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III. Creation of the Presidential Task Force on Vietnam and the Drafting of a Program of Action on Vietnam April-May 1961


32. Program for the Presidential Task Force on Vietnam

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD(C)(A) Files: FRC 77-131, VN Task Force 1961 (Folder 1). Secret; Sensitive. No drafting or clearance information is given on the source text. The program was circulated at the first meeting of the Task Force on April 24. Regarding this meeting, see infra.


33. Draft Notes on the First Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Vietnam, the Pentagon

Source: Department of State, Vietnam Working Group Files: Lot 66 D 193, 20. General Lansdale. V-N 1961. Secret. The drafter is not identified.


34. Letter From President Kennedy to President Diem

Source Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files FRC 66 A 878, 350 GVN Elections. No drafting or clearance information is given on the source text. Attached to the source text was a brief covering note from Durbrow to Diem dated April 29. The text of the letter was transmitted to Saigon in telegram 1306, April 26. (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence Lot 66 D 476)


36. Memorandum for the Record by the Chief of Naval Operations (Burke)

Source: Naval Historical Center, Burke Papers. Top Secret; Hold Closely.


37. Memorandum From the President’s Special Counsel (Sorensen) to the President

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 65 A 3078, Vietnam. No drafting or clearance information is given on the source text.


38. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Vietnam Country Series. Top Secret. On April 28, Robert H. Johnson also sent a memorandum to Rostow commenting on the program for Vietnam. Johnson prefaced his remarks by saying that it seemed to lack a clear plan of political action for South Vietnam. For text of his memorandum, see Declassified Documents, 1975, p. 277C.


39. Memorandum From the Ambassador-Designate to Vietnam (Nolting) to the Secretary of State

Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/4-2961. Top Secret. Drafted and initialed by Nolting and Cottrell. Also sent to Under Secretary Bowles.


41. Telegram From the Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Vietnam (McGarr) to the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 5159, SGN(61)12—Laos Consolidated. Top Secret; Priority.


42. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Gilpatric) to the President

Source: Departmegnt of State, Central Files, 611.51K/5-361. Top Secret. The source text was attached to a memorandum from Ball to Rusk, Bowles, Johnson, McGhee, and McConaughy, May 3, noting that the enclosed memorandum was a Department of State draft and that differences with Defense remained to be ironed out. Also attached to the source text was a note stating that Rusk had discussed the organizational differences with McNamara without result and that they would discuss them further with the President on May 5 before the NSC meeting. The underscored sections are additions to the earlier drafts cited in Document 35.


43. Draft Memorandum of the Conversation of the Second Meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Vietnam, the Pentagon

Source: Department of State, G/PM Files: Lot 64 D 354. Top Secret. Drafted by Weiss.


44. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series. Secret. Also sent to Rostow. Printed in part in Declassified Documents, 1963, p. 33.


46. Memorandum for the Record

Source: Naval Historical Center, Burke Papers. Top Secret; Hold Closely. Presumably drafted by Burke.


49. Letter From the Deputy Assistant Director, Far East, of the United States Information Agency (Nickel) to the Public Affairs Officer at the Embassy in Viet-Nam (Anspacher)

Source: Washington National Records center, RG 34, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 66 A 335. Program Direction Secret; Official-Informal; For Addressee Only.


50. Telegram From the Chief of the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Viet-Nam (McGarr) to the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt)

Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 84, Saigon Embassy Files: FRC 68 A 5159, SGN(61)19-GVN. Top Secret.


51. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Rostow) to the President

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Viet-Nam Country Series. Secret. No drafting or clearance information is given on the source text.


52. National Security Action Memorandum No. 52

Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 70 D 264, NSAM Follow-up Reports. Top Secret. Information copies were also sent to the Departments of Defense and the Treasury, CIA, USIA, ICA, and the Bureau of the Budget. Also printed in United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967, Book 11, pp. 136-137.