Hunt Determines Liddy Is Lacking in a Meeting at OEO

August 1971: Egil Krogh and David Young met with G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt in a basement office in the Old Executive Office Building. One result of the meeting is Hunt and Liddy jointly recommend to their liaisons (Krogh and Young respectively) for a “covert operation” to get a “mother lode” of information about Ellsberg’s mental state in order to discredit him. Krogh and Young then sent a memo to Ehrlichman seeking his approval for a “covert operation [to] be undertaken to examine all of the medical files. Both state that Hunt, in an over-abundance of caution, suggest a reconnaissance mission to check the environment first, in Liddy’s words, a “feasibility study.” Read more […]
Hunt records the conversation and goads Liddy into boasting that he’s willing to stab people if they get in his way – as Liddy always carries a weapon of some sort. Hunt’s feeling is that he and Liddy have official titles and must therefore not risk more than small misdemeanors for themselves.
After this meeting, where E. Howard Hunt embarrasses Liddy by exposing his foolishness, Hunt goes to a private meeting with Colson. Hunt uses Liddy’s ‘confession’ of arrogant recklessness (typical, he suggests, of dumb FBI flat-foots) to suggest that he, Hunt, needs to be the “grownup in the room” for all Nixon’s extracurricular teams. Really, Hunt wants Lucien Carr or Barker or Sturgis working with him in the White House. He really wants the old team back together. Colson agrees, and Hunt is given the approval to recruit CIA alumni from Operation 40 – the Bay of Pigs guys.

Liddy wants to know why Cubans. Why Cubans? They are not citizens, making it easy to disavow them. They have no birth certificates or any documentation at all. They don’t exist anywhere. Barker was the case officer for a few assassins who had been working in Latin America. These guys were great killers. The trip to LA is the first trip out of Miami and into the rest of USA for several.