Newswatch: Foreign Secrets: Bad; Domestic Secrets: Good.

The news of the day is government secrecy. NPR’s All Things Considered ran two stories about the matter today. One story about general secrecy, and another story about Admiral Poindexter (formerly of the Iran-Contra scandal). Previously, NPR ran a capsule biography about Henry Kissinger. Of note is the discussion about Kissinger’s disbelief in open government. That story was followed by analysis by Daniel Schorr which may suggest why Kissinger was chosen to head up the independent panel to investigate the attacks of September 11th, then another story about his resignation from that panel.

3 thoughts on “Newswatch: Foreign Secrets: Bad; Domestic Secrets: Good.

  1. these are some of the things I found. I think that some of Kissinger’s deeds have become myth BUT it seems highly unlikely that he is not a bad person. The fact that there is so much known about his misdeeds in several instances would lead me to believe that there is more yet unknow (and probably never will be known. Also, I know that he is wanted in several countries for war crimes. There is also the matter of him believing in a closed government (ie keeping the cards close to one’s chest)- this only makes me more suspicious.

    Douglass W. Cassel Jr., director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University’s School of Law, recently wrote in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin that, “Hitchens’ tendentious analysis is sloppy to the point of being unfair and irresponsible. Overstating inferences of fact, imprecise and apparently ignorant of the law, he threatens not only to sink whatever genuine case there might be against Kissinger but more broadly to stain the cause of accountability for atrocities.”


  2. Kissinger bashing has become a cottage industry lately. Just look here, to see what I mean:

    In the interest of historical accuracy, we should remember why he is so well thought of in some circles. Kissinger was instrumental in Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, and in brokering an end to hostilities in the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel, Egypt and Syria. He won the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the American withdrawal from Vietnam, and advocated détente toward the Soviet Union. Conservatives and republicans criticized him for this, saying he was too soft on communism.

    While my initial research indicates the war crime crowd has some of its facts wrong, the truth is Kissinger was a Cold-War diplomat, more interested in advancing US interests abroad than human rights. So, while I disagree with the “war crime crowd,” I do think his resignation was appropriate.

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