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Two articles in the New York Times on resignations at Council on Foreign Affairs (June 5 and June 16, 2004) plus The Nation article, which was posted June 3.

The New York Times, June 5, 2004 Saturday
(Correction Appended )

Kissinger Assailed In Debate on Chile

By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO

The chief Latin American expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, the nation's pre-eminent foreign policy club, has quit as a protest, accusing the council of stifling debate on American intervention in Chile during the 1970's as a result of pressure from former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.

Kenneth Maxwell, a senior fellow for inter-American affairs at the council, announced his resignation in May 13 letters to James F. Hoge Jr., the editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, where Mr. Maxwell had reviewed a book on American involvement in Chile, and to Richard Haass, president of the council's board.

''There is a question of principle at stake here,'' Mr. Maxwell wrote to Mr. Hoge. ''It was made abundantly clear to me, as you know, that there was intense pressure on you, on Foreign Affairs and on my employer, the Council on Foreign Relations, from Henry Kissinger and others, to close off this debate about accountability and Mr. Kissinger's role in Chile in the 1970's.''

Mr. Kissinger is traveling, said an assistant, Jesse Incao, and could not be reached for comment.

Officials at the Council on Foreign Relations strenuously denied that Mr. Kissinger, whose friends include some of the council's biggest donors, had exerted any pressure, directly or indirectly, to silence Mr. Maxwell on this issue.

The roots of the current dispute date back to last winter, after Mr. Hoge invited Mr. Maxwell to write an extended review of ''The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability'' by Peter Kornbluh (New Press), a book that re-examines the American role in helping to unseat Salvador Allende, the socialist president who died during the military coup that brought the brutal regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power. The book is based on 25,000 United States government documents that were declassified in recent years.

Mr. Maxwell's essay largely summarized the unresolved questions surrounding American actions in Chile, mentioning three issues in particular: the 1970 assassination of a Chilean general, Rene Schneider; the September 1973 coup against Allende; and the assassination of Orlando Letelier, Allende's former foreign minister, in September 1976.

The review, though critical of Mr. Kornbluh's book in some respects, said that it confirmed ''the deep involvement of the U.S. intelligence services in Chile prior to and after the coup.''

The review outraged William Rogers, the former assistant secretary of state for Latin American Affairs under Mr. Kissinger and a vice president of his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, who wrote a lengthy response in the following issue of Foreign Affairs.

''There is, in short, no smoking gun,'' Mr. Rogers wrote. ''Yet the myth persists. It is lovingly nurtured by the Latin American left and refreshed from time to time by contributions to the literature and Mr. Maxwell's review of that book.''

Mr. Maxwell fired back, ''William Rogers overreaches.'' He added, ''To claim that the United States was not actively involved in promoting Allende's downfall in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary verges on incredulity.''

After the exchange, Mr. Hoge said, Mr. Rogers approached him once again, saying that Mr. Maxwell's response to his letter had raised new charges that he felt entitled to address. Specifically, Mr. Rogers felt he and Mr. Kissinger were being accused of complicity in the Letelier assassination, Mr. Hoge recalled.

Mr. Maxwell said that he was not accusing the men of complicity but rather of failing to stop the campaign to assassinate opposition figures abroad. He cited an August 1976 order from Mr. Kissinger to ambassadors in South America, to warn governments there that the United States would not countenance political assassinations on its territory. At least in Chile, that order appears not to have been delivered, nor was it insisted upon. The next month, Letelier's car was blown up by Chilean secret service agents on a Washington street.

Mr. Hoge said he had told Mr. Rogers that if he stuck to the historical issue, the journal would not run any response from Mr. Maxwell this time.

''He promised me that I would have the last word and that Maxwell was shut off,'' Mr. Rogers said in an interview this week.

Mr. Maxwell agreed he had said he wouldn't need to respond as long as there were no personal attacks, but he changed his mind after seeing the actual letter.

Mr. Hoge still said no.

Mr. Hoge said he was not reacting to any private pressure from board members or elsewhere, but felt that the time had come to put an end to a debate that was going nowhere.

''I thought both of them had had a good go at their feelings of the Pinochet book,'' Mr. Hoge said.

Whether or not there were any hidden strings pulled to give Mr. Rogers the final word, as Mr. Maxwell claims, the dispute underscores an intense competition under way to shape the way that history is told, particularly regarding the United States involvement in Chile, as more and more documents touching on Mr. Kissinger's legacy are released.

''The key is the suppression of debate on foreign policy by a major figure in a major foreign policy magazine,'' said Mr. Maxwell, who is now headed for Harvard University as a senior fellow at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Nor was Mr. Kornbluh pleased. He, too, had tried to submit a letter, but was also turned down.

''I thought that Foreign Affairs was being grossly unfair to me as the author of the book that was the foundation for the entire debate, and to Ken Maxwell, who was obviously their own analyst and their own reviewer,'' Mr. Kornbluh said.

The incident has sparked dismay in some quarters. A letter to Foreign Affairs from Latin American experts who are members of the council severely criticized the way the prestigious journal handled the dispute, particularly in denying Mr. Maxwell the right to reply. The decision, it said, ''denied readers an opportunity to weigh competing views, contrary to the journal's policies and traditions.''

This time, Mr. Hoge said, the dissent would appear in the letters column of Foreign Affairs' next issue.

SECTION: Section B; Column 5; Arts & Ideas/Cultural Desk; Pg. 7, 1026 words

CORRECTION-DATE: June 8, 2004

An article in Arts & Ideas on Saturday about a dispute at the Council on Foreign Relations over American actions in Chile in the 1970's omitted credit for an earlier account. The Nation magazine reported the situation on its Web site on Thursday.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

The New York Times, June 16, 2004

Dispute Over Pinochet Book Claims Another Casualty

By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO

WASHINGTON, June 15 --A Princeton University expert on Latin America says he has abandoned plans to become Foreign Affairs magazine's book reviewer covering the Western Hemisphere, citing accusations that the journal bowed to pressure from Henry A. Kissinger and his associates.

The expert, Jeremy Adelman, agreed in May to take on the reviews later this month when Kenneth Maxwell leaves his post as a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, which publishes Foreign Affairs. But Mr. Adelman said that he had second thoughts after reading accounts of a dispute between Mr. Maxwell and his editors and senior officials of the council.

Mr. Maxwell resigned in protest on May 13 after reviewing ''The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability,'' by Peter Kornbluh. His review angered Mr. Kissinger, the secretary of state when Gen. Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile in 1973, and William Rogers, the former assistant secretary of state for Latin American Affairs under Mr. Kissinger. (Mr. Rogers is now a vice president of the consulting firm Kissinger Associates.) Mr. Rogers contended that the review exaggerated United States responsibility for the downfall of the Chilean president Salvador Allende.

Foreign Affairs then published an exchange between Mr. Rogers and Mr. Maxwell, and gave Mr. Rogers the last word in a subsequent letter. Though the journal customarily lets authors reply to criticism, it has refused to publish Mr. Maxwell's rebuttal, in what he charges is a bid to silence debate over United States policy on Mr. Kissinger's watch. Mr. Adelman said that soon after accounts of the dispute appeared in The Nation, The New York Times and the Folha de Sao Paulo, a Brazilian daily, he received numerous e-mail messages , some attacking him as ''a scab.'' His resignation was reported on Sunday in the Folha and in another Brazilian daily, O Globo.

''While I still think this is an important position and the magazine is important, the amount of time it would take for me to explain the situation to the world of Latin America experts, the world that I inhabit, was too great,'' he said. He added that the editor of Foreign Affairs, James F. Hoge Jr., was quoted in the Folha as saying that Peter G. Peterson, the council's chairman, had called to advise him that the review had upset Mr. Kissinger and others. Mr. Hoge acknowledged the call yesterday, but denied that Mr. Kissinger had pressured him. He demanded that Mr. Maxwell produce proof of his accusation. He said that he did not print Mr. Maxwell's final rebuttal because both sides had had their say.

Mr. Maxwell said that he had learned of the pressure in discussions with Mr. Hoge and had kept records of those conversations.

Theresa Cimino, an assistant to Mr. Kissinger, said he was traveling and could not be reached for comment.

Mr. Hoge said that he was surprised at Professor Adelman's resignation, and that the professor -- not Foreign Affairs -- had bowed to pressure.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Section E; Column 5; The Arts/Cultural Desk; Pg. 6, 503 words

The Maxwell Affair
by Scott Sherman

The Nation, June 21, 2004 (posted on-line June 3)

Last November Foreign Affairs, the prestigious journal of the
Council on Foreign Relations, published a review of The Pinochet
File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability, a new
book by Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive's
Chile Documentation Project. Written by the council's chief Latin
America expert, Kenneth Maxwell, the review upset two former
statesmen who figure prominently in the book and who also happen to
be influential actors at the council: Henry Kissinger and his
longtime associate William Rogers. In May, after an acrimonious
exchange between Rogers and Maxwell in Foreign Affairs--an exchange
that Maxwell insists was abruptly curtailed as a result of pressure
from Kissinger and Rogers--Maxwell resigned in protest from the
council. His departure raises questions about intellectual freedom
at the council; about editorial independence at Foreign Affairs,
where Maxwell spent eleven years as Western Hemisphere book
reviewer; and about Kissinger's and Rogers's influence on the
nation's pre-eminent foreign policy think tank.

Maxwell's review, "The Other 9/11: The United States and Chile,
1973," was not a slashing polemic but a measured essay on American
intervention in Chile in the 1970s. Maxwell expressed certain
reservations about The Pinochet File, yet acknowledged that Kornbluh
had assembled a dossier that "significantly amplifies" our historical
knowledge of the campaign against President Salvador Allende, who was
overthrown by a military coup on September 11, 1973. Halfway through
the essay, the reviewer directed his ire at the Nixon-era
policy-makers--Kissinger chiefly among them--who contributed to
Allende's demise: "What is truly remarkable," Maxwell noted, "is the
effort--the resources committed, the risks taken, and the
skullduggery employed--to bring a Latin American democracy down, and
the meager efforts since to build democracy back up. Left to their
own devices, the Chileans might just have found the good sense to
resolve their own deep-seated problems. Allende might have fallen by
his own weight, victim of his own incompetence, and not become a
tragic martyr to a lost cause."

Maxwell's essay prompted a smoldering letter to the editor from
Rogers, who worked under Kissinger at the State Department from 1974
to 1977 and is currently vice chair of Kissinger Associates. "The
myth that the United States toppled President Salvador Allende of
Chile in 1973 lives," Rogers proclaimed in the January/February
issue. "There is...no smoking gun. Yet the myth persists. It is
lovingly nurtured by the Latin American left and refreshed from time
to time by contributions to the literature like Peter Kornbluh's The
Pinochet File and Kenneth Maxwell's review of that book."

Allende's fall, Rogers declared, was the result of "his disastrous
economic policies, his attack on Chile's democratic institutions
[and] the wave of popular resentment that swept the Chilean military
to power." Rogers hastened to minimize US involvement in two highly
controversial matters, both of which figure prominently in The
Pinochet File: the murder of Chilean Gen. René Schneider in
1970 and Operation Condor, a state-sponsored terror network set up
by Pinochet that from 1975 to 1977 targeted critics all over the
Western Hemisphere and Europe. Among them was Orlando Letelier,
Pinochet's most prominent opponent in the United States, who was
murdered, along with American Ronni Moffitt, by a car bomb in
Washington, DC, in 1976.

Round one of the Maxwell-Rogers exchange concluded with a rejoinder
by Maxwell in the same issue. "William Rogers overreaches," Maxwell
wrote. "To claim that the United States was not actively involved in
promoting Allende's downfall in the face of overwhelming evidence to
the contrary verges on incredulity." Maxwell went on to address a
very delicate matter--Kissinger's and Rogers's knowledge of Operation
Condor. Maxwell (following Kornbluh) insisted that the murder of
Orlando Letelier, in particular, was "a tragedy that might have been
prevented," since "other assassinations of opposition figures planned
by Condor in Europe were in fact prevented because the United States
tipped off the governments in question (France and Portugal) in
advance." Closing his reply, Maxwell upped the ante: "Some
countries," he wrote, "have established 'truth commissions' to look
into such matters. In the United States, however, the record has been
extracted painfully, like rotten teeth."

Rogers returned to the battlefield with a second letter in the
March/April issue, in which he accused Maxwell of "bias," dismissed
the notion that Letelier's murder could have been prevented and
denied that he bore any responsibility for the crimes committed under
Condor. Rogers's tone suggested that Maxwell had crossed an invisible
line: "One would hope at least," Rogers ominously concluded, "that
Maxwell's views are understood to be his own and not those of the
Council on Foreign Relations, where he is a senior fellow."

On February 4, Maxwell had handed in a six-paragraph rebuttal to
Rogers's second letter--in which he wrote, "Rogers cannot forever
provide a shield for his boss to hide behind"--but it never appeared.
High-ranking sources at the council say that Kissinger and Rogers
applied enormous pressure, directly and indirectly, on Foreign
Affairs editor James Hoge--and on the council itself--to close off
the debate. Neither Rogers nor Kissinger is a stranger to the
institution: Rogers served three terms on its board of directors;
Kissinger has been affiliated off and on since 1955, and he currently
co-chairs a task force on US policy toward Europe. Maxwell notes that
the institution's new president, Richard Haass, who succeeded Leslie
Gelb in 2003, "is very much anxious to engage him." Maxwell declines
to elaborate on the specific ways Kissinger and Rogers exerted their
influence, but he does allow that "they know how to act in these
matters, and they bring heavy guns to bear."

When his internal lobbying to get his rebuttal published failed,
Maxwell felt compelled to act. On May 13 he resigned from the council
and from his post as book reviewer for Foreign Affairs. The
resignation was instantly accepted by Haass. In his resignation
letter to Hoge, Maxwell wrote, "I have no personal ax to grind in
this matter, but I do have a historian's obligation to the accuracy
of the historical record. The Council's current relationship with Mr.
Kissinger evidently comes at the cost of suppressing debate about his
actions as a public figure. This I want no part of."

Hoge denies receiving pressure from Kissinger. "I never talked to
Henry Kissinger about this at all," he says, "nor has anybody else
told me that Henry had a view one way or the other." But Hoge
certainly felt the sting of Rogers's fury. After round one of the
exchange, Hoge received a call from Rogers, who recoiled from
Maxwell's suggestion that he was directly (or indirectly)
complicitous in Operation Condor. Hoge urged Rogers to send a second
letter, and--curiously--assured him that the letter would conclude
the exchange. Hoge then contacted Maxwell. "I called Ken," Hoge
recalls, "and said, 'This is what Rogers thinks you are implying.'
And he said, 'That is what I'm implying.' And I said, 'Ken, that puts
me in an awkward position, because it's informed surmise that you are
basing this on, frankly. If there are hard facts to this, they have
yet to come out.'" Evidently Hoge does not read the books reviewed in
his own journal, because as Maxwell pointed out in the unpublished
reply, "Washington's knowledge about the Condor system and its
activities during this period has been cautiously and carefully
documented in John Dinges's book The Condor Years, especially
chapters 7-10, and in chapter 6 of Kornbluh's Pinochet File." Hoge
declined to explain why he promised Rogers--and not Maxwell, his
journal's own Latin America expert--the last word in the exchange. "A
different call might have been made," Hoge admits. (Kissinger and
Rogers did not return phone calls, and Haass was traveling and
unavailable for comment.)

Leaving the council, and vacating an endowed chair, was not an easy
decision for Maxwell, a soft-spoken, English-born, 63-year-old
historian who has taught at Yale, Princeton and Columbia and who
writes for The New York Review of Books. "The burden was on me to
make a decision on an issue of principle," he says. "That's never
easy. It's easier to acquiesce. But in this case I didn't feel like
acquiescing." On July 1 he will become a senior fellow at the David
Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard.

Oddly enough, Maxwell's departure coincides with the release of a
20,000-page cache of Henry Kissinger's telephone conversations from
the 1970s, some of which concern Chile. "We didn't do it," Kissinger
informed President Nixon after President Allende was overthrown by
General Pinochet. "I mean we helped them." In light of these new
transcripts, Maxwell's call for an American "truth commission" on
Chile seems more appropriate than ever. But don't expect to find the
details in the pages of Foreign Affairs.

This article can be found on the web at:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040621&s=sherman

 

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