Back Channel The Kennedy Years
Inside the John F. Kennedy White House

Why did so many other Presidents work with you?


“Worked with me” is probably not the right term. ‘Used me’ is more accurate. I was a very useful overseas asset living in a neutral country (Switzerland) with many, many high level contacts in many different countries. My contacts and I always worked on a basis of mutual trust and though the majority of them were in high governmental positions, many were in the private sector and some of those were engaged in areas of highly dubious legality. Secondly, as far as our government was concerned, I was completely deniable. On the scale of government expenditures, I cost nothing at all. It makes no sense whatever to throw away that kind of asset.

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"...I am contacting the people who delivered me to our embassy in Finland and once that is established to my satisfaction; my understanding is that future communications will go through a “mole” at the Russian Embassy here in Washington. But I would like for all communications between my contacts and I to go through the White House Communications Room; I think openness and transparency are essential if we are to establish a sense of mutual trust.” Bundy stared at me for several moments before responding, “I’m glad you made that decision but once the ‘handshake’ is acceptable ..."

"...I was puzzled and said, “Jack, I’m way too tall to be taken for a Viet and I have blue eyes. Why not just send the professor? He speaks the language and has all the contacts. It sounds to me like he would be ideal.” He looked at me and said, “Bertie, with the possible exception of Mrs. Kennedy, there is no one in the world that I trust more than you to tell me the truth as you see it whether I ..."

"...not be unreasonable that Eisenhower’s Vice President – Richard Nixon – be present as well. In a sense, however, that’s not the point. There was no other person on the face of the earth that had as much motive as did Lyndon Baines Johnson (along with the contacts and power to make it happen) to see President John F. Kennedy assassinated. ..."

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"Excellent book, anxiously awaiting the next one! Educational and interesting! It's so hard to imagine what Bertie went through for..."

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