Jump to content
The Education Forum

Len Colodny and Silent Coup


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

In 1992 Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin published "Silent Coup: The Removal of Richard Nixon". In the book the authors claim that John Dean ordered the Watergate break-in because he knew that a call-girl ring was operating out of the Democratic headquarters. The authors also argued that Alexander Haig was not Deep Throat but was a key source for Bob Woodward, who had briefed Haig at the White House in 1969 and 1970.

In 1992 John Dean began legal action against Len Colodny and Gordon Liddy. Dean objected to information that appeared in books by Liddy (Will) and Colodny (Silent Coup) that claimed that Dean was the mastermind of the Watergate burglaries and the true target of the break-in was to destroy information implicating him and his wife in a prostitution ring. That case was settled in 1999 when State Farm Insurance Company paid Colodny $410,000.00 to allow Dean to dismiss the case without going to summary judgement. Dean also had to agree not to sue Colodny again and that was in the Court Order.

John Dean encouraged former DNC secretary Ida Well to sue Gordon Liddy on the same subject as his original suit in US District Court in Baltimore. In July, 2002, jurors reached a unanimous decision in favor of Liddy and the theory put forward in Silent Coup: The Removal of Richard Nixon.

You can read about the case here:

http://www.watergate.com/archives/baltimor...iddy02jul04.htm

What do members think about Silent Coup? I am in contact with Len. Would you be interested in him joining the forum to answer your questions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1992 Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin published "Silent Coup: The Removal of Richard Nixon". In the book the authors claim that John Dean ordered the Watergate break-in because he knew that a call-girl ring was operating out of the Democratic headquarters. The authors also argued that Alexander Haig was not Deep Throat but was a key source for Bob Woodward, who had briefed Haig at the White House in 1969 and 1970.

In 1992 John Dean began legal action against Len Colodny and Gordon Liddy. Dean objected to information that appeared in books by Liddy (Will) and Colodny (Silent Coup) that claimed that Dean was the mastermind of the Watergate burglaries and the true target of the break-in was to destroy information implicating him and his wife in a prostitution ring. That case was settled in 1999 when State Farm Insurance Company paid Colodny $410,000.00 to allow Dean to dismiss the case without going to summary judgement. Dean also had to agree not to sue Colodny again and that was in the Court Order.

John Dean encouraged former DNC secretary Ida Well to sue Gordon Liddy on the same subject as his original suit in US District Court in Baltimore. In July, 2002, jurors reached a unanimous decision in favor of Liddy and the theory put forward in Silent Coup: The Removal of Richard Nixon.

You can read about the case here:

http://www.watergate.com/archives/baltimor...iddy02jul04.htm

What do members think about Silent Coup? I am in contact with Len. Would you be interested in him joining the forum to answer your questions?

Few persons have as much knowledge about Watergate as that possessed by Mr. Colodny. His active participation in the Forum would enhance its reputation tremendously as a major source for research on the subject. I hope you can persuade him to join.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest John Gillespie

What do members think about Silent Coup? I am in contact with Len. Would you be interested in him joining the forum to answer your questions?

""

________________________________________________

"Silent Coup..." is a superb investigative work, especially considering the insidious forces that were hard by Colodny ang Gettlin. It was fortuitous that they referenced Hougan's "Secret Agenda...", published in '84, along the way. Yes, indeed, it would be 'coup' for The Forum if Mr. Colodny came on board.

Your Truly,

JG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely would be a great pick up.

I have finished about 2/3rds of Silent Coup and half of Secret Agenda. I was interested in what backround and support each lent the other. They are both fascinating, thats about all I can say at this point. Whether I end up convinced by their argument or not I have become convinced that Watergate was way more complicated than I originally thought, and a perfect example of how elite tinkering at the top of intelligence agencies can be be transformed by the press into a world where day is night and left is right. At least in the US.

On the topic of Silent Coup I want to relate a bit from an interview I heard of John Deen on Rhandi Rhodes show. THis show is national on Air America, and reaches about 90 radio stations around the country. Rhodes categorically refuses to criticize democrats, but on the other hand can surpise you by having people like Paul Thompson of 9/11 timeline on. Just when you are ready to label her a prime specimen on "left-gatekeeper' she twitches a bit on the microscope slide.

Anyways.. MY POINT: Rhodes set up and John Deen played along with a framework in which she alluded to Silent Coup as a RIGHT WING ATTACK ON DEAN.

In other words she was doing the old Hillary Rodham Bush line about a "vast right wing conspiracty" to mobilize the very base of supporters she

had been sprinting away from since her days as a Goldwater Girl from the Cop-Suburb of Chicago. (apple..tree)

Dean played along in such a way that a couple days later I picked up his latest "Bush is the only thing wrong with our political system" that

have been used to make Americans forget that Hillary and Chuck Schumer ACTUALLY DID POSSES MOUTHS AND TONGUES during the years

2001-2006. He mentions the book Silent coup in the introduction and also insinuated that it was a right wing hit piece.

Just one problem.

Unless my ADD has has flown the coup, Silent Coup describes a hit FROM THE RIGHT ON NIXON. Am I incorrect in this interpretation?

The summary of Silent Coup that Rhodes presented to her listeners was probably the most publicity that the book has ever recieved in terms

of sheer numbers of listners. Significantly, Rhodes did not even name the title or author of the book, instead offering a charicature of the books

arguments that was raw distortion. Certainly no one listening to Rhodes description would want to race out an buy the book, even if she gave her

humbled listeners a title.

She then proceeded to amble through an utterly agreeable conversation with Dean as if they were good Nation readers, uptails all.

Had I not read about the CIA history of left gatekeeping as presented in Frances Stonor Saunders' book about Encounter Magazine, I may not

had an inkling that Rhodes set up of Silent Coup as a delusionary right wing fox-fantacy was by design. I am far from certain about this inkling;

and yet, it inkles.

The implications of Silent Coup are tremendously far reaching in terms of just how controlled and untrustworthy our push-button poodle leashed

press really is. It is possible that actions have been taken to prevent it from being read.

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I asked Len Colodny about E. Howard Hunt's references to him in his book, American Spy. He sent me this review of the book by James Rosen (Fox News State Department correspondent and author of "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate," forthcoming from Doubleday).

Howard Hunt's Final Mission

By: James Rosen

February 7, 2007 03:13 PM EST

"American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond"

By E. Howard Hunt and Greg Aunapu

352 pages. Wiley, $25.95

"It's something that gets into your blood," E. Howard Hunt recently admitted, "keeps your heart beating, your mind keen …" The legendary Watergate conspirator was speaking, of course, of what he called "the action": the covert intrigues that inspired and consumed him, as a career intelligence official and prolific spy novelist, over the course of three decades in the Navy, the Army Air Force, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Central Intelligence Agency, and, finally, the Nixon White House.

Hunt was speaking, too, from the grave, for his confession came in a memoir whose publication he did not live to see. Hunt died Jan. 23 at the age of 88. "American Spy: My History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond," co-authored by Greg Aunapu, a Miami writer, is Hunt's third work of nonfiction, following "Give Us This Day" (1973), a firsthand account of the Bay of Pigs debacle; and "Undercover: Memoirs of a Secret Agent" (1974), a brisk autobiography, parts of which, concerning Watergate, Hunt later disavowed as lies -- and yet from which "American Spy," in retelling the spook's life story, borrows heavily.

So closely did Hunt's career track the rise and decline of the American intelligence apparatus that he could have stepped right out of "The Good Shepherd." He rubbed elbows with all of the real-life Ivy Leaguers portrayed in that film, and his own adventures inspired those of Ethan Hunt, the protagonist in Mission Impossible.

Born in upstate New York to affluent parents, Hunt graduated from Brown University in 1940 with a love of the classics, a proficiency in Latin, Greek and Spanish, and a degree in English. During World War II, he saw action in the North Atlantic but was sidelined by a fall on the icy deck of a destroyer. While on medical leave, he produced "East of Farewell," the first book-length account of that now-distant war written by a veteran and the first of 80 novels that Hunt would ultimately publish, both under his own name and various pseudonyms.

After Hunt served stints as a war correspondent for Life and in the Army Air Force, his father, a prominent lawyer and lobbyist, arranged for his son to meet Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan, head of the OSS and the father of America's modern intelligence services. From that meeting blossomed Hunt's often thrilling career in clandestine service: uncovering a double agent in Calcutta; sabotaging Japanese units behind enemy lines in China's Yunnan province; rescuing American POWs from starvation.

In the 1950s, Hunt went on to oversee CIA operations in Mexico City, where his charges included young Yale-educated William F. Buckley Jr., the godfather to Hunt's first four children. Bolstered by that posting, he got to help plot the agency's overthrow of Guatemala's Communist-leaning government, run anti-Soviet propaganda campaigns in the Balkans and rise to station chief in Uruguay.

However, after the CIA's calamitous attempt to replicate its Guatemalan success in Castro's Cuba at the Bay of Pigs -- a campaign fatally undermined, many believed, by President John F. Kennedy's withholding of crucial air support -- Hunt's career stalled. He spent the remainder of the 1960s shuffling through low-impact postings until he could retire from the CIA in 1970 (for at least the third time, the first two being officially sanctioned acts of disinformation) and collect his pension. Yet Hunt remained "action-oriented," and sought to supplement the income from his ho-hum PR job with a CIA front in Washington by serving as a consultant to Richard Nixon's White House.

At that time, in the summer of 1971, Nixon and his top aides felt besieged by a tidal wave of radicalism, in the form of bombings, campus strikes and antiwar protests. They were determined to stop an unprecedented series of leaks of classified data to the news media. The largest of these national security breaches came when Daniel Ellsberg, a disaffected Pentagon consultant, delivered to The New York Times the so-called Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top-secret government documents detailing U.S. actions in Vietnam over the previous two decades.

With the encouragement of his boss, special counsel Charles Colson, Hunt undertook a broad portfolio of sub rosa, and sometimes illegal, intrigues: forging State Department cables to implicate President Kennedy in the 1963 murder of South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem; plotting a "surreptitious entry," with his partner in crime, G. Gordon Liddy, into the office of Ellsberg's Beverly Hills psychiatrist; and, most famously, reuniting with Liddy, as well as some old Bay of Pigs compadres, for the ill-fated break-in and wiretapping operation at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office building.

That last misadventure, as history now records, proved the undoing of Hunt, the Nixon administration, and, for some time on the world stage, the United States. Nixon's infamous order to have CIA officials invoke national security as a way of blocking the FBI's early Watergate investigation -- captured on the "smoking gun" tape of June 23, 1972, six days after the arrest of Hunt's operatives -- was predicated on the president's belief, as conveyed to his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, that "this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much ... (Disclosure of Hunt's involvement) would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it is likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing, which we think would be very unfortunate -- both for CIA and for the country ..."

Eight months later, Nixon taped himself ruminating on whether to pay Hunt the $120,000 he was demanding -- not as "blackmail," a charge Hunt always resented, but for legal and family bills, which Hunt saw as the traditional remuneration due all captured soldiers in the spy game. The secret recording would, like the "smoking gun" tape, figure prominently in the articles of impeachment that effectively drove Nixon from office.

Despite Hunt's long and valorous service to his country, the untimely death of his first wife, Dorothy, in a plane crash shortly before his Watergate trial, and the anguish the whole affair visited on his family, Hunt was sentenced by a vindictive federal judge, John J. Sirica, to 35 years in prison -- unheard of for a first-time offender -- and subjected to treatment worthy of "Les Miserables": Across 33 months in various prisons, including the hellish D.C. jail, Hunt was beaten and robbed, suffered a stroke, and made, at the age of 56, and despite his obvious literacy skills, to perform hard labor on a cattle farm. "I was a man who was, at that point, considering killing himself, to be very blunt about it," Hunt told the Senate Watergate committee, in previously unpublished testimony, about the period after his wife's death in 1972.

After prison, Hunt endured what his old friend Bill Buckley, in his wistful introduction to "American Spy," calls "wretchedly protracted … suffering." The former spook-cum-novelist never regained his professional or literary reputations, struggled to pay nearly $800,000 in legal fees and failed to quash persistent conspiracy theories linking him, erroneously, if not downright maliciously, to Kennedy's assassination.

By 2003, Hunt had lost a leg to arteriosclerosis. But Hunt's life after Watergate was not without redemption. While in prison, he met the woman who would become his second wife, an unpretentious divorcee named Laura Martin. They had two children (one of whom, Austin, a ringer for Val Kilmer, has followed his father's footsteps into government service.) Hunt also remained a shrewd observer of the national scene. As early as 1977, shortly after Muslim terrorists stormed three buildings in Washington, taking more than 130 hostages and killing a radio reporter, Hunt warned, in a Newsweek essay, that post-Watergate hysteria had left the U.S. intelligence agencies "cowed and demoralized," with the consequence that "the FBI's ability to cope with domestic terrorism has been reduced to near nullity."

* * *

As a posthumous memoir, however, "American Spy" is problematic. For one thing, advance proofs indicate one of his co-authors (omitted from the cover but not the copyright page) was Eric Hamburg, co-producer of Oliver Stone's film, "Nixon" -- which, among other misrepresentations, depicted an encounter between Hunt and White House counsel John Dean that, as far as is known, never took place. As one who suffered mightily at the hands of conspiracy theorists, Hunt's choice of allies is curious.

Indeed, much of the book's new material sounds as though it is the work of Hamburg or Aunapu and not Hunt. This is especially so in the recurrent, and transparently calculated, use of contemporary terms Hunt probably never uttered in his life such as "reality shows," "yuppies living in McMansions," and "X-Gamers." The problem recurs in several left-leaning harangues, inserted awkwardly into the narrative, that contrast sharply with the voice of a man who elsewhere rejoices in the company of CIA's Frank Wisner as "one of the few anti-Communist hardliners I met while in Europe, and a refreshing contrast, I thought, to the views of most of my colleagues."

Would Howard Hunt, an avid viewer of Fox News, still question, at this late date, even after the release of the incriminating Venona Papers, whether Alger Hiss really was guilty of being a Soviet spy? Would he spend five seconds entertaining as "not beyond consideration" the theory that, while a congressman, Nixon built a phony typewriter to implicate Hiss? Would he devote an entire chapter to empty theorizing about who "might" have been involved in the Kennedy assassination, even as he excoriated those who, with equal emptiness, falsely implicated him?

Most problematic are the Watergate chapters. There are numerous factual errors -- misspelled names, wrong dates, phantom participants in meetings, fictitious orders given -- and the authors never substantively address, only pause occasionally to demean, the vast scholarly literature that has arisen in the last two decades to explain the central mystery of Watergate: What was the purpose of the wiretap on the telephone of R. Spencer Oliver, the lone wiretap that worked, and was monitored, for the three-week lifespan of the doomed DNC surveillance operation?

Hunt similarly makes no effort to explain why one of the Cubans he recruited for the mission, Eugenio Martinez, was found by the FBI, upon arrest, to be carrying a key to the desk of Oliver's secretary, Ida "Maxie" Wells.

Neither Oliver nor Wells had anything to do with Democratic Party finances, which Hunt always claimed was the area he and his men were sent into the DNC to investigate. These inescapable facts have increasingly led scholars to believe that it was Wells and Oliver, not party chairman Larry O'Brien, who were the true targets of the Watergate operation. Likewise, Hunt notes again and again the "strange" behavior of the mission's wiretap installer, James McCord: repeatedly deceiving his Cuban cohorts, absenting himself at critical times. But he never confronts the "secret agenda" that numerous Watergate historians have alleged McCord to have harbored. These are important questions, and Hunt and his co-authors should have sought to answer them, not just ignore them or cursorily dismiss them as "revisionist."

Outside those unfortunate passages, "American Spy" succeeds in taking readers beyond the caricatures and conspiracy theories to preserve the valuable memory of Hunt as he really was: passionate patriot; committed Cold Warrior; a lover of fine food, wine and women; incurable intriguer, wicked wit and superb storyteller. One wonders if Hunt ever saw the parallels between an event from his wartime OSS service, recounted in "American Spy" for the first time, and the moment when he pleaded with Liddy, in the pre-dawn hours of June 17, 1972 and to no avail, not to go forward with the last, disastrous Watergate raid.

The earlier moment came in the summer of 1944, when the pilot of a C-47, against Hunt's pleas, recklessly flew their plane above Japanese anti-aircraft gunners stationed near Changsha. Two crewmen were shot to death before Hunt's own eyes, and plummeted through the plane's open doors. After landing, the pilot returned with horror on his face. "What happened to the others?" he asked. "What the hell did you expect?" Hunt retorted. "Flak happened."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I asked Len Colodny about E. Howard Hunt's references to him in his book, American Spy. He sent me this review of the book by James Rosen (Fox News State Department correspondent and author of "The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate," forthcoming from Doubleday).

Howard Hunt's Final Mission

By: James Rosen

February 7, 2007 03:13 PM EST

"American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond"

By E. Howard Hunt and Greg Aunapu

352 pages. Wiley, $25.95

"It's something that gets into your blood," E. Howard Hunt recently admitted, "keeps your heart beating, your mind keen …" The legendary Watergate conspirator was speaking, of course, of what he called "the action": the covert intrigues that inspired and consumed him, as a career intelligence official and prolific spy novelist, over the course of three decades in the Navy, the Army Air Force, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Central Intelligence Agency, and, finally, the Nixon White House.

Hunt was speaking, too, from the grave, for his confession came in a memoir whose publication he did not live to see. Hunt died Jan. 23 at the age of 88. "American Spy: My History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond," co-authored by Greg Aunapu, a Miami writer, is Hunt's third work of nonfiction, following "Give Us This Day" (1973), a firsthand account of the Bay of Pigs debacle; and "Undercover: Memoirs of a Secret Agent" (1974), a brisk autobiography, parts of which, concerning Watergate, Hunt later disavowed as lies -- and yet from which "American Spy," in retelling the spook's life story, borrows heavily.

So closely did Hunt's career track the rise and decline of the American intelligence apparatus that he could have stepped right out of "The Good Shepherd." He rubbed elbows with all of the real-life Ivy Leaguers portrayed in that film, and his own adventures inspired those of Ethan Hunt, the protagonist in Mission Impossible.

Born in upstate New York to affluent parents, Hunt graduated from Brown University in 1940 with a love of the classics, a proficiency in Latin, Greek and Spanish, and a degree in English. During World War II, he saw action in the North Atlantic but was sidelined by a fall on the icy deck of a destroyer. While on medical leave, he produced "East of Farewell," the first book-length account of that now-distant war written by a veteran and the first of 80 novels that Hunt would ultimately publish, both under his own name and various pseudonyms.

After Hunt served stints as a war correspondent for Life and in the Army Air Force, his father, a prominent lawyer and lobbyist, arranged for his son to meet Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan, head of the OSS and the father of America's modern intelligence services. From that meeting blossomed Hunt's often thrilling career in clandestine service: uncovering a double agent in Calcutta; sabotaging Japanese units behind enemy lines in China's Yunnan province; rescuing American POWs from starvation.

In the 1950s, Hunt went on to oversee CIA operations in Mexico City, where his charges included young Yale-educated William F. Buckley Jr., the godfather to Hunt's first four children. Bolstered by that posting, he got to help plot the agency's overthrow of Guatemala's Communist-leaning government, run anti-Soviet propaganda campaigns in the Balkans and rise to station chief in Uruguay.

However, after the CIA's calamitous attempt to replicate its Guatemalan success in Castro's Cuba at the Bay of Pigs -- a campaign fatally undermined, many believed, by President John F. Kennedy's withholding of crucial air support -- Hunt's career stalled. He spent the remainder of the 1960s shuffling through low-impact postings until he could retire from the CIA in 1970 (for at least the third time, the first two being officially sanctioned acts of disinformation) and collect his pension. Yet Hunt remained "action-oriented," and sought to supplement the income from his ho-hum PR job with a CIA front in Washington by serving as a consultant to Richard Nixon's White House.

At that time, in the summer of 1971, Nixon and his top aides felt besieged by a tidal wave of radicalism, in the form of bombings, campus strikes and antiwar protests. They were determined to stop an unprecedented series of leaks of classified data to the news media. The largest of these national security breaches came when Daniel Ellsberg, a disaffected Pentagon consultant, delivered to The New York Times the so-called Pentagon Papers, 7,000 pages of top-secret government documents detailing U.S. actions in Vietnam over the previous two decades.

With the encouragement of his boss, special counsel Charles Colson, Hunt undertook a broad portfolio of sub rosa, and sometimes illegal, intrigues: forging State Department cables to implicate President Kennedy in the 1963 murder of South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem; plotting a "surreptitious entry," with his partner in crime, G. Gordon Liddy, into the office of Ellsberg's Beverly Hills psychiatrist; and, most famously, reuniting with Liddy, as well as some old Bay of Pigs compadres, for the ill-fated break-in and wiretapping operation at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office building.

That last misadventure, as history now records, proved the undoing of Hunt, the Nixon administration, and, for some time on the world stage, the United States. Nixon's infamous order to have CIA officials invoke national security as a way of blocking the FBI's early Watergate investigation -- captured on the "smoking gun" tape of June 23, 1972, six days after the arrest of Hunt's operatives -- was predicated on the president's belief, as conveyed to his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, that "this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much ... (Disclosure of Hunt's involvement) would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it is likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing, which we think would be very unfortunate -- both for CIA and for the country ..."

Eight months later, Nixon taped himself ruminating on whether to pay Hunt the $120,000 he was demanding -- not as "blackmail," a charge Hunt always resented, but for legal and family bills, which Hunt saw as the traditional remuneration due all captured soldiers in the spy game. The secret recording would, like the "smoking gun" tape, figure prominently in the articles of impeachment that effectively drove Nixon from office.

Despite Hunt's long and valorous service to his country, the untimely death of his first wife, Dorothy, in a plane crash shortly before his Watergate trial, and the anguish the whole affair visited on his family, Hunt was sentenced by a vindictive federal judge, John J. Sirica, to 35 years in prison -- unheard of for a first-time offender -- and subjected to treatment worthy of "Les Miserables": Across 33 months in various prisons, including the hellish D.C. jail, Hunt was beaten and robbed, suffered a stroke, and made, at the age of 56, and despite his obvious literacy skills, to perform hard labor on a cattle farm. "I was a man who was, at that point, considering killing himself, to be very blunt about it," Hunt told the Senate Watergate committee, in previously unpublished testimony, about the period after his wife's death in 1972.

After prison, Hunt endured what his old friend Bill Buckley, in his wistful introduction to "American Spy," calls "wretchedly protracted … suffering." The former spook-cum-novelist never regained his professional or literary reputations, struggled to pay nearly $800,000 in legal fees and failed to quash persistent conspiracy theories linking him, erroneously, if not downright maliciously, to Kennedy's assassination.

By 2003, Hunt had lost a leg to arteriosclerosis. But Hunt's life after Watergate was not without redemption. While in prison, he met the woman who would become his second wife, an unpretentious divorcee named Laura Martin. They had two children (one of whom, Austin, a ringer for Val Kilmer, has followed his father's footsteps into government service.) Hunt also remained a shrewd observer of the national scene. As early as 1977, shortly after Muslim terrorists stormed three buildings in Washington, taking more than 130 hostages and killing a radio reporter, Hunt warned, in a Newsweek essay, that post-Watergate hysteria had left the U.S. intelligence agencies "cowed and demoralized," with the consequence that "the FBI's ability to cope with domestic terrorism has been reduced to near nullity."

* * *

As a posthumous memoir, however, "American Spy" is problematic. For one thing, advance proofs indicate one of his co-authors (omitted from the cover but not the copyright page) was Eric Hamburg, co-producer of Oliver Stone's film, "Nixon" -- which, among other misrepresentations, depicted an encounter between Hunt and White House counsel John Dean that, as far as is known, never took place. As one who suffered mightily at the hands of conspiracy theorists, Hunt's choice of allies is curious.

Indeed, much of the book's new material sounds as though it is the work of Hamburg or Aunapu and not Hunt. This is especially so in the recurrent, and transparently calculated, use of contemporary terms Hunt probably never uttered in his life such as "reality shows," "yuppies living in McMansions," and "X-Gamers." The problem recurs in several left-leaning harangues, inserted awkwardly into the narrative, that contrast sharply with the voice of a man who elsewhere rejoices in the company of CIA's Frank Wisner as "one of the few anti-Communist hardliners I met while in Europe, and a refreshing contrast, I thought, to the views of most of my colleagues."

Would Howard Hunt, an avid viewer of Fox News, still question, at this late date, even after the release of the incriminating Venona Papers, whether Alger Hiss really was guilty of being a Soviet spy? Would he spend five seconds entertaining as "not beyond consideration" the theory that, while a congressman, Nixon built a phony typewriter to implicate Hiss? Would he devote an entire chapter to empty theorizing about who "might" have been involved in the Kennedy assassination, even as he excoriated those who, with equal emptiness, falsely implicated him?

Most problematic are the Watergate chapters. There are numerous factual errors -- misspelled names, wrong dates, phantom participants in meetings, fictitious orders given -- and the authors never substantively address, only pause occasionally to demean, the vast scholarly literature that has arisen in the last two decades to explain the central mystery of Watergate: What was the purpose of the wiretap on the telephone of R. Spencer Oliver, the lone wiretap that worked, and was monitored, for the three-week lifespan of the doomed DNC surveillance operation?

Hunt similarly makes no effort to explain why one of the Cubans he recruited for the mission, Eugenio Martinez, was found by the FBI, upon arrest, to be carrying a key to the desk of Oliver's secretary, Ida "Maxie" Wells.

Neither Oliver nor Wells had anything to do with Democratic Party finances, which Hunt always claimed was the area he and his men were sent into the DNC to investigate. These inescapable facts have increasingly led scholars to believe that it was Wells and Oliver, not party chairman Larry O'Brien, who were the true targets of the Watergate operation. Likewise, Hunt notes again and again the "strange" behavior of the mission's wiretap installer, James McCord: repeatedly deceiving his Cuban cohorts, absenting himself at critical times. But he never confronts the "secret agenda" that numerous Watergate historians have alleged McCord to have harbored. These are important questions, and Hunt and his co-authors should have sought to answer them, not just ignore them or cursorily dismiss them as "revisionist."

Outside those unfortunate passages, "American Spy" succeeds in taking readers beyond the caricatures and conspiracy theories to preserve the valuable memory of Hunt as he really was: passionate patriot; committed Cold Warrior; a lover of fine food, wine and women; incurable intriguer, wicked wit and superb storyteller. One wonders if Hunt ever saw the parallels between an event from his wartime OSS service, recounted in "American Spy" for the first time, and the moment when he pleaded with Liddy, in the pre-dawn hours of June 17, 1972 and to no avail, not to go forward with the last, disastrous Watergate raid.

The earlier moment came in the summer of 1944, when the pilot of a C-47, against Hunt's pleas, recklessly flew their plane above Japanese anti-aircraft gunners stationed near Changsha. Two crewmen were shot to death before Hunt's own eyes, and plummeted through the plane's open doors. After landing, the pilot returned with horror on his face. "What happened to the others?" he asked. "What the hell did you expect?" Hunt retorted. "Flak happened."

R. Spencer Oliver was the son of Robert Oliver, who was retained by General Foods Corporation along with Robert Mullen of the Mullen Company, to handle its corporate public relations in Washington, D.C.

After being graduated from the New York University Law School, I entered the employment of General Foods Corporation, which had its headquarters in White Plains, N.Y. Among my tasks was to serve as secretary to the Corporation’s Government Affairs Committee, which was comprised of the corporation’s top officers.

Robert Mullen was an occasional guest speaker at these meetings, and he invariably brought along Robert Oliver, who also offered his assessment on Washington developments. Mullen was known as the “Republican” adviser and Oliver as his “Democratic” counterpart. By utilizing the services of both, General Foods Corporation’s goal was to have an early warning system to alert them to any potential governmental problem that might affect it.

So one of the enduring mysteries of Watergate is the evidence that apparently the burglars had an unusual interest in R. Spencer Oliver that stemmed from the position that he held at the Democratic National Committee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

THE REAL WHITE HOUSE PLUMBER

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/obituaries/bal-md.ob.arrington27mar27,1,5963043,print.story?coll=bal-news-obituaries&ctrack=1&cset=true

Howard Bernard "Reds" Arrington RIP

By Frederick N. Rasmussensun reporterOriginally published March 27, 2007

Howard Bernard "Reds" Arrington, the former White House plumber who for more than three decades kept the plumbing humming and the fountains splashing through seven presidential administrations, died of cancer Saturday at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Edgewater resident was 79.

Mr. Arrington was born in Roanoke, Va., and lived briefly in Covington, Va., before moving with his family to Washington in 1937.

He was a graduate of the old Bell Vocational School in Washington, and enlisted in the Navy in 1944. He served as a gunner aboard a carrier vessel escort in the Pacific, and, two days after being discharged in 1946, he went to work in the White House.

"He had an uncle who worked in the White House, and he got Reds a job in the bouquet room working with flowers. He then became a plumber's helper and learned his trade while working there," said his wife of 58 years, the former Margaret Meredith.

Mr. Arrington, who was virtually on call around the clock, seven days a week, was chief plumbing foreman at the White House for 19 years. He retired in 1979.

"I think there were 17 bathrooms in the mansion. He also had to care for the White House pool and fountains, and he always had plenty of tales to tell," Mrs. Arrington said.

"I did all kinds of things. I got a call once that Mrs. Truman's toilet wasn't flushing right. So I went over there, and all of a sudden up comes these false teeth. They weren't Mrs. Truman's, they were her maid's," Mr. Arrington told Life magazine in a 1992 feature story on the White House.

"Ike used to drive golf balls down the South Lawn right into the fountain. The water was so deep, he would give me his waders and a ball retriever," he said in the interview.

During a routine cleaning of a White House fountain, Mr. Arrington was seated in a small boat with a pole.

"Looking out of a White House window, President Kennedy, said, 'My God, there's a man out there in a boat and he's fishing,'" Mrs. Arrington said, laughing. "Another time, a plumber's helper turned a valve the wrong way and it blew steam into Mrs. Kennedy's clothes closet. I don't think she was very happy about it."

The one president who took his plumbing far too seriously, perhaps, was Lyndon B. Johnson.

"He almost caused Reds to have ulcers. One night, we were out dining in an Annapolis restaurant when we were paged. 'White House calling Howard Arrington,'" Mrs. Arrington recalled. "They wanted Reds to come right over because President Johnson wanted his commode turned so it sat caddy-cornered in his bathroom."

"President Johnson started right in about his shower when he moved into the White House. He said, 'I don't have any pressure, for one thing,' and that he wanted it just like the shower at his Georgetown home," Mr. Arrington said in the Life interview.

"So my assistant and I worked on his shower, and the President tried it and said, 'That was nothing.' Then he said he wanted body sprays all around, not just overhead. He wanted one on the floor, too. This wasn't for his feet - he wanted it to hit up his rear," Mr. Arrington said.

When he was experiencing trouble adjusting the shower, he felt the full fury of LBJ's legendary temper in a three-minute phone call that concluded with his slamming down the phone.

Normally, calls conveying the president's wishes came from the chief usher at the White House, but not this one, Mrs. Arrington said.

"We have flunkies in Johnson City that can fix it, why can't you? I don't want any change in pressure when I go from the overhead to both. Bring in the engineers, anybody, but have that thing fixed by the time I get back from Texas," boomed the president, as recalled in a written account by Mrs. Arrington.

To inspire Mr. Arrington, no doubt, Mr. Johnson added: "If I can move 10,000 troops in a day, you certainly can fix the shower."

"We ended up with four pumps, and then we had to increase the size of our water lines because other parts of the house were being sucked dry," Mr. Arrington said in the Life interview. "One day the head usher tried out the shower. It pinned him right against the wall, and he looked like a lobster when he came out. 'I don't see how he can stand it,'" he said.

After five years of tinkering and fine-tuning the shower, it was President Richard M. Nixon who ordered Mr. Arrington to "get rid of this stuff," after taking office in 1969.

When the existence of the White House Plumbers became known during the Watergate scandal, Mr. Arrington liked to tell people, "I'm the real White House plumber."

Inevitably, Mr. Arrington was asked in numerous interviews through the years who were his favorite presidents.

"He'd say, 'They were all very good to me,' but he especially liked working for Ike and Nixon," Mrs. Arrington said.

In 1992, Mr. Arrington talked of his White House years as part of the Festival of American Folklife sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.

"There's no place like the White House. All the things you do for a family out of your line of work - anything they wanted, from fixing a pocketbook to moving furniture," Mr. Arrington said in the souvenir festival booklet.

Mr. Arrington enjoyed planting tulips and gardening at his Edgewater home. He also liked to golf, fish and visit presidential libraries.

He was a member of Mayo United Methodist Church, 1005 Old Turkey Point Road, Edgewater, where services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow. Also surviving are three daughters, Donna L. Clay of Greensboro, N.C., Bonnie K. Pellicot of Edgewater and Sherri L. Hennen of Mayo; two brothers, Harold Arrington of New Carrollton and Bonner Arrington of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and seven grandchildren.

Edited by William Kelly
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
Guest Tom Scully

Wow, John!

We're pretty far apart in calling this one....I followed the events closely, back then in realtime. I formed opinions that I've carried for 35 years.

When the time comes when I can't support them in my posts, I'll revise them to match the evidentiary record.

Please consider the following:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5112200817.html

Watergate Libel Suit Settled

By George Lardner Jr.

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 23, 1997; Page C01

John W. Dean III is a happy man these days.

Dean can't tell you why in any detail, but he can say that earlier this month he reached an out-of-court settlement with St. Martin's Press in a $150 million libel suit over a book that depicted him as the chief villain in the Watergate scandal.

"All I can say is that we're satisfied," Dean said, speaking for himself and his wife, Maureen.....

....Dean and his wife, who now live in Southern California, are still suing Colodny, Gettlin and Liddy, who has endorsed the notion that Maureen Dean was a prostitute.

St. Martin's Press lawyer David Kaye confirmed the out-of-court settlement by the publishing house but said its terms were confidential. St. Martin's is giving the publishing rights "back to the authors," Kaye added. He said this was "common in publishing" for books published years ago....

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7NsSA...man+joe+johnson

Watergate Libel Suit Settled

The Ledger Sept 29, 1999

....The dismissal came after State Farm Insurance Cos., the author's personal liability insurance carrier, decided to pay the Deans

an undisclosed sum to resolve the dispute, insurance company spokesman Joe Johnson said Tuesday.

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=col...1&scoring=a

Watergate figure John Dean settles lawsuit against author Book had …

$2.95 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - NewsBank - Oct 3, 1999

... to resolve the dispute, insurance company spokesman Joe Johnson said. In a separate deal, he said State Farm had agreed to pay Leonard Colodny of Tampa,...

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=dea...1&scoring=a

SEEN & OVERHEARD

Pay-Per-View - Dayton Daily News - NewsBank - Jan 29, 2000

(Dean recently dismissed his defamation suit against Colodny after "State Farm, Colodny's own insurance company, paid off both sides to make it go away," ...

Does anyone think the lawsuit got to be seven years old because of plaintiff Dean's conduct of the litigation? Doesn't it seem likely that Dean was correct

in blaming the defendant Colodny's publisher for employing every possible tactic to delay an outcome in the courtroom?

http://hnn.us/articles/76266.html

4-20-09

John W. Dean III and the Watergate Cover-up, Revisited

By Luke A. Nichter

Mr. Nichter is Assistant Professor of History at Tarleton State University-Central Texas. He prepared this article for Passport, the newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

..The real story, which has been missed up to this point, is that we now have the technology to create improved transcriptions of the tapes and disseminate them and the original audio recordings widely. It is therefore time for a complete reevaluation of Watergate, and it is to be hoped that the Times article will prompt such a reevaluation, focusing in particular on the week of March 13 and the path to “Cancer.” This reexamination should do what David Frost was unable to do in the 1970s and what Stanley Kutler was unable to do in the 1990s.

As someone with the necessary background in the Nixon tapes, I felt that I had a responsibility to try to explain the dispute to a wider audience, and when I was asked to do so, I agreed without reservation. I certainly do not seek to insert myself in a debate that began before I started graduate school. I happen to believe that Klingman’s fight against Kutler is misplaced and that the real story is not Kutler, although he plays a role in it. But readers should come to their own conclusions. To help them do that I have assembled all the uncut audio files and conversations from the six Nixon/Dean conversations now under scrutiny from the week of March 13. For reasons of space, I have condensed the hours of audio and hundreds of pages of transcripts here. Much of this material is being made readily available to the public for the first time. ...

March 13, 1973, 12:42–2:00 p.m.

Oval Office 878-014; Richard Nixon, John W. Dean III, H.R. Haldeman[11]

..Dean informed the president for the first time that Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman had advance knowledge of Donald Segretti’s “prankster-type activities.”[17] To slow the FBI’s investigation, Dean suggested restructuring the FBI[18] and emphasized the need to move the focus of the investigation immediately from the Nixon White House to Democrats and past administrations.[19] After complaining to the president about “dishonest” media reporting that was “out of sequence,” Dean explained the convoluted way in which Gordon Liddy received his Watergate break-in funds. Liddy’s error, Dean said, was unnecessarily involving a third party in the cashing of checks, which left a traceable record.[20]...

..Finally, Dean predicted the direction that the investigation would take.[23] “I don’t think the thing will get out of hand,” he said, but those in danger included Charles Colson, John Mitchell, Gordon Strachan, Dwight Chapin, and by extension H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. Dean also warned of a “domino situation” if bank records were traced.[24] For example, he told the president that bank records would show that the administration had been paying someone to tail Senator Edward Kennedy for “almost two years.” The tail began “within six hours” of Chappaquiddick.[25] In concluding the conversation, Dean said he would work with aide Richard A. Moore to work out a plan to broaden the focus of the investigation beyond the Nixon White House.[26]...

March 17, 1973, 1:25–2:10 p.m.

Oval Office 882-012; Richard Nixon, John W. Dean III, H.R. Haldeman[39]

President Nixon reminded Dean that his falsified report should conclude that no one from the White House was involved, based on “Dean’s evaluation.”[40] Dean stated that he wanted to go even further than that: Nixon should hold a meeting with Ervin and disclose that CREEP had a legitimate “intelligence operation in place” based on “handwritten,” “sworn statements” and that the White House had cut itself off from anything illegal.[41] Dean then revealed that he knew about the “intelligence operation” six months before the Watergate break-in.[42] The initial meeting that set up the operation was attended by Dean, Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, and Liddy. Dean told Haldeman that the operation should be kept “ten miles” from the White House. Nixon then asked Dean who he thought was presently most vulnerable.[43] Dean noted that he himself was, because “I’ve been all over this thing like a blanket.” Colson, Chapin, Mitchell, and Haldeman were also vulnerable. Dean stated that he called break-in planner Liddy the Monday after the break-in for an explanation. According to Dean, Haldeman deputy Strachan pushed campaign aide Magruder to compel Liddy to do the break-in. Dean recommended that Magruder become the scapegoat and that an official statement to that effect from the White House would be helpful.[44] “Can’t do that,” Nixon replied. Dean then switched to using Segretti as a scapegoat, which won more favor with the president.[45] “It was pranksterism that got out of hand,” Dean said. Finally, Dean explained the discovery of the bizarre connection of the investigation to top Nixon aide John Ehrlichman, who had used Liddy in previous operations, including the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist.[46] Since Liddy was also caught at the Watergate, he would eventually lead the investigation to Ehrlichman, Dean warned.

Why does there seem to be so much respect around here, afforded to Len Colodny? It seems he was an investigator for a county in Maryland, fired by a county executive he clashed with, circa 1986, and a couple of years later he receives an extraordinary $250,000 publisher's advance, to write the book, Silent Coup, researched primarily from the Tampa, FL library, with input from G. Gordon Liddy. Could Liddy ever be described as reliable?

Since then, Woodward, Bernstein, and Al Haig seem to have gotten out from under the main accusations in the book?

Edited by Tom Scully
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...