Kissinger - Gary Allen

The Man Behind the Myth

When President Nixon finally told the man he had appointed as Vice President of his decision to resign, the first thing Gerald Ford did was telephone Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

It was August 1974, and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Richard Nixon together again. Watergate had already cut deeply, toppling presidential advisers, counselors, election campaign chiefs, an attorney general—and now a President.

The only member of the inner circle apparently untouched by it all was the pudgy, beak-nosed Secretary of State, a man whose less-than-spectacular visage had already graced the covers of more magazines than any other presidential adviser in history. The king of flight-bag diplomats, who was continually jetting off to "resolve" another world crisis, had come to be known variously as "Henry the K", "Superman", "Super Kraut", and other, even more flowery, descriptions.

This physically undistinguished diplomat with the deeply guttural German accent, who had so often been seen in public with gorgeous starlets and well-connected socialites, was reputed to be a secret—and very successful—swinger.

This was the man—and the myth—to whom the appointed vice President turned first after it was apparent that Richard Nixon, enmeshed in a web of tapes and cover-ups, was being forced from office by a scandal whose origins had been murky and whose political outcome was devastating.

We are told it was Ford who requested a meeting with Kissinger—a meeting which lasted two hours. The soft-spoken Midwesterner prevailed on the whiz-kid super-diplomat to stay on. It was about as tough a sale as peddling a snow cone to a thirsty Arab. Time says Ford simply told Henry, "I need you". Jawohl, replied Henry. Later, in his first public utterance as President-successor, Ford announced that all was well with the Republic because Kissinger had consented to remain on the job.

The whole scenario seemed strangely out of place for a reportedly conservative, Midwestern Republican. After all, Vice President Ford and President Nixon had both been presented to their party—and to the nation—as a "conservative, pro-business" candidates and office holders. Yet in 1968 Nixon's first major appointment was to place Henry Kissinger in the key post of Adviser for National Security Affairs.

But, as presidential adviser, and later as Secretary of State for the outgoing President, Henry Kissinger had:

  • Been the primary architect of the "opening" to Communist China, while working secretly behind the scenes to oust the Republic of China (Taiwan) from the United Nations, which Free China had helped found.
  • Emerged as spokesman for appeasement of and "rapprochement" with the Soviet Union, and promoted policies which guaranteed the Soviet Union a strategic military superiority over the U.S.
  • Arranged for supplying the latest American technology and know-how to the Soviet block, while waiving $11 billion owed the United States by the Soviet government.
  • Provided the U.S.S.R. with American wheat on incredibly favorable credit terms, while bread prices skyRocketed at home.
  • Designed the Vietnam "peace" accords with the North Vietnamese Communists (for which he shared a Nobel "Peace" Prize), agreements which guaranteed the Communists victory in Vietnam in the first war ever lost by this country.
  • Handled the Intermittent Middle East war so ably that, according to his friend, Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, Kissinger had represented both the Soviets and the United States in the negotiations there.
  • Alienated such long-time American allies as Turkey and Greece, thus weakening NATO and allowing the Soviet Union to dominate the entire Mediterranean.
  • Urged a policy of "reconciliation" with Communist Cuba, a Soviet satellite successfully planted in the Western Hemisphere which subsequently sent "volunteers" to stage a Communist coup in Angola.
  • Attempted, despite massive Congressional and public opposition, to surrender American sovereignty over the Panama Canal, and endorsed the claims of a Moscow-lining Panamanian dictator to the vital waterway.
  • Supported a boycott of anti-Communist Rhodesia as a "threat to world peace" with the result that the U.S. became dependent on the Soviet Union for chrome ore.

As national security adviser, Kissinger had created an information-gathering, policy-deciding empire far vaster than anything assembled by his predecessors. He was given so much authority by Nixon that he became the second most powerful man in the White House—if not the most powerful. (His "boss" did not survive Watergate; Henry did.)

He was the man who said "power is the ultimate aphrodisiac", and who was quoted in New York Times magazine as joking, "The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer".

This is the man who eavesdropped on his own staff and bugged suspect newsmen, but who, when challenged about it, blackmailed both Congress and the media by threatening to resign if they did not ignore his role in the telephone taps.

Yet, this was the man whom Time called "the world's indispensable man" and whom Newsweek caricatured as a flying superman.

Like the rest of his image, Henry's reputation as an over-sexed Lothario who sweeps the girls off their feet seems strangely contrived. Kissinger courted his first wife, Ann Lleischer, for seven long years before the two were wed. It was another ten years before their first child was born. Prior to his political stardom, Henry was no Speedy Gonzales.

There have been various descriptions of how at a party given by Barbara Howar for women's lib propagandist Gloria Steinem, Henry referred to himself as a "secret swinger". The phrase swept the cocktail circuit gossip line and stuck. Henry subsequently was able to parlay his self-stimulated reputation into much-photographed evenings with Jill St. John, Marlo Thomas, Hope Lange, Samantha Eggar, and Judy Brown. The latter, who starred in a Danish pornography film entitled "Threesome", enhanced his Don Juan reputation when she called in reporters to discuss their eighteen-month "relationship".

These were part of the boola boola build-up of the man who had the most meteoric rise to power in contemporary American history. Yet there were other, less-flattering descriptions of Henry the K. But the negative comments were overwhelmed by the press-agentry which cast the middle-aged professor in his Superman sex-symbol role.

Writer Noel. E. Parmentel describes how after Ann Fleischer "literally slaved to send him through graduate school", Kissinger browbeat her unbelievably by his abusive screaming and shouting. He was ashamed of her New York accent; he told her she embarrassed him in front of "important people". The marriage broke up after fifteen years—just as Henry began to taste public (and, presumably, private) success.

Friends and ex-associates describe Kissinger as a man who was "openly cruel" to Ann Fleischer, who sulked petulantly whenever he was upstaged, and who ignored anyone who couldn't help him.

A former Kissinger staff member described him this way: "He's got us all buffaloed. He can (and will) lift your security, get you a foundation black ball, bong you at the colleges, put you in Coventry. He's got spies in every department. He's running the Ministry of Fear. All of his phones are tapped and he keeps long dossiers". Another Kissinger ex-staffer added: "In my book Hank Kissinger is a suspicious, fearful misanthrope surrounded by people who are compelled to maintain a low profile to keep their jobs. I'd sooner dig ditches than work for him again."

And there have been even more sinister assessments of the Kissinger psyche. Phyllis Schlafly and Rear Admiral Chester Ward (USN-Ret.) produced an exhaustive study of Kissinger deeds, misdeeds, and mentality. Their 800-page analysis, Kissinger on the Couch, concludes that Kissinger is obsessed with both megalomania and defeatism. They contend he is a man so driven by a lust for power that he would lie to anyone, including the President, to achieve a goal.

Former Nixon aide Charles W. Colson, the Watergate victim who spoke out clearly about conspiracy in high places, has said that Nixon told him as early as December 18, 1973, that Kissinger "is really unstable at times". A woman staff assistant at Harvard has recalled: "He appeared to have this fear that other lecturers were laughing behind his back. I feel certain that if a proper mental diagnosis had been made in 1962, he would have been declared sick". This, of course, is the classic description of paranoia.

This was the strangely mercurial, contradictory man to whom Gerald Ford, the unlikely President, turned immediately as Nixon prepared to leave the presidency.

How did a German immigrant, who once said his highest ambition was to become an accountant, zoom from academic obscurity to the second most powerful position in the White House—all within five years?

At first blush, the phenomenon seems as inexplicable as Richard Nixon leaving the tape recorder on. Can we really believe that President Nixon plucked Henry Kissinger out of the academic ozone, as Time reported, just on the basis of having met him at a cocktail party, and remembering reading an earlier Kissinger book?

Is it reasonable to believe that Nixon, a super partisan, would give the position of what amounted to "assistant President in charge of foreign policy" to a Harvard Professor who never claimed to be a Republican? Are we to believe that Nixon was so enraptured by the genius of this man who can hardly speak English that he gave him one of the most important appointments in his administration?

Well, hardly. Nothing about the Kissinger rollercoaster career makes an iota of sense—not his surprising selection by Nixon as security adviser, not his deliberate acquisition of more power than any similar White House official had ever enjoyed before, not his appointment as Secretary of State, not his survival of the Watergate sweep which eliminated all other Nixon advisers, not his preeminent position in the Ford Administration—unless we ask who placed Henry Kissinger on his Yellow Brick Road in the first place. Henry was not provided with magic glass slippers by the Witch of the East. He had something better.

Once you strip away all of the puffery, press-agentry, and Madison Avenue hokum which have been erected around the persona of Henry Kissinger, one unmistakable fact emerges: Henry Kissinger is now and, for all of his political life, has been an agent of the mightiest combine of power, finance, and influence in American politics: The House of Rockefeller. [Note: The story of the alarming power and frightening ambition of the House of Rockefeller is told in detail in the Rockefeller File by Gary Allen, published in 1976 by '76 Press.]

Said U.S. News & World Report on November 1, 1971: "It was on the advice of Governor Rockefeller, who described Mr. Kissinger as 'the smartest guy available', that Mr. Nixon chose him for his top adviser on foreign policy".

The Deseret News had already quoted a Rockefeller aide as saying: "Rocky set up the job for Henry because he. . . thought it might give (Rockefeller) some voice in U.S. foreign policy".

Just as Nixon was packaged and peddled to the American people as a conservative with middle-American values who would stand up to the effete Eastern Establishment, Kissinger—incredibly enough—was initially promoted as a conservative and staunch anti-Communist. Erstwhile conservative William F. Buckley for example, hailed as "a happy office" Nixon's first major appointment, and described the 45-year-old professor Kissinger as "the anti-Communist at Harvard". While Buckley was pleased, his supposed opposites on the Left were gleefully adoring. [Note: William F. Buckley, a CIA conservative polemicist, was a member of the powerful Skull and Bones Secret Society at Yale.]

Adam Yarmolinsky, the Leftist who was responsible for the appointment of Robert Strange McNamara as Secretary of Defense, declared: "I will sleep better with Henry Kissinger in Washington".

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. stated: "I think it's an excellent appointment. It's very encouraging. He's the best they'll get."

While the Liberal press went into paroxysms of ecstasy over Nixon's appointment of a Harvard intellectual to the post of Adviser on National Security Affairs, little attention was paid to the fact that Kissinger could not even assume the most sensitive White House job there is, outside of the Presidency itself, until he was given a security waiver by his new boss. The reasons Kissinger could never pass accurate security procedures will be discussed in a subsequent chapter.

Who, after all, is Henry Kissinger?

He is not, to begin with, Henry Kissinger. He was born Heinz Alfred Kissinger on May 27, 1923, in Fuerth, Germany, the son of Louis Kissinger, a school teacher and rabbi, and the former Paula Stern. Like many Jewish families feeling the rising impact of Naziism, the Kissinger family fled Germany to the United States in 1938.

Already a skilled debater when he arrived in America at the age of fifteen, Heinz—now Henry—did well in rhetoric and other fields as a high school student in New York City, when he graduated with honors, he said that his highest ambition was to be an accountant.

But fate, in the form of World War II, intervened. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943—a process which also made him an American citizen—the young Kissinger was "discovered" by a fellow German refugee, Dr. Fritz Kraemer. Kraemer served in American military intelligence and got Kissinger promoted into the 970th counter-intelligence detachment, when hostilities ceased, Kissinger's special position enabled him to become the virtual dictator of a German town, where he commandeered a villa and began living in the grand manner. He administered an entire district and, as a civil service employee, received the then-considerable salary of $10,000 per year.

Henry ruled his quasi-fiefdom until April 1946, when he was transferred to the European command Intelligence School. (It was during this period as intelligence-gatherer and interrogator, one defecting communist double-agent has claimed, that Kissinger himself was recruited by the KGB and given the code name Bor. More on this in Chapter Eleven.)

After leaving the Army, Kissinger enrolled at Harvard University, majoring in government and securing four scholarships. It can be argued that Heinz, er Henry, had already been tapped by important people as a man with a future.

Competition for admission to Harvard is always super stiff. But in 1946, with all the veterans trying to squeeze in, it was incredible. Yet, little Heinz, the refugee, not only gained admission but had his education paid in full by multiple scholarships.

Harvard was the turning point in Kissinger's life. (Assuming, of course, that a more sinister turning point had not already occurred in his Army intelligence days in post-war Germany, through a working relationship with Soviet agents.)

With the help of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship for Political Theory, the bright young ex-intelligence officer graduated from Harvard in 1950. but Kissinger did not stop there; he received his MA in 1952 and a doctorate in 1954. His dream of becoming an accountant was obviously fading faster than bookings for a return voyage on the Titanic.

Somehow, somewhere, something happened to Herr Kissinger along the academic way. First came the grant from the Rockefellers. Then, while he was working on his Master's, Kissinger was made executive director of the Harvard International Seminar—a student exchange program which was later found to be financed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

While working toward his doctorate, he was employed on numerous occasions as a consultant for various government agencies. Kissinger apparently made a favorable impression on those members of the Eastern Liberal Establishment who look for reliable bright young men. With the support of his mentor, Professor William Elliott, a well-connected Establishmentarian.

Henry was ushered into that repository of power and prestige, the elusive, secretive Council on Foreign Relations—perhaps the nation's most important and influential organization. (More about the CFR in the next chapter.)

At the same time, he also became affiliated with the Rockefeller Brothers Trust Fund. For a young German immigrant still hampered by a heavy accent, Kissinger had obviously arrived. If the House of Rockefeller approved him, who would say him nein?

Kissinger next was promoted to associate director of Harvard's Center for International Affairs and director of its special Studies Project. In 1956, his fellow Harvard alumni and CFR members McGeorge Bundy, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and William Elliott suggested Kissinger become editor of Foreign Affairs, the very influential quarterly journal of the Rockefeller's Council on Foreign Relations.

Henry declined the opportunity to polish other men's prose, electing instead to write an analysis of nuclear weapons. The result was Kissinger's first book, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, which impressed many persons (including then-Vice President Richard Nixon) and drew supportive comments from such disparate sources as National Review and security risk J. Robert Oppenheimer.

This book has been quoted over and over again by "conservatives" like William F. Buckley who try to pass off Kissinger as an anti-Communist. The truth is that in his second book, The Necessity for Choice, Kissinger admitted that he had reconsidered his earlier views, and had reached a vastly different conclusion. The result was an espousal of "flexible response" and "limited warfare" and the other cliches which resulted in sending 500,000 men into a no-win war in Vietnam.

With the force of the Rockefeller-CFR propaganda arm behind him, Henry was now attracting national attention in high circles. He was invited to attend the infamous Pugwash Conferences, the "private" Soviet-American meetings sponsored by Soviet apologist Cyrus Eaton. In later years, the pro-Communist bias of the Pugwash reports would be generally acknowledged, even by Liberals.

Kissinger got into the governmental advisory business under Democratic President John F. Kennedy. He served as a special consultant to JFK during the Berlin crisis and also was appointed to the Arms Control and disarmament Agency.

At the CIA-funded Harvard International Seminar, Kissinger founded a magazine called Confluence, which eventually came under the close scrutiny of the Defense Department because of its pro-Communist bias.

If the magazine correctly reflected Kissinger's views, and if his second book corrected his earlier comments on national security vis-a-vis the Communists, then Henry put it all together in his third book, The Troubled Partnership, published in the mid-60s.

This CFR-sponsored volume in effect called for the merging of the United States with the increasingly socialist nations of Europe into a single nation, as part of what Kissinger called a "Grand Design".

The services Kissinger had begun for Kennedy were continued for his successor. Henry represented the Johnson Administration on three secret missions to Vietnam, two of them to North Vietnam, but while serving these two Democratic presidents, Henry was also the key foreign policy adviser to Republican Nelson Rockefeller.

In fact, it was even reported that Kissinger, who never had a good word to say about Richard Nixon prior to his appointment by him, wept openly when Nelson Rockefeller lost his 1968 bid to garner the Republican nomination for President.

According to an account by United Press International, Kissinger was "reluctant" to accept Nixon's "surprise offer" of a presidential appointment. Rockefeller, K's employer for ten years, made up his mind for him, according to UPI, when he told Henry that if he did not accept it, "never talk to me again".

Later, during a party celebrating Henry Kissinger's fiftieth birthday, Rocky toasted his longtime employee, saying that he'd been associated with him in three Presidential campaigns and "We succeeded in the third. Henry went to the White House".

Henry's sadness at leaving the direct employment of Rockefeller—a position that had seen his salary jump from $500 a month in July 1958 to a much more comfortable $4,000 a month a mere ten years later—was no doubt partially assuaged by Nelson's parting token of appreciation: a check for $50,000.

Rockefeller later explained that he wanted to do something to help out a "poor guy faced with tremendous obligations". Of course, if any other billionaire businessman did it, we would call it bribery, with Rockefeller, it's simply a nice gesture.

Keep in mind that the Rockefellers own properties and do business in some 125 separate nations, including the Soviet Union and Red China. Every decision Kissinger would make in Washington was a potential conflict of interest involving his sponsor and benefactor, Rockefeller. Yet, even in the wake of Watergate, when the "gift" was revealed at Rocky's Vice Presidential confirmation hearings, the story caused no more splash than a leaf falling from a tree. The TV anchormen did not even mention it.

In tracing Henry's meteoric rise from obscurity to international acclaim, we see that his magic slippers had the Rockefeller label. From Henry's membership in the Rockefeller's CFR while a professor at Harvard, to his association with a host of Rockefeller-connected activities, to his appointments in Washington, even to his second marriage, the Rockefeller power, prestige, and influence were paving the way for him.

[Note: Nancy Maginnes, Henry's new wife, was—and remains—a Rockefeller employee. The relationship is such a family affair that Nelson even supplied the jet that whisked the couple to their honeymoon retreat, and threw a lavish party for them when they returned to Washington.]

This, then, was the background of Richard Nixon's most important appointment. The man selected as chief adviser to the President was a trusted spokesman for the Council on Foreign Relations. In fact, Henry the K was nothing less than an outright Rockefeller agent ready to carry the family's "Grand Design" into the White House.

Kissinger promptly began to centralize his power and to promote his Grand Design. Or, as he and the Rockefellers now call it, the "New World Order". It came as no surprise to Kissinger-watchers when President Nixon reorganized U.S. intelligence operations in 1971 and Kissinger emerged at the pinnacle of power.

Henry had put together the largest team ever to serve the national security adviser. Many of his key aides and assistants were holdovers from the Kennedy-Johnson Administration.

At the 1971 shake-up, Nixon created a special committee to which the CIA director, the Attorney General, the Under-Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would henceforth report. Chairman of the strategic committee was—surprise!—Henry the K.

As the Los Angeles Times reported, "efficiency" was not the real reason for the move. The White House was said to be "unhappy" because certain military bureaus—particularly the Defense Intelligence Agency—were too "hard-line" in their interpretations of Communist plans, whereas CIA Director Richard Helms, a long-time Kissinger chum, and Kissinger himself could be counted on to take a more reasonable view.

In any case, by 1971 Henry had become, as the Times noted, virtually "all-powerful in the sprawling sector of the government which seeks to advise the President on national security matters". His dominance of the expanded, 110-member National Security Council was so complete that he controlled every piece of intelligence to reach the President from the State Department, the Defense, Department, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Never before in the history of the United States had such colossal power been put into the hands of an unelected official. Despite the obvious dangers, the media were quieter than Charlie McCarthy when Edgar Bergen is away.

It became common knowledge that Kissinger spent more time with the President than any other White House staffer, and the President frequently dropped into his office, less than a half-minute away from his own. Long-time Washington reporter Clark Mollenhoff noted, "Officially, the 47-year-old former Harvard professor of government is the 'Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs' at a salary of $42,500 a year. But, in fact, he has become the Number Two Man in all matters dealing with the Defense and State Departments".

Numero Uno was of course the President himself, not the man confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of State. It was common knowledge on the Washington cocktail circuit that Kissinger had far more power than the actual Secretary of State, William P. Rogers.

It was in August 1973, during a dip in the presidential pool at Nixon's San Clemente home, that the President finally popped the question to the man who was already Secretary of State in all but name. "If you will let me, I would like to nominate you for Secretary of State tomorrow", Time claims was the Nixon approach.

We find it a little hard to believe Time's follow-up: "No matter how prepared Henry Kissinger may have been for that moment, it still stunned him."

By the time the question was put to him, the de facto Secretary of State was already known as the architect of East-West detente, the chief spokesman for appeasement and rapprochement, the man whose "ping-pong diplomacy" secured the opening to Red China, the statesman who would bring peace to Southeast Asia, the brilliant diplomat who would defuse the powder-keggy Middle East.

Kissinger—Time magazine's Man of the Year—stunned? About as stunned as Dean Martin upon being nominated to the Imbibers Hall of Fame.

The next day Kissinger greeted newsmen at the Western White House and demonstrated that modest was still not one of his hallmarks. Asked how he now preferred to be addressed, he replied: "Oh, I don't stand on protocol. If you will just call me Excellency, it will be okay".

Only two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee even bothered to sit through the two and one-half hours of hearings on the Kissinger nomination as the nation's first foreign-born Secretary of State. Perfunctory approval followed swiftly in the full Senate; the final vote was 78 ayes to 7 nays.

[Note: Henry's strong guttural accent, after more than four decades in the United States, is itself an intriguing mystery. After all, Henry's wheeler-dealer businessman brother Walter speaks English with perfect diction. TV Guide reported on January 26, 1974 that "it is believed by some that Kissinger was kept off television for his first two years in the Administration because the White House feared that the German accent would be a poor image".]

Finally, Henry had it made. He was in the limelight now. He ran a vast empire, in name as well as in deed. He presided over 12,000 diplomats, code clerks, economic analysts, linguists, secretaries, and the like. His salary was a comfortable $60,000 per year. But, ahh, the perquisites, prestige, and power!

During his confirmation hearings, it was revealed that Kissinger headed the most immense intelligence-gathering and policy-determining apparatus in White House history. At the time of the confirmation, Kissinger was: a) head of the national Security Council, b) chairman of every important committee on the Council, c) the man to whom the CIA director reported, and d) chairman of the "Forty" Committee, the "covert operations" arm of the NSC. As Senator Stuart Symington observed to our hero:

"If you stay in two positions, head of State and also head of the National Security Council, you are going to be in a position where you are going to have unprecedented authority never granted to anybody but the President."

And that is just what Kissinger got—with not a yelp from the fawning media.

The intelligence empire over which Kissinger reigned and reigns is far vaster than just the State Department. It includes some 16 major agencies, with 200,000 employees, a total annual budget in excess of $6 billion, and controls the most sophisticated gadgetry and computers on the planet.

And there is no doubt at all that Henry wanted every jot and tittle of delicious power and delectable authority he could get. The Washington Star of November 19, 1972 quotes Super K as saying:

"When one holds power in one's hand, and when one holds it formally for quite a long time, you get used to considering it as something you are entitled to have. . . What I am interested in is what you can do with power. You can make marvelous things with it, believe me".

Increasing concern over the amount of power Kissinger possessed, however, caused the Secretary of State to doff his other hat, that as director of the National Security Council, last year. But the fact that the NSC directorship passed to a long-time Kissinger protege, Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, makes the gesture virtually meaningless. Senator Henry M. Jackson, a persistent Kissinger needier, noted that, "Despite the appearances, Kissinger will retain full control of the National Security Council".

And even ultra-Liberal Adlai Stevenson II, the junior Senator from Illinois, observed that "the change is only symbolic".

Ford's swift guarantee of Kissinger's continuance in the White House could only mean one thing: the Grand Design remains in force. The players might change, but the game is the same.

As election year 1976 began, candidate Ford's speeches sounded like replays of 1968 and 1972—warmed-over servings of Nixon "conservatism". This was an indirect admission by The Powers That Be of the need to campaign on Middle American ideals, virtues, and traditions.

Or, to put it another way, the only way to con Americans out of their heritage is to promise the Old Time Values while delivering the New World Order.