James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff.
Legendary CIA counterspy James Angleton was interviewed by federal investigators in 1973 about a reported meeting with Watergate burglar Howard Hunt, according to a declassified CIA history made public this week.
Angleton responded by dissembling about his relationship with Hunt and threatening legal action against the source of the story.
The report, first obtained by Judicial Watch, sheds new light on the agency’s role in the burglary that brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974 and changed the course of American politics.
James Jesus Angleton, chief of the agency’s Counterintelligence Staff, reached the peak of his powers during the Nixon’s presidency. But his backstage role in the Watergate affair has gone largely unnoticed.
If we accept Orwell’s dictum that truth-telling during a time of universal deceit equals revolution, America lost a great dissident when Mark Lane succumbed to a heart attack recently. In his careful, tweedy way, Lane did as much during the 1960s as any band of New Left radicals to change the national consciousness from blind acceptance of whatever came out of the TV to the bracing distrust of government that has marked public attitudes since the 1970s.
Bryan Bender of Politico digs deeper into the story of the 3,600 still-secret JFK files held by the National Archives, reporting that the withheld material includes records from the FBI and the National Security Agency. And he see indications that some federal agencies will continue to seek postponement of the records’ release past their scheduled release date of October 2017.
E. Howard Hunt was a career CIA officer known for his prolific prose and conservative politics. In 1961, he was a leader of the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Embittered by what he regarded as President Kennedy’s failure to support the invasion, Hunt wrote a book “Give Us This Day,” in which castigated JFK’s Cuba policy as “shame-faced.”
Was Hunt involved in a JFK assassination conspiracy?
His son St. John Hunt thought so. But the question cannot be answered definitively because the CIA retains six files containing 332 pages of material on Hunt, according to the National Archives’ online JFK data base,