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Death of Howard Hunt


Douglas Caddy
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January 24, 2007

E. Howard Hunt, Agent Who Organized Botched Watergate Break-In, Dies at 88

By TIM WEINER

The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/24/obituari...amp;oref=slogin

E. Howard Hunt, a cold warrior for the Central Intelligence Agency who left the spy service in disillusionment, joined the Nixon White House as a secret agent and bungled the break-in at the Watergate that brought the president down in disgrace, died Tuesday in Miami. He was 88.

His death, at North Shore Medical Center, was caused by pneumonia, said his wife, Laura.

“This fellow Hunt,” President Richard M. Nixon muttered a few days after the June 1972 break-in, “he knows too damn much.”

That was Howard Hunt’s burden: he was entrusted with too many secret missions. His career at the C.I.A. was destroyed by the disastrous invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and his time as Nixon’s master of dirty tricks ended with his arrest in the Watergate case. He served 33 months in prison for burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping and emerged a broken man.

“I am crushed by the failure of my government to protect me and my family as in the past it has always done for its clandestine agents,” Mr. Hunt told the Senate committee investigating the Watergate affair in 1973, when he faced a provisional prison sentence of 35 years. “I cannot escape feeling that the country I have served for my entire life and which directed me to carry out the Watergate entry is punishing me for doing the very things it trained and directed me to do.”

He was a high-spirited 30-year-old novelist who aspired to wealth and power when he joined the C.I.A. in 1949. He set out to live the life he had imagined for himself, a glamorous career as a spy. But Mr. Hunt was never much of a spy. He did not conduct classic espionage operations in order to gather information. His field was political warfare: dirty tricks, sabotage and propaganda.

When he left the C.I.A. in 1970 after a decidedly checkered career, he had become a world-weary cynic. Trading on the thin veneer of a reputation in the clandestine service, he won a job as a $100-a-day “security consultant” at the Nixon White House in 1971.

In that role, he conducted break-ins and burglaries in the name of national security. He drew no distinction between orchestrating a black-bag job at a foreign embassy in Mexico City and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex. He recognized no lawful limit on presidential power, convinced that “when the president does it,” as Nixon once said, “that means it is not illegal.” Mr. Hunt and the nation found out otherwise.

Mr. Hunt was intelligent, erudite, suave and loyal to his friends. But the record shows that he mishandled many of the tasks he received from the C.I.A. and the White House. He was “totally self-absorbed, totally amoral and a danger to himself and anybody around him,” Samuel F. Hart, a retired United States ambassador who first met him in Uruguay in the 1950s, said in a State Department oral history.

“As far as I could tell, Howard went from one disaster to another,” Mr. Hart said, “until he hit Watergate.”

Everette Howard Hunt Jr. was born in Hamburg, N.Y., on Oct. 9, 1918, the son of a lawyer and a classically trained pianist who played church organ. He graduated from Brown University in June 1940 and entered the United States Naval Academy as a midshipman in February 1941.

He worked as a wartime intelligence officer in China, a postwar spokesman for the Marshall Plan in Paris and a screenwriter in Hollywood. Warner Brothers had just bought his fourth novel, “Bimini Run,” a thriller set in the Caribbean, when he joined the fledgling C.I.A. in April 1949.

Mr. Hunt was immediately assigned to train C.I.A. recruits in political and psychological warfare, fields in which he was a rank amateur, like most of his colleagues. He moved to Mexico City, where he became chief of station in 1950. He brought along another rookie C.I.A. officer, William F. Buckley Jr., later a prominent conservative author and publisher, who became godfather and guardian to the four children of Mr. Hunt and his wife, the former Dorothy L. Wetzel.

In 1954, Mr. Hunt helped plan the covert operation that overthrew the elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz. “What we wanted to do was to have a terror campaign,” Mr. Hunt said in a CNN documentary on the cold war, “to terrify Arbenz particularly, to terrify his troops.” Though the operation succeeded, it ushered in 40 years of military repression in Guatemala.

By the time of the coup, Mr. Hunt had been removed from responsibility. He moved on to uneventful stints in Japan and Uruguay. Not until 1960 was Mr. Hunt involved in an operation that changed history.

The C.I.A. had received orders from both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his successor, President John F. Kennedy, to alter or abolish the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Hunt’s assignment was to create a provisional Cuban government that would be ready to take power once the C.I.A.’s cadre of Cuban shock troops invaded the island. He fared no better than the paramilitary planners who had vowed to defeat Mr. Castro’s 60,000-man army with a 1,500-strong brigade.

The careers of the American intelligence officers who planned and executed the Bay of Pigs debacle in April 1961 were damaged or destroyed, as was the C.I.A.’s reputation for derring-do. Mr. Hunt spent most of the 1960s carrying out desultory propaganda tasks at the agency, among them running news services and subsidizing books that fell stillborn from the press.

He funneled his talent into writing paperback spy novels. His works followed a formula of sex and intrigue but offered flashes of insight. “We become lawless in a struggle for the rule of law — semi-outlaws who risk their lives to put down the savagery of others,” says the author’s alter ego, Peter Ward, in the novel “Hazardous Duty.”

He retired from the C.I.A. in 1970 and secured a job with an agency-connected public relations firm in Washington. Then, a year later, came a call from the White House. A fellow Brown alumnus, Charles W. Colson, special counsel to President Nixon, hired Mr. Hunt to carry out acts of political warfare. Within weeks, Mr. Hunt was in charge of a subterranean department of dirty tricks.

He went back to C.I.A. headquarters, requesting false identification, a red wig, a voice-altering device and a tiny camera. He then burglarized the Beverly Hills office of a psychiatrist treating Dr. Daniel J. Ellsberg, a former national-security aide who had leaked a copy of the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of the Vietnam War, to The New York Times. Mr. Hunt was looking for information to discredit Mr. Ellsberg. When the break-in became public knowledge two years later, the federal case against Mr. Ellsberg on charges of leaking classified information was dismissed.

Mr. Hunt, in league with another recently retired C.I.A. officer and four Cuban Bay of Pigs veterans, then led a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex to bug the telephone lines. The job was botched, and the team went in again to remove the taps. The burglars were arrested on the night of June 17, 1972. One had Mr. Hunt’s name and a White House telephone number in his address book, a classic failure of espionage tradecraft that proved the first thread of the web that ensnarled the president.

The final blow that drove Nixon from office was one of the secret White House recordings he made — the “smoking gun” tape — in which he vowed to order the C.I.A. to shut down the federal investigation of the Watergate break-in on spurious national-security grounds. By the time Nixon resigned in August 1974, Mr. Hunt was a federal prisoner.

His life was in ruins: his wife had been killed in a plane crash in 1972, his legal fees approached $1 million, he had suffered a stroke, and whatever illusions he once had that his government would protect him were shattered. Standing before the judge who imprisoned him, he said he was “alone, nearly friendless, ridiculed, disgraced, destroyed as a man.”

Freed from prison just before his 60th birthday, Mr. Hunt moved to Miami, where he met and married his second wife, Laura, a schoolteacher, and started a second family. Besides his wife, he is survived by the two daughters and two sons from his first marriage: Lisa Hunt of Las Vegas, Kevan Hunt Spence of Pioneer, Calif., Howard St. John Hunt of Eureka, Calif., and David Hunt of Los Angeles; two children from his second marriage, Austin and Hollis, both of Miami; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Mr. Hunt’s last book, “American Spy: My Secret History in the C.I.A., Watergate and Beyond,” written with Greg Aunapu, is to be published on March 16 with a foreword by his old friend William F. Buckley Jr.

Late in life, he said he had no regrets, beyond the Bay of Pigs.

------------------------

Watergate Figure E. Howard Hunt Dies

Watergate Figure E. Howard Hunt Dies at 88; Organized Break-In That Led to Scandal

By TIM REYNOLDS

The Associated Press

January 23, 2007

MIAMI - E. Howard Hunt, who helped organize the Watergate break-in, leading to the greatest scandal in American political history and the downfall of Richard Nixon's presidency, died Tuesday. He was 88.

Hunt died at a Miami hospital after a lengthy bout with pneumonia, according to his son Austin Hunt.

The elder Hunt was many things: World War II soldier, CIA officer, organizer of both a Guatemalan coup and the botched Bay of Pigs invasion, and author of more than 80 books, many from the spy-tale genre.

Yet the bulk of his notoriety came from the one thing he always insisted he wasn't a Watergate burglar. He often said he preferred the term "Watergate conspirator."

"I will always be called a Watergate burglar, even though I was never in the damn place," Hunt told The Miami Herald in 1997. "But it happened. Now I have to make the best of it."

While working for the CIA, Hunt recruited four of the five actual burglars Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Rolando Eugenio Martinez and Frank Sturgis, all who had worked for Hunt a decade earlier in the Bay of Pigs invasion.

All four also had ties to Miami, where part of the Watergate plan was hatched.

"According to street gossip both in Washington and Miami, Mr. Castro had been making substantial contributions to the McGovern campaign," Hunt told CNN in February 1992. "And the idea was ... that somewhere in the books of the Democratic National Committee those illicit funds would be found."

The idea was wrong, and the fallout escalated into huge political scandal.

Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974. Twenty-five men were sent to prison for their involvement in the botched plan, and a new era of skepticism toward government began.

"I had always assumed, working for the CIA for so many years, that anything the White House wanted done was the law of the land," Hunt told People magazine for its May 20, 1974, issue. "I viewed this like any other mission. It just happened to take place inside this country."

The Hunt recruits and James W. McCord Jr., security director for the Committee for the Re-election of the President, were arrested June 17, 1972, at the Watergate office building. One of the burglars was found to have Hunt's White House phone number.

Hunt and fellow operative G. Gordon Liddy, along with the five arrested at Watergate, were indicted on federal charges three months later. Hunt and his recruits pleaded guilty in January 1973, and McCord and Liddy were found guilty.

In March 1973, McCord wrote a letter to the federal judge in his case, John J. Sirica, claiming perjury occurred and that there was political pressure applied to the defendants to plead guilty and remain silent.

In a secretly recorded conversation that same month that became one of the key pieces of evidence of the White House cover-up, White House Counsel John Dean told Nixon that "we're being blackmailed ... Hunt now is demanding another $72,000 for his own personal expenses; another $50,000 to pay his attorneys' fees."

After some further discussion, Nixon said: "If you need the money, I mean you could get the money. ... I mean it's not easy, but it could be done."

Hunt eventually spent 33 months in prison on a conspiracy charge, and said he was bitter that he was sent to jail while Nixon was allowed to resign.

"I felt that in true politician's fashion, he'd assumed a degree of responsibility but not the blame," he told The Associated Press in 1992. "It wasn't my idea to go into the Watergate."

Hunt also was involved in organizing an event that foreshadowed Watergate: the burglary of the the office of the Beverly Hills psychiatrist treating Daniel Ellsberg, the defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers, published in 1971.

Hunt and Liddy the so-called White House "plumbers" broke into Ellsberg's office to gain information about him. The break-in was revealed during the 1973 espionage trial against Ellsberg and codefendant Anthony Russo, and was one of several incidents that led to dismissal of the case because of government misconduct.

Watergate was one of many wild tales some true, some not that followed Hunt through the final decades of his colorful life.

His alleged involvement in the purported conspiracy to kill President John F. Kennedy was among the most popular spy-esque stories Hunt was linked with. One theory, which still exists in the minds of some, was that Hunt was in Dallas on the day Kennedy was shot, that his image was captured in photographs from the scene.

"I was in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 22, 1963," Hunt wrote in a December 1975 letter to Time magazine, a note penned while he was incarcerated at Eglin Air Force Base's prison camp. "It is a physical law that an object can occupy only one space at one time."

Everette Howard Hunt was born Oct. 9, 1918, in Hamburg, N.Y., graduated from Brown University in 1940 and was commissioned as a Naval Reserve officer in Annapolis, Md. the following year. He served as a destroyer gunnery officer, was injured at sea and honorably discharged from the Navy.

From 1949 through 1970 he worked for the CIA, and was involved in the operation that overthrew Jacobo Arbenz as Guatemala's president in 1954, plus the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

Hunt declared bankruptcy in 1997, largely blaming his Watergate fines and legal fees. A $650,000 libel settlement he was awarded in 1981 stemming from an article alleging his involvement in the assassination of Kennedy was overturned, and he never received any of that money.

"I think I've paid my debt to society," Hunt said in 1997. "I think I've paid it amply."

Hunt spent his final years in a modest home in Miami's Biscayne Park neighborhood with his second wife, Laura Martin Hunt, and declined many interview requests from The Associated Press.

He has a memoir coming out next month titled "American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond."

Hunt's first wife, the former Dorothy Wetzel Day Goutiere, died in a plane crash in 1972. Besides his wife, Hunt was survived by six children.

A memorial service was scheduled for Monday in Miami.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=2817001&page=3

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  • 3 weeks later...
E. Howard Hunt...drew no distinction between orchestrating a black-bag job at a foreign embassy in Mexico City and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex. He was “totally self-absorbed, totally amoral...”

Pat Speer has opined in this manner concerning your relationship with the totally amoral convicted felon, self-confessed forger, perjurer, and CIA founding member (but I repeat myself) E. Howard Hunt:

"Mr. Caddy, in order to keep Hunt's involvement secret, probably lied to a newspaper about a phone call from Barker's wife... . It seemed obvious to me...that Caddy had lied... ." —
Pat Speer

Is Pat Speer correct in what he says?

Ashton Gray

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E. Howard Hunt...drew no distinction between orchestrating a black-bag job at a foreign embassy in Mexico City and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex. He was “totally self-absorbed, totally amoral...”

Pat Speer has opined in this manner concerning your relationship with the totally amoral convicted felon, self-confessed forger, perjurer, and CIA founding member (but I repeat myself) E. Howard Hunt:

"Mr. Caddy, in order to keep Hunt's involvement secret, probably lied to a newspaper about a phone call from Barker's wife... . It seemed obvious to me...that Caddy had lied... ." —
Pat Speer

Is Pat Speer correct in what he says?

Ashton Gray

For what it's worth, I don't believe a lawyer is under any obligation to tell a newspaper the truth about his client. Is Mr. Gray aware of any such obligation? If my memory is correct, and this is the dispute you have with Caddy--that he told two different stories about who hired him--is there any reason to believe this was more than business as usual for a Washington lawyer? I mean, a lawyer wouldn't last a minute in Washington if he felt obliged to announce who'd hired him every time he was asked, now would he?

My concern is that, by framing your question with such a harsh description of Hunt, you seek not to ask a question of Mr. Caddy, but to insult him. This is what led to our earlier disagreements. I apologize if my expressions of concern feel like an intrusion into your line of questioning. But you don't really think Mr. Caddy will respond to your question, now do you? I, for one, would be surprised.

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E. Howard Hunt...drew no distinction between orchestrating a black-bag job at a foreign embassy in Mexico City and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex. He was “totally self-absorbed, totally amoral...”

Pat Speer has opined in this manner concerning your relationship with the totally amoral convicted felon, self-confessed forger, perjurer, and CIA founding member (but I repeat myself) E. Howard Hunt:

"Mr. Caddy, in order to keep Hunt's involvement secret, probably lied to a newspaper about a phone call from Barker's wife... . It seemed obvious to me...that Caddy had lied... ." —
Pat Speer

Is Pat Speer correct in what he says?

Ashton Gray

For what it's worth, I don't believe a lawyer is under any obligation to tell a newspaper the truth about his client. Is Mr. Gray aware of any such obligation? If my memory is correct, and this is the dispute you have with Caddy--that he told two different stories about who hired him--is there any reason to believe this was more than business as usual for a Washington lawyer? I mean, a lawyer wouldn't last a minute in Washington if he felt obliged to announce who'd hired him every time he was asked, now would he?

My concern is that, by framing your question with such a harsh description of Hunt, you seek not to ask a question of Mr. Caddy, but to insult him. This is what led to our earlier disagreements. I apologize if my expressions of concern feel like an intrusion into your line of questioning. But you don't really think Mr. Caddy will respond to your question, now do you? I, for one, would be surprised.

Hunt's book as offered by Amazon.com, available Feb. 23rd:

American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond (Hardcover)

by 1. E. Howard Hunt (Author), Greg Aunapu (Author)

List Price: $25.95

Price: $17.13

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir. Hunt (who died recently at 88) recalls the highlights of a long career, from WWII service with the fabled Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—predecessor of the CIA—to a career with the agency itself and a stint as a consultant to the Nixon White House. As a White House operative, Hunt specialized in dirty tricks and break-ins—including the Democratic National Committee's headquarters—and served 33 months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. He claims to have been a magnet for women, especially models, and shamelessly drops the names of the rich and powerful. He also played a key role in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. As for his role in Watergate, he blames his "bulldog loyalty" and concedes only that he and his fellow conspirators did "the wrong things for the right reasons." In a postscript, Hunt urges reforming the beleaguered CIA in the image of the wartime OSS and its "daring amateurs." Hunt's nostalgic memoir breaks scant new ground in an already crowded field. (Apr.)

Book Description

Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White house

Think you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy, one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt takes you into the covert designs of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon:

His involvement in the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and more

His work with CIA officials such as Allen Dulles and Richard Helms

His friendship with William F. Buckley Jr., whom Hunt brought into the CIA

The amazing steps the CIA took to manipulate the media in America and abroadThe motives behind the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office

Why the White House "plumbers" were formed and what they accomplished

The truth behind Operation Gemstone, a series of planned black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies

A minute-by-minute account of the Watergate break-in

Previously unreleased details of the post-Watergate cover-up

Complete with documentation from audiotape transcripts, handwritten notes, and official documents, American Spy is must reading for anyone who is fascinated by real-life spy tales, high-stakes politics, and, of course, Watergate.

From the Inside Flap

For three decades, E. Howard Hunt served his nation, first in the U.S. Navy, then in the OSS and CIA, before being hired by President Nixon's staff, for whom he helped plan the infamous Watergate break-in. Now he reveals what he could only hint at in his seventy-plus spy novels: his role in some of the best known and least understood events in the postwar era. And he does so without spin or excuses.

From his early days as an OSS operative in China during World War II, through his decades as a covert cold warrior with the CIA, and on to his fateful years in the Nixon White House, Hunt vividly describes the rigorous training, meticulous planning, and artful deceit that are the meat and potatoes of the espionage game. He offers startling revelations about the CIA's 1954 coup in Guatemala, the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, the agency's covert domestic propaganda campaign, and much more.

He also discusses the 1971 break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, reveals his motives for participating in Watergate, even though he thought it was a mistake, and explains why his wife was carrying $10,000 in cash when she died in a plane crash en route to Chicago in 1972. He also reveals that because his daughter failed to follow his directions and dispose of incriminating evidence, he was later able to use these materials and become the star witness against the heads of the Watergate conspiracy.

In the post-Watergate years, Hunt became the focus of numerous conspiracy theories suggesting that he: participated in the JFK assassination; wrote the book by George Wallace's would-be assassin; knew the secret "alternative" motive for breaking into the DNC headquarters. Hunt debunks a number of these accusations and defends himself vigorously against the rest.

Based on audiotape transcripts, interviews, handwritten memos, and documents that Hunt has kept over the years, American Spy takes you behind the scenes to meet all of the Watergate conspirators as you've never seen them before. Destined to provoke many new controversies as it puts others to rest, it is the most memorable memoir you'll read this year.

From the Back Cover

Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White house

Think you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy, one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt takes you into the covert designs of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon:

His involvement in the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and more

His work with CIA officials such as Allen Dulles and Richard Helms

His friendship with William F. Buckley Jr., whom Hunt brought into the CIA

The amazing steps the CIA took to manipulate the media in America and abroad

The motives behind the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office

Why the White House "plumbers" were formed and what they accomplished

The truth behind Operation Gemstone, a series of planned black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies

A minute-by-minute account of the Watergate break-in

Previously unreleased details of the post-Watergate cover-up

Complete with documentation from audiotape transcripts, handwritten notes, and official documents, American Spy is must reading for anyone who is fascinated by real-life spy tales, high-stakes politics, and, of course, Watergate.

About the Author

White House "plumber" E. HOWARD HUNT served as a covert operative for the CIA from 1950 until the 1970s, and participated in many of the agency's most secret missions, both abroad and in the United States. He is also the author of more than seventy spy novels.

GREG AUNAPU is a nationally respected journalist, who worked as a freelancer for Time and People magazines for ten years, and has reported for many national news organizations. He is coauthor of two previous books, most recently, Without a Trace.

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E. Howard Hunt...drew no distinction between orchestrating a black-bag job at a foreign embassy in Mexico City and wiretapping the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate complex. He was “totally self-absorbed, totally amoral...”

Pat Speer has opined in this manner concerning your relationship with the "totally amoral" felon, self-confessed forger, perjurer, and CIA founding member (but I repeat myself) E. Howard Hunt:

"Mr. Caddy, in order to keep Hunt's involvement secret, probably lied to a newspaper about a phone call from Barker's wife... . It seemed obvious to me...that Caddy had lied... ." —
Pat Speer

Is Pat Speer correct in what he says?

Ashton Gray

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Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir.

Why did an experienced writer need to collaborate with a journalist to write his memoirs. I am reminded of the case of William Sullivan who also worked with a journalist on his memoirs. Like Hunt, Sullivan died before the book was published and we had to accept that the final version was what the author intended. Aunapu sounds very much like a CIA minder.

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Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir.

Why did an experienced writer need to collaborate with a journalist to write his memoirs. I am reminded of the case of William Sullivan who also worked with a journalist on his memoirs. Like Hunt, Sullivan died before the book was published and we had to accept that the final version was what the author intended. Aunapu sounds very much like a CIA minder.

Having read dozens of autobiographies co-written by journalists, my understanding is that the journalist interviews the "subject" for many hours, and then constructs a book from these interviews, with the "subject" giving his final approval. The ones that are most worrrisome then are the ones that come out posthumously, like Helms', or Shackley's, or Sullivan's, or Hoffa's... Who knows what's been added? On the other hand, who knows what stayed in that the "subject" may have deleted?

I remember us asking Nathaniel Weyl if he had any of the source materials for John Martino's memoir. He surprised me by saying he had no idea what happened to his source materials. Who knows how many important statements and confessions sit in some writer's attic? William Manchester evidently left a treasure trove of source material for "The Death of a President." CBS' uncut interviews from 64 and 67 are also of importance. Hopefully they'll sneak out sometime in the future, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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I remember us asking Nathaniel Weyl if he had any of the source materials for John Martino's memoir. He surprised me by saying he had no idea what happened to his source materials. Who knows how many important statements and confessions sit in some writer's attic? William Manchester evidently left a treasure trove of source material for "The Death of a President." CBS' uncut interviews from 64 and 67 are also of importance. Hopefully they'll sneak out sometime in the future, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I remember him saying that the materials might be in his garage. Someone, it might have been you, offered to help him clear out his garage.

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Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir.

Why did an experienced writer need to collaborate with a journalist to write his memoirs.

The question that is blaring like a stuck four-bell air horn is why E. Howard Hunt had to write a second set of "memoirs" covering the same events he already wrote his "memoirs" on long ago.

Try to find a precedent.

A wino in any alley could bend your ear for two hours dreaming up "reasonable reasons" for a collaborative effort.

The only reason, though, for this death-watch rush to "new memoirs" is contained right here in this forum: exposure of CIA's Watergate hoax that Hunt was a pivotal component of. It has had to be rewritten in a desperate attempt to shore up the "Official Story" and to explain away the hopeless gaping holes in the stories told by Hunt, Liddy, McCord, and their accomplices, canyon-wide holes that have been being ruthlessly exposed over the past few years.

That's exactly why a phony non compos mentis "Deep Throat" was suddenly trotted out not long ago in flagrant violation of the originally floated "terms" of exposure: so CIA could weave this new dead-end into the "New, Improved" Official Fiction and stamp Hunt's name on it in cheap foil.

And that's why Douglas Caddy has been reduced to a clipping service to promote CIA's "New, Improved" Official Fiction, and has no voice.

But I've loved marionette shows since Howdy Doody, so it all at least is entertaining.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray
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non compos mentis[/i] "Deep Throat" was suddenly trotted out not long ago in flagrant violation of the originally floated "terms" of exposure: so CIA could weave this new dead-end into the "New, Improved" Official Fiction and stamp Hunt's name on it in cheap foil.

And that's why Douglas Caddy has been reduced to a clipping service to promote CIA's "New, Improved" Official Fiction, and has no voice.

But I've loved marionette shows since Howdy Doody, so it all at least is entertaining.

Ashton Gray

So much had been said and written about Hunt that I doubt he gave a hoot about your theories. His last memoir was written over 30 years ago. Might not something have happened in those 30 years that he felt like writing about? (A clue: think Weberman. Think the Rockefeller Commission. Think the HSCA investigation of Phillips. Think Hunt vs. Marchetti. Think Liddy vs. Dean. Think Felt.) Much has been declassified since Hunt's last jaunt. I suspect some of his CIA yarns will be revealing.

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Mr. Caddy,

Of course I don't expect any substantive answer from you, and I realize that it's all about keeping up appearances at this point, but I have to ask anyway: don't you finid it rather unseemly that the best efforts from the biggest and best-funded intelligence agency in the entire world have become so boringly predictable and embarrassingly transparent as this desperation "Hunt: Redux" that you're in here flogging?

It's all so "Amateur Night at the Spy Games Cafe." It's just tacky. It's like some over-the-hill diva trying to croak "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in checkerboard percale and curls with pancake make-up.

Despite our differences—which I wouldn't care to reduce—still, even I hate to see a career lawyer so boxed in late in his career and life that all he can do is run around finding book reviews to copy and paste into forums. It's such a go-fer function. It seems like a sort of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" legacy that's being forged right here before my very eyes.

Well, I guess CIA has to try to save face somehow, but I just wanted say that it's not playing very well in the third row. The sets are falling down, the footlights are popping, the tuba is out of tune, and the stage manager is in plain sight in the wings, tearing his hair out. It isn't that you aren't performing your clipping service part very efficiently. You are, and no one should try to take that away from you. And no one hopes more than I that you soon have lots of good reviews to copy and paste.

I'm just sorry to see that you're reduced at this point on your life to playing Musack on a falling elevator.

Ashton Gray

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Mr. Caddy,

Of course I don't expect any substantive answer from you, and I realize that it's all about keeping up appearances at this point, but I have to ask anyway: don't you finid it rather unseemly that the best efforts from the biggest and best-funded intelligence agency in the entire world have become so boringly predictable and embarrassingly transparent as this desperation "Hunt: Redux" that you're in here flogging?

It's all so "Amateur Night at the Spy Games Cafe." It's just tacky. It's like some over-the-hill diva trying to croak "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in checkerboard muslin and curls with pancake make-up.

Despite our differences—which I wouldn't care to reduce—still, even I hate to see a career lawyer so boxed in late in his career and life that all he can do is run around finding book reviews to copy and paste into forums. It's such a go-fer function. It seems like a sort of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" legacy that's being forged right here before my very eyes.

Well, I guess CIA has to try to save face somehow, but I just wanted say that it's not playing very well in the third row. The sets are falling down, the footlights are popping, the tuba is out of tune, and the stage manager is in plain sight in the wings, tearing his hair out. It isn't that you aren't performing your clipping service part very efficiently. You are, and no one should try to take that away from you. And no one hopes more than I that you soon have lots of good reviews to copy and paste.

I'm just sorry to see that you're reduced at this point on your life to playing Musack on a falling elevator.

Ashton Gray

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Mr. Caddy,

Of course I don't expect any substantive answer from you, and I realize that it's all about keeping up appearances at this point, but I have to ask anyway: don't you finid it rather unseemly that the best efforts from the biggest and best-funded intelligence agency in the entire world have become so boringly predictable and embarrassingly transparent as this desperation "Hunt: Redux" that you're in here flogging?

It's all so "Amateur Night at the Spy Games Cafe." It's just tacky. It's like some over-the-hill diva trying to croak "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in checkerboard muslin and curls with pancake make-up.

Despite our differences—which I wouldn't care to reduce—still, even I hate to see a career lawyer so boxed in late in his career and life that all he can do is run around finding book reviews to copy and paste into forums. It's such a go-fer function. It seems like a sort of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" legacy that's being forged right here before my very eyes.

Well, I guess CIA has to try to save face somehow, but I just wanted say that it's not playing very well in the third row. The sets are falling down, the footlights are popping, the tuba is out of tune, and the stage manager is in plain sight in the wings, tearing his hair out. It isn't that you aren't performing your clipping service part very efficiently. You are, and no one should try to take that away from you. And no one hopes more than I that you soon have lots of good reviews to copy and paste.

I'm just sorry to see that you're reduced at this point on your life to playing Musack on a falling elevator.

Ashton Gray

You just can't help yourself, can you? Caddy posts some info about an upcoming book which some may find of interest, and you decide to smear him and imply he's spreading CIA disinfo... Nowhere does he say that Hunt is to be trusted as the last word on anything. Nowhere does he even imply as much... One would think you'd be excited about Hunt's book. More material for you to sift through and find discrepancies...

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Mr. Caddy,

Of course I don't expect any substantive answer from you, and I realize that it's all about keeping up appearances at this point, but I have to ask anyway: don't you finid it rather unseemly that the best efforts from the biggest and best-funded intelligence agency in the entire world have become so boringly predictable and embarrassingly transparent as this desperation "Hunt: Redux" that you're in here flogging?

It's all so "Amateur Night at the Spy Games Cafe." It's just tacky. It's like some over-the-hill diva trying to croak "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in checkerboard muslin and curls with pancake make-up.

Despite our differences—which I wouldn't care to reduce—still, even I hate to see a career lawyer so boxed in late in his career and life that all he can do is run around finding book reviews to copy and paste into forums. It's such a go-fer function. It seems like a sort of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" legacy that's being forged right here before my very eyes.

Well, I guess CIA has to try to save face somehow, but I just wanted say that it's not playing very well in the third row. The sets are falling down, the footlights are popping, the tuba is out of tune, and the stage manager is in plain sight in the wings, tearing his hair out. It isn't that you aren't performing your clipping service part very efficiently. You are, and no one should try to take that away from you. And no one hopes more than I that you soon have lots of good reviews to copy and paste.

I'm just sorry to see that you're reduced at this point on your life to playing Musack on a falling elevator.

Ashton Gray

You just can't help yourself, can you? Caddy posts some info about an upcoming book which some may find of interest, and you decide to smear him and imply he's spreading CIA disinfo... Nowhere does he say that Hunt is to be trusted as the last word on anything. Nowhere does he even imply as much... One would think you'd be excited about Hunt's book. More material for you to sift through and find discrepancies...

February 18, 2007

Essay

Literary Agent

By RACHEL DONADIO

The New York Times Book Review

When E. Howard Hunt died last month at 88, he was remembered as the longtime Central Intelligence Agency officer who helped organize the botched Bay of Pigs invasion and served jail time for orchestrating the Watergate break-in. Less well known is that Hunt was once a promising literary writer.

Like so many in the first wave of C.I.A. men, Hunt, a Brown graduate, worked for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, then headed to Europe in 1948, where he traveled in the Paris-Vienna orbit of other literary-minded Ivy Leaguers working in government jobs, some covertly. He spent much of the ’50s in Latin America, and left the agency in 1970, having been sidelined in the ’60s after the Bay of Pigs mission went awry. But before all that, while still in his 20s, Hunt published short stories in The New Yorker and Cosmopolitan, then a showcase for serious fiction.

Not exactly on a par with Nabokov and Cheever, whose work was appearing in The New Yorker at the same time, Hunt instead imitated the hard-boiled Hemingwayesque style in vogue in those years. “I thought of the North Atlantic, where I’d rolled around on a tin can for almost a year,” he wrote in “Departure,” a story about soldiers waiting to be sent home from the South Pacific, published in December 1943. “That had been tough, too, but there was always Boston or New York or Norfolk at one end of the line and Reykjavik or Londonderry at the other. At least they were places. Towns, cities, villages with people and pubs and stores and shops and girls who looked like girls you’d seen before.”

Hunt’s first novel, “East of Farewell,” published in 1942, when he was 23, was also a fictionalized account of his time on convoy duty in the North Atlantic. Hunt recalled his surprise when the prestigious publisher Knopf agreed to take it on. “Amazingly to me, the work was quickly accepted,” Hunt wrote in his memoir, “American Spy,” which is scheduled to appear in March. “Reviews were all I could have hoped for, but I couldn’t compete with the real-life war blaring in the newspaper headlines and newsreels. Sales were not good enough to escalate me to full-time author.”

The New York Times reviewer called “East of Farewell” a “crashing start for a new writer.” Critics weren’t so fond of Hunt’s fourth novel, “Bimini Run” (1949), a love triangle set in the Caribbean. The Times found it “lifeless and unexciting,” but it sold 150,000 copies and Warner Brothers bought it for $35,000, a fortune at the time.

In 1946, Hunt had been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and had gone to Mexico to write a novel, “Stranger in Town,” which sold well in paperback. That year, two other up-and-coming writers were denied the same fellowship. “The only thing Truman Capote and I have in common was Howard Hunt beat us out for a Guggenheim,” Gore Vidal recalled in an interview. “That sort of summed up my view of prizes and foundation work; they would instinctively go to the one who was least deserving.”

In 1948, Hunt went to Paris to work for the Marshall Plan, ostensibly distributing aid through the Economic Cooperation Administration. There, Hunt crossed paths with another former O.S.S. man, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. In his 2000 memoir, “A Life in the Twentieth Century,” Schlesinger recalled that Hunt had “attracted attention” in the E.C.A. “as a certified published novelist.” “I did not much like him; he seemed on the sneaky side,” Schlesinger wrote. In a recent telephone interview, Schlesinger said he hadn’t read any of Hunt’s books, but reiterated that he found him “a sneaky character.” In his 1974 memoir, “Undercover,” Hunt was similarly dismissive of Schlesinger, seeing him as part of “the E.C.A.’s ambivalent attitude toward Communism.”

Indeed, Hunt’s hard-line views increasingly put him at odds with the more genteel anti-Communist liberalism prevalent within the C.I.A. in those years. It was a stance he shared with William F. Buckley Jr., who joined the C.I.A. after graduating from Yale and worked undercover for Hunt in Mexico City, one of the first agency men posted there in the early years of the cold war. Beyond politics, the two men also shared a taste for good food and wine, often dining at what Hunt said was “then the only good French restaurant in Mexico City.”

In an interview, Buckley recalled that Hunt was remarkably prolific. “He did have a reputation for simply holing up on a Wednesday morning and then finishing the book by the weekend,” Buckley said. “But he never discussed it. That was a completely discrete operation.”

Back in Washington after the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Hunt wrote increasingly pulpy, glamorous espionage fantasies, far removed from the drudgery of his actual duties. In a column last month, Buckley recalled that Allen Dulles, then head of the agency, told Hunt — who wrote more than 70 novels — that he could continue to publish his fiction without clearance, as long as he used a pseudonym. (Hunt’s noms de plume included John Baxter, Robert Dietrich and David St. John.) “Hunt handed me his latest book, ‘Catch Me in Zanzibar,’ by Gordon Davis,” Buckley wrote. “I leafed through it and found printed on the last page, ‘You have just finished another novel by Howard Hunt.’ I thought this hilarious. So did Howard. The reaction of Allen Dulles is not recorded.”

It was Hunt’s time working for the C.I.A. in South America — when he helped overthrow the leftist president Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954 and later became station chief in Montevideo, Uruguay — that caught the attention of Norman Mailer, who included a fictionalized portrait of Hunt in “Harlot’s Ghost,” his 1991 novel about the C.I.A. In one scene, Mailer describes a dinner at an agency safe house in Key Biscayne. “I used to engage the place occasionally during the pre-Pigs period, but Howard occupies it now, and demonstrates for me that there are amenities to agency life,” the narrator says. “We had a corkeroo of a repast, polished off with a Château Yquem, served up — I only learn of their existence at this late date — by two contract agency caterers, who shop for special occasions, chef it forth in haute cuisine, and serve it themselves.”

“I found him fascinating,” Mailer said of Hunt in a recent interview. “Not in a large way but as a man of middle rank in intelligence. He was so full of virtues and vices and airs and vanities that I thought he made a marvelous character.”

Vidal called Hunt’s prose “overheated, slightly dizzy.” In a comprehensive analysis of Hunt’s work published in The New York Review of Books in 1973, Vidal introduced the eccentric theory that Hunt might have written the diary that was found in the car of Arthur H. Bremer, the unemployed busboy who in 1972 attempted to assassinate Gov. George Wallace of Alabama. “I was fairly convinced after reading the diaries very carefully when they finally came out that he must have had a hand in them,” Vidal said recently. “I’m still convinced of it. There are similarities in the style.”

Vidal’s essay appeared in the heat of the Watergate scandal. No longer with the C.I.A. — he later said he quit the agency because it “was infested with Democrats,” although by then his C.I.A. career had pretty much run aground — Hunt was working in public relations and still writing novels when he got a call from another Brown alumnus, Charles Colson, then special counsel to President Nixon. Colson recruited Hunt to help wiretap the Democratic National Committee headquarters and organize the break-in.

When the scandal broke, Buckley offered Hunt the services of his personal attorney for his Watergate trial. But in his column, he offered a scathing assessment of his former boss. “Hunt had lived outside the law in the service first of his country, subsequently of President Nixon,” he wrote. Hunt had invented himself through his novels, but even in the largest sense, his fictions were at odds with the truth. In the end, Buckley wrote, “Hunt, the dramatist, didn’t understand that political realities at the highest level transcend the working realities of spy life.”

Rachel Donadio is a writer and editor at the Book Review.

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  • 2 weeks later...
non compos mentis[/i] "Deep Throat" was suddenly trotted out not long ago in flagrant violation of the originally floated "terms" of exposure: so CIA could weave this new dead-end into the "New, Improved" Official Fiction and stamp Hunt's name on it in cheap foil.

And that's why Douglas Caddy has been reduced to a clipping service to promote CIA's "New, Improved" Official Fiction, and has no voice.

But I've loved marionette shows since Howdy Doody, so it all at least is entertaining.

Ashton Gray

So much had been said and written about Hunt that I doubt he gave a hoot about your theories. His last memoir was written over 30 years ago. Might not something have happened in those 30 years that he felt like writing about? (A clue: think Weberman. Think the Rockefeller Commission. Think the HSCA investigation of Phillips. Think Hunt vs. Marchetti. Think Liddy vs. Dean. Think Felt.) Much has been declassified since Hunt's last jaunt. I suspect some of his CIA yarns will be revealing.

My friend, the Watergate conspirator

A personal account of Richard Nixon aide E. Howard Hunt.

By William F. Buckley Jr.

Columnist, author and TV host WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. is the founder of National Review. This is adapted from his forward to "American Spy," a new memoir by E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA operative.

March 4, 2007

Los Angeles Times

I MET E. HOWARD HUNT soon after arriving in Mexico City in 1951. I was a deep-cover agent for the CIA — deep-cover describing, I was given to understand, a category whose members were told to take extreme care not to permit any grounds for suspicion that one was in service to the CIA.

The rule was (perhaps it is different now) that on arriving at one's targeted post, one was informed which single human being in the city knew that you were in the CIA. That person would tell you what to do for the duration of your service in that city; he would answer such questions as you wished to put to him and would concern himself with all aspects of your duty life.

The man I was told to report to (by someone whose real name I did not know) was E. Howard Hunt. He ostensibly was working in the U.S. Embassy as a cultural affairs advisor, if I remember correctly. In any event, I met him in his office and found him greatly agreeable but also sternly concerned with duty. He would here and there give me special minor assignments, but I soon learned that my principal job was to translate from Spanish a huge and important book by defector Eudocio Ravines.

Ravines had been an important member of the Peruvian Communist Party in the '40s. He had brought forth a book called "The Road From Yenan," an autobiographical account of his exciting life in the service of the communist revolution and an extended account of the reasons for his defection.

It was a lazy assignment, in that we were not given a deadline, so the work slogged on during and after visits, averaging one every week, by Ravines to the house that I and my wife had occupied that used to be called San Angel Inn — post-revolution, Villa Obregon. (We lived and worked at Calero No. 91.) It is a part of Mexico City on the southern slopes, leading now to the university (which back then was in central Mexico City).

It was only a couple of weeks after our meeting that Howard introduced me to his wife, Dorothy, and their first-born child, Lisa. I learned that Howard had graduated from Brown University and was exercised by left-wing activity there, by the faculty, the administration and students. This made him especially interested in what I had to say about my alma mater. My book, "God and Man at Yale," was published in mid-October 1951, and I shook free for one week's leave to travel to New York to figure in the promotion.

I persevered in my friendship with the Hunt family. But in early spring of 1952, when the project with Ravines was pretty well completed, I called on Howard to tell him I had decided to quit the agency. I had yielded to the temptation to go into journalism.

Our friendship was firm, and Howard came several times to Stamford, Conn., where my wife and I camped down, and visited. I never knew — he was very discreet — what he was up to, but assumed, correctly, that he was continuing his work for the CIA. I was greatly moved by Dorothy's message to me that she and Howard were joining the Catholic communion, and they asked me to serve as godfather for their children.

Years passed without my seeing Howard. But then came the Watergate scandal — in which Howard was accused of masterminding the break-in at Democratic Party headquarters, among other things, and was ultimately convicted of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping — and the dreadful accident over Midway Airport in Chicago that killed Dorothy in December 1972. I learned of this while watching television with my wife, and it was through television that I also learned that she had named me as personal representative of her estate in the event of her demise.

That terrible event came at a high point in the Watergate affair. Then I had a phone call from Howard, with whom I hadn't been in touch for several years. He asked to see me.

He startled me by telling me that he intended to disclose to me everything he knew about the Watergate affair, including much that (he said) had not yet been revealed to congressional investigators.

What especially arrested me was his saying that his dedication to the project had included a hypothetical agreement to contrive the assassination of syndicated muckraker Jack Anderson, if the high command at the Nixon White House thought this necessary. I also remember his keen surprise that the White House hadn't exercised itself to protect and free him and his collaborators arrested in connection with the Watergate enterprise. He simply could not understand this moral default.

It was left that I would take an interest, however remote, in his household of children, now that he was headed for jail. (Neither he nor Dorothy had any brothers or sisters.)

Howard served 33 months. I visited him once. I thought back on the sad contrast between Hunt, E.H., federal prisoner, and Hunt, E.H., special assistant to the U.S. ambassador in Mexico, and his going on to a number of glittering assignments but ultimately making that fateful wrong turn in the service of President Nixon, for which his suffering was prolonged and wretchedly protracted.

I prefer to remember him back in his days as a happy warrior, a productive novelist, an efficient administrator and a wonderful companion.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-op-...oll=la-opinion-

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