The Controversy That Wasn’t 
By E. Kate Novack  


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Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the February and March issues of Harper’s is the space that they devote — 26 pages in February and another 26 pages in March — to Christopher Hitchens’s case that Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. (Space, by the way, is a magazine’s most effective way of saying to the reader, "pay attention!," and to the culture, "we think this is important.")

But for all the ink Harper’s devoted to the articles, the major media didn’t trouble to take Hitchens’s charges seriously — that is, to examine their substance. (The same media inattention was paid to another criminal charge in another magazine when the best-selling author and Charles Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, writing in The Nation, charged that the United States Supreme Court
literally committed treason when it appointed George W. Bush president.)

Not only did the mainstream media brush off the Harper’s pieces, but a February 22 panel at the National Press Club to discuss them made public new charges against Kissinger, this time by Roger Morris, one of his former employees. Morris recalled that, during the negotiations in Paris to end the Vietnam War, he and Anthony Lake (Clinton’s former National Security Adviser who also worked for the State Department at the time) were assigned to "doctor the transcripts so that Henry would look good for posterity." It was, Morris said, "a deliberate and conscious and very elaborate falsification of the record, including the insertion sometimes of humorous and erudite remarks…" The media managed to ignore these charges, too.