Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 16, 2016
Document Release Date: 
June 17, 2005
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Publication Date: 
April 4, 1981
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PDF icon CIA-RDP91-00901R000700060083-7.pdf104.75 KB
STAT Approved For Release 2005/07/01 : CIA-RDP91-00901R00070006 ARTICLE A' x';- -?--~j THE WASHINGTON POST 0 PAG 4 April 1981 By Don Oberdorfer Washtngton Post Staff Wrtter - In February the 6-foot-3 former-iritelligence offi- cer was quietly dispatched to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela. In mid- March he was spotted in Morocco. A few days ago he was believed to be in Western Europe. . America's most experienced secret emissary, re- tired Lt.Gen. Vernon 'A.' Walters, last night came out of anonymity by joining Secretary of State Alex-, ander M Haig Jr.. on his mission to the Middle East Since it would be impossible to hide the tall Wal- ters aboard the secretary of state's airplane,.. it is acknowledged. for: the fast time that he - has been selected. as a senior adviser-who will act as roving ambassador for special missions. State Department sources denied a waggish report that Walters,. a phenomenal- linguist who is reputed to be fluent 'in eight .languages and has been 'an official transk or i ' French, Spanish, Italian and German, has been hired to translate "Haigspeak" into English. Walters''reIationship with Haig goes back to the Nixon administration, when Haig was deputy to Henry A.' Kissinger orr the National Security Coun- cil staff, and :Walters was Ki,ssinger's designated secret channel, through Paris, to Chinese and North Vietnamese ofcials. ..In his memoirs; Silent Missions, Walters referred to Haig as_-`"Kisainger's NATO conunandei"~" and one of the. most brilliant and able officers I have known in 35.years of military service." Haig is by:' no means the most prominent figure Walters hag served.: During World War.1I, WaIters entered Rome:'in.'.1944 as an aide to Gen.. Mark. Clark. ,Afterward, he interpreted for President Tru- man in Rio - in 1947, and. accompanied Truman to his troubled meeting '.tivith_ Gen Douglas Macr'l.rthur. on Wake Island n 1950. Walters: interpreted for Averell Harriman 'a'i'd Iranian' Prime' Minister- Mohammed Mossadegh in 1951, and was. with President Eisenhower at a series of summit conferences from Geneva to White Sul- phur Springs. One of;his`rlosest relationships 'was'with Richard 'lvi. Nixon; whom he accompanied to-Caracas, where . the then-vice president was besieged by a mob in 1958. In May of 1972 Nixon appointed Walters deputy director of the. CIA.under Director Richard Helms. .The Watergate break-in - took place- the following month, embroiling Walters in one of the most con- troversial and most publicized episodes of his career. At the behest of H.R. (Bob) Haldeman, 'Waltersi visited FBI Director L. Patrick Gray III and told him that continued investigation of the Watergate case might expose CIA assets in Mexico, in effect waving the FBI off the case. `Walters wrote in his memoirs: that even though he"'knew of no CIA. assets being compromised, "It simply did "not Occur 'to me that the chief of staff to the president might be asking me to do something hat was illegal or wrong." A few days later, after looking into the matter, Walters,told White House counsel John Dean that there were no CIA assets in Mexico that might be "endangered by the Watergate investigation. Walters: resigned from the CIA,and retired from the Army in July 1976, receiving. his. third Distin- guished Service Medal and the National Security Medal at that time. Last year he served on the for- eign policy advisory' committee of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaia When the Reagan administration decided in Feb- ruary to "draw the line" against. Cuban-backed in- surgency in El Salvador, Walters was sent to brief' .the leaders of Latin American countries. ' Waiters went to North Africa - to receive a mes- sage from King Hassan of Morocco, but the purpose of his reported travels in Europe is hot: known. Approved For F~elease'805/07/01: CIA-RDP91-00901 R000700060083-7