He Was a Real Dick

Thursday, January 04, 2007

He Was a Real Dick

From an AP story published on Wednesday:
Embittered by career diplomats during his first term, President (Richard) Nixon said he wanted to "ruin the Foreign Service" before leaving office, according to newly released State Department documents.

The former president's darker side was further revealed on Wednesday by newly released FBI files which show the agency ran criminal background checks on Senate witnesses critical of William Rehnquist's nomination to the Supreme Court in 1971 at the request of the Nixon administration. The disclosures were among 1,561 pages released by the bureau under the Freedom of Information Act.

... the president told (Secretary of State Henry) Kissinger on November 13 (1972) that he was determined that "his one legacy is to ruin the Foreign Service. I mean ruin it -- the old Foreign Service -- and to build a new one. I'm going to do it."

... Winston Lord, a top aide to Kissinger during the 1970s, said Nixon looked on the Foreign Service as dominated by liberals and as generally "cautious, unimaginative, slow-moving and risk-averse." He said Nixon was given to hyperbole, and his "extreme" comments about dismantling the Foreign Service should be seen in that light.

At times, he said, Kissinger simply ignored instructions from Nixon that Kissinger felt were given out of pique instead of careful consideration.
I guess I've finally found a reason to respect Henry Kissinger: he ignored at least some of Nixon's instructions.

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