#AceHistoryNews – Aug.23: President Gerald Ford was "offended" and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger "almost blind with rage" over Israeli negotiating behaviour in 1975, according to newly released Kissinger telephone transcripts obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and posted on Aug.19 2015 by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org).
The 905 telcons released in full contain highest-level verbatim conversations between Kissinger and a wide range of officials and journalists about the evacuation of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, the crisis in Cyprus, Middle East negotiations, revelations of CIA misdeeds, Ronald Reagan’s challenge to Ford in the 1976 primaries, and other topics, along with candid remarks never meant for public view about personalities ranging from Donald Rumsfeld to then CIA Director William Colby. About Colby’s cooperation with Congressional investigations into the CIA, Kissinger commented, "You accuse him of a traffic violation, and he confesses murder."
The State Department released the new telcons only after the Archive brought a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit challenging the Department’s eight-year delay in processing the Archive’s appeal for the documents. Previously, Archive legal action in 2001 had convinced State and the National Archives to recover the telcons from the Library of Congress, where Kissinger had placed them under seal until five years after his death. The Archive has obtained and published more than 15,000 of the telephone transcripts through the ProQuest subscription series, the Digital National Security Archive, and these 900+ were the last remaining unreleased.
Hundreds of the conversations are with Brent Scowcroft, who served as deputy national security adviser between August 1973 and October 1975 and as national security adviser until 21 January 1977. Many of the conversations are with President Ford; other interlocutors include Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Pat Moynihan, Directors of Central Intelligence William Colby and George H. W. Bush, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, former President Richard M. Nixon, White House Chief of Staff Alexander M. Haig, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, Donald Rumsfeld (as White House Chief of Staff and then as Secretary of Defense), Treasury Secretary William Simon, a variety of State Department officials, newspaper reporters, and ambassadors and foreign ministers.