Worlds largest private collection of Watergate and Nixon era materials

Correcting the Historical Record

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2017




JFK Connection



My Kennedy Credential: 1986 Interview with Bud Fensterwald, Co-founder of the "Committee to Investigate Assassinations" Primarily that of President Kennedy

FENSTERWALD:

... h. How are you doing?

COLODNY:

Well, I hope very well.

FENSTERWALD:

Understand you're working with Robert Gettlin.

COLODNY:

Yeah, Bob and I have been working now almost three years.

FENSTERWALD:

Good. Ah, I have a letter I want to send to John Ehrlichman, and Jim said he thought you had his address.

COLODNY:

Yeah, just a second, ah, hold on. It's a post office box.

FENSTERWALD:

That's all right.

COLODNY:

P.O. Box 5559.

FENSTERWALD:

555.., O.K.

COLODNY:

Santa Fe.

FENSTERWALD:

Hmm-mm.

COLODNY:

New Mexico.

FENSTERWALD:

Hmm-mm.

COLODNY:

87502.

FENSTERWALD:

O.K., that is fine, I have, ah, a way-out letter I wanted to send him and I couldn't find his address. This will solve my problem.

COLODNY:

So what are you up to?

FENSTERWALD:

Oh, in addition to practicing law and running a couple of businesses, I'm spending about half my time organizing an assassinations research center. And we're having a lot of fun, and collecting a lot of materials, but we're not making a lot of money.

COLODNY:

[Laughs] I didn't know that was the purpose.

FENSTERWALD:

It isn't. [Colodny Laughs] Ah, but we are putting together, I think, the greatest collection in the world, of research materials of various assassinations. And I know most of the people in the field, so as they get older, I dog 'em for their collections and we're having some success with it.

COLODNY:

Have you solved any?

FENSTERWALD:

Our batting average is 000. That's why we're collecting the material, so the historians can solve 'em.

COLODNY:

What's your number, Bud?

FENSTERWALD:

My number here in Washington?

COLODNY:

Yeah.

FENSTERWALD:

202-393-1917.

COLODNY:

393-1917. Yeah, I know Jim worked very closely with you.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah, another -- a better number for me though, is 703 ...

COLODNY:

O.K.

FENSTERWALD:

Ah, 276-9297.

COLODNY:

9297. Ah, see -- I think he told Bob that, ah, and it's certainly prominent in his book, that, ah, you had given him a lot of good leads.

FENSTERWALD:

He was very kind to me in that book, he could'a cut me a new asshole if he'd'a wanted to. [Colodny laughs] But he didn't want to.

COLODNY:

Well, it's that -- that book intrigues me. I just think it's a very wellwritten book.

FENSTERWALD:

It's an excellent book, and I tried to help him with various parts of it, where I knew bits and pieces, and I think it came out very well.

COLODNY:

Yeah, the book's well written, the -- the problem is that it didn't -- didn't go anywhere.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, it's like John Kennedy's death and there ain't no answers to it yet.

COLODNY:

Yeah, I thinks that's probably -- that's probably a part of it.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

You know, but, clearly you, ah, you knew an awful lot about what was happening in that break-in.

FENSTERWALD:

I knew certain things about it that were not public, which I was free to tell him, ah, unfortunately our friend Sam Dash did such a lousy job at the hearings, that most of the questions went unasked.

COLODNY:

Well, you know, I talked to, um, Henry Petersen about three weeks ago ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

... and he -- he expressed to me a -- a great deal of surprise that the CIA took a walk on this one.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

I mean, and this is from a guy who prosecuted the case who, basically, felt there were -- you know, he read Jim's book ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

... but he even felt at the time that he was prosecuting the cases, that it was strange, that there was so much CIA involvement and nothing -- you know, not -- no-- nothing was ever pursued.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, I -- I --I -- early on I tried to get Jim McCord to tell me what the damn thing was about, and he said, "Not on your life." He said, "I'll answer that question before that committee under oath." So I went up and I sat with him for two days and nobody ever asked him the first question. And I knew Sam Dash and I saw him later and I said, "Sam, for god sake, you know, what were you guys doing, you had two full days unlimited attention, you know, why didn't you ever ask?" He said, "I thought we asked the important questions." And I thought, "Holy shit." So that was, sort of, the end of that conversation.

COLODNY:

Well, they weren't the first people to do that kind a turn-around.

FENSTERWALD:

No?

COLODNY:

I mean, we found the same thing w-- you know, our book's on Woodward.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And we found him doing it -- the identical thing. I mean, he sits in a courtroom and hears McCord say CIA and he says, "Holy shit." And you can look from now to doomsday and you can't find him writing a word about it.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, you never know where his money's coming from either.

COLODNY:

Well, that's one of the -- certainly that, ah, probably he was one of the biggest revelations we got out of Jim's book.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah, and it's true.

COLODNY:

Oh, I have no doubt, now, that it's true. I mean, there's no question about it that -- that his past is certainly a key to what happened.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

But, you know, the CIA involvement intrigued me. Do you think that the CIA involvement -- do you think that was strictly a CIA operation?

FENSTERWALD:

You mean just as a guess?

COLODNY:

Yeah.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

That -- that ...

FENSTERWALD:

But -- but I do-- I can't, you know, I can't prove it, it's just a guess.

COLODNY:

Well, I'm saying that you don't believe Nixon ordered that?

FENSTERWALD:

No.

COLODNY:

In other words, y-- yo--

FENSTERWALD:

I think it would'a been absolutely nuts for him to order it, ah, and he was not nuts, you know, he ...

COLODNY:

Oh ...

FENSTERWALD:

I don't like the guy, I thought he was a mess.

COLODNY:

But what was the significance, Bud, of there no -- of there being no bug in the Watergate?

FENSTERWALD:

I don't know, I never did figure out what the hell they went into the Watergate for.

COLODNY:

Well, that -- that's my point, in other words, if you were doing it for Nixon, you would've wanted a bug, 'cause he'd'a wanted information. That's all he could'a wanted out of it.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

If you were covering for that other operation, then you wouldn't of had a bug in there.

FENSTERWALD:

That's right, and I'm not sure that, ah, for some reason the damn thing wasn't just a set up, just to get -- get at Nixon.

COLODNY:

Well, you know, immediately, the CIA denied involvement, I mean, Helms and Walters both told -- and I've interviewed Haldeman, I've interviewed Ehrlichman, I've interviewed Mitchell. They had no idea, based on what they were being told, that there was any reason to believe that there was CIA involvement.

FENSTERWALD:

That's right.

COLODNY:

They were being told these guys hadn't been on the payroll for two years.

FENSTERWALD:

You know, ah, Andrew St. George?

COLODNY:

No.

FENSTERWALD:

Do you know who he is?

COLODNY:

Mmm-mm.

FENSTERWALD:

Andrew St. George is a crazy, Hungarian-born, journalist, and I could find his address if you wanted to talk to him. But in any event, he wrote an article about Richard Helms, being called, early in the morning after the break-in, by the watch officer at CIA. And he said, "For Christ sake, what are you waking me up at seven o'clock in the morning for, I know all about that." And this sole exorcise -- exercise, Stewart Symington that he subpoenas St. George before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I guess it was, and St. George, who was a very nervous character, called me Sunday night saying, "I've been subpoenaed for tomorrow, will you come hold my hand, you know Symington and all these people?" So I said, "Yeah, I'll come up with ya." And Symington chewed on him for two days, trying to find out what his source for this segment was. And he never would give it to him, on my advice. But I concluded that Andrew St. George didn't have any source, it was just a rumor that that's what Helms said. But I also think the rumor is true. And I have a lot different reason for thinking it's true -- you may want to talk to St. George.

COLODNY:

Di-- is he in Washington?

FENSTERWALD:

No, but, ahhh, [Pause] he's in Dobbs Ferry, New York and he has a public, you know, listed phone.

COLODNY:

O.K. I, now, I ...

FENSTERWALD:

It's a crazy story ...

COLODNY:

Well, you know ...

FENSTERWALD:

But I went through it with him, and, ah, you know, it's just one of these things where a Senator gets himself incensed, 'cause he's a great friend of Helms, and he thought Helms was being, some how, maligned.

COLODNY:

Well, it just seems to me that -- in the evidence we've looked at, and we're not -- I think Jim did such a good job on the break-in, I don't see any need to redo it, I don't see a need to go back over the ground he covered.

FENSTERWALD:

[INAUDIBLE] so repetitive.

COLODNY:

Well, we're not doing the break-in story, we're do-- we're doing the story of what motivated Woodward to do what he did.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

And in looking at that, it's important for -- to explain to our readers, so that they understand, fully, that the -- the CIA was involved and that Nixon wasn't. Now as an attorney, what do you think Nixon did that was illegal?

FENSTERWALD:

Well, first place, he lied, repeatedly about the thing. Ah, but the main thing he did was, the -- the minute that the story broke, he involved himself in the cover-up.

COLODNY:

Well, the ...

FENSTERWALD:

You have got to divide the story into two parts, one the break-in and two the cover-up.

COLODNY:

All right, but in the break-in to which he has nothing to do with.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

O.K., now he ends up covering up a crime he didn't commit.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

That's the irony.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah. I agree with you.

COLODNY:

The -- the -- the one -- the one move he made that was purely illegal was to pay off the burglars.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

Now if I'm wrong, you tell me. But essentially he was paying off the burglars, who were CIA agents.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, you use the term CIA agents and you use -- if you use it in the loose sense, that's correct.

COLODNY:

O.K.

FENSTERWALD:

If you're using it in the technical sense, I think you're wrong.

COLODNY:

Well, were they on the payroll or weren't they on the payroll?

FENSTERWALD:

They received money from time to time, but they weren't an agent in the sense ...

COLODNY:

All right, but they -- but on, the mission they were on was a CIA mission.

FENSTERWALD:

That's correct.

COLODNY:

So at the time they broke in -- so in essence he was paying off guys who weren't working for him, because he believed that they were working for him.

FENSTERWALD:

I think that's right.

COLODNY:

You know, one of the things that really intrigues me in the interviews, and we've done hours with all of his key aides ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

... everyone believed the other guy did it. Every single one of 'em, if you talked to -- to Haldeman he would have sworn it was Mitchell, you talked to Mitchell he thought it was them.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

Do you see? Be -- because they didn't do it, the crime ...

FENSTERWALD:

They were lost.

COLODNY:

They had no idea.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And when you go back and reread the Nixon tapes, Bud, it's amazing, the guy knows nothing.

FENSTERWALD:

What -- what is your, ah, guess as to what the "18 Minute Gap" was about?

COLODNY:

My guess?

FENSTERWALD:

Hmm-mm.

COLODNY:

I believe it was a deliberate erasure by the people who were trying to point the gun at Nixon.

FENSTERWALD:

I see.

COLODNY:

I me--

FENSTERWALD:

Not Nixon himself?

COLODNY:

Oh, no, I mean, I just got re-- got through reading a piece by -- a guy name Gulley. Milly Gulley, who was in Military Affairs office over there. And he said Nixon didn't know how to work a ball-point pen, which is exactly what Ehrlichman told me. He said the guy wouldn't know how to operate the damn machine.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

But he wouldn't -- see, Nixon wouldn't have been that stupid.

FENSTERWALD:

And he -- but he was too vain to admit all of that.

COLODNY:

Well, no, I -- I think, in our story you're gonna see that Nixon was set up.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

I mean, the very -- the gun was pointed at Nixon, that's why I'm asking you the question I'm asking you ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

...because, clearly, if you believe that -- that the CIA was the break-in people ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

...and you believe that Nixon paid off the break-in people, that's two crimes, right?

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

Now, what if a third party points the gun at Nixon, knowing full well it's the CIA at the break-in?

FENSTERWALD:

Very possible.

COLODNY:

Well, that's who did it.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

So, that's why I'm saying it -- the -- I'm not -- I would be very, very surprised, I mean, John Dean is certainly not a fan of Nixon's and he says pretty much what we said, that the guy -- the guy had no idea where to look.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

Instead of being the mastermind, he sort of wa-- waffled all over the place. But it's my theory, and it's Bob's and my theory, that in fact, a third party was the people pointing the gun.

FENSTERWALD:

That sounds like a pretty saleable story to me.

COLODNY:

Well, it's -- it's the -- the -- you know ...

FENSTERWALD:

You got a publisher yet?

COLODNY:

That's the one thing we've learned from Woodward now, not to talk about. The first time we offered ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

...strange things happened, to manuscripts, our own attorney, so, you know, we've been told just don't talk about it.

FENSTERWALD:

That's all right.

COLODNY:

Ah, and you know, essentially, Woodward's a powerful guy.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, you bet your ass.

COLODNY:

I mean, just look at what he writes today, you know, you don't have to be a genius to figure out he's getting his information at a very high level.

FENSTERWALD:

Do you get up to Washington ever?

COLODNY:

I'm supposed to be there. We've had a series of interviews lined up there, ah ...

FENSTERWALD:

You might wanta come spend a few hours roaming through our files, which are open to the public.

COLODNY:

Let me ask you this, do you, you know -- you knew I -- I was intrigued by the Kennedy assassination. Is there anything to link these two events? If you had to guess who was behind Kennedy's thing, who was behind it?

FENSTERWALD:

I don't know. I -- the only thing I can tell you is I believe I know who physically shot John Kennedy, but I don't have any really workable knowledge as to who hired him and paid for it.

COLODNY:

You know -- you know what's funny about that -- 'cause I -- you know, I once -- when I had talked to people and, you know, and I give them a brief sketch of what we're doing, and the first thing they say is, "Well, is that what happened to Kennedy?"

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And I said, "I just don't know."

FENSTERWALD:

Well I don't know either.

COLODNY:

You know, essent--

FENSTERWALD:

It certainly wouldn't surprise me, but I don't know.

COLODNY:

Well, you know, the -- Dean did a good job of uncovering what he said was Deep Throat, which Bob and I just don't believe exists.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

We believe that, you know, Jim and I have talked about that. But essentially, we believe that -- that he's a -- you know, a wo-- just fiction.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

If you follow Deep Throat, you're gonna go down the wrong path.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

But essentially, it looks like the people who were pointing the gun at Nixon were the military.

FENSTERWALD:

I don't know. I -- I don't know that much about Watergate, really.

COLODNY:

I'm talking about the -- the people around him at the time. They're the only people we can find with a motive, and that's the only -- you look for -- you're looking -- you're always looking for some motivation. And that -- that -- that appears to be the motivation.

FENSTERWALD:

One of the interesting little things that I do know, that you -- may be of some significance, is that Nixon insisted, but never got from the CIA, their files, the essential files on the Kennedy assassination. He was never able to get that. Ehrlichman knows a lot about that.

COLODNY:

The Ehrlichman -- well, the Bay of Pigs was another one he wanted ...

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

... a file on, and he gave a direct order to Helms, and Helms did not turn it over to him.

FENSTERWALD:

That's right, and he -- he also wanted the Kennedy assassination stuff and he didn't get that either.

COLODNY:

Well, I know that Haldeman was interested in that -- that kind of information.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

Well, look, it's been good talking to you, Bud, and if I can ...

FENSTERWALD:

If you get up this way let me know and I think we may have some material you might find helpful.

COLODNY:

I appreciate that.

FENSTERWALD:

Good.

COLODNY:

Nice talking to ya.

FENSTERWALD:

Thank you.

COLODNY:

Righto, Bud.

FENSTERWALD:

Bye.

COLODNY:

Bye.

COLODNY:

Well, we're trying to finish this damn thing, hopefully.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

If it doesn't get finished soon, St. Martin's gonna be very upset to say the least. They've missed their Christmas publication date, and I don't think they want to miss the next one. They're...

FENSTERWALD:

What's holding it up?

COLODNY:

It's the -- basically, we, we had a -- since you and I last talked -- we, we ended up going from one chapter on John Dean to eight and it's the entire middle part of the book, and we hadn't planned to write but one chapter, and it's very slow writing. It's not an easy story to tell. I guess you can gather as so many different players in the game and some are attached and some aren't attached. It would be a lot simpler if they were all co-conspirators with each other rather than just at many times acting in their own best interests or their own concerns.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

And, we're sort of at the very end. You know, Jim took us a long way, an awful long way. But we're at a point now where we know what the break-in was about, or at least we think we know what the break-in was about.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, I hope somebody does because I sure don't.

COLODNY:

Well, I interviewed Martinez and I've interviewed Magruder and I've interviewed obviously Mitchell and all the other players --

FENSTERWALD:

How about McCord?

COLODNY:

McCord is a key player and is hard to find as Jim will attest to.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

But he's clearly a very important player in the game.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, he's in Fort Collins.

COLODNY:

Florida?

FENSTERWALD:

No, Colorado.

COLODNY:

Colorado? Is that where he is now?

FENSTERWALD:

Uhuh.

COLODNY:

Well, he's probably worth a shot once we can figure out what happened inside that building. The order that went down to Liddy and that Liddy passed on to Hunt was to go for Larry O'Brien's desk, and the attendant file cabinets around it. The order got changed. Martinez said that O'Brien was never the target, that Spencer Oliver was the target and he was always the target. He was target number one in the first break-in. He was target number two in the second break-in. And as Jim reported, the key to Hunt that Hunt gave to Martinez was the key to Maxie Well's desk. The thing that's most troubling is, is that I don't understand why or who Hunt was acting for if he wasn't carrying out the order that came down through the White House. And, I, you know, it just sort of occurred to me as we went through this thing that Hunt shows up not only in this story but at least in some versions of the Kennedy assassination. And I wondered if you did any work on Hunt and had any sense of what Hunt was all about.

FENSTERWALD:

I can't find any hard evidence he had anything to do with the Kennedy assassination.

COLODNY:

Yeah, there was that rumor that he was in Dallas that day --

FENSTERWALD:

Nahh --

COLODNY:

And I, you know I've never seen any evidence to support it.

FENSTERWALD:

No, he's got a pretty good alibi for that.

COLODNY:

I do know that on the -- you know, I know that at least Haldeman believes that Nixon believed there was a connection between the CIA and the Kennedy assassination, and he's told me that. That was one of the things he thought he had on Helms.

FENSTERWALD:

Uh huh.

COLODNY:

That they destroyed so much material, I guess Nixon believed that there was a connection, either directly or indirectly to what happened that day.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, there probably was but that does not necessarily involve Hunt in anything.

COLODNY:

No, Hunt is clearly -- Hunt in my judgment never left the Central Intelligence Agency. I don't care what they say about retirement --

FENSTERWALD:

No, I don't think he did either.

COLODNY:

And Mullen and Company was clearly a front.

FENSTERWALD:

Right.

COLODNY:

For the CIA. What is surprising in all of this is -- have you run across Spencer Oliver before?

FENSTERWALD:

No, not really.

COLODNY:

Oliver, apparently his dad was in the CIA, his dad worked for the CIA, and the best I can tell, Spencer Oliver didn't know anybody. I mean he was just listed basically up until 1975 or 6 as some kind of political hack. You know, a guy who works for a senator, goes to work at the Democratic National Committee, President of the Young Democrats, that kind of resume.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And then in 1975, he becomes an expert in foreign affairs. I mean, just out of nowhere. Do you know what he does today?

FENSTERWALD:

No.

COLODNY:

He is the chief counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, that's pretty interesting.

COLODNY:

Not only that, but he's tied up with all the -- he's tied up with the Helsinki Accord, he's tied up with all kinds of foreign policy matters between 1976 and today, but the first part of his resume looks like you know just a young Democrat political hack.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, that's what I thought he was.

COLODNY:

Well, according to Howard Hunt and he told this in private to the Watergate Committee that he, Spencer Oliver, was involved with the CIA through a group called the Young American Political Leaders which was a, which Hunt claimed was a CIA front.

FENSTERWALD:

Never heard of that group.

COLODNY:

Well, Pat Buchanan's in that group and Harry Fleming's in that group and they're alive and well and functioning. There was a second group called the Atlantic Political Leaders which he also was involved in in the mid '60s. Now, strangely enough in 1970, he had dinner with Mr. Bennett, Mr. Mullen and Mr. Hunt to discuss, he, Spencer Oliver, becoming a partner in Mullen & Company. Now that to me says something very strange is going on here and the fact that Liddy cannot explain the change of orders, I mean, he always assumed that they went for O'Brien. In fact, he said if he knew it was Oliver he never would have gone ahead with it because he said he didn't Oliver from a hole in the wall.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, well.

COLODNY:

And that's why I thought, you know, in all this stuff you've been in and certainly you know these agencies a lot better than I do. There was something very strange going on that night, and I think McCord's role is not quite the same as Hunt's role. I think McCord pulled the plug.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, McCord never put any electronics in.

COLODNY:

Well, there's no question about that.

FENSTERWALD:

What the hell was he doing there?

COLODNY:

Well, McCord was ordered to go in and bug the Watergate the first time. I don't think the CIA wanted the Watergate bugged so they pretended to bug it and they produced according to Liddy what they produced were not transcripts. McCord told him that the bug couldn't be picked up on a tape recorder, that only Baldwin could listen to it. I mean, this is bizarre, to which Liddy said that's bull shit. If he can listen to it, you can tape it. All he ever got were things like hairdresser appointments, and they were little snippets. I think they faked it. What happened to change everything, in my judgment, is that between Friday the 9th which Jim describes the order goes to Liddy through Magruder to go back in and change the bug, and when Dean gets that address book, the order changes. Now they're going to send as what Liddy calls a photo recon team in, and the photo recon team is supposed to photograph everything in the desks that are marked on the floor plan, and of course, the desks that are marked on the floor plan turn out to be Oliver and Well's desks. Not O'Brien's desk. So, my sense is that the CIA who I think had their own game to protect in the DNC, meaning the call girl ring, decided that they were -- you know you can fake [laugh] the phoney bug but how do you fake the pictures.

FENSTERWALD:

That's not easy.

COLODNY:

So, what they -- I think they pulled the plug for fear that Dean was about to expose their own operation. I guess Bob told you that Dean ordered the break-in. Dean is -- there's no question about it. He ordered the first break-in and he ordered the second break-in, and Magruder has changed his entire testimony now. Our thinking is that the one piece of the puzzle that Jim didn't have or that he couldn't get because Mr. Bailley, who was his source, never told him that Maureen Biner was in the book. I think if Jim had know that he would have immediately sensed what we sensed. And according to Mr. Bailley, not only was Maureen in the book but Maureen's picture was in the DNC in the desk with the key. Now, I don't know if -- it certainly makes a lot more sense to me than the original break-in and whatever it was somebody thought they were going to get.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah, that didn't make any sense.

COLODNY:

But, you know, now that we've got this information, here we've got Hunt and I think the CIA -- see I think Hunt's role originally was to infiltrate the White House for the CIA. I think that's what he was sent there to do. And I think Helms, who had been cut out by Nixon, was in a sense doing the same thing that the Moorer-Radford people were doing.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And when he got there, lo and behold he ends up in the Plumbers and the CIA makes the Plumbers operational. In other words, they're driving their own operations under the cover of Nixon's Plumbers, meaning Fielding and all that other crap that was go--

FENSTERWALD:

When do you think you'll get this book out?

COLODNY:

It's due out next March.

FENSTERWALD:

Do you think you'll meet that deadline?

COLODNY:

They say that we will, come hell or high water. They are determined to do whatever is necessary. They've got two editors on it. It's being lawyered as it's being written. I mean anything that St. Martin's can do they're doing. And, they may decide at some point to -- you know Bob writes most of it. If he falls too far behind they may let me do a couple of the chapters myself, which I haven't written any up 'til this point. Essentially, my role has been to investigate and to analyze the material which is probably what you and I do better than writing something. Or maybe I can't speak for you, you probably can write. It's a hell of a story. It's an incredible story.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

And, even the first part of the story is incredible. The whole Moorer-Radford thing that Hersh and Hougan both worked on, I think that is going to come as a bomb shell. Certainly the Mitchell interviews are very intriguing. I went step by step with Mitchell over all of this, and Mitchell is clearly framed. I mean, Dean even produced phony evidence to involve Mitchell and gave it to the Watergate Committee. There was nothing he wouldn't do. Remarkable character. A remarkable character. He will go down in history as one of the all times.

FENSTERWALD:

Well, I will look forward to the book with great interest.

COLODNY:

Well, look, if you hear anything on Hunt or if you get any thoughts on this, I -- the CIA thing is troubling to me. Is there anything that I'm saying about the CIA that makes sense to you.

FENSTERWALD:

It does not make sense?

COLODNY:

No. I mean you know, you probably know them better than anyone.

FENSTERWALD:

I'm -- about the only explanation of rigid position the CIA's is is that some people, probably graduates or alumni or something were in on the Kennedy killing. There's got to be something . . .

COLODNY:

Well, I mean I've never, I've never understood. I got to believe that Oswald had a tie to the intelligence community. There's just never made any sense if he didn't.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

I mean I think that's something that's been hanging there for a long time.

FENSTERWALD:

But I would doubt that he was connected to the CIA. I think it was much more likely it was Naval Intelligence. It's the CIA that's really carried on this coverup for all these years --

COLODNY:

And of course, you've had good experience with the people at Task Force 157.

FENSTERWALD:

Oh yes.

COLODNY:

Which is Woodward's [laugh] -- yeh. Is Woodward a surprise to you or no?

FENSTERWALD:

Not really.

COLODNY:

Did you suspect that he had those kind of ties? Is that where you thought it was coming from?

FENSTERWALD:

Well, I [INAUDIBLE]

COLODNY:

So would you have bet on? Moorer? Haig? or all the above.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

Woodward is a strange duck, and I don't know, if he can send it to interview which is beyond my belief, I mean, we're going to print the entire interview in the back of the book. But I think it's something that I, being as familiar as I was with the Kennedy assassination and having Haldeman bring it up -- Haldeman was very interested in the Kennedy assassination -- and when he came in the White House he wanted to set up a project and Nixon wouldn't let him. So my sense is that Helms was around for both events, wasn't he?

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

I think he knows. I think Helms knows what Watergate is all about and I think he knows what the Kennedy assassination is all about.

FENSTERWALD:

It wouldn't surprise me.

COLODNY:

Because, I can't believe that McCord and Hunt wereoperating without the knowledge of Helms. Do you think that's a possibility.

FENSTERWALD:

I wouldn't be able to guess on that one.

COLODNY:

Did you know how well that they knew -- both of them seemed to know Helms real well.

FENSTERWALD:

They did.

COLODNY:

Would the CIA supply the kind of materials they supplied to Hunt? Remember those charts that were in the, in Mitchell's office. The GEMSTONE charts.

FENSTERWALD:

Um huh.

COLODNY:

They were made at Langley. Now, you think that kind of stuff and the [DIDA BEARD?] and the Fielding stuff all could have gone on and he didn't know it?

FENSTERWALD:

I don't have any way of guessing that.

COLODNY:

You don't have an educated guess either?

FENSTERWALD:

No.

COLODNY:

Well, there are, you know, he admits to knowing a good deal about Hunt and claims he cut it off at a given point in time.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

Well, look it's good talking to you my friend.

FENSTERWALD:

Len, keep up the good work.

COLODNY:

Well, I hope you like it when it comes out.

FENSTERWALD:

We'll look forward to it.

COLODNY:

See you at the book party.

FENSTERWALD:

Okay, buddy.

COLODNY:

Alright, Bud. Take care.

FENSTERWALD:

Yeah.

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