Lawrence Dunning has been writing and selling fiction–novels and short stories–for more years than he cares to admit. So far, publication has amounted to three novels in the suspense/espionage/thriller category–two of which have been republished under the Authors Guild BackinPrint.com program–and some 35 short stories published in literary journals, many of which have been included in a new book of short stories titled Rondo and Fugue for Two Pianos. Along the way he has garnered various awards for his writing, among them three Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand awards for short stories and the listing of two of his stories in annual Best American Short Stories selections of the 100 best short stories published in the previous year. He has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
[The following are the diaries (redacted) of Nelson Courtney English III discovered by his daughter Sarah Vanderbilt English after his death by suicide on September 10, 1993.]
Monday, 8 July 1940--Interview with William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan this morning went extremely well, and am now officially an associate of the prestigious law firm of Donovan Leisure Newton & Lumbard. Offices are at 2 Wall Street, near the Stock Exchange--couldn't be better, especially for a fellow who just passed the New York Bar last month. "Wild Bill"--I had the gall to ask him point-blank--was the nickname hung on him in the Great War in 1917, when he served under Black Jack Pershing. "The year you were born," he laughed this morning--he'd obviously checked my vitae. Right off the bat he asked me what my politics were, and though it was none of his business I told him Republican. He said that was his, too, and that in his neck of the woods where he grew up in Buffalo everybody was Republican. I told him in my neck of the woods, too, but a different neck, mine of course being Main Line Philadelphia. He asked me if we'd had servants. I told him two maids. He said in his family the women tended to be maids, and that the men worked in factories and drank a lot. He obviously prides himself on his humble origins--I'll have to remember to key into that when the occasion arises in days to come. He graduated Columbia Law and said he drank a lot but held it better than most. I said I'd match my alcohol intake at Yale with his at Columbia any day. He laughed and said he thought we'd get along just fine--he shook my hand and called me Nelson, and I had to tell him that I preferred Courtney or actually Court, between friends. He said to call him Bill. He offered me a choice of bourbon or Scotch from his private office bar and I of course took Scotch. We toasted my acceptance into the firm. I have to feel that, at age 23, I am well on my way up the legal ladder of success, having gotten so well connected at the outset.
Wednesday, 18 September 1940--Work with Donovan going better than I could have expected--I seem to be a kind of protégé of his, which cannot be bad for my career. I've noted down several things he's told me over the last month or so--they seem to be his guiding principles and thus I should make them mine. For example: "Be somewhat reserved, with an agreeable manner, a sense of humor, and a pleasing speaking voice. No need to be a courtroom bully--you can get your way with a jury by being charming but forceful and absolutely fearless." And again: "Know the value of theater. Be soft-spoken and impeccably dressed. State your main point as a single, powerful, incontrovertible point, and repeat that point as often as necessary, until it becomes canon for the judge and jury." In fact, Bill dresses more handsomely than anyone I've ever known--he patronizes only the best tailors, shirtmakers, and cobblers both here and in Europe. He travels in the highest style and stays in only the best suites in the best hotels. He knows everyone, and everyone knows him. He told me the other day that this is the only way to live a decent life. I agreed wholeheartedly.
Sunday, 7 December 1941--The Japanese bombed the U.S. fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, today. The country is at war--can Germany be far behind? I have no desire to volunteer for fighting--let others who lead miserable lives anyway take care of it. Perhaps, if inevitable, there will be a chance for a commission and some decent rank for me through Donovan's great influence. Roosevelt, pig-headed as ever, should have kept us out of it, but too late now, I fear.
Tuesday, 8 September 1942--Donovan asked me and several others from the firm to join him in the super-secret Office of Strategic Services, doing intelligence-gathering and spy work, apparently. Initial rank of First Lieutenant in the Army, with guaranteed promotion to Captain if the war lasts that long. Donovan told us he's mostly relying on his friends and associates among attorneys, bankers, industrialists, and conservative academics to staff the new organization. He feels lawyers, in particular, have a duty to contribute some of their time to public service. While I do not feel as strongly about this as he, I agreed to join the OSS as he asked, since the alternative might very well be conscription as an enlisted man.
Sunday, 11 October 1942--Reported to OSS headquarters in Washington at the old National Institute of Health building at 25th and E streets on 1 October, and was sent the next day for training at a special OSS school at the well-guarded Congressional Country Club outside DC. I will be here for at least another few weeks, perhaps longer. This spy business is more interesting than I thought, and most of the people going through training with me seem to be the same sort of chaps--most come from wealthy, conservative Republican, socially prominent families, and most attended Ivy League schools and belonged to the same clubs we all did (even ran into a couple of Bones men here). We've already been told to expect a certain amount of ostracism from the regular uniformed services--they apparently refer to the OSS as "Oh-So-Secret" or "Oh-So-Social." But Donovan has Roosevelt's ear, and wields more influence than almost any General (he holds the rank of Colonel). I foresee being extremely busy over the next months and may therefore not have the free time for regular or frequent notations in the diary, but will do my best.
Wednesday, 9 February 1944--London weather continues beastly but should be used to it by now, having been here almost a year. Did have a spot of luck last Friday, running into a fellow I knew slightly at Yale--James Angleton. He was more the literary type, edited a little poetry magazine that published Ezra Pound, among others. His English prof steered him into OSS--he'd been in London scarcely a fortnight when we ran into each other by accident. We're both Captains--he in X-2 (Counterespionage) while I of course am in Secret Intelligence (SI)--but our jobs at the moment are similar, namely, to work closely with British Secret Intelligence Services (SIS). We seemed to hit it off immediately, agreeing that we were happy doing what we're doing instead of being assigned to SO--the Special Operations boys who do all the dirty work of parachuting into occupied territories, contacting the Resistance leaders to help them carry out sabotage and assassination. Angleton was married not long ago but that seems not to bother him, since his wife is a very long distance away. In the way of OSS business I introduced him to a Brit named Kim Philby, who is head of the Soviet Section in our counterpart MI6. Well-bred, Cambridge, knows all the right people in England and all over, and besides, a delightful drinking companion. When we're not winning the war for good old Uncle Sam, drinking is in fact our major preoccupation. Living in this abominable climate, it is easy to see why so many Brits are rummies.
Sunday, 26 March 1944--Last night went to a party in Kensington Crescent with Jim Angleton and Philby and Angleton's Yale mentor. Met an incredible roster of literary and musical luminaries, including T.S. Eliot, Benjamin Britten, Graham Greene, E.M. Forster, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. French champagne, Norwegian caviar, Irish berries in cream. One would never think there was a war going on.
Thursday, 19 October 1944--J.A. (my good friend and compatriot Jim) off to the X-2 resource in Italy, which country he knows well from youthful residence in Milan where his father ran Italian branch of NCR. I shall miss him, miss our long lunches and dinners together eating and drinking the best that wartime Britain has to offer--poor at best. The night before his departure we had a last fling at our favorite watering hole near Hyde Park--the maitre d' obliged with blackout curtains until 4 a.m. J.A. very nearly missed his transport to the airfield later on.
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Tuesday, 8 May 1945--So-called V-E Day (victory in Europe) as Germany surrenders. There is still the Japanese thing in the Pacific, but that seems to be winding down. Perhaps this frustrating and destructive war can finally be brought to a close with the forces of decency the victors. Allied compromises with Russia, however, remain a problem.
Wednesday, 15 August 1945–After we destroyed two large cities–Hiroshima and Nagasaki–with some new weapon called an atomic bomb, Japan has surrendered and World War II ends. So far there are only rumblings about a timetable for mustering out the U.S. forces, but I am eager to return to the practice of law. Donovan has indicated to his former associates that we will all have jobs when we return to civilian life; I, however, have my own grand plans for the eventual formation of my own legal firm. This war has taken three years out of my productive life, though I've met several fellows in the OSS who will perhaps prove invaluable to me later in a business way.
Saturday, 29 September 1945--Most of us, the scattered troops of the OSS, have been returning to Washington DC for the past month or so. A week ago President Truman abolished the Office of Strategic Services effective 1 October. Bill Donovan called a meeting this evening of all OSS employees at the Riverside Skating Rink, one of the OSS's DC properties, primarily to announce his resignation but also to thank us all for the work we've done toward ending the war. The crowd was subdued--there were more than a few tears shed, and sadness at the end of camaraderie was the theme of most of the speeches. Donovan's was the most impressive, leading us to believe that he would continue to fight for a national policy based upon accurate foreign information. He very much wants a peacetime national intelligence service, and I believe that before long we shall indeed see such an organization.
Sunday, 25 November 1945--These are crazy, jubilant days in Washington since the war's end. I am to be mustered out of Army next month, in time for Christmas (I hope). Last night at a wild Georgetown party I met a beautiful girl named Adele Bourchier, who oddly enough had been working for the OSS-connected Office of War Information (OWI) in New York. Not only is she pretty, but her father is the wealthy heir of a French arms manufacturing family who emigrated to New Haven after WW I and founded the hugely successful American branch of the French bank Credit Lyonnaise. He also, as it happens, married into the Vanderbilt family--Adele's mother. She is 23, five years younger than I, which is just about perfect. She kisses well and, when drunk, pets to a point, but is adamant about not going further before marriage. At least no jocko has been there before me. All in all, a girl worth pursuing.
Tuesday, 25 December 1945--Gave Adele a $3000 emerald necklace for Christmas which we both took to be a sort of engagement present, though the actual words were not spoken. At any rate I can afford it, thanks to my association once again with Bill Donovan's law firm.
Sunday, 16 June 1946--Adele and I married yesterday, 2 p.m., in a small but elaborate ceremony at her parents' summer place in West Yarmouth on Cape Cod. Both sets of parents (mine did not attend, the bastards, but at least gave us the first year's rent on our upper East Side apartment as a wedding gift) seem pleased that we have each married well. Drank too much champagne, could not consummate the vows sexually when we reached our hotel here in Bermuda, but finally did this morning. True to her word, Adele was a virgin--the sheets were a mess and had to be replaced posthaste. I am now desperate to go out for a drink but Adele seems to want to do it again.
Monday, 28 July 1947--Over the weekend Pres. Truman signed into law the National Security Act which creates the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the logical successor to the OSS. However, in true Democratic fashion he messed it up, mandating that the Director of Central Intelligence would work closely with Truman's National Security Council--in other words, hog-tying the CIA for purely political reasons. Donovan is livid over this--Truman, of course, no friend of his.
Wednesday, 16 November 1949--As Adele now 4½ months pregnant, I've contracted to purchase an 8-room cooperative apartment on Fifth Avenue near 63rd--an excellent address--and have promised the movers a bonus to get us in before Thanksgiving, a week from tomorrow. But as they are all union, they take their sweet Jesus time about it.
Friday, 24 March 1950--Adele huge with child, and per her expressed wishes, no sex since mid-January. I despise this situation. She is ugly to look at and her temperament has changed to coincide. I now fully understand those married men who do not wish to sire children. One piece of luck--Adele's friends assure her that carrying the fetus high almost certainly means a boy. It had better!
Sunday, 2 April 1950--Sarah Vanderbilt English born last night. All appendages intact. Adele in labor 24 hours--understand this is a long time but Jesus! Being in a ward full of screaming women not my cup of tea. The hospital paging system (the number I gave them as my office actually the Plaza bar) misfired so that I was 2 hours after the baby was born getting back to Adele's room. She was furious--maybe she had a right to be, or maybe she just smelled Scotch on my breath. I shall not soon forget the look of cold hatred in her weepy eyes.
Sunday, 30 September 1951--Tomorrow starts my new life as a full partner in my own legal firm, Wiley Rouse & English. Had a big party here last night to celebrate. Donovan and many of my former associates in attendance. Donovan a sweet man--wished me well, and over the past few months even helped me set things up. If he's miffed about my pulling all the Vanderbilt business out of his firm into mine, I can't help it--he knows about Adele's connection to the family. In my position I like to think he would have done the same.
Thursday, 14 May 1953--Nelson Courtney English IV born yesterday. Small, they say--slightly less than 5 lbs. Never cried, and the doctors said something wrong with his lungs. Poor little sonofabitch died this afternoon. Adele inconsolable–I think she somehow blames me. Stupid bitch.
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Monday, 7 February 1955--Life goes pleasantly along. Adele has her charities and other pursuits, the French nanny sees to Sarah, and I--taking Bill Donovan's prescription for the good life to heart--make as much money as I can while I can, invest what I must, and spend the rest as I see fit. In fact, I lack for nothing, with the possible exception of a large suburban mansion suitable to my place in business and society where we could entertain decently. I'm working on this, having put out feelers with a Connecticut real estate agent recommended by Adele's father (her mother passed away last year--so far this has not interfered with my legal representation of certain lucrative Vanderbilt interests). In the meanwhile, luckily, for business reasons I continue to travel a great deal out of the city and even outside the country. I find German women particularly appealing, especially those who have a bent for sadomasochistic sex. There is nothing like having anal intercourse with a woman after whipping her buttocks raw and slowly licking the blood from her flesh. If Adele ever knew--finito.
Friday, 29 April 1955--Bought a 20-room house in Greenwich, Connecticut and have started inquiries about joining the right local clubs. Adele loves it and has begun interviewing for a cook and a chauffeur. The local zoning ordinances absolutely prohibit any Negroes or Jews or other foreigners from buying property anywhere within the town limits, such a relief from living in Manhattan where even in a decent building you're liable to run into scum in the elevators.
Thursday, 14 February 1957--Phone call today from Masterson, one of associates at Donovan's law firm--Donovan had a stroke and is at Mayo Clinic. No word yet on the prognosis.
Saturday, 16 February 1957--Masterson reached me at home this morning--doctors at Mayo say Donovan has inoperable arteriosclerotic atrophy of the brain. I called up there and they finally put him on--he knew who I was and said how much he appreciated the call, and that they'd be starting physical therapy shortly. I consider Bill one of my best friends and told him so--also, that 74 wasn't old enough for him to be scaring us all this way. He said to get ready for some serious golf in a month or two, but I expect he's being overly optimistic.
Tuesday, 16 April 1957--Call from Bill Donovan in Washington--he lives in a suite of rooms at Walter Reed Hospital, which President Eisenhower ordered for him because Bill worked so hard to get Eisenhower elected in 1952 and again in 1956. Bill wants me to fly down there tomorrow for a meeting with him and Allen Dulles, whom Eisenhower appointed CIA Director in 1953. He didn't say, but I think they have something in mind for me. In any case, I of course told him I would come.
Thursday, 18 April 1957--Interesting meeting yesterday with Donovan and Dulles at CIA headquarters in Foggy Bottom. Bill in a wheelchair with a full-time nurse, but otherwise managing. Dulles wants me to come on board as CIA Assistant General Counsel when the position opens up in summer of 1958. For public consumption they'd set me up as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department, and would even give me an office at Justice. I was intrigued, of course--asked them to give me a week to think about it, since I do have a thriving law practice and a family to consider. Bill told me that's exactly the position he was in in 1941 when Roosevelt asked him to form an intelligence unit, and it worked out fine for him. Besides, he assured me the “Assistant” part of my CIA title would only be temporary until the aging General Counsel retires in a couple of months. I've not yet mentioned this offer to Adele.
Friday, 19 April 1957--Sleepless night mulling over the ramifications of the CIA offer, but decided to take it. Told Adele this morning (Justice, not CIA--I'll decide later about that) and then held a meeting with Wiley and Rouse, my two partners (also using the Justice
class=WordSection2>lie with them). We hammered out an agreement that I'll be on open-ended retainer of $10,000 per month from the firm until such time as I decide either to make CIA a career (unlikely at best) or return to full-time partnership. Not much they could do, in any case, since I control 50 percent interest and they split the other 50. Then called Donovan in Washington and told him I would accept, and to pass on to Allen Dulles how much I was looking forward to working with him.
Friday, 18 July 1958--Signed papers today to lease the Greenwich house, with proviso that right of occupancy reverts to me upon 60-day notice.
Monday, 11 August 1958--Moved into new house in Georgetown section of Washington, a 2 1/2-story red brick Colonial on Dent Place, not more than a couple of blocks from where Donovan lived during the war. Adele likes it, Sarah as usual noncommittal, but she’s already been accepted at National Cathedral School where she’ll meet other children of the better people here in Washington. Yesterday I finally told Adele it was CIA, not the Justice Department--she seemed to take it well, but I thought I detected a look that said, "What else have you been lying to me about?"
Tuesday, 2 September 1958--First day at the CIA--Dulles introduced me personally to several department heads and showed me to my office in one of the wooden buildings thrown up after the war near the Lincoln Memorial along the Reflecting Pool. I was told this was to be only temporary, for a month or so, until the General Counsel staff is moved to the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the CIA. This, too, will be temporary--Dulles is spearheading the drive to complete a huge new CIA headquarters building in the Virginia woods near Langley by early 1962.
Monday, 20 October 1958--New Foggy Bottom office not much better than previous, but had a nice first-day surprise--ran into Jim Angleton from OSS London days in the hallway completely by accident. He's been with CIA from the beginning, as chief of the Counterintelligence Staff. He insisted on taking me to lunch at a place he frequents, a decidedly low-rung French joint in Georgetown called La Grenouille–frog-- appropriate on several levels, with waiters on roller skates. We ate and drank (J. prodigiously--three martinis and two bourbons, plus wine) for nearly four hours, and when I casually inquired whether anyone at headquarters ever objected he said no, they trusted him to do his work whenever he did it--drunk or not, I thought. But it was pleasant, and we intend to continue the custom regularly from now on.
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Wednesday, 14 January 1959--Two weeks after Bill Donovan's 76th birthday, and he is dying. As a final gesture from the Agency, Dulles arranged for a portrait of "Wild Bill" to be placed on the lobby wall at CIA headquarters and asked me to escort Bill to the unveiling, which I did this morning. It was a sad occasion but maybe not so sad--as I pulled the cord and the covering dropped away, he smiled for what his nurse said was the first time in many months. Whether he knew what was happening or not is perhaps immaterial.
Sunday, 8 February 1959--Bill Donovan passed away today, God rest his Catholic soul. My only thought at the moment: I do not want to die that way, a piece at a time, my brain shriveling slowly to dust over a period of years. Far better to choose the time and place, to fit bullet to chamber, muzzle to temple, finger to trigger, and evaporate.
Tuesday, 14 July 1959--Adele took Sarah and decamped for her family place up on the Cape at West Yarmouth. I'm glad they're there and I'm not--the place is a shambles, no order, no sophistication within a thousand miles. Sarah will probably wear that tiny two-piece bathing suit and have every boy along the shore panting to put his hands on her--I don't know why Adele allows it. Only 9 years old, but already she has firm little breasts. Sometimes I think...[illegible]
Friday, 17 July 1959--Here by myself in the house I can get as drunk as I please, which I fucking well am, with no one to say me nay. [illegible] early start--J. and I took early lunch at Rive Gauche, consumed so much alcohol and expensive food we decided not to return to office. Angleton has a dry sense of humor that shows itself at odd moments--at lunch, acting like the spy he is (or isn't) he whipped out a black-and-white photograph from inside his suit jacket and laid it on my plate. I wasn't sure what I was looking at--he explained it was J. Edgar Hoover engaging in oral sex with his assistant, Clyde Tolson. Not that this is any big secret in the halls, but to have the actual photograph! Only Angleton. It occurs to me that I would not like to have my friend J. for an enemy--his entirely illegal U.S. files could probably destroy a raft of well-known Americans.
Thursday, 17 March 1960--J. called me into his inner office and played a tape for me that one of his staff "black bag" boys obtained, God knows how. It was Senator John Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe going at it in a hotel room in Los Angeles, sometime during the past year. J. says it's one of 5 or 6 similar that he has. Nobody would give a fuck except that Kennedy is running for President. I like his father Joe and have done business with him in New York, but the son seems like a patented do-gooder who might, given the chance, turn on his own kind. I asked J. what he planned to do with the tapes--he said nothing now.
Wednesday, 12 October 1960--Two days ago J. asked me to see what I could do about contacting some mob killers to take out Fidel Castro. I remembered some dealings I'd had with a possible go-between, Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent who sold out to become Howard Hughes's security chief. More than once he'd implied he had gold-plated contacts on both sides of the law. I phoned, we chatted, I flew out to Vegas yesterday. I stressed that his pitch was to be that this was a straight business deal. He said what else?--are you in something besides the legal profession I don't know about? I think I smiled at him. He made some calls from his private office while I listened in--Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana, some other Mafia capos. I mentioned a figure J. and I had agreed on, Maheu mentioned another figure J. and I had also agreed the CIA black fund could absorb. I left with Maheu's assurance that it was a binding contract, with of course no paper.
Wednesday, 9 November 1960--John F. Kennedy elected President last night. Party here at house to celebrate what we knew would be Nixon's election became angry, drunken melee after late returns in--broken glasses, vases, furniture. Adele threatens never again but she's the one who likes giving parties. I think she needs them as excuse to drink. I don't.
Tuesday, 25 April 1961--Bay of Pigs invasion a farce--Kennedy rightly taking heat for not providing air cover, etc. Rumors in Agency halls that Kennedy will shortly replace Dulles as DCI, probably with John McCone--Dulles will be scapegoat. J. and I agree that this will be bad for Agency morale--Dulles one of the original OSS boys. Kennedy seems to hate the CIA and may wage personal vendetta against us.
Saturday, 1 July 1961--Early Fourth of July party tonight at Ben and Toni Bradlee's Georgetown house, up the street from ours. J. and wife Cicely also there, as well as Robert Kennedy--whom everyone calls Bobby--sans wife, looking much less like the U.S. Attorney General than like a young man on the prowl for a piece of ass for the night.
Monday, 13 November 1961--McCone bright enough as administrator but he's no Allen Dulles. After Bay of Pigs the President has stated repeatedly in public that there's no effort to dislodge Castro's Communist government in Cuba--but of course various CIA departments have been working on such a plan for some time. Finally, in order to cover our asses, McCone along with J. and I went to call on Bobby Kennedy at his office on the 5th floor of the Justice Dept. Without much pushing, Bobby agreed to secretly endorse our Operation Mongoose to overthrow Castro's Cuba. None of us from the Agency seemed to feel the need to point out this inconsistency between the Kennedy brothers.
Thursday, 11 January 1962--Finally moved into new General Counsel suite of offices on 2nd floor of new Langley CIA headquarters building. J.'s offices in corner of same floor--I walked over to see his set-up. His secretary a tough red-haired woman who guards banks of black files in outer office. Inside, J. has his own files--no other access, he assures me, not even McCone. He has windows but keeps them heavily draped so room is dark, except for small desk light and the glow from his ever-present cigarette. Every surface in room piled high with papers and folders, but what appears to be random chaos is not. We agreed to try the Langley cafeteria for lunch, and did. Separate lunchrooms for covert and noncovert employees, which makes sense. J. entitled to use covert but did not, in deference to me. Food awful.
Monday, 5 March 1962--J. pointed out today that he, I, and John Kennedy are all virtually the same age, all born 1917. But differences are, of course, enormous--for one thing, he's many times wealthier than J. or I can ever hope to be and in addition is an immoral, conceited prick.
Monday, 7 May 1962--Lunch with J. at Key Bridge Marriott. J. furious (as I am) about increasing U.S.-Soviet détente, all JFK's doing--J. says détente is a sham, a Soviet tactic for waging cold war. Kennedy surely leading U.S. down the garden path with his civil rights initiatives and his appeasement of every foreign interest. We agree he must be stopped. But how? Also, J. has tapes of many of JFK's sex meetings with Judith Campbell Exner, who is Mafia don Sam Giancana's mistress and who apparently knows all about the deal I set up October 1960 with Maheu to have Mafia eliminate Castro. So far they haven't, but Exner's knowledge is extremely dangerous to the CIA and the country. J. suggests I set up a second meeting with Bobby Kennedy to feel out his reaction, without going through McCone. Bobby continues to hound Giancana even though, because of Exner, this could ruin his brother the President. J. and I have a fantasy that if the JFK-Mafia link gets out to the public he may be impeached. Wonderful! (Except, of course, that the CIA would go down the toilet with him.)
Friday, 11 May 1962--Meeting with Bobby K. went extremely well--two attorneys discussing business. Bobby controlled but obviously furious that JFK knew but did not inform him about CIA contracts with Roselli and Giancana to assassinate Castro. Bobby said to leave Exner to him--I wonder if he plans to have her killed?
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Friday, 7 September 1962--JFK continues to disturb J. and me with his prodigious appetite for women. (J. has many tapes from planted bugs in private houses and apartments and even the White House, including phone lines.) Marilyn Monroe death last month called suicide, but since she was sexually involved with both Bobby and Jack K. it is anyone's guess. Good riddance, for my money--she was a psychotic nymphomaniac whose only positive attribute was big tits. A much more serious problem is Mary Meyer, Ben Bradlee's sister-in-law, whom JFK has been banging since the first of the year. She and her friend, drug freak Timothy Leary, seem to want to corrupt the world's leaders with illegal drugs to make them more peaceful. J. slightly connected to her through her ex-husband Cord Meyer, a former senior Agency official. J. bugged her Georgetown art studio, got tapes (J. played them for me) of her and JFK smoking marijuana and taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD during heavy sex. At lunch today at La Grenouille, J. and I discussed the enormous implications for the security of the country if the President could conceivably be too crazed from drugs to push the panic button in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack. Leaking this information to the liberal press would do no good--they would simply cover it up, as they invariably do and have in the past.
Monday, 15 October 1962--Entire CIA and all U.S. military units on extreme red alert. Yesterday one of our U-2 reconnaissance planes on Cuban overflight took 14 photos of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles deployed only 90 miles off our coast. Nuclear war a distinct threat, depending on actions next 24 hours of our deranged President.
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Saturday, 27 October 1962--Missile crisis ended for now, but apparently only because JFK promised Khrushchev he would never invade Cuba. At Langley today met with J. in his office to discuss what to do--without doubt Kennedy is destroying country, and apparently plans to destroy CIA though will probably wait until reelection in 1964. I suggested that JFK must be replaced as soon as possible and before expiration of this term in office--meaning either that a palace revolution must be arranged or his death otherwise ensured--and J. agreed without hesitation, stating that Lyndon Johnson is much more a hard-liner on Soviets. Discussions along these lines must continue.
Sunday, 23 December 1962--Adele and I to pre-Xmas dinner at J.'s house in Alexandria. After dinner J. privately took me to his study for Cognac and a brief recapitulation of our many talks these past 2 months, to ensure we were still on the same wavelength. J.'s eyes were intense, almost glowing--"You realize, Court," he said, "that we've come too far now to back down--the only logical course of action for us is to arrange his assassination within the coming year." And as I remember I nodded and said Yes, I know--and that was that. We shook hands solemnly, as befits a momentous occasion such as this, and touched our brandy snifters in salute to this revolutionary concept. In keeping with his slightly melodramatic view of the spy world, J. on the spot gave our impending operation the code name BIG BOY.
TO BE CONTINUED