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    Henry Kissinger Was a Trusted Confidant to President Nixon Until the Bitter, Bizarre End

    Henry Kissinger Was a Trusted Confidant to President Nixon Until the Bitter, Bizarre End

    — All these years later, the scene still is almost too bizarre to imagine: a tearful president and his perplexed aide, neither very religious, kneeling in prayer on the floor of a White House bedroom in the waning hours of a shattered presidency.

    Until the embittered end, Henry Kissinger was one of the trusted few of a distrusting Richard Nixon. That trust, combined with Kissinger's intellectual heft and deft manipulation of , made him a pivotal player in a tense period in American history, a giant of U.S. foreign policy and a fixture in international relations for decades to come.

    The German-born diplomat who got the U.S. out of after bloody, costly years of delay and into in a sudden burst of secret diplomacy died Wednesday. He was 100.

    With his brusque yet commanding public presence and behind-the-scenes maneuvers, Kissinger exerted extraordinary influence on global affairs under Presidents Nixon and Gerald Ford.

    His power grew during the turmoil of Watergate, when the politically attuned diplomat took on a role akin to co-president to the discredited Nixon.

    “No doubt my vanity was piqued,” Kissinger later wrote of his expanding influence during Watergate. “But the dominant emotion was a premonition of catastrophe.”

    Ford, in awarding Kissinger the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, called him a brilliant negotiator who “wielded America's great power with wisdom and…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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