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Jack Caulfield


John Simkin
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One of the most interesting characters in the Watergate Scandal is a man called Jack Caulfield. He first met Richard Nixon while an officer in NYPD's Bureau of Special Service and Investigation (BOSSI). His assignments included escorting and guarding the security of world leaders and their families. He also investigated political groups including the American Nazi Party, the Fair Play For Cuba Committee (FPCC) and a terrorist group based in Canada.

According to Caulfield: "My multi-faceted, twelve-year BOSSI experience convinced me in late 1967 that Richard Nixon was going to run and likely win the Presidential election in 1968. I subsequently approached the Nixon people from the 1960 Presidential campaign (with whom I had worked as a BOSSI detective) and made it known I was available for candidate/staff security purposes during the 1968 campaign." After being interviewed by H. R. Haldeman and Rose Mary Woods he was appointed as Chief of Security for the Nixon Campaign Staff.

Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election and in April, 1969, Caulfield was appointed as Staff Assistant to the President. Soon afterwards Nixon decided that the White House should establish an in-house investigative capability that could be used to obtain sensitive political information. After consulting John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman the job was given to Caulfield.

Caulfield now appointed an old friend, Tony Ulasewicz, to carry out this investigative work. Over the next three years Ulasewicz traveled to 23 states gathering information about Nixon's political opponents. This included people such as Edward Kennedy, Edmund Muskie, Larry O'Brien, Howard Hughes and Jack Anderson.

Ulasewicz's first task was to investigate the links between Bobby Baker and leading Democratic Party politicians. He was also ordered by Caulfield to set up a round-the-clock surveillance of Edward Kennedy.

On 19th July, 1969, Tony Ulasewicz received a phone call from Caulfield: "Get out to Martha's Vineyard as fast as you can, Tony. Kennedy's car ran off a bridge last night. There was a girl in it. She's dead." This phone call took place less than two hours after the body of Mary Jo Kopechne, the former secretary of Robert Kennedy, had been found in a car that Caulfield suspected Edward Kennedy had been driving.

Ulasewicz was one of the first to arrive in Chappaquiddick after the tragedy. In several cases he was able to interview several key witnesses. This included Sylvia Malm who was staying in Dike House at the time. Dike House was only 150 yards from the scene of the accident. Malm told Ulasewicz that she was reading in bed on the night of the accident. She remained awake until midnight but no one knocked on her door.

Tony Ulasewicz also discovered that the request for an autopsy by Edmund Dinis, the District Attorney of Suffolk County, had been denied. Dinis was told that the body had already been sent to Kopechne's family. This was untrue, the body was still in Edgartown. Ulasewicz also interviewed John Farrar, the scuba diver who pulled Mary Jo Kopechne out of Kennedy's car. Farrar told Ulasewicz that the evidence he saw suggested that she had been trapped alive for several hours inside Kennedy's car.

He also discovered that the "records of Edward Kennedy's telephone calls in the hours after the accident at Chappaquiddick were withheld by the telephone company from an inquest into the death of Mary Jo Kopechne without the knowledge of the Assistant District Attorney who asked for them". He leaked this information to various newspapers but it was only taken up by the Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire. It was not until 12th March, 1980, that the New York Times published the story.

Caulfield was involved in at least two attempts to carry out illegal electronic surveillance on people Richard Nixon. considered could do him political harm. The first occasion was in June 1969, when Caulfield was employed by John Ehrlichman to place a wiretap on the telephone of newspaper writer, Joseph Kraft. Caulfield employed former FBI agent, Jack Ragan, to carry out this task. The following year he involved in the electronic surveillance Nixon's brother, F. Donald Nixon.

Caulfield was also engaged in multi-subject White House liaison activities. This involved working with Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Interpol, and the National Association of Chiefs of Police, on subjects such as cross-border narcotics trafficking and monitoring violent anti-war demonstrations.

On 17th September, 1971, John Dean and Jeb Magruder asked Caulfield to establish a new private security firm. Caulfield was told that Tony Ulasewicz and his associates would be required to carry out "surveillance of Democratic primaries, convention, meetings, etc.," and collecting "derogatory information, investigative capability, worldwide." Caulfield was told that this was an "extreme clandestine" operation. Given the name Operation Sandwedge, its main purpose was to carry out illegal electronic surveillance on the political opponents of Richard Nixon.

Charles Colson suggested to Caulfield that his men fire-bomb the Brookings Institute (a left-wing public policy group involved in studying government policy in Vietnam). Caulfield sent Ulasewicz to investigate the location of offices, security provisions, etc. According to Caulfield the fire-bomb plan was eventually "squelched" by John Dean.

In April 1972 President Richard Nixon appointed Caulfield as Assistant Director: Criminal Enforcement - Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Caulfield was placed in charge of over 1,500 Federal agents. Caulfield did not work for the White House when the Watergate break-in took place. However, John Ehrlichman immediately assumed that it had been part of Operation Sandwedge and that Tony Ulasewicz had been involved. In fact, it was part of Operation Gemstone, another Nixon dirty tricks campaign.

Herbert W. Kalmbach and John Dean decided that Ulasewicz was the best man to deliver the "hush money". He admitted later that he gave Dorothy Hunt a total of $154,000. This was to be passed on to those members of Operation Gemstone who had been arrested and awaiting trial.

On 21st December, 1972, James W. McCord wrote a letter to Caulfield. McCord told him he was thinking of making a statement that "would involve allegations against people in the White House and other high administration officials." Caulfield relied: "I have worked with these people and I know them to be as tough-minded as you. Don't underestimate them."

On 30th January, 1973, James W. McCord, Gordon Liddy, Frank Sturgis, E. Howard Hunt, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, and Bernard L. Barker were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping. However, on 19th March, 1973, McCord wrote a letter to Judge John J. Sirica claiming that the defendants had pleaded guilty under pressure (from John Dean and John N. Mitchell) and that perjury had been committed. McCord also revealed details of how Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz had been involved in Nixon's dirty tricks campaigns. As a result of this information, Caulfield was forced to resign as Assistant Director of Criminal Enforcement.

Caulfield asked John Sears to become his lawyer. Later, Leonard Garment (In Search of Deep Throat) was to claim that Sears was Deep Throat. Garment believed it was Caulfield who provided Sears with some of the information that was used against those involved in the Watergate conspiracy.

Sam Ervin and the Senate Watergate Committee began on 17th May, 1973. One of the first witnesses to appear was Caulfield who admitted the role that he and Tony Ulasewicz had played in Operation Sandwedge. Ulasewicz appeared before the committee on 23rd May, 1973. To his surprise, the senators did not ask any specific questions of his work for Richard Nixon. Instead they concentrated on how he delivered the money to the Watergate burglars.

In June 1974, Alexander Haig began a classified investigation to determine whether Nixon had received cash contributions from leaders of Southeast Asia and the Far East. Caulfield was interviewed about the possibility that he had collected some of this money from people in Vietnam.

Unlike most of the other figures in the story, Jack Caulfield has not yet written his account of the Watergate Scandal.

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Namebase entry for Jack Caulfield:

http://www.namebase.org/main2/Jack-J-Caulfield.html

Blumenthal,S. Yazijian,H. Government by Gunplay. 1976 (84, 88)

Bradlee,B. A Good Life. 1995 (358)

Brewton,P. The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush. 1992 (156)

Burnham,D. A Law Unto Itself. 1989 (252)

Colodny,L. Gettlin,R. Silent Coup. 1992 (96-8, 107-12)

Davis,S. Unbridled Power. 1998 (102-4)

Donner,F. The Age of Surveillance. 1981 (351-2)

Drosnin,M. Citizen Hughes. 1985 (417)

Evanzz,K. The Judas Factor. 1992 (214)

Fensterwald,B. Coincidence or Conspiracy? 1977 (519-21)

Halperin,M... The Lawless State. 1976 (189)

Hougan,J. Secret Agenda. 1984 (57)

Hougan,J. Spooks. 1979 (98, 117-8, 408-11)

Kruger,H. The Great Heroin Coup. 1980 (160)

Lasky,V. It Didn't Start With Watergate. 1978 (287)

Lobster Magazine (Britain) 1986-#12 (2)

McCord,J. A Piece of Tape. 1974 (11-2, 75)

Myerson,M. Watergate: Crime in the Suites. 1973 (112-3)

O'Toole,G. The Private Sector. 1978 (39, 221)

Pell,E. The Big Chill. 1984 (215)

Sale,K. Power Shift. 1976 (217, 221)

Schorr,D. Clearing the Air. 1978 (57)

Scott,P.D. Crime and Coverup. 1977 (33)

Scott,P.D... The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond. 1976 (372, 375)

Silk,L.& M. The American Establishment. 1980 (174-7)

Summers,A. Official and Confidential. 1993 (406, 408)

Summers,A. The Arrogance of Power. 2000 (198, 342, 376, 387)

Weissman,S. Big Brother and the Holding Company. 1974 (32, 40, 237)

Wise,D. The American Police State. 1978 (10, 13-6, 23, 109-40, 328, 332-5)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I have just been reading Jeb Magruder's , An American Life (1974). It includes the following passage:

I knew Jack Caulfield less well. Jack was about forty, a chunky Irishman who'd started his career as a policeman in New York, but won a promotion to detective and specialized in "terrorist organizations." During the 1960 Presidential campaign he helped guard candidate Nixon when he was in New York, and he held a temporary security job with the 1968 campaign, one that led Ehrlichman to hire him, in April of 1969, to be a special investigator on the White House staff. Caulfield's office was next to Lyn Nofziger's office in the Executive Office Building and I'd see him there from time to time. He was always very hush-hush about his work, but he seemed to be particularly active during antiwar demonstrations, so I assumed he was investigating antiwar leaders and other of our political opponents.

Dean, Caulfield, and I had lunch at the White House Mess. Caulfield explained that he hoped to start a private investigation firm - codenamed Sand Wedge - that could do work for both CRP and the Republican National Committee, as well as for corporate clients. The firm would provide both security services and covert intelligence-gathering, Caulfield said. John Dean added that both Mitchell and Haldeman were interested in Sand Wedge. The plan had an extra boost in that one of Caulfield's partners was to be Joe Woods, the former sheriff of Cook County, who was Rose Mary Woods's brother.

I told Dean and Caulfield that they should get back in touch with me if they got Caulfield's firm started. CRP had adequate security, but I felt we needed a professional intelligence-gathering operation, and if Mitchell and the White House wanted Caulfield, he was fine with me. However, Dean called me in early November and told me to forget Sand Wedge.

"It fell through," he said. "Jack couldn't put it together."

We know from the testimony of Jack Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz before Sam Ervin and the Senate Watergate Committee, that Sandwedge did take place. Caulfield was told that this was an "extreme clandestine" operation and that its main purpose was to carry out illegal electronic surveillance on the political opponents of Richard Nixon.

Charles Colson suggested to Caulfield that his men fire-bomb the Brookings Institute (a left-wing public policy group involved in studying government policy in Vietnam). Caulfield sent Ulasewicz to investigate the location of offices, security provisions, etc. According to Caulfield the fire-bomb plan was eventually "squelched" by John Dean.

More importantly, Sandwedge was about finding ways of persuading Edward Kennedy and George Wallace from standing in the 1972 election.

Was Magruder lying or was he kept in the dark?

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  • 6 years later...

Jack Caulfield died last week. Unlike most of the other figures in the story, he never wrote his account of the Watergate Scandal. I suspect he was behind setting up Edward Kennedy at Chappaquiddick.

In April, 1969, Caulfield was appointed as Staff Assistant to Richard Nixon. Soon afterwards Nixon decided that the White House should establish an in-house investigative capability that could be used to obtain sensitive political information. After consulting John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman the job was given to Caulfield.

Caulfield now appointed an old friend, Tony Ulasewicz, to carry out this investigative work. Ulasewicz's first task was to investigate the links between Bobby Baker and leading Democratic Party politicians. Was this the way Nixon discovered who was behind the assassination of JFK?

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

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One of the most interesting characters in the Watergate Scandal is a man called Jack Caulfield. He first met Richard Nixon while an officer in NYPD's Bureau of Special Service and Investigation (BOSSI). His assignments included escorting and guarding the security of world leaders and their families. He also investigated political groups including the American Nazi Party, the Fair Play For Cuba Committee (FPCC) and a terrorist group based in Canada.

According to Caulfield: "My multi-faceted, twelve-year BOSSI experience convinced me in late 1967 that Richard Nixon was going to run and likely win the Presidential election in 1968. I subsequently approached the Nixon people from the 1960 Presidential campaign (with whom I had worked as a BOSSI detective) and made it known I was available for candidate/staff security purposes during the 1968 campaign." After being interviewed by H. R. Haldeman and Rose Mary Woods he was appointed as Chief of Security for the Nixon Campaign Staff.

Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election and in April, 1969, Caulfield was appointed as Staff Assistant to the President. Soon afterwards Nixon decided that the White House should establish an in-house investigative capability that could be used to obtain sensitive political information. After consulting John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman the job was given to Caulfield.

Caulfield now appointed an old friend, Tony Ulasewicz, to carry out this investigative work. Over the next three years Ulasewicz traveled to 23 states gathering information about Nixon's political opponents. This included people such as Edward Kennedy, Edmund Muskie, Larry O'Brien, Howard Hughes and Jack Anderson.

Ulasewicz's first task was to investigate the links between Bobby Baker and leading Democratic Party politicians. He was also ordered by Caulfield to set up a round-the-clock surveillance of Edward Kennedy.

On 19th July, 1969, Tony Ulasewicz received a phone call from Caulfield: "Get out to Martha's Vineyard as fast as you can, Tony. Kennedy's car ran off a bridge last night. There was a girl in it. She's dead." This phone call took place less than two hours after the body of Mary Jo Kopechne, the former secretary of Robert Kennedy, had been found in a car that Caulfield suspected Edward Kennedy had been driving.

Ulasewicz was one of the first to arrive in Chappaquiddick after the tragedy. In several cases he was able to interview several key witnesses. This included Sylvia Malm who was staying in Dike House at the time. Dike House was only 150 yards from the scene of the accident. Malm told Ulasewicz that she was reading in bed on the night of the accident. She remained awake until midnight but no one knocked on her door.

Tony Ulasewicz also discovered that the request for an autopsy by Edmund Dinis, the District Attorney of Suffolk County, had been denied. Dinis was told that the body had already been sent to Kopechne's family. This was untrue, the body was still in Edgartown. Ulasewicz also interviewed John Farrar, the scuba diver who pulled Mary Jo Kopechne out of Kennedy's car. Farrar told Ulasewicz that the evidence he saw suggested that she had been trapped alive for several hours inside Kennedy's car.

He also discovered that the "records of Edward Kennedy's telephone calls in the hours after the accident at Chappaquiddick were withheld by the telephone company from an inquest into the death of Mary Jo Kopechne without the knowledge of the Assistant District Attorney who asked for them". He leaked this information to various newspapers but it was only taken up by the Union Leader of Manchester, New Hampshire. It was not until 12th March, 1980, that the New York Times published the story.

Caulfield was involved in at least two attempts to carry out illegal electronic surveillance on people Richard Nixon. considered could do him political harm. The first occasion was in June 1969, when Caulfield was employed by John Ehrlichman to place a wiretap on the telephone of newspaper writer, Joseph Kraft. Caulfield employed former FBI agent, Jack Ragan, to carry out this task. The following year he involved in the electronic surveillance Nixon's brother, F. Donald Nixon.

Caulfield was also engaged in multi-subject White House liaison activities. This involved working with Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Interpol, and the National Association of Chiefs of Police, on subjects such as cross-border narcotics trafficking and monitoring violent anti-war demonstrations.

On 17th September, 1971, John Dean and Jeb Magruder asked Caulfield to establish a new private security firm. Caulfield was told that Tony Ulasewicz and his associates would be required to carry out "surveillance of Democratic primaries, convention, meetings, etc.," and collecting "derogatory information, investigative capability, worldwide." Caulfield was told that this was an "extreme clandestine" operation. Given the name Operation Sandwedge, its main purpose was to carry out illegal electronic surveillance on the political opponents of Richard Nixon.

Charles Colson suggested to Caulfield that his men fire-bomb the Brookings Institute (a left-wing public policy group involved in studying government policy in Vietnam). Caulfield sent Ulasewicz to investigate the location of offices, security provisions, etc. According to Caulfield the fire-bomb plan was eventually "squelched" by John Dean.

In April 1972 President Richard Nixon appointed Caulfield as Assistant Director: Criminal Enforcement - Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Caulfield was placed in charge of over 1,500 Federal agents. Caulfield did not work for the White House when the Watergate break-in took place. However, John Ehrlichman immediately assumed that it had been part of Operation Sandwedge and that Tony Ulasewicz had been involved. In fact, it was part of Operation Gemstone, another Nixon dirty tricks campaign.

Herbert W. Kalmbach and John Dean decided that Ulasewicz was the best man to deliver the "hush money". He admitted later that he gave Dorothy Hunt a total of $154,000. This was to be passed on to those members of Operation Gemstone who had been arrested and awaiting trial.

On 21st December, 1972, James W. McCord wrote a letter to Caulfield. McCord told him he was thinking of making a statement that "would involve allegations against people in the White House and other high administration officials." Caulfield relied: "I have worked with these people and I know them to be as tough-minded as you. Don't underestimate them."

On 30th January, 1973, James W. McCord, Gordon Liddy, Frank Sturgis, E. Howard Hunt, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, and Bernard L. Barker were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping. However, on 19th March, 1973, McCord wrote a letter to Judge John J. Sirica claiming that the defendants had pleaded guilty under pressure (from John Dean and John N. Mitchell) and that perjury had been committed. McCord also revealed details of how Caulfield and Tony Ulasewicz had been involved in Nixon's dirty tricks campaigns. As a result of this information, Caulfield was forced to resign as Assistant Director of Criminal Enforcement.

Caulfield asked John Sears to become his lawyer. Later, Leonard Garment (In Search of Deep Throat) was to claim that Sears was Deep Throat. Garment believed it was Caulfield who provided Sears with some of the information that was used against those involved in the Watergate conspiracy.

Sam Ervin and the Senate Watergate Committee began on 17th May, 1973. One of the first witnesses to appear was Caulfield who admitted the role that he and Tony Ulasewicz had played in Operation Sandwedge. Ulasewicz appeared before the committee on 23rd May, 1973. To his surprise, the senators did not ask any specific questions of his work for Richard Nixon. Instead they concentrated on how he delivered the money to the Watergate burglars.

In June 1974, Alexander Haig began a classified investigation to determine whether Nixon had received cash contributions from leaders of Southeast Asia and the Far East. Caulfield was interviewed about the possibility that he had collected some of this money from people in Vietnam.

Unlike most of the other figures in the story, Jack Caulfield has not yet written his account of the Watergate Scandal.

I wish to make one clarifying comment about the above. It is concerned with the statement, "On 30th January, 1973, James W. McCord, Gordon Liddy, Frank Sturgis, E. Howard Hunt, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, and Bernard L. Barker were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping. However, on 19th March, 1973, McCord wrote a letter to Judge John J. Sirica claiming that the defendants had pleaded guilty under pressure (from John Dean and John N. Mitchell) and that perjury had been committed."

While five of the seven defendants did plead guilty, two did not and stood trial. The five were Hunt and the four Cuban-Americans. Hunt's wife had died in a mysterious plane crash the previous month and Hunt, to whom the Cuban-Americans looked for leadership, took the advice of his attorney, William Bittman, and entered a guilty plea, as did the Cuban-Americans.

Liddy and McCord stood trial. I was a witness at their trial -- a witness for the defense and an involuntary witness for the prosecution, as was made clear in the court's transcript. The day that I testified was the day the LBJ died, which became the lead media story so there was no subsequent press coverage of my testimony. The jury a few days later found Liddy and McCord to be guilty.

I have always believed that the primary reason that Hunt took the advice of his attorney, Bittman, and pleaded guilty was that Bittman had accepted $25,000 in hush money funds left by Ulasewiez in the telephone booth in the lobby of his office building. He did this after I had refused the overtures of a person who I later learned was Ulasewiez to take the hush money and distribute it to the defendants. Bittman had surmised based on a brief conversation he had with me and my own attorneys that I had turned down the hush money that he subsequently took and concluded that the best way to keep the hush money from being revealed and to protect his own role in the criminal scheme was to persuade Hunt not to stand trial but to plead guilty. After the coverup broke open, Bittman, a former prominent Justice Department prosecutor, was later named an unindicted co-conspirator in the indictment of the higher-ups who were prosecuted in the second Watergate trial.

I should add that in July 1972, about a month after the Watergate case broke with the arrests of the five defendants, I attempted to tell the federal grand jury investigating the case about the mysterious hush money phone calls that I had received from the person who later turned out to be Ulasewiez. However, my testimony about this was suddenly cut short by one of the three prosecutors, which I took to mean that the prosecutors did not want the subject to be discussed. This was after I had been forced to testify before the grand jury when Judge Sirica held me in contempt of court for asserting the attorney-client privilege and his decision was upheld by the U.S.Court of Appeals, a matter discussed by Nixon in his Oval Office tapes who believed the courts' decisions about my testifying were wrong.

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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