Monday, November 29, 2010

Watergate: Part Four

The C.I.A. and Watergate
If the C.I.A. had anything to do with exposing the break-in it could be that it was somehow involved with the sex ring, using it to get information on politicians. After all, this would not have been the only time this actually happened. As will be demonstrated, the C.I.A. was operating another honey trap at the time.

It is often forgotten that the C.I.A. had turned over to the F.B.I. photographs of the White House plumbers in front of Dr. Fielding’s office . The agency refused White House requests to retrieve those pictures.
Martha Mitchell told a journalist that McCord was a double agent who lured the other burglars into a trap to hurt the Nixon White House, and she claimed that Director Richard Helms knew all about it. There is no way to verify her claims, but many others have shared her suspicious. She also said her husband was concerned because Charles Colson had been in touch with Arthur Bremer five days before he shot George Wallace. The problem is that Mrs. Mitchell drank heavily and we cannot be sure what she thought she heard. She feared that her husband was being set up for taking the blame in the Watergate break-in. she was medicated and taken off to a hospital.
Former agent Miles Copeland said Helms knew about the break-in beforehand. He has also written that the GOP sought to obtain mind-altering drugs that could be slipped into the drinks or food of Democratic orators. He hypothesized that this is what happened to Edmund Muskie, when he seemed incoherent in New Hampshire.

Haldeman thought that the C.I.A. was concerned that Nixon would move to reign in the agency after the election of 1972. Nixon considered firing Richard Helms in 1970 but settled for an eventual thorough house-cleaning and large personnel cuts. Nixon was said to distrust Helms because of his liberal, Ivy-league background. The implication is that agency men wanted the second break-in to be discovered to discredit Nixon. By his own account, we know that as soon as the burglars were caught. Helms called Acting Director Patrick Gray to suggest that the F.B.I. look at their ties to John Ehrlichman. Helms wanted to interest the bureau in the activities of the plumbers’ unit.
Those who claim the desire of the C.I.A. to implicatre the White House note that newspaper stories pursued White House ties rather than the C.I.A. link. The burglars also had sequential money that could be traced through Mexico to campaign fund raising. Haldeman speculated that the Howard Hughes faction of the C.I.A. was unhappy with Nixon. The president was allied with the Bush/DuPont cohort in the defense industry.

Some speculate that “ Deep Throat, ” the long unnamed insider who fed reporters Woodward and Bernstein information, had to be a C.I.A. man, but it turned out to be Mark Felt, a disgreuntled deputy director of the F.B.I.. His job was to compile information gathered by the bureau, but the odd thing was that most of what he revealed came from the C.I.A.. Playing a double game, Felt gave Nixon evidence about C.I.A. involvement in the death of John F. Kennedy. Then Nixon used that information to try to pressure the C.I.A. to help in the cover-up. Felt gave Woodward much information that did not reflect well on the C.I.A.. Some believe that “Deep Throat” was a name for at least three separate sources of information.

It is not likely that Felt was a double agent. He was an honest agent who must have resented all the drugs brought into the country. He also shared an animus against Richard Nixon who disliked the F.B.I. and abused it by requiring illegal operations. Like Hoover, Felt wanted to end the illegal operations required by the White House. Woodward recently told the San Francisco Chronicle said that Felt told him about an “incredible” and “ fantastic” black scientific operation that the intelligence people wanted to cover up at all costs. He may have been referencing a break-through in anti-gravity flight in 1971, which was probably funded by drug funds. This was Project Pounce at Nelis Air Force Base under Lt. Col. John Williams. Behind the scenes, there was a great struggle between two coalitions one led by Hughes and the other by the DuPonts and Rockefellers to setle who would exploit the technology. Supposedly, Robert Vesco abscounded with over $200,000,000 in C.I.A./Hughes funds that were intended for the project.

Bob Woodward, a young Washington Post reporter, was a key figure in exposing the extent of Nixon’s abuses of power. A Katherine Graham biographer suggested that Woodward was assigned to work with Bernestein on the Watergate story because there was a suspicion he was an intelligence agent.Woodward was raised a conservative Republican and had worked with the Office of Navy Intelligence, even briefing the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs, and Genereal Alexander Haig. Woodward had no journalistic experience when the Post hired him. Some information he ran came from Robert Bennett of the Mullen Company, a C.I.A. front. Bennett would report to his C.I.A. handler what information he gave Woodward, whom he reported was’suitably grateful .

The president was particularly angry over low C.I.A. estimates of Soviet strength, and his aides pressured the agency to revise their estimates upward. He alsdo objected to the C.I.A. finding, through Operation Chaos, that domestic anti-war groups were not connected with external enemies. He was convinced that they were part of a great, foreign led conspiracy. Nixon was using the BNDD , the drug agency then, as a rival intelligence service. The US was running a very secret assassinations program that paralleled Condor under the Nixon Administration that used the BNDD, forerunner of the DEA, as a cover. Lucien Conei legendary C.I.A. operative, was packed off to the anti-drug agency after the Watergate break-in. He had worked closely with E. Howard Hunt, but there is no evidence he was involved in Watergate. A number of former C.I.A. agents and Cuban exiles joined him in the BNDD ranks. They killed Omar Torrijos ostensibly because he was protecting drug traffickers. Mexico was running its own version of Condor, and some BNN agents cooperated with it.

The established story is that the men who were caught on June 17, 1972 had been removing a easedropping device, but it is assumed they were looking for something else as well. We also know that they photographed many documents. A.T. and T. had swept the premises for devices before the second break-in and found none. The F.B.I. found no listening device there after the second break-in, so those who contend the break-in was to replace a broken one might be be wrong. There is also evidence that Lou Russell worked with Nick Beltrante to sweep the DNC before the A.T. and T. people did. Some speculate that he removed whatever bugs that were there because neither AT& T nor the F.B.I. found bugs in the suite. Months later, according to McCord, a bug was found.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Watergate: Part Three

The burglars used the nearby Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge as a base. Lou Russell was eating in the motel’s restaurant from 8:30 to 10:30, but he told F.B.I. investigators he did not talk to McCord at that time. He said he left at 10:30 and drove to his daughter’s house in Bennett, Maryland. She said her father told her he had to return to Washington to do “some work for McCord” that night. What he did, we do not know. He told the F.B.I. that he was in his room in a rooming house during the break-in.

Writer Jim Hougan thought Russell was helping McCord sabotage the break-in. Soon after the break-in, Russell was contacted by his old friend Bellino, then working for Senator Ted Kennedy’s Senate Administrative Practices Committee. Russell went to stay with Bellino’s friend William Birley on the top floor of the Twin Towers Complex in Silver Spring, Maryland. Eventually, Birley put Lou in a safe house, and one of the prostitutes moved in with Russell. Republican staffers on the Erwin Committed learned of Russell’s involvement with the bordello and thought that investigasting him might help them clear Nixon. On May 9, 1973, the Committee subpoenaed Russell’s bank and telephone records. They learned Russell never had a bank account. The only long distance calls were made to his daughter, and he kept no job diaries. On May 18, Russell suffered a massive heart attack and remained in the hospital until June 20. He told his daughter that he thought someone “switched pills on me,” causing the heart attack. Russell suffered a fatal heart attack on July 2, 1973 and was buried the next day. Reporter Bob Woodward knew about Russell but concluded he was just an “old drunk.”

Bernard Fensterwald was Russell and Mc Cord’s lawyer. He also helped some of the minor figures in the Watergate scandal. This Harvard-educated lawyer defended some of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s victims. Fensterwald was a close student of the Kennedy assassination and later worked with New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. He served as a foreign policy advisor to Senator Estes Kefauver and worled for the State Department and Senator Thomas C. Hennings. At one point, he would represent James Earl Ray. In 1979, he represented the family of John Arthur Paisley, a former C.I.A. official .

There are still many questions about the role of John Dean. Some say he may have leaked information about the Townhouse Plan in 1970. It involved a secret campaign financing program operating out of the basement of a townhouse. It was intended to route money to some candidates without the knowledge of the Republican National Committee. Lawyer Jack Gleason was also to make small ( $,000) cash deliveries to candidates and say the money was from “Pat and Dick.” This appeared to be an effort to set these people up for blackmail, as it was unlikely they all would report the payments as campaign contributions. There is no evidence that Nixon had any part in that aspect of the operation. When Dean was given the files on Townhouse, leaks began about it. Critics of Dean also note that he was more interested in prosecuting the plumbers for the break-in at Dr. Lewis Fielding’s office. Dean was behind the Watergate break-in, master-minded the cover-up, and was the first to raise the subject of bribing Hunt and the Cubans. Dean believed that he would become a power in the White House by coordinating all political intelligence. After he had cemented a light prison sentence, he admitted that he had destroyed E. Howard Hunt’s diaries, which had contained detailed accounts of how Gemstone, the Watergate operation, had been planned and executed. With Magruder, he developed an inaccurate sequence of events, and he consistgently placed the blame on John Mitchell, often by saying he was acting in Mitchell’s name.

After he turned on Nixon, he was asked why he did not warn Nixon about the full extent of the cover-up. His answer was that he had been denied access to Nixon simply does not hold up when one reads the White House transcripts. Mitchell made a fatal error in not going early to Nixon with what he knew. He knew Nixon had a paranoic cast of mind and thought things could be resolved without the president. Later, Nixon had been convinced that his old friend and law partner was at the heart of the problems.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Watergate: Part Two

Robert T. Crowley, a longtime top C.I.A. covert action planner, thought that Hunt had convinced Nixon that George Mc Govern was getting money and information from the Cuban government. This he thought set off Nixon. Hunt later was required to fall on his sword by going to prison, but he did not go easily. Crowley said the C.I.A. was behind the plane crash that killed Hunt’s wife at Chicago Midway. This convinced Hunt to take the fall. Of Nixon, Crowley said:
We could read Tricky Dick like a dime novel. True to form, he believed he was an imperial figure and acted that way right up to the end. Hunt played his part and I’m sure you watched the thing unfold, right on the five o’clock news every night. For a smart man, Nixon was very stupid and played right into our hands.

Some claim White House Counsel John Dean ordered the second break-in because he believed that the Democrats had records on a call girl ring was operating out Columbia Plaza Apartments because he wanted to obtain certain documents that could damage the reputation of a friend connected to the ring. Phillip Bailley, a young lawyer accused of having a role in the operation of the service, claimed the Democratic party was arranging sexual liasons for politicians. Bailley represented many prostitutes and seemed to have a business relationship with Heidi Rikan, aka “Erika” or “Cathy” Dieter, who ran the call girl ring as well as Columbia Plaza. She had previously been a stripper at the Blue Mirror. The service eventually had many Democrat clients and serviced one astronaut, South Korean and US intelligence people, and a Saudi prince, who came from the nearby Saudi Arabian embassy.

Alfred C. Baldwin, who was to work for James McCord during the Watergate break-in, seems to have been tape recording the call girl ring’s telephones. He was using equipment puirchased by one Louis James Russell, who initially used McCord funds to buy equipment to spy on columnist Jack Anderson. He had once worked as a stringer for Anderson. Russell hung out at Columbia Plaza, acting as a customer, bouncer, and friend to the girls, who often crashed at his apartment and shared sad stories with him. Russell had been bounced out of the F.B.I. due to drunking problems and spent years as an investigator for the House Un-American Activities Committee. For a time, he was a watchman for the Committee to Re-Elect the President. After the scandal broke, he went on the payroll of Security Associates, a detective agency owned by McCord. In that capacity, he did some work in George McGovern’s headquarters. Russell also worked for another firm that was doing some work for George H.W. Bush. He was a good friend of man who would later head of Senator Sam Erwin’s investigative staff, Carmione Bellino.

Cathy/Heidi’s roommate was Mo Biner, known by t he codename “Clout.” We do not know what role “Clout” played, but her name and code name turned up in Bailley’s address book along with the names of Heidi’s employees. Mo Biner was dating John Wesley Dean at the time. In 1972, Bailley visited the DNC headquarters and succeeded in soliciting some business for the prostitution ring. The arrangement was attractive to the DNC because the Watergate was not far from Columbia Plaza. Bailley, an active Democrat, thought communications between the DNC and the prostitution operation were made on Oliver’s telephone line. Oliver travelled frequently, so so his office could be used for private telephone conversations. Bailley later claimed that Maxine Wells showed photographs of female sex workers to people who were interested in entertainment. In a 1996 deposition, Robert Strauss said he had been told that some state party chairmen used Oliver’s phone to make dates. After the DNC started using the Columbia Plaza bordello, former F.B.I. agent told lawyer Bernard Fensterwald and two of his employees that he was recording conversations between Democrats and the girls; he added that the ladies did not mind. Russell sometimes worked for Fensterwald, who also served as his attorney. Republicans, including White House people, also frequented the brothel near the DNC.

Sometime near when Bailley was making visits to the DNC, John W. Dean became interested in the layout of those offices and sent Tony Ulasewicz to visit the offices and diagram the layout. This was probably a few months before Bailley began his visits. There are three different dates for the Ulasewicz visits, but late 1971 is probably most accurate. Dean wanted to get information on Democratic sexual activities, and must have suspected the Democrats were using services other than those provided by Heidi.

On April 6, 1972, Bailley was arrested for a a Mann Act violation, but it had no connection to Heidi’s ring. The case was given to prosecutor John Rudy, who was soon visited by Louis James Russell, who tried to steer Rudy away from the Columbia Plaza operation and toward another brothel frequented by judges and local politicians. The problem involved in the Bailley case was that the F.B.I. obtained his two address books. At the apartment they obtained films, photographs, a whip, and other sexual apparatus. The Washington Star erventually ran a story stating that Bailley was involved in a sex ring that could involve a White House lawyer and that that ring’s activities were not mentioned in Bailley’s indictment. Dean acted quickly and summoned Rudy and his superior to his office on Friday, June 9, 1972. Dean demanded to keep the notebooks over the weekend, but the prosecutors only permitted him to photocopy them. On Monday, Jeb Magruder told G. Gordon Liddy to break in to the DNC for the second time to repair the O’Brien bug. Recently, Magruder, now a clergyman, admitted that Dean – not Mitchell—had ordered the break-in.

Bailley’s case went to Judge Charles R. Richey, a Nixon appointee, who sent Bailley to St. Eliozabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital, where he spent 15 days and only receivecd 45 minutes with an analyst. He was committed on the basis of sexual photographs the prosecution showed Richey.

In Bailley’s second hearing, The Judge then instructed both sides to dispose of the case. Bailley, now completely demoralized, accepted a plea bargain that resulted in getting him 5 years in federal prison. He was now thoroughly disgraced. For some reason, the paperwork on his two hearings was sealed and subsequently lost. By settling the case without a hearing, the judge made it impossible to bring up the material on the sex ring. But all of this took some time, and it was not certain how much evidence needed to be buried.
The second break-in occurred on the night of June 16-17, two days after Dean talked to the prosecutors. It was ostensibly being done to change the bugs placed on Larry O’Brien’s telephones. However, hust before that, AT&T had swept the offices and found no bugs. James McCord, on the pretext of delivering a typewriter, stuffed and taped a lock on door accessing the building. The team knew that the tape had been found and removed, but Gordon Liddy thought it was still safe to go ahead with the operation. He reasoned that a maintenance man might have removed the stuffing and simply gone home. After all, there were no police on the scene. This time Gonzales probably taped the door again and the operation went ahead at 1:30 AM. It was McCord’s job to remove the tape once they were in, but he did not do so.

Subsequently, James McCord and five Cubans were arrested in the DNC headquarters. Also arrested were Liddy and Hunt, who were monitoring what the break-in at a distance. The F.B.I. arrested Alfred E. Baldwin at his listening post. Baldwin was supposed to be listening to DNC phone calls for about twenty days. He recorded nothing, but supposedly took some notes. Some now think there were no bugs in the DNC. If that was the case, it is likely he was only listening to phone calls and bugs in the bordello down the street from the DNC.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Watergate: Part One

The Watergate Affair began on June 17, 1972 when 5 burgulars were caught inside the Watergate complex, where they had illegally entered the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. In time the matter revealed that the people around President Richard Nixon had been attempting to cover-up their involvement. Numerous abuses of power by the Nixon administration came to light, and the affair ended with the resignation of President Nixon on August 9, 1974.

The break-in was initiated by White House Counsel John Wesley Dean and was approved by Jeb Magruder of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP). At the time, Dean was assuming a major role in gathering political intelligence for the Nixon White House. Though he claimed to barely know Anthony T. Ulasewicz, whose services he had inherited from former-Counsel Ehrlichman, the fact is that Dean used Ulasewicz in a number of operations. Dean misled Congress by testifying that he was a restraining influence in the Nixon White House. The Senate Committee had evidence that proved otherwise, but must have decided to bolster Dean’s credibility by burying that material. Magruder did not seem to have a clear idea of why the break-in was necessary. He testified that Mitchell identified the DNC as a break-in target, and John Dean consistently lined up Mitchell to take the blame. John Mitchell, then campaign chairman, said he was bypassed. It seems that he was, indeed, briefed, but it is likely that he repeatedly tried to derail the project.

The resignation became necessary when the’smoking gun” audio tape was found, in which Nixon discussed the details of the cover-up effort. Interestingly, the same tape would have revealed the involvement of another president, George H.W. Bush, in the cover-uip, but the press did not pursue this. When the’smoking gun” tape was found, George H. W. Bush was among the people called to the White House. Bush realized it would expose his involvement in the $700,000 hush money he helped move. He feared the Mexican money pipeline would be exposed and White House official Dean Burch said that Bush “broke out into assholes and shit himself to death.” It is almost a certainty that Bush was still working for the C.I.A. at the time. This pipeline used the same mechanisms the agency employed to wash and move money into the United States.

Why Burgularize the DNC?

Most of the explanations for why the Republicans sent men to bugularize the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex have something to do with DNC chairman Larry O’ Brien. According to a sworn deposition given by G. Gordon Liddy, James McCord and other Republican operatives entered the Democratic National Committee headquarters on May 26 and supposedly placed listening devices on the telephone of Larry O’ Brien, chairman of the DNC, and that of R. Spencer Oliver, who ran the Association of State Democratic Chairmen.

There is sworn evidence from Liddy and McCord that the bugs were planted. It also appears that they planted some sort or room motion monitoring device, and it may have been that this device or bug later malfunctioned. The problem is that all the testimony about the first break-in is so contradictory. McCord once called it just an orientation run. In the second break-in, they were to replace the room monitoring device and the bug on O’Brien’s phone. There is no independent evidence that the bugs were planted in the first place, but it is true that when the burglars were caught they had a replacement bug or motion devce that was about the size of a football. Bugs were also found at McCord’s House and at the White House. Ervin committee testimony shows that Baldwin gave McCord some summary information about the calls he was supposed to have monitored. McCord then passed the summaries to Liddy, who resummarized them into a tape recorder, from which his secretary typed records, which were never produced.

It is theorized that they were interested in O’Brien because he had represented Howard Hughes in Washington. Nixon thought that Hughes aid Robert Maheu must have told O’Brien about the illegal contributions Hughes gave Nixon. Nixon suspected and much later had proof that O’Brien was on retainer to look after Hughes interests in Washington. Both O’Brien and Hughes had been fired by the odd multi-millionaire. Moreover, John Mier, a former C.I.A. man, had told O’ Brien and Hubert Humphrey about the Hughes $1,000,000 gift and apparently had turned over some paperwork. Meier was getting ready to run as a Democrat for the Senate in New Mexico. Instantly, he faced tax problems, which Don Nixon told him would go away if he recovered whatever he gave O’Brien. Eventually, Meier briefed the Senate Watergate Committee for 7 hours.

The IRS then told the committee that Meier had stolen money from Hughes, so the committee decided it could not use his information. Meier was subsequently hounded by the IRS and financially ruined. He spent some time working for British intelligence and then obtained Canadian citizenship and working for police intelligence agencies there. In July, 1979, he was extradicted to the United States. He ended up in solitary confinement in Boise, Idaho. From there he went to four other federal prisons and was eventually transferred to a Canadian prison and was relesed in 1981. In 1983, he was rearrested on Los Angeles murder charges and settled for a plea of harboring a fugitive. Because of this rough treatment, one might wonder if , in his bitterness, he embellished his story.

Oliver’s father was involved in a scheme to prevent the nomination of George McGovern and probably replacfe him with Terry Sanford. The elder Oliver, like O’Brien was tied to Howard Hughes and Oliver was also linked to Robert Bennett of the Mullen Company, a C.I.A. front. Bennett was in charge of the Domestic Operations Division. Both Olivers feared that McGovern would be easy to defeat. Nixon would not have wanted to see McGovern replaced by Sanford. Oliver subsequently sued the Republican party and had his pay cut off for doing so by the next chairman of the national committee, Robert Strauss. Oliver thought Strauss and John Connally used information gained by the tap to help George McGovern succeed in the Texas Democratic convention. The tap on O’ Brien’s telephone never worked. Oliver’s conversations were transcribed by Alfred Baldwin, III, a former F.B.I. agent who had been involved in bureau black bag operations. Baldwin was acquainted with Watergate arresting officer Don Shoffler, who told his former commanding officer that the earrest was the result of a tip. Shoffler later told the Senate that the story about the tip was not true. Baldwin was lookout during the second burgulary, but he could not warn the burgulars about the police because Bernard Barker had turned off his walkee-talkee.

After the Texas state convention, the Oliver tap was no longer useful. According to John Erlichman and some historians, the Oliver telephone was being used to make appointments with call girls for politicians. Hunt and two of the burglars much later said they were after sexual information about prominent Democrats. Eugenio Martinez, one of the Watergate burgulars, was found to have the key to the desk of Ida “Maxie” Wells’ desk. Martinez tried to swallow the key rather than turn it over to police. She was Oliver’s secretary. When interviewed by Senator Howard Baker , he admitted that he had participated in three or four hundred break-ins for the C.I.A.. Sam Dash was only onc e permitted to look at the F.B.I. investigative files, which ran to more than 30,000 pages. For that reason, it is fair to assume that the Ervin Committee never had any idea that Maxie could have been very important in this case.

Martinez had also participated in the break in of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office in Beverley Hills. The “plumbers” did not find Ellsberg’s records. They broke windows, used a crow bar on the front door, and scattered papers and pills about. Why would professional burgulars be so sloppy unless they wanted to generate a police report of the incident?

Decades later lawyer Phillip Bailley said that Wells kept pictures of the prostitutes in her desk to show to politicians who needed entertainment. Gordon Liddy thought the second break-in was to see what information the Democrats had about Republicans using call girls. Initially, he was told he was to replace a bad bug and learn what the DNC had no Nixon.

He now adds that the break-in was to steal pictures of prostitutes Wells had in her desk. Wells, now a community college teacher in Louisiana, recently sued him for slander in Baltimore and lost. A comment by Jeb Magruder makes it clear the break-in was to see what Democrats had on the Republicans, but Magruder might not have had sexual information in mind. Some of the Cuban burglars thought they were there to get information about Castro’s contributions to the Democrats.

There is no direct evidence that Richard Nixon ordered the “plumbers” to break into the DNC offices at the Watergate. At one time or other Magruder has blamed Mitchell, Nixon, and Dean for ordering the action. There is no evidence to support his claims about Nixon or Mitchell, and we have learned that he had contradictory tales to tell about many details involving Watergate. At that time, he was working very closely with White House Counsel John Dean, and it is not unreasonable to guess that Dean told him to send men into the DNC headquarters. We know that the operation was directed by someone at the White House. Most observers seem to think the GOP wanted to know what O’ Brien knew about Nixon’s dealings with Howard Hughes. We know that Hughes gave Charles “Bebe” Rebozo for the Nixon 1972 campaign. Some think there were concern about Hughes’ business ties with Donald Nixon. Both O’Brien and Oliver had links to Hughes. Of course, Republican operatives were always interested in Democratic strategies. What else could the Nixon White House have wanted to cover by sponsoring the Watergate break-in ? We know that the Greek military hunta donated $549,000 to the 1968 Nixon campaign, but we do not know if the Democrats knew about it. The Hughes Tool Company gave a huge $100,000 gift to Nixon in his first term. The money was skimmed from a Las Vegas casino. The cash came in two installments and was delivered by two top Hughes men to Bebe Rebozo, who gave it to Nixon. When there was danger the Watergate investigators would hearn of the payments, Rebozo returned the money to Hughes.

It is said that it is likely that Larry O’Brien, who became head of the DNC, had worked for Hughes and could have known about the gift. For whatever reason, Hughes hired many Robert Kennedy operatives after the senator’s assassination. It was also known then that Nixon took $400,000 from ITT in return for dropping charges against it. The money was to be used for the Republican National Convention. There could have been a concern that the DNC had solid information on this.

There is an alternate version of why the break-in occurred that involved Howard Hughes. Mr. Hughes passed a million dollar bribe to Bebe Rebozo for Nixon to ease the way for Hughes to purchase Air West. For reasons that elude this author, the C.I.A. also had an interest in the arrangement. The problem was that John Meier, a Hughes scientific advisor and Donald Nixon business partner happened to witness part of the transaction and Rebozo did not think he should be there. In fact, Meier had kept the money in his room overnight, after it was delivered by another Hughes man and two C.I.A. agents. Meier was a known leftist and the Nixon people assumed he passed the information to the DNC. John Ehrlichman instructed the IRS to investigate Meier. With no evidence, some writers think the DNC lured Nixon into the break-ins to get the Meier materials. Meier, a Hubert Humphrey Friend, foolishly told Donald Nixon that Larry O’Brien knew about some Hughes pay-offs to President Nixon. According to the affidavit of a deep cover C.I.A. agent given in Mexico City in 1975, Meier, indeed, did contact a Jack Anderson’s assistant George Clifford and told what he knew and told about bribes that he knew about. Meier was soon in prison on forgery charges. The C.I.A. visited him and administered a lie detector test , asked who his government sources wre, and demanded that he sign some documents. He refused. He was eventually released and tried unsuccessfully to testify before Congress, only to be told to go home. From 1981 to 1986, he fought murder charges. Throughout all this, he remained a friend of J. Edgar Hoover, and the F.B.I. left him alone. He was kept under C.I.A. surveillance but found eventually received some cover from the RCMP. Mr. Meier contacted Attorney John Teeter, lawyer for Sirhan Sirhan, sometime during the week of February 19, 2005 in Beverley Hills and gave him tapes and documents. Teeter wanted a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan. Teeter died in Chochitas. Mexico on July 31, 2005.

Dale Pope, Meier’s attorney, then unsuccessfully sought the help of the California Bar Association in seeking the return of the materials Meier had given Teeter. In the end, it turned out that Teeter’s home was burgularized, and the Meier matgerials were taken. Meier told a Vancouver neighbor that when the Mormons took over handling affairs for Hughes, Meier retrieved as many documents as he could to protect himself and stumbled across some pay orders he thought could be tied to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Of course, Hughes was the most important front man the agency had in those days.
The first break-in at the Watergate could have been part of Dean’s efforts to get information on Democrat sex practices. At same time, Dean sent Jack Caulfield to investigate the “Happy Hooker” ring in New York City, but the information was useless because the indiscretions discovered were bipartisan.