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Questions About Secret Agenda


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5 hours ago, Joseph McBride said:

It is career suicide if you try to tell the truth about the assassination while working for the MSM,

but not (necessarily) if you write independent books and articles. As we who write seriously

about the case know, one of the sickest jokes is the CIA slander of assassination researchers

as motivated by money. That is repeated a lot by those who attack "conspiracy theorists," but

as we know, with rare exceptions the big bucks go to those who write pro-Warren Commission

books. The rest of us do it as a labor of love and invest our own money and time.

A truer post was never written. This field is not a path to riches, nor is it motivation. Bugliosi and Pozner received a wealth of media attention and hyperbolic blurbs. The best writers here usually get handshakes and thanks at conferences and invitations to podcasts. :) "Not that there's anything wrong with that." Yet, I think we have the satisfaction of knowing good work is being done. As John Judge said in Randy Benson's The Searchers, "...doing this so (we) can sleep at night." But the CIA-driven attacks have been successful to a degree. People still see tin foil where they should see truth. 

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7 hours ago, Shane O'Sullivan said:

 So I disagree with S.T.'s statement that "to dismiss the Rikan ring is also to try to exonerate Dean." I'm deeply skeptical of Dean but the call girl theory, as it stands, is tantalising but unproven. 

I respect that, Shane. You know I love your work, man. But let me ask you, if it doesn't exonerate Dean to dismiss the call girl theory - and I'm open to your answer - then where would Dean's motivation be for the break-ins? For someone who dismisses it, as I know you do, respectfully, what onus do you put on Dean?

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Thanks, S.T. At this point, I don't believe Dean ordered the second break-in. Magruder wasn't happy with the photographic take from the first break-in, one of McCord's bugs wasn't working and he'd put it on the wrong phone, and Liddy was under pressure to fix these problems and come up with the goods to pay back the $250,000 invested in Gemstone. There were already plenty of reasons to go into DNC headquarters a second time.

The timing of the Bailley indictment and John Rudy's trip to see Dean at the White House on June 9th is interesting but even if there was a call girl operating out of DNC headquarters (which I doubt), I still don't see how Dean could have bypassed Liddy and directed Hunt to get the key to Maxie Wells' drawer to Martinez. Like Baldwin, in later years, Hunt said he never heard anything about a call girl ring, so if the main players were never aware of one, where does that leave the call girl theory? 

I devoted a whole chapter of my book to the call girl theory, so I did explore it thoroughly but I came away unconvinced and after two long conversations with Spencer Oliver, I think the intimate calls heard on his phone by Baldwin are explained by gossiping secretaries, as I wrote above. 

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Thanks, Shane, for your answer. I read your chapter with great interest, and I've also seen Hougan's responses on social media. Very interesting from both sides. A lot of Watergate falls with "Whom do you believe?" We believe Hunt when he says X, but not when he says Y. We believe Magruder when he says X, but yet if he was personally involved in the ring, as Stanford wrote, then can he be believed on issue X? Liddy, Dean, Mitchell, Ehrlichman, Haldeman's comments in The Ends of Power. And, then of course, when is every figure close to the case engaged in serious self-preservation? While Watergate is a smaller case in breadth and depth than, say, the John Kennedy assassination, almost every character involved has a serious reason to self-preserve, and are thus, questionable. It's endlessly fascinating, but it's also rife with researchers having to make choices regarding whom to believe and when. That is some tough research.

You said you were still "deeply skeptical of Dean." I'd like to know - in what way? Where do you think the truth differs most from his conflicting testimony and authoring efforts? Where is Dean's involvement the highest?

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Thanks, S.T., well said but if you read the transcripts of Len Colodny's calls with Hunt, he seems genuinely bemused by talk of a call girl ring and the evidence of Magruder's involvement is very thin. For me, the critical person is Baldwin. In later years, he became a prosecutor in Connecticut and dealt with prostitution cases all the time. He knew what calls to a call girl ring sounded like, so when he insisted that wasn't what he heard at the DNC, that swung it for me. 

I'm still deeply skeptical of Dean in terms of the cover-up and how he put his self-preservation before anything else, burning Hunt's notebooks and not admitting it until November 1973 after he secured a plea deal etc. 

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Didn't Dean also snooker Patrick Gray?

Concerning the key to Wells' desk, Spencer Oliver told me that this was new furniture, and there was an extra key in the drawer which had not been removed.  Hmm.  Maybe, but doubtful I think.

Second, in Hougan's book does he not say that McCord was seen by Baldwin in the DNC offices prior to the final break in?  If that is true, then McCord may have made a mold of the lock.

The other alternative is of course that there was some kind of inside man in the DNC. I wonder if this would be Lou Russell working for GSS at the Watergate complex.

I have always found it interesting that McCord was so against talking about Russell. Yet Lou  helped Fensterwald cash McCord's checks

And what on earth was Russell doing that night at the HoJo's?  His excuse for being there was laughable.

 

 

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Yes. Dean gave Gray two envelopes of “politically sensitive” material from Hunt's safe which were "political dynamite in an election year and thus should never be made public.” The implication Gray took from this was that he should destroy the material, which he did in the fireplace of his Connecticut home in December 1972. Four months later, this came out after Dean started to talk and Gray resigned. 

There were two keys to the desk and when the FBI asked to see them, Maxie Wells had them both. She left Baldwin sitting in her office during his tour of the DNC on June 12th, so he was best-placed to make an imprint of it but he denies it. 

Baldwin claimed he saw McCord in the DNC on May 26th, the night before the first attempted break-in, but it turned out Baldwin was getting his car fixed in Connecticut that evening and only returned to DC the next day, so like Earl Silbert, I think he was mistaken. McCord wasn't alone, which suggests what Baldwin saw was the first successful break-in. 

Lou Russell's role in the whole affair and McCord's desire to protect him is fascinating. Russell was reputedly an anti-Nixon Democrat who during the Watergate period managed to freelance for McCord, Jack Anderson and the McGovern campaign. 

 

 

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I can't say for sure who gave Martinez the key, and Martinez won't say. Baldwin was best placed to take a copy during his tour of DNC headquarters.

The missing notebook in Martinez' car and the September bug belatedly found on Spencer Oliver's phone three months after the arrests were two of the key mysteries in Secret Agenda. I managed to unearth a lot of new detail on both, so I document that in two appendices at the end of the book. The notebook belonged to Martinez. It was allegedly an operational diary and  Howard Baker's staff tried in vain to find it. It took the CIA two days to report the location of Martinez' car to the FBI in Miami. In the meantime, it seems the car was sanitized by friends of Martinez. If there was an operational diary in the car, it had disappeared by the time the FBI searched it. 

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  • 4 months later...

When the Watergate burglars were arrested, they gave the arresting officers false names. But as they provided handwriting samples at police headquarters, an MPD intelligence officer recognized "Edward Martin" as ex-CIA security officer James McCord, the security chief for the Nixon campaign.

When he interviewed McCord in his courthouse cell that afternoon, McCord said he was sorry, he had taken a calculated risk and gotten caught - the other men were retired CIA men from Miami. Apart from one FBI interview, the MPD officer Garey Bittenbender has never told his story until now: https://nixondirtytricks.com/garey-bittenbender

A few months ago, I also posted a blog on how the Secret Service reacted to news of the Watergate break-in. Jake Esterline, CIA station chief in Miami, told a local Secret Service agent "the Agency was concerned with [James] McCord's emotional stability prior to his retirement.” The agent laughed, "knowing that this was his attempt to cover the Agency's backside." You can read the full story here: https://nixondirtytricks.com/the-secret-service

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On 11/21/2019 at 4:16 PM, Paul Bacon said:

I though Mark Felt was Deep Throat.  It was revealed 10 to 15 years ago--I forget how long its been.  Is this not true?

Yes, that's true.  Mart Felt, an Assistant FBI Director (I think) was Deep Throat.  Google "Mark Felt, Deep Throat."  There are quite a few stories that were published when --at age 90 plus-- Felt revealed the full story; and it was then confirmed by Woodward.  Its really quite amazing that this secret remained hidden for so long.  There are also stories about why Felt did what he did, and that concerns his own anger at being passed over for promotion to FBI DIrector (as I recall). 

DSL

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There was no "Deep Throat" in the original ms. Bernstein and Woodward submitted.

Their editor, Alice Mayhew, suggested they make up the Deep Throat character. It

stands for ONI man Woodward's many unacknowledged intelligence sources.

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