Ahead of Watergate, J. Edgar Hoover gave Richard Nixon’s campaign political intelligence warning of an emerging Democratic conspiracy
A month and a half before the White House Plumbers unit was established, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover contributed the paranoia that would lead to the Watergate affair when he passed political intelligence to a senior member of the Richard Nixon White House and Nixon reelection campaign. According to Hoover’s intelligence, a conspiracy was emerging between several key Democrats, the media, and a former senior FBI official. Hoover’s source for this deep state conspiracy? A rumor from a friend, two of Hoover’s critics speaking to each other, and a misrepresentation of the facts.
A formerly SECRET memo uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that a month after the New York Times began publishing what would become known as “The Pentagon Papers,” the Agency set about assessing the damages. Despite the Agency’s admission that much of the information in Daniel Ellsberg’s leaks was decades old, even in the early ’70s, the report remains almost entirely redacted.
A series of declassified Central Intelligence Agency memos describe part of the Agency’s investigation into Jack Anderson (of whom the CIA was never a fan), and his sources and methods (which included unethical practices such as homophobic surveillance, blackmail and lying about his sources) - specifically his apparent use of hundreds of stolen Agency documents. The memos even call for a Congressional investigation into Anderson and whether or not he was part of “a deliberate disinformation campaign.”
Declassified documents in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives show that while the CIA was looking to include the Freedom Of Information Act in its war on leaks, the National Security Agency was seriously considering using the Espionage Act to target Puzzle Palace author James Bamford for using FOIA.
It’s clear that despite SIGNA Society’s charter reportedly asserting that it has “no relationship whatsoever with its former employer,” such a relationship was ongoing for many years. The Central Intelligence Agency could not only count on these retired security officers to be “on-call” and to aid with recruitment or participate in clandestine live drops, but to proselytize CIA’s word with corporations and the rest of the U.S. Government.