Saturday, June 16, 2012
Liddy's secretary, Sally Harmony, testifying to the Ervin Committee:
Committee Counsel Sam Dash: Did you ever prepare a pass for McGovern headquarters for Mr. Liddy?
Sally Harmony: The day of June 16, right in the afternoon, Mr. Liddy was looking for some stationery which he couldn't find. We Xeroxed and made a sample of McGovern letterhead which I dictated in a memo to be typed.
Q: And what was the nature of the message on it?
A. The nature of the message, it was to whom it may concern, and it was "this will authorize the bearer to enter premises" for some such reason.
Q: Did it have a signature attached to it?
A: I I was asked to put the initials GH/W/JP as the secretary would type something.
Q: What about the signature to the pass?
A: The signature was signed [McGovern campaign manager] Gary Hart with the initials like a secretary would sign it.
Q: Who signed that"
A: I did.
It's June 16. As you can see, the plan for the weekend still involves getting into McGovern HQ; it also involves going back into the DNC, beginning that night.
The burglars come up from Miami that day: Bernard Barker, Eugenio Martinez, Frank Sturgis, and Virgilio Gonzalez. The plan is that they'll go with McCord, who will fix the broken bug, while they find O'Brien's files and photograph tons of documents.
Problems? Oh, there were problems. Liddy and McCord met with Thomas Gregory, their plant inside McGovern headquarters, but (and here I'm back to Emery's narrative mostly) he told them he was finished with it.
(Emery: "Nobody seemed concerned that Gregory knew a great deal and that he had explained why he wanted out to the man who introduced him to Hunt, Robert Bennett, boss of the Mullen Company." Robert Bennett? Yup, the same Bob Bennett who years later was defeated for renomination to the Senate in a major Tea Party victory).
Meanwhile, muckraking columnist Jack Anderson, having not been killed by Liddy, was in the airport and ran into Sturgis, who he knew. Anderson "made a mental note to find out what Sturgis was up to."
And the plotters over at the listening room at the Howard Johnson's are trying to make sure that the bug will work this time, running out frequently to local stores for additional supplies. Emery: "Baldwin was sent out to buy some flashlight batteries but failed to find speaker wire, which was also on the shopping list; McCord went out to get it himself. He left the inexpert Baldwin -- who had a phone tap log still in his typewriter -- to solder the batteries in series...Within seconds Baldwin had melted the whole lot uselessly together.
They're planning to go in that night. Does it sound, perhaps, not quite the most professional thing you've ever heard? Did I mention that (in those pre-mobile days) McCord brought six walkie-talkies, but the batteries were dead in two of them?
The plan, as usual, was to go in as soon as the offices were quiet, but alas -- and speaking of pre-mobile -- a volunteer was in the office late to make free calls on the office WATS line.
So midnight June 16 comes with everyone sitting around waiting for the all clear so they can go back into the DNC offices at the Watergate, which McCord gives at 12:45 AM on June 17.
Posted by Jonathan Bernstein at 8:49 PM