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Robert Merritt and the Scandal That Dare Not Speak Its Name PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Hougan   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 14:03

from: http://jimhougan.com/

Robert Merritt and the Scandal That Dare Not Speak Its Name

By Jim Hougan

Nearly 40 years after the Watergate arrests, a former police spy has published a book in which he makes extraordinary claims about the FBI’s COINTEL program and, just as sensationally, the supposed dismantling of the Nixon Administration by a Pentagon spy-ring.[1]

Watergate Exposed is the biography of a “Confidential Informant” named Robert Merritt, as told to one of the lawyers for the Watergate burglars. It is not a very good book, or even a very reliable one. But it may be a mistake to ignore it. Among other things, Merritt claims to have tipped off the police in advance of the June 17th Watergate break-in, to have participated with police and Pentagon agents in the drugging, kidnapping and blackmailing of a senior CIA lawyer, while also having a hand in the poisoning of more than 100 antiwar demonstrators.

***

The story begins in the tradition of the bildungsroman, with the young Merritt leaving an unhappy home in West Virginia, only to wash up at a Trailways bus station in the nation’s capital. A good-looking kid with few, if any, moral inhibitions, it was apparently only a matter of minutes before he concluded a sex-for-hospitality arrangement with an employee at the bus station. With his domestic situation efficiently sorted, Merritt then went looking for more gainful employment, and soon found it as a post-mortem technician in a local hospital. His job? Removing the hearts from the cadavers of children for use in a government study.

The work seems not to have bothered him overly much. He toiled at it for two years before he found what became his life’s calling. In January, 1970, while cruising the city’s “artsy” Dupont Circle neighborhood, Merritt attracted the attention of an undercover police detective named Carl Shoffler.

No ordinary cop, Shoffler was a born conspirator, forever setting traps for the wicked. Affable and very intelligent, he was a veteran of the Army Security Agency and its “listening post” at the Vint Hill Farm station in Northern Virginia. Working closely with the National Security Agency (NSA), Vint Hill was an antennae farm whose classified mission was to intercept Soviet Bloc radio transmissions - as well as communications among antiwar organizations, radical groups and left-wing think-tanks headquartered in the capital.

To an undercover cop like Shoffler, whose official responsibilities shifted between Vice and Intelligence, Merritt was quite the prize.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 24 July 2011 14:07
 
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