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Deep Throat Revealed?


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Second, I find the idea that Nixon could feel guilty about something as bizarre, but maybe that's just me. Nixon was a paranoid with a list of people who were out to get him. There were some convenient deaths in Nixon's political career, JFK being only the first (that I know of). I don't think Nixon lost any sleep about it, unless it was from worry about getting caught.

Ron

My idea that Nixon felt guilt about Kennedy comes primarily from three sources. One is that I'm undoubtedly intrigued by Stone's depiction of Nixon as a guilt-ridden Quaker. The second is Nixon's inclusion in his memoirs of all the letters he received from the Kennedys thanking him for letting John-John come to the White House and play with Nixon's dog. When you think of what Nixon left out of his memoirs, this inclusion reeks of a man trying to prove that "HEY, I'm a nice guy! See, even Jackie thinks so!" While it's possible his guilt was over Hunt's activities (forging the Diem cables and digging up dirt on Teddy) and had nothing to do with the assassination itself, it seems more probable to me that his guilt has something to do with what happened in Dealey. It could simply be survivor's guilt; Nixon knew his career was only re-born after the trigger was pulled. I say this because Nixon fails to ever address the Kennedy assassination in any of his books beyond where he was blah blah blah. He never discusses the findngs of the Warren Commission. He was avoiding it for a reason. And yet his campaign used a Mannlicher-Carcano in his 68 campaign ads, implying that the current administration's softness on crime had encouraged Kennedy's death. The third source of my suspicion is Nixon's use of Connally, and his building him up as his heir apparent. While this could be "See!! I wasn't involved. I'm buddies with one of the victims" it could also be "okay big John, you're up next. We owe you one." Either way, there's something. I just don't see Nixon playing footsie with Connally in 72 if Connally hadn't been shot in 63.

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I have spent the last week in rural Spain and have been a long way from national newspapers and the internet. I only discovered this morning that Mark Felt had confessed to being Deep Throat. It has long been known that Felt was passing information to the press.

On 19th October, 1972, White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman told Nixon a secret source had identified Felt as someone who was leaking information about Watergate to the press. Nixon considered sacking Felt but Haldeman urged caution: "He knows everything that's to be known in the FBI. He has access to absolutely everything... If we move on him, he’ll go out and unload everything."

Nixon knew that Felt had complained bitterly to L. Patrick Gray when he had stopped Charles Nuzum, the FBI agent in charge of the Watergate investigation, from interviewing Ken Dahlberg and Manual Ogarrio. Gray claimed that it was Vernon Walters, deputy director of the CIA, who was applying pressure on the FBI not to interview these two men. It was claimed that these interviews would “imperial a CIA operation”. The truth of the situation was that Walters and Gray were both being pressurized by Nixon not to carry out a full investigation into Watergate. Both Gray and Walters were Nixon appointees and had been long time political associates of the president.

Felt, on the other hand had as a young man been active in the Democratic Party and had worked closely with James Pope, the senator from Idaho in the 1930s. This is interesting story in itself as Pope lost his seat after discovering details of corruption concerning arms dealings during the First World War. (I will post more about this fascinating story later).

Several writers have suggested that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. This includes Ronald Kessler (The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI), James Mann (Atlantic Monthly) and Jack Limpert (Washingtonian). The first person to provide any real evidence that Felt was Deep Throat was Chase Culeman-Beckman. The 17 year old exposed Felt in high-school history paper in 1999. He revealed how as a 8 year old he was told Deep Throat’s identity by Jacob Bernstein, the son of Carl Bernstein. Culeman-Beckman's history teacher was not impressed and did not even give the essay an 'A' grade.

The reason why Felt has so far been rejected as a serious Deep Throat candidate concerns the information he was giving to Woodward. Some of it did include evidence acquired from the FBI investigation. As associate director, it was Felt's responsibility to compile all the information that came from all FBI agents before it was sent to L. Patrick Gray.

However, most of the important information that Deep Throat revealed did not come from the FBI. Instead it came from the CIA and the White House. How did Felt get hold of this information?

For example, one of the most important pieces of information Deep Throat gave Woodward was that Nixon’s was tapping his conversations at the White House. Woodward leaked this information to a staff member of Sam Ervin Committee. He in turn told Sam Dash and as a result Alexander P. Butterfield was questioned about the tapes. Only a very small number of people knew about the existence of these tapes. If Felt knew about these tapes he had his own Deep Throat. I suspect that was William Sullivan, his former colleague at the FBI who was working for the White House during this period (Nixon employed him in this role after he was sacked by Hoover).

Felt, who leaked information to Time Magazine about what became known as the “Kissinger taps”, later admitted that he got this information from Sullivan (one of the first things that Sullivan had done when he was appointed by Nixon was to transfer the wiretap logs to the White House). Sullivan was playing a double-game. He provided information to Nixon about the CIA role in the assassination of JFK. It was this information that Nixon tried to use to control Helms. However, Sullivan, like Felt, was a pro-Kennedy Democrat. I imagine they combined forces to bring down Nixon. I suspect they also had help from Richard Ober of the CIA in carrying out this task.

Here are a couple of photos of Mark Felt. The one on the right was taken in 1958. The sone on the left is from the 1970s.

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Mr. Simkins go back to the 60's with Felt more.

His role more to the time of JFK assassination.

ONe person did but not much into it and it brings his personhood highly questionable at the time of JFK. Where he lived and issues about him during this period.

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There appears to be three major problems with Mark Felt being Deep Throat.

(1) The initial information that Deep Throat gave to Woodward suggested that he was someone involved in the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in. However, Jim Hougan (Secret Agenda) argues that Deep Throat was unlikely to have been a member of the FBI. He points out that Deep Throat did not tell Woodward about the role played by Alfred Baldwin in the Watergate break-in. This was first revealed by a press conference held by the Democratic Party in September. Hougan suggests that the only reason Deep Throat did not pass this important information to Woodward was that he did not know about it. If that is the case Deep Throat was not from the FBI.

This view is supported by John Dean (Lost Honor). In April, 1982, John Dean met Bob Woodward at a conference being held at the University of Massachusetts. Although Woodward refused to identify Deep Throat it was possible for Dean to work out that he was someone working in the White House (this is a complicated story and I will later post details of Dean's account of this conversation).

(2) According to Woodward it was Deep Throat who first suggested that Alexander P. Butterfield could be an important figure in the investigation. In May, 1973, Woodward told a member of the Senate Watergate Committee (undoubtedly his friend, Scott Armstrong) that Butterfield should be interviewed.

On 25th June, 1973, John Dean testified that at a meeting with Richard Nixon on 15th April, the president had remarked that he had probably been foolish to have discussed his attempts to get clemency for E. Howard Hunt with Charles Colson. Dean concluded from this that Nixon's office might be bugged. On Friday, 13th July, Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. Butterfield reluctantly admitted details of the tape system which monitored Nixon's conversations.

In Lost Honor John Dean concludes that it was Deep Throat had told Woodward about Nixon's taping system that had been installed by Alexander P. Butterfield. This was the best-kept secret in the White House with only a few people knowing about its existence. How could Mark Felt have known about this system?

(3) Mark Felt left the FBI in June 1973. Yet according to Woodward he continues to meet Deep Throat after this date. The most important of these meetings took place in the first week of November, 1973. At this meeting Deep Throat told Woodward that their were "gaps" in Nixon's tapes. He hinted that these gaps were the result of deliberate erasures. On 8th November, Woodward and Bernstein published an article in the Washington Post that said that according to their source the "conversation on some of the tapes appears to have been erased". It has been claimed by several writers that only a very small group of people could have known about these these gaps at this time. How could Felt had known about this?

Felt no doubt gave Woodward information during the Watergate investigation. But as Carl Bernstein pointed out last week, Felt was only one of several important sources. Maybe Felt even had meetings with Woodward in underground garages. However, if Felt was Deep Throat, he was getting information from someone working in the White House. No doubt Felt was motivated by his failure to be appointed as director of the FBI. The motivation of the person in the White House is far more interesting. Especially if you believe as I do that it was an example of a CIA "limited hangout" operation.

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Interesting post, John. The limited hangout (info runaround) is interesting area to study - great name for a coffee house too.

A couple of links worth reading on Felt are here and one can see why his daughter would bail on her father. Her's is a story I'd like to read. For the younger here, read these links then watch the documentary The Weather Underground, read the LSD history book by the FAIR guy, also excellent recap of the time

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5060301451.html

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/commo...55E2703,00.html

Hero or traitor, we'll never know why

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/02/deep.throat/

Mark Felt's motivations

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/02/1445253

Jennifer Dohrn: I Was The Target Of Illegal FBI Break-Ins Ordered by Mark Felt aka "Deep Throat

http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/c...lreportIIca.htm

From Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, Book II, Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities, United States Senate, April 26, 1976

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I have published a full account of my thoughts on Deep Throat here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4001

If Mark Felt was Deep Throat than it had nothing to do with the assassination of JFK. However, the evidence suggests that Felt was not Deep Throat. Felt may have had meetings with Woodward in underground garages. However, if Felt was Deep Throat, he was getting information from someone working in the White House. He also had to get information from someone senior in the CIA. The most sensible explanation is that Deep Throat was more than one man. That is he represented several different informants. If that is the case, I think Deep Throat was Mark Felt, William Sullivan, Richard Ober and Stephen Bull.

If that is the case, the involvement of Sullivan and Ober could indicate a close link to the assassination of JFK. I believe Sullivan was providing information to Nixon about CIA involvement in the assassination. It was what Nixon and Haldeman were using to blackmail Richard Helms. As a result, Helms used Ober to bring down Nixon. Helms, who was sacked by Nixon, had very good reasons to seek revenge.

Mark Riebling, the author of Wedge: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11, points out that Bob Woodward described Deep Throat as having an aggregate of information flowing in and out of many stations" and "perhaps the only person in the government in a position to possibly understand the whole scheme, and not be a potential conspirator himself". Riebling goes on to argue that this indicates that Deep Throat was a senior official in the Central Intelligence Agency. He points out that Woodward virtually confirmed that his source was from the CIA: "As you know, I'm not going to discuss the identify of Deep Throat or any other of my confidential sources who are still alive. But let me just say that the suggestion that we were being used by the intelligence community was of concern to us at the time and afterward." (29th December, 1988).

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Here is that account by John Dean that I promised. It is a diary entry after a meeting with Bob Woodward (22nd April, 1982)

Before I go to sleep, I should make just a few notes about my conversations with Bob Woodward. We spent twelve hours together. I did not really probe or push him on Deep Throat, but he did drop a few clues.

Before we were about to be taken to the U. of M. campus, I stopped by Bob's room to go with him to the lobby, where we'd meet the students. We talked about the lecture, and he suggested we ask each other questions. I said, "Fine," then jokingly added, "Like, why don't I ask you who Deep Throat is?" Bob chuckled, and said, "I hope you're not still one of those who doesn't really believe I had such a source."

"No, not me. I believed you when you told me several years ago. In fact, I think I know who Deep Throat is." I was bluffing, but it must have worked.

Bob looked over at me, a little startled at my confident tone and statement. "Well, I guess a lot of people at the Post know who he is, but he doesn't want to be identified, even at this late date." I sensed that Bob was saying, "Don't try to put me in a tight spot tonight on this question," but I also felt he was fishing, wondering if someone at the Post had told me who Deep Throat was.

"No Deep Throat tonight," I said. "We'll save that for another time and place." He smiled, and we were off.

Driving back to the motel, after the lecture, we were both tired and relaxed. I felt Bob had enjoyed our joint effort. I knew I had, far more than most lectures. It was late, about 11 o'clock, and the two of us were spread out in the back seat as our student hosts piloted us along the highway. We began talking further about Watergate, comparing notes, and the conversation evolved to the accuracy of some of Bob's and Carl Bernstein's reporting. I said that some of the information in All the President's Men had proved wrong. We were talking about this when Woodward said, "Is that story about Pat Gray marching over to the White House and virtually blackmailing Nixon into appointing him director of the FBI correct?"

"No, not really." Gray had been acting director, and it was Attorney General Richard Kleindienst who had gone to bat for Gray.

"Got that story from a source at the White House, usually a pretty good source," Bob lamented, and the conversation moved on. According to All the President's Men, that source was Deep Throat, so Woodward confirmed that Deep Throat was not at the Justice Department or FBI, but rather the White House, which certainly could include the Secret Service, and, more particularly, Al Wong!

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I have no quarrel whatsoever with Mark Felt being Deep Throat. I feel quite confident he is. That doesn't mean that Woodward didn't accredit some info to Deep Throat that he actually got from somewhere else. He may very well have done that, both to protect his source and to assure that Bradlee would let him publish the info. I mean, if you're itching to print an article and your boss asks you who your source is, and you have a source you know he'll sign off on, how big a leap is it for you to let him think that source is your source? Not a big leap at all. But once the lie is told, you have to stick with it. Woodward may have been disingenuous on certain elements of the story not because he's covering up any grand scheme, but because he's covering up his own sneakiness. We know based upon the Nixon tapes that someone at the Post immediately told a lawyer Felt was leaking and that this lawyer turned around and called the Justice Dept. Woodward hasn't exactly explained that either.

As a screenwriter, I wouldn't at all be surprised if Deep Throat was one person, but that some of his actions were fictionalized, and some of the info he supposedly confirmed came from other sources. Writers seek to simplify their stories and dumb them down so the casual reader and viewer can follow what's going on. It's called poetic license. For Woodward to have gone into detail just what actually happened and just what he made up would have endangered his source.

As a former whistle-blower, I can assure you I knew all sorts of stuff that I shouldn't have known, and that someone from a distance would have assumed I couldn't possibly have known. People who work together talk. Felt was a Hoover loyalist. There may have been other Hoover folk spread throughout the White House. Have the original FBI contact reports ever been made available? Perhaps there was all kinds of raw intelligence provided to Felt that we've never seen.

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Hi all

I agree with Tim Gratz that it is irresponsible for Mark Knight without evidence, quoting Tim, "to connect Nixon to the murder of RFK and the attempted murder of George Wallace merely because he was the political beneficiary of the death of RFK (yes, I suspect RFK probably would have beaten Nixon in the election) and George Wallace without any evidence whatsoever to connect him to those murders."

I did think it interesting though, that as I reported on Tuesday on my blog that William F. Buckley wrote--

"On January 5, 1973, Howard Hunt, an old friend and my sometime boss in the CIA, came to see me, accompanied by one of his daughters (my goddaughter, as it happened). He told me the appalling, inside story of Watergate, including the riveting news that one of the plumbers was ready and disposed to kill Jack Anderson, the journalist-commentator, if word came down to proceed to that lurid extreme.

"I took what I thought appropriate measures. I do not believe Jack Anderson's life was actually imperiled, but meanwhile, in an adjacent theater, Mark Felt, posing as an incorruptible agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was advancing his own drama. And now he wants some money for it."

See "Foul Felt. Now he wants some money for it." by William F. Buckley

I am prepared to accept that Mark Felt was indeed "Deep Throat" since Bob Woodward has confirmed that he was. I do think it is in doubt how "with it" Felt is any longer at his advanced age and debilitated shape and whether he really did want the news that he was Woodward's informant released in his lifetime.

Best regards

Chris George

Edited by Christopher T. George
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Pat, as a former journalism student, I bristled at your use of the term "poetic license" in that context. I studied journalism in the 1972-1976 era, so my education was concurrent with the Watergate incident and its fallout. As far as simplicity of the story is concerned, the professors and reporters and editors that I worked with advised us, in that era, to write on the level of the person with an average eighth-grade education. And the rule of thumb was "K-I-S-S," which is "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

But I was taught that a responsible journalist doesn't misattribute quotes, even from unnamed sources, if for no other reason than to prevent alienating the particular unnamed source and LOSING that source of information in the future...sort of a "don't bite the hand that's spoon-feeding you" mindset, if you will. And I would hope that Woodward adhered to the journalistic ethics as I was taught.

Assuming Woodward was ethical, it's quite possible--as others before me have proposed--that Sullivan was feeding info from inside the White House to Felt. In that way, Felt would've still been Woodward's source, but to outside observers not aware of an arrangement between Sullivan and Felt, it would have cast doubt on Felt's identity as Woodward's source...since Felt couldn't possibly have known this insider info on his own.

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Mr. George, I find it wonderfully inventive of you to side with Tim that there is no evidence that anyone connected with Nixon could possible have been involved in the murder of RFK or the attempted assassination of George Wallace--thus tying Nixon to either incident--and then in the next breath assert that the unimpeachable William F. Buckley stated that, according to Hunt, one of the plumbers--the folks connected to Nixon, remember--was prepared to commit the murder of Jack Anderson "if word came down to proceed..."

So which do you believe? Do believe as Tim does, that there is NO evidence tying Nixon to the crime of murder, or do you believe Buckley's report?

I don't honestly believe that you can have it both ways. Either the Nixon associates--and, by extension, Nixon himself--were capable of murder, or they weren't. I choose to believe the evidence that they were. Not ALL of Nixon's associates were bunglers like Segretti, as Mr. Gratz would have us believe.

I can hardly believe that such a report, that Hunt's associates, the plumbers, the White House's leak detection and prevention squad, were capable of AND WERE PLANNING a murder, is news to Mr. Gratz...I give him credit for being much more well-read than that. So for Mr. Gratz to assert that I am accusing Nixon "without any evidence whatsoever" is, as I have said previously, disingenuous of him.

As for Mark Felt, I believe it's entirely probably that he was, indeed' "Deep Throat," for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post.

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Mr. George, I find it wonderfully inventive of you to side with Tim that there is no evidence that anyone connected with Nixon could possible have been involved in the murder of RFK or the attempted assassination of George Wallace--thus tying Nixon to either incident--and then in the next breath assert that the unimpeachable William F. Buckley stated that, according to Hunt, one of the plumbers--the folks connected to Nixon, remember--was prepared to commit the murder of Jack Anderson "if word came down to proceed..."

So which do you believe?  Do believe as Tim does, that there is NO evidence tying Nixon to the crime of murder, or do you believe Buckley's report?

Hi Mark

It is notable that as quoted Buckley himself was skeptical that Jack Anderson was under threat of murder, and notice too that the contention is that it was one of the "plumbers" who was implicated and not Nixon or others... although you will rightly say that the plumbers were working for Nixon and you could be correct too that "word came down" could imply the go-ahead from Nixon or one of his immediate underlings. I just think that the jury is out on Nixon's role in any domestic assassination. I do though thank you for your reply, Mark.

All my best

Chris

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I agree with Tim Gratz that it is irresponsible for Mark Knight without evidence, quoting Tim, "to connect Nixon to the murder of RFK and the attempted murder of George Wallace merely because he was the political beneficiary of the death of RFK (yes, I suspect RFK probably would have beaten Nixon in the election) and George Wallace without any evidence whatsoever to connect him to those murders."

We do have evidence that links Nixon to the attempted murder of George Wallace. According to Colson: “Nixon expressed a fear that this guy (Bremer) might be a right-wing zealot or a Nixon supporter”. Nixon told Colson to get over to the FBI “to find out what they know”. Mark Felt (yes, the so-called Deep Throat) gave Colson details of where Bremer was living.

Colson returned to Nixon and told him the news. Nixon then said: “Wouldn’t it be great if they found left-wing propaganda in that apartment… Too bad we couldn’t get somebody there to plant it.”

Nixon later denied he said this and suggested Colson was lying. However, this conversation is captured on the tapes. It was Nixon who lied about this incident.

Immediately after this conversation Colson phoned Hunt. We have no tapes of this conversation. Both men claim that Colson asked Hunt to find out if there was any left-wing propaganda in Bremer’s apartment. Hunt claims that Colson said: “Every time there’s an assassination in this country the press blames the political Right. Weeks later the truth seeps out – like Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan, who were Lefties. Just once I’d like the truth to come out – if Bremer’s a Marxist himself.”

This does not make any sense at all. If there was any such propaganda the FBI would have found it. Why would they destroy it? According to Hunt's autobiography, Undercover, he accepted the assignment but it was called off soon afterwards.

It later emerged that Federal Bureau of Investigation officers found both left-wing and right-wing propaganda in Bremer's apartment. They also found a diary where Bremer wrote about his plans to kill George Wallace or Richard Nixon. The opening sentence was: "Now I start my diary of my personal plot to kill by pistol either Richard Nixon or George Wallace."

This let Nixon off the hook as it suggested that Bremer was after killing him as well. However, was this diary planted in Bremer’s apartment? Local reporters later claimed that the FBI left Bremer’s home for around 90 minutes before coming back and sealing it. During this time reporters and other unidentified figures took away papers from Bremer’s apartment.

There is another interesting aspect to this story. Barry Sussman, Bob Woodward's editor at Washington Post, claims in his book, The Great Cover-Up, that Woodward first made use of Deep Throat when writing about the Arthur Bremer case. Woodward found out details about Bremer for another journalist working on the story. Sussman concludes in his book that Deep Throat must have been a senior official in the FBI.

A few days ago Woodward wrote an article for the Guardian about his relationship with Mark Felt. It included the following passage:

On May 15, less than two weeks after Hoover's death, a lone gunman shot Alabama Governor George C Wallace, then campaigning for president, at a shopping centre. The wounds were serious, but Wallace survived. Wallace had a strong following in the deep South, an increasing source of Nixon's support. Wallace's spoiler candidacy four years earlier in 1968 could have cost Nixon the election that year, and Nixon monitored Wallace's every move closely as the 1972 presidential contest continued.

That evening, Nixon called Felt - not Gray, who was out of town - at home for an update. It was the first time Felt had spoken directly with Nixon. Felt reported that Arthur H Bremer, the would-be assassin, was in custody but in the hospital because he had been roughed up and given a few bruises by those who subdued and captured him after he shot Wallace.

"Well, it's too bad they didn't really rough up the son of a bitch!" Nixon told Felt.

Felt was offended that the president would make such a remark. Nixon was so agitated, attaching such urgency to the shooting, that he said he wanted full updates every 30 minutes from Felt on any new information that was being discovered in the investigation of Bremer.

In the following days I called Felt several times and he very carefully gave me leads as we tried to find out more about Bremer. It turned out that he had stalked some of the other candidates, and I went to New York to pick up the trail. This led to several front-page stories about Bremer's travels, completing a portrait of a madman not singling out Wallace but rather looking for any presidential candidate to shoot. On May 18, I did a page - one article that said, "High federal officials who have reviewed investigative reports on the Wallace shooting said yesterday that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Bremer was a hired killer."

It was rather brazen of me. Though I was technically protecting my source and talked to others besides Felt, I did not do a good job of concealing where the information was coming from. Felt chastised me mildly. But the story that Bremer acted alone was a story that both the White House and the FBI wanted out.

In his book, The Taking of America, Richard E. Sprague argued that Donald Segretti and Dennis Cassini, supplied money to Bremer before he attempted to assassinate George Wallace. Others have claimed that Bernard L. Barker, one of the Watergate burglars, was used to pass this money to Bremer. Gore Vidal has also suggested that Bremer's diary was a forgery and had been written by E. Howard Hunt.

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