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Thomas Graham, Jr. Oral History Interview, December 3, 2015

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CHRIS PETERSEN: Alright, so today is December 3, 2015, and we are in the Valley Library for our second interview with Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., and I'm Chris Petersen joined by Linda Richards and Linda will be doing most of the questioning for this session. I thought that before we get into a continued discussion of your career, it might be useful to have just a quick overview of your early years: where you were born, family background, education.

THOMAS GRAHAM: Quick interview of?

CP: Of basically the years before you started working, so your family background, upbringing and education.

TG: Oh, growing up in Louisville.

CP: Just to fill out the biographical sketch a little bit.

TG: Well, as you can read in my memoirs, Disarmament Sketches, I grew up in the city of Louisville in a very political family. My father was an investment banker in Louisville but also deeply interested in politics. As a young boy I met politicians who were friends of my father in both parties, although he was a treasurer of the Democratic party in Louisville in Jefferson County, actually, for thirty years. A part time job, but he took it seriously. I went to four Democratic national conventions, the first one when I was 18. The candidate that year was Adlai Stevenson, and my father's lawyer, Wilson Wyatt, who is also from Louisville, and I ended up working for his law firm later for three years, he was the campaign manager for Adlai Stevenson, in the '52 convention and during the campaign. We got a really close up look at what it's like to be nominated president and then of course I was already deeply interested in politics and that kind of clenched the deal. I went to three other Democratic conventions, but after the 1968 convention as a result of outrage over the behavior of the Democratic leadership and the war in Vietnam, which I thought was very misguided, I decided enough of the Democratic party.

I should also add, I went to the convention as kind of a hangers on with the Kentucky delegation. Five of the members of the delegation were close friends of mine and all five were for McCarthy. I was also for Eugene McCarthy and I was very upset at the way the leadership of the party treated him as a possible candidate. He was essentially shoved aside and not given an opportunity to make his case. That persuaded me that I didn't want to stay with the Democratic party, even though it was the party of my father and my upbringing and I wrote to my cousin, Melvin Laird from Wisconsin who was a long-time serving Republican Congressman. He later was secretary of defense for President Nixon. I said I've had it with the democrats, I'd like to work for the Republicans in the general election. He got me a job working in Washington for the outreach to non-Republicans headed by a man named Charlie Rhyne, who was Nixon's law school roommate. John Horner was part of that group. Lamar Alexander who is still in the United States Senate was also part of it. Lucy Winchester, who became Mrs. Nixon's social secretary. That's where I ended up but growing up in Louisville, the Democratic party dominated everything. It was my father's organization. The Democratic party in Jefferson County was run by four people who were close friends, one of whom was my father.


My father when Laird died in office was a candidate to succeed him pursuant to a vote of the Board of Alderman, the 12-member board of, the city council in other words. He lost by one vote, 6 to 5. One of his supporters didn't attend, was sick. My mother was overjoyed because she hated politics, but my father was briefly unhappy. That was his only attempt at a public office. He remained very active in various causes and the moment when I was proudest of him, and I've tried to live up in my own life to some extent as best I could to this moment that I always remember. In those days we had, the country had a major league in baseball of 8 teams in each league. A very strong minor league circuits, and Louisville was a member of the American Association, which was the top of the minor leagues. Every year the winner of the pendant in the American Association played the winner of the other major minor league. When I say American Association was the top, it was the top wholly domestic baseball league. There was another league of equivalent status called International League which included Montreal and I think Toronto, so Canadian teams. In any case, the winner of the two leagues met in what was called the Little World Series.

In 1946, Jackie Robinson was playing for Montreal his first year in organized baseball. He came to Louisville because Louisville had won the American Association pennant that year. Montreal had won the International League pennant and he was booed when he appeared in Louisville by the crowd and my father was outraged at that. I should say, my father was not someone-I'm talking so much about him right now, but this very much shaped my own life. He was not a liberal. I don't consider myself a liberal either. He was a conservative, but he was a conservative who believed in principle and fair play and decency and all of those things and Woodrow Wilson was his model as a politician, but he always referred to himself as a Goldwater Democratic. He was a great admirer of Barry Goldwater for the same reasons. Barry Goldwater may have been very conservative, but he was man of principle, unlike some people today. My father decided to do something about that, that incident with Jackie Robinson. Five years later after Jackie had become a big star for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he invited him to come to Louisville and receive the key to the city and then have lunch with him at the men's business club in Louisville, called the Pennant's Club. You may think that's nothing, but in 1951 in Louisville it was something, believe me. It really was. Louisville was never like the deep south, but we did have significant segregation in Louisville and many segregation adherents in the city and many who were opposed. Kentucky, just to briefly revert to the Civil War was a slave state, but it did not succeed, so it was kind of in between.

Nevertheless, even in Louisville to give Jackie Robinson the key to the city was a significant act, and I was never so proud of my father when he did that. I have a picture of him and Jackie sitting together in my book of memoirs, Disarmament Sketches. It was only natural that I ended up working for the government. Elective office in Kentucky was not something that really, I had much opportunity to pursue just because of the way my career unfolded. I ended up going to Harvard Law School, briefly practicing law in Kentucky after three years in the government and then practicing law in New York for three years. That was all before the '68 convention. I did spend '61-'64 in Washington right after law school working for the federal government. I was a law clerk for a year on the D.C. circuit for the chief judge of the D.C. circuit.


His name was Wilbert Miller. He was a friend of my father's. Then I was council to the House Banking Committee, the council for one year during the last year in office as chairman of another friend of my father's, Brent Spence, who had represented Northern Kentucky for 32 years in the House of Representatives, and at the time was the oldest man to sit in the House of Representatives, maybe that's still the case. He was 87/88. As a result of his advanced age, I got to do many things that otherwise I might not have been able to do. For example, I was sitting in his office one day and the telephone range and it was his secretary and she said the president is on the telephone and so he took the call and it was President Kennedy. This was October of 1961. We didn't know it at the time, but the missile crisis was just a week or two away. President Kennedy, as you may recall, during the crisis when the executive committee Excom was debating about what to do put up a front of campaigning for Democratic candidates around the country so everything would seem normal, so he was planning a trip to Cincinnati and one other city. Cincinnati is across the river from Mr. Spence's former district and the airport for Cincinnati, not by chance, happens to be in his district in Northern Kentucky so that was going to be President Kennedy's first stop. He invited Congressman Spence, Chairman Spence, to accompany him. The chairman said that he would be happy to do so but could he bring his assistant along, and that was me.

I got to travel with him and President Kennedy on Air Force 1 in October 1961. We landed at the airport. Everyone else got off the plane, except the three of us because we were, the president was waiting for the stands to be set up, a band to get in its place, about twenty minutes. He came back from his office on the plane and talked to the two of us for about 20 minutes and I still remember talking with President Kennedy. That was the only time I met him. When you would ask him a question or say something to him, he would look at you right in your eyes like what you were saying was the most important thing that he'd ever heard. Of course, he was probably thinking about the missile crisis or the next stop or what he was going to have for dinner that night, but he gave the impression of hanging on your every word and he had very clear blue eyes and he just looked, you felt like, right through you. Undoubtedly that was a big asset as a politician. I remember that very well. I did that for a year and then I spent a year in the treasury department working for the comptroller of the currency, James Saxon.


When there was a big battle going on between national banks and savings and loans over additional powers for national banks, the comptroller is the regulator of national banks, so he sided with them whereas the succeeding chairman of the House Banking Committee, Wright Patman was his name from Arkansas. He was very much a savings and loan champion. We had huge political battles and the comptroller, James Saxon was his name, thought that maybe since I'd come from the committee and knew all the members I could be of assistance to him. Hopefully I was of some assistance, and then I was there maybe a year and a half and then I decided to take a job with a law firm with Wilson Wyatt's law firm in Louisville, Kentucky, the former campaign manager Adlai Stevenson that I mentioned earlier. I took six months off and traveled around the world with a friend of mine. We stayed together about half the trip and had a dispute about where to go next, so went our separate ways. The last half I was by myself and then I joined the law firm in Louisville. Worked there a year and a half, almost two years, a year and three quarters. I just was unhappy in Louisville. I was 30 years old by then and it just wasn't much of a place for a bachelor 30 years old. I had made contacts when I was on the House Banking Committee and working for Mr. Saxon with some large New York law firms that represented banks, so I applied for a job with one of them, Shearman & Sterling, which was then the largest firm in New York City. They hired me, and I went to work for them for three years until I joined the Nixon campaign in 1968.

After the Nixon campaign I spent about year, let's see, well the Nixon campaign ended in November. I went back to the law firm. The following summer I took a job in the Air Force General Counsel's Office in Washington. I really wanted to get back to Washington. My role was negotiating agreements on the sighting of early warning systems in northern Canada, radar systems, missile detection systems in Northern Canada. I don't remember if I mentioned this in our previous discussion, while there I heard about a small agency associated with the State Department which specialized in negotiating nuclear arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. I also heard they were looking for a lawyer who had experience on Capitol Hill. I thought well, that could be me. I arranged to have an appointment with the general council. It's a small office, only six lawyers. One of them did the Congressional liaison work for the agency, being a small agency Congressional liaison and legal were combined. He had left to take another job in the agency and so they were they looking for a replacement. I met with the general council and he said that you seem to meet our requirements, but this is a political agency and a political administration, and you have to show political support. This of course was the Nixon administration. Again, it just happened that two of my father's best friends were the Republican senators from Kentucky. One of those Republican senators, Thurston Morton, was the Republican national chairman. The other one, John Sherman Cooper, was the ranking Republican on Senate foreign relations. They both wrote letters for me, and I got the job.


When I joined the agency in September of 1970, I said to myself well you've had 6 jobs in 9 years after law school, you should stay a few years. This one I stayed 27, and that's how I got to where I became involved in disarmament. That was a long answer.

LINDA RICHARDS: It actually leads really nicely into some of the other things we wanted to talk about. Maybe you had some?

CP: Go ahead.

LR: I was hoping you could talk a little bit about the attempts in 1993 to eliminate the Arms Control Agency, if you'd be willing to talk a little bit about that?

TG: Okay.

LR: We'll go from there.

TG: Well, when the H.W. Bush administration was leaving office, the then director of the Arms Control Agency, a man named Ron Lehman. A very fine man, conservative but another man of principle. He was very concerned that the incoming Clinton administration would eliminate the Arms Control Agency, which he thought was a terrible idea. Since I would be staying on, he urged me to do everything I could to prevent that from happening. I promised Ron I would do whatever I could. It turned out that was exactly what the incoming Clinton administration that was going to take over that part of it, that was going to take over the State Department, had in mind. Because the State Department bureaucracy for many years had seen ACDA as their arms control agency, the A-C-D-A, ACDA, had seen ACDA as a competitor to what they thought it was its rightful role as the dominant force in American foreign policy. Of course, ACDA was created by John F. Kennedy for exactly the reason that it wanted to create competition with the State Department in the disarmament field because there's an inherent conflict between the central mission of the State Department, which is to improve relations with other countries, and pursuing disarmament. If you say to Pakistan, for example, if you don't terminate your nuclear weapon program, America's going to cut off its aide to you, that's not going to improve our relations with Pakistan. ACDA can say that. ACDA can say that to the president. ACDA could argue to the president that that's what you, Mr. President, should do. The State Department was very constricted in making an argument such as that because it conflicted with their basic mission and that is in fact what did happen later on.

Well, not later on from 1993, but later on after I joined ACDA, prior to 1993. Toward the end of the Afghan War that's exactly what happened. The U.S. was aiding the mujahideen, Pakistan was building nuclear weapons. There was a provision of law that said that as they call the Pressler Amendment in the Senate, which required the president to certify every year with respect to Pakistan that they did not have a nuclear weapon and continuing military aid to Pakistan would not increase the likelihood that they would get a nuclear weapon or acquire a nuclear weapon. Well, it just happened that the latter half of the 1980s that Pakistan actually had built nuclear weapons, and they just kept them in sections. The State Department and the Defense Department for several years recommended to President Reagan and then to President Bush to sign the certification so that military aide could continue, when in fact they were telling the president to certify to a lie.


ACDA, on the other hand, being independent from the State Department and not caring whether our relations with Pakistan took a nosedive but was much more interested in the Pakistani nuclear weapon program each year formally recommended to the president that he not sign the certificate because Pakistan in fact did have nuclear weapons. That happened for three years in a row, in '87, '88, and '89. After 1989, when the Afghan War was winding down, and we no longer had to aid the mujahedeen and no longer needed Pakistani assistance to aid the mujahedeen, President H.W. Bush said that they could not sign the certification another year because he knew that it was a lie. He didn't, and aide was cut off to Pakistan. That's exactly what President Kennedy had in mind when he created the Arms Control Agency, with the assistance of Secretary Rusk who supported the idea and John J. McCloy who supported the idea form the outside. That's why an independent Arms Control Agency was important and that's what outgoing director Lehman wanted to preserve, even though he was a staunch Republican and conservative. As the Clinton administration came in and all the political appointees in the Arms Control Agency resigned, as is the custom, the deputy director and the four assistant directors, that left me as the general counsel and not subject to a political appointee but not subject to advice and consent of the Senate.

Therefore, I was not required to resign. They left me there as the most senior official at the agency, but no clear mandate to take over the agency because we didn't have a succession plan at ACDA. Well, the transition team for the Arms Control Agency, unlike the transition team for the State Department for the incoming Clinton administration, this was in the interregnum between the election and the inauguration, this happened. The transition team was composed of Rose Gottemoeller, a great friend and great advocate of arms control who was headed for a job in the White House; Laura Holgate, who was headed for a job in the Defense Department as a close confidant of Ashton Carter, who was going to be the assistant secretary of defense, and one other person whose name I can't recall right now. They were sympathetic to my becoming the acting director, so they along with the deputy general counsel, my deputy, developed during that period a succession plan for ACDA which clearly said in the absence of the four assistant directors, the deputy director, the director of the general counsel is the acting director. That's who I became the acting director. At 12:01 on January 20th, I formally was the acting director. I stayed in my own office for about 2 weeks and then I moved into the director's office where I stayed for about almost a year, about 10 months, before a permanent director was appointed by the White House and we had prevailed in our war against the State Department to preserve the arms control agency. I knew that that was going to be one of my jobs. Another one was voting on the test ban and then there were several other things that were clearly going to be on my desk, but my first effort was to try to understand how I might preserve the Arms Control Agency. I thought maybe the first thing to do was to talk to the other agencies, and also at that time the White House, the National Security Council staff was calling for, was putting around the message that the Congressional moratorium on nuclear testing was soon to expire and, in the legislation, there was the alternative of this was the Hatfield-Exon-McCoy legislation.


Hatfield-Exon-Mitchell, sorry, was in the fall of '92 which required a 9-month moratorium on nuclear testing, which we hadn't tested in about a year. Then a decision, either to continue the moratorium or to do 5 tests a year for 5 years and then seek a comprehensive test ban treaty or continue the moratorium and seek a comprehensive test ban treaty. That was the decision that had to be made to continue the moratorium or do the tests. I decided that #1, I was going to try to preserve the Arms Control Agency, and #2, since I had a vote in the National Security Council as long as ACDA existed and as acting director I was going to vote for the moratorium. I informed the State Department of that and I got some very difficult-to-understand message back because they were trying to take us over. I told the White House that, and they were horrified because they wanted the tests. I went to see Barry McCaffrey at the joint chiefs, a man I greatly admired then and still do. He was the J5 responsible for arms control and I went there to tell him that I was going to vote for the moratorium in the forthcoming inter-agency debate as someone of cabinet rank for this vote. I wanted to be sure I wasn't blindsiding the chiefs. His response was, of course that's what you should do. Your job is to defend the non-proliferation treaty. Our job is to get more weapons. That's the way the government's supposed to work and then we fight it out, but you would not be doing your job if you didn't do that. That's not the way the White House saw it, but that's the way the chiefs saw it. He said then, furthermore, there were some people here from the State Department just last week, I think they were all wearing striped pants and they said they wanted to eliminate the Arms Control Agency. I said gentleman, please leave my office. What you're suggesting is contrary to the interest of the United States. I was encouraged by that; maybe other agencies will support us.

I persuaded the White House to do an inter-agency poll of agencies on whether or not the Arms Control Agency should be eliminated or not. All other agencies voted to continue the Arms Control Agency, only the State Department voted to eliminate it. It was the chiefs, the office of the secretary of defense, the department of energy, and the Arms Control Agency voting to continue ACDA. The State Department against 4 to 1, so that was good. Then I had a private discussion with the national security advisor, Tony Lake, who was sympathetic. He said, well, you know I meet every week for lunch with the secretary of state and secretary of defense, and I've heard about this. I know about this effort to eliminate ACDA and merge it into the State Department and you know corporations have something they call a poison pill. Can't you think of something like that. So, I knew I had their support there. Then I had a discussion with Al Gore's, Vice President Gore's national security advisor, Leon Fuerth, and got the same message from him. I was encouraged by all of this.


The then chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, Claiborne Pell, was very strongly supportive of an independent Arms Control Agency. He was very committed to disarmament and he did not want to see ACDA eliminated and I talked to some other members of Congress who had similar views. Then I thought maybe I could get some public support, and I talked to a few of the NGO organizations who were supportive. There's only so much they could do, of course. I mean, what would be required to eliminate the agency would be a decision by the president to do so and then new legislation from the Congress essentially abolishing or heavily amending the Arms Control and Disarmament Act which established ACDA. It couldn't just happen. Some major players had to act. I had the other agencies in support. The senior national security people in the White House were supportive. NGOs were supportive, although as I say there's only so much they could do.

But then the Defense News, which was a Pentagon publication, became interested in this cause and I never figured out exactly why, except that the person that covered national security issues in the disarmament field, among others, was a woman that had been in defense news for a number of years doing this work. It was a woman named Theresa Hitchens, who later became head of several large NGOs in the disarmament field. I always thought maybe she was the one who was writing all these articles denouncing the attempt to eliminate the Arms Control Agency. Well, then it came time for the appropriation requests and then as acting director I had to appear before the House subcommittee on state judiciary and related agencies to request a new appropriation. Well, if the agency's going to disappear, you know why should it be given public money appropriations? I had to go there and argue the agency shouldn't disappear, contrary to what some in the administration are saying, and we should get our appropriation. I had a statement, and I sent it around to the other agencies the day before I was to appear. I sent it to the State Department and it came back from the under secretary of state's office with a demand that I put in a new third paragraph which said these appropriations may not be necessary because this agency may be abolished, or words to that effect. I debated long into the night with a couple of friends at the agency should I reject that? Should I include it and talk around it? What should I do? Finally, we decided to leave it in. Sent the statement to the Hill, because it was a formal request from the State Department.

I, then, the next morning went up to the Hill to testify and the chairman of the subcommittee was a friend of ours, Robert Carr, Bob Carr, a Congressman from Michigan, a very good friend of ours, and friend of mine. I decided I wouldn't read the statement. I would just recall what John F. Kennedy said when he established ACDA and why I was there and separate comments. The room was packed, no doubt lots of people from the State Department watching me. Small room. Small committee room. The committee had maybe five members. All were present. I made my opening comments and then Bob Carr as chairman gave me a couple of softball questions and then it was the ranking Republican's turn and he said this third paragraph, why did you include that? What do you mean by coming up here and saying you want so much money but then the money may not be necessary because you may be abolished. Why is that there? What do you think we are? I said, well that's not really our paragraph Congressman.


I thought to myself, I can't lie to Congress. That's a crime. I said, that's not our paragraph, Congressman. He said, well who asked you to put that there? I said the department of state. He said who at the department of state? I said well it came actually from the undersecretary for management, Brian Atwood. Well, all I can say is you're an independent agency, you shouldn't pay any attention to what other agencies say. I knew I was going to be in real hell water when I got back to the office, but I had just said I couldn't lie. After a few more questions and comments, the hearing was over. I left, and I went back to the office and I talked to my long-time friend and the long-time executive secretary of the agency, Barbara Starr. I said, Barb I think I'm in deep trouble and I recounted what happened. She said, no don't worry it's going to be the turning point. You wait and see. I tried to call the two undersecretaries at the State Department: Lynn Davis, undersecretary for arms control and international security who would inherit ACDA and Brian Atwood, the undersecretary for management. Both of them friends, Brian particularly for a long time. They wouldn't return my call. Then I got a message that I was to go to see the deputy secretary of defense in two days.

The next day I guess I called Rose Gottemoeller at the White House and said you know I think they're taking me into the woodshed, and she said well I'll see what I can do about it and calm things down. The next day in the Defense News, a big headline: "Director Graham Taken to the Woodshed." The deputy director of state for most of the Clinton administration, Strobe Talbott, was the deputy secretary of state but not the first year. It was a man named Wharton, a very fine man, was the deputy secretary of state for Warren Christopher. He was the one who had summoned me. I duly went to his office at the appointed time, and I was brought into the sort of suite outside his office and I sat down on the couch. In came his special assistant who sat to my right. Then, deputy secretary Wharton came in and sat down to my left. Nobody said anything and there were two chairs opposite me. I knew who they were for. Eventually undersecretary of state, Lynn Davis and undersecretary of state, Brian Atwood, came in. Two days later they were still so angry they couldn't speak. They couldn't even say hello. They sat down. There we were. Wharton says, now Mr. Graham I understand that you've been making some anti-State Department remarks. I said, Mr. Secretary, I wasn't making anti-statement remarks. I was answering questions from members of Congress, and my understanding is that it's a crime to lie to Congress, so I was just telling the truth. He said, well, no matter. Just don't do it again. That was the end of the end of the meeting. I went back to my office, and in the meantime, about a month before, I had persuaded a long-time Congressional aide, named Evo Spelliton, who had worked for Congressman Zablocki in the House Foreign Affairs Committee for many years. I persuaded him to come on as our Congressional liaison, and meanwhile my former deputy of general counsel was now the acting general counsel. So, Evo Spelliton was from Minneapolis, or from Minnesota, Wisconsin area, and he knew many people in Minneapolis.


Warren Christopher was making a trip to make a speech in Minneapolis, and now we're about 5 months into the Clinton administration by this time. And Evo said, well you know I was very close to Herbert Humphrey and I know his widow, Muriel Humphrey, and apparently secretary Christopher is going to meet with her while he's there, just because of who Hubert Humphrey was, and why don't I call her and tell her to put in a pitch for ACDA and say how much Senator Humphrey cared about ACDA. He did. He was one of the sponsors of the legislation establishing ACDA. I said that's a great idea, Evo. Then about a week later after Warren Christopher went out there and after all this business about the wood shed and everything and all the activity by everybody else and the other agencies, I got a call. I was seated at my desk and I got a call from, secretary called him and said, secretary of state's on the phone. I picked up the phone. It was Warren Christopher. He was very gracious, very nice. He said you're doing a wonderful job. I've been listening carefully to all the arguments about the Arms Control Agency. I've been made aware of how important it was to Senator Humphrey, and I've been listening to Lynn Davis and Brian Atwood's agencies as well as arguments from other agencies, and I've decided to continue the agency. That was the end of the battle for the survival of ACDA in 1993. Now, it was eventually destroyed four years later on other grounds. Senator Helms blackmailed the White House into eliminating it, so it was eventually eliminated in 1999, but we did save it for those four years.

LR: That leads us into the whole politics of what you've been doing. Maybe you'd want to talk about the struggle over the ABM treaty to follow that.

TG: The struggle over the ABM treaty?

LR: Uh-huh.

TG: Well, that was of course during the Reagan administration, and the ABM treaty, which was a very important treaty for many, many years and the symbol of arms control in many ways and very important to keeping the peace during the Cold War, because the theory behind it was that if one side began to build up strategic defense and the other side didn't have the same technology, that side that had the weaker technology might be tempted to do a first strike before the other side could build up its defenses to the point where it could strike it with relative impunity. That's called crisis stability. It was building strategic defense was seen as contrary to crisis stability and would make a crisis for the Soviet Union more unstable. In other words, you have a crisis. The two countries are at the knife's edge for some other reason and one side is building up defenses fast. The other side may say, it's now or never and launch a first strike. Where it's not tempted to do that as long as both sides are vulnerable to not only a first strike but to a counter-strike after a first strike because there's no defense. If one side builds up defense and it's completed the building, even if the other side strikes first it will be able to degrade the attack and have enough left to destroy the other side if it doesn't have defenses.


But if it has defenses it may be able to either launch a first strike itself and not worry about a second strike or be relatively invulnerable. The building of a strategic defense could make a crisis less stable. It's a very complicated idea, but essentially it boils down to in a nuclear crisis it's more stable and safer that there be no defense against strategic attack and therefore neither side is tempted to do anything rash. That's the easiest way to explain it rather than get into the complicated details. It became the symbol of disarmament and arms control and stability, the ABM treaty did. Therefore, relatively invulnerable to attack. Then, along came President Reagan and his strategic defense initiative and he was persuaded by scientists that it would be possible to develop an astrodome over the United States with lasers and particle beams and so forth that could completely prevent an attack on the United States.

Unbeknownst to many people at the time, President Ronald Reagan thought, to use his words, nuclear weapons were good for nothing but killing and probably destructive of civilization. He wanted to eliminate nuclear weapons, but everyone told him that was impossible, so he was attracted to this idea of what became known as Star Wars. This strategic defense initiative depended on space-based systems, but the problem was the ABM treaty, in the interest of stability, prohibited space-based defenses. It banned the development, testing, and deployment of space-based systems. You couldn't build the strategic defense initiative without violating the ABM treaty. The ABM treaty was the national law of the United States as a ratified treaty. So, Richard Perle and others at the Defense Department concocted this idea that the negotiators, which the Senate didn't really understand, the negotiators of the treaty meant only prohibit space-based defenses based on the technology of the time, not futuristic technology, which was exempt from this prohibition.

The problem with that argument was that there had been two statements on the Senate floor during the debate, one by Senator Buckley, that they thought it was a bad idea to ban space-based defenses and the implication was by all technologies. It wasn't really supported by the ratification record and the Perle group who were assisted by the then legal advisor for the department of state had to argue the Senate didn't understand what it was doing when it ratified the ABM treaty. That's not an idea that's easy to find favor with in the United States Senate. We had an inner agency meeting which Richard Perle unveiled this notion and I opposed it at the meeting and somehow, I ended up as the champion of the traditional view of the ABM treaty, that that provision banned all types of space-based defense, whether by conventional means or futuristic means.


There was a National Security Council meeting to address this question and it decided that the Perle, it became known as the legally-correct interpretation, or the LCI, that the LCI was indeed the correct interpretation of the ABM treaty. The Soviet Union, of course, went ballistic once this was public, denouncing it as a provocation and so forth. A number of senators objected to it as well. Well, my role in this-it's a long story and it's difficult to present in a short period of time, but not long before this national, well, maybe let me think. Sorry, it was a month or two subsequent to the National Security Council, the meeting that I mentioned, there was another National Security Council meeting and several weeks before that meeting I had had, with the agreement of the Arms Control Agency, I had given an interview to Michael Gordon of the New York Times. The public affairs officer sat in on that briefing. Michael Gordon's article the next day did contain some classified information but it didn't come from me and I had the public affairs officer present to testify to that.

But nevertheless, the legal advisor of the department of state wrote a letter to Secretary Schultz in which he said that one of our problems in advancing the legally correct interpretation is the general counsel of the Arms Control Agency is leaking classified information the New York Times. Ken Adleman was then the director of the agency and I didn't know about this letter. It was a private message to Schultz. Ken called me into his office and he said you really believe your interpretation is correct, don't you? I said, I do. He said, well I believe you and at the meeting on the interpretation I was the only person present who didn't vote to say that the LCI was correct. I said I couldn't make up my mind. I was on the fence. Now, as there's no truth to this idea that some people are saying you leaked classified information to the New York Times. I said, no, there's no truth to that at all. That's good. Okay. That was the last I heard of that and many months later I learned from Ken's special assistant that what had happened the next day at this National Security Council meeting with the Reagan and the chair and all the cabinet officers present, Secretary Shultz said to Ken, Mr. President one of our biggest problems is Ken's general counsel is leaking classified information to the New York Times. Ken Adelman was a very conservative Reagan appointee, originally very close to Dick Cheney. Not so later, but then he was. That's the part of the Republican party he came from. He was also a man of principle who believed in defending his employees if he thought they were right. His response was, in front of Reagan, Mr. Secretary you're a liar. That's not true. I'm told by his assistant who was present it went over Reagan's head. He paid no attention. After the meeting Paul Nitze on my behalf spoke with Shultz, and Secretary Shultz, who is a great man in my opinion, called Ken and did something he didn't do very often, he called him and apologized for making that statement.


Nevertheless, the opponents, I mean I should say the advocates of the broad interpretation, which is another name for it as opposed to the correct, the real interpretation, they referred to as the narrow interpretation of the ABM treaty they persuaded Congressman Odom from California who represented Orange County for many years to go after me. The purpose was to discredit my views. It's classic politics but nevertheless it can be a little disconcerting. Odom complained to the FBI that there was serious security violations taking place and that I was committing them. I had my Miranda rights read to me by an FBI agent. I don't know if any of you have experienced that, but it's a bit chilling: "Anything you say may be used against you. You have a right to a lawyer," all of that. I wasn't really that worried, although you'd think I was. It would be natural for me to be worried, but I wasn't because I knew I didn't do that, and I had a witness that would say that I didn't. nothing ever came of it. the agent interviewed a few other people and the FBI is very experienced in recognizing political attacks from real crimes. That wasn't the last time that that happened. It happened twice. That's the way the right wing plays the game. They try to get their opponents in legal trouble.

I witnessed the considerable number of people in the Clinton White House that had to hire lawyers to defend themselves. While all this was going on there were other attacks. Later I was accused of obstruction of justice because I had destroyed some files in a cleanup in preparation for an inventory audit of the number of classified documents in my office, and you weren't supposed to have too many because it was bad for security. A number of them I sent for, which were really old, I sent out for destruction. Nevertheless, there was an article by a columnist, a right-wing columnist, in The Washington Times, that I had been engaged in obstruction of justice. Again, Odom had the FBI come again and they, again, it led to nothing. There was another time when there was some kind of security leak somewhere in the agency and I was about to go to Geneva for one of the negotiations and our security officer said to me, be careful over there. There's people out to get you. I was interviewed by the regional security officer over there about something also that didn't happen. While I was there, I was just sitting at my desk one day and the phone rings. This was in Geneva. The phone rings and it's the national security reporter for Newsweek, a man that I knew. He said Tom, it's all over the Hill, the Congressman again.


It's all over the Hill, you go twice a week to the Soviet embassy to pass them classified information, a man named Churkin, Vitaly Churkin, and you're having an affair with a woman at your agency accused of security violations and she wasn't punished by director Adleman as a result of your intervention because you're having an affair with her. I just wonder if you have any comments on that? I said, yeah, actually I do. With respect with Mr. Churkin, I've seen him twice in the last five years, both times approved by an inner agency task force and one time, the second time, he passed to us important information about what would happen at the Reykjavik meeting between Gorbachev and Reagan that the Soviets might be able to accept on-site inspect. In any case, both visits were approved by an inner agency group and both times I made a report of the meeting. As an aside, Vitaly Churkin has been the Soviet, or Russian, rather, UN ambassador for about the last 8 years. If you read about the Russian UN ambassador, that's him. I knew him from, saw two days. I met him when he was a very young man when he was an interpreter. As to your second charge about the affair, John, I said, well, if that were true I'd have to be the fastest man in Washington, because I've only been alone with a young woman once in the last 9 years and that was for a minute and a half in the hallways of the State Department, so I'd have to be very, very fast for that to be true. He said, well, thank you. Thank you for those comments. Then I called our public affairs officer and told him about it. He said, yeah, yeah, he called me. I told him forget it. There's nothing to it. That's the way the game was played. Eventually, the broad interpretation collapsed under its own weight, because in order to prevail they had to not only try to discredit me as the champion of the traditional interpretation, but they also had to persuade the senators that they were deluded in what they had ratified, and that didn't sit well with many senators, and Senator Levin and Senator Nunn eventually went on the attack and at the end of the Reagan administration the office of the strategic defense initiative said in their report that of all the difficulties they'd had in promoting the strategic defense initiative, the biggest problem they had was the argument for the broad interpretation. So, we prevailed.

LR: Well, you've had quite the wild ride.

TG: Yeah, well, as I say, as I say to people that are interested in arms controls as a career, you have to understand if you really want to do this that it's a very emotional subject and people will use any means that are available to them to prevail, or at least some people will. You have to understand that you may have to take some hits and just be honest and straightforward and you'll be okay. I might just mention one other incident that took place during all of that. During the peak after this incident with the letter to Secretary Shultz that I mentioned about leaking classified information, my opposition didn't stop there. They passed this information to Capitol Hill and senator Helms was on the foreign relations committee. He made two speeches on the Senate floor denouncing me, and he wrote a letter to Ken Adleman, the director, denouncing me which Ken rebutted. In the middle of all this, the senior legislative advisor to Senator Helms calls me up.


He said, now he said, Tom you may have noticed that Senator Helms has some unfriendly things to say about you on the Senate floor. I said, well Dave, actually I had noticed. He said well, you know in life we each have a role to play and right now you represent something that the senator hates, but he doesn't hate you. In fact, he likes you. So, don't take it too seriously. I said, well, Dave, I wouldn't take it seriously if it didn't hurt so much. I was also denounced in an Evans and Novack column and this guy at the Washington Times wrote a number of articles denouncing me at the behest of the advocates of the legally correct interpretation, but it all came to naught. I wasn't fired. I didn't commit any violations. Nothing ever happened to me, and they lost.

LR: I'm going to move you back to where you had talked about that ACDA does actually get dissolved in 1998, you said?

TG: It was formally dissolved appropriately on April 1, or April Fool's Day, 1999.

LR: 1999.

TG: But the decision to eliminate it was formally made by the Clinton White House right at the end of 1996, and the leverage that Senator Helms had was that he was holding up the chemical weapons convention and committee and the U.S. very much wanted to be an original party so we could participate in the creation of the verification system at the Hague where the implementing body was to meet, but you couldn't participate if you weren't an original party, that means you were a party before it came into force. It was about to come into force by the spring of '97. The White House was desperate to get the treaty through the Senate, so they agreed with Helms to eliminate ACDA, to eliminate the USAID, fold them both into the State Department and also to eliminate, the, not AI, they agreed to eliminate ACDA, USIA-the U.S. Information Agency ,and fold them into the State Department and also USAID, but USAID was able to fight back successfully and preserve its independence because it had the financial and bureaucratic strength to do so. ACDA and USIA did not, and so that's why they disappeared. I might add that the director of USAID at the time was Brian Atwood, the same guy I tangled with, who was a longtime friend, over ACDA independence.

LR: So, did this have any ramifications, or how did this affect arms control?

TG: It was very detrimental to the national security of the United States and made arms control far more difficult, which of course was Senator Helms's objective. Prior to the creation of ACDA in 1961 by President Kennedy, not a single arms control non-proliferation treaty was negotiated. After its demise in 1999 only two have been negotiated and one was just a brief letter agreement between President Bush and President Putin only four lines in length and the other one was the New START agreement negotiated by Secretary Gottemoeller. So, you could really say only one real full-fledged arms control non-proliferation treaty agreement was reached after ACDA disappeared, whereas 15 were negotiated while it existed. I think the numbers speak for themselves. Let me just-have I talked about the test ban at all? And the vote on the moratorium?


LR: You talked a little bit about it in the early '90s.

TG: Have I? Did I talk about that last time?

LR: A little bit, but not, I mean you could speak more about it if you like. The other burning-

TG: Why don't you ask the questions you want to ask and then I'd like to comment. Remind me, though, because it's important. It's important for showing what ACDA could do.

LR: Just so you know, the other two things I was interested in hearing about, so you have your choice of where you want to go next, was either some of the conventional arms treaties you worked on or I had also wondered how it was that you came to be a Republican for Obama and how that felt. I think to prioritize this.

TG: Well, why don't I go in reverse order. Why don't I talk first about Republicans for Obama and then I talk about the CFE treaty-The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty-which is a very, very important and interesting subject, and then I'll discuss the moratorium, which I think in some ways certainly one of the most important things I was able to participate in and accomplish. Well, Republicans for Obama: I voted for George W. Bush the first time in 2000 when he ran for president, because almost ever since my conversion in 1968, I'd always voted for a Republican, except I did vote for Clinton, mainly because at the end of H.W. Bush's administration, and I greatly admired H.W. Bush and all of his staff, Jim Baker and all the rest, it was an outstanding group of public servants, but the Republican party seemed to have been captured at the convention by the far right, and Buchanan, I've forgotten his first name now-the former columnist? Pat Buchanan. Pat Buchanan gave the keynote speech and he called for a religious war in the United States and I thought to myself, gee, I really don't want a religious war in the United States, so I voted for Clinton both times. But I reverted to being a Republican again in 2000 and voted for George W. Bush because I thought he would recreate his father's administration. I thought he would hire Colin Powell. I thought he would hire a first-class national security team and that we'd return to the policies of George H.W. Bush, which I greatly admired.

Every American president since Eisenhower has negotiated one major arms control agreement up to that point. Well, we'll continue into the present. Up to the present except you might say about the one that George W. Bush negotiated, it really wasn't an arms control agreement, but that is debatable. It was just four lines, an exchange of letters with Putin. But, everyone negotiated one. John F. Kennedy and the limited test ban; Lyndon Johnson a non-proliferation treaty; Richard Nixon solved one; Jimmy Carter solved two; Bill Clinton the comprehensive test ban treaty; Barack Obama the New START Treaty. One each. H.W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, negotiated four, and so in terms of arms control presence, he's number one. I thought, well, his son's going to be more of the same. Colin Powell's clearly going to be prominent in his administration and the others will be like him. I voted for him the first time and then of course came 2001, the reaction to it, 9/11 I mean, and the reaction to it and all the excesses committed by Cheney and his staff and Rumsfeld and the invasion of Iraq, and all you had to do was read the newspapers to know that they didn't have weapons of mass destruction.


It was a fraud from the very beginning and all the rest: the mismanagement of Afghanistan by leaving right away and turning the country back over to the warlords, which is what gave rise to the Taliban in the first place. All those things. I just decided no way am I going to vote for Bush again and I voted for Kerry. As the years went by, I became more and more outraged at the W. Bush administration, which I still believe to this day caused really catastrophic damage to the United States and there wouldn't be an ISIS if we hadn't invaded Iraq, for example, just as one example. Of course, we didn't know that then, but we knew that Iraq-was destroyed irreparably-

LR: We had a bad feeling about it.

TG: -and it would be 25 or 30 years as a basket case, that we knew almost right away, or certainly within a year or two. I have a good friend named Susan Eisenhower, whose family had some Republican connections and nobody in her family had ever voted Democratic and we used to have tea together, which we called power tea, two or three times a year and usually at the Four Seasons Hotel when they had a nice place to have tea, and lament the W. Bush administration and she said, it's just terrible. I don't think I can stay a Republican and I said I don't think I can either. So, we had those conversations for several years and then in the 2008 election she finally took the step and established a Republicans for Obama and actually spoke at the convention right before Obama. It was because of Susan that I joined the Republicans for Obama, but I would've done something like that anyway and they interviewed me and they, the organization, interviewed me on the telephone and said we're collection statements as to why people did this, why Republicans have joined our group. I gave them a long statement, and I guess they put it on their website, pretty much what I've just told you. But the organization did not survive the election, but I'm very happy I did that, and I think Obama's been an outstanding, maybe a great president, but certainly an outstanding president and I'm very happy, I think the American people should be thankful they've had such a thoughtful, decent man as their president for the last 7 years and I'm glad we have him for one more year. So, that's how that happened.

Now, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, I was used to tremendous conflict in negotiating arms control agreements along the lines of the broad-narrow interpretation debate. That's my normal experience, but here suddenly I became involved in a negotiation for a treaty that not only the president wanted but everybody wanted and there was no conflict within the executive branch about the desirability and trying to negotiate a limitation between the Warsaw Pact and NATO on conventional arms in Europe. That was the centerpiece of the Cold War. That's what created the Cold War, was the conventional standoff in Central Europe and it was what was maintaining the Cold War. This negotiation, this forthcoming negotiation, between NATO and the Warsaw Pact could end the Cold War and in fact it did. I paid a visit to our delegation early on in '89 in Vienna and I said, I'm here as your prospective lawyer trying to get hired. They said, fine, you'll be our legal advisor.


Can I revert to something about the broad and narrow and maybe you can splice it and put it back there? But I have to mention this. Also during all that tumult I was feeling a bit besieged, and I mentioned it to my friend Jim Woolsey, who later was director of central intelligence and had a number of other government jobs, but then was out of government in the mid '80s, and he was with a law firm and he said, well-I told him about the FBI and the attacks on me, I said, Jim, I think I need a lawyer. He said, well, you've got one. I'll be your lawyer and the price will be right. It'll be free. Come see me next week. I went over to his office the next week and he met with me along with a partner of his named Tony Lapham who had been general counsel and the CIA. I told them everything that had happened up to that point, and they both shook their heads and they said, well, you haven't violated any laws yet, and so come back next month. I went there once a month for two years and it was always the same. I would tell them about all these things which I've just told to the two of you and they'd shake their head sand they'd say well, you haven't violated any laws yet. That was quite sustaining to me and it helped. I never was fundamentally worried but it's nice to be reassured by two good lawyers that you're doing the right thing.

The reason I thought of that at that moment is that the chairman of the US delegation for the CFE negotiations was Steve Ledogar, but he was replaced a couple months later by Jim Woosley, who was our negotiator. Steve went to Geneva and chaired the negotiations that led to the Chemical Weapons Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty there, so he was not out of a job. I came back to Washington after that visit and I drafted, with the assistance of my office, did a draft treaty, circulated around the government. No problem at all. Then that early that fall, maybe September, took it to Brussels to negotiate it there, because it was to be a proposal by NATO, not by the U.S. The original, before the CFE negotiations proper, there'd been two years of what were called mandate talks, the purpose of which were to frame the negotiations, and, in that negotiation, they decided what would be limited and what the area of application of the treaty would be, in other words what is Europe? And that sort of thing. During the mandate talks it was agreed that they wouldn't try any longer to limit military personnel in Central Europe because it's too difficult to verify. Instead, what would be pursued were limitations on major equipment that were the essence of a blitzkrieg attack. Those were limited. There wouldn't be any more blitzkriegs, like Hitler did in 1940, in Europe. If we could limit those major pieces of equipment, they were main battle tanks, artillery, and armored combat vehicles. Then when H.W. Bush came into office in '89, even though the mandate talks were over, he insisted that, and prevailed among all parties, that there'd be two additional categories of limitation: attack helicopters and fighter bombers.


Those ended up being the five categories of limitation of the CFE treaty. The other major thing, there are a number of minor things, was to decide on the area of application. What is Europe? It was all agreed, of course, Europe began at the Atlantic Ocean, but where did it end to the east? It was decided that the line of demarcation would run down the Euro mountains to the end and then over to Turkey and then along the Black Sea coast of Turkey and then across Turkey to the Mediterranean, and that would be the purposes of this treaty would be Europe. It was agreed from the very beginning about a third of Turkey would be outside the treaty because they had unfriendly neighbors named Iraq and Iran. So, only two-thirds of Turkey would be included. When the line across Turkey was drawn. In the mandate talks describing the treaty zone, it was described in terms of down the Black Sea coast of Turkey to town A, and then from Town A to town B, to town C, to this town, to this town, to this town, to that town, and then ending at just to the west of a town called Mersin.

The mandate talks were about to be concluded, and then suddenly the Greek delegation awakened. I guess they'd been getting some cat naps in, but it turns out that Mersin was the port from which the Turks launched their invasion of Cypress. So, the Greeks went ballistic. You can't have that. You can't let Mersin be outside the zone. It's got to be included, and the mandate talks were stalled for 8 days and then what they do in the diplomatic world is that they stop the clock, so the mandate agreement still reads January 10, 1989, but it actually was completed on January 18, 1989. For 8 days they argued about this definition. Ministers were flying all over the place. Finally, the solution was that the line would be described this way: from the Black Sea coast, to town A, to town B, this town, that town, this town, that town, this town, that town, to a certain town about 10 or 15 kilometers from the Mediterranean Coast. Then it said, and thence to the sea. It still says that. If you follow along the line the direction the line is going, and follow that to thence to the sea, follow that to the Mediterranean Sea, then Mersin is excluded from the zone of application. It's where it was at the beginning, but if you take the most direct route to the Mediterranean, thence to the sea, then Mersin is in the zone of application. The Greeks said the second was the correct interpretation. The Turks said the first was the correct interpretation and everyone else kept silent and that's the way it ended. That's the definition that we inherited for the negotiation. I'm going to tell the whole story on this definition first before I talk about other things. After we got the treaty through Brussels or pushing it through Brussels and the CFE negotiations had formally started in Geneva, the Warsaw Pact tabled their treaty on about November 1.


We formally began about September 10. Jim Woolsey was now the chairman of the U.S. delegation. He was very anxious to get our treaty, the NATO treaty, on the table before the Warsaw Pact Treaty but did not succeed, instead it was once again the NATO, when it came time to finally deciding that yes, this is our treaty, guess what issue came up again? The zone of application. The Greeks woke up again. Mersin's got to be clearly in the zone. No, it's got to be out, say the Turks. So, ministers start flying around again. Early on in the mandate talks by Ed here it was decided that this negotiation would be between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, because the purpose was to end the Cold War. The French wanted to include the neutrals as well, because they had substantial armed forces, Sweden, Yugoslavia, but everybody else, particularly the U.S., said, no, NATO, Warsaw Pact. We had an impasse in Brussels. We couldn't get the treaty out of Brussels onto the table. It took much longer this time. I think our secretary of state had to go to Athens and all kinds of things like that happened. In the middle of all of that, since everything was stalled, I went over to Paris for a visit with colleagues there, and I had a meeting, a discussion, with the #3 person in the French foreign minister and we were discussing to see if the negotiations, would we ever get the treaty out of Brussels, and so on. He said, you see we French were right after all. If the neutrals had been included in this negotiation, the Holy See would have been present at the negotiations, because they're a state, they're a party to the non-proliferation treaty, they would be at the negotiations. They could table the Brussels Treaty and say it came from God.

Anyway, this impasse went on for six weeks and then finally it was settled on the same basis as it was settled before: thence to the sea. That's the definition that went into the treaty and which stayed in the treaty. Nothing more happened with the definition until much later after the treaty was signed. The U.S. of course, in order to become a party, had to send it to the Senate for ratification, for advice and consent to ratification. One of the requirements that the Senate made to us in submitting the treaty, since this was a treaty covering a particular area, they said we want a map, because we want to see what areas are covered. We thought, what are we going to do here? We're going to have to draw that line one way or another, and we're likely to start another big fight. What can we do? Then, I won't say who thought of this, out of modesty, I won't say who thought of this, but in all U.S. government maps of the day, because there still was the Soviet Union. It wasn't much long, but it still was the Soviet Union, all U.S. government maps had a little legend up in the right-hand corner that said the U.S. does not recognize the annexation of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia by the Soviet Union. It's always been there for 30, 40 years. Just for this map alone, we decided to move that little box, that statement, down over the lower righthand corner rather than the upper right-hand corner, so it obscured the area of Turkey. You couldn't see where the line went to the Mediterranean because it went into the box. We sent that map to the Senate. Nobody ever said anything. There's never been a problem with Mersin. There's never been a violation charge. Nobody's ever complained, and the moral of that story is that sometimes ambiguity can be your friend. That was an important thing that happened during the negotiations.


Another important thing that happened was while we were still in the Brussels mode, trying to get the treaty through Brussels, the draft treaty that we had developed in Washington. I used to shuttle back and forth between Vienna and Brussels at this point, because I joined the delegation full time after labor day, we were meeting with various delegations to get ready, get really into the negotiation, so the chairman and I and one or two others, as did Woolsey, met with the Hungarian delegation and we began to discuss the arrangements that had been developed in the mandate talks as the foundation for the treaty. This was before the Warsaw Pact Treaty appeared. What had been agreed in the mandate talks was 20,000, let's just say battle tanks, 20,000 battle tanks for NATO and 20,000 battle tanks for the Warsaw Pact. The then current ratio was Warsaw Pact had 60,000 main battle tanks and NATO had 22,000. NATO comes down a little bit, Warsaw Pact comes down two thirds. We were discussing just like this with the Hungarians and the Hungarians said you're going to have to change that. I said, why? Why would we have to change it? He said, because we're not going to stay in the Warsaw Pact. We're going to leave. Remember, this was still the Cold War, and it was still the Soviet Union. I said, what? You're going to leave the Warsaw Pact? Yes, we're going to leave the Warsaw Pact. If you want to obligate us, you got to obligate us, we're not part of the Warsaw, we will soon not be part of the Warsaw Pact.

We had to go back to the drawing board and recreate everything. What we said was that for NATO, NATO will have 20,000 main battle tanks and then NATO will vote and decide on allocation within it, let's say 4,000 to the Germans, and then that becomes a legal obligation of Germany and 4,000 to the U.S., and it becomes a legal obligation to the U.S., but we'll still have that 20,000 overall. Then the British and the French said you got to get rid of that 20,000. I said, why? They said because if Turkey goes over their limit and causes the 20,000 to be breached, we don't want to be in violation because they're in violation. You got to get rid of that. Washington had this fixed idea that they just had to have these overall limits. I remember arguing with Washington on the secure line, but the British and French don't want it. Oh, yes, they do want it. I'm telling you they don't want it. That's what they say. Oh, no, they've always wanted it. I'm telling you, they say they don't want it. Finally, it was dropped. That's the way it ended up, the NATO would allocate the 20,000 among its members and each individual state would have its own limit and same for the Warsaw Pact, and that's how it was tabled. It was a very complex and complicated negotiation and I won't try to do all the details of it, but maybe I'll just mention a couple of things. As the negotiations went on, one day we had NATO ambassador meetings every Monday and Wednesday at 3:00 at the Canadian mission and discussed a lot of things there.


One day we were discussing a message from Brussels, which referred to treaty limited items and certain things had happened to treaty limited items. A debate broke out among the ambassadors did items, the English word items, because the negotiations were in English, did the word items include personnel or did items mean only equipment? One delegation said this, and one delegation said that, and only two delegations with English as their native language but everybody else spoke English, and so the French ambassador, after about 15 minutes of this, the French ambassador intervenes, and he said yes, it's so sad, you know, that this negotiation is in English with all its ambiguities. If it was in French, we don't have ambiguities in French. I went oh, yeah, really, double entendre, I wonder where that came from? The French were just as fanatical about their language as they're supposed to be in that negotiation. Then, later on, toward the end of the negotiation, the 2+4 agreement was negotiated among U.S., West Germany, Soviet Union, East Germany, I guess those were the four to allow East Germany to merge with West Germany and become Germany and all of it stay in NATO. While he was negotiating that, Jim Baker promised, it's on the record, promised Gorbachev and his foreign minister, Chevra Nautsy, that if they could agree to this, NATO, will "not expand one inch to the east." That's often cited today by the Russians as bad faith with the NATO expansion that occurred later. Baker backed off of that before the negotiations were over, but he did say it that time.

In any case, the negotiations had been completed and were to become effective in about two months when this happened, so we still had an East German delegation at the CFE negotiations. The West German, the Federal Republic of Germany delegate was just a wonderful, great man, named RĂ¼diger Hartmann. He later became the disarmament commissioner for Germany, truly was a great ambassador, a great man, a wonderful man, a man for whom I have great respect. I really mean that. But also, he was right, if I may say so, he was right out of central casting and he had a German accent in English and so we were one day the East German delegation, the delegation of the German Democratic Republic did some really egregious thing in the plenary. I don't remember what it was but something that everybody on the western side, anyway, objected to. So, in our meeting of the Canadian mission the ambassadors were all just really upset about what that morning the delegation of the German Democratic Republic had done. After a few minutes of this, Ambassador Hartmann spoke up and he said, why do we worry about this delegation? Because this is a country that will soon be ours [in German accent]. All the other ambassadors all but flashed through their minds obviously was panzer divisions sweeping across their country [laughs]. It was quite hilarious. I had lunch scheduled that day with Hartmann's legal advisor, Hubertus von Moore was his name, who knew America well. He had been counsel general in Houston for a couple of years.


Then at lunch in thinking of the French comment, not the one that had happened that day, in my usual clueless way, I said, this negotiation is so interesting. I mean, it's all the national stereotypes that you've ever had, they're all coming true, every one of them. Hubertus said, yes, it brings out your worst fears, doesn't it? Anyway, a lot of interesting things happened in that negotiation. My wife, Christine, came over and stayed with me for about six months, took a leave of absence from her law firm. We took careful pains to every weekend go somewhere. One weekend we went to Prague. Everything was happening the fall of '89. Governments were changing, revolutions and so on. During the course of that negotiation five countries changed their name and one completely disappeared: East Germany. Anyway, we were going to Prague one weekend in October, I believe it was, yeah it was October. We got to the border and the guards were, it was only a 3-hour drive from Vienna, the guards were very hostile. They searched us personally and they looked in the trunk of our car and so on. We drove on to Prague and just spent one night there, this was Saturday morning. That night we stayed in our continental hotel there and that night we went out to dinner. On our way home the taxi driver said, the government is leaving, you want to go watch? I said, sure.

We drove over to the castle where the government offices are on the river there. It was about 10:00 at night and there were the communist ministers all leaving. The next day when we left about 1:00 p.m., we drove by St. Wenceslas Square. Now there were 250,000 people there and Havel was standing on a platform or something announcing that the communists had left. A new government would be formed shortly and naming who was going in the government. We got back to the border, the same guards were popping champagne bottles and throwing flowers on people. Just what a difference a day makes. But that's the way it was. Then, toward the end of, well, at the end of the, I guess we have about another half hour, do we? Toward the end of the negotiations, we had to finally, Jim Woolsey and I and two or three others, one or two came, a few came from Washington, we went to Moscow and negotiated the final details directly with the Soviet general staff, and that's the only way we could get it done. We did. We also had a lot of negotiations in Vienna with the senior KGB representatives. The KGB was represented by a general and we had a verification expert and they worked out the verification system. Anyway, we went to Moscow and worked out the final details of the treaty and came back, because it was urgent that we get this done because the leaders of the new 22 countries, one having disappeared, the leaders had agreed to meet in Paris to sign this treaty on some date in November and it was only two weeks away. You can't ever conclude normally. You can't ever conclude an arms control agreement unless you have a firm date by which everybody turns into a pumpkin if it doesn't happen. That's the only way you can ever get it done, and we had one. We came back with the treaty basically completed with these deals we made in Moscow, and the Eastern Europeans we talked to them first and they bought up to everything.


That was on Monday. Then on Tuesday, well, the first half on Monday and then on Monday afternoon and Tuesday we worked the issues with the western delegations and the Germans and the French had a few small changes, but nothing much. On Tuesday, and so we had set the conclusion of negotiations to be noon Wednesday and then from noon Wednesday to Saturday morning, all the delegations would meet and translate the English treaty into the five other languages: Spanish, Italian, Russian, German... and then on Saturday morning we'd have the exchange of information on systems. How many artillery pieces do you have? How many main battle tanks and so on. We had until noon Wednesday. Tuesday morning a message comes from the State Department: unless the U.S. delegation solves the following 11 problems, ambassador Woolsey is not authorized to initial the treaty and conclude the negotiations for the United States. Fortunately, we had thought of all 11 and they all were resolved, so we spent the rest of Tuesday working with the British and the French. Then on Wednesday morning, just five hours before the negotiations were to be completed, got another message from Washington and this one said unless the delegation satisfactorily resolves the following 7 questions, Ambassador Woolsey is not authorized to initial the treaty for the United States.

This came in at 7:00 in the morning. We were there and we all looked at this and all 7 of them were complete showstoppers. There's no way we would've gotten any one of the 7 and we only had 5 hours anyway. Woolsey invited about 4 or 5 of us to his office at 7:30 and he said, you've all seen the cable from Washington, haven't you? Yes, we have. Here's how I want you to handle that. He picked up blank sheet of Xerox paper and tore it in half. That's what you call leadership. We never did anything about the 7 things and then at 8:00 we got an urgent call from the Bulgarian ambassador. He said, we've got to change the treaty. My parliament voted the last night to change the name of my country from the People's Republic of Bulgaria to Bulgaria. That was the last change to the treaty. Then Jim at 9:00 decides to hell with these 7 issues and he sent a message to the State Department over the violent objections of those State Department members of the delegation-it wasn't the substance, it was the form they objected to-he said simply to Secretary Baker, the fat lady has sung-Woolsey. It was not dignified. Baker will reject it. Instead, what we got was not a message from Jim Baker. We got a message, which is the only time in my entire experience, 27 years of negotiation, we got a message which said, Ambassador Woolsey is authorized to initial the treaty for the United States and close the negotiations, signed George H.W. Bush. The president doesn't sign the cables, but this one he did because he really cared about this treaty. Then he just concluded the negotiations and then these violent negotiations over language went on for two, I mean they were almost rougher than the negotiations themselves. You can't say that in Spanish. It doesn't work in Italian. We had only one translator for all six languages. His name was Prince Obolensky.


His Italian was so good the Italian ambassador said he spoke better Italian than I do. He spoke Russian, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and English flawlessly, all of them. Everybody else had multiple interpreters. Somehow, they got through that. Then we had the data exchange on Saturday morning, and it turned out that the Soviets misdated their numbers. First, they claimed that the naval infantry, as they called them, or Marines as we call them, their equipment didn't count because they weren't land forces, which was totally false. Then they claimed that they had much fewer numbers of systems in the zone of application. It turns out they were driving them over the Urals to get them out of the zone. Then right after the, but we decided to put that off realizing it was a potential violation, because we had to sign the treaty. Bush was showing up on Monday. This was Saturday and all the others. We went to Paris, signed the treaty. Then we had to have another negotiation with the Soviet Union about these mis-statements. Then at the same time, and I don't remember the exact sequence of events, the Warsaw Pact dissolved, and they had to negotiate the treaty at Budapest to allocate the numbers on their side and somehow, they did that.

We had this negotiation. First, we went to Moscow and negotiated the outlines of it. No, it was the other way-which came first? No, what came first was the chief of the Soviet general staff came to Washington and we negotiated with him and his entourage and the State Department. The State Department said this could just be a political statement as to what we do about these numbers. Then I thought after that was over that night I thought how can we do that? Here's a potential violation. We send a legally binding treaty to the Senate and then say this important part is not legally binding, it's just politically binding? We can't do that. We'd get killed in the Senate. Early the next morning I called Ron Lehman, our director, and Jim Woolsey, the ambassador and said this has got to be legally binding. Meanwhile the chief of the Soviet general staff that morning went over to visit Cheney at the Defense Department, was scheduled to see the president at 2:00 and then fly back to Moscow, so this shows you what an outstanding secretary of state Jim Baker was. I talked with Woolsey let's say 10:00. At 2:00, when General Mosaiff walks into his office, the oval office, the president stands up and he says, as the general walks in, it's got to be legally binding. Of course, the Soviet General walking into to see a president, oh sure, fine. In four hours, he got the president to say that. It went from Woolsey to Baker to whoever in the White House to the president. That's the way government should work. Baker was just a wonderful secretary of state. Then we had a follow-up negotiation in Moscow and the way we settled that was the Soviets conceded on the Naval infantry and the systems going over the earls, you just agree to leave them out in the open, so we can out them with our satellites. Of course, leaving them out in the open in Siberia means they aren't going to last long. That's how we settled that.


Then, the Soviet Union broke up, and we had, for the purposes of the CFE treaty, we had 8 new states to somehow bring into the treaty which had to negotiate a new treaty as to the allocation of systems and that took a lot of work, but they reached the Treaty of Tashkent, which they divided up the takes among Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan was one of the, I think the number was 8, but they didn't have any. There were no treaty limited items on their territory. The Baltic States by mutual consent of everybody were not included in the treaty, and so I think the successor states for the purposes of CFE were 8 in number and finally that was settled, but we had to get lots more ratifications now, because we had now 29 countries instead of 22, and gradually over the next couple of years, let's see that was 1990 when the treaty was signed. Gradually over the next couple of years the ratifications came in but we got closer and closer to success but there were three countries that still hadn't ratified, and then news came in that Czechoslovakia was about to split, so we'd have another 2 new countries to bring into this regime somehow.

That was just too much. We had to prevent that from happening, but get the treaty into force before that happened. Russia then ratified, so there was just two left. One was Belarus and the other was Armenia. Belarus, the prime minister didn't want to call the parliament into session because the leader of the opposition made it clear that his first proposal once they were back in session would be to depose the prime minister and apparently a number of the delegates were ready to defect to his side. So, the prime minister when he called the parliament back into session would be immediately deposed, so he was reluctant to call parliament into session but you can't ratify if it doesn't come back into session. Then in Armenia things were so bad the parliament couldn't even be found. We couldn't get those two ratifications and there was to be a meeting of the parties and also of the Helsinki final act parties meeting on European security in Helsinki in July. We just had to get those two ratifications by this meeting in July because the split was supposed to happen soon, and maybe January maybe before. There was this obscure provision of the treaty which said that individual provisions of the treaty can be brought into force on a provisional basis to aid in implementation. They had had a technical provisions in mind, but I suggested to the State Department and the national security counsel, that why don't we bring the whole treaty into force on a provisional basis for a few months? Bring it into force and then the split would be okay. In other words, bring it into force provisionally without all the ratifications for a certain number of months, hope we would get the two ratifications during that period and then when the split came it would just be a succession. It wouldn't be complicated. The State Department reluctantly agreed, agreeing that we had a tough situation here, as did NSC, but NSC insisted that we clear this with Congress, with the Senate, not with Congress. So, we met with Senator Lugar, I and the State Department rep, there was two of us.


The State Department representative and I met with Senator Lugar, and he said I understand this is a difficult situation and we won't object to this, and then we met with the senior representative of Senator Pell, senior chief of staff, the chairman, because he was out of town. He said, I've spoken with the chairman by telephone and he says it's okay. Then we put it to our treaty parties, and they just thought it was crazy, but they realized that they had to do it and an Italian ambassador told me afterwards that the international law people in Rome had to swallow beach balls over this one, but finally we stationed our representative in Helsinki, as the delegations came off the airplane in Helsinki to attend this European meeting to agree that the treaty could be brought into force provisionally for four months, just speaking as delegations, not as parties. It was adopted unanimously by the delegations that the treaty would be brought into force provisionally starting roughly July 1 for four months. Belarus ratified in September. Armenia in October, and Czechoslovakia split in January. So, all ended happily. Okay I have one more subject.

LR: Yeah, I was going to say you wanted to talk about the moratorium. You had something else you wanted to say about that?

TG: I've talked for so long. I will just talk about the moratorium.

LR: Okay.

TG: That will take a little bit. It won't be just a minute or two. Going back to 1993, as I mentioned earlier, as the acting director, I had a vote on the national security counsel, principles meeting. Also since I was an acting director I didn't have a deputy. I had told several agencies, as I said, that I was going to support the moratorium. At the deputies level I made the argument that the five tests for three years were not justifiable, because three of the five tests were for safety devices on weapons that the Pentagon didn't want because the weapons had been taken off alert. They were bomber weapons, which were not on alert anymore. They didn't want to pay for them, 6 billion dollars. But they did want to do the tests, because they might learn something else. Second, who cares about the British? Third, we never test for reliability. Those tests are not justified. You can't justify those tests. Remember the alternative in the legislation was five tests a year for three years and then seek CDBT, or extend the moratorium and then seek CDBT. I said, second, we're very soon going to be pursuing the indefinite extension of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and it's not going to be easy to achieve that. It will probably be impossible if we're engaged in a vigorous nuclear test program of our own. If we love nuclear weapons that much, why doesn't everybody love them? That's the argument I made at the deputy's level. All the other delegations, sorry, all the other agencies said, that they wanted to do the tests because that was the political deal. The defense state, NSC, energy and so on. Then we got to, we went to the principles level and representing the State Department was Warren Christopher. Representing the Defense Department was Secretary Aspin.


Representing the chiefs was the chairman, Colin Powell. I was there. The White House science advisor was there, and the new secretary of energy just confirmed, Hazel O'Leary was there as the energy secretary, Tony Lake was in the chair and Sandy Berger at the other end of the table was there as the deputy national security advisor. Sandy just died yesterday, I heard. A really, really fine person. Bob Bell, the senior staff person for the National Security Council staff. That was the lineup. We had several other issues about the test ban, but the third issue was the moratorium. On the moratorium, Less Aspen, Secretary of Defense, says it's the political deal, want to do the tests. Warren Christopher, State Department representative, secretary of state, political deal, want to do the tests. That's what Colin Powell said. Then, Tony said who will speak for the moratorium, so I raised my hand. I made the same arguments that I made at the deputy's level. The White House science advisor, who had been lobbied by my deputy, Andrew Pincus, who was the acting general counsel, he supported the moratorium. He agreed with my arguments. Hazel O'Leary, said well, I'm the new girl on the block here. I've just been confirmed. I want to study this issue before I take a position on it.

We went on two week recess. Tony Lake very, very reluctantly postponed the discussion for two weeks. In the interim, Evo Spelliton, who I mentioned earlier, my legislative advisor, and I met with Hazel O'Leary and her principle deputy. She said she had concluded that nothing should last forever and in this case we'd done enough testing, but she was going to bring two experts to explain to the principles that we could go at least 15 years without a test and have complete confidence in the reliability and security of our stockpile, and then after that there were other measures that we could take to ensure that, to ensure the security and reliability of the stockpile, the nuclear stockpile, the nuclear weapons stockpile. We came back for the second meeting and the same thing happened when we started to discuss the moratorium. Warren Christopher said the same thing. Less Aspen said the same thing. Powell slightly changed his position. He said, well, I'm a military man. I want weapons that work, but the secretary of energy is responsible for determining that. She's responsible for the development, he or she, for the development of nuclear weapons. If the secretary of energy tells me I need to test, I want to test. If the secretary of energy tells me I don't need to test, then we don't need to test. Then I made my, by now, standard argument. The White House science advisor made his standard argument, before all this started the two experts that Hazel O'Leary brought with her had made their presentations, which lasted about 30 minutes before we began voting. When it came to her vote, she said I agree. We had a 3-3 split. Before that vote we had to agree that if the moratorium was extended, it would only as it says in the legislation, it would only be extended as long no other nation tested. We had confirmed that was part of the legislation and we took no issue with that. I just didn't think the traffic would bear a debate over that issue. The moratorium was dicey enough as it was.


A 3-3 split. It went to the president. President Clinton discussed it with several key members of Congress, including Senator Nunn, they said they would be comfortable with extending the moratorium indefinitely, so he decided it our way. The U.S. announced that moratorium and gradually it was accepted all over the world. That's why, except for India and Pakistan and North Korea, there have been no nuclear weapon tests anywhere, and India and Pakistan tested in 1998 and they both signed on to the moratorium. So, it's only North Korea. That's not as good as having a comprehensive test ban treaty. It's just an informal policy, but it's what's holding us together. It's holding the NPT together. It's holding international security together. But, there's one more twist to the story.

Remember, we had agreed that this moratorium commitment would only last as long as no other nation tested. Well, the French were observing a moratorium. The Russians were observing a moratorium. They hadn't tested and had no plans to test. We weren't testing. Great Britain couldn't test as long as we didn't, because they used our test range. They claimed we were making colonials out of them. They couldn't test. The Chinese hadn't tested in three years, but we didn't really know what their plans were. President Clinton made this decision in June and then by mid-August it became unmistakably clear that China was going to do a test. Satellite imagery was unmistakable. You could see the towers being put up. You could see where they were drilling the hole in the ground. This became more and more obvious. So, Tony called a third principles meeting on the moratorium, and this one was held in the situation room, rather the first two were in the cabinet room which plenty, big, big room. I also should have mentioned that Jim Woolsey was present at both of those as secretary intelligence agency director, was present at both of those meetings. Under the Clinton administration, the DCI, the director of central intelligence, was only allowed to speak to the intelligence. He was not allowed to discuss issues or cast a vote. He was only there to present intelligence. But he was there for both meetings. The situation room, a room not bigger than this room, not much bigger at all. We met there. We're all crammed in because all of the principles plus senior aid for each person. Colin Powell was right here. Jane Wales, who was the deputy national science presidential science advisor, White House science advisor was right here. Secretary of Defense Aspen was at the far end of the table, maybe three times the size of that one. On the right side Warren Christopher. On the left side-it was really tense. I mean, really tense because those of us for the moratorium thought, you know, the conditions have been met. We're going to be overturned. It's going to be the end of this policy. When Tony Lake started the meeting you could heard a pin drop. You had all the national security cabinet there plus principle aids. Tony said, alright Jim, present the intelligence. So, Woolsey, you'd have screens behind you and everything, Woolsey presented the intelligence, pictures, and... it was absolutely, unmistakably clear that there was going to be a test in about two weeks or less time maybe, soon. This was right at the end of August 1993. There just was no doubt. He completed his presentation.


That lasted about 10 minutes. Then Tony said, alright. We all know that the legislation said that the moratorium was only good as long as no other nation tested and we agreed that that would be part of our policy, that we would continue that provision of the legislation. Does this mean that we should abandon the moratorium and do the 15 tests? Dead silence. Absolute dead silence. Not a pin dropping. Then, the secretary of defense, Les Aspin, he raises his hand and Tony nodded to him. He said, well, he said, we're Americans. Why should our policy be determined by what some guys over in Beijing are doing. We're Americans. Everybody else said, that's right. That was the end of the meeting. One of the most important decisions of the Clinton administration was made in 12 minutes. That's why we don't have nuclear weapon tests.

LR: Just so you know, it's 3:46. I wanted just in this last few seconds if you could say just what advice would you have for a person who wanted to get rid of nuclear weapons?

TG: I would say that they had better be patient. It's not going to happen anytime soon. The nuclear disarmament process has always depended on close working relations between the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia. We together possess 85-90% of the world's nuclear weapons. Without that close relationship, nuclear weapon disarmament is not possible, at least not through the traditional route. There may possibly be an alternative route. I'm writing a book about it for the Oregon State University Press. That is through the nuclear weapon free zone movement. Already the southern hemisphere is legally nuclear weapon free. More than half the world is nuclear weapon free, because if regional treaties nuclear weapon free zones, which have been endorsed by all of the P5, or the NPT nuclear weapon states. Perhaps that movement can be expanded gradually, patiently over time into the Middle East, into Northeast Asia, into South Asia so that all that's left is NATO, Russia, and China. That's going to be, if that happens many years in the future, maybe by that time the five nuclear weapon states can agree to join the rest of the world in eliminating nuclear weapons. That's the only route that's open now. I think at least for now we should pursue it.

LR: Thank you.

CP: Thank you.

TG: Thank you.