80. Editorial Note

The President’s Assistant, H.R. Haldeman, included the following entry in his diary for October 15, 1969: “Had Rogers and Laird in after NSC to try to get them in line about Vietnam and November 3 speech. Apparently this uncovered all their problems with K[issinger], because P[resident] called me in to discuss it. Says he’ll have to bring Mitchell in more because K can’t deal with Rogers and Laird, has problem of communicating with them, and has become an issue. Wants me to make all this clear to K, hard to do. Problem is his insistence on perfection and total adherence to the line in every detail. Also injects himself too much into everything, between P and Cabinet officers, and they just won’t buy it, so he becomes ineffective even at getting them to do what they already were ready to do.” (The Haldeman Diaries: Multimedia Edition)

Twelve days later, for October 27, the following entry appears in Haldeman’s diary: “The K problem came to a head today. P had me in early to review some items, then got into problem of K vs. State, and [Page 168] especially Rogers which we had discussed last week and which K had churned up some more over the weekend, in phone calls with P. As we were talking, K and Ziegler came in for morning briefing. K got going on State, this time saying he had decided not to force Sisco to cancel appointment with Dobrynin, because that would be worse than keeping it, but then went on and on about what a terrible mistake it was. Then got into Lebanon problem, Israel jets, etc. Finally P said ‘well that’s all for today, have to get to work’ and got up and walked out into little office. K then said he wanted me in the noon meeting because he had to get into the Rogers problem with P. I took him into my office and tried to point out the fallacy of his technique, regardless of merits of case. I think he saw it a little, at least. P called me in to restate his concern with this as latest example. Feels K is impairing his usefulness, and is obsessed beyond reason with this problem. Later P called Mitchell and me in to discuss further, and asked Mitchell to have a talk with K. Tough one, because there is some real merit to K’s concern about Rogers’ loyalty.” (Ibid.)