the burglar known as Eugenio Martinez. He asserted that the key was taped on the front of a notebook found on Martinez and that he subsequently inscribed his own notes about what he had found relating to the arrests. The notebook, bearing his initials with the key taped on it, was later placed in the U.S. National Archives, where it sat for almost two decades before being noticed.

This key was the subject of an A&E Investigative Report broadcast in 1992 with the title of “Key to Watergate.” Here is the link to the A& E Investigative Report:

http://www.nixonera.com/library/watergate.asp

Officer Shoffler is interviewed in the report.

Late in the afternoon of June 17 – the day of the arrests – Shoffler returned to the Washington, D.C. apartment that he shared with his confidential informant, Robert Merritt. It was Merritt who had tipped Shoffler off on June 3 to the planned break-in at Watergate based on information that had been provided to Merritt on June 1 by one of his confidential informant sources. Rather than report this information to the proper law enforcement authorities as was his duty, Shoffler instead clandestinely chose to use a wiretap method of triangulation that he had learned at the National Security Agency’s Vint Hill Farm Station in Virginia to secretly entrap and set up the burglars.

Shoffler’s role in doing this is disclosed for the first time in the new book, Watergate Exposed: How the President of the United States and the Watergate Burglars Were Set Up, by Robert Merritt, Top Confidential Informant to the FBI and Washington, D.C. Police, as told to Douglas Caddy, original attorney for the Watergate Seven. The book is available from amazon.com.

Shoffler lied in his official report on the burglars’ arrest. In actuality there were two keys involved and he removed both keys, not just one, from Eugenio Martinez. The key that he removed and disclosed was a key to the desk of a secretary at the Democratic National Committee. The key that he failed to disclose was one fashioned to look like a safe deposit box key that he had arranged to have placed in the secretary’s desk prior to the break-in as part of his plan to set up the burglars.

When he employed his triangulation wiretapping after June 3 he led the burglars to believe that so-called safe deposit key inside the secretary’s desk would lead them to a treasure trove of vitally important documents. Possession of the documents would ensure the victory of President Nixon in his re-election campaign and bestow other political benefits. Shoffler, using his wiretap triangulation, also managed to persuade the burglars to move the planned break-in date from June 18 to June 17, which was his birthday so as to give himself a birthday present. He did so without the burglars being aware that the conversation that they had wiretapped detailing the so-called safe deposit key in the secretary’s desk was a conversation orchestrated by him and had no connection to the offices of the Democratic National Committee.

After Shoffler returned to his and Merritt’s apartment that afternoon of June 17, he showed Merritt the key that he had withheld from the arrest record, the so-called safe deposit box key, which he had arranged to be planted beforehand in the secretary’s desk. He told Merritt that Martinez was hiding both keys in one of his hands at the time of the arrests and that he physically forced Martinez to surrender both keys. Shoffler later destroyed this second key. Its existence heretofore has been unknown.

As the A&E video clearly shows, the investigation of the actual break-in on June 17 was given sparse attention in contrast to the thorough investigation given the cover-up that followed, whose investigative aim was to remove Nixon from office.

In the months that followed the arrests, Shoffler would in conversations with Merritt repeatedly refer to the team of burglars of Liddy, Hunt, McCord and the four Cuban-Americans as his “little duckies.” He later expanded this pejorative category to everyone involved in the Watergate saga – President Nixon, the Senate Watergate Committee, the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, the media, etc. -- as being his “duckies.” He said, “It is like shooting ducks sitting in a pond with a blindfold on.” Since he held the ace card in clandestinely setting up the burglars, Shoffler could direct its ultimate outcome from working behind the scenes. In fact shortly after he made the arrests Shoffler telephoned the Washington Post and reported what had occurred. This inaugurated a relationship with the Post during which Shoffler continually provided information that he obtained from his wiretapping of key figures in the scandal although he did not disclose to the Post his method of obtaining the information. Shoffler was the primary Deep Throat.

In viewing the video, special attention should be given to Shoffler’s eye movements, facial expressions, body language, and oral statements. He boasted to Merritt that, as a military intelligence agent, he had been trained to lie without being detected. However, a careful watching of him being interviewed shows that he was not a total master at doing this.

In his burning quest to become the celebrity known as the most famous policeman in the world, Shoffler designed a secret plan that forced a sitting president from office, destroyed the faith of the American people immeasurably in their system of government, and launched a bitter political partisanship that has divided the country ever since. It boggles the mind that a single individual could have so changed the course of history, but this is what Shoffler, in his own way an evil genius, accomplished.

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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The secret key to the Watergate break-in

When Washington, D.C. Police Detective Carl Shoffler arrested the five Watergate burglars on June 17, 1972 at 2:30 AM, he claimed that he found one key on the person of the burglar known as Eugenio Martinez. He asserted that he then taped that one key on the front of a notebook found on Martinez and later inscribed his own notes about what he had found relating to the arrests. The notebook, bearing his initials with the key taped on it, was later placed in the U.S. National Archives, where it sat for almost two decades before being noticed.

This key was the subject of an A&E Investigative Report broadcast in 1992 with the title of “Key to Watergate.” Here is the link to the A& E Investigative Report:

http://www.nixonera....y/watergate.asp

Officer Shoffler is interviewed in the report.

Late in the afternoon of June 17 – the day of the arrests – Shoffler returned to the Washington, D.C. apartment that he shared with his confidential informant, Robert Merritt. It was Merritt who had tipped Shoffler off on June 3 to the planned break-in at Watergate based on information that had been provided to Merritt on June 1 by one of his confidential informant sources. Rather than report this information to the proper law enforcement authorities as was his duty, Shoffler instead clandestinely chose to use a wiretap method of triangulation that he had learned at the National Security Agency’s Vint Hill Farm Station in Virginia to secretly entrap and set up the burglars.

Shoffler’s role in doing this is disclosed for the first time in the new book, Watergate Exposed: How the President of the United States and the Watergate Burglars Were Set Up, by Robert Merritt, Top Confidential Informant to the FBI and Washington, D.C. Police, as told to Douglas Caddy, original attorney for the Watergate Seven. The book is available from amazon.com.

Shoffler lied in his official report on the burglars’ arrest. In actuality there were two keys involved and he removed both keys, not just one, from Eugenio Martinez. The key that he removed and disclosed was a key to the desk of a secretary at the Democratic National Committee. The key that he failed to disclose was one fashioned to look like a safe deposit box key that he had arranged to have placed in the secretary’s desk prior to the break-in as part of his plan to set up the burglars.

When he employed his triangulation wiretapping after June 3 he led the burglars to believe that so-called safe deposit key inside the secretary’s desk would lead them to a treasure trove of vitally important documents. Possession of the documents would ensure the victory of President Nixon in his re-election campaign and bestow other political benefits. Shoffler, using his wiretap triangulation, also managed to persuade the burglars to move the planned break-in date from June 18 to June 17, which was his birthday so as to give himself a birthday present. He did so without the burglars being aware that the conversation that they had wiretapped detailing the so-called safe deposit key in the secretary’s desk was a conversation orchestrated by him and had no connection to the offices of the Democratic National Committee.

After Shoffler returned to his and Merritt’s apartment that afternoon of June 17, he showed Merritt the key that he had withheld from the arrest record, the so-called safe deposit box key, which he had arranged to be planted beforehand in the secretary’s desk. He told Merritt that Martinez was hiding both keys in one of his hands at the time of the arrests and that he physically forced Martinez to surrender both keys. Shoffler later destroyed this second key. Its existence heretofore has been unknown.

As the A&E video clearly shows, the investigation of the actual break-in on June 17 was given sparse attention in contrast to the thorough investigation given the cover-up that followed, whose investigative aim was to remove Nixon from office.

In the months that followed the arrests, Shoffler would in conversations with Merritt repeatedly refer to the team of burglars of Liddy, Hunt, McCord and the four Cuban-Americans as his “little duckies.” He later expanded this pejorative category to everyone involved in the Watergate saga – President Nixon, the Senate Watergate Committee, the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, the media, etc. -- as being his “duckies.” He said, “It is like shooting ducks sitting in a pond with a blindfold on.” Since he held the ace card in clandestinely setting up the burglars, Shoffler could direct its ultimate outcome from working behind the scenes. In fact shortly after he made the arrests Shoffler telephoned the Washington Post and reported what had occurred. This inaugurated a relationship with the Post during which Shoffler continually provided information that he obtained from his wiretapping of key figures in the scandal although he did not disclose to the Post his method of obtaining the information. Shoffler was the primary Deep Throat.

In viewing the video, special attention should be given to Shoffler’s eye movements, facial expressions, body language, and oral statements. He boasted to Merritt that, as a military intelligence agent, he had been trained to lie without being detected. However, a careful watching of him being interviewed shows that he was not a total master at doing this.

In his burning quest to become the celebrity known as the most famous policeman in the world, Shoffler designed a secret plan that forced a sitting president from office, destroyed the faith of the American people immeasurably in their system of government, and launched a bitter political partisanship that has divided the country ever since. It boggles the mind that a single individual could have so changed the course of history, but this is what Shoffler, in his own way an evil genius, accomplished.

Vint Hill Farms Station

http://www.vinthillfarms.org/history.php

The New York Times: Commercial Property/Fauquier County, Va.; Flurry of Development at Former Intelligence Post

The closing of a United States Army post used for decades to eavesdrop on military and diplomatic communications has become the unlikely catalyst for a burst of new development in a largely rural county 40 miles southwest of Washington.

The post is the former Vint Hill Farms Station, a 700-acre compound surrounded by horse farms and rural dwellings in eastern Fauquier County. Until it was closed in 1997 and its intelligence-gathering equipment removed, the dominant feature of the base was a vast field of antennas inside security fences.

Probably the first antenna installed by the Army at Vint Hill was in July 1942, when a long wire was strung out a window from the first floor of the recently acquired farm's estate mansion to a nearby tree to intercept messages transmitted in Nazi Germany. By August, a barn complex behind the manor house had been converted into a permanent intercept station and powerful rhombic antennas were installed.

In 1943, according to an Army history of the post, a soldier working in the barn copied a coded radio message from the Japanese ambassador to Berlin to his superiors in Tokyo that gave a detailed description of the German Atlantic Wall defenses at Normandy and Calais. Because the Japanese diplomatic code had been broken, the intercept provided Allied planners with details needed to overcome German defenses.

Over the years, the Army suspended miles of antenna wire from poles in the fields at the base. The antenna arrays, which eventually spread over 450 acres, could be tuned to collect high frequency radio messages being transmitted to and from embassies in Washington.

From the late 1960's to 1974, Army Security Agency troops with special wide-band receivers were recording all signals that reached the agency's field stations around the world on inch-wide audio tape. The tapes were shipped to a bunkerlike operations building at Vint Hill where ''signals of interest,'' according to the Army history, were extracted using highly classified techniques developed by the National Security Agency.

Most of the wide-band signals processed came from the Soviet Union and its satellites, but the Army admitted that on at least six occasions the Vint Hill facilities were used to spy on antiwar activists' radio communications in the United States.

When the Pentagon announced in 1993 that Vint Hill Farms would be shut down, people in Fauquier County feared the worst, said Hunton Tiffany, chief executive of the Fauquier Bank in Warrenton and chairman of the economic adjustment task force created by the county to study the reuse of the base. With its 2,656 workers, Vint Hill Farms was far and away the largest employer in this bucolic county of 55,000 on the fringes of Washington's northern Virginia suburbs.

With its fabled horse farms in the northern part of the county and median household income of $62,103, Fauquier County was too affluent to qualify for economic aid offered by the Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration to many communities faced with base closings. Instead, the closing ''presented Fauquier County with the kind of opportunity that only comes once in a hundred years,'' Mr. Tiffany said.

In 1999, the Defense Department sold the land; the base's water, sewer and telephone systems; and an assortment of more than 200 structures for of $925,000 to an authority created by the state to redevelop the property.

After lengthy negotiations with the authority, the county rezoned the site to allow for office and industrial use and 300 detached homes. The development authority, in turn, agreed to deed a 30-acre middle-school site, the base's former clinic and 18.5 acres of developed recreation facilities to the county. Recreation facilities at the base include a movie theater converted into a theater, a gymnasium, tennis courts and lighted ball fields and basketball courts.

Shortly after taking title to the base, the authority scored a major success when the Federal Aviation Administration purchased a 30-acre parcel for $1.66 million. The F.A.A. plans to open a 95,000-square-foot Terminal Radar Approach Control Center on its Vint Hill site early in 2003. The new facility , will consolidate radar control centers at the Baltimore-Washington, Dulles, Reagan National and Richmond airports and Andrews Air Force Base at a single site. The F.A.A. center will employ about 300 people making an average of $90,000 a year.

The F.A.A. purchase gave the authority needed cash. Even more important, it gave Vint Hill great visibility and validated it as a business location, Mr. Tiffany said.

Pat White, the authority's marketing director, said recreational amenities at the base are a major plus in attracting new tenants and owners to Vint Hill. The authority also hopes to add to Vint Hill's attractiveness by restoring the 1860's Colonial Revival mansion that served as an inn and the base's officers' club. The former club is now used by Scott and Dawn Donaldson for a catering operation. In time, they plan to open a pub, an upscale restaurant and a bed-and-breakfast on the mansion property.

In more than 200 buildings on the base, the authority has identified 400,000 to 500,000 square feet of space suitable for reuse. About 300,000 square feet has already been leased. Besides the F.A.A., the largest employer at Vint Hill is Gaithersburg Cabinetry and Millwork, a manufacturer of premium corporate interiors, which employs about 50 in the base's former commissary.

Other major employers at Vint Hill are the Science Applications International Corporation, a large-scale systems integrator, which employs about 30 Web designers in a leased 9,000-square-foot building, and Log.Sec, a startup logistical engineering and information technology company with about 30 employees.

Last summer, the authority sold a bunkerlike 80,000-square-foot concrete structure and 12 acres to Zumot Real Estate Management Inc. of McLean, Va., for $1.2 million. The building's features include eight-inch reinforced concrete walls, a concrete ceiling and multiple backup power systems. The company's president, Rajai Zumot, said he planned to convert the structure into a conventional office building.

In many ways, Vint Hill's modest sewage treatment plant is the most important building on the base. The 240,000-gallon-per-day plant is old and in need of renovation, but the plant has a permit that allows it to be expanded up to 1 million gallons a day.

When that capacity is available for public use, new home and commercial construction is likely to soar both within Vint Hill, where 300 homes are to be built adjacent to the F.A.A. center, and on nearby properties to which sewer lines can be extended.

Last year, permits for 581 new homes were issued in Fauquier County, double the number issued the year the base closed. This number is expected to grow in the years ahead.

Miller & Smith, a builder and developer in McLean, Va., has options from the authority to buy the 78 lots that make up the first phase of Vint Hill's 300-unit residential component. Its two model homes have recently opened, and the company has already sold 12 units, with nine of the homes under construction. The homes have been averaging about $400,000 after options are selected.

A development plan for 967 detached units to be built on nearly 1,000 acres that have been assembled next to Vint Hill was approved by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors in May. . The developer, Edward L. Miller, said the focal point of the development, to be called Brookside, will be an existing 65-acre lake. The target price for new homes there will be $350,000, with some costing more, some costing slightly less.

Hardcastle, James R. " Commercial Property/Fauquier County, Va.; Flurry of

Development at Former Intelligence Pos." The New York Times 5 Nov. 2002. 5

Nov. 2006 <http://query.nytimes.com/gst/

fullpage.html?res=9905E2DB1F3AF93AA35755C0A9649C8B63>. In 1967 a forward thinking science supervisor for Arlington County Schools, Phoebe Hall Knipling came to Fauquier County seeking land to teach hands-on science. She knew that within her lifetime there would be no more open space left locally for her county students to experience the real deal in nature. Since the school system could not own land outside of their county, she and others formed a non-profit to own and run the 210 acre Outdoor Lab. It's been almost forty years now and annually 9,000 students have what one student described as "the best day I ever had in school.". These Arlington County students come to land only 10 minutes from Vint Hill Farms. For further info, please visit their web site: http://www.outdoorlab.org

History of Vint Hill Farms Station (Continued)

http://www.vinthillfarms.org/slideshow5.php

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