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Correction to This Article
A Feb. 27 Style article incorrectly said that a reporter asked then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in 2003 for a retrospective view of U.S. relations with Chile. It was a student, James Doubek, who asked the question during a BET Youth Town Hall meeting.
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A Plot Thickens

Leurs, now president of the United Nations Association of the United States, said the tone of Hoge's call was, "What has happened here? Why has this gotten so serious?"

"I don't think he knew how hot an item the Chile question is," says Leurs.

Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet shaking hands with Henry Kissinger in 1976. Questions linger about the U.S. role in the Pinochet-led coup. (Upi)

Maxwell wanted to write a response to Rogers. But Hoge resisted. They two met on Jan. 30 of last year. Maxwell claims that Hoge told him he was under intense pressure from Kissinger and that Greenberg had called and swore at him for a half-hour. Hoge denies saying these things; he says he discussed with Maxwell how to end the debate. And Greenberg, who would not answer numerous e-mailed questions, did offer a denial that he called Hoge.

Hoge decided to end the Maxwell-Rogers debate, at least in the pages of Foreign Affairs. Rogers's chastisement of the council was the last word. Hoge says he believed he had secured Maxwell's agreement. But Maxwell disputes that and believes he was robbed of the chance to defend himself. The second rebuttal he submitted to Hoge was never printed.

It read, in part: "I am not the issue here; Chile, Condor and Kissinger are. It would be helpful if Kissinger himself would comment on the statements I have quoted. Rogers cannot forever provide a shield for his boss to hide behind. . . . The way to clarify the record is to release it in full, not to close off debate first by accusations of mythmaking, now by accusations of bias."

Disengagement Policy

Maxwell's May 2004 resignation letter shocked Hoge as well as Richard Haass, the council president, Haass says. James Lindsay, a council vice president and director of studies, was stunned too, and tried to convince Maxwell to stay.

"Is there any way we can solve this problem?" Lindsay recalls asking him. Maxwell told him no, he already had secured a new spot at Harvard.

As a historian, Maxwell told the council, he could not abide the suppression of free debate that he felt had occurred when Hoge refused to print his second response to Rogers.

Hoge quickly hired a new book reviewer to replace Maxwell: Jeremy Adelman, chairman of the history department at Princeton. But Adelman says his e-mail inbox "was just exploding" with warnings from friends and colleagues about what had happened to Maxwell. It was more trouble than Adelman wanted to handle. He resigned after three weeks.

"They've taken a big hit in their reputation," Adelman says of the journal. "Ken Maxwell was a flag bearer for a certain well-informed, thoughtful engagement with Latin American affairs that people across the spectrum respected."

Hoge also faced the criticism of 11 academics from around the nation, all members of the council. Led by Harvard's John Coatsworth, the group wrote Hoge to express their disappointment with Foreign Affairs.

Hoge printed their letter in the September/October 2004 issue. He did not print the last line: "We urge you to find an appropriate way to repair this lapse before it becomes a permanent stain on the reputation of Foreign Affairs."

Hoge says he thought that statement "ridiculous and uncalled for and unfair."

He found another Foreign Affairs book reviewer. This time it was Richard Feinberg, a Latin Americanist from the University of California, San Diego, who is a Clinton-era national security aide well known for his 1972 book "The Triumph of Allende: Chile's Legal Revolution." He would not comment for this article.

The Final Word

Maxwell, these days, toils in a small third-floor garret in a colonial-style building at Harvard -- an office an eighth the size, he jokes, of his old council digs.

But he's discovered there is life beyond the council. To his surprise, he's enjoying a return to the lecture hall, even feels he might be connecting with students.

It is, he jokes in that British crispness, "a freshman experience late in life."

There in his office, under the gaze of his twin Boteros, he wrote about his travails. "The Case of the Missing Letter in Foreign Affairs: Kissinger, Pinochet and Operation Condor," he called it. It is a heavily footnoted 30 pages.

The whole episode, he wrote, is "a sad indication of what happens when editors give more weight to the grumbles of their proprietors and their powerful friends than they do to their sacred duty in a free society of defending the right to free expression of their own writers."

To Haass, it is a case of puzzling overkill.

"I thought it was excessive," he says of Maxwell's accounting. "It just seemed to me an awful lot of work went into that paper for reasons that are unclear to me."

Hoge calls Maxwell's paper -- which quotes liberally from Hoge's e-mails -- a "miscarriage" and "utter nonsense." He says Maxwell had misunderstood the chain of events.

"He has put together pieces of information in a way to make his case, but the case itself is wrong," says Hoge.

Maxwell says Hoge has been "economical with the truth."

All of which raises the question: Who, alas, is right?

But the last word on that -- and on Chile -- has yet to be written.

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