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Ray Hill interviews me about Watergate and JFK assassination


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Steve: Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote in 2011 titled, "Crimson Rose and the Secret of the Two Keys":

What was “Crimson Rose,” the two words overheard by Rita Reed when she listened in on the telephone conversation on May 31, 1972? Crimson Rose, an acronym, stood for a 400 page CIA document whose title was “Confidential Report on Intelligence of Military Secret Operations on Nixon” and whose subtitle was “Report of Operations of Secret Surveillance and Eavesdropping.” It was marked “Eyes Only.”
Both Military Intelligence and the CIA had wire-tapping operations located in the Columbia Plaza Apartments in the weeks prior to the Watergate case breaking open. The CIA had an office that was located at 2430 E Street, N.W., within walking distance of both the Watergate and Columbia Plaza Apartments.
Authors Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin in their 1991 book, Silent Coup: The Removal of the President recounted in detail a military intelligence spy ring that reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon that penetrated the White House and that was opposed to Nixon’s foreign policy goals. Crimson Rose, the secret CIA report, dealt with this military intelligence spy ring. Its title spoke volumes about its contents.
It would be interesting to find out if Crimson Rose contained information about Bob Woodward , who from 1969-70 as a Naval Lieutenant, served as liaison to the White House from Admiral Thomas Moorer, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Woodward’s assignment at the White House was to brief General Alexander Haig inside the office of the National Security Council. It was this period when the military intelligence spy ring operated inside the White House that was secretly chronicled in the CIA’s Crimson Rose document.
Upon learning of its existence, Military Intelligence devised a plan to steal Crimson Rose, which it viewed as an explosive and incriminating report, from within the bowels of the CIA. Military Intelligence deemed retrieving the sole “Eyes Only” copy of the Crimson Report as being absolutely essential. This was because, in the wake of Watergate and the disclosure of other unseemly government activities, in 1975 the Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, known as the Church Committee after its chairman, Senator Frank Church, initiated hearings into the activities of the CIA and other intelligence agencies. The great fear of Military Intelligence was that should the Church Committee (or the Pike Committee) get its hands on a copy of Crimson Rose in the course of its investigation of the CIA, disclosure of its contents would lead to exposing the role of Military Intelligence in bringing down the Nixon Administration and would drastically affect how the American public perceived its military. Disclosure could lead to a complete reorganization of the Pentagon and court martial trials, perhaps criminal trials, of those involved.
Shoffler played the key role in carrying out the plan to obtain Crimson Rose. In June 1975 Mitchell Rogovin, General Counsel to the CIA, was lured by someone he knew and trusted to dinner at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. In the course of the dinner his drink was spiked, causing him to appear inebriated. Several men who were Military Intelligence agents assisted him to a freight elevator that transported them to a floor above. The elevator operator for the special occasion was Merritt, who in prior years had held that position at the hotel. The regular operator of the freight elevator had been given one hundred dollars and told to get lost for an hour. Rogovin was then carried into a hotel room and quickly stripped naked. He was positioned on a bed and a prostitute climbed into bed beside him. Shoffler had arranged with Buster Riggin for the use of the prostitute from the prostitution ring operated by Riggin. Graphic photographs were taken of Rogovin and the woman in different sexual positions. Subsequently, Rogovin was shown the photographs and told that unless he obtained and delivered the Crimson Rose report from within the CIA, the incriminating photographs of him would be leaked. He was also threatened that his son would be set up and falsely charged with selling illegal drugs if he did not cooperate.
Presented with these horrific threats, Rogovin chose to retrieve the Crimson Rose report and give it to the military agents involved, whose leader was Shoffler. When Rogovin gave it to Shoffler, the 400-page Crimson Rose file was encased in a formidable binder bearing the seal of the CIA that had a broken chain dangling. The “Eyes Only” document had been protectively situated, chained to a circular table in a secure room inside CIA. In the center of the table were a large number of other CIA “Eyes Only” documents in their chained binders, allowing the documents to be read but not removed from the table. When given to Shoffler, the chain to the Crimson Rose document had been cut.
Rogovin resigned as CIA General Counsel the next year.

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Thanks for sharing that. Watergate had always seemed like a political assasination without bullets to me. What has always been a mystery to me was by whom and why. You have shed new light on this subject which in many ways is more a mystery than the JFK thing despite many obvious connections between the two events. Small world seems appropriate here.

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