Goodbye to Kissinger
December 14, 2002 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Harry Kissinger steps down as 9-11 investigation leader. Now lets get someone in there that isn't wanted for war crimes.
posted by Degaz (24 comments total)
HENRY!! Sorry....rough night last night
posted by Degaz at 9:00 AM on December 14, 2002

Like they don't know where he's hiding. Heck, even if he were hiding...

o<>o *SMACK* *QUACK*
Why do birds, suddenly appear...etc.
posted by KettleBlack at 9:14 AM on December 14, 2002

Please stop.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:18 AM on December 14, 2002

okay, whatever the hell that was. Anyways, I'm sure many are glad to see this happen. I wonder if he was asked to step down over the (very appropriate) hubbub that was raised after he was appointed. If not, is this (not wanting to liquidate his share of the int'l consulting firm) too greedy of a reason to step down? Or does anyone care why just so long as he's out?
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2002

Henry K is an alleged war crimminal and whatever he may have done was done with the approval of those aboive him--not merely Nixon but key members of the White House and Congress....
Seems that he stepped down rather then unload the huge burden of outfits that were conflicts of interests but represented substantial money for him.
Does it much matter who looks into what? Congress says CIA and FBI lax, failed...but no one lost a job at the top anyway.
posted by Postroad at 9:43 AM on December 14, 2002

yes, a known war criminal, but he may also be a common criminal as well (he was involved in the CIA's illegal kidnapping and assassination of a military leader in Chile). but even more than that, i'd be happy if he never served in a public capacity again because it's *a matter of public record* (as opposed to an opinion) that he's a liar. how can you put a known liar in charge of finding the truth about something (unless that's the point...)?
posted by muppetboy at 9:53 AM on December 14, 2002

sorry, i meant "alleged" war criminal.
posted by muppetboy at 9:54 AM on December 14, 2002

He's real name is Heinz.
posted by muckster at 10:19 AM on December 14, 2002

Man, I can't believe nobody mentioned this! Who's anniversary is it? [/asshole]

That said, I think it's an interesting sign. Kissinger quits the moment this little thing called "accountability" has to be applied to him. I'm not very surprised.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:32 AM on December 14, 2002

AmberGlow... It lives!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:36 AM on December 14, 2002

Famous Quotes by Henry Kissinger

"The US must carry out some act somewhere in the world which shows its determination to continue to be a world power."
-- Henry Kissinger, post-Vietnam blues, as quoted in The Washington Post, April 1975

"Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government."
-- Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting.

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."
-- Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, about Chile prior to the CIA overthrow of the democratically elected government of socialist President Salvadore Allende in 1973

"Why should we flagellate ourselves for what the Cambodians did to each other?"
-- Henry Kissinger - who (with Richard Nixon) was responsible for the massive bombing of Cambodia in 1973, which killed three-quarters of a million peasants and disrupted Cambodian society, setting the stage for Pol Pot to come to power and ultimately kill another one-and-a-half million people

"Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."
-- Henry Kissinger, commenting on the US sellout of the Kurds in Iraq in 1975

"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."
--Henry Kissinger
posted by troutfishing at 11:02 AM on December 14, 2002

There's been much good commentary on this on several blogs; my favorite, and perhaps the last word on the subject in any case, was by David Adesnik of OxBlog {a sharp bipartisan international relations blog from some Americans at Oxford}, while guest-blogging on The Volokh Conspiracy {Eugene Volokh & pals, covering mainly US constitutional law}. Sorry for that complicated introduction. Here's the kicker:

Kissinger promised to sever times with any clients whose interests conflicted with that of the commission, but then resigned once it became clear that he would have to provide evidence that he had done so. I guess the lesson here is that Henry Kissinger is even more dishonest than his harshest critics make him out to be.

Or one could say that even in his personal relations and career, Kissinger is a strict realist.
posted by dhartung at 11:29 AM on December 14, 2002

how can you put a known liar in charge of finding the truth

You mean like Poindexter, muppetboy? The Bush administration is way scarier than even I could have thought.
posted by Nelson at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2002

Whoever ends up on the commision, I just hope they have the clearance to investigate the classified information on further Saudi Arabian connections to al Qaeda that Graham and Shelby were talking about. And I hope they can reveal the nature of those connections to the public so we don't have to wait 30 years for the information to be declassified to find out.
posted by homunculus at 12:38 PM on December 14, 2002

Thanks for those links, dhartung. I agree with Urman that Hart and Rudman should be heading the commision. And I am shocked by Kissinger's recent behavior.
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on December 14, 2002

I kindof wonder about what part the Bush family's ties to the Bin Laden family played in all this... although that is certainly outside the intended scope of a "proper" formal investigation... one good reason for the appointment of a lying apparatchik like Kissinger... if he found any problematic truths, Bush could rest assured that it would be buried.
posted by muppetboy at 1:18 PM on December 14, 2002

A quick goolge search for "Harry Kissinger" shows that dozens of people have made the same mistake, so don't feel bad Degaz.
posted by trigfunctions at 1:48 PM on December 14, 2002

Thank you, XQUZYPHYR, for remembering my faux pas of last night in your reference to that post: "Man, I can't believe nobody mentioned this! Who's anniversary is it? [/asshole]"
Since you're such a stickler and quick to sling analities, let me point out that "who's" should be whose.
Have a nice day, sweetlips!
posted by lometogo at 2:26 PM on December 14, 2002

I think Christopher Hitchens has done more to keep this man's balls to the fire than any other individual I can think of.
posted by Zoyd Wheeler at 2:39 PM on December 14, 2002

My take on the whole 9/11 "investigation": finger pointing is wasted energy, time, and money. Both are better spent looking forward and the real issue of embracing humanity as one.
posted by yoga at 4:07 PM on December 14, 2002

Dhartung - but what is 'reality' anyway? I have known people who floated through life on some strange cushion of belief. Is a 'realistic' stategic always "realistic"?
posted by troutfishing at 8:33 PM on December 14, 2002

Is a 'realistic' stategic always "realistic"?

Well, yes and no...
posted by Opus Dark at 10:10 PM on December 14, 2002

troutfishing: As I thought was clear from the linked article, Realism is a school of thought in international relations. The term itself was promoted by Hans Morgenthau (pedantically, political realism translates realpolitik), but it is generally thought to accurately describe European great-power statecraft from the 17th until the early 20th centuries (or see the game Diplomacy). Dr. Kissinger is widely understood to have been implementing almost classical Realism in the foreign policy he crafted during his tenure as National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. As Walter Russell Mead has eloquently argued in his history of American foreign policy, Special Providence, the US generally operates under four schools of thought which lie outside of Continental Realism; so Nixon and Kissinger were exceptions, even in the post-war neo-conservative tradition. From Reagan on, the amorality of Realism was replaced by a moral imperative against Communism, viewed as a system in direct conflict with democracy and its survival. Dr. K. never cared about such lofty constructions, which is why he and Nixon were able to make a rapprochement with Communist China.

I did not use the word casually. In foreign relations, the term you're grasping (or maybe just snarking?) at is usually replaced by 'pragmatism'. To be technical, however, a Realist would say that an unrealistic policy -- one failing to take into account one's capabilities or true interests -- would eventually lead to folly. As you allude, though, Realism is rooted in a point of view about the world -- as is Wilsonian internationalism. I don't think there can be an objective case of something being "realistic" outside, perhaps, of physics. Is it "realistic" to operate amorally, without regard for the interests of neutrals or even allies? Is it "realistic" to operate naively, without regard for the amoral institutions, policies, and actions of our enemies? Most would say no twice.
posted by dhartung at 11:54 PM on December 14, 2002


Just a side comment: I saw the movie "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" in Portland a few weeks ago ... it's worth a view when / if it comes to your town.
posted by joe_murphy at 7:57 PM on December 15, 2002

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