Kissinger: “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”
William Jasper - Nov. 8th, 2010
A just-released transcript of a meeting between Henry Kissinger and a Turkish Foreign Minister 35 years ago provides a bombshell quote that will go a long way toward solidifying the former Secretary of State’s reputation as one of the most Machiavellian insiders of American politics and diplomacy in the 20th century.
During a secret meeting on March 10, 1975 in the Turkish Capital of Ankara with Mehli Esenbel, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Kissinger, then Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, told Esenbel:
Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that.
Ironically, it was a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that finally pried loose the transcripts of the meeting, albeit three and a half decades later. The transcripts were posted November 5 on the website of the National Security Archive, a research institute and library located at the George Washington University.