Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Was Robert McNamara Buried at the World Bank as a Way to Push Him out of DOD?

From the WikiLeaks dump. NBC's John Harwood sent this email to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta:
 On Mar 19, 2015, at 11:23 AM, Harwood, John (NBCUniversal) <> wrote:

 > > Last night I attended a book party for Joe Califano, who you may recall as Carter's Health Secretary and before that a top adviser in LBJ White House. Joe told me a funny family story from late 1967. 

 > > Vietnam was going really badly and no one was happy - especially not Johnson or Bob McNamara, his Defense Secretary. McNamara announced his departure to become president of the World Bank. My Dad told the White House he was writing in the next day's Post that Johnson had fired McNamara and arranged the World Bank job.

 > > McNamara wanted it portrayed as his decision, so he asked Califano to call Dad and unequivocally deny that LBJ had fired him. Later that day Joe told McNamara he had made the call. 

> > McNamara thanked him, then said something to the effect: "By the way, WAS I fired?"


  1. McNamara was interviewed in the movie, Fog of War. From the movie you get the sense that he seems like a good and brilliant man tasked with a horrific job; to make the US Military and it's allies more efficient killers.

  2. Fred Kaplan, military writer at Slate - and fortunately no relation to his neocon namesake Robert Kaplan - argues the McNamara was engaging in some fog of war of his own in the (excellent) documentary "Fog of War". See Kaplan's skeptical take here.