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Operation Sandwedge and more on the Bear Trap
Possible parallels between the plot to kill Jack Anderson and Chappaquiddick ..
Fresh Air (4 years ago) about journalist Jack Anderson:
Dave Davies: The scandal that brought Nixon down, the Watergate scandal, kind of left Anderson behind in some ways. I mean other reporters really took the lead on that as well as, of course, congressional investigators and federal prosecutors. But it was fascinating to read in your book that Anderson himself was almost way ahead of this story.
Mark Feldstein: Yes. Jack Anderson was ahead of the Watergate story in two respects. First, he exposed what was really the precursor to Watergate, which is known as the ITT scandal. This was a scandal where he got a smoking gun document from Dita Beard, the Washington lobbyist for ITT, one of the largest corporations, International Telephone and Telegraph, of its time, and he and his young leg man at the time, Brit Hume, who, of course, later became famous as an anchor man for Fox News, they broke this story in essence of how the Nixon administration took a bribe - or how the Republican Convention took a bribe, $400,000 was pledged by ITT, and in exchange they dropped antitrust action, watered down antitrust action, against ITT. And Anderson and Hume obtained the smoking gun document that proved it, which the lobbyist herself admitted it.
This threatened Nixon more than any of Anderson's national security secrets because it got to the heart of the corruption at the center of the Nixon re-election campaign. And Nixon's men went into overdrive trying to contain this scandal. They decided to plant false documents with Anderson, they plotted about breaking into his office, typing up documents on White House stationery on his typewriter, leaking it to him so that when he published it they could trace it to his typewriter and accuse him of forging documents. They, according to testimony I have in my book, concocted false photographs to put Anderson in photos to implicate him in wrongdoing. They engaged in all kinds of dirty tricks to try to stop Anderson from this - punish Anderson for this expose. And this was really the precursor to Watergate. And this was when they, you know, came up with a plot to actually assassinate Jack Anderson.
Dave Davies: Well, I wanted to talk about that, because after Nixon's re-election in 1972, they decided they really had to deal with Anderson. And the notion that there had been talk of assassinating Anderson, that was revealed a couple of decades ago. What did you learn about how serious an effort this was to kill him?
Mark Feldstein: The plot to assassinate Anderson turned out to have been much more serious than anyone realized. There are documents in the National Archives that have never been released before in which prosecutors discuss this, investigated this. And I got what amounted to a confession from one of the conspirators, Howard Hunt, the Watergate burglar, before his death in 2003, where he admitted for the first time what his co-conspirator, Gordon Liddy, had already admitted - that the two of them plotted to assassinate Anderson.
In fact, they went beyond merely plotting. They actually conducted surveillance of Anderson. They tailed him from his work spot, garage, to his house. They staked out his house. They looked at it for vulnerabilities, how they could break in, how they could plant poison in his aspirin bottle - that was one of the methods they discussed using. They talked about how they could spike his drink and they talked about smearing LSD on his steering wheel so that he would absorb it through his skin and die in a hallucination-crazed auto crash. They met with an agent from CIA who was a specialist in poisons.
They met just a block from the White House at the Hay-Adams Hotel on March 24th 1972, and they pumped this CIA operative - former CIA operative - for information about what kind of toxins, what kind of poisons would be best to use so it would not be discovered in an autopsy. So the plot to assassinate Jack Anderson that emanated from the Nixon White House was very real.
And it was ultimately called off because they decided instead that they needed Hunt and Liddy to break into the Watergate apartment complex and office building and that, of course, led to their arrest and the downfall of the regime...
BTW you should read / listen to the rest of that piece on Fresh Air. Reminds me of another great interview that Dave Davies conducted about the lack of accountability for the Wall Street Bankers.
Posted by MinM | Thu Aug 7, 2014, 11:27 AM (2 replies)
CIA front groups and by extension JFK .. Here's a recording of JFK telling Sargent Shriver not to let CIA infiltrate the Peace Corps
Title: Telephone Recordings: Dictation Belt 17B.1. Keeping CIA out of the Peace Corps (Item 17A.4 Continued)
Date(s) of Materials: 2 April 1963
Physical Description: item 1 on 1 dictation belt (2 minutes, 13 seconds)
Copyright Status: Public Domain
Description: The recording of this conversation begins on Dictation Belt 17A.4. Sound recording of part of a telephone conversation held on April 2, 1963, between President John F. Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, Director of the Peace Corps. They discuss speaking to Richard M. Helms about the suspicion that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is trying to place people in the Peace Corps. They also discuss facilitating the movement of members of the Peace Corps into the Foreign Service. Machine noise follows the conversation.
Transcript included. This sound recording was originally recorded on Dictation Belt 17B, which contains additional sound recording(s) following this one. To hear all of the recordings on the Dictation Belt, see Digital Identifier: JFKPOF-TPH-17B, Title: Telephone recordings: Dictation Belt 17B.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Shriver, Sargent (Robert Sargent), 1915-2011
Telephone Recordings .
Posted by MinM | Tue Aug 5, 2014, 10:42 AM (0 replies)
...Evan Thomas, the author of The Very Best Men: The Early Years of the CIA (1995), argues that the Alsop brothers worked very closely with Frank Wisner, the first director of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), the espionage and counter-intelligence branch of the CIA. He points out that he "considered his friends Joe and Stewart Alsop to be reliable purveyors of the company line in their columns". In 1953 the brothers helped out Edward Lansdale and the CIA in the Philippines: "Wisner actively courted the Alsops, along with a few other newsmen he regarded as suitable outlets. When Lansdale was manipulating electoral politics in the Philippines in 1953, Wisner asked Joe Alsop to write some columns warning the Filipinos not to steal the election from Magsaysay. Alsop was happy to comply, though he doubted his columns would have much impact on the Huks. After the West German counterintelligence chief, Otto John, defected to the Soviet Union in 1954, Wisner fed Alsop a story that the West German spymaster had been kidnapped by the KGB. Alsop dutifully printed the story, which may or may not have been true." ...
At the end of 1966, Desmond FitzGerald, Directorate for Plans, discovered that Ramparts, a left-wing publication, were planning to publish an article that the International Organizations Division had been secretly funding the National Student Association. FitzGerald ordered Edgar Applewhite to organize a campaign against the magazine. Applewhite later told Evan Thomas for his book, The Very Best Men: "I had all sorts of dirty tricks to hurt their circulation and financing. The people running Ramparts were vulnerable to blackmail. We had awful things in mind, some of which we carried off." This dirty tricks campaign failed to stop the magazine publishing this story in March, 1967. The article, written by Sol Stern, was entitled NSA and the CIA. As well as reporting CIA funding of the National Student Association it exposed the whole system of anti-Communist front organizations in Europe, Asia, and South America.
Stewart Alsop, who was now working for the Saturday Evening Post, asked Thomas Braden, the former head of the International Organizations Division (IOD) to write an article for the Saturday Evening Post in response to what Stern had written. The article, entitled, I'm Glad the CIA is Immoral , appeared on 20th May 1967. Braden defended the activities of the IOD unit of the CIA. Braden admitted that for more than 10 years, the CIA had subsidized Encounter through the Congress for Cultural Freedom - which it also funded - and that one of its staff was a CIA agent.
Hugh Wilford, the author of The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008) has argued: "It was a well-worn technique of the CIA to blow the cover of covert operations when they were no longer considered desirable or viable, and there were a number of reasons why, by April 1967, the Agency might have tired of its alliance with the non-communist left. For one, the NCL had become a far less reliable instrument of U.S. foreign policy than it had been a decade earlier. With their propensity for criticizing the war in Vietnam. ADA-style left-liberals such as the Reuther brothers were increasingly perceived in Washington as a hindrance rather a help in the prosecution of the Cold War." ...
Posted by MinM | Mon Aug 4, 2014, 08:21 AM (1 replies)
...“About five years ago it struck me that there were so few stories of young women who traveled together and became really good friends,” Ganis, one of the show’s executive producers, told Wired.com ahead of the show’s Sunday premiere. “My biggest frustration in our business is how uninformed people are about the world. I thought this would be a good vehicle for people to see our common humanity.”
So Ganis, a Pan American World Airways stewardess from 1968 to 1976, spent hours upon hours meticulously researching her former employer and getting jet-age stories from other past employees.
She ended up with tales of not only young women on far-flung journeys, but also of Pan Am’s involvement in State Department operations, behind-the-scenes missions prior to the Six-Day War and dangerous liaisons in Africa — all stories she hopes to work into future episodes...
Posted by MinM | Fri Aug 1, 2014, 10:22 AM (0 replies)
Alsop is an interesting case that Bernstein brings up. In an otherwise excellent piece from NPR's On the Media that was posted previously, Alsop's brother Stewart is given a free pass for dubious reporting ..
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Journalism has been called the first draft of history, but what if that first draft is never corrected or if the mistakes persist, despite many subsequent drafts? President Bush harkened back to the peril we faced during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962 and how we were saved by the uncompromising resolve of an earlier leader, in order to justify our need to take preemptive action in Iraq. He was drawing on the first draft of history, the one that said John F. Kennedy went eyeball to eyeball with Nikita Khrushchev over Russian missiles in Cuba and that Khrushchev blinked and withdrew. :
JOHN F. KENNEDY: We will not prematurely or unnecessarily risk the course of worldwide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth. But neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.
BOB GARFIELD: Major players in the Cuban Missile Crisis, including then presidential speech writer Ted Sorensen and former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, have tried in recent years to correct the record of those events, but the national myth seems pretty much unshakable. Fred Kaplan, Slate columnist and, incidentally, Brooke’s husband, has examined all the declassified material related to that crisis as it’s emerged over the years. We asked him to take us through the various drafts of the Cuba showdown.
FRED KAPLAN: The basic scenario came from an article published shortly after the crisis by Stewart Alsop who was a very establishment columnist of the day who got the information from aides to Kennedy in the White House who were authorized by Kennedy to give him this account. Eyeball to eyeball with the Russians, crazy generals, on one hand, wanting us to bomb the missiles right away, lunatic doves like Stevenson, on the other, wanting to negotiate their way out of it from the beginning and, you know, smart guys like Kennedy and McNamara and Bundy navigating a, a cool and calm course through the thickets and ending us up safe to shore.
BOB GARFIELD: That's a heroic and reassuring recounting of the events, and it's certainly not the first nor the last time that a journalist has run with leaked information, but do you think Alsop had any way to know that the story he was writing did not, in fact, reflect the events as we now know them?
FRED KAPLAN: No, I don't think he had any way of knowing that. This is what people told him and he certainly wasn't privy to any of the inside stuff going on. And, in fact, this was confirmed in the second draft of history, the memoirs written by two of what could be called the palace historians, Arthur Schlesinger and Ted Sorensen, Sorensen being Kennedy's speechwriter at the time who was present at all of the — what they called the ex-con meetings, the meetings of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council which got together for the 13 Days and deliberated what to do. And this basically told the same story, though with more detail...
Posted by MinM | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 11:16 AM (1 replies)
JFK probably would have lived longer had he not tried to push so hard for peace. Then again if he had not pushed back against those who had a death wish for the world there never would have been events like this speech for others to aspire..
Of course the same was probably true for many brave souls throughout history. Just in the past fifty years since Kennedy we've had Martin Luther King Jr., Anwar Sadat, Yatzhik Rabin, and Benazir Bhutto just to name a few.
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 30, 2014, 11:32 PM (1 replies)
Interesting piece here ..
Excerpt from The Breaking of a President 1974 - The Nixon Connection
Marvin Miller, Compiler (Therapy Productions, Inc.©1975); LCCCN
BEBE THE BAGMAN
Secret Manipulations of President's Crony Still Pose Question Mark
To those of an inquiring turn of mind, it may seem odd that these two men from such radically different milieus—the earnest young Quaker lawyer and politician from rural Southern California , and the self‑made Cuban‑American businessman on Florida's Gold Coast —should have become friends in the first place, and soon become so close. Just who is Bebe Rebozo and what is his background? ...
BTW a little bit of entertainment trivia .. the short-lived television series Pan Am dealt with using airline employees as intelligence assets.
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 30, 2014, 08:03 AM (1 replies)
Posted by MinM | Fri Jul 25, 2014, 08:43 PM (1 replies)
The Gray Man:
‘Shadow Warrior,’ by Randall B. Woods
By EVAN THOMAS
Published: May 3, 2013
William E. Colby, right, with another former director of central intelligence, George H. W. Bush, in 1978.
During the Vietnam War, Bill Colby of the Central Intelligence Agency ran the Phoenix program, which set out to “neutralize” the Viet Cong by capturing or killing them. In 1972, when Colby came home to a nation that had turned against the war, his face began appearing around Washington on “Wanted” posters. He was jeered on the street and peppered with death threats. Every day at 5 a.m., he was awakened at home by the same crank caller, accosting him as a murderer and a war criminal. Colby did not bother to get his home number changed. Instead, he began to use the predawn call as an alarm clock...
In “Shadow Warrior,” we get the occasional glimpse of emotion. When one of his young sons began arguing with him about the morality of the Vietnam War, Colby became “red-faced,” the son recalled, and “shouted that war was brutal — it brutalized everyone who came into contact with it — but sometimes there was no alternative. He himself, he admitted, had killed men in war, even with his bare hands.” But such moments of self-revelation are fleeting. Mostly Colby presented himself as Galahad in a fallen world, a modest knight to be sure, but bent on finding the grail amid sin and corruption. “He was a man who could distinguish between illusion and reality,” Woods, a professor of history at the University of Arkansas, writes. “Or so he convinced himself.”
In 1954, President Eisenhower commissioned Gen. James Doolittle to write a secret report on the state of American intelligence. Faced with an “implacable enemy,” the report found, the West would have, in effect, to fight fire with fire. Fair play was out: dirty tricks were in.
The realpolitik of the cold war raised an ancient philosophical question: If you adopt the underhanded tactics of the enemy, if you stoop to his level, do you become like him? Colby does not seem to have been troubled by the problem. He did not become a drunk or turn half-mad like so many spies and spy chasers of that tortured time, most notably James Jesus Angleton, the head of counterintelligence, who was Colby’s antagonist at the C.I.A. Colby was always rather a Boy Scout (indeed, he led a Boy Scout troop when he was at home on the weekends, and worshiped at the Church of the Little Flower). ...
Another interesting side note is that the late Michael Hastings makes a passing reference to the Phoenix Program in his posthumously published novel The Last Magazine.
William Colby stipulated to "foreign assassination plots"
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:41 PM (1 replies)
A little off topic here but it was interesting last night that PBS' History Detectives investigation concluded that Hoffa was killed to prevent him from testifying to the Church Committee.
Ostensibly to keep him from spilling the beans any further about Russell Bufalino's (Philly/NY mob boss) ties to the CIA. Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli were silenced in the Summer of 75 too (apparently for the same reason).
Posted by MinM | Wed Jul 23, 2014, 11:50 AM (1 replies)