SILENT MISSIONS by Vernon A. Walters


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During his long career in military intelligence, General Walters served in South America, Vietnam, and Europe for five presidents, took a hand in Kissinger's secret negotiations with the Chinese and North Vietnamese, rubbed shoulders with De Gaulle, Khruschev, Tito, and other major figures, and wound up as Acting Director of the CIA on the edge of Watergate. But if he's noticed anything interesting, he's not telling. Instead, his memoirs are a mish-mash of trivia and great events strung together in a staccato-like, armored-car prose: ""At Camp Upton they taught us the rudiments of military courtesy, marching, saluting and personal hygiene. We also had to learn our general orders and become familiar with certain customs and usages of the service."" Walters sticks to his career-long anti-communism and flag-waving, which colors everything--Truman was ""extraordinarily unselfish"" in dispatching not only military equipment but also US officers to the Greek civil war, Tito reminds him of a Chicago gangster, the North Vietnamese are ""surly"". The last chapter is a sermon on the dangers of subversion and the book is dedicated to CIA agents who have ""laid down their lives on the invisible battlefield."" Meanwhile, he has nothing substantial to add to his testimony on Watergate, but shows considerable sympathy for Nixon. Everything, in short, in the line of duty.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday