Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part Three: Kissinger

Part Three: Kissinger

Tue, 22 Mar 2022 10:00

Part Three: Kissinger

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Survive on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Do you love movies? Well, I have the podcast for you. Hey there, this is Mike D from movie Mike's movie podcast Your Go to source for all things movies. Each episode explores a different movie topic plus spoiler free reviews on the latest streaming and movies in theaters. You'll also get interviews with actors and directors to take a look behind the scenes of your favorite movies. Listen to new episodes of movie Mike's movie podcast Every Monday on the Nashville podcast network. Available on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hi everybody, Robert Evans here and my novel after the revolution is available for pre-order now from Now. If you go to, you can find after the revolution just After the revolution you'll find a list of participating indie bookstores selling my book. And if you pre-order now from either of these independent bookstores or from AK Press, you'll get a custom signed copy of the book, which I think is pretty cool. You can also pre-order it in physical or in Kindle form from Amazon or pretty much wherever books are sold. So please Google, AKA Press after the revolution, or find an indie bookstore in your area and pre-order it. You'll get a signed copy and you'll make me very happy. Ohh. I don't. How how do I, Sophie, how do I introduce part three of the of the Kissinger series? You just you just did it. Gareth and Dave are right here. They're waiting for something good and I just I'm just. I'm ******* it up, Sophie, I mean. Yeah, but you did you you accidentally introduced the podcast, which is behind the ******** behind the dollops. Dollop the *******. Hybrid podcast and like all hybrids, it is incapable of. Procreating, that's right. But better at getting up steep mountain passes because it's getting a little goaty. Now we can multiply by cell division, but not, Umm, not through sexual. Yeah, yeah, we've tried. Yeah, we have, we have. We're in that process. Alright so since we last recorded a podcast war has broken out and I was just thinking Mr in Europe ohh God three days we will we like ended it and then it was like oh wow, it's happening and now it feels like it's been two months since then. Had a brief conversation what do you think's gonna happen? And then immediately checked our phones to be like oh OK so they're shelling all over the place great ohh. So y'all are are we ready to learn about Henry Kissinger and a little. Country you might have heard of called Cambodia. Ohh God. And also a separate country you might have called Lao. And also the Vietnam still. So that energy, I am, let's go, let's do it, yeah. So on February 14th, Valentine's Day, 1965, President Lyndon B Johnson approved Operation Rolling Thunder. This was a long term campaign of aerial bombing against N Vietnam. Its primary aims were to help the morale of the South Vietnamese and the Saigon government to persuade. Like Vietnam to stop supporting the Vietcong and to destroy the North Vietnamese transportation infrastructure and industrial base so as to stop them from sending men and equipment. S it did not succeed as a spoiler. None of this, none of this works. Like, it's just amazing that, like, you have all this firepower, you have all these planes, and really you're talking about destroying, like, railroads and shipping and like, underground tunnels, too. This is the Ho Chi Minh Trail, you know? Yeah, I mean, is that we're talking about the Chi Minh. You know, yes. OK. And then they're never gonna do that. No. And this is like a lesson that no one ever learns in warfare, cause you can also point to like the saturation bombing of Germany, which had a minimal effect on German industrial production. You could talk about, like what's happening right now in Ukraine, which is not succeeded in its strategic games. You could talk about a number of wars the US has been involved. And you get about like World War One, where the British would drop 1,000,000 shells in a couple of hours on a chunk of trench line and then I'll get killed by machine gun fire because the shells didn't do enough. Like, military leaders always have this idea that we can just bomb our problems away and it just never really works. Yeah. No, it doesn't. It's. Yeah. You know what it does it it took terrifies the the civilian population. It sure does, yes. And it helps the Pentagon a lot. I think it does help the Pentagon. It makes money for people. So I guess to that extent it succeeds in its goal and operation Rolling Thunder did make some people a lot of money. It continued for three straight years until November of 1968. During this. Air Force Navy. And Marine Corps planes through more than 300,000 attack sorties, which dropped more than 864,000 tons of bombs. For reference, the United States dropped half a million tons of bombs in the Pacific theatre during all of World War Two. Yeah, it is hard to exaggerate the extent to which we bombed the **** out of North Vietnam, to no notable effect. According to our trustworthy friends at the CIA, the raids did $500 million in damage, killed 21,000 people, and injured more than 30,000 more. The CIA says that 75% of all casualties were people involved in military operations. U.S. government estimates not by the CIA, however, estimate at least 30,000 civilian fatalities. Other estimates place the civilian death toll much higher, at close to 200. 1000 civilians, probably fair to say, north of 100,000, you know. Yeah, a lot. A lot of folks. By the time Kissinger and Nixon took office, it was clear that Rolling Thunder had failed miserably. This was due in part to the existence of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in 1959. This is before U.S. soldiers had officially entered the country. The trail had been created under order by the Lao Dong, which is the Communist Party of Vietnam, to aid them. And what was at that point a building conflict with South Vietnam. At the start it led across. Just the Demilitarized Zone into caisson and South Vietnam porters would carry boxes of ammunition and rifles on their body, which they would then hand to insurgents in the South. Over time, the trail was expanded to a vast underground transit network more than 12,000 miles in size, capable of moving more than 10,000 troops and thousands of trucks per year. As the fighting escalated, the trail veered into Lao, where the government was engaged, fighting its own insurgency and unable to stop the transit of weapons. The Ho Chi Minh Trail allowed N Vietnam to smuggle equipment S and to evade the US naval blockade. Sought to choke it out. Today, even Defense Department sources recognize it as one of the greatest logistical successes of 20th century warfare. It it works pretty good. It's true. It's amazing to think of the number of bombs you're talking about. And then a, they they made a tunnel. Yeah. Turns out they make they dug a hole. Yeah, yeah. Really good hall. But it's like El Chapo. That's just a tunnel. It's it's it's in a jungle like we're talking about very difficult sort of environment to make a tunnel. It it's not that like, it's incredible what they did. Yeah. So LBJ's administration sent planes into Lao to bomb the trail and to escort loushin planes while they bombed the trail. When US airmen were killed or captured over Lao, their families were told they'd gone down in Southeast Asia to allow LBJ to claim head abided by his 1964 election promise. To avoid a wider war, Cambodia was bombed as well. But during LBJ's administration, Lao was considered a more important target. They thought more stuff was getting into Vietnam through Lao. This changed in 1968, when the Tet Offensive made it clear that that N Vietnam had gotten very good at running troops in and out of Cambodia. Johnson hadn't been willing to escalate the bombing campaign against a neutral country, though, especially since, again, there was this big election going on, and he was kind of having his vice president run on the promise that, like, we're really going to end this thing. So you know LBJ when he's trying to tease N Vietnam with a bombing. Alt isn't gonna just start laying into Cambodia, right? In the spring of 1969, after, you know, Kissinger and Nixon took office, they approved the expanded use of U.S. special forces in Lao, along with a campaign of sustained air strikes. This was called Operation Steel Tiger. All of these. So, I mean the stupidest names. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And we, I mean we, the marketing that we have gone for in this country for so long has been so absurd. Steel tiger. Well, I mean, they're just taking Y&T album names at this point, yeah. If only they'd gone with, like, Prince Operation Purple Rain. But it's like a defoliant that gives everyone cancer. So I should note here that all secret operations carried out by any U.S. forces anywhere in the world during the Nixon administration were approved personally by Henry Kissinger. Henry was the chairman of something called the 40 Committee. Hell. Oh sorry, yes, this was a semi secret body that had been set up to provide management and oversight to CIA covert operations. The committee was made-up of members of the National Security Council. They concerned themselves regularly with the question of how to stop weapons. Flowing into Vietnam by this point, trails ran through parts of Lao and Cambodia, but also from the Vietnam Chinese border. So Kissinger is the head of this committee considers a number of ways to stop weapons from getting into new or from getting into N Vietnam, including the use of thermonuclear weapons to annihilate the railways between North Vietnam and China, which is she's Christ out of its entire day of mind. And to be fair, is nuts enough that even Kissinger is like, no, that's a little too far. Let's let's sleep on this. He also considered bombing the ***** that kept N Vietnam's irrigation system from flooding all of its fields. Both of these would have been war crimes on a Titanic scale. Thankfully, Kissinger declined to do either in favor of a completely different set of war crimes. So that's good. That's nice. At least he picked. Yeah, let's do a different thing. He he decides which war crimes to commit, like we decide like jeans or sweatpants in the morning. I mean, I think that would go really well with what we're doing now. That'll really tight. Putting together yeah, that's quite a life. So immediately after taking office, Henry helps his new boss put together a menu of bombardment targets in Cambodia. This is literally called Operation Menu. No? Yeah. What? Have you bombed with us before? Have you? I just specials we got some great ideas on special. Be sure to tip your Bombardier. To get this sample bladder that that was. That's what I don't know. I actually don't recall off the top of my head which bombing Operation McCain was involved in. But there's a good there's a good tip joke to be made there. Somebody will figure it out. We'll do it in post. Yeah, we'll figure it out. Different parts of Operation Menu had code names. Different targets had code names like breakfast, lunch, snack, God, dinner, dessert. What? OHS? It's. I mean, it is one thing to be, like, so sadistic, and it's just another thing to tie it into. It will do a lot to try brunch. Yeah. Sir. Yeah, yeah. We're going back to brunch. Finally. Under, under the watchful eye of the next never take this away from us. So yeah, it's this that slaughter can be fun. Like, you can find fun. Yeah. Yeah. It's the you should. You gotta love what you do, Dave. Otherwise you're just gonna feel like work, you know? Yeah. So before they began this series of bombings, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they warned the White House quote some Cambodian casualties would be sustained in the operation and quote the surprise effect of attack would tend to increase casualty. So they're like the fact that we're not warning anyone and that we're keeping this a secret means more civilians will die like heads up so you know what you're doing. This is, this is what's going to happen. Now as they approach the question of bombing Cambodia, Kissinger and Nixon had a choice. They could either tell Congress. Or they could hide what they were doing and use the presidential power over the Armed Services to appropriate funds from other places in order to carry out the bombing and secret. Nixon had been elected with Kissinger's help, in part due to the LBJ administration's failure to end the war. He didn't want to go into 1972's reelection campaign having to defend the fact that he expanded it. Henry Kissinger worked with colonels Alexander Haig and Ray Sitton to figure out a way for the president to direct bombing operations in a private manner. And I'm going to quote from Kissinger Shadow, by Greg Grandin. Sitting based on recommendations he received from General Creighton Abrams the commander of military operations in Vietnam would work up a number of targets in Cambodia to be struck then he would bring them to Kissinger and Hague in the White House for approval. Kissinger was very hands on revising some of Sitton's work I don't know what he was using as his reason for varying them sit and later recalled strike here in this area Kissinger would tell them or strike there in that area. Once Kissinger was satisfied with the proposed target Sitton would back channel the coordinates to Saigon and from there a career would pass them on to the appropriate radar stations. Where an officer would make a last minute switch, the B52 would be diverted from its cover target in South Vietnam into Cambodia, where it would drop its bomb load on the real target. When the run was complete, the officer in charge of the deception would burn whatever documents, maps, computer printouts, radar reports, messages, and so on that might reveal the actual flight. Then he would write up false post strike paperwork indicating that the South Vietnam sortie was flown as planned. It's so much work. Yeah, reminds me of when I used to skip school. That, like the lengths I would go to to get away with cutting. Class and like the the point would be made always to me. Like if you put this focus towards studying, you'd probably, you'd spend less time and it would be more effective. But instead, you just waste so much. Instead of just stopping you, you do all this gymnastics just to continue the thing that is the problem that makes the problem compound. Yeah, it's they they really are are going through a lot of work to illegally bomb a neutral country to look like they're not bombing. Yeah. To look like they're not. It's gaslighting, you know? This is this. That's what that's what this is. Kissing. Yeah, you know, let's we're finally gonna get him cancelled. This is gonna be what I feel, man. It would be imagine Cancellable. We're we're gonna do to Kissinger what Hannibal Burress did to Cosby. Ohg, man. Ohh. Come on. Come on. So, you know, obviously this is very illegal. There's a lot and there's a lot of parts of it that are illegal. For example, the military has a chain of command and Sitton was bypassing his bosses in the Department of Defense because he's just a Colonel, right? Like colonels don't get to that's not their. Like, you're not at that level, right? So he is he is bypassing the normal chain of command in order to directly orchestrate an illegal bombing campaign with the White House and kind of cutting out a chunk of the Pentagon. Sitting knew at the time that it was weird to cut his commanding officers out and report directly to Henry Kissinger, he later recalled. I kind of felt I was way out on a limb and skating on some pretty thin ice with all my trips to the West basement of the White House where he's meeting with. Yeah, I mean, yeah, like I'm going to a secret basement. Yeah, and to talk about bombing, like, maybe maybe this isn't how it's supposed to be done. It doesn't seem like a democracy. Bad. I feel like we shouldn't be doing things like this in a basement. You come to secret democracy basement? Yeah, the people voted for this basement, though. The fanac. So I know, as you noted here, that they kind of cut out a large chunk of, like, the military command apparatus to do this. Which doesn't mean that those guys. They're against what they were doing. And in fact, all of Sitton superiors knew what he was doing. They just didn't want to be involved because again, it was a crime, you know? Like, so they so they're like, they're down with the cut out because they're just like, yeah, you do it. I don't want my name on this ****. ******* crazy, but go with it for sure. Yeah, I love it. I love it. Get Me Out of the loop. But yeah, they they didn't know about the bombing of Cambodia the same way I have never known a pot dealer. So sitting would regularly like, I don't know, I'm not gonna say this is to his credit, but he was like, this is weird. And he would go, he did on a couple of occasions, go to his superiors and was like, are you OK with this? And his exact phrasing of what they responded was just do just what you're doing. When you get a call to go to the White House, go because you don't really have a choice, which is great. Oh my God, it's all so good. It's straight out of the show. Snowfall, like, it's just like this **** just happens all the time. Yeah, this is what happened with Iran. Contra was the same ******* **** that, you know. Yeah, it's all crimes. And it's worth noting that, like, the United States is going to war with a neutral country in secret under the personal direction of a guy who several months ago had been a Harvard professor. Like Kissinger is not even a year distant from being a ******* teacher and this and now he is orchestrating a secret war in Cambodia. And and and like I I love the I love the the the beginning thing where you said there's like a guy whose job it is to pick targets and he's picking. Targets and Nick and kissing. Just taking the maps and going. No, I like this bomb here. Like, just totally random. He doesn't have any ******* idea what he's doing. He's just like that. Hill looks like it should go away. He has not even begun to micromanage this, this war crime, Dave. So the purpose of this illegal bombing campaign was not just to stop the movement of Vietnamese troops and materiel. It also paid. It also played a role in advancing what Nixon called his madman theory. Now, the president had shared this with close confidants prior to the 1968 election. He told his future chief of staff that in order to negotiate an end to the war with favorable terms, he felt he had to make the North Vietnamese quote believe I've reached a point where I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that for God's sake. You know, Nixon has obsessed about communists. We can't restrain him when he's angry and he has his hand on the nuclear button and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace, which is like the idea of someone like, so you want us to try to convey that you're crazy. OK. That seems, I think it's coming across, Sir. Honestly, I think that's already sort of thing that's baked into this whole thing a little bit. It's also very funny that, like they are trying to scare Ho Chi men who at this point is fighting his second winning war against a major world power with like. A very, very small number of people, you know, like the North N Vietnam. Not a big country compared to, say, the French imperial forces or the United States. He's not a kind of. You're not gonna scare Ho Chi men, right? He's not. He's not a guy who gets spooked. Yeah, no, it's over. That's just absolutely not happening at this point. Yeah. Now, Kissinger either believed in his boss's plan or understood that he had to play along. Greg Grandin argues that Nixon's madman theory was actually just an extension of the foreign policy. Arguments that Kissinger himself had been making for years, quote toughness, after all, was a late motif that run through much, ran through much of his statecraft, the idea that war and diplomacy are inseparable and that to be effective, diplomats need to be able to punish and persuade an equal, unrestricted measure. In fact, the madman theory was an extension of Kissinger's philosophy of the deed, that power wasn't power unless one was willing to use it, that the purpose of action was to neutralize the inertia of inaction. And it like it. It's not, I mean it's not a double down, it's like you've it's 18 double downs but at some point. You just, I I, at least in my lifetime, had a moment where I did believe that there were, there were people who were who would, like, point out the crazy ****. And the more you learn, the more you go. No, there's just, there's not they are just all like, it's like a bunch of junkies figuring out how to get more junk. Yeah. I mean, it's just like it's just how do you get through the day? It's not long term anything. Yep. You know, there there's a degree to which. And. And this is like, one of the things that's most frustrating about this, part of how this always gets justified is there's legitimate logic in that. Yeah. Hitler gobbled up a bunch of little chunks of of Western Europe, and nobody stopped him. And they should have, like, something should have been done, like when he decided to take Czechoslovakia, you know, we're doing the Angelus, or certainly, you know, like, there. And they take this logic of like, yeah, if you have this, like, massive militarized nation gobbling up its neighbors, you can't just necessarily do nothing. And they apply that to like, well, OK, we've got a bomb. Cambodia because some dudes are hiking through it with guns on their back, like Chamberlain. Nonsense. Escalation. Chamberlain also is always in play there too, because it's like, everyone's like you. You don't wanna be Chamberlain. Yeah, we're appeasing N Vietnam if we don't drop more bombs than we're dropped in all of World War Two on Cambodia. Yeah, Cambodia. It's this nonsense escalation of of of logic. Of historical logic that's like someday Nixon's just going to look in the mirror and be like, sometimes I think I'm. I'm just fighting a war inside of myself. There actually are some quotes from Kissinger that aren't all that far off gear. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just 15. Dollars a month. 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I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SP. RE, get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. We're back. So the first bombing mission in this operation was launched on March 18th, 1969. Kissinger was in conversation at the time when he was interrupted with a note telling him that the bombing run had been a success. He smiled and then sent the information on to the president. Nixon's chief of staff later recalled historic Day Kissinger really excited he came in beaming with the report. Now, it was noted by people who were around the White House that Nick that Kissinger seemed to enjoy, quote playing the Bombardier, taking great pains to direct the destruction. Seymour Seymour Hersh wrote that quote when the military men presented a proposed bombing list. Kissinger would redesign the missions, shifting a dozen planes, perhaps from one area to another, and altering the timing of the bombing runs. And it does. Yeah. I guess no ******* expertise in this area. Absolutely none. His he's a ******* nerd who reads books like, you don't know anything about what to bomb, Henry. It's like me showing up at a hospital and being like, alright, give me this surgical schedule. I need to start working these surgeries and getting them in order. Like, yeah, it's ******* crazy. It it is. I mean, this is a, there's a human impulse here we're seeing in Ukraine where all these, like, random people are being like, here's how you disable a tank. And it's like you've never disabled a tank. You know what the **** you're talking about? Like you're not gonna, you like throwing paint on it isn't going to stop it. You're going to get people killed if anyone stupid enough to listen to you shut up. It just like Kissinger is actually in a power to really do that. And there's this. I don't know what it is. I don't know what it is that makes some people certain that, like, they know how to prosecute an entire war based on their experience reading a lot of books at a school and there's and there's, it doesn't sound like there's anybody who's going like, no, it doesn't make any sense. Is this out of its mind? Yeah, yeah. So it's it's just like it it is. It's just people being like, OK, sure. Because there's a lot, obviously the the unrestricted drone warfare that that escalated during the Obama administration and continued at an even higher pace under Trump is indefensible morally. But also the way that it tended to work was like you would get, you know, these guys with the the administration at whichever one it was would say, like, these are the things we are, we are going to target with drones and then the military would bring them like, well, here are the different options for strikes that we have and they would like pick which one to do. Kissinger is literally taking the maps from them, erasing their plans and like, writing in his own, which is like a code coach in the it's someone in the huddle with an actual, like with Coach K He's drawing a play on a whiteboard and then a fan just scribbles it out and like, rubs it all down with his arm. And then he's like instead, why don't we all run up the court at the same time and then we pass the ball bunch tried to do it. That would make someone head the ball into the net. It's it's I think, yeah, I'm just upset because. I bought 40 gallons of paint because you were gonna try to knockout a couple of tanks coming tank war. And now the whole ******* thing is shot like, yeah, yeah, yeah. There there are some things paint is good at when it comes to conflict. There were some very funny moments in one of the big shud fights we had up in Portland where kids filled a fire extinguisher with paint and like, ruined thousands of dollars in tactical gear. That was nice. That was good. Wow. Yeah. That's not to say that amateurs never have. Good ideas, but. They were not amateurs at that point, though. Those kids had been fighting those sprout boys for a minute. So Kissinger's extraordinary degree of control over the situation was possible because he had literally reformed the entire national security apparatus around himself. Nixon wanted a buffer from his own Secretary of State, which provided Henry with the opportunity to take as much power in, centralized it around the national security adviser. And he could do this as long as he kept Nixon happy. Under Kissinger, the National Security Council which he headed became the center of USA. Written policy, a massive bureaucracy fed piles of information, embassy Kales, cables, intelligence reports, etcetera, straight to Henry Kissinger. He decided he was again, Henry is where all of the information from this vast apparatus that the US has to gather information, right? The eyes and ears of the president, you know, all of the things that are supposed to provide the President with information. All of that comes directly to Henry and he decides what to give the president. And he was a teacher and he like a year before he was a guy who's primary claim to fame. Before this was we need more nukes. We don't have enough ******* nukes. And also we should use them whenever it's I I was just watching. There's a great documentary called Command and Control that's about a nuclear disaster in the US in 1980 that nearly killed half of the people on the East Coast that enough folks don't know about. A guy accidentally dropped a bolt and it ignited part of a nuclear missile, and it nearly killed everyone in the eastern seaboard. Yeah, it was it was a big it was a big kerfuffle. And she's so this guys there's a screw fell in the thing that's nuts about it. But one of the things that pointed out I think we have Sophie can Google this for me. I think we have about 6000 nuclear weapons right now which is way too many. But as a result we have yeah we have the so the Soviet Russia has around 6000 we have around 4800 I think 4800. So that's too much both countries have too many nukes. I think we can all say that's fair it's I'm not I'm not signing up on that as a result in part of. Passengers, we have a missile gap and we need to build more. By this point in the mid 60s, there are 32,000 nuclear weapons in the United States. I think it is. It's even an aside because it's like a Kardashian with shoes. Yeah, I feel my thing has always been every, every person who owns property should be allowed to have a nuke. Your own nuke? Look, look, I I think you can all agree. You know what? You know what there wouldn't be if everyone had a nuke, Dave. No knock raids by the cops. That's true. You're not going to have any of that ****. They gonna be busted down doors? Yeah. No. Come on in, guys. It's fine. Doors open, *******. Real different situation, Ari. The cops, if everybody's got a nuke, other problems though there would there would be some other problem. I don't see any other problems. Yeah. So anyway, Kissinger is the the Kissinger is effectively turned himself into the eyes and ears of the United States military apparatus. He decides what they're saying. It's going crazy. You can argue he's one of the two or three most powerful people who's ever lived. At this point, there's an argument could be made. So Marvin and Bernard Calb, who were both diplomats at this point, describe what Henry builds here as Henry's wonderful machine quote since Kissinger. I know Willy Wonka, Mr Magorium's nuclear emporium. Since Kissinger controlled the system, he controlled the decision making process. Everyone reports to Kissinger and only Kissinger reports to the President. This setup allowed Henry to micromanage bombing campaigns over order covert arms deals and engage in secret diplomacy at will. He was not merely executing the president's orders. He himself was free to make national policy as long as Nixon was happy with him. From Kissinger's Shadow quote, Kissinger, according to Marvin and Bernard called Calb, knew almost instinctively that he would be able to control the bureaucracy and thus help reorder. American diplomacy only to the degree that he became indistinguishable from the President and his policies. Rogers at state was opposed to the idea of escalating the war into Cambodia. Layered at the Pentagon was for it, but thought it needed to be done aboveboard, legally and publicly through the normal chain of command. This gave Kissinger an opening, letting him stake out an A+ ultra position. He wanted to bomb. He wanted to bomb in a way that inflicted the most pain, and he wanted to bomb an absolute secrecy completely off the books. As a result, every war crime committed by the United States during the Nixon administration. Every bad thing U.S. forces do, particularly under the under the ages of special operations at least right, has to be considered one of Henry Kissinger's crimes because it is his job to personally sign off on all of them and he is Mike. He is not just a rubber stamper, he is he is actively pushing for things. So we are going into very specific detail about one specific crime. If you find a bad thing that the US that US, the CIA or special forces did from 1969 to 1973. Henry Kissinger gave that the old thumbs up. So. Again, we're gonna have to leave out a lot. It doesn't even sound like it. It's. I mean, it's like ego based. Yeah, it's it's not even. I mean there's, there's there's so little actual. It just shows you like what happens when you're in a bubble. Yeah. But I mean, I just don't think most people would would be capable of this, but it's it is. It's just like it's not really from anything other than he is just feels great being at the helm of this and it's an extremely powerful position and it's such a bad idea. Like, if you proceed like a moment, get ourselves in the headspace of someone who thinks all of this is morally justified, it's a bad idea because a a person can't competently manage all of this, right? Like they would they would be like, look, I need help. I mean we're doing what we came to do. Like a reasonable warlord would be like delegating rational level headed. Yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah. So when he was signing off on bombing runs, Kissinger poured over raw intelligence. Documents which included information on exactly, in many cases down to the number, how many civilians lived in a certain targeted target area. Now, sometimes it was a little bit less specific than this. For example, area 704, which had quote sizable concentrations of civilians, didn't have an exact number but was bobbed 247 times on Henry Kissinger's orders. And since we're going to be talking a lot about bombing, we should discuss exactly what that mint in this case, because all bombings are not created equal. The bombings Kissinger directed were carried out by B52 bombers. These are massive planes. These are like the size of the big international commercial aircraft, roughly right. These are not like fighter jets and stuff. These fly too high to be seen from the ground, and they are incapable of meaningful discrimination between civilian and military targets. This is not an era in which there's even much at all in the way of precision guided bombing and the with a B. 52 You cannot even attempt precision. You are dropping explosives blindly from like a mile up. I want to quote now from a write up by Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan for Yale quote. A single B52-D Big belly payload consists of up to 100 and eight 225 kilogram or 42340 kilogram bombs, which are dropped in a target area of approximately 500 by 1500 meters. In many cases, Cambodian villages were hit with dozens of payloads over the course of several hours. The result was near total destruction. One US official stated at the time we had been told Assad, everybody, that those carpet bombing attacks by B50 twos were totally devastating, that nothing could survive. It's like a sturgeon with eggs. Yeah, yeah, it is. It is just completely indiscriminate. Yeah, one Cambodian survivor, because people did live. As we've stated, these are never as good at killing people as the military likes to claim, which is not to minimize the horror. It's just like it's also not it doesn't work. Yeah, I mean 11, Cambodian survivor of US bombing described it this way. 3F-11 ones bombed right center of my village, killing eleven of my family members. My father was wounded but survived. At that time, there was not a single soldier in the village or in the area around the village. 27 other villages were also killed. They had to run into a ditch to hide and then two bombs fell right into it. For ****** sake. Yeah, it is. Yeah. You cannot, you cannot exaggerate the the extent to which this is indiscriminate. Yeah, it's just total madness on top of madness. I mean, there's no, yeah, people are rightly furious about, like, bombing in in in Ukrainian cities right now. What the United States is doing in Cambodia is eliminating grid squares on a map of all life. Like, yeah, which is a country that has nothing to ******* do. Yeah, some dudes are walking through it, you know, like, it's cop logic. We're like, well, a guy who stole a car was seen in this neighborhood, so we had to shoot anyone, someone we saw in the window of their house, you know, like, it's that kind of ****. Which I guess it makes sense that cops act the way they do because this has always been the way people with guns and power act everywhere. They're all time. Yeah. So that's good. Yeah. Yeah. So the ostensible purpose of all this carnage, which to put an end to North Vietnam's ability to wage war, but a huge factor for both Kissinger. Nixon, even larger than any actual like impact on the war itself, was to preserve their personal power. Right after the bombing of Cambodia began, Nixon sent Kissinger to to talk with the Soviet ambassador, a fellow named Dobrinin in Henry Kissinger in American power, Thomas Schwartz writes. Quote Kissinger put forward a straightforward put forth a straightforward domestic political account for Nixon's motivation and thinking, noting that Nixon is not seeking a military victory, but he cannot go down in American history as the first US president to have lost the. A war in which the US participated. Ohh. I mean the the the honest like you'd think you'd at least lie about. No, no, just the. Ohhh my God. Look, it's murdering democide is one thing, Gareth, but dishonesty, friends. It's just it's disgusting. That's. I feel like a parent. Look, ambassador, someone Kissinger drinks with, you know? Yeah. Gonna lie to him. Exactly. I just. I would love to see a version where he just keep up in appearance. Look, you can't. We just. Nixon hates losing. That's what this is about. We can't take the people. Yeah, it's so between March of 1969, in May of 1970, more than 3630 rates were flown across the Cambodian border. Each was approved personally by Henry Kissinger. The New York Times broke this story to the American public for the first time in May of 1969. So that's pretty good, right? Like the New York Times actually is pretty shocking on this and reveals what has happened. This prompts protests and international outcry. That's one of the frustrating things about the New York Times because there's a million things to be angry at them all the time. And then it's like, oh, and they also were the first people to reveal this horrific crime against humanity because these bright spots where, like, you ******* well, it's like a broken clock, though, you know, every now and then it's like a broken clock. But when it's right, it's about like the massacre of civilians on an industrial scale. But also when it's wrong, it's about the massacre of civilians, southern industries. Mixed bag. So there's immediately protest. In international outcry, armed students seize a building at Cornell University, which is very based. Students at Kissinger's own Harvard engage in a two week strike. Ever PR savvy, Kissinger agreed to meet with student protesters in order to prop up his image among liberals. He told them, if you come back in a year and things haven't changed, we won't have a morally defensible position. So, like, hey, you know, I know it's all ****** **. I've got to fix this whole messed up. It's been going on for years. You know, I'm working on it if you come back and find out. Behind this, I will figure it out. I figure out who's the problem. There's a cog in here. Give me give me one year to kill all the babies. And it also shows how ******* crazy you are. Like, if you're doing this, you know you'd be like, look, hide me. I do not want to talk to the fact that he's like, I don't meet with them. It's like we can make it work. Yes. He doesn't want it. I'll. I'll just tell him what's up. Like, look, we gotta kill him. We gotta kill people for like a year. Let's let's see how it goes. Give me here. I'm gonna bomb the **** out of just villages and **** and kill a bunch of babies. And ladies, you have no idea. And after a year, it's just nice year. Nice to be back at Harvard. Look at the campus. You guys had changed a couple of things, huh? You guys, this is awesome. Like you guys are like, I heard something bad. We're just getting started. By the way, give me a year is an amazing thing to say with this. It's on this. Look, look, yeah, this is happening in the year. We'll revisit. It's like, yeah, no, not a year. You don't get to revisit this. You're not gonna revisit. We should revisit where we are in the story after. This break? Yeah. Let's let's revisit the sponsors of this show. You know who else you know who else need a year to keep killing? Yeah, look. If, if. Has not stopped the carpet bombing of Cambodia in a year. Then then you can cancel your subscription. You know, by the way talking, that's menus. Those are menu options. Yeah, very much like, yeah, it's very much like a White House visit with a we'll do one to make a quesadilla. Or do you want to do this chickpea salad? What do you have then? There's options you want to do a flatbread Margarita style? Ohhh. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and at Mint. Families start at 2 lines. 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So if you're thinking of giving therapy a try, better help is a great. Option it's convenient, accessible, affordable, and it is entirely online. You can get matched with a therapist after filling out a brief survey, and if the therapist that you get matched with doesn't wind up working out, you can switch therapists at anytime. When you want to be a better problem solver, therapy can get you there. Visit behind today to get 10% off your first month. That's better My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them, you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with speaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always felt like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. Ohh, we're back. So there's congressional inquiries about the illegal carpet bombing of Cambodia. What are they after? They say what? They smell some smoke. I should also note seizing Cornell offices with with arms dope. Actually sitting down with Henry Kissinger to let him talk about how things aren't really that bad. Not dope. Maybe throw a stapler at his face. You know, something like it should try to hit you. You ******* hit him really hard. Try to hit him, you know? Used to give him a shoe. You know, you've got options. Somebody from a ******* baseball team at Harvard had to have been able to hit him with a fastball. There are people that if you're around, you should Cheney, Bush, you get around certain people, you get close to him. You should ******* hit them. Hit them hard. Look, Dick Cheney is basically like a charging phone. Just unplug him at this point and see what happens. Just whatever is little plug is, just turn on a microwave next to it. Just have a microwave and an extension cord and put it up popcorn and throw it in his lap. Yeah. Look, we, we, we all know, everybody here knows that eventually Cheney and and Kissinger shed their human skins, become one ball of energy. I think Kissinger currently is shedding his human skin. If you've seen him lately, it looks like he's halfway through the fingers crossed. Yeah. But the two of them merge and then, you know, wings. Ohh yeah, I get it. So they kind of become like a like a Cerebus or something like that. Yeah, and then they're one. It's like, come on handrail, let's get out of here. Finally they got through form and then they centipede of evil, and they locate and nuke microbiological life on Europa. We are calling to say war crime no one has done yet. I love comedy. Didn't see this coming, so there's congressional inquiries. Kissinger gets brought before the Senate where he assures everyone that Cambodian territories bombed by the US were all quote unpopulated. He knew this was a lie at the time. We know from briefing documents Kissinger received that he was warned in detail about such things. The breakfast bombing target he was told, was inhabited by 16140 civilians. Dessert had 350 Nixon initiatives. It's just like ice cream. Yeah. You wouldn't get angry at me for bombing a baskin-robbins, would you? There are no people there who senator who hates cake. It's called the magic shell. So Nixon eventually initially blamed Kissinger for the leaks that had revealed the story of the bombing of Cambodia to the New York Times. And this is because Kissinger brings in a lot of like liberals, like a lot of Kissinger's staff are not Republicans are not like right wing guys. They're like northeastern liberals. Yeah, because yeah. And then this is his charming, they are not. But Nixon is like, it must have been one of these East Coast liberals you brought in that leaked at the times of Heath, right? So he thinks it's. Extension of Kissinger. Not Kissinger himself. No, no, no, he doesn't kiss. No, that would be no, someone's really up to something. Somebody's ******* around. Some of there's a big *******. I won't tell you who, though, but this is just like bringing Woody Allen in. He's funny. He does. He's he's good. Yeah, this is some good context on how comprehensively should he a person Kissinger is, how incapable of real loyalty he is. Thomas Schwartz writes that in order to preserve his own position, Kissinger had to throw large numbers of his team members. Under the bus quote, yeah. Kissinger called FBI Director J Edgar Hoover and gave him a list of those staffers in his office with access to the information, telling Hoover that he would destroy whoever did this if we can find him, no matter where he is. Among the first to be wiretapped was Morton Halperin, who had helped devise the NSC system, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Kissinger's fellow German Jewish refugee, and even Winston Lord, the man Kissinger later called his conscience on foreign policy issues and all there would be 17 FBI wiretaps up by the White House, 13 on government employees. Including Kissinger staff and foreign newsmen, among them Kissinger's British friend who was a reporter for the London Times. It's a meteoric rise. It's like American Idol level, sudden impact as far as because, I mean, he, as you pointed to, he wasn't like this crazy. I mean, he was crazy, but now it's like he's just, it's on roids the level that he the level he's gotten to and the level of insanity that he's gotten to is really. Even for this country's historic yeah, it's it's pretty cool. And just like, great he is, he's not capable of even, like, treating his very loyal friends well. So yeah, this would come back to bite Kissinger and Nixon in the *** and the not too distant future. But we're going to take a while to get to that because there's a lot in between there and now. So let's return to Cambodia. It is worth noting that Operation Menu achieved nothing. It was useless in a military sense. The enemy command and control facilities they were ostensibly trying to destroy were never taken out. And it was useless from a negotiating standpoint because N Vietnam did not bulge budge bulge in May of 19 they bulged baby. 1970 Nixon decided to escalate again by ordering a ground invasion of Cambodia. He announced this with a typically unhinged speech. And again, this is public cause. At this point, you know, the New York Times has revealed things, so we live in an age of anarchy. We see mindless attacks on all the great institutions which have been created by free civilizations in the past 500 years. Happening because kids are, like, protesting in colleges? Yeah, like, yeah, he framed it as a test of the nation's quote will in character. There is now he's right. When one of his staff members balked when Kissinger staff members balked at plans to illegally invade Cambodia with ground troops troops, Henry told him, quote your views represent the cowardice of the eastern establishment. This staff member, William Watts, tried to physically attack Henry Kissinger, who hid behind his desk. It's like if that if he was only able to just kill him, what a, what a. Imagine the ripple. If only there'd been a sharper letter opener on the desk he could have just penned and put it like a pen through his neck. Yeah. It's very funny that Kissinger did at some point have to hide behind a desk to stop some staff from assault, strong bombing everywhere. And then he's hiding under his desk. The relax. So this staff member. Yeah. Watts resigns right after this and when staff member Anthony Lake echoes Watts's concerns. Kissinger, presumably still hiding behind his desk, calls Lake not manly enough to do what was necessary. And so, like, resigns too. Yeah, bold words from behind. Hiding behind a desk. Yeah. Big tough guy. Four days after Nixon's speech announcing the invasion of Cambodia, 4 students were shot dead at Kent State during a protest over the invasion. Nine more were wounded. Two weeks later, at Jackson State, Police shot into a crowd of black students protesting the War Two were killed and 12 wounded. The invasion? Prompted some of the first consequences and only consequences Kissinger ever faced. Stern rebukes from fancy academics. He respected a group of them, men who had often acted as his brain trust and advised him and other presidential advisers on issues marched into his office after the invasion. One of the men, Thomas Schelling, opened by saying that he supposed he should explain who they were. Kissinger responded with confusion. That I know who you are, you're all good friends. From Harvard. Next from Niall Ferguson's. Kissinger no, said shelling. There are a group of people who have completely lost confidence in the ability of the White House to conduct our foreign policy, and we have come to tell you so we are no longer at your disposal as personal advisors. Each of them then proceeded to berate him, taking 5 minutes apiece. Now see sound desk at this point, if it's seen from Rudy when they all hand in their yeah form to get ready to play is that it's it's like that. And this is stories like Rudy if you have oh God, what's his ******* name? I'm spacing The West Wing, ************. Aaron Sorkin. Aaron Sorkin. If Aaron Sorkin writing ************ that is the best description of him. If Aaron Sorkin is writing this, this is like the heroic moment where like. Puncheons of like the American ruling class, like comes in is like, this is not right, Henry and and really that's ********. That's not what's happening. And Ferguson goes on to note that these guys were kind of foolish it they're all Washington insiders. They have advised shelling, advised LB J to massively escalate violence throughout the the war in Vietnam, Ferguson continues. And this is his explanation of what they were really doing. Quote for these men publicly breaking with Kissinger, with journalists briefed in advance about the breach was a form of self exculpation not to say an insurance policy. Student radicals back on the Harvard campus ran riot when Neustadt told the Crimson. I think it's safe to say we're afraid he did not specify of what others were more candid. As shelling put it, if Cambodia succeeds, it will be disaster. Not just because my Harvard office may be burned down when I get home, but it will even be a disaster in the administration zone terms. So it's amazing. Fox sake. Yeah. I mean, honestly, that's what this happens on the dollop a lot, where I'm like, alright, we got a hero and then immediately I'm like more villains, *** **** it. I mean, to the extent that there's some heroes, the kids on these campuses who are actually, like, lighting buildings on fire and destroying things they do make Henry Kissinger and his academic friends afraid and uncomfortable briefly, which is more than anyone else does. Yeah. And what I mean, this, this would kind of be the last time that that even happens. Really? Right. That. Like that. That. People in that level of power do feel any sort of like threat from the so the regular folk. Yeah. Credit where it's due. They are the only people that I'm aware of who made Henry Kissinger briefly feel something that vaguely resembles shame emotion. Yeah. Good. Like seriously good work. But of course you know that doesn't stop anything, obviously. You know, he's got, he's got, he's got many desks. Yeah. So Cambodia falls into chaos as a result of the same as most places would when. Jumped on this level, right? Yeah, hard to maintain a state with this level of things exploding, it is unclear precisely how many people die in Operation Menu the subsequent invasion of Cambodia and the bombing campaigns that followed. The low estimate is 50,000. The high estimates are 150 to 200,030 to 50,000. Lotions die in the bombing campaign, which makes these sparsely populated nation the most densely bombed place on Earth. 30% of these bombs failed to detonate, and in the years since the bombing, another 20,000 people. Have died from the estimated 80 million bombs left in the soil. 40% of the victims are children, one aid worker said of the situation. There are parts of Lao where there is literally no free space, there are no areas that have not been bombed and when you are in the villages now you still see the evidence of that. You see the bomb craters, you still see an unbelievable amount of metal and wreckage and unexploded ordinance just lying around in villages and it still injuring and killing people today. What a legacy. Now if any of this concerned Nixon and Kissinger they did not show it to. I would like to just throw out there. Right. I do feel that gardening should be more dangerous. So, yeah. Yes. And nobody's in disagreement about that. And we have enough bombs in this country to make gardening a lot more dangerous, and we should. Yeah, that's that is my 2024 ******* beans. If you if there's not a one in three chance digging up a potato loses you a *** **** arm, you're not really a gardener. So how are the tomatoes Kens dead? I can die. If any of this concern Nixon and Kissinger, we have no evidence of it. We know that in 1972 Nixon asked how many did we kill in Lao? And the press Secretary Ron Ziegler responded with a guess. Maybe 10,015. Kissinger agreed and motion in the lotion thing we killed about 10:15. This is how they talk about. It's the showcase Showdown 3 to 59 elevens worth of people constantly. It's the way you talking about. You get like one bag of grapes or two. Yeah, I think I have two bags of grapes. What's the cover fee to get into that, to get into that concert? That's like 10 or 15 bucks, you know? Yeah. Yeah, except for this is there. They're just complete and total ******* psychopaths and they're off by 1/2 at least, you know, it's hard to get accurate. You know, death tolls here and the bombs were not the only thing left behind by the campaign that Kissinger orchestrated. Greg Grandin writes defoliation chemicals did their work just over a two week. April 18th to May 2nd, 1969. US dropped Agent Orange caused significant damage, Andrew Wells Dang, who has long been involved in relief aid to Southeast Asia, writes. Both the US government and independent inspection teams confirmed that 173,000 acres were sprayed. 7% of Kampong Cham Province, 24,700 of them seriously affected. The rubber plantations totaled approximately 1/3 of Cambodia's total and represented a loss of 12% of the country's export earnings. Washington agreed to pay over 12 million in reparations, but Kissinger tried to defer the payment to fiscal year. 1972, when the money could be paid without a specific, without a special request that would have revealed US cross-border activity. Every effort Kissinger wrote should be made to avoid the necessity for a special budgetary request to provide funds to pay this claim. Oh my God. Look, we're going to, we're going to, we're going to give you money. You're going to get the money. You're gonna get the money. The money is going to take a while. I just need to it's like a tax thing move. Yeah. I need to move some stuff around just but you're gonna get it. It's fine. You know, let's just keep it on the on the deal, you know what I mean? That's yeah, it is. He is service wasn't calling Trump Agent Orange, by the way, that that wasn't his code name. That's a disappointment, that is. I mean, yeah, there's a lot of reasons to be disappointed in the Secret Service, but that is one of them. That's my number one. So the loss of life and economic damage caused Cambodia to spiral into chaos, or at least it was a factor. Other stuff going on, we, we have a couple episodes about King Notre Dame Sihanouk, who was a real ***** ** **** and the King of Cambodia in this. A lots happening, but unrest by the caused by the bombings and the economic devastation. Helped to spark a right wing coup which was likely orchestrated with CIA help and thus with the direct input. And Enrique Kissinger, you guys are looking to change things up here. We've got a plan. We got an idea but it's a matter what happened. Someone bomb you will let why don't we provide some help? Yeah, exactly. And the coup you know, overthrows the king who then starts backing the Khmer Rouge who then when they're great. Yeah they're counter revolution against the right wing coup. And this leads to the establishment of pull pots Khmer Rouge government. Yay. Once the Rouge took over in 1975, Nixon had left office. Kissinger, though, was still in power in November of 1975, he told Thailand's foreign Minister, you should also tell the Cambodians that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won't let that stand in our way. We are prepared to improve relations with that. I mean, I mean we get, we get it, Kissinger. My people were murdered. I get murderous thugs. I'm all about murderous thugs. I think we could find common ground. This man wants to kill a million people. I think that is a cute start. Adorable. In 1988, when questioned on this, Kissinger explained that quote. The tie and the Chinese did not want a Vietnamese dominated Indochina. We didn't want the Vietnamese to dominate. I don't believe we did anything for Pol Pot, but I suspect we closed our eyes when some others did. Think something for pole pots. Of course, the United States attempted at least to provide direct military aid to the Khmer Rouge in order to help them oppose Vietnam, and there's a lot of debate and uncertainty. It seems that very little, if any, actually made it to the camera. But this is primarily because of difficulty getting ****. Into Cambodia at this point in time. But it is fair to say that Kissinger and Nixon's actions were crucial in creating the circumstances that brought Pol Pot to power. And once he was in charge and massacring people, they tacitly supported his government because they thought it would stymie the Vietnamese in total. From the killing that started when the US bombing raids began, to the people killed by Pol Pot's regime, to those who died fighting in in the fighting with Vietnam that finally brought the Rouge to an end 1.7 million Cambodians died more than 1/4 of the population of the country pre war. It's it's so incredible how? Their ideology of just communism bad. They're like, well, communism will kill a bunch of people and they're just ******* everything they can to save those people. And it's also like, they don't even really believe Communist cause could. The Camaro is your communist as hell, and they're fine with working with them because it's Vietnam is the ones who beat them. And so they're angry at Vietnam and it's like. And Vietnam fights Cambodia like it's not there's no these people don't believe in anything. Yeah, there's not good lessons to take from this, but no, it's it's someone should have stabbed Henry Kissinger, that's for sure. I stabbed him, yeah, there's so many people we should have stabbed I mean, there's so many, but Kissinger 's way up there and they're in in this story. Right like we're not obviously. You can't blame all of the deaths in Cambodia on Kissinger, a lot just like you can't blame all of the deaths in Vietnam on on Kissinger and Nixon. But like just so many lead to which he's central to a lot of the worst actions in these wars well and so the I. I keep thinking about the point you made in the last episode where it you know the idea that LBJ. That that he broke up the LBJ plan to sort of end all of this and just for political reasons made that not happen. And that just that the avenue that we are down now is just, I mean, it's unconscionable. And there's there's so much also, we also, besides just the straight bombings. We destabilize areas, we change the trajectory. Look, Putin is our ******* doing. Yeah, yeah. We ******* took out the government and we we Yeltsin, all that ****. That was a ******* America. Not gonna let you sit here and talk **** on Yeltsin. He was a very in control of what he was doing towards. He definitely knew what was happening. It wasn't like having a bottle of Smirnoff in charge. Nothing that happened. Yeah, everything we get involved with turns into a **** pie. I mean, it's just we just create chaos. Yeah, we're murder, Midas. It it's this. It's this thing where we're talking about, like, how how insane it is. That Kissinger is micromanaging these bombings. Which is not to say that, like the military men who were doing it before, we're particularly better. And this is the problem that, like, we're going to have, you know, with Ukraine and whatnot too. It's just that, like, well, now we have all of these people who are supposed to be or the people we call experts who are now going to be doing things. And like, if you actually look at their resumes, it is not a wide-ranging history of successes, you know, and it is the same thing with Russia. You could look at like Russian intervention in a bunch of places. It's a nightmare. It the kind of people who are in a position to make calls when the conflicts get to this level are always ghouls, and they're always bad at anything but causing devastation. And that's why all of this keeps happening, because none of these people are any good at it, and no one gets punished for failing, and nobody ever gets punished rising up. I mean, yeah, the fact that Bill Kristol is still saying what anybody should do anywhere in the world, you're like, what in the **** is going on? Who? Who, yes, who gets? To go who goes away? Whoever goes away favoring his tweets, I imagine I know somebody who lost their job at a grocery store because they got arrested protesting for like, protesting against police violence. Meanwhile, meanwhile, Bill Kristol is like a guest on media show. It's it's still. What do you think? Wow, I mean. I yeah, it's it's frustrating. Every now and then, far too seldom you get a story like that billionaire Russian arms dealer whose yacht got partially sunk. But there's like three of those stories for every 1000 Kissinger's yeah, and they don't ever mean anything because that guy can afford to fix his ******* yacht. So when they were, they were egging bezos's boat when it when he was getting that bridge torn down. Yeah, you're like, I mean, yeah, it's like he's gonna have someone hose it down and that's fine. Yeah, everybody. You look yachts burn. We know this. We've. That's it. They burn. That's the thing. Yachts burn, and so do bill crystals, bills, crystals. So I think it's like an attorney, no. Yeah, actually, when you burn him, he just turns into a few crystals. So Greg Grandin, author of Kissinger's Shadow, sees the bombing campaign in Cambodia and Lao as the terminal phase in what he calls the Crackup of America's domestic consensus, which had begun under Johnson. Kissinger considered conditions in the country at the time of Kent State to be, quote, near civil war conditions. The paranoia Nixon had felt led him to push for illegal expansions of domestic surveillance, which eventually led to his ouster from office. The Senate investigation into the Watergate scandal concluded quote Kent State marked a turning point for Nixon, the beginning of his downhill slide. Towards Watergate, Nixon grew increasingly unhinged, which is a story for another time. And Nixon starting to lose a gang. It is worth noting that for all of the things happening at this point, Nixon is, as a rule anytime I quote him. And kissing Kissinger, talking Nixon is as a rule drunker than you have ever been, right? Like then you have ever been. I don't care how how drunk you've gotten, you have never gotten Nixon in the White House hammered. So, with Kissinger's help, Nixon cooks up a plan to pursue an arms control treaty in order to discredit his political rivals. Kissinger agreed that attacking the left was the right way to distract from the disaster they'd created in Southeast Asia. He told his boss. We've got to break the back of this generation of Democratic leaders, Nixon responded in agreement. We've got to destroy the confidence of the people in the American establishment. Good news on that one, buddy. Yeah, I mean, honestly. Yeah. You know what? A rare swish. And he's drunk and he's right that is a hole in one for you, my friend. No. No. So prescient. Yeah. Yeah. Reelection in 1972 was always going to be dicey for Nixon and Kissinger. Nixon's plan was the infamous Southern strategy, cultivating racial resentment in order to turn whites into a reliable Republican voting bloc. There's a lot to be said about this, obviously, we were just kind of breezing past it. But part of the strategy, part of his strategy for doing this to get these southern whites on his side, was to continue carpet bombing huge chunks of Southeast Asia, even though this had no impact on the wars course. And he knew it. It's grand and described the continued bombing as, quote, blood tribute paid to the growing power of the American right. And it's yeah. And it, I mean it, it is like, I mean you it's it's what our politics is now which is just constantly the optics on how to get reelected. It's just the number crunch on how do you get reelected by doing things illegally or you know shifting priority whatever it is but unmasking, yeah. Yeah, whatever it is. I mean you know like we all know that war helps poll numbers so. Well some of them do. Yeah. Right. But I mean in the in the short term it seems like it's it's a short. There's a short term gain to be made, certainly if you're on the right for sure, yeah, yeah. And it it's. It it is worth noting, because I always had this idea, even at past the point where I stopped believing Henry Kissinger was a hero. That he was doing what he was doing in Southeast Asia because there were like very specific wonky things he believed about the conduct of the war and how to win it, right. It was just like willing to do these horrible things. But like, no, they know it's not winning the war. This is for votes. And Kissinger, so I mean you're you're basically just saying it is just a a white supremacist. Thing they're killing. Yeah. People of color to make whites in the South happy. Yeah. That's all we're saying. Yeah yeah yeah. Hmm yeah. That supremacist the country. But that doesn't fit on a lawn placard. Yeah. Get one of those like in this in this House we believe in the Nixon administration. We believe in covering up the reward crimes doubling down on racism in order to and so it's worth noting too, Kissinger isn't just micromanaging the the. Actual racist bombing campaign that they're doing to get votes. He is also the frontman Nixon sends out to talk to right wing leaders to to to to try and like pump them up about this. Nixon sent him to talk to Ronald Reagan. Then the Governor of California, Kissinger sat down on Nixon's behalf with Billy Graham, with William F Buckley, with Bob Hope names. Oh my God. His patter went like this. The president wanted me to give you a brief call to tell you that with all the hysteria on TV and in the news on Lao we feel we have set up everything we set out to do. Destroyed more supplies than in Cambodia last year. Set them back many months. We achieved what we were after. I tell you, I really, I can't wait to go out there. And really those troops there, Hank having, having just been doing some research, he is friends with Frank Sinatra. Frank would call him on the phone. Yeah, that sounds right. That ******* sounds right. Can I get a nuclear weapon? Is that possible? Frank Sinatra with a nuke? That's yeah, there's no people left. If that had happened, I put some agent on and Dean Martin's drink and he didn't notice, baby. Kissinger spent a particularly long time bragging to Ronald Reagan about the administration's achievements. Quote we wouldn't have had Cambodia, we wouldn't have had Lao, and we wouldn't have had an $80 billion defense budget. You know, without Nixon getting elected. He also told Reagan we wouldn't have had Amchitka. Now Amchitka is an island off the coast of Alaska. In the early 1970s. The White House wanted to nuke it for a lot of complicated reasons. Maybe I get that. This is one thing I'm actually I was talking with them on not other islands, but specifically Amchitka. Yeah, we're like ham Shipka. So the White House wants to nuke this island off the coast of Alaska, and as you do, like environmentalists and indigenous people are just folks whose brain are. Yeah. I ******* turning black titanium and hate freedom. Here's Greg Grandin again. The test had no military or scientific benefit, but was seen as something of a ritual by the right fireworks to celebrate the end of Johnson's presidency, when many Hawks, like Curtis Lemay, felt the United States had fallen behind on nuclear development. Then, when public opposition to the detonation began to grow, Nixon had a chance to show conservatives that he would stand up to liberals. He let it be known that we're the Supreme Court to issue an injunction against the test. He would go forward anyway. The court didn't block the test, but Haldeman told Kissinger to play it for politics anyway. Tell Reagan we're taking an unmitigated heat. In order to keep that thing going, we need all the support of the right. Later, after the test was conducted, Nixon met with Senator Barry Goldwater and mocked the fears of environmentalists. The seals are still swimming, the president said. I'm damn proud of you, Goldwater told him. I need to get a bucket to barfin. Yeah when people when people think like, ohh we've we've become dumb recently we've always been so ******* stupid. Yeah. It cannot be emphasized enough. Yeah we're just really dumb. I honestly I I I definitely thought that we've. I mean it it is a shocking level of dumb. It's the fact that it's just this dumb and it's just been going on for island because because. The fireworks. And then yeah, because he wanted fireworks and it's just so they could tell Reagan it's like, it's like his gender reveal ******* party. Like, right, right. Jesus Christ a bum. It it is worth noting for the sake of talking about how dumb we still are today. Curtis Lemay, who was one of the people cheering on the bombing of this random island, is essentially the hero of Malcolm Gladwell's book The Bomber Mafia, which talks about how cool the bombing apparatus we set up was and how it helped keep things peaceful and built the wonderful Pax Americana. That's, I'm sure these Cambodian civilians we've talked about appreciate it. Well, that's the one where you need to once you have 10,000 bombs, you're an expert. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. That's right. If you drop 10,000 bombs, you're an expert at bombing. Yeah, that's, that's, that's, that's. Exactly. So in order to be able to do it right, yeah, you have to do it wrong. For all those boxes, you gotta log the bombs. That's exactly right, Gary. So part of what made Kissinger remarkable, though, was his ability to rope conservatives in line for mass murder while also charming the entire liberal establishment of the East Coast. Nixon's chief of staff later recalled. We knew Henry as the hawk of Hawks in the Oval Office, but in the evenings, a magical transformation took place, touching glasses at a party with his liberal friends. The belligerent Kissinger would suddenly become a dove. And the press, beguiled by Henry's charm and humour, bought it. They just couldn't believe that the intellectual, smiling, humorous Henry the Kay was a hawk like that ******* Nixon. It really is all about, like if, if if if Donald Trump had had talked like an Aaron Sorkin character and like, quoted books that people don't read but know our smart books, he would have been the most popular president in a generation. Like, well, and I mean, that'll happen, you know, they'll tell you. One of them will figure it out. Yeah. Yeah. Get cracked and, you know, you gotta dial the racism down a little and you gotta dial the polite up and then kind of equalize them and then you can. Yeah. And then you. And then with the right access to the right people and media. Yeah. You know, I mean, we already saw that. I mean, even under Trump where you've got all these ******* reporters who had these like bombshells about horrible crimes being committed that they, like, didn't release for a year in change because they got a book deal. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Right. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, John Bolton was basically he's there to write a book. Yeah, everyone wants the whole administration was yeah, they're like ******* Navy seals with the books. Yeah. So Kissinger's reputation was as a brilliant computer brained policy wonk, but his success came from his charm. He was able to win reporters over with a mix of leaks and effusive praise for their work, something that made them feel like insiders and thus sympathetic. He had a regular series of lunches with Arthur Schlesinger, a liberal historian whom he made sure to confidentially inform. Quote. I have been thinking a lot about resignation. After the invasion of Cambodia, Schlesinger was not Privy to the information that proved Kissinger had planned the whole thing. So he believed Kissinger. When Henry said that he'd only kept working for Nixon to prevent more damage to, quote, institutions of authority, Kissinger would warn his liberal friends that if he resigned, Spiro Agnew would run foreign policy. He was basically threatening. If I'm not here, the far right's going to be totally in power. In foreign policy. I'm the only one keeping things from going crazy. It's like sessions and with Trump, I mean, there are multiple people. Like that. But the amount of times when people be like, oh, Mcmasters, you know, these are the good guys inside of the you know the guy hates this too, as he's drawing on a map where to annihilate. Yeah, yeah, and it works. It always works because it works. And it works over and over and over again. As a rule, if their job is to be a journalist who spends their time face to face with powerful people, they're bad at their job. As a rule, it's every now and then you get an exception. But as a rule. No, it's like when Chomsky points out to that reporter that he's right, he's sitting in that seat. Yeah, you get the odd people who are willing to, like, report on the Pentagon Papers or whatever. And, like, do you know, you get or the Afghanistan papers with the Washington Post. Not to, not to downplay the fact that there are people in those institutions who do do damning reports on on power. But also the level of complicity within the broader media apparatus means that even when you get a damning report on, for example, the war in Afghanistan, which the Washington Post, if you've read that. Yeah. It's utterly damning. Didn't do anything. Doesn't matter. Yeah. Like, doesn't stop anything. They're very, I mean, you know, and then and the reason why people do it less and less is because you were attacked. So, I mean, it works the the public attacks discredit you and then you are, you are what you are. You're no longer, you no longer get access to that information. Yeah, it's great. So a good example of how kissing changed his charm as a speech he gave at MIT in January of 1971. He started off by feigning a confidential air. And telling the students that Nixon had not been his quote first choice, but that in time he'd come to see the bombing of Cambodia as the only, quote, sensible path towards Vietnamization Vietnamization is like the process of the US getting out in South Vietnam taking over, right? That's the the big buzzword Nixon and Kissinger using. When one student asked him what it would take to make him resign from the next administration, Kissinger said he wouldn't quote unless gas chambers were set up or some horrendous moral outrage. Well, wait, wait, what is it? What does that mean exactly? You wouldn't get out unless unless there's Nixon was setting up gas chambers. I mean, what the ****? The dude who said like his childhood, his child, his childhood didn't affect him in any way. Yeah, outrageous. And it's confidence the student and it's it's interesting because in the the student who asked this question of Kissinger later realized like, is there really a difference between ports forcing people into a gas chamber and incinerating from the them from the sky with a bombing campaign? I guess not. But at the moment this doesn't really. Heard of him and at the moment he writes quote he had sounded so sincere, so sympathetic, so much one of us and right I'll blame the journalists. Like I'm not gonna blame a student for falling for Henry cause like he's essentially still a child and Henry Kissinger is the most powerful man in the world. Of course he's good at walking circles around these ******* kids. The week after that speech, Kissinger and Nixon sent ground troops into Lao after another massive round of aerial bombardment. This involved 17,000 S Vietnamese troops supported by US air power. It was a catastrophe. 8000 S Vietnamese soldiers were killed or wounded. the United States lost 215 men. Nixon considered it a victory because it played well with conservatives. When the media ******* God and he's drunk, and he's drunk. He is and he's he is. Pretty good, isn't it? That's not too bad. He just he just pounded back an entire bottle of vodka before saying that when the media savaged Lau is a pointless bloodbath. Kissinger ran to his boss and complained about vicious coverage, saying if Britain had pressed like this in World War Two, they would have quit in 42. Both Kissinger and Nixon saw law was a win because it benefited their domestic chances of reelection. As Nixon told his right hand man, the main thing Henry on Lau. I don't care what happens there. It's a win. See? A win, see is there's a little gangster. That's right. And let's see, it's incredible, dirty coppers. Ohh, and as the reelection campaign turned forward, Kissinger was about to help his boss engineer another win. And this one boy. How do you think we've seen a body count so far? God, what the ****? I'm still. But that's still mourning that island off from the last another had sweeps. Yeah, yeah. Now they're hitting sweeps. And if you think hundreds of thousands of Cambodian dead, plus aiding in the deaths of another million or so was bad, it was. It's just it's really bad. It's a historic crime. But also Henry Kissinger's just getting started, so we're going to talk about. You guys want to plug anything in my ears? Just death. Uh yeah. I remember I cause I when I I did an episode on our podcast about Tim Leary and there's a lot of the you know Nixon law and order President stuff in there and how drunk he was. But also his lunch every day was pineapple circles with cottage cheese in the middle and and so that was his that was his daily drunk lunch. And then there's the one night where where he's starting to feel the heat. Well maybe, I don't know if he'll get into that. Well he basically, he goes out hammered. With his valet. And he goes and talks to some of the people protesting him and like one of the he wakes one of these guys up and he's like, you really think I'm a bad guy and the guy's just like, the **** is going on, right? Nixon. Drunk Dixon out out cruising. Yeah. Well we'll we as you know look it sounds like the world loves America after hearing some of this stuff. So we will be going to Australia on a tour. You can go to for those tour dates. We'll be touring America and even if we do badly we won't bomb as hard as Kissinger Nixon. Yeah. I mean it would be hard to it would be pretty pretty tough to bomb on that level. I don't, honestly. We still have a lot of bombs. I don't know if we have enough bombs to bomb that hard anymore. I don't think so. I honestly think we could pull our pants down and fight with our penises and still people be like, that's not a that's I've seen, I've heard of worse bombings. I I have seen a couple of cities levelled by American bombs at this point, and it's still not as much as ******* Lau got bombed. It's just Christ, yeah, he cannot process it. And so many as well. I'm on the road too. Go to for tour dates. Yeah, but feels. Feels wrong to do that. Yeah. Hard promotion. Well, it's great. I will put in a plug for the concept of death because as long as as long as men die, you know, there's all of these ghouls eventually had to face the end of of of everything in the same way that that those people in Cambodia did. And one day it will come for Henry Kissinger and he will be frightened and alone and and left with nothing. I feel like he bombed the Reaper. I mean, he like he is. The level of melting. I mean he is. I hope he dies. I hope he just, I hope he ***** himself and then slowly dies over 8 hours. Yes, it needs to be like that. He needs to be, it needs to be a leading. There's a, you know, the one war criminal in all of history who got close to what he deserved is Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the Holocaust who stupidly charged a bunch of assassins and got wounded by a bomb and shattered into his own guts for several days until he died of sepsis over the course of a week and change. That's that's the kind of death that's warped and and and not just passengers like 30 people we've named in this story who deserve that kind of death. Yeah there's a lot of folks I mean pot died old and and relatively you know unpunished. You know they all most of them do not all that would be a great to hear a judge sentenced Kissinger to that like it would send it to you to ******** in your own guts for about a week after a bomb just symbols you that's that's the right that's the right punishment for for this kind of stuff. Alright, yeah, yeah. Hi everybody, Robert Evans here and my novel after the revolution is available for preorder now from AK Press Org. Now if you go to Akuressa org, you can find after the revolution just After the revolution you'll find a list of participating indie bookstores selling my book, and if you pre-order now from either of these independent bookstores or from AK Press, you'll get a custom signed copy of the book, which I think is pretty cool. You can also pre-order it in physical or in Kindle form from Amazon or. Pretty much wherever books are sold, so please Google AK, Press after the revolution, or find an indie bookstore in your area and pre-order it. 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