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Watergate and the JFK Assassination


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Does anyone have anything on Steve Czukas? Czukas had reportedly mascaraded as a U.S. Customs Service Officer but was paid by the CIA.

Hi David,

I believe it was Czukas who put Marita Lorenz into protective custody after she told him that she was mixed up with the Dallas plot and the infamous car trip.

She also supposedly wrote the details in a notebook which Czukas locked away in Miami. If I remember correctly, wasn't Czukas FBI not CIA?

James

James,

There are indications that Czukas was supervising "Leopoldo" and "Angelo" prior to visiting Syliva Odio.

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James,

There are indications that Czukas was supervising "Leopoldo" and "Angelo" prior to visiting Syliva Odio. (David Boylan)

Hi David,

This probably deserves its own thread. That aside, I was not aware of this possible connection. Most interesting.

Do you have any details on Czukas and his connections?

James

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Sinister isn't the word, Dawn.  For those members of the forum who haven't read H.R. Haldeman's book, "The Ends Of Power," I recommend it highly.  It gives a powerful insight into the Nixon White House,  and Haldeman also writes about a code that Nixon used when he wanted to talk about the Kennedy assassination.

I took your advice and read H. R. Haldeman's The Ends of Power. Here are some relevant passages from the book.

I was puzzled when he (Nixon) told me, 'Tell Ehrlichman this whole group of Cubans is tied to the Bay, of Pigs.'

After a pause I said, 'The Bay of Pigs? What does that have to do with this?'

But Nixon merely said, `Ehrlichman will know what I mean,' and dropped the subject.

After our staff meeting the next morning I accompanied Ehrlichman to his office and gave him the President's message. Ehrlichman's eyebrows arched, and he smiled. 'Our brothers from Langley? He's suggesting I twist or break a few arms?'

'I don't know. All he told me was "Tell Ehrlichman this whole group of Cubans is tied to the Bay of Pigs".'

Ehrlichman leaned back in his chair, tapping a pencil on the edge of his desk. 'All right,' he said, 'message accepted.'

'What are you going to do about it?'

'Zero,' said Ehrlichman. 'I want to stay out of this one.'

He was referring to an unspoken feud between C.I.A. Director Richard Helms and Nixon.. The two were polar opposites in background: Helms, the aloof, aristocratic, Eastern elitist; Nixon the poor boy (he never let you forget it) from a small California town., Ehrlichman had found, himself in the middle of this feud as far back as 1969, immediately after Nixon assumed office. Nixon had called Ehrlichman into his office and said he wanted all the facts and documents the C.I.A. had on the Bay of Pigs, a complete report on the whole project.

About six months after that 1969 conversation, Ehrlichman had stopped in my office. 'Those bastards in Langley are holding back something. They just dig in their heels and say the President can't have it. Period. Imagine that! The Commander-in-Chief wants to see a document relating to a military operation, and the spooks say he can't have it.'

'What is it?'

'I don't know, but from the way they're protecting it, it must be pure dynamite.'

I was angry at the idea that Helms would tell the President he couldn't see something. I said, 'Well, you remind Helms who's President. He's not. In fact, Helms can damn well find himself out of a job in a hurry.'

That's what I thought! Helms was never fired, at least for four years. But then Ehrlichman had said, 'Rest assured. The point will be made. In fact, Helms is on his way over here right now. The President is going to give him a direct order to turn over that document to me.'

Helms did show up that afternoon and saw the President for a long secret conversation. When Helms left, Ehrlichman returned to the Oval Office. The next thing I knew Ehrlichman appeared in my office, dropped into a chair, and just stared at me. He was more furious than I had ever seen him; absolutely speechless, a rare phenomenon for our White House phrase-makers. I said, 'What happened?'

'This is what happened,' Ehrlichman said. 'The Mad Monk (Nixon) has just told me I am now to forget all about that C.I.A. document. In fact, I am to cease and desist from trying to obtain it.'

When Senator Howard Baker of the Evrin Committee later looked into the Nixon-Helms relationship, he summed it up. 'Nixon and Helms have so much on each other, neither of them can breathe.'

Apparently Nixon knew more about the genesis of the Cuban invasion that led to the Bay of Pigs than almost anyone. Recently, the man who was President of Costa Rica at the time - dealing with Nixon while the invasion was being prepared - stated that Nixon was the man who originated the Cuban invasion. If this was true, Nixon never told it to me.

In 1972 I did know that Nixon disliked the C.I.A. Allen Dulles, the C.I.A. Director in 1960, had briefed Jack Kennedy about the forthcoming Cuban invasion before a Kennedy-Nixon debate. Kennedy used this top secret information in the debate, thereby placing Nixon on the spot. Nixon felt he had to lie and even deny such an invasion was in the works to protect the men who were training in secret. Dulles later denied briefing Kennedy. This betrayal, added to Nixon's long-held feeling that the agency was not adequately competent, led to his distrust and dislike.

And now that antipathy was to emerge again on June 23, 1972, when Nixon would once again confront and pressure the C.I.A.

This time the C.I.A. was ready. In fact, it was more than ready. It was ahead of the game by months. Nixon would walk into what I now believe was a trap.

Later, Haldeman adds:

So we had failed in our one previous attempt to obtain C.I.A. co-operation, and now in Ehrlichman's office on June 23, 1972, the C.IA. was stonewalling me again: 'Not connected.' 'No way.' Then I played Nixon's trump card. 'The President asked me to tell you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it opens up, the Bay of Pigs may be blown....'

Turmoil in the room. Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.'

Silence. I just sat there. I was absolutely shocked by Helms' violent reaction. Again I wondered, what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story? Finally, I said, 'I'm just following my instructions, Dick. This is what the President told me to relay to you.'

Helms was settling back. 'All right,' he said.

It was some years later when Haldeman found out what this dispute was about:

Years later, former C.B.S. correspondent Dan Schorr called me. He was seeking information concerning the F.B.I. investigation Nixon had mounted against him in August, 1971.

Schorr later sent me his fascinating book Clearing the Air. In it I was interested to find that evidence he had gleaned while investigating the C.I.A. finally cleared up for me the mystery of the Bay of Pigs connection in those dealings between Nixon and Helms. 'It's intriguing when I put Schorr's facts together with mine. It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination.

(Interestingly, an investigation of the Kennedy assassination was a project I suggested when I first entered the White House. I had always been intrigued with the conflicting theories of the assassination. Now I felt we would be in a position to get all the facts. But Nixon turned me down.)

According to Schorr, as an outgrowth of the Bay of Pigs, the C.I.A. made several attempts on Fidel Castro's life. The Deputy Director of Plans at the C.I.A. at the time was a man named Richard Helms.

Unfortunately, Castro knew of the assassination attempts all the time. On September 7, 1963, a few months before John Kennedy was assassinated, Castro made a speech in which he was quoted, 'Let Kennedy and his brother Robert take care of themselves, since they, too, can be the victims of an attempt which will cause their death.'

After Kennedy was killed, the C.LA. launched a fantastic cover-up. Many of the facts about Oswald unavoidably pointed to a Cuban connection.

1. Oswald had been arrested in New Orleans in August, 1963, while distributing pro-Castro pamphlets.

2. On a New Orleans radio programme he extolled Cuba and defended Castro.

3. Less than two months before the assassination Oswald visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City and tried to obtain a visa.

In a chilling parallel to their cover-up at Watergate, the C.I.A. literally erased any connection between. Kennedy's assassination and the C.I.A. No mention of the Castro assassination attempt was made to the Warren Commission by C.I.A. representatives. In fact, Counter-intelligence Chief James Angleton of the C.I.A. called Bill Sullivan of the F.B.I. and rehearsed the questions and answers they would give to the Warren Commission investigators, such as these samples:

Q. Was Oswald an agent of the C.I.A?

A. No.

Q. Does the C.I.A. have any evidence showing that a conspiracy existed to assassinate Kennedy?

A. No.

And here's what I find most interesting: Bill Sullivan, the F.B.I. man that the C.I.A. called at the time, was Nixon's highest-ranking loyal friend at the F.B.I. (in the Watergate crisis, he would risk J. Edgar Hoover's anger by taking the 1969 F.B.I. wiretap transcripts ordered by Nixon and delivering them to, Robert Mardian, a Mitchell crony, for safekeeping).

It's possible that Nixon learned from Sullivan something about the earlier C.I.A. cover-up by Helms. And when Nixon said, 'It's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs' he might have been reminding Helms, not so gently, of the cover-up of the C.I.A. assassination attempts on the hero of the Bay of Pigs, Fidel Castro - a C.I.A. operation that may have triggered the Kennedy tragedy and which Helms desperately wanted to hide.

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It is clear that Nixon and Helms were both blackmailing each other. I suspect that Helms knew all about Nixon’s dirty tricks campaign. It was clearly a mistake to use Howard Hunt and James McCord for these activities. This information would have gone straight back to Helms.

Haldeman assumes that Nixon was blackmailing Helms over the CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro. This is understandable as only two years earlier Frank Church had confirmed that this had been happening. However, is this the sort of information that would have upset Helms so much? I doubt it. In fact, we know that the CIA had been leaking this information to Jack Anderson before the Church Senate Committee.

I think Haldeman is right when he suggests the information came from William Sullivan. As Haldeman points out, Sullivan helped Nixon out with Watergate.

What could Sullivan have told Nixon that was so upsetting to Helms? I think the clue is what happened following the JFK assassination. William Sullivan and James Angleton carried out a joint FBI/CIA investigation into the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald. I suspect that they discovered that Oswald had been working for both the FBI and the CIA. Oswald was probably employed by the FBI to spy on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. His CIA work was probably even more sinister. Sullivan and Angleton probably agreed to cover-up Oswald’s activities in the FBI and CIA.

However, after his falling out with Hoover, Sullivan became a dangerous figure. I therefore suspect that he was murdered by the CIA in 1977. It is probably no coincidence that five other FBI officials who worked on the Oswald inquiry died within a few months of each other: Louis Nicholas, special assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's liaison with the Warren Commission; Alan H. Belmont, special assistant to Hoover; James Cadigan, document expert with access to documents that related to death of John F. Kennedy; J. M. English, former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory where Oswald's rifle and pistol were tested; Donald Kaylor, FBI fingerprint chemist who examined prints found at the assassination scene.

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Haldeman's book was the one that convinced me there was a connection between Watergate and the JFK assassination. It should be pointed out that Haldeman discusses the Nixon/ Fred Thompson theory that Bennett and the CIA orchestrated the Watergate break-in to bust Nixon and he dismisses it. As I remember it, he concludes, instead, even though he was still friendly with Nixon and would remain so for the rest of their days, that Nixon ordered the break-in through Colson, and that the reason was to uncover O'Brien's knowledge of the Hughes pay-offs . I believe both Magruder and Hunt have confirmed the pressure came from Colson, and that Colson, who became a holy roller after his Watergate experience, has never publicly called them liars. If you're intrigued by the Nixon/Helms relationship, Ehrichman wrote about it in a work of fiction, The Company, which many believe to be dead-on.

Sullivan's book was another one that excited me awhile back. He did testify before the Church Committee, and said a lot that was damaging to the FBI's reputation, so it's not impossible that someone had him murdered before his truth-telling became contagious. But his family was friendly with the young neighbor who shot him, and never suspected foul play.

If you're looking for possible foul play, the death of William Colby is far more suspicious, although the motive would be less easy to ascertain, outside of delayed revenge.

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Another interesting link between the JFK assassination and Watergate concerns Larry O'Brien. He was apparently the target of the Watergate break-in. However, the bug in his phone did not work (nor could it work suggesting that it was fitted incorrectly on purpose). As a result they had to make a second break-in.

O'Brien was a target because he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Haldeman believes that the bug on his phone was fitted as a direct result of instructions from Nixon. However, Haldeman believes it was connected to O'Brien's friendship with Howard Hughes. Nixon had a deep hatred of Hughes and O'Brien because he believed they had cost him two elections.

O'Brien was JFK's special assistant and was in the Presidential Motorcade in Dealey Plaza when JFK was assassinated.

There is evidence that JFK was being blackmailed by one of his close associates at the time he was assassinated. Seymour Hersh believes that Kenneth O'Driscoll was the culprit. However, I wonder if it could have been O'Brien who was the blackmailer. Is that what Nixon was after? Anyway, this scheme all came to an end when the CIA was able to force Nixon from investigating the JFK assassination by their own blackmail methods.

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Did you know that in 1992 John Dean began legal action against G. Gordon Liddy and Len Colodny. Dean objected to information that appeared in books by Liddy (Will) and Colodny (Silent Coup) that claimed that Dean was the mastermind of the Watergate burglaries and the true target of the break-in was to destroy information implicating him and his wife in a prostitution ring.

What a strange story. Considering that Haldman believed that the break-in was connected to the JFK assassination. I wonder if the break-in had anything to do with Bobby Baker's sex parties. Larry O'Brien, who was a close friend of JFK, would probably have known about Baker's call-girls.

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Did you know that in 1992 John Dean began legal action against G. Gordon Liddy and Len Colodny. Dean objected to information that appeared in books by Liddy (Will) and Colodny (Silent Coup) that claimed that Dean was the mastermind of the Watergate burglaries and the true target of the break-in was to destroy information implicating him and his wife in a prostitution ring.

What a strange story. Considering that Haldman believed that the break-in was connected to the JFK assassination. I wonder if the break-in had anything to do with Bobby Baker's sex parties. Larry O'Brien, who was a close friend of JFK, would probably have known about Baker's call-girls.

On another thread, we've discussed this aplenty. Nancy swears by the Secret Agenda and Silent Coup scenarios and I think they're bunkum. Nixon was shot with his own gun, the CIA wouldn't save him from himself, and he took his revenge on Helms (who wasn't terribly unhappy as Ambassador to Iran, by the way) and the CIA, via his pit-bull Schlesinger, and his lap-dog, Colby. I'm not sure Nixon's "clean-up" wasn't justified, but his motivations seem more personal than professional.

The secretary at the DNC, Ida Wells, who was accused of running a call-girl ring in the Colodny book and subsequently by Liddy, tried to sue Liddy. I believe it was Ron Ecker who pointed out that she lost her case not because anyone believed Liddy's story, but because she couldn't prove malice, and couldn't prove that there was sufficient reason for Liddy to doubt his story. A quick read through the updated Will, which includes an afterword on this theory, reveals that Liddy is obsessed with his hatred for Dean, as he once was with his hatred for Magruder. It's logical to assume that this has affected his judgment. He now believes that Magruder and Hunt et al are all in cahoots with Dean, covering up the real reason for the Watergate burglary. This is a bit paranoid. I don't believe Colson has ever denied Magruder's statements that the pressure came from him and was related to the Hughes situation. I'm disappointed in Liddy; after reading Will for the first time, I had respect for the man--he broke the law for what he believed was a just cause and was willing to pay the price. Now I find him a bit pathetic--searching for scapegoats among those equally disgraced by the just fall of Richard Nixon.

By the way, John, you're way off to think that Nixon hated Hughes. He was a bit scared of him, but courted him and treated him like royalty, calling him on his birthday etc. He even assigned his hit-man Colson the job of finding Hughes a worthy representative in Washington once Hughes cut Maheu and O'Brien adrift. (current Senator Bob Bennett, who became Hunt's employer in the process.)

I wonder if current Senators Bennett, Specter, Kennedy, and Christopher Dodd ever sit around and discuss what really happened back in the sixites and seventies. Something tells me it's the great unspoken.

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By the way, John, you're way off to think that Nixon hated Hughes. He was a bit scared of him, but courted him and treated him like royalty, calling him on his birthday etc. He even assigned his hit-man Colson the job of finding Hughes a worthy representative in Washington once Hughes cut Maheu and O'Brien adrift. (current Senator Bob Bennett, who became Hunt's employer in the process.)

I agree that Nixon’s relationship with Hughes was a complex one. Hughes approved of Nixon’s political views and did provide a lot of money for his campaigns. I think the clue to their relationship concerns the activities of Drew Pearson and his legman, Jack Anderson.

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

After the war he was probably America’s most influential journalist. Pearson was a strong supporter of the left-wing of the Democrats and was one of the few to take on Joe McCarthy.

However, Pearson was willing to do deals with the rich and the powerful in order to get liberals into power. This was the case with Howard Hughes. In 1947 Hughes was in serious trouble with the Senate War Investigating Committee over the non-delivery of the F-11 and the HK-1 during the Second World War. Hughes had pocketed $40m of government money for these projects. Hughes had obtained these contracts by bribing senior members of the Democratic Party. This scandal involved Franklin D. Roosevelt and his son, Elliot. It was Hughes that had given Bobby Baker the idea of providing sex parties for politicians on important Senate committees. However, Owen Brewster, chairman of the Senate War Investigating Committee, had kept himself clean and had enough information on Hughes to destroy him.

Pearson agreed to help Hughes in return for information against right-wing political figures. Pearson then destroyed Brewster by publishing a series of stories about his corrupt involvement with Pan American Airways. Pearson claimed that Brewster was being paid by Pan Am to damage Hughes reputation (Hughes owned Trans World Airlines that was Pan Am’s most serious business rival).

As a result of Pearson’s campaign, Brewster called off his investigation of Hughes. The Senate War Investigating Committee stopped meeting and was eventually disbanded.

Hughes now supplied Pearson with information about right-wing politicians. This included J. Parnell Thomas, the chairman of the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). As a result of Pearson’s investigations, Thomas ended up in prison. Two of his fellow inmates in Danbury Prison were Lester Cole and Ring Lardner Jr. who were serving terms as a result of refusing to testify in front of Thomas and the HUAC.

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

Hughes also provided information on Nixon. In 1956 the Hughes Tool Company provided a $205,000 loan to Nixon Incorporated, a company run by Richard's brother, F. Donald Nixon. The money was never paid back. Soon after the money was paid the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reversed a previous decision to grant tax-exempt status to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson did not use this information until the 1960 presidential campaign. Nixon initially denied the loan but later was forced to admit that this money had been given to his brother. Nixon was convinced that this story cost him the election.

The story was also used against Nixon when he stood for governor of California in 1962. Nixon was convinced that Hughes and Pearson had cost him two elections.

Although Pearson helped JFK against Nixon he was far from convinced of his liberalism. However, Pearson loathed LBJ and in 1956 began investigating his corrupt relationship with the Suite 8F Group. Pearson explored Johnson’s relationship with George Brown and Herman Brown. He reported on the large sums of money that had been flowing from Brown & Root, the “big gas pipeline company” to Johnson. He also referred to the large government contracts that the company had obtained during the Second World War. Pearson also quoted a Senate report that pointed out there was “no room for a general contractor like Brown & Root on Federal projects”. Nevertheless, Johnson had helped them win several contracts including one to build air-naval bases in Spain.”

Johnson was now in serious trouble and sought a private meeting with Pearson. He offered the journalist a deal, if Pearson dropped the investigation, he would support Estes Kefauver, in the forthcoming primaries. Pearson surprisingly accepted this deal. He wrote in his diary: “I figured I might do that much for Estes (Kefauver). This is the first time I’ve ever made a deal like this, and I feel unhappy about it. With the Presidency of the United States at stake, maybe it’s justified, maybe not – I don’t know.”

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As a result of Pearson’s campaign, Brewster called off his investigation of Hughes. The Senate War Investigating Committee stopped meeting and was eventually disbanded.

Hughes now supplied Pearson with information about right-wing politicians. This included J. Parnell Thomas, the chairman of the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). As a result of Pearson’s investigations, Thomas ended up in prison. Two of his fellow inmates in Danbury Prison were Lester Cole and Ring Lardner Jr. who were serving terms as a result of refusing to testify in front of Thomas and the HUAC. 

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

Hughes also provided information on Nixon. In 1956 the Hughes Tool Company provided a $205,000 loan to Nixon Incorporated, a company run by Richard's brother, F. Donald Nixon. The money was never paid back. Soon after the money was paid the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reversed a previous decision to grant tax-exempt status to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson did not use this information until the 1960 presidential campaign. Nixon initially denied the loan but later was forced to admit that this money had been given to his brother. Nixon was convinced that this story cost him the election.

The story was also used against Nixon when he stood for governor of California in 1962. Nixon was convinced that Hughes and Pearson had cost him two elections.

Although Pearson helped JFK against Nixon he was far from convinced of his liberalism. However, Pearson loathed LBJ and in 1956 began investigating his corrupt relationship with the Suite 8F Group. Pearson explored Johnson’s relationship with George Brown and Herman Brown. He reported on the large sums of money that had been flowing from Brown & Root, the “big gas pipeline company” to Johnson. He also referred to the large government contracts that the company had obtained during the Second World War. Pearson also quoted a Senate report that pointed out there was “no room for a general contractor like Brown & Root on Federal projects”. Nevertheless, Johnson had helped them win several contracts including one to build air-naval bases in Spain.”

Johnson was now in serious trouble and sought a private meeting with Pearson. He offered the journalist a deal, if Pearson dropped the investigation, he would support Estes Kefauver, in the forthcoming primaries. Pearson surprisingly accepted this deal. He wrote in his diary: “I figured I might do that much for Estes (Kefauver). This is the first time I’ve ever made a deal like this, and I feel unhappy about it. With the Presidency of the United States at stake, maybe it’s justified, maybe not – I don’t know.”

John, I have a different understanding of most of these events. You might want to re-read Maheu's book and Pearson's biography. In '56, for instance, Hughes paid Maheu to conduct a phony poll to con Eisenhower into keeping Nixon on the ticket. Maheu's book also makes it clear that Hughes did not leak the loan story and that he, in fact, hired Maheu to control the story so that it would not effect the 1960 election. Maheu says he contacted Pearson and arranged to keep the story quiet until Nixon himself decided not to trust Pearson and leak the story, incorrectly believing he could control it.

The Pearson biography makes clear that LBJ and Pearson had a very friendly working relationship. Pearson, like Hoover, considered himself an independent man, and would occasionally write columns against men he otherwise favored, and LBJ was no different. When Maheu wanted an investigation into his wire-tapping charges snufffed out, he went to attorney Edward Morgan and told him about the CIA/mob attempts on Castro. Morgan told Pearson, knowing Pearson would take it straight to his close pal, Earl Warren, who told SS Chief Rowley, who told LBJ. Somewhere, I think it was on his tapes, LBJ admits that Pearson also came straight to him. They were that close. Anyhow, Pearson sat on the story for weeks until the day after Bobby Kennedy came out against the war in Vietnam, and then ran it with the added implication that Bobby was somehow responsible for the attempts, and that they had backfired and resulted in JFK's death. This SMELLS of a political reprisal and has LBJ's fingerprints all over it.

This incident indicates that LBJ's cries of Castro did it are just as likely disinfo designed to implicate Bobby in his own brother's death as LBJ's actual beliefs. The man was nothing if not an ingenious xxxx when he chose to be.

Edited by Pat Speer
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John, I have a different understanding of most of these events.  You might want to re-read Maheu's book and Pearson's biography. In '56, for instance, Hughes paid Maheu to conduct a phony poll to con Eisenhower into keeping Nixon on the ticket. Maheu's book also makes it clear that Hughes did not leak the loan story and that he, in fact, hired Maheu to control the story so that it would not effect the 1960 election.  Maheu says he contacted Pearson and arranged to keep the story quiet until Nixon himself decided not to trust Pearson and leak the story, incorrectly believing he could control it.

The Pearson biography makes clear that LBJ and Pearson had a very friendly working relationship.  Pearson, like Hoover, considered himself an independent man, and would occasionally write columns against men he otherwise favored, and LBJ was no different. 

Robert Maheu’s book (Next to Hughes) does not mention Drew Pearson, Owen Brewster or F. Donald Nixon. I do not have a copy of Pearson’s autobiography (I did not know he had written one. What is its title?).

My main source of information is Drew Pearson’s diaries (published in 1974), his book, The Case Against Congress (1968) and Jack Anderson’s book on Drew Pearson and himself, Confessions of a Muckraker (1979).

These books make it clear that Pearson did not like LBJ. However, Pearson was willing to work with LBJ to promote his own liberal agenda. On occasions, Pearson and Anderson used information leaked to them by LBJ. Interestingly, the Johnson tapes show that Pearson and Anderson led the smear campaign against Don B. Reynolds, the man who providing damaging information against LBJ and Bobby Baker before a secret session of the Senate Rules Committee on the day JFK was assassinated. Once president LBJ was able to use his new power to prevent this information coming out until he had used the press to portray Reynolds as an unreliable witness. Part of his testimony related to the Suite 8F Group and the TFX contract.

The material that LBJ leaked to Pearson was designed to appeal to his liberal beliefs. For example, on 5th February, 1964, the Washington Post reported that Reynolds had been a supporter of Joseph McCarthy and had accused business rivals of being secret members of the American Communist Party. It was also revealed that Reynolds had made anti-Semitic remarks while in Berlin in 1953.

This was strange behaviour on the part of Pearson and Anderson. The TFX contract scandal was potentially a massive story. However, rather than investigating the role played by LBJ, Fred Korth and JFK in this they decided to concentrate on Reynolds’ right-wing past. This mirrors the Owen Brewster case. The Howard Hughes story concerning the corrupt way he fiddled the American tax paper out of $40 million was the important story. Instead, they ignored this story and concentrated on destroying Brewster who had been guilty of taking a few free aircraft journeys. In doing so, they saved Hughes from being exposed as a crook.

By view is that Pearson and Anderson were part of Operation Mockingbird. In return for keeping quiet about some really important stories, they were fed information that exposed others but favoured the CIA and its assets.

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This was strange behaviour on the part of Pearson and Anderson. The TFX contract scandal was potentially a massive story. However, rather than investigating the role played by LBJ, Fred Korth and JFK in this they decided to concentrate on Reynolds’ right-wing past. This mirrors the Owen Brewster case. The Howard Hughes story concerning the corrupt way he fiddled the American tax paper out of $40 million was the important story. Instead, they ignored this story and concentrated on destroying Brewster who had been guilty of taking a few free aircraft journeys. In doing so, they saved Hughes from being exposed as a crook. 

By view is that Pearson and Anderson were part of Operation Mockingbird. In return for keeping quiet about some really important stories, they were fed information that exposed others but favoured the CIA and its assets.

The Pearson book is a biography, not an autobio, and it's by Oliver Pilat, and came out in 73, entitled simply Drew Pearson, An Unauthorized Biography. The Maheu book covers the Nixon loan on page 84 and says simply that Maheu had talked with two reporters who were working on the story. Since Pearson and Anderson jumped on it once Nixon blew the lid off it himself, I made the assumption that it was they that Maheu had spoken to, but I could be wrong. Considering how Pearson had helped Hughes with Brewster in earlier times, I thought there might be a connection.

For an alternate view on the Brewster/Hughes feud, you should see The Aviator, which gets into the nitty gritty of it, including verbatim transcripts from the hearings, in which Hughes more than adequately defends himself, and exposes Brewster's ties to Pan-Am. I believe Robert Morrow ties Brewster into the JFK assassination as well. Like Smathers, he got around.

Edited by Pat Speer
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This was strange behaviour on the part of Pearson and Anderson. The TFX contract scandal was potentially a massive story. However, rather than investigating the role played by LBJ, Fred Korth and JFK in this they decided to concentrate on Reynolds’ right-wing past. This mirrors the Owen Brewster case. The Howard Hughes story concerning the corrupt way he fiddled the American tax paper out of $40 million was the important story. Instead, they ignored this story and concentrated on destroying Brewster who had been guilty of taking a few free aircraft journeys. In doing so, they saved Hughes from being exposed as a crook. 

By view is that Pearson and Anderson were part of Operation Mockingbird. In return for keeping quiet about some really important stories, they were fed information that exposed others but favoured the CIA and its assets.

The Pearson book is a biography, not an autobio, and it's by Oliver Pilat, and came out in 73, entitled simply Drew Pearson, An Unauthorized Biography. The Maheu book covers the Nixon loan on page 84 and says simply that Maheu had talked with two reporters who were working on the story. Since Pearson and Anderson jumped on it once Nixon blew the lid off it himself, I made the assumption that it was they that Maheu had spoken to, but I could be wrong. Considering how Pearson had helped Hughes with Brewster in earlier times, I thought there might be a connection.

For an alternate view on the Brewster/Hughes feud, you should see The Aviator, which gets into the nitty gritty of it, including verbatim transcripts from the hearings, in which Hughes more than adequately defends himself, and exposes Brewster's ties to Pan-Am. I believe Robert Morrow ties Brewster into the JFK assassination as well. Like Smathers, he got around.

Most of my information on the Brewster/Hughes case comes from Jack Anderson’s account in Confessions of a Muckraker. Anderson appeared to idolized Pearson and is not critical of his behaviour towards Brewster. It is my interpretation of events that is so critical of Pearson's behaviour. Pearson was one of my heroes until I read this book. I was distressed to discover that he was very selective about the people he exposed.

We will have to disagree about Pearson’s view of LBJ. There is no doubt that Pearson was willing to do deals with LBJ. This included smearing people who were attempting to expose LBJ’s corruption (see the LBJ tapes). However, Pearson did eventually reveal the story of LBJ’s corrupt activities (see his book The Case Against Congress – 1968).

Pearson has a lot to say about LBJ’s corrupt relationship with the oil industry. Pearson claims that Russell Long was part of this corrupt network. That is interesting as it was Long who tipped off Jim Garrison that there had been a conspiracy to kill JFK.

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