Reporting on CIA’s Watergate History is Wrong

For a full analysis and history of the theory, see here.

On Wednesday, a number of outlets took notice of the release of CIA’s internal Watergate History, or rather a draft version of it. Eager to begin their reporting, FOX News and IntelNews.org quickly posted articles that overstated several things in the document, misrepresented other facts, and got several details flat out wrong. While an interesting read that will have new information to many people not intimately familiar with the Watergate case, most of the information in the CIA history will be familiar to anyone who has studied the case in detail – especially some of the pieces of information that IntelNews.org claims to be a new “revelation.”

Not even the the reference to Eugenio Martinez as a CIA agent is new, as is claimed by FOX News (although even this is misleading). Everything else is essentially a rehash of old information. Surprisingly, the IntelNews article is worse. While the article at FOX only appears to overstate some things, the IntelNews article makes a number of claims that are completely inaccurate. The most egregious is when it claims that Martinez was paid about $600 per month by the Agency, when the CIA history (and other declassified documents and records) clearly show that it was only $100.


The CIA History isn’t even the first Agency source released to directly refer to Martinez as an agent, and it’s hardly the first to acknowledge that his past relationship with the Agency wasn’t limited to him acting as an informant. This 1973 CIA memo makes clear reference to his paramilitary activities on behalf of the Agency, refers to his employment by them in a positive manner. The document was declassified and released to the public eighteen years ago. In light of what was already known about his activities, the reference to him as an agent is not revelatory. If it had referred to him as an officer or staff employee, on the other hand…


Update: IntelNews.org later posted a response in their comments section, defending it as not their claim. The website, which claims to be expert news and reporting on espionage and intelligence matters, merely recycled the claim from FOX News. This might be acceptable – if the article had ever attributed that. As of this posting, IntelNews.org website has declined to correct their article or add attribution to their incorrect claim that the information is new.

2nd Update: IntelNews.org has responded again, claiming the entire article is re-reporting Fox News’ article. The incorrect dollar figure was an approximate adjustment for inflation and the language has now been corrected. No correction has been made about this being the first document to refer to Martinez as a CIA agent despite proof that it was disclosed in writing by the Agency in 1998 (if not earlier). The comment also added the authors at IntelNews.org “don’t have time to check on the accuracy of everything that we re-report.”

3rd Update: IntelNews.org has added several new comments to their page, but withheld my comment with the link to the CIA memo released in 1998 showing Martinez was referred to as an agent at least eighteen years ago.

4th Update: After several tweets pointing out the link being withheld IntelNews.org added my comments. No response has been added or correction issued, however.

You can read CIA’s Watergate history below:



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