Nixon aide Tom Charles Huston was assigned to work with the heads of these agencies to facilitate increased cooperation. early July, 1970 The Huston Plan sent to the President. This plan was an addition made by Huston to a plan endorsed by Hoover and Helms (NSA and DIA as well? ). Huston’s addition called for electronic surveillance, monitoring activities, surreptitious entries, recruitment of more campus informants, et al. July 14, 1970 Nixon endorses the Huston Plan July 27, 1970 Hoover visits John Mitchell.
Mitchell hears about the Huston plan for the first time. Mitchell later goes to Nixon and urges the President to Stop the plan. Nixon later cancelled the plan. September 17, 1970 Mitchell met with John Dean.
Mitchell discussed the poor job that the FBI was doing in the area domestic intelligence. This followed a conversation between Mitchell, Helms and others from the CIA on a similar topic. September 18, 1970 John Dean sends a memo to John Mitchell in which he offers a plan for intelligence gathering. ‘The most appropriate procedure would be to decide on the type of intelligence we need, based on an assessment of the recommendations of this unit, and then to proceed to remove the restraints as necessary to obtain such intelligence. ‘ May 3, 1971 Following Nixon’s decision concerning Laos, Anti-Vietnam activists attempt to shutdown Washington by blocking roads with stalled cars, human blockades, garbage cans, and other materials. The protests result in over 12,000 arrests.
John Dean headed up the White House intelligence gathering during this protest. June 13, 1971 The New York Times begins publication of excerpts from ‘The Pentagon Papers’. The Pentagon Papers was a 7,000 page document that was first commissioned by Robert McNamara in June of 1967 for future scholars to use. The Papers were leaked to the Times by Daniel Ellsberg. Although there were many crucial documents that were not included, the Papers did include documents from the Defense Department, the State Department, the CIA, and the White House. June 14, 1971 John Mitchell sends a telegram to the New York Times.
Arthur Ochs SulzbergerPresident and Publisher The New York Times New York New York have been advised by the Secretary of Defense that the material published in The New York Times on June 13, 14, 1971 captioned ‘Key Texts From Pentagon’s Vietnam Study’ contains information relating to the national defense of the United States and bears a top secret classification. As such, publication of this information is directly prohibited by the provisions of the Espionage law, Title 18, United States Code, Section 793. Moreover further publication of information of this character will cause irreparable injury to the defense interests of the United States. Accordingly, I respectfully request that you publish no further information of this character and advise me that you have made arrangements for the return of these documents to the Department of Defense. John W. Mitchell Attorney General The New York Times declined Mitchell’s request.
July, 1971 Ehrlichman appoints Young and Evil ‘Bud’ Krogh, Jr. to direct a Special Investigations Unit to investigate the leak of the Pentagon Papers. Young andKrogh’s group become known as the ‘plumbers’. August 16, 1971 John Dean writes the memorandum ‘Dealing with our Political Enemies’ where he describes ‘how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.’s ept. 3, 1971 Break in of the office of Lewis Fielding, Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, in Los Angeles led by Hunt and Liddy. The goal was to seek information that would be damaging to Ellsberg.
October, 1971 Colson asks Dean to investigate the ‘Happy Hooker’ ring in New York to see if there were prominent Democratic party clients. Dean calls Caulfield and Ulasewicz. Late October (? ), 1971 [Dean] got right to the point. ‘Gordon, it may be necessary for you and Jack [Caulfield] to go into the closet for awhile. ‘ ‘How’s that?’ ‘There’s an election coming up next year.
We ” ve had a taste this summer of how the other side can be expected to operate. We ” ve got to be able to counter that with an absolutely first-class intelligence operation. ‘ Dean was leaning forward intently, elbows on his knees, his left fist grasped in his right hand. He was serious as cancer. Krogh remained silent, letting Dean do the talking.
I put what Dean had said together with his mention of Caulfield and asked, ‘You mean Sandwedge?’ ‘No. We ” re going to need something much better, much more complete and sophisticated than that. Bud tells me you ” re quite knowledgeable in this area. ‘ I told Dean I wasn’t sure that it’d be wise for me to ‘go into the closet,’ that I wasn’t there under the same circumstances as Caulfield — not that low a profile. If I disappeared all of a sudden, people would ask questions.
‘ You can’t do it from here,’ Dean interjected. ‘ No,’ agreed Bud Krogh, speaking for the first time. I told them I could understand that, but that I’d need some kind of cover. ‘ Well,’ said Dean, ‘you give it some thought, and we ” ll give it so methought. But what do you think of the idea?’. ..
‘I am willing,’ I said, choosing my words carefully, ‘to serve the President in any way I can, but there are a number of different ways Ican serve him. I’m here because of John Mitchell, and I work for John Ehrlichman. I want to be sure that this is how they feel I can best serve the President. So before I decide, I’d like you, Bud, to run this pastEhrlichman and you, John, to check with John Mitchell. If they both agree, then I’m your man.
‘ Krogh nodded his head in assent and Dean got to his feet hurriedly, said,’ Fair enough,’ held out his hand to shake mine, and left as quickly as he had entered. Bud Krogh rose and shook hands too, saying ‘O.K., Gordon, we ” ll get back to you. ‘ I left and looked up Howard Hunt, finding him in his third-floor office. Told him of the offer Dean had made and the first thing Hunt asked was,’ Do they have any idea what something like that costs?’ I quoted to him John Dean’s ‘… half a million for openers,’ and he said,’ Good. They ” re in the ball park at any rate. In that kind of work the cheapest commodity there is, is money.
You going to do it?’ ‘If Mitchell and Ehrlichman agree, and we can work out a satisfactory cover. If it’s a go, can I count on your help and that of your friends in Miami? I’ll need it. ‘ ‘With that kind of budget I don’t see any reason why not. No more Mickey Mouse radios, huh?’ Hunt needled.
‘ Deal. ‘ I grinned. We went out and had a drink on it. Conversation recalled by G. Gordon Liddy in Will November, 1971 Caulfield told Tony Ulasewicz that Dean wants him to check out the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate. November 24, 1971 Meeting between John Dean, Gordon Liddy and John Mitchell in the Attorney General’s inner office in the Justice Department buildingLiddy’s new position in the Committee to Re-elect the President is discussed, but not Operation Gemstone.
Toward the end of 1971 Caulfield recalls: I saw a desire to take greater chances as [Dean] saw the potential rewards. And the key to the ball game was intelligence — who was going to get it and who was going to provide it. Dean saw that and played the game heartily… I was getting my instructions from Dean. I did whatever Dean asked… I would put Tony [Ulasewicz] to work.
‘ December 6, 1971 G. Gordon Liddy transferred from White House to Committee to Re-elect thePresidentDecember 14, 1971 Jack Anderson publishes a column concerning Nixon’s foreign policy plans with India and Pakistan. His sources were top secret documents taken from the White House, specifically notes from me eti ng’s held by a Kissinger on December 3 and 4, 1971. January 9, 1972 James McCord joins the Committee to Re-elect the President as physical security chief. January 10, 1972 G. Gordon Liddy audits the records of Anthony Ulasewicz in New York City. January 27, 1972 Meeting arranged by Jeb Magruder.
Those in attendance were Attorney General John Mitchell, John Dean, Jeb Magruder, G. Gordon Liddy. Liddy presents the ‘GEMSTONE’ plan. ‘When I had finished, Dean and Magruder remained silent. John Mitchell made much of filling and relighting his pipe and then said, ‘Gordon, a million dollars is a hell of a lot of money, much more than we had in mind.
I’d like you to go back and come up with something more realistic. ‘ ‘ Excerpt from Will by G. Gordon Liddy February 4, 1972 Meeting arranged by Jeb Magruder. John Dean arrived late while Liddy was presenting his slimmed down GEMSTONE plan. ‘John Dean has since said that he entered at the very end of my second presentation. He was not that late. He came in after I had handed out the new, smaller charts and explained to Mitchell and Magruder what had been cut out, but he was there in time to hear that programs DIAMOND (removal and detention of violent demonstration leaders); CRYSTAL (electronic surveillance); SAPPHIRE (the prostitute program); OPAL (the covert entry operation); and RUBY (the agents-in-place) program, could be retained in reduced form.
This time Mitchell did not order the destruction of the charts when he handed his back to me; nor did he ask me to come up with something ” more realistic. ‘ He Just said he’d have to ‘think about it’ and let me know. It was at this point that John Dean interposed his objection. It was not, as he has often said, that such matters should not be discussed in the Attorney General’s office, but that (addressing himself to John Mitchell):’s ir, I don’t think a decision on a matter of this kind should come from the Attorney General’s office. I think he should get it from somewhere else — completely unofficial channels.
‘ John Mitchell nodded his head soberly and said, ‘I agree’; at which point Jeb Magruder chimed in with ‘Right. ‘ Dean hurried away before I could chew on him for what I believed to have been a suggestion that would only delay a decision further. But I landed all over Magruder. ‘ Why the hell,’ I said to Jeb, ‘am I constantly being put in the position of a salesman for something somebody has already ordered? I’m not going to continue being put into an embarrassing position like this with my people. I’ve promised them an answer.
If they think we ” re indecisive they ” re gonna want out and at this point, frankly, I don’t blame them. Now Iwant a fucking decision and I want it fast!’ Excerpt from Will by G. Gordon Liddy March 27, 1972 G. Gordon Liddy transferred to Maurice Stans’s finance committee. March 30, 1972 Meeting at John Mitchell’s headquarters in Key Biscayne, Florida. Those in attendance: John Mitchell, Frederick C. La Rue, Jeb Magruder, Harry S. Fleming.
When GEMSTONE is brought up, Fleming is excused from the room. Magruder’s Recollections Before Watergate committee: Mitchell approved a modified Gemstone. Later during committee hearing: Mitchell identified the DNC as a break-in target. In Magruder’s book: Mitchell approved $250,000 for scaled-down Gemstone.
Magruder’s later statements: In an interview with Len Colodny and RobertGettlin, Magruder stated that Mitchell did not approve the DNC as a break-in target. Quotes from interview: ‘We [CRP] weren’t the initiators. ‘ ‘The first plan we got had been initiated by Dean. Mitchell didn’t do anything. All Mitchell did is just what I did, was acquiesce to the pressure from the White House. ‘ ‘The target never came from Mitchell.
‘ [Silent Coup, 126] April 7, 1972 Bob R eisner telephones G. Gordon Liddy on behalf of Jeb Magruder telling him to go ahead with the GEMSTONE project. Late April, 1972 The Watergate is moved up as a break-in target for the GEMSTONE project. ‘ Magruder asked, ‘Gordon, do you think you could get into the Watergate?’ I knew just what he meant. I had targeted the DNC headquarters for later, when and if it became the headquarters of the successful Democratic candidate at their convention, so I said, ‘Yes. It’s a high-security building, but we can do it. It’s a bit early, though.
‘ Magruder understood and replied, ‘How about putting a bug in O’Brien’s office?’ Larry O’Brien was by now involved in gearing up for the Democratic convention and was spending most of his time in Miami. Our Cuban agents were studying how best to bug him there, and I’d been laying out money for information, buying off hotel employees, etc., so I said, ‘Forth at, it’s a bit late. ‘ ‘O.K. ‘ he said, ‘so he’s in and out. There’s still plenty of activity over there. We want to know whatever’s said in his office, just as if it was here; what goes on in this office. ‘ I thought the reference strange. Were I the Democrats, I’d want to bug John Mitchell’s office down the hall, not Magruder’s.
I thought of the$30,000 device I had ordered from McCord and said. ‘All right, we can do that. ‘ ‘The phones, too. ‘ ‘That’s easy.
‘ ‘And while you ” re in there, photograph whatever you can find. ‘ ‘ Excerpt from Will by G. Gordon Liddy May 22, 1972 Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, Virgilio Gonzalez, Frank Sturgis, Felipe De Diego and Reinaldo Pico fly up to Washington from Miami. May 26, 1972 The Cubans move into the Watergate Hotel under assumed names. They pose as a group working for the Americas corporation. May 28, 1972 First break-in at the Watergate hotel. Photographs are taken of material from O’Brien’s desk and bugs are placed.
The Target. Howard Hunt and two of the burglars tell Len Colodny and RobertGettlin that the real target of the first break-in was not Larry O’Brien’s office. I twas the telephone that was in the portion of the DNC that contained the offices of R. Spencer Oliver, his secretary Maxie Wells, and the chairman of the State Democratic Governors organization. [SC, 138] June 8, 1972 G. Gordon Liddy transfers logs from the bug in O’Brien’s office to Magruder with the instructions to deliver them to John Mitchell. Only one of the transmitters was working. The photographs of material from O’Brien’s desk were not yet available.
June 9, 1972 Jeb Magruder reports to G. Gordon Liddy that the logs are not adequate and asks if the defective bug could be replaced. The date for the second break-in is set for June 17. June 12, 1972 Magruder talked with G. Gordon Liddy ” On Monday, 12 June, Magruder called me up to his office again and annoyed me immediately by returning to the file cabinets in the DNC offices. I thought he was reneging on his promise of a decision and asking for more information to cover the fact that he’d forgotten to get it. He asked how many file cabinets there were and their proximity to O’Brien’s office. I said there were many locked files, and I was telling him that they had just the common push locks, that they weren’t the file safe type, when Magruder suddenly became agitated and exclaimed, ‘Here’s what Iwant to know.
‘ He swung his left arm back behind him and brought it forward forcefully as he said, ‘I want to know what O’Brien’s got right here!’ At the word here he slapped the lower part of his desk with his left palm, hard. ‘Take all the men, all the cameras you need. That’s what want to know!’ There was a world of significance in Magruder’s gesture. When he said ” here!’ and slapped that particular portion of his desk, he was referring to the place he kept his derogatory information on the Democrats. Whenever in the past he had called me in to attempt to verify some rumor about, for example, Jack Anderson, it was from there that he withdrew whatever he already had on the matter. The purpose of the second Watergate break-in was to find out what O’Brien had of a derogatory nature about us, not for us to get something on him or the Democrats.
‘ Excerpt from Will by G. Gordon Liddy In interviews with Colodny and Gettlin, Magruder has admitted that the order came from John Dean to obtain derogatory information about Republicans which the Democrats were holding at the DNC offices at the Watergate. Colodny and Gettlin maintain that the target of the second break-in was MaxieWells’s desk. Maxie Wells went on vacation in early June, and she gave a key to her desk to another woman at the DNC, Barbara Kennedy, for use in case the desk had to be opened while she was away. Maxie was back at work by June 12, and on that day received at the DNC a visitor who announced himself as ‘Bill Bailey. ‘ He was actually McCord’s man Alfred Baldwin, and he bore a strong physical resemblance to Phil Bailley. He had been sent into the DNC, he later told the Senate investigating committee, by McCord, in order to get the layout of the place.
He knew before he entered that both Larry ” Brien and Spencer Oliver were out of town. To receptionist ClotaYesbeck he expressed disappointment, and was passed on to MaxieWells. Later, in her own debriefing by the senate committee, Yesbecksaid that she believed Baldwin had been in the DNC to see Maxie many times before — but she may well have been confused by the name he gave her on entering and his physical resemblance to Phil Bailley, who had been in and out of the DNC more than a few times. Then too, the Bailey name was one to conjure with inside the Democratic stronghold, for it was borne by an important Democrat from Connecticut; Baldwin has at times said that he claimed to have been that Bailey’s nephew, though at other times has not pressed this notion But why would McCord have sent Baldwin in to get the lay of the land, if there had already been a break-in and the burglars already knew the set-up? There must have been another reason. Baldwin made sure that when he saw Maxie Wells by telling Yesbeckthat he was a friend of Spencer Oliver’s.
Yes beck passed him on, and returned to her duties in the reception area. Then something happened either between Baldwin and Wells, or while Baldwin was in proximity to Wells’s desk. We can’t say precisely what, but we do know that after the burglars were caught, the key to Maxie’s desk was found in the possession of burglar Roland Martinez. The presence of the key was one startling thing. Another was the absence of any in-place bug or transmitting device.
Just a day or two before the second break-in on June 17 — but after Baldwin’s visit — the telephone company swept the DNC phones for bugs and found none. And just after the break-in, the police and the FBI made their own sweeps and found no in-place bugs. In other words, the bug that had been installed during the first break-in, on the frequently used phone in the office of the chairman of the State Governors, the bug from which Baldwin overheard conversations and passed on logs about them to McCord and Liddy — that bug was not found at all. It seems likely, though we cannot prove it, that Baldwin either somehow obtained a key from Wells, or stole one; and just as likely that while in the DNC on June 12 he removed whatever bugs McCord had placed there. If McCord had shown him the location on a diagram, the removal of a bug would have taken Baldwin only a few seconds. Baldwin left the DNC.
Several days later, the burglars came to town. from Silent Coup by Colodny and Gettlin June 17, 1972 Second break-in at the Watergate hotel. The Cuban burglars and James McCord are arrested at the Watergate hotel. On Martinez’s person is found a key to the desk of Maxie Wells. Martinez says that the key was given to him by Howard Hunt. Hunt denies it. Jeb Magruder phones John Dean in the Phillipines.
John Dean takes the next available flight on Sunday, June 18 at 8: 15 am Phillipines Airlines flight 428 bound for Tokyo. Liddy receives a phone call at noon Washington time from Jeb Magruder. Magruder said that Mitchell wanted Liddy to find Dick Kleindienst and get McCord out of jail immediately. He was told to tell Kleindienst that ‘John sent you’ and that it’s a ‘personal request from John. ‘ (source: Will, recollections of Moore). Liddy and Moore went to Burning Tree Golf course at 12: 30 pm.
Liddy told Kleindienst that the break-in, the publicly reported facts of which Kleindienst was already aware, was an nce operation of the CRP and that Liddy, himself, had been in charge. Liddy then told him that he had a message from Mitchell to spring McCord and that it was a ‘personal request from John’. Kleindienst’s reaction, later reported to the Watergate committee, was ‘instantaneous and abrupt… The relationship I had with Mr. Mitchell was such that I do not believe that he would have sent a person like Gordon Liddy to come out and talk to me about anything. He knew where he could find me twenty-four hours a day. ‘ Kleindienst flatly refused Liddy’s request.
Conversation between the President and Dean concerning June 17th. John Dean: The next point in time that I became aware of anything was on June 17th when I got the word that there had been this break in at the DNC and somebody from our Committee had been caught in the DNC. And I said d, ‘Oh (expletive deleted),’ you know, eventually putting the pieces together — Richard Nixon: You knew who it was. John Dean: I knew it who it was. So I called Liddy on Monday morning… June 18, 1972 Washington Post Story: 5 Held in Plot to Bug Democrats’ Office Here By Alfred E. Lewis Tony Ulasewicz in an interview with Colodny and Gettlin and later in his autobiography recalls that he received a telephone call on June 18th from Caulfield who was calling on behalf of John Dean.
Ulasewicz was told to fly to Washington immediately. At Key Biscayne. The P is still over at Walker’s this morning. I talked to him over the phone. I reported to him on Shultz’s meeting with Meany yesterday, which came out to be pretty interesting. Meany had called him, wanting to meet with him, and so they had a game of golf during which Meany told him under no circumstances could he possibly support McGovern.
That he was working to try and get Humphrey the nomination still, but if that failed he could not support McGovern. The big flap over the weekend has been news reported to me last night, then followed up with further information today, that a group of five people had been caught breaking into the Democratic headquarters (at the Watergate). Actually to plant bugs and photograph material. It turns out that there was a direct connection (with CRP), and Ehrlichman was very concerned about the whole thing. I talked to Magruder this morning, at Ehrlichman’s suggestion, because he was afraid the statement that Mitchell was about to release was not a good one from our viewpoint. Magruder said that we plan to release the statement as soon as the fact that the Committee is involved is uncovered, which it now has been.
It says that we ” ve just learned that someone identified as an employee of the Committee was one of those arrested (James McCord, Jr., CRP’s security coordinator). He runs a private security agency and was employed to install the system of security at the headquarters. He has a number of clients. He’s not operating on our behalf or with our consent. We have our own security problems, not as dramatic as this but of a serious nature to us. We don’t know if they ” re related but there’s no place for this in a campaign.
We would not permit or condone such a thing. The real problem here is whether anything is traceable to Gordon Liddy (formerly with the White House plumbers unit, and then with CRP). He (Liddy) says no, but Magruder is not too confident of that. They were thinking of getting Mardian back to Washington (Mitchell, Mardian, Magruder, and La Rue are out in California) to keep an eye on Liddy. (Mardian was formerly Assistant Attorney General in charge of internal security, now one of Mitchell’s assistants at CRP. LaRue was CRP Deputy Director.) They think that McCord, our security guy, will be okay, but he’s concerned about Liddy because of his lack of judgment and reliability.
He’s also concerned that two or three others are implicated. Apparentlythere’s some cash and Magruder thought it was the DNC’s, but it turns out it was ours. I talked to Ehrlichman after that and he thinks the statement is OK and we should get it out. I talked to Colson to tell him to keep quiet. It turned out that one of the people (implicated) was on our payroll until April 1. A guy named Howard Hunt, who was the guy Colson was using on some of his Pentagon Papers and other research type stuff.
Colson agreed to stay out of it and I think maybe he really will. I don’t think he is actually involved, so that helps. So far the P is not aware of all this, unless he read something in the paper, but he didn’t mention it to me. The Haldeman Diaries, Sunday, June 18, 1972 June 19, 1972 GOP Security Aide Among Five Arrested in Bugging Affair By Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein June 20, 1972 Washington Post story by Bob Woodward. ‘In it was the information that Howard Hunt’s name appeared in the burglars’ address books, that one of Hunt’s signed checks had been found on the person of one of the Cubans, and that Hunt had been a consultant to White House Special Counsel Charles Colson. ‘ Haldeman calls a meeting for 10: 00 am.
The Meeting is held in Ehrlichman ” office. In Attendance: Haldeman, Mitchell, Kleindienst, Dean. After the meeting, Dean accompanied Kleindienst to the Justice building where they were joined by Henry Peterson. Dean wanted to get a hold of the FBI 302’s. In testimony, Kleindienst stated: ‘The representation that he [Dean] made to me and to Mr. Petersen throughout was that he was doing this for the President of the United States and that he was reporting directly to the President. ‘ 11: 26 am – 12: 45 pm The 18.5 Minute Gap The tape was most probably electronically erased.
According to Colodny and Gettlin, the most likely candidate for the gap was Alexander Haig. They site the following: ‘… The gap has usually been attributed to a mistake on the part of Nixon’s personal secretary Rose Mary Woods, and / or to a deliberate attempt by a mechanically clumsy president to erase information detrimental to him. But there was a more sinister aspect to the affair thanh as previously been understood, and it involves Haig and Buzhardt and an especially well-timed and dramatic revelation by Deep Throat. ‘ [SC, 371] They also quote a passage in All the President’s Men where Woodward and Bernstein report that sometime in the first week of November: ‘Deep Throat’s message was short and simple: One or more of the tapes contained deliberate erasures. ‘ [quoted in SC, 376] Haig was one of four people who knew of the erasure.
If Nixon made the erasure, it makes his announcements around the date of its revelation puzzling. Quote from Silent Coup regarding Deep Throat It may be that the inconsistencies in Woodward’s and Bernstein’s characterization of Deep Throat as a source are only the result of Woodward’s attempt to hide his source and to lend appropriate literary drama to his book. Despite Woodward’s demurrer, Deep Throat may have been a composite of several sources, as some historians and journalists have concluded. Despite Woodward ” so ther demurrer about the source still being alive, Deep Throat may have had more than a touch of Buzhardt in him. The identity of Deep Throat is a phantom that is no longer of any importance to chase. It was always a cover story designed to lead detectives in the wrong direction, and has now outlived its usefulness.
What is apparent is that in November of 1973, Chief of Staff Alexander Haig played a key role in feeding damaging information about the White House tapes to his former Navy briefer, Bob Woodward, on the eve of Nixon ” operation Candor, on which the president had pinned such high hopes. Argument to be continued… 4: 35 pm – 5: 25 pm Executive Office Building He was saying this morning that it was damn stupid for him to not learn about the details and know exactly what was going on… They sweep [for bugs] this office and your Oval Office twice a week… Nixon: Haldeman: [McCord’s] on a regular monthly retainer, a fee. Nixon: Does he have other clients?
Haldeman: And he had a regular monthly fee at the National Committee also… Apparently he set up, installed some television closed circuit monitoring stuff, and then they have six guards and some supervisors… McCord, I guess, will say that he was working with the Cubans, he wanted to put this in for their own political reasons. But Hunt disappeared or is in the process of disappearing.
He can un disappear if we want him to. He can disappear to a Latin American country. But at least the original thought was that that would do it, that he might want to disappear, (unintelligible) on the basis that these guys, the Cubans — see, he was in the Bay of Pigs thing. On eof the Cubans, [Bernard] Barker, the guy with the American name, was his deputy in the Bay of Pigs operation and so they ” re kind of trying to tie it to the Cuban nationalists… Nixon: We are? Haldeman: Yes.
Now of course they ” re trying to tie these guys to Colson, [and] the White House… It’s strange — if Colson doesn’t run out, it doesn’t go anywhere. The closest they come, he [Hunt] was a consultant t colson. We have detailed somewhat the nature of his consulting fee and said it was basically (unintelligible). I don’t know. Nixon: You don’t know what he did?
Haldeman: I think we all knew that there were some — Nixon: Intelligence. Haldeman: — some activities, and we were getting reports, or some input anyway. But I don’t think — I don’t think Chuck knew specifically that this was under way… Nixon: Well, if he did… second-guess… Haldeman: He seems to take all the blame himself. Nixon: Did he?
Good. Haldeman: Nixon: This Oval Office business [i.e. that taping system] complicates things all over. Haldeman: They say it’s extremely good. I haven’t listened to the tapes.
Nixon: They ” re kept for future purposes. Haldeman: Nobody monitors those tapes, obviously. They are kept stacked up and locked up in a super-secure — there are only three people that know [about the system]… If they get all the circumstantial stuff tie d together, maybe it’s better… to plead guilty, saying we were spying on the Democrats. Just let the Cubans say, we, McCord… figured it was safe for us to use. Nixon: Well, they ” ve got to plead guilty.
Haldeman: … [A] nd we [the Cubans] went in there to get this because we ” re scared to death that this crazy man’s going to become President and sell the U.S. out to the communists… Nixon: How was he [Hunt] directly involved? Haldeman: He was across the street in the Howard Johnson Motel with a direct line of sight room, observing across the street.
And that was the room in which they have the receiving equipment for the bugs. Nixon: Well, does Hunt work for us or what? Haldeman: No. Oh, we don’t know.
I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s one — that’s something I haven’t gotten an answer to, how — apparently McCord had Hunt working with him, or Hunt had McCord working with him, and with these Cubans. They ” re all tied together. Hunt when he ran the Bay of Pigs thing was working with this guy Barker, one of the Cubans who was arrested. Nixon: How does the press know about this?
Haldeman: They don’t. Oh, they know Hunt’s involved because they found his name in the address book of two of the Cubans, Barker’s book and one of the other guy’s books. He’s identified as ‘White House. ‘ And also be ca use one of the Cubans had a check from Hunt, a check for $690 or something like that, which Hunt had given to this Cuban to take back to Miami with him and mail.
It was to pay his country club bill… Nixon: Hunt? Haldeman: Hunt, yes. Probably so he can pay non-resident dues at the country club or something. But anyway, they had that check, so that was another tie. Nixon: Well, in a sense, if the Cubans — the fact that Hunt’s involved with the Cubans or McCord’s involved with the Cubans, here are the Cuban people…
My God, the committee isn’t worth bugging in my opinion. That’s my public line. Haldeman: Except for this financial thing. They thought they had something going on that.
Nixon: Yes, I suppose. Haldeman: But I asked that question: If we were going to all that trouble, why in the world would we pick the Democratic National Committee to do it to? It’s the least fruitful source — June 23, 1972 ‘Smoking Gun’10: 04-11: 39 am Haldeman: Ok, that’s fine. Now, on the investigation, you know, the Democratic break-in thing, we ” re back to the… problem area because the FBI is not under control, because Gray doesn’t exactly know how to control them, and… their investigation is now leading into some productive areas, because they ” ve be enable to trace the money, not through the money itself, but through the bank… and it goes in some directions we don’t want it to go… [T] here have been some things, like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami, who was a photographer, or has a friend who is a photographer who developed some films through this guy [Watergate burglar Bernard] Barker, and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letterhead [s]… Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes — concurs — now with Mitchell’s recommendation that the only way to solve this… is for us to have [Deputy CIA Director Vernon] Walters call Pat Gray and just say, ‘Stay the hell out of this… this is ah, business here we don’t want you to go any further on it.
‘ That’s not an unusual development… Nixon: What about Pat Gray, you mean he doesn’t want to? Haldeman: Pat does want to. He doesn’t know how to, and he doesn’t have, he doesn’t have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He ” ll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them… and Mark Felt want to cooperate because — Nixon: Yeah Haldeman: — he’s ambitious Nixon: Yeah.
Haldeman: He ” ll call him in and say, ‘We ” ve got the signal from across the river to, to put the hold on this. ‘ And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that’s what it is. This is CIA. Nixon: But they ” ve traced the money to ’em Haldeman: Well they have, they ” ve traced to a name, but they haven’t gotten to the guy yet.
Nixon: Would it be somebody here? Haldeman: Ken Dahlberg [who worked for prominent contributor Dwayne Andreas]. Nixon: Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg? Haldeman: He’s, he gave $25,000 in Minnesota and the check went directly in to this, to this guy, Barker. Nixon: Maybe he’s a… bum.
He didn’t get this from the committee though, from Stans? Haldeman: Yeah. It is. It’s directly traceable and there’s some more through some Texas people in — that went to the Mexican bank which they can also trace to the Mexican bank…
They ” ll get their names today… Nixon: I’m just thinking if they don’t cooperate, what do they say? They, they, they were approached by the Cubans? That’s what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too.
Is that the idea? Haldeman: Well, if they will. But then we ” re relying on more and more people all the time. That’s the problem.
And they ” ll stop if we could, if we take this other step. Nixon: All right. Fine. Haldeman: And, they seem to feel the thing to do is get them to stop. Nixon: Right, fine.
Haldeman: They say the only way to do that is from White House instructions. And it’s got to be to Helms and what’s his name? Walters? Nixon: Walters. Haldeman: And the proposal would be that Ehrlichman and I call him.
Nixon: All right, fine… How do you call him in, I mean you just — well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things. Haldeman: That’s what Ehrlichman says. Nixon: Of course, this… Hunt, … that will uncover a lot of, a lot of — you open that scab there’s a hell of a lot of things in it that we just feel that this would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-pinky that we have nothing to do with ourselves.
What the hell, did Mitchell know about this thing to any much of a degree? Haldeman: I think so. I don’t think he knew the details, but I think he knew. Nixon: He didn’t know how it was going to be handled though, with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth?
Well, who was the asshole that did? Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts. Haldeman: He is. Nixon: I mean he just isn’t well-screwed-on is he?
Isn’t that the problem? Haldeman: No, but he was under pressure, apparently, to get more information, and as he got more pressure, he pushed the people harder to move harder on. Nixon: Pressure from Mitchell? Haldeman: Apparently… Nixon: All fright, fine, I understand it all. We won’t second-guess Mitchell and the rest.
Thank God it wasn’t Colson. Haldeman: The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do… An interrogation, which he did, and that, the FBI guys working the case had concluded that there are one or two possibilities: one, that this was a White House [operation], they don’t think that there is anything at the Election Committee — they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it… Or it was a — Nixon: Cuban thing — Haldeman: — Cubans and the CIA. And after their interrogation of — Nixon: Colson Haldeman: — Colson, yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it’s the CIA thing, so the CIA turnoff would — Nixon: Well, not sure of their analysis, I’m not going to get that involved…
Haldeman: No, sir. We don’t want you to. Nixon: You call them in. Good. Good deal. Play it tough.
That’s the way they play it and that’s the way we are going to play it. Haldeman: OK. We ” ll do it. Nixon: Yeah, when I saw that news summary item, I of course knew it was a bunch of crap, but I thought, that, well it’s good to have them off on this wild hare thing because when they start bugging us, which they have, we ” ll know our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though.
Haldeman: Good, you never know. Maybe, you think about it… Nixon: When you get in these people… say: ‘Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that’ — without going into the details — don’t lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it. ‘ The President’s belief is that this is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And because these people are plugging for, for keeps, and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don’t go any further into this case,’ period…
1: 04-1: 13 pm Nixon: … Hunt… knows too damn much and he was involved, we have to know that. And that it gets out… this is all involved in the Cuban thing, that it’s a fiasco, and its going to make the FB — ah CIA — look bad, it’s going to make Hunt look bad, and it’s likely to blow the whole, uh, Bay of Pigs thing, which we think would be very unfortunate for the CIA and for the country at this time, and for American foreign policy, and he’s just gotta tell ’em ‘lay off. ‘. ..
Haldeman: Yeah, that’s, that’s the basis we ” ll do it on and just leave it at that. Nixon: I don’t want them to get any ideas we ” re doing it because our concern is political. Haldeman:.