Camp David, July 1965
Clark Clifford, the urbane and courtly Washington lawyer and former special counsel to President Harry S. Truman, was one of Lyndon B. Johnson's most trusted advisers, although he was not officially a member of the administration. With the possible exception of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, Clifford was Johnson's most influential “kitchen cabinet” adviser, and as the meeting began Johnson telephoned Clifford's office, just a few blocks away from the White House, and asked him to join them immediately. At this meeting, however, Clifford played the role of the silent observer. Over the next few days, the president and his advisers discussed the possibility of escalation in Vietnam, culminating in a Sunday afternoon meeting in July 1965 at Camp David. In order to properly evaluate his contribution to history, therefore, a comprehensive biography spanning Clifford's entire Washington career is warranted.
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