Nov 15, 2011

Blast From the Past

Remember the mention of Cicely Angleton's passing? Now we have the obit of another member of the same exclusive circle. (The deceased was the sister of Mary Pinchot Meyer.)

While Mrs. Bradlee’s life with her husband Ben was in many ways charmed — private dinners at the White House and weekend getaways at Hyannis Port, Mass., with the Kennedys — it also had enduring sorrows. Their circle included Mrs. Bradlee’s older sister, Mary Meyer, a painter whose murder in 1964 on the C&O Canal towpath remains unsolved.

The case took an eerie twist, Ben Bradlee later wrote in his memoir, “A Good Life.” The Bradlees saw CIA counterintelligence chief James J. Angleton picking the padlock on Meyer’s Georgetown art studio in an attempt to retrieve her diary. (Meyer and Angleton’s wife were friends.)

Mrs. Bradlee subsequently found the diary, which appeared to disclose her sister’s affair with late President John F. Kennedy. Mrs. Bradlee and her husband, who was serving as head of Newsweek’s Washington bureau, turned the diary over to Angleton with the promise that the CIA would destroy it.

More than a decade later, Mrs. Bradlee was upset when she heard Angleton had not kept his word. Through an intermediary, she got the diary back and set it on fire.

The real story is more spooky than here portrayed. Does anyone believe that Angleton would have conducted a black bag job himself over trifling gossip?

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