A Covert History of the 1960's Era

by Ben Best
Copyright (c) 1990




With the advent of high technology for the acquisition and communication of knowledge, one might expect the work of the historian to become simpler. Writing history could be a task of summerizing journalism. With major events under the mass media magnifying glass, little could seemingly escape journalistic scrutiny.

But the ironic truth seems to be that much of modern history is little more than a series of unanswered questions. After nearly two years of journalistic and congressional obsession with Watergate, conclusive evidence finally came to light that President Nixon had engineered a cover-up of the break-in. But then Nixon resigned and was pardoned before a truly effective investigation could be conducted. Journalists, naturally, turned their attention to newer fast-breaking stories, leaving others to puzzle over what really happened.

The assassination of President Kennedy has been called "the crime of the century." It was investigated almost entirely by the FBI and the Warren Commission — both of which brought ulterior motives to bear on their task. The results of those investigations left nearly everyone feeling very suspicious.

The public is thus subjected to a sequence of mysterious news events. The follow-up to each such mystery is the presentation of a new mystery rather than a solution. Jimmy Hoffa, a man who was one of the most powerful union leaders of the century, disappeared without a trace. Marilyn Monroe, whose name was synonymous with sex, died in a peculiar "suicide" which was covered-up rather than investigated. Howard Hughes, one of the wealthiest men of recent times, was not seen in public for over a decade — and the corpse of his once six-foot four-inch frame weighed less than a hundred pounds. The powerful Senator Edward Kennedy was implicated in the death of a young woman under highly suspicious circumstances, yet a full and open investigation was not conducted out of respect for his "privacy".

The United States fought the longest war of its history in Vietnam. But few have a very clear idea of how or why it started. It took years before people were certain that it even was a war. More years followed of widely publicized directionless fighting and controversy. Then the war ended, almost as mysteriously as it had begun.

And behind the scenes of these public events there exist powerful and secretive forces. The most obvious of these are the CIA and the Mafia. The romantic images conjured up by these organizations more often produce sensationalism and speculation than sound historical analysis. Conspiracy theories abound, often giddying in their scope.

There have been conspiracies, to be sure, but many small ones — not a single grandiose one. And apart from explicit conspiracy, the linkage and underlying relatedness of seemingly disparate events is phenomenal. In fact, the subject matter of this book is chosen on the basis of underlying relations. The book is written sequentially in such a way that each chapter can provide background for the ones that follow. The unsuspecting reader might imagine that the subjects are so unrelated that they can be read entirely independently and out of sequence. Such a reading plan will lose the underlying developmental threads and context. And yet each chapter is presented in such a way as to provide a comprehensive understanding of the subject area, and material of intrinsic interest. (Unfortunately, the first chapter, with its "blizzard" of Italian names, is probably the most difficult chapter to follow. But the nature of the Mafia is that of an association of many persons, most of whom had a powerful but short-lived influence. Subsequent chapters will quickly demonstrate the importance of beginning with the Mafia.)

Much of the fascination of the subjects dealt with lies in the unexpected connections — the intrigue and the surprises discovered. Yet few people could be motivated to read a book on the basis of vague promises. For that reason, it seems necessary to provide a general structure of the underlying themes covered here.

One could begin by asking, "What were the Watergate burglars after when they broke into the offices of Lawrence O'Brien, chairman of the National Democratic Committee?" A very likely explanation is that they were after information about Howard Hughes. For years Richard Nixon had been the object of scandal concerning a weakly secured "loan" from Hughes. O'Brien was receiving a large retainer from Hughes without many people knowing what services were being rendered. Nixon was very eager to turn the tables on the Democrats concerning politically embarrassing Hughes money. Moreover, there was, at the time, a power struggle going on within the Hughes empire. E. Howard Hunt, the ex-CIA Bay of Pigs veteran who engineered the break-in, was working out of the offices of a Mormon faction of the struggle — while O'Brien's allies were on the other side, some of whom included well-known mafiosi.

Nixon's means of attempting to cover-up the Watergate break-in was by putting pressure on the CIA to stop the FBI's investigation. The means of pressure he sought to apply is not clear. But he made reference to the danger of the investigation re-opening the "Bay of Pigs thing," possibly exposing the then secret efforts the CIA had made to have the Mafia assassinate Fidel Castro. This was a highly sensitive area because many CIA officials feared that their attempts against Castro's life may have provoked the Cuban dictator to retaliate with the assassination of President Kennedy, as Castro had vaguely threatened in a public statement. It is no secret that Lee Harvey Oswald was a pro-Castro activist. To add to the irony, the man who formed the liason between the CIA and the Mafia in the assassination attempts against Castro later became chief executive of the Hughes empire. And one of the leading mafiosi involved in the CIA's assassination plan was apparently benefitting from the sexual favors of a woman who was simultaneously having an extramarital affair with President Kennedy. When an investigation of the Kennedy Assassination was reopened by Congress in the late seventies, the chief counsel of the House Assassination Committee concluded that the Mafia had killed the President. Few people doubt that the Mafia was behind the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa.

I hope the above will be adequate to stimulate the would-be reader's interest. By no means does it "summarize" the contents of this book. The unexpected interconnections of schemers acting out of their own motives is, at times, nothing short of dazzling. Still, these matters are so lathered with deception and secret machinations that it would be presumptuous to imply that this work has been definitive and final. It is, however, close to the forefront of current historical knowledge.

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Tradition dates the origin of the Mafia to several centuries ago when Sicily was occupied by the French. The death of a young Sicilian bride-to-be due to an assault by a drunken French soldier sparked a massive uprising throughout Sicily. An underground resistance movement in the form of a secret society came into being in the aftermath of this uprising. The society took its name from the slogan of the enraged Sicilians: "Morte Alla Francia Italia Anela!" (Death to the French is Italy's Cry!) or M.A.F.I.A.

The fundamental unit of the Mafia is the "family", a word more reminiscent of the loyalty given to blood-ties than the word "gang". In Sicily a father and son could not belong to the same Mafia "family" (although brothers could), but some "families" of American mafiosi no longer recognize this rule. The family was regarded as the only source of protection and morality. Devotion to the head of the family often exceeded that given to God or the State, and revenge was regarded as a family duty.

In the initiation ritual — common to the Sicilian and American Mafia — the initiate's middle finger would be pierced by a needle. Blood was drawn to soak a small paper image of a saint. The image would be burned after which the initiate would swear his loyalty holding the ashes in the palm of his hand. The oath of secrecy prohibits mafiosi from divulging Mafia activities to non-mafiosi.

Another secret society, the Camorra, achieved success in Naples. When the French left Italy, the Camorra continued to rob, but divided its loot with the clergy and the police. The Mafia, however, remained a government and a religion of its own, supported by tribute extorted from the people.

During the 19th and early 20th century more than a million Sicilians immigrated to the United States. The first known occurrence of warfare among Italian secret societies on American soil was in 1890, in New Orleans. After some mafiosi had set up a protection racket involving all cargo loaded or unloaded on the docks, the Neopolitan Camorra tried to muscle-in. Several murders were taking place every week. When the Irish police chief sought to investigate, he was shot to death.

The first grand jury investigation met a wall of silence from potential witnesses. The jury could only conclude that there was a conspiracy of silence and that the existence of "the Mafia has been established beyond doubt". Civic outrage and new pressures finally produced witnesses.

The subsequent trial followed a pattern which later became a familiar part of the American scene. The defendents hired some of America's top lawyers (including the former attorney general of Louisiana). At least half the jury was bribed or intimidated. As a result, judgement was suspended on three defendents and the rest were declared innocent.

A mass meeting was called by prominent citizens, with approval from the mayor and the city's two leading newspapers. Verbal outrage gave way to action when a number of people decided to march to the jail. An angry crowd milled outside the jailhouse until a giant black man hurled a boulder against the wooden door, smashing it to splinters. Two of the prisoners were lynched in the midst of several thousand people. Nine others were lined against a wall and shot to death.

In New York City, the turn-of-the-century saw the flourishing of Mafia extortionists who called themselves the "Black Hand". Their victims were mostly prosperous and hard-working Italians who understood Mafia methods. A stenciled black hand on a building or fence was a potent warning.

Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino, a native of Italy and a detective of the New York Police Department, made the Black Hand his specialty. At his direction, the Italian Squad of the Police Department was created to support his work. Using several disguises, Petrosino was able to mingle with the Italian community and make seven hundred arrests in one year. He identified the boss of the Camorra and deported the man. He also identified a man called "Lupo the Wolf" as chief Mafia boss, but was unable to bring him to court.

Petrosino decided to make a trip to Italy where he could learn more of the Mafia's background and make arrangements for cooperation with Italian police. The New York City government was unwilling to finance this project, but private funds were raised. In Sicily, Petrosino was shot dead on a street. Sicily's Mafia chief boasted personal responsibility for the killing. The Italian Squad was eliminated by the New York Police Department on the grounds that it represented ethnic discrimination.

The most powerful gangsters in New York in 1920 were Jewish. One young pair of Jewish hoods who were destined to make names for themselves were Meyer Lansky and Ben "Bugsy" Siegel. Lansky was a skilled mechanic who could remove all identifying marks from a stolen car, changing its appearance so drastically that the owner wouldn't recognize it. "Bugsy" Siegel, who had gotten his name from the recklessness with which he would enter violent situations, cultivated the skills of auto theft. They expanded their business by contracting to haul bootleg booze, to protect bootleggers from hijackers and to hijack the shipments of rivals. Eventually the Bug & Meyer Mob became respected as trustworthy experts in controlled violence. By the late 1920s Lansky and Siegel were the country's top enforcers. One of their best customers was the Jewish Lepke Buchalter, a murderous extortionist in the garment industry.

Lansky, being more of a businessman than Siegel, was inclined to use persuasion rather than violence to encourage cooperation. He developed business contacts with the Jewish Cleveland Syndicate — including Moe Dalitz — which dominated the smuggling of booze from Canada over Lake Erie. He also worked well with the Italians Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano.

With the advent of Prohibition, there had been a huge boom in underworld activity. Gangsters who provided liquor to the American public were glorified. In New York City, the large influx of Italian immigrants created conditions in which both Jewish and Irish gangsters were forced to yield to the more numerous Italians.

After the 1920 imprisonment of "Lupo the Wolf" for counterfeiting, no supreme Mafia boss would emerge in New York City until the 1930s. A number of "Mustache Petes", steeped in traditionalism and Sicilian clannishness, vied for power. Chief among these were Joe "The Boss" Masseria (noted for ruthlessness and gluttonous obesity) and Salvatore Maranzano (an urbane gentleman who would spend hours studying Latin texts on the military exploits of Julius Caeser).

A younger and less powerful Sicilian mobster was Charles "Lucky" Luciano, a man of exceptional organizational ability. Although a knife wound had given his right eye a sinister droop, he dressed as well as any respectable businessman. Unlike the older "Mustache Petes", Luciano did not claim ethnic superiority to gangsters of non-Sicilian backgrounds. Among his closest friends were the Neopolitans Vito Genovese and Joe Adonis; the Calabrian Frank Costello; and the Jews Lepke Buchalter, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. Luciano allied himself with Masseria, assuming responsibility for running a large part of Masseria's organization while maintaining his own operations on the side. When the most powerful Jewish gangster in New York City was shot by an unknown assassin in 1928, Luciano and Lepke assumed control of his narcotics business.

A working relationship began to develop among those younger members of the underworld who were more interested in business cooperation than in petty ethnic pride and vengeful mutual recriminations. This community of mobsters, who began referring to themselves as "the Combination", were primarily concerned with the business of booze: shipping, smuggling, production, distribution, protection and sale. From May 13 to 16, 1929, Mafia and non-Mafia members of the Combination met in Atlantic City to clarify problems of distribution, territoriality and competition in the roaring Prohibition liquor business. In attendence were Al Capone, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano, Joe Adonis, Lepke Buchalter and Moe Dalitz, among others.

But the older, powerful gangsters continued their violent ways oblivious to the Combination. Dutch Schulz used brutal methods to seize control of the numbers racket from blacks in Harlem. Schultz brought thirty Harlem independents into a single combine under his control.

By 1930 an out-and-out war had erupted between the most powerful Mafia chieftains: Masseria and Maranzano, representing Sicilians from eastern and western regions of Sicily, respectively. Under Masseria was his underboss, Lucky Luciano, as well as Vito Genovese, Frank Costello, Joe Adonis, Albert Anastasia, Carlo Gambino and Willie Moretti. With Maranzano were Joe Profaci, and Joseph Bonnano. Luciano reached a secret agreement with Maranzano to end the war by killing Masseria.

Luciano invited his boss Masseria to share a bounteous and succulent afternoon meal at a Coney Island restaurant. Masseria regarded Luciano like a son so he didn't bother to bring his bodyguards. After the meal they began playing cards. At one point Luciano made a trip to the washroom. Several gunmen — reputedly Bugsy Siegel, Albert Anastasia, Vito Genovese and Joe Adonis — entered the restaurant and blasted the life out of Masseria. When Luciano returned, he found Masseria clutching an Ace of Diamonds (which thereafter became a Mafia symbol of death).

Maranzano, now the supreme power of the New York underworld, decided to divide New York City into five "families". The divisions he made have lasted over fifty years. According to the informer Joseph Valachi, the five original bosses were Charles Luciano, Tom Gagliano, Joseph Profaci, Joseph Bonnano and Vincent Mangano. Vito Genovese was the underboss of the Luciano family and Albert Anastasia the underboss of the Mangano family. (Valachi is apparently wrong on at least one point — Joseph Adonis ruled Brooklyn for many years before Mangano assumed power.) Maranzano had himself crowned "Boss of Bosses" in an elaborate ceremony. Among Maranzano's "palace guard" was the young Joseph Valachi.

But Maranzano was probably concerned about the growing solidarity among the young Combination members. Valachi claims Maranzano gave him a list of sixty people to be eliminated, including Al Capone, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano, Vito Genovese, Joe Adonis and Dutch Schultz. But Luciano was way ahead of Maranzano.

On September 10, 1931 a number of Jewish men claiming to be either city detectives or federal agents entered Maranzano's headquarters with drawn pistols. They were actually members of the Bug and Meyer Mob. Maranzano, showing his willingness to cooperate with law enforcement officials, led the men into his office where they shot and stabbed him to death. During the next twenty-four hours some forty of the old "Mustache Petes" across the continent were executed in a ruthlessly efficient purge directed by Luciano that became known as "The Night of the Sicilian Vespers".

The passing of the old mafiosi resulted in the triumph of the Combination as the dominant underworld force. Although Luciano became widely acknowledged as the pre-eminent mobster, he disclaimed the title "Boss of Bosses". In the Spring of 1934 this victory was formalized by a conference which established a new "National Crime Syndicate". The United States was formally divided into spheres of influence for 24 families. Larger cities were divided along industry lines giving specific bosses authority for gambling, prostitution, labor racketeering, etc. Miami was declared an "open city" where anyone could operate. A presiding ruling commission was formed from 9 of the 24 bosses. It was agreed that all executions were to be approved by the ruling commission and carried out by a crack team of killers.

Thus there began an assassination squad which a journalist dubbed "Murder, Inc.". It was organized by Joe Adonis and led by Albert Anastasia. At 19 years of age, Anastasia had been in the Sing Sing death house for the slaying of a longshoreman. But when three witnesses died and the fourth (Anastasia's former girl friend) fled the city, charges were dropped. Anastasia's brother went on to become top dog on the Brooklyn waterfront of a local of the International Longshoreman's Association. Murder, Inc. members would handle waterfront extortion and loansharking when not working on a "contract".

As Syndicate figures were finally beginning to make peace with each other, outside forces were providing a new source of disturbance. With the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, mobsters lost much of their romantic appeal with the public. Law enforcement agencies became less corrupt and more aggressive. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Dewey (who later became a Presidential candidate) gathered evidence to get Dutch Schultz arrested on an income tax evasion charge. Schultz went into hiding and asked the Syndicate to have Dewey killed. When it was decided that such a move would create too much "heat", Schultz decided to do the job himself. The Syndicate, most of whose members regarded Schultz to be an uncooperative Jewish "Mustache Pete", sentenced him to death. Schultz was killed by some of Lepke Buchalter's gunmen.

Dewey's next target was Luciano himself. Luciano controlled many rackets, but his specialties were narcotics and prostitution. Dewey decided Luciano would be most vulnerable to charges of organized prostitution. In 1935 Luciano controlled two hundred New York City brothels containing a total of over a thousand prostitutes. Many of the women had been forceably addicted to heroin to make them compliant. Some of them had even been abducted off the streets. Dewey called 68 persons to the witness stand, 40 of them "ruined women" from Luciano's brothels. The three weeks of heart-wrenching testimony had a profound effect on the judge, the jury and the public. Luciano was sentenced to thirty to fifty years in prison, the longest sentence that had ever been given for compulsory prostitution.

In 1936 Lepke Buchalter went into hiding after he became aware that the law was hot on his tail. Four months later a grand jury indicted him for smuggling $10 million worth of heroin from Shanghai and Hong Kong. Lepke became the target of one of the biggest manhunts in history. One million "wanted" posters were distributed. Dewey, the FBI, the Federal Narcotics Bureau and various police departments pooled their forces to create an intolerable "heat" on the underworld.

While investigators combed the globe, Lepke was safely being hidden in New York by Albert Anastasia of "Murder, Inc.". Albert was obligingly giving orders to bump off witnesses as Lepke continued to run his industrial extortion rackets. But the National Crime Syndicate decided that the underworld would be better off if Lepke served time for narcotics.

Lepke was told that a deal had been made with J. Edgar Hoover that if he turned himself in to the FBI, there would be no state prosecution. Lepke submitted himself to Hoover only to discover that Hoover knew nothing (or claimed to know nothing) of any deal. Lepke was sentenced to fourteen years in prison on the narcotics charge.

Dewey, who hadn't known that Lepke was in New York until he saw it in the newspapers, felt that Hoover had betrayed him to steal all the glory. Nonetheless, he was able to get Lepke sentenced for another thirty-years-to-life on industrial extortion charges. Several years later new evidence was uncovered which qualified Lepke for the distinctive privilege of becoming the only boss of organized crime ever to be sent to the electric chair.

While the anti-gangster fever swept New York City in the mid-1930s, Brooklyn remained in the corrupt claws of Joe Adonis and his persuasive underboss, Albert Anastasia. When Adonis decided to go into the cigarette vending machine business, his high-pressure salesmen found thousands of potential customers who were eager to place his machines. Adonis was able to obtain a plentiful supply of cigarettes at a time when his hapless competitors were losing $6 million worth of their merchandise through cigarette-truck hijackings.

Not only did Adonis command a percentage of all the rackets in Brooklyn, he claimed (with good reason) to have political control of the District Attorney's office, thereby limiting his liability to prosecution. In 1940, however, an aggressive assistant District Attorney brought Brooklyn to the forefront of the war against organized crime. By selective application of pressure and of the granting of immunity, he followed a trail of petty informants to the person of Abe "Kid Twist" Reles. Reles was the "field commander" of Murder, Inc. His thugs were believed to have been responsible for a thousand killings across the nation in their capacity as enforcers for the Syndicate. "Kid Twist" had gotten his nickname from his special skills in wringing necks with his bare hands.

Reles was given immunity from responsibility for all murders about which he made a full confession of knowledge and complicity. If information were obtained elsewhere for a crime to which he did not confess, he could be held liable. He also knew that if he failed to implicate associates enough to cause their arrest, he might have to face them on the outside. Reles talked for twelve days straight. But the protection afforded by the District Attorney may have been inadequate. Although he resided in a hotel room with steel doors and guards, he plunged six floors from his bedroom window to the pavement below. The investigation of Reles' death lasted less than a day. "Wanted cards" for Anastasia and two of his henchmen disappeared from the police files.

During the 1940s Joe Adonis, with the assistance of Willie Moretti, concentrated his efforts on gambling casinos in New Jersey and in upstate New York. Brooklyn was left to the Mangano brothers.

World War II presented Lucky Luciano with an unexpected opportunity. Because the United States was at war with Italy, it was feared that Italians working on the docks might try to help the enemy. Through Luciano's close ally Meyer Lansky, Navy Counterintelligence sought Luciano's influence with waterfront racketeers to prevent sabatoge. Some critics have suggested that underworld figures who visited Luciano in his cell to converse in Italian were a means through which he could continue to control his empire while in prison. It has further been suggested that the absence of sabotage on the New York waterfront was more to the credit of the FBI, which effectively protected many American industries. After the war, however, a number of Nazi intelligence officers spoke of the hostile and violent waterfront Italians who thwarted their plans.

The Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the CIA) sought Luciano's influence with the Sicilian Mafia to lessen the resistance to an American invasion. The extent of Luciano's contribution to the war effort in Sicily is questionable, however, because Mussolini's government had conducted a campaign against the Sicilian Mafia which used torture-induced confessions on a scale comparable to the Spanish Inquisition. Thousands of mafiosi were in jail and others, hiding in the mountains of western Sicily, were only too ready to support the invading Allies.

After the war, Luciano petitioned New York Governor Thomas Dewey for executive clemancy on grounds of patriotic services. Cynics — pointing to Governor Dewey's remarkable tolerance for Joe Adonis' gambling activities and accepting the idea that Dewey's anti-gangsterism had been a political stepping-stone — tend to believe Luciano's claim to have greased the wheels of justice with a secret contribution to Dewey's campaign fund. Dewey approved Luciano's deportation to Italy, citing government policy favoring deportation over imprisonment.

Before long Luciano was directing the most important heroin route to America. Opium from Turkey was smuggled to Lebanon where the morphine (10% by weight of the opium) was extracted. The morphine was converted to heroin at night in the same Italian laboratories which manufactured legal heroin during the daytime. French Corsicans smuggled the narcotics down the St. Lawrence seaway to Montreal, where Carmine Galante (underboss of the Joseph Bonnano family, and the gambling kingpin for that city) forwarded it to the U.S. through Buffalo and Detroit.

Within a year of his deportation, Luciano flew to Cuba. His plan, evidently, was to make Havana the capital of the underworld. A Syndicate conference was called — and attended by Joe Adonis, Vito Genovese, Meyer Lansky, Joe Bonnano, Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Joe Profaci and Willie Moretti, among others. Ostensibly, the convention was held to honor the singer Frank Sinatra, for whom a gala party was held. Upon learning that Luciano was in Cuba, U.S. authorities threatened to embargo medical narcotics shipped to the island. Luciano was soon on a boat taking him back to Italy.

After a 1950 scandal exposed the role of an Italian pharmaceutical company in the manufacture of illegal heroin, Marseille, France became the new center for heroin synthesis. Ten percent of the population of Marseille is composed of Corsicans, many of whom demonstrate the kind of criminal clannishness for which Sicilian mafiosi are notorious. Corsican syndicates specialize in sophisticated criminal skills such as smuggling, counterfeiting, art theft, arms traffic and heroin manufacture. Their scope of operations is world-wide.

Cuba and the Carribean became major conduits for the flow of narcotics into the United States. Meyer Lansky may have been a major figure in shifting the flow of heroin to the south. He had moved to Miami in 1937 to set up gambling operations in conjunction with Florida Mafia boss Santos Trafficante, Sr. Lansky befriended Cuba's Fulgencio Batista for whom he acted as a money-manager and financial consultant. Together, Lansky and the Cuban dictator worked out a scheme for sharing the profits from Mafia-run activities in Cuba.

Shortly after Thomas Dewey had put Luciano in prison, he began working on a case against Luciano's underboss, Vito Genovese. Genovese was having problems silencing witnesses to a murder for which he was responsible, so he fled to Italy. This left Frank Costello in charge of Luciano operations and the most influential member of the Syndicate.

With his nonviolent and genial manner, there was little about Frank Costello which would cause people to see him as a hood or a thug. His main interests were business and politics. He ran a very successful bootlegging business during Prohibition and supervised a New York slot machine empire thereafter. His business took a downturn, however, when Jewish-Italian Fiorello LaGuardia became New York City Mayor on an anti-gangter, reformist platform. Soon after LaGuardia began dramatically striking Costello's slot machines with an ax, Costello withdrew thousands of his machines from circulation. Shortly thereafter, Costello was told by Huey "The Kingfish" Long that the slots were welcome in Louisiana.

Huey Long had become Governor of Louisiana in 1928. Long had campaigned as a populist opposed to Wall Street plutocrats and the wealthy oil interests of his own state. Once elected, he began a program whereby taxes on oil and gas consumption would provide schoolchildren with free textbooks. After investors built a toll bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, Long upheld the cause of poor folk by building a free public bridge alongside. Following his term as governor, Long became a Senator, but he continued to control the Governor's Office and the State's political machinery.

It was probably during his high-class binges of drinking and womanizing in New York City that he became a friend of Frank Costello. Responding to Long's southern hospitality, Costello and his associates formed the Pelican Novelty Company. Louisiana law made generous provisions for the company on the grounds that part of its slot machine profits would go to charity. Of the $800,000 profit earned in the first year, a $20,000 monthly payment was allotted for Huey Long's personal strongbox. $600 was given to widows and orphans.

New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello was well looked-after. He kept two-thirds of the profits from the slot machines he placed. He received a full pardon from the governor for an assault and battery charge. And he suffered no prosecution when he was arrested for marijuana trafficking or for beating up a newspaper photographer in front of a court house.

Costello remained in New York City to engineer a take-over of Tammany Hall. Ostensibly an organization to represent the common man, Tammany Hall was the powerhouse behind the New York City Democratic Party, at least from the time of "Boss Tweed" in the 1860s. A long chain of Democratic mayors assumed the dominance of their Party until the Republican LaGuardia took office. Once out of power, Tammany Hall leaders became even more dependent on graft money from racketeers. By 1942 Costello controlled enough Tammany executives to ensure his power over the organization.

When Vito Genovese had fled the U.S. in the 1930s, he went to Italy where he formed an alliance with Mussolini, contributing a quarter of a million dollars towards the building of the Fascist Party's central offices in Rome. In 1943 he ordered the killing of the editor of a New York City anti-fascist, Italian-language newspaper. Carmine Galante of the Bonnano family may have been the murderer insofar as he had been driving the car used by the killer. Though Galante was under surveillance at the time, he could not be followed because war-time economies had prevented the use of automobiles by parole officers.

Detectives learned from an informant that the murder had been ordered by Vito Genovese. Because Genovese and Costello were the top bosses of the Luciano family, the detectives decided that a tap on Costello's telephone might provide them with more information. It did, but not about the murder. They overheard Costello informing a New York State Supreme Court Justice nominee that bipartisan support had been arranged for his appointment.

With the return of Vito Genovese to the United States, Costello began to experience a long and slow erosion of his power.

In 1932 Genovese had fallen in love with a married woman, his fourth cousin. Twelve days after her husband was found strangled to death by a clothesline, Genovese and the widow were married. Returning from his honeymoon, Genovese was introduced to a gullible-but-wealthy merchant by a gambling racketeer named Ferdinand Boccia. Together Genovese and Boccia fleeced the merchant for $150,000. Rather than split the money, Genovese decided to economize and have Boccia bumped-off. After his two gunmen killed Boccia, Genovese paid one of them to kill the other. The would-be victim was only wounded, however, and he went to the police. Genovese fled the country, leaving Frank Costello in charge of the Luciano family — and de facto "Boss of Bosses".

In Italy, Genovese befriended Mussolini and became a powerful member of the Camorra. His wife continued to run his "Italian lottery" racket in the US, periodically bringing portions of the take with her on trips to Italy. After the military defeat of Fascism in Italy, Genovese was arrested for hijacking American trucks and selling provisions on the black market. He was extradited to the US to face charges for the murder of Boccia, but the case was dismissed when a key witness was found dead of poison.

Genovese soon re-established himself in the rackets (concentrating on narcotics) and began working to displace Costello from Syndicate leadership. Costello had sought to discourage mob involvement with narcotics because of the "heat" it created, but in so doing he fostered an underworld within the underworld.

New Jersey boss Willie Moretti became an issue in the power struggle when mobsters began to fear that mental deterioration due to syphilis was loosening his tongue. Genovese convinced most Syndicate members that Moretti had to go, but Costello resisted because Moretti had been his boyhood friend and a loyal supporter. Genovese finally prevailed, enhancing his prestige — and lowering the prestige of Costello. Moretti was shot to death in a restaurant.

Nonetheless, Genovese provided the Syndicate with an embarrassment of his own. Genovese had no inhibitions about having affairs with other women in front of his wife. When she protested, he would beat her and make threats on her life. Once, at a party, he knocked out two of her front teeth. A woman tried to break up the family quarrel, but Genovese hit her too. Finally, his wife sued for divorce, asking for a $350-a-week alimony payment. On the witness stand she testified in detail about the profits Genovese netted from his rackets.

But the government indirectly lent Genovese a hand in his struggle for power. A Senate committee investigating organized crime took a special interest in Costello's political connections. In the process of their investigation, Costello was sent to prison on a contempt of court charge.

At the same time, the Intelligence Division of the Internal Revenue Service went to work on building a case against Costello. His mail was monitored — and his barber shop, his tailor and his favorite restaurants were investigated. But Costello had been scrupulous in covering up his illegal business dealings. Finally, in tracing his wife's checks, a clue was found in the form of a five dollar check to a flower shop. The florist had sent flowers to a cemetary in Queens where the agents discovered a cemetary plot Costello's wife had bought for $4,888 in cash. On the plot had been built an expensive mausoleum in the name of an elderly man who admitted to having been bribed for the use of his name. Costello was sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to hide his income.

The National Crime Syndicate voted to cancel Costello's membership and take over his rackets. Costello was pacified somewhat when Meyer Lansky gave him a piece of the Tropicana Club in Las Vegas. But in 1957 Costello was released after the criminal lawyer Edward Bennett Williams showed that the conviction had been based on an illegal wiretap.

Shortly after Costello got out of prison, he heard a man behind him call out, "This is for you, Frank". As Costello turned his head, a bullet tore through his scalp behind his ear. The gunman fled and Frank was hospitalized. While he lay in the hospital, New York detectives went through the contents of his pockets. A scrap of paper detailed his wins from the Tropicana. Costello was sent back to prison for four years.

Vito Genovese faced another fierce competitor in his bid for power in the person of Albert Anastasia of "Murder, Inc.". Anastasia had assumed control of the Mangano family in 1951 when Philip Mangano was murdered and Vincent Mangano disappeared. Anastasia was rumored to be selling Mafia memberships in violation of Syndicate rules. As part of his bid for power, he was trying to free the Mafia from the control of the Jews on the National Crime Syndicate. In particular, he sought to convince his fellow Italians that Meyer Lansky was behind the attempt on Costello's life — when, in fact, the gunman had been hired by Genovese.

Anastasia propositioned Santos Trafficante, Jr. with a plan to take over Lansky's operations in Cuba and Florida. Trafficante informed Lansky of the matter, and Lansky suggested that it might be a good idea to play along. To prove his loyalty to Lansky, Trafficante swore an oath of allegiance, a written copy of which he signed in his own blood.

Genovese approached Anastasia's underboss, Carlo Gambino, to discuss the career advancement possibilities of leaving Anastasia without his bodyguards at a critical moment. Then Genovese and Gambino went to Mafia boss Joe Profaci, an ally of Lansky and Trafficante, about obtaining assassins. On October 24, 1957, Anastasia met Trafficante for dinner. They discussed plans for getting control of a Havana casino. The next morning, while Anastasia was seated in a barber shop, his bodyguards disappeared and a couple of gunmen blasted him to death.

Three weeks after Anastasia's murder, in the Fall of 1957, the largest conference in the history of the Mafia gathered to discuss limiting Mafia involvement with narcotics by leaving street-peddling to minority groups — among other issues. Genovese reputedly wished to see himself declared "Boss of Bosses". The conference was to take place in a small upstate New York community called Apalachin. But the large number of black limousines and suspicious-looking characters inspired the local police to make a raid. Over 60 mafiosi were arrested. Though they were all released, authorities began to realize how vast the network of organized crime really was.

For years FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had denied the existence of a nationwide Mafia because he didn't want his Bureau to be embarrassed by obvious evidence of ineffectuality. Although Hoover was well aware of the criminal stature of many mafiosi, he would not admit that they possessed any national organization which would bring them more under FBI jurisdiction. "They're just a bunch of hoodlums", he would say. Following Apalachin, Hoover informed the press that local police had long benefited from FBI information about organized crime.

In 1958 a narcotics-peddler-turned-informer provided information which led to the indictment of twenty-four persons including Carmine Galante, Joseph Valachi and Vito Genovese. By 1960 Genovese was in Atlanta Penitentiary to serve a fifteen-year sentence for narcotics smuggling. Valachi was in the same cell block as Genovese. Galante was sent to Lewisberg Penitentiary where he was placed in a cell block with Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Galante had been the chief underboss of the Joseph ("Joe Bananas") Bonnano crime family since the early 1950s. From his home in Arizona, Bonnano had initiated a plot to take over the whole Syndicate. He had put contracts out on the lives of several family bosses including Carlo Gambino. The National Crime Syndicate expelled Bonnano from the ruling council and appointed someone else as capo of the Bonnano family. A vicious splintering of factions resulted leading to "The Banana Wars". Galante remained loyal to Joe Bonnano and spent his time in prison plotting what he would do to Gambino and Genovese. Hoffa, who was seeking to regain control of his Teamsters Union, formed an alliance with Galante. Both Hoffa and Galante had fights with New Jersey Teamsters boss Anthony Provenzano (a captain in the Genovese family) when the latter passed through Lewisburg.

But when Galante got out of prison in 1974, Bonnano had retired and most of the disputes involved in the "Banana Wars" had been settled. Galante became "Top Banana" and deferred to Carlo Gambino who had become the undisputed "Boss of all Bosses". In this context, Galante had little interest in fighting battles for Hoffa.

The history of the Mafia in Chicago is so distinctive that it deserves a separate chronology. There is no more "romantic" a Mafia story to be told than that associated with Chicago and the roaring twenties. Nowhere else were profits accumulated so rapidly, was corruption so widespread or was bloodshed so torrential. During that period over 500 gangland murders occurred, with hardly a single conviction. Over 100 bombings took place in 1925 alone. Lucky Luciano described Chicago as "a real goddamn crazy place. Nobody's safe in the streets." A Chicago chief of police during the Prohibition years stated: "Sixty percent of my police are in the bootleg business".

Just prior to Prohibition, a major figure in Chicago prostitution and gambling was Big Jim Colosimo. Colosimo had started his successful managerial career by marrying a brothel madam. But with wealth and success came bomb-threats from extortionists who called themselves "The Black Hand". Colosimo asked his nephew, John Torrio, to come from New York to help out. Torrio was able to place some buckshot where it would do the most good, and soon was supervising Colosimo's brothels and saloons.

With the coming of Prohibition, Torrio felt the need for a freer hand to develop the bootlegging business. He called in a New York torpedo and had Colosimo eliminated. Another man Torrio brought from New York was Al Capone, who served as Torrio's bodyguard, friend and co-organizer. Together they battled the Irish gangs from Chicago's North Side until Torrio was gunned down in 1925. Once out of the hospital Torrio announced his retirement and turned all his enterprises over to Capone.

Capone was as aggressive with business as he was with violence. By 1928, at the age of 29, he achieved a personal income of $105 million, reportedly the highest income ever earned in a single year by a private citizen, to the time of this writing.

During the 1920s the Mafia was still dominated by Sicilians. Capone, who had been born in Brooklyn of Neopolitan parents, found it expedient to appoint Sicilian figureheads. This greatly displeased some of the "Mustache Petes", one of whom offered $50,000 to anyone who could kill Capone. Each of Capone's appointed Unione Siciliane presidents was assassinated after a short term in office. One Sicilian boss managed to have one of his assassins appointed president, but Capone's informants learned of the matter. Capone gave an honorary banquet for the new president. When the coroner examined the bodies of the president and his assistants he could hardly find a bone that wasn't broken. Capone had interrupted a toast to smash the president's head with a baseball bat.

Following the death of his would-be assassins, the Sicilian boss joined forces with Capone's arch-enemy Bugs Moran, leader Irish O'Banionites gang. Seven O'Banionites were slaughtered in the 1929 St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Capone had left Chicago in December 1928 and, with Sicilians and Irish after his blood, thought it prudent to stay away.

Shortly after the 1929 Atlantic City conference of crime, Capone was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon. Since Capone had never filed an income tax return in his life, he was later sent to prison on income tax evasion charges. He later died of syphilis contracted from his teenage mistress (whom he had met in one of his brothels).

Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti and Capone's cousin Rocco Fischetti vied for control of the Capone organization. But they were soon supplanted by the more businesslike Paul Ricca, who had the support of the National Crime Syndicate. Nitti was indicted in 1943 for attempting to extort over a million dollars from several Hollywood studios. Indicted with Nitti was John Roselli who was later to become Chicago's top representative in Las Vegas and the West Coast. Nitti committed suicide during the prosecution, but Roselli spent several years in prison. By 1944 Ricca was in prison as well, leaving the Capone mob in the hands of Capone's ex-bodyguard Anthony "Big Tuna" Accardo.

Also in prison during the early 1940s was a young hood named Sam "Mooney" Giancana. Giancana had been given a deferment from military service by his draft board when he told them he stole for a living. He shared his cellblock with Eddie Jones, king of the numbers racket in Chicago's South Side Black Belt. The black gambler gave Giancana detailed descriptions of how the numbers racket worked in Chicago and offered to get Giancana started in a racket of his own.

Once out of prison, true to his word, Jones bankrolled Giancana with $100,000. Giancana opened a small saloon in addition to counterfeiting gas and food ration stamps. It had been more than ten years since Dutch Schultz had taken over the Harlem rackets, and Giancana's first maneuver to emulate Schultz was to kidnap Jones. Jones was returned to his family after a ransom was paid. Soon thereafter Jones moved to Mexico with his wife and children. Giancana finished his take-over of the Chicago numbers racket using bombs and beatings.

Accardo was impressed enough to make Giancana his chauffeur. The relationship contributed greatly to Giancana's education. By 1955 Accardo was involved in a full-time battle with federal income tax authorities. Giancana became the operating head of the Chicago mob.

Giancana lived in a modest home with his wife and three daughters, but made lavish vacation trips to Miami and Las Vegas. In the circles of mutual attraction between mobsters and show people in Las Vegas, Giancana became buddies with singer Frank Sinatra.

Las Vegas has been called a city built by the Mafia. The basis for this idea can be traced to Meyer Lansky's former partner in the Bug and Meyer Mob, Bugsy Siegel. In the late 1930s, Siegel went to California where he took control of the bookmaking wire services. He became friends with the actor George Raft, who apparently benefited from the association by learning the mannerisms of a professional criminal. (Raft had been a beer-runner before becoming an actor. After he had passed his prime in Hollywood, he worked in Lansky's casinos in Havana and London.)

When Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, most of the casinos opened in Reno. Siegel had a dream of making Las Vegas a new gambling center. He began building an enormous casino-hotel, The Fabulous Flamingo, virtually in the middle of the desert. To achieve this end he borrowed large quantities of money from other members of the Syndicate — eventually to the tune of $6 million.

Siegel's famous girlfriend, who he secretly married, was Virginia Hill. Virginia was one of ten children of a poor Alabama mule-trader. She sought her fortune in Chicago beginning with a bookmaker in the Capone mob. From there, the ladder of success included relationships with the Fischetti brothers, Anthony Accardo, Frank Nitti, Carlos Marcello, Joe Adonis and finally Bugsy Siegel. In an executive session of a Senate investigating committee she was asked why so many men gave her expensive presents and money. "Senator", she replied, "I'm the best goddamned cocksucker in the world."

Siegel, like Genovese, was noted for chasing other women in the presence of his wife. When Virginia slugged one of Siegel's girl friends in the jaw, Siegel took a swing at Virginia. Virginia swallowed a handful of sleeping pills and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Before the Flamingo was completed, Siegel began to feel the urgency of making money to pacify the Syndicate members who were providing him with funds. He held a grand opening of the casino on December 26, 1946. George Jessel was master of ceremonies. Jimmy Durante was the feature attraction, and George Raft was on hand as well. After losing $100,000 in two weeks, the casino closed.

Siegel opened the Flamingo again in the Spring when the hotel was more nearly completed. It lost money for two months and then suddenly showed a profit. Meanwhile, the Syndicate learned that Siegel had squirreled away $600,000 for the presumed purpose of disappearing if the bad business continued. The National Crime Syndicate gave orders for him to be executed. When Virginia learned of Bugsy's death, she downed another handful of pills. Again her suicide attempt failed, but years later she was ultimately successful.

Las Vegas was declared an "open city", like Miami. It was built by Syndicate representatives from all over the country. After Siegel was murdered, his Flamingo Hotel was placed in the hands of a Syndicate representative. In 1948 Lansky backed the Thunderbird Hotel and in 1950 Cleveland's Jewish Mayfield Road Gang opened the Desert Inn. Morris "Moe" Dalitz moved from Cleveland and was later to become the major mobster owner-operator of Las Vegas casinos and hotels. The Rhode Island Mafia boss opened the Dunes, the Sahara was opened by an Oregon gambling-bookmaking organization and, in 1957, Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello opened the Tropicana Hotel.

The Chicago mob was the best represented in Las Vegas. Huge revenues in cash which could not be rigidly accounted for, served as an excellent cover for "laundering" money acquired in more illicit activities. Chicago was represented by John Roselli, who became a powerful man in the city. It was Roselli who was later to become most deeply involved in the CIA's plan to have the Mafia "hit" Castro.

By 1960 massive loans for financing mob-controlled casinos and hotels in Las Vegas were coming from the Teamster's Central States Pension Fund. Much of the money went to Dalitz who financed the Stardust, the Fremont Hotel and the Desert Inn. Money also went to the Dunes (which by then was controlled by Jimmy Hoffa's lawyer), the Landmark, the Four Queens, the Aladdin, the Circus Circus and Caeser's Palace. The Teamster's Fund also loaned a quarter of a million dollars to Hank Greenspun, editor of the Las Vegas Sun, to build a golf course. The Fund was controlled by Allen Dorfman, a man with close ties to the Mafia and who helped to make the Teamster's Pension Fund a virtual "mob bank".

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James ("Jimmy") R. Hoffa joined the AFL Teamsters Union Detroit Local 299 when he was a warehouseman for a food company. Fired in 1936 for "rabble-rousing" on the loading dock, Hoffa was hired by the union as a joint council organizer. His hard work and skill as a negotiator soon made him a very respected member of the union.

A few years earlier, Hoffa had had an affair with a clerical worker named Sylvia Pagano. In 1934 she moved to Kansas City where she married Sam Scaradino, who worked as a driver for a local gangster-politician. Scaradino changed his name to "Frank O'Brien" and died shortly after their child was born. When Sylvia returned to Detroit she began an affair with Frank Cappola, one of the most powerful mobsters in the city. Through Sylvia, Hoffa met Cappola and Santo Perrone. Perrone, a "Mustache Pete", was the chief union buster in Detroit. (Much later, Sylvia and her son, "Chuck O'Brien", moved into Hoffa's home with his wife and children where they all lived as an "extended family" for many years.)

Mob figures had been widely known to sell their services to employers during labor conflicts. Several crime families had begun buying into the trucking industry and Perrone, for one, became owner of a steel and scrap handling business. Hoffa apparently prevailed upon Perrone to see the value of allies on the union side because when the 1937 strike came along, the mob remained neutral. (In later years Perrone turned to extorting protection money from companies by the use of bombing. Unlike most extortionists, Perrone would bomb first and ask for money later.)

In 1941 the Detroit Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) union declared war on the AFL Teamsters. The CIO hoped to drive the less numerous Teamsters out of the city so as to monopolize Detroit union interests. Fights between rival union members became a commonplace sight on the streets. One CIO organizer, who later became a Teamster local vice president, identified Hoffa as one of four men who "beat me up with chains".

Another man to be reckoned with on the Teamster side was Rolland McMaster, a six-foot-five, 245-pound hulk of muscle who was later characterized as Hoffa's bodyguard. Seeing a couple of CIO men sitting in a car on the street, McMaster crashed his hands through the window, grabbed the driver by the hair and pulled him through the shattered glass. Then he opened the car door, tore out the gearshift handle and beat on the other union man until three motorcycle policemen with guns brought the episode to a close.

The tide turned when Hoffa prevailed upon Perrone and Cappola to lend a hand to the Teamster's side of the struggle. By the end of the year, the CIO had been almost completely driven out of the city. The very next year Hoffa was being indicted for an extortion racket against a grocery association which hauled its goods with non-union labor. Using his friends in the mob, Hoffa was forcing the association members to buy "permits" from the Teamsters.

Perrone's steel and scrap hauling business led Hoffa into association with Paul (Red) Dorfman who was president of the syndicate-controlled Chicago Waste Handlers union. Dorfman, a former Capone henchman, had long been a key figure in the labor rackets, having taken over the union when the president was shot in 1939. (Among those the police picked up for questioning was the local's secretary, Jack Ruby, who later achieved notoriety by killing Lee Harvey Oswald.) Hoffa had used Perrone to establish contacts with Dorfman and other Chicago hoods involved in union activity.

In 1949, when Hoffa set up the Michigan Conference of Teamsters Welfare Fund, Paul Dorfman and his son Allen created the Union Casualty Agency to supply the insurance needs of that fund. This arrangement provided Hoffa with access to Dorfman's many contacts in the underworld. As Hoffa's Welfare and Pension plans grew over the years, they became a virtual bank national Syndicate figures. The Dorfmans made more than $4 million for commissions and services during the first ten years of fiduciary management.

When Detroit laundry truck drivers of Teamsters Local 285 began planning a strike in 1949, the laundry owners turned to Moe Dalitz. Dalitz was not only the owner of a string of laundries and a mobster, but he had "connections" with Hoffa. Through Dalitz a meeting was arranged between Hoffa's representatives and the laundry owners. At the meeting it was decided that a cash payment of $17,500 would be made to Hoffa and that there would be no strike. Dalitz was later to become the foremost mafioso in Las Vegas.

Hoffa also collected protection money from businesses in exchange for assurance that the workers would not be unionized. Those who refused were firebombed. Hoffa's "torch" was the Teamsters "business agent" Frank Kierdorf. Kierdorf had been hired immediately upon his release from prison, where he had been serving time on an armed robbery charge.

One evening, when he was setting a firebomb at a Detroit dry cleaning store, Kierdorf accidently caused the bomb to ignite prematurely. His body was burned beyond recognition. Hoping to gain information about Hoffa's rackets a Prosecutor told Kierdorf, who was lying bandaged in a hospital bed, "You have only a few hours to live...You are about to face your Maker, your God. Make a clean breast of things. Tell me what happened." Through charred lips Kierdorf whispered, "Go fuck yourself." He died about an hour later.

Another hood whose name was to be associated with Hoffa's was John Dioguardi ("Johnny Dio"). Dio, a member of a prominent Mafia "family", was an experienced labor racketeer in New York's garment industry. He had been sent to Sing Sing in the thirties by Thomas Dewey for the bloody beating of an independent trucker. By the 1950s he was the owner of several cheap nonunion dress manufacturing factories. At the same time, Dio was director of the New York United Auto Workers Union, AFL, thanks to a charter issued through the influence of Paul Dorfman.

In order to gain power in New York, Hoffa decided his allies needed to win the elections for Joint Council 16 held in February 1956. Hoffa had charters for seven New York Teamster locals issued. These new charters were given to Dio and his associates. Two of these locals were then "staffed" by forty men who between them had a record of 178 arrests and 77 convictions. The other five remained "paper locals" (with no members) which were controlled by the mob.

When a Hearst labor columnist began exposing Johnny Dio's labor racketeering, Dio hired a hood to throw acid in the columnist's face. The acid blinded the columnist. Upon learning that an important person had been his victim, the hood decided that he should be paid $50,000 rather than $500. Instead he received four bullets in the back of his head. The case against Dio was dropped when all potential witnesses refused to talk.

In 1954 Hoffa's Detroit Local 299, in conjunction with another Teamsters Detroit Local, provided loans to initiate Sun Valley, Inc. Lots of land costing $18.75 each were purchased in Florida and resold for prices ranging from $150 to $550. Movies of land supposedly in Sun Valley were shown at Teamster meetings to members who were told they could buy lots at "cut-rate prices" as a retirement investment. In fact, much of the land was not accessible by road, and some of the lots were underwater. When the project required additional financing, Hoffa placed $500,000 of Teamsters funds in an interest-free account with the Florida National Bank to induce the bank to loan $500,000 to Sun Valley, Inc. About two thousand lots were eventually sold, mostly to Teamster rank-and-file. A few naive union officers, including Johnny Dio, also got burned by making purchases. Placed on the witness stand, Hoffa was asked why he had authorized the large interest-free loan of Teamsters funds to the Florida bank. His reply: "Because I wanted to".

In 1957 Hoffa (the new national Teamsters president) sent his key organizer and bodyguard, Rolland McMaster, to establish Teamsters Local 320 in Miami. McMaster was assisted by David Yaras (an assassin for Sam Giancana who had previously been a racketeer for Capone). They chose a former member of "Murder, Inc." to be the head of the new local. Florida mafioso Santos Trafficante was given an office in the union hall.

The following year the Teamsters took over the Miami National Bank. By that time McMaster had established himself as Hoffa's liason with Trafficante in the south, the Genovese mob in New York, and the Dorfmans in Chicago. It should be noted that 1957 was also the year that the newly-amalgamated AFL-CIO formally expelled the Teamsters because of "corrupt control". Responsible union leaders were seriously concerned that Hoffa and his Mafia cronies were giving the labor movement a bad name.

The most powerful Teamster-mafioso was Anthony Provenzano ("Tony Pro"), of New Jersey Local 560, who was also a capo in the Vito Genovese family. Provenzano's strong-arm tactics were directed not only against company owners, but against union "reformers", many of whom were beaten or killed. In 1959 Provenzano was elected to the presidency of the 100,000 member New Jersey Joint Council 73, which controlled ten percent of all the Teamsters in the United States. Hoffa made him an International Teamsters vice-president.

In February 1963 a Local 560 meeting, attended by 375 of the local's 14,000 members, voted Provenzano a $50,000 raise in appreciation of his services. This brought his total salary to nearly $95,000. A few months later he was convicted of extorting money from trucking company owners in exchange for labor peace. He was sentenced to 20 years in a federal penitentiary.

Jimmy Hoffa's "nemesis" was, without question, Robert Kennedy. It is worthwhile to begin tracing the relationship between the two men by giving Kennedy's background.

Upon graduating from law school in 1951, Robert Kennedy's first job was investigating Soviet agents for the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department. The next year, Robert quit this job to help his brother John win the Massachusetts race for the Senate. Then father Joseph tried to use his influence with the up-and-coming Joe McCarthy (an Irishman and recent "friend" of the family) to get Bobby a job with the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Government Operations Committee. Upon checking the size of Joseph's campaign contribution, McCarthy made Robert assistant council. After six months of McCarthy's unpopular inquisition, Robert quit his job. The Korean War added fuel to McCarthy's flame, but by 1954 McCarthy's star had fallen. John McClellan became the new Chairman of the Senate Investigations Subcommittee for which Robert Kennedy was the new chief councel. From Robert's point of view, the investigations of communists became more effective than they had been under McCarthy.

By 1956 it was evident that the striking growth of trade-union welfare and pension funds, combined with the convenience of unions as a front for shakedown and bribery, had attracted many mobsters. Labor racketeering became a new subject of attention for the Permanent Subcommittee. Joseph Kennedy stringently warned his son that such investigations could make Robert appear anti-labor. But the subject of inquiry became the Teamsters, who had supported Eisenhower and many other Republicans in 1956.

Kennedy's first major discovery was that Teamster president Dave Beck had built a lakefront house with union funds, lived in it for two years, and then sold it to the union for $163,000. After it became evident that Beck had taken at least $370,000 from the Western Conference of Teamsters treasury, he was convincted for larceny and income tax evasion.

Hoffa watched the litigation against Beck with equanimity insofar as it contributed to his own rise to power. But when Kennedy turned his attention to Hoffa, a titanic struggle began which was to last many years.

Hoffa quickly attempted to hire a lawyer named John Cheasty to act as a spy in the McClellan committee. Cheasty told Kennedy about Hoffa's offer and agreed to act as a double agent. When Hoffa handed Cheasty two thousand dollars under the observation of FBI agents, Kennedy thought he had an open-and-shut case. Nonetheless, Kennedy did not make a good showing in court against the expert criminal lawyer Edward Bennett Williams.

Williams charged that it was Kennedy who was using Cheasty as a spy. Williams claimed that Cheasty and Kennedy had contravened legal ethics in betraying the confidential lawyer-client relationship which had been established between Hoffa and Cheasty. Under cross-examination Williams established that Cheasty had not turned all of Hoffa's money over to Kennedy as had been agreed — thereby challenging Cheasty's honesty and reliability as a witness. Williams also questioned the allegation that the McClellan Committee's files were as necessarily "confidential" as they claimed.

Insofar as the jury of 12 had 8 black members, there were charges that the defense used racial issues to gain influence. Hoffa's record of opposition to segregation within the Teamsters was discussed and Williams cross-examined Cheasty about whether he had been investigating the NAACP in Florida. Paul Dorfman arranged for the boxing champion Joe Louis to be sent out from Chicago. In the courtroom Louis and Hoffa put their arms around each others' shoulders and chatted. Whether the jurors were influenced by these tactics remains open to question. Black and white alike voted 12 to 0 to acquit Hoffa.

Kennedy was furious and this failure only intensified his resolve to do battle. In his book on the death of Marilyn Monroe, Robert Slatzer mentions this entry in the actress's diary: "Bobby told me today, 'I want to put that SOB Jimmy Hoffa into jail, no matter how I do it.' " In 1959, Hoffa was subpoenaed to produce all books and records of the Teamsters Union for the period from January 1, 1945 to the current date, including all cash receipts, letters and interoffice memoranda. Not only would these materials have filled no less than a hundred freight cars, but to surrender them would have left the Teamsters utterly incapable of conducting its business.

Time and again Kennedy called Hoffa to the witness stand for cross-examination. Although Hoffa never used the Fifth Amendment, Kennedy found the Teamster President to be suffering from a shocking case of amnesia. On one occasion Hoffa testified, "I can say here to the Chair that I cannot recall in answer to your question other than to say I just don't recall my recollection." It was not until he became Attorney General in 1961 that Kennedy mustered the resources to prosecute Hoffa as he pleased.

A unit in the Organized Crime Section of Kennedy's Justice Department became known as the "Get Hoffa Squad". Kennedy appointed a former FBI man to head this unit. Hoffa claimed his mail was opened, his offices were bugged and his phones were tapped. Hoffa himself had been under indictment by Kennedy for wiretapping (on the basis of evidence gathered through a government wiretap). Under Kennedy authorized wiretaps rose from 115 in 1960 to 244 in 1963, though he claimed none were used against the Teamsters.

Back in 1948 Hoffa had settled a damaging strike against a Detroit trucking firm in the company's favor. Soon thereafter, a truck-leasing business was incorporated in Nashville by a group of persons, one of whom was Mrs. Hoffa using her maiden name. The truck-leasing corporation did an active business with the Detroit firm causing Hoffa to make several hundred thousand dollars over the course of many years. In 1962 a Nashville grand jury indicted Hoffa on charges of violating the Taft-Hartley Act. In his defense Hoffa stated: "Leasing trucking equipment to truckers was no more ominous, to me, than, say, selling gasoline to truckers...I know several pharmacists and doctors who own stocks in drug-manufacturing companies, and no one complains. I even know of a doctor who owns an interest in an undertaking establishment."

Kennedy's Get Hoffa Squad made a deal to spring Edward Partin from a Baton Rouge, Louisiana jail if he would act as a spy in the Hoffa camp. Partin agreed, and his reports were carefully screened using lie-detector tests. The trial ended in a hung jury, but Kennedy was able to use Partin as the key witness on a new charge of jury tampering. Lawyer Edward Bennett Williams reportedly remarked that only Hoffa could escalate a misdemeanor into a felony.

Partin, although President of the Baton Rouge Teamsters local, was a man with an extensive criminal record. Convicted to prison in the early 1940s for breaking into a restaurant, he twice escaped from jail. Once free, he joined the Marines, but was dishonorably discharged. As a Teamster boss he was indicted on thirteen counts of falsifying union records and thirteen counts of embezzlement. Additionally, he was being indicted for manslaughter in a hit-and-run case and was under indictment for a "kidnapping" involving one of his henchmen's two children who had been in the legal custody of their mother.

Although it would have been a violation of federal law for Kennedy's men to hire Partin as a paid informant, the government found indirect means to compensate Partin for his services. Bail was supplied for Partin's release from jail and the indictments for embezzlement, manslaughter and kidnapping were suspended. Partin's wife received $1,200 in cashier's checks wrapped in plain paper, and mailed to her without receipt. Partin was "forgiven" $5,000 in income tax evasion charges.

Most of Hoffa's defense efforts during and after the jury-tampering trial were centered on attempts to prove that the government had used bugs and wiretaps against him. Hoffa himself had, through Johnny Dio, earlier solicited the services of wiretap expert Bernard Spindel to tap the phones of subordinates in the Detroit Teamsters offices. Hoffa invited Spindel to come to the jury-tampering trial. Spindel shipped a thousand pounds of electronic equipment by air freight and was met by FBI agents when he arrived at the Nashville airport.

Hoffa was being kept under constant surveillance by 25 FBI agents directed by a radio command post. Spindel intercepted the radio messages, but would have been in violation of the Federal Communications Act if he had divulged the contents of FBI radio communications on the witness stand. Instead, he submitted transcripts to the Judge in a sealed envelope. The Judge asked Spindel if the transcripts were being submitted for "disclosure" of their contents and later refused even to look at them.

A sample interception included the following:

"...the two occupants with the man (Jimmy Hoffa) and the ex-boxer (Chuck O'Brien)."

"That's a 10-4-correct. Is the car parked on the 11th Street side?"

"That's confirmed. The light beige Chevrolet right there in front of the hotel, is that a 10-4?" ...

"What's all that noise?"

"I think we're tuned in."

"That's probably Bernard." ...

"Hi-ya, Boin. Doing fine, making lots of money working for Mr. H?"

Although Hoffa was sentenced in March, 1964 to eight years in prison, he was able to continue fighting for appeals for three more years. Hoffa's supporters offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could prove that Hoffa's phones had been tapped during the jury-tampering trial. William Loeb, publisher of the Manchester Union Leader in New Hampshire also offered $100,000 for such evidence. Loeb himself supplied an affidavit of a conversation he had with the Assistant Chief of the FBI during which he was told that Edward Jones had done the wiretapping for the Justice Department. Loeb said he had also been told that any attempt to publicize the matter would result in a public denial. He challenged the FBI man to take a lie-detector test and offered to take one himself. Edward Jones had earlier been subpoened to testify concerning allegations that he had tapped Hoffa's wires as an employee for the McClellan committee. Jones had refused to answer on the basis of Senate Rule XXX by which no Senate employee can be compelled to reveal information without the consent of the Senate.

Federal wiretapping became a national issue. By late 1966 J. Edgar Hoover and Robert Kennedy were publically making charges and countercharges at each other concerning FBI wiretap authorization. Though Kennedy denied knowledge of "microphone surveillance" during his service as Attorney General, Hoover was able to submit an authorization for such surveillance bearing Kennedy's signature. Against the allegation that Kennedy had signed the authorization without reading it, Hoover supplied two other memoranda from Kennedy aides which reported on Kennedy's interest in the matter. Hoover also had a memorandum signed by Robert Kennedy which had authorized telephone taps of the civil rights activist Martin Luther King.

John and Bobby Kennedy had met with King in Washington urging him to end his association with two men accused of having affiliations with the Communist Party. Confronted with FBI evidence that King had not ended his associations, Bobby approved wiretaps for King's home, office and any temporary residence. Whether or not evidence was obtained to indicate that King had communist leanings, Hoover learned a great deal about King's extramarital philanderings. (When Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Hoover took the opportunity to send King's wife a tape of excerpts of recordings from electronic bugs which had been placed in her husband's hotel rooms.)

The national furor over wiretapping did not help Hoffa in his bid for a court victory, however. His third motion for a retrial was supported by affidavits from four prostitutes swearing to have had sexual relations with jurors. One of the prostitutes swore she had also had relations with the Judge, thereby learning of his prejudice against Hoffa. She later recanted her affidavit, however, and one of the other prostitutes was convicted of perjury.

Though Hoffa fought his jury-tampering conviction all the way to the Supreme Court, he was ultimately defeated, with only Chief Justice Warren dissenting. Warren objected to the tactics of the Justice Department and noted that Partin was "facing indictments for charges far more serious (and later including one for perjury) than the one confronting the man against whom he offered to inform... Certainly if a criminal defendent insinuated his informer into the prosecutions's camp in this manner he would be guilty of obstructing justice." It has been noted that Hoffa was so accused in the Cheasty case. A critic recalled the words of a former Attorney General: "In such a case it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him..."

During the time Hoffa was fighting to appeal the jury-tampering trial, he was tried in Chicago on charges of conspiring to defraud the Teamsters Pension Fund. A businessman testified that a $3,300,000 loan had been given to the Everglades Hotel in Miami on the condition that $300,000 of that money would be given as a kickback to men running the Sun Valley project. He admitted that he had lied to the McClellan Committee and to the Sun Valley grand jury about the loans, but said that he had feared his life would be endangered if he had implicated Hoffa.

Testimony was given concerning a $500,000 loan made by Hoffa for the addition of a fourth floor in the construction of the North Miami General Hospital. One of the partners of the construction firm responsible was shown a recent photo of the three-story hospital and asked to explain. His reply was, "The fourth floor of the building is also the ceiling of the third floor. It is not the roof in the usual sense, but it is acting as a roof".

A Florida masonry worker admitted that he had signed receipts for $650,000 for work which he did not do for the non-existent "Black Construction Company" which had received a loan from the Pension Fund. The worker actually received a weekly salary of $125 for his "services".

After months of similar testimony, Hoffa was found guilty and sentenced to serve five more years in prison in addition to his eight-year jury-tampering sentence. Realizing that he could not stay out of jail forever, Hoffa rewrote the Teamsters constitution to create the office of "General Vice-President", whose occupant would run the union while Hoffa was in jail. The man Hoffa chose for this job was Frank Fitzsimmons who had distinguished himself in the Teamsters by his utter subservience to Hoffa's will. Ultimate control of the Teamsters Pension Fund was transferred from Hoffa to Allen Dorfman. In March, 1967 Hoffa went to prison, where he was to remain for five years.

When Hoffa went to prison, Frank Fitzsimmons became the "temporary" president of the Teamsters. While Fitzsimmons made a public display of struggling to get Hoffa out of jail, privately he was consolidating his power. By the 1970s Fitzsimmons was well connected with the Mafia and the Nixon Administration. Even Hoffa's old buddy Rolland McMaster was helping Fitzsimmons to fight the remaining Hoffa loyalists.

The Teamsters were engaged in other battles, however. In 1967 the independent truckers had grown to such numbers that they staged what amounted to a full scale insurrection. (During the 1974 shutdown there were bombings, beatings and shootings — and trucks were being smashed and sabotaged all over the country. The violence was so bad that a Standard Oil Company subsidiary hired armed members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang to escort tanker trucks leaving Refiners Transport in Cleveland). Hoffa, who had bitterly fought the independents most of his life, began to champion their cause.

After Fitzsimmons told Nixon's political aide Charles Colson that a Las Vegas Teamster had learned that a couple of show girls could provide derogatory information about Senator Edward Kennedy, E. Howard Hunt was sent to interview Fitzsimmons. In March, 1973, when Fitzsimmons was unable to prevent the Teamster's attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, from representing the the Democratic Party in the Watergate break-in case, Williams was fired. The $100,000-a-year contract as attorney for the Teamsters went to Charles Colson, who had just left the Nixon Administration to set up a private law practice.

On December 23, 1971, Nixon granted Hoffa's release from prison, ostensibly on the grounds of Mrs. Hoffa's poor health. But the Hoffa release contained a proviso that he could not engage in union activities until 1980. (Over five years later, Time magazine reported that the Justice Department was investigating an FBI report that the clemency and proviso was given in exchange for a million dollar payoff to Nixon arranged by Frank Fitzsimmons and Anthony Provenzano.) Hoffa blamed Colson for the restrictions on the commuted sentence.

When Hoffa got out of prison, he had few friends either in the mob or in the Teamsters. But he began an autobiography to expose the fraud in the Pension Fund which he claimed he would eliminate once he got back into the union.

Among Hoffa's "old friends" was Anthony Giacalone, a former numbers runner for a Detroit mobster. Giacalone owned the Home Juice Company which had fallen into the hands of racketeers when the original owner was unable to pay a gambling debt. Thanks to Hoffa, the company had received a $630,000 loan from the Central States Pension Fund. In the early 1960s Giacalone began an affair with Sylvia Pagano Paris, who was living in Hoffa's home. His visits were almost daily. After a while he began to bring a friend so that Mrs. Hoffa could have some companionship. Soon the foursome were double-dating, but Hoffa was reluctant to make a direct confrontation because he was having an affair with a union secretary. Not long after Hoffa became aware of the situation, the mob called Giacalone and his friend to a "sitdown" during which they were given explicit orders to end their affairs.

By 1975 Hoffa appeared to be making a comeback in his bid for union power. Pro-Hoffa rebels were holding $15-a-plate dinners attended by nearly 1500 people each. The Attorney General reportedly advised President Ford that the prohibition against Hoffa engaging in union activity was illegal. Hoffa was gearing up to challenge Fitzsimmons for the presidency of Teamsters in July, 1976.

On July 30, 1975 Hoffa had an appointment with Anthony Giacalone at a restaurant seven miles north of Detroit. Giacalone was reputedly trying to be a liason between Hoffa and Mafia-Teamster Anthony Provenzano, who was also expected to be at the meeting. But Hoffa disappeared. Completely. By the next day Hoffa was Missing Person Number 75-3425. Giacalone had been at a health spa. Provenzano had been playing cards at the Local 560 union hall in New Jersey. Both denied any knowledge of a meeting.

A car owned by Giacalone's son was impounded by the FBI. Chuck O'Brien, Teamster business agent and a virtual "son" of Hoffa, admitted to having driven the car on July 30. Tests conducted by federal investigators on the back seat of the car yielded "definite signs of Hoffa's blood, hair and skin in that car...We know for sure he was in the back seat."

Rolland McMaster said that Teamsters are not killers and speculated that Hoffa "ran off to Brazil with a black go-go dancer". But when McMaster appeared before a grand jury, he took the Fifth Amendment, as did Giacalone and Provenzano. (Provenzano was later convicted of having abducted and murdered a rival Teamster hoodlum who "disappeared" in 1961.)

William Bufalino, who formerly had been an attorney for Hoffa, represented all of the suspects in a grand jury inquiry into Hoffa's disappearance. Under Hoffa, Bufalino had taken control of a Detroit teamster local. Bufalino's wife was the niece of a leading Detroit mafioso. And Bufalino's cousin, Russell Bufalino (belived to be the coordinator of the abduction), was the Mafia capo in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

A Chicago syndicate contract killer, who later became a government informant, said that Hoffa had been killed by the same mob leaders who plotted to murder Castro for the CIA. According to the informant, "Hoffa is now a goddam hub cap...His body was crushed and smelted." The FBI suspected that Hoffa's body had been completely destroyed in a trash shredder, compactor or incinerator at Central Sanitation Services (a company owned by two Detroit crime figures). Hoffa's disappearance remains a mystery.

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Joseph Patrick Kennedy, born in Boston in 1888, lived a life of success which would exemplify the fondest hopes of "the American Dream". Though he was a campus baseball hero at Harvard, his Irish Catholic background excluded him from many campus activities. He proclaimed he would be a millionaire before he was thirty so that he could "piss down" on the Protestant "bastards".

After working as a bank examiner for two years, he bought enough shares (with money borrowed from his father and his father's friends) to gain control of a neighborhood bank and make himself president. The same year (1914) he married Rose Fitzgerald, daughter of the recently ousted Mayor of Boston.

In 1917 Kennedy quit banking and became a production executive of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, later became a trustee of the Massachusetts Electric Company and in 1919 became branch manager of an investment bankers company. In the early 1920s he moved to Wall Street to become an independent stock manipulator and speculator.

As a nondrinker, Kennedy thought booze was "only for fools". But there is evidence that it played an early role in the growth of his fortunes. Kennedy's father had owned three saloons before Prohibition, and was reputedly the silent partner of several illegal speakeasies. Mafioso Frank Costello claimed to have been a business associate of Joseph Kennedy's during the first years of Prohibition. According to Costello, Kennedy shipped English Scotch and gin across the Atlantic to the twelve-mile limit where Costello would load the liquor onto fast, small boats. The Kennedy family has denied that this is true. (It was Kennedy who supplied the booze for his tenth Harvard reunion.)

Motion pictures was a newly booming business in the Roaring Twenties. Joseph bought an interest in a chain of thirty New England movie theaters. In 1925, deciding that big money was being made in Hollywood, he left his wife Rose to take care of their seven children while he went west. If he had engaged in discreet philandering previously, he was not discreet in Hollywood. He went to nightclubs with stars such as Jean Harlow, Anita Page and Greta Garbo. He virtually took control of Gloria Swanson's life. He started a profitable company known as "Gloria Productions". According to Swanson, he tried to pull strings in the Catholic Church to obtain a dispensation which would allow him to set up a separate household with her. The church refused.

Kennedy produced low budget films at the rate of one per week. He used his banker's savvy to finance studios that needed money for the new "talkies". He speculated in the stock of movie companies and arranged for the consolidation of independent companies. Kennedy made five million dollars in Hollywood over a period of thirty-two months.

In 1928 Kennedy began selling his interests in Wall Street. By August of 1929, three months before the crash, Kennedy had sold all of his stock. With the advent of the Depression, Kennedy feared a Bolshevik take-over. He felt that Franklin Roosevelt was enough of a reformer to prevent revolution. He convinced publisher William Randolph Hearst to get eighty-six delegates at the Democratic convention to support the nomination of Roosevelt.

Shortly after Roosevelt's election, Kennedy went to Britain with Roosevelt's son and made arrangements to become the American agent for Gordon's Gin and Dewar's Whisky. He obtained "medical permits" from the Roosevelt administration to import and stockpile huge quantities of gin and Scotch. When Prohibition ended, Joseph Kennedy made yet another fortune.

In 1934 Roosevelt appointed Joseph the chairman of the newly-formed Securities Exchange Commission, over the protests of liberals who claimed that Kennedy had been one of the worst stock manipulators on Wall Street. Three years later Kennedy was made American Ambassador to England. His diplomacy with the British Royalty might be indicated by the fact that he once told Queen Elizabeth that she was "a cute trick". His outspoken opposition to helping Britain with its war effort finally led to his removal as Ambassador in 1940.

Joseph Kennedy was a man with remarkable ambitions. He was also remarkable in fulfulling so many of them. And his ambitions extended to his family. He had to borrow money for a down payment on his first house, and the birth of Joe, Jr. created real financial problems. Yet he pledged at that time that each of his children would receive a million-dollar trust fund when they reached twenty-one years of age. By 1940 he had accumulated a fortune of roughly one-quarter of a billion dollars. The trust fund each child ultimately received amounted to ten million dollars.

Quite probably Joseph hoped (or expected) that more than one of his four sons would take a turn at the Presidency. It would be the beginning of a dynasty, with the Kennedys as America's Royal Family. He also wanted his sons to enjoy life, wealth and women as he had done. He told them "Wives are for looking after you, mistresses are for you to look after them, but in the end the wife is a man's true strength".

Joseph's highest hopes were pinned on his eldest son, Joe, Jr. Joe made a name for himself at Harvard as an athlete and a lover of women.

In World War II he distinguished himself by flying some fifty missions in Europe as a Navy bomber pilot. Due to the heavy antiaircraft fortifications around V-2 rocket-launching sites and German submarine nests, military officials decided upon an experiment in which Joe agreed to participate. A bomber would be loaded with 22,000 pounds of TNT and guided to its target by automatic controls after Joe and his co-pilot bailed out. But the plane exploded in the air while still over England. Joe's body was never found.

The death of his eldest son was a blow from which Joseph Kennedy never fully recovered. The next oldest son John ("Jack") would be the one to carry the political standard, but he seemed much less qualified. John had been a child of frail health whom Joseph expected would become a writer or a journalist. Jack had not distinguished himself as an athlete at Harvard as his brother had done, but his senior thesis was developed into a best-selling book, Why England Slept with the help of Joseph's friend on staff at The New York Times. Jack was attractive to women, however, and he had maintained a competition with brother Joe over their sexual conquests.

Jack was rejected by the Army because of his bad back. Joseph prevailed on the director of the Office of Naval Intelligence to help get John into the Navy. John was immediately commissioned as an ensign and assigned to work six weeks before Pearl Harbor. Naval Intelligence had broken the Japanese code enough to be expecting an attack, but no one knew where it would be.

During this period there was an attractive Danish journalist in Washington who was suspected of being a Nazi spy. A former Miss Miss Europe, she had conducted a series of exclusive interviews with Hitler during the 1936 Olympic Games. FBI microphones in her bedroom and wiretaps on her phone revealed the torrid affair she was having with John Kennedy. Kennedy was transferred to South Carolina, but continued to see her intermittently for years. She later told her son that she suspected John, rather than her husband, was his true father.

After receiving PT training in Rhode Island, John was sent to the Pacific to command the PT-109 and a crew of twelve. Quite likely due to Jack's lack of experience, the boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer which cut it in two. Kennedy led the six survivors to an island, eventually pulling an injured sailor by a life belt strap between John's teeth. John made periodic swimming excursions, despite a badly injured spine, until the group was rescued. The incident involving Joseph's son was well-publicized and John received a medal for heroism.

John was elected to Congress in 1946, to the Senate in 1952, and to the Presidency in 1960. Throughout most of his career he pursued women with an energy and enthusiasm which is probably unmatched by those who have held the top offices in American politics. Until the mid-1970s, these affairs were carefully kept from the public eye by the tactful censorship of political journalism. Due to the extraordinary complications which the sexual exploits of Jack and his brothers produced, it is worth describing their impact on American history.

Both before and after marriage Jack had innumerable sexual experiences with secretaries, airline stewardesses, nightclub singers and lady journalists, among others. But the press looked the other way when confronted with evidence of these adventures. For example, Pamela Turnure was a twenty-one-year-old secretary in Kennedy's Senate office with whom John had an affair. One Summer night in 1958 he threw pebbles at the window of her Georgetown apartment attracting the attention of the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Kater. The Katers eavesdropped on that and subsequent visits, going so far as to tape-record the lovemaking. They finally accosted and photographed Kennedy on his way to her apartment.

Mrs. Kater, a devout Catholic, presented her evidence to Cardinal Cushing of Boston, but the Cardinal told her he could do nothing. When The Washington Star decided the story was too personal to publish, Mrs. Kater picketed the Star and later the White House with a placard telling her story. Early in her struggle for public attention, Mrs. Kater received a phone call from Joseph Kennedy's attorney warning her that publicity might mean unemployment for her husband.

On the campaign trail Jack often had to rely on campaign workers and airline hostesses to fulfill his sexual needs. On the afternoon of his October 13, 1960 debate with Nixon, Jack was so tense (according to journalist Jack Anderson) that one of his aides arranged an interlude with a shapely brunette. But during much of the Presidential campaign Kennedy took his comfort from a San Francisco socialite, Mrs. Joan Hitchcock Lundberg, who went on the campaign trail with him. Kennedy provided her with money for her living expenses, for the support of her children and for an abortion — making her one of the few full-fledged mistresses he ever had. Their relationship ended suddenly when Jack became President.

But John Kennedy was not a man to let the Presidency interfere with his sex-life. While Jackie was away, the President had nude swimming parties in the White House pool, under the watchful eyes of Secret Service men. Naked girlfriends streaked through the hallowed halls of the White House into the Presidential bed.

Jackie sought to remain as ignorant of her husband's philanderings as she could, and she did not speak about things she already knew. Finding a pair of women's panties tucked into a pillow case, she is reported to have told John: "Would you please shop around and see who these belong to? They're not my size." Jackie often absented herself from the White House. She suffered such extreme depression at times that she underwent electro-shock treatment, a fact which was kept a secret — even from family members.

After Mary Meyer divorced her husband, a high-ranking official in the covert operations section of the CIA, she attended many parties at the White House with her brother-in-law Ben Bradlee, then with Newsweek. Mary's romance with the President began in early 1962. She visited him at the White House as much as two or three times a week until his death. She said they smoked some joints of marijuana together two weeks before a White House Conference on narcotics. A few months after Kennedy's assassination, Mary was shot to death while jogging on a towpath. The murder remains unsolved. Her diary was personally burned by James Angleton, chief of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton was probably concerned that Mary's diary would reveal information about her ex-husband's CIA activities.

Through Jack's sister, Pat Kennedy Lawford (wife of actor Peter Lawford), the President had the opportunity to establish close contacts with some of Hollywood's superstars. Two of these were none other than the biggest sex symbols in America, Jane Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. Jane and Jack had a few trysts together in various hotels, but the relationship quickly ended when Jane realized that Jack could not be as easily controlled as the many other men she kept on a string. Marilyn was enthusiastic about Jack's sexual prowess, but her complaints about the presence of Secret Service men and her competative attitude towards Jackie forced John to end that relationship.

Of all the Kennedy boys, Bobby was the most sexually monogamous. As a young man he had considered the priesthood, but when he married he was intensely loyal to his wife who bore him eleven children. Yet the charm of Marilyn Monroe may have been too much for Bobby to resist.

The relationship between Marilyn and Bobby began during a party at the Lawfords. It became very close and intimate, but Bobby was so discreet about the circumstances of their get-togethers that solid evidence of a sexual connection is hard to come by. Few could believe that a relationship with America's sex-goddess would be platonic. Marilyn's emotional attachment to Bobby was undeniable, however, and she told a friend about her expectations of one day being Bobby's wife.

The death of Marilyn Monroe in August 1962 (officially a "probable suicide") raised questions which have yet to be answered. Marilyn was found stretched out naked in bed on top of her telephone. Her blood contained high levels of barbiturates. Yet there was no evidence of barbiturate or capsule residue found in her stomach, nor was a hypodermic needle found in her room. People suffering from barbiturate overdose die in contorted positions and invariably show signs of vomiting. Marilyn's legs were parallel and no signs of vomit could be found on the sheets, her rug or in her nose, mouth or throat. This suggests either that she received an injection from someone else or that her stomach was pumped.

During the week before her death, Marilyn made many attempts to phone Bobby. He changed his private number at the Justice Department and refused to accept her calls through the regular switchboard. Bobby had just learned that Hoffa hired Bernard Spindel, one of the top wiremen in the country, to tap Marilyn's phone. Bobby was probably equally distraught at the actress's growing sense of emotional need and vindictiveness. She told a friend, "If he keeps avoiding me, I might just call a press conference and tell them about it..." Peter Lawford insists that Bobby was in the East on the weekend of Marilyn's death, but there is good evidence to indicate his presence in both San Francisco and Los Angeles during that weekend.

The evidence surrounding Marilyn Monroe's death is so suspicious and conflicting that a coroner's inquest or a district attorney's investigation would be expected. Yet the Los Angeles Police Chief labeled the death a "probable suicide" and closed the case. The first police officer to arrive on the scene stated, "She was murdered by needle injection by someone she knew and probably trusted... This was the cover-up crime of the century..." The Deputy Coroner who signed Marilyn's death certificate made the statement, "An original autopsy file vanished, a scrawled note that Marilyn Monroe wrote and which did not speak of suicide also vanished, and so did the first police report."

Whatever the circumstances of Marilyn's death, it cannot be doubted that any extensive investigation of the case would have proven exceedingly embarrassing to the Kennedys. It was Bobby, more than any other Kennedy, who struggled to keep scandal out of the White House. At a White House party, upon seeing the bisexual writer Gore Vidal dancing close with Jackie, Bobby pushed Vidal away from her with the words "Don't you ever dance with the First Lady like that again. You make me sick." Despite the fact that Jackie and Vidal had shared the same stepfather, it was the beginning of the end of Vidal's association with the White House.

When Jackie's sister Lee became the playmate of Aristotle Onassis, Bobby tried to get Jackie to stop the relationship. Only a few years earlier Lee had divorced her first husband to marry a Polish prince. To avoid scandal, an annulment was sought from the Catholic Church. The annulment was granted, but only after Lee had sworn that her six-year marriage had never been consummated, and a $50,000 payment had been made to the Vatican.

Edward ("Teddy"), the youngest of the Kennedy boys, came closest to fulfilling his father's hope that one of his sons would be a Harvard football hero. Standing at six foot two and weighing two hundred pounds, Teddy showed potential on the Harvard gridiron during his first year. Academically, he was in trouble, however. He obtained a C-minus grade for his work in Spanish during his first term, but it seemed evident that he would fail his final examination and thereby disqualify himself from varsity football the next Fall. One of Teddy's athlete friends who was proficient in Spanish agreed to take the exam in Ted's place. When the stand-in was recognized by a proctor, both Teddy and his friend were expelled. After a stint in the army, Teddy was readmitted to Harvard where he was later able to please his father by making a touchdown pass against Yale.

Sexually Teddy was inclined to imitate his brother Jack. He worked hard to achieve a comparable record of sexual conquests, even after his marriage in 1958. Nor was he above accepting Jack's hand-me-downs. One such woman was an Eastern Airline stewardess with whom he maintained a relationship for over a year, 1960 to 1961. His most disastrous liason, however, occurred on the island of Chappaquiddick in the Summer of 1969.

On that small secluded island Teddy gave a party he described as a "gesture of gratitude" for a group of young women who had helped his campaign. Teddy's wife (who was two months pregnant) was not present. The party was attended, however, by six single women, all of whom were in their twenties. There were also five other men (all in their thirties and forties) only one of whom was not married.

Ted later was to testify that he left the party early with Mary Jo Kopechne to drive her back to her apartment on the mainland. In doing so he was leaving ten people with only one small car for transportation. Mary Jo left her purse and room key at the party. The road from the location of the party to the ferry was paved. At one point the road to the ferry veered sharply left while an unpaved road leading to a secluded little beach veered sharply right. Kennedy, who had been going to Chappaquiddick since he was seven years old, "mistakenly" took the right-hand turn, overlooking the large reflector arrow pointing the way to the ferry. He reputedly drove seven-tenths of a mile and then onto a wooden bridge which must be crossed to reach the beach. Instead of crossing the bridge the car drove off the side into the water. There were no heavy skid marks to prove that brakes had been applied.

Senator Kennedy was able to save himself, but did not retrieve Mary Jo from the car. The police scuba diver who recovered her body said that her head was pushed up into the footwell where she was obviously seeking trapped air. He stated that "she died of suffocation in her own air void. But it took her at least three or four hours to die". Police and firemen could have been on the scene within half-an-hour after notification (as happened the next morning) and Miss Kopechne would have been rescued within another half hour.

It is doubtful that the Senator was considering this possibility as he walked back to the party. Of the six houses he passed, four of them had lights on all night — and four of them had telephones. Nor did his lawyer friends phone the police when Teddy returned. Teddy "impulsively" swam the channel to the mainland. He did not report the accident until he returned to Chappaquiddick the next morning. Teddy later hired a New England consulting firm to do a study of the accident. The firm declared that any breathable air quickly escaped from the vehicle. An autopsy of Mary Jo's body was never performed.

Senator Kennedy made a radio and television speech to the people of Massachusetts in which he denied that he was "driving under the influence of alcohol." He asserted that it was "indefensible" that he had not reported the accident immediately to the police, despite his doctor's claim that he suffered from cerebral concussion as well as shock. "I was overcome, I'm frank to say, by a jumble of emotions, grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion and shock," he said, and he had wondered, "whether some awful curse did actually hang over all the Kennedys, whether there was some justifiable reason for me to doubt what had happened and to delay my report." He asked for the advice, opinions and prayers of his constituents as to whether he should remain in office. A massive influx of mail urged him to remain in the Senate. Many members of the press questioned the objectivity of Teddy's mass media referendum. With the passage of time, public opinion polls showed an increased skepticism over the Kennedy version of the Chappaquiddick story.

There were still legal consequences, but the justice system was not unkind to Teddy. The police chief covering the area including Chappaquiddick island told reporters, "when you have a U.S. Senator, you have to give him some credibility." Seventeen hours before the public inquest, the Massachussetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered a postponement over the question of whether a public hearing would violate Kennedy's constitutional rights. Four months later a private inquest was held, with the record of the proceedings impounded.

A charge of manslaughter under Massachussets law requires "willful or wanton" conduct. Kennedy was only charged with the misdemeanor to which he had pleaded guilty: leaving the scene of an accident. He was given a suspended sentence of two months in jail. Kennedy was spared imprisonment on the basis of a plea from the Prosecutor that "the reputation of the defendant is known to the court, and to the world."

Nine months later, however, the judge who had been presiding at the inquest released a report which concluded that "Kennedy and Kopechne had not intended to return to Edgartown" and that Kennedy's turn onto the unpaved road had been intentional. Kennedy immediately issued a public denial.

Because Peter Lawford was a brother-in-law to the "Kennedy boys", his parties were the most natural liason for the Kennedys with the sexually swinging Hollywood crowd. Frank Sinatra, perhaps the most sexually cosmopolitan and sought-after stud in America (and a close friend of Lawford's) lived a life of continuous partying. So it was not unnatural for Sinatra to become a friend of the family and an enthusiastic Kennedy fund-raiser. It was Sinatra who organized and sang at John's Inaugural Ball.

During the early 1940s, when "Frankie" was driving bobby-soxers into orgasmic adulation, he had ostensibly been a family man. In 1951 he ended his fourteen-year marriage to marry Ava Gardner. Wooing Gardner from the arms of Howard Hughes had not been difficult, but the new marriage proved to be a tumultuous one. Three years later, Sinatra was one of the swingingest bachelors on the continent.

From Humphrey Bogart, Sinatra inherited the leadership of "The Rat Pack", later known as "The Clan". The Clan was characterized by drinking, hell-raising and a unique language of "in" jokes and jargon. Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Sammy Davis, Jr. (who Sinatra sponsored to stardom after seeing him in a Harlem night-club) were among the most notable and durable members.

Sinatra was also notorious for the pleasure he took in rubbing elbows with mobsters in the playgrounds of America. The association apparently dated from the time when his career was just beginning. Frank had made friends with New Jersey Mafia boss Willie Moretti shortly after leaving his native Hoboken to play the roadhouses. Later Frank found his career being stifled by a five-year contract with Tommy Dorsey, which Sinatra had signed before his popularity rocketed far above Dorsey's. According to one story, Sinatra bought the contract (possibly with Mafia money) for a large sum. But a popular Mafia version is that Dorsey decided one dollar was a fair price for the contract when he discovered Willie Moretti's gun in his mouth instead of a trombone.

Italian police found a gold cigarette case in the apartment of Lucky Luciano which bore the inscription: "To my dear pal Lucky, from his friend, Frank Sinatra." In 1963 Sinatra became a Director of the Mafia-owned Berkshire Racetrack in Massachussetts. And a regular member of Frank's Florida entourage was Joseph Fischetti, a cousin of Al Capone and a significant figure in the Chicago mob. Sinatra was to vehemently deny the significance of these associations in later years.

In the course of Frank's partying in Miami and Las Vegas, he became acquainted with John Roselli and Sam Giancana. Sinatra and Giancana became good friends, a friendship which was put to the test for Frank more than once. The Nevada Gaming Control Board circulated to all casinos, a blacklist of eleven gangsters (including Giancana) who were not allowed on the premises. Frank Sinatra owned half of the Cal-Neva Lodge at Lake Tahoe. Because Giancana was a guest at the Cal-Neva the State Board revoked Sinatra's gambling licence. Rather than take on a legal fight, Sinatra sold all his Nevada holdings, including $380,000 of stock in the Sands Hotel.

Innumerable women passed through Sinatra's life in a continuous stream. One such woman was Judith Campbell, later known as Judith Exner. Shortly after meeting Sinatra, Judy vacationed with Frank and his crowd in Hawaii where she was his sexual partner. They got together again in California. As Exner tells it, once, when they were in bed, a naked black woman entered the room and began performing oral sex on Sinatra. Frank had hoped Judy would become inspired to make it a threesome, but instead she chilled to the idea of any further intimate relationship with him. He chided her for being "straight" and a tenuous "friendship" remained thereafter.

On February 7, 1960, at the Sands lounge in Las Vegas, Frank introduced Judy to John Kennedy. Judy had dinner with Peter Lawford, Gloria Cahn, John Kennedy and his brother Edward. Later Judy gave Teddy a tour of the Las Vegas casinos. Ted tried to get her to go with him to Denver. He acted "childishly temperamental", she said, when she made it clear that she preferred keeping a luncheon date with brother John.

After their lunch together she didn't see John for another month, due to the pressing schedule of his presidential campaign, but he phoned her every day. She said that between March 7 and April 12, she had sex with John on three occasions. He invited her to visit him during the Los Angeles Democratic National Convention in July. There, sitting on the end of a bed with him, she saw a thin woman smiling at her from the other end of the bedroom. When John suggested that the three of them go to bed together, Judy began to cry. She left feeling very hurt, but she later accepted his apology. She continued to feel she had a very personal love with John and had no thoughts that there were other women in his life apart from his wife. She visited him at the White House and elsewhere as his schedule would permit.

Not long after her introduction to Kennedy, Exner was introduced by Sinatra to Sam Giancana at a party in Miami Beach. Her relationship with Kennedy did not prevent her from seeing Giancana or, for that matter, John Roselli, with whom she also became intimate.

In the Fall of 1960, Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon in the presidential election by two-tenths of one percent of the votes cast. Nixon could have been the victor with a switch of 4,500 votes in Illinois, where an avalanche of Democratic votes in Cook County had turned the tide. Among those charging election fraud were FBI director J. Edgar Hoover as well as the editors of the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Tribune. According to Exner, Giancana (who was the Mafia chief in Chicago) bragged that "if it wasn't for me, your boyfriend wouldn't be in the White House." Giancana may have had hopes that his friends Frank Sinatra or Judith Exner would provide him with a hot line to the Democratic Administration. If so, he was soon disillusioned when Bobby Kennedy became Attorney General.

Bobby's crusade against the underworld assumed epic proportions, and the number of convictions was unprecedented. Of no small benefit in his work was the testimony of Joe Valachi. In 1962 Vito Genovese was serving time in the federal prison in Atlanta on a narcotics trafficking charge. In the same cell block Joseph Valachi was serving a life sentence for murder. Because Valachi was constantly being interviewed by narcotics agents, Genovese became convinced that his Mafia underling was a stool pidgeon. Genovese gave Valachi the "kiss of death" which marked him to be killed. Valachi later struck and killed a man he thought to be an assassin. Facing a death penalty, Valachi agreed to talk in exchange for life imprisonment. Soon Valachi was detailing his experiences about the organization he called La Cosa Nostra ("our thing") to Bobby Kennedy. Bobby referred to Valachi's information as "the biggest single intelligence breakthrough yet in combating organized crime and racketeering in the United States".

One of the mobsters Bobby was determined to put in jail at any cost was none other than Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana. FBI agents followed him to church, to bars and even on the golf course where he claimed they snickered when he missed a putt. (The agents noted that Giancana would kick his ball out of the rough into the fairway when his opponents weren't looking.) Giancana sent a message to the Attorney General's office: "If Bobby Kennedy wants to talk to me... he knows who to go through." This has been interpreted as a reference to Sinatra.

When Giancana sued in a federal court he was probably the first mobster ever to initiate a court action. He hired a black lawyer who had handled cases for the Black Muslims and who was a specialist in civil rights. He also hired detectives to watch the FBI agents. The detectives and FBI agents took turns posing for photographs. Giancana took motion pictures of the agents on the golf course. The judge ordered that no more than one FBI surveillance car could be parked within one block of Giancana's home and that the FBI agents play golf at least two foursomes back from Giancana. But later the U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

Exner's relationship with two very busy men like Kennedy and Giancana still left her with much time on her hands. When Jerry Lewis offered her a job in Hollywood, it seemed like the solution Judy had been looking for. Soon, however, Jerry was in a tizzy because a private investigator had evidence which would implicate him in a divorce suit. Jerry was fearful that his wife and his public would desert him so he asked Judy if Giancana could help. Ultimately, Roselli put the screws to the private investigator to destroy the evidence.

According to Judy, as soon as the heat was off Jerry resumed his amorous advances towards her, finally firing her for rebuffing him. Later Giancana phoned Lewis for an explanation, holding the receiver up so Judy could hear Jerry's whining voice.

Because Giancana was under heavy surveillance by the FBI, it no doubt came to the attention of J. Edgar Hoover that Exner was seeing both the mobster and the President. Exner claims to have met with the President at the White House about 20 times in 1961. White House logs show that she spoke on the phone with Kennedy about seventy times after he was inaugurated. The last phone contact was on March 22, 1962, a few hours after the President had a private luncheon with Hoover. Exner said that her relationship with Kennedy continued a few more months after that time, however. In any case, Hoover had been briefed on the Giancana-Exner relationship shortly before the luncheon, and there was considerable anxiety among those who knew of the connection concerning the potential for blackmail or scandal.

Giancana's friendship with Frank Sinatra represented another political problem for the Kennedys. Giancana was not a member of "The Rat Pack", but he was frequently a guest of Frank's and he enjoyed Frank's notorious sport of throwing cherry bombs. Giancana told Exner of rolling a couple of cherry bombs under the chairs of Sammy Davis and Peter Lawford: "They jumped so high their heads nearly hit the ceiling. Why not? One's a nigger and the other's a fruitcake. Gave them a little thrill."

Giancana occasionally stayed at Sinatra's home in Palm Springs, the same home Frank hoped the President would visit as a guest. Prior to a trip to Palm Springs in early 1962, John Kennedy phoned Peter Lawford insisting that, despite his fondness for Sinatra, he could not stay in Sinatra's home at a time when Bobby was handling the Giancana investigation. Sinatra was deeply hurt when Kennedy stayed in the Palm Desert house of the Republican singer Bing Crosby. Sinatra had even added an annex to his mansion solely to accomodate the Kennedys. He had called it the Kennedy Wing, but later he changed the name to the Agnew Wing. He also terminated his associations with Lawford.

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The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was established in World War II to deal with the clandestine aspects of fighting that war. It was to gather information on enemy military and political developments, to support sabotage by resistance movements, to monitor and undermine enemy intelligence and to foster confusion by promoting false rumor or false information ("disinformation").

The OSS was not unlike most modern intelligence agencies in terms of its division of labor. "Intelligence" is concerned with the gathering of information about enemy strategies and capabilities through the use of agents and spy equipment. "Analysts" in the home offices, who collect information from agents, try to form a coherent picture through the use of supplementary material such as newspapers, maps, telephone books, high school yearbooks, history texts, etc. "Counterintelligence" relates to the monitoring and infiltration of enemy intelligence agencies while protecting one's own intelligence apparatus from enemy penetration. "Clandestine services" (or "covert operations") handles sabotage, bribery, assassination, "black propaganda" and paramilitary operations. A technical support staff invents or supplies such materials as false teeth containing a tiny camera, a cigarette case containing a tape recorder, forged passports, counterfeit money or poison toothpaste.

To head the OSS, Roosevelt chose one of his Columbia Law School classmates, William "Wild Bill" Donovan. Although Donovan was a millionaire Wall Street lawyer and a Republican, the OSS became a refuge for people of all political persuasions (unlike the more conservative FBI). Working in the OSS Research and Analysis Branch were Norman O. Brown and Herbert Marcuse, who were to become spokesmen for the "New Left" in the 1960s. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Arthur Goldberg, both of whom became foremost figures in American Liberalism, held important positions in the OSS. American Communists who had fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War proved to be effective in working with the European underground (much to the displeasure of FBI men who demanded that the communists be fired). Donovan is reported to have remarked, "I'd put Stalin on the OSS payroll if I thought it would help us defeat Hitler".

Many of Donovan's conservative business cronies also joined the OSS as officers and managers. The speed, secrecy and efficiency with which the OSS legally and illegally obtained untraceable foreign exchange for use by undercover agents is a testiment to the subtle skills of Donovan's financial wizards.

For most of the War, intelligence operations were dominated by the British, who were vastly more experienced in the matter. The British did not hesitate to manipulate American agents towards preserving the British Empire. Not until late in 1944 did the OSS begin to assert a certain pre-eminance, and this was largely due to British reluctance to risk infiltrating agents into Germany, who could be captured and forced to disclose information.

World War II conflicts between the communist and non-communist resistance forces were rampant throughout Europe and Asia — considerably undermining the war effort. This was seen especially in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, China and Southeast Asia. OSS men working in those countries developed such intense loyalties that the partisan warfare contributed to bitter factionalisms within the OSS itself.

In Italy, leftist partisans accused the OSS of preferentially supplying right-wing guerrillas. In fact, certain OSS officers were of the opinion that the communists were burying arms for use after the war of liberation was over. Factionalism between Italian royalists and Italian communists suddenly ended, however, when Moscow granted official sanction to the royalist government.

One of the most famous cases of partisan underground conflict in Italy related to an OSS team which was infiltrated into the Italian Alps. The team was headed by a Major Holohan and included an Italian-American OSS man named Aldo Icardi. Pursued by the Nazis, the team was aided by communist and non-communist partisans alike until Icardi allegedly murdered Holohan. Icardi's motives were purportedly that he had stolen the operational funds of the team, or that he was a devout Catholic who wanted the right-wing partisans to receive a large share of the supplies, or that he wanted to assume leadership of the OSS team.

Italian courts found Icardi guilty of murder in absentia, but due to the ill-defined legal jurisdictions he was not brought to trial in the US until 1956. The Defense Department maneuvered Icardi into testifying his innocence, thereby justifying a Congressional Investigation on a perjury charge. Icardi was defended by the lawyer Edward Bennett Williams, who made a special trip to Italy (accompanied by the private investigator Robert Maheu) to gather evidence. Williams and Maheu were able to prove that the communist partisans had covertly murdered Holohan and framed Icardi.

The liberation of Paris proved to be a critical focus of partisan conflict. The Paris underground was firmly in control of the communists. DeGaulle feared that if the city were liberated from within, the communists would dominate post-war politics. Eisenhower planned to bypass Paris, stranding the 20,000 German occupation troops and avoiding a costly direct attack. When the barricades went up in the streets, they quickly came under fire by Nazi tanks. The communist commander of the Paris resistance forces radioed London for a huge supply of arms to be dropped from the air. Perhaps at DeGaulle's insistance, the OSS headquarters in London postponed assistance. Meanwhile, 16,000 troops of the Second Armed Division of General Leclerc moved towards Paris. Bystanders lining the streets were "hysterical with joy". According to one OSS officer, "A physical wave of human emotion picked us up and carried us into the heart of Paris." An American infantry division accompanied Leclerc's forces for the entry into the city where massive celebration and street fighting occurred simultaneously. By that time a major portion of the communist underground had been killed or wounded.

Yugoslavia was probably the country where conflicts between communist and non-communist resistance forces were most bitter. OSS men attached to these factions became violently hostile to each other.

Shortly after the German takeover of Yugoslavia, a Serbian colonel named Mihailovic, who was loyal to the exiled king, organized a guerrilla army in the mountains. Mihailovic's "Chetniks" were initially assisted by communist "Partisans". The Partisans were led by Tito, a man who had worked for the Comintern (Communist International) in Moscow during the mid-1930s. Soon the rivalry between Mihailovic and Tito led to a rift between the Chetniks and the Partisans. Because the Chetniks were primarily Serbian and the Partisans were mostly Croatian, traditional ethnic animosity between those two groups fanned the flames of the conflict.

As the war progressed, fighting between the Chetniks and the Partisans became as intense as the war against the Germans, though both sides were receiving supplies from the OSS. In 1944, pressure from Churchill on behalf of his Soviet allies resulted in a complete withdrawal of OSS support for the Chetniks. (Mihailovic was later captured by Tito and executed as a war criminal.)

Of the supplies Tito received from abroad, 95 percent had come from the OSS and the British. Yet he disparaged the help given him by the Allies. After Tito agreed with Stalin for the Red Army to enter Yugoslavia, he ordered that all OSS officers be confined to their headquarters. When Donovan responded by an immediate cessation of OSS supplies, Tito expressed further embitterment at what he called American hostility to his regime.

In China, the conflict between communists and non-communists was also on the dimensions of a war comparable to that against the Japanese. Mao Tse-Tung's communist forces were entrenched in the caves of Yenan while Chiang Kai-shek's shakey coalition of warlords was the predominant military power of China.

In 1937, an American Army General named Claire Chennault resigned to become Chiang Kai-shik's Air Force advisor. Chennault's force of volunteer American pilots, the "Flying Tigers", was unofficially recruited and financed by US military officials prior to Pearl Harbor. After the United States entered the war against the Japanese, Chennault became the ultimate patron of OSS operations in China.

The political alliance with Chiang was to result in the loss of a great deal of potential military intelligence for the OSS. Mao had many exiled Japanese Communists in his camp who could have been sent to Japan, Korea and Manchuria as agents. A gross overestimate of Japanese military strength in Manchuria led Roosevelt to compromise with Stalin's political demands in exchange for the Russian invasion of Manchuria.

Many of Chennault's own intelligence officers were transferred to the OSS. One such man was Captain John Birch. In August 1945, Birch was stopped at a communist roadblock manned by a group of teen-aged Chinese peasants. When he challenged them, they killed him. For some Americans he became a martyr symbolizing the beginning of a war between America and Communism — and he thus became the namesake of The John Birch Society.

Another young OSS officer in China during this period was E. Howard Hunt, later of Watergate fame. According to Hunt, the Japanese sought only to hold China's major cities. OSS teams directed their efforts toward dynamiting bridges and attacking supply convoys. As a medium of exchange, OSS men used gold bars and opium rather than the nearly valueless nationalist currency. Hunt describes being part of a team which opened fire on a small Japanese encampment — only to be reprimanded by the local Chinese warlord who was conducting covert trade with the Japanese.

The OSS masterspy for espionage work within Germany was Allen Dulles, who maintained his headquarters in Switzerland. Wilhelm Canaris, chief of German Military Intelligence, made overtures to Dulles for the elimination of Hitler and a "separate peace" on the Western Front. The British, staunchly supporting their Soviet allies, rejected the overtures (partly because the entire British Secret Service networks of Europe had been exposed when two high-ranking British intelligence officers were captured while attempting to negotiate a similar scheme). The British may have been genuinely confused about the sincerity of Canaris, however, because the intelligence agent responsible for reading Canaris' code was Kim Philby, who later proved to be secretly working for the Soviets.

Dulles sought to nurture the opposition forces within the Third Reich. But his attempts to guile Nazi plotters into believing they had American support were hampered when Roosevelt and Churchill announced their policy of "no separate peace" and "unconditional surrender" at Casablanca. Dulles later claimed that World War II in Europe could have ended as much as a year earlier if he had possessed the options of accepting surrenders from generals who did not want to fall into the hands of the Soviets and of giving full support to plotters who wanted to overthrow the Nazis and thereby end the war.

Canaris was eventually exposed and German Military Intelligence was dissolved. Its functions were taken over by Heinrich Himmler who headed the SS and the Gestapo. When Hitler was nearly killed by a bomb in the Summer of 1944, Himmler was placed in charge of the vengeful search-and-kill operations against all Germans suspected of plotting against Naziism. Himmler himself, however, sent agents to Dulles seeking support for a coup against Hitler, a "separate peace" and a British, American and German attack on Russia to prevent "Communist encroachment" in Western Europe.

Not until 1945, however, did the OSS seriously negotiate with a Nazi officer against the Soviets. Aware of the impending Cold War, Donovan and Dulles came to an agreement with General Gehlen (chief of Nazi espionage and counter-espionage against the Soviet Union) to maintain his organization in an OSS compound near Frankfurt.

In the Fall of 1944 Donovan requested by memorandum that Roosevelt transform the OSS into a "central intelligence service" supervised directly by the President rather than by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the OSS had been during the war. Donovan's memorandum was leaked to the press by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who was vehemently hostile to the idea of having his agency answerable to a central intelligence authority. Hoover had not been alone in opposing the OSS, however. General Douglas MacArthur had been so much against the OSS that he had forbidden its operation in the whole Pacific Theater (an OSS officer caught trying to infiltrate Naval Intelligence was summarily sent home). Amidst public outcries against a peacetime "Gestapo", Harry Truman dissolved the OSS in September, 1945. OSS analysts went to work for the State Department whereas the intelligence operatives were incorporated into the Strategic Services Unit of the War Department.

J. Edgar Hoover's hostility to the OSS (and later the CIA) has often been attributed to simple rivalry. This was manifested as early as January 1942 when Donovan's officers had secretly gained access to the code room of the Spanish Embassy in Washington, DC. FBI men disrupted the nocturnal entry by setting off sirens outside the embassy awakening the entire neighborhood—and sending Donovan's men running. Hoover agreed not to cause a similar disruption in the future only after the White House assured him that intelligence and security within the United States was the exclusive domain of the FBI.

Hoover thought Donovan's organization had poor internal security. Hoover was also displeased by the sexual cosmopolitanism, "internationalist" tendencies and leftist influences in the OSS. Men in the OSS (and CIA) viewed Hoover and his agents as dull-witted, conservative policemen. To demonstrate this they would point to the FBI's tendency to imprison or deport captured spies, rather than to dupe, intimidate or bribe them into becoming "double agents".

It wasn't long after the dissolution of the OSS that Truman began to find himself swamped and confused by conflicting intelligence reports from numerous agencies. Supported by recommendations from the Congressional Joint Committee on the Pearl Harbor Attack, which found that the fragmentary character of American intelligence had been responsible for much lack of preparedness, Truman requested Congress to create the organization which was to become the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He wanted an agency which would coordinate intelligence collection and produce reports to aid the White House in making foreign policy decisions. J. Edgar Hoover, aware that the rival intelligence agency would soon be a reality, ordered his agents in South America to burn their files so they would not fall into the hands of the CIA.

As the Cold War became more chilling, the need for covert operations became more pressing. Late in 1947 wildcat strikes and demonstrations supported by the Communist Party swept across France. With 3 million workers on strike, the French economy was virtually paralyzed. In France's second largest city, Marseille, the French Communist Party was particularly powerful. In 1947, and later in 1950, the CIA paid Corsican gangsters to fight communist strikers on the city's waterfront. CIA support was given to Corsican underworld figures in their struggle against local communist politicians. Gaining political power in the city, control of the waterfront and additional money to work with, the Corsican syndicates were able to make Marseille the heroin manufacturing and smuggling capitol of Europe.

Italy nearly became a Soviet ally when the Communist Party came close to victory in the general elections. That the Cold War was to include a covert political war became evident to those who observed the massive financial and political support given by the Soviet Union to the Italian Communist Party and assorted Italian communist-front organizations. The need for a propaganda campaign and clandestine financial aid to oppositions parties in Italy led US State Department officials to propose the creation of an official clandestine services bureau. Frank Wisner, a former Allen Dulles assistant, was appointed to head the new bureau.

Frank Wisner's first priority was to create a network of agents in Eastern Europe after the pattern of the successful undergrounds which had been used against Hitler. Wisner believed that the communist satellite governments were close to collapsing and that with proper assistance the entire communist world would crumble.

In 1949 Wisner organized Radio Free Europe, which was promoted as being a privately owned organization. As a cover, an annual fund-raising campaign pleaded for public donations to help the "truth" get through the Iron Curtain. In fact, 95 percent of the money for Radio Free Europe came from the CIA.

When the Russians exploded an atomic bomb in 1949, it was suspected (and later proven) that American fission secrets had been given to the Soviets. After the CIA had failed to predict both the 1950 invasion of South Korea by North Korea and the subsequent intervention in the war by Chinese "volunteers", Truman decided upon a major intelligenc overhaul. Wisner's activities were brought completely under the wing of a CIA clandestine services group headed by Allen Dulles.

In April 1950 a CIA-trained army of Albanian emigres invaded Albania from Greece. Expecting to capture the country by complete surprise, they instead were met by well-placed ambushes. Most of the invaders were killed immediately, or captured and executed. For two years infiltration teams continued to be captured almost immediately after arrival, whether they entered by air, overland or by rubber boats. The evidence that the enemy had detailed foreknowledge of the missions pointed to the presence of a spy. One suspect was Kim Philby.

Philby had become a Marxist while he was a student at Cambridge University in the early 1930s. A few years later he began to present himself as a conservative journalist. In 1940 Philby joined the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS). He rapidly rose to become a respected member of the counterintelligence team. When James Angleton (later to become chief of CIA Counterintelligence) and his OSS companions came to London to learn counterintelligence from the British, Philby instructed them in the art of turning captured Nazi spies into "double agents" who would reveal the secrets of German intelligence and send deliberate misinformation to Berlin.

In 1944 Philby was given the responsibility of setting up a new section of the Secret Intelligence Service which would conduct espionage against the Soviet Union. The next year a high-ranking KGB officer entered the British embassy in Istanbul offering to identify two British Foreign Office diplomats and a counterintelligence officer whom he claimed were working for the Soviets. He wanted money and asylum, but insisted on a decisive response to his offer within twenty-one days. Twenty-one days later Philby arrived in Istanbul to handle the matter, but by that time the KGB officer was nowhere to be found. An unscheduled landing was made at the Istanbul airport by a Russian military aircraft which loaded a heavily bandaged individual before departing.

By 1949 Philby was in Washington, DC as a liason between the CIA and British Intelligence. Philby had virtually unlimited access to information in both agencies. Additionally, he was given the specific task of helping the FBI to track down Soviet spies.

Also in Washington at that time were two British KGB agents working as Second Secretaries of the British Foreign Office, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. Maclean was in charge of the embassy code room and had a permanent pass to the headquarters of the Atomic Energy Commission. When Burgess and Maclean fled to the Soviet Union in May 1951, considerable suspicion focused on Philby as a "Third Man" in the spy ring who had warned Maclean that he was about to be interrogated.

Because of this and other suspicious (but unsubstanciated) evidence, Philby was told to return to Britain. Many members of the London intelligence offices regarded Philby as the victim of McCarthyite hysteria. An inconclusive secret trial was held and Philby was demoted. It was not until twelve years later that stronger evidence was found indicating that Philby worked for the KGB. Philby, always one step ahead of the game, fled to Moscow in 1963 after leaving his superiors with a "confession" that implicated a British intelligence officer disliked by the KGB. In Moscow, Philby continued his clandestine activity by alienating the affections of Donald Maclean's wife.

Another intelligence fiasco was seen in the case of Poland. During the great Warsaw uprising of October 1944 the Germans destroyed the Home Army, which had been loyal to the Polish exile government in England. The Poles had expected help from the approaching Russians, but the Red Army waited patiently on the far side of the Vistula River as the Nazis slaughtered the non-communist underground and leveled the city. A few remaining members of the Home Army maintained fitful communications with the exile government in London until the Soviets apparently wiped them out in 1947. Nonetheless, a few years later a Pole escaped to the West with information that the Home Army still had a surviving core organization.

The CIA sent Polish emigre agents and much money into Poland to foster the underground. CIA case officers in West Germany used secret writing techniques and radio broadcasts to maintain contact with their agents. The Poles asked for more money, agents and equipment. Millions of dollars of CIA gold was shipped into Poland.

Finally, in December 1952, a Polish broadcast detailed the full organization of the "underground", making it clear that the Soviets had set it up themselves. The Soviets apparently intended to draw out genuine Polish resistance, recapture exile emigres with subversive intent and demoralize the CIA (and others with similar intentions). That accomplished, the Soviets terminated the enterprise with a large cash profit.

The most promising group conducting resistance activity within the Soviet Union itself was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). Supported by millions of Ukrainian immigrants, many of whom lived in Canada and the United States, these Nationalists had been fighting Russians since the 1920s. Although the OUN already had effective channels for communication and for transport of supplies, the CIA and British Intelligence were eager to involve themselves. The OUN was given small arms, radio sets and forged documents. Throughout the 1950s many couriers, sabateurs and OUN leaders were intercepted and captured. Finally, in the mid-1960s, the KGB was able to arrest enough OUN officers to neutralize the OUN within the Ukraine. Once again, Kim Philby had played a key role in providing information to the Soviets.

When Eisenhower was elected President, John Foster Dulles (Allen's brother) became Secretary of State. Allen was named CIA Director. With Allen's encouragement, clandestine services under Frank Wisner was soon consuming two-thirds of all CIA resources. The CIA became a paramilitary power with which Presidents could conduct undeclared, secret wars abroad without approval by Congress.

Wisner raised armies of Rumanian, Ukranian, Bulgarian and Hungarian refugees for use in armed revolts. He had planes in secret airfields in Greece, Japan, England and Germany. In Germany alone he had an army of five thousand trained mercenaries under American officers on loan from the US Army. Agents were parachuted into Georgia, Siberia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine. Most of them were never heard from again.

In the mid-1950s the CIA spent over $25 million building a secret tunnel from West Berlin into East Berlin to tap telephone communications. Later it was discovered that the man who kept the official minutes of a London conference on plans for the Berlin tunnel had been working for the KGB. The Soviets allowed the CIA to tap lines for over a year rather than compromise their agent in London by telling the East Germans.

All through Eastern Europe the KGB seemed to outflank the CIA at every turn. Even in the Armenian emigre community the CIA could not win the battle between the pro-communists and the anti-communists. The final blow to Eastern European resistance-building, however, was the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

As the anti-Soviet rebels were taking control of Budapest, Frank Wisner was broadcasting assurances of forthcoming aid from the West. His private armies were waiting and he had high hopes of airlifting arms (especially anti-tank weapons). But the US State Department stayed his hand while the Soviets crushed the rebellion. Thereafter, Radio Free Europe would merely emphasize peaceful liberalization.

As the CIA closed down its resistance program in Eastern Europe, Wisner was seen to become increasingly cynical and temperamental. At a committee meeting one day he suddenly called all the members "a bunch of goddamned commies". He often stayed home with a whisky bottle and talked to his revolver. A few years later Wisner killed himself with a single bullet.

Despite failures in Europe, the CIA had two notable successes in 1953 and 1954 in Iran and Guatemala, respectively.

When the Persian Parliament deposed the Turkic Sultan in 1925, the Prime Minister succeeded him to the Peacock Throne. The new Shah was to be the first of the "Pahlavi" dynasty (after the language of the Parthians who ruled Persia after Alexander the Great). The Shah's nationalism took a peculiar twist in 1934 when he changed the name "Persia" to "Iran" — a word of the same origin as the word "Aryan". Due to his pro-Hitler sympathies, the Shah was forced to abdicate by Allied invaders in 1941. His son, Mohammed Reza, was placed on the throne as a successor and Allied puppet.

The new Shah was still in authority in 1951 when Mohammed Mossadegh of the National Front was elected Prime Minister on a platform to nationalize the oil industry. The British refused to accept compensation payment for nationalization, refused to buy Iranian oil and took steps to prevent other countries from buying the "stolen oil". To deal with the economic crisis, Mossadegh demanded authority to govern for six months without the Parliament — and he also sought to be made Minister of War. The Shah attempted to fire Mossadegh, but was forced to relent when National Front mobs staged riots and demonstrations.

Without British technicians, Iranian refineries had become virtually inoperative, resulting in unemployment for thousands of workers. Feeling a loss of popular support, Mossadegh conducted a rigged referendum by which he dissolved the National Assembly. Mossadegh threatened that unless the United States increased its economic aid to Iran, he would turn to the Soviet Union for military and economic assistance.

Seeking to intervene in the crisis, Eisenhower dispatched CIA operative Kermit ("Kim") Roosevelt (grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt and seventh cousin of FDR) to enter Iran illegally and assure the Shah of American support. The Shah wanted to replace Mossadegh with General Zahedi, whom the British had imprisoned during the Second World War for his pro-Nazi stance. After several clandestine visits to the palace, Roosevelt finally pressured the Shah into signing a royal decree to institute his wishes. Mossadegh announced that an attempted coup d'etat by "foreign elements" necessitated his full seizure of power. Mobs and troops swept through Tehran. For two days rioters destroyed statues of the Shah. Many pro-Shah supporters were arrested. Roosevelt hid Zahedi near the American Embassy, where the general was able to make radio broadcasts proclaiming himself the rightful Prime Minister and denouncing Mossadegh as a traitor. Roosevelt had the Shah flown to Rome where he was met by Allen Dulles.

The American Ambassador informed Mossadegh that unless the attacks against American citizens stopped, they would be evacuated from the country. Mossadegh, agreeing that order should be restored, told the Chief of Police to stop the violence. The police, including the American-trained security forces (SAVAK), smashed the rioting with tear-gas and nightsticks.

Almost immediately Roosevelt began spending money to assemble a pro-Shah mob. It began with two hundred muscle-bound weight-lifters accompanied by dancers, tumblers, jugglers and costumed contortionists who gave the appearance of an innocent street parade. Soon, however, they began to chant "Long Live the Shah!" With the help of the Air Force chief, Roosevelt obtained a tank for Zahedi to ride in. Bribed military officers along with military loyalists, accompanied by troops and tanks, joined the growing throng. A two-hour battle was fought outside Mossadegh's home until Mossadegh's soldiers ran out of ammunition. Soon the Shah was again in power, Zahedi was his Prime Minister and Mossadegh was in jail.

Roosevelt described the CIA role as a "modest effort" of psychological support for forces which were already restive. Nonetheless, the legend of the CIA's ability to topple governments came into being. Roosevelt was secretly awarded the National Security Medal and later became a vice-president of the Gulf Oil Corporation. An international board of directors took control of Iranian oil production and distribution. President Eisenhower ordered that $45 million in emergency economic aid be sent to Iran immediately.

Political parties were banned from Iran. SAVAK, a combination intelligence service and police force, was strengthened with American aid as well as with the assistance of the Israeli intelligence service. The Shah used SAVAK as his tool for attaining absolute power. SAVAK imposed censorship. It systematically used torture to extract information. By 1974 secret prisons held an estimated 25,000 dissidents. Secret execution was said to be commonplace. That same year, the Secretary General of Amnesty International proclaimed that Iran's human rights record was worse than that of any other country in the world.

In 1954 Guatemala became the site for another CIA victory. In 1951 President Arevalo became the second Chief Executive in 113 years of Guatemalan independence to peacefully yield to his elected successor. The new President, Jacobo Arbenez Guzman, began a land reform program which started with the nationalization of uncultivated land for redistribution to the Indians. He didn't stop short of expropriating 225,000 acres of United Fruit company land, however. Some uncharitable analysts have pointed to the facts that US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had previously been United Fruit's legal counsel and that Allen Dulles was a shareholder. John Foster Dulles, in fact, had negotiated the 1931 contract with Guatemala's presiding dictator which exempted United Fruit from virtually all duties and taxes. In any case, US State Department officials were not pleased with Guzman's "excessive tolerance" of communists nor with the fact that the American Ambassador had been asked to leave the country. There was evidence that Guatemala was about to become the first Soviet foothold in the Western Hemisphere.

In May 1954 the United States signed military agreements with Nicaragua and Honduras preparatory to a clandestine paramilitary operation by the CIA against the Arbenez government. E. Howard Hunt, who later co-engineered the Watergate break-in, became Political Action Officer. Hunt chose Colonel Castillo Armas to be Arbenez's successor. Armas had tunneled his way to freedom after being imprisoned for leading an unsuccessful revolt. Hunt would have preferred Colonel Idigoras Fuentes, but his superiors in Washington considered Fuentes a right-wing reactionary. (Fuentes was to become President in 1958 following an election closely supervised by his military forces — and he later allowed the CIA to use Guatemala as a training area for Cuban exiles.)

Rebels began training on President Somoza's plantation in Nicaragua and in a CIA-created base in Honduras. Honduras was also the location of the Voice of Liberation radio station, operated by native Guatemalans under the auspices of CIA propaganda experts.

The CIA contributed three fighter planes and three World War II B-26 bombers to the project. The B-26s were popular in CIA paramilitary operations because so many nations possessed them that American sponsorship was difficult to trace. American mercenaries were hired to act as pilots.

American intelligence soon learned that a shipload of Czech arms, delivered through Poland, was aboard a Swedish freighter bound for Guatemala. This piece of intelligence had been glued to a letter on a photographic negative (a "microdot") so tiny that a censor would think it was a punctuation mark, and was mailed to an automotive parts business in Paris. The US State Department publicized the shipment and immediately flew over fifty tons of small arms and machine guns to Nicaragua. Further intelligence indicated that Arbenez intended for the Czech arms to go to labor federation militiamen rather than to the military, whom he distrusted. This information was spread through Guatemala by the Voice of Liberation and by planeloads of leaflets dropped on Guatemala City. The rift between Arbenez and his military officers understandably became more pronounced.

With his high-pitched voice and wild temper, Arbenez had not been terribly popular with the Guatemalan crowds. He was often ridiculed by students. Having formerly imposed censorship on the media, Arbenez now moved to suspend civil liberties. The Guatemalan Secret Police began arresting suspected enemies.

The Voice of Liberation broadcasted stories of Soviet aviators who had defected to the West in their planes — encouraging Guatemalans to follow the example. One Guatemalan pilot actually took the suggestion, but when he was brought to the Voice of Liberation, he refused to make a public statement for fear of endangering his family in Guatemala City. After a bit of whisky, he was asked to give a hypothetical speech to his Air Force comrades. The speech was secretly tape recorded, cut, spliced, and subsequently broadcasted. Arbenez, fearing further defection of pilots in his planes, grounded the entire Guatemalan Air Force.

Now in control of the airspace, the rebel and CIA pilots were able to freely drop leaflets on the cities and supplies to partisan guerrillas. One Guatemalan rebel dropped a bomb made of dynamite sticks and a hand-grenade from his single-engine Cessna aircraft. The bomb struck an oil tank resulting in flames that were visible for miles. A mercenary pilot decided to drop his bombs on a ship he later claimed he believed was unloading the Czech weapons. It proved to be a British freighter loaded with coffee and cotton. (According to certain press releases, the CIA secretly paid Lloyd's of London one million dollars to cover insurance claims.) One lucky pilot dropped a bomb where most of the Czech munitions were being stored, resulting in an impressive explosion. Among the populace these planes were called sulfatos (laxative) because of the reputed effect they had on government officials.

Soon Castillo Armas and his Liberation Army of a hundred and fifty men had crossed the border, signalling the start of the "invasion". The "Army" set up camp six miles inside Guatemalan territory and patiently waited. Arbenez appealed directly to the Soviets for more arms, but Eisenhower had already placed Guatemala under a blockade. A June 19, 1954 New York Times headline read "REVOLT LAUNCHED IN GUATEMALA: LAND-AIR-SEA INVASION REPORTED: RISINGS UNDER WAY IN KEY CITIES".

When the Guatemalan Government protested at the UN concerning the role of the American pilots, Henry Cabot Lodge denied US Government involvement. The Voice of Liberation maintained a 24-hour broadcast of rumors of huge battles and of "orders" to fictitious commanders of guerrilla armies. CIA clandestine radio operators intercepted military communications and broadcast false messages. CIA operatives ran commando raids which knocked out railroad lines, a few ships and some trains. Confused and demoralized, Arbenez capitulated. Castillo Armas was flown into Guatemala City on the embassy plane of the US Ambassador. The "revolution" had been won with only a single rebel death (a courier who had tried to find partisans with whom he could join).

With Guatemala, the legend of the CIA's ability to topple foreign governments continued to grow, but a significant set-back was soon encountered during the anti-Sukarno rebellion in Indonesia which CIA men tried to foment.

By the end of 1957 a submarine had transported a CIA paramilitary expert with his radioman to Sumatra. Arrangements were being made for shipments of small arms. When the rebels declared Sumatra to be independent of Indonesia in February 1958, Sukarno moved against them with his full military might. The CIA responded with tactical air support for the rebels.

After World War II, General Claire Chennault had continued to support Chain Kai-shek by forming a "commercial" airline, the Civil Air Transport (CAT). CAT planes flew support missions for Chaing until he was driven from the Chinese mainland. In 1950 CAT ownership was transferred to a CIA holding company. B-26 bombers belonging to the ostensibly private CAT were sent to the Indonesian operation from Taiwan. CAT pilots were paid at the CIA mercenary rate.

When one of the pilots was shot down over Indonesia after accidently bombing a church (killing most of the congregation), Allen Dulles decided to withdraw from the fight. The captured pilot was carrying evidence which showed he was working for the CIA. Reporting Eisenhower's denials of US Government involvement, The New York Times criticized the Indonesian Government for circulating false rumors. A million dollars worth of arms and 37,000 pounds of rice were immediately sent to Indonesia as "foreign aid", but Sukarno could not be convinced to release the pilot for four years.

CIA efforts to conduct espionage within the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China were almost invariably unsuccessful. Because of the all-pervasive security which controls the activity of these country's citizens, infiltrated agents could rarely produce information beyond that which would be available to a tourist or newsman. Knowledge of the KGB came primarily from defectors who escaped to the West, and even these were greeted with skepticism because of the possibility that the agent was misrepresenting his true intentions. Increasingly, the CIA began to turn to technical means for obtaining intelligence in communist countries.

In 1954 Edwin Land of Polaroid suggested to Allen Dulles that special photographic equipment could be installed in very high altitude reconnaisance aircraft to provide information on military capabilities within the Soviet Union. Eisenhower approved the plan. A former Yale economics professor named Richard Bissell was put in charge of the project. The first U-2 flight over the Soviet Union occurred in the Spring of 1956. The photographs obtained were so accurate that it was possible to identify the makes of automobiles in the Kremlin parking lot.

Bissell expanded the U-2 project until he had the capacity to have a plane over any spot on the earth's surface within 24-hour's notice. According to Bissell, the U-2s provided ninety percent of all the CIA's hard intelligence about the Soviet Union.

The Soviets initially kept their knowledge of the U-2 a secret because they did not want to admit that they did not have the military capability to shoot it down. As time passed, Bissell, who was developing a spy satellite program, began to think that the U-2 flights should be ended. But Allen Dulles was reluctant to stop the flow of valuable military information.

Finally, in May 1960, the Soviets shot down a U-2 being flown by CIA pilot Gary Powers. It had been the second U-2 flight over the Soviet Union since a Marine Corps radar operator with access to U-2 and radar-measuring equipment had defected to the Russians. The ex-Marine's name was Lee Harvey Oswald. Even though the Soviets had rocketry efficient enough to launch a sputnik satellite, they did not have enough knowledge of U-2 flight characteristics to design a guidance system to shoot it down. The problem was compounded by the U-2's sophisticated equipment which beamed confusing signals to Soviet height-finding radar. Gary Powers would later argue that it was Oswald's information that gave the Soviets the capability to intercept the U-2 in flight.

In his first public statement on the matter, Khrushchev implied that the plane had been destroyed and the pilot killed. This was in keeping with CIA expectations that if a U-2 were ever shot down, the pilot would not survive. Khrushchev even bolstered his implications by releasing a photograph of a demolished aircraft which was not, in fact, the U-2. Eisenhower denied that it had been a spy plane. The official US Government explanation was that a high altitude airplane doing meteorological research had strayed off course.

Khrushchev then revealed that the pilot was alive and had made a full confession. The surprisingly intact U-2 was put on display in Moscow. Exposing Eisenhower and the US Government as liers, Khrushchev ignored the issues of Berlin and disarmament, preferring to use the scheduled summit conference as a podium from which to denounce the United States.

During the hayday of the U-2, Richard Bissell was selected to replace Frank Wisner as chief of the CIA covert operations branch. Two months before the Soviets downed the U-2, Bissell was in Dulles' office suggesting a plan to overthrow the communist government of Cuba. In less than a year, Bissell would be in Dulles' office again — this time outlining a scheme to have the Mafia kill Castro.

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Fidel Castro Ruz was the son of a Spanish soldier who first came to Cuba to fight in the Spanish-American War. Castro's father came to Cuba penniless, but by the time he died his estate was worth half-a-million dollars. He fathered two children from his wife. He also had five children from the family cook, Fidel being one of them. Eventually, Castro's mother and father were married.

From the age of eight, Castro lived away from home at Catholic private schools. At the Jesuit high school he attended he was thrashed almost daily for his violations of the rules. For example, students were not allowed outdoors wearing only shirt and pants. Castro defiantly strolled around the yard in his underwear. Only large monetary donations by his father prevented Fidel from being expelled.

Castro entered the University of Havana Law School in 1945, but paid more attention to radical politics than to his studies. He was repelled by the party discipline and intellectual "formalism" of the communists, preferring the company of "student gangsters". He carried a pistol in his belt and was involved in a couple of shooting incidents. In 1948 he married a philosophy student. They had a child, Fidelito, the next year. In 1950 Fidel graduated from Law School.

Castro joined the radical, but anti-communist, Ortodoxo party. All evidence indicated that the party would come to power in the 1952 elections. Fidel became a candidate for the Chamber of Deputies, but Fulgencio Batista and his troops thwarted democracy with a military seizure of the government in March 1952.

In 1933 Sergeant Batista and a group of non-commissioned officers backed by students had overthrown Cuba's military government installing as President a physician who was a university faculty member. Batista remained a powerful man. He backed legalization of the Cuban Communist Party in 1938. With communist support, Batista was elected President in 1940, but he lost the 1944 election and moved to Florida.

In 1949, National Crime Syndicate member Meyer Lansky approached Cuba's new (and corrupt) President with an offer of $250,000 if Batista were allowed to return. Batista was allowed back into Cuba with the understanding that he would support the President in his term of office. Only shortly before the new elections did Batista make his move for power. The President stepped down offering no resistance.

Batista subsequently instituted policies making Cuba a very congenial atmosphere for National Crime Syndicate members — and for Lansky in particular — to operate. Batista pushed through laws guaranteeing that anyone investing $1 million or more in a hotel would be the beneficiary of a dollar-for-dollar match from the Cuban government or other Cuban organization. There would be no corporate taxes for hotel-casinos. Import taxes on building materials, normally 70 percent, would be waived. Thus contractors knowing who to bribe in the government could import considerably more building materials than were needed and sell the excess at a huge profit. Batista received half of the profits from slot machines. Prostitution flourished, as did the narcotics trade. For those who could afford it, a trip to Havana became the best way to receive a medically supervised abortion with proper hospital care.

On July 26, 1953 Castro, with a force of 131 men, attacked the Moncada fortress in Santiago de Cuba. The garrison of four hundred men defeated the attackers, despite the advantage Castro believed he had in the element of surprise. Though the Cuban Communist Party denounced the action as a rash deed by a bourgeois political faction, Castro achieved national recognition. In the future, Fidel was to capitalize on this fame by calling his revolutionaries the "July 26th Movement".

In prison Castro was able to clarify his political thoughts. These were written and rewritten as the speech he had purportedly given at his trial. Entitled "History Will Absolve Me" it became the manifesto of the July 26th Movement. It called for a restoration of the Constitution of 1940, for the ownership of small farms by sharecroppers and squatters, and for the distribution to the workers of a portion of the profits from industries and sugar plantations. He also said "more than half of the most productive land belongs to foreigners" mentioning the United Fruit Company in particular.

Castro wrote letters to his wife urging her to work for his release from prison. He was also writing to an attractive married woman. Once he (or the guards) put the wrong letters in the wrong envelopes, which may have been a factor in causing his wife to obtain a divorce.

Casto was released from prison prior to the 1955 election, but was banned from speaking in public or on the airwaves. Fidel went to Mexico where he met Ernesto "Che" Guevara and a number of Cuban exiles. Pooling Castro's leadership skills with Guevara's brains, the group rented a farm on which they were instructed in the basics of guerrilla warfare. In November 1956, Castro's force of eighty-three men returned to Cuba on a leaky yacht named the Granma. The boat had been purchased from an American with $15,000 provided by the Cuban President Batista had deposed.

Most of the invaders were killed or captured by Batista's troops shortly after they hit the beach, but Castro was able to escape to the mountains along with his brother Raul and with Che. Some of Fidel's followers tried to capitalize on the small size of Castro's "army" by comparing them to the Twelve Apostles. After two months of plummeting morale, Castro solicited an interview with an American journalist. The result was a page-one article in The New York Times which transformed him into an international figure. In mid-March of 1957 Castro received fifty recruits in trucks owned by a rice planter, who himself later joined the guerrillas. After a mid-May CBS-TV interview entitled "The Story of Cuba's Jungle Fighters", Fidel was constantly deluged by American correspondents.

Castro and Che consolidated their forces throughout 1957. In early 1958 they solicited and received a planeload of arms from the pro-democratic President of Costa Rica. The guerrilla forces had numerous skirmishes, relying on the principle of attacking by surprise and only when numerical superiority ensured an instant victory. Otherwise they utilized their knowledge of the jungle to elude government troops. The guerrillas relied heavily on the overwhelming support given them by the local peasants and mountain folk.

As early as 1957 the American Ambassador to Cuba suggested to Batista that "the FBI or CIA should send up a man to the Sierra to kill Castro". Batista's national pride was offended by this suggestion and he declined the offer. In May, 1958 Batista gathered a force of over 10,000 troops to eradicate Castro's band of three hundred guerrillas. But Batista's men found that it was easier to gain ground than to engage the enemy. They were continually ambushed in the unfamiliar terrain under the worst strategic conditions. In July Batista ordered a withdrawal. Twenty-seven of Fidel's men had been killed. The 433 prisoners taken by the guerrillas were disarmed, treated well and turned over to the Red Cross. Castro's army obtained a large quantity of arms as a result of the venture.

Because the Batista dictatorship meant an end to open elections, many moderate political leaders saw Castro as their only hope of regaining office. Negotiations resulted in the Caracas pact in the summer of 1958 wherein Castro agreed to restore the 1940 constitution and to hold elections. These agreements were never kept.

Soon after Batista's unsuccessful attempt to eliminate the guerrillas, Castro announced that the time for open warfare had arrived. Local municipalities permitted Castro's appointees to run their towns. A number of Batista's generals had been plotting to overthrow the government. The Chief of the Armed Forces, General Cantillo, secretly met with Castro agreeing to surrender the Santiago garrison as soon as it became opportune to do so. After the surrender, the garrison was to supply Castro's rebels with arms and to unite in opposition to Batista.

When Che Guevera moved against the provincial capitol of Santa Clara with a force of three hundred men, Batista's air force indiscriminately bombed the area — doing more to enrage the citizens than to injure the guerrillas. Che dynamited the railway tracks in front of and behind an armored troop train sent by Batista to destroy the guerrillas. The troops surrendered and were soon fraternizing with the rebels. Shortly after Santa Clara was declared a "liberated territory", General Cantillo told Batista that Santiago de Cuba could not be held. Batista decided to flee the country. General Cantillo ordered a cease-fire.

Revolutionary forces sprang up all over Cuba to fight the disorganized and half-hearted government resistance. The insurrection was over on January 1, 1959. Castro, fearful that the military was still a threat to his power, immediately executed the Santiago commanders who had permitted his bloodless entry into the city. He then began a systematic campaign of destroying the regular army to replace it with a "people's militia". "War Crime" trials were conducted, resulting in over 600 executions.

In April Panama was invaded by a force of 87 Cubans and Panamanians, led by a Cuban. After less than two weeks the group surrendered to the Panamanian National Guard. In June Castro attempted to invade the Dominican Republic with two yachts flying American Flags and with an airplane having Dominican markings containing fifty-six men. Both vessels were sunk. The other invaders were killed or captured shortly after their plane landed. Invasion attempts upon Nicaragua and Haiti were similarly unsuccessful.

In January 1960 the Cuban government paid the expenses of a large delegation of newsmen from communist countries around the world. The group selected a Director for Cuba's National Printing Office. In February a Soviet trade fair opened in Havana. That same month, the Soviets signed a five-year treaty for the purchase of one million tons of Cuban sugar every year.

During one of Castro's visits to Washington, Vice-President Richard Nixon had tried to inform Castro of Communists holding positions in the Cuban administration. Because Castro showed little concern over these "revelations" Nixon concluded that "Castro was either incredibly naive about Communism or under Communist discipline". Nixon decided that a force of Cuban exiles should be armed to overthrow Castro's regime. Eisenhower approved such a plan in a March 1960 meeting of the National Security Council. Nixon was appointed as the White House liason with the CIA on the matter.

In the summer of 1960 when US and British oil companies in Cuba refused to refine Soviet petrolatum, Castro seized control. In retaliation, the US suspended the Cuban sugar quota for the rest of the year. August saw the arrival of 700 Soviet "technicians" to Santiago accompanied by large quantities of armaments.

By Fall, a large-scale training program for Cuban exiles was underway in Guatemala. The success of an invasion hinged on an exile air force (including B-26 bombers not traceable to the US) as well as psychological and paramilitary operations which would arouse a civilian uprising. Contingency plans were made for the invaders to become guerrillas should the initial attack not succeed.

The CIA Chief of Political Action for the project was E. Howard Hunt, who later became a Watergate conspirator. Hunt's responsibility was the formation of a Cuban exile government. According to the plan, once the invaders established a beachhead in Cuba, Hunt would there with the provisional government which, in turn, would appeal for military aid. A sizable contingent of US Navy vessels, including an aircraft carrier and many Marines, would then join in the fight.

Hunt was to ensure that the exile government represented all elements of Cuban society except "reactionaries" who supported Batista. He faced a major problem in having the exile government accepted by the exile troops training for the invasion. The trainees held politicians in contempt and, in fact, those Cubans with the most military experience were those who had served in Batista's army. Moreover, the military equipment and invasion planning was directed by Americans and not the exile government.

Hunt submitted a memorandum to covert operations co-ordinator Richard Bissell with the recommendation to "Assassinate Castro before or coincident with the invasion...Without Castro to inspire them the Rebel Army and militia would collapse in leaderless confusion." Hunt had not been the first to make such a suggestion.

Because the Mafia had a reputation for secret and efficient execution of murder plans, the CIA decided to put a contract out on Castro's life. By using a third party as liason, the involvement of the CIA with the Mafia could be kept secret. Without mentioning names (Castro referred to as "the principal") Bissell presented the idea to Dulles in September 1960. Dulles simply nodded as he listened. Bissell left the meeting with the conviction that the plan had been approved.

(Such a "circumlocuitous approach" is not uncommon for high government officials who wish to give orders on "sensitive matters" while maintaining "plausible deniability". By a similar process, hostile remarks by Eisenhower at the National Security Council were translated into a direct order from Dulles to the CIA station in Leopoldville to have Lumumba assassinated. Fortunately for Dulles, Lumumba was killed by his Congolese enemies before the CIA could get him).

When Castro became Premier of Cuba on February 16, 1959, many of the Mafia figures in Cuba felt they had no cause for alarm. Castro was still representing himself as a nationalist democrat dedicated to agrarian reform. Even when Castro began making statements that he was going to run the "American gangsters" out of Cuba and nationalize their assets, mobsters assumed it was simply political doubletalk. Trafficante was quoted as saying that Castro would never be so foolish as to close up the hundred million dollar gambling operation which provided employment for ten thousand Cubans. Nonetheless, Castro eventually carried out his threat. Trafficante was jailed and later deported.

In Florida, the Lansky and Trafficante may have financed a Cuban exile group, "The International Anti-Communist Brigade". The Brigade's organizer was Frank Sturgis, who was later among those caught in the Watergate break-in. Sturgis was a third-generation Italian-American from Philidelphia whose name at birth had been Frank Angelo Fiorini. A former Marine, Sturgis apparently preferred the life of a military adventurer. He joined Castro's guerrilla forces in 1957 and may have been providing information for the CIA (which did not then view Castro as a "communist"). Sturgis accompanied Castro into Havana, where he was made Castro's "Superintendent of Games of Chance". When Castro began purging Cuba of Mafia operations, Sturgis fled the country. Sturgis claims that in 1959 the mob offered him $100,000 to kill Castro.

When CIA planners decided to have the Mafia "hit" Castro, they chose CIA agent James O'Connell to make the contacts. O'Connell had met mafioso John Roselli in the home of Robert Maheu, a Washington private investigator. O'Connell had been Maheu's case worker in connection with other work Maheu had done for the CIA. He was hopeful that Maheu could orchestrate the assassination plan without letting the Mafia know of the CIA's involvement. Maheu was supposed to represent a consortium of businessmen who had lost a great deal following the Castro takeover. Nonetheless, the cover did not last long. When Roselli made it clear that he was not qualified to do the job, O'Connell suggested that Roselli seek the assistance of Santos Trafficante. Roselli contacted Chicago's capo, Sam Giancana, who in turn contacted Trafficante.

The CIA spent several hundred thousand dollars on efforts to kill Castro, which included a number of schemes in addition to the one involving the Mafia. Poison cigars were made in the CIA laboratory, but they weren't used for fear that Castro might give one to an important diplomat. Plans were made to dust Castro's shoes with thallium salts so that his beard would fall out, and to administer LSD to Castro before he made a national broadcast. Both of these schemes would undermine Castro's charisma with the populace, it was thought. Frank Sturgis was solicited because of his close relationship with a woman who had been a mistress of Castro's in 1959. Sturgis gave her some poison capsule which she hid in a jar of cold cream. She made arrangements to meet Castro in Havana where they went to a hotel. After Castro fell asleep in bed, she went to the bathroom to find that the capsules had dissolved in with the cold cream.

Giancana also favored poison, because no other means of political assassination in Cuba would guarantee that the assassins could make a getaway. Giancana financed an agent of his own, Richard Cain (a detective on Chicago's police force who normally acted as a spy for the Mafia), with $90,000 of the mob's own money. Pills of botulism toxin were obtained from the CIA to be put in Castro's food.

In the late Fall of 1960 an incident occurred which threatened to undermine the Cuban invasion plan. On November 13th a portion of the Guatemalan Army rebelled against their own government. Many American officials feared that the training camps might be shut down or publicized if the Guatemalan government was overthrown. Cuban and American pilots bombed the rebels with CIA B-26s. The insurrection collapsed.

Less than a week later, CIA Director Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell met with President-elect Kennedy to brief him on the Cuban invasion. During his presidential campaign Kennedy, ignorant of the secret preparations already in progress, had recommended sending an expeditionary force of "democratic" refugees against the "Communist enclave". Whether Kennedy ever knew about (or ordered) an assassination remains controversial, but it is doubtful that such an order would have ever been put in writing. Several persons have written of private conversations during which Kennedy explored the subject.

Articles on the Guatemalan training appeared in The Nation, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and US News and World Report during the months of November and December. Though the Cubans in Guatemala were ready and restless for the invasion to begin, Eisenhower decided to postpone it until the new Kennedy Administration could take charge.

Castro made a speech to the Cuban people on January 2, 1961 during which he stated that Eisenhower was planning an attack before he left office on January 20. Castro also demanded that the United States reduce the size of its staff at the Havana Embassy to eleven, a number equal to the number of staffers at the Cuban Embassy in Washington. Eisenhower's response was to break all diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Castro mobilized his army and militia until the end of Eisenhower's term of office.

The original invasion plan called for a landing at the town of Trinidad. From this site the invaders could theoretically escape to the surrounding Escambray mountains where anti-Castro guerrillas were already very active. Castro was able to systematically destroy these guerrillas in early 1961, however.

Kennedy's new plan called for the invasion to occur at the Bay of Pigs. This Bay is surrounded by vast stretches of treacherous swampland which would seem easy to infiltrate. Moreover, the area contained a piece of dry land containing a sizable airstrip. Once the invaders secured some land, a provisional government of Cuba would be flown-in and granted recognition by the United States. Then military assistance could be formally requested in a war against Castro's regime.

E. Howard Hunt, who was still in charge of organizing the government-in-exile, found himself increasingly at odds with his superiors in Washington. He was directed to write a new Cuban constitution which included land reform clauses, despite his protests that "the Cuban constitution of 1940 was one of the most progressive in the world" and had broad support among the Cuban people. Finally, in mid-March of 1961, Hunt was called into Richard Bissell's office and told to include radical socialist elements in the new exile government (the Cuban Revolutionary Council) so that the provisional government would represent a wider range of anti-Castro elements. Hunt objected that this amounted to "Castroism without Fidel" and would alienate many Cubans. When Hunt failed to impress the senior CIA officers with his point of view, he resigned.

In March, 1961 John Roselli was in Miami with poison pellets given to him by the CIA. Roselli arranged for the pellets to be given to a relative of one of Castro's chefs. Castro was reportedly ill a couple of weeks later, but he recovered in time for the mid-April invasion. Once again, the pills had not reached Castro, who had stopped eating at the restaurant where he was to be poisoned.

The CIA understood that an amphibious landing was only possible if either adequate air cover was provided at the beaches or if Castro's air force was destroyed beforehand. The latter alternative was still a distinct possibility, but it was only a matter of time before the Soviets supplied the Cubans with MIGs which would make an invasion all but impossible. Cuban pilots were already training on MIGs in Czechoslovakia. The original invasion plan called for two surprise bomber strikes which were intended to wipe out the Cuban Air Force while its planes were still on the ground.

Shortly after midnight on April 15, 1961, two days before the Bay of Pigs Invasion, nine B-26 bombers left a Nicaraguan airfield piloted by Cuban exiles. All of the planes bore the letters FAR ("Fuerza Aerea Revolucionaria"), the insignia of Castro's air force. Flying in three formations they struck at Cuban airports wiping out half of the Cuban Air Force. One bomber was shot down and five others returned to Nicaragua. The other three flew on to land at Grand Cayman, Key West and Miami. The Miami pilot told reporters how he and three other pilots had conspired to escape Cuba, striking airfields with their bombers on the way out.

That afternoon the Cuban representative to the UN spoke out in the General Assembly charging the United States with launching an attack on Cuba using trained mercenaries. Adlai Stevenson denied the participation of United States personnel or airplanes. He held up a photo of the Miami plane showing the Cuban star and the initials "FAR". (Stevenson was later shocked when he learned the true story behind the planes — and even moreso when it was rumored that Kennedy had informally called him "my official liar".)

The second bomber strike, which was to destroy the rest of Castro's air force, was scheduled for the Monday morning of the invasion. U-2 photos indicated that Castro had gathered his remaining planes onto an airfield outside of Havana where they were virtual sitting ducks. (Castro may have actually dispersed his serviceable combat planes and used permanently grounded airplanes as decoys.) But world opinion was in an uproar. If a second strike went ahead, President Kennedy probably could not make a convincing story that more Castro pilots had defected and that the United States government was not involved. After Kennedy cancelled the second strike, Bissell protested vehemently to Secretary of State Dean Rusk. Finally, a revised plan was adopted whereby two B-26s would leave Nicaragua every half-hour providing two hours of air cover for the invasion force before returning to refuel.

The invasion on Monday morning did not have an auspicious beginning. The invading force struck an unexpected reef in the Bay of Pigs which slowed their progress. The eleven B-26s provided a weak air support. Six of them were lost. Castro's jets sank two ships in the invasion fleet, including the supply ship, upon which a red cross had been painted to give protection.

In the United Nations the Soviet Ambassador attacked Stevenson's denials of American involvement, asking, "Have these people come from outer space?" White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger told Associated Press, "All we know about Cuba is what we read on the wire services". Nikita Khrushchev sent a note threatening to come to Castro's aid if Kennedy did not stop the invasion. Kennedy warned in reply that in the event of outside intervention the United States would honor its treaty obligations to the hemisphere.

Kennedy, now believing he had made a mistake in cancelling the second strike against Cuban airfields, belatedly reauthorized a bombing. But the five B-26s that left the Nicaraguan airstrip on Monday night to support the invaders (who had been battling on the beaches since the morning) could not make their way through the darkness and deteriorating weather. Bissell was convinced that US airpower could save the situation. Kennedy was still ambivalent about how much to involve himself in the invasion, but he finally agreed that Navy jets (which had been painted to obliterate US markings) could escort the B-26s. These jets were not permitted to initiate fighting, but had presidential authorization to fire back at any plane that fired upon them.

In Nicaragua the Cuban pilots were exhausted and demoralized. When the five B-26s finally took off on Wednesday morning, four of them were being flown by American CIA pilots. But the Navy jets and the B-26s never made their rendezvous, possibly because the Bay of Pigs was on Eastern Standard Time (an hour earlier than Nicaraguan time) or possibly because the Navy uses Greenwich Mean Time. In any case, the Navy jets waited an hour and returned to their aircraft carrier. Two of the B-26s were shot down killing four Americans.

A spontaneous uprising of the Cuban people in support of the invaders never materialized. As a small isolated band of warriors with little support within Cuba or from the outside, the exiles were no match for the Cuban Army. By late afternoon Castro's forces were engaged in mopping-up operations and the fiasco was over. Of the 1,297 invaders who had landed, 1,199 survived to be taken to Havana as captives.

A month after the invasion, when Castro offered to exchange the Bay of Pigs prisoners for an indemnity of five hundred bulldozers, CIA minds were still scheming. Knowing Castro's interest in deep-sea diving, CIA technicians dusted a diving suit with a fungus that would produce a chronic skin disease. They also contaminated the breathing tube with tuberculosis germs. James Donovan, who was going to Cuba for Kennedy to negotiate for the prisoners, was asked to give the suit to Castro, but was not told about the contamination. Donovan liked the idea of the suit, but apparently was not impressed with the style the CIA had chosen — so he innocently Donovan presented Castro with a model more to Donovan's liking.

The CIA's attempt to use the Mafia in its struggle against Castro bore a bitter fruit for the Kennedy Administration. In addition to his relationship with Judith Exner, mafioso Sam Giancana was involved with Phyllis McGuire of the singing McGuire Sisters. He met her in one of Morris Dalitz's Las Vegas casinos where she had run up a debt of $100,000. Giancana told Phyllis that he would take care of the debt. He did so by telling Dalitz to eat it. While he was plotting in Miami with Roselli and Maheu over the means to assassinate Castro, Giancana was worrying that McGuire was having an affair with comedian Dan Rowan (of "Laugh-In"). Giancana wanted Rowan's hotel room bugged by the CIA. The CIA refused to handle the installation, but agreed to pay Maheu if he hired a private detective.

Instead of installing a bug in the room, the detective began putting an electronic wiretapping device on the telephone. Before he had finished, it was discovered by a maid who phoned the police. The investigation proceeded at a remarkably slow pace, but eventually the FBI was called in and Maheu's detective was under arrest. Roselli was seriously disturbed by the incident. But Giancana, who seemed to regard his CIA plotting as a lark, laughed so hard that he nearly swallowed his cigar.

Fearful that the Las Vegas prosecution would create a scandal, CIA general counsel Lawrence Houston appealled to Attorney General Robert Kennedy on May 7, 1962 to have the case dropped in the interest of national security. Kennedy, who had known nothing of the CIA-Mafia alliance and who had been aggressively trying to put Giancana behind bars, was furious at the disclosure. (When FBI men had found CIA bugging equipment in the course of their surveillance of Giancana, the CIA only provided vague explanations.) But Kennedy agreed to drop the case on the understanding that the CIA-Mafia plot was a thing of the past. This was a half truth insofar as the new chief of covert operations, Richard Helms, had by then excluded Maheu and Giancana from assassination plots, but was continuing to use Roselli and Trafficante.

In the year following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, many heads rolled at the CIA. John McCone, former head of the Atomic Energy Commission, replaced Allen Dulles as the CIA Director. Richard Helms moved up to replace Richard Bissell as the head of covert operations. James O'Connell was eventually replaced by Desmond FitzGerald as coordinator of the assassination plots against Castro. Ultimate authority for these plots now resided with Helms rather than McCone, who was never even told about the attempted use of the Mafia.

Embittered by the failure of the Bay of Pigs (which the Kennedys considered an Eisenhower operation) a new Kennedy program called "Operation Mongoose" was begun for the purpose of ridding Cuba of Castro and his regime. At a cost of over $100 million a year, the Miami headquarters became the largest CIA station in the world. Mongoose had six hundred case officers and as many as three thousand Cuban agents as well as a rudimentary navy and air force.

Mongoose was commanded by Robert Kennedy. He approved sabatoge aimed at creating tensions between Soviet military personnel and the Cubans. Cuban exiles were trained in guerrilla warfare and provisioned with military equipment. Raids occurred almost nightly. The Cuban coast was shelled, a sugar mill was blown up, oil storage facilities were sabotaged and, on one occasion, a beachfront hotel in Havana was strafed. Attempts were made to contaminate sugar exports and circulate counterfeit Cuban money. Yet the Cuban economy was not wrecked, and popular opposition to the Castro regime did not spring into existence.

In the late summer of 1962 President Kennedy became aware of a buildup of anti-aircraft surface-to-air missiles in Cuba. CIA Director McCone suspected that these were intended to protect offensive missile installations. A mid-October U-2 flight over the island revealed the beginnings of a Soviet offensive missile base. Kennedy ordered stepped-up U-2 surveillance and soon learned that many nuclear missile sites were rapidly being constructed. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of the island. Khrushchev stated that Soviet submarines would sink any American ship forcing a Soviet vessel to stop and he warned that the conflict could lead to nuclear war. The United States nuclear forces were placed on world-wide full alert. A U-2 pilot over Cuba was killed by a Soviet surface-to-air missile.

After six days Khrushchev issued a statement in which he declared that missiles were only being installed to defend Cuba against invasion and that they would be withdrawn, under United Nations inspection, if the US agreed not to invade. Kennedy not only agreed, but gave secret assurance that American missiles would be removed from Turkey. Castro believed the the Soviets had betrayed himand refused to allow inspections. Nonetheless, the Soviets apparently withdrew their nuclear arsenal and allowed inspection in the Caribbean.

In early 1963 a Cuban exile group attacked a Soviet military post and two Soviet freighters. In response to protests from Cuba and the Soviet Union, the State Department initiated actions against the hit-and-run operations. The Coast Guard, the FBI and the Navy began intercepting exile raiders. Frank Sturgis, who had been piloting a B-25 on raids over Cuba, had his authorization to fly revoked by the Federal Aviation Agency. CIA funding for the Cuban Revolutionary Council was ended.

By the summer of 1963 there appeared to be a major shift in American foreign policy. The word "detente" was applied to Soviet-American relations for the first time. A "hot line" was installed between Moscow and Washington. John Kennedy spoke increasingly of coexisting with Communists in peace, and this evidently applied also to Castro.

Many Cuban exiles who had been trained and armed by the CIA were vehemently bitter at Kennedy's apparent betrayal of their cause. A sinister letter began to circulate in Miami which suggested that "Cuban patriots" could only return to their homeland "if an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans". Evidence of assassination plans from the intelligence division of the Miami police caused the Secret Service to substitute a helicopter for a motorcade when the President visited Miami on the 18th of November, four days before his death.

But paramilitary action sponsored by the United States against Castro's Cuba had not ended, it was merely becoming increasingly covert. Robert Kennedy, through the President's Special Group, still directed plans for Cuban exiles to conduct raids against Cuba. Men from the Army were brought in to help the CIA train Cubans to be commando fighters. In the Fall of 1963 approval was given for exiles to hit oil refineries and telecommunications installations which had previously been prohibited because of hopes by American businessmen that these facilities could be reclaimed. Permission was also given for the use of two-man submarines which could strike ships in Cuban harbors.

The CIA continued to plot the assassination of Castro, relying on many schemes and assassins apart from attempts to get help from the Mafia. There was a plan to develop an exploding starfish which would kill Castro during a deep-sea dive. But the technical problems were too great and the idea had to be abandoned.

In 1961 the CIA had made contact with a prize asset in the Cuban regime, a physician and army major (Cuba's highest rank) named Rolando Cubela Secades. Cubela had fought beside Castro in the Escambray Mountains and seized the Presidential Palace in advance of Castro's own arrival in Havana in 1959. In October 1956, Cubela had killed the chief of Batista's military intelligence, Blanco Rico, who had been targeted precisely because he was a fair and temperate man who reflected credit on the Batista regime. Cubela was haunted by a memory that as he had pulled the trigger, Rico had smiled at him. The memory of that smile became the principle stimulus for a nervous breakdown.

Cubela resented the Russian presence in Cuba and felt that Castro had betrayed the revolution. As a heavy drinker and a psychiatric patient, Cubela was not a choice contact man, but his frequent missions abroad made him an easy person for the CIA to keep in touch with.

Castro was not unaware of the plots against him. On September 7, 1963 — the very day that Major Cubela told his CIA case officer that he was ready to organize Castro's overthrow — Castro told an Associated Press reporter "United States leaders should think that if they assist in terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe." On November 22, 1963 Cubela met with his CIA case officer in Paris to work out the final details of his plan. Cubela was given a ball-point pen fitted with a hypodermic needle which could be filled with poison. Upon leaving the meeting they learned that President Kennedy had just been shot in Dallas.

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At the age of sixteen, Lee Harvey Oswald was evidently reading marxist and socialist library books in New Orleans. Paradoxically (perhaps), six days after his seventeenth birthday, he joined the Marine Corps. At the time, the two primary U-2 bases in the world were in Atsugi, Japan and Adana, Turkey. Oswald was trained to be a radar controller for Atsugi, the base of all CIA operations in the Far East. He apparently became involved with a communist group in Tokyo.

During a 1958 crisis involving the shelling of the islands of Quemoy and Matsu by the Chinese Communists, Oswald was sent to Taiwan to assist in setting up a radar base. Communist Chinese jets appeared on the radar screens as "friends". The American military was unable to discover how the enemy seemed to have knowledge of the code signals.

In the Fall of 1959, shortly after he was discharged from the Marine Corps, Lee Harvey Oswald defected to the Soviet Union. He was the third enlisted man to defect to the Soviets or their Eastern European allies since the Second World War, although a dozen more defected in the following year-and-a-half. At the American Embassy in Moscow, Oswald proclaimed his intention to renounce his citizenship and to provide the USSR with all the information on radar operations which he possessed.

Oswald was given a job in a radio and television factory in Byelorussia. He received a choice apartment equipped with luxuries beyond those available to ordinary Soviet citizens. Though he was not used for media interviews as other defectors had been, he was given a generous allowance over and above his salary. Nonetheless, by July 1962 Oswald, apparently disgruntled by life in the USSR, had returned to the United States with his Russian wife.

Though Oswald was ostensibly given no official debriefing by the CIA, he may have been under covert CIA observation by a cryptic member of a Texas community of Russian exiles. George de Mohrenschildt came to the United States from Poland shortly after the 1939 blitzkrieg. He took a position with the Deuxieme Bureau (French counterintelligence) and made extensive trips across the United States recruiting a network of agents. In 1941 he applied to work for the OSS, but was "security disapproved" because of ambiguous indications that his true allegiance was to Nazi and Polish intelligence.

In 1957 de Mohrenschildt made a trip to Yugoslavia under the auspices of an organization secretly funded by the CIA. Yugoslavian authorities accused him of making drawings of military fortifications. Returning to Dallas, de Mohrenschildt was debriefed by the local representative of the CIA's Domestic Contacts Division, Walter Moore. Moore became a fortnightly dinner guest at the de Mohrenschildt household until de Mohrenschildt moved to Haiti. It was during this period that de Mohrenschildt became Oswald's patron and "friend".

Oswald landed a job as a photo-print trainee for a company under contract with the Army Map Service. Maps were made from classified aerial photographs, probably obtained from spy satellites and U-2 planes. Oswald was able to familiarize himself with photographic techniques used in espionage. Using the name A. J. Hidell, he obtained a rifle and a revolver by mail-order through his post office box in Dallas.

Shortly after Oswald was fired,ostensibly for sloppiness and radical political views, he focused his attention on General Edwin A. Walker. President Kennedy had relieved Walker of his European command because the General had been using his rank to foist right-wing propaganda on his troops. Resigning from the Army, Walker became active in anti-Castro and anti-segregationist politics. After Walker led a demonstration to prevent a black man from registering at the University of Mississippi, he was temporarily held in a mental institution on orders from Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Oswald took a shot at Walker while the General was working at a desk in his suburban home. The bullet missed Walker's head by inches. Oswald escaped undetected.

The following weekend the Oswalds were visited by the de Mohrenschildts. In previous conversations together Oswald had compared Walker to Hitler. In jest, perhaps, de Mohrenschildt asked Oswald, "How is it that you missed General Walker?" There was a shocked silence in which Oswald was visibly shaken. De Mohrenschildt never visited Oswald again — and all contact between them apparently ended. de Mohrenschildt was found shot to death after being contacted in 1977 by investigators who were reopening the question of Kennedy's assassination. The coroner ruled the death a suicide.

After the Walker incident, Oswald and his wife moved to New Orleans. The relocation was assisted by his uncle, a professional gambler connected with the Mafia operations of Carlos Marcello. Oswald was offered a $200 loan by his uncle, who helped the Oswalds move into an apartment.

Oswald gave all indications that he regarded the Soviets as not being revolutionary enough, but that Cuba was the most truly revolutionary country. In May 1963, Oswald began organizing a Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans. Oswald apparently hoped that by devotion to the cause he could establish a reputation which would enable him to enter Cuba.

New Orleans was the location of a large Cuban exile community, second in size only to the one in Miami. By August Oswald had become involved with anti-Castro Cuban exiles, without stopping his Fair Play for Cuba Committee activities. His true loyalties in these activities have given rise to much speculation. When one of the anti-Castro partisans discovered Oswald staging a pro-Castro demonstration, he challenged Oswald to fight. Both were arrested for disturbing the peace. The resulting newspaper publicity led to Oswald getting radio and television appearances where he could argue on Cuba's behalf.

In late September 1963, Oswald made a trip to Mexico City for the purpose of arranging a transit visa to Cuba. Going back and forth between the Soviet Embassy and the Cuban Embassy, Oswald told the officials that he wanted to stop in Cuba on his way back to the Soviet Union, where he planned to permanently resettle with his wife. The Cubans, however, would issue Oswald a visa for their country only after he had been issued a Soviet entry visa. The Soviets were not accomodating. Claims have been made that Oswald shouted he would kill President Kennedy while in the Cuban Embassy, and that Castro was informed of Oswald's statements.

CIA agents photographed visitors to the Cuban and Soviet embassies from hiding places across the street. Miniature microphones in the telephone wall sockets at the Cuban Embassy transmitted conversations to CIA receivers outside the building. A week after Oswald left Mexico, CIA headquarters issued a teletype to the FBI and other government agencies. The memo stated that a "reliable and sensitive source in Mexico" had reported contact of the Soviet Embassy by Lee Oswald. The memo also mentioned Oswald's previous defection to the USSR.

In Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963 at 12:30 pm, at least two bullets found their target in President John Kennedy. His head virtually exploded from the impact. Kennedy had been riding in a motorcade in front of the Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald was employed. Fifteen minutes before the assassination, and two minutes after, Oswald was observed on the second floor lunchroom of the Book Depository. On the sixth floor was a rifle which had been mail-ordered by "A. Hidell" with a signature that matched Oswald's handwriting. Ballistics evidence would link the rifle with the bullets in the Presidential limosine.

Immediately following the assassination Oswald, left work for the day. He walked seven blocks, rode two blocks in a bus going opposite to the direction he had been walking, walked a few more blocks, and then caught a taxi which took him a block from his rooming house.

About forty minutes later a Dallas police officer was shot to death. The killer's trail led to a movie theater where Oswald was sitting in a back row. He was overpowered when he pulled his revolver on the policemen who approached him. The revolver was linked by ballistics evidence to bullet cartridges found near the murdered policeman. Oswald's wallet contained two Selective Service cards, one under his own name and one under the name Aleck James Hidell.

Under interrogation Oswald denied killing anyone. He was shown a photograph of himself with a pistol on his hip and a rifle resembling the assassination weapon in his right hand. After looking at the photo he stated that the face was his, but the body wasn't. The authenticity of the picture was later challenged by many authorities, though Oswald could have doctored the photo himself as part of a cover story that he had been framed.

Two days after Oswald's arrest, he was shot while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail. Oswald never spoke another word after the bullet entered his abdomen. Within two hours he was dead. The killer was Jack Ruby, a Dallas "strip-joint" owner. How Ruby got into the basement of the Police and Courts Building has never been explained. He had many friends on the police force whom he met through his nightclub. A likely explanation is that a policeman innocently allowed Ruby to enter and tried to cover-up the fact after Ruby shot Oswald.

A Secret Service team preparing to move Kennedy's body to Washington was informed that Texas law first required an autopsy. Pushing aside policemen and others obstructing their path, Secret Service agents abducted the Presidential corpse.

The autopsy of Kennedy's body was conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital by three doctors, none of whom had experience in assessing the cause of death in criminal cases. The doctors failed to track the paths of the bullets through the body. Upon learning the next day that the throat incision to give the President air had been adapted from a bullet wound, the head of the autopsy team burned his original notes and wrote a new autopsy protocol stating that a bullet had exited from the throat. The ambiguous results of the poorly performed autopsy were to be crucial in the assassination controversy. Without positive proof that the President had been killed by bullets from above and behind, the possibility of multiple assassins could not be disproven.

Descriptions of Kennedy's body as seen in the Bethesda autopsy differed sharply from those given by Dallas doctors and nurses. The throat incision which was judged to be no greater than 3 cm by Dallas doctors was measured as 8 cm in Bethesda. At Bethesda, the skull seemed much more open. In fact, the FBI report submitted by agents present at that autopsy stated that surgery had been performed "in the top of the skull". No such surgery had been performed in Dallas. Re-evaluating the evidence later was made difficult by the fact that Kennedy's brain disappeared some time after the Bethesda autopsy.

One critic has postulated that surgery was performed on Kennedy's body which removed a bullet not originating from Oswald's rifle. Surgical alterations could have obliterated evidence of a frontal bullet entry and created evidence of rear entry. This theory must be dismissed, however, because post-mortem surgery would have been recognized during the autopsy. The wounds all showed the coagulation necrosis seen in tissue damage to a living organism with functioning blood circulation.

Though a home movie camera happened to capture the sight of the President being shot, it did not resolve the controversy. In the film, the President's head suddenly moves forward at 3 feet per second and then moves violently backward. Critics have suggested that a second gunman, in front of the President, shot Kennedy simultaneously with the shot from the rear. This theory requires that the second shot struck within an eighteenth of a second of the first, a seeminly improbable event. Some medical experts attributed the motion of Kennedy's head to an involuntary spinal reflex.

A bullet reputedly found on a stretcher at the hospital which was linked by ballistics evidence to the rifle in the Depository. This bullet was officially deemed to have entered the President from the back of his neck, emerged from his throat, struck the Texas Governor in the back, broken a rib, come out of his chest, smashed his wristbone and come to rest in his thigh. The bullet was remarkably well preserved, having lost only one percent of its original mass.

Critics were doubtful that the bullet could lose so little mass. They also questioned that such a flight path was possible without the bullet stopping twice in mid-air to make a right-hand turn. A NASA engineer indicated that the bullet's trajectory was quite feasible.

The single bullet theory was based on the idea that Oswald would not habe had enough time to fire two shots — the first of which struck Kennedy and the second of which struck the Texas Governor — because of obstruction by an oak tree. Yet subsequent research indicated that foliage on the tree could have been sparce, that the wind could have blown branches out of the way or that Oswald could have even hit Kennedy before the oak tree obstruction.

The way Oswald had been killed caused many people to think that someone wanted him silenced. Jack Ruby (born Rubinstein) was qualified to serve as a Mafia "hitman". In the 1920s he was one of the teenagers Frank Nitti hired to run errands for the Capone mob (Capone said he gave these jobs to teenagers to "keep them from going bad"). He was later an organizer for the Chicago Waste Handlers union. He was held for questioning by police after a colleague shot the union president in the back in "self-defense". As a result of that killing, Paul Dorfman, a mobster who was later a key figure in the Hoffa empire, became the new president.

One of Ruby's best friends in Chicago was David Yaras, a man who helped form the Miami Teamsters Local and who was later the go-between for Mafia bosses Trafficante in Miami and Marcello in New Orleans. Yaras, who had a reputation as a syndicate "torpedo", owned slot machines in Dallas.

A great (apparently unfulfilled) ambition in Ruby's life was to run a "fabulous restaurant as a front for gambling activities." Ruby "idolized" Lewis McWillie, who was the manager of the Tropicana Casino in Havana, owned by Meyer Lansky and his brother. The Tropicana was reputed to be the largest nightclub in the world at that time. Ruby made at least two trips to Cuba in 1959. On each trip McWillie paid the expenses. Ruby offered $25,000 and blackmarket jeeps to a man who had been a gunrunner for Castro during the revolution, for the purpose of influencing Castro to release three prisoners. A British journalist claimed to have met a man named "Ruby" in a Cuban prison in 1959 who was visiting "an American gangster-gambler named Santos" (strongly suggestive of Santos Trafficante).

Ruby often boasted that he had moved to Dallas because the Chicago syndicate assigned him there. A Dallas Sheriff told the FBI that a representative of the Giancana-Accardo mob attempted to bribe him with a thousand-dollar-a-week payment if the Syndicate were permitted to operate in Dallas under "complete protection". Ruby was to operate a "fabulous restaurant as a front for gambling activities".

That the Mafia had a motive to conspire for the death of President Kennedy cannot be doubted. The crusade against organized crime during the Kennedy Administration was unprecedented, rising from 35 convictions in 1960 to 288 in 1963. IRS attention to top racketeers netted a quarter of a billion dollars beyond the taxes they had paid when they had filed their returns. A month before the assassination Attorney General Robert Kennedy had asked Congress for an electronic surveillance law to assist his fight against the criminal syndicates.

Carlos Marcello, the New Orleans capo whose billion-dollar-a-year Syndicate operation made him the second or third most powerful Mafia leader in the United States, had ample reason to hate the Kennedys. In 1962, under the direction of Robert Kennedy, federal agents arrested and handcuffed Marcello on a New Orleans street, deporting him to Guatemala aboard a United States Border Patrol plane. Though Marcello had been born in North Africa of Sicilian parents, his only proof of nationality was the phoney Guatemalan passport he always carried. Marcello managed to get back into the United States, but his ordeal had been inexpressibly humiliating for him. He vowed vengence against the Kennedys. A Las Vegas promoter reported that Marcello believed he could eliminate both Kennedys by killing the President. The plan was to find someone who could be manipulated and who would not be identified with his own people.

Santos Trafficante too expressed an interest in doing away with the President. The Washington Post reported a conversation Trafficante had with a wealthy Cuban exile living in Miami for whom Trafficante was arranging a million-dollar loan from the Teamster's Union. After listening to Trafficante rail against the Kennedys' persecution of Hoffa, the Cuban expressed his opinion that President Kennedy would be re-elected. Trafficante reputedly replied, "Kennedy's not going to make it to the election. He is going to be hit."

Hoffa's own fantasies were directed more specifically against the Attorney General. Hoffa told Edward Partin, who was spying on Hoffa for the government, of plans to kill Robert Kennedy. Hoffa's first plan was to bomb Kennedy's house while he was sleeping, killing the whole Robert Kennedy family. Later, Partin claimed, Hoffa came up with the highly suggestive plan of having Bobby shot while riding in a convertible somewhere in the south so that the crime would be blamed on segregationists.

Hoffa's demeaner following the assassination was anything but subtle. Hoffa gleefully told reporters in Nashville, where he was on trial for jury tampering, "Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now." He flew into a rage at his officers in the Teamsters headquarters in Washington for flying the flag at half-mast. He even yelled at his secretary for crying.

Jack Ruby's long-distance telephone calls increased greatly during the months prior to the assassination. The quality of the calls was even more significant than the quantity. On October 26 he called Irwin Weiner in Chicago, a man The Washington Post called "the underworld's major financial figure in the Midwest". Weiner had stepped in as underwriter for the Teamsters Union Pension Fund when Allen Dorfman's insurance license was revoked by the states of Michigan and Illinois. After Weiner was indicted for defrauding the Pension Fund of $1.4 million, the government's chief witness was shotgunned to death in front of his wife and son. Weiner was subsequently acquitted.

On November 7, Ruby received a call from Barney Baker, a man Robert Kennedy had called Hoffa's "roving ambassador of violence". The 370-pound former prizefighter had been a racketeer on the New York waterfront and a bouncer for Mafia-owned gambling establishments before coming to work for Hoffa.

Ruby claimed these calls were part of his effort to work out problems with the racket-dominated American Guild of Variety Artists. His strippers were complaining to the union that Ruby worked them too hard. Moreover, Ruby wanted the union to put pressure on his competitors who were economizing by staging amateur nights.

There were six phone conversations with Lewis McWillie in September. McWillie was a pit boss in the Thunderbird Casino at Las Vegas, an establishment partly owned by Meyer Lansky. Ruby also made a phone call to the New Orleans office of a Carlos Marcello lieutenant.

Ruby owed nearly $60,000 in back taxes in November 1963. His business was poor and badly managed. On November 19 he told his tax attorney that "a friend" would settle his debts. Others saw him flashing $7,000 in cash.

Ruby repeatedly asked that the government investigators transfer him to Washington from Dallas. He told Chief Justice Warren "I want to tell you the truth, and I can't tell it here". He also said his "whole family is in danger".

The Broadway gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen interviewed Ruby in the course of her own independent investigation of the Kennedy Assassination. On November 8, 1965 she was found dead in her apartment. She was apparently killed by a combination of alcohol and barbiturates. Notes of her interview with Ruby were never found.

The defense tried to establish that Ruby was legally insane at the time of the shooting, having "psychomotor variant epilepsy". Graphs were made of Ruby's brain waves, but experts testifying for the defense and for the prosecution disagreed on the interpretations of these graphs. Ruby died of lung cancer on January 3, 1967 while he was awaiting a new trial. Microscopic sections of Ruby's brain indicated no organic brain damage.

Shortly after the Kennedy assassination and the killing of Oswald, speculation was boundless concerning the cause and connection of those events. To J. Edgar Hoover, who had orchestrated the government's investigation, it had been an open-and-shut case. He authorized that the FBI conclusion that Oswald was a lone assassin be "leaked" to the press to quell suspicion. Hoover was concerned that the FBI not be found derelict in its duties. He vehemently opposed further investigations. President Johnson, however, felt that a "blue-ribbon" committee was needed to stop public controversy. He pressured Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren into heading the committee by insisting that if the rumors were not stopped, they could "lead the country into a war which could cost forty million lives." (Johnson was also concerned that there were people who suspected that he himself was somehow involved in the assassination.) Warren reluctantly took the job, later describing it as "the worst nine months" of his life. Johnson urged that the final report be complete before the 1964 Summer presidential nomination conventions. Hoover was assured that the Warren Commission would conduct no independent investigations, but would rely on the investigative work of the FBI. Hoover immediately began compiling dossiers of derogatory material on Warren Commission members. The Warren Report was finally released in late September of 1964. The twenty-six volumes reflected the vast and disorganized character of the investigation itself. Included were dental charts for Jack Ruby's mother and laboratory photos of Oswald's pubic hairs. The Report supported the FBI conclusion that "one lone nut murdered another" when Ruby shot Oswald.

Less than two months after Kennedy's assassination, the CIA had been contacted by a KGB officer serving as a member of the Soviet disarmament delegation in Geneva. The officer, Yuri Nosenko, wanted to defect to the United States. Nosenko was urged to remain an "agent in place". A short time later Nosenko told his case officer of a telegram from his KGB superiors ordering him to return to Moscow. Defection had become an urgent necessity if Nosenko was suspected of dealing with the CIA. Nosenko was flown to Washington.

Nosenko told the CIA that he had been in charge of Oswald's file in the Soviet Union and had been appointed to make a complete investigation after the assassination. According to Nosenko, Oswald had never been debriefed by the KGB after his defection to the USSR because he was regarded as "mentally unstable". No information about the U-2 was obtained because the KGB had no knowledge that Oswald had been a radar operator and he did not volunteer this information. Neither Oswald nor his wife had been solicited by the KGB to gather intelligence upon their return to the United States, according to Nosenko.

Almost immediately CIA counterintelligence officers suspected that Nosenko was a "disinformation" plant, sent to mislead American authorities about Oswald's associations with the KGB. It seemed too incredible to believe that the KGB would show so little interest in questioning or utilizing Oswald. It also sounded highly suspicious that Nosenko would be appointed to review his own handling of Oswald after the assassination. And it seemed like an outrageous coincidence that Oswald's KGB case officer should defect shortly after Kennedy was assassinated.

As soon as J. Edgar Hoover heard about Nosenko, he decided that the FBI should control all the questioning connected with Oswald. Because evidence that Oswald had worked for the KGB would indicate FBI negligence in the surveillance of Oswald and in the investigation of the assassination, Hoover had an interest in seeing that Nosenko's story was supported. The FBI had information that its most highly placed counterintelligence operative, a Soviet intelligence agent working under diplomatic cover at the UN, verified that Nosenko was a lieutenant colonel in the KGB and that Nosenko had received a telegram ordering him to return to Moscow. The FBI would not reveal the identity of their Soviet agent to the CIA, however.

In December 1961 a KGB officer named Anatoli Golitsin had defected to the CIA from Helsinki, Finland. Golitsin had worked in Moscow processing reports from KGB spies inside NATO. He identified a deputy press officer at NATO headquarters in Paris as being a Soviet agent. Golitsin had aroused suspicions that a Soviet agent existed within the British Admiralty, but it was the more definite information from Nosenko that a homosexual in the British naval attache's office was being blackmailed by the KGB that led to the capture of the spy. Nosenko and Golitsin both agreed that a secretly homosexual Canadian Ambassador to the Soviet Union had been blackmailed to act as a spy for the KGB. Golitsin claimed that a "mole" (Soviet agent) had burrowed his way into the upper echelons of American intelligence, but Nosenko denied that this was true. Although Nosenko had provided information that led to the capture of enemy agents, counterintelligence officers had reason to believe that the Soviets already assumed that those agents had been compromised. They wondered if Nosenko might have an interest in preventing discovery of the "mole".

Golitsin confirmed that Nosenko had been a KGB officer, but denied that Nosenko held the position he claimed. CIA counterintelligence pressured Nosenko into admitting that he had lied about his rank. Instead of being a lieutenant colonel, he was merely a captain. Yet his KGB-issued travel document incorrectly listed him as a lieutenant colonel. Nosenko said it was a clerical error. When confronted with CIA evidence that he had never received a telegram recalling him to Moscow, Nosenko admitted that this too was a fabrication. Nosenko said he had merely lied about these matters because he desperately wanted the CIA to allow him to defect, but the FBI maintained confidence in the United Nations "asset" who had verified Nosenko's claims. (It was not until over a decade later that the FBI conceded that their Soviet agent had been a disinformation plant.)

Nosenko was found to be grossly ignorant of events at the American Embassy in Moscow during the four years he claimed to have done KGB work against its employees. Golitsin said he had paid many visits to the American Embassy during that period without ever having seen Nosenko. Nor did Nosenko do well in lie detector questions about Oswald, though his emotional reactions could have been due to factors other than lying.

A decision was made to withhold information about Nosenko from the public investigations being made about Kennedy's assassination. With approval by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Nosenko was placed under "hostile interrogation" in order to "break" him. Nosenko became, in fact, the first man ever to be incarcerated by the CIA in the United States. And he was imprisoned without ever being brought to trial. Nosenko was confined to a windowless room having one light, a washbasin, a bed, a chair and padded walls. He was not allowed to listen to music or to watch television. At times he was denied reading material and was forbidden to lie down in the daytime. When interrogated, his contradictions were challenged and he was denounced as a lier. His guards were instructed to be impersonal, not to smile and not to talk to him.

After three years of imprisonment Nosenko showed little change in his story. Confronted with contradictions, he would merely shrug. A lengthy report by the Soviet Division of the CIA concluded that Nosenko was a disinformation agent sent by the KGB. The head of CIA Counterintelligence, James Angleton, accepted this conclusion with an "85 percent probability".

The "mole", if he existed, had still not been found. Pete Bagley, the CIA case officer who had handled Nosenko's defection in Switzerland, had risen to head counterintelligence for the Soviet Bloc Division of the CIA. Bagley had made a career out of discovering evidence against Nosenko's credibility. Yet Golitsin said that when he was in Moscow he had seen copies of a 1954 debriefing Bagley had conducted with a KGB defector. A suspicion arose that Nosenko had been sent to be exposed by Bagley as a disinformation agent and thereby advance Bagley's position in the CIA.

For all of Golitsin's alarming claims concerning KGB penetration of various Western intelligence services, he had provided little in the way of concrete information. Nosenko, in fact, had provided more concrete information than had Golitsin. Yet Nosenko had been imprisoned whereas Golitsin was given access to many of Angleton's classified files — evoking suspicions of Golitsin's true purpose and of Angleton's good judgement. David Murphy, head of the Soviet Bloc Division of the CIA, had believed Golitsin's warnings of Soviet penetration so firmly that he stopped the clandestine activities of his Division. He believed that any genuine defectors would be compromised by the "mole", and the others would be feeding false information. Despite the fact that Murphy had supported Golitsin against Nosenko, CIA Counterintelligence chief James Angleton believed that Murphy himself was a "probable" Soviet agent.

Not only had the Nosenko-Golitsin controversy created dissention within the CIA, but it was an added strain to relations between the CIA and the FBI. Hoover was still extremely touchy about the discredit the FBI would receive if Nosenko and Oswald were shown to have been working for the KGB in the United States. While few, if any, believed that Oswald killed the President under KGB control, a history of KGB collaboration would seem most likely. Soviet armed forces had been placed on worldwide alert after the assassination, which should serve as some indication of Russian concern. The FBI would be inexcusably lax to have allowed such an obvious KGB plant to do classified work for the Army Map Service, or to go unmonitored during Kennedy's trip to Dallas. Because of the ill feeling Nosenko had inspired between the CIA and the FBI, certain intelligence executives began to feel that improving relations between the intelligence agencies was more important than the seemingly insoluble problem of determining Nosenko's true role.

Nosenko was transferred to the CIA Office of Security. He was interviewed under "friendly" conditions by both Office of Security members and FBI agents. A new report ascribed Nosenko's lies and mistakes to a "personality problem" while it supported Nosenko's account of Oswald. One counterintelligence officer described the report as a "whitewash". Because of concern that the CIA had mistreated its defector, Nosenko was granted US citizenship and a yearly allowance of $30,000 from the CIA. The Soviet Bloc Division and CIA Counterintelligence were purged of many members who questioned Nosenko's authenticity. Nosenko was later made a consultant to CIA Counterintelligence and to the FBI.

In July 1966 a new investigation of the Kennedy assassination was launched by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Garrison had been elected to office as a reform candidate, but his "cleanup" selectively avoided operations controlled by associates of New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello. Garrison's bill at the Las Vegas Sands Hotel was paid for by a Marcello aide on three separate occasions and Garrison was granted $5,000 credit at the cashier's cage. Garrison purchased his home from a Marcello lieutenant for a very low price. Nonetheless, Garrison's first chief suspect in the assassination investigation was a Marcello aide named David Ferrie.

Ferrie, due to a case of alopecia, had lost all of his body hair. He wore a red wig and glued on what appeared to be tufts of carpeting as eyebrows. He founded his own religion, The Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of North America, and possessed a "doctorate" in psychology from an unaccredited college in Italy. Ferrie was suspended from work as a senior pilot with Eastern Airlines following arrests for homosexual activities with teenage boys. It was Ferrie, according to a Border Patrol report, who piloted Marcello back to the United States following his deportation to Guatemala. Widely known as a "right-wing homosexual", Ferrie detested Kennedy and, according to an FBI report, had said that the President "ought to be shot". Carlos Marcello, in connection with plans to kill the President, reportedly spoke of "setting up a nut to take the blame". On the day of the assassination, however, Ferrie was in a New Orleans Federal Court with Marcello, awaiting judgement on Marcello's immigration case.

Garrison made no attempt to link Ferrie with Marcello. In fact, he studiously avoided it. Garrison was more concerned with Ferrie's connection to Guy Banister, an ex-FBI agent who allowed his detective agency at 544 Camp Street to be used as a meeting place for Cuban exiles and American intelligence operatives. (Banister had served in the Chicago FBI office during the 1940s with Robert Maheu, who later became the liason between the CIA and the Mafia in the Castro assassination attempts.) The Camp Street address also housed the CIA-backed Cuban exile government, the Cuban Revolutionary Council. David Ferrie had trained pilots in Guatemala for the Bay of Pigs Invasion and had even flown bombing missions over Cuba. An anti-Castro activist, Ferrie was a frequent associate of Banister and the Cuban Revolutionary Council.

Many reports linked Oswald with Ferrie. As a teenager, Oswald had attended Civil Air Patrol training sessions in New Orleans at a time when Ferrie was acting as an instructor for the adolescent boys. Later, after Oswald returned to New Orleans from the USSR, he was reportedly seen with Ferrie at a Cuban exile guerrilla warfare training camp and at a black-voter registration drive.

Banister's secretary was later to say that Oswald sought to work with Banister as an "undercover agent". Oswald indeed stamped the address "544 Camp Street" on his Fair Play for Cuba Committee pamphlets (copies of which were found in Banister's files). There are other stories of Oswald associating himself with anti-Castro radicals.

David Ferrie was found dead from a cerebral hemorrhage on the day Garrison released him from protective custody. Garrison, however, was not a man to be stopped. Mark Lane, author of Rush to Judgement, became his closest advisor. Conspiracy theorists of almost every persuasion flocked to New Orleans where Garrison welcomed them with open arms. Garrison's chief suspect was the CIA, but he didn't hesitate to accuse Minutemen, the Dallas Police, oil millionaires and elements of "the invisible Nazi substructure". Garrison's inclination to suspect all those who challenged him led to his indictment of three newsmen and two former members of his own staff.

Garrison later charged that Edward Partin, the key witness in Robert Kennedy's case against Hoffa, had been a go-between for Ruby and Oswald in New Orleans. Partin had already been offered a million dollars of mob/union money (channeled through Allen Dorfman, and which Marcello was holding) to sign an affidavit admitting that he had perjured himself in his testimony against Hoffa. Partin was also told that he could be given a share of control of Teamster Pension Fund loans for the South if he changed his testimony. A man who had served as attorney for both Hoffa and Trafficante offered to get Garrison off Partin's back in exchange for the perjury affidavit. Partin refused.

Garrison was eventually put on trial himself on charges of taking payoffs to protect underworld pinball machine operators and on charges of income tax evasion. Garrison was driven from office after having done inestimable damage to those who questioned the conclusions of the Warren Commission.

When Robert Kennedy was assassinated after winning the California Presidential Primary in 1968, a few suspicions were raised. The assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, had been a "hot walker" at the Santa Anita racetrack until a suspected New Jersey Syndicate associate got him a job on a horse ranch. But Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian Arab who evidently had many strong feelings against Robert Kennedy's "pro-Israel" position. He apparently also had personal motives, as might be indicated by his remark, "They can gas me, but I am famous...I have achieved in one day what it took Robert Kennedy all his life to do." The extensive psychiatric examination of Sirhan Sirhan following the assassination failed to produce much evidence which would link him to a conspiracy. Two days before being shot, Robert Kennedy had been reported as saying, "I now fully realize that only the powers of the Presidency will reveal the secrets of my brother's death."

In the early 1950s mafioso John Roselli had joined the Hollywood Friar's Club under the sponsorship of its founder Georgie Jessel. In 1968 Roselli was convicted of swindling Phil Silvers, Zeppo Marx and other Friars out of some $400,000 by cheating at cards. Observers peering through peepholes in the ceiling would send coded electronic messages concerning cards of the other players to the girdle of the conspirator sitting at the table.

Roselli spoke to his lawyer (a former CIA-agent) about efforts by the Justice Department to deport him, threatening that he would expose the Mafia-CIA plot to assassinate Castro if such a thing occurred. In 1971 the CIA approached the Immigration and Nationalization Service of the Jusice Department to "forestall public disclosure of Roselli's past operational activity with the CIA". The litigation was neither dropped nor successfully prosecuted during the next five years.

In 1975 select committes were created by both the House and the Senate to investigate the intelligence agencies of the government. The Senate Committee scheduled the appearance of both John Roselli and Sam Giancana. Five days before Roselli testified, Giancana (who was under 24-hour surveillance by the FBI and the Chicago Police) was shot to death by seven .22 bullets in his face and neck. An underworld informant said that the killing had been done by the mob figures involved in the CIA plot against Castro. But the FBI suspected that the motive was related to Giancana's attempts to reassert his authority in Chicago.

As early as 1967, Roselli had been telling his lawyer that "sources in places close to Castro" had informed him that Castro had dispatched assassination teams against Kennedy in retaliation for the CIA assassination attempts. Roselli had worked more closely with the Cubans than any other mafioso. Roselli made a secret appearance in April of 1976 before Senate investigators probing the CIA assassination schemes. Roselli told columnist Jack Anderson that Castro made arrangements for Santos Trafficante, among others, to do the job — and that Oswald was involved in the plot. Roselli also claimed that Ruby shot Oswald to hide the role of the underworld conspirators.

On August 23, 1976 John Roselli's hacked-up body was found floating in a 55-gallon oil drum off the coast of Florida. Gases from the decomposing corpse had caused the drum to surface. Twelve days earlier Roselli had dined with Trafficante in Fort Lauderdale.

The revelations of a Mafia-CIA plot against Castro, and the possibility of retaliation, indicated serious omissions on the part of the Warren Commission investigation. Even more serious was the awareness that Allen Dulles, who knew of the plots, had served as a Commission member without making the information known. Nor was that the only CIA coverup. CIA Counterintelligence had run a "trace" on a list of names of known contacts of the Soviet Embassy officer who had dealt with Oswald in Mexico. A CIA official, upon finding the name of Rolando Cubela on the list, withheld Cubela's operational file. Cubela had been a CIA contact within the Cuban government whom the Agency had hoped could kill Castro.

Information also surfaced in the 1970s which made the FBI's investigation for the Warren Commission open to suspicion. It was discovered that the FBI had contacted Jack Ruby nine times in 1959, apparently as an underworld informant. This was the very period in which Ruby made his trips to visit Mafia cronies in Cuba. Immediately after the assassination Hoover discovered that Oswald had not been on any of the FBI's security indices, which included over 20,000 names. Hoover secretly censured sixteen FBI executives including his own Assistant Director. It was also discovered that a Dallas FBI Special Agent had received a threatening note from Lee Harvey Oswald. Two hours after Oswald had been declared legally dead, the Special Agent was ordered by his superior to destroy the note, a fact that had remained secret for twelve years.

The evidence of an FBI cover-up, of a CIA cover-up and the murders of the two mafiosi closely linked with the anti-Castro plots led to an authorized reinvestigation of Kennedy's death by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978.

Using scientific methods not available to the Warren Commission, the Committee performed an acoustical reconstruction of the Dallas plaza in which Kennedy was shot. Sounds had apparently been recorded by Dictabelt from a microphone on a police motorcycle at the time of the assassination. The evidence indicated that four shots were fired rather than three, as had been claimed by the Warren Commission. Three of the shots came from the direction of the Texas School Book Depository where Oswald was working. The fourth shot, which missed entirely, came from behind a picket fence located on a grassy knoll in front of the Presidential Limosine.

Even in 1963 there had been evidence of a shot from behind the fence. Roughly a dozen people had been standing on the knoll when the shots were fired — and nearly all of them believed some of the gunfire had come from behind. An amateur cameraman, who had sought to position himself behind the fence prior to Kennedy's arrival, had been told to stay away from the area by a man who flashed a Secret Service badge. Two policemen independently reported confronting individuals behind the fence who were "Secret Service" men. The Secret Service later declared that it did not have a man in the area.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that "scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy". It was unable to identify Oswald's co-conspirators.

The Justice Department requested the formation of a Committee on Ballistic Acoustics to review the acoustic data which seemingly supported the thesis of a shot from the grassy knoll. The resulting committee of highly eminent scientists concluded that the sounds on the Dictabelt were probably not gunshots and, moreover, that the recording had come from a motorcycle not in the motorcade.

In a 1978 interview with members of the Assassination Committee, Castro said that he trusted Johnson less than Kennedy and that for him to attempt to assassinate Kennedy would have been "tremendous insanity... the most perfect pretext for the United States to invade our country which is what I have tried to prevent for all these years". Oswald himself, when asked by Dallas police if he thought Cuba would now be better off now that the President was dead, had replied that Vice-President Johnson's views were probably not much different than Kennedy's.

The Warren Commission expressed the belief that Oswald had been driven by personal motives. It was the opinion of the Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the House Assassination Committee that Oswald had been duped into a purportedly pro-Castro plot by anti-Castro agents and that the shot from behind the picket fence as well as Ruby's killing of Oswald were under the direction of organized crime.

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Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was born on Christmas Eve of 1905 in Houston, Texas. His father had moved to the city in hopes of cashing in on the East Texas "oil rush" which had begun with the 1901 "Spindletop" gusher. In 1908 Howard, Sr. designed a drill bit containing 166 cutting edges intended to drill through solid rock. Oil men had not previously been able to penetrate the "rock barrier" without destroying their bits, but the Hughes invention allowed them to do so.

Howard, Sr. patented his bit all over the world. Rather than sell the bits, he only allowed them to be leased. With his profits he bought patents of other rock bits. He filed lawsuits against all designs he believed infringed on the patents he held. More than forty years later, in 1950, the Hughes Tool Company would still control about 85 percent of the drill-bit market.

When Howard, Jr. was 18 his father died of a heart attack during a conversation with the tool company's sales manager. Howard, an only child, had lost his mother two years previously during the course of a major operation she was undergoing. The Hughes Tool Company would supply Howard with nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars during the course of his lifetime, though its management was left almost entirely to others. With a couple of spectacular exceptions, few of the projects to which Hughes devoted his energies would be anything but a losing proposition, from a financial point of view.

Fascinated by movie-making, Howard moved to Los Angeles at the age of twenty. The first movie he financed was so bad he never released it, but the next three showed a modest success. At the age of twenty-two Hughes decided he was ready to produce and direct a movie epic about World War I pilots, Hell's Angels. Flying was Howard's favorite hobby. He relished the prospect of directing spectacular aerial battle scenes. He purchased 87 World War I fighter planes, giving him the largest private air force in the world. In the course of the filming three pilots and one mechanic died in plane crashes.

Howard spent three years making Hell's Angels. He shot two-and-a-half million feet of film of which fifteen thousand feet ended up on the screen. Revenues for Hell's Angels, the most expensive film ever attempted, fell short of its expenses by one-and-a-half million dollars. But it elevated Jean Harlow to stardom and doubtless provided Howard with a good time.

Aside from his role as a youthful director, Howard was to achieve a considerable reputation as a Hollywood playboy. He had affairs with the likes of Ginger Rogers, Ida Lupino, Katherine Hepburn, Billie Dove, Terry Moore, Bette Davis, Ava Gardner, Loretta Young, Olivia de Havilland and Lana Turner.

Hughes produced, but did not direct, a few films following Hell's Angeles. His attention was turning, however,to the prospect of becoming a world famous pilot. Sparing no expense, he established the Hughes Aircraft Company for the purpose of building the fastest airplane in the world. His engineers produced the H-1 ("H" for "Hughes"), a plane which minimized drag by the use of rivets placed flush in the fuselage, by shortened wings and by retractable landing gear.

On Friday, September 13, 1935, Hughes piloted the craft to a new land-speed record of 352 miles per hour. The previous record had been 314 mph. Within the next two years Howard twice broke the record for a transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey.

In 1937 Hughes began working on a plane in which he could circumnavigate the globe. The previous record for such a flight was 7-1/2 days. Hughes also sought to break Lindbergh's record of 33-1/2 hours for a New York to Paris flight.

In July, 1938, Hughes flew from New York to Paris in 16-1/2 hours and he circled the globe in 3 days, 19-1/4 hours, roughly half the time of both previous records. The flight had cost him two million dollars. New York City went wild with enthusiastic hysteria. Over a million people participated in a ticker-tape parade for Howard which produced 1,800 tons of trash (200 tons more than Lindbergh had received for his transatlantic flight). Howard told the crowds "The airplane was invented and originated in the United States, yet since then, the countries of Europe have taken from us one by one every record of major importance." Hughes and his planes had won most of them back.

Howard decided to make a film about Billy the Kid entitled The Outlaw. During a visit to the dentist, Howard observed "the most beautiful pair of knockers I've ever seen in my life" on the young receptionist, Jane Russell. Hughes quickly decided that, whatever her acting ability, she possessed two assets which qualified her to be a star in his film. After listening to three weeks of unwanted advice from Howard, the director resigned leaving Hughes to direct the film himself.

Howard's first complaint was, "We're not getting enough production out of Jane's breasts." Countless retakes were made of Jane leaning over Billy's sickbed until Howard finally got the exposure he desired. One scene — in which Miss Russell writhed her curvaceous body in an attempt to free herself from the leather thongs which tied her — inspired Howard to apply his knowledge of aerodynamics to the design of a "cantilever bra". This invention allowed Jane's breasts freer movement.

The critics agreed that The Outlaw was, at best, mediocre. But Hughes blanketed the nation with advertisements in newspapers, magazines and billboards — most of which showed Jane in provocative poses. The censors were aroused. One Baltimore judge, reaffirming a decision banning the film from the State of Maryland, made the statement, "Miss Russell's breasts hung over the picture like a summer thunderstorm spread out over a landscape. They were everywhere." Where it was not banned, the film attracted enough curiosity-seekers to bring in revenues in excess of its considerable costs. Many credit Hughes for starting a nation-wide trend of increased interest in women's bosoms.

With the coming of World War II, Hughes set his sights on becoming a major builder of aircraft for the government. He rebuilt the H-1 as a fighter and designed another high-speed fighter. The military rejected his plans in favor of the Lockheed P-38. Howard's sense of rejection was made all the more acute by his belief that both the P-38 and the Japanese Zero had been built by imitating his own designs.

Opportunity arose from an unexpected quarter, specifically, from the mind of Henry J. Kaiser. Kaiser was a man of vast dreams and colossal deeds. At the outset of the war he had turned his attention from building dams to building steel cargo ships. Applying mass-production techniques he reduced construction time for his vessels (known as Liberty Ships) from 355 to 48 days. Even at that rate, however, Nazi submarines were sinking the ships faster than he could build them. Eighty-seven ships were torpedoed in May, 1942 alone.

Kaiser's idea was to build fleets of gargantuan cargo planes, "flying boats", which could move safely and rapidly across the Atlantic. The plan was for Howard Hughes to design and build the first models, after which Kaiser would mass-produce them. With government approval, Hughes Aircraft began work on the project. Due to a war-shortage of metal and the necessity of reducing weight, Hughes decided to build the plane out of wood. He would use a new duramold process by which thin sheets of wood could be bonded to a wooden frame.

Howard was still not satisfied with his share of war-contracts for military aircraft, however. He hired a former Hollywood nightclub owner named Johnny Meyer to conduct a lavish campaign of "broads, booze and brass". Movie starlets and champagne flowed into Washington, D.C. where Meyer lavishly entertained top military officials. His greatest success was with the President's own son, Colonel Elliot Roosevelt.

Meyer introduced Elliot to actress Fay Emerson. A courtship began during which Meyer paid the bill for hotels, night-clubbing and $132 worth of war-scarce nylons. After four months the couple were married. Johnny Meyer was best man. He was also good enough to pay for the wedding and the honeymoon. In August 1943, due to Roosevelt's efforts, Hughes received a contract to build 100 high-speed, high-altitude photo-reconnaissance planes for the Air Force.

Hughes unquestionably poured a great deal of effort and money into building the aircraft. But the projects were plagued by the indecisiveness, excessive attention to detail and autocratic "perfectionism" which characterized everything Hughes personally supervised. When the war ended, no models of either the flying boat or the reconnaissance plane had been completed.

In July, 1946, Hughes personally took a prototype reconnaissance plane up for its first test flight. Due to propeller problems, however, he crashed into a luxurious home in Beverly Hills. His broken bones and burns were so extensive that no one in the emergency room of the hospital thought he would live.

Demanding increasing quantities of morphine to stop his pain, Hughes began an addiction to narcotics which his doctors would continue to support for the rest of his life. The phenacetin in one of his pain-killers evidently caused him the kidney damage which was reportedly responsible for his death. Another legacy of the crash was the moustache Hughes grew to cover the scars on his upper lip.

In 1946 the Republicans took control of Congress for the first time in sixteen years. Anxious to expose corrupt practices of the Roosevelt administration, the Senate War Investigating Committee turned it attention to the $40 million Hughes received from the government without having given anything in return. Newspapers stirred public interest with photographs of scantily-dressed models attending Meyer's lavish Washington parties. One photograph depicting Meyer attracted the attention of a New York City night-club cigarette girl who filed a paternity suit against him.

To launch a counter-attack, Hughes solicited Washington columnist Drew Pearson as an ally. Hughes would have a task-force of detectives discover dirt about War Committee Chairman Owen Brewster which Pearson would print. The job of verifying the information was given to Pearson's newly hired assistant, Jack Anderson.

Hughes was at loggerheads with Senator Brewster over another issue which gave a suspicious taint to the War Committee's investigations. Brewster was allied with Pan American Airways, a corporation which (according to Drew Pearson) had achieved wealth and power through taxpayer's subsidies and exclusive government franchises. Pan Am's chief competitor was Trans World Airways, of which Hughes had obtained a controlling interest in 1939. Pan Am was seeking to have itself made an official worldwide monopoly of the United States Government. It was Senator Brewster who sponsored the "chosen instrument" bill which would subsidize and give exclusive rights to Pan Am for all American overseas traffic.

Howard's investigators turned up information that the "chosen instrument" bill was drafted by Pan Am lawyers, that Brewster received free flights all over the US in Pan Am's executive airplane, and that Brewster vacationed at the Florida retreat of Pan Am's vice-president without cost. Hughes personally wrote an "open letter" to newspapers throughout the country stating that Brewster had agreed to drop the charges if Hughes would agree to a merger of Pan Am with TWA. Hughes added, "It is a sad situation when a US Senator has to drag a lot of innocent girls into a congressional hearing in order to achieve personal publicity."

When Howard appeared before the government investigators, the spectators still regarded him as the heroic pilot who had kept America in the forefront of aviation. Hughes was easily able to neutralize charges of war-profiteering by pointing to the huge losses of his own funds. Hughes so thoroughly embarrassed the legistlators by his ridicule that the investigation against him collapsed.

In November, 1947, Hughes took his "flying boat" for its first and last flight. The "flying lumberyard", as Brewster had called it, cruised seventy feet above water for about a mile before Hughes gently set it back down. The aircraft's wingspan was 60 percent larger than that of a Boeing 747 and its weight was also greater. It cost the US government $22 million, but it ultimately cost the Hughes Tool Company $50 million.

Several years later some Washington, DC police officers testified under oath that Brewster had paid a police lieutenant to bug the suite and tap the telephone that Hughes used during his stay in Washington. The statute of limitations ran out on the crime before a more serious investigation could be pursued. Hughes contributed generously to the campaign fund of Brewster's opponent in the 1952 Senatorial election. Brewster was defeated.

In 1948 Hughes returned again to the motion-picture business by purchasing a controlling interest in RKO, the third largest motion-picture studio (behind MGM and Twentieth Century Fox). Hughes quickly alienated producers and directors alike. One notorious example of his meddling was his response to viewing a Bette Davis movie. Over the protests of almost the entire cast, he renamed the film and had the ending changed. Howard's formula for filmmaking — based on sex, violence and sensationalistic advertising — was less successful at RKO than it had been in his earlier efforts.

When the House Un-American Activities Committee turned its interest to communist infiltration of the motion-picture industry, Howard lent full support. One screenwriter who refused to testify was fired and his name was removed from film credits. The Screen Writer's Guild considered striking against RKO, but Hughes pre-empted their action by firing about a hundred employees. During four years of Hughes control RKO lost nearly $24 million.

Howard's personal idiosyncrasies began to become more evident to his co-workers during this time. His fear of eavesdropping led him to conduct business conferences in cars on back roads. Always fearful of germs, he would only turn a doorknob if he held a handkerchief in his hands. Those who delivered documents to him were required to wear white cotton gloves. He was not to be touched by anyone he worked with.

Outside of Howard's immediate supervision, however, Hughes Aircraft was making impressive strides — thanks to a highly competent scientific and managerial staff. Because the Defense Department had shown little interest in military electronics, Hughes Aircraft was able to do pioneering work in the field while its competitors attended to products more in demand. After eighteen years of operating in the red, the company began to show a modest profit. With the Korean War, Hughes Aircraft leapt forward with a $5.3 million profit in 1953, more than the earnings of the oil-tool division for that year.

Nonetheless, the talented and industrious executives at Hughes Aircraft began to cause trouble for Howard by demanding a share of the ownership. Most corporations had stock options programs by which executives could circumvent high income taxes through the acquisition of capital stock. But Hughes insisted upon 100 percent personal ownership wherever possible. When several executives resigned, Air Force commanders in Washington began to wonder again whether doing business with Hughes was in the best interest of national security.

In December, 1953, Hughes created a "non-profit charity" he called the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, dedicated to "medical research and education". Appointing himself the sole trustee, he gave all the patents and stock of the Hughes Aircraft Company to the Medical Institute. Executives could no longer demand stock options since the stock was owned by a charity. Other assets of the Aircraft Company were sold to the Medical Institute. This purchase was made possible by an interest-bearing promissory note from the Hughes Tool Company. The land and buildings of Hughes Aircraft were sub-leased from the Medical Institute for $33.6 million a year. The Medical Institute, in turn, leased the land and buildings of Hughes Aircraft from the Hughes Tool Company. For Hughes Aircraft, this arrangement constituted an increased cost of doing business which the company could use to offset its profits and add to its bills for military contracts. After the first year, the Medical Institute had an income of over $3.6 million. Eighty-four percent of this money was returned to Hughes through lease-payments and interest. One percent was given to medical-research fellowships.

The Internal Revenue Service decided at the end of 1955 to deny the Medical Intitute its tax-exempt status. IRS agents ruled that the Institute was "merely a device for siphoning-off otherwise taxable income." The IRS inexplicably reversed its decision in March, 1957 by classifying the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as a tax-exempt charitable organization. It may have been a coincidence that a few months earlier the Hughes Tool Company had loaned Vice-President Nixon's brother $205,000.

These tax savings were for the benefit of Howard's companies, not for Howard personally. Most of his living expenses were paid for as business costs. For pocket cash Howard issued himself a dividend of $50,000 from the Hughes Tool Company, of which he was the sole stockholder. Thus his companies could make millions while his personal income tax would be less than $20,000.

Hughes had begun buying Trans World Airways stock in 1939 and continued purchases until he owned 78 percent of TWA's outstanding shares. Nonetheless, he ran the company as if he were the sole owner. From 1946 to 1948 the company lost $19 million. But that may not have mattered to Hughes, whose single greatest passion in life was probably the selection and design of new airplanes for his company.

One might have expected Hughes to be at the forefront of introducing jet passenger planes into the airline industry. Instead, he allowed his competitors to place orders with Boeing and Douglas Aircraft while he continued to puzzle over the possibility of designing his own jets. Finally, three months after TWA's rivals had ordered jets, Hughes placed a $185.9 million order for 33 Boeing 707s. Four months later Hughes placed a $126.4 million order for 30 Convair jetliners. These orders, along with an order for $90 million worth of jet engines, committed the Hughes Tool Company to the payment of $400 million, a figure which exceeded the value of its assets. Hughes, moreover, refused to arrange for outside financing which might dilute his control of the airline. Instead of attempting to deal with his financial commitments, Howard withdrew from the world.

This move, along with Howard's accelerating germ phobia and his increasingly eccentric personal habits, apparently induced his chief executive and his Hollywood doctor to discuss having Hughes declared mentally incompetent. The possiblility that Hughes would lose control of his empire in this way was thwarted in January, 1957 when he married the actress Jean Peters. Without her cooperation, an involuntary commitment would become nearly impossible.

Howard took up residence in the screening room of a Hollywood producer. For months he did little else than watch movies and talk on the phone. His diet consisted entirely of "fresh whole milk, Hershey bars with almonds, pecan nuts and Poland water" (Hughes would only drink quart bottles of Poland water, bottled at the company's original plant in Maine). After having worn the same clothes for weeks, he took them off and stopped wearing clothes altogether.

Eventually he moved back into the Beverly Hills Hotel, but his lifestyle would continue to develop along the path that had begun in the screening room. His whims and phobias were catered to in the extreme by a staff of personal aides, all but one of whom were Mormon. A "procedures manual" was written of Howard's detailed instructions on how to buy food, how to open a soup can, how to chauffer a passenger, etc. This manual was followed with all the religious reverence accorded to scripture. Germs and dust were to be avoided at all costs. Objects given to Hughes had to be washed with isopropyl alcohol and handed to him in a kleenex. Aides were not allowed to touch him without an "insulation" of paper towels.

Commanding the Hughes aides was Frank William (Bill) Gay, himself a Mormon. From the offices of Hughes Productions in Hollywood, Gay coordinated all lines of communication to Howard Hughes. He controlled the empire's security system, including the classification of documents as "secret", "confidential" or "restricted".

In early 1959, with the first jets being delivered to TWA, even Hughes could no longer evade the problem of financing his purchases. Despite his enquires, however, he was unable to secure a loan which would not give more power to his debtors than he was willing to relinquish. Lending institutions had ample cause to regard Hughes with suspicion. TWA had lost $2.3 million in 1956, $1.5 million in 1957 and $1.7 million in 1958. Much of the problem stemmed from Howard's interference with the management and his inability to keep a company president. The current president was Charles Thomas, a former Secretary of the Navy, who had only agreed to the job when he was told he could be given stock options in TWA after two years.

In June, 1959, Hughes was forced to sell six of his new Boeing 707s to Pan American to forestall financial insolvency. Even this move was not drastic enough to avert the crisis. In October, Hughes sent armed guards to Convair's plant to prevent the completion of his jetliners. Convair was so financially committed to selling its planes to Hughes that it allowed production to stop, hoping the problem would be temporary.

In March, 1960 president Charles Thomas persuaded the TWA board of directors to arrange for a $265 million loan through banks and insurance companies. Hughes did not veto the action despite the fact that one condition of the loan provided that TWA stock be placed in a ten-year voting trust if he forced a change in the airline's management. The deal was set to be closed at the end of July, but Thomas, after becoming aware that Hughes had no intention of keeping his agreement for the purchase of stock options, resigned in a rage. The $265 million loan offer was immediately withdrawn.

As 1960 drew to an end, Hughes was forced to face the fact that his only remaining alternatives were to go into receivership or borrow money on the terms of his lenders, who now demanded an unconditional voting trust as a requirement for the loan. Reluctantly, Hughes signed the papers which relinquished his control of TWA.

Early in 1961 the new TWA board of directors approved plans for a $100 million debenture offering and for another $187 million worth of jets from Boeing. Hughes, charging that the management was acting without proper authority, began plans for legal action. Before he could act, however, TWA filed a suit for $105 million along with a court order for Hughes to sell his 78 percent ownership. It was charged was that by compelling TWA to use aircraft obtained through the Hughes Tool Company, antitrust laws had been violated. Hughes would be required to testify in court. Although it is doubtful that Hughes would have appeared naked and unshaven, or lined the witness chair with paper towels, he was totally opposed to making any public appearance.

Hughes' personal deterioration had continued unabated. Not only did he wear no clothes, but his beard and hair grew freely down his chest and back. His toenails and fingernails grew so inordinately long that they curled. Instead of taking analgesic pills, he began injecting himself with pure codeine. He started taking regular doses of the tranquilizer Valium. The room he lived in was sealed off from outside light. His floor and reclining chair were covered with paper towels to protect him from germs.

Although no one was able to locate Hughes and serve him a subpoena, TWA was eventually ordered a default judgement for his refusal to appear. Hughes appealed the decision. In April 1964, he secured permission of the Civil Aeronautics Board to buy $92.8 million in notes outstanding from TWA loans. Earnings from his other companies had provided Hughes with the means to buy out his creditors and dissolve the voting trust. But when TWA appealed, the Court of Appeals overruled the CAB decision. The Supreme Court refused to even hear the case.

In 1966, aware that he had permanently lost control of TWA, Hughes sold all his stock for over half-a-billion dollars. Since 1960, when the new management took over from Hughes, record earnings had driven TWA stock from $13 to $86 per share. Hughes earned $460 million due to the efforts of those he had fought tooth-and-nail. It is doubtful that Howard did much celebrating, however, because TWA had been his greatest joy; it was almost his reason for living.

Because of this colossal financial windfall from the TWA sale, Hughes needed a quick new investment in order to avoid heavy taxes. After having spent over forty years almost exclusively concerning himself with films or flying, Howard decided to enter the gambling business. Under conditions of maximum security and secrecy, Hughes was transferred via private railroad car to the top floor of the Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas. The move was coordinated by Robert Maheu, a man who had been doing increasing amounts of security work for Hughes. With the relocation to Las Vegas, Maheu displaced the Mormon Bill Gay as effective chief executive of the Hughes empire. Maheu's personal history is so relevant to the tapestry of American intrigue, that it is worthwhile telling his story.

Robert Aime Maheu was born in 1917. Because his grandparents were French Canadian, Maheu was raised to be fluent in both English and French. In 1940, he graduated in economics from Holy Cross College of Massachusetts. Insofar as the FBI recruits primarily accountants and lawyers as agents, Maheu took the Bureau's accounting examination. Although he failed the exam, he was hired on the basis of the value of his knowledge of French for the war effort.

During the invasion of France, the Germans captured the French aviator who had made the first eastward transatlantic crossing, from Paris to New York. As a result of threats made against his family, the aviator was induced to use his prominance to travel to the United States as a spy. The scheme required that the aviator be caught acting as a spy and agree to become a "double agent" for the Americans while he would, in fact, be a "triple agent" in service of the Germans. The aviator was captured in Spain by American agents who had learned of the plan from British Intelligence. He agreed to dupe the Germans. But the FBI had doubts about the true loyalties of their "quadruple agent", so Maheu was given the responsibility of monitoring the man. After successfully carrying this counterintelligence operation to completion, Maheu was promoted.

Two years after World War II ended, Maheu resigned from the FBI. He tried to start a corporation making canned cream, but unexpected technical difficulties drove him to the edge of financial diaster. Maheu did security work for the Small Business Administration for several years and then, in 1955, started a company of his own, Robert A. Maheu Associates.

A steady client of Maheu's during the fifties and early sixties was the CIA. One of his first assignments involved President Sukarno of Indonesia who had been introduced, presumably by the KGB, to a beautiful blonde during a trip to Moscow. When the blonde later showed up in the Indonesian capitol, the CIA decided to make a pornographic film using a Sukarno look-alike. By "proving" that Sukarno was a patsy for a KGB seductress, the CIA hoped to enrage the citizens of Indonesia. Producing this film, entitled "Happy Days", Maheu was the make-up man, camera man and director.

Maheu had a wide variety of other clients. Soon after Hoffa became General President of the Teamsters, Maheu was hired to "sweep" Hoffa's new office for "bugs". Maheu worked with the criminal lawyer Edward Bennett Williams to solve the murder case which implicated the Italian-American OSS man Aldo Icardi. Williams and Maheu had been on a debating team together during their college days. It was Williams who introduced Maheu to the Las Vegas mafioso John Roselli. Both Maheu and Roselli cultivated the friendship. When the CIA asked Maheu to arrange a contract against Castro's life with the Mafia, Maheu went to Roselli.

One famous case of Maheu's involved work against the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis (a man whose personal income was higher than the income of the entire nation of Greece). In 1935 the King of Saudi Arabia had made an agreement with an American cartel which guaranteed the king production and transport rights of oil until the year 2000. The deal had been instigated by Harry Philby, a convert to Islam and the father of the notorious British masterspy, Kim Philby. In 1953, Onassis allegedly bribed Saudi ministers and palace officials to obtain exclusive shipping rights. A rival shipper hired Maheu to scuttle the Onassis agreement.

Maheu made a presentation to the National Security Council arguing that the Onassis contract represented a threat to American security. The Council was reminded that a leftist takeover had been foiled in Iran partially because of the capacity of the British oil companies to embargo the shipping of Iranian oil. The loss of shipping rights could therefore undermine American leverage in Arabian politics. The State Department began to exert diplomatic pressure on the Saudi government. With CIA support Maheu was able to place a listening device in Onassis' hotel suite. Maheu made a rather dangerous trip to Saudi Arabia in an effort to provide evidence for Onassis' bribery to the king. Maheu hoped to convey the information in such a way that it would not be intercepted by officials who would be implicated. As luck would have it, the king got the message and Onassis lost his contract. It proved to be a boon to Onassis, however, because when the Suez Canal was unexpectedly closed he was able to lease his idle tankers at exorbitant rates, making a profit of several hundred million dollars.

Maheu's first job with Howard Hughes was to investigate a man who was seeing Jean Peters, who ultimately became Mrs. Hughes. Later he worked investigating employee loyalty in a search for an industrial spy. He also "swept" offices of electronic eavesdropping equipment. The Internal Revenue Service, in turn, investigated Maheu when they discovered that the invoices he submitted to the Hughes Tool Company were written in code.

Early in the TWA legal battle, the Eastern financial interests hired an experienced ex-FBI agent and a horde of private investigators to find Hughes to serve him a subpoena. Hughes put Maheu, with a staff ex-CIA agents, in charge of a massive counterintelligence operation. Innumerable phoney "tips" about the whereabouts of Howard Hughes were given to the FBI man's team. A movie actor, who was said to resemble the way Hughes had looked when he had last been seen in public, was hired to throw the manhunt off the track.

When Hughes asked Maheu to come to the West Coast in November 1960, Maheu was deeply involved in the Castro assassination project in Miami. Reluctant to lose Hughes as a client, Maheu explained the nature of the work that was keeping him busy. Hughes, intrigued, encouraged Maheu to work out an arrangement for the Hughes Tool Company to become a CIA front. Hughes' motive may have been a desire to shield himself from government regulatory agencies or perhaps it was his simple love of espionage. Maheu apparently took no immediate action on the suggestion. But the efficiency and security with which Maheu snuck Hughes into Las Vegas was enough to convince Howard to make Maheu his right-hand man.

Hughes was able to move into the ninth floor of the Desert Inn only after one of its owners, Morris ("Moe") Dalitz, was assured that the reclusive industrialist would be moved out by Christmas. Dalitz, perhaps more than any other mafiosi, had pioneered Mafia gambling in Las Vegas. Dalitz was one of the masterminds behind the "skimming" operations which collected millions of dollars of untraceable and untaxable money for mob use. Only intensive FBI investigation, during Robert Kennedy's term as Attorney General, was able to reveal the extent to which the freely floating revenues of the casinos were siphoned-off.

Dalitz was concerned that the ninth floor of the Desert Inn was being occupied by non-gamblers, Hughes and his Mormon aides. Dalitz estimated that his new tenants were costing the Inn's casino thousands of dollars daily. After Christmas had passed and it became evident that the Hughes crowd was not making any effort to move, Dalitz tried to evict them. Maheu passed word to Jimmy Hoffa who phoned Dalitz asking him to allow Hughes to stay as a "personal favor". Dalitz had known Hoffa from early days together in Detroit. Moreover, Dalitz was indebted to Hoffa for large loans from the Teamsters Pension Fund. Hughes was allowed to remain a bit longer.

By February, however, Dalitz was running out of patience. He felt constrained to either find forceful means to evict Hughes or to sell the hotel. As it turned out, Hughes was interested in buying. Using Maheu as intermediary, Hughes conducted lengthy and tedious negotiations with Dalitz. Hughes undoubtedly enjoyed his cat-and-mouse game, but Maheu became so frustrated by the process that he threatened to resign. The deal was soon closed.

The editor of the Las Vegas Sun, Hank Greenspun, displayed unconcealed enthusiasm for the arrival of Howard Hughes to the city. For years Greenspun had been crusading against Mafia corruption. He thought Hughes would be just the right antidote. In his columns, Greenspun compared Hughes to Sir Isaac Newton, making reference to his "preferred solitude, thinking and working" in the Desert Inn. Maheu arranged for the Las Vegas Sun to receive half-a-million dollars in prepaid advertising. Greenspun personally received a $4 million loan from the Hughes Tool Company, at 3 percent interest. Greenspun, in turn, "loaned" Maheu $150,000. Greenspun had been given a $25,000 "finder's fee" after the sale of the Desert Inn. A $50,000 finder's fee had also gone to John Roselli.

Greenspun owned a TV station in Las Vegas, KLAS-TV. The station generally signed-off at 1 a.m., but Howard Hughes liked to watch late movies. Maheu or a Hughes aide would phone Greenspun asking him to keep the station on the air longer to show Westerns and airplane films. Eventually, the aides asked if Greenspun would get an employee to evaluate films that Hughes might like. In frustration, Greenspun said to an aide, "Why doesn't he buy the damned thing and run it the way he pleases?" Hughes bought KLAS-TV for $3.65 million.

Hughes did not waste much time before ingratiating himself with Nevada's politicians. After reading in the newspaper that the Nevada government was having difficulty getting funds to establish a medical school, Hughes wrote a personal letter to Republican Governor Laxalt offering to donate the millions of dollars required. When the letter was read to the Nevada Assembly by its Democratic Speaker, there was a burst of applause. Two days later the State Gaming Control Board waived the usual requirements for photographs, financial information and a personal appearance in granting Hughes a gaming license.

Over the years Hughes was to make secret, but not necessarily illegal, contributions to most of Nevada's politicians. It was good for Hughes that they honored his secretiveness because it is doubtful that they would have been as grateful if they had known what he was contributing to their opponents. Whether Hughes considered himself a Republican or a Democrat is debatable; he didn't vote once in his entire life. But his political influence in Nevada was enormous. The governor was a frequent tennis partner of Maheu's. It was said that Hughes came as close to owning a state as any man in American history.

The second hotel Hughes purchased was the Sands, the most luxurious on the Strip. Frank Sinatra, the hotel's leading attraction, was not pleased. After overturning a table and receiving a toothbreaking punch from the casino's manager, Sinatra took his entertaining charms elsewhere. Hughes also purchased the Frontier Hotel and Casino. Because its owners had been indicted in the Friar's Club card games swindle along with John Roselli, many would-be customers were undoubtedly being scared away.

Hughes bought Alamo Airways, North Las Vegas Airport (with motel and restaurant), Castaways Hotel and Casino, and the Silver Slipper Casino. He bought the Landmark Hotel with an $8.1 million loan, approved by Hoffa, from the Teamsters Pension Loan Fund. Entertainer Johnny Carson called Las Vegas "Howard Hughes' monopoly set". The Antitrust Division of the Justice Department was not amused. Aware that Hughes had already concluded negotiations for purchasing the Stardust, he was warned that closing the deal would result in legal action. Hughes backed down.

Although Robert Maheu functioned as Howard Hughes' chief executive, his official status was informal. He still worked on contract through Maheu Associates, but to bolster his authority he had established a paper organization he called "Hughes Nevada Operations" with executive offices in the Frontier Hotel. In his many years of working for Hughes, Maheu never met the man face-to-face. Hughes was fond of communicating with his executives through handwritten memos (which didn't allow for backtalk), but he spent many hours talking with Maheu on the phone — on one day for a full twenty hours.

According to Maheu, Hughes "assigned" him to "remove" JFK and later LBJ from the presidency, by political or legalistic means. Hughes was bitterly critical of JFK's civil rights policies partially because he believed Negroes to be "rampant carriers" of germs. He also sent Maheu to LBJ with an offer of $1 million to end nuclear testing in Nevada. Hughes was concerned over radiation poisoning and a general loss of business from his casinos. Johnson told Maheu that the testing was important for national security. When the same offer was later made to Richard Nixon, the President suggested sending Henry Kissenger to Las Vegas to negotiate a detente on the issue. In one memo, Hughes requested Maheu to ensure the continuation of the Vietnam War so that one of his companies making light helicopters could recoup its losses.

Hughes continued his eccentric forms of mental and physical deterioration. He rarely ate, but when he did his diet consisted of candy, ice cream, cookies, milk and fast foods. Probably due to his codeine injections, Hughes suffered from a constipation which required him to receive periodic colonic irrigation to rid his body of waste. Although he spent much time in bed, the sheets were only changed a few times a year. Aides regularly covered the bed with a new "foundation" of paper towels. He watched television for hours on end. In the interest of sanitation, he also spent many hours washing himself with isopropyl alcohol. Perhaps it was his possessiveness that led him to accumulate piles of newspapers, TV Guide magazines and corporation memoranda. He began saving his urine in bottles he piled into his closet.

Early in 1970 Mrs. Jean Peters Hughes, who was living in Beverly Hills, filed for a divorce. Other forces in the Hughes empire were also restive for a change. Raymond Holliday (chief financial officer of the Hughes Tool Company), Chester Davis (the head lawyer in charge of the TWA legal battles) and William Gay (the Mormon supervisor of Hughes' aides and communications) began moves to overthrow Maheu.

This alliance was well aware that Maheu was often acting on Hughes' behalf without proper authority. During negotiations for the purchase of Los Angeles Airways, a helicopter commuter service, Maheu had guaranteed bank loans. Maheu also committed a $4 million personal loan of Hughes' money to one of the owners of the Dunes during negotiations for the purchase of the hotel and casino.

In August 1970, Raymond Holliday sent a financial report to Hughes which documented losses of nearly $13 million for "Nevada operating entities" during Maheu's administration. The projected losses for 1970 alone were expected to be over $13 million. Expenses for the Maheu-managed casinos and hotels were far higher than those of competitors.

Because William Gay controlled the communications Hughes received from his aides — and because Hughes saw no one other than his aides — it would not have been difficult to pass on the Las Vegas rumors that Hughes was being taken advantage of by Maheu and his friends (some of whom were in the Mafia). IOUs signed with fictitious names were reportedly being claimed as bad debts. Entertainers who performed at Hughes' hotels were said to be making payments to those who arranged their appearances. Mafioso John Roselli, who held a gift-shop lease at the Frontier Hotel, boasted of dealing himself in on the kickbacks.

In the late Fall of 1970, Hughes stopped phoning Maheu. Maheu's messages went unanswered. On November 25, Howard's aides eluded Maheu's security guards by carrying Hughes down the Desert Inn fire escape on a stretcher. Hughes was flown to the Bahamas where he took up residence on the ninth floor of the Brittania Beach Hotel.

The Brittania Beach was owned by the same company that owned International Intelligence, Inc. (Intertel). Intertel was a private intelligence and security group that had been founded by several high-ranking officials of Robert Kennedy's Justice Department. It specialized in protecting corporations against underworld infiltration. Intertel was hired to provide security for Hughes' Las Vegas hotels and casinos as well as to investigate Maheu's alleged exploitative practices and Mafia connections.

At first Maheu thought that Hughes had been kidnapped. Maheu's son, along with the former head of the Las Vegas FBI office, hired a team of six private investigators and flew to the Bahamas. They managed to obtain rooms on the eighth floor of the Brittania Beach Hotel. Electronic "bugs" were implanted in the ceiling to determine if Hughes was being held against his will. Bahamian police, along with Intertel agents, burst into a room while one of Maheu's men was monitoring a listening device. Maheu and his companions were deported to Florida.

In 1971 McGraw-Hill, Inc. announced the publication of an "autobiography" of Howard Hughes. Life magazine planned to print the book in serialized form. Clifford Irving, author of a book on art forgery, had received $650,000 in royalties (which were supposed to go to Hughes) from McGraw-Hill. In Irving's possession was a handwritten memorandum from Hughes which affirmed the book's veracity. Handwriting experts verified the authenticity of the memorandum.

Although Hughes Tool Company officials called the book a hoax, they were not believed. Over a decade of isolation had placed Hughes in the position that he could hardly affirm his existence. Finally it was agreed that Hughes would give a telephone interview to a group of seven reporters who had formerly known him. The two-and-a-half hour interview, though it convinced the reporters and those who recognized Hughes' voice, did not satisfy McGraw-Hill. Intertel, however, established that the check for the book had been deposited in a Swiss bank account for "H.R.Hughes" by Clifford Irving's wife, who was using the name "Helga Hughes". Irving finally confessed that the book was a fraud.

During the interview Hughes expressed the suspicion that Maheu had sponsored the fraudulent book. Howard added that Maheu was "a no-good dishonest son-of-a-bitch, and he stole me blind." Maheu filed a $17.5 million libel and slander lawsuit against the Hughes Tool Company for statements Hughes had made about him. The trial and subsequent appeals resulted in a long and bitter legal battle.

Hughes was now so anemic that he required periodic blood transfusions. He had developed a tumor on his head, but he refused to allow a biopsy which would indicate whether the tumor was cancerous. He consumed handfuls of ten-milligram Valium tablets along with his codeine injections. When he wasn't deep in a drug-induced sleep or stupor he showed himself films using the movie projector that sat beside his black Naugahyde reclining chair. According to his aides, Hughes watched Ice Station Zebra more than 150 times.

In the Fall of 1972 Howard was induced to allow the Hughes Tool Company to issue stock. Raymond Holliday became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive. The rest of Hughes' properties became the possession of the new Summa Corporation controlled by William Gay and Chester Davis. Hughes had become a vegetable, if not a prisoner, within his inner sanctum. When he died, in April 1976, his once 6'4" body weighed less than a hundred pounds. Although kidney damage was given as the official cause of death, the levels of codeine in his body were high enough to have killed him. The fact that Hughes had been in a coma during his last 24 hours indicated that someone had injected him while he was unconscious. Due to a general lack of concern, no investigation was conducted.

As it became evident that Hughes had not signed a will since 1925, dozens of fraudulent ones began to appear. The most famous was the "Mormon Will", so-called because it was found in an envelope addressed to the President of the Mormon Church. Purportedly written by Hughes, it left a sixteenth of his entire estate to a Utah service station owner named Melvin Dummar. Dummar claimed to have found Hughes by the roadside, given him a ride and loaned him a quarter.

Although many handwriting experts at first believed the will to be authentic, its sixteen mispelled words were not characteristic of Hughes. The name of Howard's cousin Lummis was spelled "Lommis" and "Las Vegas" was spelled "Las Vagas". Howard's flying boat was referred to as the "spruce goose", a nickname Hughes detested. When the FBI found Dummar's fingerprints on the will's envelope, Dummar claimed he had delivered it to the Mormon Church after receiving it from a stranger. Dummar had previously testified under oath that he had no knowledge of how the Mormon Church had received the will. The "Mormon Will" was declared a fraud.

After extensive legal wrangling, Howard's cousin Lummis took control of the Summa Corportation Board of Directors, removing Bill Gay and Chester Davis, among others. Lummis' fight with Gay and Davis over control of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute was to be a protracted legal struggle.

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The Vietnamese people evidently originated in the region centered in the Red River Delta, around what is today Hanoi and Haiphong. The Kingdom of Nam-Viet, founded in 208 BC, was composed of present-day regions in northern Vietnam and southern China. China annexed the Kingdom in 111 BC. The Vietnamese were forced to adopt the Confucian-mandarin system, a socio-political hierarchy based upon examinations for entry into the civil service. After a millenium of sporadic uprisings, the Vietnamese finally achieved independence by defeating the Chinese army in 939 AD. In the 13th century the Vietnamese repulsed Kublai Khan's Mongolian armies of nearly half a million men.

Vietnamese history from the time of independence to the 19th century was characterized by resistance to Chinese domination and by successive southern conquests of the Indochinese coast along the South China Sea. With the annexation of the province of Soc Trang on the Gulf of Siam in 1840, Vietnam completed its expansion. Even in the early 20th century, the foremost Vietnamese national heroes were still those who had distinguished themselves by resisting Chinese encroachment.

European merchants did not find Vietnam to be a profitable source of trade, but French Catholic missionaries became increasingly numerous and influential from the 17th century onwards. Mandarins in power began to feel threatened by the Christian influences which undermined their social system. By the 19th century persecution of Christians, and missionaries in particular, included frequent imprisonment and execution.

In response to pleas and pressure by French Catholicism, Napolean III decided to invade Vietnam. The region around Saigon in southern Vietnam, called Cochin China, was completely occupied by 1867. Further French military efforts eventually led to the formation of the Indochinese Union in 1887. Cochin China was made a French colony. Central Vietnam, northern Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were made protectorates. In Cochin China the French were able to establish large estates devoted to rice production. They also created large rubber plantations. Guerrilla warfare and resistance to French domination, especially in northern Vietnam, characterized the Indochinese Union from the beginning.

The man called Ho Chi Minh was born in the early 1890s as Nguyen Sinh Cung ("Respectful Nguyen"). Vietnamese write surnames first; "Nguyen" is the family name. Ho's father refused an appointment to the Mandarinate because he did not want to become a tool for the French. Anti-French nationalist activity resulted in much jail time for Ho's father, sister and brother.

When Ho reached fifteen, his father gave him the name Nguyen Tat Thanh ("Nguyen Who Will Inevitably Succeed"). Ho taught school for eight months before he suddenly went to Saigon. Soon he was aboard a freighter as an assistant cook, calling himself Nguyen Va Ba. Ho's facility for language (he was, at various times of his life, able to speak English, French, Russian and Chinese in addition to his native Vietnamese) was to open up remarkable opportunities for him.

Ho visited ports in Asia, Europe, Africa and America. He was impressed by Chinatown in New York City, where he discovered that the Chinese enjoyed the same legal rights and privileges as the surrounding Caucasians. Aboard ship he did quite a bit of reading in his spare time. After two years at sea he spent another two years, 1915 to 1917, living in London as a kitchen hand. In 1917, while World War I was still raging, he moved to France where he spent the next six years working as a gardener, sweeper, waiter, photo retoucher and oven stoker.

In Paris, where his name became Nguyen Ai Quoc ("Nguyen the Patriot"), Ho aggressively sought out the city's cultural life. Attending many lectures and club meetings he discussed hypnotism, astronomy, death and the soul. He once had a vehement argument with the self-perfectionist, Dr. Coue. He also met with other Vietnamese living in France and he attended the meetings of radical political groups. Responding to Woodrow Wilson's idealistic vision of a peaceful and democratic world, Ho rented a dress suit and was refused a hearing at the Versaille Peace Conference where he wished to plea for greater Vietnamese self-determination under French protection.

While Ho found the matters discussed at socialist meetings to be interesting — and though he enjoyed the friendship offered him by many French socialists — it was not until he read the writings of Lenin that Ho's life became politically galvanized. Lenin's Thesis on National and Colonial Questions depicted colonialism as the final stage of capitalism, wherein the populations of colonial countries are exploited by the same capitalists who exploit the proletariat in their home country. Lenin had revised Marx's thesis that revolution must begin with the workers of the most highly industrialized countries by suggesting that peasants could play as formidable a revolutionary role as the industrial proletariat. Moreover, Lenin acted on his principles by creating a successful revolution in agricultural Russia.

Fired with enthusiasm for Marxist-Leninism as the key to Vietnamese independence, Ho found his way to Russia where he bitterly attacked the French communists for their passive discussions. In Moscow Ho befriended a number of well-known Marxist revolutionaries including Trotsky and particularly Stalin, who was the People's Commissar of Nationality Affairs (which was interested in colonial problems). At the Soviet Union's University of Oriental Workers Ho received practical instruction in Leninist techniques of revolution, guerrilla warfare, sabotage and national insurrection.

In 1925 the Communist International (Comintern) sent Ho to the Cantonese region of China under the pseudonym "Vuong". There, amongst the exiled Vietnamese, he formed the Vietnam Revolutionary League. He began a training school for the art of revolution and printed a propaganda news sheet. In 1928 Chiang Kai-shek's anti-communist persecutions forced Ho to flee to Russia, but by 1930 Ho was in Hong Kong forming the Vietnamese Communist Party. At the suggestion of the Soviets, the name was changed to the Indo-Chinese Communist Party. Later analysts were to use this as evidence that Ho's true ambition was not simply to be the "Tito of the East" (independent, communist, Vietnamese nationalist), but to head an Indochinese communist power structure.

The French were pressuring the British to extradite Ho from Hong Kong when Ho contracted tuberculosis. After several months in a prison hospital Ho made arrangements with the staff to escape and be declared officially dead. His death was reported internationally in the leftist press. Ho spent most of the 1930s convalescing in Russia, where he attended communist conferences and training schools.

In 1938 Ho returned to China under the name "Ho Quang" to spend several months with Mao Tse-tung. With the advent of World War II, the French colonialist administrators in Indochina opportunistically allied themselves with the Nazi-supported Vichy government in France. Indochina was occupied by Japanese armed forces, but the French colonial authorities were permitted to remain nominally in control. In 1941 Ho entered Vietnam clandestinely to organize a resistance/independence movement known as the Viet Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam). The Vietminh was intended to include nationalists of all political and religious beliefs. It was not long before he began to be known as Ho Chi Minh ("He Who Enlightens").

Ho went to China seeking the support of Chiang Kai-shek, but was arrested — probably because Chiang was trying to create a Vietnamese nationalist movement loyal to his own political party. During his imprisonment Ho wrote his famous diaries. After fifteen months in prison, he was secretly released by a Chinese warlord who was involved in a struggle for political power with Chiang. Ho was placed in charge of the organization which had been intended to supplant the Vietminh.

Making the best of Chinese financing, Ho began building a powerful organization for fighting the Japanese and attaining Vietnamese independence. Seeking American support, he was rebuffed by OSS-China because of his reputation as a communist. Gaining an audience with Chennault, Ho asked for an autographed photo — a token which brought Ho considerable influence amongst Vietnamese who respected the American war effort against the Japanese.

With the fall of the Vichy regime in France, the Japanese found it expedient to throw the French colonial administrators in jail and assume direct authority in Vietnam. Because the Vietminh had became the most powerful resistance movement in Japanese-controlled Vietnam, the OSS began sending supplies as well as advisors to work with Ho. OSS men nursed Ho's illnesses in the jungles, trained his elite guerrillas and marched with him into liberated Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh's Declaration of Independence for Vietnam — proclaimed on September 2, 1945 — began with the words "All men are created equal. They are endowed with their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". Ho told his OSS comrades that the United States was the first colonial nation to gain its independence through revolution. He suggested that an independent Vietnam would be a "fertile field for American capital and enterprise" and raised the possibility of an American naval base at Camranh Bay.

There is some indication that if Ho had received more anti-colonial support from the Americans he would not have been driven so decidedly into the communist camp. After all, it was Lenin's anti-colonialism which had originally caused him to embrace Marxism so intensely. At the end of World War II, the Soviets were not in a position to give much economic aid to anyone — and, in fact, they may have been anticipating that France would go communist (which it nearly did) and retain Vietnam as a communist satellite. But the Americans too were focused on the prospects of communism in Europe and were anxious to give support to their European allies. The US announced the sale of $160 million worth of surplus war equipment to France for use against the Vietminh in Cochin China (southern Vietnam).

In the year following the Japanese surrender to the Allies, the French sought to reconsolidate their hold on Vietnam without openly challenging Ho, who was hoping that Vietnam would be a free state within the French Union. Perhaps in deference to Ho, the French officially abolished the Opium Monopoly, which Ho regarded as one of the most loathesome symbols of French exploitation. In 1938, receipts from the government-controlled opium dens of the Opium Monopoly had amounted to 15 percent of all colonial tax revenues. With the advent of World War II, transport of opium from Iran and Turkey became so difficult that the French colonialists turned to the Meo tribesmen of Laos and northwest Vietnam to grow opium locally. In four years opium production increased by 800 percent, and the government revenue from Indochinese opium addicts nearly doubled.

The official abolition of the Opium Monopoly, however, was merely the beginning of a less official venture. Captain Antoine Savani, a Corsican in charge of the Deuxieme Bureau (the military intelligence of the French Expeditionary Corps), formed an alliance with the Mixed Airborne Commando Group (MACG) to keep the opium flowing into Saigon. The MACG, which had hired and trained the Meo tribemen as mercenary guerrillas, paid the farmers for their crops and flew the opium to Saigon for the Deuxieme Bureau. Revenues from the opium could thus finance French colonialist intelligence work without troublesome financial scrutiny by French government officials.

Ho Chi Minh spent the summer of 1946 in France negotiating with the French government. He was back in Hanoi in November when a customs incident in Haiphong harbor led to Vietminh terrorism and brutal French colonial retaliation. Mutual recriminations escalated rapidly. It was the beginning of an eight-year conflict which has been called "the First Indochinese War". Ho escaped to the jungles. He blamed the French colonials rather than Metropolitan France for violating the agreements.

The French captured most of the important cities and gained control of nearly all stategic highways and waterways. But they soon discovered that conquest was virtually impossible. The countryside belonged to unseen guerrillas. The French couldn't tell friend from foe. Peasants who peacefully tilled the soil during the day harassed them with sniper fire at night. Patrons of restaurants regularly sat in the back because teenagers on bicycles would often throw grenades through the front door. French officials were assassinated. French factories and power plants were sabotaged. But major military engagements were infrequent. It was an invisible war of visible attrition which created a huge drain on the French economy cost many French lives, and produced little in the way of military victory.

Overwhelmingly the most powerful guerrilla force in Vietnam as a whole was the Vietminh. But in Cochin China there were other powerful contenders, notably the religious sects of the Cao Dai and the Hoa Hao. These sects were political and military as well as religious organizations. They controlled vast regions of the countryside, especially in the Mekong Delta, and had large armies.

The Supreme Being, Cao Dai, had revealed himself to a group of Vietnamese civil servants during a table-tapping session in the 1920s. Later, through spiritualist mediums, contact was made with the spirits of Buddha, Lao Tsu, Jesus Christ, Sun Yat-sen, Joan of Arc, and Victor Hugo — all of whom became revered as saints. Cao Dai was worshipped in the form of an all-seeing eye in a triangle. The church was organized as a hierarchy with cardinals and a pope. Soon there were many schisms, each faction having its own hierarchy of pope and cardinals. The Cao Dai church was fiercely nationalistic, being among the first groups to initiate hostilities against the French in the 1930s. It eventually grew to nearly two million adherents.

The Hoa Hao was founded by a Buddhist monk named Huynh Phu So. The new religion was progressive and democratic, if not fiercely nationalistic and revolutionary. Huynh was arrested by the French in 1940. He was committed to an insane asylum where he converted his Vietnamese psychiatrist to the Hoa Hao. During World War II the Japanese gave Huynh support to build an army and continue making converts. After the war he continued to fight both the French colonialists and the Vietminh. The fighting with the Vietminh was especially savage. The Hoa Hao frequently tied groups of Vietminh together and tossed them in the river alive. Bundles of corpses were often seen clogging the canals. In May 1947 the Vietminh captured Huynh, chopped his body up and scattered the pieces so it wouldn't become an object of veneration.

The French, in their losing battle against the Vietminh, sought to utilize the sects by granting them political automony over their regions and by financing their military units. The French also sought the support of the Binh Xuyen, a Vietnamese "Mafia" with a standing army of hoods. The Binh Xuyen had begun as a gang of Saigon River pirates in the 1920s. Operating out of the impenetrable swampland south of Saigon, the Binh Xuyen evolved into a sophisticated criminal syndicate.

At the end of World War II, however, (perhaps because of numerous debates with political prisoners with whom they shared jail cells) the Binh Xuyen formed an alliance with the Vietminh. With the defeat of Japan, the Vietminh were able to control Saigon for most of the month of September 1945. When French troops began to retake Saigon, it was a Binh Xuyen mobster named Le Van ("Bay") Vien who led the Vietminh defense of the city.

Though the Binh Xuyen army was driven back into the swamps, it was able to maintain a clandestine network in Saigon for political terrorism, economic extortion and paramilitary intelligence. The Binh Xuyen soon became the largest Vietminh force in Cochin China. But conflicts over wanton violence, extortion and political authority led to animosity between Vietminh leaders and the Binh Xuyen bosses.

For a while the Binh Xuyen sought to form an anti-French, anti-Viet Minh coalition with the Hoa Hao. But, plagued by Vietminh infiltrators, Binh Xuyen boss Bay Vien was driven to form an alliance with Captain Savani of the Deuxieme Bureau. Intimately knowledgable of the Vietminh cells and agents, Bay Vien assisted the the French in conducting a highly successful sweep against Saigon's Vietminh. In exchange, the French ceded large areas of Saigon to the Binh Xuyen as an independent "nationalist zone". There was little, if any, distinction between "taxes" and "protection money" in these areas.

After years of bloodshed and soaring military expenses, the French saw no basic change in their strategic hold on Vietnam. Most of the country was in the hands of the Vietminh. So the French attempted to grant a Vietnamese "independence" under Emperor Bao Dai. Bao Dai had served as the French puppet ruler of central Vietnam in the 1930s and later as the Japanese puppet Emperor of Vietnam. After liberation, Bao Dai was a counselor for Ho Chi Minh.

In February 1950 the French government ratified agreements for an "independent" Vietnam. Though the French still issued Vietnam's currency, controlled the Vietnamese army as well as police, and had French troops stationed all over the country, there were promises that control would soon change hands — promises that were not kept. The same month, the Vietminh announced that it would no longer merely be fighting a guerrilla war, but was launching a counteroffensive. With the communist victory in China, the Vietminh stood in a position to receive extensive military supplies from their northern border.

In Saigon, the Binh Xuyen mobsters had been given the "franchise" for Grand Monde, the most profitable casino in Asia, if not the world. They had also opened the Hall of Mirrors, a huge brothel containing some twelve hundred prostitutes. The Binh Xuyen controlled virtually all of Saigon's hundreds of opium dens and operated two major opium refineries. The leader of Saigon's Corsican underworld, who served as Bay Vien's investment counselor, supervised opium exports to Marseille. The Binh Xuyen paid a fixed percentage of their opium profits to the Deuxieme Bureau, the Mixed Airborne Commando Group and Emperor Bao Dai.

The French sought American aid with the argument that the fighting in Indochina was an anti-communist rather than a colonial war. The "communism" of the average illiterate Vietminh fighter, however, rarely went beyond a hatred of landlords — few of those captured had any knowledge of collective farming. Anti-capitalist feeling was easily identified with nationalism insofar as the French owned all the rubber plantations, two-thirds of the rice, all of the shipping, all of the mines and nearly all of the banks and industries.

From the point of view of those in Washington, Vietnam could be seen as merely one pawn in a global struggle. Red China and the Soviet Union had granted recognition to Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The Korean War gave the conflict an even greater strategic significance. At the end of 1952, the United States was financing 40 percent of France's Indochinese war expenditures. By 1954 the figure was 80 percent.

The French were still confident that if they could engage the Vietminh in an open battle, a French victory was a certainty. For the most part the elusive Vietminh avoided such direct confrontations. In 1953 the Vietminh invaded Laos. The French began a military buildup in the village of Dien Bien Phu (thought to be a strategic juncture in the supply lines to Laos, and from China) hoping to bait the Vietminh. Supplies to Laos were easily diverted to other jungle paths, but the Vietminh took the bait and began a seige. Far to the west of Hanoi, Dien Bien Phu had to be supplied by airlift.

In March 1954, a large contingent of Vietminh forces invaded the Hanoi airport through its sewage system. Thirty-eight aircraft were destroyed on the ground, a crucial blow to the supply system for Dien Bien Phu. At Dien Bien Phu, swarms of Vietminh had transported artillery piece-by-piece to be assembled in the surrounding mountains. During the 55-day seige artillery pounded ceaselessly and the Vietminh mounted several "human wave" attacks. Despite air drop support from the CIA-owned Civil Air Transport (CAT), the garrison finally fell on the 8th of May.

What had begun as a hope to deliver a decisive defeat to the Vietminh had ended as a decisive defeat for the French. In mid-June a Radical-Socialist government was elected in France on the basis of a pledge to end the war. In July 1954 the Geneva Conference (co-chaired by the UK and the USSR) agreed to the formation of a cease-fire line (later De-Militarized Zone, DMZ) along the 17th Parallel which would provide a temporary division of Vietnam between communist and anti-communist factions. Immigration between the two halves would be unrestricted for 300 days. The Vietminh were to evacuate Laos and Cambodia. Free elections to be held in 1956 would reunite Vietnam. The only signatories to the agreements were France and Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

About 100,000 Vietminh and sympathizers moved north. Over nine times as many from the north (mostly Catholics) were transported to South Vietnam with the help of the US Seventh Fleet. A CIA sabatoge team contaminated the oil supply of Hanoi's buses, an action designed to produce "gradual wreckage" of the motors. In North Vietnam, every village and hamlet had to witness the execution of a "landlord". In some instances this was a person who owned two acres of land. Thousands were killed in this way.

By 1954 Bao Dai, the "playboy Emperor", had settled in the French Riviera to concentrate on the pursuit of his pleasures. It was his task to appoint a Prime Minister to administer the new South Vietnamese government. It was clear to all concerned (especially those in Washington) that the person chosen must be widely respected as both an anti-communist and an anti-colonialist if the government was to survive. Given these constraints, Bao Dai (perhaps reluctantly) chose Ngo Dinh Diem.

Diem had been born into a strongly Catholic Vietnamese family. He took a vow of chastity in his youth and remained extremely religious all his life. He rose rapidly as a "mandarin" of the French administration. By his mid-twenties he was judge, sheriff and tax-collector for nearly three hundred villages. In 1933 he became Minister of the Interior for central Vietnam. Objecting to French control of the Emperor's finances, he resigned in protest.

After World War II, Ho Chi Minh sought to include Diem in his government to demonstrate its non-partisan character. But Diem refused, partly because he believed the Vietminh had killed his brother. Diem later acted as a negotiator between Bao Dai and the French until it became evident that the new Vietnamese "independence" would be a sham. He left Vietnam in 1950 upon learning that the Vietminh had sentenced him to death in absentia.

Diem spent most of the early 1950s living in a Catholic seminary in the United States. He went on lecture tours explaining his views about Vietnam. He was befriended by Cardinal Spellman and the Catholic Senator John Kennedy, among others. Becoming known and supported in the United States proved to be an invaluable credential for Diem's aspiration to leadership in his native country.

Once Diem arrived in Saigon in 1954, he quickly became aware of how little real power he had. Most of the countryside was still controlled by the Vietminh, local landlords or village administrations. The religious sects were in possession of much of the Mekong Delta. In a remarkable gesture of uninhibited corruption, Emperor Bao Dai had sold the position of Chief of Police for Saigon to Bay Vien of the Binh Xuyen gangsters for $1.25 million. Anti-gangster elements had been purged from the force and replaced by Binh Xuyen gunmen. Collaborators, still loyal to the French, were to be found throughout the government.

The Chief of Staff of the Vietnamese Army, a Bao Dai loyalist, openly boasted that he was planning a coup. While waiting for Bao Dai's permission, the troops surrounded Diem's Palace under the pretext that communists might exploit the crisis. After a six week stalemate during which Bao Dai was given stern warnings about the dangers of opposing the American-supported Diem, the Emperor dismissed his Chief of Staff. Thus Diem assumed control of the Vietnamese Army.

Diem's next objective was to gain control of Saigon's police. In January 1955 he refused to renew the license for Grand Monde, the Binh Xuyen's largest gambling establishment. This and similar decrees alienated the Hoa Hao (which also had extensive gambling interests) as well as the Cao Dai. On March 21, a United Front of the Binh Xuyen and the religious sects sent an ultimatum to Diem for the formation of a national government within five days. Diem, who cautiously rejected the ultimatum on March 24, was busily attempting to purchase the "loyalty" of various sect generals. It is estimated that over $12 million in American taxpayer's money was spent purchasing support from individual sect leaders.

While various leaders were secretly negotiating the price of their surrender, members of the Hoa Hao (who controlled much of the Mekong river traffic) began stopping food supplies bound for the capitol. Diem ordered paratroopers to occupy the police headquarters and the security-service building, both of which were held by the Binh Xuyen. In the battle for the security-service building six members of the army, ten Binh Xuyen and ten civilians were killed.

On the pretext of preventing a civil war, and of concern for the safety of Vietnam's European population, the Commander in Chief of the French Army ordered a cease-fire. Politically, the French sided with the Emporer and with the sects against the notoriously anti-French Diem. A greater restraint was placed on the Vietnamese military, including the withholding of fuel and ammunition — which was still supplied by the French. Many sections of Saigon were declared off-limits for the Vietnamese Army. Captain Savani of the Deuxieme Bureau moved into the Binh Xuyen headquarters to assist in supervision. The Binh Xuyen were able to establish themselves in many strategic positions throughout the city and even fired a few mortar shells on the Presidential Palace.

Urged on by the French, Emporer Bao Dai ordered Diem to turn the government over to the Vietnamese Army and come to France. Diem was assured by Saigon's CIA chief that the order could be safely ignored.

Stern diplomatic pressure from Washington was directed against the French, who were reminded in no uncertain terms who was financing their military. At a NATO conference the French denounced Diem as an American puppet and threatened to withdraw their troops from Vietnam if Diem was not removed. American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told them that they could remove their troops if they wished, but that Diem still had American support.

Before long Diem's army had its supplies and the French Army was restricted to protecting Saigon's European sectors. Diem was able to begin a military campaign which exterminated first the Binh Xuyen and later the remaining sect leaders who refused to be bought.

In October 1955 Diem held a national "referendum" to decide whether he or the Emporer would lead the government of South Vietnam. In a grossly rigged election, Diem received 98.2 percent of all votes cast, despite the fact that his American advisors told him that 60 percent would have been more credible. In Saigon alone he had received 605,000 votes from the city's 405,000 registered voters. That figure, 149 percent, even exceeded the 99.91 percent which Ho Chi Minh later polled in his constituency.

In 1956 Diem declared that the elections for the reunification of Vietnam (as specified in the Geneva Agreement) would not be held. Diem justified this on grounds that the French, not the South Vietnamese government, had signed the Agreement. Diem no doubt accepted the views of Eisenhower's experts who counseled that Ho Chi Minh would have received 80 percent of the popular vote in 1954. Diem abolished elections of village chiefs for "security" reasons (fearing Vietminh victories) replacing them with the appointment of officials. Ho Chi Minh felt betrayed by the Chinese, who had urged him to sign the Geneva Agreement, and by the Soviets, who were proposing that "both Vietnams" be admitted into the United Nations.

Diem created a National Assembly, but nearly all real authority resided with himself and his family. Particularly powerful were Diem's brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, and his brother's wife, "Madam Nhu". Nhu subscribed to a philosophy of "Personalism" as defined by the Neo-Scholastic Catholic Philosopher Emmanuel Mounier.

In contrast to the Absolute Idealists, who regard the whole of reality as the Mind of God, the Personal Idealists emphasized the spiritual reality of individual persons permeated with the presense of God. Mounier stressed a "Personalism" which opposed both individualism and collectivism. Mounier rejected Marxism's reduction of human consciousness to economic and social relations. He also opposed the alienation, avarice and cultural banality of "bourgeois civilization". He advocated a revolution to free Christianity from bourgeois rule.

Diem proclaimed Personalism as an ideological counterweight to the Communism of North Vietnam. Diem and Nhu both had a remarkable capacity for delivering long bewildering monologues on the meaning of Personalist philosophy. In practice, however, Personalism was interpreted to suit their purpose (which was dictatorial power and theocratic puritanism).

In 1956 Nhu organized his own "Gestapo", the Personalist Labor Revolutionary Party (Can Lao). The Can Lao was composed primarily of Catholic refugees from the north, nearly all of whom were civil servants. It conducted paramilitary operations, secret arrests and torture. It infiltrated every level of Vietnamese society with spies. Madam Nhu also had a private army, "Woman's Solidarity", whose members prided themselves in their ability to outshoot male soldiers in marksmanship contests.

The Diem government instituted many laws along the lines of Madam Nhu's Bill for the Protection of Morality. Among the things outlawed were beauty contests, boxing, sentimental songs, adolescent drinking and smoking, prostitution, contraception, dancing (even in private homes) and divorce. No book could be published in Vietnam without first being submitted to censorship. The press was controlled by government publication permits which could be revoked at any time.

Diem felt little impetus to become popular with the masses. For the first five years of his regime Diem received a quarter of a billion dollars yearly from the United States. This money covered the entire cost of his armed forces and 80 percent of all other government expenditures. Consequently, a certain amount of "popularity" with American officials was necessary. American-sponsored "land reform" programs, aimed against the power of the landlords, limited landholdings to 245 acres and fixed a rent ceiling at 25 percent of the value of a year's crops. A later Rand Corporation study argued convincingly that the effect of displacing the landlords played directly into the hands of the Vietminh. Enforcement of this law became weak and, later, non-existent.

From its inception Vietnam had been a decentralized society. Sects, landlords, and especially the village community had been the essence of Vietnamese life. It was at the level of the village that the Vietminh (and later the NLF) operated and received support. Despite the accusations of the government, communist terrorism was restricted to carefully planned assassinations of spies and of government-appointed village chiefs — or to burning the homes of certain opponents. Torture was rare. A killing or burning would usually be conducted by an Armed Reconnaissance Team after Vietminh leaders had assessed the popularity of the target and the political effect of the deed.

Over 37,000 South Vietnamese civilians were to be assassinated or kidnapped by the communists between 1954 and 1972. By contrast, an estimated 150,000 "communists" were killed between 1957 and April 1965. The government soldiers were less inclined to make distinctions between innocent civilians and enemy forces. While the Vietminh would often contain members from within or near the villages they sought to liberate, government troops were generally composed of soldiers from distant provinces or urban areas. Villages suspected of harboring the enemy were bombed and strafed. Torture was used as deemed necessary. In villages where government troops might come in the daytime and the Vietminh could burn selected huts at night, many were frightened into preferring to appear apolitical.

Vietminh who had gone north to help build Ho Chi Minh's new government began filtering back down south. Although the Vietminh in South Vietnam had begun their systematic campaign to assassinate Diem's village chiefs in 1957, it was not until 1959 that North Vietnam formally approved the resumption of armed struggle and began sending arms and advisors to South Vietnam. In 1960 the South Vietnamese Vietminh were formally coalesced into the National Liberation Front (NLF), an organization that de-emphasized ideology and stressed nationalism. The Diem regime preferred to call them the "Viet Cong", meaning "Vietnamese Communists".

The NLF controlled roughly half of the countryside in 1960. In September 1961 NLF forces seized a provincial capitol 55 miles north of Saigon. The town was held for nearly a full day, during which the provincial chief was given a public trial and decapitated. The NLF left the city before the South Vietnamese Army arrived.

When Vice-President Johnson suggested the use of US combat troops, Diem opposed the idea because of the probability that "white, foreign" soldiers would fuel the nationalistic propaganda of his enemies and alienate his countrymen. Instead, the Kennedy government responded with a massive counterinsurgency effort. This included the US Army Special Forces ("the Green Berets") to train South Vietnamese in guerrilla warfare. Helicopters (often piloted by Americans) would rapidly transport government troops to areas of guerrilla activity.

Insofar as the villages were believed to be militarily insecure, the government launched a massive "strategic hamlet" program. All villages were to be replaced by hamlets surrounded by barbed wire, mud walls and double rows of spiked bamboo sticks in moats or ditches. Areas outside the strategic hamlet belts were designated "free fire zones" where anything moving could be shot. Certain observers noted how much these strategic hamlets resembled concentration camps. Ten million peasants had been relocated by the end of 1962. The government frequently had to use force against those who refused to leave their native villages. Americans also supervised the distribution of seven million laminated identification cards (containing fingerprints and other identifying information) to all Vietnamese over the age of eighteen.

If there was one group in Vietnam which the Diem regime had not disfavored, it was the Catholics. Although no more than 10 or 15 percent of the population was Catholic, the Catholics constituted a high proportion of civil servants and government officials. Catholic refugees from the north had been given choice land. Catholic villages received the right to take lumber from the national reserves. Because many Vietnamese already resented Catholics as being descendants of those who had curried favor with the French, the Catholic privilage and power served to aggrevate the resentment.

In May 1963 Roman Catholics in Hue (formerly the imperial capitol of cental Vietnam) flew religious flags to celebrate the birthday of the Archbishop (who was one on Diem's brothers). In June, however, Buddhists were prohibited from flying their flags to mark the birth of Buddha, despite the fact that 80 percent of the population of Hue was Buddhist. During a demonstration against the ban, Diem's troops opened fire, killing nine marchers. Buddhists throughout Vietnam began burning themselves in protest. Madam Nhu called the burnings "barbecues", offered free matches and gasoline to Buddhists inclined to self-immolation and proclaimed "we shall clap out hands". Demonstrations of protest continued throughout South Vietnam. The Nhus charged that the Buddhist uprising was inspired by the communists. True enough, the NLF would have been foolish not to exploit the situation (Ho Chi Minh himself had donned a yellow robe and infiltrated the monasteries of Bangkok when he was working for the Comintern). But nationally as well as internationally, it was hard to see the issue in any other terms but those of religious oppression. Some American journalists represented the crisis in terms of a Catholic minority oppressing the Buddhist majority. In fact, Buddhists were as much a minority as the Catholics — the religion of most South Vietnamese was ancestor worship.

In August Nhu's own Catholic shock troops, disguised in the uniform of the Vietnamese Army, raided two thousand pagodas. Hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns were beaten, fourteen hundred were arrested and thirty were killed. But Nhu's attempt to destroy the Buddhists and discredit the Vietnamese Army generals in one stroke fooled no one. When massive student protest erupted, the Diem government closed the schools and declared martial law.

Three days after his arrival in Saigon as the new American Ambassador, Henry Cabot Lodge (whose appointment was probably inspired by the Kennedy Administration's desire to ensure some Republican responsibility for the Vietnam mess) received a cable instructing him to inform the Vietnamese military that the United States would no longer support a government that included the Nhus. This cable, approved by Kennedy (who had been interrupted while taking a shower in Cape Cod), amounted to support for a military coup if Diem did not fire Nhu, release the Buddhists and end martial law. The quarter-of-a-million-dollar monthly payment which the CIA had been contributing to Nhu's "Special Forces" was ended. But Diem stood by his brother.

In the fall of 1963 Saigon was seething with plots and plotters. CIA operatives, in contact with at least three major groups of military conspirators, provided covert, but deniable, American support (including intelligence concerning the arms and locations of pro-Diem military units). Ambassador Lodge, with approval from Washington, offered refuge for the families of the generals in the event their coup attempt failed. Nhu himself was planning a coup.

Three years after Diem had closed most of Saigon's opium dens in 1955 (amidst much public fanfare), Nhu reopened trade with the Meo tribesmen of Laos. Opium was smuggled into South Vietnam aboard Air Laos Commerciale, a charter airline managed by a Corsican gangster. Nhu sold the opium to local Chinese syndicate leaders who owned hundreds of newly opened opium dens. The opium money provided Nhu with an independent source of funds for his Catholic secret police, which could not be monitored by the Americans or official government audits. This arrangement was quite similar to that which had been used by the Deuxieme Bureau of French military intelligence. Unlike Captain Savani, however, Nhu began taking opium (and, perhaps, eventually heroin) himself. Nhu had also taken over some of the old Binh Xuyen rackets such as extortion, piracy and exchange manipulation. It is quite likely that Nhu was considering seizing control of the government from his brother.

When Nhu got word of some of the plots against him, he devised a plan to draw the plotters out into the open, ensure the death of some of his influential enemies (including many Americans) during the "confusion" and impose his own martial law to "restore order". The phoney coup attempt was to be started by a pro-Diem general who would turn against the anti-Diem forces once they had revealed themselves.

In the presence of an American "contact man", a group of Vietnamese officers announced themselves to a tape recorder and declared their support for a coup. Copies of the tape were made and hidden at various locations in Saigon so that none of the officers could deny knowledge of or involvement with the conspiracy.

When Nhu's security police informed him that troops and tanks were moving into the city, Nhu assured them that it was all part of a carefully planned scheme. But Nhu's major military supporters, aware of the strength and tactical advantage of the plotters, decided to go along with the coup. By the time Nhu became aware of what was really happening, it was too late. Diem phoned Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge at the US Embassy, but received no promises of American support apart from concern for the personal safety of the Diem family.

Later Diem telephoned one of his generals offering to surrender. Diem and Nhu were murdered in an armed personnel carrier by the personal bodyguard of the general who subsequently headed the ruling military junta. The corpse of the bodyguard was later found dangling from a rope, allegedly the result of a suicide committed out of remorse.

Less than three weeks after Diem's murder, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson, who had referred to Diem as "the Winston Churchill of Southeast Asia", suspected the two events were connected.

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In 1949 a Marxist Revolution finally triumphed in China. CIA men nurtured hopes of fomenting guerrilla warfare and counter-revolution. Until the 1960s, four-man teams of agents were air-dropped into the Chinese mainland along with tons of supplies. All the teams disappeared. Immense radio stations in Okinawa and Taiwan broadcasted propaganda so powerfully that the signals would override broadcast beams from Shanghai and Peking. On October 2, 1962 a U-2 was shot down over China by the same model of missile the Soviets had used to bring down Gary Powers two years earlier. Later, during the Cultural Revolution, the CIA floated balloons loaded with propaganda and disinformation material into the Chinese People's Republic.

The most serious CIA attempt at counter-revolution, however, was made using Kuomintang (Nationalist Chinese) soldiers who had fled Mao's armies into the mountains of Burma. The Koumintang forces acted as an army without a country, living independently of the Southeast Asian governments (whose capitols were in the distant lowlands). Supplied by air-drops from unmarked CIA planes, invasionary expeditions of two thousand of these Koumintang were launched into China in April 1951 and again in August 1952. Neither invasion sparked a massive uprising and in both cases the forces were driven back by the Red Army.

Opium continued to be produced in the southernmost provinces of China and smuggled into Burma until 1955. The Koumintang Army was able to "protect", tax and increasingly control this opium traffic as a source of revenue. The Kuomintang mounted an invasion into the mountainous, semi-autonomous Shan States of eastern Burma, thereby expanding its control over the locally grown and imported opium trade. Burma protested the Koumintang's activities at the United Nations in March 1953. Although many soldiers were withdrawn to Taiwan, some of the more independent-minded generals remained to conduct sporadic fighting against the Burmese Army. In 1961 the Koumintang was finally driven into Laos. It soon moved to northern Thailand where it established a coexistence with the Thai government.

In the northern regions of Southeast Asia the borders between China, Burma, Thailand and Laos were not recognized by the mountain tribal peoples who came and went as they pleased. (With the development of the American war in Indochina, the CIA would employ some of these people to go into China where they could tap telephone lines and monitor traffic as a forewarning of a possible invasion.) The limestone mountains of these regions provide the alkaline soil required by the opium poppy, which will die in more acidic conditions. By the early 1960s this area, known as "The Golden Triangle", had become the largest opium-growing center in the world. Caravans of opium, mostly from Burma, would make their way through the mountains to Bangkok under the control and supervision of the Koumintang. Independent merchants would pay a fee to accompany Koumintang caravans as protection against predatory mountain gangs.

John Kennedy entered the White House with the idealistic belief that liberal Democrats could solve foreign policy problems that had eluded the Eisenhower Administration. Instead of supporting dictators, the US would use its influence to create liberal reform governments which would undercut the appeal of Marxist revolutionaries. (On the basis of this policy Kennedy was to support the coup against Diem.) Instead of using a crude militaristic approach to foreign conflicts, the US would rely on counterinsurgency, or political and paramilitary activity.

In Laos, massive aid to the "right-wing" militaristic faction had forced the neutralists to form an alliance with the communist Pathet Lao. The Soviet Union was airlifting about forty-five tons of arms and ammunition to northeastern Laos every day. Kennedy urged the formation of a coalition government headed by the neutralists. To emphasize his seriousness he sent five thousand US combat troops to neighboring Thailand where they assembled along the Laotian border. Khrushchev did not think Laos was worth a confrontation and, moreover, believed it would eventually fall into his hands with no effort. The agreement for a coalition government was reached at a 15-nation conference in Geneva.

The CIA had been working to create a paramilitary army of Meo tribesmen in Laos since the late 1950s. By 1961 an estimated 9,000 Meos were equipped for guerrilla warfare under CIA direction. After Geneva the North Vietnamese did not withdraw their 7,000 troops and, in fact, assisted the Pathet Lao in driving the Meo from their settlements. In July 1962, after American "Green Berets" and military advisors had been withdrawn, Kennedy decided to respond to the pleas of the Meo for arms. Because the North Vietnamese had violated the Geneva agreement, Kennedy believed that the US had to do likewise — although secretly, so as not to arouse world opinion or force the Soviets to get involved again. The CIA began a program of clandestine military assistance which was to cost one half-billion dollars yearly. The "secret war" in Laos would involve a "secret army" of 35,000 Meos and 17,000 Thai mercenaries. Even though the North Vietnamese in Laos reached 70,000 by 1972, the balance of strategic control did not alter significantly until shortly thereafter. The Royal Laotian Army remained in control of the southwestern section of the country, in the area surrounding the capitol. The communists controlled the southeastern Laotian panhandle through which it filtered armies and ordnance along a network of jungle paths known as the "Ho Chi Minh Trail". In northeastern Laos, and near the Plain of Jars, the conventional military forces of the communists fought against the ambushes and harassment of the CIA-supported guerrillas.

The main cash crop of the Meo tribespeople was opium. Although the CIA was not eager to be associated with the narcotics trade, neither did it want to alienate its allies or interfere with the "native culture" of the Meo. Right-wing generals within the Laotian government used the shipment of opium to South Vietnam as a source of revenue. In 1965 they stopped using the Corsican airlines for the shipments. C-47 transports and helicopters of the Royal Laotian Air Force were used after the generals had deposed the air force commander. Some of the generals claim that CIA planes were used as well, though CIA-man William Colby denies this.

By 1967 the opium traffic from Laos to South Vietnam was going so well that one Laotian general decided to make a major purchase from one of Burma's most powerful Shan warlords — without the extra expense of Koumintang "protection". Successful delivery would undermine the Koumintang's control of opium traffic in the Golden Triangle. The armed caravan carrying sixteen tons of opium from Burma was attacked by Koumintang soldiers in southern Laos. A pitched battle between the Shans and the Koumintang was interrupted by an attack of Laotian T-28 fighters which bombed both sides indescriminately. When the Shans and the Koumintang had been routed by the punishing assault, the Laotians took possession of the opium. Thereafter, the Koumintang charged no import duties on Burmese opium bound for Laos.

Laos became a major heroin-producing center — and the source of most of the heroin to reach American GIs in Vietnam. Heroin factories were operated by both a former commander-in-chief of the Royal Laotian Army and the commander of the CIA's "secret army" of Meos. The CIA and the US State Department opposed the presence in Laos of US Bureau of Narcotics agents on the grounds that Laos had no drug laws.

According to the Pentagon Papers (a US Defense Department study of the Vietnam War), the compromise in Laos which created the coalition government made Kennedy believe that a strong position on Vietnam was necessary to show Asian nations that they could count on American support. Red China was believed to have ambitions of making Southeast Asia a satellite. On May 11, 1961 Kennedy ordered the CIA to begin clandestine attacks against North Vietnam. He also decided to expand the US military mission in South Vietnam above 685 advisors, a violation of the 1954 Geneva Accords which the US had agreed to observe. By the end of Kennedy's Administration, 16,000 American "military advisors" were in South Vietnam.

The CIA raids against North Vietnamese communication and transportation facilities were conducted by South Vietnamese trained for that purpose. North Vietnam protested the violations of its airspace and territory to the International Control Commission. CIA analysts quickly came to believe that the raids were of minimal value and that primary emphasis should be given to political and counter-insurgency work within South Vietnam itself.

A few weeks before President Kennedy was assassinated, the large-scale paramilitary activities of the CIA in Vietnam were turned over to the Defense Department. The failure at the Bay of Pigs had convinced many administration officials that the CIA was not competent to handle large operations. Predictably, the Defense Department de-emphasized counter-insurgency. The military men had little interest in the political intricacies of South Vietnam. They believed that the Vietcong were controlled by the North and that consequently the war should be carried to the North. Although CIA analysts reported that the loss of Laos and South Vietnam would only endanger Cambodia, the military was convinced that the whole of Southeast Asia would go communist if Laos and South Vietnam were not held (the "falling domino theory").

In February 1964, President Johnson ordered an escalation of clandestine warfare against North Vietnam. U-2 spy planes made overflights. North Vietnamese citizens were kidnapped for intelligence information. Commando teams were sent to blow up bridges. North Vietnamese coastal installations were shelled by PT boats. Planes with Laotian Air Force markings flown by Thai pilots and CIA men, which had been bombing North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao troops in Laos, crossed the border on August 1 and bombed North Vietnamese villages.

On July 31, South Vietnamese naval commados conducted an amphibious raid on two North Vietnamese islands in the Gulf of Tonkin. At the same time an American destroyer, the Maddox, was on an independent intelligence-gathering mission along the coast. The Maddox, using sophisticated electronic equipment, was able to simulate an attack, thereby requiring the North Vietnamese to turn on their radar. Knowledge of the locations of radar installations would be of value in potential air operations against the North. On August 2, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked the Maddox, which they apparently believed was part of a concerted assault. One of the boats was sunk by a blast from the Maddox's five-inch guns. The other two boats were damaged by planes.

On August 3, PT boats with South Vietnamese crews shelled a radar installation and an estuary of the North Vietnamese coast. Twenty-four hours later the Maddox and another destroyer were confronted again by North Vietnamese PT boats in what was believed to be an attack. President Johnson decided upon reprisal air strikes against what he called unprovoked aggression (the raids on North Vietnam were still being kept secret from Congress and the American public). He sought a Congressional resolution for "limited" retaliation. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution passed by 88 to 2 in the Senate and 416 to 0 in the House. Johnson used the Resolution as a broad mandate for war during the balance of his term. Johnson's rating in the Harris poll jumped from 42 to 72 percent, giving him a tremendous edge over his political opponent, Barry Goldwater.

Fighter bombers struck four torpedo boat bases and an oil storage depot that held about ten percent of North Vietnam's oil. The destruction in these raids was gratifying to Johnson, who confided to a reporter, "I didn't just screw Ho Chi Minh, I cut his pecker off." The macho significance of Vietnam to Johnson can perhaps be gleaned from a comment he made upon learning that a member of his administration was beginning to oppose the war: "Hell, he has to squat to piss".

The Vietnam War had important political dimensions, however, which required extreme delicacy. It is significant that at no time during the war was a serious attempt made to conduct a conventional invasion of North Vietnam. During the Korean War UN troops had driven the North Koreans to the Chinese border, only to be thrown back to the southern tip of the Korean peninsula by masses of Red Chinese "volunteers". When Eisenhower threatened to use nuclear weapons the Chinese withdrew. But by the mid-1960's the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal was approaching that of the United States; the US could no longer afford to make nuclear threats. The risk of war with the Russians and the Chinese, which were seen as being united in a single communist bloc, was to be avoided. Thus, warfare in Vietnam was conducted by gradual, tentative escalations which it was hoped would not provoke a direct confrontation with the communist superpowers.

If American officials expected the overthrow of the Diem government to increase the stability of the political climate in South Vietnam, they were greatly disappointed. In the eighteen months following Diem's death there were five new military governments and at least three unsuccessful coups. Revolts by Montagnards (mountain people) seeking political autonomy and rebellions by the Buddhists were also put down. In September 1964, two groups of plotters interrupted their coup attempts to battle each other on the streets of Saigon. Two weeks later Air Vice-Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky, who apparently intended to give support to a column of troops heading to Saigon for a coup, saw from the air that their military strength was too weak. So he threatened the invaders in the name of the incumbent government.

Ky had flown CIA commandos into North Vietnam during 1961 and 1962. He apparently exploited this situation to fly opium from Laos to Saigon. The CIA fired him, though the reason for Ky's dismissal may have been his passion for taking dancehall girls for a spin in CIA planes. Six weeks following the murder of Diem, Ky became commander of the South Vietnamese Air Force. His control of the Air Force, although it did not yet give him political supremacy, provided him with a "veto power" against all potential coups. Ky became notorious because of his expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and because of his westernized lifestyle.

While the Vietcong ran rampant in the countryside, the South Vietnamese generals had their attention fixed on Saigon political maneuverings. The political chaos was making a mockery of US support. President Johnson told his staff that he wanted "no more of this coup shit". The American Ambassador in Saigon called the South Vietnamese generals into his office and chewed them out as if they were military cadets. He informed them that Americans were "tired of coups". Then he added, "I made it clear that all the military plans which I know you would like to carry out are dependent on government stability. Now you have made a real mess."

In June 1965 a new government took over in Saigon. General Nguyen Van Thieu was Chief of State. Marshal Ky, who held most of the power, was Premier. He had not, however, set aside his connection with the opium trade. Ky flew opium from Laos into South Vietnam using the Air Force Transport Wing. The opium was distributed to opium dens by Ky's close ally, the chief of Saigon's police force. Ky also taxed Corsican morphine shipments to Europe. Exploiting the issue of police corruption in Saigon, Thieu was able to wrest control of the South Vietnamese government from Ky two years later. Thieu thus became President of South Vietnam, holding that position for eight years — with Ky as a very powerful Vice President.

The long period of political turmoil in Saigon permitted tremendous gains to be made by the NLF. Throughout 1964 the NLF grew so rapidly that it was able to build regimental units, with enough strength to conduct large military campaigns. American military men chafed at the political constraints binding them to a strictly advisory role. To conform to a rule that tactical aircraft giving support to ground troups be manned by South Vietnamese, privates of the South Vietnamese Army were assigned to ride with American pilots. Many of these soldiers would get airsick and vomit in the plane. Each use of American jet aircraft required personal authorization by General William Westmoreland, chief commander of US forces in Vietnam. Authorization was to be given only to prevent a "major" NLF victory or to prevent a loss of "numbers" of American lives. The American military "advisors" frequently ignored the rules, conducting air and ground maneuvers as they deemed necessary.

On February 7, 1965, a Vietcong unit directed mortar fire against an American barracks in South Vietnam's Central Highlands. Eight Americans were killed. Over sixty others were wounded. Holding the Hanoi government responsible for the attack, the US made retaliatory air strikes against military targets in North Vietnam. On February 10, a bomb killed 23 Americans in a billet at a provincial capitol on the South Vietnamese coast. Within a few days Johnson decided to conduct a sustained bombing campaign against the North. "Rolling Thunder" would begin with bombing in the southernmost portion of North Vietnam and creep slowly northward. There would be no declaration of war, however, because such an act might spur Russia or China to enter the fight in response to treaty obligations. The objective of the bombing was to punish Hanoi and induce it to use its influence to restrain the NLF. Johnson was following the suggestion of his military advisors rather than that of the CIA. The Agency did not "concede very strong chances for breaking the will of Hanoi". The morale of the British, for example, had not been broken by the German air raids.

By March 1965, the Vietcong controlled 90% of the Mekong Delta southwest of Saigon. American military analysts in South Vietnam were predicting that the entire country would be in the hands of the communists within a year. An intelligence report that 6,000 enemy troops were within striking distance of the American airbase at Da Nang caused particular concern. Da Nang was the site from which many air stikes were being conducted against North Vietnam.

The first battalion of US Marine infantrymen to Vietnam arrived in Da Nang on March 8 for the specific purpose of protecting the airfield. But General Westmoreland demanded more combat troops to deal with NLF expansion thoughout South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese Army was losing one battalion and one district capitol every week to large units of Vietcong.

In April the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed the existence of a regiment of regular North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam's Central Highlands. Westmoreland estimated that with an immediate 175,000 American troops, followed by 100,000 more, he could "halt the losing trend" before 1966. Westmoreland's requests were taken seriously. By the end of 1965 over 180,000 US combat troops were in South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese, perhaps in response, increased the number of "secret regiments" in the south to eight by November 1965. Westmoreland's estimates of the number of American troops required would continue to increase until 1968 when he had over a half-million US servicemen and was suggesting that a few hundred thousand more would be sufficient. From 1965 to 1966 American spending on the war rose from one half-billion dollars a year to two billion a month.

Initially Westmoreland planned to use American troops only against large NLF units in the countryside while the South Vietnamese Army could defend urban areas. In this way he hoped that the people of South Vietnam would not think that the war was being conducted by foreigners and a corrupt government against their fellow Vietnamese. In response to "necessity", however, most of the military operations in 1966 were carried on, in or near populated areas. Westmoreland came to believe he had overestimated the xenophobia of the Vietnamese people. To prevent infiltration of arms he instituted programs by which nearly 6,000 fishing boats, junks and sampans were being searched every day.

The Vietnam War had no front lines. Helicopters could quickly ferry troops to any place in South Vietnam where NLF units were on the attack. In most cases the Vietcong retreated when the Americans arrived — and returned when the Americans left. Huge numbers of US troops would seemingly be required to hold the entire country. The war took on the character of "search and destroy" — in order to fight the Vietcong, the Americans first had to find them.

The major Vietcong stronghold near Saigon was the so-called "Iron Triangle", a 60 square-mile region honeycombed with miles of NLF tunnels. The American campaign in the area "generated" seven thousand refugees from the local villages. Heavy bombing by B-52s was followed by mop-up operations using 50,000 US combat troops. Finally, the entire area was leveled with huge plows. As Westmoreland described it, the campaign reduced "trees and brush to combustible rubbish, leaving the guerrillas no place to hide". Denying "cover" to the NLF became a major part of the war throughout South Vietnam. Defoliation programs eventually dropped more than 100 million pounds of chemical herbicides, destroying a major portion of the country's timberland.

Only rarely were American soldiers involved in the kinds of battles which had characterized their previous wars. This was a war of ambushes, sniper fire and manhunts through swamps and jungles infested with land mines and booby traps. Although the "kill ratio" ran nearly 10 to 1 against the NLF, over 46,000 Americans were known to have been killed (with at least ten thousand more "missing"). At least 50% of these deaths were the result of small arms. Over 10% died from booby traps and mines.

The enemy was not always easy to identify. A Vietcong could be a 7-year old girl luring a squad into an ambush — or an elderly woman sharpening bamboo sticks for use in a booby trap. If villagers aided the NLF or if an ammunition cache was found beneath the floor of a hut, a decision was often made to burn the village and "generate" more refugees. The distinction between Vietcong and non-Vietcong was probably not an easy one to make for the American soldier who spoke no Vietnamese and who knew that giving a suspect the benefit of the doubt could cost him his own life. A dead Vietnamese could automatically be considered Vietcong.

Without advancing front lines to go by, military success was often measured by "body counts". Because of ample evidence that commanders would exaggerate the numbers of enemy killed to enhance their own status, attempts were made to require that bodies be saved and brought to headquarters for verification by military statisticians.

In 1966, US Secretary of Defense McNamara asked the CIA for the means to measure "pacification" — to give some indication of American military progress. Out of this came the computerized monthly report of the Hamlet Evaluation System. HES sought to assess the quality of hamlet life on the basis of such factors as frequency of raids or mortar attacks, number of children attending school, and the safety or frequency with which a trip could be made to nearby market towns. The system indicated a 5% increase in pacification during 1967, but many claimed the incentives for falsification had not been removed. Moreover, most of the US Army officers who sent in reports had so little knowledge of Vietnamese language or culture that their evaluations were open to question.

Although Americans were officially in Vietnam to assist the South Vietnamese government, the Vietnamese tended to recede in the face of the awesomeness of American wealth and power. American military men simultaneously "took charge" of the war and condemned the South Vietnamese Army for shirking responsibility. American advisers discovered that their subjects sometimes did not regard themselves as inferior pupils — and were not always ready to take "advice".

Americans found themselves dependent upon native Vietnamese interpreters to deal with the local populations. Most of these interpreters knew only a few hundred words of English. Almost one third of them were likely NLF sympathizers. In fact, it was believed that nearly a third of the whole of the South Vietnamese government had NLF sympathies. At a time when an estimated forty thousand agents were reporting to the NLF on every level of South Vietnamese society, the CIA had but a single agent within the NLF — and none at all in the North Vietnamese government. President Johnson was furious with CIA Director John McCone: "I thought you guys had people everywhere, that you knew everything, and now you don't even know anything about a raggedy-ass little fourth-rate country. All you have to do is get some Chinese coolies from a San Francisco laundry shop and drop them over there and use them."

A large number of South Vietnamese soldiers undoubtedly believed that there was little point in wasting energy or risking life-and-limb in a war that was being run by the Americans. Almost a quarter of the South Vietnamese Army deserted every year. Rice given to Vietnamese officers in charge of refugee camps was sold on the black market. American compensation money intended for Vietnamese whose property was damaged or destroyed was usually retained by South Vietnamese officials.

The South Vietnamese government required that the employees at the US Army PX be Vietnamese. Huge quantities of merchandise were stolen, much of it being sold in South Vietnam's thriving black market. The US had no customs rights in Vietnam; Vietnamese longshoremen and military officers took complete charge of the unloading of cargo. By some estimates over fifty percent of the billions of dollars' worth of American material wound up on the black market or in the hands of the NLF. Although the free market exchange rate for Vietnamese currency was 160 piasters to the American dollar, the South Vietnamese government sold currency to the United States at an official rate of 80 piasters per dollar.

But the South Vietnamese had no monopoly on corruption. One Republican Senator conducted investigations revealing that American oil companies were paying protection money to the NLF for the privilege of getting their oil safely to the US military. A member of the Florida Mafia established himself as an agent for American companies wishing to sell supplies to Army service clubs. Kickbacks were paid to non-commissioned officers who bought from the right companies. Mafia boss Santos Trafficante, Jr. himself visited Saigon to review illegal currency profiteering, the multi-million dollar service club swindles and exports of heroin from the Golden Triangle via the Corsican syndicates.

The character of South Vietnamese society was violently altered, as much by the war as by the presence of Americans. Two million people became refugees in 1966 — and another three million became refugees in 1967. Agricultural production dropped dramatically. Although South Vietnam had formerly exported rice, it now became dependent on large quantities of rice from Louisiana and South Carolina. South Vietnam became an urbanized society with no industry aside from the servicing of Americans. The mayor of the third largest city in South Vietnam converted his official residence into a "massage parlor" for GIs. Prostitution boomed. Those who could not sell their bodies did laundry or pandered to other needs, desires and whims of American servicemen. Many simply took to stealing.

The character of the Vietnam War, with its emphasis on "pacification", required not simply the rooting out of NLF elements, but an effort to "win the hearts and minds" of the population at large. Bridges and canals were built. Provisions were made to improve education and to reduce disease. To some analysts these efforts were simply another example of the attempt to buy hearts and minds through American foreign aid. Vietnam, rather than other more needy countries, benefited from American largesse simply because of its strategic significance in the struggle against World Communism. Whether the average Vietnamese peasant viewed "welfare programs" administered by the American military in these cynical terms is hard to say. But it would be human nature to suspect an ulterior motive for such generosity.

American officials put pressure on the South Vietnamese government to hold national elections. They hoped that a democratically elected government would be a more respectable recipient of support within the US as well as internationally. They also hoped that elections would increase the sense of involvement of the Vietnamese people with their government — and undermine claims that it was an American puppet. Ironically, the fact that the military regime would yield to American pressure for elections seemed to many an indication of how much a puppet it really was. Only a third of the adult population was allowed to register, however, the rest being disqualified as being communist or anti-government. Many of those who voted were illiterate and may not have understood the 502 names appearing on the ballots. Others may have doubted the process of "secret balloting" as they observed the presence of soldiers at the polls. General Thieu's incumbent government received a 35% plurality in the September 1967 elections. 65% of the presidential ballots cast went to ten other candidates. Thieu's 35% plurality undoubtedly convinced many Vietnamese that Thieu was not only unpopular, but too weak to effectively rig an election.

In late January 1968, the South Vietnamese government prepared for the yearly truce accompanying the Vietnamese "Tet" holiday. Tet was the most important of all Vietnamese holidays — a time when Vietnamese traveled about the country to rejoin their families in giving reverence to ancestors. Part of Vietnamese tradition holds that the events occurring during Tet determine the character of the coming year. The NLF planned to exploit the truce to launch a country-wide offensive. Five battalions of NLF soldiers secretly entered Saigon amongst the throngs of revelers. Many of the soldiers of the South Vietnamese Army were on leave during the cease-fire. The NLF undoubtedly expected that a large portion of the population of South Vietnam would join in a general uprising that would mean an end to American occupation and a reunification of their country.

The Tet Offensive was a simultaneous, country-wide assault by about 84,000 men. Almost all of South Vietnam's NLF was involved. North Vietnamese regiments refrained from entering the action. The NLF directed its efforts almost entirely against its South Vietnamese enemies, rather than the Americans. In parts of Saigon the Vietcong proclaimed Liberation and held street trials. Americans were targeted in one psychologically impactful and highly publicized assault, however. Vietcong sappers blew a hole in the wall of the American Embassy in Saigon, thereby gaining entry. All of them were killed within six hours. All over the country Americans and South Vietnamese government soldiers fought the NLF with a vicious fury.Large urban areas were bombed and strafed by American warplanes.

North Vietnamese troops massed for a seige against the US Marine Corps outpost of Khe Sanh, near the De-Militarized Zone. There seems little doubt that North Vietnamese strategists hoped that Khe Sanh would be a re-enactment of Dien Bien Phu — delivering a psychological blow to the Americans on a par with that experienced by the French after their great defeat. The surrender of the garrison during the Tet Offensive could only magnify the effect. It was not to be. The North Vietnamese attackers were incinerated under a barrage of American firepower that made Khe Sanh the most heavily bombed target in history. Over 200 million pounds of explosives, including over 50,000 tons of napalm, were dropped on five square miles of battlefield. Eventually, the North Vietnamese simply withdrew.

Within three weeks after it began, the Tet Offensive ran out of steam. Nearly two million new refugees had been created in that period. It was the beginning of the end for the Vietcong, of whom 32,000 had been killed and 5,800 captured. Not only had a sizable portion of the NLF's best units been eliminated, but the rest had been exposed to public view. Two of the Vietcong involved in the attack against the US Embassy had been American government employees.

The process of exposing the "Vietcong infrastructure" (VCI) was continued by an espionage plan known as "Phoenix". The Phoenix program was supervised by William Colby, who was later to become Director of the CIA. In the next three years Phoenix led to the death of 20,000 Vietcong, to the capture of 28,000 others, and to amnesty for 17,000 more. Phoenix offered a bounty of $11,000 for a live VCI and half as much for a dead one. Colby admitted that at least a thousand of those killed "might have been improperly identified". Under Phoenix, "Interrogation Centers" were created all over South Vietnam. Though CIA men denied using torture, there is no doubt that South Vietnamese officers resorted to such means.

Many South Vietnamese had been roused, if not outraged by the Tet Offensive. In General Westmoreland's words, the Offensive had been "a unifying catalyst, a Pearl Harbor". The South Vietnamese government lowered the draft age to eighteen. The government also began issuing weapons to villagers for use in self-defensive night guard duty. This was a major step towards pacification insofar as it made villagers no longer vulnerable to NLF terrorism. Formerly the government had feared that arms issued to the population at large might ultimately be used against the government itself. The guerrilla character of the struggle was coming to a close. Henceforth the war against the Americans and the South Vietnamese Government would be conducted primarily by the North Vietnamese.

Ironically, the Tet Offensive also marked the beginning of the end of American participation in the Vietnam War. Its effect on the American public had been dramatic. Contrary to military reports that pacification was proceeding, the Offensive seemed to indicate that the NLF was everywhere and could strike at any time — that the grueling years of fighting had changed nothing. In response to the Tet Offensive, nearly one American in five switched from supporting the war to opposing it. Vietnam was seen to be a stalemate — and unwinnable, meatgrinder war. Americans asked themselves whether Vietnam was worth the cost in American lives, American dollars and internal strife. 78 percent of those polled believed that the United States was making no progress in Vietnam. President Johnson announced that he would not seek re-election.

A controversy was also raging within the Johnson Administration over whether to continue bombing North Vietnam. Early studies had shown that the country was so overwhelmingly agricultural that there was little worth bombing. For a while it had looked as though North Vietnam's oil-storage tanks were a desirable military target, but after several strikes the North Vietnamese began storing oil in drums in decentralized underground tunnels. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had conducted studies which indicated that the huge cost as well as the loss of lives and aircraft accompanying the bombing was not justified by the minimal damage it did. In fact, the economic and military aid given to Hanoi by Russia and China, perhaps partially in response to the bombing, was four times the assessed damage by American bombs. Johnson regarded McNamara's recommendations for reduced bombing to be "a lot of shit". McNamara was removed as Secretary of Defense. But with the passage of time Johnson was forced to alter his view.

On October 31, 1968 — on the eve of the Presidential Election — Johnson halted all bombing of North Vietnam. It would be nearly four years before bombing of Hanoi would resume. According to Nixon, who had claimed that the war should not be an election issue, Johnson's move had been politically motivated — based on the controversial nature of the bombing. Johnson, however, had been assured by the Soviets that the North Vietnamese agreed to respond to a bombing halt by entering into serious negotiations.

In Paris, a conflict arose over the demand by the North Vietnamese that the conference table be four-sided — and the objection by the South Vietnamese that according equal status to Hanoi, the NLF, Saigon and the US was equivalent to recognizing the independence and legitimacy of the NLF. After three months of stalemate the disputants agreed to a proposal by the Soviet Union that a circular table without nameplates be used. Little else was resolved through negotiation during the next three years. The North Vietnamese simply demanded that the United States withdraw its troops and dissolve the Thieu government of South Vietnam. The US refused to overthrow its ally.

To Richard Nixon, who was now the new President of the United States, it was clear that although the Vietnam War could not be won, it must not be lost. To abandon Vietnam would undermine credibility with American allies all over the world who depended on the United States for national security. "Peace with honor" would be sought by convincing the North Vietnamese that they could not win. Nixon would undermine domestic opposition by withdrawing troops and eventually abolishing the draft. He would supply considerable military and economic aid to the South Vietnamese government for the purpose of "Vietnamization" of the War. Direct military support would continue through a massive use of American airpower.

Two months after his inauguration, Nixon made another fateful decision. He would "secretly" bomb the communist sanctuaries in "neutral" Cambodia. These sanctuaries, within five miles of the South Vietnamese border, were heavily provisioned with troops, and materials used to supply communist forces in South Vietnam. For years enemy forces had been escaping over the borders of Laos and Cambodia where the Americans and South Vietnamese could not pursue them. Nixon decided to use B-52s as a means of striking into these sanctuaries. Documents showing the Cambodian targets of the bombers were regularly destroyed and replaced by falsified papers which indicated that the bombing had taken place in Vietnam. In the next fifteen months over 100,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia.

1969 was a year of remarkable progress for the pacification of Vietnam. Large areas were wrested from the enfeebled Vietcong despite the fact that 60,000 American troops were withdrawn from Indochina during the course of the year. The South Vietnamese Army was becoming one of the largest and most well-equipped in the world.

In contrast to these less sensational consolidations, one of the few major actions of 1969 served to create a more negative image of the War's progress for the American public. That was the battle for "Hamburger Hill", or Apbia Mountain, located about a mile from the Laotian border. The North Vietnamese held their position because they were at a tactical advantage. The Americans and South Vietnamese attacked because it was a chance to engage the enemy. After six days of bloody assaults the hill was taken as the communists escaped into Laos. Since the hill was of no strategic value it was immediately abandoned. For many it seemed a perfect example of the purposelessness of the war.

By April of 1970 the communists controlled nearly a quarter of Cambodia. There were still many enemy supply caches near the Vietnam border which could not be targeted by bombers because of proximity to populated areas. Nixon decided upon an invasion by ground troops. Militarily, the operation was a success. The quantity of captured documents, ordnance and other supplies was awesome. But there was a price to pay. Although Nixon had stressed that American and South Vietnamese troops would not venture far within the Cambodian border — nor stay long, there was a widespread belief that he was expanding the war.

Anti-war demonstrations erupted all across America. Nixon was quoted by journalists making derogatory remarks about "bums..
blowing up campuses". At Kent State University a crowd of hundreds watched two men burn the Army ROTC building to the ground. The State's Governor called in the National Guard who opened fire on a group of students. Of the fifteen students shot, four were killed. Describing his reaction to the death of his daughter, one man told a reporter, "My child was not a bum".

Following Kent State, campus rioting and arson took on a convulsive quality. Within a week 450 colleges and universities were closed by protest strikes. Nearly 100,000 demonstrators converged on Washington, DC for a national day of protest. Some claim this was the beginning of Nixon's "siege mentality". Sixty buses were placed in a ring around the White House to protect the President — and troops were secretly brought into the basement. Rocks broke bus windows until two buses were pushed over on their sides. Police retaliated with clubs and tear gas. It was a trying moment for the fabric of American Civilization.

Other grisly revelations during the next year added to growing American opposition to the Indochinese War. More bombs had been dropped on Vietnam by 1970 than had been dropped on all other targets in the history of mankind. To the years of television bringing the horror of war into American homes was added the scandal of massacre in the village of My Lai.

The My Lai Massacre occurred shortly after the Tet Offensive. It happened on the coastline of central Vietnam, in a province where most of the citizens were regarded as Vietcong sympathizers. Ninety percent of American deaths in the area were due to booby traps and land mines. My Lai was originally reported as a "battle" in which 128 Vietcong were killed and three weapons captured. Only after years of military investigation and cover-up did it become clear that a company of GIs had made an "assault" on My Lai expecting to engage the Vietcong and had discovered only women, children and elderly men — 347 of whom were subsequently killed. Many were shot down as they ran. Others were burned in their homes. At least ninety more were slaughtered in the nearby hamlet of My Khe. What had been unusual about My Lai was the quantity of people massacred, not the uninhibited killing. Few of the soldiers had been shocked enough to think it was unusual. At least one officer testified that no innocent civilians had been killed — that all the people were active supporters of the Vietcong. Others told of frequent rape by American soldiers. One woman had been tied by a rope to her neck, like a horse, to act as a booby-trap probe. Some soldiers had made a game of lassoing Vietnamese peasants from their helicopters or of impaling them on the skids. It was the cold-blooded personal contact of the killing which made it so shocking, in contrast to the more impersonal, although more devestating, bombing and strafing which went on throughout much of the rest of the country.

Nor was My Lai all that was wrong in Vietnam. There were accusations that America was funding a police state. From 1971 to 1972 the number of rural police nearly tripled. One US congressman visiting South Vietnam estimated that half of the 10,000 people in prison never had a trial. Large quantities of high-grade heroin was entering Vietnam from Laos. A 1971 congressional report, The World Heroin Problem, concluded that 15 percent of GIs in Vietnam were heroin addicts. Accusations were made that the war was being fought for American interests who sought to exploit Vietnam's natural resources, although no conceivable such benefit could reasonably be justified in terms of the war's colossal costs. Profits accruing to manufacturers of war materials were far more obvious.

In June 1971 The New York Times began publishing The Pentagon Papers, a secret Defense Department study of the Vietnam War which revealed the American role in Diem's murder, the commando raids that provoked the Gulf of Tonkin incidents, and other examples of American culpability dating back to the time of Truman. According to the Pentagon Papers, 70% of the justification for the continued American presence in Vietnam was to avoid a humiliating US defeat (hardly an ideal many Vietnamese would want to lay down their lives for). By summer of 1971 a poll was indicating that 71 percent of Americans thought that sending US troops to Vietnam had been a mistake. Yet most Americans still opposed unilateral withdrawal.

Major shifts were occurring, however, which were beginning to alter Vietnam's significance in the world-wide geopolitical struggle. It had been an article of faith in the Johnson Administration that the communist powers stood together as a united front — and that Red Chinese territorial ambitions were the principle threat posed by the Vietnam War. Only later was it learned that Peking had offered to send troops to Vietnam in 1965, but the North Vietnamese had refused to permit it. Inklings of a Sino-Soviet rift could be gathered from spy satellite photos indicating the buildup of Soviet combat units and nuclear-tipped rockets along the Chinese border — and from the virulent Chinese denunciations of the 1969 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

In the spring of 1969 there were numerous clashes along the Sino-Soviet border involving tanks, artillery and antitank rockets. The fact that at least one of these incidents occurred near a Soviet railhead led Nixon and his Assistant for National Security, Henry Kissinger, to suspect that the Soviets had been the aggressors. According to White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, the Soviets made several overtures to the United States during that year proposing a US/USSR joint "surgical" strike against China's developing nuclear capabilities. Nixon and Kissinger initiated communications with the Chinese through the US and Chinese Embassies in Poland. When the Soviets indicated that they were preparing to make a surgical strike on their own, Moscow was warned that a nuclear strike against China could mean a Soviet confrontation with the United States. The Soviets backed down.

Over the next few years Nixon and Kissinger played a masterful political game of improving relations with the Soviets by playing on their fears of American ties with the Chinese — and of improving relations with the Chinese by playing on their fear of the Soviet Union. Nixon became the first American President to visit Peking as well as the first American President in Moscow. As the superpowers became preoccupied with triangular relations, Nixon and Kissinger sought to drive a wedge between North Vietnam and its communist allies.

On March 30, 1972 two hundred tanks struck across the demilitarized zone from North Vietnam. 120,000 North Vietnamese troops poured into South Vietnam from the North and from Cambodia. Nixon swore, "The bastards have never been bombed like they're going to be bombed this time". Hanoi was bombed for the first time since Johnson's bombing halt in the Fall of 1968. The Haiphong harbor area received punishing attacks from B-52s and naval gunfire. Four Soviet merchant ships were struck, but the Soviets did little more than to protest the incident, grudgingly accepting Nixon's expressed regret.

In South Vietnam, Thieu's forces — supported by massive bombardment from American B-52s — stopped the North Vietnamese advance. By May the North Vietnamese had lost their initiative and South Vietnamese Army forces were able to take the offensive. Efforts continued to eliminate sources of material from the North. Haiphong harbor was seeded with mines to discourage further supply by Soviet ships. Air attacks cut railway lines so that by early June more than a thousand railroad cars were waiting on the Chinese side of the border.

In the United States, the final stages of a presidential election campaign had begun. The Vietnam War was the central issue. Democratic contender George McGovern said that within 90 days of the time he became President he would withdraw all American troops (whether or not American Prisoners of War were released) and all economic aid to Saigon would be stopped. McGovern said that South Vietnamese President Thieu should plan to flee to whatever country would take him.

In August 1972, after three years of stalemate, the North Vietnamese gave evidence that they were ready for serious negotiations. Kissinger and Nixon decided that the North Vietnamese did not expect McGovern to win and were hoping that the pressure of the election would force Nixon to agree to a settlement making significant concessions. They did not want to face a Nixon armed with another four-year mandate.

By October Kissinger arrived at a secret agreement with the North Vietnamese that a cease-fire would be followed in sixty days by a full American withdrawal and a complete return of POWs on both sides. The North Vietnamese dropped their demands for a coalition government, agreeing to a National Council of Reconciliation and Concord made up of representatives from the Saigon government, the Vietcong and others. Since this council required unanimity in its votes, Thieu could not be outvoted by communists and their supporters. The North Vietnamese did not agree to withdraw their troops, however, because they still insisted that they had no forces in South Vietnam at all. An agreement was also made for economic aid to North Vietnam which the communists regarded as war reparations, but which Nixon viewed as a source of "leverage" with the Hanoi government.

South Vietnamese President Thieu rejected the proposal Kissinger had agreed to, however, insisting that any settlement must contain provision for the total withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops and for the full "self-determination" of South Vietnam. Nixon believed that if he signed the accord without Thieu's approval, the Saigon government would fall within a matter of months.

When Hanoi was informed that the US could not sign the agreement over Thieu's objections, the North Vietnamese made the treaty public, hoping to stir up international sentiment against Thieu as the sole obstacle to peace. Kissinger held a press conference in which he planned to present the agreement in a way that would undercut the North Vietnamese contention. But the media seemed to hear the phrase "Peace is at hand" and little else. Nixon and Kissinger later felt that the response stirred up by the public commitment to settlement seriously eroded their negotiating position. McGovern depicted the statement as being a political ruse.

Though Nixon was elected by a landslide, his evaluation of the new Senate led him to expect that funds for the war would be cut off when Congress reconvened in January. The North Vietnamese may have suspected this also. Kissenger met with the North Vietnamese again, bringing with him the lengthy changes in the agreement demanded by the South Vietnamese. Nixon was meanwhile shipping over a billion dollars worth of military hardware to South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese suspected that negotiations were being stalled so that the Americans could finish their massive armament shipments. Kissinger said that the North Vietnamese were bringing up new issues and objections because they no longer had an incentive to settle. He surmised that the North Vietnamese would accept peace only in conjunction with military victory in South Vietnam — and that they regarded negotiations as simply another tactic in the struggle. Talks were broken off.

Nixon ordered an all-out effort in Christmas bombing raids for the purpose of driving Hanoi to the conference table. In twelve days the United States dropped more bombs than it had during the entire period from 1969 to 1971. On December 26, Hanoi sent word that it had had enough.

Having forced the North Vietnamese to accept an agreement similar to the one they had been prepared to sign in October, Nixon began applying pressure to South Vietnamese President Thieu. Concerning Thieu, Nixon told Kissinger, "Brutality is nothing...You have never seen it if this son-of-a-bitch doesn't go along, believe me." Nixon warned Thieu that the United States would sign the agreement with or without his approval. Thieu was also told that if he refused to sign, Nixon would publically declare that the South Vietnamese government obstructs peace — and thereafter terminate all military and economic aid. Nixon also assured Thieu that violations of the agreement by the North Vietnamese would be followed by "swift and severe retaliatory action". On January 27, 1973 the Paris Peace Agreement was signed by the US, Hanoi, Saigon and the Vietcong.

The agreement meant different things to different people. To many in the United States it meant an end to all Indochinese commitments. To Kissinger it was a mutual pledge that could only be enforced by American military resolve. To many in South Vietnam it was a sign that the United States was abandoning them. To the North Vietnamese it was apparently an opportunity to provide military fortification for the areas of South Vietnam it held at the time of the cease-fire. Fighting in Vietnam slowed, but did not stop. The South Vietnamese government continued its "land-grabbing" operations, as did the communists.

Although the agreements had forbidden infiltration of troops and material into South Vietnam, by March there was bumper-to-bumper military traffic on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. If the agreements were to be enforced Nixon would have to bomb the Trail. But Nixon wavered with indecision. He was concerned about the return of American Prisoners of War. He was preoccupied with Watergate. He was unsure what the storms of domestic reaction would be and whether he could withstand them. He delayed action. By April the North Vietnamese had built a complex of anti-aircraft missile sites near Khe Sanh, just south of the demilitarized zone. Three days of antiaircraft bombing would be necessary before the Ho Chi Minh Trail could be hit. Again Nixon hesitated. It was to be his last opportunity. Soon Watergate and an antiwar Congress would eliminate all possibilities for effective action.

In late June Congress passed legislation calling for the cessation of all American military operations in or over Indochina. In November Congress passed the War Powers Act making it illegal for the President to use combat troops for more than sixty days without congressional approval. The legislation was another symbol of restrictions placed on the power of the President, but it was no longer relevant to Indochina because all military activity had already been forbidden there. In July of 1974 Congress placed a billion dollar ceiling on all military aid for Indochina for the following eleven months. Total economic aid to Indochina was dwindling rapidly.

South Vietnam was so dependent on American aid that it was hardly in a position to stand on its own feet economically, much less fight a war. Although its major industry was agriculture, nearly 50% of the population had been driven into the cities. Much of the country's best land was blighted by chemical defoliation and bomb craters. Nearly half of the able-bodied men were in military or police service. Although South Vietnam's arsenal and army ostensibly made it one of the strongest military powers in the world, economic constraints required rationing. Soldiers could receive only one hand grenade and 85 rifle bullets per month. To conserve petroleum half of the available armored cars were taken out of service and a fifth of the air force was grounded.

In December 1974 the North Vietnamese began a military offensive which ended in the capture of a provincial capitol. No response was forthcoming from the United States. In early 1975 the North Vietnamese stepped up their military operations. The northern and central provinces of South Vietnam fell rapidly. President Thieu decided to withdraw all troops for the defense of the southern portion of the country. But the roads were soon clogged with intermingled processions of military vehicles and refugees. The refugees themselves posed a monumental problem.

President Thieu made secret plans to ship the $220 million of gold in his nation's treasury to a bank in Switzerland via a chartered airline. But the Presidential Palace had CIA bugs and taps throughout. The "secret" was leaked to the press by a member of the American Embassy who suspected Thieu's motives. Thieu made an attempt to have the gold removed through more legitimate channels, but no one would provide insurance for the removal of so much gold from a war zone. Thus, when Saigon was overrun by Soviet-built tanks on April 30, 1975, the North Vietnamese not only became the possessors of billions of dollars worth of American military hardware — they also gained nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worth of gold. Last minute helicopter evacuations by Americans had been savage. Throngs of Vietnamese with outstretched arms were beaten back.

Cambodia had fallen to communists earlier in April. Laos would become communist the following December. But the war in Indochina was not over. To continue the story it is necessary to backtrack in time and give a history of events in Cambodia.

Prince Norodom Sihanouk was crowned king of Cambodia in 1941 at the age of eighteen. From 1955 he also served as Prime Minister and in 1960 was named Chief of State. After the assassination of Diem in 1963, Sihanouk renounced American aid. He told the United States to close its embassy and remove its personnel from his country. Although Sihanouk sought "neutral" status for his country, he evidently expected a communist future for Indochina. In 1966 he agreed to a Chinese request that military supplies be shipped from the Cambodian coast on the Gulf of Siam to the North Vietnamese sanctuaries along Cambodia's eastern borders. In return for this favor Sihanouk was permitted to keep a portion of these military supplies for the Cambodian Army.

By the time of the Tet Offensive, however, Sihanouk's attitude toward communist infiltration of his country was beginning to change. Not only was there an increasing problem with native Cambodian communist guerrillas, whom Sihanouk called the "Khmers Rouges", but the number of Vietcong and North Vietnamese soldiers in the sanctuaries was of such scope as to threaten his sense of national security. Sihanouk and other Cambodian officials made statements to American emissaries to the effect that "hot pursuit" by Americans into the sanctuaries would be permitted.

In March 1969 Nixon began his "secret" bombing of the communist sanctuaries within the Cambodian border. The North Vietnamese did not protest because they were not ready to admit that they were violating Cambodian neutrality. Sihanouk did not protest although later, after he had allied himself with the communist camp, he made the incredible claim that he had not known the bombing had been going on. Over four months after the bombing had started Sihanouk invited Nixon to visit Cambodia, promising a warm reception. Nixon admits that part of the reason he kept the bombing a secret was to prevent "public outcry" by domestic antiwar groups. But he also claims that publicity would have forced Sihanouk to denounce the action, contrary to the true wishes of the Prince.

In January 1970 Prince Sihanouk took his vacation at a health clinic" in the French Riviera. While he was gone, members of his government began making moves to seize power. Anti-Vietnamese demonstrations protesting the presence of North Vietnamese and Vietcong in Cambodia began to sweep the country. The government evidently played a role in organizing a large portion of these demonstrations. On March 18 a closed session of the Cambodian legislature reportedly deposed Sihanouk as Chief of State. Sihanouk's anti-communist Prime Minister assumed control of the Cambodian Government. When the North Vietnamese negotiator accused the United States of having engineered the coup, Kissinger replied that although the US had not been involved, such a high opinion of the efficacy of American intelligence services was flattering.

Sihanouk established an exile government in Peking, throwing his support behind the Khmer Rouge and their North Vietnamese allies. The Cambodian Government began a program which, although ostensibly anti-communist, was actually an indescriminate slaughter of all Vietnamese living in Cambodia. The North Vietnamese began to coalesce their sanctuaries into one continuous strip of occupied territory and to drive their forces toward the Cambodian capitol.

Nixon and Kissinger had grave fears of the effect on the war in South Vietnam of a North Vietnamese conquest of Cambodia. They also had reason to believe that the communist headquarters directing all operations in South Vietnam, along with huge quantities of military equipment, were located in the sanctuaries. American and South Vietnamese forces were authorized to make a temporary "incursion" across the Cambodian border. The South Vietnamese attacked native Cambodians as viciously as they attacked the communist enemy — it was a wave of racial hostility and retaliation. About fifty thousand ethnic Vietnamese who had been living in Cambodia took the opportunity to flee to South Vietnam. Vast quantities of military hardware, ammunition and documents were captured by the Americans. CIA officials who had propounded the belief that most war material was filtering down the Ho Chi Minh Trail were shocked to discover that eighty percent of the supplies had been unloaded from North Vietnamese boats on the Cambodian coast. The last American troops left Cambodia at the end of June.

Although large portions of Cambodia remained under communist control, the pace of the war against the Cambodian government began to slow. Part of the reason for this may have been the growing ethnic hostility between the North Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge. The North Vietnamese might also have reduced their supplies to their Cambodian allies so as to concentrate on their 1972 offensive into South Vietnam. By the time of the Paris Peace Agreement in January 1973, the Khmer Rouge were denouncing the North Vietnamese for betrayal in dealing with the "imperialists". North Vietnamese troops remained in Cambodia, however, both in violation of the Paris Agreement and against the wishes of the Khmer Rouge.

With the cessation of American military activity in Vietnam, B-52s began to fill the Cambodian skies. By May 1973 the United States was dropping nearly as many bombs per month on Cambodia as had been dropped during the whole of 1972. By the time the American Congress had stopped US military activity on August 15, the US had dropped half again more tons of bombs on Cambodia than had been dropped in conventional bombing of Japan during World War II.

Refugees streamed into the Cambodian capitol — swelling its population from 600,000 to between two and three million. By 1974 eighty percent of Cambodian rice paddy fields had been abandoned. Total rice production was 17 percent what it had been a few years earlier. Starving children suffering from nutritional diseases could be seen everywhere. Charities like Catholic Relief Services and World Vision responded to the tragedy.

With little military or economic aid available from the outside, the Cambodian Government succumbed to the Khmer Rouge in mid-April of 1975. The new regime of communists, headed by a man who called himself "Pol Pot", proved to be among the most radical ever to assume power. Communication with the outside world — except for a fortnightly flight to Peking — was terminated. Knowledge of life in the new regime could only be pieced together from stories by refugees and other observers.

The Khmer Rouge virtually emptied the cities as part of a radical program of agrarian egalitarianism. Anyone who was not a poor peasant was suspect. This included businesspeople, intellectuals, persons with technical skills and those who had lived in cities or associated with foreigners. Money, religion and private property were abolished. The people were placed on communal farms with sexually segregated living quarters. Sihanouk lived as a virtual prisoner. All who did not exhibit obedience to "The Organization" were executed (commonly by an ax handle to the back of the neck, insofar as this saved ammunition). Estimates of the number of deaths through execution and starvation during the nearly four years of Khmer Rouge rule range between several hundred thousand and three million, out of a total population of seven million Cambodians. The country's 1,200 engineers were reduced to 20; 21,000 teachers reduced to 3,000 and 500 physicians reduced to 54.

After years of Cambodia's border clashes with both Thailand and Vietnam, a Vietnamese invasionary force, armed with American military hardware, swept across Cambodia in a few weeks. By January 15, 1979 the Khmer Rouge were reduced to pockets of guerrilla activity. The Vietnamese allowed world relief organizations to reach the starving Cambodians with aid.

Because of the persecution of ethnic Chinese within Vietnam (which had resulted in streams of "boat people" refugees) and in direct response to the Vietnamese take-over of Cambodia, the Chinese launched a punitive attack across the northern border of Vietnam in February 1979. Having demonstrated that Vietnamese military aggression would not be tolerated throughout Indochina, the Chinese withdrew. The war in Cambodia between the Soviet-backed Vietnamese and the Chinese-supported Khmer Rouge guerrillas continued.

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When Richard M. Nixon assumed the Presidency of the United States in 1969 he had little doubt that the government bureaucracy was controlled by liberal Democrats. Because he believed that the CIA was staffed by Ivy League liberals, he proposed that the CIA Director be excluded from attending meetings of the National Security Council. This idea was not implemented, however, perhaps partially because use of the National Security Council was eventually de-emphasized by Nixon's Administration.

Although Nixon appointed Cabinet officers, his trusted policy makers were specially appointed presidential assistants who could operate directly from the White House. Thus, foreign policy came under the direction of National Security Assistant Henry Kissenger rather than the Secretary of State. John Ehrlichman eventually became the President's Chief Assistant for Domestic Affairs. Presidential legal work was supervised at first by Ehrlichman and later by Counsel to the President John Dean. White House Chief of Staff was H. R. Haldeman. Haldeman implemented Nixon's orders and determined which people could gain an audience with the President.

Also in the White House were two former New York City policemen who did investigative work on Nixon's political enemies. They investigated a comedian named "Richard M. Dixon" who imitated the President. They investigated a drinking incident involving the Speaker of the House. They also obtained electronic bugging reports concerning the famous clients of a New York madam named Xaviera Hollander ("the Happy Hooker"). Tape recordings had been made of various prominent people engaging in "abnormal sexual practices". One of the ex-cops went to Chappaquiddick shortly after Mary Jo Kopechne's body was recovered from the water. He spent four days on the island posing as a newspaperman. Later an attempt was made to seduce one of the Chappaquiddick women for the purpose of gaining her confidence and her inside information.

In April 1969 The New York Times published a number of stories which seemingly could only have originated from high-level leaks. One story revealed that the National Security Council was exploring the consequences of unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam. Other stories carried reports of secret deliberations concerning disarmament talks with the Soviet Union and the posting of an intelligence ship near North Korea.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover suggested to Nixon that wiretaps and other investigative techniques be used against suspected leakers in the government. Hoover and Nixon were concerned about the number of liberals and Democrats on Kissinger's staff. Of particular interest to Hoover was Morton Halperin, chief of the National Security Council planning group. Halperin had been an assistant professor at Harvard and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Johnson Administration.

On May 9th The New York Times published an article which revealed the "secret" bombing of Cambodia, crediting Nixon Administration sources with the information. When Kissinger told Halperin that he was suspected of leaking the story, Halperin protested his innocence. Kissinger told him that his access to sensitive materials was being cut off so that when future leaks occurred, he wouldn't be blamed. On May 10th Kissinger's deputy gave the FBI the authorization to wiretap Halperin and three other government officials. Hoover didn't mention that he had begun a wiretap on Halperin the previous day.

As the leaks continued, the wiretapping increased. Seventeen persons, including four newsmen and one of Nixon's speechwriters, were tapped over the next twenty-one months. Reports from a tap on one of the newsmen went to Ehrlichman rather than Kissinger, suggesting that Kissinger himself was being monitored as a possible leaker. The wiretapping program was ended in February 1971 having produced little concrete information about the sources of leaking.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was becoming an increasingly difficult man. Formerly he had allowed Presidents to use the FBI for political purposes. For example, Robert Kennedy evidently asked the FBI to tap phones during a political scandal involving Vice-President Johnson (Johnson believed that the Kennedy's wanted to force him off the 1964 ticket). Hoover had maintained his leverage against the Kennedys by compiling a dossier of President Kennedy's sexual activities.

Johnson made extensive use of the FBI for his own political ends. When Edward Kennedy made a trip to Italy, the FBI spied on him. Johnson asked the Bureau to look for Republican involvement in a scandal concerning the homosexuality of one of his aides. Johnson also asked the FBI to dig up derogatory material on one of the Senators who had voted against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

During the 1968 Presidential election Johnson had suspicions that Nixon was making political use of the Chinese widow of the World War II hero General Claire Chennault. Mrs. Chennault had been trying to delay Saigon's participation in the Paris peace talks until after the election, arguing that the South Vietnamese would do better if Nixon was President. She may have succeeded because on November 1, South Vietnamese President Thieu broke his promise to Johnson and declared that South Vietnam would not "be able to participate in the present exploratory talks."

Hoover regarded Nixon as a personal friend and ally — it was unlike his relationship with Johnson or the Kennedys. Nixon claims Hoover told him that Johnson had ordered bugging of the Nixon campaign airplane for "national security" reasons. Hoover was embarrassed that Nixon had been refused a job with the FBI prior to becoming a congressman (the interviewer had believed Nixon was "lacking in aggression").

But Hoover was never one to ignore the power of blackmail. In the mid-1960s — while Nixon was a partner in John Mitchell's New York City law firm — Nixon and his friend Bebe Rebozo made two trips to Hong Kong. FBI agents made note of the time Nixon spent in the company of a Chinese hostess. When Nixon later appointed his friend John Mitchell as Attorney General, the FBI was asked not to make the usual background investigation. Hoover agreed, knowing full well that Nixon had made himself vulnerable by making such a request.

By 1970 Hoover was becoming more interested in protecting the FBI from scandal than he was in gathering intelligence. He blocked the implementation of an integrated intelligence program against "domestic security threats". Later he stopped all bugging, wiretapping and clandestine entry activities by the FBI. Hoover even refused a request by the CIA to tap the phones of two Soviet agents. Hoover's assistant claims that if the CIA had conducted the wiretap itself — in violation of its charter — Hoover would have leaked the information to the press. Hoover ended liason with the CIA after the Agency refused to identify an FBI agent who had helped them without Hoover's permission. Nixon invited Hoover for a breakfast during which Nixon planned to fire the cantankerous old man. What happened in that meeting is unclear, but Hoover left with his job intact.

In the late fall of 1969, Charles Colson was added to Nixon's retinue of White House heavyweights. Colson became Nixon's chief "political hardball" expert for designing election strategies and handling Nixon's political problems. Over the bar of Colson's den was the Green Beret slogan "When you've got'em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow". Colson quickly ingratiated himself to Nixon by obtaining a picture of Teddy Kennedy leaving a Paris night club with a beautiful woman who was not his wife — and getting the picture published in the National Enquirer.

To help him with his investigative work, Colson hired a man he had met at the Brown University Club of Washington, ex-CIA agent E. Howard Hunt. Hunt was assigned to do research on Chappaquiddick in the hope of turning up new dirt against Edward Kennedy.

Nixon believed that the Kennedy image could be tarnished by exposing stories of blunders and sinister conduct on the part of John Kennedy during his Presidency. Since Howard Hunt had played a role in the Bay of Pigs — and was particularly bitter about JFK's role in that fiasco — Nixon suggested that Hunt's memoirs be published in Look magazine. Later the President decided that the best political strategy was to focus attention on the origins of the Vietnam War, with particular emphasis on John Kennedy's involvement in Diem's assassination. No other issue could be so divisive for the Democrats. At a press conference, Nixon made the statement, "I would remind all concerned that the way we got into Vietnam was through overthrowing Diem, and the complicity in the murder of Diem."

Howard Hunt photocopied 240 cables between the American embassy in Saigon and the State Department in the period from April to November of 1963. After examining the cables, Hunt noted that "the closer one approached the assassination period, the more frequently were cables missing from chronological sequence." Hunt believed that strong circumstantial evidence existed for concluding that the missing cables would indicate Kennedy's acquiescence in the killing of Diem. Colson and Hunt decided to forge additional cables. Unable to find the original typewriters on which the cables had been written, Hunt pieced together two fake cables using a razor blade and a White House Xerox machine. The cables were shown to a reporter from Life magazine, but a story was never published because Hunt and Colson refused to allow the journalist to borrow the cables for closer inspection and photographing.

In June 1971 The New York Times began publishing "The Pentagon Papers", a 47-volume secret study authorized by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967 to document the nature and history of US involvement in Vietnam. The Times had obtained The Pentagon Papers from a Rand Corporation defense analyst named Daniel Ellsberg, who had secretly photocopied them. Ellsberg had begun his career as a vehemently pro-War "Operations Research" whiz-kid. He had lectured at Kissinger's Defense Policy Seminars at Harvard, but after several tours of Vietnam as a Marine officer, became increasingly cynical about American involvement in the War. Privy to the most highly classified documents, Ellsberg took advantage of his postition by releasing them to the press.

Nixon's immediate reaction to the leak of The Pentagon Papers was rather passive. The documents indicated the extent to which his Democratic predecessors had been guilty of creating the Vietnam mess he had inherited — something Nixon had been trying to demonstrate to the public all along. Although The Pentagon Papers were marked "Top Secret", their secrecy no longer seemed important.

Kissinger, however, flew into a rage. He roared at the impossibility of conducting foreign policy when "some idiot can publish all of the diplomatic secrets of this country". He brandished a handful of cables from American allies expressing indignation at the evidence of deception. He questioned whether the Chinese or North Vietnamese could continue secret negotiations with the knowledge that American secrets can be so easily leaked. "It shows you're a weakling, Mr. President", Kissinger told Nixon. Nixon became convinced that Ellsberg's action was treason.

Nixon had given up trying to get the FBI or the CIA to track down and root out leakers, so he turned to John Ehrlichman for help. Ehrlichman was charged with the responsibility of creating and coordinating a Special Investigations Unit (later known as "The Plumbers", because they were supposed to stop "leaks"). Ehrlichman made his aide, Bud Krogh, the staff coordinator for the unit. David Young was snatched from Kissinger's staff and Howard Hunt served as Colson's representative in the group. Attorney General John Mitchell sent an ex-FBI man named Gordon Liddy to complete the team. The Plumbers, therefore, had representatives from the top men in the Nixon Administration.

For Krogh, The Plumbers was a part-time job. Krogh also did work on monitoring the anti-narcotics programs of various agencies (for example, attempting to resolve a dispute between the Pentagon, the State Department and the Bureau of Narcotics over the legality of kidnapping drug traffickers abroad). Krogh once told the President's Counsel, John Dean, that when he was bored with desk work, he carried gold bars through Asia's "Golden Triangle" in CIA planes to bargain with drug chieftains. Most of the administrative responsibility for The Plumbers was actually given to David Young.

In the antiwar community, and in much of the press, Ellsberg was emerging as a folk hero. Nixon and Kissinger were determined that the public see Ellsberg as a treasonous scoundrel. If Ellsberg were to go free and be held in high regard, there would be every reason to expect others would emulate his behavior in a disastrous tidal wave of leaking. Colson was assigned to discredit Ellsberg in the public eye. Erhlichman later tried to lend a hand by suggesting to the judge who was conducting the Ellsberg trial that he was being considered as the new Director of the FBI (a fact the judge announced when he threw the case out of court).

Soon Colson was using his influence with The Plumbers to encourage them to aid in ruining Ellsberg's reputation. Kissinger claimed that Ellsberg had bizzare sexual habits, took drugs and was generally a weirdo. Howard Hunt, recalling that a lengthy psychological profile of Fidel Castro performed by the CIA had been a useful source for directing propaganda campaigns, suggested that the CIA conduct a psychological profile of Ellsberg. Although CIA psychologists reputedly had never produced such a study on an American citizen before, they reluctantly accepted the job. But the document they produced concluded that Ellsberg had acted on the basis of "what he deemed a higher order of patriotism". The White House was dissatisfied.

Howard Hunt had information (supplied by an FBI "asset" at the United Nations who later proved to be a Soviet disinformation plant) that Soviet representatives had received copies of Ellsberg's Pentagon Papers before they were published by The New York Times. He was also aware that Ellsberg had attended Cambridge University in England, where many spys for the Soviets had been recruited. Liddy also suspected that Ellsberg was a KGB agent.

An FBI report (which Liddy deemed to be based on a "masked" wiretap) indicated that Ellsberg would telephone his psychiatrist, Dr. Lewis Fielding of Beverley Hills, at all hours of the night to tell him intimate details of his life. CIA psychiatrists agreed that Fielding might know more about the Pentagon Paper case, including knowledge of accomplices Ellsberg might have had. The Plumbers decided that the job of compiling a psychiatric profile on Ellsberg was up to them.

Liddy suggested a "black bag job" (security case break-and-entry) on Fielding's California office. Hunt brought along several Cubans who he had worked with during the Bay of Pigs operation. One of them was Bernard "Macho" Barker, a man born in Cuba of American parents, who had been Hunt's chief-of-staff and close companion during the planning period for the Bay of Pigs invasion. Barker had been "fired" by the CIA because, according to CIA Director Richard Helms, "he was involved in certain gambling and criminal elements". Another Cuban was Eugenio Martinez, who had conducted 354 secret missions to Castro's Cuba for the CIA. Colson obtained funds for the project by appealing to a lobbyist for Associated Milk Producers, Inc.

The Cubans claimed they found nothing during the break-in of Dr. Fielding's office. But Dr. Fielding said that when he examined his office the next day, he found his batches of notes on Ellsberg outside the envelope in which he had left them. Many of Fielding's other files were strewn about the office.

In December 1971 Washington columnist Jack Anderson printed a verbatim account of Henry Kissinger's remarks at a secret crisis-management committee. The United States was officially taking a neutral stand in the conflict between India and Pakistan, although the Soviets were backing India and the Chinese were behind Pakistan. Kissinger's vehemently pro-Pakistan remarks were acutely embarrassing. The Plumbers were assigned to find the source of the leak.

The search led to a secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff liason to Henry Kissinger. The secretary admitted to stealing secret materials from Kissinger for the Pentagon, but denied giving them to Anderson. Further investigation revealed that the secretary (like Anderson) was a Mormon and had eaten a Thanksgiving dinner at the home of one of Anderson's sons. Attorney General John Mitchell wanted a wiretap on Anderson, but Nixon refused to authorize it. Later, Gordon Liddy made plans to have Anderson killed, but Hunt told him to forget the idea.

At the end of 1971 the problem of leaks began to recede from presidential priorities due to the approaching 1972 election. "The Plumbers" was disbanded, though the nickname was to stick when members of the group worked together in intelligence operations against the Democrats. White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman instructed White House Counsel John Dean to set up a political intelligence program for the re-election campaign. Dean chose Gordon Liddy to be in charge of designing and administering such a program — and of drawing up a budget.

In his years of campaigning, Nixon had been the victim of numerous "dirty tricks" by his political enemies. He had been the target of organized jeering and rotten eggs. Once, the wires of the public address system were cut when he rose to give a speech in Michigan. On another occasion, while Nixon was giving a campaign speech from the rear platform of a train, a Democratic trickster entered the engine room dressed as an engineer. Nixon was dumbfounded when his audience receded into the distance as the train pulled away.

With Nixon's tacit approval, Haldeman directed the hiring of Donald Segretti as a Republican "dirty trickster". Segretti received his funds from Nixon's private lawyer, Herb Kalmbach.

Kalmbach not only handled Nixon's unofficial legal affairs, he acted as trustee and moneyraiser for Nixon's secret political fund between election campaigns. Kalmbach received the $1,668,000 surplus from Nixon's 1968 campaign. At Haldeman's direction, Kalmbach contributed $400,000 of secret fund money to the campaign of George Wallace's opponent in the Alabama Democratic gubernatorial primary.

A 1971 Harris Poll indicated that Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine was leading Nixon by as much as 47% to 39%. Since Muskie was Nixon's leading Democratic opponent for the presidency, he became the target of a large portion of Segretti's "dirty tricks".

A woman was hired to run naked in front of Muskie's Florida hotel room shouting, "I love Ed Muskie". Stink bombs were released at Muskie picnics and in his campaign headquarters. Segretti placed an order for 200 pizzas to be delivered to a Muskie fund-raising dinner in Washington, DC. Spies and covert operators were hired to work inside the Muskie campaign. Muskie's campaign manager later said that the theft of a major scheduling program created a very serious disruption.

The most serious "dirty trick" against Muskie, however, came from an unidentified source. Shortly before the New Hampshire primary, a letter appeared in the Manchester Union Leader which had purportedly been written by someone from Florida. The letter described a person asking Muskie what he knew about blacks. Muskie's reported response was that Maine did not have blacks, but instead had Canucks (persons of French Canadian ancestry). The event was described in such a way as to imply Muskie's amused contempt for both ethnic groups. Accompanying the letter was an editorial entitled "Sen. Muskie Insults Franco-Americans". The next day the same newspaper reprinted an item from Newsweek in which Muskie's wife was quoted saying to reporters, "Let's tell dirty jokes".

Muskie made a speech in front of the Manchester Union Leader building in which he denied the truth of "The Canuck Letter" and called the editor a "gutless coward" for attempting to smear his wife. As he delivered his speech, however, Muskie lost his composure, breaking down into tears of grief or rage. The editor of the Union Leader made the statement that Muskie's behavior indicated "he's not the man that many of us want to have his finger on the nuclear button". Muskie's dismal performance in subsequent primaries led him to withdraw from the election.

Hubert Humphrey was also the target of some of Segretti's pranks. The most famous, perhaps, was the distribution of an invitation through Milwaukee's black ghettos which read: "FREE — All you can eat lunch with beer, wine or soda! With Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. Lorne Greene. Mrs. Martin Luther King." Many voters were undoubtedly resentful when none of the above materialized. Most of the propaganda against Humphrey, however, attempted to link him with Johnson's responsibility for the Vietnam War. Evidently an unpopular "radical" like George McGovern was Nixon's ideal opponent.

George Wallace was also a serious threat. If he ran as an independent again, an estimated four-fifths of the votes for Wallace would be votes which would otherwise have gone to Nixon. But Wallace was shot in May 1972, an event Nixon later described as the most significant factor in his re-election. Shortly following the shooting, Colson asked Howard Hunt to try to break into the would-be assassin's apartment. According to Liddy, Colson wanted Hunt to gather evidence about the man's background and plant documents linking him to the radical left. After Hunt protested that the assignment entailed too much danger for too little benefit, Colson retracted the order.

Nixon apparently did not want his election campaign to be diluted by people who were working on behalf of other Republicans. So the main responsibility for his campaign was given to the Committee for the Re-election of the President (CRP or CREEP). John Mitchell was scheduled to resign as Attorney General in March 1972 to take charge of CRP activities, but he actually began running the campaign much earlier. Jeb Magruder, formerly a Haldeman aide, served as Mitchell's deputy and as nominal head of CRP prior to Mitchell's official change of position.

Gordon Liddy, as a lawyer and ex-FBI agent, was appointed chief counsel for CRP in December 1971. In addition to officially handling CRP legal work, Liddy was unofficial director of CRP political intelligence operations for the campaign. Fired with enthusiasm, Liddy designed a $1 million scheme he gave the code name GEMSTONE. The plan was to include spies in the Democratic camp, kidnapping and harassment of anti-war demonstrators, an opulent barge on which seductive women would ply secrets from democrats during the Miami Convention, bugging of Democrats, and a major disruption operation at the Democratic National Convention (including the sabotaging of air-conditioning units). He also planned to get a group of "filthy hippie-types" (pretending to be McGovern supporters) who would urinate on the floor of McGovern's suite.

On January 27, 1972 the GEMSTONE plan was first presented to John Mitchell, Jeb Magruder and John Dean in the Attorney General's office. Mitchell suggested a more reasonable budget. On February 4 a $500,000 plan was presented to the same audience in the same office. The discussion apparently focused on intelligence gathering from specific targets, notably the Washington office and Miami Convention hotel suite of Lawrence O'Brien, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Another target would be the campaign headquarters of the Democratic presidential nominee. Mitchell said he would think about Liddy's plan.

Liddy went to Howard Hunt asking to be introduced to Charles Colson. After Liddy began telling Colson about GEMSTONE, Colson picked up the phone and called Magruder demanding that a decision be made. As Magruder tells it, Colson said, "We need information, particularly on O'Brien". Magruder was also receiving pressure from Haldeman's office in the White House. According to Magruder and Dean, Mitchell finally approved the wiretap on O'Brien's office telephone at the Watergate Hotel complex — although Mitchell himself has denied giving authorization.

Liddy had not been told of Segretti's "dirty tricks" assignment. So when Liddy first started receiving phone calls on the subject, he decided that Segretti must be a Democratic double agent. When Magruder finally told Liddy that Segretti was working for Haldeman, Liddy objected to the infringement on what he considered to be his area of responsibility. Using aliases, Liddy and Hunt interviewed Segretti in Florida. They concluded Segretti's methods were "sophomoric" and urged the White House, without success, to remove Segretti from the campaign.

On May 28, 1972, CRP security officer John McCord (an electronics expert) and the "Cuban Plumbers" broke into the O'Brien Watergate office. McCord put one tap on the phone of O'Brien's secretary and another on the phone of the executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen. Both taps appeared to work when McCord tested them. But once an attempt was made to monitor the taps from a nearby listening post, it became evident that only the tap on the director was functional. Because the director's phone was the only WATS line available to the office secretaries, it was used extensively for phone calls to boyfriends all over the country.

A week-and-a-half after the break-in, Magruder called Liddy into his office to tell him that the secretary-gossip gathered from the wiretap was worthless. Magruder directed Liddy to conduct another break-in. The wiretaps could be fixed, but the main objective would be to photograph the entire contents of O'Brien's desk and files.

On June 17, James McCord and the four "Cubans" (Bernard Barker, Frank Sturgis, Eugenio Martinez and Virgilo Gonzalez) made a second break-in to O'Brien's Watergate office while Hunt and Liddy monitored the operation by walkie-talkie. This time the burglars were caught by the police. Brought before a judge, the men identified themselves as "anti-communists". What were they after? The Cubans would say that they were engaged in a "national security" operation to establish that money from Fidel Castro was being accepted by the Democratic Party — perhaps to encourage future diplomatic recognition of the Castro regime by a Democratic president. Howard Hunt indicated he believed that this was the purpose of the break-in.

Frank Sturgis confided to a writer that he had been instructed to find "anything on Howard Hughes". Liddy wrote, "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." Magruder testified "we were particularly concerned about the ITT situation. Mr. O'Brien has been a very effective spokesman against our position on the ITT case...So we had hoped that information might discredit him." Insofar as the most provocative explanations for the Watergate break-in center on ITT and Howard Hughes, it is worth examining the background of each of these influences with particular reference to O'Brien and his Republican enemies.

International Telegraph and Telephone (ITT) began its existence in the Caribbean in the 1920s. The name was deliberately chosen so as to resemble that of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T). ITT grew rapidly and soon lived up to its name by obtaining control of telephone communications throughout Europe and Latin America. AT&T made an agreement with ITT for mutual respect of each other's spheres of influence. AT&T would restrict its telecommunications activities to the United States while ITT would work abroad.

When Fidel Castro nationalized the telephone company in Cuba, the effect on ITT President Harold Geneen was traumatic. Geneen decided that ITT would reduce the dangers of foreign expropriation and control by increasing ITT acquisitions in the United States.

In 1965 ITT bought Avis Rent-a-Car, a company which had recently shown extraordinary growth associated with a "We try harder" advertizing campaign. In 1968 ITT acquired Sheraton hotels, the second largest hotel chain. That same year ITT bought America's biggest bakery company, Continental Baking. The company was best known for its product "Wonder Bread" which purportedly "Helps build strong bodies twelve ways". Consumer activist Ralph Nader protested this claim to the Federal Trade Commission, but the case was dismissed because the judge didn't think that children really believe TV advertisements.

Nader's dislike for ITT became second only to his animosity towards General Motors. He continued his attacks against ITT when the corporation tried to acquire the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). After a long delay by the Federal Communication Commission, during which there was much dispute between Commissioners, the Justice Department stepped forward with its own case against the merger. It was argued that ITT's foreign interests, which "involve it in close and confidential relation with foreign governments" would compromise the honesty of ABC news. Geneen decided it would no longer be profitable to fight, so he withdrew his bid for acquisition. At the same time, Geneen decided he would create a powerful ITT lobby in Washington which could reduce future interference.

In ten years ITT had been transformed from a group of foreign telephone companies into a huge conglomerate of diverse industries with 331 subsidiaries. ITT had grown from being the fifty-second largest company in 1959 to the ninth largest in 1970. Much of the conglomerate's success was attributed to the use of tax havens and clever accounting practices. In 1969 and 1970 the company's earnings went up while its taxes went down.

In 1969 ITT was moving ahead with plans to merge with Canteen Corporation, the leading automated food-vending company. It was also merging with Grinnell Corporation, the largest manufacturer of fire alarms. But its proposed merger with Hartford Insurance Group would be the biggest merger in American history. The Antitrust Division of the Justice Department vigorously opposed all these mergers. After a struggle that lasted over two years, a deal was suddenly struck whereby ITT was allowed to keep Hartford if it agreed to give up Canteen, Avis and part of Grinnell. Despite the fact that the value of ITT stock fell by $1 billion in the next three days, there were charges that the deal was the result of political favors.

Nixon was quite desirous of having the 1972 Republican National Convention in San Diego. California had the largest block of electoral votes and the state had been narrowly won by Nixon in 1968. Moreover, San Diego was near Nixon's San Clemente estate. But San Diego businessmen had bid only $200,000 for the convention. The Republican National Committee estimated it could not hold a convention for less than $800,000. According to a prominent San Diego Republican congressman, ITT President Geneen gave a verbal pledge of $400,000 for the convention when he visited the city. Later the pledge became a written commitment for $200,000 with many strings attached. Finally, the pledge became irrelevant when the Republicans decided to have their convention in Miami.

Nixon himself admits that he brought considerable pressure to bear against Deputy Attorney General Richard Kleindienst to drop the antitrust actions against ITT. As Nixon tells it, he was motivated by a conviction that big businesses were to be "broken up only when they violated the laws of fair competition and not simply because they were big".

On February 28, 1972, Washington columnist Jack Anderson published a memorandum he claimed was written by Dita Beard, head of ITT's large Washington lobbying staff. The memo contained the statement, "I am convinced...that our noble commitment has gone a long way toward our negotiations on mergers eventually coming out as Hal (Geneen) wants them." Anderson contended that the memo proved that the antitrust settlement "was a payoff for ITT's pledge of up to $400,000." On the same day that Anderson published the memo, the Washington office of ITT conducted a mass shredding of a large number of its documents.

Although Kleindienst had already been confirmed to succeed John Mitchell as Attorney General, he asked that the Senate re-open confirmation hearings so that he could clear his good name. The move was a political disaster for the Republicans. Senator Edward Kennedy kept the hearings open for two months as he cross-examined numerous ITT executives. It was the longest confirmation hearing in the history of the Senate. ITT hired the private intelligence agency Intertel to counter the efforts of Anderson and Kennedy.

One potential witness who never made it to the stand was the reputed writer of the disputed memo, ITT lobbyist Dita Beard. The FBI found her in a hospital in Denver, Colorado where she was reputedly suffering from an "impending coronary thrombosis" which left her too ill to testify. Because her doctor had previously done work for an ITT subsidiary, his diagnosis was suspected. Two other Denver doctors dismissed the diagnosis altogether.

Colson sent Howard Hunt to Denver for the purpose of interviewing Dita Beard. Hunt accepted the assignment, taking his CIA-disguise with him. Hunt saw Mrs. Beard and obtained her denial that she had written the memo. Dita Beard's son described Hunt's appearance as "very eerie; he did have a huge red wig on cock-eyed, like he put it on in a dark car".

The authenticity of the memo continued to be an object of dispute. Even if Mrs. Beard did write it (and there is much evidence to indicate that she did), it may still have been a piece of bragging intended to inflate her importance as a lobbyist. But there was enough titillating evidence of political favor for Lawrence O'Brien, most notably, to make the ITT case a huge public relations problem for the Republicans. The appearance of a deal existed, and there could never be means to conclusively disprove that a deal had been made. According to Haldeman, Nixon wanted dearly to counterattack. And his target was a large retainer O'Brien was receiving from Howard Hughes.

Nixon himself had endured a traumatic political scandal associated with Howard Hughes. A few weeks after Nixon was re-elected Vice-President in 1956, he had phoned Hughes' political lawyer to request a loan of $205,000 for his brother, Donald Nixon. Donald had been losing money in a restaurant business which featured "Nixonburgers". Collateral for the loan was a $13,000 plot of land and a $40,000 gas station which would be built on the land with part of the loan money. The Hughes organization not only made the loan, but they dispatched some of their skilled executives to try to help Donald with his business problems. Donald rebuffed the advisors and not long thereafter went bankrupt. One month after the loan was made, the Internal Revenue Service reversed its previous rulings and decided to grant tax-exempt status to the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation. This may not have been a coincidence.

Although the trust deed for the loan was held by a free-lance accountant to conceal the connection with Hughes, the story was discovered and publicized in the closing days of the 1960 presidential contest between Nixon and Kennedy. Nixon attended a rally in San Francisco's Chinatown where he beamed his approval to a group of children holding a large banner of Chinese characters. He later learned that the banner asked, "What About the Hughes Loan?" At the luncheon that followed the rally, all the fortune cookies contained the message, "Ask him about the Hughes Loan." Some believe the scandal was enough to cause Nixon's narrow defeat.

In 1968, Nixon finally fulfilled his ambition by being elected President of the United States. With the scandal of the Hughes loan still haunting his memory, Nixon became alarmed when he discovered his brother Donald was spending time with a Hughes executive named John Meier. Meier claimed the association was just "personal friendship", but Donald was apparently interested in obtaining a food concession at the Hughes Aircraft Company. Hughes' chief executive Robert Maheu assigned an ex-FBI agent to watch Meier. Nixon had Secret Service men follow his brother and tap his telephone. After obtaining documented evidence of clandestine meetings and business ventures, Maheu asked Hughes for permission to fire Meier. Hughes refused. Maheu persisted in his efforts to get rid of Meier, however, finally bringing so much pressure to bear that Meier resigned.

In February 1969, shortly after Nixon was inaugurated President, Richard Danner became manager of Hughes' Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Danner was a former head of the Miami FBI office who had done counterintelligence work for General Motors against Ralph Nader. He was, additionally, an old friend of both Maheu and Nixon's best friend, Bebe Rebozo. Danner, in fact, had purportedly introduced Nixon to Rebozo 1950 when Danner borrowed Rebozo's yacht to take Nixon on a fishing trip. (Nixon writes that he was introduced to Rebozo in 1951, but critics have disputed this contention by suggesting that the two men became acquainted as early as 1942 when Nixon was an attorney in the tire-rationing section of the Office of Price Administration. Rebozo was propelled to wealth by his wartime used-tire and retread business, although there is no evidence that he fenced Mafia black market tires as some have claimed.) As a Hughes employee, Danner was given the responsibility to act as a liason to the Nixon Administration.

If Nixon learned a lesson from his scandal with Howard Hughes, it may have been that Hughes money must be taken carefully. In 1970 Nixon received a secret $100,000 campaign contribution from Hughes. The money was delivered in cash by Danner to Rebozo. When Robert Maheu lost his job as Hughes' chief executive at the end of the year, the recriminations between Maheu and the Hughes organization were so bitter that Rebozo evidently thought the contribution was too hot to handle. Rebozo claims he kept the money in a safety deposit box until 1973 when the Internal Revenue Service learned of the matter and began asking why taxes had never been paid on the mysterious gift.

As with the ITT case, critics found circumstantial evidence which seemed to indicate that the $100,000 was given in exchange for political favors. One possibility was a Civil Aeronautics Board order signed by Nixon which gave Hughes authorization to purchase Air West. Another possibility was the increased laxity of the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department against Hughes Nevada Operations. With the new Nixon Administration, Hughes was permitted to buy the Landmark Hotel in Las Vegas using an $8.1 million dollar loan from the Teamsters pension fund.

When Hughes expressed interest in purchasing the Dunes Hotel and Casino in early 1970, however, the Antitrust Division again made its displeasure known. Richard Danner was sent to Washington to consult with Attorney General John Mitchell. After a second visit, Mitchell phoned the head of the Antitrust Division to tell him that the Nevada Governor wanted Hughes to purchase the Dunes because it was owned by hoodlums who would thereby be driven out. Danner told Maheu that the Dunes matter "was taken care of in Washington". The Nevada Governor later told The Wall Street Journal that he was against the purchase and that he had never talked to Mitchell about the subject. Hughes didn't purchase the Dunes, however, because he decided that it wasn't worth the asking price.

With the ouster of Robert Maheu from the Hughes empire, the Mormon elite of that organization began looking for someone new to represent Hughes' interests in Washington. Lawrence O'Brien had been hired by Maheu to do public relations work for Hughes in Washington, but O'Brien was under suspicion for being a Maheu ally. Robert Bennett, son of the Mormon Senator of Utah, was instructed to take over. With the help of Charles Colson, Bennett was able to buy the public relations firm of Mullen & Company.

Mullen & Company enjoyed good relations with the CIA. Many people on staff were former CIA employees. In 1962 the company opened an office in Stockholm staffed by two CIA agents pretending to be doing work for General Foods, a Mullen client. Howard Hunt "retired" from the CIA in April 1970 to begin work at Mullen & Company, though his CIA covert security clearance was not discontinued. Hunt was also allowed to work for Colson as a White House consultant while remaining an employee of Mullen & Company. One of Hunt's assignments for Mullen & Company was to examine the garbage at the home of Clifford Irving, a writer who had written a bogus "autobiography" of Howard Hughes. (Hunt and Irving later became friends as fellow inmates at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution.)

Located one block away from the White House, and across the street from the CRP, Bennett's Mullen & Company was well situated for performing political services for Colson. One such service involved a large campaign pledge from Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI), America's largest milk cooperative. Ralph Nader later initiated a lawsuit, claiming that the pledge was made in conjunction with an elevation of the milk support price by the Department of Agriculture. To avoid federal gift taxes for contributions over $3,000 — and to avoid publicizing the large contribution — Mullen & Company was charged with the establishment of hundreds of political committees. $237,000 of AMPI contributions was broken into amounts of $2,500 and given to the political committees. The committees bore such names as Organization of Moderate Americans, Association of Americans for Retention of Sound Ideals, Committee for Political Integrity, and Americans for Sound Ecological Policy. The office of one Washington lawyer was the address for The Organization of Involved Americans, whereas his home address was listed for Americans United for Political Awareness. Howard Hunt's wife was chairman of Americans United for Political Moderation. Bennett was the nominal chairman of Americans United for Political Stability.

If the White House made political use of Mullen & Company, Bennett was not above trying to make use of Colson's resources for his own purposes. Bennett told Hunt that Hank Greenspun, editor of the Las Vegas Sun, claimed to have information which could "blow Muskie out of the water". Greenspun had sided with Maheu after the latter's break with Hughes. Years of Hughes' memos were stored in Greenspun's safe.

The information on Muskie proved to be a 1965 conviction for illegally hunting ducks on a federal reserve, but the White House had other reasons for being interested in the memos in Greenspun's safe. Quite possibly they could have contained information on the $100,000 "contribution" to Rebozo. To make things worse, Greenspun was a friend of columnist Jack Anderson, who owned a small portion of the Las Vegas Sun. Hunt spoke with the chief of security for Hughes' Summa Corporation who believed Greenspun's safe contained evidence that Maheu was using the Mafia tactic of buying judges in his legal war against Hughes. Plans were considered for a joint Plumbers/Hughes venture to burglarize Greenspun's safe and "divide the spoils". These were never carried out.

In Greenspun's case, the White House had no need to resort to covert means to gain the information it desired. Greenspun was an enthusiastic supporter of Nixon — in large part because of Nixon's strong pro-Israel position. Nixon's private lawyer, Herb Kalmbach, flew to Las Vegas to interview Greenspun about what he knew. Kalmbach took extensive notes during their conversation which lasted nearly four hours.

Another danger was posed by International Intelligence, Inc. (Intertel), a private intelligence and security group founded in early 1970 by several high-ranking officials of Robert Kennedy's Justice Department. Intertel was a specialist in protecting corporations against underworld infiltration. When Maheu was forced out of the Hughes organization, Intertel provided security for the Las Vegas hotels and casinos. It also investigated Maheu's alleged alliance with the Mafia in exploiting Hughes Nevada Operations. Because Lawrence O'Brien had been Robert Kennedy's campaign manager when Bobby was assassinated in Los Angeles, Nixon forces wondered what Intertel (and therefore O'Brien) might know about the Hughes payment to Rebozo.

Although Mullen & Company had evidently taken over the job of representing Hughes from O'Brien (who was chairman of the Democratic National Committee), O'Brien was still receiving $15,000-a-month from Hughes. Nixon sent a memo to his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, in which he noted, "It would seem that the time is approaching when Larry O'Brien is held accountable for his retainer with Hughes". John Ehrlichman sought, and obtained, information on O'Brien's tax returns, but he was not satisified that they explained what O'Brien was doing to earn his money. Robert Bennett tried to get information about the O'Brien contract from his superior, but was told nothing. Haldeman, among others, believes that it was this urgency for information about O'Brien's retainer from Howard Hughes that ultimately led to the break-ins at O'Brien's office in the Watergate complex.

What was O'Brien doing for his retainer? O'Brien himself gives little more explanation than to say he was giving "advice on expanding the Hughes television network from an all-sports format into other forms of programming and exploring a settlement of the lengthy Trans World Airlines litigation." When John Dean visited Robert Bennett shortly after Bennett's acquisition of Mullen & Company and the Hughes account, he was told that the contract between Hughes and O'Brien was still in existence. As Dean describes the meeting, "I gathered from Bennett that O'Brien was bargaining hard to keep his job, or at least to depart with a large severance settlement". It is quite possible that O'Brien was doing nothing for his money at that time. Hughes was notorious for "firing" people while continuing to keep them on salary so that they would not become his enemies. Such a tactic would have been appropriate in this case, considering that O'Brien could have become a powerful ally of Maheu's.

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The five men wearing business suits who were discovered in Lawrence O'Brien's Watergate office seemed unlike the kind of burglars familiar to Washington police officers. The burglars were in possession of sophisticated electronic and photographic equipment — and of keys to two rooms in the Watergate Hotel. The hotel rooms contained more equipment, $3200 in serially numbered hundred dollar bills and an envelope containing a check made out by E. Howard Hunt.

Leads developed quickly. A campaign spending report filed with the government indicated that one of the burglars, James McCord, was the security co-ordinator for the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP). The address books of two of the burglars listed a phone number for Howard Hunt along with notations "W. House" and "W.H." A reporter from the Washington Post discovered that Hunt was a consultant for Charles Colson.

A Watergate coverup was progressing at least as quickly as the investigations. CRP campaign manager John Mitchell told the press that although McCord had installed the CRP security system a few months earlier, he was an independent businessman with many clients — and in committing the burglary he was "not operating on either our behalf or consent." Magruder says that he burned Liddy's GEMSTONE plans following a suggestion from Mitchell. Mitchell has denied making any such suggestion.

Nixon discussed with Haldeman the idea of encouraging Nixon's Cuban friend Bebe Rebozo to start an anti-Castro fund in Miami for the defense of the Cuban Watergate burglars. A story was later "leaked" to the Washington Star that Watergate was the result of anti-Castro Cubans attempting to prove that the Democrats were receiving campaign contributions from Cuba.

Howard Hunt's safe in the White House was drilled open. John Dean, the President's Counsel, took possession of the contents which included a revolver, listening equipment and other paraphernalia. Also included were "politically sensitive" documents such as a folder with memos on Plumber operations and the cables Hunt had forged to implicate President Kennedy in Diem's murder. Dean claims Ehrlichman told him to throw Hunt's material into the Potomac River, though Ehrlichman denies this. Several people had witnessed the removal of the contents of Hunt's safe. Dean decided that the wisest move would be to personally give the materials to FBI Director Patrick Gray with instructions that they had no bearing on Watergate, but were related to "national security" issues and "should not see the light of day". In that way Dean could safely say that everything had been turned over to the FBI. Gray obligingly destroyed the materials.

The FBI had become more accommodating to White House intentions following the death of J. Edgar Hoover on May 2. Nixon appointed Patrick Gray as temporary FBI director, declining to make a permanent appointment until after the 1972 elections. Gray was a former naval officer who had demonstrated his loyalty to Nixon during the presidential election campaigns of 1960 and 1968. Gray was considerably more compliant than Hoover had been, particularly in view of the possibility of a permanent appointment as FBI Director. When Ehrlichman phoned him on June 20 to say that John Dean would be monitoring the Watergate investigation, Gray readily agreed to make the results of all relevant FBI work available to the White House.

Dean soon learned that the FBI had traced the serial numbers of the hundred dollar bills found on the Watergate burglars to the Miami bank account of one of the burglars, Bernard Barker. The Federal Reserve Bank kept a record of the serial numbers of new hundred dollar bills. The ones in question had been shipped to the Republic National Bank of Miami on April 19. Four certified checks totaling $89,000 — which had been issued by a Mexican bank and evidently endorsed by a Mexican lawyer — had been deposited in Barker's account on April 19. A $25,000 cashier's check payable to Kenneth H. Dahlberg had been deposited on April 20. FBI investigators were suspecting a CIA operation of some kind. Recognizing that the FBI and the CIA had an agreement not to infringe on each other's spheres of influence, the FBI men were hesitant to pursue the investigation into Mexico without further authorization.

There was ample reason for the FBI to believe that some of its leads would intrude into CIA territory. Barker had been "paymaster" for all Cuban exiles during the Bay of Pigs operation. Eugenio Martinez, also among the Cuban Watergate burglars, was still receiving a CIA retainer of $100-a-month to report on the activities of Cuban exiles. Frank Sturgis also had a CIA background and James McCord was a former chief of the CIA's physical security division.

Yet the money itself had a peculiar story all its own, unrelated to the CIA or the Watergate break-in. The money for the Mexican checks originated from the account of the Gulf Resources and Chemical Corporation of Texas. The Corporation's President, who was also Republican finance chairman of Texas, transferred the funds to the account of an inactive Mexican subsidiary. The subsidiary gave the money to a Mexican lawyer to whom, it was claimed, the money had been owing for past services rendered. Although it is illegal to make political contributions from corporate funds, the Gulf Resources President denied that this occurred. He claimed that, as an entirely separate transaction, the Mexican lawyer wrote four checks for a campaign contribution in exchange for a promissary note. This claim has never been disproven.

The Dahlberg check had its origins in a new law requiring that all campaign contributions after April 7 in excess of $100 be reported to the General Accounting Office of Congress. Many contributors, wishing to retain their anonymity, rushed to get their money in before the April 7 deadline. One such person was a Democratic businessman, known to be a supporter of Hubert Humphrey, who wanted to make a $25,000 contribution to Nixon. The contribution pledge had been confirmed in February to Kenneth Dahlberg, a Republican finance chairman of Minnesota. The businessman, who was vacationing in Florida, phoned Dahlberg to request that the money be picked up before April 7. Because Dahlberg would not be able to reach Florida before that date, the businessman placed $25,000 in cash in a hotel lockbox under Dahlberg's name so that title to the money could be transferred before the deadline for anonymous contributions. On April 10 Dahlberg had obtained the cash, but decided to convert it to a cashier's check payable to himself because he did not feel comfortable traveling with so much cash.

The five checks themselves were not necessarily the product of illegal activity. Nor did they directly finance the Watergate break-in. The fact that they were the source of the hundred dollar bills found on the Watergate burglars was a coincidence. The checks were given to the CRP Treasurer who recognized that they were a problem for him to cash, though that does not mean he thought they were illegal. Understandably, he turned the problem — and the checks — over to the CRP's lawyer, Gordon Liddy.

Liddy flew to Miami to convert the checks to cash through Bernard Barker's bank. When Barker tried to deposit all the checks, the teller refused to accept the unnotarized Dahlberg check. The next day, Barker deposited the Dahlberg check using a falsely notarized statement — signed by himself — which certified that the check had been endorsed in Barker's presence. Liddy returned to Washington with the cash resulting from this transaction and gave the money, less expenses, to the CRP Treasurer. It was an ironic twist of fate that when Liddy later asked for the money with which he conducted the Watergate break-in, he received a stack of hundred dollar bills which had originated from his trip to Miami.

On the morning of June 23, 1972 — six days after the second Watergate break-in — John Dean phoned H.R. Haldeman to inform him that the FBI had traced the money found on the Watergate burglars to the checks of Dahlberg and the Mexican bank. If the investigation continued, there was a danger of exposing the fact that the funds were connected with anonymous contributions to the CRP. Dean suggested that the way to prevent a disastrous political scandal was to get the CIA to stop the FBI from making further enquiries.

Later that morning, Haldeman read notes of Dean's report to Nixon. Haldeman told Nixon that the money the FBI was investigating could ultimately be traced to the CRP. Nixon approved of a plan to use the CIA to stop the FBI investigation. In a tape-recorded conversation he instructed Haldeman to tell the CIA that " is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah because these people are plugging for (unintelligible) and that they should call the FBI in and say that we we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case..."

Haldeman was not sure what Nixon was referring to by the "Bay of Pigs thing". Only much later did he decide that Nixon meant the assassination plots against Castro which the CIA feared had been a factor in provoking the Kennedy assassination. In 1972 the Castro assassination plots were still a well-kept CIA secret. If Nixon had this in mind, he didn't discuss it then or later. Although Nixon had been Eisenhower's liason to the CIA concerning the original plans for an invasion of Cuban exiles, there may have been much information concerning the Bay of Pigs he never learned. In his memoirs, Nixon claims that he repeatedly asked CIA Director Richard Helms for the CIA's files on the Bay of Pigs, but that the reports he received were never complete.

Helms and CIA Deputy Director Vernon Walters were requested to come to Ehrlichman's office in the White House to meet with Haldeman and Ehrlichman. When Haldeman mentioned the Bay of Pigs, Helms became extremely agitated. Helms said that everything in connection with the Bay of Pigs had already been "dealt with and liquidated". Haldeman said that it had been decided for Walters to tell Acting Director Gray of the FBI that the investigations might run into CIA operations in Mexico and should therefore be curtailed. With the prudence of a bureaucrat, perhaps, Helms remained aloof from the matter.

Walters had been Deputy Director of the CIA for less than two months. His appointment had been due, in part, to his "friendship" with Nixon. Dutifully, he went to Gray and told him that "further investigation into the Mexican money chain" would "uncover CIA covert operations." The FBI investigation of the "money chain" was temporarily halted.

Walters went back to the CIA and began talking to Latin American specialists about CIA operations in Mexico. The specialists assured him that none of their operations would be threatened by the Watergate investigation. At the FBI a number of agents were accusing Gray of being a political puppet — and were leaking information to the press. Gray phoned Walters for written authorization to restrain FBI investigators. Walters visited Gray the next morning and said that he could not tell Gray, or put into writing, that "the FBI's investigation would in any way jeopardize CIA activities in Mexico."

Later in the morning, Gray spoke to Nixon on the phone. He told the President, "Dick Walters and I feel that people on your staff are trying to mortally wound you by using the CIA and FBI and by confusing the question of CIA interest in, or not in, people the FBI wishes to interview." After a pause, Nixon responded, "Pat, you just continue to conduct your aggressive and thorough investigation." As it turned out, the CRP connection with the money chain was discovered more through the efforts of enterprising newsmen than through FBI investigation.

Director Richard Helms was struggling hard to prevent the CIA from being implicated in Watergate, and the people in the White House seemed to be struggling equally hard to get the CIA involved. John Dean unsuccessfully tried to persuade Walters to have the CIA pay bail for the Watergate burglars — and put them on salary if they were sentenced to prison. Helms phoned Gray with specific instructions not to have the FBI interview the CIA officer who had pushed for the Agency's break with Howard Hunt the previous summer.

John Dean was given responsibility for maintaining the coverup for the White House. In addition to reviewing FBI reports and sitting in on FBI interviews with White House personnel, Dean advised the Plumber's secretary not to discuss "national security" matters (the Fielding break-in) before she was interviewed by the FBI, he rehearsed the "cover story" with Magruder before the latter perjured himself at the Justice Department, he monitored the delivery of "hush money" to the Watergate defendents and in general tried to deal with problems as they arose.

Gordon Liddy was the "good soldier" who prevented the investigation from reaching his superiors. Shortly after the Watergate break-in, Liddy told John Dean that he would go to any street corner at any time of night if they wished him to be shot. Instead, Liddy agreed to allowing himself to be fired from the CRP for not answering the questions of FBI agents. Dean said, "We wanted Liddy to sound like a man strange enough to have pulled Watergate off on his own." That wasn't an overly difficult feat. There were stories of Liddy impressing his companions with his will power by holding his hand over a candle flame. Once, when Magruder had leaned on Liddy's shoulder at the CRP, Liddy said, "Jeb, if you don't take your arm off my shoulder, I'm going to tear it off and beat you to death with it." Liddy was to maintain his silence longer than any of the Watergate defendants, despite the fact that he had a wife and five children. When he was taken before the Ervin Committee and asked, "Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?", Liddy simply answered "No".

On September 15 the grand jury indicted Barker, Martinez, Gonzalez, Sturgis, McCord, Hunt and Liddy for conspiracy, burglary and violation of wiretapping laws. The FBI had conducted a vast investigation, on a scope rivaling that of the investigation following the Kennedy assassination. There had been over fifteen hundred interviews. Nixon met with John Dean and congratulated him on "the good and difficult job" he had done. Nixon expressed how pleased he was that "the case had stopped with Liddy."

After Nixon won his "mandate" in the 1972 election, he began a major "housecleaning" eliminate many of the "obstructionist bureaucrats" who had given him trouble during his first administration. One such man was CIA Director Richard Helms. Perhaps because Nixon recognized the amount of information Helms could use against him, he granted Helm's request to be made American Ambassador to Iran. When Helms was preparing to leave the CIA a couple of months later, he received a call from Senator Mike Mansfield, who was planning a Watergate investigation. Mansfield asked Helms to preserve relevant materials. Helms destroyed a large collection of files as well as tapes of his discussions and telephone conversations, later denying that they contained much that was "relevant".

For a number of months, the only wrinkle in the Watergate coverup was the "hush money" paid to the defendants. Initially, Nixon's private lawyer, Herb Kalmbach, took responsibility for raising and distributing these funds. After Kalmbach decided he would stop participating in the cover-up, some money was obtained from Bebe Rebozo. Finally, a $350,000 secret fund which Haldeman had obtained from the CRP was used for payoffs. But after Howard Hunt's wife died in a December plane crash, Hunt became moody, irritable and demanding — expressing particular concern for the provision of his children. Colson met with Hunt's lawyer and hinted that executive clemency might result in Hunt's release by Christmas 1973. It was Colson who had engineered executive clemency for Jimmy Hoffa during the Christmas season of 1971. Because Howard Hunt's lawyer had become famous as one of the prosecutors who had brought about Jummy Hoffa's conviction, Colson's hint had a special poignancy. (Colson left the Nixon Administration on March 10, 1973 to set up a law firm with the Teamsters Union as his main client.)

In early February 1973, the Senate established a Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities with Sam Ervin as chairman. Later that month, the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings on Patrick Gray's nomination to become permanent FBI Director. The Gray hearings quickly became explosive when Gray made it known that John Dean had been allowed to monitor the entire FBI Watergate investigation for the White House.

Dean was starting to crack. As the tempo of the revelations grew faster, and the strain of keeping the lid on things increased, he began to feel like a "paranoid schizoid, wanting to get caught". On the morning of March 21, Dean gained an audience with Nixon to warn him of the "cancer on the Presidency" which the burgeoning dimensions of the cover-up was creating. He told Nixon that Hunt was continually pressing for more money and that hush money for all the defendants could eventually reach a million dollars. Dean said, "This is the sort of thing Mafia people can do: washing money, getting clean money, and things like that. We just don't know about these things, because we're...not criminals and not used to dealing in that business..." Nixon replied that he could get a million dollars of untraceable cash without too much problem.

Nixon, Haldeman and Ehrlichman all put pressure on Dean to produce "The Dean Report", a complete and official cover story that would provide explanations for all the suspicious evidence which had come to light. Ehrlichman went so far as to tell Dean that "The Dean Report" would give the President a public alibi (by placing the blame on Dean) if the coverup collapsed. Word came that James McCord had sent a letter to Judge John Sirica. McCord had written that perjury had occurred in the trial and political pressure had been "applied to the defendants to plead guilty and remain silent".

Judge Sirica withheld sentencing McCord, but proceeded to give "provisional" sentences of forty years to the Cubans and thirty-five years to Howard Hunt. He said these sentences could be reduced if the defendants cooperated with other investigators. Sirica charged Liddy with contempt of court for his complete refusal to talk, sentencing him to six years and eight months to twenty years in jail and a $40,000 fine — with no provision for review. Nixon claimed this sentence was more harsh than that received by many murderers in the District of Columbia. The CRP finance chairman said that Sirica had sentenced Liddy for exercizing his constitutional right not to testify against himself. Other members of the legal profession censured Sirica for acting more like a prosecutor than a judge and for "using the criminal sentencing process as a means and tool for further criminal investigation of others". Sirica claimed that his first interest was getting at the truth.

Nixon asked Dean to go to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland. There Dean was to write his report. At Camp David, Dean decided he could no longer continue the cover-up. A few days after his return, he was telling his story to the prosecutors in the Justice Department. Magruder soon followed.

In early April Magruder's lawyers opened negotiations with the Justice Department prosecutors for immunity bargaining. Shortly thereafter, Dean began telling the prosecutors the story of The Plumbers' break-in of the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist, Dr. Fielding. On the grounds of "national security", Nixon told the chief federal prosecutor not to pursue an investigation of the Fielding break-in. But the Watergate dam had broken. Nixon was informed by the prosecutors of Dean's claim that Ehrlichman had suggested that the contents of Hunt's safe be thrown in the Potomac River — and of Magruder's claim that summaries of the bugging transcripts from the first Watergate break-in had been given to Haldeman's aide.

On April 30, Nixon officially accepted the resignations of Dean, Haldeman and Ehrlichman. But his troubles had just begun. In mid-July, while he was being pressured by Senate investigators to explain his duties in the White House, Deputy Assistant to the the President Alexander Butterfield mentioned his maintenance of the President's taping system. This revelation that the President taped all his conversations and phone calls led to a legal war which was to last over a year.

Trying to get the President to testify in court, or even to yield to subpoenas for his tapes, was not an easy matter. With the armed forces at the President's disposal, a seizure by marshals of the court was out of the question (and bad public relations). So a long, dreary struggle for the tapes began.

In response to pressure from the Attorney General, Nixon agreed to the appointment of a special prosecutor for Watergate. Although it increased the credibility of the Justice Department's interest in the investigation, Nixon was not pleased when the Attorney General appointed a Harvard professor who staffed his offices with Kennedy Democrats. Efforts by the special prosecutor to subpoena Nixon's tapes finally became so intense that Nixon asked his Attorney General to fire the man. When both the Attorney General and his deputy refused to take such an action, Nixon took steps which later became known as "The Saturday Night Massacre". The White House Press Secretary announced the resignation of the Attorney General, the dismissal of the Deputy Attorney General and the abolition of the office of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. FBI agents sealed off the offices of the Special Prosecutor, the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General — prohibiting the removal of any files.

The storm of protest and the cries for impeachment became so thunderous that within a week the White House was announcing the appointment of a new special prosecutor who would be empowered with complete independence. The White House also expressed a new willingness to yield tapes. But protests mounted anew when one of Nixon's lawyers claimed that two of the nine subpoenaed tapes never existed. The phone call between Nixon and John Mitchell shortly after the Watergate break-in presumably had not been recorded because it had been made on a phone in the West Hall of the White House, which had no recorder. A conversation with John Dean was not available, so the story went, because the recorder had run out of tape.

Three weeks later — on November 21, 1973 — Nixon's lawyer told Judge John Sirica that the tape of June 20, 1972 (the first Monday of business following the break-in) had 18.5 minutes of shrill buzzing. Suspiciously, this section of the tape dealt with Watergate. Nixon's faithful personal secretary testified that she had accidently caused the erasure during transcription by hitting a "record" button instead of a "stop" button in answering a telephone call. When it was pointed out to her that the erasure could only have occurred if the recorder's foot pedal (which controlled stop, reverse and restart) had been continuously pressed, she said she "must have" done so. A photograph of her re-enacting this maneuver looked "as if she were sliding into third base", in the words of one critic. When she attempted a demonstration in court, her foot did not stay on the pedal. Dr. Michael Hecker of the Stanford Research Institute testified on the basis of experiment that "at least five of the events on the 18.5 minute buzz had been caused by manual operation of the machine."

More tapes were subpoenaed. On April 30, 1974 Nixon released typed transcripts of tapes in an effort to appease the prosecutors, but the prosecutors were not appeased. In May, the Special (Watergate) Prosecutor told the White House Chief of Staff that the grand jury had cited Nixon as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Watergate cover-up. The Prosecutor said that he would try to keep this fact a secret in exchange for "fifteen or maybe eighteen of the tapes." Nixon listened to the tapes and later had one of his lawyers phone the Prosecutor to say that the President refused to be blackmailed.

In June 1974, shortly before Nixon was to make a trip to the Middle East, his personal physician discovered a blood clot in a vein of Nixon's leg. The physician warned that the clot could break loose, go to Nixon's heart or lungs and be fatal. But instead of allowing himself to be hospitalized, as his physician recommended, Nixon insisted that he needed to take a "calculated risk" and make the trip.

At a time when a Palastinian terrorist raid on an Isreali kibbutz had killed three women, Nixon was exposing himself to vast crowds throughout the Middle East, standing up. The head of the presidential-protection unit of the Secret Service told Nixon's physician, "You can't protect a President who wants to kill himself".

On July 24 the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Nixon turn 64 tapes over to Judge Sirica. Nixon decided to allow his lawyers to hear the June 23, 1972 tapes (which documented Nixon's attempt to use the CIA to stop the FBI investigation) for the first time. After hearing the tapes, Nixon's lawyers, who had devoted so much effort and trust, were indignant at the evidence that they had been so deceived about Nixon's innocence of coverup. Soon most of Nixon's own staff would be telling him he should step down from the presidency. By August 9th Nixon had resigned.

In the aftermath of Watergate, Nixon's former "power elite" began having second thoughts about the CIA. Ehrlichman wrote a novel, The Company, about a CIA Director who uses a Watergate-like scandal to blackmail the President. Charles Colson began gathering evidence that Howard Hunt had been a CIA plant. Colson pointed to the fact that while Hunt was being paid by the White House, his secretary was on the CIA payroll. Haldeman, in The Ends of Power, presents the conclusion that the CIA monitored the Watergate burglars through their entire operation and ultimately sabotaged the break-in, presumably through McCord.

These men weren't the only people wondering about the CIA.

(return to contents)



With the assassination of President Kennedy, the CIA's anti-Castro activities came to a sudden halt. Suspicions of Cuban involvement in the assassination resulted in an FBI investigation of many of the individuals on file at the Miami CIA headquarters. Plans for raids against Castro and Cuba remained in suspension for many months until they were gradually phased out in favor of passive intelligence gathering. Agents skilled in clandestine warfare techniques were transferred to Southeast Asia.

Although the CIA never succeeded in killing Fidel Castro, it was able to play a significant role in ending the life of Castro's colleague "Che" Guevera, who was continuing efforts to export the Cuban revolution to Africa and Latin America. Guevera and over a hundred Cubans infiltrated the Congo from Tanzania in 1965, but he failed to arouse the revolutionary fervor of the local natives. In 1967 the CIA obtained evidence that Guevera was leading an insurgent movement from the mountains of southern Bolivia. Further confirmation came when Bolivian Government troops encountering a band of guerrillas captured a photograph and some documents with fingerprints resembling Guevera's.

The Bolivian Government offered a reward of over $4,000 for Guevera, dead or alive. The CIA joined in the manhunt. One battle between the Bolivian rangers and the rebel guerrillas resulted in the death of Guevera's female companion "Tania". Tania was an East German woman, reputedly working for Cuban intelligence, but perhaps also supplying the KGB with information on Guevera's activities. Guevera had reputedly begun to believe that the Soviet Union's role in Cuba was that of an imperialistic superpower. Guevera was captured not long afterwards, and the CIA was anxious to interrogate him. The Bolivian President, however, was afraid that if Guevera was brought out of the mountains as a political prisoner, students and leftists might mount demonstrations which the government would not be able to keep under control. Guevera was summarily executed, despite CIA protests that his death would turn him into an international martyr.

After Cuba, the Latin American country receiving the most attention from the CIA was Chile. Although Chile's political process has been quite democratic during most of the period from the 1920s to the 1970s, it has also been highly volatile and polarized, jumping between capitalist, socialist and reformist governments. Much energy was focused on the contest for the six-year term office of the presidency. In 1958 the conservative candidate Jorge Alessandri narrowly won against his Marxist opponent Salvador Allende. The small margin of Allende's defeat and the evidence that his party had received financial assistance from the Kremlin produced considerable anxiety in Washington, DC.

An emerging third force in Chilian politics was the Christian Democratic Party. Although the Party had been created by a group of Catholic lawyers professing a moral opposition to capitalism, its main thrust was reformist. In keeping with the Kennedy Administration's policy of supporting reformists rather than "rightists", to oppose Marxism, the Christian Democratic Party was covertly given $200,000 by the CIA in 1962.

Because Chilian law prohibits a president from succeeding himself, Alessandri was not eligible to run in the 1964 presidential campaign. Many conservatives, fearful of an Allende victory, supported the Christian Democrats rather than their own party. The CIA conducted a massive campaign of covert political support for the Christian Democratic Party candidate, Eduardo Frei, against Allende. Cities and towns were plastered with posters of Cubans standing before Castro's firing squads and of Soviet tanks in the streets of Budapest. Frei won with 56 percent of the popular vote against Allende's 39 percent. The election had cost the CIA over three million dollars.

Chile's major industry is mining, particularly of copper. By 1960 Chile's copper production was second only to that of the United States, and it was the world's leading exporter. 80 percent of Chilian copper production was controlled by US corporations, particularly Anaconda and Kennecott. Although Allende favored nationalization of these industries, Frei advocated "Chileanization", whereby the government would buy shares of the American copper companies' Chilean subsidiaries. By 1967 Frei's government had purchased 25 percent of Anaconda's Chilean interests and 51 percent of Kennecott's.

Due to the constitutional requirement that a president could not succeed himself, Frei was not eligible to run in the 1970 presidential elections. The conservative candidate, Jorge Alessandri was Allende's leading opponent. A group of American companies represented by Anaconda Copper's chairman approached representatives of the US State Department in April 1970 with an offer of over $500,000 to be contributed to Alessandri's campaign. The American Ambassador to Chile was firmly opposed to the idea and the State Department rebuffed the executives. The next month, former CIA Director John McCone, a vice-president of ITT, approached CIA Director Richard Helms to discuss a joint CIA-ITT effort of support for Alessandri. McCone had appointed Helms to head the CIA's covert operations section in 1962.

The CIA, relying on secret polls based on an outdated census, was reasonably confident that Alessandri would win the 1970 election. Although the CIA did not accept ITT money, arrangements were made to facilitate the ITT making campaign contributions on its own — behind the back of the American Ambassador. ITT contributed at least $350,000 to Alessandri in the summer of 1970. The CIA conducted a scaled-down replay of its 1964 anti-Allende campaign with a propaganda effort — costing not much over $400,000 — equating Allende with the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia and Cuban firing squads.

Chile's September presidential elections produced results that sent an electric shock through the Nixon Administration. Allende received 36.3 percent of the vote, Alessandri 34.9 percent and another 27.8 percent went to the Christian Democratic Party candidate. During the campaign, Allende had proclaimed: "Cuba in the Caribbean and a Socialist Chile in the southern cone will make the revolution in Latin America." For years Nixon had attacked the Democrats for allowing a Marxist regime to establish itself in Cuba. Now Chile seemed to be following Cuba's path due to the inattentiveness of his own Administration.

Because Allende had won the election by a plurality rather than a majority, Chilean law required that he be confirmed by the Chilean Congress on October 24th before he could assume the presidency. This was almost a formality because the Chilean Congress was expected to ratify the popular will as it had in the past. But Nixon and Kissinger launched a frenzied last-ditch effort to prevent Allende from being confirmed. Their plans developed along two "tracks". Track I involved covert efforts against Allende's confirmation conducted with the assistance of the State Department, the National Security Council and the American Ambassador to Chile. Track II was concerned with more clandestine paramilitary schemes conducted by the CIA under the direct authorization of Nixon and Kissinger — unbeknownst to the State Department, the National Security Council and the American Ambassador. ITT's John McCone presented Kissinger and CIA Director Richard Helms with a new offer of $1 million of ITT money to help the CIA stop Allende. Kissinger saw no need or advantage to justify involving ITT in the project.

As plans for Track I evolved they centered on a scheme to unite the Christian Democrats with the conservatives against Allende. Alessandri announced that if Congress elected him president, he would resign so that a new special election could be called. By allowing himself to be inaugurated, Alessandri would be clearing the way for the Christian Democrat Frei to re-enter the election insofar as he would no longer be directly succeeding himself to the presidency. The American Ambassador to Chile was authorized $250,000 — and more, if necessary — to buy votes of Chilean Congressmen and to finance other activities designed to ensure that Frei could eventually be re-elected. Prospects for the success of Track I began to plummet when it became evident that Frei's control of the Christian Democrats was, at best, marginal. It was learned that the Christian Democratic candidate had already agreed with Allende to collaborate in the event of a presidential runoff.

Track II began when John Mitchell, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon met with CIA Director Richard Helms on September 15. Nixon made it perfectly clear that the CIA was to get rid of Allende, and that $10 million or more would be available for that purpose. Not since the time when the Kennedys had leaned on Helms to "get rid of Castro" had there been such pressure on the CIA from the White House to eliminate a foreign leader. In later testimony Helms denied that Nixon was authorizing assassination, but Helms reportedly told a close associate otherwise.

Plans for Track II quickly focused on attempts to encourage Chile's military officers to stage a coup. The commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army, General Rene Schneider, was strictly opposed to circumventing democratic process by military means — and his second-in-command held similar views. Thus, a successful coup required the complicity of military officers who were willing to first remove General Schneider as head of the military. The CIA made contact with two separate factions of military men headed by generals who were willing to kidnap Schneider. One of these generals was the commander of the main army garrison in Santiago, whereas the other had been relieved of his command the previous year because of his vitriolic anti-leftist views. Both of these groups were given CIA money, and one of them received arms.

Kissinger claims to have withdrawn authorization for Track II in mid-October, but even if this is true, the plotters were being carried forward by a momentum of their own. According to CIA reports, Schneider was killed on October 22 when he tried to draw his gun during a kidnapping attempt. But the official report by Chilean military police contains no mention of resistance by Schneider — it simply describes someone firing at the general through the rear window of his car. Following Schneider's death, CIA officials made no further attempts at fomenting the military, concentrating their energies instead on covering their "tracks". Feeling panicked, perhaps, the American military attache in Santiago demanded and received the return of CIA machine guns as well as $100,000 of CIA money which had been given to military conspirators. The weapons were thrown in the Pacific Ocean with the assistance of Santiago's CIA station chief.

Allende was confirmed on October 24. After his inauguration, the CIA was given explicit instructions to avoid engaging in any action that might be construed as support for a military coup. Yet money was authorized to finance anti-Allende propaganda and to maintain Chile's opposition parties. Nixon also instituted economic sanctions, sometimes called "economic warfare", by the United States against Allende. Although Chile was gripped by economic chaos in the following years, it is difficult to know how much of this was due to outside pressure and how much was due to Allende's policies.

Allende's first minister of economy proclaimed, "State control is designed to destroy the economic bases of imperialism and the ruling class." Allende nationalized the copper corporations, along with a large number of other industries owned by both Chileans and foreigners. The Hickenlooper Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibited the American Government from giving economic assistance to countries that expropriate American property without compensation. Allende promised compensation, but levied retroactive taxes to nullify the effect.

Allende nationalized Chile's banking and credit industry. His followers charged conspiracy when the US stopped economic aid and the World Bank refused to make loans. Yet Allende had pledged during his 1970 campaign that he intended to "renege the commitments with the International Monetary Fund". Nor should he have been surprised when private US banks reduced Chile's access to credit from $200 million to $35 million in light of his explicit program of "expropriating imperialist capital" and defaulting on debts. But if Allende suffered because capitalist investors shied away from Chile's new economic climate, he also benefited from over $600 million in new credits from communist countries.

After Allende took over Chile's telephone company, he began discussions of compensation with ITT. Allende's representatives valued the company at $24 million, whereas ITT assessed the value to be $153 million. The two sides were unable to agree on a mutually acceptable adjudicator. Then the syndicated columnist Jack Anderson broke the story of ITT efforts to block Allende's election. At the United Nations General Assembly, Allende denounced ITT and other multinational corporations charging that they had been "cunningly and terrifyingly effective in preventing us from exercizing our rights as a sovereign state".

Productivity fell and the cost of nationalized industries rose. Marxist leaders struggled with the difficulty of making the government's new operations yield "the same immense profits that they used to give the capitalists". They blamed much of the problem on the difficulty of obtaining replacement parts for worn US-produced machinery. Ford Motor Company and General Motors closed their plants and suspended their activities in Chile.

Over ten thousand foreigners (without visas) were allowed into the country. A large number of these were Cubans, many of whom became involved training cadres seeking to foment revolution in neighboring Bolivia and Argentina. The Bolivian Government formally protested formation of the Anti-Imperialist Revolutionary Front by a group of Bolivian exiles in Chile.

Allende legislated large wage raises to workers while attempting to control prices. As he continued his policy of nationalizing companies and expropriating large farms, production fell and protest rose. As inflation spiraled upward to 163 percent per annum in 1972 and ultimately 350 percent in September 1973, Allende evidently strove to suppress the opposition media by holding down the prices they could charge. But CIA funding kept the opposition alive. Well over $1 million went to Chile's largest newspaper, El Mercurio, alone. CIA expenditures during Allende's Administration (1970 - 1973) would total over $6 million. Most of the political funding went to subsidizing the Christian Democratic Party.

A few weeks before the first Watergate break-in, the Chilean embassy in Washington, DC was burglarized. The burglars stole four radios and some documents. The police concluded it was the work of teenagers. There were no fingerprints, suggesting that gloves had been used. John Dean would later express his belief that The Plumbers were behind the break-in. Charles Colson suggested that it was associated with a CIA bugging operation. The true story remains a mystery.

In February 1972, the Chilean Congress passed several constitutional amendments prohibiting the government from nationalizing enterprises without congressional approval. Allende said he would veto the bill. That Summer 80% of the shops in Santiago were closed as shopkeepers went on strike against price controls, inflation, scarcity of goods and business restrictions. A few months later the Confederation of Truck Owners went on strike following an announcement declaring the government's intention to start a public trucking company. The truckers were supported by the Christian Democratic Party. Soon there was a sympathy strike by dentists, lawyers, taxi drivers, architects and other professionals. The government proclaimed a curfew and took over the nation's radio stations. Although subsequent investigations yielded scant evidence of direct funding of strikers by the CIA, it is possible many strikers received such money indirectly through organizations which the CIA directly funded.

By the following spring, even the copper mine workers were striking against the government. Allende closed the central office of the Christian Democrats. The Christian Democratic Party declared that the government was "seeking the totality of power, which means Communist tyranny". Yet Allende refrained from resorting to mass arrests and such tactics of violence as Fidel Castro advised him were essential for the destruction of capitalism and the establishment of a Marxist regime.

When truck owners went on strike again in the Summer of 1973, Allende demanded that their trucks be confiscated. The next month the Chilean Chamber of Deputies passed a resolution, by a vote of 81 to 47, which declared, "It is a fact that the present government, from the beginning, has attempted to seize total power, with the evident purpose of subjecting everyone to the most rigorous economic and political controls..."

On September 11, 1973 several radio stations broadcast a declaration from the chief commanders of the army, navy, air force, and national police that Allende should resign immediately. Allende refused, calling on the workers of Chile to mount a nationwide resistance. Shortly before army troops stormed his palace, Allende stated in a radio broadcast, "I will not resign....I am ready to resist with whatever means, even at the cost of my life, in that this serves as a lesson in the ignominious history of those who have strength but not reason." The exact circumstances of Allende's death has been a subject of some controversy. Though Mrs. Allende was never allowed to see her husband's body, she accepted the military's report that he committed suicide. Her husband killed herself, she said, "with a submachine gun given to him by his friend Fidel Castro".

It was a bloody coup, involving over 2,700 deaths and thousands of arrests. Many political moderates supported the military in the belief that their actions were temporary, but necessary, measures to restore democracy. No evidence has been found of direct CIA involvement. In fact, the plotters said they thought it wise to keep US officials in the dark for the sake of secrecy and effectiveness.

The new government announced its intention to "eradicate Marxism" from Chile. Diplomatic relations with Cuba were broken and Marxist parties were outlawed. But later, non-Marxist political activity and Congress were also suspended.

The military junta expressed its willingness to negotiate with American copper companies concerning compensation for expropriated property. Nationalized lands were to be restored to their owners. Food rationing and price controls were abolished. The immediate welfare of the lower classes was said to worsten. To further the end of creating a pro-business climate in Chile, the government employed economists trained under Milton Friedman's school, the University of Chicago. Inflation fell from 505% in 1974 to 30% in 1978.

By March 1975 over 40,000 people had been arrested since the coup. Most of these were released or deported, but in October a government spokesman stated that 4,000 political prisoners were still being held. Allegations concerning the use of torture were widespread, but the government refused to allow an investigation by the UN Human Rights Commission. Protesting the human rights violations against large numbers of political prisoners in Chile, Senator Edward Kennedy initiated a campaign to cut off all American aid to that country, an objective which was finally achieved in 1976. The sanctions were more strenuous than those which had been applied against Allende.

That same year, 1976, Allende's former Ambassador from Chile to the United States was actively involved in an international program to block trade with and the granting of credit to Chile's ruling military government. In September he was killed by a bomb planted at the direction of the Chilean secret police. When Chile refused to extradite 3 Chilean army officers implicated in the conspiracy, the US Government expressed it displeasure by recalling the American Ambassador for ten days.

In response to a United Nations General Assembly criticism of human rights violations by the Chilean military government, Chile's President Augusto Pinochet Ugarte called for a national plebiscite. A formal statement — to be accepted or rejected by Chilean votors — included the sentence: "In the face of the international aggression unleashed against the government of the homeland, I support President Pinochet in his defense of the dignity of Chile." 75% of the 5,350,000 who voted — out of a national population of 10,800,000 — gave approval. Pinochet accepted this as a mandate for his conception of "authoritarian democracy".

During the early 1970s, the CIA attempted one of the most audacious operations in the history of the Agency. Code-named "Project Jennifer", the operation entailed constructing a huge vessel specifically designed to retrieve a Russian submarine from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The Russian sub had exploded and plunged three miles to the ocean floor too quickly for any sort of distress signal to be radioed. The Soviets searched in vain for their submarine. But satellite and underwater surveillance gave the US Navy a precise knowledge of where to find the sub. A deep-sea reconnaissance ship with sophisticated sonar and underwater photography equipment provided even more precise information on the size and positioning of the submarine's fragments.

There was a wealth of intelligence information to be recovered from the sunken vessel. The technology behind the Soviet's nuclear missiles, launching system and nuclear-tipped torpedoes could be added to the secret fund of American weaponry engineering knowledge. Information concerning the guidance systems could be used for constructing countermeasures. Captured code books could be used for deciphering intercepted messages already stored on magnetic tape. If a code machine was found, an understanding of its design would aid in future code-breaking efforts. The welding characteristics and other features of the submarine would give information on its construction, range and depth capabilities. Radio equipment, operating manuals and other items within the vessel would also be highly valuable.

Retrieving the submarine's pieces from a three mile depth required the construction of a special-purpose ship. The project would cost well over $100 million, involve thousands of people and yet have to be conducted in utmost secrecy. President Richard Nixon gave the CIA his approval to embark on the task.

The CIA signed a contract with Global Marine, Inc. and Hughes Tool Company for the construction of the retrieval ship, which was to be christened the Hughes Glomar Explorer. Promoting Howard Hughes as the nominal owner served as a cover for both the grandiose expense and the tight security measures surrounding the project. The eccentric industrialist was purportedly constructing a "mystery ship" which would mine nodules of copper, manganese, nickel and cobalt from the ocean floor. Agreements were negotiated with refining companies to process the ore.

The technology that went into the Glomar has been compared to the technical achievements of space-capsule construction. The ship is longer than two football fields and its central derrick rises to the height of a 23-storey building. It is so large that it was unable to pass through the Panama Canal. It was constructed in such a way that a huge claw and control device can draw submarine fragments directly upward into a central hold — unseen by passing ships or surveillance aircraft. Three "water jet" thrusters with a 40,000-pound force, along with the ship's propellers, ensure that the vessel can be held stationary in the water while performing its operations. The thrusters and propellers are regulated by a station-keeping computer responding to signals from electronically-equipped buoys and transponders implanted in the ocean floor.

Even with all its technical sophistication, however, the Glomar required ideal weather conditions such as are found during the months of July and August. But as preparations were being made for an expedition for the Summer of 1974, members of the engineering crew decided to unionize. CIA officials were unwilling to tolerate such a loss of control over their security, so ten men were dismissed. The National Labor Relations Board charged Global Marine with violating labor laws, but CIA pressure behind the scenes prevented further such intervention.

In July of 1974 the Hughes Glomar Explorer successfully retrieved a portion of the sunken Russian submarine from the Pacific Ocean floor. The full results of the recovery are still secret, but the find included the body of a Soviet nuclear specialist, his personal diary and a couple of nuclear-tipped torpedoes. During the recovery operation, the Glomar was approached by a Soviet vessel whose members may have had an interest in the new Hughes mining technique. Through telephoto lenses, the Russians caught glimpses of American crew members with extended middle fingers — and of others who dropped their pants to "moon" them. Perhaps in response to these patriotic gestures, the Soviet vessel increased its distance from the Glomar.

The CIA had serious reasons to be apprehensive about Russian ships cruising in their area of operation. One month previous a burglary had taken place in one of the offices of Howard Hughes' Summa Corporation. At one o'clock in the morning a security guard who had been patrolling outside the building was jumped from behind as he was re-entering the premises. Four men equipped with an acetylene torch, gas tanks and other tools of their trade worked quickly and efficiently to steal $68,000, a Wedgewood vase, a ceramic samovar, three digital watches, a collection of South American butterflies, an antique Mongolian bowl and a number of documents.

If the safecrackers were as professional as their tools would seem to indicate, the manner in which they cut the vault open with their torch would be evidence that they knew the inner doors had been left open. A number of officers of the Los Angeles Police Department publically expressed the opinion that it was an "inside job". Members of the Securities Exchange Commission believed that Hughes engineered the break-in himself, to circumvent a court order for documents relating to his attempted takeover of Air West.

People in the Hughes organization acted fairly indifferent about the incident until a number of weeks later when it was discovered that a memorandum linking the Hughes Glomar Explorer with the CIA was missing. A state of panic erupted in the Summa Corporation which quickly spread to the CIA. The Glomar was already in the Pacific beginning the operation which had required years of preparation and so many millions of dollars. If the Soviets had gotten word of the project, they could precipitate a disastrous confrontation. It is a violation of international law for any nation to salvage the warships of another. CIA officials decided to allow the Glomar to continue and hope for the best.

Meanwhile, the FBI was informed of the CIA-Hughes connection and the importance of the memo. Some members of the Los Angeles Police Department were also told the story in order to elicit their support. Eight months later, someone leaked the story to the Los Angeles Times. The story was printed, although in such erroneous form that it reported the Russian sub to be in the North Atlantic. Although the Glomar's expedition in the Summer of 1974 had been successful, CIA Director William Colby claimed it was essential that the Glomar's activity continue in the Summer of 1975, perhaps to retrieve another portion of the submarine. Colby frantically solicited the editors of an increasing number of newspapers to keep quiet about the matter.

Although Jack Anderson had spoken three times with Colby, he decided to break the story on national television under the title "Coverup of a $350 Million Failure". In his efforts to convince editors to hold the Glomar story in suspension, Colby had informed them that the project was not yet successful. Anderson decided that the CIA wanted to cover-up the incompetent wastefulness of giving Howard Hughes $350 million to recover an "obsolete" submarine. (The submarine was powered by batteries and diesel engines. Anderson may not have realized that the Soviets concentrated their efforts on having a very large fleet of conventionally-powered submarines equipped with nuclear weapons — in contrast to the much smaller American fleet containing more nuclear-powered subs.)

The climate in which Anderson aired his "exposure" on March 18, 1975 was one of extreme distrust of the CIA. Both houses of Congress and a commission under the vice-president had been investigating CIA activities. 1975 has, for that reason, been called The Year of Intelligence. The post-Watergate, post-Vietnam atmosphere alone would have been enough to justify this wave of criticism, but there were also specific circumstances within the CIA which virtually impelled these investigations.

In the 1950s there was an implicit faith that the espionage activities of the US Government must not be questioned or exposed. But in the 1960s many people — especially young ones eligible to be drafted into the military — increasingly objected to their government's foreign policies. It therefore seemed peculiar in 1966 when representatives of the National Student Association (NSA) attending an international conference attempted to block passage of resolutions condemning the war in Vietnam. Why NSA officers should promote views opposed to those of the body of its membership became evident early the next year when the magazine Ramparts reported that NSA officers were receiving money from the CIA. Further investigations showed a large number of so-called private trust-fund organizations which were effectively CIA fronts.

These revelations inspired many people to wonder how much the CIA's work against foreign enemies involved surveillance of American citizens. Such surveillance had begun, in fact, in 1952 with the recording of information on the envelopes of letters between the United States and the Soviet Union. Within a year, letters were being opened. Eventually over 200,000 letters to and from a number of communist countries were opened, resulting in a "watch list" of 2 million names on a computerized index. Many postmaster generals and attorney generals gave their complicity to this illegal project.

These activities were carried out under the auspices of James Jesus Angleton, head of CIA Counterintelligence. Because counterintelligence was the most secretive section of the CIA, operations requiring the stictest secrecy, like mail-opening, were carried out there. It should not be surprising that James Angleton, heading the most secretive section of a secretive agency, should be a very strange and secretive man.

James Angleton's hobbies included jewelrymaking, raising orchids and fly-casting using flies of his own making. He was a patient and meticulous person. As an undergraduate at Yale he co-founded a literary journal which published material by some of America's best contemporary poets: Ezra Pound, E. E. Cummings and William Carlos Williams, among others. His reluctance to accept things at face-value made him well suited for counterintelligence.

The objective of counterintelligence is to monitor the activities of enemy intelligence operatives and agencies. Efforts should be made to penetrate enemy agencies without allowing the enemy to infiltrate one's own agency with agents. The value of intelligence as well as the true loyalties of defectors and agents in the field must be scrutinized at all times. To do this requires a mind which is suspicious to the point of paranoia — a mind inclined toward self-doubt and continuous challenging of the ultimate basis of knowledge. The information from every source must be weighed against information from every other source. It is this feature of counterintelligence that led Angleton to characterize his work, showing his flair for the poetic, as a "wilderness of mirrors".

James Angleton learned counterintelligence from Kim Philby in London. He was taught the principle that an agent establishes his genuineness by providing valuable intelligence. But valuable intelligence can always be interpreted as bait for a greater deception. Carrying this principle to the extreme, one can always imagine a deception, the value of which is greater than any specific piece of intelligence. Angleton was said to have been deeply stung when it became evident that his old master Kim Philby had been working for the KGB. Angleton's resolve never to be similarly deceived again may have been the beginnings of a self-destructive suspiciousness.

Yet Angleton was a firm believer in the KGB defector Anatoli Golitsin, perhaps because Golitsin's grandiose warnings of KGB penetration and deception confirmed Angleton's own paranoid fantasies. Golitsin also warned that the KGB would follow his own defection with phoney defectors who would contradict him and divert attention from the leads he provided. Not long thereafter, the KGB defector Yuri Nosenko arrived with news that Lee Harvey Oswald never worked for the KGB and that Golitsin was wrong about there being a KGB agent in the upper echelons of the CIA. Golitsin was able to provide evidence which led counterintelligence officers to prove that Nosenko had lied about his rank and about the circumstances of his defection. Golitsin also provided positive information which led to the capture of a KGB spy who had ostensibly been working for the CIA in Germany.

But if Golitsin's intelligence was weighed against Nosenko's, both seemed of nearly equal value. The difference would be made in deciding whether the agents fingered by either man had already been so compromised as to no longer be of value. One also needed to ask whether damage was done by denying that a KGB agent had penetrated the CIA, if such penetration had indeed occurred — or by creating such suspicion within the CIA of KGB infiltration that the Agency was effectively hamstrung with internal distrust. The idea that Golitsin was a KGB agent seemed to make less sense. Why would the Soviets send Golitsin to challenge the credentials of a defector who claimed that Oswald had not worked for the KGB? Perhaps Golitsin, aware that his reserve of hard intelligence had long since been used up, sought to continue raising alarms of suspicion so as to maintain his own importance.

But the conflict between Nosenko and Golitsin was less threatening to Angleton, personally, than his own rivalry with William Colby. Colby was one of those CIA men who discounted counterintelligence as being little more than childish spy games. According to Angleton, many American soldiers had died in Vietnam because Colby had not made counterintelligence part of his Phoenix program. Due to similar thinking by other CIA officials, only one counterintelligence expert had been assigned to the Bay of Pigs operation — at a time when Castro had at least two hundred Cuban intelligence agents in Miami.

In England and Germany, the KGB had gained access to the inner circles of counterintelligence. French intelligence was rocked by the exposure of KGB penetration in the early 1960s. Of the major intelligence services, only the CIA and Israeli intelligence had avoided the scandalous embarrassment of KGB infiltration. And the credit for this — if indeed the CIA had not been penetrated — went to James Angleton.

But Angleton's extreme suspiciousness could also be counted as a liability in many cases. Because of Angleton, the CIA rebuffed the most productive KGB turncoat in the history of Western intelligence service. The agent later made contact with the British, but even after the man yielded a microfilm of over 10,000 pages of classified documents on Soviet missiles, Angleton continued to suspect the defector was a KGB plant. And when the head of the Soviet Bloc Division of the CIA was made chief of station in Paris, Angleton warned the head of French intelligence that their new CIA chief was a Soviet agent. Angleton believed that the conflict between Tito and Stalin — as well as the evidence of a Sino-Soviet rift — were ploys designed to lure the West into an unfounded sense of complacency.

So many CIA mistakes could conceivably be traced to Angleton that it was nothing short of poetic justice that a counterintelligence officer began writing a supersecret report based on the suspicion that Angleton was working for the KGB. Although much of the evidence was circumstantial, the report had a compelling logic to it. It concluded that both Nosenko and Golitsin had wrecked their damage under Angleton's control — that all three men had coordinated their destruction of CIA effectiveness for the KGB's benefit.

When William Colby became Director of the CIA in September 1973, Angleton's future prospects grew increasingly grim. Colby was shown the report which implied that Angleton was an agent of the Soviets, but to Colby it was simply another symptom of the disease which Angleton epitomized. Colby was part of a movement to eradicate what he considered a romantic enthusiasm for unnecessary intrigue. Covert operations and counterintelligence were to be replaced by more attention to the business of gathering intelligence. According to Colby, it was better to "take a chance of making a few mistakes in return for recruiting a lot more agents".

If Colby wanted leverage to help remove Angleton from his job, he may have found it in the growing distrust of the CIA within the American public. The racial disorders and the growing body of "dissidents" near the end of his term of office had led President Johnson to request a CIA investigation of possible foreign influences behind these trends. A Special Operations Group, which eventually came to be known as "Operation Chaos", had been set up within James Angleton's Counterintelligence Staff to conduct these investigations. Under President Nixon, Operation Chaos collected information on American dissidents gained through the FBI, Army intelligence, and other intelligence agencies. Chaos agents infiltrated domestic and foreign groups.

In September of 1974, The New York Times printed a story exposing CIA covert operation activity against Chile's Salvador Allende. The piece was written by Seymour Hersh, a journalist who had won the Pulitzer Prize for his exposure of the My Lai Massacre. In December, Hersh phoned Colby to request an interview, which Colby granted. Hersh told Colby that he had been gathering evidence of what he called a massive CIA program against the antiwar movement which had included mail-openings, break-ins and wiretaps. Colby confirmed the story while downplaying the idea that the program was as "massive", intensive or serious as Hersh implied.

Two days later The New York Times carried a lengthy front page article by Hersh under a three-column headline. Suddenly James Angleton, who for years had been horrified by the thought of being captured in a photograph — and whose wife of thirty-one years believed him to be a post office employee — was the subject of a sensationalistic newspaper article. For Colby, it was an opportune moment to demand Angleton's resignation. When Colby told Angleton's three top aides that they were being removed from their posts, they all chose to go into retirement. In the eyes of many, Colby's move destroyed counterintelligence.

During Watergate, the CIA Director had demanded that all Agency employees come forward with information on illegal or questionable activities that had been conducted by the CIA in the course of its history. The resulting material was collected into a document which came to be known as the "family jewels". On December 24, 1974 — two days after Hersh's article had appeared in The New York Times — Colby took the "family jewels" to Kissinger at the State Department. Kissinger discussed the matter with President Gerald Ford, leading the President announce the formation of the Rockefeller Commission through which the Vice-President could investigate the charges against the Agency. But congressmen were about to let the matter rest there. Both Houses of Congress authorized committees to conduct investigations of all CIA activities, past and present.

President Ford chose this inopportune moment to have the CIA secretly send $25 million of military equipment to tribal factions in Angola which were fighting a Soviet-supplied group. The Soviets had openly supplied their supporters and at least ten thousand Cuban soldiers had been sent from Havana. Ford's move was clearly an attempt to circumvent congressional scrutiny.

President Ford invited the publisher and top editors of The New York Times to a luncheon at the White House. Ford told the group that there were some activities the CIA had engaged in which, for the good of the nation, should not be exposed. "Like what?", the managing editor asked. "Like assassination", the President responded. CIA assassination plots were soon in the headlines.

Congressmen investigated allegations that the CIA was behind the killing of General Schneider of Chile, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo and Ngo Diem of Vietnam, among others. People asked if the CIA's murderous schemes had extended to the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Hoffa, Howard Hunt's wife, Sam Giancana and a host of others who died mysterious deaths. Historian Arnold Toynbee described the international impact of these revelations: "For the world as a whole the CIA has now become the bogey that communism has been for America. Wherever there is trouble, violence, suffering, tragedy, the rest of us are now quick to suspect the CIA has a hand in it."

It became known that the CIA had conducted bugging, wiretaps and break-ins against newspaper reporters and former CIA employees. One CIA officer committed suicide in 1953 after having unknowingly been given LSD as part of a CIA-Army program of drug experimentation. Before the investigations, the officer's family believed the death had occurred "in the line of duty".

Although Colby regarded much of the investigating as sensationalism by those "engaging in cheap TV theatrics at the expense of the CIA's secrets", he regularly and dutifully went before investigating committees to tell what he knew. Kissinger is said to have remarked that Colby was "going to confession", a reference to Colby's devout Catholicism.

A disgruntled former CIA officer named Philip Agee wrote a book in which he attempted to expose every CIA officer known to him. The CIA spent millions of dollars reorganizing their operations in response to his effort. The crusade continued, however, in Agee's magazine CounterSpy. One issue of CounterSpy published names of over a hundred CIA station chiefs throughout the world. Shortly before Christmas of 1975 the CIA chief of station for Athens was gunned down in front of his home. CounterSpy had printed his home address. A military funeral at Arlington National Cemetary was attended by President Ford. It was a stunning end to The Year of Intelligence in Washington, DC.

(return to contents)



  • William Brashler,The Don:The Life and Death of Sam Giancana
  • (Ballentine Books, 1977)
  • Fred J. Cook,Mafia!
  • (Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1973)
  • Jonathan Craig and Richard Posner,The New York Crime Book
  • (Pyramid Communications, Inc., 1972)
  • Demaris,The Lucky Luciano Story
  • (Tower Publications, Inc., 1969)
  • Nicolas Gage, Ed.,Mafia, USA
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1972)
  • Nicolas Gage,The Mafia is Not and Equal Opportunity Employer
  • (McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1971)
  • Phil Hirsch, Ed.,The Mafia
  • (Pyramid Communications, Inc., 1971)
  • Leonard Katz,Uncle Frank
  • (Pocket Books, 1975)
  • John Kobler,Capone
  • (Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1971)
  • Peter Maas,The Valachi Papers
  • (G. P. Putman's Sons, 1968)
  • Hank Messick,Lansky
  • (Berkley Medallion Books, 1971)
  • Ed Reid,The Grim Reapers
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1969)

  • Steven Brill,The Teamsters
  • (Pocket Books, 1978)
  • Fred J. Cook, "Anything to Get Hoffa"
  • The Nation, February 20, 1967
  • Fred J. Cook, "The Hoffa Trial"
  • The Nation, April 27, 1964
  • J.R.Hoffa and D.I.Rogers,The Trials of Jimmy Hoffa
  • (Henry Regnery Company, 1970)
  • Robert F. Kennedy,The Enemy Within
  • (Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1960)
  • Clark R. Mollenhoff,Tentacles of Power
  • (The World Publishing Company, 1965)
  • Dan E. Moldea,The Hoffa Wars
  • (Charter Books, 1978)
  • Victor S. Navasky,Kennedy Justice
  • (Atheneum, 1977)
  • Arthur M. Schleshinger, Jr.,Robert Kennedy and His Times
  • (Ballantine Books, 1978)
  • Walter Sheridan,The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa
  • (Saturday Review Press, 1972)
  • Ralph de Toledano,J. Edgar Hoover: The Man in His Time
  • (Manor Books, Inc., 1974)

  • James M. Burns,Edward Kennedy and the Camelot Legacy
  • (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1976)
  • S. Dunleavy & P. Brennan,Those Wild, Wild Kennedy Boys!
  • (Pinnacle Books, Inc., 1976)
  • Judith Exner,My Story
  • (Grove Press, Inc., 1977)
  • Kitty Kelley,Jackie Oh!
  • (Ballantine Books, 1978)
  • Tony Sciacca,Kennedy and his Women
  • (Manor Books, Inc., 1976)
  • Tony Sciacca,Sinatra
  • (Pinnacle Books, Inc., 1976)
  • Tony Sciacca,Who Killed Marilyn?
  • (Manor Books, Inc., 1976)
  • Robert Sherrill, "Chappaquiddick+5"
  • The New York Times Magazine, July 14, 1974
  • Robert F. Slatzer,The Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe
  • (Pinnacle Books, Inc., 1974)
  • Earl Wilson,Sinatra
  • (Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1976)

  • Anthony Cave Brown, Ed.,The Secret War Report of the OSS
  • (Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1976)
  • Clyde W. Burleson,The Jennifer Project
  • (Sphere Books Limited, 1979)
  • William Colby,Honorable Men
  • (Simon and Schuster, 1978)
  • Robert Graham,Iran: The Illusion of Power
  • (St. Martin's Press, 1980)
  • Morton H. Halperin, et. al.,The Lawless State
  • (Penguin Books, 1976)
  • V. Marchetti & J. D. Marks,The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1980)
  • Seymour Hersh, "The Price of Power"
  • The Atlantic, December 1982
  • David C. Martin,Wilderness of Mirrors
  • (Ballantine Books, 1980)
  • Cord Meyer,Facing Reality
  • (Harper & Row, Publishers, 1980)
  • Leonard Mosley,Dulles
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1978)
  • B. Page, D. Leitch & P. Knightley,The Philby Conspiracy
  • (Ballentine Books, 1981)
  • David Atlee Phillips,The Night Watch
  • (Atheneum, 1977)
  • Thomas Powers,The Man Who Kept The Secrets
  • (Alfred A. Knopf, 1979)
  • Harry Rositzke,The CIA's Secret Operations
  • (Reader's Digest Press, 1977)
  • Daniel Schorr,Clearing the Air
  • (Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1976)
  • R. Harris Smith,OSS
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1972)
  • D. Wise & T. B. Ross,The Invisible Government
  • (Random House, 1964)

  • Bradley Ayers,The War That Never Was
  • (The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1976)
  • Paul D. Bethel,The Losers
  • (Arlington House, 1969)
  • E. Howard Hunt,Give Us This Day
  • (Popular Library, 1973)
  • Herbert L. Matthews,Revolution in Cuba
  • (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975)
  • Theodore C. Sorensen,Kennedy
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1965)
  • Edwin C. Stein,Cuba, Castro and Communism
  • (Macfadden-Bartell Corporation, 1962)
  • Tad Szulc,Compulsive Spy
  • (The Viking Press, 1974)
  • Peter Wyden,Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story
  • (Simon and Schuster, 1979)


  • Robert Sam Anson,"They've Killed the President!"
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1975)
  • G. R. Blakey & R. N. Billings,The Plot to Kill the President
  • (Times Books, 1981)
  • Committee on Ballistic Acoustics, National Research Council,
  • "Reexamination of Acoustic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination"
  • Science, October 8, 1982
  • Edward Jay Epstein,Legend
  • (Reader's Digest Press, 1978)
  • Michael Ewing, Ed.,Coincidence or Conspiracy?
  • (Zebra Books, 1977)
  • Michael L. Kurtz,Crime of the Century
  • (The University of Tennessee Press, 1982)
  • David S. Lifton,Best Evidence
  • (Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1980)
  • Anthony Summers,Conspiracy
  • (Fontana Paperbacks, 1980)

  • Jack Anderson,Confessions of a Muckraker
  • (Ballantine Books, 1979)
  • D. L. Barlett & J. B. Steele,Empire
  • (W. W. Norton & Company, 1979)
  • E. Davenport & P. Eddy,The Hughes Papers
  • (Ballantine Books, 1976)
  • N. Dietrich & B. Thomas,Howard
  • (Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1976)
  • James Phelan,Howard Hughes: The Hidden Years
  • (Warner Books, 1976)

  • Stephen E. Ambrose,Rise to Globalism
  • (Penguin Books, 1980)
  • Ray Bonds, Ed.,The Vietnam War
  • (Crown Publishers, Inc., 1979)
  • Joseph Buttinger,Vietnam: A Dragon Embattled
  • (Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1967)
  • Charles Fenn,Ho Chi Minh
  • (Studio Vista, 1973)
  • David Halberstam,The Best and the Brightest
  • (Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1972)
  • George C. Herring,America's Longest War
  • (John Wiley & Sons, 1979)
  • Seymour M. Hersh,Cover-up
  • (Vintage Books, 1972)
  • Henry Kissinger,White House Years
  • (Little, Brown and Company, 1979)
  • Jean Lacouture,Ho Chi Minh
  • (Penguin Books, 1969)
  • William J. Lederer,The Anguished American
  • (Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1968)

  • Alfred W. McCoy,The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia
  • (Harper & Row, 1972)
  • Allan R. Millett, Ed.,A Short History of the Vietnam War
  • (Indiana University Press, 1978)
  • Bernard Newman,Background to Viet-Nam
  • (The New American Library, 1965)
  • Robert Shaplen,The Lost Revolution
  • (Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., 1966)
  • William Shawcross,Sideshow
  • (Pocket Books, 1979)
  • Neil Sheenan, et. al.,The Pentagon Papers
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1971)
  • Frank Snepp,Decent Interval
  • (Vintage Books, 1977)
  • William C. Westmoreland,A Soldier Reports
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1980)

  • Linda Amster, et. al.,The End of a Presidency
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1974)
  • Jack Anderson,The Anderson Papers
  • (Ballantine Books, 1974)
  • Charles W. Colson,Born Again
  • (Fleming H. Revell Company, 1977)
  • John Ehrlichman,Witness to Power
  • (Simon and Schuster, 1982)
  • Sam J. Ervin, Jr.,The Whole Truth
  • (Random House, 1980)
  • Gerald Gold, Ed.,The Watergate Hearings
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1973)
  • Gerald Gold, Ed.,The White House Transcripts
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1974)
  • H. R. Haldeman,The Ends of Power
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1978)
  • E. Howard Hunt,Undercover
  • (Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1974)
  • Leon Jaworski,The Right and the Power
  • (Reader's Digest Press, 1976)
  • Henry Kissinger,Years of Upheaval
  • (Little, Brown and Company, 1982)
  • Victor Laskey,It Didn't Start with Watergate
  • (Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1977)
  • G. Gordon Liddy,Will
  • (St. Martin's Press, 1980)
  • J. Anthony Lukas,Nightmare
  • (Bantam Books, Inc., 1976)
  • Jeb Stuard Magruder,An American Life
  • (Atheneum Publishers, 1974)
  • Richard M. Nixon,The Memoirs of Richard Nixon
  • (Warner Books, 1978)
  • Lawrence F. O'Brien,No Final Victories
  • (Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1974)
  • Anthony Sampson,ITT
  • (Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1974)
  • John J. Sirica,To Set the Record Straight
  • (The New American Library, Inc., 1979)
  • Maurice H. Stans,The Terrors of Justice
  • (Everest House, 1978)
  • William C. Sullivan,The Bureau
  • (W. W. Norton & Company, 1979)
  • B. Woodward & C. Bernstein,All the President's Men
  • (Warner Books, Inc., 1974)
  • B. Woodward & C. Bernstein,The Final Days
  • (Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1976)

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