While international diplomacy is often conducted under a patina of ethics and protocol, this was, as Hitchens documents in detail, a very dirty business. In order to maintain the prerogatives of U.S. foreign policy, at least as Kissinger interpreted them, he dined with dictators and buddied up with butchers. He oversaw covert operations that ended in coups, kidnappings, assassinations and massacres. And he was the driving force behind Washington's not-so-secret, but unannounced and audaciously illegal, bombardment of Cambodia and Laos.
Hitchens, one of the most biting and sly commentators to regularly publish in both the leftist and mainstream press, makes for a great Kissinger prosecutor. He is generous enough to let Kissinger do much of the talking, by quoting from reams of declassified documents and reels of tape from Nixon's Oval Office recording system. "Everything on paper will be used against me," Kissinger wailed during a meeting in December of 1975, immediately after Kissinger and President Ford had given the green light for Indonesia's invasion of East Timor, which resulted in an estimated 200,000 civilian deaths.
There's not a court big enough or just enough to rein in a war criminal as powerful as Kissinger, of course. But in the end, and despite his painstaking efforts to contain and control disclosures about his secret foreign policy moves, Kissinger has left enough evidence to convince readers that "Henry the K" is a bona fide outlaw.