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I have been doing a lot of research on Phil Graham recently. I am mainly interested in his relationship with the CIA and LBJ. As I have pointed out before, Graham was recruited by Frank Wisner in 1948 to help him run Operation Mockingbird. Graham was also responsible for persuading JFK to make LBJ his running mate in 1960.

Philip Graham committed suicide by killing himself with a shotgun on 3rd August, 1963. I suspect that his death might be linked to the assassination of JFK.

I have been investigating the last few months of Graham’s life. During this period his behaviour was very strange. Graham was a manic depressive (first diagnosed in 1952) and a alcoholic. It is not uncommon for CIA people to suffer from psychotic illness. It probably is something to do with the job. Frank Wisner had similar problems. So did James Jesus Angleton.

Anyway, his behaviour in the early months of 1963 would have worried the CIA. For example, he began telling friends that he was unhappy with the way that the CIA manipulated journalists. As one of the most important figures in Operation Mockingbird he knew all about the way CIA controlled the media. I found one comment of Graham’s particularly interesting. He told a friend: “Newspapers are the rough drafts of history”. I think what he meant by this was that CIA controlled journalists were involved in distorting the historical record. That things being published in his Washington Post, Newsweek, etc. would become the accepted facts of history.

Graham was also giving away other secrets. In January, 1963, there was a conference for journalists in Phoenix. Graham was drunk when he attended the meeting. During one session of the conference Graham grabbed the microphone and gave a speech on the sexual activities of JFK. This included the news that his current favourite was Mary Meyer. He also pointed out that she was the wife of the CIA’s Cord Meyer and the sister-in-law of Ben Bradlee (the editor of the Washington Post and another important figure in Operation Mockingbird). Graham claimed that Bradlee was in possession of love letters written by JFK to Meyer. Mary Meyer never told her side of the story. She was murdered in Washington on 12th October, 1964.

Graham actually knew a great deal about JFK’s love life. They both attended the same sex parties and even shared the same women. We now know that these sex parties were organized by Bobby Baker. However, in 1963, Graham was not interested in women he met at sex parties. He was deeply in love with a woman called Robin Webb. They had moved in together and Graham began divorce proceedings against his wife Katharine Graham. What is really interesting about this is his choice of lawyer: Edward Bennett Williams. See:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3253

Graham had several meetings with Williams about legal matters. In 1957 he had made a will leaving all his stock in the Washington Post Group to his wife. In the spring of 1963 Graham got Williams to change his will concerning his control of the media group. However, it appears that Williams made a hash of Graham’s will and after his death, the register of wills revoked them. Graham had effectively died intestate. The absence of any legal will meant that Graham’s stock in the media group was distributed according to the terms of the 1948 trust agreement that had created the Washington Post Group. As a result, Katharine Graham retained control of the media empire. This must have pleased the CIA as they knew Graham was a strong supporter of Operation Mockingbird. In 1988 she made a speech at CIA headquarters. It included the following passage: "We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows."

Interesting stuff. Especially as it was her newspaper that exposed the events of Watergate. It should not be forgotten that Ben Bradlee (a schoolboy friend of Richard Helms) had worked for a CIA fronted organization, the office of US Information and Educational Exchange, in Paris in the early 1950s. In fact, he was eventually deported by the French government after taking part in a CIA operation that involved working with the FLN. Was Ben Bradlee "Deep Throat"?

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The tone and timber of his voice would certainly qualify him... (Bradlee)

"It is not uncommon for CIA people to suffer from psychotic illness. It probably is something to do with the job." (Finding it impossible to live with themselves...)

"We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn't. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows." - Katherine Graham

Democracy flourishes when the people are kept ignorant and the leaders are the most dirty and dangerous to ever come down the pike? She has democracy confused with some other form of government.

Edited by JL Allen
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Has anyone got any information on Edward Bennett Williams? It does seem highly suspicious that Williams becomes involved with Graham just before his death. Was Williams involved in protecting the interests of the CIA? I know Graham was a manic depressive but it is highly unusual for a successful businessman to commit suicide. Can you think of any other cases where this has happened? Did Williams muck up Graham's will on purpose? Was Graham trying to undermine the activities of the CIA and Operation Mockingbird. Was Watergate CIA payback time? Why did the CIA want to bring down Nixon?

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Has anyone got any information on Edward Bennett Williams? It does seem highly suspicious that Williams becomes involved with Graham just before his death. Was Williams involved in protecting the interests of the CIA? I know Graham was a manic depressive but it is highly unusual for a successful businessman to commit suicide. Can you think of any other cases where this has happened? Did Williams muck up Graham's will on purpose? Was Graham trying to undermine the activities of the CIA and Operation Mockingbird. Was Watergate CIA payback time? Why did the CIA want to bring down Nixon?

Williams was the hottest courtroom lawyer in Washington for twenty years. Evan Thomas, who wrote the Best Men, where he was given unprecedented access to CIA files, preceded that book with a book on Williams, The Man To See, where he was given access to many of Williams' papers. As noted in the Maheu thread, Williams and Maheu and the mafia and the CIA were in bed together from the late fifties at the latest. Williams was a college pal of Maheu's and introduced him to Rosselli.

Williams was an amazing character. He owned the Washington Redskins along with media mogul Jack Kent Cooke. He represented numerous mob figures. And yet he somehow stayed in good graces with everybody who was anybody, so much so he was on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board for years, where he was so impressive that Gerald Ford offered him Colby's position as head of the CIA, even though he was a Democrat and had represented the Democratic Party in their watergate-related lawsuits against Nixon and CREEP! His intellect and sneakiness were so respected in fact that as I recall it both Rumsfeld and Cheney preferred him over their fellow-Republican George HW Bush.

Of course he'd repped Dick Helms and John Connally. Bobby Baker and Jimmy Hoffa, and was on friendly terms with Giancana. Still, it was the Aldo Icardi case that put him on the map; he represented an OSS officer convicted in an Italian court of murdering his superior officer during WW2, and with Maheu's help, convinced the U.S. government that Icardi was innocent. Williams wrote about this in his book One Man's Freedom. Since the man Maheu got to confess to the killing was a communist (what else?) I suspect Icardi was guilty but that the CIA hired Williams and Maheu to clear Icardi and blame it on a commie, for the purpose of damaging the cause of communism in Italy. Maheu was admittedly on CIA retainer at this time, reporting to Jim O'Connell, the same agent in the Office of Security who would ask him to kill Castro.

Edited by Pat Speer
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John, you perceptively posted before that the Ivy League leadership of the CIA (e.g. Bissell and perhaps even Dulles) prefered Kennedy, who was one of their own in terms of elite education, social status, etc, over Richard Nixon.

Nixon, I understand, hated the CIA. I don't think he liked Hoover much either. As I understand it Nixon in organizing the DEA was stepping on the CIA turf. Despite JFK's statement about the CIA after the BOP, I think JFK and RFK got along better with the CIA than Nixon ever did. I understand Nixon was trying to get a copy of the 1967 CIA Inspector General's Report re the CIA plots to kill Castro, and Helms just stone-walled him and refused to let him see it.

There are some people who think the CIA had its own bugging operation going on in the DNC and that the White House bugging had to be sabotaged so the CIA bugs would not be discovered.

Query whether the CIA really wanted to replace Nixon with Agnew (who was VEEP when the Watergate caper began)?

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Pat Speer wrote:

Williams was an amazing character. He owned the Washington Redskins along with media mogul Jack Kent Cooke.

In 2000, Cooke Communications, founded by Jack Kent Cooke, purchased "The Key West Citizen", whose supplement "Solares Hill" publishes the articles written by Mark Howell and me on the Kennedy assassination. Cooke Communications also owns several other newspapers published in the Florida Keys.

But rest assured, our most recent article (I'll post it as soon as we can get it into a compatible format) suggests a conspiracy involving David Morales and Johnny Rosselli (even though it is, as you all know, not my intuitive scenario).

Jack Kent Cooke died of cardiac arrest in 1999. Cooke Communications is now controlled by his heir John Kent Cooke.

Jack Kent Cooke was a self-made multi-millionaire who established the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to award scholarships to worthy college students, etc. It also has a program to identify high-achieving seventh graders with financial needs and help them through high school and entry into college.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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John, you perceptively posted before that the Ivy League leadership of the CIA (e.g. Bissell and perhaps even Dulles) prefered Kennedy, who was one of their own in terms of elite education, social status, etc, over Richard Nixon.

Nixon, I understand, hated the CIA.  I don't think he liked Hoover much either.  As I understand it Nixon in organizing the DEA was stepping on the CIA turf.  Despite JFK's statement about the CIA after the BOP, I think JFK and RFK got along better with the CIA than Nixon ever did.

It is now clear that the Ivy League leadership of the CIA did prefer JFK to Nixon in 1960. That includes Allen W. Dulles, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Tracy Barnes, Frank Wisner and Cord Meyer. In some cases (Barnes, FitzGerald and Meyer) they were on the left of JFK.

Operation Mockingbird worked via the “liberal” media as well as those on the right. It was very important for the CIA to work within supposedly left wing groups. This was the point that Ramparts made in its article in February, 1967. For example, Meyer was working for the CIA when he was head of the United World Federalists. Ben Bradlee was CIA when he was working for the American Civil Liberties Union. This strategy of uniting left and right against communism was a great success.

This is an important theme in Deborah Davis’s book, Katharine the Great. Bob Woodward was brought in to help Carl Bernstein with his Watergate story because he was a CIA asset. Bernstein, whose parents had both been victims of McCarthyism in the 1950s was a genuine left-wing reporter. Most of his stories were cut from the Washington Post and Ben Bradlee made attempts to sack him. According to Davis, it was Bradlee who put Woodward into contact with ‘Deep Throat’. It was ‘Deep Throat’ and later James McCord who shaped the investigation. Both men were CIA. Deep Throat was actually Richard Ober. Bradlee’s friendship with Ober went back to when they were at university together.

In June 1970, Nixon held a meeting with Hoover, Helms and the heads of army and navy intelligence. Nixon wanted better intelligence on “revolutionary activism”. The result was Operation Chaos. Ober was put in charge of the operation. He was given an office in the White House and worked closely with Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. It was during this period he gathered information on Nixon’s illegal activities. Ober discovered that Nixon was trying to undermine the power of the CIA. It was therefore decided to bring him down. Ober therefore became ‘Deep Throat’ and two CIA assets, Bradlee and Woodward, became the characters with the task of forcing Nixon to resign from office.

Very few copies of Katharine the Great are in existance. When it was originally published in 1979 Katharine Graham (probably under instructions from the CIA) persuaded the publishers William Jovanovich, to pulp 20,000 copies of the book. Deborah Davis filed a breach-of- contract and damage-to-reputation suit against Jovanovich, who settled out of court with her in 1983.

Richard Ober below (maybe even James Richards has not got a picture of Deep Throat):

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Another big pre-election convert to the Kennedy camp was Henry Robinson Luce (Time, Life, Fortune must have been CIA assets as well...) who had pushed hard for Eisenhower in 1952 - and was probably more in tune with Nixon's foreign policies (I believe his wife, Clare Boothe Luce was made Ambassador to the United Nations after the victory?). He didn't care for Nixon personally but was also leery of JFK. Joseph Kennedy was an old friend and a conservative. I think many thought that they "might" be able to work with JFK before he took office - but were shocked by the actual positions he took once there. Luce later said that he had been "seduced" by JFK's personality.

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It has been recorded that the night that JFK delivered his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention, his father dined with the Luces at their apartment at the Waldorf and put on the hard sell for his son. The Luce publications had also provided JFK with favorable publicity in the late 1950s as he prepared for his presidential campaign. Historians also note it was significant that Joe Kennedy deliberately stayed away from the convention.

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J. L. wrote:

Luce later said that he had been "seduced" by JFK's personality.

JFK had a way of seducing both women and journalists! Kidding aside, Halbertstam's book "The Powers That Be" is a good read and it describes JFK's skillful "seduction" of the press by making friends with the reporters coverying the White House.

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Has anyone got any information on Edward Bennett Williams?

John, you can add Sen McCarthy, Sinatra, Igor Melekh, Robert Strauss, Sen Dodd, Hugh Hefner, Ren Sun Young-Moon, Gerald Ford, John Hinckley, Clinton, The Mullins Co, the New York Times and Ford Motors. I should add, not all these clients were personally represented by Williams, but all were clients of his law firm.

Williams favourite saying was "Washington burns a witch every month. It's important not to be that witch."

From Jim Hougan's spooks, ""When one imagines his clients, it's difficult to imagine any attorney who has ever been more strategically placed."

Among guests in Williams' box at Redskins games... Earl Warren and Henry Kissinger.

As a recent law grad said: "I don't really look to Williams' writings for advice on moral courage. He made a lot of money. He was a hired gun. The best hired gun. But not much more."

Wonder who hired this gun's firm for the likes of Hinkley?

The part of your post of most interest to me however, was this: Ben Bradlee (a schoolboy friend of Richard Helms) had worked for a CIA fronted organization, the office of US Information and Educational Exchange, in Paris in the early 1950s. In fact, he was eventually deported by the French government after taking part in a CIA operation that involved working with the FLN.

When time allows (we're being menaced by a cyclone as I type), I want to look into this some more. My belief is that Oswald's Soviet adventure was tied up with exchange programs.

As usual, plenty to think about in your work.

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Has anyone got any information on Edward Bennett Williams?

John, you can add Sen McCarthy, Sinatra, Igor Melekh, Robert Strauss, Sen Dodd, Hugh Hefner, Ren Sun Young-Moon, Gerald Ford, John Hinckley, Clinton, The Mullins Co, the New York Times and Ford Motors. I should add, not all these clients were personally represented by Williams, but all were clients of his law firm.

Williams favourite saying was "Washington burns a witch every month. It's important not to be that witch."

From Jim Hougan's spooks, ""When one imagines his clients, it's difficult to imagine any attorney who has ever been more strategically placed."

Among guests in Williams' box at Redskins games... Earl Warren and Henry Kissinger.

As a recent law grad said: "I don't really look to Williams' writings for advice on moral courage. He made a lot of money. He was a hired gun. The best hired gun. But not much more."

I think there is a strong possibility that there is not an important link between Williams and the assassination of JFK. As you say, it might just be a case of him getting a lot of high profile clients. However, another possibility is that they went to him because he was known to have a good relationship with the intelligence services. Anyway, it is pure guesswork on my part. I have no real evidence to support this theory.

One thing that I did find was interesting. During the divorce proceedings Williams was working for Phil Graham and on the surface against the interests of Katharine Graham. However, she did not hold this against him and they appeared to become very close friends after the death of Phil Graham. In 1968 Williams was chairman of a Special Committee on Crime Prevention. Despite its title it was really a committee that was advising the police how to deal with anti-Vietnam War demonstrators. It was Bennett who invited Katharine Graham to join this committee. An invitation she accepted. I suspect that this committee was part of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird.

The part of your post of most interest to me however, was this: Ben Bradlee (a schoolboy friend of Richard Helms) had worked for a CIA fronted organization, the office of US Information and Educational Exchange, in Paris in the early 1950s. In fact, he was eventually deported by the French government after taking part in a CIA operation that involved working with the FLN.

When time allows (we're being menaced by a cyclone as I type), I want to look into this some more. My belief is that Oswald's Soviet adventure was tied up with exchange programs. 

As usual, plenty to think about in your work.

I am currently researching Ben Bradlee (as well as Cord and Mary Meyer). Iwill be posting what I have on them later in the week. Bradlee’s early career is very interesting and appears to have been an early recruit into Operation Mockingbird. I believe this played a vital role in the cover-up of the JFK assassination. It also played a major role in bringing down Nixon. The question I am interested in asking concerns the possible link between these two events. I am also interested in the relationship between Nixon and the Washington Post. Before the publication of the Pentagon Papers (a story the Washington Post had before the New York Times but was suppressed by Bradlee and Graham) and Watergate, Bradlee and Graham made attempts to develop a better relationship with Nixon. Surprisingly, Nixon rejected these overtures. Why?

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Another one of Edward Bennett Williams's clients was Bob Woodward. In fact, Williams played an important role in the Washington Post's decision to publish its investigation into Watergate (he was a very close friend of Ben Bradlee). The John Connally case is especially interesting. This is what Evan Thomas has to say about this in an article he wrote for the Washington Monthly (October, 1991):

Connally's highly publicized trial in the spring of 1975 would reestablish Williams as the nation's preeminent trial lawyer. To his law partners - and to Williams himself--the defense of Connally would be remembered not just as a successful day in court but as a work of art. At the very least, it was a how-to guide for the defense of politicians accused of corruption.

Connally, former secretary of the treasury under Nixon, former governor of Texas, Lyndon Johnson's right-hand man, was not known for humility. The first time the Watergate special prosecutor asked him to testify before the grand jury, he "didn't pay a hell of a lot of attention to it," Connally recalled. The prosecutor was probing political payoffs to the Nixon administration from the milk producers, one of the most generous lobbies in Washington. Had Connally been offered $10,000 by a middleman named Jake Jacobsen to help the milk lobby? Connally dismissed the question. He couldn't recall "a dang thing" about any such conversation. A few months later, however, when he was called again before the grand jury, his memory improved. He had discussed such a contribution with Jacobsen, he conceded, but he swore that he had turned down the money.

The Watergate special prosecutor's office had become omnivorous, but Connally was too busy plotting his own political future to notice. He was on a 36-state speaking tour, a warm-up for a presidential run in 1976, when the grand jury leaks began. Columnist Jack Anderson and Daniel Schorr of CBS reported that Jake Jacobsen was singing to the grand jury, testifying that he had given Connally a $10,000 payoff. It began to dawn on Connally that the relaxed standards common in Texas did not apply in Washington. Watergate had "poisoned the atmosphere," he said.

Williams took Connally's call late on a Friday night in June 1974. "I'm at the Mayflower Hotel," Connally told him. "You've got to come over right now." Taking the first subtle step in his minuet of control, Williams told Connally he would see him--the next morning in Williams's office. Accustomed to lawyers who groveled for their clients, Connally did not realize that Williams would insist on reversing the roles. After the briefest consideration, Williams set his fee: $400,000.

On July 19, Connally was indicted for taking a $10,000 illegal gratuity from Jacobsen and then lying to the grand jury about it. Several weeks later, on the day that Richard Nixon succumbed to the Watergate onslaught and resigned as president, Williams accompanied Connally to the federal courthouse, where he was arraigned and fingerprinted. Afterward, the two men sat in Williams's office watching television as Nixon awkwardly waved from his helicopter and flew off into exile and disgrace. "You could feel what everyone in the office was thinking but nobody was saying," said Mike Tigar, the associate who was helping Williams on the case. Had it not been for the milk fund and the aggressive Watergate prosecutor, Connally believed, he would have been sworn in that day as president of the United States. Before the grand jury called him, Connally had fully expected Nixon to ask him to be his vice president, succeeding Spiro Agnew, who had resigned to avoid bribery charges in 1973. Now Connally faced a jail term, and only Williams could save him.

Williams's initial strategy was the same one he invariably employed in major criminal cases: delay. To mute the reverberations of Watergate, Williams wanted to put as much time as possible between Richard Nixon's resignation and Connally's trial. Williams knew that he could not make the case quietly go away by cutting a favorable deal with the prosecutor. His cagey charm was useless with the prosecutor assigned to the case, Frank Tuerkheimer, an upright and wooden law school professor who was wary of his famous opponent. The judge, however, was a more promising target. Frail and slight, with wispy hair, a pinched face, an arthritic hands, Judge George Hart was a Nixon appointee and Republican hard-liner. A few years before, he had sent Williams a friendly note praising him for his pro-law-and-order remarks during a TV interview...

"To be accused of taking a goddamned $10,000 bribe offended me beyond all reason," Connaly later protested. Among cynics in the firm, there was a sneaking suspicion that Connally's indignation stemmed from the fact that he had been indicted for taking such a small payoff. The joke around the firm was that if the bribe had been $200,000, Williams would have believed the government, since, in Texas politics, $10,000 was a mere tip...

There was no mention of payoffs on the tapes, however, no "smoking gun" - at least not on the tapes the jury heard. The jury was not allowed to hear a recording of a far more damaging conversation that took place between Connally and the president. After the formal meeting on milk price supports broke up that day in March 1971, Connally had asked to speak privately with Nixon. "It's on my honor to make sure that ther's a very substantial amount of oil in Texas that will be at your discretion," the treasury secretary said. "Fine," said Nixon. "This is a cold political deal," Nixon continued. "They're very tough political operators." "And they've got it," Connally said. "They've got it," Nixon agreed. "Mr. President," Connally concluded, "I really think you made the right decision."

In many ways, Jacobsen was just like Bobby Baker, a slick and ubiquitous hanger-on to Lyndon Johnson. He had been a "high-rent valet" for LBJ, picking out the right music to play on the presidential yacht, making sure Johnson's tailor arrived on time. Jacobsen himself was always tanned and carefully groomed. He was honey-voiced, quietly smarmy. "He looks like a guy who has just had his fingernails polished," wrote The Washington Star. He wanted to be seen as a Texas wheeler-dealer but he had grown up a poor Jewish boy in New Jersey. His first name was really Emmanuel, but when he moved to Texas he changed his name to E. Jake Jacobsen; "Manny" had become "Jake." In 1973, Jacobsen went bankrupt, unable to pay $12 million in bills. The same year he was charged with defrauding a savings and loan in San Angelo. Faced with up to 35 years in jail, Jacobsen had made a deal: In exchange for leniency, he would testify against John Connally.

He grew solemn: "Have we reached the point in our society where scoundrels can escape their punishment if only they inculpate others? If so we should mark it well. Today it is John Connally. Tomorrow it may be you or me." As he usually did, he quoted from the Bible, likening his cross-examination of Jacobsen to the story of Susanna and the Elders in the Book of Daniel--the "first recorded cross-examination," as he put it. His final plea was straight out of 30 years of closing arguments: "I ask you to lift at last the pain and anguish, the humiliation, the ostracism and suffering, the false accusation, the innuendo, the vilification and slander for John Connally and his family. And if you do, the United States will win the day." The jury deliberated six hours. The first vote was nine to three to acquit; by day's end, the jury was unanimous.

As Foreman O'Toole read the verdict, Williams grabbed Tigar's leg under the table. "This makes up for the last time," he said in a fierce whisper. The shame of Bobby Baker had been expunged; Williams was, in his own phrase, "numero uno" again.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_...v23/ai_11378008

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As Foreman O'Toole read the verdict, Williams grabbed Tigar's leg under the table. "This makes up for the last time," he said in a fierce whisper. The shame of Bobby Baker had been expunged; Williams was, in his own phrase, "numero uno" again. [/color]

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_...v23/ai_11378008

Connally was guilty as sin. In his memoirs, he tries to pass Jacobsen off as some lobbyist, when Jacobsen and Connally had known each other for 25 years. In Ladybird Johnson's diary she makes several comment about Jacobsen, and mentions how much time he spends with LBJ. It was nonsense therefore for Connally to pretend he didn't know Jacobsen.

In Lone Star, by James Reston Jr, the milk fund story is thoroughly examined and has even darker ramifications. Jacobsen and Connally at one point tried to save Connally's rump by placing the ten grand into a safe deposit box and claiming that Connally never touched it (Nixon and Rebozo tried this with the 100k from Maheu as well). Only they put bills in the box with George Schultz's name on it, who followed Connally as Sec. of the Treasury. This would have shown that the money was only recently placed in the box, and would have blown their cover-up. As I remember it, in a last minute scramble, Connally paid a visit to a big supporter who was able to provide him with the proper cash. Interestingly, however, this friend ended up going to jail a few years later after being popped in one of the biggest drug busts in Texas. It was drug money.

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Has anyone got any information on Edward Bennett Williams?

John, you can add Sen McCarthy, Sinatra, Igor Melekh, Robert Strauss, Sen Dodd, Hugh Hefner, Ren Sun Young-Moon, Gerald Ford, John Hinckley, Clinton, The Mullins Co, the New York Times and Ford Motors. I should add, not all these clients were personally represented by Williams, but all were clients of his law firm.

Williams favourite saying was "Washington burns a witch every month. It's important not to be that witch."

From Jim Hougan's spooks, ""When one imagines his clients, it's difficult to imagine any attorney who has ever been more strategically placed."

Among guests in Williams' box at Redskins games... Earl Warren and Henry Kissinger.

As a recent law grad said: "I don't really look to Williams' writings for advice on moral courage. He made a lot of money. He was a hired gun. The best hired gun. But not much more."

A close study of Williams' career does indeed suggest close links to the intelligence services.

One of his first cases involved him working with Robert Maheu in the defence of a former agent of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Aldo Icardi, who had been accused of murdering Major William Holohan and stealing $100 million in gold to distribute among Italian partisans during the Second World War. As Warren Hinckle and William Turner pointed out in their book, Deadly Secrets: "Williams and Maheu eventually resolved the case, although not to everyone's satisfaction, on the side of Icardi's innocence, by turning the tables with an evidentiary thesis that the Italian communists had killed the unfortunate major and taken his gold, then attempted to make further postwar capital out of the foul deed by framing an American spy, and an Italian to boot."

It should be remembered that all the leading figures of the CIA at this time had been former members of the OSS who had worked in Europe during the Second World War.

Soon afterwards Williams was involved Williams representing several former left-wing members of the film industry before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). However, as Pat Speer has pointed out, his main concern was to persuade these people to name other left-wingers. Later he represented Joseph McCarthy during the Senate censure proceedings against him. I suspect that Williams had been working for McCarthy and Hoover from the beginning.

Williams gained a reputation of being a mobster lawyer. In 1956 he was hired by Frank Costello who had been convicted of income tax evasion. Williams managed to get him released from prison. Later Costello confessed that ''I've had 40 lawyers, but Ed's the champ.''

Links with organized crime was reinforced when Williams began working for Jimmy Hoffa. In 1958, Robert Kennedy, chief counsel for the McClellan Committee, began investigating Hoffa, who had recently been elected as president of the mob controlled Teamsters. Hoffa hired Williams as his defence attorney. Hoffa was eventually acquitted of the charge of accepting an illegal playment from an employer. Kennedy later claimed that Williams was a major reason why Hoffa was not convicted.

In 1962 rumours began circulating that Bobby Baker was involved in corrupt activities. Although officially his only income was that of an aide to Lyndon B. Johnson, he was clearly a very rich man. Investigated by RFK it was discovered that Baker had links to Clint Murchison and several Mafia bosses. Evidence also emerged that Baker was also involved in political corruption. This included the award of a $7 billion contract for a fighter plane, the TFX, to General Dynamics, a company based in Texas. On 7th October, 1963, Baker was forced to leave his job. Soon afterwards, Fred Korth, the Navy Secretary, was also forced to resign because of the TFX contract. He was replaced by John Connally.

Bobby Baker employed Williams to defend him against the accusation of corruption. Williams main strategy was to delay the case appearing in court. This was successful and Baker's trial did not take place until January, 1967. Baker was found guilty of seven counts of theft, fraud and income tax evasions. This included accepting large sums in "campaign donations" intended to buy influence with various senators, but had kept the money for himself. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

In 1967 Williams joined with long-term friend, Paul Connolly to establish the law firm, Williams & Connolly. Over the next few years he had several high profile clients. This included Frank Sinatra, fugitive financier Robert Vesco, Soviet spy Igor Melekh, wealthy businessman and CIA asset, Armand Hammer, Senator Thomas Dodd and CIA Director Richard Helms.

According to Arthur Schlesinger (Robert F Kennedy and His Times) Williams was told about the assassination attempts by Sam Giancana on John F. Kennedy while trying to engage him as his lawyer for a fight against the Government.

According to Jack Anderson (Confessions of a Muckraker) it was Williams who told him about the files on Drew Pearson that the Justice Department had handed over to the Republican Party.

Williams was also friendly with Ben Bradlee and encouraged him to publish the Pentagon Papers and the investigation into the Watergate case. This brought him into conflict with J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon. According to Evan Thomas (The Man to See): "Behind the scenes, he (Williams) played a little-known but critical role in revealing and ultimately reining in the abusive power of Richard Nixon's White House. Williams not only urged Ben Bradlee to print the Pentagon Papers, he helped give The Washington Post editor the courage - and quite possibly, the inside information - to press forward with the newspaper's probe into Watergate when the rest of the establishment press was turning the other way."

In 1975 Williams defended John Connally, who had been accused by Jake Jacobsen of taking bribes while working as Secretary of the Treasury. The jury was not allowed to hear a recording of a conversation that took place between Connally and Richard Nixon in March 1971. On the tape Connally says to Nixon:"It's on my honor to make sure that there's a very substantial amount of oil in Texas that will be at your discretion," the treasury secretary said. "Fine," said Nixon. "This is a cold political deal," Nixon continued. "They're very tough political operators." "And they've got it," Connally said. "They've got it," Nixon agreed. "Mr. President," Connally concluded, "I really think you made the right decision."

Connally was found not guilty. He later said that: "To be accused of taking a goddamned $10,000 bribe offended me beyond all reason." According to Evan Thomas (The Man to See): "Among cynics in the firm, there was a sneaking suspicion that Connally's indignation stemmed from the fact that he had been indicted for taking such a small payoff. The joke around the firm was that if the bribe had been $200,000, Williams would have believed the government, since, in Texas politics, $10,000 was a mere tip."

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKwilliamsBT.htm

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