Scathing on Thin Ice

Christopher Hitchens' diatribe against Henry Kissinger should disappoint even the most credulous of the statesman's opponents. Effective polemic this is not.

Issue: Fall 2001

Christopher Hitchens, The Trial of Henry Kissinger (New York: Verso, 2001), 160 pp., $22.

On May 29, 2001, French officials appeared at the Ritz Hotel in Paris with a summons for former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It was issued by an examining magistrate at the request of William Bourdon, a lawyer representing the families of several French nationals who allegedly disappeared in General Augusto Pinochet's Chile. Maître Bourdon wanted Dr. Kissinger to appear as a "witness" in the case.

Dr. Kissinger had no obligation, of course, to answer questions in the court of a crusading French magistrate. He flew on to Italy as scheduled, leaving it to the American embassy in France to explain to Judge Roger Le Loire that if he had any queries about U.S. government policy in Latin America during the Pinochet years, he should ask them of the State Department.

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