David Irving

[Photo by David Gamble, for The Independent on Sunday]

Private meeting with the Director
of the Central Intelligence Agency, William J Casey

[Diary entry, May 1, 1986]

From David Irving's private diary

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Washington DC, May 1, 1986*

10:30 A.M., ARRIVED at CIA complex for interview with William Casey. His young man said I was down for 10 a.m. ( I feel guilty, but my diary says 10:30). Sat in anteroom for an hour observing the fauna and flora of the 7th floor at CIA headquarters - three or four smart, crisp young well-coiffed ladies carrying clipboards in impeccable suits; young men ditto, with hairstyles by Vidal Sassoon but handshakes by Rambo III.
Eventually around 11:30 a.m. I was ushered in. Casey is older (of course), his mouth lolls open like a man after a stroke, and he speaks with practised drawl. He said, "You look like you've been a few places." Reference to the tan? I murmured something about having come back from round the world. "Yes, yes, I know that. Still got the brown Rolls Royce?" He smiled, and I suspected he had just checked on my file. Then: "Still living in that apartment on Davies Street?" He made the same mistake last time we met. I said I'd just bought it, and mentioned the financial troubles caused by abandoning work on Churchill.
"What are you working on now?" I told him. He asked how well Rommel did, and what I've been doing since then (I mentioned Churchill). It came out that he has [a] memoirs manuscript with William Morrow, but embargoed until he retires, and that it does not include the C.I.A. period. He doesn't know if he'll ever write that. I recommend Tom Congdon as editor, and he wrote the name and address down on a yellow legal pad, and added my hotel name at his request as he wants to dine with me but is off to Florida for the weekend and won't be back until Monday. He might call, he'd like that.
I mentioned Libya, said I thought the C.I.A. had not made its case for Libyan involvement in recent terrorism. He said, "But you've got to hit them some where. You've got to hit back!" I said, "At the right target, and in Europe, if I may say, the United States is not perceived as having correctly identified the guilty parties."
He changed the subject, asked about the Uprising book. I said I'd found a good publisher to handle it, Veritas, in Australia and it is now in print again in English. He said he'd be interested in a copy. (But I sent him one three years ago.) He gave me a signed copy of his memoirs, which he bought back off William Morrow (remaindered.)
On the Churchill troubles he asked, "How big is the manuscript?" Odd question.
I told him I am not worried about finding a publisher for that as I have magnificent material from Moscow, etc; he got interested: "You speak Russian?" (Yes, some.)

* All of this was typed on the afternoon of the interview; when I came to fill in the date later I couldn't as my pocket diary had been stolen from me in Kennedy airport on the return to the U.K.; but the parking ticket confirms it was May 1, 1986.

His eye was on the clock, as I had upset his timetable for the morning. He sprawled in an easy chair behind his desk, visitors sit at an angle in an easy chair by the desk side. He has a private lift to his floor, accessible by key. I asked if he doesn't ever get tired, isn't he due for retirement, doesn't he feel entitled? "No, hell, I love it here. I'm going to stay on as long as I can." He mentioned how pleased he was when Ronnie [Ronald Reagan] gave him the job, and when I said Mrs Casey must be fed up to see so little of him he said he gets home regular hours and doesn't take much back with him.
Impression is that he likes talking about the past, about war history, and is interested in publishing; dismisses his tax textbooks in one line (despite the huge income). Mind is probably still alert, enjoys every moment of his job, probably never expected to get it.
As I drove out of the C.I.A. compound, unplucking the parking ticket that had been affixed to my window despite the V.I.P. visitor permit issued to me, I was followed out by a large black limousine which trailed me some way down the George Washington parkway; its license plate, which I read in my mirror, was: KC N KC.