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The Remaining Watergate Question
Wednesday, June 01, 2005 By: Juan Paxety
What did The Bay of Pigs have to do with Watergate?
The media is saying the final Watergate question has been answered with the revelation yesterday that W. Mark Felt is Deep Throat. Not in my mind.
On June 23, 1972, just a week after the burglars were caught in the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel, President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, had a conversation that was recorded by Mr. Nixon's tape recorders. Understand that several Cubans from Miami, including Bernard Barker, had been caught inside the Watergate. Also implicated was E. Howard Hunt, a former CIA man who had participated in The Bay of Pigs invasion. The conversation between Mr. Nixon and Mr. Haldeman included the following:
HALDEMAN: The FBI interviewed [Special Counsel To The President, Charles "Chuck"] Colson yesterday... The FBI guys working the case concluded that there were one or two possibilities-one, that this was a White House-they don't think that there is anything at the Election Committee-they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it - non-political, or it was a Cuban and the CIA. And after their interrogation of Colson yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it is a CIA thing, so the CIA turnoff would ...
PRESIDENT: Well, [if they're] not sure of their analysis, I'm not going to get that involved....
HALDEMAN: No, sir, we don't want you to.
PRESIDENT: You call them in.
HALDEMAN: Good deal.
>PRESIDENT: Play it tough. That's the way they play it and that's the way we're going to play it.
PRESIDENT: When you get in-when you get in (unintelligible) people, say, "Look, the problem is that this will open the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that ah, without going into the details - don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is a comedy of errors, without getting into it, the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah, because these people are plugging for (unintelligible) and that they should call the FBI in and (unintelligible) don't go any further into this case period!
This conversation occurred 11-years after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The failed invasion had been thoroughly vetted in various books and newspapers over that period. Just what was it about the Bay of Pigs that was not known by 1972? Why would the press and investigators believe that opening the whole Bay of Pigs thing up would be of any interest to President Nixon?