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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Al Haig is No Longer in Charge




Alexander Haig, former Secretary of State, Dies

By ANNE GEARAN
Washington Post
Saturday, February 20, 2010; 9:26 AM

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig, a four-star general who served as a top adviser to three presidents and had presidential ambitions of his own, died Saturday of complications from an infection, his family said. He was 85.

Haig's long and decorated military career launched the Washington career for which he is better known, including top posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. He never lived down his televised response to the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Hours after the shooting, then Secretary of State Haig went before the cameras intending, he said later, to reassure Americans that the White House was functioning.

"As of now, I am in control here in the White House, pending the return of the vice president," Haig said.

Some saw the comment as an inappropriate power grab in the absence of Vice President Bush, who was flying back to Washington from Texas.

Haig died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he was surrounded by his family, according to two of his children, Alexander and Barbara. A hospital spokesman, Gary Stephenson, said Haig died at about 1:30 a.m.

Alexander Haig, American Patriot, Warrior, Statesman, Diplomat, RIP

In his book, "Caveat," Haig later wrote that he had been "guilty of a poor choice of words and optimistic if I had imagined I would be forgiven the imprecision out of respect for the tragedy of the occasion."

Haig ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988.

"I think of him as a patriot's patriot," said George P. Shultz, who succeeded Haig as the country's top diplomat in 1982.

"No matter how you sliced him it came out red, white and blue. He was always willing to serve."

Born Dec. 2, 1924, in the Philadelphia suburb of Bala Cynwyd, Alexander Meigs Haig spent his boyhood days dreaming about a career in the military. With the help of an uncle who had congressional contacts, he secured an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1943.

After seeing combat in Korea and Vietnam, Haig - an Army colonel at the time - was tapped by Henry Kissinger to be his military adviser on the National Security Council under Nixon. Haig "soon became indispensable," Kissinger later said of his protege.

Nixon promoted Haig in 1972 from a two-star general to a four-star rank, passing over 240 high-ranking officers with greater seniority.

The next year, as the Watergate scandal deepened, Nixon turned to Haig and appointed him to succeed H.R. Haldeman as White House chief of staff. He helped the president prepare his impeachment defense - and as Nixon was preoccupied with Watergate, Haig handled many of the day-to-day decisions normally made by the chief executive.

On Nixon's behalf, Haig also helped arrange the wiretaps of government officials and reporters, as the president tried to plug the sources of news leaks.

About a year after assuming his new post as Nixon's right-hand man, Haig was said to have played a key role in persuading the president to resign. He also suggested to Gerald Ford that he pardon his predecessor for any crimes committed while in office - a pardon that is widely believed to have cost Ford the presidency in 1976.

Years after serving as one of Nixon's closest aides, Haig would be dogged by speculation that he was "Deep Throat" - the shadowy source who helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein break the Watergate story. Haig denied it, repeatedly, and the FBI's Mark Felt was eventually revealed as the secret source.

Following Nixon's resignation, Haig stayed with the new Ford administration for about six weeks, but then returned to the military as commander in chief of U.S. forces in Europe and supreme allied commander of NATO forces - a post he held for more than four years. He quit during the Carter administration over the handling of the Iran hostage crisis.

Haig briefly explored a run for presidency in 1979, but decided he didn't have enough support and instead took a job as president of United Technologies - his first job in the private sector since high school.

When Ronald Reagan became the 40th president of the United States, Haig returned to public service as Reagan's secretary of state, and declared himself the "vicar of American foreign policy."

His 17-month tenure was marked by turf wars with other top administration officials - including Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and national security adviser William Clark.

Two months into the new administration, Haig was portrayed as pounding a table in frustration when the chairmanship of a crisis management team went to Bush. Despite the clashes, Haig received high praise from professional diplomats for trying to achieve a stable relationship with the Soviet Union.

In his book, Haig said he had concluded during a 1982 trip to Europe with the president that the "effort to write my character out of the script was under way with a vengeance." He resigned days later.

Describing himself as a "dark horse," Haig sought the Republican presidential nomination for the 1988 elections. On the campaign trail, he told supporters about his desire to "keep the Reagan revolution alive," but he also railed against the administration's bulging federal deficit - calling it an embarrassment to the GOP.

Haig dropped out of the race just days before the New Hampshire primary.

During his career in public service, Haig became known for some of his more colorful or long-winded language. When asked by a judge to explain an 18 1/2-minute gap in one of the Nixon tapes, Haig responded: "Perhaps some sinister force had come in."

And later, when he criticized Reagan's "fiscal flabbiness," Haig asserted that the "ideological religiosity" of the administration's economic policies were to blame for doubling the national debt to $2 trillion in 1987.


Haig is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia; his children Alexander, Brian and Barbara; eight grandchildren; and his brother, the Rev. Francis R. Haig.


---

Associated Press writer Jennifer C. Kerr contributed to this report.




76 comments:

  1. It was a good thing to have him in our service..

    He infact, behind the scenes, helped keep America strong and her allies secure..

    There is much more about Haig that is not mentioned here...

    and for some of those unmentioned things I praise him...

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  2. The guy had a strong personality and was natural target for a left leaning media. RIP.

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  3. Haig asserted that the "ideological religiosity" of the administration's economic policies were to blame for doubling the national debt to $2 trillion in 1987

    Hell, by the time Obumble leaves office we will be running annual deficits bigger than that.

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  4. He was a Good Soldier. A bit of a loose cannon as a politician, but a Good Soldier.

    He served his Nation well.

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  5. He kicked he bucket.

    A hard thing to face up to.

    Much talked about in literature.

    And in real life, everyday.

    One of my dad's partners in law was Mr. Moorer, who died a drunk, whose uncle was the Moorer, Admiral, head of the Armed Forces Command, for a while.

    Let us all rest in peace, when we get there.

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  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hinman_Moorer

    Admiral Moorer

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  7. Bob, you're what, 60? And you still haven't accommodated yourself to the fact that everyone and everything has a finite extent in time, just as they have a finite extent in space? You want more of this?

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  8. trish said...

    "Yet now the ISI is publicly involved in Baradar's capture (or defection)."

    I believe it's best called protective custody.

    One consultant and Stan-Stan veteran on Fox had it right: Baradar's been accessible for a long time now.

    It's simply not a reflection of reality, however, to deny the former administration any and all credit for movement that continues to pick up momentum in Pakistan. We would have been starting at zero had they not decided to "educate" the new PakGov through the UAV ops. (The JSOC-CIA brain child.)

    Once that "education" was underway, Pakistani intel officials picked up confirmation responsibility for each hit. A little-noticed but happy indicator of more than acquiescence. ("Duplicity" at least acknowledges that you have more than one side.)

    There's a long way to go yet. Long, long way to go.

    That's why the public perception of solid progress is so critical right now."
    ---

    Real progress in Pakistan?
    Great to hear!

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  9. It's a bitch, Miss
    T.

    And sometimes you make real mistakes, that are awefully hard to take back.

    Curse male jealousy.

    Yet still I feel, there is always something more, and, with Weiss, we are in a learning school here.

    And I think, God judges by the pure of heart, and for those whose real intent is pure, something good will come.

    You want to hear my story bout Wyn Moorer, when he was defending a guy charged with rape?

    He lost, they convicted him, but it was a near case, and, Wyn put up a good defense.

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  10. No biblical expert here, T, but think maybe there are accounts that this is a never ending issue:

    Some days I say I'll be glad not to have to experience more of this devolving mess, other days hope for the fountain of youth.

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  11. T'was a raining raining night in old Moscow, and the alleged rape took place in the back of a Chevy.

    Which was parked by the bar, to which both had gone, volunterally.

    Drinking liberally, all the night.

    So of course Wyn picks up on this...want to hear more?

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  12. Well yes, of cousre you do, and the details got very graphic.

    She says, he poked me in the ass.

    And he says, no I didn't.

    Wyn's point was, you can't accomplish that feat in the back of a Chevy.

    The testimony was very graphic.

    They both agreed, it happened, whatever the hell happened, in the back seat of that Chevy.

    Wyn's dead, the guy is still in jail I think, on our dime, they gave him twenty years.

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  13. Dubai is well known as one of the most pervasively surveilled places on earth.

    The simplest explanation is also the most intriguing: They didn't care about video capture - because they didn't have to.

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  14. I want to know what happened in the back seat of that Chevy.

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  15. Bob, you are probably the only one.

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  16. heh,Rufus,you know I love you..


    But we males aren't suppposed to talk like that.

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  17. I'm trying to think right now.

    It's hard, thinking.

    But sometimes it goes ok, if you just say what you feel.

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  18. Good God, that wasn't at all to express any homo feeling, but just to say, I've always liked Ruf, as a wise man.

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  19. I'm slightly less freezing. Thanks, whit.




    Buchanan apparently had a very nice tribute to Haig today. If someone wants to find it.

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  20. Jes call us Crazy-PAC.

    Ron Paul wins CPAC Straw Poll.

    How 'bout them Pubs, huh?

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  21. Maybe if Bob develops a man-crush on Rufus he will leave Melody be for a while.

    Trish's requested Buchanan tribute.

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  22. That damn word love you got to be careful bout.

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  23. Buchanan says Haig was the "pivot man" in the last 14-16 months of the Nixon Presidency. That had to have been hard duty.

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  24. Buchanan also talked about SecState Haig's faux pas "I'm in charge here" statement which was widely misinterpreted when all he was trying to do was indicate that things were under control in the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Reagan.

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  25. Buchanan said that Haig was a patriot who served his country well when his country was in turbulent times.

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  26. I think I would lean towards Buchanan beliefs since, Haig, was born and raised in the same town as me.

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  27. Not that it says much since our school district spies on their students.

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  28. And their cab services are rude and obnoxious.

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  29. I got her warm, then I came, then I got her warm, once again.

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  30. I can do this too. More than once.

    Isn't it truly delightful?

    Does it turn you on?

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  31. Deep here in Idaho, we have a place called Slut, where you can do anything you damn want.

    We will take your pants away, and make you pant, pant, pant and we will take your heart too.

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  32. I'm going to the desert, and leaving you behind.

    I'm a man.

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. Bizarre mental meltdown.

    It is a good thing that someone was "In Charge".

    Whether or not that someone was Mr Haig, it was his job to speak for the Federals. He did.

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  35. Melody they say the loneliest woman in the world is a Latina lesbian at a Buchanan rally, but I actually go along with Buchanan on a lot of things, like closing our overseas military bases and enforcing our immigration laws for once. I just don't go along with his borderline antisemitism.

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  36. Keep it up Bob, someday you'll go too far again and I'm sure Whit will make good on his warning of a few days ago and it will be lights out for you on the EB.

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  37. Whit can do what he wants.

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  38. Bob, you've gotta get some help, man.

    I'm serious.

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  39. She is a lovely woman, Ruf, and I was trying to get back at her a little bit for that taking the scissors to Sam's short hairs.


    I think she will forgive me when she thinks it over.

    I hope.

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  40. You need to take a break from blogging, Bob. You're starting to confuse blogging with reality. That could be real dangerous.

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  41. They'll say we all had more warning signs than Ami Bishop gave off.

    Maybe if you fessed up that you ain't no Milton Friedman, Rufus, Bob could drift down to a soft landing on dear old terra firma.

    Your false persona could get implicated in any unpleasant outcomes.

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  42. So how's the kid wrt to Maria, Trish?

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  43. I will always stand up for Melody,

    I know she she is pissed at me right now.

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  44. But, I am pissed at her too,

    Christ, taking the scissors to Sam's (my friend's!) short hairs.

    Jesus!!!!!!

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  45. Uncle Milties was a good guy, Doug. But, he forgot half of what I told him.

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  46. When W took office, Govt was 18% of GDP.
    Currently, 25 percent!!!

    No doubt Rufus Friedman will say he's seen it all before, ain't no big thing.

    I say it means unemployment will never go below 7 percent, unless and until.

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  47. Melody is the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world, I forgot to say that.

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  48. She has photos or Videos for you?

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  49. (feel like I took the last booster seat)

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  50. The current mess is all on Bush, Doug. We won't get to Obama's mess until, maybe, next year.

    I mean, hell, Doug; how can any of this be Obama's. He hasn't PASSED anything, yet. He's, Almost, the perfect President.

    Oh, wait, he did pass a "stimulus" bill, but they've only spent about a third of it, or something. He bailed out the banks, but we've been almost completely paid back.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't like the turd, either; but it's not like he's competent enough to be dangerous. He started out with a seventy-something approval rating, a large majority in the house, and a super-majority in the senate, and couldn't manage to pass a healthcare bill that half the Republicans wanted to pass.

    If we didn't have the asshole we'd have to invent him.

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  51. "The current mess is all on Bush, Doug. We won't get to Obama's mess until, maybe, next year."
    ---
    Yeah, business thrives on uncertainty, right?

    To say he, Harry and Nancy have done nothing is to be out of touch with reality.

    ...and Harry and Nancy have been in charge for several years now.

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  52. I don't think we're getting much small-business creation, yet. We may not for awhile. I have no idea how long "for awhile" is.

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  53. Doug, the economy is 300 Million people. No living astrologer, economist, or voodoomancer has a fucking clue what 300 million people will do.

    The banks might start lending to small business wannabees tomorrow, the consumers might start buying, Saudi Arabia might drop a couple of million barrels of oil on the market, and Bob might get laid.

    Hell, the Saints might even win the Super Bowl.

    But when it happens I'll be happy to explain just how I knew it was gonna come down just that way. Along with about a million "paid" fortune tellers.

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  54. Doug, I remember reading one obscure case, I think it was early nineteen hundreds Germany. They were stuck in one of their horrendous recessions, and the guy came in and did everything assbackwards. He raised taxes, closed business, expanded the government, appropiated property, put half the country one welfare, and God knows what all. He just basically did everything wrong.

    The Freakin' economy took off like a Rocket. You just never know.

    Economies come out of recession when they're damned well good and ready to come out of recession. The key is just to be ready to say, "I told you so."

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  55. An, with them pearls of wizdom I'm going to bed. G'nite.

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  56. Well, I'm telling you now:
    As long as the productive segment of them 300 million is seriously worried about being controlled by Govt, and Govt continues to take more and more of the total pie, good times are gonna be on hold.
    We've joined the Eurozone, and it better be temporary!
    ...and there ain't no way to squeeze food out of the ground when the govt turns off the water to
    "SAVE OUR SMELT!"

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  57. Do you remember the first time you fell in love, Doug?

    I remember when I did.

    And he's fallen in love not just with a girl but, also for the first time in his life, with a place.

    Being the old Army brat that I am, I understand that. And his father is at least sympathetic.

    There's really nothing for it but to let him go back.

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  58. Who knows, you might become the first to bend the laws of nature!
    ...didn't come close to making the attempt with our son.
    He soon got a post graduate level education.
    Now we worry that we won't live to see our grandkids!

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  59. Acquaintances of ours have a daughter to whom the same thing happened a few years earlier. (I'm fairly certain the stories are legion.) Fell in love with a boy and a (different) Latin American country. Her parents were rotating into another duty station and she wanted to stay. They gave the Big Speech. ("You won't be VIP child anymore; you won't be under the protective umbrella of the embassy; you won't be living lavishly," etc.)

    It lasted six months.




    Nothing is preordained.

    We'll just have to see, won't we?

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  60. I will say this: She is a wonderful girl.

    And Bogota is a really wonderful city in a generally charming country.




    Even so. This is one of those times when I think of parenthood as allowing absolutely no rest for the weary.

    God, give me a couple of two-year-olds any day.

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  61. Nothing is as draining as seeing your children profoundly unhappy.
    Now she is more or less offhandedly refered to as "Satan!"

    More proof that profoundly dysfunctional parents are a hazard to their offspring.

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  62. Now we worry that we won't live to see our grandkids!

    Sun Feb 21, 08:04:00 AM EST

    Oh, sure you will.

    And by that time your screeching and bitching about our overall state of affairs will be just goddamned intolerable.





    : )

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  63. Hey, I said I like the Pakistan news!

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  64. The Second Coming of Obamacare deserves much screeching and bitching.
    The Death of Freedom in America.
    To Rufus, Nirvana!

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  65. I didn't say there's no reason to bitch.

    I merely stated that your doing so would be...increasingly insufferable in your own inimitable way.

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  66. But don't worry.

    You've got nothing on my mother.

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  67. Bob: But, I am pissed at her too,

    Christ, taking the scissors to Sam's (my friend's!) short hairs.


    Here's a song that Bob can sing, I guess, at a Karaoke Bar.

    A little hazy
    Maybe I'm just losing my mind
    I think your shady
    I know that you've been calling my guy
    Are you crazy?
    Now I'm gonna take you outside
    And show you crazy
    Ohhh I got your crazy

    Call my man again and imma **** you up, and imma **** you up, and imma **** you up
    Touch my man again and imma **** you up, and imma **** you up ...

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  68. Bob: But, I am pissed at her too,

    Christ, taking the scissors to Sam's (my friend's!) short hairs.


    Here's a song that Bob can sing, I guess, at a Karaoke Bar.

    A little hazy
    Maybe I'm just losing my mind
    I think your shady
    I know that you've been calling my guy
    Are you crazy?
    Now I'm gonna take you outside
    And show you crazy
    Ohhh I got your crazy

    Call my man again and imma **** you up, and imma **** you up, and imma **** you up
    Touch my man again and imma **** you up, and imma **** you up ...

    ReplyDelete
  69. I gotta agree with all that, Doug.

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  70. I think, I'm pretty sure, it may be the beginning of Parkinson's dusease.

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