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Tim Gratz and Donald Segretti

John Simkin

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Freed also refers to the case of Roger Gordon, a member of another covert Republican Party group called the Secret Army Organization (SAO). On 13th July, 1973, Associated Press reported that Gordon had attempted to gain political asylum in Fiji. Gordon claimed he “had secret information concerning Watergate” and feared for his life. His information was that he had seen Tony Ulasewicz giving orders to Arthur Bremer on an Ohio ferry. It was of course Ulasewicz, chief field officer with Operation Sandwedge, who had met with Tim Gratz to talk about Segretti.

I'm confused by this paragraph. Does Freed say that Gordon saw Ulasewicz, or is that what you're assuming?

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Freed also refers to the case of Roger Gordon, a member of another covert Republican Party group called the Secret Army Organization (SAO). On 13th July, 1973, Associated Press reported that Gordon had attempted to gain political asylum in Fiji. Gordon claimed he “had secret information concerning Watergate” and feared for his life. His information was that he had seen Tony Ulasewicz giving orders to Arthur Bremer on an Ohio ferry. It was of course Ulasewicz, chief field officer with Operation Sandwedge, who had met with Tim Gratz to talk about Segretti.

I'm confused by this paragraph. Does Freed say that Gordon saw Ulasewicz, or is that what you're assuming?

These are the two relevant passages:

Donald Freed, Gemstone (1974)

The full story remains to be told. But during 1972-Z3, our research group, the Citizens Research and Investigation CommitteeCRIC), receive severa bits of unconfirmed information which are worthy of note:

(1) On July 13, 1973 Roger Gordon, fifty-three, a member of the rigtit-wing Secret Army Organization (SAO) fled from a hiding place in Australia to beg asylum in Suva, Fiji. According to the Associated Press, Gordon "had secret information concerning Watergate" and feared for his life. His information: that the heavy-set man with the "Joisey brogue" seen giving orders toBremer on an Ohio ferry was Anthony Ulasewicz, a White House operative.

(2) Secret Army Organization (SAO) and FBI sources in the San Diego area reported that White House agent Donald Segretti gave moriey to Bremer.

(3) During 1970 Tom Huston, a Nixon aide, prepared a series of memoranda which attempted to tighten White House control of the FBI, CIA, etc., and intensify the use of electronic surveillance, "penetration agents," and illegal break-ins. According to a staff member of the Ervin Committee, White House files contain a still undivulged memo in which Huston justifies selective assassination.

(4) On May 18, 1972, three days after the Wallace shooting, Charles Colson staged a "Victory in Vietnam" march and rally in Washington, under the auspices of the right-wing preacher Carl McIntire. Mr. and Mrs. Calvin Fox of the Secret Army Organization drove from San Diego to attend, passing en route near the site of the Wallace shooting. Sources in San Diego reported that while the Foxes were away, FBI Special Agent Steve Christianson entered Mr. Fox's office files and planted documents which could implicate him in the assassination attempt. A group of Washington-based former intelligence agents have since confirmed this.

Richard Popkin, The San Diego Coup, Ramparts Magazine (October, 1973)

The L.A. Times reported on July 13, 1973 that a former Minuteman had requested political asylum in Fiji, saying he had secret information on Watergate and feared assassination.

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I thought members might be interested in reading this extract from Richard Popkin's, The San Diego Coup, that appeared in Ramparts Magazine in October, 1973.

Godfrey's surfacing as an FBI agent rattled the remnants of the SAO. They were angry at having been set up by the FBI, and when reporters for the San Diego Door (local newspaper) began approaching their old adversaries for information earlier in 1973, they found that many were willing to cooperate; some were even friendly. And as the SAO began to open up, a pattern began to emerge which seemed to link the San Diego events to Watergate.

The breakthrough came in the spring when an editor of the Door made contact with a former SAO militant named Jerry Busch. From November 1969 to the summer of 1971, said Busch, Howard Barry Godfrey made frequent visits to the Gunsmoke Ranch in El Cajon. "It was also during June, July, and August of 1971 that Barry Godfrey and Donald Segretti (posing as "Don Simms" visited Gunsmoke and though supposedly not "knowing each other," they spoke together on at least one occasion," in a quiet conversation aside. The Segretti connection is important in itself; it is particularly interesting insofar as according to Busch's account - Segretti was in touch with SA while contacting his old college chums Dwight Chapin and Gordon Strachan in June 1971, but before commencing work as a dirty trickster in September 1971.

Busch did not say what Segretti discussed at the Gunsmoke Ranch, but he did report that following "these casual conversations" Godfrey came up with bizarre ideas to take care of what he called "those red punks" - in the event that the GOP held its convention in San Diego. Among Godfrey's plans in October 1971 were:

(1) the use of massive dosages of LSD, cyanide or strychnine introduced into the punch at antiwar group meetings;

(2) bombing of the VVAW headquarters, the Guild Theatre, and several porno shops;

(3) bombings of the homes or offices of antiwar leaders;

(4) kidnapping or assassination of antiwar leaders and activists;

(5) fire bombing of vehicles and other property belonging to antiwar activists.

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Pages 238-240 from Anthony Ulasewicz's book, The President's Private Eye (1990):

I arrived in Wisconsin to check out what a guy named Don Simmons was up to. On December 18, 1971, Timothy Gratz, Chairman of Wisconsin's Republican Party College Organization, received a call from a man calling himself Don Simmons. Simmons said he had gotten Gratz's name from Randy Knox, an active Wisconsin Republican. Gratz and Simmons met that afternoon in the Park Motor Inn Lounge. Simmons told Gratz that he had come to Wisconsin to recruit people to help with President Nixon's reelection campaign, and specifically to do "opposition research." He told Gratz he had all kinds of proposals for conducting a "negative campaign" to insure Nixon's reelection. His goal was to create as much bitterness and disunity within the Democratic Party as he could. He wanted that disunity to surface during the Wisconsin and other primaries to be held in the coming months. Three of his suggestions were to plant agitators in student audiences, set up picket lines, and infiltrate the local campaign offices of Democratic candidates. Simmons also wanted to line up a few blacks to picket Senator Edmund Muskie, a potential Nixon rival, wherever he spoke. After Muskie fell, Simmons told Gratz, McGovern would be next. At this point Gratz asked Simmons who had sent him to Wisconsin. At first, Simmons said he was working for a consulting company from New York, but he finally admitted that this was all his idea and that he was working with his own money. When Gratz reported his meeting with Simmons to top Republican officials in Wisconsin, who in turn passed the information along to the White House, it seemed nobody had ever heard of Don Simmons. I was given the assignment to blow his cover.

For the first time, this assignment required that the White House provide me with a cover story of its own. The connection between the White House and me had to be revealed to insure my credibility in Gratz's mind. After all, he had gone to the top level in Wisconsin Republican politics to report Simmons and so had a right to expect that someone from the top was coming to see him. Using another alias, I called Gratz and simply told him that I had been asked to conduct a discreet inquiry on Simmons's background for the White House. When I met with Gratz in his apartment, he seemed pleased to hear the words "White House." With his cooperation, I made preparations to record Simmons's voice when he called again. I wanted to give the tape to the White House so that it could figure out who Simmons might be working for. Gratz, it seems, had already made arrangements for Simmons to call him at a preassigned time. When Simmons finally called, he continued to be both bold and evasive, acting as if it didn't really matter who he was working for as long as Nixon was reelected. He had a job to do and he wanted help. If Gratz would help him with the recruiting, Simmons would provide the money. Simple as that: spread the dirt and pass the ammunition.

Gratz was disturbed, not knowing whether Simmons was legitimate, and whether he should refuse to cooperate with Simmons or play along with him to find out what else he was up to. Whatever he was doing, Gratz felt that Simmons was going about it mighty sloppily. Gratz even wondered whether Simmons might be working for the Democrats to find out whether the Republicans were planting spies in Democratic candidates' organizations.

Gratz was convinced that the Nixon White House didn't know anything about Simmons because one of his associates, John MacIver, had called some Republican Party big wigs who said they didn't know who Simmons was. If Simmons was legitimate, MacIver would surely have known about him. So who was this guy? I told Gratz I intended to find out. But, first, I was going to call the White House. As I left Gratz's apartment, I told him to sit tight until I came back. Next, I called Caulfield from a pay phone in the lobby of the motel where I was staying.

"Jack," I told Caulfield, "I'm going to pull the lid off this guy. He's throwing his weight around, and he claims he's got the bucks to back him up. I'm convinced someone in that White House of yours knows all about this. You better find out who it is. And quick. I'll give you an hour."

When Caulfield phoned back as scheduled, he said he had checked with both Ehrlichman and Dean and they knew nothing about Simmons.

"Check with the other side of the throne, Jack," I said, referring to H. R. Haldeman, the President's Chief-of-Staff.

"But I don't have a line into him," Caulfield said.

"Get one!," I demanded and then hung up.

In a few minutes, Caulfield was back on the line.

"You're right, Tony," Caulfield said. "Simmons is Haldeman's man. Get out of there. Back off. Simmons will be told to lay off Gratz."

When I returned to Gratz's apartment I told him that the matter had been taken care of and that he wouldn't be bothered again, but I couldn't believe Haldeman or anyone else would let a guy like Simmons loose on the streets. If anyone found out about him, he was bound to hurt Nixon's campaign. As I found out later, Simmons was actually Donald R. Segretti, recruited by Haldeman's appointments secretary, Dwight Chapin, for the political game of "dirty tricks." Payments for Segretti's services, described as "field operation expenses," were authorized by Haldeman and paid out of Kalmbach's trustee fund. The Simmons/ Segretti investigation made it clear to me that White House intelligence operations, at least those that were connected to Nixon's reelection campaign, were being directed by more than one hand. All of these hands appeared to have been dipping into the money on deposit in Kalmbach's trustee account. But with Ehrlichman not knowing what Haldeman was up to, no one hand seemed to be in charge of what was going on. Chaos was in the wind.

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I have decided to create a page on Tim Gratz.


As a result of this I have decided to reinstate Tim. I know he was originally removed for threatening to sue me and I fully expect him to do so again, however, I think it is only fair that he gets the opportunity to defend himself. (He might also be able to provide some insight into Bush's decisions in Iraq and Iran.)

Most of you will know Tim for his postings on Fidel Castro's involvement in the JFK assassination. This is only the latest example of his role as a disinformation agent.

Tim obtained a political science and law degree from University of Wisconsin. As a student he was active in the Republican Party and a member of the Young Americans for Freedom.

Tim became Chairman of Wisconsin Republican Party College Organization. On 18th December, 1971, Gratz received a phone call from a man calling himself Don Simmons. In fact, his real name was Donald Segretti. Apparently, Dwight Chaplin had hired Segretti to disrupt the Democratic campaign. Tim later recalled: "Simmons said he was interested in running a "negative campaign" in Wisconsin. He explained that the purpose of the campaign was to create as much bitterness and disunity within the Democrat primary as possible.... He also said he was interested in planting spies in the Democrat candidate's offices."

Donald Segretti offered Tim $100.00 per month, plus expenses, to co-ordinate these projects. Tim agreed to work on the project and he was given an advance payment of $50.00. Tim later told Anthony Ulasewicz that "although the whole incident seemed strange" he agreed to help "as most of the ideas he suggested seemed like they were worth doing anyway". However, Tim claimed he told Karl Rove, Chairman of the College Republican National Committee, about this dirty tricks campaign.

This is strange as we now know that Rove himself was part of Segretti's campaign. In fact, he probably played a leading role in this dirty tricks operation. Rove had becoome friends with CIA asset, Bob Bennett. in 1968. According to one report, Bennett became a "mentor of Rove's".

In 1970, Rove used a false identity to enter the campaign office of Democrat Alan J. Dixon, who was running for Illinois State Treasurer, and stole 1000 sheets of paper with campaign letterhead. Rove then printed fake campaign rally fliers promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing," and distributed them at rock concerts and homeless shelters, with the effect of disrupting Dixon's rally. It is important to remember these details of this dirty tricks campaign.

Donald Segretti later told the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (3rd October, 1973) the main objective of his dirty tricks campaign was to discredit Edmund Muskie as he was the candidate that Richard Nixon feared the most. As one political commentator pointed out: "he seemed unstoppable; he had had ample financial backing, name recognition, experience, image, endorsement, and top standing in the polls."

Other targets included Edward Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey and Henry Jackson. It was decided that George McGovern was the candidate that Nixon wanted to face in the presidential election. Tim was one of 28 people hired by Segretti to carry out this smear campaign.

During the New Hampshire primary, the Manchester Union Leader, published a letter that claimed Muskie had made disparaging remarks about French-Canadians. The newspaper also attacked the character of Muskie's wife Jane, reporting that she drank heavily and used bad language during the campaign. Muskie made an emotional speech defending his wife. The press reported he had broken down in tears and this damaged his image as a calm and rational politician. Although Muskie won the New Hampshire primary, this incident had raised doubts about his ability to be a strong president.

As Keith W. Olson (Watergate: The Presidential Scandal That Shook America) has pointed out: "Segretti carried out his tricks to the fullest extent in Florida". Patrick J. Buchanan told John N. Mitchell and H. R. Haldeman on 2nd January, 1972, "clearly, the Florida primary is shaping up as the first good opportunity and perhaps the last good opportunity to derail the Muskie candidacy".

One of Segretti's agents stole Muskie campaign stationery and mailed a fraudulent letter to 300 supporters of fellow contenders, Hubert Humphrey and Henry Jackson. This letter claimed that Jackson had fathered a child with an unmarried teenager and that the police had arrested him on homosexual charges. It went onto claim that Humphrey had been arrested while in the company of a prostitute, for driving under the influence of alcohol. It was assumed that Muskie was behind this smear campaign and his credibility as a honest politician was severely damaged.

Other dirty tricks in Florida included a naked girl running through Muskie's hotel claiming that she was in love with the Democratic contender. Segretti's agents, posing as Muskie supporters, telephoned voters in the middle of the night asking them to support their candidate.

George Wallace, won 42% of the vote in the Florida primary. Hubert Humphrey came in second, with 18.6%, then Henry Jackson with 13% and the the pre-election favourite, Edmund Muskie, finished fourth with 8.9%. This result added support to Segretti's claim that his dirty tricks campaign had the ability to remove people like Muskie from the race.

Segretti and his team of agents, including Tim, now began to concentrate on the Wisconsin primary. Dirty tricks included distributing leaflets that appeared to have been produced by Muskie's campaign team. One of these invited Milwaukee's black residents to a free lunch and beer picnic at which they could meet Coretta Scott, the widow of Martin Luther King and famous television stars. When they arrived their excitement turned to anger when they found no celebrities, no lunch, and no beer. Sound familiar? Yes, it is virtually a carbon copy of Rove’s activities against Alan J. Dixon in 1970.

Once again this dirty tricks campaign worked. On 4th April, 1972, George McGovern won the Wisconsin primary. George Wallace came second with Edmund Muskie in fourth position. A few days later, Patrick J. Buchanan reported to John N. Mitchell and H. R. Haldeman that "our primary objective, to prevent Senator Muskie from sweeping the early primaries.... and uniting the Democratic Party behind him for the fall has been achieved." Buchanan then recommended that they concentrate on assisting McGovern's bid to be the presidential candidate "in every way we can".

During their investigation of the Watergate Scandal the journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein discovered that Donald Segretti had attempted to smear leading politicians such as George McGovern, Edward Kennedy, Edmund Muskie and Henry Jackson. This included the letters sent during the Florida primary elections. The FBI had also revealed that the letter that had been sent to the Manchester Union Leader during the New Hampshire primary was also a forgery.

On 27th October, 1972, Time Magazine published an article claiming that it had obtained information from FBI files that Dwight Chaplin had hired Segretti to disrupt the Democratic campaign. The following month Carl Bernstein interviewed Segretti who admitted that E. Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy were behind the dirty tricks campaign against the Democratic Party.

It is not known what role Tim Gratz played in this campaign. Nor do we know details of all the dirty tricks campaigns organized by Segretti/Rove. Segretti only confessed to those that the FBI had discovered. We can assume that there were others that have never come to light.

The date of the meeting that Tim had with Segretti is very important. According to the statement he gave to Anthony Ulasewicz hey met on 18th December, 1971. This is at the very beginning of the proposed dirty tricks campaign. Their main activities were in 1972. It is also interesting that Tim tells Rove about his meeting with Segretti who then arranges for him to meet Ulasewicz. We now know that Ulasewicz and Rove both held important roles in these dirty tricks campaigns. In fact, Ulasewicz, was in charge of Operation Sandwedge. This was a highly secret operation that has never been fully revealed. In fact, as Ulasewicz points out in his autobiography, the Senate Committee looking into the Watergate Scandal, avoided all questions on Sandwedge. The name gives as a clue, a sand wedge is a club that you use when you are in serious trouble.

In his book, The Taking of America, Richard E. Sprague argued that Gratz was involved with Donald Segretti and Dennis Cassini in supplying money to Arthur Bremer before he attempted to assassinate George Wallace. After Nixon had arranged to face McGovern in 1972, Wallace posed the main threat to his election. Wallace intended to run as a third-party candidate. Polls were suggesting that if this happened, Wallace would take Nixon's right-wing votes and McGovern could win the election. Wallace had to be removed from the race. The link between Segretti, Ulasewicz, Gratz and Bremer is therefore, highly significant.

We mainly know J. Timothy Gratz as a supporter of Bush's right-wing policies and his theory that Fidel Castro was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Is there a link between these activities and Tim's shady political past?

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