Henry Kissinger, proving once again that he's a hard man to out-draw, apparently has won another showdown with the District of Columbia police department over gun permits for his private bodyguards.
The former Secret Service agents who protect Kissinger had their licenses to carry concealed weapons revoked in Washington more than a year ago.
The action was taken, law enforcement sources say, because of high-level police department "resentment" over what many consider an effort by Kissinger to circumvent a D.C. gun law that is the strictest in the United States.
The bad blood between the former secretary of state and some metropolitan police officials has caused several clashes since he left public life in 1977.
Susan McFarland, a Kissinger aide, said last week that Kissinger went to "a higher authority -- the Justice Department" and got a "commission" that allows his men to carry guns in the District of Columbia and anywhere else "nationally or internationally."
At the direction of the attorney general, Kissinger's guards have been given special deputizations as U.S. marshals, according to John J. Twomey, deputy director of the U.S. Marshals Service.
When Kissinger persuaded his Secret Service protectors to follow him into private life early in 1977 and to go on his personal payroll, the agents discovered that they could not be licensed to carry weapons unless they shed their plain clothes and started wearing uniforms.
Former metropolitan police chief Maurice Cullinane says that Kissinger's men then incorporated themselves into a private detective agency.
He gave them a license in April 1977, designating them as special police. But they were still prohibited from carrying firearms, Cullinane says.
The law at that time would not permit anyone to register a gun that had not been previously registered.
Kissinger was adamant that gun permits be issued, Cullinane says. "He was writing me and calling [Mayor] Walter Washington. He was even threatening to move to New York if something wasn't done."
"But I wouldn't give anyone a permit to carry a gun. In fact, I refused to renew permits for two powerful members of Congress, Rep. Daniel Flood and Rep. Charles Diggs -- and Diggs was on the District committee."
Then a city councilman, David Clark, introduced an amendement on July 20, 1977, that would, among other things, exempt special police such as Kissinger's guards from the gun registration technicality.
The amendment was not approved by Congress until March 16, 1978. Cullinane retired in February 1978. When Kissinger's permits came up for renewal in April 1978, the license was reviewed and permission denied.
Seething Cullinane underlings had reportedly just been waiting to reverse him. There was considerable resentment, sources say, about Kissinger's methods.
One incident alone was cited as sufficient provocation to revoke the permits. It seems that the agents rushed out of Kissinger's house one evening, weapons drawn, to roust terrified PEPCO workers from a manhole because they suspected the crew might be trying to plant a bugging device.
Washington magazine's former principal owner, Laughlin Phillips, toured Mrs. Hugh D. Auchincloss's Georgetown house for the first time last Friday.
His lawyers were supposed to spend the weekend huddled with her lawyers, working out a sales agreement. The final selling price, if the deal goes through, is expected to be in the $1 million range.
Feet aching from standing for so many papal functions, evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton shed her shoes and took to the dance floor barefoot when the rock record "Georgia" by Boz Scaggs started to play.
The scene was the Polo Club. The president's sister wanted to "unwind." Her husband wanted to go to bed. So she stayed behind to disco.
Stapleton and her mother, "miss Lillian" Carter, may have had more fun at the Sheraton Carlton Hotel last week than they did at the White House, a block away. $ miss Lillian" held court several times at a table in the lobby, where she could hail passersby to stop and be neighborly.
Chip Carter, off campaigning again in Florida, is matrimonially a free man this time.
Last year when he was in the state, he told an acquaintance recently, his father had forbidden him to get a divorce "until after the congressional elections."
His wife and baby were still living upstairs on the third floor of the White House, he complained, and the president and first lady banished their prodigal son to John F. Kennedy Jr.'s old nursery across from Amy's room.
"Imagine me sleeping in 'John-John's' room," Carter said.