Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cord Meyers and his wife, Mary Pinchot Meyer

This is the promise, and the problem, with the internet, and Google, and Wikipedia. Too much information, too available, too immediately.

The previous post about Operation Mockingbird got me reading. The first director of that CIA program was Cord Meyers. Hmmm. That name sounded familiar. Check him out. Then read the entry about his wife, Mary Pinchot Meyer. Her dad was Amos Pinchot. He's worth a look, too.

Finished? Bet you're surprised. My first thought upon seeing her name was, hmmm, wasn't the guy who dammed up Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite named Pinchot? Arch enemy of John Muir? Yep. Her Uncle Gifford.

The twists and turns that the intertwining threads of these stories make are like something out of some PBS mystery. Cord—his dad was Cord, his grandfather was Cord. That's odd enough. His grandfather, by the way, was a chairman of the New York Democratic Committee.

Cord was a Marine who lost an eye fighting in WWII in the Pacific. A preppy a real estate developer. A World Government Fan. Aid to Harrold Stassen. A founder of the United World Federalists, which included members Albert Einstein, Kurt Vonnegut, Sen. Alan Cranston, Mortimer Adler, E.B. White, and Oscar Hammerstein. Began working for the CIA, only to become a target of the FBI and Senator McCarthy. (J Edgar Hoover thought he was a Red.) His boy was hit by a car and killed. Soon after their divorce his wife was shot and killed. Retired as CIA head in London and became a columnist. Was claimed by E. Howard Hunt to have organized the Kennedy Assasination.

Mary, on the other hand, was the daughter of a lady journalist for the The Nation and The New Republic and a guy who was a founder of the Progressive party. She went to Vassar. Met John F. Kennedy at a dance when she was 18. Became friends with Jackie Kennedy when the Kennedys moved in nearby. Her sister married Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post. Mary became friends with Robert Kennedy and his family when they moved into John's house when he moved to the White House. In 1961 she became one of Kennedy's lovers—one whose opinions on policy he supposedly actually listened to. Her diary became quite a hot item.

LSD? Timothy Leary? Possible CIA hit? This story has everything.

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Blogger Tim Fleming said...

E. Howard Hunt made a death-bed confession implicating Cord Meyer of the CIA in the plot to kill JFK. LBJ and the Joint Chiefs gave the responsibility for planning and executing the coup d'etat in Dallas.

Tim Fleming
author,"Murder of an American Nazi"

Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:18:00 PM PST  
Blogger steve said...

Hey, Tim. Quite a book you have there. I assume it's fiction, based on your factual research? Looks pretty interesting!

Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 12:33:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Yes, it's a work of historical fiction. Though I don't refer to Cord Meyer by name, he is one of a group of CIA cold warriors who form a composite character I named Daniel Everly Phillips. Phillips is involved in all the sinister, dirty CIA ops post-WWII: Operations Paperclip, Mockingbird, MK-ULTRA, PBSUCCESS, Mongoose, ZR-RIFLE, etc.

The story of Meyer and his wife is compelling and not widely known. She was actually murdered in October 1964 in Washington, DC. The homicide is still officially unsolved, though the police seemed to have a good suspect at the time. He was tried and acquitted, but later was in and out of trouble all his life. Some say it was a CIA hit; Mary Meyer kept an explosive diary of her liaisons with JFK, among other things. I'm sure she had her own definite ideas on who killed JFK. Anyway, after her murder, reliable sources have it that James Angleton (CIA counterintelligence) broke into her home and stole the diary. However, her brother-in-law Ben Bradlee (yes, that Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during Watergate) claims that he got the diary and destroyed it. I have some ideas of my own as to what really happened.

Mary was indeed a free spirit and a nonconformist who had access to some of DC's most powerful men. Many of her secrets she took to her grave, and the CIA took care of the rest. (Sorry about the shameless plug in the signature; my publisher insists.)

Tim Fleming
author,"Murder of an American Nazi"

Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 1:46:00 AM PST  
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