Schema-Root.org logo

 

  cross-referenced news and research resources about

 Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford

Clark McAdams Clifford (December 25, 1906 October 10, 1998) was a highly influential American lawyer who served Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter, serving as Secretary of Defense for Johnson.



Clifford was born in Fort Scott, Kansas. He attended college and law school at Washington University, and built a solid reputation practicing law in St. Louis, Missouri between 1928 and 1943. He served as an officer with the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946, reaching the rank of captain and serving as assistant naval aide and then naval aide to President Truman, for whom he became a very trusted personal adviser and friend.



Clifford went to Washington, DC first to serve as Assistant to the President's Naval advisor, after the naming of a personal friend from Missouri as the President's Naval Advisor. Following his discharge from the navy, he remained at Truman's side as White House counsel from 1946-1950, as Truman came rapidly to trust and rely on Clifford.



Clifford was a key architect of Truman's campaign in 1948, when he pulled off a stunning upset victory over Republican nominee Thomas Dewey. Clifford encouraged Truman to embrace a left wing populist image in hope of undermining the impact on the race of third party Progressive candidate Henry A. Wallace. He also believed that a strong pro-civil rights stance, while sure to alienate traditional Southern Democrats, would not result in a serious challenge to the party's supremacy in that region. This prediction was foiled by Strom Thurmond's candidacy as a splinter States' rights Democrat, but Clifford's strategy nonetheless helped win Truman election in his own right and establish the Democratic party's position in the Civil Rights Movement.



After leaving the government in 1950, Clifford practiced law in Washington, but continued to advise Democratic leaders. One of his law clients was Sen. John F. Kennedy, and Clifford tried to assuage Truman's suspicion of Kennedy and his father, Joseph P. Kennedy. In 1960, Clifford was a member of President-elect John F. Kennedy's Committee on the Defense Establishment, headed by Stuart Symington. In May 1961, Kennedy appointed Clifford to the President's Foreign intelligence Advisory Board, which he chaired beginning in April 1963. After President Lyndon B. Johnson took office in November 1963 following Kennedy's assassination, Clifford served frequently as an unofficial counselor and sometimes undertook short-term official duties, including a trip with General Maxwell Taylor in 1967 to Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.



On January 19, 1968, President Johnson announced his selection of Clifford to succeed Robert McNamara as United States secretary of Defense. Clifford estimated that, in the year just prior to his appointment, he had spent about half of his time advising the President and the other half working for his law firm.



Widely known and respected in Washington and knowledgeable on defense matters, Clifford was generally hailed as a worthy successor to McNamara. Many regarded the new secretary as more of a hawk on Vietnam than McNamara and thought his selection might presage an escalation of the U.S. military effort there. Clifford attempted to allay such fears when, responding to a query about whether he was a hawk (favoring aggressive military action) or a dove (favoring a peaceful resolution to the Vietnam War), he remarked, "I am not conscious of falling under any of those ornithological divisions."



The new Secretary did not change the management system McNamara installed at The Pentagon, and for the most part assigned internal administration to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul H. Nitze. Clifford made no effort to depart from McNamara's policies and programs on such matters as nuclear strategy, NATO, and military assistance, but he favored the Sentinel Anti-ballistic missile system, to which McNamara had given only lukewarm backing. Clifford wanted to deploy the system, and supported congressional appropriations for it. One important effect of Sentinel construction, he thought, would be to encourage the Soviet Union to enter arms control talks with the United States. Indeed, before Clifford left office, the Johnson administration made arrangements for negotiations that eventually led to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.



Clifford continued McNamara's highly-publicized Cost Reduction Program, announcing that over $1.2 billion had been saved in FY 1968 as a result of the effort. Faced with a congressionally-mandated reduction of expenditures in FY 1969, Clifford suspended the planned activation of an infantry division and deactivated 50 small ships, 9 naval air squadrons, and 23 Nike-Hercules missile launch sites.



By the time Clifford became secretary, Defense Department work on the FY 1969 budget was complete. It amounted in total obligational authority to $77.7 billion, almost $3 billion more than in FY 1968. The final FY 1970 budget, which Clifford and his staff worked on before they left office after the election of Richard M. Nixon to the Presidency, amounted to $75.5 billion TOA.



Clifford took office committed to rethinking President Johnson's Vietnam policies, and Vietnam policy consumed most of his time. He had argued against escalation in 1965 in private counsel with the President, but then provided public support for the President's position once the decision was made. At his confirmation hearing, he told the Armed Services Committee of the United States Senate that the limited objective of the United States was to guarantee to the people of South Vietnam the right of self-determination. He opposed ending the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam at the time, but acknowledged that the situation could change. In fact, on March 31, 1968, just a month after Clifford arrived at the Pentagon, President Johnson, in an effort to get peace talks started, ordered the cessation of bombing north of the 20th parallel, an area comprising almost 80 percent of North Vietnam's land area and 90 percent of its population. In the same address, Johnson announced that he would not be a candidate for reelection in 1968, surprising everyone, Clifford included. Soon the North Vietnamese agreed to negotiations, which began in Paris in mid-May 1968. Later, on October 31, 1968, to encourage the success of these talks, the President, with Clifford's strong support, ordered an end to all bombing in North Vietnam.



Clifford, like McNamara, had to deal with frequent requests for additional troops from military commanders in Vietnam. When he became secretary, the authorized force in Vietnam was 525,000. Soon after moving into his Pentagon office, Clifford persuaded Johnson to deny General William Westmoreland's request for an additional 206,000 American troops in Vietnam.



At the end of March 1968, however, the president agreed to send 24,500 more troops on an emergency basis, raising authorized strength to 549,500, a figure never reached. Even as he oversaw a continued buildup, Clifford preferred to emphasize the points President Johnson had made in his March 31, 1968 address: that the South Vietnamese army could take over a greater share of the fighting, that the administration would place an absolute limit on the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam, and that it would take steps, including the bombing restrictions, to reduce the combat level.



Eventually Clifford moved very close, with Johnson's tacit support, to the views McNamara held on Vietnam just before he left office -- no further increases in U.S. troop levels, support for the bombing halt, and gradual disengagement from the conflict. By this time Clifford clearly disagreed with Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who believed, according to The Washington Post, "that the war was being won by the allies" and that it "would be won if America had the will to win it." After he left office, Clifford, in the July 1969 issue of Foreign Affairs, made his views very clear: "Nothing we might do could be so beneficial . . . as to begin to withdraw our combat troops. Moreover . . . we cannot realistically expect to achieve anything more through our military force, and the time has come to begin to disengage. That was my final conclusion as I left the Pentagon...." Clifford received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Johnson on the President's last day in office, January 20, 1969.



Although the Johnson Administration ended under the cloud of the Vietnam War, Clifford concluded his short term as Secretary of Defense with his reputation actually enhanced. He got along well with the United States Congress, and this helped him to secure approval of at least some of his proposals. He settled into his duties quickly and efficiently, and capably managed the initial de-escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam; indeed, he apparently strongly influenced Johnson in favor of a de-escalation strategy. As he left office to return to his law practice in Washington, Clifford expressed the hope and expectation that international tensions would abate, citing the shift in the Vietnam confrontation from the battlefield to the conference table, and the evident willingness of the Soviet Union to discuss limitations on strategic nuclear weapons.



Clifford's legal practice and lobbying work made him wealthy, and he was considered one of Washington's "superlawyers" due to the reach of his influence and seemingly limitless connections. Clifford's office overlooked the White House, emphasizing his long experience in the capital. Clifford was renowned for his seemingly-effortless charm, style, tact and discretion.



In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed him as special presidential emissary to India. Clifford made waves by threatening the newly-established regime of Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran with war for its intransigence in negotiating the release of the hostages seized from the U.S. embassy in Tehran.



In 1991, Clifford's memoirs Counsel to the President (co-authored with Richard Holbrooke, later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) were published just as his name was implicated in the unfolding Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) scandal. The scandal focused on the criminal conduct of the international bank and its control of financial institutions nationwide, and was found by regulators in the United States and the United Kingdom to be involved in money laundering, bribery, support of terrorism, arms trafficking, the sale of nuclear technologies, the commission and facilitation of tax evasion, smuggling, illegal immigration, and the illicit purchases of banks and real estate. The bank was found to have at least $13 billion unaccounted for.



Clifford served as chairman of First American Bankshares, which grew to become the largest bank in Washington, D.C.. Robert Morgenthau, the district attorney of Manhattan, disclosed that his office had found evidence that the parent company of Clifford's bank was secretly controlled by BCCI. Morgenthau convened a grand jury to determine whether Clifford and his partner, Robert A. Altman, had deliberately misled federal regulators when the two men assured them that BCCI would have no outside control.



Clifford's predicament worsened when it was disclosed he had made about $6 million in profits from bank stock that he bought with an unsecured loan from BCCI. The grand jury handed up indictments, and the U.S. Justice Department opened its own investigation. Clifford's assets in New York, where he kept most of his investments, were frozen.



At this time the issue of Clifford's nephew, Mark-John Clifford being involved in the fraud was being researched. The prosecution felt that Clifford's nephew had access to all of his accounts and acted as his financial advisor in all investment and banking relations. Mark-John Clifford, CEO and President of International Investment Group Ltd. would never be prosecuted but he was always considered to be part of the fraud.



The "Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate," prepared by U.S. senators John Kerry and Hank Brown, noted that a key strategy of "BCCI's successful secret acquisitions of U.S. banks in the face of regulatory suspicion was its aggressive use of a series of prominent Americans," Clifford among them [1]. Clifford, who prided himself on decades of meticulously ethical conduct, summed his predicament up when he sadly told a reporter from the New York Times, "I have a choice of either seeming stupid or venal." Most observers believed the former, and concluded that Clifford had not paid sufficiently close attention to the bank or its management structure.



Indictments against Clifford were set aside because of his failing health. After a final, frail appearance in the 1997 PBS documentary Truman, Clifford died in 1998 from natural causes at age 91. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Schema-Root.org logo
images:  google   yahoo YouTube
spacer

updated Thu. March 23, 2017

-
4, 1968, phone conversation between Johnson and Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford and Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Walt Whitman Rostow, Johnson's special assistant, captures the discussion about what should be done with the information.
Johnson and several top officials, including Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford and Secretary of State Dean Rusk, struggled with what to do in a fascinating phone call on November 4, 1968, the day before the election.
The space on Mahogany Row, the line of wood-paneled offices including that of the secretary of state, is now a mysterious construction zone behind blue tarp.
High temperatures are expected to peak in the upper 70s late in the week, followed by a steep drop to more seasonable levels. Mostly sunny skies are expected for the next week.
Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk is equally outspoken, calling the attack deliberate in press and radio interviews. Similarly strong language comes from top leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency (some of whose ...
The 1924 law was passed in response to what came to be known as the Teapot Dome Scandal, when the secretary of the interior was accused of taking bribes to sign off on cheap oil leases.
Secretary of Defence Gates, a veteran of Naval intelligence who went on to become president and then chairman of Morgan Guaranty Bank, allegedly ordered the 1960 Gary Powers u-2 flight that undermined Eisenhower's summit with Khrushchev.
That's why as a general, McChrystal was praised for implementing the tenets of counterinsurgency warfare when he commanded troops in Afghanistan (the co-author of the manual McChrystal followed is current Secretary of Defense Mattis who has restrained ...
Ollie pulling blank traveler's checks from his office safe, proceeds of arms sales to the Ayatollah, and padding off on a patriotic mission to buy new snow tires for his wife's station wagon and fresh underwear for his secretary. ..... against ...
Robert A. Lovett: Instrumental in the expansion of the army Air Force during World War II as an Assistant Secretary for war, Lovett also served as Secretary of Defense under President Harry Truman and as under secretary of state. Lovett was selected by ...
Laipenieks had been fingered to me by my dean at the University's Graduate school of International Studies, Josef Korbel, himself a CIA-sponsored refugee, father of future Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and mentor to my classmate, Condoleezza ...
Nixon told Haldeman to have his private secretary, Rose Mary Woods, call another nationalist Chinese figure, businessman Louis Kun, to put pressure on the South Vietnamese.
Richard M. Nixon always denied it: to David Frost, to Historians and to Lyndon B. Johnson, who had the strongest suspicions and the most cause for outrage at his successor's rumoured treachery.
Richard M. Nixon always denied it: to David Frost, to Historians and to Lyndon B. Johnson, who had the strongest suspicions and the most cause for outrage at his successor's rumored treachery.
Years ago, my friend Richard Holbrooke gave me Clark Clifford's "Counsel to the President: A Memoir," which he had helped Clifford write.
At a White House meeting, Marshall raised an objection to the presence of White House political adviser Clark Clifford. Truman's answer was short, to the point, and relevant today.
One of his team even said, "If you ever see us relying on Clark Clifford, you'll know we have failed." Clifford was symbolic.
Melvin R. Laird, a former congressman who served as President Richard M. Nixon's Defense Secretary at the height of the Vietnam War and designed policies that eventually led to the American withdrawal from combat operations, died Nov. 16 at a ...
But Truman couldn't be fooled and demanded that his aide, Clark Clifford, hand him the magazine. The president looked at the story and told Clifford not to worry: "I know every one of those fellows, and not one of them has enough sense to pound sand in ...
Ninety nine years ago, on November 2nd 1917, a letter came to be known as "Balfour Declaration" was sent from the British Foreign Secretary; Arthur James Balfour, to the most senior Zionist Jew in Britain; Walter Rothschild, pledging assistance to the ...
Paul Laxalt to newly appointed Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford (whom Hughes kept on retainer in his previous career as an attorney).
4, 1968 conference call, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, National Security Advisor Walt Rostow and Defense Secretary Clark Clifford - three pillars of the Establishment - expressed that consensus, with Clifford explaining the thinking: "Some elements of ...
But Johnson didn't go public, advised by Defense Secretary and Washington insider Clark Clifford, that the revelation, so close to the election, would rattle the nation.
... that he did not necessarily endorse. This first attempt at a more orderly transition would not be remembered fondly, but Secretary of State Henry Stimson and Secretary of the Treasury Ogden Mills did genuinely aid the new administration. (See Henry ...
Secretary of State John Kerry sits with King Salman of Saudi Arabia after arriving at Diriyah farm outside Riyadh on Oct. 24, 2015.
Under Secretary of State George Ball recommended sending an air squadron (about 18 planes) to bolster Adoula and demonstrate "US power in tangible form.
1991: In May 1981, the distinguished former U.S. Defense Secretary Clark Clifford, then a Washington attorney, came to Albany to deflect criticism over the pending takeover of a small bank that had been operating downtown on State Street for more than ...
By 1968, the United Statesresumed military aid to the dictatorship, rationalizing - in the words of Defense Secretary Clark Clifford - that "the obligations imposed on us by the NATO alliance are far more important than the kind of government they ...
The foremost advocate of this outrageous thesis was Johnson's Defense Secretary, Clark Clifford, a slippery deep state operative who later came to grief himself over shady dealings with foreign entities.
There has been a break-in at the Democratic National Committee. Documents were stolen with the apparent intention of manipulating the results of a presidential election.
There has been a break-in at the Democratic National Committee. Documents were stolen with the apparent intention of manipulating the results of a presidential election.
By 1968, the United States resumed military aid to the dictatorship, rationalizing - in the words of Defense Secretary Clark Clifford - that "the obligations imposed on us by the NATO alliance are far more important than the kind of government they ...
Johnson discovered the treachery but was dissuaded by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, [National Security Adviser Walt] Rostow and Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford from making it public in the interest of "national security." Nixon won the election and ...
Mr. McCullough: One of my favorite moments in the life and times of Harry Truman took place in a private meeting in the president's office, when he was about to appoint General [George] Marshall secretary of state. And one of his political advisors ...
Johnson discovered the treachery but was dissuaded by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, [National Security Adviser Walt] Rostow and Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford from making it public in the interest of "national security." Nixon won the election and ...
That was the ultimate challenge. "You want everything," he said, explaining what he wished he was able to include, but had to cut for time's sake.
Also involved were Clark Clifford (the former Defense Secretary under Johnson and lawyer for BCCI), Robert Altman (attorney for Bert Lance and Clifford's partner), and Kamal Adham (the former director general of Saudi Arabian intelligence).
While instinctively sensitive to the Zionist cause, he repeatedly chafed under Zionist pressure.8 Nonetheless, as he tried to reconcile between his own political instincts and the advice of the "establishment," including Secretary of State George C ...
"It's not possible to overestimate the degree of concern and even fear that possessed the heads of our government when Wheeler returned," Clark Clifford, who took over as Secretary of Defense at the beginning of March, later said. Johnson remained "as ...
"It's not possible to overestimate the degree of concern and even fear that possessed the heads of our government when Wheeler returned," Clark Clifford, who took over as Secretary of Defense at the beginning of March, later said. Johnson remained "as ...
Johnson wanted to go public with Nixon's treason but was persuaded not to do so by Clark Clifford, his Secretary of Defense. Clifford told Johnson that "some elements of the story are so shocking in their nature that I'm wondering whether it would be ...
However, in this telephone call, Deputy National Security Adviser Alexander M. Haig aroused the president's suspicion that the leak might have been the work of three former officials of the Johnson administration: former Defense Secretary Clark M ...
From the Archive: The 1968 election had one shocking turn after another, but its final and arguably worst twist - still largely unknown to Americans - traded untold death in Vietnam for political power in Washington, Robert Parry wrote in 2012.
Truman gathered key policy advisers - and a domestic adviser, Clark Clifford, something Secretary of State George C. Marshall found unsettling.
David McKean, a long-time assistant to Secretary of State John Kerry, on March 14, 2016, was sworn in as the Ambassador to Luxembourg.
(111) She claims that the "Jewish Agency strategy developed in the 'Notes' appeared to be effective in addressing the fear of partition endangering U.S.
Weisman had begged for his support in a previous meeting. Truman shared his feelings on the morning of the 14th with his top aide, Clark Clifford. Clifford said, "Mr. President, if you are going to ... Before America, it was Great Britain's Foreign ...
American presidential candidates seem to remember only that Truman escaped defeat by the skin of his teeth thanks to the Zionists and forget Secretary of State George Marshall's fury that electoral considerations took precedence over policies based on ...
American presidential candidates seem to remember only that Truman escaped defeat by the skin of his teeth thanks to the Zionists and forget Secretary of State George Marshall's fury that electoral considerations took precedence over policies based on ...
1968 --- After being told by Defense Secretary Clark Clifford that the Vietnam War is a "real loser," President Johnson, still uncertain about his course of action, decides to convene a nine-man panel of retired presidential Advisors.


spacer

 


 


 


 


 


schema-root.org

    usa
     government
      officials
        clark clifford

US officials:
        a b krongard
        abram shulsky
        alan greenspan
        alan keyes
        alberto r. gonzales
        alexander haig
        allen dulles
        allison barber
        alphonso jackson
        ambassadors
        april glaspie
        arthur levitt
        asa hutchinson
        assistant secretaries
        ben bernanke
        bill bruner
        bill luti
        bing west
        brian dean curran
        bruce gebhardt
        bruce hardcastle
        c. stephen allred
        carlos m. gutierrez
        carol haave
        carol m. browner
        caspar weinberger
        charles f. conner
        chris cox
        christina rocca
        christopher ryan henry
        clair george
        clark clifford
        cofer black
        colin powell
        condoleezza rice
        dan fried
        daniel senor
        david camp
        david safavian
        david sanborn
        david schenker
        debra cagan
        department secretaries
        dina habib powell
        donald l. evans
        donald rumsfeld
        douglas barclay
        douglas j feith
        earl e. devaney
        edwin meese
        elaine l. chao
        elizabeth l. cheney
        elliot abrams
        fbi directors
        francis harvey
        frank c carlucci
        gale norton
        gary gensler
        george ball
        george f. kennan
        george p shultz
        george tenet
        greg theilmann
        harvey l. pitt
        henry kissinger
        henry paulson
        howard h. baker, jr
        jack kemp
        james a baker
        james b. comey
        james c. oberwetter
        james forrestal
        james p. rubin
        james roche
        james webb
        jeane j. kirkpatrick
        joe mcmillan
        john ashcroft
        john e. mclaughlin
        john foster dulles
        john mccone
        john negroponte
        john p. stenbit
        john p. walters
        john p o'neill
        john poindexter
        john r. bolton
        john stern wolf
        john william snow
        joseph a. christoff
        joseph s. nye, jr
        joshua bolten
        kathleen cooper
        ken adelman
        ken salazar
        l paul bremer
        laurence silberman
        lawrence summers
        lawrence wilkerson
        lincoln bloomfield
        louis freeh
        madeleine albright
        mark a. weinberger
        martin indyk
        max c. hugel
        melvin laird
        michael brown
        michael chertoff
        michael j. copps
        michael o. johanns
        nicholas johnson
        norman mineta
        oliver (buck) revell
        otto reich
        pat wald
        patricia harrison
        patrick h. wood iii
        paul craig roberts
        paul j redmond
        paul o'neill
        paul volcker
        paul wolfowitz
        pete aldridge
        peter orszag
        philip heymann
        philip zelikow
        r. alexander acosta
        r. james woolsey, jr
        r. nicholas burns
        ramsey clark
        randal quarles
        ray lahood
        richard allen
        richard armitage
        richard clarke
        richard kerr
        richard m. helms
        richard myers
        richard perle
        robert blackwill
        robert c. mcfarlane
        robert joseph
        robert m. gates
        robert m. kimmitt
        robert mcnamara
        robert mueller
        robert reich
        robert stephan
        robert w jordan
        robert zoellick
        rod paige
        roger morris
        roger noriega
        samuel bodman
        scott bloch
        spokespeople
        stanley sporkin
        stansfield turner
        stephen cambone
        steve hadley
        steven bryen
        steven g. bradbury
        steven griles
        steven mann
        stewart simonson
        stuart e eizenstat
        teresa mchenry
        thomas a. twetton
        thomas e. white
        thomas enders
        thomas fingar
        tom donilon
        tom ridge
        tommy thompson
        trent lott
        us attorneys
        vernon d. penner
        w mark felt
        warren christopher
        webster hubbell
        wendy sherman
        william barr
        william burns
        william clark
        william j. bennett
        william j. casey
        william kennard
        william s. cohen
        william webster
        zbigniew brzezinski