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Last on

Sun 11 Dec 2011 13:30 BBC Radio 4

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 11 December 2011

In 1971 U.S. diplomat Archer K. Blood took a heroic stand against Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. Blood was the U.S consul general to East Pakistan - now the independent nation of Bangladesh. Blood and his team were witnesses to a brutal military crackdown and asked for the U.S to denounce the atrocities on humanitarian grounds, but the Nixon team remained silent. Finally Blood's team sent a dissent telegram accusing the government of being "morally bankrupt". The 'Blood Telegram' marked the first time a whole U.S mission had dissented from their own government.

On the fortieth anniversary of the birth of Bangladesh Jonny Dymond unravels Blood's story to uncover one of the most courageous diplomatic stands in history. Dymond speaks to Blood's family and signatories of the telegram to unpick the events leading to Blood's decision to risk everything and make his stand, and finds out why Nixon and Kissinger remained silent. He reveals that Blood was a victim of a grander cold war game driven by the realpolitik of Nixon and Kissinger.


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