Document:The "Pentagon Papers" leak was a CIA op
The "Pentagon Papers" leak was a CIA op.
If St. Ellsberg was one of your lifetime heroes, you may want to stop reading now, because what you will be reading is sheer heresy.
I'm posting this in the Watergate forum because without the "Pentagon Papers," there would have been no Watergate. If you're astute, you may be thinking right about now that if the "Pentagon Papers" was a CIA op, then so was Watergate.
Well - Yes. (Of course the fact that E. Howard Hunt, James McCord, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Frank Sturgis, and Eugenio Martinez were all current or "former" CIA operatives, and that G. Gordon Liddy had "special clearances" from CIA at the time, might have given anyone who could fog a mirror a clue in that direction - but that's another thread.)
Back to St. Ellsberg and his heroic, selfless act for world peace: it's a complete fraud, and the CIA had already created the total plan for getting him off scott-free before he ever delivered the CIA-provided "secrets" to Neil Sheehan, his old buddy from 'Nam - who he had been hooked up with there by CIA's Robert Komer and Lucien Conein, both long-time CIA pals of E. Howard Hunt.
If there is a "strangest part" among the strangeness, it might be that it's all in the public record. It doesn't even require prying secrets out of the cold, clammy hands of America's favorite spooks. The perps have admitted to all of it. They just admitted it at so many different places in so many different time frames that nobody ever put all those stray pieces together until recently, and the picture the puzzle forms is ugly indeed.
Ellsberg's "psychiatrist," Lewis J. Fielding, had been staff psychiatrist at the Veterans Administration way back in the late '40s and early '50s, just when the VA was feeding unfortunate veterans into the hungry tormenting maw of CIA's mind-control beast, Operation Bluebird (and its bastard children - ARTICHOKE, MK-ULTRA, etc.), to be used as guinea pigs under the loving eye of Richard Helms, Sidney Gottlieb and friends - where Hunt, Conein, and Komer sang along in three-part harmony.
There are lots of tiny details that make up the big picture, and I won't lay out every one of them here in this introductory message in this thread. They've actually already been laid out meticulously in a very thorough timeline I've read, which I'll provide a link to at the end of this message if anybody wants to visit it themselves. But there are several important pieces that are worth laying out.
One of them is that E. Howard Hunt and his wife Dorothy went to Miami and met with Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, and Felipe De Diego on Saturday, 17 April 1971, almost two months before the leak of the Pentagon Papers. So? So, these happen to be the exact same three CIA - connected Cubans who Hunt later uses to stage a "break-in" at the office of psychiatrist Lewis J. Fielding - purportedly as part of the "response" to the leak of the Pentagon Papers - the claimed purpose of which will be to get the psychiatric file of Daniel Ellsberg. (Stay tuned...)
The next piece to lay out is that well prior to the Labor Day weekend "break-in" of Fielding's office, the CIA supplied E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy with:
- Phony IDs
- CIA "disguises" that didn't disguise them at all
- A CIA camera
So on 26 August 1971, Hunt and Liddy took these CIA-supplied items and flew out to Los Angeles and went to the Beverly Hills office of Lewis J. Fielding, purportedly to "case" the place for the upcoming break-in. And they put on their ill-fitting CIA wigs, and took photos of each other with the CIA-supplied camera standing in front of Fielding's identifiable office door.
As inconceivable as this is already, we aren't done yet--not by a long shot. Liddy and Hunt flew back to D.C. and were met at the airport by CIA's Stephen Greenwood, who took the film from the CIA-supplied camera, took it back to CIA headquarters, and had the photos developed there, giving a copy to Hunt, and keeping a copy in CIA files.
Okay: I know you think I'm pulling your leg, but I swear it's the precise truth, admitted by CIA, and it only gets better.
Just over a week later, on Friday, 3 September 1971 (Labor Day weekend) the purported "break-in" took place at the office of Lewis J. Fielding. The three Cubans Hunt had met with earlier (two months before the Pentagon Papers had even been leaked) did the dirty work.
It seems worth mentioning in passing the reason Liddy gave in his autobiography for getting the Cubans to do the break-in. I'm going to say it, but if you fall out of your chair laughing and hurt yourself, don't sue me; sue the CIA for reckless endangerment. But here it is: just after Liddy and Hunt had taken photos of each other at Fielding's office, Liddy says they got a go ahead for a break-in (from NSA's David Young--but that's another thread), but that Liddy and Hunt "weren't allowed to be anywhere near the place." Once you recover, we'll move along here...
The Cubans (all with CIA histories) made the "break-in" real subtle: they broke a window--even though Gonzalez was a locksmith. (This is another curious twist: in the anecdotal accounts of the Fielding break-in, none of the people involved ever mention that Gonzalez is a locksmith. Yet in their tales of the similar Watergate op just nine months later, it becomes the whole reason for Gonzalez being on "the team." Of course, if they had made an issue out of it in the tales of the Fielding "break-in," the broken window would look a little suspicious. I repent for bringing it up.)
In the much-later revelations of the "break-in," the CIA shills involved couldn't even get their stories straight. Liddy, Hunt, and the Cubans all claimed there was no Ellsberg file at all, but Fielding reported that there had been a fat Ellsberg file in the office when they broke in, that he found it lying open on the floor when he next came to the office, and that it was "evident" that someone had gone through the file. Who you gonna' believe? Does it matter? They were all in on the CIA op together.
As a final note on the "break-in," Liddy and Hunt at the time, as the "commanders" of the op, supposedly were running around Beverly Hills like Keystone Cops, trying in vain on Radio Shack walkie-talkies to raise the Cubans and doing other endearing things. The problem is they were in New York City the same night checking into the Pierre Hotel on a completely impossible timeline. But, hey: it's a CIA op. Don't be so nitpicking.
If all of this buffoonery isn't enough, it's time to take a giant step now, all the way across 1972 to early 1973: Wednesday, 3 January 1973, to be precise. On that day, Daniel Ellsberg went on trial for felony crimes in the leaking of the "Pentagon Papers."
And on the same day--the same exact day--the CIA sent a courier named Anthony Goldin, one of their own agents, to hand-deliver to Watergate prosecutors a nice, official, sealed CIA envelope.
And what do you think it contained? Are you even able to guess?
If you said "photos of E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy mugging in front of Lewis J. Fielding's office," I'd be willing to wager your breath can fog a mirror.
And so on the very day his trial began, Daniel Ellsberg was given a custom "Get Out of Jail Free" card, tailor-made for him by CIA and their jolly operatives. It wouldn't be passed along to the Ellsberg court and made public for several more months, but it was hand-delivered by CIA the very day the Ellsberg trial began. It had been planned far, far in advance just that way.
"But why," you might be asking.
The obvious answer to "why," from the record, was to provide a big, brazen, scandalous excuse for the CIA to shove Liddy and Hunt into the White House through the back door and get them White House credentials and lots of operational latitude.
In fact, there's a little detail from one of the Watergate tapes that has gone almost completely unremarked: way back on 2 July 1971 — the day after NSA's David Young had been appointed to work with Egil Krogh at the White House Domestic Council, just days after Ellsberg had been indicted for the "Pentagon Papers" — CIA Director Richard Helms is revealed to have been back-channeling to the White House staff, lobbying for Hunt to be taken on. In a tape of an Oval Office conversation that date, Haldeman tells Nixon that Helms has been whispering in his ear about Hunt: "Ruthless, quiet and careful, low profile. He gets things done. He will work well with all of us. He's very concerned about the health of the administration. His concern, he thinks, is they're out to get us and all that, but he's not a fanatic. We could be absolutely certain it'll involve secrecy... ."
On or about the same day, Daniel Ellsberg's ex-wife contacted the FBI and gave them a tip about psychiatrist Lewis J. Fielding knowing "all about what Daniel has done."
Within five days, Hunt was hired as a White House "consultant."
There's more, but how much more do you need?
If the new burning question is "why did the CIA so badly want Hunt and Liddy in the White House," well, that's another story for another day.
While I'm not going to attempt here to supply an answer, I have an even better question: If their real purpose was to "stop leaks"--and hence the famous nickname, "the Plumbers"--why did they never, ever stop even one leak, and never, ever do anything effective regarding any leak? It's not an idle question.