Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Douglas G. Hartley
HARTLEY: I went from Belgrade to Washington, to my first real assignment in the State Department. First of all, my wife was again pregnant for the third time, so she left the post six or seven months pregnant and we had our third child, Charlotte, in September. We were on home leave up at my then-wife's house outside of Boston. We had Charlotte there. And then we found a place out in Elliot Road in Westmoreland Circle and moved there. I started work with E/MDC. E/MDC was part of the Bureau of Economic Affairs, Mutual Defense Control. It handled and coordinated with the U.S. mission to COCOM (the Coordinating Committee) in Paris, the committee which enforced the international regulations and laws governing shipments of strategic goods to the Bloc, what was then called the Bloc.
Q: You did this from '62 'til when?
HARTLEY: 1964. I was working on specific export licensing issues largely with the Commerce Department and with their Investigative Division, who would track possible violations of export control regulations. It was my first experience dealing with career government bureaucrats and also with the cops manqu� in the Investigations Staff. My boss was Ollie Anderson, who had been there a long time. I was kind of his assistant in the some group called Working Group Two, thougI never actually quite figured out what Working Group Two did except to meet twice a week. It was chaired by Ollie Anderson. I felt that chairing this group was his one job. And the thing I learned from Ollie Anderson was that he was a very slow person, a slow-moving guy. He really took the maximum time available to fulfill the task, but as soon as he left the office, he would all of a sudden accelerate, go down the halls at great speed. Then he would go back to his office and put up his feet and basically, as far as I could see, do very little of anything. I learned from Ollie that a basic rule of the bureaucracy was to always look in a hurry, even if you aren't. My first nine months or so, until the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was in November, '62 as I recall, was pretty dull. I felt frustrated. I was spoiled, looking back on it. Now I had an inside office, which I didn't like at all. There were no windows to look out of. And I had the usual reaction to the State Department after having had been in the field. It seemed like a huge bureaucracy, very impersonal, and a boring job, nothing that you particularly want. However, after the Missile Crisis, I was in my office one day and I was told by the front office—a guy called Bob Wright, who was the head of it—that there were a couple of guys that I should talk to. They wanted my assistance. It turned out these two guys were from the Agency [CIA] and they needed us to act as their sort of State Department liaison for what they called a particular denial program. A denial program had as its aim: the denial of specific strategic items to Cuba.