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April, 2007



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BY Larry Kelley

Men Of War
"Let us go away together, away from the anger and imperatives of men. We shall find a secluded bower where they dare not venture. There will be only the two of us and we shall linger through long afternoons of sweet retirement."
--Lynn Cheney, wife of Dick, from her book "Sisters"

Maybe the Anna Nicole Smith Drama overshadowed his death, but the passing of Super Spook E. Howard Hunt in January was barely mentioned in the "mainstream media." Even more obscure are the recent-eye-popping assertions by Hunt's two sons concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, namely that "rogue CIA agents" who had approached carried it out Hunt to be part of the operation.
"But he declined," according to Hunt's son, Howard St. John Hunt, now 52, in a recent Los Angeles Times story by Carol Williams, who writes that the son was instructed by dad in 1974 "to back up an alibi" as to Hunt's whereabouts on the day JFK was assassinated in Dallas.

The Warren Commission contradicted much of its own evidence in1964, concluding lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, but in '76 the House Committee on Assassinations concluded that Kennedy "probably" was killed by a conspiracy.

Hunt, 88, the convicted Watergate burglar and organizer of the CIA's Bay of Pigs fiasco in '61, always maintained he was at home in Maryland on Nov. 22, 1963 and in 1981 he won a $650,000 libel suit against a magazine which had accused him of involvement in the assassination.

The verdict and award were appealed and overturned at retrial after witnesses swore they had seen Hunt in Dallas on November 22. A jury decided in January '95 that the magazine had not been guilty of libel when it suggested that people working for the CIA killed JFK. Interviewed by Slate in '04, Hunt had "no comment" when asked where he was on the day of the assassination.

"I did a lot of lying for my father," St. John says. "He told me in no uncertain terms about a plot originating in Miami, to take place in Miami," and that his father had "speculated" that vice president Lyndon Johnson was responsible for moving the assassination to Dallas, "where the Texan could control the security scene," writes Miller.

Hunt's claim to fame in Dallas is his resemblance to one of the three "tramps" photographed while being arrested at the scene of the assassination and later released without so much as identification, according to Dallas police.

His other notoriety, as a convicted Watergate burglar under President Richard Nixon in '72, is remembered fondly as a father-son bonding experience by St. John: "A sweating and disheveled E. Howard Hunt raised his 19-year-old son from a dead sleep," writes Miller, and together they wiped fingerprints from surveillance equipment used in the burglary, packed it into suitcases and dumped the evidence into the Potomac River just before dawn on June 17, 1972.

St, John and his brother David, insist their father related to them a detailed plot to assassinate Kennedy and that the story was worth "big money," But Hunt's memoirs, "American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond," {Wiley} released in March, falls short of definitive by offering a "hypothetical scenario" on how events in Dallas might have unfolded, with Johnson "atop a pyramid of CIA plotters," says Miller.

The JFK information was cut from the memoir, the brothers say, because Hunt's attorney warned he could face perjury charges if he recanted sworn testimony. After death?

Williams says the brothers have videotape on which Hunt names people as being "possibly involved."

* * *
On his recent trip to Mexico and Latin America, Bush visited Mayan ruins in the village of Iximche, after which, AP reports, Mayan priests decided to purify the sacred archeological site "to eliminate bad spirits," according to Juan Tinney, director of a Mayan non-governmental organization.

Bush had said he was making the trip "to show that our nation is generous and compassionate" but failed to mention he had cut aid to Latin America by 10 percent.

In Guatamala, George and Laura handed out hygiene kits to an elementary school and at a farmer's market, George helped load lettuce onto trucks headed for the global market. Later, Bush said the truck-loading was "one of the great experiences of my presidency."

At a press conference recently, he was asked what was his most memorable achievement as president and he replied, "catching a nine and a half pound carp" while fishing with his father. Maybe the president should aim a bit higher.

* * *
An American soldier was sentenced to 10 years in prison last month for ordering the killings of three Iraqi detainees who were ordered to run before being shot, officials at Fort Campbell in Kentucky said. Sgt. Raymond Girouard, 24, of Sweetwater, Tenn., denied ordering the slayings, but said he was under orders to "kill all men of military age," reports Reuters. Is this in the military code of conduct?

The U.S. State Department is offering a $25 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Osama bin Laden (remember him?). How 'bout this: Go to the next meeting of the Board of Directors of the Carlyle Group (they sell weapons of destruction) and arrest the bin Laden family which sits on the board with the Bush family, put them in prison without telling anyone or charging them with a crime, and torture them (humanely, of course) until they talk. The president says this usually works. Send my $25 million to the Coastal Post, in cash, on pallets. Don will keep it safe for me.

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