I had first met Pat in 1966. He
had come to Harvard as director of the Joint Center for
Urban Studies, where I was studying with James Q. Wilson
and Ed Banfield. Instantly, he brought joy to what had
been heretofore a dull funding mechanism for a few professors
and students in the government department (including myself.)
Pat has everything it needed: intellectual brilliance,
ineluctable charm, a love of history and a great sense
of the media. A few weeks after his appointment, he was
on the cover of Life magazine. So was the Joint Center.
What impressed me most about Pat
is that he is an incredible learning machine. He listen
and reads relentlessly, and integrates what he garners
into new and provocative concepts. It was Pat, after all,
who found Ralph Nader in the Labor Department, encouraged
him to write his book Unsafe At Any Speed (Pat wrote the
introduction), and, in doing so, created the consumer
movement in America. His generosity toward me, including
giving me a party for the completion of my thesis— with
guests seating at tables according to whether they liked
their steaks rare, medium or well-done— and inviting me
to India for Christmas as part of the Star series.
Soon after Pat Moynihan had been appointed Ambassador
to India by President Nixon, he learned that a vast
sum of Indian rupees had accumulated in a US government
account from the sale of American wheat to India. These
"PB 484" fund, as they were called, could not be exchanged
for dollars, but they could be used to purchase business-class
air tickets. So Pat instituted what he called the "Star
Series" through which the State Department would buy
tickets for his friends willing to give lectures in
India. I qualified.
I took advantage of the world
air ticket by first going to Turkey and Iran, where
I on a wondrous tour of the archeological sites of Ephesus,
Telemoussis, Aspendos and Persopolis with Amanda Burden,
and, in Teheran, met Richard Helms.
I then went to Sri Lanka. Madras and Madras, giving
lectures on the American media, since Pat had been called
back to New York for meetings. What made these side
trips interesting was the career officers from the USIA
who met me at the airport and briefed me on the rides
into town. It was as much as a learning experience as
anything at Harvard.
When I finally got to New Delhi,
there was a terrorist crises. Pat had been told by the
State Department that Egyptian intelligence had warned
it that the PLO was planning to kill or kidnap Pat. As
a result the embassy, Roosevelt House, where I was staying,
had become an armed fortress with Sikh bodyguards and
Marines encamped everywhere. Adding to the tension, I
was expecting Kate Paley, Amanda's half-sister, to join
me at Roosevelt House. But her plane from New York passed
through Rome, just when the PLO hijacked 4 planes. Her
arrival had delayed, Pat explained, for at least 3 days.
So, trapped in Roosevelt House,
I sat in the garden with Pat, and, over a few beers, had
a discussion about the evolution of drug policy under
Nixon. Pat said
that when he joined the Nixon's Administration in 1969,
"the country was mesmerized with urban riots and street
crime. They [Ehrlichman and Halderman] were also talking
about a heroin epidemic they thought was about to explode.
So they sent me to Turkey and France to look into the
supply route. I came back and told Nixon we could temporarily
disrupt the supply. I was surprised an anyone when they
turned my suggestion into the war on heroin."
Moynihan suggested that the White
House take a more direct role in the treaty negotiations
in Turkey, even if it meant recalling the ambassador.
"The next thing I know people in the White House were
He said he was now getting telegrams
from "the boy scouts in the White House" telling him shut
down the production of opium in India. "Its idiotic,"
he explained. Although India was the world's largest producer
of opium, it went to pharmaceutical companies to manufacture
codeine. Codeine was an anti tussac. "If they shut down
Indian opium, they are going to cause a global coughing
In the evening, Leo Gross, a professor
of international law, and the second in Pat' Star Series,
arrived. Pat had a dinner for him that included the Chief
Justice of the Indian Supreme Court Ray, a judge at the
Hague court named Sing, and a dreary collection of Embassy
officials. After dinner, Liz, Pat's energetic wife, said
the private train that they had been planning to take
us on to Rajastan over Christmas had been canceled by
the Inian governmenr because of security.