Monday, February 8, 2010

The Watergate Plumbers - Timeline: June 1972

19 June 1972
The Director noted the 17 June arrest of James W. McCord and four others who were apprehended at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate. With the Director of Security present to provide biographic details, the Director made it perfectly clear that responses to any inquiry with respect to McCord or Howard Hunt, who may be implicated, are to be limited to a statement that they are former employees who retired in August and April 1970 respectively. The Director asked that this guidance be disseminated via staff meetings. The Director asked that any inquiry from other elements of the government be referred to the Director of Security who is to be the focal point. Inquiries from the press are to be referred to Mr. Unumb who may say that McCord worked in the Office of Security. The Director noted that we have no responsibility with respect to an investigation except to be responsive to the FBI's request for name traces. It was noted that Howard Hunt may have done some work since retirement in connection with the preparation of supporting material for some awards. The Executive Director was asked to review this topic and report to the Director.

20 June 1972
In response to the Director's request, the Director of Security highlighted developments over the past twenty-four hours with respect to the McCord/Hunt, et al., situation. He noted that the late edition of the New York Times carries a different story by Tad Szulc than that which appeared in the edition received here. The Director of Security anticipates some inquiries on Bernard L. Barker's situation, and it was noted that Mr. Barker was hired by the Agency in 1960 and terminated in 1966. The Director complimented Unumb on his handling of inquiries and asked that future inquiries be met with a response confined to the fact that, now that we have acknowledged that both McCord and Hunt are former Agency employees, we know nothing more about the case and the caller should be referred to the FBI as appropriate.

20 June 1972
The Director noted receipt of a paper on a safehouse in Miami which is being made available to the Secret Service in support of its work in connection with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. He asked the ADDP and the DDS to make it absolutely clear [...] that our cooperation [...] is undertaking is to be confined to provision of the safehouse and that it is not to be used as a site for investigations, interrogations, or "walk-ins," etc. The Director added that we will not loan people to the FBI or Secret Service in connection with their responsibilities at the Conventions nor will we provide equipment unique to the Agency.

21 June 1972
In view of the coverage in today's New York Times and Washington Post, Maury recommended that Chairman Nedzi be briefed on the McCord affair and that this briefing include all our information about the others involved. The Director asked Maury to touch base with the Director of Security and prepare a briefing paper on this topic for his review. Citing the number of distorted rumors about this matter, the Executive Director said that during the course of the day he hopes to provide a suggested Headquarters Bulletin for all employees for the Director's review.

Unumb noted a number of inquiries from the press with respect to the Cuban-Americans involved in the bugging attempt at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and their alleged involvement in the Bay of Pigs, etc. The Director asked that such inquiries be met with an explanation that we are not prepared to be helpful on this matter.

23 June 1972
Maury noted that he briefed Chairman Nedzi on the McCord/Hunt situation.

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