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This is a conversation between Gerry Patrick Hemming and myself (Greg Burnham) that took place in early 1999. The clip picks up just after I


asked him if he knew E. Howard Hunt. Gerry, in classic form, deftly dismisses Hunt as a “Hollywood type”. He compares Hunt to what is referred


to in the paratrooper business as a “Hollywood Jump” [read: no equipment]. The disdain in his voice is palpable.



Gerry Patrick Hemming on E. Howard Hunt

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I suppose that depends on what one's definition of "loser" might be. Even you placed the word in quotes. In any event, I wouldn't consider someone who breaks

into a psychiatrist's office to gather dirt on a president's political enemy a winner. But that's just me.

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Given Eugenio Martinez's record of Cuban penetration missions and his obvious bravery and effectiveness in that role, I'd say his actual mission/combat/paramilitary record

would give him a number of points over Hemming in those areas. Martinez may have gotten snookered by Hunt but even in the break-ins his trade-craft was

a lot better than the former CIA officers with him.

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I don't believe one failed operation defines a man's career. But that's just me.

I suppose not. But, then again, whether or not one gets caught for the commission of a crime is not the defining moment of their character. Character is defined by choices. So is criminality.

Having said that, I am not defending Hemming's opinion--just reporting it.

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I don't believe one failed operation defines a man's career. But that's just me.

I suppose not. But, then again, whether or not one gets caught for the commission of a crime is not the defining moment of their character. Character is defined by choices. So is criminality.

Having said that, I am not defending Hemming's opinion--just reporting it.

Understood, Greg.

Having your interviews with GPH now published is a very good thing. In my opinion, he was an amazing, highly intelligent individual even though he frustrated some people. He and I spoke about Felipe Vidal at great length once and I wish I had recorded that, so kudos for getting him on record.

Larry, I agree completely. Martinez was one of the very best at what he did.

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I don't believe one failed operation defines a man's career. But that's just me.

I suppose not. But, then again, whether or not one gets caught for the commission of a crime is not the defining moment of their character. Character is defined by choices. So is criminality.

Having said that, I am not defending Hemming's opinion--just reporting it.

Understood, Greg.

Having your interviews with GPH now published is a very good thing. In my opinion, he was an amazing, highly intelligent individual even though he frustrated some people. He and I spoke about Felipe Vidal at great length once and I wish I had recorded that, so kudos for getting him on record.

Larry, I agree completely. Martinez was one of the very best at what he did.

Gerry could have been a college professor. I doubt that's what he would have done but...

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I don't believe one failed operation defines a man's career. But that's just me.

I suppose not. But, then again, whether or not one gets caught for the commission of a crime is not the defining moment of their character. Character is defined by choices. So is criminality.

Having said that, I am not defending Hemming's opinion--just reporting it.

Understood, Greg.

Having your interviews with GPH now published is a very good thing. In my opinion, he was an amazing, highly intelligent individual even though he frustrated some people. He and I spoke about Felipe Vidal at great length once and I wish I had recorded that, so kudos for getting him on record.

Larry, I agree completely. Martinez was one of the very best at what he did.

Gerry could have been a college professor. I doubt that's what he would have done but...

Absolutely, David. His mind was encyclopedic. If you didn't piss him off (by "not doing your homework" or asking stupid questions) he'd gush with facts, events, names and dates. Cleaning up his language

would have been all but impossible, but that's a price well worth paying even in the classroom.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wonder why Hemming and the detractors of Howard Hunt never mention that during World War II he carried out an assignment that landed him and a few other OSS agents behind the Japanese lines in Burma. Hunt told me that one of the agents was captured by the Japanese and he and the others were helplessly forced to listen to his screams as the Japanese flayed him alive in a village one night. For Hemming and others of his persuasion, this would just be “Hollywood” theater it would appear. Nothing here, move along.

“But Purefoy was very, very helpful. I won't say that we couldn't have done it without him, but it would just have been a little harder, a little more difficult. And then in Honduras we had Whitey Willard as ambassador, and he'd been a Flying Tiger in China at a time when I was in China, and although I didn't know him over there, everybody thought well of him, and he was the one who had to oversee all the black flights in and out of Honduras, the building of the radio station, all the transmission to keep...”

E. Howard Hunt, interview for the television programme, Backyard (21st February, 1999)

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

HH: Well, that's true. Of course, I'd known Allen in OSS; I was an OSS officer in World War II - that was the Office of Strategic Services - and I really had the feeling that he could do no wrong, and I was a fervent admirer of John Foster Dulles and of Eisenhower, and so I had no real doubts about their participation in any aspect of furthering or enhancing United States security.

http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/coldwar/interviews/episode-18/hunt1.html

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

“Some writers depict Hunt as a minor figure, bumbling his way from one small White House operation to the next. However, a review of all the evidence shows that Hunt was consistently working on important tasks for the White House, on matters that interested the President. Hunt also kept expanding (or wanting to expand) his operations, which often overlapped with other projects that he sought out or pushed. The more Nixon operations Hunt became involved in, the highest his status in the White House and the better for his future. It was also good for his mentor, Richard Helms, since it gave him access to the White House (and FBI) information and operations. The President’s White House staff was expanding its illegal operations on his behalf so rapidly that Hunt had no problem finding Nixon aides who wanted Hunt’s services, to help them achieve the illicit goals the President wanted. That symbiotic relationship would soon grow so rapidly that it would start to spiral out of control, with disastrous results for all concerned.”

From Watergate: The Hidden History by Lamar Waldron (2013)

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  • 1 month later...

I didn't get the impression that Hemming considered H.L. Hunt a "Hollywood type" for his entire career -- but only during the time of the JFK murder.

As Hemming said, Hunt was already writing novels for years before the JFK murder.

In other words, -- Hunt was a has-been, washed-up -- he had seen his best days in the cloak-and-dagger work of paramilitary operations.

It was on that basis, Hemming suggests, that H.L.Hunt would never even have been invited to a planning meeting of any sort of paramilitary operations in 1963.

Also, there's an exposure when people get income from writing novels -- they might want to blab more than is prudent (even if they change all the names to protect the innocent.)

So, Hemming's opinion stands up well, IMHO.

This is an important observation by Hemming -- because it directly challenges Hunt's so-called "deathbed confession" which is already famous.

Best regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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Let me see if I get this straight. You and Hemming believe Hunt was washed up as an agent at the time of the JFK assassination.

But Hunt was the confidante ghost-writer of Allen Dulles’ widely acclaimed book, The Craft of Intelligence, which was published in 1963, the year of the assassination. Many researchers have linked Dulles to having prior knowledge of the assassination. He was also appointed a member of the Warren Commission by LBJ even though he had been cashiered by JFK after the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961. Hunt had known Dulles for many years.

Did not Marita Morenz testify that she saw Hunt in Dallas at a safe-house the evening before the assassination?

Richard Helms as director of the CIA displayed copies of Hunt’s book in his office. Helms placed Hunt in the Mullen Company, a CIA front entity, in 1969.

In April 1972 Hunt invited me to join him and CIA legal counsel (and an original CIA founder) Lawrence Houston for drinks at a restaurant for the alleged reason of seeing if I would be interested in joining the CIA. I have concluded since that there was another, primary reason for the meeting.

Hunt in 1971-72 regularly used CIA resources in carrying out his sensitive White House assignments.

In light of these historical facts it is hard to accept the allegation of Hunt being a washed up agent at the time of the assassination or thereafter.

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Craft_of_Intelligence.html?id=mH3qdHK6_EsC

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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Let me see if I get this straight. You and Hemming believe Hunt was washed up as an agent at the time of the JFK assassination.

But Hunt was the confidante ghost-writer of Allen Dulles’ widely acclaimed book, The Craft of Intelligence, which was published in 1963, the year of the assassination. Many researchers have linked Dulles to having prior knowledge of the assassination. He was also appointed a member of the Warren Commission by LBJ even though he had been cashiered by JFK after the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961. Hunt had known Dulles for many years.

Did not Marita Morenz testify that she saw Hunt in Dallas at a safe-house the evening before the assassination?

Richard Helms as director of the CIA displayed copies of Hunt’s book in his office. Helms placed Hunt in the Mullen Company, a CIA front entity, in 1969.

In April 1972 Hunt invited me to join him and CIA legal counsel (and an original CIA founder) Lawrence Houston for drinks at a restaurant for the alleged reason of seeing if I would be interested in joining the CIA. I have concluded since that there was another, primary reason for the meeting.

Hunt in 1971-72 regularly used CIA resources in carrying out his sensitive White House assignments.

In light of these historical facts it is hard to accept the allegation of Hunt being a washed up agent at the time of the assassination or thereafter.

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Craft_of_Intelligence.html?id=mH3qdHK6_EsC

Douglas,

I agree with you.

I would think the more experienced a CIA officer / agent is, the better he or she is at their job, as long as their nerves hold up and they don't "get burnt out" (or "burned" for that matter).

--Tommy :sun

Edited by Thomas Graves
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