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Allegations regarding "Butch" Merritt, Watergate, Intelligence Agencies and "Crimson Rose, " Vol. III

 By Kris Millegan

Agnostics for Nixon, Part Two


…"the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah because these people are plugging for, for keeps and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don't go any further into this case," period!
                                                                                                                              — President Nixon, White House Tapes, June 23, 1972


The evidence for Nixon being, by trade, a blackmailer is not very hard to find. It seemed second nature to him. Blackmail, as shown in the above transcript, was a way to solve things.

The use of blackmail as a tactic, was so much of his personality that it appeared to be mirrored back to him in his loyal aides:

HR “Bob Haldeman: You may just blackmail [former President Lyndon] Johnson on this stuff

President Nixon: What?

Haldeman: You can blackmail Johnson on this stuff, and it might be worth doing.

President Nixon: How?

Haldeman: The bombing-halt stuff is all in the same file. Or in some of the same hands.


Haldeman: We have a basic history of it constructed our own, but the—there is a file on it.

President Nixon: Where?

Haldeman: [White House Aide Tom Charles] Huston swears to God there’s a file on it at [the] Brookings [Institution].

Kissinger: I wouldn’t be surprised.                              

President Nixon: All right, all right, all right. Do you remember—

Haldeman: In the hands of the same kind—

President Nixon: Bob—

Haldeman: —the same people.

President Nixon: Bob, now you remember Huston’s plan? Implement it.

Kissinger: But couldn’t we go over—now, Brookings has no right to have classified documents.

President Nixon: [Unclear—overlapping voices.] You know, I mean, I want it implemented on a thievery basis. Goddamn it, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.

Haldeman: They may very well have cleaned them by now, with this thing getting to—

Kissinger: Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brookings had the files.

Haldeman: Well, my point is, Johnson knows that those files are around. He doesn’t know for sure that we don’t have them.

Kissinger: But what good will it do you, the bombing-halt file?

Haldeman: The bombing halt—

President Nixon: To blackmail him—

Haldeman: —the bombing halt—

President Nixon: —because he used the bombing halt for political purposes.

Conversation 525-001, June 17, 1971, Oval Office



President Nixon meets with chief advisers in the Oval Office, 03/13/1970


Nixon had no problem blackmailing a former President of the United States.

So what is blackmail?

According to Wiki:

Blackmail is the act of threatening to reveal substantially true information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. This information is usually of an embarrassing, socially damaging, and/or incriminating nature. As the information is substantially true, the act of revealing the information may not be criminal in its own right nor amount to a civil law defamation; it is the making of demands in exchange for withholding the information that is often considered a crime. English Law creates a much broader definition of blackmail, covering any unwarranted demands with menaces, whether involving revealing information or not. However, from a libertarian perspective, blackmail is not always considered a crime. Some libertarians point out that it is licit to gossip about someone else's secret, to threaten to publicly reveal such information, and to ask that person for money, but it is illegal to combine the threat with the request for money, which raises the question, "Why do two rights make a wrong?"

Blackmail is a form of extortion, in which a threat is made to disclose a crime or social disgrace. Extortion is the taking of personal property by threat of future harm.

18 U.S.C. § 873 states, "Whoever, under a threat of informing, or as a consideration for not informing, against any violation of any law of the United States, demands or receives any money or other valuable thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."


There are two elements to the criminal offense of extortion in Washington, D.C.  First, the person needs to obtain or seek to obtain the property of another with the person’s consent.  Second, the other person’s consent needs to have been coerced through “actual or threatened violence or by wrongful threat of economic injury.”

Blackmail also has two elements.  The first relates to criminal intent.  That is, the person needs to intend to obtain property from someone else or to cause the other person to do or refrain from doing something.  Second, in order to achieve the intended goal, the person needs to threaten either:  (1) to accuse the other person of a crime, (2) to expose a secret or asserted fact that could subject the other person to “hatred, contempt, or ridicule,” or (3) to damage the other person’s reputation.

The maximum penalty for a conviction for extortion is a $10,000 fine and/or imprisonment for 10 years.  The maximum penalty for blackmail is a $1000 fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 5 years.  D.C. Criminal Code 22-3251; D.C. Criminal Code 22-3252.


Well, there are those that say the President is above the law.

Just for a sidebar giggle look at the below, kind of ironic:

Accession Number : AD0672250
Personal Author(s) : Ellsberg, Daniel
Handle / proxy Url :
Report Date : JUL 1968
Pagination or Media Count : 41
Abstract : An examination of the anatomy of blackmail, policy, risks, deterrence, the scope, the art of.
Subject Categories : PSYCHOLOGY
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE


Aha, it’s not a crime, it’s a strategy. Strategy trumps ethics it appears.

OK, so what, President Nixon was a blackmailer. He was a bad man and went bye-bye. Yippee!

Well, not quite, you see in blackmail, you have at least two sides, the blackmailer and the person or persons getting blackmailed, and sometimes even more sides. First the blackmail itself may have a side, especially if the blackmail is a person, instead of some tape or other incriminating evidence, and then there may be others that discover the blackmail and hijack the operation for their own ends.

The blackmailed person, what do they do? Do they simply submit and give the blackmailer whatever they want? Forever?

Or could a blackmailed person figure out how to use the situation to their best advantage. Because once a person blackmails someone, they are now involved in a symbiotic relationship beyond, “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Their secrets become your secrets, their future becomes your future, their friends become your “friends.” If the blackmailer uses his dirt, he kills the goose that lays his golden eggs.


Ike and his best golfing buddy, Prescott Bush

How did Nixon’s star rise so fast? Elected to the US House and six years later vice-president of the United States. I don’t think it was his LA mob friends that got him all the press and juicy gigs. Speaking of juice, Nixon sure kept giving out plums to George Herbert Walker Bush, Prescott’s boy. After losing a US senate race, George was appointed to serve as the US Ambassador to the UN, then, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and the very first envoy to China. I am sure the jobs came because of Bush’s vast experience.

Bush was considered for the position of Vice-President under Gerald Ford, eventually accepting to serve as the Director of Central Intelligence, another job Bush received even though his résumé for the position was rather thin.

Back to blackmail and Watergate, there was an interesting squiggle before the Watergate Scandal took down President Nixon, The Townhouse Affair, where a White House Staffer working out of a basement took in money, put it in the bank, converted it to cashier checks and distributed it to Republican faithful.

The strangest part was when higher-ups had that staffer, Jack Gleason, flying around the country giving an extra $6,000 in cash-stuffed envelopes directly to candidates, with the message, “From Dick and Pat.”

Gleason testified in 1973 to the Watergate Special Prosecutor:

The purpose of these contributions was to set up possible blackmail for these candidates later on.


Russ Baker in Family Secrets (highly recommended) looked into the Townhouse affair deeply and came away with a thesis, with evidence backing it up, that the Townhouse affair hadn’t been directed by Nixon and was used to embroil him in a scandal, that wasn’t sexy enough to garner attention, but the next act, Watergate, hit a home run and Nixon was gone.

Russ Baker, author of Family Secrets states:

I found that the very people who created Nixon and used him to advance their own political interests ended up destroying him.

But why get rid of Nixon then, why risk the exposure? What was going on?

Watergate was all about endgame, but the warm-up activities were intriguing. And the game itself wasn’t exactly an organic event. Watergate was psy-op.

As John Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”



to be continued …

Written by Kris Millegan   

Allegations regarding "Butch" Merritt, Watergate, Intelligence Agencies and "Crimson Rose, " Commentary No. II

By Kris Millegan

Agnostics for Nixon, Part One

I am being the devil’s advocate …
                                                                         —President Nixon, White House Tapes, March 13, 1973

Richard Milhous Nixon tried to be his own man, yes, sometimes he was the creature of others, but at the end of the day, he attempted to run his own show … and lost. You see, Tricky Dicky was a blackmailer.

Nixon’s political career began when he was elected to the 80th Congress in 1947 along with 107 other freshmen representatives, including future rival John F. Kennedy, future speaker Carl Albert and future senators Jacob Javitts and George Smathers. There they joined future president Lyndon Johnson, who had been in the House since 1939. In 1949 LBJ moved on to the Senate, just when another future president Gerald Ford showed up to serve in the House of Representatives.

Nixon1947July 1947 – Washington, DC – Senator Richard M. Nixon sitting at table during Congressional appraisal on Un-American Activities Committee.


Just as Richard Nixon tells several different stories about where he was when President Kennedy was assassination, there are several different tales about how Nixon became involved in politics.

In the 1979 Memoirs of Richard Nixon, he writes about receiving a letter from the manager of the Whittier branch of the Bank of America, Herman Perry:

Dear Dick, Do you want to run for the Republican ticket? Airmail me your reply.

HL Perry

And at the Nixon Library website they glorify the anniversary date of the famous letter as September 29, 1945 and Nixon’s reply of October 6, 1945, where he writes, “I feel very strongly that Jerry Voorhis can be beaten and I’d welcome the opportunity to take a crack at him.” The website states “Nixon was a young up-and-coming attorney, a graduate of Duke University Law School, and a naval officer during World War II who had returned to his hometown of Whittier to work at an established law firm”

Conrad Black writes in 2008 in Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full, that Nixon telephone Perry on October 1st and then wrote his letter on October 2.

In Nixon by Nixon admirer Ralph De Toledano written in 1956, we learn about an ad placed in 26 newspapers by a Committee of One Hundred Men:

WANTED -- Congressman candidate with no previous political experience to defeat a man who has represented the district in the House for ten years. Any young man, resident of district, preferably a veteran, fair education, no political strings or obligations and possessor of a few ideas for betterment of country at large may apply for the job. Applicants will be reviewed by 100 interested citizens who will guarantee support but will not obligate the candidate in any way.

De Toledano’s Nixon says the first contact was by phone, that Nixon received a telephone call from Perry, and was he asked "Are you a Republican and are you available?," while Nixon was still living in Maryland and in the Navy. 


What did Nixon do in the Navy? Again there are many different versions.


Written by Kris Millegan   
By Douglas Caddy

“I must tell you that I am disturbed about what we don’t know about the Watergate break-in and that I am convinced that what we don’t know about the Watergate break-in may well be more important than what we do know twenty years after.”
-- Howard Liebengood, Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, in an A&E Investigative Report “The Key to Watergate” broadcast in 1992

When in early 1977 I began reading an article in the national gay publication, The Advocate, I had no inkling that 39 years later my doing so would lead to unraveling what really happened in Watergate. Watergate was mostly a spent scandal, or so I thought, as did most Americans. It began with five burglars being arrested inside the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Office complex on June 17, 1972, and ended with twelve men being sent to prison for the break-in and subsequent cover-up and with President Richard Nixon being forced to resign from office in disgrace.
The Advocate published the lengthy article, “Revelations of a Gay Informant” in two parts in its February 23 and March 9, 1977 issues. The subject of the revelations was Robert “Butch” Merritt, who in January 1970 at the age of 26 had been recruited by the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department to become a Confidential Informant (CI). Soon thereafter the FBI and other law enforcement agencies also enrolled him as a CI. Over time, his handlers would order him to infiltrate, disrupt and spy on hundreds of organizations and individuals that they, or “the government”, had arbitrarily targeted as threats to national security. The list is long and diverse and includes groups such as the New left, liberal, right-wing, Nazi, women’s lib, homosexual, and civil rights and individuals ranging from Members of Congress to Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy.
Washington Police Detective Carl Shoffler was the officer who enrolled Robert Merritt as a CI. Shoffler would become famous some two years later as the police officer who arrested the five Watergate burglars. His true role in Watergate will be explained shortly – one which turns the entire scandal on its head. 
As I read The Advocate article I was overwhelmed with the amount of detail it contained about Merritt’s CI activities as told by Merritt himself. As I neared its end I was startled to read the following:
“Two days after the Watergate burglary, Carl Shoffler (one of Merritt’s former police contacts) turned up with Sgt. [Paul] Leeper (these officers had been two of the three to have arrested the burglars) with what Merritt recalls as an offer of ‘the biggest, most important assignment’ he’d ever had.
“The officers, Merritt said, asked if he knew one of the Watergate attorneys. ‘They said he was gay.’ Merritt did not. ‘They asked if I could get to know him. I asked them why. ‘We’d like you to get as close to him as possible,’ they said, ‘to find out all you can about his private life, even what he eats.’ Merritt says he explained that even if the attorney was gay, it wouldn’t be likely that he could arrange to meet him. The officers, Merritt asserts, offered him the ‘money to frequent the type of place a well-to-do homosexual might visit. They said I would be paid quite well, that they weren’t talking about dimes and quarters that they were talking about ‘really big money.”
“Merritt says he refused the offer, but the police kept returning to him with the same request, as late as December 1972, months after the police claimed to have ended their Watergate investigation.”
I was surprised because I realized that I was the gay attorney who had been targeted, even though my name was not mentioned. This was the first time I became aware that my sexuality was mentioned in connection with my being the attorney for the five arrested burglars, and for Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, who were not arrested at the crime scene. I was shocked because, although I was sexually active, I had fastidiously remained closeted. Even my employers over the years, closest friends and college roommates did not know I was gay. 
I was to learn decades later that Merritt had discussed my being gay in another lengthy interview that he gave to The Daily Rag, a respected alternative Washington, D.C. newspaper, long before The Advocate story appeared. Its October 5-12, 1973, issue carried the banner headline, “FBI Informer Confesses.” Its opening paragraph trumpeted, “With the disclosure of Robert Merritt’s role as an FBI and Metropolitan Police informer, the reality of police surveillance of active community groups and illegal police activity in the District is confirmed. Such groups as the D.C. Statehood Party, RAP, Common Cause, Off Our Backs, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Gay Activists Alliance have been under surveillance. While the information Merritt provides on widespread police intelligence is substantial, it leaves open many questions as to what else is going on.”
Further inside the article the word “Watergate” appears outlined in a black box with the following written underneath it:
“What was your contact with the Watergate affair?” The article continued…
“In June 1972, a few days after the Watergate break-in and arrests, MPDC Intelligence [Officers Carl] Shoffler and [Paul] Leeper approached me and tried to get me to do one last job. They said it was the most important thing I had ever done, that it was for my country….
“They wanted me to get close to Douglas Caddy [the lawyer for the burglars caught inside the Watergate], who was gay. They wanted me to get to know him socially, sexually or any other way. They said he had been born in Cuba, that he liked Cubans and was associated with communist causes.
“Sgts. Shoffler and Leeper were among the arresting officers of the burglars inside Watergate, and one of the first witnesses before the Senate Watergate Committee. Leeper testified second and Shoffler third, if memory serves. 
“When Leeper was on the stand, I saw him on television, he was asked one question at the end of his testimony, ‘have there been any attempts at further investigation of the break-in?’ He answered ‘no.’ That was not true.”
I had not seen the article in The Daily Rag when it was published in 1973. However, after I read the article in The Advocate in 1977, I said to myself that Merritt undoubtedly had an incredible story to tell about Watergate. Yet the years rolled by without reading anything further about what he might know. Then out of the blue in May 2008, I received a telephone call from Merritt who wanted to know if I would help him write a book about what he knew – and the world did not know – about Watergate. I agreed without hesitation because in the back of my mind I still felt he had something vitally important to say. My only proviso was that the book also had to carry my own story about Watergate, which had never been fully or accurately reported. 
So we began work on the book, which was published by TrineDay earlier this year. Its title is Watergate Exposed: How the President of the United States and the Watergate Burglars Were Set Up as told to me as original attorney for the Watergate Seven by Merritt in his capacity as a CI to the FBI and Washington, D.C. Police Department.
Written by watergateexposed   


Allegations regarding "Butch" Merritt, Watergate, Intelligence Agencies and "Crimson Rose, " Vol.  I

The Dynamics of Sophistication – Part One

The past is never dead: it is not even the past.
                                               — William Faulkner

How does the world work? What is our true history? Who really runs the show? Does it matter? Exploring the many channels flowing under, around and through Watergate, reflections of these seeming eternal quandaries appear … while also giving us an appreciation for the tale – backed up by government documents – “Butch” Merritt tells.

Information was and still is Butch’s stock in trade. He is privy to actions that were not meant for public consumption, and by design his claims are easily dismissed. We will need to rigorously examine what he says, and delve into the whirlwinds around seminal events he witnessed and was a participant in. “Confidential informants” aren’t born, they are chosen. Gleaned from society’s underbelly, their lifestyle covers any tracks or threats … an inbred cloak of denial, disavow and disengagement. Time-hardened tactics, straight out of Spook School 101.


O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing

The tale of Watergate carries many aspects of the old Buddhist proverb about the elephant and the blind men. Need-to-know players with competing agendas hoodwinking the populace, the press … and each other.

When Merritt and Douglas Caddy brought their manuscript to TrineDay in 2010, I was well accustomed to receiving books from authors that were having trouble getting their work published: the reason for TrineDay’s existence.

During my first read of Watergate Exposed I could see that Merritt’s tale dredged up more questions than it answered, and then more puzzles were added with Merritt’s latest revelations about an alleged secret 400-page eyes-only CIA report named Crimson Rose, purported to be “liberated” by the US military.

Although a definitive picture of Watergate, like our metaphorical elephant, has been drawn and redrawn in many conflicting ways, confusing us about what it was all about, one conclusion cannot be argued: Watergate changed our political, social and journalistic landscapes.

There was a pregame show, some of it set in lands far, far away and much of it happening years before. Watergate was also a directed action: “We have a cancer within – close to the presidency, that's growing … (1) we're being blackmailed.” But ultimately, Watergate was all about endgame, at least that is my take.

Starting with the Ides of March 2011, until the official release date of Watergate Exposed on April 5, TrineDay will be posting daily research and commentary into the deep politics surrounding Watergate and Merritt’s revelations, exposing our hidden history and showing the relevance to today’s corruption.

Kris Millegan
March 14, 2011


Cesar-sa_mortytto be continued ...
Written by Kris Millegan   
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