Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Robert Gerald Livingston
LIVINGSTON: No, I did not. I think they rather liked it. Radi_ was not anti-Paveli_. He wasn't Ustashe. So I think that they tolerated it. I saw Radi_'s family and his daughter, and as part of my research, I was able to verify some things. They had his passport. For example, there was a question, “When had he gone to Moscow?” That was one of the things the Serbs held against him, that he'd gone to Moscow and sure enough it showed in the passport when he'd gone. So I was able to talk to the family and get some information out of them. There I did, in contrast to steering clear when I was at the Embassy in '53, there I did have fairly close contact with the consulate. There was a young couple at the consulate, a fellow named Peter Walker who still lives around Washington, if he's still alive, and a rather old-fashioned type consul general. Martindale was his name. He was consul general in Zagreb, and they used to invite us quite frequently. We used to go, too.
Q: What sparked you towards going into the Foreign Service?
LIVINGSTON: I knew I didn't want to go into the CIA. The CIA had tried to recruit me, I can't remember what year it was. It was probably one year when I was at Harvard. They had rather amateurish ways of recruiting, like cops and robbers. After I got back, just before I joined the Foreign Service, three of them took me down to a restaurant on Maine Avenue looking out over the water and we had a three-martini lunch. I thought, “This can't be right.” Then they tipped their hand, and I figured out what they wanted me to do. They wanted me to go back to Zagreb and be a student there again, working for the Agency. Not a very good idea. I thought these guys aren't really very serious and they were all quite preppy types, as well. So I didn't really want to lead a double life and not be able to tell my wife what I was doing. I am really grateful myself that I didn't do it.
Q: I think I had somewhat the same thing and it was tempting but having been in intelligence in the military, I really didn't want to get back. I was listening to the Soviet broadcasts...
LIVINGSTON: Radio interception...
Q: Radio interception. I didn't want to be in any office where had to have the shades drawn over the window sills. (Laughter)