Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Some interesting excerpts from Seymour Hersh's 1983 Kissinger anti-biography (The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House):
...Nixon made an extremely damaging breach of intelligence by revealing to the press that the NSA was able to monitor and recreate North Korean and Soviet radar signals. Emphasizing that the EC-121 [an American plane shot down by North Korea] was in international waters, Nixon told reporters, "There was no uncertainty whatever as to where this plane was, because we know what their radar showed. We, incidentally, know what the Russian radar showed. And all three radars [Russian, United States, North Korean] showed exactly the same thing."

The Nixon statement created near-pandemonium at the NSA. "I died when I heard it," one official said. That was my business. I just fell out of my chair - I literally did." He considered the Nixon statement equivalent to "Black Tuesday," the day in 1960 when two NSA cryptologists who had defected to the Soviet Union were unveiled at a Moscow press conference...After Nixon's statement about the EC-121, the NSA official says, "The Soviet Union and other countries changed every frequency, every crypt system, every net structure - all at once. It took months to work it out." At the time of Nixon's blunder, the Soviets, North Koreans, and Chinese were using relatively simple codes in their radar analyses and the NSA had been able to break these codes and recreate their radar patterns in its systems, giving the United States the incalculabe advantage of knowing what the other side was seeing...[NSC analyst] Alexis Johnson [speaking to Kissinger] ... attempted a weak joke: "We're going to take the President's clearances away."
This little bit is amusing:
Kissinger's backbiting began almost immediately. [Secretary of State] Rogers was a "fag" who had some strange hold over Richard Nixon; [Secretary of Defense] Laird was a megalomaniac who constantly leaked anti-Kissinger stories to the press; Richard Nixon was a secret drunk of dubious intelligence.

There was a steady stream of invective from Kissinger, and his personal aides heard it all. At one time, Kissinger told some of his staff that a prominent Georgetown clumnist had confided to him that Rogers was keeping a house in Georgetown with a young male paramour in it. Kissinger went further one evening, Roger Morris recalls, telling some of his close aids that [White House Chief of Staff] Haldeman had once hinted that Rogers and Nixon had "indulged" together.


Post a Comment

<< Home