According to a recently uncovered memo in the CIA’s Kissinger archive, Jack Anderson let word of Bob Woodward’s investigation slip to the National Security Council.
While brief, the memo from Brent Scowcroft to Al Haig made it clear that as a result of Anderson’s loose lips, the NSC was alerted to Woodward’s latest investigation into the Nixon pardon.
Snowcroft’s ambiguously-worded memo is unclear about who Anderson had been speaking to, simply stating that it was “a couple of people.” It goes on to state that Woodward is in Europe at the time, “looking further into the matter of the Nixon pardon,” and “according to the Anderson story, he has been in touch with you.” While the presumption is that “he” referred to Woodward and not Anderson, there’s no doubt that “you” referred to General Haig.
Scowcroft’s memo apparently hoped that Haig would be able to confirm or refute the story. According to Scowcroft, it coincided with other activities “perhaps aimed at reopening the Congressional inquiry into the pardon.” At that point, they weren’t aware of whether or not Woodward was even in Europe. The NSC hoped that Haig could shed some light on that, along with whether or not he had actually spoken with Woodward.
Scowcroft noted that “the whole thing has a slightly peculiar smell to it,” one that lingers on. Presently, there is no context for the memo, and Woodward did not respond to a request for comment. Unless he does, or a way can be found to pry more information on this affair from CIA and the National Archives, the peculiar smell will continue to linger.
You can read the embedded memo below.
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Image via State Department’s Flickr