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Rusk CCC, McGeorge Bundy, Part 1, March 1985

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:01:43 - Early experiences with Dean Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Your first contacts with my dad incidentally--

Segment Synopsis: Bundy shares about his early encounters with Dean Rusk during Rusk's time as president of the Rockefeller Foundation. He gives his early impression of Rusk's character.

Keywords: Ford Foundation; Harvard University; JFK; Post-Cold War; President Harry S. Truman; Senator John F. Kennedy; Soviet Union; Warren Cohen

00:08:06 - Bundy and Rusk as presidential advisers / Dean Rusk as a communicator

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Partial Transcript: Your relationship during the Kennedy years with my father, uh, you both held positions of enormous responsibility.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy discusses his relationship with Dean Rusk during their time as presidential advisers. He shares why he believes there were no conflicts between them even when working in the same position. Later, Bundy talks about Rusk's reticent nature and its effect on his subordinates and his relationship with the president.

Keywords: Charles Bohlen; George Marshall; JFK; Johnson Administration; Kennedy Administration; LBJ; President John F. Kennedy; President Lyndon B. Johnson; State Department; White House

00:14:47 - Dean Rusk during the Cuban Missile Crisis

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Partial Transcript: Now, I am going to tell you a story out of order about the Cuban Missile Crisis, because this isn't always true with Dean Rusk.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy discusses the use of the Trollope ploy to help end the Cuban Missile Crisis, sharing about the effect of Dean Rusk on the enactment of this plan and the end of the crisis.

Keywords: Anatoly Dobrynin; Bobby Kennedy; Cold War; EXCOMM; Executive Committee; George Ball; Nikita Khrushchev; Robert Francis Kennedy; Soviet Union; Turkish missiles

00:20:29 - Critique of Dean Rusk

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Partial Transcript: Why do you say the toughest guy in there was Dean Rusk?

Segment Synopsis: Bundy analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of Dean Rusk, including his capability in a crisis, his reticence, and his loyalty. He also briefly talks about the practice of taping of presidential conversations.

Keywords: Ambassador Raymond Hare; Cold War; Cuban Missile Crisis; EXCOMM; Fidel Castro; JFK; Nikita Khrushchev; President John F. Kennedy; Soviet Union; Turkish missiles

00:26:26 - Inefficiency of the State Department

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned Berlin.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy discusses how the State Department had a slow response time during Kennedy's presidency, and he shares possible reasons for the inefficiency.

Keywords: JFK; Kennedy Administration; Martin Hillenbrand; President John F. Kennedy; multilateral diplomacy

00:30:02 - The Heinemen committee

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Partial Transcript: Leslie Gelb, in his book "Our Own Worst Enemy," tells of a seven-man task force that Lyndon Johnson formed to study foreign policy and the problems we were having.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy talks about his time on the Heinemen committee, a group organized by President Johnson to analyze the president's relationship to the departments.

Keywords: Ben Walter Heinemen; Johnson Administration; LBJ; President Lyndon B. Johnson; Robert Strange McNamara; State Department; Walt Whitman Rostow

00:34:16 - Transition to Johnson's presidency

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Partial Transcript: If you could comment ever so briefly on Lyndon Johnson's tenure and your relationship with my father with that change of administration.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy talks about the transition from President Kennedy to President Johnson. He shares about the effect of this transition on his relationship with Dean Rusk and Dean Rusk's relationship with President Johnson. He also briefly discusses the multilateral force.

Keywords: CIA; Central Intelligence Agency; Henry Kissinger; JFK; Johnson Administration; LBJ; MLF; National Security Adviser; National Security Council; President Kennedy's funeral; Southerners; State Department; Walt Whitman Rostow; the United States Senate

00:44:22 - Effect of wartime casualties on leaders

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Partial Transcript: Let me raise a real big question that's in my mind.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy talks about how wartime casualties affect the president and his advisers, and relates how the Vietnam War specifically affected President Johnson and Dean Rusk.

Keywords: Civil War; Free Speech Movement; Gore Vidal; Johnson Administration; LBJ; President Abraham Lincoln; Robert Strange McNamara; UC Berkeley; WW2; WW3; WWII; WWIII; World War 2; World War 3; World War II; World War III; casualty reports

00:51:53 - Post-Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: That was another of your major differences with the conduct?

Segment Synopsis: Bundy discusses the conditions in Vietnam and America after the end of the Vietnam War. He talks about the possibility of negotiations with North Vietnam and Dean Rusk's support of President Johnson's request for aid to South Vietnam.

Keywords: Free Speech Movement; Henry Kissinger; James William Fulbright; LBJ; President Lyndon B. Johnson; Vietcong; gradualism; the Fulbright Hearings

00:56:17 - Withdrawal of advisers from Vietnam / Pres. Johnson's candor

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Partial Transcript: It's one of the great "what ifs" of this period and I'm not terribly concerned with the answer, the question of what Kennedy may have done.

Segment Synopsis: Bundy discusses an agreement between President Kennedy and Senator Richard Russell to withdraw one thousand advisers from Vietnam in December 1963. He talks about their motivation and his own views about the agreement. Later, Bundy and Richard Rusk analyze President Johnson's candor and its effect on the Vietnam War.

Keywords: JFK; Kennedy Administration; WW2; WWII; William Putnam Bundy; World War 2; World War II; credibility gap; presidential transparency