We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
All seven of us in McCord's army walked up to the Watergate complex at midnight. McCord rang the bell, and a policeman came and let us in. We all signed the book, and McCord told the man we were going to the Federal Reserve office on the eighth floor. It all seemed funny to me. Eight men going to work at midnight. Imagine, we sat there talking to the police. Then we went up to the eighth floor, walked down to the sixthand do you believe it, we couldn't open that door, and we had to cancel the operation.
I don't believe it has ever been told before, but all the time while we were working on the door, McCord would be going to the eighth floor. It is still a mystery to me what he was doing there. At 2:00 am. I went up to tell - him about our problems, and there I saw him talking to two guards. What happened? I thought. Have we been - caught? No, he knew the guards. So I did not ask questions, but I thought maybe McCord was working there. It was the only thing that made sense. He was the one who led us to the place and it would not have made sense for us to have rooms at the Watergate and go on this operation if there was not someone there on the inside.
On Wednesday, March 28, McCord was scheduled to give his first sworn testimony behind closed doors to the seven Senators on the Watergate committee. Bernstein joined dozens of reporters waiting outside the hearing room. The reporters began discussing "leaks" which were bound to come out, and agreed on the dangers of trying to report what would go on inside. It was no longer a matter of "investigative" reporting - evaluating information, putting together pieces in a puzzle, disclosing what had been obscured. They would be merely trying to find out in advance the testimony of witnesses who would eventually take the stand in public. Judging which allegations were hearsay, which first-hand knowledge, and placing them in context would be difficult. Sensational charges and deliberate leaks by interested parties would be hard to evaluate. If some papers or networks searched out leaks, all the reporters would feel bound to compete.
The committee session with McCord lasted four and a half hours. Afterward, Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee, the Republican vice chairman of the committee, announced that McCord had provided "significant information... covering a lot of territory."
Bernstein and Woodward began the ritual phone calls, starting with the Senators. "Okay, I'm going to help you on this one," one told Woodward. "McCord testified that Liddy told him the plans and budget for the Watergate operation were approved by Mitchell in February, when he was still Attorney General. And he said that Colson knew about Watergate in advance."
But, in answer to Woodward's questions, be added that McCord had only secondhand information for his allegations, as well as for his earlier accusations that Dean and Magruder had had prior knowledge.
"However," the Senator said, "he was very convincing."
Bradlee was able to get a second Senator to corroborate the story, and Bernstein received the same version from a staff member.
The next day's story, though calling attention to the hearsay nature of McCord's testimony, quoted the unnamed Senator's evaluation.
The flood of "McCord says" stories continued. McCord appeared again on Thursday, and the reporters went through the same exercise. McCord stated that Liddy had told him that charts outlining the Watergate operation had been shown to Mitchell in February. Three sources gave identical versions of the testimony.
We Cubans have never stopped fighting for the liberation of our country. I have personally carried out over 350 missions to Cuba for the CIA. Some of the people I infiltrated there were caught and tortured, and some of them talked.
My mother and father were not allowed to leave Cuba. It would have been easy for me to get them out. That was my specialty. But my bosses in the Company - the CIA - said I might get caught and tortured, and if I talked I might jeopardize other operations. So my mother and father died in Cuba. That is how orders go. I follow the orders.
I can't help seeing the whole Watergate affair as a repetition of the Bay of Pigs. The invasion was a fiasco for the United States and a tragedy for the Cubans. All of the agencies of the U.S. government were involved, and they carried out their plans in so ill a manner that everyone landed in the hands of Castro - like a present.
Eduardo was a name that all of us who had participated in the Bay of Pigs knew well. He had been the maximum representative of the Kennedy administration to our people in Miami. He occupied a special place in our hearts because of a letter he had written to his chief Cuban aide and my lifelong friend, Bernard Barker. He had identified himself in his letter with the pain of the Cubans, and he blamed the Kennedy administration for not supporting us on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs.
So when Barker told me that Eduardo was coming to town and that he wanted to meet me, that was like a hope for me. He had chosen to meet us at the Bay of Pigs monument, where we commemorate our dead, on April 16, 1971, the tenth anniversary of the invasion. I always go to the monument on that day, but that year I had another purpose - to meet Eduardo, the famous Eduardo, in person.
He was different from all the other men I had met in the Company. He looked more like a politician than a man who was fighting for freedom. He was there with his pipe, relaxing in front of the memorial, and Barker introduced me. I then learned his name for the first time - Howard Hunt.
There was something strange about this man. His tan, you know, is not the tan of a man who is in the sun. His motions are very meticulous--the way he smokes his pipe, the way he looks at you and smiles. He knows how to make you happy--he's very warm, but at the same time you can sense that he does not go all into you or you all into him. We went to a Cuban restaurant for lunch and right away Eduardo told us that he had retired from the CIA in 1971 and was working for Mullen and Company.1 I knew just what he was saying. I was also officially retired from the Company. Two years before, my case officer had gathered all the men in my Company unit and handed us envelopes with retirement announcements inside. But mine was a blank paper. Afterward he explained to me that I would stop making my boat missions to Cuba but I would continue my work with the Company. He said I should become an American citizen and soon I would be given a new assignment. Not even Barker knew that I was still working with the Company. But I was quite certain that day that Eduardo knew.
We talked about the liberation of Cuba, and he assured us that "the whole thing is not over." Then he started inquiring: "What is Manolo doing?" Manolo was the leader of the Bay of Pigs operation. "What is Roman doing?" Roman was the other leader. He said he wanted to meet with the old people. It was a good sign. We did not think he had come to Miami for nothing.
Generally I talk to my CIA case officer at least twice a week and maybe on the phone another two times. I told him right away that Eduardo was back in town, and that I had had lunch with him. Any time anyone from the CIA was in town my CO always asked me what he was doing. But he didn't ask me anything about Eduardo, which was strange. That was in April. In the middle of July, Eduardo wrote to Barker to tell him he was in the White House as a counselor to the President. He sent a number of memos to us on White House stationery, and that was very impressive, you know. So I went back to my CO and said to him, "Hey, Eduardo is still in contact with us, and now he is a counselor of the President."
A few days later my CO told me that the Company had no information on Eduardo except that he was not working in the White House. Well, imagine! I knew Eduardo was in the White House. What it meant to me was that Eduardo was above them and either they weren't supposed to know what he was doing or they didn't want me to talk about him anymore. Knowing how these people act, I knew I had to be careful. So I said, well, let me keep my mouth shut.
Not long after this, Eduardo told Barker there was a job, a national security job dealing with a traitor of this country who had given papers to the Russian Embassy. He said they were forming a group with the CIA, the FBI, and all the agencies, and that it was to be directed from within the White House, with jurisdiction to operate where all the others did not fit. Barker said Eduardo needed two more individuals and he had thought of me. Would I like my name submitted for clearance? I said yes.
To me this was a great honor. I believed it was the result of my sacrifice for the previous ten years, for my work with the Company. In that time I had carried out hundreds of missions for the U.S. government. All of them had been covert, and most were very dangerous. Three or four days later, Barker told me my name had been cleared and several weeks after that came the first assignment. "Get clothes for two or three days and be ready tomorrow," he said. "We're leaving for the operation."
Barker didn't tell me where we were going and I did not ask. I was an operative. I couldn't afford to be aware of any more sensitive information than was critical for the success of my missions. There would be times when I would take men wearing hoods to Cuba. They might have been my friends. But I did not want to know. Too many of my friends have been caught and tortured and forced to talk. In this kind of work you learn to lose your curiosity.
So it was not until I got to the airport in Miami that I discovered we were going to Los Angeles. There were three of us on the mission. The third man, Felipe de Diego, was a real-estate partner of ours. He is an old Company man and a Bay of Pigs veteran whom we knew we could trust.
In all my years in this country I had never been out of the Miami area before that day. I had always been on twenty-four-hour call. I kind of expected my CO to ask where I was going, but he simply said it was fine for me to take a few days off, that there wasn't much to do at the time. I sort of thought he did not want to know what I was doing.
We stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel and met in Eduardo's room for our only briefing. As we walked in I noticed the equipment - devices to modify the voice, wigs and fake glasses, false identification. Eduardo told us all these things belonged to the Company. Barker recognized the name on Hunt's false identification - Edward J. Hamilton - as the same cover name Eduardo had used during the Bay of Pigs.
The briefing was not like anything I was used to in the Company. Ordinarily, before an operation, you have a briefing and then you train for the operation. You try to find a place that looks similar and you train in disguise and with the code you are going to use. You try out the plan many times so that later you have the elasticity to abort the operation if the conditions are not ideal.
Eduardo's briefing was not like this. There wasn't a written plan, not even any mention of what to do if something went wrong. There was just the man talking about the thing. We were to get into an office to take photographs of psychiatric records of a traitor. I was to be the photographer. The next day we went to Sears and bought some little hats and uniforms for Barker and Felipe. They were supposed to dress up as delivery men and deliver the photographic equipment inside the office. Later that night we would break in and complete the mission.
They looked kind of queerish when they put on the clothes, the Peter Lorre-type glasses, and the funny Dita Beard wigs. But that was not my responsibility, so I waited in the car while they went to the office of Dr. Fielding to deliver the package. Just before leaving Barker had whispered to me: "Hey, remember this name - Ellsberg." Eduardo had told him the name, and he told me because he was worried he would forget it. The name meant nothing to me.
Barker and Felipe were supposed to put the bag inside the office, unlatch the back door, and come out. After the cleaning lady left, we were to go back in. Now, it happened that we had to wait for hours and hours because no one had figured out when the cleaning woman would leave. Finally, I believe, a gentleman came in a car and picked her up.
So at last we went to open the door - and what happened? The door was locked. Barker went around to see if the other door was open, and after a long wait he still did not show up. We didn't know what to do. There had been another man in the briefing the night before in Eduardo's room who hadn't said anything. Later, I learned it was probably Gordon Liddy, but at the time I only knew him as George. Just at that moment, he came up to us and said, "Okay, you people go ahead and force one of the windows and go in."
Eduardo had given us a small crowbar and a glass cutter. I tried to cut the glass, but it wouldn't cut. It was bad, bad. It would not cut anything! So then I taped the window and I hit it with this very small crowbar, and I put my hand in and unlocked the window.
According to the police, we were using gloves and didn't leave any fingerprints. But I'm afraid that I did because I didn't wear my gloves when I put the tape on the window - you know, sometimes it's hard to use gloves. I went all through the offices with my bare hands but I used my handkerchief to wipe off the prints.
Inside the doctor's office we covered the windows and took out the equipment. Really, it was a joke. They had given us a rope to bail out from the second floor if anyone surprised us; it was so small, it couldn't have supported any of us.
This was nothing new. It's what the Company did in the Bay of Pigs when they gave us old ships, old planes, old weapons. They explained that if you were caught in one of those operations with commercial weapons that you could buy anywhere, you could be said to be on your own. They teach you that they are going to disavow you. The Company teaches you to accept those things as the efficient way to work. And we were grateful. Otherwise we wouldn't have had any help at all. In this operation it seemed obvious - they didn't want it to be traced back to the White House. Eduardo told us that if we were caught, we should say we were addicts looking for drugs.
I had just set up the photographic equipment when we heard a noise. We were afraid. Then we heard Barker's familiar knock and we let him in. I took a Polaroid picture of the office before we started looking for the Ellsberg papers so we could put everything back just as it was before. But there was nothing of Ellsberg's there. There was nothing about psychiatry, no one file of sick people, only bills. It looked like an import-export office more than a psychiatrist's. The only thing with the name of Ellsberg in it was the doctor's telephone book. I took a photo of this so that we could bring something back. Before leaving I took some pills from Dr. Fielding's briefcase--vitamin C, I think--and spread them all over the floor to make it look like we were looking for drugs. Eduardo was waiting for us outside. He was supposed to be keeping watch on Dr. Fielding so he could let us know if the doctor was returning to his office, but Eduardo had lost Dr. Fielding and he was nervous. A police car appeared as we drove away and it trailed behind us for three or four blocks. I thought to myself that the police car was protecting us. That is the feeling you have when you are doing operations for the government. You think that every step has been taken to protect you.
Back at the hotel, Barker, Felipe, and I felt very bad. It was our first opportunity, and we had failed; we hadn't found anything. "Yes, I know, but they don't know it," Eduardo said, and he congratulated us all. He said, "Well done," and then he opened a bottle of champagne. And he told us, "This is a celebration. You deserve it."
I told Diego and Barker that this had to have been a training mission for a very important mission to come or else it was a cover operation. I thought to myself that maybe these people already had the papers of Ellsberg. Maybe Dr. Fielding had given them out and for ethical reasons he needed to be covered. It seemed that these people already had what we were looking for because no one invites you to have champagne and is happy when you fail.
The whole thing was strange, but Eduardo was happy so we were happy. He thanked us and we left for the airport. We took the plane back to Miami and we never talked about this thing until we were all together in the District of Columbia jail. In Miami I again told my CO about Eduardo. I was certain then that the Company knew about his activities. But once again my CO did not pursue the subject.
Meanwhile, Hunt started to do more and more things that convinced us of his important position in the White House. Once he called Barker and told him the President was about to mine Haiphong Harbor. He asked us to prepare letters and a rally of support in advance. It was very impressive to us when the announcement of the mining was made several days later.
I made a point of telling my CO at our next meeting that Hunt was involved in some operations and that he was in the White House, even if they said he wasn't. After that the CIA chief of the Western Hemisphere asked me for breakfast at Howard Johnson's on Biscayne Boulevard, and he said he was interested in finding out about Howard Hunt's activities. He wanted me to write a report. He said I should write it in my own hand, in Spanish, and give it to my CO in a sealed envelope. Right away I went to see my CO. We are very close, my CO and I, and he told me that his father had once given him the advice that he should never put anything in writing that might do him any harm in the future. So I just wrote a cover story for the whole thing. I said that Hunt was in the Mullen Company and the White House and things like that that weren't important. What I really thought was that Hunt was checking to see if I could be trusted.
Little by little I watched Eduardo's operation grow. First Barker was given $89,000 in checks from Mexican banks to cash for operational money. And then Eduardo told Barker to recruit three more men, including a key man. He signed up Frank Sturgis and Reinaldo Pico, and then Eduardo flew down to talk to our friend Virgilio Gonzales, who is a locksmith, before recruiting him. Finally orders come for us to report to Washington. The six of us arrived in Washington on May 22 and checked into the Manger Hay-Adams Hotel in time for Eduardo's first briefing.
By that time Liddy, whom we had known as George from the Fielding break-in, was taking a visible role in the planning. Eduardo had started calling him "Daddy," and the two men seemed almost inseparable. We met McCord there for the first time. Eduardo said he was an old man from the CIA who used to do electronic jobs for the CIA and the FBI. We did not know his whole name. Eduardo just introduced him as Jimmy. He said we would be using walkie-talkies, and Jimmy was to be our electronics expert. There was also a boy there who had infiltrated the McGovern headquarters.
There was no mention of Watergate at that meeting. Eduardo told us he had information that Castro and other foreign governments were giving money to McGovern, and we were going to find the evidence. The boy was going to help them break into the McGovern headquarters, but I did not pay much attention. They didn't need me for that operation so I had some free time.
During the day I went off to see the different sights around Washington. I like those things--particularly the John Paul Jones monument and the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Remember that, prior to this, all of my operations for the United States were maritime. After three days Eduardo aborted the McGovern operation. I think it was because the boy got scared. Anyway, Eduardo told us all to move into the Watergate Hotel to prepare for another operation. We brought briefcases and things like that to look elegant. We registered as members of the Ameritus Corporation of Miami, and then we met in Eduardo's room.
Believe me, it was an improvised briefing. Eduardo told us he had information that Castro money was coming into the Democratic headquarters, not McGovern's, and that we were going to try to find the evidence there. Throughout the briefing, McCord, Liddy, and Eduardo would keep interrupting each other, saying, "Well, this way is better," or, "That should be the other way around."
It was not a very definite plan that was finally agreed upon, but you are not too critical of things when you think that people over you know what they are doing, when they are really professionals like Howard Hunt. The plan called for us to hold a banquet for the Ameritus Corporation in a private dining room of the Watergate. The room had access to the elevators that ran up to the sixth floor where the Democratic National Committee Headquarters are located. Once the meal was underway, Eduardo was to show films and we were to take the elevator to the sixth floor and complete the mission. Gonzales, our key man, was to open the door; Sturgis, Pico, and Felipe were to be lookouts; Barker was to get the documents; I was to take the photographs and Jimmy (McCord) was to do his job.
We were all ready to go, but the people in the DNC worked late. Eduardo was drinking lots of milk. He has ulcers, so he was mixing his whiskey with the milk. We waited and waited. Finally, at 2:00 a.m., the night guards said we had to leave the banquet hall. So then there was a discussion. Eduardo said he would hide in the closet of the banquet room with Gonzales, the key man, while the guard let the rest of us out. As soon as the coast was clear, they would let us back in. But then they couldn't open the door. It is difficult for me to tell you this story. I do not want it to become a laughing matter. More than thirty people are in jail already, and a lot of people are suffering. I spent more than fifteen months in jail, and you must understand that this is a tragedy. It is not funny. But you can imagine Eduardo, the head of the mission, in the closet. He did not sleep the whole night. It was really a disaster.
So, more briefings, and we decided to go the next night. This time the plan was to wait until all the lights had gone out on the sixth floor of the Watergate and then go in through the front door.
They gave us briefcases, and I remember that there was a Customs tag hanging on Eduardo's case, so I pulled it off for him. He got real mad. He said that every time he did something he did it with a purpose. I could not see the purpose, but then I don't know. Maybe the tag had an open sesame command to let us in the doors.
Anyway, all seven of us in McCord's army walked up to the Watergate complex at midnight. Then we went up to the eighth floor, walked down to the sixth--and do you believe it, we couldn't open that door, and we had to cancel the operation.
I don't believe it has ever been told before, but all the time while we were working on the door, McCord would be going to the eighth floor. At 2:00 a.m. I went up to tell him about our problems, and there I saw him talking to two guards. Have we been caught? No, he knew the guards. He was the one who led us to the place and it would not have made sense for us to have rooms at the Watergate and go on this operation if there was not someone there on the inside. Anyway, I joined the group, and pretty soon we picked up our briefcases and walked out the front door.
Eduardo was furious that Gonzales hadn't been able to open the door. Gonzales explained he didn't have the proper equipment, so Eduardo told him to fly back to Miami to get his other tools. Before he left the next day, Barker told Gonzales that he might have to pay for his own flight back to Miami. I really got mad and told Barker I resented the way they were treating Gonzales. I was a little hard with Barker. I said there wasn't adequate operational preparation. There was no floor plan of the building; no one knew the disposition of the elevators, how many guards there were, or even what time the guards checked the building. Gonzales did not know what kind of door he was supposed to open. There weren't even any contingency plans.
Barker came back to me with a message from Eduardo: "You are an operative. Your mission is to do what you are told and not to ask questions."
Gonzales got back from Miami that night with his whole shop. I've never seen so many tools to open a door. No door could hold him. This time everything worked. Gonzales and Sturgis picked the lock in the garage exit door; once inside, they opened the other doors and called over the walkie-talkie: "The horse is in the house." Then they let us in. I took a lot of photographs--maybe thirty or forty--showing lists of contributors that Barker had handed me. McCord worked on the phones. He said his first two taps might be discovered, but not the third.
With our mission accomplished, we went back to the hotel. It was about 5:00 a.m. Eduardo said he was happy. But this time there was no champagne. He said we should leave for Miami right away. I gave him the film I had taken and we left for the airport. There were things that bothered me about the operation, but I was satisfied. It is rare that you are able to check the effect of your work in the intelligence community. You know, they don't tell you if something you did is very significant. But we had taken a lot of pictures of contributions, and I had hopes that we might have done something valuable. We all had heard rumors in Miami that McGovern was receiving money from Castro. That was nothing new. We believe that today.
A couple of weeks later I was talking with Felipe de Diego and Frank Sturgis at our real-estate office when Barker burst in like a cyclone. Eduardo had been in town, and he had given Barker some film to have developed and enlarged. Barker did not know what the film was, and he had taken it to a regular camera shop. And then Eduardo had told him it was the film from the Watergate operation. Barker was really excited. He needed us to come with him to get it back. So we went to Rich's Camera Shop, and Barker told Frank and me to cover each door to the shop in case the police came while he was inside. I do not think he handled the situation very well. There were all these people and he was so excited. He ended up tipping the man at the store $20 or $30. The man had just enlarged the pictures showing the documents being held by a gloved hand and he said to Barker: "It's real cloak-and-dagger stuff, isn't it?" Later that man went to the FBI and told them about the film.
My reaction was that it was crazy to have those important pictures developed in a common place in Miami. But Barker was my close friend, and I could not tell him how wrong the whole thing was. The thing about Barker was that he trusted Eduardo totally. He had been his principal assistant at the Bay of Pigs, Eduardo's liaison with the Cubans, and he still believed tremendously in the man. He was just blind about him.
It was too much for me. I talked it over with Felipe and Frank, and decided I could not continue. I was about to write a letter when Barker told me Eduardo wanted us to get ready for another operation in Washington.
When you are in this kind of business, and you are in the middle of something, it is not easy to stop. Everyone will feel that you might jeopardize the operation. "What to do with this guy now?" I knew it would create a big problem so I agreed to go on this last mission.
Eduardo told us to buy surgical gloves and forty rolls of film with thirty-six exposures on a roll. Imagine, that meant 1,440 photographs. I told Barker it would be impossible to take all those pictures. But it did seem to mean that what we got before encouraged Eduardo to go back for more.
We flew into National Airport about noon on June 16, and Barker and I went off to rent a car. In the airport lobby, Frank Sturgis ran into Jack Anderson, whom he had known since the Bay of Pigs, when Anderson wrote a column about him as a soldier-adventurer. Frank introduced Gonzales to Anderson, and he gave him some kind of excuse about why he was in town.
On our way to the Watergate, we made some jokes about the car Barker had rented. It gave me a premonition of a hearse. The mission was not one I was looking forward to.
Eduardo was waiting for us at the Watergate. This time he had two operations planned, and we were supposed to perform them both that night. There was no time for anything, it was all rush.
We went to eat at about five o'clock. Barker ate a lot and when he came back he felt really bad. I was not feeling too good myself. I had just gotten my divorce that day and had gone from the court to the airport and from the airport to the Watergate. The environment in each one of us was different, but the whole thing was bad; there was tension in those people.
Liddy was already in the room when Eduardo came in to give the briefing. Eduardo was wearing loafers and black pants with white stripes. They were very shiny. Liddy was not happy with those pants. He criticized them in front of us and he told Eduardo to go change them.
So Eduardo went and changed his pants. The briefing he gave when he came back was very simple. He said we were going to photograph more documents at the Democratic headquarters and then move on to another mission at the McGovern headquarters after that. McCord was critical of the second operation. He said he didn't like the plan. It was very rare to hear McCord talking because usually he didn't say anything and when he did talk he only whispered.
Before we left, Eduardo took all of our identification. He put it in a briefcase and left it in our room. He gave Sturgis his Edward J. Hamilton identification that the CIA had provided to him before, and he gave us each $200 in cash. He said we should use it as a bribe to get away if we were caught. Finally, he told us to keep the keys to our room, where he had left the identification. I don't know why. Even today, I don't know. Remember, I was told in advance not to ask about those things.
McCord went into the Watergate very early in the evening. He walked right through the front door of the office complex, signed the book, and, I'm sure, went to the eighth floor as he had before. Then he taped the doors from the eighth floor to the bottom floor and walked out through the exit door in the garage. It was still very early, and we were not going to go in until after everyone left the offices. We waited so long that Eduardo went out to check if the tapes were still there. He said they were but when we finally got ready to go in, Virgilio and Sturgis noticed that the tape was gone, and a sack of mail was at the door.
So we said, well, the tape has been discovered. We'll have to abort the operation. But McCord thought we should go anyway. He went upstairs and tried to convince Liddy and Eduardo that we should go ahead. Before making a decision, they went to the other room.
I believe they made a phone call, and Eduardo told us to go ahead. McCord did not come in with us. He said he had to go someplace. We never knew where he was going. Anyway, he was not with us, so when Virgilio picked the locks to let us in, we put tape on the doors for him and went upstairs. Five minutes later McCord came in, and I asked him right away: "Did you remove the tapes?" He said, "Yes, I did."
But he did not, because the tape was later found by the police. Once inside, McCord told Barker to turn off his walkie-talkie. He said there was too much static. So we were there without communications. Soon we started hearing noises. People going up and down. McCord said it was only the people checking, like before, but then there was running and men shouting, "Come out with your hands up or we will shoot!" and things like that. There was no way out. We were caught. The police were very rough with us, pushing us around, tying our arms, but Barker was able to turn on his walkie-talkie, and he asked where the police were from. And then he said, "Oh, you are the metropolitan policemen who catch us." So Barker was cool. He did a good job in advising Eduardo we were caught.
I thought right away it was a set-up or something like that because it was so easy the first time. We all had that feeling. They took our keys and found the identification in the briefcase Eduardo had left in our room.
McCord was the senior officer, and he took charge. He was talking loudly now. He told us not to say a thing. "Don't give your names. Nothing. I know people. Don't worry, someone will come and everything will be all right. This thing will be solved."
CIA agent was among Watergate burglars, documents reveal
One of the men caught burglarizing the offices of the United States Democratic Party in 1972, a ploy that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, was an agent of the Central Intelligence Agency, according to a newly declassified document. The revelation is included in a narrative history of the Watergate scandal, produced over 40 years ago by the CIA to assess its own role in the affair. It recounts the events of the early morning hours of June 17, 1972, when a security guard saw five men dressed in black breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, DC. When the five men were arrested by police, it was discovered that one of them was connected with the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, a fundraising organization set up by US President Richard Nixon. The remaining four burglars had CIA contacts. They included E. Howard Hunt, a retired CIA operations officer who in 1961 had played a leading role in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. It was eventually discovered that the burglary had been authorized by President Nixon himself, as part of a broader program to sabotage his political opponents.
Soon after the Watergate scandal erupted, the CIA produced an internal report entitled “CIA Watergate History – Working Draft”. Much of the 150-page document was authored by CIA officer John C. Richards, who had firsthand knowledge of the Watergate scandal. When Richards died unexpectedly in 1974, the report was completed by a team of officers based on his files. A few years ago, a Freedom of Information Act request was filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog, which petitioned to have the document released. The release was approved by a judge in early 2016 and was completed in July.
Despite numerous reductions throughout, the document gives the fullest public account of the CIA’s role in the Watergate scandal. Its pages contain the revelation that one of the men arrested in the early hours of June 17, 1972, was an active CIA agent. The man, Eugenio R. Martinez, has been previously identified as an “informant” of the CIA —a term referring to an occasional source. But the newly released document refers to Martinez as an agent —an individual who is actively recruited and trained by a CIA officer acting as a handler. It also states that Martinez was on the payroll of the agency at the time of his arrest, making approximately $600 per month in today’s dollars working for the CIA. Additionally, Martinez, a Cuban who had participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, retained his contacts with the CIA and kept the agency updated about the burglary, his arrest and the ensuing criminal investigation.
Interestingly, the internal document reveals that the CIA was contacted about Martinez by the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, which was set up by the Department of Justice to investigate the scandal. But the CIA’s General Counsel, John S. Warner, told the prosecutors that it was against the CIA’s code of practice to turn over an agent, and that “under no circumstances” would the CIA agree to do so. Senior CIA officials, including its then Director, Richard Helms, continued to refuse to cooperate with investigators, including agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, even after President Nixon’s resignation.
Martinez, who is reportedly in his mid-90s and lives in Miami, Florida, has never spoken publicly about this role in the Watergate scandal or his alleged contacts with the CIA.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 31 August 2016 | Permalink
Melanie Adele Martinez  was born on April 28, 1995  in Astoria, Queens,  to parents Mery and Jose Martinez,  who are of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent.   Her family moved to Baldwin, New York, on Long Island, when Martinez was four.  She listened to Brandy, Britney Spears, Shakira, The Beatles, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls and Christina Aguilera growing up,    and wanted to be a singer from a young age. 
Martinez attended Plaza Elementary School, crediting her teacher Mr. Nadien with teaching her how to sing,  and in kindergarten, Martinez began writing poetry.  Martinez says she had few friends growing up and was a homebody, as she was "very emotional" and found it difficult to explain her feelings, crying when overwhelmed.  She practiced photography and painting.  Due to her emotionality as a child,  she says that others referred to her as a "cry baby", which sparked the creation of the titular character of her debut album, Cry Baby.   
Martinez grew up in a "traditional Latin household" where she was made to feel shameful about talking about her sexuality and felt as if she would not be accepted if she came out as bisexual. She says that her family is now fully accepting of her sexuality. 
At fourteen, Martinez taught herself how to play guitar by studying chord diagrams of songs she enjoyed, which she found online, and wrote her first song by adding her poetry to one of the chord diagrams,   but says that playing guitar "eventually got stale".     Martinez graduated from Baldwin High School.  
2012: Beginnings and The Voice
In 2012, during her junior year of high school, Martinez participated in the MSG Varsity Talent Show, a televised talent competition. She sang The Beatles' rendition of "Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong and "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" by The Four Tops. She was eliminated in the second round. 
Later in 2012, Martinez auditioned for the third season of The Voice. She had not watched the show herself prior to the audition.  The initial, untelevised audition was an open call, held at Javits Center. She recalls that while she and her mother were driving to the audition, her mother's car broke down before they reached the Queens–Midtown Tunnel, and the two were forced to "hitchhike" a taxicab in order to get there. Several months after the initial audition, while at Roosevelt Field Mall, Martinez received word that she had advanced to the "second round". She then received multiple callbacks until she was finally selected to audition on the show itself. 
Martinez auditioned singing Britney Spears's "Toxic". Three of the four judges, Adam Levine, CeeLo Green and Blake Shelton, hit the "I Want You" button for her. Martinez chose Adam Levine to be her coach. 
In the Battle Round, Martinez competed against Caitlin Michele. They performed a duet of the Ellie Goulding song "Lights". Martinez won and moved on to the Knockout Round. Michele was stolen by Cee Lo Green and also moved on. In the Knockout Round, Martinez was paired with Sam James. She chose to sing La Roux's "Bulletproof". Levine eliminated James, and Martinez moved on to the Live Rounds as one of the five remaining members of Team Adam. In week one of the Live Rounds, Martinez sang "Hit the Road Jack". Public vote saved Team Adam members Amanda Brown and Bryan Keith.
Levine then chose Martinez over Loren Allred and Joselyn Rivera to remain in the competition. In week three, Martinez's performance of "Seven Nation Army" finished the voting period at #10 on the iTunes Top 200 Single Chart, causing her iTunes votes to be multiplied by ten.  This occurred again in week four, when "Too Close" ended the voting period at #6.  Martinez was eliminated by audience vote in week five, along with the fellow Team Adam member Amanda Brown, leaving Levine with no artists. In response, Martinez said, "I never expected to get this far and this is beyond what I've ever dreamed of. I'm just so glad I got to express who I am as an artist and really touch people's hearts because that was the ultimate goal." 
– Studio version of performance reached the top 10 on iTunes
|Blind Audition||"Toxic"||Britney Spears||September 7, 2012||4.1||3 Chairs Turned |
Joined Team Adam
|Battle Round||"Lights" (vs. Caitlin Michele)||Ellie Goulding||October 15, 2012||11.5||Saved by Coach|
|Knockout Round||"Bulletproof" (vs. Sam James)||La Roux||October 29, 2012||16.5||Saved by Coach|
|Live Playoffs||"Hit the Road Jack"||Ray Charles||November 5, 2012||18.3||Safe (Coach's Save)|
|Top 12||"Cough Syrup"||Young the Giant||November 12, 2012||21.9||Saved by Public Vote|
|Top 10||"Seven Nation Army"||The White Stripes||November 19, 2012||23.3||Saved by Public Vote|
|Top 8||"Too Close"||Alex Clare||November 26, 2012||25.4||Saved by Public Vote|
|Top 6||"The Show" (Coach's choice)||Lenka||December 3, 2012||27.10||Eliminated|
|"Crazy" (Artist's choice)||Gnarls Barkley||27.6|
After the show, Martinez began working independently on original material, which she says she spent the majority of 2013 writing. She released her debut single, "Dollhouse", on February 9, 2014. 
She later compared the song's story to Edward Scissorhands, saying "[It's] the perfect home with the perfect lawn and they all look the same. But behind each house there's a screwed up group of people who are hiding behind wealth and perfection."  Martinez also released a music video for the track, which was fan-funded by an Indiegogo page created by Martinez, and hair, makeup, and shooting were all done by friends of hers.    The song was produced and cowritten by NYC songwriting duo Kinetics & One Love. 
On April 7, 2014, Martinez signed to Atlantic Records and announced she would tour. She released her debut EP, Dollhouse, on May 19, 2014.    The only single from the EP, "Carousel", was also certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and featured in a preview for FX's miniseries American Horror Story: Freak Show.   The song reached number nine on the Alternative Digital Songs chart.  A video for the track was also released.
2015–2017: Cry Baby
On June 1, 2015, Martinez released the single "Pity Party", which was certified gold by the RIAA, and the chorus of which samples Lesley Gore's "It's My Party".  On July 10, 2015, Martinez released the album's second single "Soap".  The official music video has over thirty million views on YouTube. It reached number twelve on the Alternative Digital Songs chart, and number sixteen on the Pop Digital Songs chart.  "Sippy Cup" followed on July 31, followed by the album fourteen days later.   Cry Baby was released on August 14, 2015, to moderate critical acclaim.    The album debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200.  Martinez released a Christmas-themed single, "Gingerbread Man", in December 2015. She initially released the song on SoundCloud on December 21, 2015 as a "gift for her fans", but later released the track on iTunes in January 2016 as a single.   The music video of her song "Cry Baby" was released on March 14, 2016.   The karaoke-style music video for "Alphabet Boy", which Martinez directed, was released on June 2, 2016. Martinez released double feature videos for "Soap" and "Training Wheels" together, as well as "Tag, You're It" and "Milk and Cookies."  
Martinez finished recording her second album, describing it as the stories of characters living in Cry Baby's neighborhood.  In October 2016, she released a commercial for her fragrance called Cry Baby Perfume Milk, adding that the "idea for this perfume has been cultivating in my brain since the moment I finished writing my album." It was directly distributed by Martinez's record label, Atlantic, making them the first record label to distribute a fragrance.  In November 2016, Martinez released her third EP, Cry Baby's Extra Clutter, a physical vinyl release of the bonus tracks from Cry Baby as well as Martinez's single, "Gingerbread Man". She released the music video for her song "Pacify Her" followed in December 2016 by a video for "Mrs. Potato Head".   The video for "Mad Hatter" was released September 23, 2017. Cry Baby was certified Platinum on February 24, 2017.  
2017–2019: K-12 album and film
In March 2017, Martinez expressed her wishes to produce a film telling the story of each song from her second album, explaining "I'm currently writing a film. I'm going to spend the year working on it, directing, shooting, make up and everything so it's a lot of work".   On May 15, 2019, Martinez released the first teaser trailer for the album revealing the title K-12,  released on September 6,  with the album cover unveiled a day later through Instagram.  While the film was available in select theaters worldwide, Martinez also posted the film to YouTube and included it in a version of the downloadable K-12 album. In an interview with PeopleTV, Melanie mentioned that she has two sequels and two visual albums planned to follow on from the K-12 album and film. She said, "I have my next film planned out, as far as what I want to do, and the film after that and they both have albums attached to them. Hopefully [the process] will be faster this time and it won't be like four years because I've done it at least once and I'm past all those learning curves that I had to kind of reach and figure out." 
2020–present: After School
In January 2020, Martinez announced an EP titled After School, revealing the title through her Instagram stories. The EP would serve as a deluxe edition of K-12, however is not connected to K-12 in terms of timeline.  On February 10, 2020, Martinez's management issued the first single from After School, titled "Copy Cat".  The song features American rapper and songwriter Tierra Whack. This marks the first time that Whack has worked in a professional capacity with Melanie Martinez, and the first time that Melanie Martinez has featured another artist in one of her songs.  Martinez later released a second single from the EP, "Fire Drill", on June 26, 2020. The song had previously been featured in the credits sequence of her film, K-12. 
Her song "Play Date", originally released on the deluxe edition of Cry Baby in 2015, became one of the top 100 most-played songs on Spotify in the US after gaining popularity on the video-sharing application, TikTok.  Martinez is currently writing a music video for "Play Date", which she plans to shoot at her home. 
Her debut album Cry Baby and second album K-12 were seen to have hip hop and R&B undertones.  
The subject matter of Martinez's songs are typically based on personal experiences.  Martinez describes her own music as "very dark and honest" and "hip hop/trap inspired beats with creepy nostalgic childlike sounds such as baby pianos, music boxes, and toys". 
Martinez's music has been described by The Guardian as "off-kilter, sweary electropop".  Rolling Stone described Martinez's music as "twisted lullabies about love, danger and madness", and compared her music to that of "'Coin-Operated Boy'-era Dresden Dolls" and Lana Del Rey.  The New York Times ' s Jon Pareles described her music as "perch[ing] prettily tinkling keyboards and concise pop choruses amid the slow, ominous basslines and twitchy percussion of Southern hip-hop – a candy-coated variation on the dirges of Lorde and Lana Del Rey", and described her voice, which has been classified as mezzo-soprano by Keaton Bell of the Red Dirt Report,  as "whispery, sardonic, tearful, [and] furious".  Billboard ' s Jason Lipshutz also compared Martinez to Del Rey and Lorde, saying, "Martinez is clearly cribbing from the dimly lit pop stylings of Lorde and Lana Del Rey, but while her wispy delivery strikes the same femme fatale poses, she lacks the subtlety of her influences", and that "Martinez is admirably ambitious, but her insistence on sticking to Cry Baby ' s central idea leaves her contorting into uncomfortable positions".  The Guardian called her image "doll-like and decidedly emo. hyperreal", and described her music as "part-nursery rhyme, part tragic life story". 
Martinez describes her alter ego and the protagonist of her debut album, Cry Baby, as a "fairy tale" version of herself. 
Martinez has cited the Beatles,  Neutral Milk Hotel, Feist, Kimbra,  Zooey Deschanel, Regina Spektor,  and CocoRosie as influences of hers. Specific albums which have influenced her music include The Idler Wheel. by Fiona Apple and Ariana Grande's albums Yours Truly and My Everything.  She attributes the "heavy hip-hop influence" in her music to her father playing hip-hop music in the family's house often during her childhood.  
The visuals in Martinez's music videos have been influenced by her favorite visual artists: Mark Ryden, Aleksandra Waliszewska and Nicoletta Ceccoli.   She named Tim Burton as a large influence of hers, and has said that to make a movie with him would be her "one dream".  
Martinez identifies as bisexual.  In 2021, Martinez updated her Instagram bio stating that she uses she/they pronouns. 
Martinez collaborated with cosmetics company Lime Crime, Inc. to release two "exclusive" lipsticks: a blue lipstick called "Cry Baby" on August 17, 2015, and a brown lipstick called "Teddy Bear" on March 9, 2016.  On October 25, 2016, she released a commercial for a new fragrance called Cry Baby Perfume Milk. It was directly distributed by Martinez's label, the first record label to distribute a fragrance. 
At age sixteen, after watching 101 Dalmatians, Martinez dyed half of her hair blonde, in the same vein as Cruella de Vil.   She became known for the look,  as well as her "baby doll"-inspired outfits in music videos and when performing. 
Sexual assault allegation
On December 4, 2017, Timothy Heller, a woman with whom Martinez once shared a friendship, alleged via Twitter that Martinez had sexually assaulted and raped her.  The following day, Martinez tweeted a response to Heller's accusations, saying the allegations "horrified and saddened" her, and that Heller "never said no to what [they] chose to do together".   On December 9, 2017, Martinez released a second statement, thanking her fans for citing Heller's "false statements". She concluded the statement with: ". I would never be intimate with someone without their absolute consent."   Martinez released the song "Piggyback" on SoundCloud, an act believed to be in response to Heller's accusations.  
Eugenio Martinez - History
By Dan Martin
On Sept. 11, 2001, Daniel Martinez stood on the banks of the Potomac River, looked across at the shattered Pentagon smoking in the distance and asked himself, Why am I alive?
Just a few days earlier, Martinez - who is the National Park Services historian at the Arizona Memorial - had a seat booked on American Airlines flight 77, the same plane that had become a smoldering memory across the river. Only a last-minute change of travel plans spared his life.
It was very troubling at first, Martinez says, his throat tightening. Over the years I had interviewed so many Pearl Harbor survivors who had just missed death men who are happy they survived, but still haunted by those who didnt. After 9/11, I kept asking myself the same thing: Why didnt my number come up?
It was a strange and startling situation for a person trained to interpret history from a safe distance. But as a historian, Martinez naturally drew a lesson from it, resolving to do more with his life, and thats one of the main reasons why you can catch him Wednesday nights on the Discovery Channel series Unsolved History.
Martinez serves as host and resident historian on the show, which attempts to solve some of historys burning questions using forensics, science and staged re-creations. The show, which Martinez co-created, has taken him across the United States and Europe.
One of the most engaging history programs now on TV, Unsolved History assembles a fresh team of relevant experts for each subject and has dissected such mysteries as the JFK assassination (using a 3-D recreation), and who really shot down the Red Baron (using laser beams pointed to the skies over a French battlefield).
Martinezs droopy, bloodhound face first received significant airtime in the national media in 2001, when he was a sought-after interview subject for numerous Pearl Harbor 60th anniversary specials. On Unsolved History, he brings the same lump-in-the-throat eloquence and boyish wonder about history that first gained notice on TV three years ago.
Im the everyman historian, he says. Im you. I ask the questions you may want to ask, or I at least try to.
Martinez has a passion for the past that borders on obsession, which makes him perfect for the shows brand of hands-on history.
For example, a segment on the death of Princess Diana attempted to show that driver Henri Pauls official blood-alcohol reading appears suspiciously high - too high, perhaps, for him to have even reached the ill-fated car, much less driven it.
At a high-tech driving-simulation facility in Iowa, Martinez played the guinea pig, drinking a dozen screwdrivers to reach the blood-alcohol level logged in Pauls autopsy. An admitted lightweight drinker to begin with, Martinez vomited several times off-camera.
Later, the program shows the woozy host being led gingerly to the driving simulator, slurring as he gamely attempts to keep up his commentary.
The standard line is: Thats the day Dan took one for the team, he says now. You should see the unedited tape. Thats become a popular pass-around at the production office.
In the simulator, Martinez could barely even get it in gear. Once he did, he was a loose cannon on the road. The official Unsolved History verdict: Pauls blood-alcohol reading looks suspect.
Thats what we do. Well put forth a theory, assemble a team of relevant experts and set out to try to prove it, Martinez says. But we often go in with no agenda and just let it take us where it will. Its all about putting history to the test.
For me, the idea of marrying science and history together had long been overlooked. When you bring those two disciplines to bear it makes for some exciting and illuminating history.
Nearly every televised-history program makes the now-clichéd claim of bringing history to life, but few on-air hosts have the historical street cred of the 53-year-old Martinez, whose has blood links to some interesting chapters in history.
Martinez is one-quarter Aztec and his great-grandfather was involved in the Mexican revolution. His great-grandfathers brother was killed in battle riding with the revolutionary Pancho Villa.
Martinezs grandfather was a construction foreman at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 and witnessed the attack. Shortly after, the family relocated to Lone Pine, Calif., just a few miles from the Manzanar internment camp where Japanese-Americans, including some of the familys friends from Hawaii, were being held.
His father was an electrical engineer who worked on NASA space projects from 1957 all the way up to the Space Shuttle.
There was always this linkage to historical events in my life and in my family, and there was a pride in that which kept me interested in history, Martinez says.
Martinez, who was born and reared in the Los Angeles area, excelled in history studies at little California State University-Dominguez Hills, earning mention in Whos Who of University and College Students for 1979.
He later taught high school in L.A., but spent his summers as a National Park Service ranger, riding the range at Custer Battlefield National Monument astride a Crow Indian mount named Flash that was lent to him each season.
The National Park Service was always a dream of mine, he says. As a boy, my dad took me up to Gettysburg and out walks this ranger in full Civil War dress. I thought Ive got to do that someday.
He joined the service full-time in 1985 and came to the Arizona Memorial, where he quickly distinguished himself as an outstanding interpreter of history through his eloquent speeches and writings. He was named to the memorials new post of official historian in 1989.
After expanding his credentials as an expert consultant on several historical documentaries, Martinez was hired as a script consultant for the now-infamous blockbuster Pearl Harbor.
I was horrified, he says of reading the script. There were historical inaccuracies on every page.
When Martinez pointed this out, the studio - which had promised authenticity - suddenly changed tack. As producer Jerry Bruckheimer put it: Historians have to understand that we are making a movie here.
That was an eye-opener, says Martinez. It taught me that once the machinery of Hollywood starts turning, theres no turning back because the costs are astronomical.
Martinez calls the episode gut-wrenching, but his more recent experiences with show biz have been more rewarding.
He first got involved with the Discovery Channel in 2001 when the network was looking for a Pearl Harbor documentary subject. Martinez suggested a program on the destruction of the USS Arizona.
Thus was born Death of the Arizona, which turned out to be one of the networks most-watched shows of the year.
They called back a few weeks later and said, Are there any more shows like this we can do? And I said, Dont get me started, Martinez recalls.
But it was before that, during the actual filming of the Arizona program, that Martinez would have his life-altering 9/11 experience, a fascinating tale worthy of its own documentary.
He was in Washington for a shoot at a high-security photo-analysis facility that examined film of the Arizonas destruction. Martinez was scheduled to fly from Washington to L.A. on flight 77 on Sept. 11, but in a fateful phone call a few days before that, he was informed that departure had been pushed back a day.
If I hadnt gotten that phone call, you and I would not be talking right now, he says.
On the morning of Sept. 11, the crew was filming as a specialist explained the Arizona footage.
As the cameras were rolling, a security person leaned over and said weve just been Pearl Harbored in New York, Martinez recalls.
The lights were turned off, filming stopped, cell phones were confiscated. A TV was switched on just in time to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center.
This facility does a lot of work for three-lettered agencies - if you know what I mean. It was an intelligence facility. And these intelligence people were shaking and weeping because, they felt, they had failed to foresee this.
Later, back at his hotel, Martinez and his documentary colleagues learned it was flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.
That was really tough. That was when I got on the phone, says Martinez, who called his girlfriend Nancy Weyand Hart (daughter of famed Army Gen. Fred Weyand) in Hawaii and his father in L.A., who did not know of the new travel plans.
I finally got hold of my dad and, boy, was he in a state, Martinez says.
Later that day, Martinez and Unsolved History producer Erik Nelson drove over for a view of the Pentagon.
If you can imagine two guys standing there on the Potomac and looking across and knowing that could have been our fate , Martinez says, pausing for a split-second.
It was a time that one searches their inner soul.
A couple of days later, with air travel shut down, Martinez, Nelson and another man decided to drive to L.A., embarking on a moving odyssey.
We saw the national grief - and the hope. Were probably among the few people who saw that. Everywhere we went, hands reached out in kindness. American flags waved from overpasses. To see black and white folks together, saying were all Americans there was this amazing outpouring of patriotism. It was like we were all revisiting who we are. Everybody wanted to talk about it, to come together and share their thoughts, he says.
Unfortunately, it went unrecorded.
So there we were, three documentarians with no cameras, he laments. That would have been great
But it all had a profound effect on me. The gnawing issue that it raised was: How do I accomplish more and be a better person? It teaches you to be closer to family, to friends, to the woman thats important in your life - all of the things we take for granted.
I get on H-1 now and Im sitting there stuck in traffic, and then I think, Wait a second. Im lucky to be sitting in traffic. Ill get through it, but there are lots of families out there that lost fathers or mothers or friends on 9/11.
So many good things, like co-creating Unsolved History, have happened in my life that would not have happened had I been on that plane.
Martinez admits that Unsolved History gets killed ratings-wise by lower-brow Discovery Channel fare such as American Chopper, but the show is very much alive and well. Production is under way for a third season of shows and the network has upped the number of shows to 18 this year, from the usual 12.
Shows currently in development include a look at Robert Kennedys assassination, the battle of Troy and secrets of the ninjas.
WikiTree is a community of genealogists growing an increasingly-accurate collaborative family tree that's 100% free for everyone forever. Please join us.
Please join us in collaborating on MARTINEZ family trees. We need the help of good genealogists to grow a completely free shared family tree to connect us all.
Eugenio Martínez, Watergate burglar whose bungled break-in led to Nixon’s fall, dies
Eugenio Rolando Martínez, one of five men whose arrest while burglarizing the Watergate complex in Washington ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation in 1974, has died. He was 98.
Martinez died Feb. 6 at his daughter’s home in the Central Florida city of Minneola.
A CIA contract agent who ran hundreds of covert missions from Miami to his native Cuba, Martínez was among four Miami Cuban exiles recruited by top Nixon aides to break in to the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate headquarters in May and June of 1972 along with a security coordinator for Nixon’s reelection campaign.
They were told to tap phones and look for financial connections between Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and George McGovern, Nixon’s opponent in his reelection bid.
While in the Watergate office building on June 17, the men were discovered by a security guard who called police after noticing tape they had placed over door latches. Their arrests — they were caught with cash, gloves, lock picks and a radio — set off a series of investigations that ultimately brought down Nixon, who resigned rather than face impeachment and was pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.
All five burglars were convicted in the scheme, as were two of Nixon’s senior aides, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. Martínez, perhaps the most mysterious of the Watergate burglars, served 15 months in prison.
In a column he penned in 1974, Martínez described the scheme as a bungled affair that reminded him of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba — an ill-fated, poorly planned attempt by the CIA to spur revolution by attacking the communist Castro’s troops with Cuban exile troops.
In the mid-1990s, the Discovery Channel aired a five-part series on Watergate, calling it a “refresher course” on the audacious White House scandal that drove President Nixon from office.
Martínez, born in July of 1922 in Artemisa, Cuba, was a prolific asset for the CIA in the 1960s, running hundreds of missions to the island from Miami. Martínez’s granddaughter, Michelle Diaz, said her grandfather conducted 365 missions in all.
Martínez, who would go on to earn his U.S. citizenship, helped coordinate the Bay of Pigs invasion. And, though he denied it for years, he was still on the CIA’s payroll at the time of his arrest at the Watergate, a fact revealed in 2016 when the CIA declassified its own 155-page report on the involvement of its assets in the break-in.
After his release from prison, Martínez worked as a car salesman. He was pardoned by President Reagan in 1983, becoming the only person embroiled in the Watergate scandal other than Nixon to receive a presidential pardon.
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the charismatic icon of leftist revolution who thrust his Caribbean nation onto the world stage by provoking Cold War confrontation and defying U.S. policy through 11 administrations, has died.
While Martínez will be known first in history books as one of the Watergate burglars, it was this work — his efforts to topple the Castro regime and end a mass exile of Cubans in Miami — that earned Martínez his reputation in his hometown.
Martínez was known by his friends in Miami as “Musculito,” an endearing term for a man who still had exercise equipment in his South Beach apartment into his 90s. He was often stopped for pictures and conversation when he would go out to eat, especially in Little Havana, said his granddaughter. She said in recent years that she would sometimes find him at the iconic Versailles restaurant late at night, dressed sharply and talking with friends.
“We could have 20 interruptions while we were eating and he would have a smile on his face,” she said. “Whoever would call him, he would answer their questions.”
Martínez is survived by his daughter, granddaughter and a grandson, Antonio Toscano Jr.
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City.
The U.S. Should Learn From Venezuela How to Hold Elections
Hugo Chavez won the lengthy and polarized presidential race in Venezuela last month by 11 points. Many anticipated that the contest would end in a dead heat and lead to an extended, contentious battle to determine the winner, but the voting process proved to be technically error-free, and the results were uncontested.
On Election Day in the U.S., with the presidential race going down to the wire and predicted to be among the closest in history, concerns are being raised by both parties about the possibility of a drawn-out battle over the reliability and accuracy of polling systems and vote counts. Should this happen, it may be time for the greatest democracy in the world to take a lesson from Venezuela on how to develop and administer an efficient electronic voting system spanning across all stages of the electoral process.
I’ve covered Venezuelan elections as a journalist for the past 14 years. I have published dozens of articles emphasizing why the results of Venezuela’s elections truly reflect the will of the majority. During the last eight years Venezuelan electoral authorities developed a truly reliable voting system. Technically speaking, our elections are impeccable.
This year’s contest represented the first in which Chavez’s incumbency was truly at risk. His opponent, Henrique Capriles, seemed to have every advantage. Despite Chavez’s mastery of campaigning and retail politics, Capriles was younger and more athletic. Chavez’s bout with cancer had dominated Venezuela’s political media, and Capriles had Chavez on the ropes regarding his administration's poor record of inefficiency, soaring crime rates, rising debt, high inflation, and stuttering social services.
But despite the dire predictions, the handicappers and media experts who forecast a Chavez loss and potential ensuing chaos were wrong. Capriles conceded shortly after the Consejo Nacional Electoral, Venezuela’s electoral body, announced the results. The two candidates then engaged in an informal chat that restored a sense of civility in a nation marked by upheaval.
With the implementation of a new technology-based voting system developed by a company called Smartmatic, accurate results were available almost instantly. Minutes after the last precinct closed, authorities were able to announce official results with approximately 90% of the votes accounted for. It all went off so smoothly that even Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, chief coordinator of Capriles’ supporting organization, deemed the process positive and successful.
The veracity of the voting went unchallenged thanks to an unprecedented level of auditability. Technicians from both parties and outside observers participated in more than 16 audits and tests leading up to Election Day. More than 50% of the polling stations were audited after they closed, double-checking their machine-printed tally reports by comparing them with the printed votes placed in the ballot boxes.
The result was historic. No convincing argument demonstrating electoral malfeasance has surfaced. The system worked, and the transparency of the technological process and testing of the system precluded any protest or complaints. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has called the Venezuelan electoral technology a model for other democracies.
Last month, as Venezuelans once again demonstrated their determination to solve differences through that most peaceful means, democratic elections, turnout was unprecedented, at 81%. That represented a cry for reconciliation and lasting democracy and peace. As our electoral technology continues to become stronger, I have no doubt that it will prove to be a model for elections around the world.
Watergate: CIA withheld data on double agent
EXCLUSIVE: An internal history of the Watergate scandal prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency – intended to help the Agency make a clean breast of its own wrongdoing and kept in classified vaults for more than four decades – reveals how the spy service used a double agent to keep tabs on the burglars whose arrests ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and withheld information about the agent from federal prosecutors.
Entitled “Working Draft – CIA Watergate History,” the 155-page study was largely written by John C. Richards, a CIA officer who died in December 1974, and was brought nearly to completion by unnamed Agency colleagues who built on Richards’ typed draft and handwritten annotations.
Earlier this year, a federal judge ordered the government to turn the document over to Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog, which had sued for access under the Freedom of Information Act. The group finally received the declassified report in July and shared it with Fox News.
Even in draft form, the document represents CIA’s fullest narrative treatment of the Watergate affair, which first surfaced publicly in the predawn hours of June 17, 1972. That’s when Washington police, dressed in plain clothes and responding to a call from a private security guard, arrested at gunpoint five burglars inside the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington.
The arrested men were wearing business suits and rubber gloves and carrying electronic eavesdropping devices. Investigation swiftly revealed that one of them was employed by the president's re-election campaign committee, and that four of the five boasted past ties to CIA. But one of the arrested men, it turns out, was still on Langley's payroll at the time of the arrests, and had been feeding information about the break-in team to his CIA case officers the entire time.
That CIA mole was Eugenio R. Martinez, a Cuban Bay of Pigs veteran who was recruited to the break-in team by E. Howard Hunt, the legendary former CIA officer and spy novelist who had helped plan the Bay of Pigs operation in the Kennedy era and had gone on to work as a consultant on covert projects at the Nixon White House. Along with re-election committee lawyer G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent, Hunt masterminded the doomed break-in and surveillance operation at the DNC he and Liddy would be indicted along with the five arrested men and both would serve lengthy sentences in federal prison.
While Watergate scholars have previously reported that Martinez was a CIA informant during the time he was working for Hunt and Liddy – the wiry operative known as "Musculito" provided Langley with a steady stream of information about the Cuban exile community in Miami, from where he and three of the other burglars hailed, for $100 a month (about $575 today) – the newly declassified CIA document fleshes out the relationship in greater detail and shows how highly the Agency prized it.
In October 1973 – by which point the months-long effort of the Nixon White House to cover up the origins of the DNC break-in had collapsed, and President Nixon was struggling in vain to stave off impeachment – attorneys from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force met with the CIA’s top lawyer and sought access to documents concerning Martinez. In particular, the draft report states, the WSPF lawyers wanted to review a previous report prepared by one of Martinez’s case officers in Miami and a copy of Martinez’s “roundup of his discussions with Hunt” from April 1972, the month before the burglars first penetrated the DNC suite.
CIA General Counsel John S. Warner adamantly refused. “Warner stated that under no circumstances would the Agency give up all records relating to the Agency’s relationship with Martinez,” the report stated. “Warner explained why such a request was difficult for the Agency – the breaching of trust of an agent.”
The document marks the first known reference by CIA to Martinez as “an agent,” as opposed to an informant, and exposes how valuable an asset the Agency considered him to be. Among several-dozen passages of the report still redacted today, more than four decades after the events in question, are the names of two CIA case officers to whom Martinez reported.
Elsewhere the report chronicles how top CIA officials, including then-Director Richard Helms, withheld data about Martinez from the FBI at the very outset of its investigation of the break-in.
On June 19, 1972, the first business day after the burglars were arrested, the report notes that Helms received a briefing from CIA’s Director of Security at the time, Howard Osborn, who provided “biographic details” for each of the arrested men. Yet three days later, the report states, Helms told the Bureau's acting director, L. Patrick Gray III, that “none [of the arrested men] had worked for the Agency in the past two years.” That was untrue where Martinez was concerned.
"This CIA Watergate report is an extraordinary historical document," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement to Fox News. "Given that it disclosed direct CIA involvement in Watergate, it is no surprise it took forty-two years and a Judicial Watch lawsuit to force its release."
Now 94 and believed to be living in Miami, Martinez has granted virtually no interviews. He has long fascinated Watergate scholars, both because of his dual role on the break-in team and because the FBI determined that a key that Martinez was carrying at the time of the arrests -- and struggled unsuccessfully to conceal from the police -- fit the desk of DNC secretary Ida “Maxie” Wells, whose telephone was the only one wiretapped in the ill-fated operation. No other burglar had such a key and it has never been satisfactorily explained as to how or why Martinez came into possession of it.
Jim Hougan, author of Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA, a landmark study of the break-in published by Random House in 1984, called the declassified draft “an artifact in its own right” but said it carries “a musty fragrance, brought on by having been squirreled away for so long that its narrative has begun to rot.”
Hougan pointed to numerous aspects of Watergate – all of which involved CIA – that are unmentioned in the Agency’s ostensibly comprehensive mea culpa. These omissions include, among other things, the destruction of Watergate-related documents shortly after the arrests by a CIA officer named Lee Pennington and the activities of Robert F. Bennett, later a U.S. senator from Utah, who as a CIA asset in the early 1970s sent his superiors a memorandum – first published in Hougan’s book – boasting of how he had been feeding Bob Woodward of the Washington Post story leads that led him and the newspaper away from Agency involvement in Watergate. For this, Bennett said in the 1973 memorandum, the reporter was “suitably grateful for the fine stories and by-lines which he gets.”
One area where the CIA draft report appears willfully to have steered clear of further implicating the Agency was in its reference to a CIA officer named Rob Roy Ratliff, the Agency’s liaison on the National Security Council.
In a 1974 affidavit filed with the House Judiciary Committee when it was weighing articles of impeachment against President Nixon, Ratliff swore that E. Howard Hunt, while ostensibly retired from CIA and working as a consultant in the Nixon White House, was using secure Agency couriers to send sealed pouches to CIA Director Helms on a regular basis, continuing right up until shortly before the Watergate arrests.
Sources familiar with the matter said the pouches contained “gossip” of a sexually graphic nature about White House officials that could be used for the purpose of constructing psychological profiles of them – a violation of the Agency’s charter. Hunt had already played a lead role in getting CIA prepare such a profile of Daniel Ellsberg, the former Defense Department analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.
The draft report mentions Ratliff by name and notes the existence of his affidavit – but otherwise makes no mention of its explosive contents, which suggested that Hunt had never really retired from CIA and was spying on the Nixon White House for Langley at a level even higher than Martinez.
Judicial Watch Uncovers CIA ‘Watergate History’ Report
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- This is a fascinating story and a bit of a change of pace from our typical FOIA finds.
Thanks to yet another JW lawsuit, Americans now know more about the behind the scenes maneuvering in the Watergate scandal – including a top-secret telephone call between President Nixon and his acting director of the FBI that quite conceivably could have prevented the continuing cover-up that cost Nixon his presidency.
This week we released a document obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) through litigation (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency (No. 1:16 -cv-00146)) titled: “Working Draft – CIA Watergate History, ” which was prepared by the agency’s Office of the Inspector General. The document was, “compiled during the latter part of 1973 and 1974.”
The introduction to the agency history states: “Undertaken as an internal CIA review of the matter, it is incomplete and remains a working paper.” The CIA evidently never finalized the report.
The report reveals that Lieutenant General Vernon A. Walters, the Deputy Director of the CIA, met with Acting Director L. Patrick Gray of the FBI on July 12, 1972, to discuss assistance the CIA had provided to retired CIA officer E. Howard Hunt, of the White House Special Investigations Unit (“The Plumbers”). CIA assistance to The Plumbers was terminated in August 1971. The report states the CIA assistance had been at the request of the White House for the purported purpose of tracking down security leaks in the government.
During the July 12, 1972, meeting, Gray told Walters that he had received a call from President Nixon. During the call, “He [Gray] told the President that he had talked to Walters and that both Walters and Gray felt the President should get rid of the people involved in the cover-up, no matter how high. Gray said he had also told this to Dean.”
Also of note is the identification of Eugenio “Musculito” Martinez as the only one of the Watergate burglars still actively being paid by the CIA at the time of the arrests on June 17, 1972. At one point, the report quoted a CIA attorney referring to Martinez, in discussions with lawyers from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force (WSPF) on October 12, 1973, as “an agent.”
“Under no circumstances would the Agency give up all records relating to the Agency’s relationship with Martinez,” the CIA lawyer told WSPF, for to do so would represent “the breaking of trust of an agent.”
This means the CIA, at the time of the Watergate break-in, had “an agent” planted on the break-in team. (The FBI determined that when arrested, Martinez possessed a key to the desk of Maxie Wells, the secretary to Democratic Party official R. Spencer Oliver whose telephone was wiretapped in the Watergate break-in operation.)
While Martinez’s dual role has been discussed in other Watergate histories, the declaration by CIA lawyers of Martinez’s status as “an agent” appears to add new information to the Watergate saga.
Totaling 155 pages, the declassified Secret CIA report discusses the national security environment in 1971, specifically the impact of the New York Times publication of the “Pentagon Papers,” unlawfully released by RAND Corporation military analyst Daniel Ellsberg. The establishment of the Plumbers and the CIA support requests for assistance from E. Howard Hunt are also chronicled. Another section of the report details CIA involvement in preparing a psychological profile of Daniel Ellsberg.
With respect to the Watergate incident specifically, the report describes the interaction of senior CIA officials with the Department of Justice, the FBI and White House staff. Official memoranda of record and telephone call transcripts by key government officials such as Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms and Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray are quoted and excerpted at length.
The report features a three-page summary of a November 19, 1973, WSPF interview of James Jesus Angleton, the Associate Deputy Director of Operations for Counterintelligence at the CIA from 1954 to 1975. Mr. Angleton discussed leaks of classified information to the media reporter Seymour Hersh the likelihood of copies of the Pentagon Papers being delivered to the Soviet Embassy “Soviet methods of recruiting foreigners as agents and their use of leaks, i.e., Jack Anderson” and, the Soviet Disinformation Program.
This is an extraordinary historical document. Given that it discloses direct CIA involvement in Watergate, we aren’t surprised that it took 42 years and a Judicial Watch lawsuit to force its release.
For more information, check out this piece by Fox News’ James Rosen, who is an expert on the Watergate scandal.
About Judicial Watch
Judicial Watch, Inc., a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law. Through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation’s public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.
Watergate Chronology – 1968-72
The story of Watergate has an intriguing historical and political background, arising out of political events of the 1960s such as Vietnam, and the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
But the chronology of the scandal really begins during 1972, following the break-in at the Watergate Hotel.
By 1973, Nixon had been re-elected, but the storm clouds were building. By early 1974, the nation was consumed by Watergate. In August, Nixon resigned.
August 08, 1968: Richard Milhous Nixon accepts the Republican Party nomination for president at the party’s convention in Miami Beach, Florida.
November 05, 1968: Nixon, the 55-year-old former vice president who lost the presidency for the Republicans in 1960, reclaims it by defeating Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest elections in U.S. history.
January 20, 1969: Nixon was sworn in as the 37th President of the United States.
July 20, 1969: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to land on the moon, an initiative first proposed by President Kennedy.
November 30, 1969: Nixon delivers his Silent Majority speech, an address to the nation on the Vietnam War.
January 22, 1970: President Nixon delivers his first State of the Union Address before a joint session of the Congress.
July 23, 1970: Nixon approves a plan for greatly expanding domestic intelligence-gathering by the FBI, CIA and other agencies. He has second thoughts a few days later and rescinds his approval.
June 13, 1971: The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers — the Defense Department’s secret history of the Vietnam War. The Washington Post begins publishing the papers later in the week.
September 09, 1971: The White House “plumbers” unit – named for their orders to plug leaks in the administration – burglarizes a psychiatrist’s office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers.
May 28, 1972: Bugging equipment is installed at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and office complex in Washington DC. It transpires later that this is not the first Watergate burglary.
June 17, 1972: Five burglars are arrested at 2.30am during a break-in at the Watergate hotel and office complex: Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, James W. McCord and Frank Sturgis. James W. McCord is the security director for the Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP).
June 19, 1972: A GOP security aide is among the Watergate burglars, The Washington Post reports. Former attorney general John Mitchell, head of the Nixon reelection campaign, denies any link to the operation.
June 23, 1972: President Nixon has a conversation with his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman. Two years later, the tape of the conversation is released, following an order by the Supreme Court. The Smoking Gun tape reveals that Nixon ordered the FBI to abandon its investigation of the Watergate break-in.
August 01, 1972: A $25,000 cashier’s check, apparently earmarked for the Nixon campaign, wound up in the bank account of a Watergate burglar, according to a report in the Washington Post.
August 30, 1972: Nixon claimed that White House counsel John Dean had conducted an investigation into the Watergate matter and found that no-one from the White House was involved.
September 15, 1972: The first indictments in Watergate are made against the burglars: James W. McCord, Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez and Virgilio Gonzalez. Indictments are also made against E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy.
September 29, 1972: The Washington Post reports that John Mitchell, while serving as Attorney-General, controlled a secret Republican fund used to finance widespread intelligence-gathering operations against the Democrats.
October 10, 1972: FBI agents establish that the Watergate break-in stems from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of the Nixon reelection effort, according to a report in The Washington Post.
November 07, 1972: Nixon is re-elected in one of the largest landslides in American political history, taking more than 60 percent of the vote and crushing the Democratic nominee, Senator George McGovern of South Dakota.
November 22, 1972: Walter Cronkite devoted 15 minutes to Watergate on the CBS Evening News. The scandal becomes a mainstream media issue.