New Watergate book stirs black waters — Mere nostalgia?
Jim Hougan wrote two important books in the 70s about the national security apparat. Spooks and then Secret Agenda.
The latter is about Watergate, and for the first time disclosed to the general public:
(i) the existence of a Pentagon-sponsored spy in the Nixon White House (trying to keep tabs on Nixon-Kissinger secret negotiations with North Vietnam and China).
The discovery of this spy (in ’70 or ’71, can’t quite recall) provoked the formation of the Plumbers. Thus, a significant slice of the famous Enemies that provoked Team Nixon’s famous paranoia were in part from the hard Right (not the Left) and housed in the Pentagon.
This may explain, at least a little bit better, Nixon’s dumb reaction to the release of the Pentagon Papers. It was not only the Peaceniks that were driving him nuts, but the people in the Pentagon who did not want the war to end.
(ii) the panoply of facts suggesting that the Wgate break-in gang was in essence a CIA team, opportunistically implanted in the White House and then used to bring it down.
To begin: Everyone arrested for the burglary except Liddy were CIA officers or contract agents: Hunt, his sidekick Sturgis and his anti-Castro cubans from Bay of Pigs days, plus, McCord, a very high ranking officer in the CIA “internal affairs” unit, called the Security Department.
This isn’t Hougan, but: Both Hunt and McCord were confidantes of director Richard Helms. Helms and Nixon had a difficult history going back to the failed CIA invasion of Indonesia in 1958 (Bay of Pigs writ large, but entirely blacked out of the American press. Meanwhile, for weeks, it was front page news in Europe.
Nixon — then, as Vice President, Eisenhower’s point man on the CIA — cashiered CIA co-founder Frank Wisner in reaction. Helms was a devoted protege of Wisner, and was badly treated by President Nixon from day one, although permitted to stay on as Director.
TO THE POINT: A biography of John Mitchell, Nixon’s atty general and campaign manager, and one of the first and largest bodies to fall from the heavens as the scandal unfolded, came out earlier this year.
Mr Hougan and others commented on it at the Education Forum, which across the years has housed perhaps the best discussion of inter alia the JFK murder.
I posted a comment in response to Hougan’s overview of the book. He replied. Both are visible here. (My comment begins “Mr Hougan,” and his response follows.)
The subject is still alive in this way:
(Warning: I am spieling this out from memory — may be making a few mistakes of detail, date and the like. The outline is the gist, don’t rely on this for precise facts — check’m if the need arises.)
1. Vietnam (to be brief) did in both JFK and Nixon. JFK didn’t want to go, and Nixon took office intending to end it by ways and means unacceptable to the hard Right within the national security apparat.
2. Bush pere had something to do with the Bay of Pigs. His company Zapata Offshore never amounted to much as a business enterprise, but supplied logistical support to the anti-Castro cubans, working it seems prior to the invasion with a Howard Hughes company to do so.
The CIA code name for the BoP was Operation Zapata. And some people think the Bay of Pigs invasion fleet — three ships named Houston (where Bush’s company was based), Barbara (his wife) and Zapata — were somehow supplied by Bush.
Some people think Bush pere was tapped for the CIA while a student at Yale. Others within the CIA have said he was a contract agent, and was not highly thought of, but was engaged because of his famous, powerful father, and proved useful at times. Later, of course, he was briefly CIA Director, then with William Casey ran White House covert ops from the Reagan White House.
3. The Bay of Pigs “community” had a lot to do with JFK’s murder, and then showed up again in Watergate. Hunt and his sidekick Sturgis being the cortex connecting the two.
Nixon famously told Haldeman days after the Wgate break-in to tell CIA Director Helms that the FBI investigation of Watergate had to be closed down because Hunt’s presence on the break-in team would lead back to the Bay of Pigs and open a pandora’s box.
Haldeman wrote in his diary that he believed Nixon intended Helms to understand by “Bay of Pigs” the JFK murder. And when Haldeman delivered Nixon’s message, Helms blew his top. Who knows.
4. George Bush pere’s involvement in the 60s hijinks reaches into the present day. Immediately upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, a flood of essential books about the JFK murder, and Oliver Stone’s film, hit the scene. The American press rose up like a grizzly on hind legs to bury or destroy these discussions.
Why? Perhaps because the sitting President, Bush pere, was implicated. At the very least rubbed elbows, while supplying Bay of Pigs materiel, with people who (or who rubbed elbows with people who) were involved in the JFK murder. And Bush pere was running for re-election.
There are two FBI memos that seem to demonstrate that he was around and involved in the chaos in Dallas — one reporting that he called the FBI hours after the murder to suggest a possible assassin, and the other that a day after the shooting “Mr George Bush of the CIA” was briefed by Hoover on the unfolding investigation. The official story is that this GB was not the Bush pere we know and love.
There are people who spin tales of his direct involvement in the Dallas op. (No opinion here yet.)
PERHAPS with the passing of baby Bush from the scene, the Bush name has been so sullied that the execrable family’s grip on Washington will at last release.
Perhaps even the press in the Age of Obama might dare to confess that since 1963 it’s been selling people treasonous nonsense and …. Nah.