William P. Clark, R.I.P.
William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's closest advisor, passed away yesterday. It's quite possible that you've never heard of Judge Clark, but he just so happens to be one of the chief architects of Reagan's vision for the downfall of Soviet communism, and played a key role in implementing that plan.
The following excerpt is from an interview Ignatius Insight did a few years ago with Paul Kengor, Clark's biographer (his book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand):
... Clark helped set up that initial and historic June 1982 meeting between President Reagan and Pope John Paul II, where the two men confided in one another that they believed that God had spared their lives for a special purpose, which they concluded was to undermine Soviet communism, beginning particularly in Poland, which both men—as well as Clark—saw as the wedge that could crack the entire Communist Bloc.Kathryn Jean Lopez's tribute to Judge Clark at National Review is definitely worth a read.
Over the next year and a half that followed, Clark became the primary White House conduit to the Vatican. Along with CIA director Bill Casey, another committed Catholic, Clark met very frequently with Pio Laghi, the apostolic delegate to Washington. He and Casey had code language when discussing over the telephone the need for a quick meeting with Laghi: "It's time to get some cappuccino," they would say. That meant a visit to Laghi's residence for a cappuccino and to share information about the critical activities going on around the world, especially in Poland. They were the middle men between Reagan and Pope John Paul II, the principal liaisons. Clark was the point man who would then report that information directly back to Reagan...
Requiescat in pace, Judge Clark.