Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Eric Fleisher
FLEISHER: I sat in INR but I briefed her every morning. I took the intelligence take to her and briefed her especially regarding matters affecting human rights. Sometimes I would brief her several times a day and could call her at home whenever I thought that there was something that she should know about immediately.
Q: Did you find that the Department bureaus were ready to cooperatwith you or was it difficult?
FLEISHER: Well, it wasn't easy, it was challenging. My career had been in political and political-military NATO work and stuff like that. When I went to see Pat for the first time, she brought this to my attention and I said, yes, indeed. She asked if I had any reservations. I said, “Yes, I do.” Then she told me what her ideas were and what she expected to achieve and we agreed we'd try it out for a while. I really came to admire her. She was dedicated to human rights as an idealist but learned to be pragmatic and realize what could be reasonably expected from the bureaus. She learned, and I hope that I had some influence in this regard, getting her to take half a loaf now and come back for more later. Here I think I may have served a useful purpose in toning her down and also in persuading my colleagues in the Department to see her point of view. She was devoted to some very good causes, and she saved many people suffering in terrible places with virtually no chance for justice. If there is a Heaven she'll be there.
Q: What were your relations with the Hill? Did you have anrelations with the Congress?
FLEISHER: Not then.
Q: Or the White House?
FLEISHER: No. I did when I was country director with both and afterwards when I had retired and worked in the Freedom of Information office in the Department.
Q: What about terrorism? Did that impede much on your duty?
FLEISHER: Well, I briefed Tony Quainton every morning and wenthrough the take, but it wasn't a big deal then.
Q: Not as it has become recently.
FLEISHER: No, no, no.