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An Interview with Richard Helms

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To clarify the record, Haldeman says, in his book: "Interestingly the CIA never allowed the Ervin Committee investigators to see reports of Martinez's case officer. . . ." When they asked to interview the case officer they were told he was on safari in Africa.
      
There were no reports from Martinez's case officer for them to see?
      
I don't recall ever having gotten into it and they may not have been able to get them, but certainly the FBI could have, if they had wanted to, or a Special Prosecutor or a grand jury. You know there is nothing that you can deny to a grand jury if they want to subpoena it.
 
Again Haldeman, in November of '73, "Andrew St. George said in Harpers Magazine that he had visited CIA Headquarters and discussed the break-in with his former associates. What he discovered was that Martinez had indeed reported to the CIA hierarchy on the planning of the Watergate break-in."
      
Who said this?
      
Andrew St. George said it in Harpers Magazine.
      
That fellow is a discredited individual. The Senate Armed Services Committee went into his background and so forth, and if you take Andrew St. George as a witness, you can believe anything.
      
When did you realize that what you had been invited to take part in was a cover-up?
      
"Cover-up" became a word of art much later in 1973. At this particular point the things that concerned me were Dean's requests to give money for bail and things of that kind.
 
Now, this is not the first time that the Agency had been asked to use its unvouchered funds for things that were not strictly our business. I don't want to go into the history of this; there is no sense in dredging it up. But, this was not the first time by any means and we were used to turning these things off-or pointing out that we had an understanding with the Chairmen of the Appropriations Committees of the Senate and the House, that any monies expended this way would be reported to them.
 
This we religiously abided by. So when Dean's request was denied and then the pressure dropped off and so forth, we resumed our own normal business.
    
Now this whole area of cover up and so forth developed much later.
 
In fact, it was May '73 before Walters informed the Department of Justice of these White House efforts to have the CIA stop the FBI investigation-11 months after they happened.
      
It was 11 May before General Cushman provided testimony that it was Ehrlichman who had telephoned him to assist Hunt, rather than that he couldn't recall.
      
It was the same month, May '73, before the first James McCord letter, which Osborne had shown you in August '72 came to light. It was January '73 before the casting photographs of the Fielding break-in came to light. Those four things together might have held up the investigation considerably.
      
In retrospect, perhaps it was a mistake that those things were not brought to light sooner?
      
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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:59 AM
Last Updated: May 08, 2007 08:59 AM