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February 9, 1985
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STAT ^ Approved.F Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901R000 ON PkIkL$ NEW YORK TIMES 9 February 1985 gene Agency. After 35 years in the service, he retired as a three-star gen- eral. Although he may nqt have made his- tory himself, he has certainly seen it firsthand. He serves} as W. Avereil Harriman's aide in the early years of the cold war, accom iied President Truman on his histo.- c mee_ting with a defiant Gen. Dougla4 MacArthur and shuttled with President Eisenhower tal a series of summit' meetings from Geneva to White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. As translator for. Vice President Nixon during his gooc -will tour of Latin America in 1958, Ger eral Walters was cut in the mouth by roken glass when a mob stoned their (ar in Caracas. Later, as military attache in Pe ris, General Walters is remembered for smuggling Henry A.! Kissinger in and out of France for cla ,destine meetings, with Le Duc Tho of North Vietnam. "He was great as our James Bond, getting us in and out ecretly, even giv ing us code name*," said :. Winston Lord, president of the Council on For- eign Relatiors, who accompanied Mr. Kissinger to the secret talks with the New I lan at the U.N.: Global Trouble-Shooter and Sk-Ned Linguist Global Trouble-Shooter By ELAINE SCIOLINO Spedal to The ?;ew York Times UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Feb. 8 - In "Silent Missions," his memoir, Gen. Vernon A. Walters relates a conversa- tion he had at a reception in 1954 with the Soviet Ambassador to Brazil. Man in the News The Ambassador com- plalned to General Wal- ten . then the United States military attache in Brazil, that Americans al- ways wanted to speak English. Even when they try to learn a foreign tongue, he continued, they suffer because they do not have the Slavs' ear for lan- guages. General Walters, a gifted linguist, bluntly switched to Russian, asking him if he would like to speak Portu- guese instead. The Ambassador, insult- ed, replied, "Walters, you may be good soldier, but diplomat you are not." Interpreter to Presidents Now Vernon Anthony Walters, 68 years old, the 6-foot-3-inch former sol- dier and Ambassador at Large, will have the opportunity to prove his diplo- matic skills as . successor to Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as chief American dele- gate to the United Nations. The highly visible, Cabinet-level job will mean a new challenge for the man who has made his reputation as a global trouble-shooter who does not call attention to himself. General Walters speaks seven foreign languages, five of them fluently, and has served part. time as interpreter to five Presidents. Of his outspoken predecessor, the general said in a recent telephone in- terview: "She's done a terrific job of restoring the position of the United States in the U.N. Everyone has a dif- ferent style, but it's the same President and basically the same policy." Supporters of General Walters say they are confident he will bring both candor and loyalty to the United Na-, tions job. "He's been everywhere in the world, speaks all the languages and can de- bate very effectively, " said William E. Colby, former Director of Central In- telligence. "When he worked for me, he was fearless in expressing his views and totally loyal once a decision was made. I used him as a total alter ego." But critics assert that although he has been effective when acting under instructions, he has never been called upon to craft policy or make major policy judgments. A practicing Roman Catholic and fervent anti-Communist, he is also an unabashed American. flag-waver who has called the Vietnam War "one of the noblest and most unselfish wars" in American history. He says his world view is determined by what he calls his' "certain idea about the United States - that it is the last best hope for man- kind." Human rights advocates, like Law- rence Birns of the Council on Hemi- spheric Affairs,. a private study group, have criticized what they characterize as his lack of concern for human rights abuses and his long history of warm relations with extreme right-wing mill tary governments, such as the Pino- chet Government in Chile and Argenti- na's former military junta. Some rights advocates say they re- call his response to a reporter's ques- tion in 1981 on Guatemala's poor human rights record. He said: "There are some problems that are never re- solved. One has to define a solution that respects a being's right to live without fear. But as I see it, the best way to d that is not to impose the ideas of one na tion on top of another." Born in New York on Jan. 3,1917, the youngest of three children, he attended French and English Catholic schools but dropped out at the age of 16 to won in his British-born father's insurance, company. He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and is fond of telling friends: "Adolf Hitler, did at least one good deed in his life. Hey got me out of my father's insurance company - with my father's bless- ing. ? Within a year he was a second lieu- tenant. As a bright aide who used his linguistic abilities to befriend foreign generals and diplomats, he rose rap. idly through the ranks. In World War II, he was assigned to be a liaison offi- cer with the Brazilian forces fighting in the United States Fifth Army in Italy under Gen. Mark Clark. His language abilities brought him to General Clark's attention, and ultimately to the attention of Gen. Alfred M. Gunther, the Fifth Array's chief of staff. He was aide-de-camp to General Clark during the liberation of Rome. From military atttache in Rio de 1 Approved For Relea T W6o S'tha gi mo Just weeks after b4coming deputy di- structions from the te House c of of staff, H. R. man, to warn e F.B.I. that the Watergate ion. could co romise t hgence opera. tions in Mexico. "it simply did not occur to me that the chief of staff to the President milt be as ' me -to do so that was ille al or wrong,' e wro to in his memos . He sat out the a er years, becom- ing a private co uitant, including among his clients American com- pany interested in s )ling arms to Mo- rocco. He gave up a lucrative work when President R gan offered him the job of roving Am sador in 1981. i Since then, Gene Walters has vis.' ited 100 countries acrd logged an aver- age of 10,000 miles a, week as the Rea. gan Administrations s chief trouble- ! shooter. A lifelong bachelor who does not' smoke, drinks little, and has an ac- knowledged weaknes for good choco- lates, General Walters combines straight talk with a *onteur's charm. "I've always felt I could. get more done' with no publicity," he said in the inter- view. "This is further then I ever expected to get," General W lters said of his new job. "Maybe I'n not so much of an amateur as the Soviet Ambassador thought I was." STAT Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-0090 ARTICLE APPEARED ON PP E-1_ NEW YORK TIMES 9 February 1985 Falters, Longtime Diplomat, Gets Kirkpatrick Post at U.N. To Hold Cabinet Rank By BERNARD WEINRAUB SpeoaJ to The New Ymt Throes WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 - Gen. Ver- non A. Walters, an experienced envoy and former' Central Intelligence Agency official, was nominated by President Reagan today to succeed ' Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as chief United .States delegate to the United Nations. After the announcement, the 68-year- old retired Army general told reporters at the State Department, "I will do my best to continue the superb work that Ambassador Kirkpatrick has done in the United Nations to restore and en- hance the position of the United States." Speaks Seven Languages In accepting the post, General Wal- ters made it clear that he would hold Cabinet rank, as had Dr. Kirkpatrick. In recent weeks, Administration offi- cials' have said Secretary of State George P.. Shultz was seeking to re- move the post from Cabinet status. The general said, in response to a question, "My understanding is the position is the same as it was in the.i case of my predecessor." Since 1981, General Walters, who speaks seven foreign languages, has served Mr. Reagan as an Ambassador at Large. He has visited about 100 coun- tries, the State Department said, usu- ally on secret missions. A diplomat who shuns personal pub- licity, he has worked for five Adminis- trations in the last 40 years and has been involved in missions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America and Central America. He said today that he considered his appointment to be the pinnacle of his long career. "It is a great honor to have received this mark of confidence," he said. In response to a question, he said: "I think the United Nations is necessary for the world. 'Otherwise, 1 wouldn't consider accepting this job." Discussing Dr. Kirkpatrick, one of the most oromninent conservatives in the Administration, he said: "I think she's done a fantastic job. I think the position of the United States today in the United Nations is quite different from what is was four years ago. "If I can do half as well," he said, "I will be quite pleased." Kirkpatrick Leaves in March . Dr. Kirkpatrick is planning to leave the United Nations post in March and return to Washington to resume her academic career. Although she had sought a high-level foreign policy job in the Administration, she apparently was not offered a post she wanted. Although General Walters undertook many confidential journeys in recent years, he said today that "none of these. missions have really been secret per: se." He added: "I've never traveled under false names or under disguise. I haven't sought any publicity. I have come to the conclusion that there's no amount of good that you can't do if you don't care who gets the credit for it. "It's sometimes frustrating because I am not a modest man," he said, re- marking that his travels in the last four years have totaled about a million miles. Was Deputy Chief of C.I.A. The White House statement on his Wment said, "Hisspecial assi - u serving directly under Presidents Truman. Eisenhower and Nixon." General Walters was Dept Direo-_ ! Me of the Central Intelligence Aizency. r Presidents Nixon ord p a a minor part in e secret di o- 1 ma ending and American Vietnam. he also took part in ne- gotiations leading to the renewal of United States ties to China. He was an aide to W. Averell Harriman at the Marshall Plan headquarters in Paris, and served as an assistant to President Eisenhower on his foreign trips. The three-star general, who retired from the Army in 1976 after 35 years' service, has published memoirs, "Si- lent Missions," on his dealings and ex- periences with many world leaders. In recent years, he went to Cuba to explore the possibility of improvin relations with Fidel Castro, and in 1982 he visited Argentina to explain why the United States supported Britain in the conflict over the Falkland Islands. Voiced Concern to l 'Aubuisson Last year his missior~ took him, in- sofar as is known, to 1 Salvador, Sri Lanka and several Af 'can countries. The secret mission to l Savador was to voice concern to the rightist leader, Roberto d'Aubuisson, ~t rumors of, an assassination attempt against the United States Ambassador, Thomas R. Pickering. The general apparently asked Mr. D'Aubuisson!to use his influ- ence to halt any such ttempt. General Walters is pecially known for his linguistic s Is. He speaks French, Spanish, Po geese, Italian, German, Dutch and R issian. It has been reportthat he pre- ferred to slip into a! country unan- nounced before diplomatic discussions so he could ride buses and brush up on local slang. He had told the Whi a House that he would decline the United Nations post unless it held Cabinet rank, Adminis- tration officials said. The White House announcement said h , like Dr. Kirk- patrick, would serve on the National Security Council as well as hold "Cabi- net rank." Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060032-3 STAT By John M. Goshko Washington Post Staff Writer d For-Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R00 WASHINGTON POST 9 February 1985 Reagan 1VoYninates Walters To Be Ambassador to U.N. President Reagan yesterday named retired lieutenant general Vernon A. Walters, a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department's chief diplomatic troubleshooter since 1981, to succeed Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as ambassador to the United Nations. The nomination had been expect- ed since last week when Kirkpatrick announced her resignation. If con- firmed by the Senate, Walters would emerge from the shadowy world of intelligence and secret dip- lomatic missions, into the limelight of public diplomacy for the first time in his 44 years of intermittent government service. Walters, 68, has undertaken missions for pres- idents of both parties. But his strong anticommunist views and wide-ranging contacts with foreign military leaders, 'particularly in Latin America and Africa, have made him a favorite of conservative Republican administrations. Thus, his outlook on global affairs strongly resembles that of Kirkpa- trick, who was well-liked by conser- vatives for seeking a tough U.S. re- sponse to leftist insurgency in Third World areas such as Latin America. Kirkpatrick is known to have en- dorsed Walters' selection. And, when reporters yesterday asked his opinion of her performance at the United Nations, Walters replied, "I think she's done a fantastic job .... If I could do ,half as well, I would be well-pleased." However, administration sources said it is un- likely that Walters will function like Kirkpatrick, who had considerable influence with Reagan and who seemed at times to be an independent in the Cabinet, frequently at odds with moderates such as Secretary of State George P. Shultz. Shultz was the leading advocate of giving the U.N. post to Walters, who, as ambassador-at- large, has been a Shultz subordinate and is re- garded as loyal to the secretary's policies. Shultz also had argued for dropping the U.N. ambassa- dor's Cabinet status so as to bring the post under State Department control. But even though the secretary lost that battle, Walters hinted yester- dcv that he expects to take his lead from Shultz. "I do not intend to be just a messenger boy," he said in a brief appearance before reporters, "But I do not intend to make difficulties for the policymakers of the United States." Walters first drew attention as a gifted linguist whose mastery of eight languages caused five presidents and many other important officials to use him as an interpreter in meetings with for- eign leaders. One of his closest relationships was with Richard M. Nixon, whom he accompanied to Caracas in 1958, when the then-vice president was besieged by a mob. Nixon appointed Walters deputy CIA director in May 1972, and a month later Walters became embroiled in the Watergate controversy. At the request of H.R. (Bob) Haldeman, Nixon's chief of staff, Walters tried to wave the Federal Bureau of Investigation off the Watergate case by telling FBI Director L. Patrick Gray that continued in- vestigation might expose CIA operations in Mex- ico. A few days later, after looking into the matter, Walters told White House counsel John W. Dean, III that the Watergate investigation posed no danger to CIA activities. Walters later wrote in his memoirs, "Silent Missions": "It simply did not occur to me that the chief of staff to the presi- dent might be asking me to do something that was illegal or wr " .is. In 1964, when the B -- r az> an army overthrew the civilian government, leftists in Brazil charged that Walters, then the military attache at the a U.S. Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, had encouraged the coup. Walters denied the charge, and no ev- idence has been offered to support it. Later, while military attache in Paris in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he arranged secret negotiations between then-national security af- 'fairs adviser Henry A. Kissinger and North Viet- namese diplomats. Early in the Reagan administration, Walters made a secret trip to Cuba to explore the pos- sibility of improved relations with President Fidel Castro. Last year, after rumors that sup- porters of the rightist Salvadoran political leader Roberto D'Aubuisson were plotting to murder Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060032-3