Paul  Kengor

Editor's Note: The “V&V Q&A” is an e-publication and a regular feature from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. In this latest edition, the Center interviews its own executive director, Dr. Paul Kengor, on his new book, "The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand" (Ignatius Press, 2007), the untold story of Ronald Reagan’s closest friend, confidant, and most influential adviser. Bill Clark is widely regarded as the insider who more than any other adviser helped President Reagan win the Cold War. This is the second of a two-part interview.

V&V: Dr. Kengor, we left off with you listing some of the revelations in your new biography of Bill Clark, “The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand,” and promising to pick up with the Cold War component. Do any of those revelations involve Reagan policy toward the Soviet Union?

Paul Kengor: Yes, several of them. I will note two in particular: the MiG incident and the major historical revelation in the book—the secret mission to Suriname.

On the MiG incident: This was never before reported until Clark shared the story for this book. It occurred in 1982, when Ronald Reagan was still a relatively new president. The Soviets were known to test new presidents—like JFK in Berlin. The historians on Bill Clark’s NSC staff warned him about the possibility the Russians would test Reagan somewhere.