THE ADMINISTRATION: The Delicacy of Being Laird

Around the Nixon White House loyalty comes first, and in recent months Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird has been getting low marks for his performance in supporting the President's Viet Nam policy— not because he is against it in substance but because he would like withdrawal to proceed even faster. From the Administration's viewpoint, he has been too far out in front of his boss on a withdrawal timetable. For example, Laird predicted a lowering of the troop level to 50,000 by the end of 1972 weeks in advance of Nixon's televised speech two weeks...

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