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Worst Ambassador ever! Even the CIA agrees with that.

28 March 2013

Studies in Intelligence  is not a psychology magazine, as you might expect, but rather, it is the “Journal of the American Intelligence Agent”… i.e., the C.I.A.’s in-house trade rag.

I had never run across it before,  Mark E. Benbow’s  “All the Brains I Can Borrow: Woodrow Wilson and Intelligence Gathering in Mexico, 1913-15” is the best short, readable piece (other than my book, naturally) on Henry Lane Wilson, who all by himself did more to sour Mexican-U.S. relations than James Knox Polk, Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor and Sam Houston combined.

He looked like a villain, too!

He even looked like a villain!


The US ambassador in Mexico City, Henry Lane Wilson, was a conservative Republican and an appointee of Wilson’s predecessor, William Howard Taft. Ambassador Wilson strongly advocated US recognition of the Huerta government. He also actively assisted the plotters who overthrew President Madero in February 1913.

Just three days after President Wilson was inaugurated on 4 March 1913, the New York World published a front page story revealing Ambassador Wilson’s role in Huerta’s coup. The World was the president’s strongest supporter in the press and it was the newspaper he most trusted. The World’s report reinforced the president’s decision to delay recognition of Huerta’s government, despite the ambassador’s strenuous lobbying. Also as a result of the World’s reports, President Wilson considered any information coming from the US embassy in Mexico to be tainted.

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