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Reviews for E. Howard Hunt  1-1 OF 1

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Egil Krogh
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irishgit (148)

Here is one of the truly enigmatic and fascinating figures of the scandal, and in fact of the clandestine world of U.S. history for several decades.

Hunt joined the CIA in 1949 and became Mexico City station chief in 1950 where among others he supervised William F. Buckley, Jr., who worked for the CIA in Mexico during the period 19511952. He was one of the authors of the successful plan to overthrow the elected president of Guatamala in 1954, and was closely involved with Cuban exile groups in the run up to the Bay of Pigs invasion. Subsequently Hunt served as the Chief of Covert Action for the CIA's Domestic Operations Division from 1962-1966. He told the Senate Watergate committee that some of his projects during this period dealt with the subsidizing and manipulation of news and publishing organizations and admitted that it "did seem to violate the intent of the agency's charter."

Hunt apparently resigned from the CIA in 1970 and was hired the following year by Charles Colson and assigned to the White House "Plumbers" unit. In that role he planned the burglary of Ellsburg's psychiatrist and forged secret State Department cables designed to prove that President Kennedy had personally and specifically ordered the assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu. Hunt told the investigations committee that the purpose was to alienate Catholics from the Democratic party. Hunt's major involvement in the scandal was planning the break in and bugging of the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex. A few days after the break in, President Nixon was recorded saying to Haldeman "Very bad, to have this fellow Hunt, ah, you know, ah, it's, he, he knows too damn much and he was involved, we happen to know that. And that it gets out that the whole, this is all involved in the Cuban thing, that it's a fiasco, and it's going to make the FB, ah CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole, uh, Bay of Pigs thing which we think would be very unfortunate for CIA and for the country at this time, and for American foreign policy, and he just better tough it and lay it on them" Hunt was indicted and convicted of a conspiracy charge, ultimately spending 33 months in jail. Hunt expressed a lot of bitterness that he had to do prison time, while Nixon was allowed to resign.

Among the interesting facts which may or may not be relevant is his wife's death in a plane crash in late 1972 while Hunt was under indictment, she had over $10,000 in cash in her handback at the time.

Hunt has several times been linked, with various degrees of evidence, to the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. There is an alleged CIA memo stating that Hunt's presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963 must be kept secret, while other evidence suggests he was in Washington on that day. Some conspiracists have alleged that Hunt was one of the three "tramps" arrested in Dealy Plaza, and have photographic evidence appearing support it, although other information indicates the tramps did not include Hunt.

Following his release, he returned to writing spy novels, which he had done throughout his career. Following his death in 2007 his oldest son revealed an audio tape of his father discussing the Kennedy assassination. In the tape, Hunt named Cord Meyer, Frank Sturgis, David Sánchez Morales, and David Atlee Phillips as participants in the assassination with Vice-President Lyndon Johnson apparently approving the assassination for political gain. Heres a recording and transcript, and you can judge for yourself.


Regardless of his involvement or lack of it at Dallas, Hunt remains a fascinating character, a shadowy unsettling figure at the edge of American politics.

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