National Security Archive Update, December 23, 2008

"We can bomb the  bejesus out of them all over North Vietnam."

Archive Publishes Treasure  Trove of Kissinger Telephone Conversations

Comprehensive Collection of  Kissinger "Telcons" Provides Inside View of 
Government  Decision-Making;

Reveals Candid talks with Presidents, Foreign Leaders,  Journalists, and 
Power-brokers during Nixon-Ford Years

For more  information contact:
William Burr/Thomas Blanton - 202/994-7000

_http://www.nsarchive.org_ (http://www.nsarchive.org) 


Washington, DC, December 23, 2008 - Amidst a massive bombing  campaign over 
North Vietnam, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon candidly shared  their evident 
satisfaction at the "shock treatment" of American B-52s, according  to a 
declassified transcript of their telephone conversation published for the  
first 
time today by the National Security Archive. "They dropped a million  pounds of 
bombs," Kissinger briefed Nixon. "A million pounds of bombs," Nixon  
exclaimed. "Goddamn, that must have been a good strike." The conversation,  
secretly 
recorded by both Kissinger and Nixon without the other's knowledge,  reveals 
that the President and his national security advisor shared a belief in  1972 
that the war could still be won. "That shock treatment [is] cracking them,"  
Nixon declared. "I tell you the thing to do is pour it in there every place we  
can... just bomb the hell out of them." Kissinger optimistically predicted 
that,  if the South Vietnamese government didn't collapse, the U.S. would 
eventually  prevail: "I mean if as a country we keep our nerves, we are going 
to make  
it."

The transcript of the April 15, 1972, phone conversation is one of  over 
15,500 documents in a unique, comprehensively-indexed set of the telephone  
conversations (telcons) of Henry A. Kissinger--perhaps the most famous and  
controversial U.S. official of the second half of the 20th century. Unbeknownst 
 to 
the rest of the U.S. government, Kissinger secretly taped his incoming and  
outgoing phone conversations and had his secretary transcribe them. After  
destroying the tapes, Kissinger took the transcripts with him when he left  
office in 
January 1977, claiming they were "private papers." In 2001, the  National 
Security Archive initiated legal proceedings to force the government to  
recover 
the telcons, and used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the  declassif
ication of most of them. After a three-year project to catalogue and  index the 
transcripts, which total over 30,000 pages, this on-line collection  was 
published by the Digital National Security Archive (ProQuest) this  week.

Kissinger never intended these papers to be made public, according  to 
William Burr, senior analyst at the National Security Archive, who edited the  
collection, Kissinger Telephone Conversations: A Verbatim Record of U.S.  
Diplomacy, 1969-1977. "Kissinger's conversations with the most influential  
personalities of the world rank right up there with the Nixon tapes as the most 
 candid, 
revealing and valuable trove of records on the exercise of executive  power in 
Washington," Burr stated. For reporters, scholars, and students, Burr  noted, 
"Kissinger created a gift to history that will be a tremendous primary  
source for generations to come." He called on the State Department to 
declassify  
over 800 additional telcons that it continues to withhold on the grounds of  
executive privilege.

The documents shed light on every aspect of  Nixon-Ford diplomacy, including 
U.S.-Soviet d├ętente, the wars in Southeast Asia,  the 1969 Biafra crisis, the 
1971 South Asian crisis, the October 1973 Middle  East War, and the 1974 
Cyprus Crisis, among many other developments. Kissinger's  dozens of 
interlocutors 
include political and policy figures, such as Presidents  Nixon and Ford, 
Secretary of State William Rogers, Governor Nelson Rockefeller,  Robert S. 
McNamara, and Soviet Ambassador Anatoli Dobrynin; journalists and  publishers, 
such 
as Ted Koppel, James Reston, and Katherine Graham; and such  show business 
friends as Frank Sinatra. Besides the telcons, the Kissinger  Telephone 
Conversations: A Verbatim Record of U.S. Diplomacy, 1969-1977 includes  audio 
tape of 
Kissinger's telephone conversations with Richard Nixon that were  recorded 
automatically by the secret White House taping system, some of which  
Kissinger's 
aides were unable to transcribe.

Visit the Web site of the  National Security Archive for more information.

_http://www.nsarchive.org_ (http://www.nsarchive.org) 


________________________________________________________

THE  NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE is an independent non-governmental research 
institute  and library located at The George Washington University in 
Washington, D.C. The  Archive collects and publishes declassified documents 
acquired 
through the  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, 
the 
Archive  receives no U.S. government funding; its budget is supported by 
publication  royalties and donations from foundations and individuals.




Peace, Hugs, and Purrs,
Carolyn Rose  Goyda 
Missouri, USA
_rosego...@aol.com_ (mailto:rosego...@aol.com) 

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