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The Best Minds of Kissinger's Generation, Starving Hysterical Naked

Henry Kissinger, right, traveled with Donald Rumsfeld to Beijing in 1974 but eyed him warily, newly released documents indicate.
Henry Kissinger, right, traveled with Donald Rumsfeld to Beijing in 1974 but eyed him warily, newly released documents indicate. (The Washington Post)
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By Al Kamen
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Loop Fan alert! Some of the following material may be shocking. We'll warn you at the appropriate point.

The National Security Archive at George Washington University, after protracted legal and bureaucratic wrangling, has released 15,502 documents and more than 30,000 pages of transcripts of telephone conversations between Henry A. Kissinger, who served as national security adviser and secretary of state, and other notables, including Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, other senior U.S. and foreign officials, and media and show-business figures.

The material sheds light on some of the more important diplomatic events from 1969, when Kissinger was in the White House, until early 1977, when Kissinger left the State Department.

In one conversation in November 1975, after White House Chief of Staff Donald H. Rumsfeld allegedly engineered the Cabinet shake-up known as the "Halloween Massacre" so he would become defense secretary and his pal Dick Cheney would move up to be chief of staff, Kissinger chats with Treasury Secretary William Simon.

Simon tells Kissinger that he'd insisted to reporters that Kissinger had not been behind the moves and that he thought the move would be a net minus for Kissinger.

"The guy that cut me up inside this building isn't going to cut me up any less in Defense," Kissinger told Simon, referring to Rumsfeld.

"It is going to be worse, Henry," Simon said.

"Huh?"

"It's going to be worse," Simon repeated.

"That's right," Kissinger said.

This next excerpt is not for the squeamish.

On April 23, 1971, just before the "May Day" antiwar demonstrations in Washington, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg telephoned Kissinger, saying he was "calling at the request partly of Senator [Eugene] McCarthy."


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