In The Price of Power, Seymour Hersh recounts how the American Machiavelli duped Chilean president Salvador Allende. When Orlando Letelier, Allende's ambassador in Washington, visited with Kissinger, he asked if he knew about a smear campaign conducted by American companies against Chile. Kissinger replied that such a notion was "absolutely absurd and without grounds of any kind." In fact, Kissinger had helped Nixon hatch this very campaign. In addition, he was bugging the Chilean embassy to find out about Allende's nationalization plans so he could report them to business leaders.

Today, the arrival of Kissinger bodes ill for the conservative ideologues and religious interests pushing war on Bush, and is really bad news for the Bush family's newfound base on the Republican right, especially with the Christian right, whom members of the establishment rightly view as a bunch of crackpots. Bush may think he has made a shrewd choice, but he could get much more than he bargained for.

The Dream of a Fair Investigation
Out of Commission

If, as seems obvious, the Kissinger committee on 9-11 is an utter fake, there's still hope. New York State, for starters, could conduct its own investigation. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer could issue subpoenas, call witnesses, and empanel grand juries. Or the few dissenting lawmakers in Washington could follow in the footsteps of Newt Gingrich, who sent members of his back bench to the House floor for brief statements at the end of each day. They reached a national audience through C-SPAN and became a major factor in building the Reagan right. Even a small corps, if determined and organized enough, could put information before Kissinger and the public, challenging the commission whenever it errs.

Additional reporting: Gabrielle Jackson, Rebecca Winsor, and Josh Saltzman

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