Christopher Hitchens

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger served as Secretary of State from 1973 to 1977, as well as assistant to the President in regards to National Security Affairs from 1969 to 1975. It was during his time as Secretary of State that many people eventually held him partially to primarily responsible for some of the events of foreign policy that occurred during that time. Christopher Hitchens was one of these people. In fact, Kissinger is one of the few subjects of which Hitchens wrote a novel about, which was titled "The Trial of Henry Kissinger". Hitchens criticized and attacked Kissinger from his time at the New Statesmen in the 1970's until his death in 2011. Hitchens always believed that Kissinger should be prosecuted for a number of offenses to foreign policy that he presided over during his time as the Secretary of State. According to Hitchens, this prosecution was necessary because of "war crimes, crimes against humanity, and offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit, murder, kidnap and torture."

Hitchens wrote a number of articles for Harper's Magazine and participated in several interviews and debates about the perceived war crimes of Kissinger. Within these articles and debates, Hitchens primary complaints and criticisms of Kissinger centered around the events in Chile and Argentina, as well as France. The issues in Argentina and Chile involved the ruling of the countries by people that the U.S. government weren't too fond of. In Chile, it was the Socialist presidential candidate Salvador Allende, while Argentina involved the toppling of elected official Isabel Peron by the Argentinian military. In both of these cases, officials, and anyone that challenged the party that eventually took over, "disappeared" mysteriously.

It was later found that the U.S. government, particularly Henry Kissinger, had complicit knowledge and provided support of these actions. Christopher Hitchens believed that Kissinger was among the only people within the Nixon administration to escape punishment because of these and other actions that were damaging to the United States, which he makes clear in a later debate, saying "Certainly, of the four people who concerted that policy--Richard Nixon, Attorney General John Mitchell, Vice President Spiro Agnew and Henry Kissinger--only one has escaped any kind of indictment so far. There's only one unindicted co-conspirator still on the loose and I suggest that's a reproach to a country that considers itself to be bound by law and bound by justice."