Sunday, March 30, 2014

History - Nixon's Plumbers Tap More Pipes

Jeff Stein provides new information that suggests the Nixon White House may have bugged the Pentagon telephones of senior American military officials.

Why is this man laughing?
Stein managed to track down Dave Mann, a former member of the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Force, who in 1971 stumbled upon a classified report claiming that listening bug signals had been detected emanating from offices in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The signals had been picked up by a technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) team during a routine sweep of the Pentagon, in search of unauthorized interception devices. 

Mann ran some tests to verify the TSCM team’s report, and discovered that the bug signals originated from the personal office telephone line of General William Westmoreland, who was then the US Army’s Chief of Staff.  He also discovered that the telephone of his assistant had been compromised, as well as the telephone lines belonging to the US Army’s assistant secretary, its logistics director, and at least one general. 

Mann’s personal conclusion was that the phone lines were most likely bugged with the cooperation of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, which was at that the time considered an operational wing of the FBI, under Director J. Edgar Hoover...

Mann, who is now semi-retired from the military and lives in Tennessee, told Stein that “there was a lot —and I mean a lot— of pressure to prove GRAPPLE TRIP to be a fluke or a miswired telephone”. Which is precisely what happened: the investigation concluded that the bug signals were emitted due to “crossed wires in the telephone system”.  (more)