Former Reagan Secretary of State Alexander Haig dies

Rick Moran
Alexander Haig, Ronald Reagan's first secretary of state and former NATO commander, died yesterday at the age of 85.

Haig also served as Richard Nixon's chief of staff, a position made vitally important by Nixon's Watergate troubles. Haig is credited - or condemned - with stage managing Richard Nixon's exit from the White House - an extremely delicate undertaking that the Four Star general handled as best as could be expected. Nixon grumbled later that he really didn't want to leave and some blame was cast on Haig for "pushing" Nixon out the door. But such criticism ignores reality. The president might have gotten 20 votes in the Senate for acquittal from impeachment charges after the June 21st tape was revealed that showed him plotting with H.R. Halderman to use the FBI in the cover up.

Controversy also came to Haig in the Reagan White House following the assassination attempt on the president. His appearance in front of the press announcing that he was "in charge" at the White House only confused an already chaotic situation. While many historians point out he was probably right because George Bush was out of town, his inelegant words were criticized at the time.

But no one can say much against Alexander Haig's military career. He was a "soldier's soldier" according to many who served under him, and he is given credit for modernizing the alliance when he served as NATO commander. He quit after 4 years over the way Carter was handling the hostage crisis.

Is Alexander Haig "Deep Throat?" A few years ago, Carl Bernstein revealed that the Watergate leaker was former FBI deputy chief Mark Felt. But there are still many who believe that there was more than one "Deep Throat" and that Haig may have also talked with Woodward and Bernstein.

We will probably find out shortly whether that was the case, now that Haig has passed away.

Haig is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia; 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and a brother.

Thomas Lifson adds:

General Haig was a remarkable man in many ways, and whatever criticisms have come his way, there is no doubt that his life was consumed with a passion to serve his country. After graduating from West Point, he soon was serving on the staff of General MacArthur, an almost unbelievable way to begin a military career. I always suspected that General MacArthur must have had a profound molding effect on Haig, and this may have led to some of the resentment and backbiting that plagued him when he reached the White House level of national service.

His longtime aide K.D. McFarland was interviewed this morning on FNC, and when asked for stories about his "softer side", averred that there wasn't one. This was someone who was a great admirer and longtime associate of his. He was justly renowned for pushing people to their limits, and not alwys with grace. But he got things done.

For all his faults, and there were some, he gave of himself tirelessly in service to his country. May he rest in peace.

Alexander Haig, Ronald Reagan's first secretary of state and former NATO commander, died yesterday at the age of 85.

Haig also served as Richard Nixon's chief of staff, a position made vitally important by Nixon's Watergate troubles. Haig is credited - or condemned - with stage managing Richard Nixon's exit from the White House - an extremely delicate undertaking that the Four Star general handled as best as could be expected. Nixon grumbled later that he really didn't want to leave and some blame was cast on Haig for "pushing" Nixon out the door. But such criticism ignores reality. The president might have gotten 20 votes in the Senate for acquittal from impeachment charges after the June 21st tape was revealed that showed him plotting with H.R. Halderman to use the FBI in the cover up.

Controversy also came to Haig in the Reagan White House following the assassination attempt on the president. His appearance in front of the press announcing that he was "in charge" at the White House only confused an already chaotic situation. While many historians point out he was probably right because George Bush was out of town, his inelegant words were criticized at the time.

But no one can say much against Alexander Haig's military career. He was a "soldier's soldier" according to many who served under him, and he is given credit for modernizing the alliance when he served as NATO commander. He quit after 4 years over the way Carter was handling the hostage crisis.

Is Alexander Haig "Deep Throat?" A few years ago, Carl Bernstein revealed that the Watergate leaker was former FBI deputy chief Mark Felt. But there are still many who believe that there was more than one "Deep Throat" and that Haig may have also talked with Woodward and Bernstein.

We will probably find out shortly whether that was the case, now that Haig has passed away.

Haig is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia; 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and a brother.

Thomas Lifson adds:

General Haig was a remarkable man in many ways, and whatever criticisms have come his way, there is no doubt that his life was consumed with a passion to serve his country. After graduating from West Point, he soon was serving on the staff of General MacArthur, an almost unbelievable way to begin a military career. I always suspected that General MacArthur must have had a profound molding effect on Haig, and this may have led to some of the resentment and backbiting that plagued him when he reached the White House level of national service.

His longtime aide K.D. McFarland was interviewed this morning on FNC, and when asked for stories about his "softer side", averred that there wasn't one. This was someone who was a great admirer and longtime associate of his. He was justly renowned for pushing people to their limits, and not alwys with grace. But he got things done.

For all his faults, and there were some, he gave of himself tirelessly in service to his country. May he rest in peace.