Kissinger thought the CIA was blackmailing him





Tom Blanton is director of the independent non-governmental National Security Archive (at George Washington University), which has published 2,163 of Kissinger's "memcons" in The Kissinger Transcripts: A Verbatim Record of U.S. Diplomacy, 1969-1977, edited by William Burr (Ann Arbor, MI: ProQuest, 2005), and 15,502 of Kissinger's telcons, The Kissinger Telephone Conversations, also in the Digital National Security Archive series from ProQuest.

The CIA director was blackmailing the secretary of state; a nuclear deal with Iran was in the works; and the U.S. president wanted to pursue Middle East peace. President Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger -- then serving as both secretary of state and national security adviser -- discussed all of this and more on the morning of March 5, 1975. Loyal assistant Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft took notes to provide this practically verbatim Secret memorandum of conversation, published here for the first time, which the National Security Archive obtained through a Mandatory Declassification Review request to the Gerald R. Ford Library.

With this "memcon," the reader can be a fly on the wall in the Oval Office, as Ford and Kissinger review issues that are familiar even now: from stalled Middle East peace negotiations to congressional investigations of the CIA, from oil prices and our leverage with the Saudis to covert operations involving assassinations.

Even the opening lines, about a "screwed up" Iranian deal, resonate today -- the front page of that day's New York Times heralded Iran's commitment to spend $15 billion in the United States over the next five years, as announced by Kissinger and the Iranian finance minister, including "as many as eight large nuclear power plants in the next decade." The Times story commented, "Iran has made a major policy decision to develop nuclear power, anticipating that her oil supply will decrease sharply in the next few decades. Iran has already agreed to buy two power plants from France and two from West Germany."...



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