Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with George L. West
You don't buy the Portuguese, but you can sort of influence them by sweetening that part of... Militarily it didn't make too much sense to beef up the Portuguese forces. All they did was run them into the Pyrenees anyway, these aircraft.
But, they're very prideful people, and the thing that was getting them, of course, was what they felt we were doing in Angola, Mozambique.
I remember coming back also one of the big problems... I learned that... We were reading all of the Portuguese Embassy's traffic with Lisbon. We were getting information from a number of sources.
My best man when I was married, Gullion, was Ambassador in the Congo. As far as Angola was concerned, I learned that Holden Roberto (he was our chosen instrument there) had been received in the Department of State by Mennen Williams. I thought, good Christ, what the hell...
Q: He was Assistant Secretary of African Affairs.
WEST: He was made Assistant Secretary for African Affairs before we even had a Secretary of State. He was chosen before Rusk.
Q: He was a political payoff.
WEST: He has two guys working for him as Deputies. One is a guy named Wayne Fredericks, who was a real zealot. I mean, a very fine person, I'm sure, but, boy, Africa for the Africans. This guy was really something to deal with. The other, Henry Tasca, who was completely un...
Q: He was my Ambassador for four years in Greece.
WEST: Well, you know Henry. Between the two of them... Williams you could deal with, but Tasca and that... They were so, shouldn't say they were afraid of Williams, but they didn't dare do anything that they... It was true that if you got to Williams later, he would agree. But they did the damnedest things.