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Dr. Ed Gunn


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It might be worth investing a little time on this gentleman.

He formally worked for the CIA. I believe he may have bben involved in suggesting the poison to be used by Cubela against Castro.

In late 1971 or early 1972 he was approached by Hunt and Liddy about the use of a poison to kill columnist Jack Anderson. The CIA was mad at Anderson because Anderson had published a column about CIA surveillance methods in the Kremlin.

Hunt denied it involved a plot to kill Anderson but only to disable or embarass Anderson. Hunt said his instructions came from Colson. Colson denied it.

Liddy said it was definitely a plot to kill Anderson.

My analysis is Hunt was actiing on behalf of the CIA but he was pretending he was acting for Colson or Nixon. I think both Colson and Liddy testified truthfully but Hunt lied.

What I think rather incredible is, according to Liddy, Dr. Gunn was willing to engage with them in a plot to commit a murder.

I am pasting below a section from Nodule 20 of a.j. weberman's web-site which describes the various testimony re this incident:

THE PLOT TO KILL JACK ANDERSON DECEMBER 1971

BOB WOODWARD'S VERSION

HUNT was involved in a plot to kill Jack Anderson from December 1971 to January 1972. In the September 21, 1975, issue of The Washington Post Robert Woodward reported HUNT had told associates that "he was ordered in December 1971, or January 1972, to assassinate syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, according to reliable sources. According to the sources, HUNT told his former CIA associates that the order was canceled at the last minute - but only after a plan had been devised to make Anderson's death look accidental. His alleged plan involved the use of a poison to be obtained from a former CIA physician, said sources, who added that the poison was a variety that would leave no trace during a routine medical examination or autopsy." HUNT feared an investigation of the break-in would lead to the disclosure of the assassination plan. "The identity of the former CIA doctor, and the reason the assassination was called off, could not be determined."

The poison HUNT was going to use on Jack Anderson could either be ingested or absorbed through the skin. Jack Anderson's steering wheel was to be dusted with this contact poison so it would appear he had a heart attack while driving. The ensuing automobile accident would obscure the circumstances of the journalist's death. (After Lee Bowers died his physician believed that he had had a heart attack.) HUNT: "I have heard from the CIA that there was a physician who apparently was involved in that line of work, that they once attempted it, that if it's put on the steering wheel of a car the drug would have some sort of hallucinatory effect." [HUNT v. ajweberman Depo 6.77 p17] Jack Anderson initially reacted to the story of the assassination plot with disbelief, but filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the NIXON Administration. HUNT later identified the CIA Technical Services Division man as Dr. Edward Gunn. Contacted in August 1993, Dr. Edward Gunn refused comment. [Gunn Edward E. telephone 703-680-1826]

HUNT'S VERSION

HUNT claimed he consulted with Dr. Edward Gunn at the request of Charles Colson "to explore means of drugging Jack Anderson to discredit him by rendering him incoherent before a public appearance," not to discuss ways of poisoning him. [sSCIA Book IV p134; Wash. Post 9.21.73 p1; Wash. Star 9.22.63]

Baron: Did Colson, at any point in the first conversation explicitly mention the possibility that Anderson should be assassinated of that you might --

HUNT: No.

Baron: How about considering assassination.

HUNT: Absolutely not.

Baron: Not even in the sense of contingency planning?

HUNT: No. The only reference I've ever seen to it has been in the Washington Post stories.

Liebengood: In one of Bob Woodward's stories he refers to three separate sources of his as having the impression that you had been inquiring into the prospect of assassinating Jack Anderson. Do you know who those sources might be and where they might have gotten the impression that you were considering assassination?

HUNT: "I have no idea. It is possible that Dr. Gunn may have received that impression or achieved that perception. I thought also that Gordon Liddy may have done some talking when he was a prisoner in the D.C. Jail, but I have no personal recollection of ever discussing the matter outside Colson, Liddy, and myself.

HUNT told the SSCIA: "That there came a time, to the best of my recollection, in late December, or sometime in January, or possibly even February 1972, when Charles Colson, then Special Counsel to the President, called me into his office. Mr. Colson at that juncture was -- appeared rather nervous. He, as you know, had a common wall with President NIXON'S suite in the Old Executive Office Building, and although he did not glance in that direction, my impression was he had been with the President not too long before. He said that in effect, now I'm not making direct quotes, but what he indicated to me was that Mr. Anderson had become a great thorn in the side of the President...He was agitated when he called me in, sort of talking to me and rifling through papers on his desk, which was very much unlike him, and the inference that I drew from that was that he had just had a conversation with the President. So when I accepted this assignment, I assumed, as I usually do with Colson, that he was either reflecting the desires of the Chief Executive, or else that as a prescient staff officer, was attempting to find a solution to a problem that was troubling his chief...I want to say that I don't know what specific incident triggered the White House reaction, whether it was the Pakistan story, or what it was. I can't relate it to any particular thing. So in due course, in the next four days, I got in touch with retired CIA physician whose name is Dr. Edward Gunn. I knew he'd retired, but I also knew that he had been involved in certain unorthodox aspects of medicine, physiological research and, although I can't pinpoint it now, I believe I must have been aware that he had some knowledge of the unorthodox administration of behavior changing of altering substances. But in any event I got in touch with Doctor Gunn, who at that point had just left the White House and moved over to the Committee to Reelect the President. Dr. Gunn met with Liddy and myself in the Old Hay-Adams Grill, and I told Dr. Gunn that -- well I can't recall whether I introduced Mr. Liddy by his true name or by some sort of alias for the moment, but in any event, I indicated to Dr. Gunn that this was a person of confidence and he could feel free to speak freely with me and with Mr. Liddy.

"The crux of what I directed in Dr. Gunn was the following: I said we are interested in altering the normal behavior pattern of a particular targeted individual for a brief period of time to make him appear incoherent and rambling during a public appearance. I am quite sure I didn't indicate radio, much less television. What had his Agency experience been in this matter? Had he ever done anything like this before?

"Dr. Gunn said 'Well, there are a couple of way of doing the thing now.' Oh, I think I specified hallucinogens. I said 'The only kind of which I've heard was L.S.D.' and I said, 'Oh I am sure there are many other kinds,' and he said, 'Well, what we've done in the past, we have administered it a couple of ways. We painted the steering wheel of a car for absorption through the palms of the hand.' He said, 'We put it on a car door handle.' He said, 'We have switched some medicines, we have made a pill to simulate one of the prescription drugs that a particular targeted individual was taking, and of course, there's always the old simple method of dropping a pill in a guy's cocktail.'

"I didn't ask for the names of these substances. I didn't ask him for access to drugs. I did not ask Dr. Edward Gunn to procure any drugs, for this reason, that Gordon Liddy had been a Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, just before he joined the White House, and I felt confident, although I didn't confide this in Dr. Gunn, that if the time came when any controlled substances were needed that Mr. Liddy could secure what was necessary through a secure source within the Treasury Department, because I knew that Dr. Gunn was retired from the CIA.

"So in any case, having listened to what Dr. Gunn had to say, and there was no dialogue, it was really a monologue on his part, I asked him certain information and he supplied it, we continued our lunch and broke up. Dr. Gunn departed. Mr. Liddy and I walked back to our respective offices and, on the way back, to the best of my recollection, we discussed the matter and one or the other of us pointing out the impracticality of utilizing administration methods indicated or described by Mr. Gunn.

"It was wintertime then, and neither of us knew whether Jack Anderson drove his car or whether he had a chauffeur. My guess would have been, I suppose, that he had a chauffeur...if he drove his own car chances would be that he would be wearing gloves in the wintertime. If the job were to be done in the summertime, if in fact the job were to be done, the chances are his palms would be sweaty. So that thing went right out the window right away. Secondarily, this business of substituting a pill was highly impractical and we could have certainly determined somehow where Jack Anderson lived, but to perform an entry operation simply to put one or two pills in a bottle seemed highly impractical. It was my understanding that Jack Anderson had a rather large family and how you would go clandestinely into a medicine cabinet with a household full of people and pore over all the drugs and the pharmacopoeia assortments there until you found one that Jack Anderson normally administered to himself a brief period of time before his radio broadcast, of course, was the height of infeasibility.

"We got around to the third, more routine method of administering a drug that is simply dropping a pill into a man's cocktail glass and I had always understood that Mr. Anderson was a Mormon; from my employment at Mullen and Company where I was associated with the Mormons, I understood they were very abstemious, they would even touch Coca-Cola. By the time we left our respective offices, there was nothing left of the kind of concept at all.

"Either that day, or the following day, we reported to Mr. Colson that I had met with a CIA physician. He had described some CIA experiences to me, and in terms of what Mr. Colson was thinking about, it was impractical, and we should just forget about it. It was something that had taken up an hour and a half or two hours of my time and there was nothing to it. That was it.

[HUNT was asked about his fear that some other member of Anderson's family might get the drug].

"Oh yes, certainly. In the medicine cabinet thing, he had a large family and several people were on -- if they were on pills, it would have been of course, ridiculous. To go more deeply into that particular point before we leave it, what I gathered from the talk with Mr. Gunn was that we really needed to have a Subject or a target in a controlled situation. We almost had to have him under clinical conditions to make sure that A. He got a measured amount of the substance, whatever it might be, and that the timing was just right, and that he would be able to sit down or stand up at the lecture platform in apparently good condition, that at least he would be navigable to get there before he began to talk and make a fool of himself. None of these conditions pertained at all, so the whole thing never advance beyond the simply the information gathering phase of it. There was never any proposal or any further reference made to it..."

Baron: Did Dr. Gunn volunteer any information or advice on how Jack Anderson might be killed or seriously disabled, as opposed to rendered incoherent?

HUNT: No. Of course the name Jack Anderson was never mentioned, but you're speaking of the target individual.

Mr. Baron: That right. So there was no discussion of techniques of assassination or physical disablement.

HUNT: Not at all. I might add, this has not been brought up before, I inferred at that time that at least some of the techniques that Dr. Gunn was describing had been tried out in North Africa. Algeria sticks in my mind.

COLSON'S VERSION

In an interview with the SSCIA Staff, Charles Colson said he did not remember this incident, and he "never discussed drugging or killing Anderson with HUNT, and allowed for the possibility that you might have been confusing discussions that the two of you had, on the effects of L.S.D in the context of considering using L.S.D against Daniel Ellsberg, or re-inducing an L.S.D trip experience with Daniel Ellsberg. To discredit him." HUNT recalled "something generally along those lines with reference to Ellsberg that we were discussing. This was of course prior to the Fielding entry. We were talking generally about -- what is it called where you 'trip out' again?

Baron: Flashback.

HUNT: Whether these spontaneous flashbacks could be induced, and of course one way to do this was to determine what the guy's psychiatric history was, to determine what his experience had been in the past. But that was not relevant to Jack Anderson at all. But that in my mind would set the background for Colson's later request to look into the matter of hallucinogenics with reference to Anderson.

Baron: But you are quite clear in your own mind that you did discuss with Colson Jack Anderson specifically as a target?

HUNT: Well, he discussed it with me. He named the target. I had no reason, certainly, to go into a thing like that with Dr. Gunn. I have no animus against Jack Anderson, certainly nothing compared to what the White House had at the time.

LIDDY'S VERSION

HUNT and G. Gordon Liddy met with Dr. Edward Gunn in the Old Hay- Grill. As stated, HUNT told Dr. Edward Gunn that G. Gordon Liddy was okay. G. Gordon Liddy explained:

Q. Did HUNT ever discuss any assassination plots?

A. Well, there came a time in 1972, I think it was around February, when Mr. HUNT came to me concerning the journalist Jack Anderson.

Now, again, to give you a little background to make my answer understandable, Mr. Anderson had published in a column the fact that as Messrs. Brezhnev, Kosygin and other high officials of the Soviet Union traveled about in their limousines on the streets of Moscow speaking to one another over their car telephones, believing themselves to be speaking privately. The United States was, if fact, listening in.

Richard Helms, then Director of Central Intelligence, learned that Mr. Anderson had acquired this knowledge, that he knew this was going on, and took him to lunch and asked him, please, not to publish it. And my understanding is that Mr. Anderson promised not to.

Recently, when I have had occasion to speak to Mr. Anderson on the subject, he has said that he did not publish it until he had seen it published elsewhere first. However, he has never been able to show me, or anyone else, where it was published first. Following that incident in which, while everybody was pretty upset, nobody suggested taking any action against Mr. Anderson, Mr. HUNT came to me, and he said, "Anderson has now gone too far. He has just identified and caused the death or imminent death under torture of one of our human assets abroad." And he, HUNT, had been charged by his principals, meaning his superiors at the White House, with conferring with me and with someone from the CIA who was represented as retired, namely Dr. Gunn, as to - how best to prevent Mr. Anderson from repeating his behavior.

The conference was held in the then existing downstairs luncheon room of the Hay Adams Hotel, now no longer in existence. And Mr. HUNT brought up that L.S.D. business again. Dr. Gunn rejected it on technical grounds. I suggested that the only way to effectively stop Mr. Anderson, was to kill him. Mr. HUNT and Dr. Gunn agreed. The remainder of the conversation consisted of how we ought to do it best.

The conclusion was that the Cuban assets were to stage a mugging in Washington which would be fatal to Anderson.

Q. All right. Now if Mr. HUNT had said he had merely discussed with you and Dr. Gunn nothing more than a discreditation of Mr. Anderson, would that be correct or incorrect?

A. That would be absolutely incorrect.

Q. The story reflecting this situation occurred in The Washington Post under an article by Woodward and Bernstein. Are you aware of that article, and were you surprised to see that that had come to light?

A. I was in prison at the time. The article was made available to me. I read it at the time. And I was surprised to see that it was incorrect in that it did not narrate the incident as I have just narrated it to you, which is what actually happened. [HUNT v. ajweberman Liddy Depo. 9.30.80.]

WAS HUNT PLANNING TO USE POISON OR L.S.D?

During the second HUNT v. SPOTLIGHT trial G. Gordon Liddy stated: "HUNT was talking of putting it [L.S.D.] on the steering wheel, and he said somebody may be wearing gloves, there might be a chauffeur, it just would not work. I said, 'Well, now, wait a minute. If our task is to guarantee,' and that was the operative word, 'that Mr. Anderson will not conduct - behave this was way again, the only way you are going to guarantee somebody is not going to repeat a particular kind of behavior is to kill him...' Both Dr. Gunn and HUNT agreed immediately and the remainder of the conference was how to go about it. We discussed with Mr. Gunn aspirin roulette in which one takes a single tablet of deadly poison, packs it in a Bayer aspirin jar, we place it in the man's medicine chest, and one day he gets the tablet and that's that. HUNT referred to aspirin roulette...We discussed Dr. Gunn's suggestion of the use of an automobile to hit Mr. Anderson's automobile when it was in a turn in the circle, up near Chevy Chase. There is a way that apparently had been known by the CIA that if you hit a car at just the right speed and angle, it will strip and burn and kill the occupant...But what I suggested is we just kill him. And they both agreed that that would be the way to go about it, and the task would be assigned to Cuban assets." During the second HUNT v. SPOTLIGHT trial HUNT was reminded of his testimony on July 11, 1984. HUNT: "About the only other thing we tried [to do to Anderson] is to put a couple of pills in a prescription flask or vial. And he [Gunn] said, eventually, when the patient or the target gets around to taking one of these pills, it will have an effect on him." [HUNT'S testimony July 11, 1984, p76]

ANALYSIS

The SSCIA mistakenly accepted COLSON and HUNT'S conflicting statements that the action against Jack Anderson was one that would discredit him by slipping him an L.S.D mickey rather than Liddy's contention that it was a murder plot.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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