Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with William A. Crawford
CRAWFORD: No, not that I was particularly aware of... I think everything seemed a little more accessible under Herter. But what I felt most characterized the Kennedy administration was the personal relationship one felt somehow with the President. I'm not speaking about my own case here, although it happened that I was singled out and I don't know exactly why the President decided to do so. I was thinking more in terms of the effect his administration had on my office. As head of the Sino-Soviet research side, I was called upon to bring things more directly to the attention of the White House. And then there was the President's role in calling up the desk officer every so often. In other words, one had a great feeling of much closer direction and participation of the President in foreign policy.
Q: How many times do you know of that he actually called up the desofficer? This is part of the mythology.
CRAWFORD: That he actually did? I know it's part of the mythology. I was trying to think back, and I can't even recall one instance, now that you put it to me like that, although I had read of such. Have you found any instance?
Q: Not me personally.
CRAWFORD: No. I see. That's interesting.
Q: Everybody says it happened but nobody has really been able ttalk about it.
CRAWFORD: I think there was somebody in INR, but I just don't recall.
Q: In one or two other areas further down the line.
CRAWFORD: Yes. But then under Johnson there was a differenapproach.
Q: In what way different?