Kissinger forced to reveal transcripts of phone conversations

During his long career as US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger kept many secrets. One of these was that he clandestinely recorded all telephone conversations he had with US government officials, which he subsequently had transcribed by his private secretary. Upon leaving office, in early 1977, Kissinger had the audio recordings destroyed but held on to the transcripts which he described as “private papers” not suitable for public release. George Washington University’s National Security Archive had a different view on the matter, however, and in 2004 managed to force the US government to hand over the transcripts. The Archive has now released a generous portion of 15,000 pages of transcripts, fully catalogued and indexed. William Burr, a senior analyst with the National Security Archive, who edited the released documents, described them as “ranking up there with the Nixon tapes as the most candid, revealing and valuable trove of records on the exercise of executive power in Washington”. Among other things, the transcripts reveal that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger “shared a belief in 1972 that the [Vietnam] war could still be won”. [IA]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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