22 February 2011

Ch 56: Haldeman Interview: Showdown Pt 1

Then I found that my telephones were tapped. We had
telexes at that time, and those were intervened, tapped. My
desk was being rifled every night. So I got a hand cradle. It
has one crystal cut in half. The other half went up to
Michaelson in New York. You put the telephone in this cradle,
and the crystal will scramble it on the crystal's frequency.
The current that goes through every crystal is different. He
had the other half of the crystal, so we could talk in it; but
if you were listening in, you couldn't make it out. You can't
decipher it, because there are billions and billions of wave
patterns, and each crystal is entirely different.

And how do you scramble a telex? If you sent a telex, you
type it out on these little strips of paper with holes punched
in it. Then you feed it into the machine, and it goes dit, dit,
dit. You get an attachment, and you make a dummy tape and just
go over the keyboard any way you want. You make a copy of that
and send a copy of the dummy up to the States. You keep the
dummy down here and call that roll II. If I sent a message, I
put on it, "Message to Mr. Michaelson, roll II." They put the
two together, and both tapes go over; they're scrambled. When
it gets up there and his secretary puts roll il on, it will
print the other tape; it decodes it.

Showdown with the Government Copper Corporation

Haldeman: Now it was June, and I was called to the Copper Corporation by
the minister of mines and the head of the Copper Corporation. I
was to be over at the Copper Corporation office at 10 o'clock in
the morning. I met them, and they took me into the board room.
In the board room there are eight or ten young guys with boinas
[berets] on--Che Guevara style--all sitting around. I didn't
know who they were; they were political hacks. They were all
smiling and talking among themselves. I went with my lawyer,
Mr. Valdivieso, and one of the three gringos, a Britisher who
was head of the accounting department- -the controller--Mr.
Aggleton. Mr. Grant was out in Coya now, still there trying to
hold things together as best he could.

We sat down, and the minister said, "Mr. Haldeman, I'm
sorry I had to call you in, and I'm also sorry that I have to
tell you that there have been these acts of sabotage, Chileans
have been leaving the company and you have been paying them
severance pay in dollars," which legally I was entitled to.
They had a whole list of things. He said, "Those are very
serious matters."

He looked at me, and I said, "Yes, they are, sir."

"Well, I have to tell you that we are going to file suit
against you for infraction of the civil and penal codes for all
of these violations."

Swent: A personal suit?

Haldeman: They were all smiling. My lawyer started to speak, and I kicked
him in the shins. I told him quietly, "Shut up. Don't say
anything." I looked at the minister, and he was smiling. I
said, "Yes, Mr. Minister, that's very serious. I just don't
know what to say." He didn't say anything. Nothing happened.
It was a showdown, and I didn't defend myself.

The head of the Copper Corporation repeated some of the
charges, and I said, "Yes, I understand that they are very

He said, "Yes, it's very serious."

Index to Haldeman Interview

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