Kissinger and Nixon in the White House – Seymour M. Hersh


“I. The Wiretaps. Roger Morris quickly won Henry A. Kissinger’s trust in the early months of the Nixon presidency. Not only was he a good friend of Lawrence S. Eagleburger, who had emerged, after Colonel Alexander M. Haig, Jr., as Kissinger’s closest confidant among the staff members of the National Security Council, but he was also bright, articulate, and appropriately caustic for a thirty-one-year-old Harvard Ph.D. at work in the White House. Morris’s responsibility was primarily for African affairs, and his memos on the situation in Nigeria–where the federal government was waging a bitter civil war with Biafran separatists–had impressed both Kissinger and Nixon. It was not surprising, then, that Morris was asked by Eagleburger to sit in Kissinger’s office and ‘cover’ it one weekend day sometime in the late spring of 1969. Haig, who usually worked seven days a week, had rare time off, and Eagleburger had an appointment outside the White House and needed relief. Kissinger was spending the weekend in New York at his parents’ home–a trip that, in those early days, he often made. Morris literally moved into Kissinger’s office that day. At one point during the quiet morning, a courier from the Federal Bureau of Investigation came in and left a sealed envelope for Kissinger. Morris brooded about the highly classified document. The courier had explained that the letter contained ‘very urgent’ material. Should he call Henry? Morris could imagine Kissinger’s angry impatience at his caution: ‘Idiot! Of course open it.’ And so he opened it. The envelope was from J. Edgar Hoover–for Kissinger’s, ‘Eyes Only.’ ‘It was this long, detailed account of Martin Luther King’s sex life,’ Morris says. ‘There were transcripts’–obviously from wiretaps–‘and indications that photographs were available.’ Some of the women with Dr. King had apparently been FBI informants. Morris was appalled. …”
The Atlantic

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